5 Top Cashless Economy Solutions Impacting Smart Cities

We analyzed 281 cashless economy solutions impacting smart cities.​ Zelle, MishiPay, PayIQ, Paykun & Felix develop 5 top solutions to watch out for. Learn more in our Global Startup Heat Map!

Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on FinTech solutions. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising cashless economy solutions.

Heat Map: 5 Top Cashless Economy Solutions

Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of smart cities. For this research, we identified 281 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and technology among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.

The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing cashless economy solutions for smart cities. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 281 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.


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Which startups develop the other 276 solutions?


Zelle – Local Peer-To-Peer (P2P) Payments

Smart city inhabitants quite often need to perform informal money exchanges with their family, friends, or acquaintances to address everyday needs, eliminate small debts, or split bills. In this case, using cash becomes less convenient, as people do not always bear the required amount of physical money with them, and need to execute transactions remotely or manage delays in payment. Startups across the world develop Blockchain-backed P2P systems that mitigate the complexities of cash settlements and create dedicated cashless ecosystems.

The US-based startup Zelle develops a smartphone application that arranges P2P cashless money transfers within a family, among friends, and other trusted networks. It aids in sending, receiving, and requesting funds within 3 steps: user authentication, identification of recipient, and choosing the transaction sum. As a result, money moves securely between bank accounts by using Zelle.

MishiPay – Checkout-Free Shopping

Due to the fast pace of modern cities, urban residents strive to minimize the time spent in queues at grocery stores, supermarkets, or malls. By utilizing computer vision, sensor fusion, deep learning, and cashless settlements, checkout-free stores make cash redundant for shopping. Moreover, they reduce the need for conventional cashiers who have to manually perform checkouts, thus, reducing waiting times. Besides, checkout-free cashless purchases grant smart city dwellers with a more personalized shopping experience.

British startup Mishipay aims at giving individuals more freedom in terms of executing shopping transactions. The solution allows shoppers to enter a store, choose a product, scan it with a smartphone, automatically perform digital self-checkout, and securely leave the store. As a result, it eliminates queuing, boosts performance, and collects valuable customer insights.

PayIQ – E-ticketing For Public Transport

Smart cities also work towards optimizing their public transportation networks in terms of minimizing traffic congestion and onboarding delays, simplifying ticketing routines, and arranging multimodal transport interchanges. Startups across the world strive to solve these challenges, with one example being e-tickets. These cash-free electronic documents act as digital identification (ID) of passengers for all modes of transport. This allows public mobility operators to ensure quicker cashless onboarding, flexible pricing, and special tariffs. As a result, there is a decrease in passenger congestion and there is no need for physical currency.

Finnish startup PayIQ offers a mobile ticketing application for various public transportation in smart cities. The solution supports different payment and scanning methods, both online and offline. Therefore, it makes onboarding and ticket validation easier and more effective for city authorities. Additionally, PayIQ develops smart fraud prevention algorithms to enhance data security.

Paykun – E-commerce Payments

Considering general digital transformation and online sales trends, as well as specific contemporary lockdown-related circumstances, buying goods online is becoming more popular. Startups and emerging companies develop e-commerce settlement gateways and solutions for business to business (B2B) and business to customer (B2C) markets. These gateways are adapted for various cashless payment methods, starting from traditional credit or debit cards to digital wallets. This helps companies in smart cities embrace customers from different segments and ensure their convenience.

Indian startup Paykun creates e-commerce payment solutions for merchants of any size. The startup allows establishing an online business presence with more than 100 cashless payment options, including credit and debit cards, net banking, united payments interface (UPI), and wallets, ensuring easy platform integration. The solution also comprises features like smart analytics dashboard, customer disputes tracker, and reporting, among others.

Felix – Digital POS

One more challenge modern businesses in smart cities face is mobility. Staying tied to the cashier desk and cash register hinders the opportunities for enterprises, especially small and medium enterprises (SME). Furthermore, event organizers, repair firms, and individual service providers operate on a location-agnostic basis and have to maintain a reliable record of financial transactions. Contemporary startups develop digital point-of-sale (POS) solutions, strengthened by near-field communication (NFC), quick response (QR) codes, and contactless payments that allow merchants to sustain transactions without cash.

Australian startup Felix develops a digital POS solution for SME companies that converts smartphones into payment terminals. The solution requires no additional hardware and implements card-to-phone payment processing and chip & pin technology for quick and safe settlements. Moreover, the solution does not depend on the location and use of cash.

What About The Other 276 Solutions?

While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence so you can achieve your goals faster. The 5 cashless economy solutions showcased above are promising examples out of 281 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.

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