Each week we take a look at some of the latest news from UK fintech. In this weeks round up, online retailers lose over £1 billion annually due to lack of available payment methods and a new travel insurtech solution launches
Online retailers lose over £1 billion annually due to a lack of available payment methods
A Merchant Advice Service survey found that over two-thirds of respondents (67%) find it frustrating when there is a lack of payment methods available when shopping online; of those, more than half (54%) admit they’re discouraged to complete an online purchase if the payment options are limited solely to debit or credit card details.
When asked which payment methods respondents’ favour the most (and able to pick more than one option), 71% admit they opt for PayPal, closely followed by 68% who said they tend to use digital wallets (Apple Pay and Google Pay). Meanwhile, 24% prefer Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) payments such as Klarna and Clear Pay.
Libby James, co-founder of Merchant Advice Service, commented: “These findings show just how crucial it is for retailers to offer alternative payment methods to just credit or debit cards, since so many now prefer using Google Pay, Apple Pay, Klarna, and so on. By limiting your payment methods, you’re equally limiting your chances of a sale if customers are unable to pay using their preference. To avoid customers falling at the final stage of checkout, consider adding payment methods that make the online shopping experience as seamless and hassle-free as possible, by offering one-click payments and more.”
Kroo Gains Banking License
Digital bank Kroo has received its banking licence and is now authorised with restrictions by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), marking the company’s entrance into the final stage of the UK financial regulators’ rigorous licensing application process.
Kroo aims to remove the friction from financial interactions with family and friends, by reducing the social anxiety and stigma surrounding money management. The digital bank’s current product range – a prepaid debit card and its innovative app – enable customers to easily create groups with friends, track spending, and split and pay bills quickly and securely.
Andrea De Gottardo, CEO of Kroo, says “It is incredibly exciting to finally be a bank that is authorised with restrictions. Very few firms in the UK get to this point and this represents a huge milestone for the entire team. We’ve worked hard over the years to build a bank our customers will not only love but can rely on and trust. Entering mobilisation brings us one giant step closer to becoming the greatest social bank on the planet.”
Three-quarters of finance firms could make employees return to the workplace before they’re comfortable
Almost three-quarters of businesses in the finance sector could make employees return to their normal workplaces before they are comfortable doing so, according to new research from not-for-profit healthcare provider, Benenden Health.
When asked about their plans to return to the workplace as COVID-19 restrictions ease, nearly three quarters of business owners and directors (73%) in the sector revealed that they intend to ask their employees who have been working from home to return to the physical workplace, even if their team weren’t comfortable doing so.
With 15% of the industry’s employees believing it is not yet safe enough to ease restrictions and one in ten (8%) having a significant fear about returning to their normal place of work, workers could find themselves with little choice but to do so, with a potential knock-on effect on employee wellbeing, engagement, recruitment and retention.
Leeds insurtech launches new tech solution to help with lost luggage
Specialist travel insurance provider Just Travel Cover has partnered with InsurTech CPP UK to launch Smart Luggage – a technology solution offering real-time, automated support to airline passengers whose checked luggage cannot be located. 25.4 million items of baggage were mishandled by the travel industry in 2019 – costing the industry approximately £1.8 billion.
The first product of its kind in the UK, Smart Luggage allows holidaymakers and travellers to easily upload an image of their delayed airline luggage receipt, and without making a travel insurance claim, entitles them to receive an automated £50 pay-out within 30 minutes of their checked luggage being unlocatable at the arrival airport, rising to an additional £500 pay-out if still the case after a 48-hour window.
Andrew Jackson, managing director at Just Travel Cover, said: “This summer season, after months of restrictions, complex claim processes and travel disruption like never before, the stress of losing luggage is the last thing that passengers need. With Smart Luggage, lost luggage doesn’t need to be another obstacle to passengers fully enjoying their travels.”
UK Public Finances are fast improving
UK Public Finance data shows a sharp improvement compared to where the Government’s finances were a year ago. Public Sector Net Borrowing in July almost halved, to £10.4bn, although this is still the second-worst July for borrowing levels since records began. Both sides of the equation improved; spending fell by £2.9bn to £79.8bn, whilst government tax receipts of £70.0bn were up by £9.5bn on the prior year run-rate.
Much of the improvement came from higher Self-Assessed Income Tax receipts, which improved by £3.7bn, or 76%, which likely reflects the catching up of receipts after 2020’s introduction of tax payment deferrals. – With borrowing below expectations, total Public Sector Net Debt of £2.22 trillion stayed just below 100% of GDP, but at 98.8%, the level is at its highest since March 1962.
Liverpool FC launches new partnership with ThinkMarkets
Liverpool FC has welcomed global online trading broker, ThinkMarkets, as its new Official Global Trading Partner. ThinkMarkets will work with the club to bring quick and easy access to a wide range of financial trading markets to Liverpool FC supporters across the world.
The global partnership will focus on bringing forward market access and game-changing technology, providing ThinkMarkets with a high-profile opportunity to promote its brand as well as its multi-asset trading products and innovative platforms.
Matt Scammell, commercial director, Liverpool FC, said: “Our worldwide following will generate global exposure for ThinkMarkets, whilst their core markets benefit from tremendous numbers of Liverpool FC supporters. Through this new partnership, we look forward to working closely together in offering our fans activities and experiences to bring them even closer to the club.”