Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week sees the first VRP offered for ‘non-sweeping’ cases; while a UK fintechs aim to incentivise early payment.
First VRP offered for ‘non-sweeping’ use-cases
NatWest Group has become the first of all UK banks to offer Variable Recurring Payments (VRP) for ‘non-sweeping’ use-cases. Currently, the requirement for banks in the UK is that they must offer VRP for sweeping. Sweeping refers to the automatic transfer of money between two accounts belonging to the same person.
The first non-sweeping VRP payments were made by NatWest customers to Charity Right and Pink Chilli. Natwest has partnered with fintechs TrueLayer, GoCardless and Crezco to deliver this initiative. The new use for VRP means that businesses will be given a new option to manage customer payments (in fields such as utility bills and subscriptions). Because VRP is completely digital, there is no physical paperwork involved; saving time, reducing the number of errors made and reducing the risk of fraud and manual error.
“We’re proud to play an integral role in this market-first pilot, proving the value of VRPs beyond ‘me-to-me’ transactions and powering donations for Charity Right,” said Duncan Barrigan, chief product officer and chief growth officer at GoCardless. “This trial represents the first step in making VRPs part of everyday life, from regular giving to subscription payments to repeat purchases at our favourite retailers.”
New financing platform launches in the UK
This week saw the launch of Debite; a new financing platform for companies in their early-stages. The platform announced its aim to tackle one of the biggest reasons for the failure of many new start-ups in the UK. It aims to help new companies to manage their cash flow and maximise growth potential.
Its ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) model allows companies to manage their spending easily through a flexible repayment plan (with interest rates starting at zero per cent). As part of its launch, Debite announced it raised £2.5million in pre-seed funding earlier this year and is preparing a further investment round later in the year.
Debit’s chief executive officer, Tayga Baltacıoğlu said: “We are beyond excited to be making our vision a reality with the launch of Debite. So many early-stage companies start out with amazing ambitions and the potential to do incredible things, but issues with managing the heavy burden of operational costs, and a lack of attractive funding options from traditional lenders to help smooth cash flow, means that growth is often stifled.
Product launch aims to incentivise early payment
UK Fintech, Saltare, have announced the launch of its new digital based product named ‘Early Pay’. As the name suggests, the product is designed to encourage large authorities and organisations to pay suppliers before the specified invoice due date.
Early Pay works by offering a range of discounts and offers to encourage earlier payment. Once an invoice has been created and shared with the buyer; the supplier is notified of when it has been approved along with a specific date that payment will be made. This aims to reduce uncertainty surrounding payment and helps increase cash flow.
Saltare’s chief executive, Anthony Persse, explained: “With an estimated £200billion tied up in unpaid invoices owed to SMEs and over 900,000 hours spent chasing payments, the solution aims to quell the fears of the 88 per cent of SMEs who admit to on-going anxiety surrounding payments.”
Two UK-based fintechs partner to deliver flexible payments
Core banking provider, Yobota, has announced its newest partnership with BNPL startup Tranch. The two companies aim to provide more flexible payments to fast-growing businesses.
By making use of the ‘Pay with Tranch’ payment method, suppliers can offer their end-customers more options to choose how they spread out expenses. They also offer a more flexible way to pay for contracts worth between £10,000 and £250,000, while ensuring that they are paid quickly.
Ion Fratiloiu, head of commercial at Yobota, said: “The success of Tranch so far is an important milestone for Yobota, too. If further evidence was needed, it proves the power of harnessing API connectivity, allowing firms to address niche market needs and deliver exactly the solution that customers deserve.”
Work-from-anywhere continues growth
A new report released by recruiters Morgan McKinley and data analysts VacancySoft has revealed the extent of growth of both remote and hybrid working in tax accounting.
The report suggests that tax accountant vacancies which are executed from multiple office locations or from home are up 213 per cent in public practice and 586 per cent across in-house roles.
“Confidence levels are high across the tax market and the outlook for the rest of the year is positive. Many organisations are looking to recruit, and demand for experienced talent is high.” explained Kathryn Swan, head of professional services at Morgan McKinley. “The largest accountancy firms have all formalised hybrid working policies in an effort to keep pace with the market. Both technological and cultural advances made during the pandemic have resulted in the rise in numbers of remote working tax specialists.”