Establishing a credit history and maintaining a respectable credit score is an important aspect of living well in modern society.
That is because those with good credit have access to more financial services—and often at better rates, too.
Whether you’re a newcomer establishing their initial credit, someone recovering from a bad score, or just want to feel like you have options, there is a Canadian financial technology startup hustling to address your needs.
Let’s take a gander at a few.
In 2016, Borrowell became the first company in Canada to offer credit scores for free through a partnership with Equifax Canada and has since introduced additional free services such as weekly credit monitoring personalized financial product recommendations, and digital tools like Molly, Canada’s first AI-powered personal credit coach.
Borrowell also offers its own credit-building services, including Credit Builder and more recently Rent Advantage, which helps renters establish credit history. The Toronto fintech serves over two million Canadians.
“We want to make the credit system work better for underserved Canadians,” Andrew Graham, CEO of Borrowell, stated in July.
Hero Innovation Group recently launched Hero Financials, a full-service alternative-to-banking solution for Canadian kids, teens, GenZers, and their parents.
Vancouver-based Hero provides the foundational steps that accompany kids into a financially independent and responsible future, while also building parent-child trust and confidence by eliminating the need to borrow parents’ credit or debit cards to access funds. The solution is paired with SideKick, a prepaid Mastercard that equips kids with vital financial literacy skills.
“We identified a critical gap in the sector’s ability to meet the financial goals and needs of Canadian youth and GenZers, a segment that now comprises a fourth of our population,” Peter MacKay, CEO of Hero Group, said in August. “Hero Financials is the perfect turnkey solution for Canadian youth that compliments their journey towards gaining financial independence, while also helping parents support and pass on those valuable skills to their kids.”
The Toronto-based financial technology firm provides a credit solution to millions of immigrants across North America and beyond. QuadFi is using artificial intelligence to predict an applicant’s future potential rather than their past history.
“The customers we serve are young, ambitious, and well-educated; they immigrate from their home countries to build better lives and explore their full potential in a new one,” explained Dr. Manny Nikjoo, CEO of QuadFi, in August. “Here in Canada, we welcome 400,000 new immigrants every year who deserve access to financial products from day one.”
In April, the Toronto fintech raised a large round of capital to fuel growth.
Quebec-based startup Iceberg Finance earlier this year acquired Toronto veteran iFinance Canada, which offers financing options to more than 10,000 service providers across the country.
Iceberg Finance thus expanded its portfolio of financing options with access to iFinancePay’s platform, which can issue virtual credit cards in real-time to make online and in-store purchases, as well as point-of-sale financing. By offering consumers a “buy now, pay later” financing solution, it is on an equal footing with the biggest lenders in the industry.
“This acquisition doubles our business volume and enables us to now offer a more diverse array of specialty financing programs to Canadians from sea to sea,” Iceberg Finance president Réal Breton stated in April.
For more than a century businesses depended on paper-based processes to review and approve credit. Those old processes have hardly been updated—and they are “inefficient and require significant time and resources to even accomplish mediocre outcomes,” according to Nectarine Credit.
“We hear all the time how old credit processes take too much time and resources,” said Alex Armitage, CEO of Nectarine. “Yet those processes still linger in today’s fast-paced environment.”
The Victoria-based financial technology startup is in the business of modernizing credit decisioning for manufacturers and distributors. A recent partnership with Creditsafe accelerates credit decisioning automation by leaning on both companies’ individual technology by up to 10x over traditional approval methods.
“We know business wants to do things differently and we are going to take them forward with this alliance,” said Matthew Debbage, COO of Creditsafe Group. “We see so much opportunity with the Nectarine Credit partnership because of their fresh perspectives and advanced technology offers our clients improved onboarding efficiencies, trade with peace of mind around their credit policies and ultimately, a better customer experience.”
Toronto fintech Uplinq is a global credit assessment platform for small business lenders. Through billions of unique and validated data signals beyond traditional credit indicators, they provide lenders confidence to make the most accurate decisions possible.
Uplinq launched its operations at the beginning of 2022 following a long planning cycle. The company’s founder and CEO, Ron Benegbi, is a serial entrepreneur now working on his fifth startup. Uplinq co-founder Patrick Reily is a 30-year financial services veteran who has held senior positions with some of the world’s largest financial institutions including Equifax.
In April, Uplinq secured a $3.5 million pre-seed funding round led by N49P and Surface Ventures alongside a veritable ‘who’s who’ list of leading individual Fintech investors.