FinTech North News and Regional FinTech Developments

FinTech North Future of Payments 2022: Re-Cap and Re-Watch

On the 22nd of June, we welcomed a great number of attendees from the Northern FinTech community to Bruntwood SciTech’s No.1 Circle Square facility in Central Manchester, despite challenging travel disruptions across the country. It was great to see some familiar faces, and even better to see some new ones – we love seeing growth within the community, and the Future of Payments conference certainly didn’t disappoint.

A huge thank-you to our incredible sponsors, global payments experts Discover Global Network, as well as Bruntwood SciTech, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Matt Burton Associates. It proved to be a really interesting and insightful day delving into the Future of Payments, there were plenty of opportunities to learn something new, grow your network and get ahead of the curve! In the words of our keynote speaker, Barry James, Chairman of the British Blockchain and Technologies Association – “we’re on the cusp of a new era – in FinTech and beyond.”

We’d also like to thank:

Mark from Leeds Media Services for recording the event and providing us with the video to share with you.

The brilliant catering team keeping us well fed and refreshed.

And finally; our brilliant speakers for their contribution – especially with the difficult travel disruptions, we massively appreciate the extra efforts that were made to ensure attendance. Likewise, with all attendees on the day – your involvement, support and dedication to aid in growing the FinTech community in the North is great to see. Long may it continue!

For the benefit of the community, and with the last-minute help of Leeds Media Services, we’re delighted to have a recording of the event which can be viewed below. Alternatively, we’ve produced a write-up and re-cap of the proceedings – keep scrolling to have a read, check out what our speakers had to say and don’t forget to show some love to the innovative companies in our FinTech showcase.

Joe Roche, Engagement Manager, FinTech North kicked off proceedings, introducing Fintech North and our work in facilitating the FinTech community. Julian Wells, Director, Whitecap Consulting, took over and gave opening remarks before handing over to Christopher Sier, FinTech Envoy, HM Treasury and Chairman, Fintech North who provided a pre-recorded welcome address to the fine delegates of the Future of Payments conference.

Our first speaker was the incredible Mike Chambers, former CEO of Bacs and the current Chairman of Answer Pay. Mike outlined developments in the payments landscape and how the pandemic accelerated digitalisation and encouraged us to embrace digital payments. Furthermore, he touched on other themes such as:

– Is Britain ready to go cashless?

– The importance of payment choice – “how you pay, when you pay and who you pay”

– “Payment certainty” and the mitigating fraud – “be sure how you pay”

– “Direct Debit 3.0” how inflation will affect subscription-based businesses

– New ways to pay

– The rise of Open Banking and noted that Open Finance is the “next step” in the Open Banking journey towards a more rewarding experience

– Open Finance allowing providers banks to access financial data which will lead to increased competition, better-tailored financial services and improved financial health.  He adds that over 6 million consumers and businesses have now used Open Banking (and this number is growing at a fast pace).

Mike treated delegates to a complimentary 12 month premium subscription to his Payments Unpacked newsletter – for those not at the event Mike is offering a complimentary 3 month premium subscription to the FinTech North community – sign up here: Payments:Unpacked – unpacking the UK’s payments landscape.

Next, David Beardmore, Ecosystem Development Director at the Open Banking Implementation Entity provided a policy and regulatory market update for the attendees.

Our first panel of the day covered Open Banking. The discussion was chaired by Helen Child, Founder of Open Banking Excellence (OBE); David Beardmore, Ecosystem Development Director at the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE); Kerry Dwyer, Equity Account Manager, Swoop Funding and Andrew Self, Senior Manager Open Banking & Account to Account Payments, Payment Systems Regulator.

The panel covered questions and themes such as:

  • Is Open Banking a success?
  • Is market confidence supporting Open Banking become mainstream payment?
  • What more needs to be done?
  • What impact will the evolution of Open Finance have on the payments industry

After the coffee break, Barry James, Chairman of the British Blockchain and Frontier Technologies Association joined us to deliver an exciting and awe-inspiring keynote about the road ahead for payments, FinTech and cryptocurrencies, The Metaverse and Digital Currencies transforming the mainstream. 

Barry likens the arrival of these FinTech advancements to those at  the early stages of the internet. At first, the masses were either dismissive of the idea, or didn’t fully understand it – they’d ask, “why would we need this?” or “what is this used for?”.

Barry discussed Stablecoins, a cryptocurrency pegged to the market value of currencies such as the US dollar, and the pertaining development of their regulation. He introduced several developments, such as the “EuroCoin” – a stable coin tied to the Euro and PayPal’s recent offerings now commitment to allowing crypto payments.

Barry predicted that a £ Sterling stablecoin was imminent. During questions his segment, an audience member noted added that Tether, the company behind the largest stablecoin by market capitalisation had, in the last hour, s announced a another fiat-pegged stablecoin called GBPT, tied to the value of British Pound Sterling.

Barry believes that “We’re on the cusp of a new era – in FinTech and beyond.”

Kirsty Rutter, FinTech Investment Director, Lloyds Banking Group, was up next with her pre-recorded keynote on collaborating with FinTechs: “You get what you measure”. She covered customer journeys, ethics and future applications of embedded finance and partnerships.

She opened by providing background on her role as FinTech Investment Director, outlined her active involvement in the FinTech sector and Lloyds Bank’s commitment to seeking out opportunities that offer solutions on how we engage, change expectations and adaptations to how we live.

Kirsty introduces Embedded Finance and invites audience members to imagine a scenario where they are seeking to purchase a sofa. Kirsty goes on to detail the customer journey and the financial considerations made when making a high-involvement purchase decision. This is where she introduces the genius of embedded finance and data. The phone in your pocket has already weighed up your options; your financial capability; any liabilities, due payments; preferences; store locations as to where you can buy from; even your ‘Pinterest’ interests – Embedded Finance allows you to hone in to decisions based off your aligned preferences.

“That’s where I think embedded finance takes us in the near term.”

Kirsty goes on to explain how collaborating with FinTech solutions is the next step and how “you get what you measure”. “It’s this backdrop that we need to pivot again to be really prepared for what embedded finance means.”

“Embedded finance for me is ‘smart point of sale’, ‘online intelligence’ and ‘informed predictive behaviour management. It’s on the lead-up to point of sale”

“No single institution will know it all. By carefully curating partnerships for the benefit of the customer – we can create these experiences. Partnerships are going to be essential.”

(Kirsty Rutter, FinTech Investment Director, Lloyds Banking Group)

Next up, was the Fireside Chat about the Value of Partnerships in FinTech with Tribh Grewal, Director, Alt Pay and FinTech and Commercial at Discover Global Network and Julian Wells, Director, Whitecap Consulting and FinTech North, sponsored by Discover Global Network.

The chat provided great insight for start-ups and outlined the importance of being active in collaborative efforts.

Pawel Trybulski. Deputy Head at Payair Technologies and Piotr Gorzechowski, Head at Payair Technologies joined us all the way from Lodz, Poland. They provided a brief insight into the Fintech ecosystem in Poland and introduced PayAir Technologies offering.

We hope to welcome more international FinTech’s to FinTech North’s next conference in Newcastle (in July) and are planning to help host a visiting delegation from Lodz at Leeds Digital Festival in September. You can read more about the Lodz conference here.

Following the lunch break, Kevin Telford, Director of Financial Services, Parser kicked us off with a keynote into embedded finance. He introduced embedded finance as the “integration of financial services or tools to customise products or services of financial and non-financial organisations.” Before providing a holistic view on embedded finance, the next generation of innovation and value, future capabilities, the next few years of the embedded finance revolution and how digital wallets may be derailed by embedded finance.

Megan Coulson, Senior Policy Adviser at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) was unable to join our Embedded Finance panel, so provided a pre-recorded message so she could join the conference virtually. Her segment was called “Winning with FinTech”. The keynote covered details on CBIs commitment to work in the Fintech sector and advice for businesses when working with FinTech – awareness, analysing innovation, which steps to take and how to utilise support.

Our final panel of the day focused on Embedded Finance and consisted of Kevin Telford, Director of Financial Services; Greg James, Senior Manager payments, FSCom and David Joyce, CEO, Weavr. The panel covered questions and themes such as;

  • Embracing EF propositions and advice
  • Mainstream knowledge of Embedded Finance
  • Consumer Trust
  • Regulation
  • What advice do you have for SMEs who are considering whether to embrace embedded finance into their proposition?
  • Financial Inclusion: How do we ensure we protect consumers and make sure everyone benefits from innovation?

The final segment was our trademark FinTech showcase, which featured 10 innovative payments FinTechs. To find out more about each company, you can find their website through the hyperlinks below. On the recording, we’ve highlighted the timings of each pitch

AnswerPay – Peter Cornforth, Commercial Director

ScribePay – Ikenna Emenyonu, Founder

Gratuu, Renate Kalnina, Founder

Bypass, Matt Bird, Co-Founder

Card Industry Professionals, Ciaran Savage, Founder

Calls9, Adam Roney, Founder

PayAdvancer, Dan Rajkumar

BEX, Marc Shirman, Co-Founder

Department of International Trade, Jenny Mooney, International Trade Adviser

Ryft, Alex Mackenzie, Co-Founder

Collctiv, Joe Robotham, Partnerships Manager

Joe Robotham, Partnerships Manager from Collctiv, introduced their group payments platform and how they are achieving their mission to make it easy for groups to collect and spend money

Joe Roche and Julian Wells brought the event to a close and invited guests to our drink’s reception for some more networking.

The FinTech North Future of Payments Conference was sponsored by Discover Global Network, Bruntwood SciTech, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Matt Burton Associates.

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