Credit and debit cards are used to make billions of purchases each and every day. Imagine if every ‘tap’ could generate a positive impact on the world around us, and at no additional cost to the consumer? This is the thought that sparked Novus…
Across the globe, millions of people live in extreme poverty; natural ecosystems are being destroyed and food systems are in crisis, yet political systems continue to divide us. Technology has the ability to connect us all and create the kind of macro-changes that are needed to turn this around. That’s what we’re doing here at Novus.
More and more people are waking up to the fact that all is not well with the world. We know that we need to change the way we live (and the way we spend) to restore the planet, however, making this kind of positive impact every single day can feel impossible to achieve. A common misconception felt by many is: “My individual actions are not enough to change the world” – and Novus wants every person living in the UK to stop believing that.
Created by five entrepreneurs with shared experience in fintech, private equity, impact investing and app development, Novus is a ‘next generation’ banking and lifestyle tool that uses the most advanced technology to generate positive impact from everyday financial activity.
Every time you ‘tap’ your Novus card, we contribute to the causes closest to your heart. Through rewarding our community of ‘conscious consumers’ with real-time ‘impact points’ that automatically fund various social and environmental causes, we are looking after individuals’ needs as well as the collective and encouraging our users to acknowledge that they are truly making a difference in the world.
With the added support of an in-app marketplace, members can discover and buy from an expanding range of over 100 ethical and sustainable brands, whilst receiving rewards for their ‘smart’ purchases in the form of cashback, discounts and a range of other benefits. Users can then follow their impact (using a clear impact-to-£ ratio) to see just how much of a difference they are making. You’re also able to track the carbon footprint of every purchase you make, and easily offset it through a wide range of projects such as protecting lowland peat forest in Indonesia, or supporting onshore wind farms in India.
Novus is a value-driven organisation with a vision to become the ‘Super App’ for the growing conscious consumer segment (which currently consists of 29 million individuals across the UK) and shows no signs of slowing down. By combining ethical values with a modern, forward-thinking approach to banking, Novus works collaboratively towards a more inclusive and sustainable future.
Our official partnership with Visa (the world leader in digital payments) and global Banking-as-a-Service platform Railsbank not only provides us with the ideal platform to help drive positive change but will add incredible value to the Novus customer journey, improve our user experience and increase the accessibility of our distinctive solutions to the wider market.
By combining daily payments with reactive impact, Novus plans to utilise the value, support and backing given by Visa and Railsbank to embark on a revolution of purpose-driven digital banking.
In July 2021, Novus successfully secured regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate as an Electronic Money Directive (EMD) Agent of PayrNet Limited (Railsbank), ahead of our planned launch to the wider public towards the end of 2021. We also received regulatory approval to operate as a Payment Services Directive (PSD) Agent of SafeConnect Limited (Yapily), allowing Novus members to utilise the latest Open Banking innovation to quickly and securely top-up their digital accounts as necessary.
In August 2021, Novus welcomed 10 ‘impact partners’ on board as part of our mission to generate positive impact from everyday spending. Carefully selected for their work addressing positive social, environmental and/or economic change, these non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and charities include book distribution charity, Book Aid International; ‘period poverty’ charity and educator, Bloody Good Period; blindness prevention and disability rights charity Sightsavers; sustainable provider of clean and safe drinking water, charity:water, malaria protection charity, Against Malaria Foundation and the UK’s longest running food distribution charity, FareShare.
In addition to this, Novus joined forces with a number of environmentally focused organisations including the conservation programme SEE Turtles; coral reef and coastal ecosystems restoration programme, Coralive; tree-planting initiative Eden Reforestation Project, and the international charity working to combat poverty and climate change, SolarAid.
Whilst other banks reward their customers with points to buy more ‘stuff’, the rewards we offer the members of our digital community make real-time impact through their everyday spending habits and give back to the numerous organisations we work closely with. Our commitment to making a positive impact is what lies at our core, and the support of these organisations will help us on our journey to becoming not just a payments app, but a way of life.
As one of the few digital banking apps in the UK to offer additional features to electronic payments (which appeal specifically to the conscious consumer), we are confident that we can work towards our vision of becoming a holistic solution for this growing user segment.
Another unique feature about Novus is how we’re built technically. We follow Grade-A NASA principles for code maintainability, cyclomatic complexity and readability, and we use game design and social proof to help you see the difference you’re making and build on your actions over time.
The beta version of our app is currently being tested by 200 users before we gear up for our public launch this year. We plan to cap our membership throughout the initial stages to keep our community tight knit and to ensure a seamless in-app experience.
With over 25,000 users currently on our waitlist anticipating our launch, we are excited to be building rapid momentum. None of this would have been possible without each and every one of our partners who are equally as excited about our vision as we are.
Jill Docherty (Executive Director, Business Development (UK & Ireland) at Visa): “We partnered with Novus because we see real value in how their solution connects the dots to help conscious consumers use their purchasing power for good. With the right infrastructure, digital payments can empower consumers to understand, measure and manage the social and environmental impact of their everyday spend – and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this partnership.”
Hannah Bellamy (charity:water): “We’re excited to be working alongside Novus because we can see the potential for massive scale – we love that we’re able to show Novus members exactly which projects they are helping to fund, and that you’re able to see the difference being made at a collective level. It’s hugely motivating to be able to see that you’re part of something much larger that is really shifting the needle.”
Chantal Ambord (Operating Partner at EQT Ventures, Angel Investor): “The biggest thing I look for as an investor is the team behind the idea. And it’s been great to know the founding team at Novus who are so dedicated to build a fintech that serves a purpose beyond money management and makes it so easy and intuitive to create impact with my money.”
Novus isn’t just a digital bank – it’s a way of life. Our next-gen technology allows you to turn everyday actions into micro-wins for you, people and the planet. Just by switching your debit card to Novus, your regular financial activities can be used as an actual force for good. Novus is for the cool, the conscious, and the world-changers. Banking needs to change for the better, and the change starts now.