Like most companies around the world, London’s FinTech firms have responded to the coronavirus with new innovations and partnerships. Laura Citron, CEO of London & Partners, explains how the firm has taken steps to support business communities, including teaming up with Crowdfunder to help raise funds for the firms that need them.
Like millions of businesses around the world, London’s FinTech companies have needed to adapt and innovate in response to the coronavirus.
The U.K. is home to tech-savvy customers, and the coronavirus has accelerated this digital adoption; recently, London-based FinTech firm Nucoro revealed that six million people in the U.K. downloaded their bank’s app for the first time from March to April.
London is one of the world’s top financial centers and Europe’s largest tech hub, home to thousands of FinTech companies with over 44,000 people working in the sector.
As London’s international trade, investment and promotion agency, London & Partners has been working to support our business communities, including FinTech, through this challenging period, with dedicated advice and opportunities to continue to trade and grow.
So, how has London’s FinTech community adapted in response to the pandemic?
While London’s FinTech sector has not been immune to the impact of the pandemic, it does seem to be weathering the storm. We have been impressed by the resilience and collaboration of London’s FinTech companies.
One inspiring example of this collaboration is from London-based crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder. Driven by its mission to drive positive change and in response to the challenges small businesses are facing during the crisis, Crowdfunder partnered with the Mayor of London’s office to launch the Pay It Forward London initiative.
Pay It Forward London supports businesses that sell directly to the public by making it possible to pre-sell their goods and services to deliver in the future, ensuring vital cash flow during the crisis. Londoners can pledge funds to support their favorite local businesses, from cafes to hair salons, and also nominate businesses to encourage them to sign up.
Crowdfunder launched a bespoke crowdfunding platform for the joint initiative, removing any fees and making it as easy as possible for Londoners to pledge funds.
Along with the Pay It Forward scheme, London’s FinTech ecosystem has given rise to an abundance of partnerships: FinTechs partnering with other FinTechs, regulators with trade associations and traditional banks with FinTech scale-ups.
For example, the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox program, which allows businesses to test innovative propositions in market on real customers, has gone digital through a new partnership between the City of London Corporation and the FCA. This provides enhanced support for innovative FinTechs tackling challenges caused by the pandemic.
Lloyds Banking Group has also recently partnered with cloud-based payments platform F3FinCloud to accelerate its digital transformation and enhance the digital experience for their customers.
What’s more, collaboration has been happening across borders, too.
London FinTech firm iProov recently partnered with Dutch challenger bank Knab to provide them with biometric technology for customer authentication.
And London-based Newable has joined up with the J.P.Morgan Chase Foundation to deliver a new business support and mentoring program to assist London-based small businesses.
Creativity and innovation have always been a unique selling point of London’s FinTech ecosystem, and with the collaboration that we are seeing even at this challenging time, the future is bright for London’s role as a world-leading FinTech hub.