As a city, Bristol is home to a plethora of social enterprises. It’s a city that fosters and nourishes ‘for good’ initiatives. This is no different within Bristol’s fintech world, as Moneyhub aptly demonstrated this summer with its Unicornfest project, which raised money for Leukaemia Care through QR technology.

The open banking platform already has an ethical mantra. Moneyhub works to improve financial wellbeing within the population by increasing transparency when it comes to investing. 

Beyond the world of making personal finances easier to manage, Moneyhub has a history of working with charities. As we move into a cashless society, creating ways for people to easily donate is an increasing problem; one that Moneyhub is passionate about solving.

Its novel QR technology means after being scanned by a smartphone, UK-based donors can pay directly from their bank account to the charity’s account without the complexity of setting up payments in their online banking app. Crucially, it also enables Gift Aid, which boosts charitable donations by 25%. Thanks to Moneyhub’s Open Banking payment API, these charities will not have to pay credit and debit card-related transaction fees, nor need to rent or buy POS card readers.

Is that a unicorn?

If you can cast your memory back to warmer, longer days last summer, you may remember seeing colourful unicorns dotted around Bristol. Whilst they were installed to bring joy to Bristolians, they also had a practical use. 

The mystical herd of 60 unicorns was in support of Leukaemia Care UK. Unicornfest’s ambition was to raise money for the charity, with each sculpture having a QR code plaque connecting visitors to a donation link. Moneyhub’s payment method means that 100% of donations went straight into the pockets of Leukaemia Care UK and towards the charity’s meaningful, positive work.

“The fact that it was Leukaemia Care that benefited from this campaign is a particular interest to me, as my daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was two and a half,” Mark Munson, Managing Director of the Payments Division at Moneyhub tells us.

“She’s one of the 27 people that are diagnosed with leukemia every single day. So I knew the power of donations and was keen to support Leukaemia Care as it’s very close to my heart.”

He adds, “We wanted to be able to demonstrate the Moneyhub capability of being able to take payments literally anywhere just simply by scanning a QR code.” They found that typically the entire process took an average of 50 seconds to complete.

Watch the full interview with Mark here to learn more about the aspirations and outcomes of Unicornfest.

Let the data do the talking

From this campaign, the team uncovered that Bristolians are more generous on a Friday than any other day of the week: “Maybe that’s something to do with the fact that they’re out and they’re having a good time,” says Mark.

“One of the things about Moneyhub is that the entire payment process is actually anonymous to us. We know that you’ve made a payment, but we don’t necessarily know who you are.”

Topping the generosity chart were Lloyds Bank customers, followed closely by Natwest customers. 

Other good news included that, “Just over 60% of our donations were accompanied by Gift Aid,” explains Mark. “So that was an additional 25% over and above the actual donation amount that Leukaemia Care received through the process.”

Supporting good causes 

Moneyhub has a long list of charity customers. “For example, at the outbreak of the Ukraine war  we put a link onto our site to allow donations to Tech Fugees, which is a way of supporting Ukrainian diaspora, who unfortunately fled the country.”

Mark explains that usually charities don’t have sufficient payment terminals to be able to take card donations for example, or the security risk that comes with carrying buckets of cash around: “Using our QR code technology, those charities are able to take payments 24/7 simply by presenting a barcode.”

This work bleeds into Moneyhub’s mission. Mark says that the work the organisation does is phenomenal: “We’re always looking at financial wellness, getting into debt can have serious mental health issues. The solutions we’re building are looking specifically at improving individuals financial wealth.”

A key part of this involves improving accessibility: “It’s really about consolidating everything into one app. And that’s something that we’re particularly keen to develop,” says Mark.

“For those approaching retirement, we’ve got also pension dashboards that consolidate all of your pensions into one view. Its all about simply  giving you a little bit of a heads up as the best way to manage your own money.”

And Mark says Bristol is a fantastic place to realise this mission: “Bristol is amazing and not just for FinTech, but for innovation across the board. It’s a vibrant environment; there is a real social consciousness here. That’s brilliant, because I think that’s what enables you to build applications or capabilities that really resonate with your end customer.”

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.