From XU Magazine, 
Issue 30

Q&A: Ben Silluzio, CEO, oNesto

XU: For our readers that aren’t familiar with oNesto, how would you sum it up?

BS:  oNesto is an Employee Benefits platform that enables employees to save without nudging or altering their ordinary savings or spending habits. Ultimately assisting the attraction, retention and productivity of staff.

XU: What are its main features?

BS:  1. Shop and save - Receive up to 10% Cashback from participating retailers.
2. Flexibility of Wages - Enabling access to earned wages intra-pay cycle.
3. Financial LMS - Focused on financial literacy & employee wellness.
4. Employee Awards and Recognition Platform - Providing cost effective tailored employee awards.

XU: Who are your target users and who will it help benefit?

BS: Our target customer is small businesses and the people who work for them.

Our products give people discounts that until now have only been available to multinational corporates.

This helps smaller businesses offer employee benefits that make attraction and retention of staff easier, and brings them closer to the benefits platforms offered by large corporates.

XU: oNesto claims to help employees make smart financial decisions, improving the financial fitness of their teams. How does it do this?

BS:  Our financial literacy platform has over 100 courses on savings, budgeting, and financial products.

This learning combines into the flexible wages product, where users can get access to their  wages when they need to pay bills, ensuring they avoid any charges for mistimed payments.

This helps users avoid expensive forms of credit such as payday loans and credit cards.

The Shop & Save feature provides up to 10% Cashback though more than 60 major essential retailers, and builds a savings fund for users at no cost and without any changed spending habits.

XU: What makes it different from other options on the market?

BS:  Other awards and recognition programs are often not available to small businesses, and if they are have significant activation and integration cost which makes them prohibitive.

These programs are often tailored to large corporations whereas our product has been built for SMEs and can be installed via the Xero Marketplace in as little as 15 minutes.

XU: You have recently integrated with Xero. Why did you choose to work with them, and how will this benefit users?

BS:  Xero is the world’s leading SME accounting software solution. We love its capabilities and ease of use. It provides real benefits and solves real problems for small businesses. We similarly provide benefits and solve problems, albeit a different set of problems. As such it creates a perfect synergy between our platforms.

XU: Personally, what is your favourite aspect or feature of oNesto?

BS:  The Shop to Save feature is so unique and simply awesome. You can shop with your earned wages at 60+ major Australian retailers and you receive up to 10% cashback. On top of this for convenience, you can include your retailer’s loyalty card to ensure you capture all available discounts and loyalty points.

XU: We’d love to learn a bit more about you and your experiences, Ben. What were you doing before you founded oNesto?

BS: Prior to founding oNesto, I was on a two year sabbatical whereby I completed a double MBA at Columbia Business School in New York & London Business School in London. Prior to this I founded a multi awarded global hedge fund.

XU: What has your favourite experience been at oNesto so far?

BS:  Helping people! From my amazing staff at oNesto to our incredible corporate clients & their awesome employees.

XU: What have you learnt from your time finding a tech start-up?

BS:  Anything is possible, if you want to change the world, you need to break barriers and do the opposite of what everyone else is doing or thinking!

XU: Is there anyone or anything that has particularly inspired your business journey?

BS: I wanted to help those who hadn’t had the benefit of a financial mentor or education to learn about and improve their finances. I was lucky – I had great mentors, but I learned that almost half of all people had no one like this. And it bugged me that financial institutions offer the lowest priced credit products to the people that need it the least, and charge people who are struggling the most. From a social perspective, this is a backwards concept, and I was inspired to change this!...

XU: When you’re not hard at work, what do you spend your time doing?

BS: I love spending time with friends and family, mentoring start-ups, reading, traveling and participating in sports.

XU: What countries is oNesto currently available in? Do you have any plans for growth?

BS: oNesto is currently available in Australia, we are launching in NZ in April and the USA in July.

XU: We all know how important a healthy and supportive work environment is for team success. What is it like working at oNesto and what do you do to try and foster a positive work attitude there?

BS: We’re building something special and unique and we’re committed to getting this into the hands of as many small businesses and their employees as possible.

XU: What advice can you give to first time users to get the most out of oNesto?

BS: Onboarding is simple, however it’s a process that requires ID verification and employer selection, so persistence is required. Once onboarded, first time users should ensure they scan all their retailers loyalty cards for additional discounts. Then simply with oNesto it’s super easy to use!

XU: What does the future of oNesto look like? Where do you see the platform eventually looking like? 

BS: We have some incredible features which we plan to release over the next 12 months primarily focused on a corporation’s CSR objectives. These include a philanthropic feature and our environmental feature.

XU: Do you have any exciting plans in the works or news you’d like to share with us?

BS: We are in an interesting negotiation currently with an Australian corporation, which if consummated, would springboard our activation and deliver an important new vertical.

XU: If you could share one piece of advice to our readers, what would that be?

BS: Always follow your North Star. Ours is: Giving every day employees the tools and knowledge to improve their financial competence and get the most out of their money.

Why leave it there?

to find out more about oNesto

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