Each week, The Fintech Times takes a look at the top stories in British fintech. In today’s roundup, half of Gen Z have been targeted in a digital fraud attempt, SCA requirements rank low on UK merchants’ list of worries, and 1.4 million SME leaders are unaware of how government support can help their business.
ikigai launches new ISA
ikigai has launched its new stocks & shares ISA, to further help people to spend well, save well and invest well. The news comes in time for the new ISA season, allowing ikigai existing, and new customers, to start investing and benefit from their first tax-free product.
The new stocks & shares ISA will sit alongside ikigai’s premium Wealth service, giving its customers another way to save and invest their money and grow their financial nest egg. The offering will see customers able to invest all, or part of their £20,000 annual ISA allowance with ikigai, and benefit from tax-free gains on investments held in their stocks & shares ISA.
Edgar de Picciotto, co-founder of ikigai, says: “We are very excited to announce the launch of our new ISA. Our new stocks & shares ISA is an important step towards giving our customers a comprehensive choice when it comes to investing their money. What makes ikigai’s stocks & shares ISA different from others on the market is all savings, spending, and investments are in one space for the client’s convenience and transparency. This, along with the personal point of contact via a relationship manager each client is introduced to on signing up, gives the client confidence and insight into what their money is doing for them.”
The UK is 4th Most Interested in Gold
According to PhysicalGold.com’s analytics tool Ahrefs, The UK is amongst the top countries most interested in gold and keeping track of gold prices.
PhysicalGold.com found that India is in the number one spot, with an average of 3,720,600 online searches per month from Indians trying to discover what the gold price is. That is the equivalent of 120,019 online searches each day. In second place is the United States, as there is an average of 2,506,000 online searches a month from Americans keen to find out what the gold price is.
In fourth place is the United Kingdom where there is an average of 519,300 online searches each month from Brits checking the price of gold.
In the context of internet users, this is the equivalent of 7.98 online searches each month for gold price per 1,000 active internet users in the United Kingdom.
1.4million SME leaders are unaware of how new government support can help their business
New research from Nucleus Commercial Finance has revealed business owners are lacking awareness and understanding of the government support schemes on offer.
The research of SME leaders found nearly one in four (23%) are aware of at least one of the schemes on offer but worryingly know nothing about how these schemes can support their business in the future. A further 18% have no awareness at all of at least one of the schemes available.
Despite the various schemes introduced by the government, nearly six in 10 (58%) believe the government needs to do more to support SMEs, while 57% are calling for more practical and coaching support from the government.
Chirag Shah, CEO, Nucleus Commercial Finance comments: “During challenging times like these, access to financial support is vital. While the government has demonstrated its commitment to helping British businesses throughout the pandemic, it’s evident that more education is needed so SMEs have a clear understanding of how the support schemes can help their business.
“As we enter the next stage of the lockdown exit strategy, SMEs will need more support than ever. They will be facing difficult decisions about the reopening of their businesses, both practical and financial, and need somewhere to turn to. This is where government and industry have a crucial role to play and must work collaboratively to communicate how these schemes can help businesses not only survive, but thrive following the pandemic. We believe that the alternative finance industry will be paramount in not only providing businesses with access to the flexible finance they need to recover but deliver the funds quickly too.”
Half of Gen Z Have Been Targeted in a Digital Fraud Attempt
TransUnion’s Consumer Pulse Study has found that a third (33%) of UK consumers say they have been targeted in a digital fraud attempt related to COVID-19 in the last three months, though just 4% fell victim to the scams. This represents a steady increase from when the pandemic began, with just under a quarter (24%) saying the same in April 2020, with 6% falling victim.
Gen Z adults, born 1995 to 2002, are the most targeted by fraudsters out of any in the UK, at 51%. They also appear to be more likely than other generations to have fallen victim, with 19% of the identified scams being successful. They are followed by Millennials, with 37% having been targeted in a digital fraud attempt and 16% of those becoming victims.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been yet another example of fraudsters looking to take advantage of a significant world event and use it to scam UK consumers. The almost overnight transition online brought about by stay-at-home orders catapulted the country’s digital acceleration as we’ve never seen before,” said John Cannon, managing director, fraud and ID at TransUnion in the UK. “As we see digital fraud impacting a substantial portion of the population, it’s important to keep in mind the significant progress made in protecting businesses and consumers from attempts like this. In fact, UK Finance notes that while fraud volumes have increased in the last year, overall financial losses saw a decrease of 5% compared to 2019.”
DivideBuy and musicMagpie announce the launch of innovative rental technology software
Lendtech company, DivideBuy and tech re-commerce expert, musicMagpie, have announced the launch of a new cloud-based rental technology platform. The software enables savvy consumers to rent mobile phones from musicMagpie’s e-commerce store.
The solution, ‘Powered by DivideBuy’, will be delivered by musicMagpie for a seamless user experience and is the first consumer hire option of its kind offered by the retailer. The solution works alongside all other credit options and in the same way as they would with a standard finance option, customers will be able to check their suitability for a rental prior to making a purchase.
James Bradley, Director of Sales and Business Development for DivideBuy, commented: “It’s crucial to meet the growing demand from consumers who are showing a clear desire for more affordable and accessible methods of payment, in order to ensure they are not excluded from using the technology and services so many take for granted.
“This partnership demonstrates our technical ability to adapt to the changing market and demands of consumers. Ultimately, our aim is to innovate the LendTech space to better serve consumers and allow retailers to capitalise on the opportunities presented every day in the e-commerce arena.”
New Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements rank low on UK merchants’ list of worries
Retailers say the coming enforcement of the sweeping online payments regulation known as SCA is the least of their post-pandemic worries — a stance that exposes a stark disconnect with the shoppers they plan to serve as the UK emerges from more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, according to a survey of retail leaders.
When asked to list their top post-pandemic concern, only 12.8% of retail professionals surveyed by Upwave on behalf of commerce protection provider Signifyd named SCA (strong customer authentication). The European Economic Area regulation requires consumers to complete a robust, two-step identification process to make many online purchases.
Ranking above SCA on UK retailers’ worry list was the lingering effects of COVID-19, the fallout from Brexit and the financial health of their businesses, according to the survey of 250 decision-makers at retail enterprises across the region.
“Given the unprecedented flurry of challenges that brands and retailers have faced in the last year-plus, it’s likely that SCA and all it involves has appeared more theoretical and less urgent than the disruptions merchants were facing in real-time,” Signifyd Managing Director EMEA Ed Whitehead said. “But SCA enforcement is imminent and merchants selling online are going to want to be ready to maintain a seamless checkout experience. This is a completely manageable challenge, but it requires action.”