Money Doctor – financially educating your employees
Mita Srinivasan
10X People

Money Doctor – financially educating your employees

Ambareen Musa, the founder of Souqalmal and member of the UAE Debt Panel, has set up a new passion project to help employers provide their employees with access to financial education courses. In this chat with SME10x, she explains what the program is and why employers should help their teams reduce their financial stress, educate themselves and better understand how to manage their finances better.

Souqalmal has launched Money Doctor to help employers financially educate their employees. The new site has been set up by Ambareen Musa, founder of Souqalmal, as a passion project that has come out of conversations she had with business owners and entrepreneurs who realised that financial worry (as a result of the pandemic) were creating stress even among their best employees.

In a candid conversation, she explained why this was so important for businesses. Covid-19, according to Musa, created a lot of upheaval in businesses as a lot of them had to make changes and this meant that employees had to cope with reduced pay, leave without pay, lose benefits etc creating stress for a lot of them. Finance became a huge cause for employee stress (no surprises there) and that caused a few business owners and managers to ask about the potential for a course to help these employees leading to the creation of Money Doctor.

What is Money Doctor?

The Money Doctor is an online financial education program for employees, paid for by the employer, that gives them the option to understand and do a deep dive on how to manage their finances through an online course that could help them navigate and make the most of whatever finances they have. The course comprises of nine modules of 30 mins each covering a multitude of areas in finance and helps employees not only to understand how each of these segments work, what steps to take to avoid some of the hidden fees or understand what these are.

Musa is passionate as she explains. “There are so many hidden fees that the individual is not aware of and areas of finance, like a mortgage or an insurance product, that they can negotiate, scams that they can avoid, cut out the middle man in some cases and make that Dirham last and give them better value.” The course not only explains what to do to avoid debt but also shares tips and information on how to improve credit rating and also qualify for loans as well.

Why should employers pay for this?

In a recent study by PwC, the company found that many employees were experiencing deep financial strain. Employers needed to engage and retain productive employees, yet the day-to-day challenge of trying to pay bills and manage finances, as a result of the pandemic and decisions some of the businesses needed to take, was leaving employees stressed and distracted at work.

“Wellness is a key part of the corporate structure these days and financial worry is one of the main root causes for stress for most people. There are questions around why their credit rating is low, why are some charges higher than others, how they can budget and plan to manage (whatever little) the income they have, what they need to do if they lose a job. We cover all these scenarios and suggest ways through videos, how-to tips, in-built calculators and several tools that will give them some light at end of, sometimes, a very dark tunnel,” shared Musa.

How much will it cost the employer?

Starting from as little as AED 420 per employee per year, the access is given directly to the employee so that no data or information is collected other than an email to create the account in the employee’s name. The employer just gets an overview to see how many of their employees have taken advantage of the education and how often. No personal data of the employee is taken or shared with the employer.

In a world that is floundering under job losses, reduced income, the financial wellness of the employee could be the key to ensuring a more productive workforce when every contribution counts in a business.