THE UK ranks as the world’s third most cashless country behind Canada and Sweden. Will Hurst, Head of Commercial Development at Monevo, part of Quint Group, has some thoughts on how to get ready for a world without paper and coins.
1 – Invest in Tech
Contactless transactions have long been the most common transaction method in the UK. Moving forward, your phone and wearable tech will no doubt see virtual cards replace your plastic.
Where will the quest for convenience lead society? Fingerprint and facial recognition tech exist in most modern handsets and wearables and its use is on the rise. For the more daring, microchip implant technology is available and seeing growth in the world’s most cashless society, the progressive Sweden.
Orwellian nightmare or the future? Whatever your limits may be, ensuring you have the ability to make payments via various methods is key. If one payment method fails, and you lose or break your primary payment device, you’ll need a back-up or replacement.
2 – Get cards with different networks
The entire country is reliant on the ability of the card processing network giants that are Visa and Mastercard (and to a lesser extent on our shores, Amex). If one system goes down, which has happened in recent years, having a card with another network would be the only way you could make a payment in a world where cash was no longer king.
3 – Download a personal finance management app
Cashless payments remove the pain of spending and handing over our hard-earned physical cash. One click is all it takes to make instant purchases, and the number of available subscriptions services only seem to be expanding … you only have to look at the way we consume television or movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, AppleTV, BT Sport, NowTV … the list goes on.
Equally, we’re using more accounts to manage our money. The answer? There’s a host of great applications out there that can help you aggregate your accounts into one place, track what you’re spending and where you’re spending it, alongside loads of other cool savings and investment features. Check out Plum, Yolt or Moneybox, who can help you make the most of your money.
Clearly, they can’t track where you spend your physical cash (no doubt this is welcomed by some!), but as cash usage dies these personal finance management tools will only become more powerful, prevalent and useful products.
4 – Stay Safe
A world with less cash will mean a world with more cyber-crime. Protect yourself where you can. Many neo banks offer virtual cards that allow you to change your card numbers in a couple of taps, which in turn, automatically updates your e-wallet (Google Pay / Apple Pay).
The likes of Monese, Starling, Revolut and Monzo all lead the way here for consumers, with all major card companies offering virtual business account solutions. Both Google and Apple Pay will tell you who you’re paying, before you complete the transaction so that if you’re paying for the Big Issue via their iZettle partnership or to a charity on your phone, you can ensure the money is going to the right place.
For the crypto traders out there, do your research on the right wallet as these are a high priority target for hackers.
5 – Educate the next generation
Gen Z have grown up seeing transactions as nothing more than taps of cards, a swipe of a watch or a click on a basket. A bank account can be opened in minutes with credit obtained and paid into your account on the same day. This is undoubtedly positive progression (Monevo’s panel has many lenders supporting same day funding).
But with young folk rarely seeing money change hands, is this affecting their understanding of the impact of how they interact with cash and credit? Financial education was none existent in my school days and progress here in the UK is slow. This needs to change. In the meantime, with cashless payment methods removing the pain of spending, we should all take a note of what we’re paying for, either via credit or debit methods. Always borrow responsibly!
I’m a huge advocate of digital transactions, rarely carrying cash (to the frustration of my colleagues when the birthday collection comes around!). What is certain is that the speed of transactions, cost savings, hygiene factors are all positives for businesses and for society. Tracking transactions in real-time means keeping a closer eye on fraudulent activity.
So much truly amazing technology is being developed to guide us closer to a seamlessly cashless society, representing a huge opportunity. We do however need to be wary of pitfalls, with progress in financial inclusion for the underbanked and those that solely rely on cash.
Will we ever see a totally cashless society? Who knows? If you’re really scared of a totally digital banking ecosystem when 2030 comes around, and cash is extinct, you could always go full circle and use your retina-scanning watch to blink checkout on some precious metals to bury under the mattress.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CASH FLOW IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
While the world is constantly changing, probably at a faster pace now than ever before, businesses need to manage cash flow and costs to drive success in uncertain times, says Matthew Thorpe, partner at Haines Watts Essex.
Managing people and expenses
There are certain costs that you just can’t avoid as a business – to keep your operation running seamlessly, but scrutinise the detail and cut down on any non-essential expenses. Check things like your SaaS subscriptions and look out for costs that auto-renew and if you do cancel, remember to also cancel your direct debits too.
You might want to put a freeze on hiring new people, but ensure that other roles and responsibilities are clearly and efficiently assigned across your team. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been introduced by the Government to help UK employers access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary to avoid redundancies. Affected employees are classed as “furloughed workers”.
Once furloughed, the employee cannot work or they will not qualify for the scheme. For businesses that perhaps need to go further, there may be some roles they don’t need any more, but businesses should work sensitively with people to manage this.
Cash is king
In uncertain times, owner managers will need to keep operations going to ensure financial stability. You should look to manage debt more efficiently by negotiating extended payment terms with creditors. You could also renegotiate loans for longer repayment terms to give yourself a lower monthly payment, helping the business to set some cash aside each month.
As a business owner, you need to create a cash flow projection and update this regularly if you are to improve things. You can do this using financial information to create a picture of how the business will look in the next 12 months. The forecast needs to show revenue sources and expenses, which will show the ups and downs of business income and can be used to make sure that enough finance is in place.
While banks and other finance providers recognise that the cashflow of a business may be disrupted by the impact of Covid-19, they are still going to want to see that you are viable and continue to trade in these uncertain times. Make sure your business is organised and don’t let disorganisation cause unnecessary issues. You can evidence this by having detailed forecasts; current order books and projections (as best as possible).
Having instantly accessible, accurate financial information allows you to plan effectively, spot issues before they become problems and manage your money in the most efficient and rewarding way.
Software is now incredibly user-friendly and accessible from anywhere. For a business owner embracing the technology, this means:
- Invoicing can be done instantly when a job is complete, emailed to the customer with an easy to use link to a payment platform.
- Comparison websites can automatically monitor and help maintain lowest cost for things such as light & heat, insurance etc.
- Technology can be used in place of face-to-face meetings. It can also enable them to adapt production lines to different demands.
All of these things and more, used properly, can make managing your business finances quicker, easier and often cheaper. You will also be able to bring clarity to where your business stands and prepare for the next steps.
HOW FINANCIAL SERVICES CAN GET TO GRIPS WITH RISING SUPPLY CHAIN RISK
By Alex Saric, smart procurement expert, Ivalua
UK businesses have never been more dependent on their suppliers to help them deliver goods and services to their customers. Be it retail, manufacturing or financial services, suppliers have a vital role to play when it comes to innovation and meeting customer expectations. However, as supply chains become increasingly global, businesses are potentially exposing themselves to more risk than ever before.
This is especially true in financial services. Whether it’s the impact of geopolitical events like Brexit or global tariff wars, supply shortages, security or the businesses impact on the environment, an organisation’s failure to identify and mitigate risk could see millions wiped off its share price, and its corporate reputation left in tatters. Risk can present itself anywhere and at any time, so financial services firms must be ready to address it. However, many simply don’t have the ability to evaluate suppliers for risk factors, leaving them wide open to business operations being hindered, or being slapped with financial penalties.
More suppliers, increasing risk
One reason why financial services firms aren’t able to evaluate suppliers is the breadth and scale of today’s supply chains. For example, French oil company Total said in in a recent human rights briefing paper that they work with over 150,000 direct suppliers worldwide. This is just one example of how large and varied the roster of partners has become. Research from Ivalua has found that financial services businesses on average are working with around 3,600 suppliers annually, which is evenly split between UK-based and international partners. That number is expected to rise, with 60% expecting the number of suppliers they work with to rise.
The expanding nature of suppliers is only going to expose financial services firms to more potential risk than ever before, yet 78% say they face challenges gaining complete visibility into suppliers and their activities.
A lack of supplier visibility leaves businesses unable to identify and mitigate against supply chain risk. In fact, almost three-quarters (73%) of financial services firms have experienced some type of risk during the last 12 months. These include; supplier failure (43%), environmental impact, such as pollution or waste (35%) and supply shortages (45%). Supply shortages can be among the most damaging to a business, as seen by both the KFC chicken shortage which closed stores, and the summer 2018 CO2 shortage which caused companies such as Heineken and Coca-Cola to pause production, impacting supply across Europe during the World Cup.
Businesses unprepared for the worst
One way financial services firms can better prepare for risk is to ensure they know what to plan for to reduce the impact. However, whilst some say they have a contingency plan in place to deal with risk, many of them are unprepared. Financial services firms admitted to not having comprehensive and deployed contingency plans in place to prepare the supply chain for risk such as; natural disasters (68%), supply shortages (67%), geopolitical changes (65%), environmental impact (63%), supplier failure (62%) and modern slavery (50%).
In order to effectively prepare for these types of risks, it’s vital that financial services businesses fully understand their suppliers, their business environment, global variations in regulations, geopolitics, and a host of other factors. But for many, there are multiple challenges when it comes to gaining this understanding. A prevailing factor is an inability to gain visibility into all suppliers and activity because supplier management data is stored in multiple locations and formats, making insights difficult to access. This leaves teams unable to review supplier activity and assess compliance.
Making supplier management smarter
It’s imperative that financial services businesses are able to respond or prepare for supply chain risk. Clearly, much more needs to be done to ensure they have complete visibility of suppliers, especially in an era where regulators can levy heavy fines for GDPR breaches and scandals spread in minutes over social media. These types of risks can be reduced in the future if procurement teams have a 360-degree view of suppliers which will help with contingency planning and risk management.
For example, in the instance of supply shortages, plans could be put in place that identify alternative suppliers to ensure any shortages do not impact end users. This type of supplier collaboration is paramount when it comes to managing and mitigating against supplier shortages. When it comes to regulations, financial services firms can’t allow a lack of visibility to limit their ability to ensure all suppliers are compliant.
To do this, teams must take a smarter approach to procurement that gives complete visibility into suppliers throughout the supply chain. This will allow financial services firms to identify and plan for risk, reducing the potential damage, and ensuring they are working with and awarding business to low-risk suppliers. Supply chain risk is rapidly becoming an overarching concern for financial services firms, but by providing the ability to assess suppliers, they will have all the insights they need to mitigate the impact on business operations.
IS PRIVATE PLACEMENT LIFE INSURANCE THE PERFECT PRODUCT FOR GLOBAL HNW FAMILIES
By Louis Zuckerbraun, Managing Director, GMG Insurance Everyone wants to know that their family will be okay after they...
FINTECH IN AFRICA: WHY THIS MUSTN’T BE A DECADE OF WASTED POTENTIAL
Albert Maasland, Chief Executive Officer at Crown Agents Bank The current COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis of our times....
NEW TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM REDUCES CLAIMS PROCESS FROM WEEKS TO MINUTES
New platform has potential to cut fraudulent claims by almost half Decrease claims costs by as much as two thirds...
CORONAVIRUS: FURLOUGHED WORKERS AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR BUSINESS
by Tina Chander, Wright Hassall The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is designed to help businesses that would otherwise be forced to...
FIVE THINGS YOU’RE DOING THAT ARE INVALIDATING YOUR CAR INSURANCE
Car insurance is a legal requirement for motorists, but many drivers may be unknowingly voiding their policy. Failing to update...
CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, STORE CLOSURES, SHIFT CONSUMER BUYING BEHAVIOUR LEADING TO ACCELERATED DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FOR MERCHANTS
Forter Issues First In A Monthly Series of Coronavirus Special Reports Forter, the leader in e-commerce fraud prevention, today announced...
BTON FINANCIAL PARTNERS WITH GENESIS TO AUTOMATE TRADING FOR ASSET MANAGERS
BTON Financial, the independent outsourced dealing desk for asset managers and genesis, the Low Code Application Platform for Capital Markets,...
HOW TO KEEP DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION ON TRACK AFTER THE PANDEMIC
Ashley Coker, CEO and founder, Slate Introduction The global coronavirus health emergency has made it abundantly clear how dependent...
THE FUTURE OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN DIGITAL BANKING
By Richard Billington, Chief Technology Officer, Netcall Over the past five years, the digital banking revolution has had a seismic...
TRANSFORMING BANKING: WHY COVID-19 IS UNFREEZING CONSUMER HABITS
Raj Chakraborty, Senior Managing Director, Publicis Sapient There is much debate about the impact of COVID-19 on the economy....
IS YOUR OFFICE LEASE CRUSHING YOUR BOTTOM LINE? YOU HAVE OPTIONS
By Jonathan Wasserstrum, Founder / CEO, SquareFoot These are unprecedented times for us all. Nobody has a playbook to get...
THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF TRADERS TRADING FROM HOME
Steve Haworth, CEO of TeleWare Group Banks had hoped to keep their London trading floors open amid the worsening coronavirus...
HOW WILL REVOLUT’S MOVE INTO OPEN BANKING AFFECT US?
By Richard Mathias, Senior Technology Architect at LiveArea Despite current uncertainty, the financial services sector is experiencing transformative change year...
IN CONSUMER BIOMETRICS WE TRUST: AUTHENTICATION FOR THE DATA PRIVACY AGE
Jonas Andersson, Head of Standardization at Fingerprints Data privacy is high on the global agenda. In the wake of data...
CAPITAL MARKETS – LIQUIDITY MANAGEMENT DURING COVID-19
Tony Farnfield, Partner at management and technology consultancy, BearingPoint When “Dr. Doom” predicted the 2008 financial crisis back in...
SONY BANK SECURES AND ENHANCES MOBILE BANKING WITH ONESPAN’S MOBILE SECURITY SUITE
App shielding, biometric authentication and additional technologies secure and improve the customer experience for Sony Bank’s mobile banking app ...
KOREA’S KB BANK USES TRUSTONIC IN-APP PROTECTION TO ENHANCE MOBILE BANKING EXPERIENCE
Using Trustonic Application Protection enables KB Bank to dramatically improve the authentication experience for users of its mobile banking app...
CUSTOMER CARE TODAY WILL BUILD RESILIENCE FOR FUTURE CRISES
Cathal McGloin, CEO of ServisBOT writes, “The COVID-19 pandemic has created major spikes in calls to financial sector helplines dealing with customers...
THE CO-BRAND CREDIT CARD MARKET – SINK OR SWIM
By Chris Vinnicombe, VP Financial Services at Acxiom The co-brand credit card market is the result of the partnerships between...
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CASH FLOW IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
While the world is constantly changing, probably at a faster pace now than ever before, businesses need to manage cash...