Tony Killeen is the founder, owner and managing director of allpay Limited, a provider of complete payments services including credit cards, pre-paid cards, direct debit and bill payment collection. He thinks that open banking is the future of the industry.

Looking back at 2020 and the challenges we have faced as an industry, the pandemic has proved fintech’s worth and will be sure to define its future. From now, innovate to accumulate must account for inclusion as the fallout from Covid pushes the prospect of a cashless society ever closer.

“In the UK alone, key pre-pandemic assessments of financial exclusion were stark in showing an estimated 1.3m adults lack a bank account and 3.1m have one or more high-cost loans charging more than high street banks. It’s too easy, if not dismissive, to set those effectively paying what amounts to a poverty premium against the estimated 97% of UK adults holding an account they can use to make day-to-day payments and transaction – a current account in around 96% of cases. To this end, open banking becomes both the question and the answer.

“Fintech now needs its “Rashford moment”. The point at which (social) problem solving is a how-to lesson for Government from those that have ‘been there’ and are willing to ‘go there’. As such, allpay is proud of its award-winning CSR work with the Scottish Government tackling food poverty – showcasing the difference prepaid cards can make, over vouchers. Yes, the sector’s response to Covid is rightly recognised as bold. But the future’s coming so fast it will soon be the past. We need to be bold enough to evolve and ensure no-one is left behind!”

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