5 Fintech Startups Under the Radar | Bank Innovation

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Fintech is growing more quickly than ever, but sometimes we have a tendency to focus on the innovations made by the big companies, leaving smaller fintechs in the shadows.

From PFM to P2P to roboadvisors to microlending, these under-the-radar startups are changing the world of fintech. Take a look at Bank Innovation’s list of 5 innovative startups you’ll want to keep your eye on:

SpotMe

Lending is always going to be a hot area for finance, but startups like SpotMe are experimenting to make the experience a bit more… personal.

This New York City-based startup facilitates micro-loans between borrowers and lenders, allowing users to set up pretty much all the parameters of a loan themselves: users can control the amount, the interest rate, the payback period, and the way they are reimbursed for the loan themselves.

SpotMe also keeps a record of transactions for users, so consumers can track who they might have borrowed from or lent to in the past. The startup’s app isn’t live yet, but versions will be coming to both Android and iOS devices this year.

Ledger

A simple P2P transaction (a la Venmo) certainly has its uses, but what about those moments in life when transacting is slightly more complicated? What happens when a consumer needs to split a bill with more than one friend, or when days and days go by and a transaction request is still left unapproved?

Well, Ledger might be able to help out there: this San Francisco-based startup allows users to “open tabs with friends,” boiling down a transaction to just 3 clicks. By connecting with a user’s financial accounts (protected by “military-grade” cybersecurity, according to the company), users are able to aggregate all of their transactions in one place, as well as receive notification about when transactions are due.

The app is available for iOS users at the moment, with an Android app on the way.

Wallio

More and more companies are striving to solve the main problem when it comes to personal finance management services: how do you make a user actually take the financial advice that is being offered?

Has Wallio got it? This San Francisco-based startup offers a free iOS app for users that just need to stop overspending, all without offering what one might term a ‘traditional’ PFM app experience. Wallio users “will not see recommendations to cut [their] morning coffee,” according to the company’s site, but will instead keep track of their spending with one-week long periods of expense.

Wallio starts off the week by giving a user an allocated amount of money they can spend for that week, on whatever the user wants (expenses and savings are already factored into this amount). If a user underspends, great: Wallio will allow that user to put that money towards a goal. If a user overspends, Wallio will simply allocate less money for the user to spend next week.

Samwise

In the debate on what the best model for investing is, whether it’s entirely human, a hybrid model, or completely autonomous, Dallas-based startup Samwise has picked its side: all of the autonomy, please.

This robo-investing startup allows users to turn their existing brokerage account into an autonomous investing account using machine learning algorithms. Currently, users can plug Samwise into their Robinhood trading account with Samwise Instant, which (as its name suggests) will instantly start investing a user’s money. The name hearkens to the loyal hobbit Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings who saved Frodo Baggins from disaster again and again. 

OnePebble

Invest, and make a difference in the world at the same time: that’s the dream of OnePebble, an online investment broker/dealer that puts each investment toward companies “doing good in the world.”

This Austin-based startup donates 50% of each investment fee to a charity of the user’s choice (investments on OnePebble are also tax-deductible, according to the company). As of now, the 5-month old OnePebble has 250 users on its platform, according to the company, with about $200,000 raised.

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