Smooth operator: Dublin fintech Trezeo clinches vital UK regulatory approval

5 Jul 2018

From left: David Tighe, Bank of Ireland; Flavien Charlon, Trezeo; Garrett Cassidy, Trezeo; and Ben Hurley, NDRC. Image: Shane O’Neill/SON Photographic

Trezeo is the first income-smoothing service to be authorised by the FCA in the UK.

Gig economy fintech Trezeo has just become the first income-smoothing service to receive authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial regulator.

The NDRC-based start-up, which also has offices in London, recently opened a funding round through crowdfunding tool Seedrs, seeking to raise more than £400,000 to deliver its service into the UK market.

‘The self-employed deserve better access to affordable credit’

Trezeo came through NDRC’s accelerator programme, securing follow-on investment in 2017 at the Investor Day last October.

Empowering the gig economy

Trezeo, led by CEO Garrett Cassidy and CTO Flavien Charlon, has developed a platform that provides financial stability for self-employed workers in the gig economy by turning unpredictable income streams into reliable and regular payments, with no interest or hidden fees involved. Subscribers pay a subscription fee for the service, which is currently invite-only.

The number of self-employed workers in the UK has grown exponentially by 50pc in the last 10 years to almost 5m and is on track to outstrip public sector employment this year.

Trezeo’s income-smoothing service uses AI and machine learning to identify users’ average income. When they dip below it one week – whether because work was slow, they were sick or just took a day off – Trezeo tops them up to their average and gets paid back when the customer earns again.

It also helps users to build savings without having to think about it, as well as providing access to income advances for emergencies.

“The vast majority of today’s self-employed are working in this way out of choice, but today’s world still isn’t set up for them,” said Cassidy.

“Whilst technology is enabling and driving the growth in self-employment, the self-employed are still being ignored by the mainstream financial industry. We’re pleased with our experience working with the Innovation Hub and immensely proud to have been approved by the FCA to provide an innovative new solution to the self-employed, and an entirely new category in the UK financial services sector.

“The self-employed deserve better access to affordable credit and we look forward to continuing our positive relationship with the regulator to continue to drive innovation in this space.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years