These 7 fintechs want to fix our broken financial system

The financial sector has not been seen as synonymous with any sort of institutional change – in fact, much of the opposite is the case.

Hidden behind heavy bank vaults, the opaque world of finance has remained relatively unchanged for the past two hundred years, the portal guarded by a privileged few at the top and largely shielded from an increasingly demanding clientele and tech savvy.

But all that is changing now thanks to a swarm of new fintechs that are armed with the latest disruptive technologies and challenging everything from data privacy to credit systems.

So who are these trailblazers leading us into a brave new world? Meet our top seven X Europeof the latest batch of fintech startups. On track to graduate from the six-month accelerator program, these fintechs are ready to challenge the status quo.

Abroad

Thanks to the pandemic, more and more workers are abandoning their desks and packing their backpacks for the world of remote work abroad. According to a report by MBO Partners, 4.8 million workers describe themselves as digital nomads worldwide, and 17 million more aspire to become nomads one day.

Taking meetings from the beach sounds pretty cool, right? Well, things like financial investment become much more complicated once you are no longer a resident of your home country.

Enter: Abroad, a Spanish wealth creation platform for people living abroad. Abroaden works much like a financial advisor, using a combination of technical and human expertise to learn about clients’ goals, investment preferences and risk tolerance – based on these factors, the service then designs an investment strategy tailored to the user. This service then moves seamlessly with you as you move from country to country, allowing you to build wealth as you go. Elliott Locke, CEO of Aboraden, says:

As we move on from the pandemic, more professionals than ever before will go abroad for work or become international remote workers. While extremely rewarding on many levels, continuing to save and invest in your long-term retirement goals is unnecessarily expensive and complicated.

By leveraging “WealthTech 2.0”, new regulations and our personal experience with the pain point, we are making wealth creation more accessible and affordable for millions of expats, remote workers and digital nomads.

Finclude

According to Ioanna Stanegloudi, co-founder and chief risk officer of Finclude:

There are 510 million adults in the EU and there is no uniform method to assess their financial situation, which leaves 58 million people without access to credit. Finclude is revolutionizing the creditworthiness and affordability assessment of individuals through machine learning technology based on their real transactions in real time.

Finclude wants to revolutionize the notoriously opaque world of solvency via an embedded financing solution. Pan-European fintech analytics uses transactional data and spending patterns, providing a more transparent option for assessing affordability. According to Finclude, this should provide a more holistic view of a retail credit applicant to creditors and lenders.

As a B2B, Finclude works as an API integrated into a company’s apps or websites, allowing it to seamlessly integrate with the customer journey, increase digital customer engagement, and ensure a more inclusive path to solvency.

B-Datagray

According to Angela Griggio, CEO of B-Datagray, one of the biggest problems facing data privacy in Europe is that search engines rely on huge centralized server farms that are rigid and oligopolise the market. His business model is focused on combating the exploitation of customer data for profit.

B-Datagray is an Ireland-based blockchain startup whose goal is to decentralize cloud computing, making it less dependent on oligopolised server farms. This blockchain-based system allows for greater resilience to failures (increasing cybersecurity) and provides a privacy-friendly solution.

To increase the profitability of decentralized cloud computing infrastructure (Datagen Infrastructure), B-Datagray is harnessing the huge potential of crypto finance, starting with the creation of Datagen Infrastructure’s utility token, the DataGen Token (#DG), hit in the Binance Blockchain Smart Chain on March 21, 2022.

Identity

Privacy is one of the big burning issues in tech – 294 million people in the United States alone have had their identities stolen in 2021 – and no industry faces the pressure more acutely than fintech.

Based in Croatia Identity is a digital ID wallet enabling customer identification, onboarding, data extraction and legally valid document signing, giving users greater control over their identity data.

How it works is as follows: when a user creates their digital ID profile, their personal information is encrypted and locked via a PIN code, which makes the identification data unreadable to others. Every time an app, for example, wants to read your data, you have to enter your PIN – and a secondary security factor – to decrypt it.

Users can use Identyum to do things like prove their financial capability, perform an identity check, or sign a document. Robert Ilijaš, CEO of Identyum explains:

The Internet was once a fundamental tool for the progress of society. Today, it represents an environment rife with hoaxes, fake news, phishing, hate speech, and similar issues. At Identyum, we believe the Internet should become a web of trust, finely balancing the need for anonymity and personal data protection with the need for credible identity verification.

Woli

Gen Z is still a hugely underserved market when it comes to banking services – and a massively missed opportunity, given that they now constitute 32% of the population.

One of the new fintechs on the block looking to take a piece of the pie is Woli, a money management and Mastercard app for kids ages 10-18. Co-managed by parents and securely linked to them, Woli does things like automate pocket money and teach teens good financial behavior.

The cards are also prepaid, so users can never spend more than their balance, and parents can also set up chore-based incentives for kids – walk the dog, and it’s $1.80 directly to your account. According to Vasilis Zoupas, CEO and Founder of Woli:

Young people are still growing up with limited financial skills, which ultimately leads to an adult life of bad financial decisions. We really want to help new generations make fewer mistakes, giving them financial freedom and knowledge through a unique and enjoyable banking experience.

And this is supported by investor confidence as the company recently closed a $700,000 seed funding round.

To toggle

Another data security fintech, To toggle, aims to give users back control of their personal data. CEO Michelangelo Frigo explained:

One of the biggest problems is the centralization of data: people do not have the ability to directly control and manage their information and sometimes this information is not secure at all.

Toggle is the decentralized data store, where people have more control over their digital identity and businesses can find cross-platform data in one place to provide better personalization service. Toggle builds a solid and transparent infrastructure for the identity layer. At the moment we are focusing on the KYC process for web2 and web3 companies with a web3 architecture.

Using the PIMS concept, the app allows users to see and manage which companies collect their data and with whom it is shared. With this overview, they can then completely decentralize where their data is stored.

Meanwhile, for businesses, they offer a fully decentralized identity verification solution, avoiding data privacy risks.

liridi

BNPL is one of the hottest trends to come out of fintech in recent years. It’s proven popular among Millennials and Gen Z, but Liridi wants to bring it to a new market.

UK based liridi wants to bring this popular alternative payment method to small business owners in emerging economies, allowing them to buy the goods and services they need at their own pace.

Specifically targeting African and Asian entrepreneurs who have traditionally been starved of funding, the working is that an entrepreneur can buy the product they need for their business through the Liridi app, which guarantees fair pricing and allows them to pay in several times.

According to Liridi, this allows underbanked entrepreneurs to grow their business in a sustainable way.

Learn more about these and other emerging financial technologies poised to disrupt the European financial industry.


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Don F. Davis