FinTech Scotland launches consumer panel to help tackle barriers to financial inclusion

Ingledew
Stephen Ingledew, CEO, FinTech Scotland

FinTech Scotland has launched a Consumer Panel to support inclusive fintech business development.

It will connect consumer and citizen advocate groups into the fintech ecosystem with the emphasis on citizen financial inclusion, problem-solving and innovation.  

The panel will provide ease of access to a citizen and consumer voice for fintech innovators, and build an inclusive network across consumer groups, innovation and technology. The objective is for open, practical and diverse engagement, to bring citizens and consumers directly into fintech product design. 

Recent UK research showed 24% of UK adults have little or no confidence in managing their money, with 18-24-year-olds rating themselves as the least confident. 

Scottish entrepreneurs in the sector are seeking to achieving address this. They are introducing easier and better ways to deal with money as well as new products and services that adapt to the changing needs of today’s society. Many are presenting updates during FinTech Scotland’s Festival in September. 

The Consumer Panel offers a practical way to connect fintech entrepreneurs and their growing ability to find new and innovative solutions, with real and everyday financial issues impacting customers/consumers. 

Founding members come from a range of Consumer Advocate organisations, Third and Public sector, as well as Academia. Those participating include: Money Advice Scotland, Scottish Government, University of Strathclyde and University of Edinburgh, The Big Issue, The Money and Pensions Service, Step Change, Age Scotland, Fresh Start Edinburgh, Passion4Fusion and Mental Health and Money Advice.

Stephen Ingledew, FinTech Scotland’s CEO, said: “This is an important aspect to the work of FinTech Scotland. Fintech provides a major opportunity to improve the way people can engage with their money and finances. The consumer panel aims to bring people directly into the conversation and increase inclusion within fintech and the financial services industry more broadly. It will give greater access to customer insights enhancing the focus for good customer outcomes which is our definition of what the fintech movement is.”

Speaking for Money Advice Scotland, CEO Yvonne MacDermid welcomed the initiative. She said: “Working with fintech propositions will help the debt advice sector connect with more people in a range of different ways and enable consumers to gain confidence in using digital applications.”

Kate Forbes MSP added: “The FinTech consumer panel will help drive inclusion across our society and economy as we make new technological and digital developments. This is a hugely positive and practical step that will ensure that our people are fully involved in the digitalisation of our technology and financial services”.