By Dominic Allon, Vice President and Managing Director, Intuit Europe
The rise of fintech has revolutionised the way we pay, shop and borrow. From contactless payments to social shopping and app-only banks, there has been enormous innovation to help consumers and businesses manage their finances faster, better and more efficiently than ever before.
Fintech has become one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors, adding more than £6.6 billion into the UK’s economy and attracting more than £500 million of investment. From major brands such as Apple, to traditional banks and digital start-ups, a number of finance and technology companies have been competing to dominate the sector.
More recently, however, we’ve seen a markedly different approach. Fintech companies of all sizes are realising the value in working together to improve their offer. We’ve seen banks and major tech brands partnering with nimble fintech start-ups, as well smaller companies on the cutting-edge of business ideas teaming up to bring their concepts to market. Here, we look at why collaboration is the key to fintech success:
Collaborate to innovate
No longer seeing fintech start-ups as a threat, banks and large enterprises are looking to start-ups to boost digital innovation. It’s an approach being adopted beyond the world of fintech, with PwC reporting that 28 percent of global CEOs expect to collaborate with start-ups or entrepreneurs in the coming year[i]. And, in June, Richard Branson launched Platform X – a new project for big businesses to harness the expertise of more nimble rivals to help them overcome a dearth of innovation within their own organisations. Banks which follow this model and partner with more agile fintech start-ups will be able to expand and grow at a much faster pace.
Customer problem solving
Collaboration is also about solving very specific customer problems. If we look at some of the most recent fintech partnerships we can see that companies are joining forces to improve their product, and make sure it works flawlessly with their other financial applications. For example, HSBC partnered with Tradeshift to manage procurement, accounts payable, supply chain finance and settlement all in one platform. Digital bank Tide also teamed up with Iwoca to offer users business loans of up to £100,000.
At Intuit QuickBooks, we recently announced an agreement with Lloyd’s Bank to help small businesses and accountants save time by automatically transferring financial information securely into QuickBooks. We now offer direct bank feeds with three out of the top four retail banks in the UK, which covers more than 60 percent of the UK market. Our entire ecosystem is all about working with – not against – other suppliers. Partnerships and integration are the tenets of our app store, with developers gaining access to our expansive pool of developer resources.
We are entering a new era for fintech, with collaboration coming well before competition. Drawing on one another’s strengths is the key to getting ahead in a competitive market, but the real winner here is the customer. They will ultimately benefit from best of breed solutions, so managing their finances becomes one less thing to worry about.