Financial Technology

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Tag: app

FinTech 101: What is a Green Bank?

What Is a Green Bank?
You may have heard the term “Green Bank” and wondered what it meant. This short article will explain the term and concept behind it.

Green Banks in a Nutshell
A green bank is a bank that exists for the sole purpose of battling earth climate change by funding projects that may be able to decrease the global carbon emissions and increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels and energy. They tend to support infrastructure spending in wind, solar, and other renewable energy space.

Green Banks: Functional Model
Green banks are not climate charities. Their funding is expected to be paid back with a profit for the bank. Currently, they are supported by some states in the U.S. and also by private funding. Green Banks utilize philanthropic and public funds. They generally fund energy projects that beyond the research stage and “good to go”. The Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) is a nonprofit agency that is deeply involved in advocating for green banks’ continued development.

Where Did the Idea for Green Banks Originate?
The idea for green banks started in 2008 when two entrepreneurial-minded, Ken Berlin and Reed Hundt, came up with the concept as part of the Obama transition team’s plans for promoting cleaner energy changes in US society. A proposal to enact federally supported green banks was attached to the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The concept never made it as legislation at the federal level. Green bank supporters were not daunted. Consequently, green bank advocates persuaded some states to take up the cause.

Green Banks: Some Statics
Currently, there are at least ten states that have at least one green bank. In addition, they are in the early stages of catching on globally as well. They also exist in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia. Within the U.S., green banks have already been involved in the funneling of some $3 billion in funds for clean-energy projects.

Green Banks: Their Future Development
With the advent of the Biden presidency, green banks may again find a firmer footing at the federal level. Indeed, in December 2020, Mr. Biden proposed the idea of a national green bank. They appear sure to gain more traction internationally as the desire to dampen climate change takes hold.

Jacob Parker Bowles: Fintech For Everyday People

The Most Useful FinTech Apps for Everyday People

It has become undeniably clear that Fintech is here to stay. Last month, I wrote about how even the notoriously entrenched big banks are getting involved with “disruptive” banking tech and buying, investing in, and creating new fintech apps to feed the growing consumer demand for a new kind of banking, banking that is intuitive, accessible, and designed to integrate seamlessly with everyday life.

Well designed fintech cuts out the middle man and delivers a product directly tailored to the user experience. So what exciting new apps should you be using to simplify your financial life? Here are a few of the most useful new financial apps for everyday money managers.


We all know how important it is to save up money, but often it’s much easier said than done. It takes discipline, planning, and no small amount of stress. Acorns tries to take all of these out of the savings process. Instead, Acorns simply rounds up all of your transactions and funnels the spare change into a mutual fund to help you build your retirement savings painlessly. If you buy a sandwich for $5.78, Acorns will add 22 cents to your account. You’ll barely notice as your savings steadily grow in the background.


Next time you need a loan, large banks won’t be your option to turn to. Zopa eliminated the middle man (and, unfortunately, the safety and insurance of lending capital) by going straight to individual people. Peer to peer lending allows ordinary people to make interest by providing loans, and offers great rates that often beat out the banks to people looking to borrow. It doesn’t get much more disruptive than this – cutting banks out of loans.


If you want a dedicated account manager for your investments, but don’t want to work with big banks and big bank prices, Nutmeg can step in. The app designs an investment portfolio based on your personal risk tolerance, and manages the account indefinitely. They advertise total transparency, lower costs, and you can keep tabs on your investment from any mobile device throughout the day. While Nutmeg still uses human fund managers in the backend, there are many other “robo-advisers” that manage your money using either a combination or entirely artificial intelligence.

Wise Transfer

While banks often set currency exchange rates for a profit, Wise Transfer gives you the mid-market rate, or the “real exchange rate” when switching between currencies. The service charges a small fee to connect people who are sending or receiving money across borders for peer to peer money exchange. Once again, it’s all about streamlining the process and making it transparent.

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