By Dynshaw Italia, Soldo CFO at Soldo
The pandemic has disrupted many organisations and created lots of challenges for the fintech sector in 2021. That said, the pandemic has also ushered in a new normal and an accelerated shift to digitisation from both a B2C and B2B perspective which has enabled organisations to identify new opportunities and create positive change.
The willingness of professionals to adopt business technology has increased, which has given rise to more investment in FinTech companies like digital banks, spend management services and payment services. Three quarters (74%) of finance leaders surveyed in our Open for Business report said that they have invested in automation to manage employee expenses and two thirds (66%) cited investments in IT technology and automation as key drivers of profitability.
With fintechs proving their value in our digital world, investment in the sector has increased in the last year. Research from Innovate Finance showed that the UK Fintech industry had a total of 713 investment deals in 2021, 11% of the global total. Fintechs are no longer just plucky challengers and alternatives – but a vital part of the future of the financial services industry.
But what does 2022 have in store for the Fintech sector? Will the industry continue to thrive and what challenges will need to be overcome in the process?
The great post-pandemic boom
2022 will hopefully see the start of an economic boom and the end of the pandemic. Our Open for Business report looked at how finance teams are planning for this and the opportunities and challenges they see. We found that almost half (44%) said their strategy will be to raise new capital which they intend to channel into growth.
The report also highlights that 72% believe greater visibility, control and oversight across expenditure has a positive impact on revenue growth. In preparing for this, finance teams are turning to investments in technology, and specifically finance automation tools. Fintechs will hence have a critical role to play in facilitating post-pandemic growth and need to capitalise on the opportunities that the needs of businesses will present.
The great resignation
The great resignation is a recent phenomenon many companies are experiencing. For finance teams in particular, they can often be burdened with tedious and repetitive tasks that can leave them feeling underappreciated and unvalued.
To combat this, businesses can invest in automation that can carry out the daily tasks that can be a pain for finance teams. This allows the finance team to free up time spent on numbing manual tasks and on exciting ones that fuel growth. We know 67% of survey respondents agree that the finance and executive function should drive towards aligned goals. Finance executives should no longer be solely focused on results but be a key driver of business strategy. This means embracing more forward-looking analytics and participating in strategic planning discussions.
With so many UK businesses geared towards growth in 2022, the pressure is on finance teams to deliver a holistic view of spending, control costs and implement systems that provide the business with a level of data insight that is essential to driving growth – in whichever format that takes. In addition to this a business that has it’s finance ‘house’ in order, is one that is attractive to investors. Without the right tools and services in place, finance teams and CFOs will undoubtedly be wasting precious time and be ill prepared to scale with the business.