The current fintech boom we are currently experiencing is fuelled by the legacy banks dragging their feet into the digital age, coupled with the realization that combined with some tech savvy, people around the world can save themselves money by taking banks out of the equation and managing their finances themselves, democratizing finance in the process.
While the banks are still snubbing smaller businesses when they apply for finance, companies such as Spotcap are there to lend funding.
All in all, fintech has gone some of the way to democratizing finance and taking the power away from the legacy institutions.
Here are 11 companies that allow consumers to bypass the banks and improve their finances more independently than ever before.
Banks have repeatedly been accused of ignoring the needs of their SME clients, leaving a gaping hole in the market that fintech companies have been happy to fill.
Spotcap allows small to medium enterprises to obtain funding based on a quick credit line check and allows smaller businesses the resources to expand.
The international money transfer market is huge as evinced by the rise of transfer giants like TransferWise and Azimo. TransferWise are democratizing finance by reducing the hefty fees banks add to even the smallest international money transfers.
With large populations of migrant workers wanting to send remittance payments to their families back home, the market for money transferring businesses is huge.
Azimo are in the same market as unicorn TransferWise, but as co-founder Marta Kruprinska recently told Hot Topics, there’s more than enough of this giant money transfer market to go around.
Azimo has a focus on social media interaction with their payments and are growing fast, with a recent valuation of $100 million.
Coinbase is a San Francisco-based bitcoin wallet for consumers and merchants. It’s racked up some 2.5 million users that use the world’s most popular crypto currency.
Bitcoin is democratizing finance by allowing users to exchange money over borders and overseas quickly and anonymously without the need for third party verifications
Nutmeg allows consumers to take accountants out of the equation and invest their money in tailored portfolios.
While playing the stock market is never without its risks, Nutmeg offer users to chance to grow their funds steadily while avoiding the worst of market volatility. Users funds are invested in a varied portfolio with the several low-risk options.
Like Nutmeg, Acorns is designed to help consumers engage with the stock markets more easily. Acorns does things a little differently however: by entering in your financial details, Acorns squirrels away small amounts of funding that it calculates users won’t need into a diversified portfolio to help them grow their money.
If you’re not enamored by the idea of Acorns investing snippets of your income in the stock market, Digit runs on a similar system, but simply saves users money into an interest free account. Less risk than Acorns but with less upside as well.
While the big investment still lies with the traditional financial institutions, entrepreneurs have a new option to obtain funding the form of crowdfunding.
Crowdcube and its contemporaries such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo allow all kinds of businesses the chance to gain funding from the people who want the product to work the most: the consumer.
Founded back in 2006, well before the current fintech boom, Mint is a personal finance manager that allows users to stay on top of all their money, from student loans to their 401k.
Mint focuses on presenting all the information simply and intuitively and has gone from strength to strength since being sold to Intuit in 2009.
When hooked up to a bank account, Level Money accounts for a users income and recurring bills and then suggests what their daily, weekly and monthly spending should be.
Credit Karma allows users the chance to check their credit score quickly and easily. Using this data, Credit Karma can then recommend credit cards, mortgages and other financial plans to that help consumers save as much money as possible.