A new generation of financial technology startups are making waves in the finance industry in unprecedented ways. These companies are offering customer-centric, convenient and relevant solutions to today’s digitally aware consumer.
They are making it easier for people to trade in financial markets, send money, secure their digital currencies and even hunt for their next house.
Here are six startups that are disrupting the world of banking and finance:
Gusto, formerly known as Zen Payroll, is a startup that provides several support functions for small businesses in the US. It makes onboarding, payroll, benefits and HR functions quick and easy. The company handles employee payments and helps clients calculate and file taxes. It also keeps track of changes in tax laws and updates calculations as per new regulations.
Additionally, the company processes the enrollment and administration of employees’ health, dental, and vision insurance. It also stores digital copies of important documents such as contracts, payslips, job descriptions — which can be accessed by both employers and employees during and after their time at the organization.
Currently, Gusto serves over 100, 000 businesses in all 50 states and processes tens of billions of dollars every year.
Starling Bank is a UK-based digital, mobile-only bank that customers can set up within minutes. Currently, the bank offers a contactless card, digital payments, transfers, standing orders and other services. The platform also has a mobile app for iOS and Android. This app provides instant notifications of transactions and a freezing and unfreezing function for cards, helping to prevent fraud. Furthermore, it classifies transactions for later perusal and analysis.
The app also has a separate “Goals” platform where money can be stored away from the principal balance, as well as a chat function for customer support. There is also a “Settle Up” feature through which users can instantly send money to friends and family.
Additionally, the startup has a special offer of free electronic payments, domestic transfers and ATM withdrawals for businesses that have less than ten employees and who generate less than £1.7m annually.
Habito is a UK-based online mortgage broker that aims to make getting a mortgage as frictionless and painless as possible. It was founded by Daniel Hegarty after he had a frustrating experience with a traditional mortgage process that saw him nearly lose his home.
Habito works by analyzing over 11,000 mortgage products with over 90 lenders in just a few seconds to identify the best mortgage for a client’s needs and preferences. The platform then submits an application for you completely free of charge, thus eliminating the fee charged by most traditional brokers. An employee then regularly follows up to inform you about the status of your application.
Habito does more than broker mortgages – once you sign up to the platform, the company becomes your broker from then on. It subsequently monitors market trends and mortgage products available in the market and alerts you whenever it thinks you are being overcharged.
For traders who are looking for commission-free trading of stocks, options, cryptocurrency and exchange-traded funds, there exists no better option than the Robinhood app. This app also has a simple, easy-to-navigate interface and an effortless switching mechanism between bars and charts. This especially comes in handy for traders who specialize in day trading as they are able to optimize on the available hours of the market, thanks to the seamless platform.
For those interested in margin trading, the platform offers the service at $6 per month, which is quite favorable compared to market rates. The startup is also planning to tap into the savings market and is working on a money management program that will help clients prudently manage their finances.
Robinhood also recognizes the vital need for news and current market trends for traders. To this end, it combines finance news from a range of platforms and avails them to users.
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that brokers exchanges of Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin, and other digital currencies. It is a global digital asset exchange company (GDAX) from where traders and investors can purchase and sell digital currencies. The platform then sends out the trade information to the blockchain network to verify the authenticity of the transaction.
The company also provides offline storage for digital currency, eliminating the possibility for theft or loss through hacking. Also, sensitive customer information and data that would typically be kept on the company’s servers is kept offline.