This week, we asked three FinTech leaders how their teams are adjusting to a new way of working amid the Coronavirus pandemic and why the industry is well-placed to deal with this kind of disruption.
Bassim Haidar, Founder and CEO of Channel VAS, said: “It’s no doubt the coronavirus pandemic has been accompanies by a wave of disruption and uncertainty, but if disruptions and adversity in the past are anything to go by, FinTechs will remain agile and adaptable.”
He adds that as a FinTech player, Channel VAS is used to providing “best of breed” technology to improve daily life, which can then extend to the way people work. “We are fortunate to have access to our digital tools wherever we are so that we can work from any environment and location, which is imperative in today’s situation as we can minimize the risk for our staff across the globe.
“We also turn to technology to connect with one another and various stakeholders internationally. As a global fintech and data analytics firm, we chose tools that allow for business continuity at an early stage, and that decision has suddenly become incredibly significant.”
Companies of all sizes have had to adapt to the change, but Haidar says with the right tech it should be possible at any scale. “While even the biggest tech firms likely did not have plans in place for a disruption of this magnitude, companies of all sizes are doing what they can to ensure business continuity.” Having a robust and comprehensive yet flexible continuity plan will be key, he adds.
Contis is a partner to various financial institutions, developing bespoke and flexible solutions for the digital age – so it’s vital that the business continues to run smoothly and support the financial services sector at a time where demand for online and in-app services is high. Kate Laidlow, Head of People and Culture at the firm, says that Contis’ experience ensuring banks have reliable infrastructure in place has been key to providing for its own staff at this time. “Thankfully, as a technology-led FinTech with an established business continuity plan, we’ve had a smooth transition to working form home,” she comments.
With all the right tech in place, the focus is now on keeping staff motivated and well during significant upheaval. “The challenge is maintaining connections, company culture and wellbeing,” says Laidlow. “Regular Zoom sessions we call ‘Time for Tea’ are helpful, and transparent business performance updates from the CEO keep everyone engaged. We’re also very vocal in showing our appreciation for the team’s efforts in these difficult times.”
Darren Upson, VP for Small Business at Soldo, agrees FinTechs should be well-equipped to deal with these new demands. “Coronavirus has lead to widespread disruption but FinTechs are some of the best-placed in the UK to adapt,” he comments. “They’re naturally agile and usually have flexible working and working from home factored into their company culture from day one. Many have been early adopters of tools that enable business continuity at a time like this – video calling, project management and cloud-based spending and accounting software – for example.”
With all this in place then, what should FinTech companies prioritise to ensure they remain resilient throughout the coming months? “For FinTechs to continue to thrive during what is likely to be an extended period of working from home, they should prioritise any technology that helps keep their finances in check,” Upson adds.
“Being able to control spend without restricting staff productivity and slowing the business down is a tricky balance to find, but one that will be key. The right platforms can make it easy for FinTechs to reduce expenses where necessary, while ensuring employees are able to spend towards business growth as fluidly as possible.”