Each week we take a look at some of the latest stories from the UK fintech scene. This week, Cynergy Bank supports care homes during the pandemic and Britain remains a global leader in foreign businesses 2 years post-Brexit.
Savings app Chip adds Crypto Companies fund to its Investments offering
Savings app Chip has announced the addition of the Crypto Companies fund to its roster of investment funds. The new fund enables users to get in on the cryptocurrency revolution, without directly investing in cryptocurrencies.
The new fund is managed by Invesco and currently invests in 51 companies involved in the technology and infrastructure behind cryptocurrencies, a cutting edge technology set to reshape the world of finance. For example, some companies included in the fund provide the infrastructure for bitcoin mining, while others provide the tech to trade cryptocurrencies.
Chip’s CEO and Founder, Simon Rabin, commented: “At Chip, we want to give everyone the tools to grow their money, which not only includes chart-topping savings accounts, but also investing. Now, with the addition of the Crypto Companies fund, we want to enable users to dip their toes into the world of cryptocurrencies without risking the volatility that comes with directly investing into crypto assets.”
Weavr partners with Mediaworks to drive growth
UK fintech start-up, Weavr, has joined forces with future-thinking digital agency Mediaworks to help drive its ambitious growth plans.
Weavr provides a simple and straightforward ‘plug and play’ platform to integrate embedded banking and payment solutions for businesses across a range of industries. Mediaworks will help drive wider brand awareness for Weavr through its content creation and Digital PR services.
Alternative Airlines and Fly Now Pay Later team up to provide travellers greater financing options
UK customers using the global flight search and booking site, Alternative Airlines, will benefit from additional options to spread the cost of their flights at the time of booking. Inking a deal with specialist travel fintech provider, Fly Now Pay Later which offers consumers a new and more flexible way to finance upcoming trips, British passengers can now choose to split the amount owed over twelve months.
“Our mission has always been to make seeing the world and connecting friends and family as easy and affordable as possible.” said Jasper Dykes, chief executive at Fly Now Pay Later “When passengers see Fly Now Pay Later at the checkout, they will be able to choose and set up their plan without even having to leave Alternative Airlines’ site.”
Brits among the most curious about the metaverse
The metaverse is set to revolutionise the digital economy. In light of this, Walkme.com utilised the latest data from online analytics tool SEMrush to establish which countries in Europe are most curious about the metaverse.
In second position is the United Kingdom. There are an average of 942 online searches a month per million British internet users regarding the metaverse. The UK is only beaten by France with an average of 1,020 monthly online searches about the metaverse per million internet users in the country.
Rafael Sweary, President and Co-Founder of Walkme.com, said: “The emergence of the metaverse has opened up a portal of endless possibilities which will make margins between the virtual and physical world even finer. Whilst early in its development, some European countries are more interested in the metaverse than others. As the metaverse grows in prominence and understanding of its huge potential gets better, people’s interest across Europe is sure to skyrocket.”
Cynergy Bank supports care homes during the pandemic
With adult social care is a sector under immense pressure Cynergy Bank started focusing on the healthcare sector from June 2021 supporting care homes by providing almost £100m in funding, £60m is already approved in 2022 and the funding supports a range of activities from refurbishing existing assets to refinancing.
Nick Fahy, CEO of Cynergy Bank commented, “The Pandemic has resulted in difficult times for many businesses, but care homes have had a particularly rough time. Unlike state-run NHS hospitals, care homes are, for the most part, privately owned and funded by way of residents’ fees. Some financial support is provided by local authorities; however, this is on a means-tested basis and as occupancy levels fall, so does this funding. At Cynergy Bank, we are proud of the support we have given to this important sector responsible for the care of almost 500,000 elderly and vulnerable individuals across the country.”
UTP Shield to Provide Increased Fraud Protection to Merchants
Following the success of its award-winning Faster Processing solution, UTP Merchant Services, one of the UK’s largest providers of physical and online payment solutions, is launching a free service to help protect its customers from potential fraud and chargebacks.
Michael Ault, CEO and Founder at UTP Group said: “UTP has always prided itself on its innovation and its ability to provide merchants with the highest degree of anti-fraud protection. The UTP shield gets to know your business including creating a profile of usual trading hours, methods of payment accepted, and the location of customers, enabling the software to flag suspicious transactions with a high level of accuracy, while operating 24/7. I’m confident this will be a valuable tool in helping merchants combat the fraud and chargebacks that cost billions in revenue annually.”
Britain remains a global leader in foreign businesses 2 years post-Brexit
Despite fears the UK would lose its position as one of the most attractive places for foreign businesses to invest post-Brexit, new data from UK bank challenger 3S Money reveals this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The data reveals that between 2019 and 2020, the Fintech scaleup saw a 322% increase in non-UK businesses looking to open a local UK IBAN account. This growth continued following the UK’s official break from the European Union on 31 January 2020. In the last 12 months alone, 3S Money has seen a 108% increase in non-UK businesses setting up accounts.
Commenting on the data, Ivan Zhiznevskiy, CEO, 3S Money suggests, “Brexit was one of the most uncertain economic milestones in British history. And ‘uncertain’ is a word no investor wants to hear. Yet, despite fears we’d lost foreign investment because of this, the UK still presents an extremely attractive business opportunity, especially for high-tech start-ups – 2021 was the best year ever for UK’s tech sector in terms of investment.
Sonovate reports record-breaking funding month
Fast-growing enterprise adoption of business finance technology has helped Sonovate to report record funding volume in December 2021, capping an overall record-breaking year for the UK lender.
Sonovate, a fintech lender that provides finance and technology services to businesses that engage contractors and freelancers, funded £90 million to both existing and new customers in December 2021. This monthly record was a full £15 million (or 20%) ahead of Sonovate’s previous record only the month before (£75m in November 2021). This took Sonovate’s total funding for 2021 to £700m, a 58% increase on 2020’s total funding of £444m.
Richard Prime, co-founder & co-CEO of Sonovate, commented: “The future of work is fast becoming the present-day reality of work. Increasingly we’re seeing large-scale companies adapt how they staff their teams, appreciating the benefits to both businesses and individuals of contract-based and freelance working. The frictionless provision of on-demand funding alleviates an enormous pain point that faces these larger businesses as they adapt to new working practices.”
A quarter of SMEs still avoiding payroll solutions – with security a top cloud concern
Breathe, the people management software provider for SMEs, reveals in its latest report, Demystifying payroll for SMEs that almost a quarter (22%) of teams are not utilising payroll solutions, instead opting for time-consuming and error-prone manual spreadsheets, a surprising outcome.
At a time when so many people are dividing their working time between home and the office and need to access systems from wherever they happen to be working, concerningly, only just over half (54%) are using cloud-based people management software.
Jonathan Richards, CEO at Breathe commented: “It is shocking to see how far we still have to go in stopping time-consuming spreadsheets for payroll and ensuring SMEs are investing in cloud-based platforms. By taking the burden off payroll and HR teams through using software for tasks such as payroll, they will have more time to spend on what is ultimately the biggest asset to their companies: their people. With accredited and security-complaint solutions on the market, it’s time for SMEs to ditch the spreadsheets and harness the cloud.”