Each week, The Fintech Times takes a look at the top stories in British fintech. In today’s roundup, Barclaycard Payments finds the retail and hospitality sectors have boomed since the change in lockdown restrictions, how Contactless Technology will help museums maximise donations when they reopen and myGP launches the first Covid vaccine “passport” verification feature.
Scottish retirement fintech Guiide has raised further investment
Free retirement guidance tool Guiide has received a further round of investment as it continues to make retirement planning tools more practical, insightful, easier to use and freely accessible to everyone who does not, or cannot access paid retirement advice.
The new funding will help support Guiide to develop new features on its existing consumer platform. These include greater integration and tailoring with partner providers, real-time fund value information, plan tracking and monitoring along with more accurate unique charging comparisons. It will also support wider initiatives to solve specific issues for defined benefit members.
Guiide founder and actuary Kevin Hollister said: “This investment enables us to widen our scope further, improve our existing consumer offering and provide further integration to any partners seeking to assist their customers or members in individual and mastertrust DC schemes as well as those with legacy defined benefit schemes.
“As ever we hope we can provide our technology free to those who want to make their own retirement plan via our site, or by working directly with pension schemes to provide tailored specific assistance to support their members.”
iProspect launches Core Web Vitals Evaluation Tool
iProspect, a dentsu company, has launched its Core Web Vitals (CWV) Evaluation Tool in the UK. This free to use tool monitors and tracks across 15 major industries, including e-commerce & Shopping, Automotive and Fashion, as well as comparing scores of the Top 1500 sector websites.
Core Web Vitals are three new metrics Google intends to use to measure the page experience of site visitors. The iProspect CWV Evaluation Tool, which uses data going back to January 2021, shows industry trends in performance experience along with daily impact scores per sector and also for individual websites. From June, Google will start to use these metrics as a ranking signal in mobile search, which means all things being equal, pages with better Core Web Vitals scores will outrank those with poorer scores.
James Bailey, UK CEO at iProspect, said: “A better webpage experience has always helped visitors both use and fall in love with a brand, but now it will help with a brand’s SEO too. Considering the recent surge in digital commerce across the country and the globe, it’s still surprising just how many firms are still behind the curve when it comes to being ready for this change, especially those in the Fashion industry. Many of these firms are needing to rely heavily on DTC shopping and e-commerce right now, they can’t afford to lose position in search.”
Yimba and Railsbank partner to enhance digital wallet services
Yimba a FAST (Fintech As a Service Technology) company, and Railsbank, a global Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, are joining forces to provide customers with products and services that will enhance their digital wallet experience with the likes of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay. Under a new strategic partnership between the two companies, all customers of Railsbank can benefit from Yimba’s state-of-the-art digital wallet marketing platform.
Robert Dowd said: “The Yimba proposition has really struck a chord with our customers. We are working with multiple organisations and have support from the networks and wallets across the global marketplace. Moving forward, we aim to expand our portfolio of partners and also offer consumers a broader array of additional products and services. The partnership with Railsbank will greatly facilitate this growth.”
Barclaycard Payments data shows huge rebound for Retail, Pubs & Bars, and Hairdressers as lockdown restrictions ease
New data from Barclaycard Payments has shone a light on the economic impact of the 12th April changes to social distancing, which included the re-opening of non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality, and hair and beauty businesses.
Barclaycard Payments has already recorded significant growth across all the sectors that were allowed to re-open, stemming from the country’s pent-up demand for returning to pre-pandemic activities. The overall amount spent at hairdressers and beauty salons was not only 438 per cent above where it was the previous week, it was also 62 per cent higher than the same week in 2019, before the pandemic.
Spending at pubs and bars also saw a huge spike, surging 1,390 per cent week-on-week. This was even more pronounced over the weekend, with Saturday’s warm weather causing transaction volumes to rise by 1,897 per cent compared to the Saturday before. However, the sector was still 40 per cent behind where it was in 2019. This is likely because venues are not yet back to full capacity – only outdoor hospitality venues are currently open – as well as a degree of caution from Brits who are not yet fully comfortable socialising in close proximity to others.
Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “We are now seeing the economy start to gather pace as restrictions continue to ease, and more sectors are allowed to reopen. This is welcome news for all UK businesses, especially for those smaller businesses which have struggled over the past 12 months. As a nation, we have really got behind local independent traders throughout the pandemic – now that the end is in sight, and the economy is starting to turn a corner, it’s vital that shoppers continue to show them support as the road to recovery gets underway.”
Contactless Technology will help museums maximise donations when they reopen
As outlined in the government roadmap on May 17th museums and galleries will reopen to the general public following months of closure due to lockdown restrictions. After a challenging and difficult year GoodBox, the world’s first ‘one-stop shop’ for charitable giving, is working with many museums and galleries to help them maximise donations and combat the effects of COVID restrictions by utilising the fintech’s award-winning contactless technology.
For many museums and galleries running costs will increase to facilitate COVID restrictions such as social distancing and one-way systems, as they will need additional staff to make the experience safe but fun for visitors. This will make fundraising efforts even more critical as they aim to not only recoup lost income from the last year but cover these additional costs as well.
With the public increasingly favouring contactless payments rather than cash, a trend that has been amplified by the pandemic, it is essential that museums and galleries offer a simple but effective contactless solution as part of their fundraising efforts
GoodBox Co-Founder & Managing Director Francesca Hodgson says, “We are delighted to be able to support these important institutions across the UK and help them strengthen their fundraising efforts after a very challenging year. As an increasing number of donors don’t carry cash, a contactless donation point is fast becoming an essential part of any modern fundraising campaign.”
myGP app launches NHS-assured COVID certification feature.
Following the news that vaccine certification will be required for international travel, and that the UK is still on track to reopen its borders from May 17th, myGP released a new feature within their app, the myGP TICKet, bringing to the market the UK’s first vaccine verification feature and answering the call of the travel and events industries well before the government is expected to do so.
The myGP TICKet feature displays whether a patient is sufficiently protected from COVID-19 by applying a simple green tick around a user photo 12 days following the second vaccine dose. This feature acts as a clinically assured means of proving an individual’s vaccination status, displayed in real-time, and generated directly from a patient’s NHS medical record. In short – the solution to the travel conundrum already exists. And the travel industry simply doesn’t have time to waste and with the current deadline of May 1st for Government to list the countries being allocated to the ‘green’ list – time is of the essence to get the tourism industry back on its feet.
Edward Frampton-Fell Managing Director of SPL Villas comments, “With both the UK travel industry and UK consumers hoping for the restart of international travel on 17 May, we welcome any tool that will help travellers achieve their goal of getting away on an overseas holiday this summer. As a new and innovative villa specialist that launched this year ourselves, we are firm supporters of any form of positive innovation that has been developed during this global crisis. This is the time when travel and technology need to come together to allow the world to re-open and any approved technology that is ready and available to use from 17 May to allow this to happen will be unreservedly welcomed by the whole travel industry.”