Innovate Finance, the independent not-for-profit membership organisation that promotes and supports the UK’s FinTech industry, has sent a delegation to Manchester as part of an initiative to forge new innovation connections between London and regional hubs around the UK.
FinTech Special Envoy
Eileen Burbidge, the government-appointed FinTech Special Envoy joined Innovate Finance chief Lawrence Wintermeyer as part of the London delegation and they were welcomed by Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive, Manchester City Council and Claire Braithwaite, Head of Tech North for a ceremonial event at Barclay’s RISE workspace – the space that allows companies to innovate in a co-working environment and provides office space, meeting and event rooms.
Minister for the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey, said: “Manchester makes a great contribution to the UK’s booming FinTech sector, and continues to attract a growing number of startups, innovators, corporates and investors. This city will play an important role in Innovate Finance’s regional strategy – all part of the work being done by Industry and Government to build and boost the Northern Powerhouse.”
As well as being a major financial hub for the UK, Manchester is home to the largest tech cluster outside London according to Tech Britain, having the country’s largest density of online digital firms.
It is a very significant time in UK’s FinTech scene, with London office rents becoming unviable options, many startups are looking up north for a much more economically sustainable working environment.
Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester prides itself on being a dynamic and innovative city with ever-improving transport links and other infrastructure as we look to the future. We are already a major financial services centre and the home to Europe’s second largest cluster of digital and creative industries, with a can-do culture.”
He went on to say that Manchester will continue to be an appealing venue for startups as the financial technology sector grows.
Leeds and Edinburgh
Earlier this year, Innovate Finance worked to forge a connection between Leeds and Edinburgh’s FinTech hubs with London’s ecosystem. It is currently working with them to build strong technology clusters that can create better financial services for consumers.
Manchester is the newest city to join the regional programme and a key instigator of new technology for the country’s financial services industry.
Using Ripple's enterprise blockchain solutions, Standard Chartered has completed its first real-time cross-border payment for businesses with another major correspondent bank.
Digital payments giant ACI Worldwide is teaming up with VocaLink for real-time payments infrastructure.
Fresh from its $4.5bn IPO, Nordic payments processor Nets has picked Spire as its partner to help with the physical roll out of mobile payments for Dankort customers.
It seems laptops are about to catch the biometric fever as PayPal, Intel, Lenovo and Synaptics are collaborating to introduce FIDO-enabled embedded fingerprint solution to PCs.