Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week sees Plum launch a new savings account; while an educational cyber-security themed escape room-style experience launches in Cardiff.
Novus named the ‘Boldest Fintech’
Challenger bank Novus has been named the ‘Boldest Fintech’ at the 2022 BOLD awards despite only officially launching in the UK two months ago.
The category was designed to recognise ‘fintech innovations that boost the financial health of businesses and advance financial inclusion’.
Novus aims to offer a way to make a positive impact on the world through people’s everyday spending. It has committed to donate five per cent or more of revenues to its range of charitable partners. The neobank also lets users track their carbon footprint based on spending habits and can see how they can act to offset this.
Bolt pipped Binance, Hokodo and Zebedee to top spot in this award category.
Commission-free stock investing launched by Plum
Saving and investment app Plum has launched its new feature which lets users invest in fractional company shares commission-free in more than 500 of the top US businesses.
Companies including Apple, Microsoft, Nike and Tesla will be investable by Plum’s user-base; with another 500 firms lined-up to be added soon. The company suggested that this was an important step, with its customers now able to invest in the brands that they are most familiar with and therefore feel they can trust.
The feature will act as a method for Plum to expand the number of users it has by attracting a lot of first-time investors who are looking for an introduction to that space.
CEO and co-founder of Plum, Victor Trokoudes, explained the company’s decision to make the process completely commission-free: “Accessibility and simplicity are standards that we constantly strive to achieve, so we feel this was an important representation of our values.
“We created Plum for people who want to better manage their finances but it perhaps slips their mind, or seems like too much time or effort to figure out.”
Zopa accumulate over £100m in deposits after launch
Sixty-five days after the launch of its newest savings account, the ‘Super Saver’, Zopa Bank has hit a significant milestone of receiving more than £100million in deposits.
Just under 20,000 customers opened a Super Saver with the bank, causing Zopa to estimate that it will reach £750million in deposits by the end of 2022.
The fintech’s most popular pots with customers include saving for the Christmas period, holidays and new homes. The launch comes at a crucial time in the UK, in which energy prices are drastically rising, rent prices are going up and the rising cost of living is causing issues for many.
Zopa aims to help its users with their post-pandemic finances by making the “£225 billion currently sitting idle in UK current accounts work harder”. It offers a 1.45 per cent AER interest rate and doesn’t require new customers to open a current account to gain access to these rates.
Cybersecurity-based escape room-style experience launches in Cardiff
IT solutions provider, CGI is bringing an escape room-style experience to Cardiff in an attempt to educate people and businesses about cybersecurity risks as well as teaching how to deal with them and ways to reduce risks.
The escape room exists within a shipping container that can be transported to different events around the country. It is currently part of Techniquest’s science centre and will remain there until 13 May. Some of the specific areas taught as part of the experience include creating strong passwords, protecting their personal privacy and navigating social media.
CEO of Techniquest, Lesley Kirkpatrick, said: “It’s a great opportunity to not only promote the growing importance of cybersecurity, but to help everyone learn more about it in a memorable and entertaining way.”
Bristol-based fintech helps SMEs get paid
A new UK fintech has launched in Bristol; Saltare aims to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can receive payments faster than to ensure they can continue running and support their ongoing operations.
According to Saltare, one of the main reasons a smaller company fails is due to a lack of available cash funds; rather than a lack of profits. Other recent studies suggest that SMEs may be waiting on up to £200billion in unpaid invoices. Saltare tackles this issue by developing digital tools that will encourage larger corporations to pay what they owe to smaller companies faster; by offering them benefits such as discounts.
Founder and chief executive of Saltare, Anthony Persse, said: “Our mission is to develop a series of tools that bring the certainty of payment, and the certainty of cash flow, that support both ends of the supply chain.”