“We’re tired of hidden fees and charges, endless paper forms, and nothing quite working in the way we’d expect.” What might sound like an entitled Millennials’ lament is in fact Tom Blomfield talking about the motivation behind Monzo, a banking app he co-founded in 2015, now valued at around £65 million. Blomfield is in his early thirties and that’s just to make the point that he is a Millennial. Make of that what you will.Read more: Why Fintech is a Millennial no-brainer
Millennials don’t queue
For the purposes of this article Blomfield’s words might form the basis of what it is that those born into the digital age find infuriating: seemingly archaic processes that get in the way of progress and #lifegoals. That’s not to be facetious – Generation Y and Z, it could and has been argued, aren’t lazy, narcissistic and entitled as they’re so often accused of being – they’re products of a world where we’re able to get most things we want near-instantly: favourite band just released a new album? Listen now. Stranger Things finally out? Watch it all at once right now. Like the coat the person in front of you in a queue is wearing? (Queue?! If I’m in a queue I’m over forty and at the post office) snap it, locate it, order it for next day delivery. Don’t like it after all? Get it collected and get your money back, no hassle.
The middleman is the new ‘The Man’
No hassle. But there are a number of institutions that form the cornerstones of most societies where hassle still thrives. The financial industry is one of them. From changing a home address to getting a credit card, mortgage or loan – it’s as though the giant authority that is the banking system lives in the past with only a façade of being part of the present, with online banking apps and facilities keeping up appearances. Our finances are still controlled by the bastion of the “middlemen” quietly syphoning off small amounts of our hard-earned cash with each transaction we make. And if anyone is set for the gallows in 2018, it’s the middleman.
Agility is key
With Open Banking now in force in the UK and with a growing sense amongst customers of discontent with antiquated institutional processes harking back to an ancient pre-digital world – time could not be riper for FinTech. Agile young companies are responding to current needs with exciting offerings.
Start-ups to watch include Dopay – a cloud-based payroll platform that allows employees to pay people who don’t have bank accounts – which is a ‘disruptive’ bit of tech in the true Silicon Valley sense of the word…
“…A disruptive product addresses a market that previously couldn’t be served — a new-market disruption — or it offers a simpler, cheaper or more convenient alternative to an existing product — a low-end disruption.” Clay Christensen, Harvard Business School Professor
Trussle appeals directly to the heart of a British generation who just can’t afford to get on the property ladder – Trussle “allows smartphone users to apply for a mortgage online in 5 minutes without paperwork.”
iWoca gives small businesses fast and flexible access to capital, without the upfront fees, lengthy forms and long-term commitments traditionally associated with business credit.
Curve allows you to combine all your bank cards under a single app and card. The Curve card can be used abroad at no extra cost. Wealthify appeals to the me, me, me generation by (claiming to) “democratise investing to make it accessible [to anyone with a smart device] with a much lower starting point at £250.”
Millennials are generally not over-awed by technology, tech is there to work for them. The idea of somebody else being in control of my data, my money, my identity is anathema to them (us). And rightly so. It is, of course, naïve to think that a true revolution is in the offering – traditional banks are already circling start-ups, ready to swoop in and utilise – but there is no doubt that traditional institutions can no longer expect respect for their authority based on what has gone before.
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