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UK Fintech News Round-Up: The Latest Stories 02/02

Each week we take a look at some of the latest stories from the UK fintech scene. This week, Nationwide builds a better digital onboarding experience with Jumio and OneBanks Hub teams up with Answer Pay to offer vulnerable customers face to face bill payment services.

Moneyhub hands trust and control over to consumers through move to Open Data

Open Banking (Image Source:, the Open Data, Analytics, and Payments platform, has announced its progression from Open Banking and Open Finance to Open Data. By opening up data, Moneyhub opens up possibilities that will touch every industry and benefit consumers and businesses alike.

A recent McKinsey & Company report suggested that economies that embrace data sharing in finance could see their GDP rise by between 1 and 5% by 2030. That’s why Moneyhub is focused on providing the essential technology through its Open Data platform for the future of all customer-centric propositions: it’s the backbone of growth, wealth, and health.

Samantha Seaton, CEO of Moneyhub Enterprise, adds: “Open Data is the natural next step in Moneyhub’s journey. Having been an Open Banking and Open Finance pioneer, we are excited to lead the way into the next evolution. We want to put trust, through control of their data, back into the hands of the consumers, and in doing so support them in making better financial decisions.”

Young savers catch up with the same number of pension pots as those double their age

Analysis from online pension provider, PensionBee, reveals that customers over the age of 40 have, on average, £37,100 saved for retirement. These savings have been accumulated by consolidating, on average, two pension pots with the provider, in addition to making extra contributions. In contrast, PensionBee’s younger customers (under the age of 40), have, on average, £11,200 saved for retirement, yet have also consolidated two pension pots.

While this inequality in pension wealth is to be expected, the identical number of pots held by these age groups highlights the growing trend for younger workers to move more quickly between jobs than previous generations. The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that today’s average workers will have 11 different jobs in their lifetime, and as a result of greater mobility in the workforce, alongside the introduction of Auto-Enrolment in 2012, it’s expected that younger workers will exceed the number of pension pots held by their predecessors.

Clare Reilly, Chief Engagement Officer of PensionBee, commented: “Our latest analysis reveals that younger savers are, as predicted, on track to accumulate a greater number of pension pots than older workers over their lifetime. While it’s evident that a significant number of savers, across all ages, are taking advantage of the benefits of consolidation, there’s still more work to be done to improve consumers’ understanding.

Record growth at anti-money laundering firm SmartSearch

Specialist anti-money laundering firm SmartSearch has reported record annual growth. The rapid expansion has been driven by a surge in demand for its industry-leading online identity verification and due diligence platform.

The Yorkshire-based company increased business by 23% during 2021, with turnover year-on-year rising from £11.8 million to £14.5 million. During that period, subscribers grew from 5,012 to 5,874., and the number of employees nearly doubled, increasing from 109 to 181.

Managing director Martin Cheek said: “These record results for 2021 come in the context of a 77% increase in turnover at SmartSearch over the past three years. This growth reflects a surge in demand for our state-of-the-art technology, especially from regulated companies, as they seek an effective solution to the dramatic rise in attempted fraud and money laundering since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

NatWest Group joins Good Business Pays campaign

National Westminster Bank NatWest UK High Street Retail Bank

NatWest Group, the leading banking and financial services organisation that serves 19 million UK customers, has become the first major bank to sign-up and support the Good Business Pays campaign. The bank is reinforcing its commitment to small business owners by signing up to the Good Business Pays campaign, which was launched in May 2021 to encourage large companies to fast track their payments to small suppliers.

Alison Rose, Chief Executive at NatWest Group, said: “As the largest supporter of UK businesses, we understand the difference that prompt payment makes to businesses throughout the supply chain which is why we are supporting the Good Business Pays campaign. Throughout the pandemic we have maintained immediate payment on goods and services receipt, which exceeds our commitment to the Government’s Prompt Payment code.”

Policy Expert surpasses one million home and motor insurance customers

InsurancePolicy Expert, the UK insurtech for home and motor insurance, has passed the milestone of one million live policyholders, doubling its customer base in less than three years as it builds on a decade of sustained growth.

The business was founded in 2010 and sold its first home insurance policy in May 2011. Since then, it has recorded significant year-on-year growth to become one of the UK’s ten biggest home insurance providers while diversifying its proposition by entering the motor market in 2019.

Policy Expert’s growth trajectory saw it reach the landmark of one million live policies in December 2021, having passed 500,000 in June 2019. In addition, the number of motor policies written by its owned MGA grew by 184% between 2020 and 2021.

Adam Powell, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Policy Expert, commented: “Policy Expert has begun 2022 on the crest of a wave as the vision we set out a decade ago continues to attract new customers and build long-term relationships based on rewarding loyalty with fair pricing and best-in-class service.”

Nationwide builds a better digital onboarding experience with Jumio

Digital SecurityJumio, a provider of AI-powered end-to-end identity orchestration, eKYC and AML solutions, has partnered with UK-based Nationwide Building Society to streamline the digital onboarding process for new members.

Jumio’s API uses a proprietary mix of AI, machine learning and other advanced technologies to determine if an identity document is authentic and belongs to the user. Jumio seamlessly integrates with Nationwide’s existing workflows to determine — through a simple API call — if applicants are who they say they are and allows Nationwide to make an informed decision about the applicant based on a variety of powerful fraud signals.

“With Jumio we’re able to provide an end-to-end digital process for the majority of our customers,” said Carlo Mascia, Nationwide delivery lead. “The time it takes to open an account has been dramatically reduced, but the customer experience is the greatest win.”

OneBanks Hub teams up with Answer Pay to offer vulnerable customers face to face bill payment services

OneBanks Hub, the shared branch banking innovator, is teaming up with Answer Pay to offer its Request to Pay bill payment services across the OneBanks network.

Request to Pay allows customers to settle utility and other bills easily. It has been devised as a solution for customers on a low-income who currently pay a “poverty premium” as they are ineligible for the discounts offered to customers paying by Direct Debit. The facility supports OneBanks Hub’s objective of meeting the needs of vulnerable and low-income customers who are increasingly disadvantaged by the closure of traditional bank branches and the steady migration of banking and payments away from cash and person to person towards impersonal digital transaction methods.

Duncan Cockburn, Founder and CEO of OneBanks Hub says, “This is a game-changer in the way it will shift control back into the hands of ordinary customers who often struggle with the current method of paying bills or find direct debits problematic. This partnership falls squarely within our mission to tackle financial exclusion and provide services through OneBanks Hub which fulfil a genuine need. I am great admirer of what the team at AnswerPay have done to make this possible and look forward to working together to make it happen.”


  • 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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