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UK Fintech News Round up: The Latest Stories 01/12

Each week we take a look at some of the latest stories This week, 45% of Brits don’t trust tech giants to keep their data safe, PPS teams up with ekko to bring eco-friendly payments to the UK and Atom Bank moves to a four-day working week

Atom Bank moves to a four-day working week

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UK Digital bank, Atom Bank, has announced they have transitioned to a four-day working week with no cut to employee pay, saying it is the largest UK company to make the move.

The move is voluntary and sees staff hours reduced to 34 hours a week split over 4 days instead of 37.5 hours over 5 – meaning a slightly longer working day. Atom has advised that the majority of staff have chosen the new working pattern.

“A four-day week will provide our employees with more opportunities to pursue their passions, spend time with their families, and build a healthier work/life balance,” Atom CEO Mark Mullen said in a statement.

Nearly half of Brits don’t trust tech giants to keep their data safe

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Nearly half of Britons (45%) don’t trust Big Tech companies to safeguard their personal data, research from NexGen Cloud has revealed.

The cloud solutions provider commissioned an independent survey among 2,000 UK adults revealing consumers’ growing mistrust in big technology firms. It found that only 24% of individuals believe Big Tech firms have their best interests at heart. 

The research uncovered serious misgivings about data privacy among consumers, with the majority of respondents (66%) concerned about how tech giants are able to collect and use their personal information.

Chris Starkey, founder and director, NexGen Cloud, said: “Our research results are stark and consistent – it shows that a growing number of consumers mistrust tech giants with their personal data and feel threatened by the insidious control they exert over their personal lives. Regulating Big Tech companies must therefore take on a new and almost existential urgency to address this imbalance of power globally.

“Big Tech’s unnatural monopoly of the market and increasing civic power poses a looming threat to the core aspects of democracy, and our study highlights consumers’ vulnerability and resignation to the excessive power held by large tech corporations. Now, there is a critical need for the industry to restore consumers’ foundations of trust in technology, and this must begin by building a fairer and decentralised digital landscape.”

FCA splashes over £5m on laptops to aid hybrid working

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has spent over £5 million on new laptops and mobile phones to support remote working, according to official figures. The data, which was obtained using Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation, and analysed by the Parliament Street think tank, gives an insight into how the financial watchdog is assisting staff with hybrid working.

The data revealed that between April 2021 and August 2021 a total of 5,850 new laptops were purchased by the financial watchdog.

The news of the digital scale-up comes following the FCA’s own warning issued about the dangers of remote working to businesses where they released new recommendations for businesses that use a remote or hybrid employment model.

Security specialist Edward Blake, Area Vice President EMEA for Absolute Software said: “Remote working is evidently one of the favoured operational models for long term remote working, but organisations which opt for it must ensure that they are protecting the additional devices and users on a given network.”

UK firm’s software launch a ‘game changer’ to prevent data breaches

A UK-based software firm is spearheading a new inimitable product designed to prevent the mismanagement of data and breaches of GDPR obligations across all businesses that hold sensitive data with the help from global software publisher Infotel SA (France) and support from the Department of International Trade.

Infotel UK Consulting (Infotel UK), will be launching Deepeo at the IRMS (Information Records Management Society) conference in Birmingham 28-30th November after receiving a pledge of €1.5m investment for the project over the next three years from Infotel SA, of which Infotel UK is a subsidiary, with a 51% share, to help fund its development and execution.

The software is the UK’s first comprehensive automated package that offers tailored cloud-based services across multiple systems to protect supply chain accounts, increase security and permission controls, deletions and housekeeping, anonymisation and limit access to confidential information – a tool that managing director Mundeep Nayyar believes will be a ‘game changer’ for businesses across the world.

PPS powers ekko to bring eco-friendly payments to the UK

PPS, an Edenred company, has announced its partnership with UK-based ekko, an iconic climate-friendly debit card, app, and ecosystem that empowers consumers to make a difference in the fight against climate change.

ekko is enabling its customers to deliver a positive impact on the planet while engaging in routine actions like shopping, banking, and paying bills. With every five transactions an ekko user makes, one ocean-bound plastic bottle is diverted to a recycling plant. 

With the help of PPS, ekko will provide its customers with both virtual and physical cards – soon to be equipped with Faster Payments – API technology, and the ability to make payments via BACS and faster payments. 

Ray Brash, Chief Executive Officer at PPS, said: “As a leading driver of innovation in fintech and paytech across Europe we are increasingly committed to helping the industry become a leader in sustainability. Utilising our platform, access to networks and expert knowledge within the PPS team, together we’ve built a payments infrastructure that will help people to do something for the environment without making any huge lifestyle changes. By just buying a coffee ekko users can make a difference to climate change.”

Wise to hire more than 1,000 people next year

Wise has announced that their global team is now made up of 3000 people, and are planning to hire another 1000 people from across the world. 

The company recently announced a new office in Austin, making up their third US base, with the hiring drive to support the expansion, as well as offices over the globe.

As well as the new office, Wise has also worked with Tétris Design x Build to refurbish their London office to cater for new joiners and new ways of working. A third of employees have taken advantage of the “remote working” policy, which allows ‘Wisers’ to work from almost anywhere around the world for up to 90 days each year.

Author

  • 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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