Financial technology is a growing area of innovation so important and interesting that it has been given its own contraction: FinTech. So you know it’s big.
FinTech is worth watching from any angle – whether you are an individual consumer looking to benefit; a business or startup hoping to find simpler, cheaper ways of conducting your finances; or, unsurprisingly, a FinTech startup yourself. Here are some UK and Ireland startups doing good, interesting things within the FinTech space.
A lot of people have multiple bank cards, and who wants to carry around a bloated wallet (unless it’s bloated by cash)? Curve combines all of your bank cards in one app by simply taking a picture of them. From there, you can set a default card and easily switch between them. Linked to this app is a single card which can therefore act as any one of your debit and credit cards, and is accepted anywhere MasterCard is, because it is built on the MasterCard system, giving you the same security. This allows you to leave the real bank cards at home, and because Curve works the same way as those cards, it has no transaction limit like other similar payment products.
Tandem is a new, digital-only, ‘challenger’ bank trying to distance itself from the kind of high street banks that nobody trusts anymore. To display this, Tandem likes to say that it is ‘built by people like you’, and shows lots of pictures of normal people with beards – look at how normal they look! Tandem will obviously work much like you know a bank to work, but the idea is that they want your money to work for you, not for them. That means things like notifying you when your account is approaching its overdraft or when you miss a payment, and not sneaking in fees when and where you least expect. Incidentally, Tandem’s founder Ricky Knox is one of the people who led the seed round for Curve.
Revolut is similar to Curve, except that it is designed to eliminate fees for using your money abroad. It consists of a MasterCard that is topped up from your bank account. When you make a purchase in another country, the card exchanges your money into the local currency, ensuring that you aren’t hit with fees. Revolut also allows you to send money through social media as well as text, email, and WhatsApp, all without fees or commission. Currently it is only set up for pounds, Euros, and US dollars, but this is spread across 90 countries, and if it works the way it’s designed, it won’t be long before it incorporates every currency in every country.
This FinTech innovation is shaking up the world of startups and SME's by giving them the opportunity to mitigate the negative impacts created by poor cash-flow. Instead of waiting helplessly for an invoice to be paid, customers can sell their unpaid invoices to MarketInvoice, exchanging a small amount of the total owed in exchange for swift and guaranteed payment. This peer-to-peer finance service has provided over £700M in funding to startups and small businesses so far and is amassing quite a number of awards for its efforts.
Currently in 'invite only' mode - Cleo is an AI assistant for managing your money. We previously featured Cleo in our article on 6 AI Startups to Watchbut like many startups they can fall into one or more startup sector. Cleo is an AI assistant as you simply have to ask Cleo what your finances are like and bobs your uncle, Cleo will respond with a breakdown. Best watch the video below for a demonstration.
Deposits can be an extremely contentious area between tenants and landlords, causing all sorts of arguments and bad blood. Deposify is an Irish startup striving to bring trust back to the relationship between tenants and landlords or letting agents by holding a rental deposit on their behalf. Deposify has its own resolution process, ensuring that any disputes are resolved within weeks. Lastly, it helps solve the compliance obligations on landlords and letting agents created by holding deposits.