Hottest financial tech companies

Written by: Currencycloud
Published on: December 08, 2014

The financial services industry is currently undergoing a transformation similar to that of the media and music industries where the latest technological advancements are leveraged to enable fintech companies to provide smarter financial solutions where the user experience comes first. Connectivity, accessibility and ease of use are the foremost principles guiding the innovative design of the latest financial services and it is powered by the intelligent implementation of the latest available technology.

The following Top Twenty list provides a snapshot of some of the most exciting fintech companies on both sides of the Atlantic and explains why they should be on your watch list:

Braintree

HQ: Chicago, Illinois
What they do: Online payment processing
Why it’s Different: Braintree provides businesses with the ability to accept payments online or within their mobile application. Its full-stack payment platform replaces the traditional model of sourcing a payment gateway and merchant account from different providers.

CardFlight

HQ: New York
What they do: Mobile payments and business POS
Why it’s Different: CardFlight are committed to making mobile payments easier, faster and safer by providing POS technology that accepts swiped credit card payments on mobile devices with any merchant account. Their platform also includes encrypted card readers and a PCI Level 1 certified payment gateway that supports over 20 different processors, encouraging businesses to utilise mobile payment POS with confidence.

Clear2Pay

HQ: Brussels, Belgium
What they do: Online payment processing
Why it’s Different: Clear2Pay is delivers globally applicable solutions for secure, timely and streamlined payments processing. Through its Open Payment Framework (OPF) Clear2Pay also allows its financial institution clients to improve their own internal payments processing and provides more detailed payment data for them to utilise.

Digital Shadows

HQ: London
What they do: Business IT security solutions
Why it’s Different: By analysing a company’s digital footprint on the internet, Digital Shadows looks for any potential risk to their client’s reputation or security. They thoroughly analyse everything the company releases online – through social media, cloud services, mobile, anywhere that can be publically accessed – by assessing 60 million sources of information in 25 different languages. This is achieved through the intelligent implementation of machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence that allows the system to learn trends and insights from the data it analyses.

DueDil

HQ: London
What they do: Source free private company information
Why it’s Different: DueDil, whose tagline is: Reinventing Due Diligence, allows anyone to indentify, compare and screen potential clients and suppliers, benchmark their progress and look for appropriate investment opportunities. Originally limited to providing data on companies in the UK and Ireland, DueDil is branching out into 20 new countries, widening the scope of their offerings considerably.

Estimize

HQ: New York
What they do: Crowdsourced wisdom on Wall Street Stock Exchange
Why it’s Different: Estimize is both a platform and community that leverages crowdsourced wisdom in order to try and outperform Wall Street. Entry to the Estimize community gives anyone the opportunity to access expansive but detailed correlated data sets on the financial performance of popular stocks.

Expense Magic

HQ: London
What they do: Business expense and costing automation
Why it’s different: Through the Expense Magic iPhone app, businesses can make recording expenses and company costs a breeze.  Simply take a photo of a receipt or invoice and the app will capture and store all of the relevant information which can be instantly converted into a convenient report or spreadsheet along with any other stored receipts/invoices.
Expense Magic’s reports focus on accessibility and ease of use as they can be transferred between a wide range of formats and platforms.

Jumio

HQ: Palo Alto, California
What they do: Mobile and Online payments & identity verification
Why it’s Different: Jumio’s three main business offerings: Netverify, Netswipe and Fastfill work to reduce fraudulent transactions for online retailers. Netverify can scan and validate a customer’s given form of identification in real-time and Netswipe scans their credit card with a computer or phone camera, eliminating the need to manually enter their credit card payment information and providing an additional layer of security.

Lending Robot

HQ: San Francisco, California
What they do: peer-to-peer loans
Why it’s Different: By leveraging machine-based learning algorithms Lending Robot matches up people looking for loans with those who are willing to lend the required amount. It makes these appropriate matches for users through the Lending Club and Prosper, two of the leading peer-to-peer lending marketplaces.

Market IQ

HQ: Toronto, Canada
What they do: Predictive market analytics
Why it’s Different: Big Data is an asset that everyone has heard about but not everyone knows how to leverage effectively. Market IQ provides its clients with predictive insights sourced from social media  and a wide variety of structured data in order to avoid crises and proactively minimise reputational damage.

Money Dashboard

HQ: Edinburgh, Scotland
What they do: Personal finance management services
Why it’s Different: Money Dashboard took the rather simple but hugely beneficial step of offering users the ability to view all of their financial accounts in one place. As the financial needs and aspirations of the average online user become more sophisticated, keeping track of everything in one handy location is fast becoming a necessity.

Merit

HQ: Dublin, Ireland
What they do: Payroll, invoicing and claims management solutions
Why it’s Different: Merit’s software is designed to be flexible enough to neatly integrate with the existing systems of its clients and remain completely customisable to fit their way of working. When it comes to claims management, their solutions are employed by six of the top ten investment banks in the world.

Nutmeg

HQ:London
What they do: Online investment management.
Why it’s Different:Building an investment portfolio can seem a daunting prospect. Nutmeg provides simple, affordable investment management services which allow anyone to create a portfolio in approximately 10 minutes. Based on your information, investment and preferred risk level, Nutmeg creates and monitors a diversified portfolio that you can easily check and adjust to suit your financial circumstances.

Open Bank Project

HQ: Berlin, Germany
What they do: Open source API and App store for banks
Why it’s Different: Large banks and financial institutions often have legacy systems that can be cumbersome and inefficient. The Open Bank Project’s mission is to encourage “open banking” by allowing banks to access their open source API (Application Programming Interface) and create high-quality, innovative applications that their customers can then use, giving them more choice and greater control over how they interact with their bank and their money.

Pingit (Barclays)

HQ: London
What they do: Mobile payments app
Why it’s Different: Pingit makes it safe and easy to conduct peer-to-peer mobile payments as there is no need to exchange bank account details with the recipient, regardless of who they bank with as both parties merely need to be signed up to the app. Pingit also allows for the purchase of goods and services by scanning a QR code or paying at a store checkout.

Stripe

HQ: San Francisco, California
What they do: Online payment processing
Why it’s Different: Stripe provides an extremely quick, easy and secure method of accepting credit and debit card payments online. It allows for near instant payments processing by integrating your Stripe account with your site while it is constantly on the lookout for suspicious or fraudulent activity to keep your site safe.

Value Stream Labs

HQ: New York
What they do: Integrate new technologies into financial services industry
Why it’s Different: This venture development firm’s stated mission is to accelerate the financial services industry’s adoption of new technologies through fostering a community of investors, developers, fintech professionals and customers. Their aim is to partner with emerging startups which target the Professional (B2P), Institutional (B2I), and Enterprise (B2B) spaces.

Wagepoint

HQ: Halifax, Canada
What they do: Payroll services
Why it’s Different: Wagepoint pride themselves on offering affordable payroll services to businesses of any sizes, supported with an easy-to-use interface and unfailingly helpful customer service. Where Wagepoint really stands out is that it is the first payroll company to allow employees of small businesses to be paid in Bitcoin in the US and Canada, paving the way for the adoption and use of digital currency which is already gathering momentum in global markets.

Wealthfront

HQ: Palo Alto, California
What they do: Online finance management
Why it’s Different: Wealthfront leverages cutting edge financial data analysis tools in order to offer its customers sophisticated investment management and advice without requiring large initial deposits or charging high fees. It is currently the world’s fastest growing automated investment service and its appeal is remarkably broad since more than half of its customers are under 35-years-old.

Xignite

HQ: San Mateo, California
What they do: Financial data APIs
Why it’s Different: The volume and complexity of financial data has grown exponentially in the last decade, which has led to a rising costs attached to analysing and leveraging this tide of information. Xignite offers a variety of APIs which sort and consolidate vast quantities of data in reduced timeframes without the bank or financial institution needing to make significant investments in infrastructure.

Starting up, Thinking Big

Many of the companies we’ve listed above are startups but during their brief existence they have garnered a huge amount of attention and support. This only serves to underline how quickly the financial services industry is evolving, thanks in no small part to the integration of innovative fintech ideas and products.

However, while exciting new services and innovations have the potential to change the finance industry for the better, fintech startups need to ensure that they remain compliant with the rules and guidelines of the industry’s regulatory bodies. Working with compliance focused companies like The Currency Cloud is a sure-fire method of achieving this, as we have the experience of running a trusted and compliant international online payments platform as well as a network of business relationships with industry leaders.