In the era of technology, financial technology otherwise known as fintech is one of the UK’s strongest startup sectors, with more than a thousand high-growth fintech companies, and more venture capital (VC) investments than any other industry.
UK fintech startups have raised over £14 billion in equity funding, and are working to make financial services more efficient, presenting a rich context of investment management and financial innovations.
FinTech startups and scaleups are in their highest demand, posing a very real threat to the traditional banking and financial services industry, and catalyzing innovation amongst incumbents.
London has long been a world leader in finance, in that 71% of the UK’s high-growth fintech companies are based in London—mainly the City of London and Westminster. Here, we’ve ranked the top 10 biggest fintech companies across the UK by the amount of investment raised, let dive right in.
TOP 10 FINTECH COMPANIES IN THE UK
1. Revolut (£24bn)
Unicorn startup Revolut was established in 2015, Revolut offers a range of digital banking services through a mobile app. Since its launch in 2013, Revolut has facilitated over 350 million transactions worth over £40b, whilst serving over 9m customers with more than 2,100 employees.
Revolut allows tech-savvy mobile app users to transfer money abroad in 29 different currencies with a prepaid debit card that enables cash machine withdrawals in 120 countries.
Revolut offers more vaults for saving money and making a budget and overseas medical insurance. Users can open one of three personal finance accounts with Revolut: a free Standard account, a £6.99/month Premium account, or a £12.99/month Metal account. Opening any of these accounts entitles users to the free UK and EURO IBAN account, with the ability to spend in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate. There are no extra fees for exchanging in 24 currencies, up to £5,000 a month, and the members can withdraw up to £200 a month from cash machines.
Revolut also allows users to use its budgeting tools, such as the ability to set monthly spending budgets and open saving ‘Vaults’.
2. Checkout.com (£13.3bn)
Another fintech unicorn, Checkout.com was founded by Guillaume Pousaz (Swiss entrepreneur and CEO) has developed software that allows businesses to process their payments online in multiple currencies. The company was founded to solve the problem of online payment processing for merchants and their customers. Checkout.com processes 150 different currencies and offers direct access to all major international cards whilst also accepting popular local payment methods. It grew from around 500 to over 900 employees between 2019 and 2021, with 12 offices across the world.
Checkout.com’s unified payments platform helps to manage every stage of the payment process. It offers businesses faster payment processing, by combining several separate payment technologies into one platform. It also accepts a variety of different payment methods, with direct access to Visa, Mastercard, American Express as well as popular alternative and local payment methods.
Checkout.com places a strong emphasis on security and implements a machine learning model trained to identify potentially risky transactions. These transactions are instantly blocked to prevent fraudulent activity and ensure payments are secure.
3. Wise (£9bn)
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is a London-based financial technology company founded by Taavet Hinrikus, and financial consultant Kristo Käärmann in 2011.
An online money transfer service, Transferwise, lets you transfer money abroad up to eight times cheaper than a bank. Moreover, the system is beautiful and simple. It skips expensive international payments entirely by applying for two local transfers instead of one international operation. Its money transferring services are also offered worldwide—TransferWise is available in 59 countries with £4b sent every month.
Independent comparison site Monito revealed that Wise was on average 83% cheaper than the big four UK banks on major currency “routes”, but could be up to 90% cheaper in certain specific cases.
Wise Money Transfer provides a wide range of easy-to-use services and features, as well as some of the best fees and exchange rates available on the market. Taken together, all of this leaves Wise an extremely well-liked service in the eyes of its customers.
Wise has a well-designed mobile app geared toward sending and receiving different currencies, and it offers no exchange rate margin and fees are low and transparent and has consistently been one of the cheapest money transfer services of all with a large number of available pay-in options.
Businesses can set up a bank account with TransferWise to benefit from sending, spending, and receiving multiple currencies with the real exchange rate. Business accounts are available for sole traders, SMEs, and enterprise-level businesses who have monthly international payments of £200k or more.
To benefit from sending, spending, and receiving multiple currencies with the real exchange rate on Transferwise, click here
4. Atom Bank (£5.6bn)
Atom Bank is a retail bank in the United Kingdom founded in 2013 by Anthony Thomson and Mark Mullen.
Atom is the first digital-only banking service, with all its services provided through its app for iOS and Android phones, offering biometric security, with customers able to sign in via face ID or voice ID. Atom has opted to diverge away from providing current accounts, instead offering savings accounts, mortgages, and business loans to its customers. The movement away from current accounts, with no bank card issued, and the lack of any physical branch, has seen Atom differentiate itself from many of its challenger bank competitors.
Atom’s savings accounts, mortgages, and business loans are all available through its app. Its fixed savings accounts range from three months to five years, with either monthly or annual interest. These accounts offer competitive interest rates, with the money saved from forgoing physical branches intended to provide these attractive rates. For instance, one-year fixed savings accounts offer 1.5% annual interest.
Atom also offers mortgages, with advice provided by an independent broker to help customers obtain the best deal. Mortgage repayments can be monitored in real-time through the app. Thirdly, Atom’s business loans are offered to Limited companies, Limited Liability Partnerships, and Sole traders, with a maximum loan-to-value of 75% offered for commercial property investments.
5. Banking Circle (£5bn)
Banking Circle is a fully licensed bank delivering financial infrastructure you can count on. The firm focuses on financial inclusivity. Staying true to these words, they allow banks to support their clients in domestic or global trading without spending a dime on their own internal infrastructure. Growth, profitability, and speed—that’s Banking Circle’s mantra.
According to UKTN, Banking Circle provides a safer, more faultless payment process by leveraging AI. Banking Circle provides banks and fintech companies with global payments, settlements, and global forex capabilities—all via a secure banking platform.
Banking Circle is a next-generation provider of mission-critical financial services infrastructure leading the rise of a super-correspondent banking network.
Banks and Payments businesses can access a range of banking services – multi-currency bank accounts, local clearing, cross-border payments, and flexible business lending, compliantly and securely – without the need to build their own infrastructure and correspondent banking partner network.
Bespoke, flexible, scalable, and futureproofed solutions enable financial services businesses to do what they’re really good at – serving the end client successfully and efficiently – thereby allowing them to seize market opportunities.
Bypass old, bureaucratic, and expensive systems and enable global banking services for your clients. The financial infrastructure you can bank on.
RELATED: TOP 10 FINTECH COMPANIES IN THE USA- 2022
6. OakNorth Bank (£4.4bn)
OakNorth Bank was founded by entrepreneurs Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, which gained regulatory approval in early 2015. OakNorth provides fast, flexible, and accessible debt finance solutions to fast-growth businesses, as well as a range of deposit accounts.
OakNorth initially started with the aim of providing a ‘bank for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs and is one of the most active lending banks in the UK today. Since its inception, it has lent over £4.6bn, aiding the creation of more than 16,000 new homes and over 20,000 new jobs in the UK. It has also raised deposits from 175,000 savers and is also recognized on several high-growth lists such as 100.
OakNorth Bank allows all people that want to borrow money the opportunity to attend credit committees where they can discuss their business’ growth plans and funding requirements, directly with the decision-makers.
These loans can also extend to acquiring property finance to support property developers and investors. In addition to loans, businesses can also choose from a range of business savings accounts, such as Fixed Term savings, Notice and Easy Access accounts.
OakNorth also provides a range of FSCS protected personal savings accounts to individuals, including fixed term, easy access, and notice accounts.
7. WorldRemit ((£4.4bn)
WorldRemit was founded in 2010 by Ismail Ahmed, Catherine Wines, and Richard Igoe. WorldRemit operates online money transferring service, which allows users in 50 countries to send money to recipients in 130 countries with over 70 currencies. WorldRemit prides itself on its quick transfer services, with over 90% of transactions authorized within minutes. The technology company serves over 4 million customers worldwide and has undergone international expansion, with 700 employees over 6 continents.
Various payment options are offered, including methods such as bank transfer, cash pickups from collection points, mobile money (an electronic wallet service), and door-to-door. Most of these options result in transfers arriving instantly, with door-to-door home deliveries operating 24/7, depending on location. WorldRemit charges a transfer fee for each transaction, which varies based on the amount and currency being transferred. Users have a number of options to pay this fee, including bank transfer, debit card and credit card.
8. Monzo (£3.3bn)
Monzo, one of the inspiring FinTech startups in London which was founded by Tom Blomfield, Jonas Huckestein, Jason Bates, Paul Rippon, and Gary Dolman in 2015. Monzo operates a digital-only bank offering unique solutions and features to fulfill their clients’ needs, with an aim to make money work for everyone by working with our community of users to build things that work for them. Monzo’s mission to build the best bank account globally, the mobile app publicly available for anyone in the UK to use and it currently has more than 4.5 million users and is fully authorized and regulated by the PRA and FCA create a mobile banking account through the Monzo app on iOS or Android.
Monzo allows users to create a mobile banking account through the Monzo app on iOS or Android. Monzo offers its clients a current account with no monthly fees and a prepaid Mastercard debit card. Current account holders can make instant UK payments and transfers, whilst also being able to set up flexible overdraft facilities and access loans through the Monzo mobile app.
They also offer ‘Savings Pots’ that act as savings accounts, with users able to earn up to 1.4% AER on fixed savings. The savings pots also offer features such as roundups—which rounds up change to the nearest pound and adds this to the pot—and automated savings. Monzo let their users take control of their finances.
Monzo investors include Passion Capital, Thrive Capital, Goodwater Capital, Orange Digital Ventures, Accel, General Catalyst, Novator, Kaiser, and TED Global.
9. Starling Bank (£1.9bn)
Starling Bank is a digital challenger bank based in the United Kingdom, founded by former Allied Irish Banks COO, Anne Boden, in January 2014. Starling Bank is a licensed and regulated bank that focuses on current and business account products in London.
Creating a different approach to old-fashioned banking, Starling Bank is one of the top fintech companies providing everything you want from a full-service bank account in the UK. Starling Bank serves rational banking solutions such as freezing your card, disabling or restricting payments, settling up, categorizing spending behaviours, providing international money transfers, and more.
Starling Bank offers a contactless Debit Mastercard to its users and also the bank does not have physical branches and primarily serves customers via mobile banking apps on iOS and Android. Starling claims to be the first UK bank to support in-app setup for Apple Pay.
The features of Starling’s mobile apps include instant notifications of transactions, freezing and unfreezing customers’ cards to prevent unauthorized transactions, categorising transactions for later analysis, creating separate “Goals” where money can be stored separately to a customer’s main balance, and in-app chat with customer service representatives.
Related: How to make money fast as a student
10. Zopa ((£890 M)
Zopa is a global peer-to-peer lender, founded by Richard Duvall, James Alexander, Giles Andrews, David Nicholson, Tim Parlett in 2005 has now launched a digital bank. In June 2020, Zopa was awarded its full banking license. As it launches its next-generation bank, Zopa’s ambition is to provide simple, fair products that are easy to manage and using its technology to provide a bank that’s fit for the future.
In less than six months of launching its bank, Zopa fully launched its Fixed Term Savings accounts and a credit card. The latest banking products sit alongside its wider suite of products including Peer-to-Peer lending, connecting investors with individuals seeking unsecured personal loans and secured car finance.
Zopa enabled investors to lend to UK consumers through its peer-to-peer lending platform. Investors could choose from four investment products based on their risk and return appetite. Investors’ money was split across multiple borrowers. Investors then received monthly repayments of interest and capital, which they could re-lend to compound the interest.
Borrowers are able to easily apply for a loan through Zopa online. Zopa offers borrowers personal loans of £1,000-£25,000 over a term of 1-5 years, with no penalties or fees charged for early repayment of loans.
Typically, borrowers used these funds to help buy a car, consolidate debts, cover home improvements or weddings. Additionally, Zopa calculates personalised rates for a loan using a ‘soft’ credit check, which gives lenders a window into a borrower’s debt history without impacting their credit history.