WEEKLY ROUNDUP - 24.07.2020

Your Friday fix for global fintech and payments news

Fintech usage in the UK soars as an increasing number of people begin to rely on financial technology to manage their finances, since the lockdown. Up by an impressive 22% since March, the UK fintech scene is burgeoning, with no signs of stagnation any time soon. In other news, the Philippines sees an equal interest in digital payments, as locals begin to forego cash transactions, and Mastercard announce their plans to promote sustainable credit cards.

Our weekly round-up brings you a dose of some of the biggest news announcements from the past seven days so you can keep an eye on all that’s shaping our world this week.

 

  • Fintech usage more than doubles during lockdown
  • Covid-19 impact: Digital payments soar in Philippines
  • Mastercard promoting sustainable credit cards

 

Fintech usage more than doubles during lockdown

According to new research from operating system provider, Yobota, 64% of UK adults have been reliant on technology to manage their finances since March, when the nationwide lockdown came into effect. This is up 22% from 42% before the lockdown. The survey, which consisted of over 2,000 UK adults, also found that checking accounts (88%), transferring money (80%), withdrawing funds out of an investment (35%) and searching for new financial products (27%) have been the most common uses of fintech.

Ammar Akhtar, Chief Executive at Yobota, said: “In light of the financial distress caused by COVID-19, millions of Britons have needed fast access to loans, credit cards and overdrafts, not to mention advice and guidance - crucially, they have had to rely on mobile and online banking for almost all of this. Even as the lockdown passes, people will not be in any rush to queue up in bank branches or have lengthy telephone calls, meaning financial services companies must keep pace with the demand for FinTech. As the survey results show, those who don’t risk losing customers.”

 

COVID-19 impact: Digital payments soar in Philippines

Digital payments have seen a dramatic increase in the Philippines as the populace decide to forego cash-based payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a Nikkei Asian Review, the payment platform, GCash, has witnessed a spike in the number of its registered users since mid-March. In May, the amount of payments made through GCash was 8 times higher than the figure registered a year ago. The Philippines’ central bank is also stating its intention to increase the share of e-payments in the country to 50% by 2023.

 

Mastercard promoting sustainable credit cards

Mastercard announces plans to begin promoting sustainable credit cards. The New York-based, multinational financial services company said the industry currently produces 6 billion cards a year made out of traditional PVC plastics. To promote greater use of sustainable and environmentally conscious cards, Mastercard is rolling out a new directory of sustainable materials and vendors so that banks can more easily offer eco-friendly versions. This plan from Mastercard follows last month’s news regarding Visa issuing sustainable cards.

Ajay Bhalla, President of Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard, said: “Our goal is simple: we want to help banks offer more eco-friendly cards to consumers, and we are taking concrete steps to bring about that change. This way, everyone benefits, it’s better for the environment, it’s better for business and it meets evolving consumer needs.”