James Lynn, Co-Founder at Currensea and Sustainability60 Judge, Explains What He’s Looking For From Entrants

Tell us about yourself

Together with my co-founder Craig Goulding, I launched Currensea to finally provide travellers with a simple solution to extortionate overseas bank fees which cost UK holidaymakers £2.7bn every year.

Before launching Currensea, I worked in foreign exchange in some of the world’s largest banks for two decades as well as setting up two payments businesses previously.

Outside of my professional life, I’m a keen traveller (which is one of the main reasons I started a fintech looking to save people money on their travel spending).

But, conscious of the environmental impact of travel, I also wanted to integrate a convenient and cost-effective approach to allow travellers to offset their holidays. Currensea users can opt to support environmental causes by donating some or all of the savings they make on FX fees when using the card overseas – since launch, users have planted over 100,000 trees and removed over 3m plastic bottles from the ocean.
Currensea Limited - Open Banking

What are you looking for from this year’s Sustainability60 entrants?

I want to see truly innovative solutions to longstanding challenges. I’m excited to see how entrants are responding to some of the age-old issues which have caused problems for so long they’ve almost become accepted. What are the simple solutions that can transform entire sectors and change the way we think?

I’m also keen to see how others are working to have a positive sustainable impact and how they are building this into their products in a seamless way so that people don’t need to be concerned about having a damaging environmental footprint.


What advice would you give to companies wanting to stand out from the crowd?

I want to see entries that are having a tangible and measurable impact. In our experience, even people who say they want to support the causes they care about often need a little push to actually do so. In short, to ensure mainstream adoption and deliver a real impact, sustainable solutions require an incentive or reward – often this is financial.

At Currensea, when someone signs up for a card we automatically give users the option to donate a portion of their savings to causes such as removing plastic bottles from the ocean – however, importantly people are still also benefiting financially from saving on foreign exchange fees when they’re abroad. Currently, over 10% of Currensea users have opted into these initiatives and we find this is a much more effective way of getting them to take action as they still feel the benefit while doing good.

Entrants need to get this balance of impact and reward right in order to really elevate themselves above the competition.


To apply to this year’s Sustainability60 competition, click here.