Fintech Week 2020
By Rupert Bhatia on Wednesday, 29 April 2020
As financial services specialists, it won’t come as a surprise to learn that Teamspirit has a rich history when it comes to Fintech Week, and this year’s event is no exception. The organisers managed to make sure the 2020 edition, whilst a completely different format to previous iterations, did go ahead despite COVID-19 disruption. Rather than the usual week-long series of conferences, discussions and networking, Fintech Week 2020 took the form of 25 podcasts and fireside chats and, of course, Teamspirit was there.
Taking a deep dive into some of this year’s most pressing themes I was lucky enough to be joined by; Teamspirit’s CEO, Kirsty Maxey; Group Marketing Director, Fiona Couper and Digital Director, Crispin Heath. The link to our recording is at the bottom of this page.
The recording makes clear that, in the current climate, fintech has even more of a role to play. Be it Wagestream, a firm which enables employees to access their earnings early, who’ve developed their proposition to let people get their furlough pay before payday. Or Starling Bank’s new ‘Connected’ card - a secondary debit card which a customer can give to a trusted person to buy food or other essential items during the lockdown.
There were also examples of the frustrations felt by lenders who desperately want to help SMEs with their cash flow but feel like the Government and the FCA need to do more to facilitate these loans.
But, at the same time, it’s apparent that COVID-19 has created an opportunity for the financial services sector to rebuild some of the trust that still hasn’t been regained after the financial crisis in 2008. NatWest was just a single example of a bank moving with incredible agility to bolster its customer service offering, by boosting call handlers remotely, almost overnight.
The importance of partnerships is another theme that kept coming up. Well established brands like Barclays joining forces with the likes of Nimbla, a provider of single invoice insurance, demonstrates the benefit to both parties. For Barclays, providing customers with highly specialised products and services while, for Nimbla, raising its profile and widening its customer base.
Similarly, the Covid Credit Calculator highlights how partnerships can give fintechs the chance to be nimble whilst retaining a real sense of purpose. The platform came out of a collaboration between Fronted, 11:FS and Credit Kudos to help self-employed workers prove a loss of income, a requirement to access new Government support.
As the fintech sector moves forward, we might see more mergers or acquisitions in the short-medium term but perhaps without some of the eye-watering valuations London has become accustomed to. This could be explained by the activity of private equity firms, which are expected to take a more prudent approach, as the world economy starts its slow recovery from the shock of coronavirus.
Fintech Week 2020 made clear that there are challenges ahead for the sector but there is no doubt that those firms which have urgency and a sense of real purpose are best placed to ride out the storm and make a real difference to our crucial financial services sector.
If your fintech needs communications support now, or in the future, please contact Kirsty Maxey at email@example.com.Embedded content: https://vimeo.com/413546154