Each week we take a look at some of the latest fintech news to hit the UK sector. This week, Payit by NatWest successfully makes its first Variable Recurring Payment and The Bank of London joins Faster Payments.
GoHenry launches Junior ISA to help parents invest in their children’s future
GoHenry, the children’s prepaid debit card and financial education app, announced the launch of its Stocks and Shares Junior ISA for parents of kids aged 6-15. Taking less than one minute to set up, parents can begin by investing as little as £1 up to £9,000 per tax year on their child’s behalf through monthly contributions or one-off payments.
Parents can transfer funds from any existing Junior ISA or Child Trust Fund, enabling them to manage their child’s finances all in one place as part of their GoHenry membership. Once invested, the money belongs to the child and cannot be withdrawn until they are 18 years old.
GoHenry Chief Product Officer, Richard Jones, comments: “We’re all about setting children up for financial success at every life stage. With the introduction of our Junior ISA, we’re making it as easy and simple as possible for parents to start investing in their child’s future. By enabling parents to open, contribute to, and monitor the progress of their Junior ISA via our GoHenry app, we’re providing one easy-to-view resource for them to track their children’s day-to-day finances alongside their long-term investments.”
Smart tickets entice Gen Z back to the railway
Smart tickets are the future of rail according to a new survey commissioned by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), with 58% of consumers saying they’d travel by train using smart tickets after learning more about them.
Younger generations were the most interested in switching to smart tickets, with 84% of 16- to 24-year-olds agreeing that they would consider travelling by train more often after learning about the benefits of smart tickets.
The research, from the rail operator which runs Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern services, revealed that nearly six in ten (59%) were previously unaware of smart tickets, and therefore were not familiar with the many benefits of their use.
Women are almost 50% more likely to use newer investing platforms than traditional ones
Women who invest are 47% more likely to use share-trading platforms founded after 2010 according to an analysis by Finder, a personal finance comparison site.
By analysing survey data from 753 customers of all the major trading apps in the UK, Finder discovered that share-trading companies founded after 2010, such as Freetrade, eToro and Nutmeg had an equal share of male and female customers at 50% each.
In comparison, most people using investing platforms founded before 2010, such as Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell and Halifax Share Dealing, were men (66%), and just a third (34%) were women.
These findings indicate that newer platforms seem to be attracting more female users and closing the gender gap when it comes to investing. This might be due to significant advertising of newer apps through a range of media that include social media.
Mortgage search demand surging as leading mortgage platform hits major milestones
Mortgage technology and data provider Twenty7Tec has recorded its three millionth mortgage search of 2022. The one-millionth search took place this year on January 24th, the second millionth on February 10th.
It’s clear from these figures that housing demand is far from slowing down as confidence in the market remains strong and those in the industry race to find the best deals for eager house buyers.
Over the past five years, the number of mortgage searches being conducted through the CloudTwenty7 platform have increased exponentially, getting busier year on year both due to market conditions and a growing user base.
Niki Cooke, director of intermediary relationships at Twenty7Tec says: “It’s an exciting time as we’re reaching these numbers quicker each year which not only demonstrates the market but it also showcases our position in it and how our technology is supporting advisers and their clients”
Payit by NatWest successfully makes its first Variable Recurring Payment
NatWest have become the first UK Bank to successfully make a VRP using a bank-owned Open Banking payments proposition, in addition to already being the first UK bank to launch an open banking payments solution, and the first bank to enable businesses to send money to their customers without requiring their bank details.
James Hodgson, Head of Payit said: “This marks a pioneering milestone for the development of this functionality. The achievement is a major step as it proves Payit’s solution works in a live environment, rather than a testing sandbox.
“VRP is a turning point for Open Banking. It is set to revolutionise the way payments are made online and will look to replace current traditional payment methods such as Direct Debit and Card on File in the future. VRP introduces a mechanism to authorise future payments within pre-agreed limits, meaning consumers can benefit from a new level of payment automation, while experiencing greater transparency and control over their finances.”
The Bank of London joins Faster Payments
The Bank of London has announced that it has become a Directly Connected Settling Participant (DCSP) of the Faster Payment System, the UK’s 24/7 real-time payments infrastructure.
The Bank of London and Pay.UK (the operator of the Faster Payment System) are committed to levelling the playing field for access, promoting competition and ensuring the full real-time service is available to as many end-users as possible. Since its inception in 2008, the Faster Payment System has been joined by a number of other DCSP’s, several non-bank Payment Service Providers, and hundreds more who access the system indirectly through a sponsor bank, such as The Bank of London.
Felipe Hillard, Chief Customer & Product Officer, UK of The Bank of London, said: The Bank of London’s goal is to be the preeminent banking partner for institutions with cross-border needs and to leverage our unique patented technologies to become a global leader in banking-and-compliance-as-a-service – powering our clients and partners to drive the next wave of financial innovation. Formally joining the Faster Payment System as a DCSP is one of the many critical milestones that will power our vision of embedding open access, removing inefficiencies, and driving choice and competition in a market that for far too long has been poorly served by the heritage incumbents.”
Papa Johns launches NFT collection
Papa Johns has launched its first collection of cool and collectable NFTs, known as non-fungible tokens, as part of the metaverse’s biggest ever free NFT giveaway in the UK.
Allowing its fans in the UK to get a slice of the NFT hype, the collection boasts 19,840 NFTs made up of nine pizza hot bag inspired designs, which will drop on several dates in March.
Papa Johns’s NFT Hot Bags have been minted on Tezos, an energy-efficient blockchain, which means the NFTs are also energy-efficient.
The ‘Papa 1984’ NFT bag, takes its cues from the Gen Z trend for insulated streetwear, with echoes of the thermal pizza hot bags, blended as a unique fashion accessory. With a logo repeat and a practical, adjustable crossbody strap alongside the tote handle, this NFT design is available in three block colourways, with a colour pop tag.