Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from FinTech Wales, Payhawk, iwoca, Allica Bank and Freetrade.
Allica Bank takes UK fintech growth crown
Allica Bank has emerged as the fastest-growing UK fintech in history, according to Deloitte’s UK Technology Fast 50 awards, which ranked technology companies based on their revenue growth over the past three years.
The bank ended up topping the 2023 list with a growth of 85,438 per cent for the period. Deloitte’s data reveals that Allica has also taken the crown of the UK’s fastest-growing fintech in history, an accolade previously held by fellow challenger bank Revolut, who topped Deloitte’s UK Technology Fast 50 in 2019 with revenue growth of 48,477 per cent.
Richard Davies, CEO of Allica Bank, says the firm’s mission is to gain 10 per cent market share in the next five years: “To be recognised as the winner of this year’s awards was brilliant, but finding out that we had the third-highest growth rate across any sector over the 26-year history of the awards has been incredible. I am so proud of the whole Allica team.
“For me, though, this is only the beginning. We still have vast amounts to do to bring much better business banking to the established SME segment in the UK.”
FinTech Wales launches fintech course
FinTech Wales, a non-profit independent membership organisation for the fintech and financial services industries in Wales, has partnered with The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) to offer an exclusive, five-module course for professionals in fintech to deepen their understanding of sustainability strategies.
Beginning in January 2024, the Sustainable Fintech Leadership programme will help participants respond to pressing environmental and social challenges. The course will provide learners with the base knowledge to develop solid sustainability strategies, empowering them to drive their organisations forward in this critical area of business.
Sarah Williams-Gardener, CEO of FinTech Wales, commented: “In today’s world, it’s essential that leaders possess the necessary skills to tackle environmental and social challenges in the finance industry and this course will further support businesses to reach both governmental and global goals towards Net Zero.”
Payhawk launches purchase orders system
Payhawk, the global spend management platform, has launched its new Purchase Orders system, streamlining procurement operations by integrating purchase requests, approvals, purchase order creation, three-way matching and the ability to pay in local or cross-border transfers into one platform.
The new solution aims to eliminate time spent on manual data entry and approvals and reduce errors, duplicate payments and unnecessary costs, while providing an overview of committed spend, reinforcing Payhawk’s commitment to optimising business spend management.
Hristo Borisov, CEO and co-founder of Payhawk, commented: “Payhawk’s vision has always been to simplify and streamline our customers’ financial operations. With the introduction of our Procure-to-Pay solution, we’re further optimising our customer’s experience of the Payhawk platform. This solution, coupled with our free local transfers and the most competitive FX rates for International Business Payments with Wise, enhances our automated accounts payable offerings.”
SMEs demand tax cuts in autumn statement
In the build-up to the Chancellor delivering his Autumn Statement, small business lender iwoca found that the top priority for SMEs is tax cuts for small businesses (46 per cent).
With a dip in energy prices reported in October, the call for tax cuts comes out ahead of an energy price cap for businesses (40 per cent). Meanwhile, 32 per cent of SMEs also called for an extension of the small business rate relief scheme.
Christoph Rieche, CEO of iwoca, discussed the findings: “SMEs have shown incredible resilience amid a cost of living crisis which has affected consumer spending habits.
“The message from SMEs to the Chancellor is clear – cut tax and protect us against potential spikes in energy costs to help us trade through this uncertain economic environment.”
Freetrade unveils low-risk funds collection
Freetrade, the platform on a mission to get everyone investing, has launched Cash Investments, a collection of low-risk GBP and USD funds that give investors exposure to overnight interest rates, with easy access rates up to 5.33 per cent.
Alex Campbell, head of communications at Freetrade, explained: “With rising rates and volatile stock markets, cash or cash-like investments are increasingly looking like a sensible place for investors to park their cash. If a very low-risk fund can be expected to generate a return over five per cent over that period, investors can sit back and offset inflationary headwinds while they wait for investment opportunities to emerge.
“These funds offer investors greater flexibility than savings accounts and returns that track overnight lending rates, not the whims of banks.”