Key in ‘start-ups 2020’ to Google and you’ll get 159,000,000 results: it’s a 21st Century cyber gold rush. Despite uncertainty over Brexit, 2019 saw more money raised by UK start-ups and scale-ups than ever before. So, if you’re thinking about launching a start-up, catch the wave and go for it. It’s fintech start-ups themselves which are making the whole business of start-ups, if not exactly easier, because no start-up is easy, certainly more accessible. Consider these three established fintech solutions that are already helping start-ups save time and money.

Fintech solution 1: Prepaid credit cards

In the past, businesses have often used a company credit card to deal with small purchases and employee expenses. The card gets passed around to whoever needs it, and no-one takes any responsibility for it. It’s a very inefficient, expensive and insecure way of operating. Prepaid company credit cards are a far more secure way of managing an expense budget. The card is loaded with a set sum of money and can then be used like a conventional credit card, except of course that it’s impossible to go over budget. When you use a conventional credit card in an online transaction you run the risk of exposing the access details of your company bank account to hackers, because a prepaid company card is not linked directly to your bank account, it cannot be hacked. If the card is used for expenses, you simply photograph receipts, tickets etc. and upload them via the app. If the card is being used by one of your employees, you can track what is being spent as it happens and impose budget restrictions if necessary. The European initiated PSD2 legislation brings with it new ‘Strong Customer Authentication’ requirements so make sure that any prepaid card that you opt for is PSD2 compliant.

Fintech solution 2: Shopify

Shopify gives you all the tools you need to set up your own on-line business, providing you with a step by step guide to help you showcase your products. There’s 14 -day free trial, after which you can decide on the kind of package that best suits your business. You can choose from free or paid themes to make your shop stand out and there are also free and paid apps to help you extend the functionality of your shop. Shopify’s payment provider will process credit card payments for you and there is expert help available 24/7 to help you design and market your store.

Fintech solution 3: Automation in Accountancy

Traditionally, businesses sought out the services of an accountant in the run up to the end of the tax year, their role was primarily the input of data for the benefit of the taxman. Automated accounting systems capture and collate data as it happens enabling constant monitoring. Data is no longer just retrospective so it can be used to identify cash-flow problems before they become a crisis and to inform much more accurate budget predictions. Cloud accountancy saves time and cost and transforms accountancy from a data entry process to an essential advisory business assistant.