Manchester is the driving force behind some of the world’s greatest discoveries in science, IT and tech. For it was here that the Industrial Revolution was born, where the atom was split, where the first stored program computer created, and the ‘wonder-material’ graphene first isolated.
It’s a unique city that always dares to be different and has a great innovative spirit, making it the ideal location for companies to trial new products and services, and is influential in changing how businesses interac. Manchester is a place where content creation fuses with digital technology, out of which innovation is emerging and being applied across all industry sectors including FinTech.
Manchester’s Financial and Professional Services (FPS) sector* is the largest outside of London and accounts for 20 per cent of the local economy. The city is home to many large global firms such as BNY Mellon and RBS, as well as new, innovative organisations like Worldpay and VST Enterprises. Many firms such as Lloyds and Barclays have their UK IT centres here. The convergence between FPS and digital provides the perfect environment for FinTech which has led to a growing cluster of FinTech businesses here; from well-established companies supporting the financial services, to smaller firms developing novel solutions and disrupting current business models. Manchester’s Financial and Professional Services (FPS) sector* is the largest outside of London and accounts for 20 per cent of the local economy.
Manchester has a proven track record of supporting FinTech investments complemented by a high-calibre of talent. The strength of Manchester’s digital infrastructure means it attracts companies to establish and grow their technology footprint. By the end of this year, The Vault, a new enterprise for innovative companies, SMEs and start-ups will take up residency on the Spinningfields site at XYZ. This combined with spaces such as Rise, Manchester, one of seven global hubs catering for the digital community, has led to an emerging FinTech cluster.
RISE’s concept is to find solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing financial services through scaling early prototypes and devising new business models, then translating them into live products and services. – Manchester’s growing FinTech cluster is a strong alternative to London, with high-end facilities designed to support companies at any stage of their life cycle from start-ups to well established companies with a number of incubator/ accelerator spaces and digital hubs around the city.
Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “The XYZ development is a cleverly designed, collaborative environment where smaller FinTech companies can target business leads, pitch ideas to specific audiences and meet potential clients, exposing them to larger incumbents and professional services. In turn, corporations will act in a supportive role to nurture the next wave of digital entrepreneurs”.
FinTech has grown from its disruptive roots into a £6.6bn industry, employing 61,000 people in the UK. **With the University of Manchester being listed as the top higher education establishment in the UK for students with ambitions to work in FinTech, this demonstrates the city’s capability to draw emerging talent into the sector, which leads in payments, platforms, data analytics and cyber security.
Tim Newns, added: “FinTech is growing rapidly due to the revolutionary way consumer demands are changing, how people spend money and the way interactions are made with businesses and financial institutions. Manchester has a strong collection of FinTech companies ranging from large corporations to fast-growth SMEs like Hello Soda and AccessPay.
“Traditionally London was the UK’s FinTech hub but there is now a healthy concentration of businesses within the sector located in Manchester. The work that Innovate Finance are doing in the city also signifies the importance of the region’s financial market. Market Invoice, VST Enterprise, eMoneyUnion are also established here, as are financial aggregators like MoneySupermarket, adding to Manchester’s financial centre of excellence.
Anish Kapoor, CEO, AccessPay, said: “One of the benefits of being surrounded by like-minded businesses are the collaborative opportunities it presents. Since locating our offices to Manchester in 2014, we’ve seen a gradual increase in the number of tech start-ups being established in the city and with a leading university computer science department on our door-step, we have access to a strong talent pool.
“This has helped us to move quickly and address the changing way in which businesses want to process their business payments. The market has moved rapidly away from making payments manually using banking portals, to wanting highly secure, automated and more efficient automated payment processing using a system such as ours. By accessing the strong local talent pool, and FinTech expertise, we have been able to become the leader in this fast growing space.”
Tim Newns concluded: “The UK is the capital of the FinTech world and with Manchester emerging as a major player within this sector, we’re serious about creating synergy between us and the US market, in particular Silicon Valley. Virgin Atlantic is launching direct flights from Manchester to San Francisco next spring and connecting these destinations will provide even greater opportunities for Manchester’s FinTech sector.”
FinTech Revolution: Embracing change during a post-Brexit era of business transformationis taking place on 14th September 2016. It will explore the key issues facing the sector, and provide a chance to hear from industry thought-leaders about current trends, challenges and market opportunities.
FinTech Revolution has been organised by MIDAS in conjunction with Innovate Finance, the UK’s industry body for the FinTech community and Barclays. Confirmed speakers include Jeffrey Tijssen, Managing Principal and Chair FinTech Working Group, Capco Digital, Alastair Lukies, Chairman, Innovate Finance; Anish Kapoor, CEO, AccessPay; Damien Richardson, Head of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives, RBS; Darren Earnshaw, Head of Lending Technology, Barclays; and Tim Newns, Chief Executive, MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency.
**2015 eFinancial Careers Research