Cristian Guajardo Garcia

Business Strategy

where data and creativity collide

Best fintech services in UK

This is my 3rd post on fintech here in the UK. In the meantime I have open an account with Monzo,track my expenses with Yolt and started to do transactions with Transferwise.

This time, I want to understand how large banks are creating apps and digital first positionings to engage its users but most importantly, my experience with virtual banks. Now just to be clear, what matters the most here is not how flashy the app is, but the encryption level of my data and the functionality to go mobile only without the need to switch back and forth with the desktop version.

Virtual banks

Monzo is by far my favourite; its app is elegant, simple and effective. The way Monzo is -not re-imagining- but simplifying the whole financial experience is beyond amazing. In only 3 years Monzo has almost reached 1M users and its the first startup to get a full banking license here in the UK. Monzo has all the actual features you need from your bank and also the “nice to haves” like that coral card. To me, only N26’s arrival could move me away from Monzo.

TransferWise is the Estonian giant that just recently launched its debit card; I was among the lucky beta testers to try the new debit card and so far I’m really happy with this step: TransferWise provides the best fees to transact money abroad and now, with this debit card, I can do everything with them. This is the one company that I trust, will be able to crush all of those hidden fees to transfer money to Latam-Africa-Asia or Oceania (they do it now, but I trust we will be able to send more money with amazing exchange fees)

Revolut, is famous because of its “unicorn” status, its a robust product with many amazing features and a strong international presence. They recently raised their valuation to almost $2B dollars and today they are expanding to Asia, Oceania and the US.

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Onfido is not a fintech company, but this are the guys behind the onboarding and verification process of Revolut (among many other companies) and other large players. A seamless experience to corroborate your identity within minutes.

Barclays: must be the #1 bank in the UK and as such, it has great apps to connect with different users: Pingit is a simple and powerful app to send payments to friends or businesses Barclayscard Smartpay is a perfect hardware+software solution for SMB’s, similar to Square or PayPal; I have seen it work and I like how easy it is to set up and run.

Clearscore and Yolt, as of now, Im using Yolt, but both apps are amazing to keep track of your expenses in a clear and articulable way; my only question is: how do they protect once all the banks provide the same service?

The UK has to be, by far, the most interesting, dynamic and open market for financial services. As of now, Im expecting to see what will happen with the arrival of N26 and the race to dominate the first markets outside the EU.

Unlinke India, where a behemoth like Paytm focuses only on the sub continent, european virtual banks are racing to dominate Europe and then the US.

Cristian Guajardo Garcia (cc) by-nc-sa | Made in London, UK |  2005 - 2018