Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from Leatherback, Hays, FinTech Scotland, TransUnion and VirtualSignature-ID.
Leatherback launches remittance services in the UK
Leatherback, a new neo-banking platform for individuals and businesses, has launched its mobile app in the UK, aiming to make it easier for migrants and businesses to remit funds and conduct cross-border transactions in over 15 currencies across 21 different countries.
With Leatherback, users can take advantage of upfront low fees, real-time FX rates, and a secure, fast, and easy-to-use onboarding process to send and receive money. Users also have a range of payment options, including Pay by bank transfer, Pay with card, and Pay By Leatherback, where they can transfer money from their Leatherback currency account to their beneficiaries.
Toyeeb Ibrahim, CEO of Leatherback, commented on the launch: “We understand the sacrifice that comes with living apart from loved ones and we want to remove the barriers that get in the way of contributing to their wellbeing while you are away.
“We want to make it as easy as possible to send money to loved ones wherever they are and our products have been designed with this mission in mind. We have launched in the UK and we have ambitions to grow into other markets to enable more opportunities for migrants and businesses across the world”.
FinTech Talent platform launched
A joint initiative from workforce solutions and recruitment specialist Hays and FinTech Scotland, the fintech cluster management organisation, aims to highlight candidate skills and experience directly to Scotland’s emerging fintech companies.
Potential candidates can register and upload their CVs through the FinTech Scotland website. An AI process then searches and matches CVs to specific vacancies, recommending candidates to employers which they can then review.
Nicola Anderson, CEO of FinTech Scotland, explained: “We are really excited about the launch of the new ‘FinTech Talent’ platform. In collaboration with Hays, this initiative will seek to support Scotland’s dynamic fintech community at a time when the global skills gap continues to grow.
“As we unveil this innovative solution during Scotland Fintech Festival, we’re thrilled to empower professionals on their career journeys and help them find their perfect fintech match. It’s an important development for both candidates and the fintech industry.”
Older generations spend more with BNPL
Millennials and Gen X said they spent more than Gen Z when it comes to using buy now, pay later for online shopping over the past 12 months according to the latest Q3 2023 Consumer Pulse survey from a global information and insights company TransUnion.
Compared to 54 per cent of Millennials and 39 per cent of Gen X who reported spending above £500, only 35 per cent of Gen Z said they spent above this amount. Both Millennials (32 per cent) and Gen X (22 per cent) say they are more likely to apply for buy now, pay later services in the next year, compared with Gen Z (15 per cent)
Kelli Fielding, chief product officer at TransUnion in the UK, said: “It’s interesting to see older generations increasingly embracing BNPL services, and outspending their younger counterparts. It’s clear that for the majority, buy now, pay later is about convenience and flexibility, rather than being driven by financial constraints and that aligns with our expectations, based on our own extensive analysis.”
Digital identity verification application
Digital onboarding platform provider, VirtualSignature-ID, has launched its ‘SmartSign-Plus Advanced eSignature’ application, with digital 3D liveness proof of identity included free of charge to help SMEs to more easily adopt digital identity verification.
The new software allows businesses in the legal, financial, accountancy and property sectors to verify the identity of both the signer and, where applicable, the witness, within seconds, to ensure that prospective clients are who they say they are.
David Kern, CEO and founder of VirtualSignature-ID, commented: “Owing to the government’s drive to use technology to assist with remote identity checks required for compliance with AML, KYC, Right to Work and Right to Rent, firms are under pressure to implement systems that will carry out these tasks securely, and provide an audit report that satisfies regulators, while still providing a good user experience.”
Government pledges to recruit 2,500 tech talents
Up to 2,500 ambitious tech talents will be recruited into digital roles in government by June 2025 through new apprenticeship and early talent programmes, the Cabinet Office has announced.
The new digital apprenticeship programme will support the recruitment of 500 early career entrants into digital roles this financial year across the government. The remaining 2,000 opportunities will include 1,300 additional digital apprenticeship programme roles, and 700 roles created through an expansion of existing departmental digital programmes, such as the Software Developer Programme.
This new programme will provide the opportunity for both civil servants and new entrants to be recruited into the most in-demand data and technology roles, such as Cyber Security Technologists and Software Developers.
Dr Yi Ding, assistant professor of information systems at the Gillmore Centre for Financial Technology, commented: “Education remains a central pillar in developing digital skills, equipping the future workforce, and opening doors up to opportunities such as these. It’s great to see that the government are keen to recruit new talent through the likes of apprenticeships and create new roles to facilitate the ever-evolving tech sector. The sector plays a key role in driving the UK economy, and academic research centres provide great research and development hubs to better and bolster the tackling of the skills crisis.”