FinTech is booming in the UK, where it’s a competitive strength for the country’s economy. According to Tech Nation Report 2020, £4bn was invested into UK FinTechs in 2019 – more than double the previous year – placing the UK second only to the US in terms of investment.
Building on the UK’s historic strength in financial services, today’s FinTechs are innovating in everything from open banking to insurtech – and there’s still huge potential for growth. That’s why we’re currently on the lookout for companies to join our FinTech 3.0 growth programme, where the cohort will learn about topics such as sales, partnerships and expanding internationally.
We’ve helped 43 FinTech companies scale on our FinTech sector programme to date – and there are many more out there yet to be discovered. Below, we’ve shone a light on some of the most exciting UK-headquartered companies with money-spinning ideas.
From the company’s name to its daringly straight-talking website copy, it’s clear that Leicester-based DeadHappy is dead-set on shaking up the life insurance market. In a nutshell, people make a ‘Deathwish’ – a statement expressing what they want to happen when they die. That could include paying off the mortgage, clearing debts or paying for somebody’s education. Then they state how much that would cost before paying it online to start the insurance policy. A simple premise, DeadHappy appears to be winning over customers through its refreshingly no-nonsense approach and commitment to saving time and money.
MPOS (or Mobile Point of Sale) terminals have revolutionised small business owners’ ability to take payments. KodyPay is an environmentally-conscious option that goes one step further than hand-held terminals by removing the hardware altogether, allowing payments to be taken solely through its mobile app. It also uses ereceipts, further boosting its green credentials, and a portion of every transaction goes towards planting trees. The app was launched last year by University of York Management School student Yoyo Chang, who raised a seed investment round, and was initially trialled at Nisa supermarkets on campus.
Collctiv doesn’t like two things: the letter ‘e’, and having to chase people for money. The Manchester-based FinTech’s smartphone app makes it easy for people to collect money from friends and family. It’s done by creating virtual money ‘pots’ with collection targets or fixed amounts (with deadlines), which can be paid by sending a link or QR code that links to Apple or Google Pay. This removes the need for contacts to download Collctiv’s app to make a payment. Never again shall organisers of stag or hen parties go empty-pocketed.
Debt collection ultimately boils down to two things: collect debt, and collect it fast. Flexys helps its customers do just that using its tailored cloud-based software management solutions. Modular in design, they provide self-service collections, contact centre and litigation management functionality in a smart mobile-first package. Recognising that Covid-19 has disrupted both lending and collection, the company has produced a strategy guide for helping debt collection specialists convert lessons from the pandemic into positive actions.
Lumio is among a new generation of FCA-regulated banking apps designed to help consumers track their finances and save money. The product hooks into an API provided by open finance platform Moneyhub, which lets users securely connect a range of accounts from UK financial institutions – from challenger banks such as Monzo to Barclays and HSBC. The move saved Lumio development costs and allowed it to take the product to market faster. The FinTech currently makes money through referral fees when its users move to a new product or service suggested by the app, fees that Lumio plans to return when it launches an upcoming premium subscription service.
Accountants need software they can rely on for everything from managing client relationships to organising files and processing financial information. Aimed at self-employed accountants and those in larger firms, Senta provides CRM; marketing; workflow; email automation; secure documents and insights in a cloud-based package. Offered with a simple per-user-per-month pricing model, it’s aimed squarely at accountants seeking a hassle-free and affordable alternative to the big-name software suites out there.
Northern Ireland’s LoyalBe are on a mission to replace “dumb” paper loyalty cards with its smartphone app. LoyalBe users can earn rewards from retailers by paying with a linked bank card, and data is secured in the back-end using bank-grade security to give users peace of mind. The Belfast-based company, which operates out of the Ormeau Baths coworking hub, is passionate about its roots; during the pandemic, it set up the Belfast Lockdown Economy Portal – an online repository to highlight local businesses that are operating during lockdown.
Investing in cryptocurrency is an inherently risky business. Helping to mitigate that risk is Cardiff-based Coincover, which claims to be the first and only solution to deliver an insurance backed guarantee against theft and lost access of cryptocurrency. Interestingly, the company has partnered with ELM Legal Services to provide the first “crypto wills” webcam service, which lets people leave financial assets to loved ones in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ether.
As a landlord, you want to do everything in your power to find the most suitable tenant for your property. Bunk helps by providing a suite of cloud-based tools that makes it easier to advertise properties on the UK’s most popular property portals. Its automated processes help landlords respond to viewing requests and offers from tenants, sign tenancy agreements and contracts, and monitor rent payments and maintenance requests from a cloud-based dashboard. Bunk does all of this while automatically keeping landlords up-to-date with legislative changes by automating compliance responsibilities.
Ducit helps other FinTechs, debt advice organisations and financial institutions power up their products and services. It’s all done through Ducit’s open banking intelligence APIs, which allow FinTechs’ users to connect their UK bank accounts. This enables other services to be provided relating to making better spending decisions, in addition to fraud detection; personal loan and mortgage applications; debt advice services and more. FCA regulated and ICO registered, it’s also secure to boot.
Promising smart money for everyone, wallet and payments platform Zumo is a blockchain-powered smart wallet that makes it easier for people to track and spend cryptocurrencies alongside traditional money. Anyone who’s ever dreamed of whipping out a debit card pre-loaded with Bitcoin or Ether to buy something in the real world will be able to this summer using the Scotland headquartered company’s incoming convertible debit card. Ultimately, Zumo is hoping to provide access to modern services to 1.7bn adults who remain without access to modern financial services.
Secure messaging platform Nivo is a former Tech Nation Northern Stars pitch competition winner. Spun out of Barclays, the company provides regulated service providers with a fast and flexible way to serve customers securely. The company’s offering is more relevant than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing teams to work from home to mitigate call volumes and remove reliance on manual paper processes. Nivo is bolstered with security features such as biometric identity verification and compliant e-signing, making it a far more trustworthy solution than your everyday social networks and consumer messaging applications.
Saving up for a (typically 20%) deposit can be one of the biggest barriers to owning a home, and it’s here that London-based Proportunity can help. The company helps prospective homeowners move into the best properties faster by providing them with an equity loan to bridge the gap and reduce the burden. As an FCA-regulated lender, the company matches users to independent mortgage brokers to let them know if Proportunity is the best option for them. If the stars align and everything goes ahead, the company even hires them a van for free to move their possessions on move day.
Most people are going to retire at some point – so there’s a big market out there. Essex-based Timeline app shows retirees how to not run out of money – but it’s not available to consumers directly. Rather, it can be used by financial advisers and providers who can sit down with their clients and use the software to help meet their multi-faceted retirement income needs. Placing an emphasis on visuals to help clients better understand, it can help demonstrate the impact of asset allocation; prepare clients for market declines and help craft personalised withdrawal policy statements.
Although Airbnb provides insurance cover for minor incidents, it’s insufficient for large guest injuries and contains a “significant number of exclusion and limitations” according to Pikl. In response, the Norwich-based FinTech provides specialist insurance options for the aforementioned renting website, in addition to Booking.com and other platforms. Its customers can opt to buy their home or landlord insurance with Pikl as an alternative to keeping their existing policy and topping up their insurance coverage for specific occasions.
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