Introducing the FinTech Matrix

Tracking innovation in the money management app space

We’ve been working with a range of large well-established as well as start-up financial services organisations, and become really excited about the innovation taking place in FinTech. We’re particularly interested in the huge number of Personal Finance Management apps on the market.

Lots of these have emerged over the last few years, and there is potential for these to skyrocket in capability and popularity with the introduction of Open Banking next year. Many come with a bold claim that they will help their customers save money, and they are certainly challenging traditional banks to provide something more to engage their customers.

In our cxpartners FinTech Matrix, we’ve mapped out the features of the most well known of the Personal Finance Management apps on the market, and categorised them according to their features and functionality. This is a living document, but you can see our work in progress.

The apps we have looked at vary in scale from aggregators that present all of a customer’s accounts through one display, to more ambitious players such as Monzo, Starling and Tandem, who provide a mobile-only current account with features that help users stay on top of their payments. This new category of financial service have proved so popular that many customers have stepped away from traditional banking to access their accounts and importantly their data in a more engaging and useful way.

Money management features

Saving is more important than ever right now. The move towards a cashless economy means it’s easier than ever for people to lose track of how much they’ve spent. Additionally, with the increased cost of housing, and life span extending far beyond retirement age, there’s a lot to save for beyond just the next holiday.

But a persisting question concerns how easy is it to change people’s spending and saving habits. The apps we’ve looked at use a range of different approaches to educate their users and help them manage their money and it is this wanted to start capturing. Here are some features that we’ve logged in the matrix:

  • Spending insights - in-app breakdowns & categorisations of where your money is going
  • Saving goals - plan how much you want to save, track how far you are from your target
  • Spare funds - the app figures out how much it thinks you can save and at frequent intervals, transfers it into another account
  • Rounding up, or save as you spend - a penalty for each coffee or sandwich, or some amount is added to savings with every transaction
  • Sectioning off your save and spend amounts
  • Finding and cancelling unused subscriptions

But look at the matrix !

In it you’ll find information about whether each one offers a credit/debit card, a current account, cheaper overseas transactions, investment portfolios, can provide credit or recommend other financial products, among other features.

This is an evolving category that’s in its infancy, we expect many of these services will lose momentum, but winners will emerge and as they do so we will track their success, and of course many of these apps are evolving new features too.

Please note that we extracted much of this data from the information communicated in the app’s messaging - we haven’t checked each one (although we’ve checked lots!).

What have we missed?

We’d love to keep adding to and developing this, so please do let us know in the comments if there is something you think we should add, or if you want to talk to us about your app, somebody else’s app or simply the exciting disrupted world of FS - give us a ring or drop us an email.

A user experience consultant with a background in Psychology, Zoe likes using her understanding of people to design products that are simple yet solve a real problem.