Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech news from across the UK. This week brings updates from Opengear, Revolut, Starling Bank and TrueLayer.
Skills shortage worsens as UK network engineers retire
Sixty-one per cent of UK-based CIOs expect at least 25 per cent of their network engineers to retire in the next five years; provider of secure and Smart Out of Band management solutions Opengear has revealed.
The networking industry is facing a skills shortage as engineers continue retiring. Most UK chief information officers (74 per cent) say that a shortfall in engineers has led to an inability to manage networks, an equal number of UK engineers (74 per cent) and 81 per cent of global engineers agree with this also.
Additionally, 64 per cent of UK CIOs state that they are now struggling to meet user or customer expectations in today’s economic environment.
Gary Marks, president at Opengear, explains: “As skills shortages persist, technologies such as Smart Out of Band can empower under-pressure IT teams to flexibly deploy, manage and remediate business networks, allowing them more time to focus on critical network tasks for better business performance and improved customer satisfaction. Reliable remote access also means that businesses can securely manage their IT networks from any location with a hybrid workforce.”
Revolut launches biggest update yet
Revolut, the financial global super app, which has just surpassed 35 million customers globally, has launched ‘Revolut 10’, its biggest update yet, with a significant overhaul of the design and layout of the app.
Revolut’s new design is built to make everyday money management as easy as possible, with a special focus on those who increasingly use Revolut as their primary account.
Key Revolut products and features will be quickly accessible from the home screen, while tools to build wealth, explore saving and investing and make the most of lifestyle services and offers are available in just one tap.
Ivan Chalov, head of retail at Revolut, explained: “Revolut 10 is the biggest step forward yet in helping our customers make Revolut their primary account.
“Built for ease, we hope the updated, clearer design helps our customers explore existing features and products they may not have known were at their fingertips.”
Britain’s baby bankers
Starling Bank‘s ‘Kite’ the debit card and app for children aged 6 to 15, is now free. To support the launch, the UK bank surveyed 2000 children in this age range, finding that 26 per cent are already saving for a car and 18 per cent for a house as they look to prepare for their futures.
Currently, five per cent of six and seven-year-olds have made significant progress on their saving goals, with £1,000 or more saved up separately to money set aside by their parents.
Children are taking it upon themselves to improve their financial literacy too, with 13 per cent saying they have done their own research into how to be smart with their bank balance – including 10 per cent of six-year-olds.
Rachel Kerrone, family finance expert at Starling Bank said: “Children are becoming increasingly financially savvy and learning the importance of saving from an early age. With such ambitious saving goals, it’s important for them to understand how to manage their money. Kite, our debit card and app for kids, allows them to learn how to save, spend and budget while tracking everything digitally, for free.”
TrueLayer processes 1 million VRP transactions in a single
TrueLayer, Europe’s leading open banking payments network, has reached the milestone of processing 1 million variable recurring payment (VRP) transactions in a single month – just three months after it announced it had processed 1 million VRP transactions in total.
The rapid surge in VRP adoption reflects an increasing recognition of the valuable opportunities that they present to both UK consumers and businesses. As this growth continues, VRPs are poised to significantly impact and potentially reshape traditional methods like direct debits and card-on-file payments.
Francesco Simoneschi, co-founder and CEO of TrueLayer, said: “We’re incredibly excited about VRPs and their potential to change the way people set up recurring payments. Providing consumers with a more flexible, more secure means to manage their money. One million payments in one month is a major milestone, but we’re only just scratching the surface of what’s possible with VRP.”
UK-US data bridge set to come into action
The UK’s Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan, has announced the UK-US Data Bridge will come into action on 12 October 2023. The news comes as the UK acknowledges the importance of data for most modern businesses.
These regulations are designed to improve data sharing between the two nations, granting UK businesses the freedom to send personal data to certified US organisations with reduced restrictions and bureaucratic implications.
Vivek Dodd, CEO of Skillcast, a corporate compliance training service, commented: “These regulations could provide significant advantages for businesses of all sizes, particularly SMEs, as simplifying the data-sharing processes while maintaining robust data protection standards will facilitate smoother and more efficient business operations.”