Four Key Elements for Fintech’s to Survive in a Competitive and Booming UK Market

22/10/2018By Marcus Hughes
Worth more than £6 billion to the UK economy and employing more than 60,000 people*, the UK’s fintech industry continues to thrive. In 2017 it attracted an impressive $1.8 billion in private equity*, ranking it second in global fintech investment.

Nonetheless, fintechs feared that the Brexit vote would impact investor confidence, start-up funding and access to skilled European workers. Thankfully, many positive factors outweigh these concerns such as a large financial services market, deep pools of capital and a supportive regulatory environment that encourages competition.

But not every fintech start-up will survive. Those that do will deliver value by solving definable pain points at a competitive price. Numerous factors will contribute to their success, including the right team, realistic plans and sufficient capital.

A Winning Formula: 4 Key Elements for Success


  1. Timing

The timing of new product launches is crucial, such as bringing to market a solution that enables compliance with an imminent new regulation or a compelling event with a specific deadline. This driver for change could be a technology upgrade or a new payment scheme. These scenarios increase the number of companies looking for a solution.

  1. Delivery and Pricing

Service delivery and pricing models also impact success. Cloud-based solutions that solve specific problems, are easy to implement and quick to update, will appeal over installed software. Subscription-based pricing enables customers to pay as they go and only for services used. But this model requires ample capital to survive a period of cash burn.

  1. Focus

Fintechs can increase their chance of success by doing one thing very well, unlike banks that generally offer an array of services. That’s where successful fintechs can have a transformational impact. By partnering to offer complementary, bundled services to a combined distribution channel.

  1. Collaboration

It’s not productive to think fintechs would “eat the lunch” of incumbent banks, who are often held back by legacy systems and lengthy decision-making. Both parties need to recognise the mutual benefits of partnering to capitalise on the bank’s scale, large customer base and economic muscle with the innovative skills of smaller fintech firms.

Add to these elements the fact that many fintechs successfully use London as a gateway for selling financial services into Europe because the ‘pass porting’ of these services has been easy to achieve under a benign regulatory climate.  A hard Brexit will certainly impact this.

There’s no doubt that the coming months will be crucial for the future of UK fintechs as we await the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

However, one thing is clear. Fintechs with clear goals, who provide true value and possess a desire to win will have a decided edge against their competition.


Marcus Hughes

Head of Strategic Business Development – Bottomline Technologies

With 30 years’ experience in the banking and software industries, Marcus helps corporates and banks to develop strategic initiatives for streamlining payments & cash management and maximizing the benefits of SWIFT and financial supply chain automation. He has held senior positions with RBS and Banco Santander. A thought leader on working capital optimisation, Marcus has presented at numerous industry events and authored many articles. Marcus has a BA and MA from Cambridge University. Marcus is an expert on banking, the future of payments, cash & liquidity management, payment factories, real time payments, treasury, SWIFT, supply chain finance, blockchain, fintech and Open Banking / PSD2.