3 Fintech Startups to Watch: BillGO, Barzahlen, & Pleo

  • Grace Noto
  • August 3, 2016
  • 2

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / RamilFIt seems like new fintech startups show up daily, all vying for the top slot in the type of financial service they offer: want to find a P2P lending service? There’s dozens of startups for that. Need help with stock options or expenses? Well, there’s a few dozen startups for that too. If you’re overwhelmed, though, don’t worry:on a regular basis, we’re picking picking three of the most interesting ones to watch.

The three below each deal with a different sphere of digital banking–one aims to help with bill payments, another is revitalizingcash management in cash-loving Germany, and the third wants to simplify company expense reports.

If you’re sick of the billpay options at your current bank, why not give “bank-agnostic” service BillGO (formerly known as BillHero) a try? This startup aims to help its customers pay any bill, anyway, anywhere. Currently, the company works with over 7,500 billers, and users can pay just about any bill, including rent and utilities, in a multitude of ways: by logging onto BillGO, snapping a picture of the bill, sending BillGO an email, or even through the company’s Facebook Messenger bot. BillGO also collects all of the bills in one place, and offers the option to “split” the bill, so when paying rent, each roommate can pay his own share, and the app will simply collect it. Users can also pay others using in-app P2P, and receive funding from sponsors or any other source.

Scan a barcode, get access to your money: that’s the goal of German startup Barzahlen, which is designed to help users to smoothly and anonymously pay their bills. With Barzahlen, users can make online payments or money transfers from their bank account with one easy QR code. The solution is partnered with more than 10,000 retail stores in its home country, allowing customers to more easily fulfill their banking needs, including cash withdrawals and deposits. Barzahlen is also partnered with fellow German startup, the now-fully-licensed bank N26, so users can withdraw or deposit cash at a store’s checkout register, simply by scanning their code and entering a PIN number. German consumers use far more cash than U.S. consumers — it’s estimated that 80% of point-of-sale transactions are conducted in cash.


Pleo is built on the premise that everyone hates filling out expense reports. (Those who have had to do just that will agree.) Pleo customers can issue company employees with a virtual or physical Pleo MasterCard for purchases. An admin can manage these cards digitally, including setting or adjusting the spending limits on each card so employees no longer have to borrow a company card or pay out of pocket. After the Pleo card, online or plastic, is used to make a purchase, the service captures and categorizes the receipt seconds after the transaction is finished. Purchases show up in real-time, a bookkeeper can see a record of all transactions and get all of the necessary information right from Pleo’s dashboard, so there’s no need for an expense report. Plus, there’s no lengthy or fumbling switchover to a new, confusing system, since Pleo’s software can also be seamlessly integrated into a company’s existing accounting systems.

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