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From the CEO
Across the many tectonic shifts created by the global pandemic, fintech was one industry uniquely positioned to benefit from such a great period of behavioural change. With access to bank branches restricted during lockdown, and cash considered a potential coronavirus risk, more and more people turned to online services, financial apps and digital payments. In fact, our research finds that the pandemic has significantly accelerated adoption of digital financial solutions in the UK; a great leap forwards for a UK FinTech sector that was already super hot.
Having carried out research into the sector in 2019, we can see how attitudes towards cash have changed dramatically across the pandemic. We’ve gone from being a nation that preferred using hard currency to one that now favours digital payments, all in the space of just 18 months. It’s a sea change and it means the opportunity for FinTechs to build upon this behaviour shift and accelerate adoption of new products has never been bigger.
Our data also highlight growing interest and openness to financial technologies that previously consumers have been slower or reticent to adopt, like cryptocurrency and biometric payments. We see how far (and fast!) the pandemic has pulled more market share away from the legacy Big Four Banks and towards digital-only neobanks. And that there’s a bright future for buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) providers in the UK, despite tighter regulatory control.
In this edition of the Fintech Digest, we also hear from pension provider PensionBee about how they’ve adapted to a shift in consumer attitudes by developing the UK’s first mainstream fossil fuel free pension.
We’re sure you’ll be as excited as we are by the insights in this quarter’s Digest and the outlook for the UK fintech industry. If you have any comments, feedback or alternative takes on any of the content/data, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.