Each week we take a look at some of the latest fintech news to hit the UK sector. This week, 24 per cent of UK adults are ready to invest in tokens in 2022 and Playter raises $1.7m to bring ‘buy now pay later’ to the B2B space.
ISA allowances “irrelevant” to young people
ISA Season is here but the allowance is “irrelevant” compared to making affordable regular contributions, said Victor Trokoudes, chief executive and co-founder of investment app Plum.
The average total amount saved into ISAs is around £6,450 for 18–24-year-olds while among 25–35-year-olds it’s just £7,750, according to the latest data from HMRC. This suggests young people are a long way away from being able to contribute to the annual allowance limit.
Trokoudes comments: “Every year we see reminders that the end of the tax year is approaching and to fill up our ISA allowances. But this isn’t a particularly useful message for young people that struggle to get anywhere close to that amount.
“In fact, the tax-free allowance is more or less irrelevant to millions of people on average incomes, who can’t afford to save £20,000 a year.”
24 per cent of UK adults ready to invest in tokens in 2022
Almost a quarter of Britons are ready to invest in tokens or NFTs this year, according to a new national survey commissioned by Tokenise.
When asked about which investments they viewed as most risky, 41 per cent said Bitcoin, 27 per cent company shares, 19 per cent oil, 17 per cent property, and 16 per cent gold. Just 11 per cent of respondents found tokens the riskiest form of investment.
Mike Kessler, Tokenise Founder and Chief Executive Officer said: “Our survey pinpoints shifting attitudes towards newer digital assets. We believe that tokens are close to a critical tipping point – the ideal climate for a fully regulated exchange for security tokens to emerge.
“Crucially, this also marks the start of an exciting new era for investors who can own a piece of what they love and stand to potentially benefit financially. That’s democratising a world – of art, wine, property – that few previously had access to.”
Royal Bank of Scotland and SBRC partner to extend cyber training reach
The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) and Royal Bank of Scotland have formalised a partnership whereby the bank will offer access to SBRC-delivered cyber security workshops for its corporate and commercial customers.
While cyber security investment in the UK has hit record levels over the last 12 months, in the same time period the National Cyber Security Centre identified an increase in cyber-related incidents highlighting the continued need for cyber education for organisations of all sizes and sectors.
Malcolm Buchanan, Managing Director, Corporate & Commercial Banking, Scotland at Royal Bank of Scotland added: “While all our customers have been impacted from the grips of the pandemic over the last two years, the everyday challenges we faced before it have not disappeared – including cyber hacks and scams. The threat of cybersecurity-related incidents is higher than ever, and so where we can support a proportion of our customer base by providing guidance and access to education to ensure they don’t become the next victim – we will. By partnering with the SBRC, we will not only be able to directly introduce our customers to cyber experts but will be able to extend the education of so many of our local authority and higher education customers who want the skills and expertise to address the threat at hand.”
ClearBank raises £175million led by Apax Digital to accelerate global expansion
ClearBank, the largest next-generation clearing and embedded banking platform in the UK, announced a £175 million equity investment. The round was led by funds advised by Apax Digital, the growth equity arm of Apax, a leading global private equity advisory firm.
The investment will accelerate ClearBank’s global ambition to power banking services for both financial institutions and non-financial brands, using its single API cloud-native embedded banking platform. The new investment will accelerate ClearBank’s global expansion, initially to Europe before moving into North America and Asia Pacific.
Charles McManus, CEO at ClearBank, said: “ClearBank is the first proven and fully regulated cloud-native clearing bank in the UK for over 250 years. Over the last five years we have demonstrated the success of our business model and through our work with leading financial service providers, helped to both unlock their potential and bring about positive and meaningful change for UK businesses and consumers.”
Allica Bank raises over £1billion of deposits
Allica Bank, a fintech SME challenger bank, has revealed it has raised over £1 billion in deposits from business and personal savers. This milestone comes on the back of extensive work by the bank to diversify its deposit-raising channels. Alongside launching its own range of personal and business savings accounts, it has partnered with Flagstone, which has enabled Allica to become the primary UK savings account partner for leading global fintech Revolut’s ‘Vaults’ product, and popular digital savings app Chip.
Richard Davies, CEO of Allica Bank, said of the achievement: “It’s fantastic to have reached this milestone so quickly in Allica Bank’s journey. Our goal has always been to harness our technology to create a diversified and scalable model for raising deposits to fund our business lending. By partnering with Revolut, Chip, Flagstone and Hargreaves Lansdown, and reaching £1bn in deposits, we’ve made huge progress over the last year.”
Caxton and OpenPayd shape the future of payments with embedded finance infrastructure
Caxton, a UK fintech payments provider, announced a major partnership with Banking-as-a-Service provider OpenPayd to offer customers a simplified payments experience. To meet the demands of rapid growth, the collaboration will upgrade and automate Caxton’s payments infrastructure, to drive faster processing of payments in and out and deliver a better customer experience.
“For over 20 years, Caxton has provided its corporate and consumer clients with a world-class payments experience, combining best-of-breed financial technology with an award-winning level of customer service,” said Rupert Lee-Browne, CEO. “As we continue to grow, we’ve chosen to partner with OpenPayd to overhaul our operations. OpenPayd’s unique API-driven infrastructure will help our teams continue to shape the future of payments, automating time-consuming processes, delivering improved operational efficiency and even better service for our customers.”
Playter raises $1.7million to bring ‘buy now pay later’ to the B2B space
Playter, a London-based growth platform that helps startups scale quicker with buy now, pay later (BNPL) invoicing, has today announced the closing of $1.7m in seed funding. The funding comes as Playter has grown over 1,000 per cent in size and revenue in recent months and is using the injection in capital to sustain growth in the coming months.
Jamie Beaumont, founder and CEO of Playter, said: “Accessing funds for businesses can be a painful, complex and time-consuming experience, but we’re here to fix that. Our subscriptions offer clients access to easy, fast and affordable funding to spread their services into manageable payments. We’re helping businesses increase their liquidity and stretch their cash flow further and for longer.”
Oxbury Bank announces new £1billion lending target for 2024
Oxbury Bank, the UK’s only bank 100 per cent dedicated to serving farmers, the food supply chain and the rural economy has set its sights on an ambitious target to lend £1 billion across the farming and food supply chain by 2024, following a successful first full year of lending.
James Farrar, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder at Oxbury Bank, commented: “We are very proud of Oxbury’s strong first year, supporting Britain’s farmers and the rural economy and of their support for us. This support delivers momentum and a level of opportunities that has allowed us to bring forward our planned breakeven as we grow our business alongside our customers.
Zilch gallops past 2 million customers in record time
London-based Zilch, the fastest fintech to reach double unicorn status, has announced it has surpassed 2 million customers – with record registrations of more than 425,000 new customers in December.
By the same growth stage since launch, Zilch has reached this milestone faster than other popular fintech unicorns like N26 and Revolut, which took 41 and 67 months respectively.
Philip Belamant, CEO and Co-Founder, at Zilch, “We’re working day and night to create the most ubiquitous payment product the world has ever seen. Offering our customers the most convenient and responsible way to purchase anything, anywhere. Customers can pay in 1 and earn cashback, using that cashback to discount future purchases or pay overtime in 4, with zero-interest credit. Never before in the history of payments have we seen so much value created for customers each and every time they transact, this is why we see Zilch resonating deeply with customers. It’s truly about giving consumers greater value, visibility and control over their finances. “