Fintech growth set to continue – Lynne Darcey Quigley
Scotland’s technology sector will play a critical role in the country’s economic recovery and growth post-Covid. Sub-sectors such as fintech have been a hotbed of innovation for over 12 months, the number of Scottish fintech SMEs increasing from 72 to 119.
Why is this the case? Against a wider backdrop of an acceleration in the digital economy and digital society, Scotland’s fintech community has come together and focussed on tackling major business and societal challenges, including the way people and businesses manage, control and oversee money.
In particular, technology has been harnessed to democratise financial operations for businesses that have lagged in embracing innovative technologies over the past couple of decades, such as Scotland’s resolute SME community. As businesses and consumers both continue to get more value from fintech and how technology continues to shape our day to day lives, the sector is only going in one direction: astronomical growth.
Adding in the number of great initiatives and funding that are happening right now, there is no reason why we can’t expect the sector to continue to innovate and grow, putting it in the driving seat of helping businesses recover and the economy flourish in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For example, The Strength in Places Fund invests in research and innovation projects with the aim of driving economic growth in particular places in the UK. The University of Edinburgh has received £23 million from the Strength in Places Fund to open the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE). This will support the development of technology and education to help organisations leverage financial data to improve lives, helping to address challenges such as fair access to credit, property ownership and saving.
Further, the fact that several major banks are headquartered in Scotland puts themselves in good stead given the rapid growth of the fintech industry in the country. Banks have been known to be behind the times with their tech stack and processes, but we’ve noticed that several banks have been putting in the groundwork to keep up with the changes in consumer behaviour and what they expect from their banking services. Banks that are headquartered here in Scotland, should have access to a lot of talent to take their fintech to the next level.
Businesses in Scotland will most certainly face challenging conditions for some time to come, but collectively we will meet these challenges head on. We’re a proud nation and have always been a hive for collaboration and our tech communities are no different.
The sharing of ideas and challenging of the status quo, is something the people of Scotland pride themselves on. Because of this sectors such as financial services and fintech, will play a crucial role in helping to drive the economy forward post-Covid.
This article was first published by The Scotsman.