Global Matters

Partnerships, inclusion & sustainability: The key to UK Fintech success

By Mandy Lamb, Visa's Managing Director UKI

With so many possibilities at our fingertips, we have come to expect choice in everything we do. From choosing which takeaway delivery to order, to how we save, spend, manage and invest our money. Over the past few years, during what’s been a challenging time for many FinTechs, we’ve been thrilled to see innovation continue to flourish, with new solutions meeting the ever-changing needs of consumers and businesses across the UK.

Last year, the Kalifa Review called for greater support for FinTechs by fostering a pro-innovation environment1, ensuring businesses can access the talent, finance, and support they need to scale up. At Visa, we believe there are three key things that are needed for the UK FinTech ecosystem to maintain its momentum, to enable better access to financial services for all: purposeful partnerships, an inclusive recovery and sustainability-focused solutions.

The importance of partnerships

Visa’s role as an open network has taught us that no single organisation has all the answers on how to make payments fit for the varying and everchanging needs of consumers and businesses. We believe it is through purposeful partnerships that we will truly deliver the best experiences for those who depend on us, and ensure the UK continues to lead the way on FinTech.

For example, we know that money management can be a minefield in the new subscription economy and for many of our banking partners, helping people live a financially healthy life is top of mind. Through Visa’s FinTech Partner Connect programme, we are facilitating a partnership between Lloyds Banking Group and Swedish FinTech Minna Technologies to help people manage their subscriptions with ease and take charge of their bills within their banking app. Today, Lloyds and Minna have helped consumers stop over one million subscriptions – making it a problem-free process for consumers, banks and merchants.

At the same time, we recognise that financial wellness starts early. That’s why we’ve worked with GoHenry, a FinTech which aims to “make every kid smart with money”, to help deliver a prepaid Visa card and financial education app, giving young people a safe and controlled way to learn about spending and managing their money. Through the app, children aged between six and 18 can learn how to budget, and parents can help guide their progress with real-time updates, customisable controls and more.

Visa’s Innovation Centre in London continues to see increased demand from clients, partners and industry players to create and launch parent-child banking products, and we’re looking forward to working with our network to help provide these solutions.

Opportunities for everyone

FinTech is about opening up new possibilities. But as the pace of digital transformation accelerates, we must ensure that those who are not as digitally connected are not left behind.

We play a crucial role in enabling people to choose how they pay and are paid. But inclusivity in the evolving digital economy goes far beyond payments. It’s about encouraging social inclusion and enabling communities to interact with online services and improving financial education, so people don’t find themselves excluded by lack of knowledge.

We must continue to diversify our collective workforce, improving the representation of women, ethnic minorities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, so we can reflect the communities we are here to serve.

The potential for FinTech to meet the varied needs of all consumers is the most exciting part of all; FinTech can play a critical role in the digital transition, ensuring everyone can enjoy the benefits of digital empowerment.

Sustainability-focused solutions

We’re also seeing how consumers are increasingly demanding more transparency over their spending habits, and effective tools to use their purchasing power for good. By offering them a better understanding of how their transactions impact the environment, companies can empower more people to reduce their individual impact.

That’s why we’ve worked with our partners to curate a suite of products to help our banking and FinTech clients meet the ambitions of their cardholders with Visa’s Eco Benefits Bundle - a selection of products that equip cardholders with the tools to make more sustainable choices. With the Eco Benefits Bundle, Visa’s banking and FinTech clients can provide their customers with a carbon footprint calculator, cardholder rewards for sustainable behaviour and more.

It’s by working with the industry to build sustainability-focused solutions that banks can empower their cardholders to adapt their spending behaviour, to reduce their carbon impact.

We believe that by continuing to meet the evolving needs of consumers through purposeful partnerships, with sustainability and inclusivity at their heart, the UK can continue to lead the way in solving problems that can make a difference to everyone’s lives.