The fastest growing startups and the ones with the most impact on the business world are a new breed of financial technology startups, also called FinTech Startups. These startups use software to provide financial services and have disrupted the traditional financial services models and landscapes. Here is a brief look at the top 10 fintech startups along with reviews of their logo designs. I have also written a report on blockchain brand identity that you may find interesting.
BillGuard is an online service that alerts users to any suspicious transactions that happen on their bank accounts and credit cards. This includes hidden fees charged by banks. So far BillGuard claims to have alerted users to the tune of $60 million in transactions. The logo looks bright and joyful but I personally find it a little too “web 2.0” – a trend that was popular a few years ago with the green gradient color and large block typography. The shield signifies the “security” aspect of fraud monitoring and expense tracker of its features. I do not particularly like the old fashioned way of the shield cutting into the letter R, though. Look at this example of a logo we created for one of our clients to understand how best it could be done.
Planwise is a financial technology startup that fills the gap left by huge real estate listings businesses such as Zillow and Trulia and gives tools to know if a house if affordable. This service simplifies the mind-numbing search for a house to buy and brings perspective to the financials involved. The logo design is not too bad. It depicts an abstract icon of a person who looks like they are in a panic – jumping up and holding their head. In place of the head is a laptop to signify the confusion people have while searching to buy a house. I must admit, however, that I am not a big fan of the icon itself. It appears to be a version of a prehistoric human form. From another angle, minus the laptop, I could mistake it for a car manufacturer logo.
OnDeck is a FinTech startup venture launched in 2007 to offer small business loans to startups and entrepreneurs through an easy credit checking system. OnDeck has delivered over $3 Billion in loans to over 700 industries! The logo itself, once again, is very unrelated to the business or the brand. With a simple typographic treatment, the letters C and K are fused into one with an arrow at the end of the text. Again a gradient is used.
Wealthfront is a huge player in the automated financial advisory services segment. Founder in 2011, it manages over $1 Billion for its clients. Wealthfront makes it easy for anyone to get access to world-class, long-term investment management without the high fees or steep account minimums. The logo design is simple but in my opinion is too clipart like for my taste. The icon depicts 3 abstract dollar bills.
Currency Cloud is a London-based international payments startup. Using its proprietary payment engine to benefit from realtime whole rates and a fast, secure payment network, Currency Cloud is a big player. However, I found their logo to be confusing – in terms of the perception. The logo depicts transparent algorithmic line charts that also look like clouds. While it may be considered clever, I would have imagined it would have suited them if they were a cloud-based currency exchange platform.
Stripe is a favorite payment gateway at SpellBrand. We use Stripe for all our US transactions exclusively. We use PAYPAL for international transactions. With market valuations of over $1.75 BILLION, Stripe is a titan player in the payment processing segment. The logo is quite simple and straight forward with a typographic treatment and no notable iconic or abstract design embellishments.
In countries like Brazil, China, and many others where credit cards are hard to come by, AstroPay offers a robust card solution that enables vendors to accept payment with low risk of fraud. It also enables millions in China to buy goods from international vendors! The logo is a throwback to the days of swooshes with a red swoosh perched on top of the word Astro to signify a comet-like speed and agility that people come to associate with their solutions and services.
Square is an awesome solution for vendors and merchants taking payments at the point of sale and away from computers. With a nifty little mobile device friendly gadget and with a low entry threshold, Square managed to become a major player in the POS payment market segment. Today it is valued at over $6 BILLION! The logo is nice and relevant to the brand. An abstract square icon with another square with rounded corners inside it makes for a powerful yet simple logo. The card reader is also shaped like the logo.
Tipalti is an international payments platform that helps online ad networks, affiliate networks and marketplaces pay hundreds of thousands of sellers. The logo looks very similar to AstroPay with a swoosh going from one I to the other. Again, I must admit I am not really impressed since the logo looks a little dated.
Flint is in the same game as Square or Stripe and allows merchants to accept card payments on the spot, online or through invoices without needing a card reader. Their logo is one of the better ones in this lot and is fresh and interesting. Since flint is related to making fire, the logo has a candle for the letter i with an open flicker of a flame. Simple, elegant and sure to create brand recall.