Regardless of your beliefs on the extent of climate change and global warming, we can safely assume all of us want a healthier and cleaner planet to live in.
For some reading this, it can be difficult to find the link between fintech (financial technology) and the environment. But the actual relatability of the two may surprise you, even at the macro-level.
Take for instance the impact of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008/09. Triggered by the fall of U.S. house prices, borrowers inability to repay their mortgages, and loose regulation that allowed banks to over leverage themselves.
A number of things happen during a recession. Significantly, one of those is the inability for many normal businesses to adhere to environmental standards and costs. So in turn as part of recovery efforts, centralised governments relax these standards to
fuel economy growth.
By leveraging the way we use money as a society, the following list of five fintechs are helping to lower environmental costs as well as enabling exciting new concepts to make the world greener.
Imagine every time you tapped your debit card you were helping to plant another tree somewhere in the world. That’s exactly what Aspiration is enabling its customers to do.
Backed by notable celebrities, including actor Robert Downey Jr., Aspiration is a challenger bank on a mission to help its customers make a lasting impact. Its features include allowing customers to round up their transactions to support tree planting initiatives
(aptly called ‘Plant Your Change’), and offers up to 5% cash back whenever you use your card at an ‘eco-friendly’ merchant.
Aspiration is proving to be a refreshing take on the challenger bank model.
Businesses often need capital to grow and become successful. That fact is true even when you are a green start-up. Trine, a Swedish fintech, is dedicated to putting solar energy businesses in easy reach of investor loans.
Powered by a peer-to-peer business loan platform, investors can find solar energy initiatives and invest as little as USD$25.
Already with 11,000+ investors and boasting a very small default rate of 1.7% on issued loans, expect to see a lot more Trine-backed solar businesses obtaining the capital they need.
Think of Joro as your ethical (and private) big brother. Powered by smart spending analytics, this fintech will give you insights about how your purchases contribute towards carbon emissions.
In a world that can be confusing to understand about how certain consumer behaviours can affect the planet, Joro — through its intuitive app and Plaid powered bank connectivity — is helping eco-minded individuals make more
informed choices every time they use their card to shop.
Simply download the app and go.
Another Tree Planter fintech (the more the merrier), TreeCard (yet to go live), has raised USD$5.1m in seed funding to launch Mastercard’s first ‘wooden’ debit
The concept is simple. Download the app, order your wood-like card, and then link it up to your existing current account. As you spend, TreeCard will pay 80% of its profits (made through interchange fees) to reforestation projects.
One tree alone can produce 300,000+ customer cards, which is certainly more sustainable than plastic. Like the popularity surrounding Monzo’s famous coral coloured cards, there’s a good chance ‘word of mouth’ will also take
off for TreeCard.
5. Raise Green
Do you have any knowledge about the green businesses and initiatives in your local area? Thanks to Raise Green, you can now discover them and even invest to take some micro-ownership in these eco-projects.
The U.S. founded start-up, in partnership with IBM, has built a platform marketplace that allows both investors and community clean energy start-ups to transact.
The platform also includes a very savvy feature which provides investors with insights into the tangible impact of their investments, for example: the kWh of clean energy your level of money is helping to produce.