Financial technology, or FinTech for short, is a hit. It’s a global revolution that transformed the lives of many people. It enabled them to hold onto a job, manage their finances, discover better options for their home budgets. The Kalifa FinTech review for 2021 shows how much this business has  evolved in the UK – one of the most vibrant markets in the world. We work with the best – two of our clients contributed to the report.

These clients are Smart Pension and ID Co. For the first one we have built big nearshore teams with highly specialized software engineers. They were self sufficient and had developers, lead developers, quality assurance specialists and product owners. For the second company we have made a custom solution. We have created custom solutions for two advanced software applications.

Back to the report. It was made by Ron Kalifa OBE, who conducted an independent review to identify and write about priorities of the UK’s FinTech sector. The goal was to support the growth and adoption of the UK made solutions while maintaining the UK’s global reputation for having top-notch financial applications.

The landscape

The result? Over 100 pages about the sector. At a glance, Kalifa came up with 5 areas that can be improved or enhanced in order to sustain the sector’s growth. For example, Kalifa recommends that FinTech becomes an integral part of the trade policy. This is very smart, considering that financial technology is, in fact, a form of trade or support for international exchange. Especially now, when Brexit is over and Great Britain has to fend for itself.

There are also proposals to invest in talents, support educational paths, and create an effective stream for people who want to join the FinTech world. The Kalifa report also recommends creation of the “FinTech Growth Fund”, with £1bn to begin with. Its role would be to act as a catalyst for the whole ecosystem. The author also wants to start the “FinTech Credential Portfolio” or FCP. This initiative would be aimed at supporting the country’s international credibility that will be used as a jump start for making even more FinTech applications.

Another conclusion is that the UK has to help top financial technology clusters to exceed their expectations and help them in daily activities. Companies’ acceleration should be done through official government channels and supporting institutions. The FinTech mobile app development certainly isn’t easy – firms can use all the support they can get. The most interesting apps are here, in our FinTech Trends in 2021 report.

Kalifa’s review of UK FinTech is valuable and informative. It paints the picture of the industry that was hurt by Brexit and uneven messaging. Some European FinTech hubs, like in Paris and Berlin (to name only the biggest ones) cash in on the turbulent economic and political situation that troubles UK’s officials. 

With the immigration issues, the UK is facing a shortage of human capital. That’s why local talents and specialized end-to-end software development providers must work together to calm the waters. The Kalifa FinTech review rightfully points out that it’s about agility. The UK has to add flexibility to its business options to thrive and develop even more sophisticated market solutions.

The Kalifa review on economics and logics of help

It’s also about education. The Kalifa FinTech report says that contributors don’t feel that the UK is paying enough attention to new generations. In fact, they claim, the UK has failed to invest in higher education. The document describes a landscape where technical and vocational training took the institutional hit and over 700,000 youngsters find themselves in a cold on a jobless market. Jobless, because companies won’t hire them for non-existent skills.

Kalifa wants to expand research and development (R&D) tax credits. There’s a need, he says, for the country to accommodate the cost of financial data sets. They are important and even crucial to the development and scaling of the UK’s FinTechs. In the survey, the report’s contributors pointed out that the expansion of EIS, SEIS, and VCT tax reliefs would help regulated FinTechs. In fact, the same survey shows 97% of Founders used state aid schemes.

That’s not all. The growth of the UK FinTech sector has been and is still fueled by international sources of capital. The KPMG FinTech report for 2020 shows that over the last five years the majority of investment in the sector came from non-domestic capital. 

There is a scale-up funding gap that can be mitigated by pursuing two roads. On one hand, by working with internal capital providers. On the other hand, by utilizing outside help in application development. This will assure a quicker return on investment (ROI) and put UK’s FinTech in another and even more efficient path of growth.

Summary

While the political and economic situation of Great Britain has been turbulent in recent years and plummeted under the COVID-19 crisis, there is a high chance of recovery. The challenges highlighted by the Kalifa FinTech report are not structural, at least not all of them. The main thing is to get on the fast track with partners, both domestic and external. It’s about the mind and ability to quickly spot opportunities. 

The UK is full of talented visionaries and business owners. They just need a little break to compete with Paris, Berlin, and the rest of the world.