The trend in recent decades has been to ever-more flexible working contracts – be it gig economy, independent consultants or the freelancing/project-based work that sits in between. Gig-ers have a company app to engage and pay and indies a company around them. Freelancing et al have always been challenging to administer for both the buyer or seller of labour. However Fintech is changing all this and Underpinned is leading the charge.
Naturally in a world where governments continue to destroy businesses when the CDC data shows that the fatality rate of covid19 is nothing out of the ordinary it is highly likely that you or someone you know may have to take up smaller chunks of work than they ever would in the past.
Equally it’s likely that your Company or one you know will have to engage folks on ever-shorter projects.
The key to facilitating a more flexible labour-market is to smooth the whole process.
One reason that as the Fintech revolution proceeds Fintechs can do more ambitious things is that there an increasing number of back-end service providers that they can plug into. In this episode Joanne Dewar, CEO of back-end payments services provider GPS – who work with 40 issuing banks globally, and operate programmes with 90+ APIs for over 100 clients (including Revolut, Starling Bank and Bo) in 60 countries in 150 currencies – joins us to share her experience of what drives success in this sector for both the B2C front-end companies and the B2B back-end providers. GPS is furthermore a rare example of a profitable Fintech – which are always good to talk to.
Back-end providers have been with us for a long time – Currency Cloud, who executed most of Transferwise’s FX transactions for quite some time were back on the show years ago.
Time moves on though and by now we have plenty of data where partnering/outsourcing worked well and plenty where it did not.
What are the key factors of success? How is it done well and why is it done badly?
In LFP152 we took a strategic look at the post-Covid landscape. In this show Julian Cork, COO of Landbay, guides us through the tactical responses by one of the UK’s most solid Fintechs – £1/2bn buy-to-let mortgages written to date and zero losses.
However as to risk “the past is not necessarily a guide to the future” and in a market that has frozen it is very challenging to operate.
We cover many aspects starting with a background to the UK BTL market and the strategic shifts that were already in play right through to the importance of maintaining not just business dialogue between staff but that important social glue social dialogue too.
As we have repeatedly heard profitability is a major challenge in Fintech. In this episode Tim Nicolle CEO of Trade Finance Fintech Primadollar describes his journey to working out the necessary building blocks to profitability. As someone who has had his own businesses for some 30yrs he has had more experience than most with these challenges.
Despite only being founded in 2015 Primadollar already has an astonishing 12 offices around the world so is well placed to also talk to the globalising of Fintech in this Brexiting year (albeit temporarily (?!) on hold due to a well-know virus of course).
Staff numbers are around 50, one-third in the UK and around two-thirds abroad.
The largest financial transaction of your life is also your last – dying! Get it wrong and Boris gets more money for vanity bridges and your relatives are left with a mess on their hands and potentially plenty of squabbles. Get it right and it is smooth for them and you minimise being taxed twice on the same income.
The whole death-related industry – wills, probate (executing wills) and cremations is super-undigitised (98% is still offline). It is into this gap that Dan Garrett co-founder and CEO of Farewill has stepped.
Farewill get 4.9* from >3,000 reviews on Trustpilot so must be doing wills well.
This is a super-important topic – if any of you out there don’t have a will you should get one and now it has been made digitally convenient there is no excuse. You can do it on your phone.
Do you known that William Russell’s – the 692nd Lord Mayor of London – first trip was to the US to promote Fintech and that he is perhaps the first Lord Mayor of London to have visited all the regions and is well up-to-speed on regional Fintech? No me neither before we spoke. However his mayoral theme is “Global UK – Trade, Innovation and Culture” which is super-important in this Brexited year.
What actually is The City – a phrase we all use? What is the Lord Mayor and what is his role?
How does the geographic district relate to FS as a whole – much of which is in Canary Wharf and spread around the UK?
How does the CIty’s soft power work and what have some Fintech’s already found out about the influence it can bring? What is US investors’ attitude to UK Fintech at present?
Also a small prize for spotting a splendid ancient Clock chiming away in the background of this recording in Mansion House 🙂
Charlie is one of London’s greatest serial entrepreneurs – with ground-breaking the Student Room and Market Invoice under his belt, as an MLRO he saw the huge gap in the market for using AI/ML to solve both the Financial Crime problem and businesses problems in risking prison if they get it wrong. Thus he formed ComplyAdvantage in 2014 which now has offices in four countries around the world.
This whole area has many dimensions. First it’s a regulatory necessity – Fintechs, FS and increasingly others (Apple had to pay a big fine recently) need to Do The Right Thing. Second its a huge resource drain, traditionally very manually done. But third the MLRO is the poor bod that will be picked on to go to jail.
How does Fintech/FS handle these challenges?
What can computers and a smart bunch of folks do to solve this in a 21stC way?
All this and more are covered in this episode. Topics discussed include: Continue reading →
In this show we review a decade in Fintech. Although the earliest Fintechs were formed around 2004/5 (WorldFirst, Zopa) many big names formed around 2010 (Funding Circle, Ratesetter, MarketInvoice). The LFP formed started covering the scene in mid-2014, the year of the first London Fintech week and the year that the Fintech word first hit the broadsheets. Using the shownotes at the time as a diary I trace the evolution of the promises, the hopes, the disappointments, the old innovations and the new innovations. Where did it all go?
No long show notes this week – it is a podcast podcast and in listening you can draw your own conclusions – indeed that’s the point of using dozens of real world examples as seen at the time not as seen through the dark glass of memory.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the London Fintech scene and wider UK Fintech scene and to all listeners. Want to know what the next decade might hold? Check out the previous decade and join the dots…!
So far Fintech has lionised technologies – APIs, Open Banking, AI/ML and so forth. But from a different perspective these are just glues to connect things that haven’t been connected before to make new propositions not previously possible. Although this has been touched on so far – marketplaces aren’t the best example – after all marketplaces are tens of thousands of years old.
In this episode we are joined by serial entrepreneur Sam O’Connor, CEO of Coconut to discuss convergence – the gluing together of components which were previously seen as different things.
Our smartphones glue together things we would have historically done in different places using different devices – camera, mp3 player, and emails for example, In the same way Coconut are focusing on micro-businesses into which all of us indies seem to need to fold ourselves these days and combining banking, accounting and tax in one place – items which historically would have been seen as different propositions.
Michael conducts the most in-depth analysis of Companies House data on UK Fintechs that I am aware of. That earlier this year he partnered with KPMG and Google on his Fintech Funding and Financing study says a lot. So what can we learn from a decades’s data on UK Fintechs?
Well first that only five are making a profit!
Michael recently updated his study which includes nearly one hundred Fintechs.
In this episode we focus on trends in profitability – which are not all as you might expect – although the report covers many more parameters especially around fund-raisings.
After a decade for the longest running Fintechs we should be able to start to draw conclusions. What are they?