Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from Motorway, Quadient, Monolith and Workiva.
Gender disparity in UK pensions
There is a 49 per cent difference between the male and female average pension in the UK, according to the latest review of the Gender Pension Report by the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD).
GAD analysis of the GPS gender pension gap saw that on average, the male pension equated to £8,466 while the average female’s equated to £4,285. The report also brings attention to differences in pay, working patterns, as well as rates of individuals opting out of LGPS membership.
Fraser Stewart, chief commercial officer for UK fintech platform Lyfeguard, said: “Pensions are an important aspect of people’s lives due to the sheer amount of time people spend working towards them, so it is vital that there are equal opportunities to earn a fair pension fund for life after work, rather than face a significant gender disparity.”
Driving seamless car payments forward
Used-car marketplace Motorway has launched ‘Motorway Pay’ – a new solution enabling dealers buying cars on the platform to fund a secure online wallet and release money to private sellers instantly to complete transactions.
Britain’s used-car market is valued at more than £60billion per annum and continues to grow, with the SMMT reporting a 4.1 per cent uplift in Q1 2023. However, dealers still experience a lengthy process to go through on each individual transaction. Motorway Pay allows dealers to pre-load their wallet prior to vehicle collection and then use these funds to immediately pay for the vehicle, at the click of a button.
James Wilson, COO at Motorway, said: “Simplifying the payments process has been high on our dealers’ wish list for some time. Removing the hassle involved with paying private sellers has been a hard problem to solve, but we’ve built a powerful, secure and robust solution that makes buying cars on Motorway in high volumes easier than ever before.”
Alarming misunderstanding of bank communications
In a survey of 402 UK banking customers, only eight per cent correctly identified how much banks would charge when presented with a standardised letter on changes to overdraft charges; Quadient has revealed. This was despite 39 per cent claiming a high level of knowledge of financial matters, and 53 per cent saying they had a high understanding of communications from banks.
Quadient also found what types of communication are most useful for consumers. Regarding communications from their bank, 36 per cent said emails to their personal email address, and 34 per cent opted for letters in the post.
Andrew Stevens, principal of banking and financial services at Quadient said: “Clear communication is a critical component of modern banking, and never more so than during a cost-of-living crisis. Banks need to not only share relevant, timely and understandable information but make sure that it is being read. This means choosing a channel that presents information clearly, and that you can be confident customers will read, as well as sending the right message at the right time to ensure engagement. Without this, banks will be inviting complaints and failing the FCA, their customers, and ultimately themselves.”
Engineers under pressure to adopt AI
Monolith, AI software provider to engineering teams worldwide, found that 67 per cent of engineering leaders feel pressure to adopt AI in its latest study. It also found those who have are more likely to achieve increased revenue, profitability and competitiveness for their employers.
Seventy-one per cent of surveyed engineering leaders also indicated they need to find new ways to accelerate product development to stay competitive.
“The perfect storm is brewing in engineering as market trends around sustainability and digitalisation are creating even more intractable physics problems that current validation and testing methods are unable to solve,” said Dr. Richard Ahlfeld, CEO and founder of Monolith. “As data from this study shows, engineering leaders are at a fork in the road to innovate in new ways as pressure to stay profitable and competitive rises.”
Running out of time for CSRD
Workiva is releasing a new study, looking at EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) readiness amongst companies in Europe.
The CSRD will modernise the rules around the social and environmental information that organisations must report on in Europe. The mandate will begin on 6 July 2024, and 94 per cent of European organisations are working to become compliant with it.
However, a lack of decisive action is putting them at risk of running out of time. Furthermore, as reporting teams continue to accept and absorb an ever-increasing workload, Workviva suggests many are underestimating the volume of work that is required before the CSRD deadline.