Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from Capital on Tap, Bank of Ireland UK, Moneyhub, MoEngage and Skwile.
99% of UK small businesses deal with overdue invoices
Only one per cent of small businesses in the UK have never had to deal with an overdue invoice, according to the latest survey by Capital on Tap.
Over 250 small business owners were asked often they have to chase unpaid invoices, and the amount of delayed income they are waiting to receive. The survey found that retailers are currently affected by overdue invoices the most, with businesses in this industry facing around £1,532 worth of unpaid invoices. It also found that small businesses in the UK have to chase overdue invoices twice a week on average.
Alex Miles, UK managing director at Capital on Tap, offered some advice to firms with this issue: “Dealing with late payments can be stressful, and asking for money from a customer can also be a little uncomfortable. There are a few simple steps you can take though, to try and successfully resolve the problem.
“It’s not rude to chase your invoices. In the first instance of a late payment, send your customer an email to check if there’s been a problem with processing, remind them it’s overdue, and ask when you can expect to be paid. If this doesn’t work, then give them a call. It’s harder for a customer to ignore you on the phone.”
Bank of Ireland UK receives slap on the wrist
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued Bank of Ireland UK with a reprimand for mistakes made on over 3,000 customer credit profiles.
Bank of Ireland UK sent incorrect outstanding balances on 3,284 customers’ loan accounts to credit reference agencies, organisations that help lenders decide whether to approve financial products.
This inaccurate data could have led to these customers being unfairly refused credit for mortgages, credit cards or loans, or granted too much credit on products they were potentially unable to afford.
Natasha Longson, head of investigations at ICO, explained the situation: “Mistakes made by financial institutions can have far-reaching consequences on people’s everyday lives. Some of the customers affected could have been refused mortgages, loans or credit cards, as well as being unable to get mobile phone contracts, insurance policies or sign up with utility companies. The mistake made by the Bank of Ireland UK could have potentially caused misery for thousands of people.
“We do however recognise the steps the bank has taken to correct their error, supporting affected customers and reviewing its data-management processes.”
Brits fail to understand pension pots
Eleven per cent of Brits can’t accurately describe what a pension is, while a further 24 per cent don’t understand the tax benefits of a pension, according to research from Moneyhub, the data and payments platform built on open banking and open finance principles.
Without an accurate understanding of pensions and what they are saving, consumers are at risk of not saving enough for retirement.
In fact, 22 per cent said they didn’t understand how much income they would likely receive in retirement based on their current pension savings and 28 per cent were concerned they would not have enough to afford a comfortable retirement. This rose to 39 per cent for 45 to 53-year-olds.
Mark Horwood-James, MD of Moneyhub Personal Finance Technology, commented: “A simple lack of information is set to impede millions of workers from enjoying a comfortable and secure retirement. It’s a real concern that such a high percentage of people continue to be unsure about their income when they retire.”
Email marketing strategies fail
Customer engagement platform, MoEngage, has revealed that the current conversion rates for banks and fintechs using ‘batch and blast’ email marketing is just 2.4 per cent.
The platform analysed insights from 10.9 billion emails sent globally to consumers, finding that they often cause customers to receive irrelevant emails, and usually generate low performance levels.
Jason Smith, VP of UK and Europe at MoEngage, commented: “Intensifying competition, depreciating cookies and 3rd party paid for channels becoming less effective and more expensive is putting the onus squarely on brands being able to own and optimise their first party channels.
“Only then will they be able to serve up the meaningful and relevant insights that power personalisation at scale and support customers on their path to purchase to win both increased spend and loyalty.”
Skwile bags £50,000 prize
Skwile, a fintech product owner, specialising in cash flow and actionable data insights, has been awarded a £50,000 prize by Fintech Scotland.
Fintech Scotland, an organisation dedicated to fostering innovation in the fintech sector, recognised Skwile’s outstanding potential to harness the power of open banking data, ultimately benefiting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the national economy.
Makoto Fukuhara, founder of Skwile, commented: “This prize from Fintech Scotland is a testament to the dedication and innovation of our team. We are excited about the opportunity to make a positive impact on SMEs in Scotland and further enhance their financial success. We are also looking forward to strengthening our ties with Scotland, a hub of expertise and talent in the fintech sector.”