CEO, FINPOINT Limited
Fintech is commonly associated with unicorn companies. But it is servicing a far wider part of the UK economy as we enter the post COVID-19 world.
As the country emerges from lockdown and turns its attention to rebuilding the economy, one resource that is of crucial importance is fintech. Having developed into a diverse industry in recent years, it is making headlines beyond unicorn companies. One particular fintech provides additional options for companies seeking funding to aid their recovery.
Through COVID-19, the spotlight is now firmly on digital adoption. Digital services make the running of a company easier and will help it thrive.
“Most companies are in need of financial assistance at the moment,” says Guy Bridge, CEO of Finpoint, an accredited delivery partner to the Federation of Small Businesses and UK Finance. “During the lockdown, our technology-led model came into its own. Fintech does not have legacy systems to deal with: as such, we were able to adapt our technology to include Bounce Back Loan and CBILS providers in a matter of days. This meant we were able to route business owners to the most relevant lending options quickly.
Bridge is keen to emphasise the fact that fintech is not necessarily an alternative to more traditional financing methods: rather the two can work in tandem, with SMEs turning to both for their different needs.
“Traditional finance is not wrong: it can provide competitively priced products that meet the needs of SMEs,” he says. “The likes of FSB, Growth Hubs and Chambers of Commerce are keen to provide access to a diverse panel of lenders. But the relationship between fintech and the banks has not always been without challenge. As a result of the lockdown, we are able to put the advantages of fintech to work for banks that partner with us. This gives them the ability to move forward at pace and to assist business clients more quickly.”
Fintech can accommodate different needs
And of course, there are many different products enabled by fintechs depending on an SME’s needs, such as forex and cloud accounting. In addition to that, during lockdown, SMEs have become more accustomed to using digital services, including Open Banking to securely share data with 3rd parties. “Through COVID-19, the spotlight is now firmly on digital adoption,” says Bridge. “Digital services make the running of a company easier and will help it thrive.”