In partnership with Innovate Finance Global Summit.
In the UK, over 2 million people don’t have a bank account. More than 8 million have no access to affordable credit. Those who aren’t considered profitable by high-street banks, or thought to be early adopters by fintech startups, are left out in the cold.
Pockit exists to solve that problem. It allows anybody to get a current account in seconds, without complex and often difficult paperwork. It is, in short, designed for those who need it most. The current account lets users store, send, and save money as you’d expect (with a few bonus features like cashback offers), but we’ve also introduced quite novel products such as a credit builder. In the UK, and indeed around the world, access to credit distinguishes the haves from the have-nots. That’s why it’s important to us that customers can improve their credit history, and by extension all their financial prospects, from inside Pockit.
Financial inclusion is the beating heart of Pockit. Our vision dictates that nobody should have to rely on payday loans, putting them at risk of predatory lenders, to access finance. Nobody should be forced to carry their savings in cash, unable to do even basic online grocery shopping, because bank after bank has turned down their applications.
Even more pressingly, some of our customers have no stable income at all. This is because they sleep rough, or live in sheltered accommodation. We’re currently in discussion with local councils to roll out Pockit across shelters and homelessness charities around the country. The need in this sector is particularly urgent, as it’s impossible to for the homeless to access financial mobility without somewhere to keep money: nobody can get a job if they don’t have any means of getting paid. A Pockit account is a simple, easy, and affordable solution.
Given this background, one of the biggest challenges facing Pockit surrounds regulation. Our compliance team works around the clock to keep us ahead of the curve on issues like anti-money-laundering directives, and it’s reassuring that this government is moving in the right direction on backing innovation. Nonetheless, the UK’s regulatory environment remains hard to navigate for people who are unable to access mainstream finance. We’d like to see that change.
NewBanking is a Danish Fintech/RegTech company founded in 2015 with the aim of providing a user identity platform that will allow endusers to verify their identity easily and securely across businesses while at the same having control and ownership of their own data and identity online. The platform solves the regulatory challenges that the financial institutions are facing, especially in regards to the 5th European Anti-Money Laundering (AML) directive and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) among other relevant regulatory legislation.
We consider two major challenges for our business. Number one is finding the right talent for the company – the competition is high and typically the best talent is already in good a well paid jobs. Secondly – we still see a limitation of innovation appetite within the existing financial sector – manly due to the fear of the regulatory framework – but it is getting better though…
We see applications of our company’s business activities in the field of financial inclusion. Financial inclusion is often limited due to the cost of regulation, especially verifying identities through traditional manual processes – lowering costs related, will make it more attractive to include more unbanked people.
And analysing the major social impact our company has delivered so far it is the transformation of data ownership and transparency of who have access to what information about you as a person. Generally, personal data is valued very high and this value belongs to the people – so having control and ownership of your own data and identity online transfer the value back to the people.
The problem we are solving is going to help a wide cross section of people across the UK, and a group of people who have been badly let down by the financial services industry up to now. More than 40% of adults in the UK – over 17 million people – have no savings to fall back on should an unexpected expense strike. Yet the credit products available to these people range from the complex and expensive to the downright toxic.
We built Creditspring to offer an innovative, new and desperately needed solution to people’s short term borrowing requirements that is safer, simpler and cheaper. Creditspring offers a real breath of fresh air – a radically better solution than dangerous, confusing and expensive overdrafts, personal loans, credit cards and payday lending, all of which can easily lead to spiralling debt and financial disaster.
For the cost of 2 coffees a month (£5), Creditspring users can borrow £250 twice a year, repaying each time over three months, with no interest charged.
One of the biggest challenges for our business will be launching a solution in a space where up to now almost all of the promoted solutions have been poisonous to the buyer, rightly earning a terrible reputation and increasing attention from the FCA. Although the Creditspring product is a simple, clear and radically better solution, because everything offered up to now has been so bad, we will be in danger of being tarred with the same brush.
However, we are confident that we can achieve the cut-through we will need, helped by the deliberately clear and obvious way that the product works, with no hidden traps, high charges or painful penalties. People will be able to see, nearly at a glance, what an awesome solution it offers, and then we are half way there.
We think Creditspring is a significant step towards financial inclusion as the people we will help most, are those that have been most neglected or worse still, cynically ripped off up to now.
Yolt began in January 2016, and over the past year we’ve been changing the way people think about money. Built with the principles of Open Banking, Yolt was designed to give everyone the power to be smart with their money. Since then, we’ve grown by over 100,000 registered users. People can often feel out of control when it comes to their finances. Yolt makes it easier than ever to spend smarter, budget better, and do more with your money. Our ultimate aim is to be the only money app you need, where users can view their accounts and credit cards together in one, smart place.
Encouraging people to think differently about their spending is both the major challenge and drive behind Yolt. We believe that staying on top of your money shouldn’t be a hassle – we aim to take away the hard part, so you can go out and enjoy life. We want people to unthink money. We recognise that everyone has their own routines when it comes to spending, we aim to offer a frictionless, clear and comprehensive view of your money. Ease and customisation are at the very heart of our mission.
Inevitably, as the market continues to evolve, there will be increased competition – particularly in such a disruptive market space. At Yolt we welcome this with open arms. We aim to integrate and partner with fintech innovators to make the financial app landscape as useful and inter-connected as possible for the ease of its users.
Yolt epitomises financial inclusion. Anyone from the age of eighteen upwards can download the app for free and benefit from its many smart thinking tools and insights, regardless of their income. With regards to making a social impact, our main aim is to change people’s attitudes towards their money, empowering them to do more. We have a very vocal community, and we listen to them closely to deliver a product that they love. So far, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and we regularly receive stories from our community about how Yolt has enabled them to get on with enjoying life more and worrying about money less.