According to recent data from Accenture, funding for fintech companies reached a staggering £3.7bn in the first quarter of 2016 alone.
With global investment growing at such a rapid rate, traditional banking services are finally beginning to realise the power of the small financial start-up.
Taken from our 100 Disruptive Brands report in association with Marketing Week and Salesforce, here are just five of the hottest new companies looking to revolutionise how consumers manage their money.
Designed for people who “don’t see the need for branches and cheque books”, Mondo is a bank well and truly aimed at the smartphone generation.
An app-only model, it will allow consumers to immediately access accounts, update their balance, receive notifications and so on.
Essentially, it offers everything you might expect from a regular current account – but much quicker and far more convenient for a generation that’s used to instant access.
With £7m funding from Passion Capital and 2,000 existing customers in its Beta phase, Mondo has certainly garnered a lot of interest already – despite the fact that it’s yet to secure a banking licence.
Currently running with pre-paid MasterCards, it promises to be a free and secure service, with the intent to make money in a “fair and transparent way”.
Whether or not consumers will be willing to place complete trust in a brand new digital bank is hard to say, but with a plethora of competitors like Atom Bank and Starling Bank also appearing, the concept is certainly growing in popularity.
The mobile payments market is becoming increasingly crowded, but London-based Cake is looking to fill a gap in the market with its ‘no-cash, no-card’ payments system.
Put simply, it is a service that allows users to pay by smartphone.
Set up by two former bankers, Cake aims to revolutionise the experience of paying the bill – most notably in cafes and restaurants where it can be frustratingly slow.
A service that’s not only designed to benefit the consumer, the greatest thing about Cake is that there are also many perks for participating venues as well as restaurant employees.
With the offer of a broad amount of data, brands can access unique customer profiles and real-time analytics, as well as free up time for floor staff who would otherwise be busy taking traditional payments.
By providing venues with access to data gathered from every transaction, the likes of Salt Yard Group, Kurobuta and Edwin’s Wine Bar have signed on already.
With only 20% of UK consumers aware of their credit score, Clearscore aims to put customers in control of their financial well-being with its free and transparent service.
Partnering with Equifax – one of the UK’s three credit reference agencies – Clearscore uses data to offer users a full credit report, with no fees or rates involved, and no need to enter credit card or bank account details.
If you’re wondering how the company makes money, the answer is simply by commission.
Along with the promise of helping people understand their credit, it also offers products or services that could be of use to customers.
Co-founded by former Managing Director at Google, Dan Cobley, Clearscore has so far enjoyed rapid growth. With the launch of its new app last December, it now has 1.4m registered users.
Irregular working hours can be hugely problematic for industries in the US, meaning that staff can be left short of money at crucial moments.
‘Financial stability’ app Even aims to solve this problem by smoothing out irregular pay into a steady flow of money. In short, if somebody fails to earn enough money one month, the app will cover the gap with past surplus or app credit.
By helping users to learn how to manage money as well as offering financial support, it aims to lead the way for a new kind of financial institution – one that puts the needs of the customer before its own.
Interestingly, the idea for Even was originally based on a behavioural theory that the ‘counterproductive behaviour’ of unemployed people is due to neuroscience, not poor attitude.
Basically, with the stress of poverty being more harmful than the literal lack of money, this can lead to difficulty in keeping appointments and managing money.
The idea of Even is certainly favourable, and investors appear to agree. Having raised £6.2m in funding last month, the company is aiming to transform the notoriously murky market of pay day lending.
UK shoppers made 1bn contactless purchases on credit and debit cards in 2015 – a statistic that show how popular the technology has become.
Startup company Sthaler aims to take this one step further with a device that allows people to pay using their finger.
Former music entrepreneur Nick Dryden came up with the idea after attending a festival and wishing that there was an easier way to pay for food and drink.
Using unique finger vein ID, Fingopay technology removes the need for cash and bank cards, and is said to be the most secure form of identification available.
Apparently, there is a 3.4bn to 1 chance of somebody else having the same vein structure.
With security issues cited as the biggest reason for people not using contactless payments, those odds might just change their minds.