Reflecting on an extraordinary year, looking to the future

For all the right reasons we’ve paused to reflect this week on the extraordinary year we’ve all had were the COVID-19 pandemic has touched all of us in some way, and we know for many it’s been extremely difficult. This past year has transformed nearly all aspects of life for many of us. And it’s been a year where technology and digital have been vital components for how we remain connected, work, learn and maintain access to the vital services we need.


Fintech Innovation has played an important role in helping us develop some of the ‘new norms’ we first started talking about at the beginning of this pandemic. A year on and the fintech Community in Scotland has grown and evolved. It has also developed the propositions and services that have helped people and businesses maintain the access to vital financial services.


There’s a growing understanding of the fintech potential to make a difference through new technologies and access to data as well as determination in fintech businesses to build solutions that help future progress.


Scottish fintech innovations are looking to the future. Zumo’s hard work and smart money wallet and platform is transforming how we think about the future of crypto currency and money, with financial inclusion at its heart. Nudelaunched its app this week guiding students and newly employed to raise a deposit more quickly for their first home. Qpal is working to help those financially stretched or financially vulnerable and VistalWorks is working to protect people from fraud, keeping online shoppers safe from harm.


Scotland has an established and growing reputation for fintech for good, a point recently recognised in the recent UK Fintech Strategic Review, also known as the #KalifaReview. The Kalifa Review provided an opportunity to take stock of fintech across the UK and learn about the strengths and opportunities across all the regions. It positively identified the value of a Cluster model in helping economic growth and recognised Scotland’s fintech Cluster as a well-established environment for future fintech expansion.


The energy across Scotland’s fintech cluster offers the kind of practical support and determined optimism for more development and an ambition that sees us embrace more inspiring and often extraordinary opportunities as we look at the potential for cross sector innovation.  If we needed one, the Kalifa Review has given us even more impetus to harness the fintech opportunity for economic growth and social change.


We have another catalyst in the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review, led by Mark Logan, the recommendations here set out a clear programme for collaborative action. It’s a call to action for us all and offers a future vision of how technology can help catalyse the post-pandemic recovery. This week’s announcement from Scottish Government confirmed its commitment to utilise the potential and support the broader opportunity to strengthen Scotland as a tech ecosystem.


If we needed an accelerant the COVID-19 pandemic has given us a year where we’ve experienced the power of digital and the role for technology. We’re learning from the experiences of the past and turn our attention to the hopes for the future. The Kalifa Review and the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review have a number of common themes, apart from the obvious technology connection both call for action through collaboration to help us recover and embrace our full potential for an extraordinary future. Collaboration sits at the heart of what we do at FinTech Scotland and if you’re keen to hear more please get in touch.