A collective of top UK banks and and financial technology firms have helped to craft a set of guidelines designed to improve engagement between fintech startups and financial institutions.
The new guidelines have been developed by the British Standards Institute through sponsorship from the government-backed Fintech Delivery Panel as part of HM Treasury’s Fintech Sector Strategy.
The document has been jointly created by the UK’s top retail banks - Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC UK, Lloyds Banking Group, and Santander - and vendors, such as MarketInvoice, The ID Co., and iwoca, with the aim of addressing the issues that prevent fintechs and financial institutions from becoming successful allies.
The Publicly Available Specification - PAS 201:2018 - will be freely available not only to the 1,600 fintech companies currently operating in the UK but also to those international startups wanting to engage with UK-based financial institutions.
The PAS provides a number of pointers for companies to bear in mind when pitching to banks, and an explanation of both the commercial considerations and the necessary checks and controls that need to be satisfied to meet business and regulatory demands. This includes recommendations on preparation, data gathering, due-diligence, on-boarding, commercial and contractual processes, as well as data protection and information security considerations.
John Glen MP, economic secretary to the Treasury says "We need to make it as easy as possible for newcomers to collaborate with the bigger players. That’s why we helped to set up the Fintech Delivery Panel, and thanks to the guidelines published today the industry will be able to work closer together, benefiting customers across the country.”
MarketInvoice, which struck a deal with Barclays Bank to roll out its online invoicing platform to the bank's SME client base earlier this year, says the guidelines provide a lot of learnings for startups to marshal their relationships with banking partners.
Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder at MarketInvoice, says: "There is a lot of guidance that can really help young fintechs. For me, culture is key. Both parties need to know and agree on a central mission in partnering. In our case, it was always about ensuring the highest level of customer service in helping UK businesses.”