Start-ups Making an Impact During the Pandemic
Not all sectors in Canada are hurting because of COVID-19: fintech (financial technology) is using their innovative products and services to help Canadians during these challenging times.
According to Deallawwire.com (a popular blog by M&A attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright), the pandemic and Canada’s “friendly start-up environment” has helped grow the industry, which uses technology for monetary transactions. Fintechs are often start-ups that move fast, take risks and target products and services to the younger generation.
Examples of fintech products and services include: Crowdfunding platforms; cryptocurrency, or virtual currency, and blockchain, technology that stores data; mobile payments; robo-advising (algorithm financial advice) stock-trading and budgeting apps – with the latest type of fintech being insurance.
Here are some Canadian fintech companies you should be keeping an eye on. Not only are they doing great things, but many have also used their products and services to help the consumer leverage during these ‘new times’.
Using the Helcim cloud-based platform, entrepreneurs can accept credit and debit card payments, send invoices, create online stores and set-up recurring payments, among other things.
Helcim launched November 2, 2017.
Helcim is currently offering their first month of service for free with no monthly fee. They have introduced auto-pause billing so any business who experiences a disruption in the payment process won’t need to worry about still being charged a fee.
JUDI.AI provides a platform that offers quick loans. According to their website, the innovative technology is transforming the traditional ways of “lending for banks and credit unions.” Founded in 2016, its mission is to decrease the time it takes to provide money to customers.
The fintech company created services that will allow credit unions to support the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), in a reduced time limit.
KOHO offers a re-loadable, prepaid Visa card; a no-fee spending account with instant cashback; and a money management app. According to their website, the KOHO app works similar to a chequing account where consumers can put money into their account and spend it anywhere that Visas are accepted. And like a credit card there are perks – cashback and other rewards.
KOHO users can access some government payments early; set up their Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) payments to KOHO; and enjoy no fees or interest.
Considered the “only entity in Canada that follows all guidelines for Shariah governance established by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions,” according to the company, Manzil’s mission is to help Canadians balance their financial needs with their ethical and spiritual ones. According to a press release, Manzil is available on the NEO Concept under the symbol MANZL and is also listed on DealSquare. According to its website, it offers an “online private placements platform for dealers, investment advisors, investors and capital raisers alike.”
Canadians are also able to invest in the company through FrontFundr, which connects investors and entrepreneurs. Manzil was founded in 2017 to tap into the spending power of Canadian Muslims.
Moka (rebranded, formerly known as Mylo) is an automated savings and investment app that helps users save money in order to achieve their financial goals. Launched in 2017, more than 750,000 Canadians have downloaded the app. Moka recently announced they are breaking into the European market – first in France and then in other markets.
With millions of jobs being lost during CIVID-19, financial security has become priority and of utmost importance to most around the country. The company’s website features has a number of COVID-19-related articles to help its users navigate the ‘new normal’.
6. Nest Wealth
Founded in 2014, Nest West’s goal is to increase access to wealth management advice. Its digital solutions are being used by financial institutes across North America. Recently Nest Wealth announced a deal with National Bank, which will see the technology company remain independent while offering the bank “both a minority equity investment and a long-term services agreement,” according to their website.
7. Ownest Financial
The goal of this Calgary, Alberta-based fintech is to innovate how financing is done worldwide. The company, which was founded in 2012, offers Canadians the opportunity to speak with more than 125 different lenders, ensuring they find the best deal.
This organization is one of two Canadian fintech firms that participated in the Montreal-based Holt FinTech Accelerator, a program that pairs up-and-coming fintech firms with advisors. Talem Health Analytics is the other fintech Canadian company that participated (see below).
The STACK app allows entrepreneurs to put money on their reloadable Mastercard and spend it however they like worldwide. There are no fees and there are instant rewards and tools to manage your money.
Consumers can switch their direct deposit to their STACK account, making it faster to receive their CERB.
9. Talem Health Analytics
The Sydney, Nova-Scotia -based fintech company’s mission to is help the insurance industry decrease fraudulent claims and help speed the recovery of those who have been injured in an accident. The fintech does this by bridging “clinical expertise with technology” including an artificial intelligence tool that analyses data.
This organization is the second of two Canadian fintech firms that participated in the Montreal-based Holt FinTech Accelerator. Ownest Financial is the other Canadian firm that participated (see above).
COVID-19 has been the deciding factor to show that companies who pivot and evolve are able to will be successful in the ‘new world’, we currently find ourselves in. Fintech companies improve the lives of consumers through innovative solutions will continue to see an increase in the Canadian business landscape.
Learn more about some of Canada’s fintech companies, by visiting www.pwc.com/ca/en/industries/technology/canadian-fintech-market-map.html
Lisa Day | Contributing Writer