UK businesses turning to alternative finance
25 September 2017 | 2513 views | 0
Business finance company MarketInvoice conducted a survey of UK businesses on their awareness and adoption of fintech (financial technology) products and services.
77% of UK businesses are aware of fintech products and services and two-thirds (65%) have adopted at least one fintech application, with a fifth (19%) taking on four. These adopters reported saving (on average) over £5,500 a year as result of using the fintech products and services.
Interestingly, a tenth (11%) reported using bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies at some point in the past year in processing payments. Whilst the clear majority (89%) have not used cryptocurrencies, a fifth (21%) of these businesses expect these currencies to feature in their payment transactions over the next 12 months.
Businesses reported using fintech products and services for banking transactions (23%) and foreign exchange services (16%). Meanwhile, one in four (24%) reported using cloud-based software for their accountancy functions and a third (32%) used online lenders for business loans or invoice finance. Only 2% of businesses are using insurtech (insurance technology) services.
Bobby Lane, partner at accountancy firm SSH LLP, commented: “Most of our clients are now using cloud-based solutions and automating many of their routine processes. This means that I have more time to focus on advising my clients on strategic matters. Also, it’s now far easier for us to use fintech services because the ability to integrate with these new systems has opened up huge opportunities for improving processes”.
Business leaders are drawn to fintech because it saves time and money (56%) whilst a third (34%) were impressed by the user experience. Interestingly, a quarter (23%) said fintech’s were more transparent on fees and provided a better customer service.
Jerry Anderson, Managing Director at wedding rings company Allied Gold Ltd, commented: We’re a third-generation family business, I have adopted fintech across the business from our accounting to our banking services. The user experience and service is far superior to what is available on the high street”.
Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of MarketInvoice commented: “The expansion of tech-driven digital services has been remarkable over the past 5 years. We know that consumers have been adopting tech applications into all parts of their lives, but our research shows that now UK businesses are also becoming tech-savvy.”
“Fintech applications are revolutionising the way business is being done from how employees report their expenses to the way businesses report their financial performance. Entrepreneurs always seek out the best means to drive their businesses and clearly fintech products and services are becoming a stable part of this approach.”
It’s not only business processes that are benefitting from fintech adoption. Companies are using fintech to engage staff. 62% of businesses use fintech adoptions for staff to report expenses (i.e. Expensify) and for payslips automation. A further 23% are using online pre-paid cards (i.e. Revolut) in allocating budgets to teams.