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Fintechs that (hope to) change the world

A growing number of fintechs are being driven by a social purpose. We look at the fintechs with ambitions to change the world and ask how likely they are to succeed.

Fintechs have never shied away from ambition but some are going further than others in their quest to drive social change, financial empowerment and climate change seem to be the biggest themes.

Earlier this month affordable credit pioneer Creditspring announced a £48m fundraising bonanza in a bid to boost its mission to improve UK financial stability.

The fintech’s latest fundraising means it has raised over £70m since its launch in 2016 and its efforts appear to be working; Clearspring has grown its customer base by 50 per cent since the start of the year.

In 2022 it expects to pick up more members as people look for support to manage their finances through the cost of living crisis.

Its Financial Stability Tracker shows that one in six, a not insignificant 16 per cent of UK adults, will need to borrow more in the coming months.

Over the course of 2022, Creditspring plans to lend £100m through its fixed-cost subscription loan services, compared to £25m lent in 2021.

Will it change the world?

The number of Creditspring members has already increased - from 100,000 to 150,000 - since the start of 2022 and the company expects to add another 200,000 members by the end of the year.

Of these new members 14,000 applied to join the Stability Hub - a free tool that provides personalised support and actionable tips to encourage more informed financial decision making.

Neil Kadagathur, co-founder and chief executive of Creditspring, said: “As people increasingly turn to borrowing to survive the cost of living crisis, it creates a perfect hunting ground for predatory lenders who do not have the best interests of their customers at heart. We must do all we can to help people reduce their chances of falling into unmanageable debt - never has this been more important than it is today.”

Empowering banks and consumers in the fight against climate change is the driving force behind Ecloytiq’s €13.5m (£11.5m) to empower banks and consumers in the fight against climate change.

Fintech has a sustainability-as-a-service solution which enables financial institutions to offer their customers environmental footprinting as well as personalised impact offsetting and ESG investments.

Will it change the world?

The investment round, raised funds from some big players including, Visa, PwC/ Segenia Capital, VCM Global Asset Management and btov and David Lais, the co-founder of ecolytiq has just been nominated as “Rising PayTech Star” at the 2022 PayTech Awards.

Ophelos is an ethical debt-resolution platform taking a different approach to UK debt collection. With the cost of living crisis seeing inflation reach a 40-year high of 9 per cent recently, millions of people across the country will “inevitably” fall into debt this year as they struggle to pay their energy bills, and afford everyday goods.

Will it change the world?

Ophelos are using AI and behavioural science to upend the debt collection industry, and build a system rooted in customer care and empathy, not intimidation. Anything that improves the mental health of those struggling financially can ultimately help get them back on track and repay their debts.

Etika, is an ethical finance provider aiming to revolutionise the UK consumer loan market with a mission to provide fair and responsible finance to more people. The privately-owned and technology-driven company is hoping to make a positive difference in the world of finance. By working with selected retailers, it claims to iffer customers finance that fits their circumstances. etika currently operates in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Will it change the world?

The popularity of buy now pay later schemes Robert Schuijff, chief executive said: “A recent YouGov survey highlighted that credit declines can impact customers' mental well-being. However, working with a retailer, etika was able to decrease hard search credit rejections by 88%.”

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