7 Fintech Services That Will Improve Your Life

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by AlexLielacher, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. AlexLielacher

    AlexLielacher Resident Professional

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    London has become one of the leading hubs for financial technology. There are now numerous fintech startups that are leveraging new technologies to improve financial services for businesses and consumers in the UK.

    In this post, you will be introduced to seven fintech services that offer better alternatives to traditional financial services providers and are more targeted at the tech-savvy younger generation.

    LOOT

    If you are not happy with your student account, its fees, and the customer service at your UK high street bank, there are numerous mobile banking alternatives. One of them, which is specifically targeted at UK students, is Loot.

    Loot is a mobile banking app that provides its users with a bank account, a prepaid debit card, and budgeting tools. Getting set up is very simple and using its budgeting tools you can set up savings goals, which will help you keep your spending in check.

    MONESE

    Monese is another mobile banking alternative with the difference being that is targeted at migrants and foreign students. Monese allows you to set up a UK bank account and receive a debit card within minutes without the need of lengthy compliance checks, which often hinder people new to the UK to open accounts at high street banks. The Monese app allows you to bank, pay using your card and make cheap international money transfers.

    MONEYBOX

    MoneyBox is a robo-advisor that invests your spare change into a diversified ETF-based investment portfolio. MoneyBox is targeted at new investors who want to start investing but have little capital and little financial markets knowledge at their disposal. The way MoneyBox works is you link the app up with your current account and every time you make a purchase the app rounds up the purchase and takes the spare change and deposits it into your investment portfolio. You can choose between three risk classifications and let MoneyBox manage your portfolio for you. That way, you are putting money aside and investing in the financial markets in a completely hands-off manner.

    MONEYFARM

    MoneyFarm is one of the leading UK-based robo advisors and stands out for younger investors with less capital to invest as it does not charge annual management fees for investors with less than £10,000 in their portfolio. When you sign up to MoneyFarm, you fill out a risk assessment questionnaire that determines your risk profile and then its algorithm suggests a diversified ETF-based portfolio according to your risk tolerance. Once you have deposited your initial capital and are happy with the prescribed portfolio riskiness, you can let MoneyFarm manage your funds. Furthermore, if you want to get the most out of your investment account, I would suggest you set up a monthly direct debit for an amount you can spare each month to benefit from the power of compound interest over the medium and long-term. I personally use MoneyFarm and I am very happy with my portfolio’s performance, the app’s user-friendliness, and the customer service.

    FUTURE FINANCE

    Future Finance is a new student loan provider that offers flexible loans to UK-based university students. Future Finance allows students to borrow anything from £500 to £40,000 and takes a wide range of factors into account when determining your interest rate including your credit history, what university you are studying at and what degree you are doing, among others. Interest rates vary between 6% and 15%.

    PRODIGY FINANCE

    Prodigy Finance provides student financing specifically for international postgraduate students in the UK. If you are in need of financing for your postgraduate studies and you are coming from abroad, it may not be that easy to secure the right kind of student loan that you require. Prodigy Finance, however, targets its student financing services exactly at that target group. As a foreign postgraduate student, you can apply online and you will find out within 30 minutes if you qualify for a loan. Once your loan has been approved it takes five business days for you to receive your offer with your personalised interest rate. If you are happy with the terms of the loan it will be paid directly to your university to fund your degree.

    LENDABLE

    Another loan provider that has recently sprung out of the fintech sector is Lendable. Lendable claims that it provides personal loans at cheaper rates than banks even to those with low credit ratings or a limited credit history. As students tend to fall into the latter category, Lendable is a good alternative to student loan providers and your bank if you are in need of finances during your studies. Their easy-to-use platform enables users to secure a loan within minutes and you will not be charged any upfront fees.

    If you are in dire need of funds, try the three above-mentioned lenders before even thinking about getting a payday loan, which carries a much much higher interest rate than any other types of personal loans. I also highly recommend testing out some of the new mobile “challenger banks” if you are not happy with the services you are receiving at your high street bank and both MoneyBox and MoneyFarm are great ways to get started with investing in my opinion.
     
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