A thriving Scottish finance scene has seen the number of fintech companies in Scotland triple - with innovative start-ups including Money Dashboard, Float and Sustainably
Spanning from the Scottish Highlands to Fife, the number of fintech companies in Scotland is on the rise.
With a history of innovation, several world-leading universities and the UK’s second largest financial centre in Edinburgh, it’s easy to see why fintech start-ups are being drawn to Scotland.
Recent figures from FinTech Scotland show the number of companies in the sector has tripled in 2018 – bringing the new total to 80.
Scottish Development International and FinTech Scotland both expect this trend to continue as the country continues to establish itself on the global scene as a fintech hub.
We profile some of the companies leading the way.
Fintech companies in Scotland: Sustainably
Edinburgh-based start-up Sustainably is aiming to encourage more people to have a positive impact through their spending.
Founded by mother and daughter Loral and Eishel Quinn, they wanted to create an easier way for consumers and businesses to do good.
Once a bank account is connected to the Sustainably platform, every transaction is rounded up to the nearest pound and the difference is donated to charity.
Users can decide which cause they want to donate to, with several charities already on board, and have the flexibility to pause their donations at any time.
Businesses are also invited to match the charitable giving of their customers and employees by signing up to the platform.
The beta version of Sustainably won best of show recognition at the FinovateFall 2017 fintech conference in New York, an award for cutting-edge banking and financial technology innovations.
Fintech companies in Scotland: Float
Float is a money management tool for businesses to help manage their cash flow and forecast their finances.
Founded by Colin Hewitt, the online system works in conjunction with a company’s accounting software to keep track of any reconciled bills, invoices and transactions.
Float – available as a desktop or mobile app – then automatically provides visual a forecast of budgets against actuals to help businesses make informed spending decisions.
By projecting their future cash in the bank, it’s easier for owners and finance directors to make the right decisions for their business.
Float claims the simplicity of the software, and with no need to input data manually, means it can save save businesses an average of eight hours every month.
Fintech companies in Scotland: Isle of Skye Blockchain
Isle of Skye Blockchain was founded with the goal of creating a community blockchain network for the Scottish Highlands.
The ambitious company hopes to create a digital footprint for the entire island and offers services to help local businesses and individuals make use of the new technology.
As a prime location for tourists, a guest blockchain has also been proposed that will give visitors access to a digital copy of the Highland Code and discounts with local businesses that are partnered with Isle of Skye Blockchain.
Company founder James Paul Campbell is also in the process of creating Deer-Guardian – an app that warns drivers of wildlife hot-spots – which he hopes will eliminate road collisions with deer.
Fintech companies in Scotland: Money Dashboard
(Credit: Money Dashboard)
Founded in 2010, Money Dashboard is a personal finance management app that helps users to keep track of a their bank accounts and spending.
Unlike other banking apps, which are often tied to a single banking provider, Money Dashboard provides information on all the accounts a user has and groups spending into categories.
The app has more than 420,000 users and has twice been named best personal finance app at the 2017 and 2018 British Bank Awards.
On winning the award last year, Money Dashboard CEO Steve Tigar told Scottish technology website Digit: “This is such an exciting time for independent fintechs like Money Dashboard.
“Hundreds of thousands [of people] are embracing new innovative fintech products and are benefiting from cheaper, faster and better financial services.
“We’re just getting started. We’re on a mission to help millions of consumers enjoy their money more with our ever-improving app.”
Fintech companies in Scotland: Lightbox Reward
Edinburgh-based company Lightbox Reward helps employers communicate their benefit packages to employees.
The Benefit Hub allows employees to view the perks available at their job, the value of them and the cost.
The makers claim “this creates an agile system that can react instantly to changes in benefits and how they are communicated to staff”, and helps to reduce the burden on HR staff.
The company is estimated to have a value of £1m and has worked with companies such as asset management business TCAM and Sopra Banking Software.