The thing I love the most about the recent boom in the financial technology space is that so many fintech businesses are focusing on making lives easier for the consumer, by providing better and cheaper solutions than traditional financial institutions. In this post, I want to introduce 7 fintech companies that make your financial life easier.
Simple – Digital Banking (U.S.) Simple is a leading digital bank based in the United States. Simple offers mobile and online banking services which include checking accounts, a visa debit card, budgeting and saving tools and money transfers without charging you any fees. Furthermore, they have arguably the best banking commercial to ever air online (you can check it out here :).
Number26 – Digital Banking (Europe) The Berlin-based start-up Number26 aims to revolutionise the banking industry and how people spend, send and save money. Number26 combines its checking account with an easy-to-use mobile & online banking experience and have recently added cheap international payments to their suite of services. Number26 has secured over USD 12.7 million in venture capital to date and is rapidly developing into the go-to digital bank in Europe.
TransferWise – International Money Transfers (U.S. & U.K.) TransferWise is an international money transfer service that allows you to “save up to 89% on your international payments” compared to what banks charge. I am a big fan of their service and highly recommend it! As a location independent entrepreneur, I find myself using their service regularly to pay for hotels, co-working space membership fees and, also, to pay freelancers I work with to grow Smart Money Smart Living.
CoinBase – Bitcoin Wallet & Payment System (U.S. & U.K.) If you want to hold bitcoins and use them for online purchases or for super cheap remittance purposes CoinBase is the service to use. CoinBase is one of the leading online wallets and bitcoin payment services. It has a very easy-to-use user interface on both its web-based platform and its smartphone app. CoinBase is also great for bitcoin beginners as it allows you to buy and sell bitcoins at very reasonable rates via its platform. I have been using their service for several years now and highly recommend it.
Betterment – Automated Wealth Management (U.S.) Betterment is one of the leading ‘robo-advisors’ in the United States. Robo-advisors provide a digital investment management service that offers automated, algorithmic portfolio construction and investment advice, without the need for costly human financial advisors. The way Betterment works is you log onto their platform and answer questions that determine your risk-return profile. Then, you confirm that you are happy with your risk classification and deposit the initial amount you want to invest and off you go. Betterment then invests your money into a diversified portfolio of low-cost ETFs (exchange traded funds) that you are happy with. The whole setup process only takes a few minutes, which is great for those looking to make their first investment.
The great thing about robo-advisors in general, and Betterment also offers this service, is that you can set up automatic payments from your bank account into your diversified portfolio. This means you can add, for example, $100 each month into your portfolio. Thanks to the power of compound interest this will grow your wealth substantially over a 5 to 10 year period. I personally have started to invest using a robo-advisor and highly recommend them for millennials, as they are easy to use and you will incur substantially lower fees than when using traditional financial advisors or investment companies.
Acorns – Invest Your Spare Change (U.S.) Acorns is a revolutionary investment service that allows you to “invest your spare change” into a diversified portfolio of low-cost ETFs (exchange-traded funds). Since there is no minimum amount you need to start investing, it allows anyone to start their investing career immediately. Hence, this makes it a great service for college students and younger millennials. If you hold less than USD 5,000 in your portfolio you only pay USD 1 fee per month. Above USD 5,000 you pay 0.25% annual management fee, which is very reasonable compared to the vast majority of traditional investment management companies. If you are at university, however, your account is free.
If you want to learn more about how you can use innovative new products and services from the financial technology sector to better manage your money and improve your financial situation, download my ebook Everything You Need To Know About Money – The Complete Financial Intelligence Handbook.