August 11, 2016
Fintech companies are changing the way people manage their finances. Particularly in the UK, startups that successfully exploit software and other technology have been exploding onto the financial services scene at an unprecedented rate.
In February 2016, an independent report commissioned by HM Treasury and conducted by EY ranked Britain as the leading fintech hub in the world against contenders that included both Hong Kong and the United States.
So who exactly is responsible for transforming the financial services landscape like never before? Here are five of the most promising fintech companies in the UK today:
By making alternative investments available to everyone for the first time, Invest.com is shaking up the world of investing. Alternative investments offer better diversification and market protection than traditional stocks and bonds, as well as the potential for higher returns.
Until the advent of Invest.com’s automated platform, lucrative investments such as hedge funds have been out of reach to the smaller investor. Invest.com’s innovative “robo advisor” generates and manages portfolios to match investors’ unique needs. Portfolios are comprised of investment strategies which utilize advanced financial algorithms to monitor, predict, and respond to market movements, helping them profit during market downturns.
According to Curve investor (and TransferWise CEO) Taavet Hinrikus, “Payments as we know it is on the brink of being shaken up in a meaningful way.” In 2015, Curve introduced a single, next-generation payment card that conveniently incorporates all of an individual’s debit and credit cards into one.
Built on the MasterCard network, the Curve team wanted to “transform everything money” by creating an app that would combine the best of contactless, chip and pin, and magnetic stripe technology. The bonus? Users can still collect all the reward points they’re entitled to, while viewing and exporting their transactions on one screen, in real time.
If you’re a small UK business looking for a low interest loan, or an investor looking for a credit-worthy business to support, welcome to the Funding Circle. With a mission to turn the banking industry on its head while securing a better deal for everyone, Funding Circle’s online marketplace has become “one of the best capitalized marketplace lending platforms in the world.”
It boasts a wide range of investors numbering in the tens of thousands, and has helped secure funds for more than 15,000 carefully screened and accredited small businesses.
Unlike the peer-to-peer lending that’s supported by companies like Funding Circle, the crowdfunding approach to investment capital has been offered by popular startup Crowdcube since 2010. The difference between the two lies in the fact that today’s crowdfunding revolves around pitching an idea or business to potential investors, in exchange for equity or an annual return.
As the world’s first and leading investment crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube provides the opportunity for individuals to devote as much or as little capital as they like to start-ups and growth businesses of their choice, alongside almost 300,000 other like-minded investors.
Mention London’s forex industry, and the name TransferWise is bound to pop up. With its radical and low-cost approach to moving money internationally, TransferWise has literally coined the term “peer-to-peer” currency exchange since its inception in 2010. How does it work?
By taking advantage of crowdsourcing and mid-market exchange rates, TransferWise’s online system charges a small fee to facilitate the transfer of currencies between people who are looking to move their money in opposite directions. A sender who wants to exchange their pounds for euros, for example, will be matched with a recipient looking to exchange their euros for pounds, and vice versa.
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