The global financial crisis has left consumer confidence in banks at an all-time low. This disillusionment has led to ‘alternative challengers’ in the FinTech industry offering alternatives to consumers and businesses. This growth is being underpinned by innovations in technology and FinTech’s commitment to maintaining its integrity by implementing strict security and regulatory measures, believes Rosemary Fallows, Head of Operations at Money Mover.
Money Mover is an online foreign currency exchange and global payments platform for SMEs and ‘mass affluent’ private individuals, which through the use of cutting edge technology makes global payments cheap, simple and transparent. According to Fallows, taking measures to maintain transparency and regulatory compliance at all times has never been more important. She explains, “This combination of technology and finance challenges the industry to ensure that a careful balance is struck between regulation, innovation and stability.”
In the UK, SMEs account for 99% of all businesses - there are 5.2 million SMEs according to a statistical analysis of small businesses in the UK by the House of Commons carried out at the end of 2014.
“There are lots of businesses who may well fall foul of the banks because they are start-ups or they don’t meet the criteria set by traditional banks who discriminate between large and small businesses, giving the best rates to the largest corporations. This prevents SMEs from expanding their businesses overseas,” explains Fallows.
The financial crisis has seen bank lending to SMEs drop, driving business for all services towards alternative providers. “Companies like Money Mover are a more attractive proposition to SMEs than a bank, providing a cost-saving alternative to the bank’s high fees. We charge a single fee per transaction of between 0.5%-1% which for many businesses can result in significant savings,” adds Fallows.
As one of the founding members of Innovate Finance, the new UK trade body representing the FinTech sector, Money Mover sees security and transparency as two of the core values of the company: “The rapid evolution of the FinTech sector has attracted the attention of the FCA, particularly when it comes to regulatory and compliance issues,” says Fallows. “The financial crisis was a landmark in terms of regulatory affairs - the spotlight was firmly on the banking and financial industry and it will be interesting to see the approach taken by the new Government during their administration. It’s my role within the company to deal with new account openings, keep all of the payments running smoothly and ensure that we comply with all applicable regulations. Both customer protection and compliance are at the very top of our agenda.”
Establishing client identity is key, and for corporate clients this means determining beneficial ownership. Money Mover monitors client payments on an on-going basis, which enables them to identify and report any suspicious activity, as is the requirement of current Money Laundering Regulations.
“There has never been a more exciting time for FinTech in the UK but we must remember the post financial crash environment - we have to commit to ensuring on-going regulatory compliance if we are to maintain our position as global leaders within this sector,” concludes Fallows.