The recent financial crisis has generated interest among citizens in better following and understanding economy evolution, the financial trends and threats and how to promote more responsible and prudent individual saving and borrowing behavior. The ability of citizens to make informed financial decisions is critical to developing sound personal finance, which can contribute to increased saving rates, more efficient allocation of financial resources, and greater financial stability.
Technological developments have enabled and enhanced the availability of large volumes of information on themes relevant to financial decision making. Their potential benefits, though, are hindered by the cognitive limitations by individuals when it comes to the processing of large volumes of information, as well as the documented widespread financial illiteracy even within developed economies, including those of the European Union.
Acknowledging such needs, PROFIT project, engaging information and communications technology, financial and social partners, will develop a financial awareness platform built on Open Source components with the following functionalities: (a) specialized financial education toolkits available to the wider public (b) advanced crowd-sourcing tools to process financial data, extract and present collective knowledge, (c) advanced forecasting models exploiting the market sentiment to identify market trends and threats, (d) novel personalized recommendation systems to support financial decisions according to the user’s profile (financial literacy level, interests, demographic characteristics etc) (e) incentive mechanisms to encourage the active participation of citizens through many different channels like posting and rating of financial articles, questions and answers, voting in relevant polls, etc.
The platform will be pilot-tested via the collaboration with the members of the European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks (FEBEA), an institution committed to the responsible banking and finance agenda. The outcomes of the project are expected to enable inferences and specific appropriate practices that can be made available to the wide public in the European Union.