GLASGOW-based financial technology firm Soar has created 15 jobs after winning £450,000 official funding as it aims to help credit unions and the like capitalise on the rise of the smartphone.

Soar won a research and development grant from Scottish Enterprise to support the development of an online platform the firm reckons will help not-for-profit lenders compete with bigger commercial players.

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Scottish Enterprise said Soar’s pioneering software will allow lenders to make better and faster loan decisions and offer state-of-the-art online and mobile banking products to their members.

Soar’s executive chairman Andrew Duncan said the software could help “ethical” providers respond to rapid changes in the financial services market without requiring them to have IT budgets on a par with established online banks.

“By next year over 80 per cent of financial transactions will be carried out on smartphones,” said Mr Duncan.

“Ethical providers need to leap forward to become digital first and remain relevant for the next generation of savers and borrowers – millennials.”

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Founded by Mr Duncan in 2017, Soar has already developed a mobile banking app for credit unions. The R&D grant allowed it to increase employee numbers to 22 from seven.

Public Finance and Digital Economy Minister, Kate Forbes MSP, said: “Projects like Soar’s help sustain Scotland’s international reputation for innovation.”