UK Fintech News Round-up: The Latest Stories 22/12

Each week, The Fintech Times takes a look at the latest stories from UK fintech. This week, 2021 has been crypto’s ‘GenZ year’ and 22% of employees are likely to fall prey to a phishing attack.

2021 has been crypto’s ‘GenZ year’

Research conducted by crypto wallet and payments platform Zumo suggests Gen Z buyers have made good on their intentions to buy crypto in 2021 – and are driving growth in the ecosystem.

Young people, increasingly dissatisfied and underserved by the prevailing financial system, were the most positive about crypto and its long-term outlook. The survey, conducted in collaboration with research data platform Focaldata, also foreshadowed a further development: the sizeable majority – 57% – of those in the 18-24 Gen Z age bracket were ‘quite tempted’ or ‘very tempted’ to buy cryptocurrency in the future.

Fast forward to today, and the Gen Z age group is Zumo’s biggest customer segment across the board in a year that has delivered explosive growth, both for the company and for the crypto sector as a whole.

“Gen Z has been a huge part of the success story this year, which has both seen the global crypto markets exceed the $3 trillion dollar mark for the first time and, for Zumo, allowed us to deliver continued 25% month-on-month growth and 100X our customer base over a 12-month period,” says Zumo CEO Nick Jones. “This is the year we really saw crypto open up to the mainstream, and we see Gen Z as a key driver in that.”

Novus smashes crowdfunding target within an hour of going live 

UK impact banking app Novus has successfully achieved 100% of its £900,000 crowdfunding target within minutes of launching its crowdfunding campaign – which has now gone live and is overfunding. Added to this success, Novus has also become the first digital banking app in the UK to become a certified B Corporation.

Novus is a next-generation digital banking and lifestyle app that uses the power of technology to generate positive impact from everyday financial activity. With a mission to become a ‘super app’ for the growing ‘conscious consumer’ segment, the current crowdfunding campaign is aimed at attracting like-minded investors and early adopters to join the company’s journey and help shape the future. 

Co-founder and COO of Novus, Andoni Pina Sigg, explained: “We are extremely proud of what we have achieved to date including our most recent status as a Certified B Corporation™ and feel incredibly encouraged by the early response to our crowdfunding campaign as we bring the Novus mission to the UK market.” 

55% of Brits worry contactless limit increase could encourage overspending

holiday season

holiday seasonNerdWallets Consumer Borrowing Index, a nationally representative study of 5,000 UK adults, has revealed that more than half (55%) of Brits believe that the increased contactless limit could encourage people to spend more money this festive season.

The ease of contactless spending puts Brits at risk of overspending and mounting up debts. Nearly six in 10 (58%) felt that the £100 limit would encourage more people to spend beyond their means, with the barrier of having to input a PIN removed.

Denise Ko Genovese, Senior Personal Finance Expert at leading price comparison site NerdWallet, says: “Keeping tabs on your cards has never been more important. Although contactless has always posed a risk when it comes to card loss or theft, now that the limit has risen to £100 we advise that consumers get to grips with their banking facilities and know how to block or report their card should they suspect any fraudulent activity. For those worried about the impact of the increase on their spending habits, many banking providers now offer the option to adjust the contactless limit, so people can better manage their budgets before heading to the checkout.”

22% of employees are likely to fall prey to a phishing attack

Cybersecurity Phishing Scams

Cybersecurity Phishing ScamsPhished, a provider of AI-driven cybersecurity training software, has announced the results of its 2021 Phishing Intelligence Report. The report, which analysed data from more than 100 million phishing simulations, revealed that globally, almost a quarter (22%) of employees are likely to expose their organisation to the risk of cyber-attack via a successful phishing attempt.

Analysis of the broad and diverse data set reveals how vulnerable the average employee is to phishing attacks and offers insight into key trends, including which topics lead to the most successful phishing attacks and which message formats are most likely to trick employees.

The data shows that of employees who open a phishing message, more than half (53%) are likely to click a malicious link contained within it. When asked to disclose data, for example on a spoofed login page, almost a quarter (23%) of recipients enter their data. If a message contains an attachment, 7% of all recipients will download and open it.

“Although these figures already point to a systematic problem among the working population, perhaps most concerning is the fact that no less than 7% of all employees open a suspicious email attachment. While phishing – usually – requires an extra step before the real damage is done, a malicious attachment can have serious consequences immediately,” said Arnout Van de Meulebroucke, CEO of Phished.

Wise sells minority stake to UK private equity firm


WiseSelf-employment technology specialist, Wise, has reached an investment agreement with one of the UK’s leading mid-market private investment firms. The investment has seen Inflexion purchase a minority stake in the award-winning business which was founded just two years ago.

This investment and expertise from Inflexion will support Wise as it continues to rapidly grow its integrated platform into new sectors within self-employment such as construction and private-hire. Wise will also now benefit from the expertise of the Inflexion team in advising medium-sized companies on their growth trajectory.

Simon Hills, Chief Executive Officer of Wise, said: “Since founding Wise, we’ve been on a truly incredible journey. We’ve brought together a team of 50 talented individuals and built a business we’re all proud of. Now, with this investment from Inflexion, we’re excited to move on to the next stage of the Wise journey. We’ll continue to improve the technology for our existing clients while we roll out our intuitive platform to a variety of new sectors.”

Hopes of going on holiday underlie the nation’s top spending priority for 2022

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region as a whole is also a source for immigrants who often leave their home countries to find better economic opportunities within MEA and beyond

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region as a whole is also a source for immigrants who often leave their home countries to find better economic opportunities within MEA and beyond

New research by online bank Marcus by Goldman Sachs reveals what the nation believe is worth spending their money on in 2022. Over a third (34%) of those surveyed said they plan to spend more on holidays next year, increasing from 22% in 2020. Meanwhile, many plan to spend less on luxuries such as takeaways (30% will spend less) and eating out (18%). In fact, one in 10 (11%) say they are not planning to spend any money on eating out in 2022.

Another area where we plan to cut back is technology, according to the research. One in five (18%) declared that they plan to spend less on technology in 2022, and one in six (16%) plan to spend less on on-demand entertainment services. The research shows that many people also plan to make savings on food shopping, with 15% of people planning to spend less on this. Meanwhile, more than one in 10 (13%) say they plan to spend less on their appearance.

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.