Technology is creeping into every corner of our lives, from hailing a cab to communicating with our friends.
The world of finance, traditionally the preserve of the overpaid spectacled bank manager, is staring down the barrel of a new kind of gun, Financial Technology, or ‘FinTech’ as it’s called for short.
More likely to be found slinging code in a hoodie than sipping champagne in a three-piece, a new breed of entrepreneurs is starting to build apps and robots to whip our finances into shape.
Let’s take a look at some of the trailblazers in the field:
The posterchild of the FinTech revolution, TransferWise promises to save customers up to 80% on the cost of sending money overseas. It does this through clever algorithms that match people who want to send money in one currency with people who want that money in a different currency.
The savings chatbot personifying “money talks”. Plum is a smart savings assistant that lives in Facebook Messenger. It learns your spending habits, and automatically puts aside money in a separate savings account when it sees you have a bit extra to spare. Fun and finance more intertwined than ever before.
Started by one of the founders of GoCardless, Monzo is the smart new bank that lives on your phone, and says its only branches are on GitHub. They raised £1m in funding in a record breaking 96 seconds, taking down the CrowdCube website with it. Now trusted (and loved) by tens of thousands of millennials up and down the country, they’re giving the retail banks a run for their money.
Frustrated by rock bottom interest rates? Aren’t we all! Ratesetter is a peer-to-peer lending platform, allowing investors to get a better return on their cash by lending it out to individuals and businesses. Watch out though — your capital is at risk, well how else would you get reward? There’s little need to worry, though, as not a single lender has lost money since they were founded.
Hailing from Italy, this ‘robo-advisor’ is completely in sync with your unique risk attitude. MoneyFarm aims to improve the investing procedure for individuals with a few thousand pounds to spare at as low a cost as possible. They manage your first £10k fee free and have the private banks quivering in their might.
‘Live in Harmony’, the tagline of this new London based startup, is something most people who flat share dream about. Splittable is taking on the tedious task of shared bills, and has built a slick a pp to streamline the way flatmates manage their shared finances. No more pesky IOUs, annoying spreadsheets, or arguments over who owes what to who. If only Splittable was around when I was a student!
Clearscore promises to make the previously murky world of credit scores open and transparent. Unlike their competitors (we’re looking at you, Experian), they don’t have any naughty free trial periods and rely on people to forget to cancel. They allow you to see your credit score and credit history for free, and can recommend you products to help you save on your repayments.