London Fintech Boom Continues as Tail Enlists Open Banking
Tail is the latest startup to join London’s fintech scene, which seems to be defying Brexit fears and accelerating almost beyond reach.
The Tail app links up to your existing Monzo or Starling account and offers cashback on local eateries and drinkeries. You link up your Tail account to your Starling or Monzo account with a click or two, similar to Facebook-integrated login. From that point the technology takes care of everything, automatically depositing cashback at the end of each week from the offers used.
“Tail is turning open banking APIs into an offer platform, thereby eliminating all friction points for retailers and consumers which are still inherent in today’s solutions,” Tail Founder and CEO Philipp Keller, told Tech Crunch.
The news is the latest in a string of curious events in the London fintech scene. London has been the global home of fintech for a few years now, it being one of the only places in the world where a globally connected finance, political and technology scene all exist in the same place. Though Brexit has cast doubt over pretty much every other British industry, and those in the tech scene waited (though probably still in the middle of their seat) to see what direction London’s fintech would take, the sector seems to have continued accelerating.
Monzo have been the apple of London’s fintech eye for a year or so now, with a good, neat idea and a very sensible and sturdy approach to growth. Added to this, only recently Curve – which allows you to consolidate all bank accounts in one app-card combo – announced $10 million in funding. And Yoyo Wallet, which is similar but for loyalty cards, announced $12 million which the Financial Times called “Brexit defying”.
This is partly because the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority have been working through their Open Banking legislation with the explicit goal of making banks work much harder for their customers. Though this sounds counter-intuitive, potentially leading to an already existing, strong and globally competitive network of London banks finding business harder, it has actually strengthened the capability of a new sector to rise up through the ranks.
The sector was strong a year or so ago but since then, and despite Brexit, seems to have lit the afterburners. So much so that in January B-Hive, the Brussels fintech innovation platform, sent a delegation to London in order to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Innovate Finance, London’s fintech trade body.
The sector is growing so quickly that Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor and chairman of the Financial Stability Board, announced last month that they were keeping a close eye on fintech because it’s disruptive rise could be a potent source of instability.
“We’re studying the financial stability implications of the rapid growth of fintech,” he said at a briefing in London, continuing, ” while potential risks to financial stability are well covered by existing frameworks, we will continue to need to monitor developments closely.”