Since launching Starling Bank, I have watched with growing interest as fintech after fintech has emerged, bringing with them a fantastic range of new apps to help us all with the business of looking after our money better. We really do live in exciting times. With so much going on though, it is easy to assume everyone knows exactly what is happening. Were all the people these amazing products were being built for getting the full benefit, I wondered?
Anne Boden, CEO and founder of Starling Bank, wrote The Money Revolution to help provide simple and practical advice on how you can take control of your money. At a recent book signing event in London, Anne shared her vision of how adopting a few new behaviours,can transform your finances.
It’s very easy for people like me to get swept away by the relentless march of fintech innovations. Were we falling into the trap of living in a Shoreditch bubble, rather like the often criticised Westminster bubble? (And we all know where that ends-up).
I set out to write The Money Revolution for the same reason that motivated me to start Starling Bank: we all want more control over our money and rightly so. Sometimes though, it helps to be pointed in the right direction and have our choices properly outlined to us.
My goal with The Money Revolution is to highlight the best that digital can (currently) offer that will make everything to do with our money a lot simpler and a lot fairer. There are now a huge range of apps to help us make sense of our cash in everything from banking, to insurance, to investments, to pensions. It can be hard to know where to begin. Therefore, in this book, I’ve broken down the range of what is on offer into product groups and given recommendations of apps you might like to try.
I’ve looked at apps that can be used to save money in every aspect of our lives, from traveling abroad, or buying a house, or shopping on the high street, or simply paying household bills. There are numerous examples of apps that can make your money work harder too, whether it is donating to charity, maximising savings, or finding new ways to pay for utilities or loans. Plus, since everyone likes getting something for nothing, there is information that will help you do just that. Buy goods via the right apps and you’ll be paid for the pleasure. What can be better than that?
Follow just one or two recommendations in the book and you could save hundreds of pounds each year. Best of all, once you get started, there is often very little you need to do. Load up the app, plug in your details and then just sit back and relax. Your money is in good hands.
I have done my best to cover as broad a range of products as I can in my book, including highlighting rivals to Starling Bank. I did this because it’s fairer: if we want to give people control of their money, we need to be as transparent as we can possibly be. It is entirely your choice where you put your money and I feel it is important to lay out all of the options.
I’ve also tried to do more than simply documenting the more than one hundred apps that I think are well worth taking a look at right now and which will hopefully lead to an instant improvement in your financial situation. Since there is so much going on and fintech is such a dynamic place to be, I’ve also included some ideas on what is expected to come next. Thanks to developments in open banking and advances in AI and robo advisors, there are all sorts of interesting new ideas in the pipeline.
As you might imagine, writing a book like this comes with its challenges, especially because technology is changing all the time and what is on the printed page does not. Even as you are reading this, news is emerging of new products and new ways of doing things. Hopefully though, the book will give you an appetite for exploring what’s available now and it will open up some interesting new possibilities to help you simplify your finances. Read it as a useful starting point and explore this amazing sector yourself.
I am also well aware that the personal finance book market is a crowded one and there are plenty of online resources with great advice and tips on saving money. Even so, I do believe that The Money Revolution answers an entirely different need. It is the first book to identify and explain the vast range of digital tools which are now available to help us all to work towards becoming debt free and more financially secure. That’s got to be a good thing when it comes to taking control of your money.