UK Fintech News: The Latest Stories 14/04

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Each week, The Fintech Times takes a look at the top stories in British fintech. In today’s roundup, Brits are more interested in the NFT craze than Americans, UK businesses are losing billions due to poor spending controls, and people could have saved nearly £20,000 by working from home.

Brits could have saved up to £19,372 while working from home

As the country starts to emerge from the latest lockdown, digital marketing agency, AccuraCast, has released findings into how much consumers could have saved during almost 12 months in lockdown, and for the majority, working from home.

On the back of a recent YouGov survey which shows that some 32 per cent of Britons have managed to grow their savings during the pandemic, AccuraCast has worked out that the average person could have saved up to £19,372 without offices to commute to, morning coffees to buy, no work clothes to shell out for, or holidays to book.

Farhad Divecha, founder and managing director, AccuraCast, said: “It is astounding to think how much could be saved over the course of the last 12 months when most people have been working from home and been in lockdown for the majority of it. Little things like the daily commute, a daily cup of coffee or buying lunch can soon add up, and working from home will have meant a saving in these areas.

“Obviously not everyone will have been able to work from home, or take advantage of these savings, but this is just an idea of what areas people could save money on. These figures also don’t take into account where people may have needed to pay out more – for example, extra utility bills, extra food bills and even swapping work wear costs for loungewear costs.”

British more interested in NFTs than Americans

NFTs have become a hot commodity lately, with everyone from artists, musicians, sportspeople, and even entrepreneurs making millions trading them. Piplsay, a global consumer research platform, conducted nationwide surveys in the UK and the US to find out what people think of this new emerging concept.

33% of Britons believe NFTs are just a fad, while 59% of Americans believe they will be the next big thing. 40% of Britons think NFTs may not be safe as compared to 33% of Americans, and 49% of Britons feel celebrities should act responsibly given cryptocurrency’s contribution to global warming.

UK Businesses Lose £37Billion Every Year Through Poor Spending Controls

Soldo, a European pay and spend automation platform, has unveiled a new Coleman Parkes study it commissioned which found that the UK economy loses around £37billion a year through poor business spending controls. While an astonishingly high figure, the UK is not alone. Weak spending controls were reported to be costing European businesses £301billion, with businesses in Germany losing £54bn a year, while France and Italy also reported sizeable figures (£37billion and £26billion respectively).

Against a backdrop of low productivity and the economic impact of the pandemic, this figure is equivalent to 2% of revenues for every business in the country – with losses starting at around £50,000 for small businesses, rising to around £12million for the biggest UK firms.

“This study clearly demonstrates the dual challenges businesses have of reducing costs while enabling a route to recovery. While cash is leaking at a staggering rate from within organisations, they have to find ways to optimise and speed up spend management practices, as well as patching up the holes within organisations to ensure they are better positioned for future growth,” said Stephen Saw, Director, Coleman Parkes.

Pensionbee signs Race at Work Charter

Online pension provider, Pensionbee has signed the Race at Work Charter, a business-led initiative to promote equality in UK businesses. Signatories must commit to a five-point Charter, which includes having an executive sponsor for race and inclusion and publishing ethnicity data.

Romi Savova, Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Sponsor for Race at PensionBee, commented: “Talking about race and identity in the office is the only way to collectivise our experiences so we form a better understanding of each other as human beings in the workplace – and take more effective action.

“However dialogue alone is not enough, official inclusion measures are also essential. Ethnic diversity reporting is rapidly coming up the regulatory agenda to supplement gender reporting in companies with more than 250 employees. At PensionBee we have already started reporting our progress internally.

“Make no mistake: it is on us, and not the government, to create workplaces where everyone can thrive and to build the kind of world our customers expect to live in.” 

A third of Brits planning to spend less in 2021 due to Covid induced anxiety

New research from RAPP and Code (part of Omnicom Precision Marketing Group) reveals that a third of UK consumers are planning to spend less this year across six key sectors: travel, luxury, retail, automotive, technology and financial services.

However, despite this drop in spending, over half (57 per cent) of consumers say they would spend more money with brands that treat them as individuals (i.e. sending bespoke conversations). The figure increases to 89% for those aged between 16-24 and 77% for 25-34-year-olds.

Caroline Parkes, Chief Experience Officer at RAPP said: “ Our research has highlighted the cautious mindset of the consumer which means that brands have an important job to do to help instil confidence and give customers exactly what they are looking for.

“Consumers have told us they want to be treated as an individual which means that the brands that find smarter ways of combining customer research with social and data sciences will come out on top. Adapting to and predicting the values, needs and behaviours of an individual using AI and machine learning will allow brands to approach that consumer with real one-on-one communication, not just a first name at the top of an email. Only then will brands – regardless of sector – deliver the value and hyper-targeted experience people are looking for as we all re-enter the world after what has been one of the most bizarre years to date.”

Brits could save £150 in five minutes by switching suppliers

New research from TSB has found that a third of people (34%) have not changed energy provider in the last five years, although two in five (40%) would do so if it could be done quickly.

This comes as TSB announces its partnership with fintech ApTap to introduce a new bill management feature, enabling customers to organise bills quickly and efficiently, as well as making it easier to compare and switch to other suppliers.

According to research by MoneySuperMarket, consumers can save as much as £306 each year just by changing their energy supplier. Similarly switching broadband and home phone providers can provide an annual saving of £177.57, according to U-Switch.

Pella Frost, Director of Everyday Banking at TSB, commented: Our partnership with ApTap gives our customers the confidence to make informed choices about how best to spend their money. In just a few clicks they can compare and save on their regular monthly bills, helping to make their money go further.”

  • 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.

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