Fintech makes the world go around


May 8, 2019  10:02 AM

Open banking take-up in the Netherlands less than expected because government promoted GDPR so well

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

It seems that the Dutch government made such a good job at promoting GDPR that people have become incredibly wary of allowing their banks to share some of their data.

I was talking to a contact who had attended a the European Payment Summit in the Hague recently.

He said the Dutch government heavily promoted GDPR and later open banking (PSDII) with a major advertising campaign including TV adverts. “There was much more promotion of open banking/PSDII than in the UK but take up was still very low.”

I would expect the Dutch to be more willing to try out open banking than most nationalities.

But then the reason for the low take up became clearer. Part of the conference included a survey about open banking take-up.

People were asked why they had not taken up open banking services in the survey. It seems that many are cautious because only a few months earlier people were being told, in great depth, the importance of GDPR to protect their personal information. Then they were being told of the benefits of letting banks give third party companies access to data.

One fintech I spoke to about this said it was quite unfortunate that GDPR and open banking regulation arrived around the same time.

This highlights the challenges for governments and fintechs when introducing new regulation and technology.

I think if anyone was bombarded with information from the government about protecting personal details and then suddenly asked to give permission for their bank to share information about themselves, they would be cautious to say the least.

May 7, 2019  10:56 AM

Azimo safeguards its EU passporting rights with Dutch licence

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

I am a bit late to this story as it was announced a month ago, but Azimo’s accreditation from the Dutch Central Bank is interesting in these uncertain times.

It is yet another example of UK base companies setting up operations in other EU countries, the ones that don’t want to leave, to ensure they can operate right across the EU when the UK leaves the trading block.

The cross border payments money transfer fintech has guaranteed itself the right to operate across Europe whatever happens with Brexit. This is a good move given that nobody seems to have an idea.

I wrote up an interview with Azimo CEO and co-founder Michael Kent in March.

At the time he told me what a bad idea he thinks Brexit is and how things have got worse as the process of trying to leave has unfolded.

He also said the company’s operation in Krakow, where its development and compliance teams sit would be operationalised if need be.

The company has now taken a further step with the Dutch licence and office in Amsterdam.

This is yet more evidence that London might be the best place for fintechs to thrive, but it is not the only place. And Brexit could make places like Amsterdam even more attractive.

Kent said the company looked at many jurisdictions but decided the best place to expand its European operations was the Netherlands.

“Outside the UK, it’s the best place to grow a fintech company in Europe.  It offers a welcoming culture open to innovation, access to talent, a thriving banking sector and a strong regulator.”

The authorities in the Netherlands are certainly welcoming.  Jeroen Nijland, commissioner for the Netherlands foreign investment agency, (NFIA), said the country’s growing ecosystem of fintechs serves consumers and businesses across the European continent and beyond. “Azimo will be in good company amongst global players like Bloomberg and MarketAxess, and homegrown successes such as Adyen and ‪Booking.com‪.”

I am interested to hear from any UK fintechs that are setting up in EU countries to ensure they can operate as usual post Brexit.


May 2, 2019  10:14 AM

Banks changing APIs at short notice highlights a failing of open banking standard

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Banks are able to change their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) with just two weeks’ notice in what challenger finance firms see as a weakness in the open banking standard.

Ricky Knox, CEO and co-founder of Tandem Bank, told me the digital challenger in the UK initially tried to keep up with changes to APIs being introduced by banks through in-house resources, but had to employ the services of a third party such was the level of resource required.

Tandem is using the services of Token.io to deal with this, because of the resource challenge it was causing.

“We tried doing that ourselves but we thought it would be different to the screen scraping so once you built it there would not be much maintenance. But that was not the case because the banks can give just two weeks’ notice and change anything they want in their APIs,” said Knox.

We had to have our own team working on that constantly readjusting and rebuilding our adaptors

He said banks have to comply with the basic structure but every two weeks they go and mess with their APIs. “To be fair not all the banks mess around quite as much but one of the failings of the open banking standard is allowing them to make changes with just two weeks’ notice.”

The EU’s Payment Services Directive (PSD2) as well as the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) rules for open banking force banks to be capable of providing third-party financial services suppliers access to customer data, if the customer agrees, APIs.

Tandem Bank is a major challenger to traditional financial services firms. It currently offers a credit card, mortgages, savings, personal loans and is building a current account. It has over half a million customers. I recently met Knox and I will be publishing a more detailed article about Tandem soon

Knox is not alone in his view. Several fintechs I spoke to at the recent Innovate Finance Global Summit in London had similar issues.

Why are changes made so regularly. Are the banks trying to make life difficult?

One senior professional in the UK banking sector said he doubts the banks are doing this to thwart open banking, but rather it is the nature of the beast. “There are constantly changes being made at big banks, with a continuous flow of fixes. “They have thousands of changes every day, including bug fixes and performance improvements and. I am sure APIs are part of that.

If you have issues with this please tell us about it in the comments section, or email me direct on kflinders@techtarget.com


May 1, 2019  1:25 PM

NatWest owned fintech reaches £50m mark for SME lending

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

NatWest owned SME lending platform Esme Loans has lent more than £50m to UK SMEs over two years.

Esme cuts the time it takes to apply for a loan to 10 minutes for SMEs, offering SMEs loans of up to £150,000. Application is made easy through the use of the latest technology, including application programming interfaces (APIs).

Esme is an example of a traditional bank setting up a standalone digital business to take on the increasing numbers of fintech competitors. It was created by an internal innovation team at NatWest Bank, led by traditional banker, come fintech leader, Richard Kerton. Definetly a case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.”

Kerton said: “We have achieved great momentum since launch just over two years ago, and we are now lending over three times more than we were this time last year. Our customers tell us they love the speed and ease of our platform, and we are continuing to invest in our technology to ensure that we’re offering a seamless, intuitive experience that provides customers with the funding they need.”  The company recently signed a deal with Microsoft to support Esme’s automated decision making with a cloud based data warehouse.

So Esme Loans is owned by a bank but is not part of a bank. There is a logic to this with an appetite for borrowing from non-bank lenders. According to a survey of 2000 directors at UK SMEs, carried out by peer to peer lender Growth Street 49% of UK SMEs would seek financing from non-bank lenders as they begin to better understand the business models of companies in this space, including fintechs.

This is probably £50m in lending business that the RBS Group, which includes NatWest and owns Esme, wouldn’t have won without the Esme platform.

I recently interviewed Kerton at Esme Loans for my Fintech Interview series, which I will write up soon, with more detail about Esme Loans.

 


May 1, 2019  8:52 AM

Chancellor Hammond regrets uncertainty of the elephant in the room in speech to the fintechs

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

It took until the final session I attended at the Innovate Finance Summit 2019 to have a speaker address Brexit. And it was as a joke by none other than the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond.

I am sure Brexit was addressed thoroughly at the event, but just not in the presentations I attended. It was certainly discussed on the sidelines. When I speak to fintechs about Brexit it is universally seen as a stupid idea. But they all just seem to want some clarity.

The two day summit at the Guildhall in London was packed out. In the past the second day of the event has seemed much quieter. While it wasn’t as busy as the first day, seats were hard to find when Hammond spoke.

It really has grown quickly as an event and hopefully it will continue to do so DESPITE BREXIT. Sorry I had to do that.

Hammond did go into Brexit and said he understood the damage uncertainty was doing to business. He also jokingly lamented the lack of a Brexit algorithm to get us out of the impasse.

Read Philip Hammond’s speech in full here:

“It’s great to be here, and let me congratulate you and Innovate Finance on this fantastic Global Summit.

I want to apologise for my “no show” yesterday. It’s perhaps fitting, as I was required in Brexit talks with the opposition that I had to negotiate a short extension with Charlotte and her team.

Unfortunately that’s something we in government have had plenty of experience with recently.

And I’m grateful that Innovate Finance, at least, had kept a backstop speaking slot today.

It might seem a little strange to be talking about the fintech revolution in such an ancient building.

But I think it’s an appropriate reminder that this city, and this industry, have never stood still.

The competitive engine of the City of London – governed for centuries from this very hall – has always driven innovation and change.

From the first ever banknote, issued by the Bank of England in 1695…

…to the world’s first ATMs in 1967… …and the arrival of online banking in the 1980s…

…Britain has long been at the forefront of the linked worlds of technology and finance.

I want to say a few words this afternoon about why that remains the case today…

…and how we are committed to ensuring it remains so in future;

About why the UK is the perfect location for fintech to thrive, even as we leave the European Union;

About the unique environment that we offer to both start-up and scale-up entrepreneurs and investors;

And about how we can go even further in reinforcing the UK’s position as the global home of the fintech revolution.

Let me start by reflecting on how far we’ve come since I first spoke to you about fintech three years ago.

The UK is now a fintech powerhouse.

Last year, fundraising for UK fintech reached a record £15 billion – representing one in every six pounds invested in fintech around the world.

The UK remains the top destination in Europe for venture capital investment, with almost double the funding of Germany, the next-largest destination.

Only the US and China have invested more – and they both have a few more people than we do!

The sector in the UK now employs over 76,000 people in the UK;

Is worth nearly £7bn to the UK economy;

And provides financial services to nearly 50% of the population, compared to a global average of just 33%.

Now that’s not an accident – it’s because of the ingenuity, hard work and imagination of the brilliant entrepreneurs, engineers and investors who have driven the industry.

But while there is much to be proud of…

…there is no room for complacency.

International competition is growing.

In Shanghai and San Francisco, gifted engineers and entrepreneurs are determined to preserve their city’s rankings… …in Mumbai, Tel Aviv, Berlin and Paris, talented innovators are building significant challengers.

So the question for us is: how to maintain our advantage in fintech, in an increasingly competitive and globalised world?

Of course, I recognise that the immediate key to doing so is to ensure that we ratify the Brexit deal with the European Union – and do it soon!

I know that, nearly three years on from the referendum, the ongoing uncertainty is bad for business…

…and that every one of you in this room would have wanted us to have resolved this issue many months ago.

But democracy is a messy business – as Churchill noted, the worst form of government, except for every other form that has even been tried.

And no one yet seems to have invented the perfect Brexit algorithm yet!

But we are making progress.

The Withdrawal Agreement with the EU is finalised. Some changes may be negotiable to the Political Declaration about the future relationship…

…but essentially it is time for Parliament to make up its mind.

We are reaching out across the House to try and build the majority we need.

Which is the right way – indeed the only way – to proceed in a Parliamentary democracy.

I’m confident of the good faith of both sides in those discussions…

…and that we will, one way or another, reach a resolution, that will enable the deal to get through Parliament…

…so we can stop talking about Brexit…

…and get on with the business of business.

And when we do, all the pieces are in place for the fintech sector to thrive in the UK.

We have the time zone, the language, the legal system, and the talent.

Our world-class universities have pioneered many of history’s breakthrough inventions and discoveries…

…and with just 4% of the world’s researchers, we manage 15% of the world’s most-cited articles…

…and more Nobel Prizes than any country apart from the US.

And they are still doing so – driving today’s digital revolution.

That “critical mass” of financial services and technology is a crucial advantage. As Charlotte said yesterday, it increasingly doesn’t make sense to talk about fintech and financial services as separate ideas;

In just a few short years’ time, the innovative approaches of today’s fintech disruptors will simply be the way the financial services industry operates:

Either traditional financial services businesses will have adopted them wholesale…

…or they will have been displaced by the fintech disruptors.

And here again the UK’s combined ecosystem gives us a distinct advantage:

Our economic geography means that our tech and financial centres are both clustered around the same places, creating a “critical mass” of financial services and technology businesses in the same place.

No wonder that London is predicted to overtake San Francisco as the city housing the most fintech unicorns as early as this year.

So my message to you today is simple: Britain already has some deep and enduring advantages in the global fintech competition.

And we are committed to building on those strengths as we develop our future offer to attract fintech entrepreneurs from around the world…

…to launch their ideas, grow their businesses, and make their futures here in the UK. I just want to set out some of the ways we’re doing that.

First, I know that one of the biggest issues for many of you in this room is access to skills and talent – and many, understandably, question what will happen as we leave the European Union.

So let me reassure you:

Even as free movement ends, Britain will remain open to talent from around the world.

From this Autumn we will completely exempt PhD-level roles from visa caps, alongside the new Startup and Innovator Visas we launched earlier this year. The Government has set out a framework for a future immigration system in the Immigration White Paper…

…focussed on attracting those with the skills we need in the UK economy – no matter where they come from.

So we will still draw talent from across the EU – but from beyond it as well. Making London and the UK a global magnet for tech skills.

Crucially, and very unusually, we have committed to consulting with business over an unheard-of 12-month period.

We’ve done that because we want to ensure that the regime we put in place works for business…

…supporting the recruitment of skilled and talented people, and ensure that it happens without excessive bureaucracy.

And I urge you to use that consultation period to let us know clearly, exactly what business needs.

Migrants have played a crucial role in the development of this industry. But we also have a fantastic pipeline of home-grown talent. And we are investing in strengthening it for the future.

I’d like to commend the brilliant work of Innovate Finance in supporting our domestic talent pool… …including the recently launched “fintech for Schools” programme, and the fantastic new fintech Jobs Board.

Global leadership on fintech

The second pillar of our approach is to make London a truly global hub for fintech.

We’ve already established fintech Bridges with Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, South Korea and China… …committing governments and regulators to collaborate in supporting growth and investment in fintech across markets.

And we’re already seeing the benefits as fintech firms use the UK as a base to access markets around the world.

In February, we held the first UK-India fintech dialogue, and the Prime Minister has announced the first ever UK-Africa fintech partnership.

That partnership includes a dedicated challenge fund to support Nigerian innovators to turn their ideas into reality – and I’m delighted to welcome the six winners here to this conference.

A regulatory environment fit for the fintech companies of the future

Thirdly, we are committed to building the most pro-growth and pro-innovation regulatory environment in the financial services world.

After all, there’s no point innovators pushing the cutting edge if regulators can’t keep up – there’s no point us having the digital equivalent of requiring a man with a red flag to walk in front of a new-fangled horseless carriage.

Our Regulatory Sandbox led the way – and has been copied in dozens of other jurisdictions; Our Open Banking initiative is already dramatically changing the way consumers and small businesses engage with banking…

…we’ve set up a Regulators’ Pioneer Fund to innovate in other areas of regulation… …and the fintech strategy that I launched last year set out actions to make the UK the best place to start and grow a fintech business, including ensuring access to long-term capital for scale-ups.

I’m pleased to say that one year on, all the actions in that strategy have now been implemented.

And it is already leading to results – take the example of OakNorth, who raised $440m of new capital at the beginning of this year…

…or UK challenger bank Starling, who raised £75m to invest in new products and will launch in Europe later this year.

But as well as a regulatory environment that’s open to innovation…

…we boast one of the most cyber-secure jurisdictions in the world.

We are determined to make a competitive advantage out of being one of the safest places to do digital business on the planet.

So we are leveraging the unique capabilities of the state and our world-class signals intelligence communities…

…through resources like the National Cyber Security Centre…

…harnessing the techniques of GCHQ…

…to keep businesses safe in Britain’s cyber space.

But all these individual steps need joining up…

…and we need to make sure that new businesses know where to go to tap into the enormous potential of the UK’s ecosystem.

So I’m delighted to welcome the launch today of the new fintech Alliance – bringing together the UK’s fintech network in one easily accessible “digital marketplace”, which will provide access to people, firms and information, including connections to investors, policy and regulatory updates, and the ability to attract and hire candidates.

When I first spoke at a fintech Conference three years ago, I set out our ambition for the UK to become the best place in the world for fintech.
Last year, we launched a comprehensive strategy to put rocket-boosters behind that ambition – and we are delivering.

Today, I look around this ancient hall and see not the past, but the future: an industry that is buzzing with ideas, energy and optimism.

All of us – government, investors and entrepreneurs – should feel proud of what we have achieved.

But we cannot rest on our laurels.

The task ahead of us now is to show, through the success of the fintech sector, that we truly are a Global Britain.

That the unique advantages we have here in the UK position us perfectly to drive the next stage of the fintech revolution.

And that we are committed to supplementing our own strengths with the energy and vibrancy of our partners around the world.

And as we do so, there are no limits…

To the new products we can design…

The businesses we can build…

The jobs we create.

Quite literally, the sky is the limit.

And I look forward to working with all of you to ensure we reach it.

Thank you.”


April 29, 2019  6:46 AM

Bank of England governor speaks as maiden UK Fintech Week begins

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

The UK’s first Fintech Week will this week promote innovation, openness and collaboration to the fintech industry.

The week will kick off with a keynote from Bank of England governor Mark Carney at the Innovate Finance Global Summit (IFGS) in London, with speakers from all corners of the industry.

IFGS will be held at the Guildhall, London, today (Monday 29 April) until tomorrow. As well as Carney speakers will include: Anne Boden, CEO at Starling Bank; Jaidev Janardana, CEO at Zopa; Kaushalya Somasundaram, head of fintech partnerships & Strategy, at HSBC; and Kosta Peric, deputy director, financial services for the poor, at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

But there is also a long list of events planned for the entire week, which organisers hope will help the UK cement its position as a leading global fintech hub. See this link for all the events.

The UK attracted £3.3bn in fintech investment last year. But it is not just about attracting investment. In fact the week will have the theme; “fintech’s value and purpose to society.” Participants will be united in striving to make sure the UK remains an investment friendly environment for fintech, that it continues to attract and retain a diverse and global pool of talent, and that it is the home of progressive regulation

Chancellor Philip Hammond will also speak during the week.

Charlotte Crosswell, CEO at Innovate Finance, said fintech is now a key driver of economic growth and social betterment for countries across the world. “The UK has long been held as a global hub of fintech and we will continue to work with ecosystems across the world, connecting international and national organisations

Lord Mayor of London Peter Estlin said fintech is already a major asset for London and the UK, employing over 75,000 people across the country. “I expect this figure expected to surge to well beyond 100,000 by 2030.”

“I look forward to welcoming firms, investors, and young people starting out their careers in fintech to the City of London to explore how we can realise the sector’s full potential in the years to come.”

 


April 26, 2019  1:35 PM

Tink is building the foundation of every bank in the world: Fintech interview part 20

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Swedish fintech Tink arrived on the scene back in 2012, with what was at the time a business model that went direct to consumers, but it has now found its place in the business to business sector selling services to finance firms.

Fredrik Hedberg, co-founded Tink with Daniel Kjellén.

He is now CTO with Kjellén CEO

Hedberg said both were entrepreneurs that had set up tech companies and had also spent some time working in the banking sector.

This combination was key to the creation of Tink. “We realised that the entire financial services industry was going to change as it had been left behind,” said Hedberg. “There was an opportunity to improve customer experiences and leverage all the data.”

He said there was so much value in the information in the finance sector that was never used.

It all began in 2012 with a personal finance app, its first product, which was launched in Sweden. It was an example of the use of open banking even before banks were forced to by law, due to the PSD2 regulation in the EU and the UK’s Open Banking rules.

This was PSD2 way before PSD2 existed. The app could be downloaded and connected to any bank. “We could collect a person’s complete financial profile through a single app,” said Hedberg. To do this Tink reverse engineered the APIs that the banks already had for their apps

The app was built on in the years that followed to enable a customer to use link to it as a banking platform  without it actually being a bank platform. You can pay your bills, top up your account and manage your money. This product went to about 500,000 customers by 2016, all of which were in Sweden.

But fintech was changing fast and the thinking at Tink was changing. “At this time we started to realise that our product need not be limited to challenger banks but was going to be the foundation of every bank in  the world,” said Hedberg.

He said a significant number of banks approached Tink wanting to form partnerships.

This according to Hedberg is how Tink “slid into the business to business sector.”

“The banks wanted a fast way to get the capabilities to connect to any bank in Europe that we had, and the ability to move money around regardless of which account or bank it was in. They also wanted to give data driven financial advice,” said Hedberg.

He said banks want to build their own products so were looking for a service to help them do so.  The Tink platform allowed them to build their own on top of its platform. Such was the success of this business Tink became 100% focused on B2B in 2017.

Today it boasts a range of tier one banks as customers. These include BNP Paribas Belgium, ABN Amro, as well as well as fintechs ranging from large companies like Klarna to startups that are “two guys in a garage,” said Hedberg. There are also thousands of developers building products on the Tink platform

The platform has two sides. It provides connectivity to thousands of banks across Europe on one side and enables developers to develop pan European financial services products with an API  on the other.

The shift in business model from a consumer facing app to a platform for finance firms led to rapid growth. Before the company moved into B2B it had about 30 staff. Today it has 150 people, which grew from 50 a year earlier. It expects to double the number of staff this year.

As a tech company about 75% of staff are in R&D. “We are building Amazon Web Services for financial services companies,” said Hedberg.

Outside Sweden it now has an office in London and plans another four across major European cities. The UK is a new market for Tink which it is aiming to build significantly,  according to Hedberg..

Read the previous fintech interviews

Part 19 Goldex,  Part 18 AzimoPart 17 YoyoPart 16 BudPart 15 PrevisePart 14 FinastraPart 13 InstaReMPart 12 EucapsPart 11 AimBrainPart 10 MenigaPart 9 TrueLayerPart 8 InvestCloudPart 7 ClauseMatchPart 6 Rebuilding Society, Part 5 HonchoPart 4 AkoniPart 3 WriskPart 2 CreditLadderPart 1 Taina Technology


April 23, 2019  11:22 AM

Nationwide Building Society challenges seven fintechs to develop apps for financially vulnerable

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Seven fintechs are taking part in a challenge set Nationwide and will share a £3m fund as well as the knowledge and experience of experts from the building society and beyond.

The Nationwide’s Open Banking for Good challenge wants apps developed that can help people that are “financially squeezed.” It will be supported through mentoring form organisations including: Accenture, Citizens Advice,  Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, The Money Charity, Doteveryone and Nesta.

The seven fintechs involved have been put into three categories. These are Income and Expenditure, Income Smoothing, and Money Management and Help.

Joe Garner, CEO at Nationwide, said Open Banking for Good is driven by our social purpose. “The programme will see us partner with some of the UK’s smartest fintechs, debt charities and academics to use this revolutionary new technology to support people facing financial challenges. Our seven chosen fintech applicants will have access to vital insights, funding, and data to help them really make a difference. This is a great example of working across businesses, charities and government to make a positive difference in society.”

Meet the fintechs

In the Income and Expenditure category are Openwrks, which uses conversational artificial intelligence (AI) and reductive logic to allow people to create accurate and realistic income and expenditure statements online in minutes; and Ducit.ai, which uses AI to categories open banking data.

In the Income Smoothing section the participants are Trezeo, which uses open banking data to enable self employed people to prove their regular income so they can qualify for financial products like mortgages, and Flow, which provides information to billers so they take money form people at the best time.

The Money Management and Help segment has three fintechs. Toucan a money and mental health app that encourages people to become more aware of spending and alerts trusted support if problems occur, Squad which allows people to set financial goals amongst friends and with support from one another other to achieve them, and Tully which offers financial advice, debt support and a data led, personalised money coaching service to people worried about finances.

Jeremy Wright Secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “By supporting fintechs that are focused on making a positive impact on society, Nationwide’s challenge is giving our tech firms the support they need to innovate. Technology can make real differences to people’s lives across many areas and this is a fantastic example of how to harness tech for a social good.”

This type of challenge is a good way of getting fintechs off the ground through funding and mentoring while solving a  societal problem.

For example a challenge set up by the government in 2017, known as the Rent Recognition Challenge offered entrepreneurs £2m if they can come up a system that will enable millions of renters to record and share data about what they have paid in rent. A company known as CreditLadder, which I interviewed last year, was the biggest winner receiving £600,000. It is currently expanding its business.


April 17, 2019  8:10 AM

Facebook shutters Messenger payments in UK as Brits just not into it

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

Facebook introduced the feature to its Messenger to enable people to transfer money to their friends in a few clicks. It was first launched in the US in 2015 and then in the UK in 2017.

But Facebook is closing down the service in the UK as well as France from June.

A statement from the company said: “We are terminating the ability to send and receive payments in Messenger in both the UK and France effective June 15. After evaluating how we give people the best experiences in Messenger, we made the decision to focus our efforts on experiences that people find most useful. Users have been notified in preparation for this change.”

When it was introduced Facebook said: “We’re adding a new feature in Messenger that gives people a more convenient and secure way to send or receive money between friends. It’s easy and free.”

To send money, users just start a message with a friend, tap the dollar icon and enter the amount they want to send. They then tap “Pay” and add debit card details.


April 16, 2019  9:49 AM

Third of people would allow tech platform to automatically move mortgage

KarlFl40 Profile: KarlFl40

It is astonishing how quickly peoples’ attitudes towards their finances are changing as digital services mature.

A few years ago people were concerned about using digital banks for current accounts, and a few years before that they would have thought carefully before sending money via fintech services that were not considered mainstream.

But time have changed. I received a press release today from mortgage switching platform Dashly.  The company commissioned YouGov to survey consumers about their attitudes to using digital platforms to automatically switch their mortgages, if they find a better offer.

As I said a few years ago people were cautious about using fintechs rather than the trusted, well at least well known, high street brands. So the fact that we are even contemplating switching a mortgage through a platform that finds you a better offer shows how far we have come.

The research found that 29% of British people with mortgages would allow a mortgage platform to automatically move them to a better mortgage. That’s a lot. And if you add in a second opinion from an independent mortgage broker this rises to 50%.

If you take millennials alone the figure was 41%.

It also found that 30% of borrowers would be happy to continuously share their anonymised, real-time personal financial data with an intelligent mortgage platform if this could save them money.

Ross Boyd, founder of Dashly, said: “The ideal scenario is one where new technology platforms, powered by AI, machine learning and open banking, do the hard yards and identify savings in a way no human could, while independent mortgage brokers are on hand to reassure borrowers that the advice is suitable.

“It’s certainly encouraging for brokers that far more people would be likely to switch on the basis of a recommendation received by a tech platform once they have received independent advice.”

Mortgages are probably the biggest investments people make in their lives so trusting a platform to automatically move this is pretty significant.


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