Tech City UK Launches Nationwide Hunt for Innovative Fintech Solutions to Financial Inclusion Challenges

  • Competition was announced as part of the Government’s Digital Strategy

LONDON--()--Opportunities to really make a difference to the world around us are rare. Here is one - are you ready for it?

Tech City UK today launches the hunt for fintech startups that can make a difference to those people who are in danger of being left behind by financial services as currently provided by conventional banks, building societies and credit card providers. We want to find the startups that could help to end the challenges that some people face when managing their money.

As part of the Government’s Digital Strategy which aims to make a digital economy that works for all, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has asked Tech City UK to run a competition to find the best products and services from the fintech sector that promote financial inclusion.

Supported by the DCMS and the Treasury, we are excited to launch our Fintech For All competition, run in association with our partners the Money Advice Service and Experian, the global information services company. The competition, as envisaged in the Government’s Digital Strategy, is also supported by Lloyds Banking Group, Bethnal Green Ventures, Mustard Seed Ventures, Citizens Advice, Toynbee Hall and Ascension Ventures.

Matthew Hancock, minister of state for digital and culture, says: "Done right, digital technology improves lives, and we want to support technology for the common good. So I encourage the nation's innovators to apply for this groundbreaking competition, to harness the power of tech for good causes and help ensure the digital economy works for all. It's another boost for the UK’s booming £6bn fintech sector."

Eileen Burbidge, chair of Tech City UK and HM Treasury special envoy for fintech, says: “The UK is the envy of the world for fintech. We are the number one destination for startups that are using financial services technology in new and exciting ways. With this competition we want to find the best fintech businesses in the UK that are democratising finance and improving access to our financial system across the UK.”

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay, said: “This competition is about using a thriving and innovative sector to create services that can help people budget, save for the unexpected and access appropriate credit. UK consumers are very tech savvy, and already use FinTech services more than their peers in other developed markets, but I want to push it further and ensure it delivers for people that face challenges in managing their finances.” UK headquartered startups have until the 20 October 2017 to make a submission. Apply here! We want to see applications from fintech companies that can transform access to financial services and offer new tools for money management to the most vulnerable in our community.

Access to financial services is a crucial part of everyday life yet at least 1.5 million* people in the UK do not have a bank account, or have less than £500 in savings.

The financial challenges people face today occur against a backdrop where we all expect a certain standard of living.

But change is happening rapidly and traditional sectors, like banking, are having to move with the times. This is where you and your company can make a difference. Innovative new products and services from fintech companies have the potential to transform people’s lives and opportunities. And we want to find the very best of them.

Companies whose businesses help people to do any of the following are invited to enter:

1. Start actively saving and plan for the unexpected

2. Confidently manage money and track day-to-day financial transactions

3. Understand and manage credit better

4. Identify and access more suitable financial products

5. Facilitate access to financial products through innovations in credit scoring and ID/address requirements

Winners will compete in two categories:

1. Established fintechs - with an existing product or service in the market

2. New fintechs - with at least a product in testing or ready to test

The prize package includes:

  • Customer insight support from the Money Advice Service, worth at least £70k to your business
  • The Experian Spotlight Award, awarded by Experian to an entrant in any category and aimed at recognising outstanding concepts, products or services. This discretionary award will be designed in collaboration with the winner to accelerate and develop their innovation, and could include data support and/or services.
  • Expert mentoring sessions with Money Advice Service, Mustard Seed Ventures, Bethnal Green Ventures, Ascension Ventures, Lloyds Banking Group, Toynbee Hall and others
  • And promotion across key financial services institutions

How it works:

The top three entrants in each category will be invited to pitch before a panel of expert judges at a final event during Financial Capability Week - a week of events that focuses on efforts to improve financial well being - on 15 November. The judges will choose the ultimate winners in the contest. Runners up in each category will also get a chance to attend and showcase their product.

What are you waiting for? Get your submission in here:

Fintech For All’s aim is to showcase how the growing UK’s financial technology sector can contribute to changing the world for the better.

Here’s why tackling financial inclusion is an urgent priority for our society:

  • 1 in 5 cannot understand a bank statement
  • 2 in 5 have just £100 in savings
  • 1 in 6 is experiencing serious difficulties as a result of their debts
  • 1 in 5 is not saving anything for retirement
  • 1 in 33 adults do not even have a bank account.
  • 31% of people have at least one sign of financial stress
  • 24% of households have no savings
  • 8.8 million people are over-indebted

Source: Money Advice Service

David Haigh, financial capability director of the Money Advice Service, says: “We are delighted to be working in association with Tech City UK to support this valuable venture. A collective approach is needed to tackle issues that underpin stubbornly low levels of financial capability in the UK. Fintech has an increasingly important role in helping people manage their money day-to-day, and I am excited to see how tech entrepreneurs and investors will use apps and services to help people take control of their finances.”

Clive Lawson, managing director of UKI consumer services at Experian, says: “It’s no secret that the UK is home to some of the brightest minds in the fintech sector, and we are delighted to be working with Tech City UK to support this competition. Experian’s pioneering application of data, analytics and technology plays an important role in the world today, from helping consumers understand and improve their financial situations, to supporting the growth of businesses, managing risk and protecting against fraud. With this in mind, we’re very excited to find and work with the new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs who will change the future of finance.”


*Financial Inclusion Commission 2017


Burlington CC for Tech City UK
Sayula Kirby

Release Summary

Tech City UK Launches Nationwide Hunt for Innovative Fintech Solutions To Financial Inclusion Challenge


Burlington CC for Tech City UK
Sayula Kirby