According to the CBS (2016), almost two million out of over seventeen million Dutch people are considered to be self-employed. This group seems to be more financially vulnerable than Dutch employed workers. For instance, the CBS (2016) concluded that, on average, self-employed workers earn 10% less than employed workers do. Furthermore, in contrast to employed workers, self-employed workers are more dependent on their own abilities and resources to manage their finances. Additionally, according to the CBS and TNO (2015), almost a quarter of the self-employed workers rate their financial situation as either less than reasonable or bad. For these reasons, this paper studied the wishes and interest of Dutch self-employed workers concerning a financial overview application. A financial overview application aims to increase the financial independence of users by providing them with a personal, complete and up to date overview of their financial situation on their mobile phone, tablet or computer. In the first study of this paper, nine self-employed workers were interviewed for half an hour about their needs and wishes for a financial overview application. The results of this study provide application developers with valuable information about the needs and wishes of self-employed workers concerning this kind of applications. For instance, the results show that developers should consider including aspects such as a combined retirement overview, options for efficient bookkeeping and tax declaration, the living standard, reference material for the hourly rate determination, (health) insurances, bread fund membership, budgets, buffers and reserves as a feature in a financial overview application for this target group. Additionally, the results of an online survey with 123 self-employed respondents show that 38.2% of the self-employed perceive a financial overview application as useful. Furthermore, a smaller, but still considerable, amount of the self-employed workers (22.0%) have the intention to download and use such an application. These results are promising for developers of financial overview applications. Furthermore, the results show that a financial overview application will trigger 21.1% of the self-employed to actively work on their financial situation. This finding helps application developers demonstrate the value and importance of a financial overview application. Additionally, the results of this paper indicate that construal level theory of temporal distance might help with introducing self-employed workers to a financial overview application. Respondents who had been primed with a great temporal distance (in a year from now / in the future) in a promotional flyer showed a somewhat higher perceived usefulness, behavioural intention to use such an application and behavioural intention to actively work on the financial situation than respondents who had been primed with a small temporal distance (today / tomorrow) did. However, it should be noted that the results concerning construal level theory are not significant. To specify, only 51% of the respondents appeared to have read the promotional flyer in the survey thoroughly enough to be susceptible for the manipulation in that flyer. This resulted in groups that were too small. Consequently, the results are not significant and might be not reliable.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is een denktank en kennisnetwerk. Netspar is gericht op een goed geïnformeerd pensioendebat.


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