Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week we look at new technology tests and a workshop that aims to close the investment gap.
Venue trials fingerprint age verification service
Hatch, a pop-up venue in Manchester, has trialled a new payment and age verification technology for its customers with biometric solutions provider FinGo.
The venue, which is host to a variety of independent restaurants, retailers and breweries, tested the fingerprint verification technology throughout June. It enables customers to both verify their age and pay with only their fingerprint. To use this service, they must sign up to FinGo’s service, upload valid ID and add their card payment details.
Simon Binns, chief commercial officer at FinGo said: “Requesting and being asked for ID can be frustrating for both staff and customers, and it is our hope that our technology will make age verification simpler and easier for all parties.”
Partnership creates workshop for underserved entrepreneurs
Ethical investment platform Ethical Equity has teamed up with business management consultant Streets Consulting to launch a one-day workshop for underserved entrepreneurs.
The workshop, taking place on 8 July 2022, will teach those involved how to improve their pitches, presentation skills and will offer a short video piece to be recorded at the event and edited soon after for them to post on social media.
Statistics released by Sifted reveals that since 2009, ethnic minority entrepreneurs received only 1.7 per cent of capital raised. As part of that percentage; black entrepreneurs received 0.24 per cent and black female entrepreneurs received 0.02 per cent.
Denis Lindsay, non-executive director at Ethical Equity, said: “As well as competing for a slender wedge of the capital investment on offer, founders from under served and diverse communities find themselves starting behind the start line. We see plenty of brilliant entrepreneurs with viable businesses approach us without confident, refined pitches – and so this workshop was born, which we hope to run regularly, to provide concrete outcomes that will improve their chances of success.”
New digital bank receives full banking licence
UK-based challenger bank Kroo has received its full banking licence from the Bank of England and plans to launch a new personal current account in the coming months.
Because this makes Kroo a fully licensed UK bank, it can begin to offer customers an FSCA protected current account. The bank launched a pre-paid option in February 2019; which amassed a customer base of 23,000. All its existing customer base will have the opportunity to move over to the new account for free.
Andrea De Gottardo, CEO of Kroo, commented: “We are delighted to announce that Kroo has received its full UK banking licence. This represents a key milestone in our mission to create a bank that truly connects people financially, enables them to be financially better off and plays its part in making a positive impact on the world.”
Virgin Money partners with Untied
Virgin Money is working with with personal tax app Untied to offer its existing customers access to the tax service. The aim is to provide the self-employed with Virgin Money business current accounts with a feature that will allow them to make plans, and put money aside, for business tax payments.
The service will also enable small business owners to meet the new requirements for Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax beginning in 2024. The move will also grant access to the Untied app which includes integration of Virgin Money business current accounts.
Kevin Sefton, CEO of Untied commented: “We’re here to help self-employed Virgin Money customers stay on top of their taxes; whether that’s registration, knowing deadlines, keeping records, finding ways to save tax, filing self-assessment tax returns and even paying HMRC.
“We built Untied with banks in mind, and it’s a great fit especially with Making Tax Digital for Income Tax being rolled out.”
Novidea launches in London
Insurance software provider Novidea has opened new offices in the centre of London; within one of London’s most iconic skyscrapers ‘The Gherkin’.
This expansion will support its increasing customer demand worldwide and create a platform to meet its targets for further growth.
Roi Agababa, Novidea’s CEO explained: “Novidea has enjoyed rapid expansion over the last few years and we decided to commit to London as our centre for international growth, mirroring 300 years of history and heritage in the great London Market.”