How will Fintech shape up in the United Kingdom?


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Financial technology (FinTech) is a term that is challenging the traditional delivery methods for financial services. One of the most comprehensive definition of Fintech has been termed as “a new financial industry that applies technology to improve financial activities.” When you use your online wallet account to pay for online shopping on an e-commerce site, what happens between your bank, the eCommerce site and your virtual wallet, is fintech. On the click of a button or a swipe, money from your bank is paid to the e-commerce company, through your e-wallet.

Fintech has a long history. Most of us think of the word fintech, and start relating it to the latest mobile app which helps us pay for our coffee, without swiping a card or taking out our wallet. But technology has always played an important role in the financial sector in ways we could never imagine. In fact, we take it for granted. Credit Cards were introduced to ease the burden of carrying cash, way back in the 50s or 60s. Then came ATM’s to save time for the customer, and to avoid a trip to the bank to draw cash. All these enhancements were fueled by technology, were ground breaking at the time but are now taken for granted. Today, the level of automation is very different in the financial industry. There are e-wallets that provide convenient and secure payment methods. They are much faster and easier than transferring money between bank accounts and using cheques. Millennial’s are habitually paying each other or making purchases with such apps. There are lending platforms that provide loans at much lesser interest rates than the traditional lenders. Technology has enhanced so much that now there are Robo-advisers in place of traditional financial advisors. There are many more such Fintech players who are challenging the way financial services are being carried out.

As the world’s leading financial center, the UK is fast becoming a destination of choice for companies wanting to establish a global presence in the Fintech sector, with leading international companies in Fintech choosing to have a base in the UK whilst at the same time providing a fertile environment for start-ups and entrepreneurs. As per study conducted by Ernst & Young, UK scores highly as an attractive location for global Fintech. The size of the market opportunity in the UK is significant due to a large indigenous and technologically sophisticated customer base, and in London’s position as a world leading center for institutional financial services. UK also scores highly due to the availability of capital which is sufficient for the sector. As per this study, The UK market has a large and sophisticated consumer base with world leading mobile and internet penetration and is open minded to innovative products from new providers. And, London is in the middle of all this action. The City of London’s role as the beating heart of global financial markets has been established over decades and remains intact despite fierce international competition and globalization. In 2017, over £800 million was invested in London-based FinTech start-ups. That’s double of 2016’s figure. There are multiple FinTech startups that have flourished in the recent past in the United kingdom. Let us look at some of the most diverse successful Fintech business models in the UK:

· Peer-2-peer foreign currency exchange and transfer service business model is based on matching inverse transfers between international customers. This allows it to offer users the middle market exchange rate and avoid the expense of international bank transfers.

· Another business model is based on providing SMEs that fall outside of traditional bank lending requirements access to capital and savers better returns than cash savings offer at a reasonable risk profile.

· The business model is based on facilitating a real-time auction at which investors bid on an invoice. They offer all or a percentage of the invoice’s value as capital minus their proposed cut in exchange for providing the cash up front.

· There is a model that helps websites and companies verify user identities using a photo-based identity document, a selfie and artificial intelligence algorithms.

There are so many UK based FinTech businesses that are already successful with hundreds more that hold rich promise, many of whom will rise to prominence in coming years. One such startup is ViolaCorporate.

ViolaCorporate is today’s tool for expense management within the Corporate Sector. It makes efficient use of your time using our company portal and application. With ViolaCorporate Mastercard® prepaid debit card your company has full control over when and to whom funds are issued. It also enables employees to request funds as and when they are needed. Employees simply capture receipts at point of sale ready for your company to view.

It is a great platform for employers, ViolaCorporate business debit cards have removed the long, lengthy, cumbersome process of managing expenses. These cards can be used anywhere in the world, and employees can keep tight rein on expenses. If an employee leaves or loses the card, the business can block or unblock the card instantly. This makes ViolaCorporate a unique proposition. Businesses can now focus on more important tasks rather than monitoring every expense incurred by employees.

For Employees it means no longer needing it to submit expenses claims, ensuring they hang on to every receipt. They can simply take a snapshot of the receipt and upload it onto the company’s expense management tool via their phone app a streamlined system.

Content Originally published here.

Christopher Hamilton
Christopher Hamilton is the Chairman & Founder of the Viola Group. Viola Group is a Fintech Company based in the UK with offices in Austria, Luxembourg, and India.


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