Each week we take a look at some of the latest news stories from the UK fintech scene. This week, Scots are concerned by the use of personal data and over a third of Brits say budget tracking apps influence how they spend.
B4B Payments joins Mastercard Fintech Express Programme
B4B Payments, a global payments provider, has announced it will join the Mastercard Fintech Express Programme. As part of the Mastercard Developers initiative, it is set up to provide support in obtaining licensing for issuing Mastercard prepaid, debit and credit cards either directly with Mastercard or through its qualified ‘Express Issuance’ partners.
Paul Swinton, B4B Payments CEO said: “We are absolutely thrilled to join the Mastercard Fintech Express programme to quickly support organisations to go live with Mastercard with our turnkey solution. As we continue to disrupt business payments by providing quicker, more efficient, and cost-effective cashless pay-outs, this partnership will help us deliver more choice to organisations looking to scale and succeed via the power of seamless payments.”
Poll shows Scots are concerned by the use of personal data
Nearly two-thirds of people in Scotland (65%) are concerned that personal data collected on them could be used in ways that might cause discrimination towards others in society.
Commissioned by Synthesized and conducted by YouGov, the poll also shows that two fifths (40%) of people living in Scotland are concerned that they might be personally disadvantaged financially, socially or legally because of the way artificial intelligence is used to make decisions. But, more than one in three people (36%) in Scotland would support the use of AI by businesses to help discover and eliminate unfairness or bias in data. More than half of unemployed people (54%) are in favour.
Nicolai Baldin, CEO of Synthesized, said: “People in Scotland – and elsewhere – are right to be concerned that artificial intelligence and personal data collection is impacting their everyday lives and not always for the better. That’s why we need more trust and transparency in the use and development of AI and the use of data.”
UK loses £2.5Bn in fraud and cyber-crime cases during 2021
UK residents and businesses have seen financial losses of £2.5Bn from fraud and cyber-crime over the course of the past year, a new study from chargeback firm and online trading scam specialists Payback Ltd reveals.
Spanning data from November 2020 to November 2021, it was found that the UK has reported an average 40,586 cases of fraud and cyber-crime per month, with an average financial loss of £5,700 per case. The height of cyber-crime activity appeared during the earlier months of the year. In February, the UK reported 47,800 cases equating to £267.6M in financial loss, while in March more than 48,500 cases amounted to losses of £219.3M.
Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for Payback Ltd stated: “It is difficult to see such high figures relating to the fraudulent and criminal activity taking place over the course of the year. It is imperative that the British public exercise caution when making financial transactions of any kind, and to ensure that they are confident that any transactions are done via official, safe and legal means.”
“Bank of Mum and Dad” financing more than home deposits
Buying a first home may be the biggest financial milestone for young adults, but the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ is being called upon in myriad other ways, according to a poll by interactive investor.
Helping with university costs (58%), allowing adult children to stay at home, rent-free (50%) and buying a car or helping with car-related costs (46%) were all more common ways of financially supporting adult children than contributing to a deposit for a home (42%).
More than a quarter (28%) had made a payment into a savings account and 23% had made a payment into their adult child or children’s ISA, the poll found. Although lagging by some margin, a forward-thinking 10% of respondents said they had contributed to their adult children’s pensions. Non-financial help in the form of things like valuable childcare, was offered by 14%.
Becky O’Connor, Head of Pensions and Savings, interactive investor, said: “There is a lot of attention given to how the Bank of Mum and Dad can help with buying a first home, but this unofficial institution is busy in many other areas of financial support for adult children, too.
“The high percentage of older people helping out their adult children reflects a depressing reality: that it is difficult, if not impossible, to manage these life milestones without any parental help.”
Over a third of Brits say budget tracking apps influence how they spend
NerdWallet’s Consumer Borrowing Index, a nationally representative study of 5,000 UK adults, has revealed that 38% of Brits let budgeting apps influence the way they spend money.
Many high street and digital banks now offer consumers useful budgeting and spend tracking functionality. For many, this has made digitally managing finances the norm when it comes to household and individual budgeting. Apps have the most sway for millennials by some distance, with 60% of those surveyed admitting that their spending habits are influenced by these apps. Gen Z were also reliant on new budgeting technologies to control spending, with nearly half (49%) saying their spending habits are influenced by apps. This is compared to only 13% of Baby Boomers.
Denise Ko Genovese, Senior Editor at NerdWallet, says: “Budgeting is key if you want to stay in control of your finances. In the age of contactless and mobile payments, it is all too easy to overspend and find yourself short of money. But regularly assessing your expenses and using sound financial tools, such as spend trackers or apps, and setting budgets for certain types of spending can really help you to prioritise your financial commitments and alleviate any risk of spending beyond your means.”