New fintech firm, Soldo, comes to UK and Italy
Soldo, a London-based fintech start-up, is launching its flagship multi-user spending account.
Soldo is not a bank, but a prepaid MasterCard, and the company emphasises that it does not intend to compete with banks. It seeks to complement the existing banks’ services by addressing a specific pain-point: how to control the flow of money inside a group with multiple users, for example, a company or a family.
Soldo was set up by tech veteran Carlo Gualandri, who was among the founders of Italy’s first ever web portal, Virgilio.it.
It has been a year and a half in the making. It has its own developed technology (which is cloud-based) and an e-money licence from the UK’s regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Soldo is available in the UK and Italy. According to Gualandri, interviewed by TechCrunch, he has no intention of setting up yet another bank. Instead, he is keen to solve a mass-market problem that is currently not addressed by single user digital wallets or debit cards – i.e. how to control and manage the everyday spending of all those who need access to family or company funds. For example, giving pocket money to kids, splitting household bills, paying a nanny or a care worker and so on. Soldo account will work alongside a bank’s current account or any other banking product.
It is basically swapping cash for e-money, Gualandri told TechCrunch. “We envision our customers will continue using traditional banking services for what they do best and make their lives easier by using Soldo to manage day to day spending for everybody in a family or business environment.”
The account holder can set up spending rules and define a network of spenders, with each member receiving a digital wallet and a physical debit card. Soldo explains: “This could range from a couple sharing their bills or a family managing their children’s spending, to a complex family network that includes parents, children, domestic workers, elderly care providers and anyone providing a regular service to the family.”
The account holder can set different budgets, spending rules (including when a card/wallet can be used) and limits for each member.
Online transactions can be enabled/disabled, as well as cash withdrawals and overseas spending within the app. All transactions come with push notifications sent to the account holder.
The initial target market will be families, but Soldo intends to offer its services to businesses too in due course. It will seek to formally partner with banks and strike co-branded (rather than white-label) agreements.
The Soldo app is available on the iOS and Android devices.
With so many new entrants trying to muscle into the UK banking sector, Banking Technology has put together a comprehensive list of the known challengers to date and the technology they are using. The list is updated on a regular basis.