The fintech sector continues to gain more mainstream attention. Innovation in the financial sector is the top priority right now, and various startups all over the world are coming up with new products and services. Plenty of companies are worth keeping an eye on right now, and we found a few that stood out to us in particular. Exciting things are happening in the fintech sector right now.
Managing investments through a smartphone app seems to be the primary focus for a lot of fintech startups. That is not entirely surprising, considering the mobile investment market is huge. Founded in 2015 and based out of New York, Stash wants to stand out in this regard, and they have gathered support from over 300,000 users already. By letting users invest as little as $5, the platform is open to anyone looking to diversify their portfolio.
It is very simple to start investing with Stash. Users sign up on an app, pick from a short list of investments curated for them, and make a small initial investment. The Stash virtual adviser helps guide investors from there, with advice, support and recommendations. It is a great way for new investors to become familiar with investing in different projects and the minimal entry fee is a great selling point.
#4 Currency Cloud
Competing in the world of cross-border payment services is not an easy challenge, especially for fintech startups. Founded in 2012 and based out of London, Currency Cloud provides this functionality for businesses and corporations only, rather than end users. They provide customers with an API which allows access to foreign exchange. With faster and cheaper options to send money across borders, this British fintech startup is poised to see its fair share of success moving forward. Currency Cloud processed US$15bn worth of transfers per year, a number that will undoubtedly increase over the next decade.
When it comes to accepting payment methods, very few initiatives in the fintech space offer the complete package. Enter iZettle, a startup based in Stockholm, Sweden that offers free card readers to their clients, focusing on small businesses owners. This card reader can be used with any tablet or phone, requiring no additional hardware or set up costs. It seems a bit similar to Square, but there is one major difference between the two services.
iZettle works across separate regions, with a strong focus on the European continent. The company has received backing from large payment players, including Santander and MasterCard. Their product is quite intriguing, as it allows both large and small enterprises to accept card payments without friction or steep costs. Definitely a fintech startup to keep an eye on, as more competition in the payment processing business is always a good thing.
Another fintech startup focusing on competing in the payment processing market is Klarna. Founded in 2005, the company aims to simplify payments and requires no registration of its users. Instead, the payment processor allows users to place orders by entering an email address and zip code. Products will arrive, after which customers have 14 days to pay using their preferred payment method. Klarna is one of the most popular payment solutions in Europe for e-commerce, likely due to the fact that it allows you to pay for items after receiving them.
Klarna uses a data-driven model to ensure customers are satisfied with their purchases. Since Klarna receives money only for approved purchases it is in their best interest to ensure customer satisfaction. Their algorithm uses the data collected from millions of their customers to ensure the highest acceptance rate on the market.
Peer-to-peer lending is one of the many financial sectors that will see significant disruption by fintech startups. Founded in 2005 and based out of London, Zopa is one of the companies trying to gain a foothold in this competitive market. By eliminating the middle men – in this case banks – Zopa brings the profits back to the consumer, which is attractive in itself. Furthermore, the company takes care of lender verification, all the legal paperwork, and the responsibility of distributing the funds.
Zopa also reduces the risk for lenders by enforcing monthly direct debit repayments, making borrowers sign a legal contract, and allowing lenders to lend small amount to individual borrowers. So far, the company has extended loans surpassing the $2.5 billion mark. Peer-to-peer lending allows anybody to invest in businesses and startups, this market will see a lot more competition over the next few years.
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