Technology is allowing the fintech sector to create new solutions so that small investors can invest in their favourite products, as well as the most sustainable ones. All this even without moving from their own bank
The advent of coronavirus has left a mark on the consumption patterns of the ‘new normal’. Consumers have changed some of their habits and are looking for convenience in the face of a changing and insecure future – 23% of Spaniards believe that their life will never go back to how it was before, according to the latest Cigna study, ‘COVID-19 Global Impact’.
Concern about savings has also soared. According to the BBVA Pensions Institute, six out of ten people claim to have saved during the lockdown period. At the same time, some research published by the German fintech Deposit Solutions shows that 80% of Spanish customers’ money is held in current accounts. In this context, many startups have spotted new opportunities to help users boost their savings and get better returns on their money through investments. Some of the keys to this are guiding beginners and supporting those with more expertise.
American writer and thinker Arnold H. Glasow had his own formula for success and said it was very simple: “Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time”.
Recent years have been a period full of opportunities for fintech firms. Customers are increasingly demanding customisation and looking for advice on what to do with their savings. Both more digital banks like BBVA and some emerging companies in the fintech sector are offering increasingly flexible options to make this possible. MiCappital – a startup that took part in the 2020 edition of the BBVA Open Innovation acceleration programme, was hosted on the Open Space and was interviewed at the InnovaHome Festival – is putting itself forward as one of the options for “saving and investing without moving your money out of the bank”, according to Miguel Camiña, CEO and co-founder.
This fintech is contributing to the democratisation of access to investment, and they offer a fully tailor-made service: “It depends on the customer’s age, the level of risk and the investment period”, explains Camiña. The startup uses technology based on chatbots to interact with customers and incorporates algorithms that search all available products from the major banks to ensure a personalised investment strategy. “We’re looking for the highest returns with the lowest possible risk, and we only charge if we make gains for the customer”, he adds.
What began as a digital service for a millennial target audience is becoming a headline guide for a wider public interested in financial products. “There are people who do know about finances, but don’t have much time. Then there are others who you help from scratch. There are also those who prefer to manage part themselves and delegate another part to us”, he concludes.
Like the old saying “sharing is living”, collaboration is the first step towards a secure future. Flipsimply, a startup that participated in the BBVA acceleration programme, knows this all too well. This rewards-based crowdfunding platform helps brands to produce new products thanks to small collaborative investments by users. In this manner, when they are able to launch them on the market and sell them, the platform returns the money to the users who contributed to their creation with a bonus based on profitability.
“As an investor, you register and create a virtual bank account. You deposit a balance and then choose the product you want to invest in. We give you the money back with interest when the project’s creator sells it”, says one of the founding partners, Gregorio López.
Flipsimply offers its users very detailed information about the products they can invest in. According to the company, those that generate the most interest are tech gadgets and food products. For López, people are the differential value of each operation: “We’re looking for innovative, disruptive projects that have a community behind them that supports and knows you.” In this way, brands get financing directly through their own customers and their current ecosystem, which can help them to spread the word on the product’s virtues themselves. “A satisfied customer is your best advert”, he notes.
A commitment to assets with social impact is ever more important, both for general shopping and increasingly when looking for investment options. This is what Nacho Bautista believes. He is CEO and co-founder of Fundeen, the fintech that “allows individuals to invest in renewable energy products” under the slogan “sustainable profitability, profitable sustainability”.
This participative financing platform aims for investors to achieve at least 7% return, and they can also monitor their investment and the billings of the projects they have invested in. To do this, Fundeen, which took part in the 2019 Open Summit Madrid and in BBVA’s acceleration programme, usually does three types of analysis: “Financial, to look at the project’s numbers and its profitability; technical, to evaluate the equipment to be installed and the manufacturer guarantees; and legal, to structure the whole operation on a legal scale”, details Bautista.
Conscious of public awareness, Bautista believes that Fundeen can act as a springboard towards a much more sustainable way of investing and supporting the structural change to current energy models: “Tools like ours help put citizens a little more at the centre and encourage people to understand that consuming according to their own rules is possible”. BBVA Open Innovation shares these objectives and so drives new proposals from the most innovative fintech firms.