Give yourself credit with Crow
Crow aims to help users not only save money, but help it to grow the sum in a unique way. That's why the Fintech startup was an obvious choice for the Fintech Foundation incubator programme.
One of the co-founders and the Technical Lead of Crow, Nathan John, gave us a bit of insight into the company, the way he works, and more.
What is Crow?
"We are building a savings wallet that allows people to borrow from their savings as if it was a credit card," says John.
Around 13% of households waste over £640 a year on banking fees and interest rates, which they don't need to. And, of course, there are those who have a credit card to simply build up a credit profile and don't like the concept of being in debt.
What if users could borrow money from their savings and then repay it at an interest rate that will grow the amount? That's where Crow comes in.
"Giving users the structure to borrow from assets they already have rather than gathering high-interest fees."
Crow is a more cost-effective alternative to a credit card and can save users around £580 per year on fees. Any savings will earn interest on their own money, which will compound over time. However, there is a limit on how much you can borrow, any amount above the limit will be transferred to an efficient savings product which will help you grow your savings.
So, why the name 'Crow'?
"It's one of my favourite pieces of wordplay. 'To crow' means to brag and you're giving yourself credit," answers John. "And crows are one of the smartest birds there are."
What are some of the challenges that you still face?
One of the main challenges faced by financial education and tools like Crow is a lack of understanding about personal finance among individuals.
"I came into finance from a pure tech background and I used to be one of those people. I had a chunk of money just sitting and I was paying interest because of how I wanted to organise my money."
The goal of Crow is to help people make their money work for them, by providing them with a way to save and earn interest on their savings. However, educating people about savings and interest is a challenge in and of itself.
Additionally, some people may view high-interest debt as a necessary evil to control impulse spending. But Crow will provide an alternative.
A day in the life of Crow's co-founder
John will wake up at 10am, but that's because he generally works until 2 or 3am each morning.
"I have a true belief that morning people have gotten too much power because I'm the 'nightest' owl or night owls."
He starts his day by reading the news to wake his brain up and then begins coding. And, of course, he takes breaks throughout the day by reading, watching videos, or playing video games.
Though, he jokes that he prefers to leave writing tasks until as late in the day as possible. Otherwise, he'll ask his co-founder, Emma Wilson, to handle it.
And, like many, he uses cooking to destress and considers himself a fusion chef, primarily when it comes to Southeast Asian or Caribbean cuisine.
What is his superpower?
"I feel like my biggest superpower is being really agile. I feel like I'm a bit of a chameleon, and that applies socially and in my work."
He thinks he generally has enough competence in any subject to tackle it. It's useful because, as a startup co-founder, there is always something new to learn.
He also adds that "it's dangerous to get stuck in your ways, especially in tech as it's moving so fast."
3 things can't do without
Firstly, his laptop.
"Once, I had a broken laptop and I was just dead to the world for a couple of weeks while it was getting repaired. How do I live and how do I entertain myself?"
Secondly, it's humour.
"Humour is possibly one of the most important things for someone to have. Having a good sense of humour leads to a good sense of self-awareness.
"You can use it to disarm a bad situation or make light of stressful times." He further adds that humour leads to empathy.
Lastly, it's his 'I need to succeed' vibe.
"I always wonder if I wasn't so headstrong and determined to succeed, if I would be happier or lazier. It's too useful for me, and at the least it’ll help me drive Crow to the best it can be."