July 31, 2018 | 4min read
Trendwatching #8—FinTech Products to Watch in 2018
Let’s talk FinTech— transactions, online banking and mobile wallets. In the words of John Kennedy, the editor of Silicon Republic ‘FinTech is perhaps one of the most defined opportunities that the collision of the Internet, smartphones and AI could present to empower people and make a difference’. And make a difference it does!
In the last few years FinTech technology began to change people’s lives; also of those less fortunate. According to the World Bank, there are 2 billion people who currently have no access to banking services across the world (mostly in the 3rd world countries). Fortunately, some amazing FinTech companies are changing that by making it possible for those people to have money accounts and do online transactions without the bank account. It certainly gives hope to those denied services due to poor credit choices. You can read more about it here.
FinTech is changing the game for charity, caregivers, banking security, financial literacy and education, as well as, personal and commercial finance. It became something that unites and helps people and it starts to be available for everyone, not just the chosen few. Different branches of the technology are used by banks, their business clients, small businesses and consumers. So, basically, everyone.
In this article we’ve listed some of our favorite FinTech apps & products to watch in 2018.
With both businesses and private clients in mind, Revolut is a current account in an app. After registering with a phone number you receive a credit card. The difference is you don’t need to go to a current exchange bureau or a bank to use it—you can exchange, transfer and receive money in any currency you need, instantly. And all that for free! The app also looks at your available balance and converts it to the current currency automatically in the best rate. It’s a perfect alternative for traditional banking.
Lemonade is a pretty amazing instant insurance app. It’s targeted at renters and homeowners and allows them to get their money back for even the lowest cost stuff. The costs and time of handling each customer’s claim has been limited to the minimum thanks to the fast and highly advanced bot assistants. For example, AI Jim will handle your registration within few minutes, process your claim and give you money back in seconds! All that with just your smartphone. Lemonade successfully took advantage of what everyone is talking about (and fearing) these days: replacing manual labor with AI.
Albert is a multi-function, Android-based payment terminal—one of the very first that bring together PCI certification and a flexible development with a full application ecosystem. Albert is designed for managing business environment. While being super easy to use and customize, it covers pretty much all business areas: from handling card payments, splitting bills at the restaurant, doing home-delivery, posting promotional offers on social media, to managing stock and ordering supplies. Albert will do it all!
A digital wallet in a form of…a watch. Fitbit Pay allows you to access your credit and debit card anywhere you need. Whether you’re going for a run or just stepping outside your office for a lunch break—you’ll pay for everything with just your watch. The device is completely retail approved and works with all major banks. Nothing left but to ‘pay-as-you-go’. Literally.
Monzo wanted to be “the best current bank account in the world”. They are still on their way, however they managed to become the bank of the future. A UK-based mobile-bank was created by Paul Rippon (23 years of experience i.a. Lloyds and Natwest), Gary Dolman (previously the CFO of ABN AMRO Transaction Banking) and Jonas Huckestein, who has founded several Silicon Valley-based startups. They now have more than 600,000 customers and are still growing, making sure that the quality and the UX of their product is always a top priority.
The company specializes in various FinTech solutions. One of them includes a phone app which allows you to transfer and withdraw money from any ATM machine without using your card—just your phone and a customized code you receive by text. Their latest technology makes transfer possible and fast from 9am-8pm, every day, even on weekends (unlike most banks).
N26 is a bank account in your phone, that gives you freedom and control over you account and security in a form of a nice and easy interface. The app helps you keep track on your expenses and help you save up. It also keeps you posted with real-life push notifications on your transactions plus—if you card gets stolen—you can block it with just one swipe. Request Money feature, where you can ping someone for the money they owe you (eg. for lunch) is especially cool. No need for awkward reminders in person anymore;)
TransferWise was created by two friends who didn’t want to pay a hidden bank fee, while transferring money abroad in a foreign currency. Now they are a billion-dollar company, with over 3 million customers. TransferWise is not only a money transfer tool— it’s also a multi-current account with a debit card and a business account, which makes it possible for business to skip the exchange rate and save up. A cherry on top? TransferWise is the first non-bank direct member of the Faster Payments Scheme (FPS).
If you have any questions on the subject of FinTech and digital solutions, get in touch!
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