BuildMyCreditScore, a UK startup that enables individuals to effortlessly boost their credit score through everyday spending on a debit card, has secured a £200,000 grant from Innovate UK.
The Innovation in Professional & Financial Services grant from Innovate UK has an 8% acceptance rate with only 18 successful applicants out of 224 submissions - with £200,000 the maximum award from a total prize pot of £5m.
Launched last month, BuildMyCreditScore provides a Mastercard debit card connected to a user's current account via open banking technology.
While the debit card works instantly like a regular bank card, the money - up to a daily cap of £30 per day - is collected via Direct Debit by BuildMyCreditScore around two working days after, allowing it to be reported to credit reference agencies. As a result, cardholders are able to build their credit score by demonstrating their ability to manage rolling outgoings and repay credit promptly.
The app was tested by a pilot of 632 customers between December 2022 and June 2023. Of that number, the majority saw an increase in their credit score of between 11 and 55 points within the first three months of trialling the product.
James Lynn, CEO and co-founder of BuildMyCreditScore, comments: “This funding is a significant milestone in our mission to boost social inclusion across the UK and offer an innovative yet simple solution to build credit scores for millions more people.
“Traditionally, people need a strong credit score to access affordable credit in the first place, with those with lower scores forced to turn to more expensive credit options - this model is in desperate need of an overhaul. Innovate UK’s support will enable us to accelerate our growth and broaden our proposition to a much wider group of financially excluded people needing improved access to credit."