UK Fintech News Round-up: The Latest Stories 27/04

Each week we take a look at some of the latest fintech news to hit the industry. This week, UK firms could save £1.3billion using real-time payments and Anti-money laundering company First AML opens UK doors

UK firms could save £1.3billion using real-time payments

Woman using tablet, online payment, banking and online shopping in the blue color background.

Woman using tablet, online payment, banking and online shopping in the blue color background.

The Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) predicts that by 2026, £1.3billion could be made in cost savings for British businesses and consumers through real-time payments – helping to generate an additional £2.6billion in economic output, equivalent to 0.11 per cent of formal GDP, as part of a new report, Prime Time for Real Time, published by ACI Worldwide 

“As our research reveals, modern economies depend on real-time payments to boost economic growth, prosperity and financial inclusion, with central governments worldwide being the primary enabler of these systems,” commented Odilon Almeida, President and CEO, ACI Worldwide. “The challenge for financial institutions worldwide is to leverage the new payment rails and maximise their value for the benefit of their customers. Banks must reinvent their mission-critical operating systems to compete in the new real-time, cloud-first and data-centric business environment. Inaction is not an option as broad-based disruption of the sector has moved beyond a tipping point.”

UK CFOs expect significant operating cost rises

A new report from Deloitte revealed that a record number of senior finance leaders (98 per cent) are anticipating a rise in operating costs in the year ahead.

The research also found CFOs report a record level of risk driven by geopolitics and inflation; over a quarter of CFOs report significant or severe levels of supply chain disruption in Q1. 71 per cent believe operating margins will fall over the next 12 months, compared to 44 per cent in Q1.

David Brown, founder and chief executive of Hi, a social enterprise payroll platform, said: In times of need, many businesses turn to the likes of supply chain finance or extend their payment terms to suppliers to free up capital, ignoring their largest expense: payroll. New technology enables firms to extend their salary payments by 8-12 weeks, boosting working capital, reducing the need for borrowing and releasing pressure on cashflows. As costs continue to grow and economic growth stagnates, businesses need to get creative in order to preserve their working capital and cashflow so they can continue to invest, grow and, importantly, build resilience.”

Anti-money laundering company First AML opens UK doors

anti-money laundering

anti-money launderingAnti-money laundering tech scale-up First AML has launched in the UK after experiencing increased demand for solutions that help businesses manage compliance requirements and the heightened risk of regulatory fines in today’s climate.

First AML CEO, Milan Cooper, says: “The market for AML has grown nearly 20 per cent in the past year to $214 billion, so there is a massive global market opportunity for us right now. First AML’s customers love our solution and it’s proving to be the best approach to streamlining customer due diligence. With groundbreaking investigations around tax havens and money laundering across multiple countries, the AML compliance regime is a key priority for accounting, law and real estate.”

UK savers losing out on £1.9billion by missing simple pension trick

Pension Pots Source: Reward Strategy

Pension Pots Source: Reward StrategyAmidst the current rising cost of living crisis, UK pension savers are losing out on hundreds of pounds by missing a simple trick according to the latest research from fintech workplace pension and savings provider, Cushon.

If their workplace pension uses ‘salary sacrifice’ many would save significant sums of money – and even more in light of the NI increase. Salary sacrifice is something that can be arranged by someone’s employer. If someone chooses this option, they agree to reduce their salary by an amount equal to their pension contributions and their employer will then pay their total pension contributions which saves both the employee and the employer money in lower NI contributions. Although it makes someone’s salary look lower – hence the name – take-home pay is actually higher due to the NI saving, while the money going in the pension stays the same.

Ben Pollard, CEO and founder of Cushon said: “It’s worrying that there are currently so many employers who are not offering this option. Employers are now facing a 9 per cent increase in National Insurance costs. If more employers were to use salary sacrifice, not only would they benefit their bottom line, but they could be helping their employees’ financial wellbeing.”

How to secure female STEM talent

The UK is falling behind the rest of the world for the number of women in STEM careers, placing 31st out of 69 countries, finds female-led, retail technology start-up Slip. However, this number is increasing and over the past six months, online searches for women working in science, tech, engineering and math sectors have increased by 223 per cent.

The International Labour Organisation conducted global research to reveal that in the United Kingdom, only two-fifths (40.1 per cent) of STEM workers are women which is over 10 per cent behind the top countries: Georgia (55.6 per cent), Mongolia (52.6 per cent) and Kiribati (51.7 per cent). The countries in the greatest need of improving the women in STEM are Niger (9.8 per cent), United Arab Emirates (15.4 per cent) and Pakistan (18.9 per cent).

Tash Grossman, Co-founder and CEO of Slip said: “As a female founder of a tech start-up I’m passionate about encouraging more women into STEM subjects and careers. The best way to promote more women in tech is within the education system and to provide students with female role models. The current education systems allow women to feel that tech is an inaccessible industry for them to thrive in – we need to change this narrative and encourage female empowerment in this space.”

Klarna partners with Record Store Day to support independent record stores 


klarnaKlarna has partnered with Record Store Day to help music lovers discover their new favourite artists while supporting local record stores. From Thursday, 21st April to Record Store Day on Saturday, 23rd April, Klarna invited Londoners to visit independent record stores through interactive posters placed in the City’s favourite music hubs.

Emily Thomas, Consumer Communications at Klarna said, “London’s music scene is driven by our love for independent stores. At Klarna, we are all about helping shoppers to discover more and give them the best shopping experience online and in-store. We are looking forward to supporting record lovers in their discovery of even more music, and new stores to shop at this Record Store Day.”

UK product managers are less innovative than French counterparts 

The UK is lagging behind France in digital product leadership in Europe according to a new report from Pendo. Nearly half of French businesses reported that customers’ shift towards use of digital products would have a ‘major impact’ on their approach to product management, compared with just 36 per cent of businesses in the UK. French organisations are also leading the way in using data insights to shape their product roadmap, with 41 per cent championing this approach versus 36 per cent in the UK.

“Product leaders are the heroes of any digital organisation — they make sure their companies build the right software, and that customers find value in it,” said Todd Olson, CEO and co-founder of Pendo. “Our study shows that, with the right data and technology, European product teams can deliver software that meets rising consumer expectations and drive their companies’ digital transformations forward in 2022.”

  • 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.