Australians can now benefit from personalised financial advice provided by an automated virtual assistant, available 24/7
MELBOURNE, November 17, 2020 – Today, Morneau Shepell – a leading provider of total wellbeing, mental health and digital mental health services that acquired LifeWorks in 2018 – announced the launch of AvaFinanceTM in Australia. By using AvaFinanceTM, Australians are able to access personalised recommendations to navigate the financial challenges they face due to COVID-19.
AvaFinanceTM, which is an expansion of the company’s intelligent, automated HR assistant, Ava™, was developed in direct response to the financial concerns that are top of mind for people today. The financial health of Australians continues to be significantly more strained than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Morneau Shepell’s Mental Health Index™ revealed that the most prevalent concern reported by Australians in September, and the top concern impacting mental health because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is related to finances (46 per cent).
"The financial situation that many Australians are facing today is one of uncertainty. Already a cause of major concern before the pandemic, worry over finances has increased and risks also affecting Australians’ physical and mental health," said Paula Allen, senior vice president of research, analytics and innovation. “Australians are resilient and will come out of this situation stronger, if they are provided with the right tools. We are committed to providing the financial guidance and support Australians need to improve their financial health, both during the pandemic and in the years to come.”
AvaFinanceTM responds to users’ financial needs and provides guidance on how to manage concerns that are arising as a result of COVID-19, including the pandemic’s impact on families and small business owners’ finances, temporary or permanent job loss, retirement planning, debt and credit management.
In September 2020, nearly 35 per cent of Australian respondents of the Mental Health Index™ reported being unemployed or having reduced hours or salary at work. A further 30 per cent reported not having any emergency funds remaining. There has been a consistent and significant difference in mental health between Australians with emergency savings when compared to those without, with the latter faring significantly worse.
AvaFinanceTM is offered to Australians through employers. The solution provides a customised user experience by providing immediate, personalised recommendations. AvaFinanceTM provides personalised experience to address each users’ unique concerns and to provide targeted resources that best address their needs including mental health resources for financial stress.
About Morneau Shepell
Morneau Shepell is a leading provider of technology-enabled HR services that deliver an integrated approach to employee wellbeing through our cloud-based platform. Our focus is providing world-class solutions to our clients to support the mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing of their people. By improving lives, we improve business. Our approach spans services in employee and family assistance, health and wellness, recognition, pension and benefits administration, retirement consulting, actuarial and investment services. Morneau Shepell employs approximately 6,000 employees who work with some 24,000 client organizations that use our services in 162 countries. For more information, visit morneaushepell.com.