The number of registered e-money providers has more than doubled in the last two years, signalling the growth of the UK’s FinTech sector.
According to Bovill, a specialist financial services regulatory consultancy, there has been a significant increase in the number of e-money providers registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Seventy nine businesses, the firm said, are now authorised by the FCA, in comparison to just 38 in 2013.
Gillian Roche-Saunders, head of Venture Finance at Bovill, said: “This is a fast-moving and innovative sector — we expect the number of authorised firms to continue to grow at a rapid pace.
“UK consumers and businesses are increasingly comfortable with the idea of a ‘cashless economy’- in which they might not be able to physically see or access money. More are now embracing pre-paid cards, contactless and mobile payment systems — for ease of use, efficiency and enhanced security,” added Roche-Summers.
According to the Electronic Money Regulations 2011, all e-money providers must be registered with and authorised by the FCA and meet a set of stringent criteria relating to various issues including consumer data protection and the separation of customer’s money from the company’s funds.
“The regulatory background is complex and e-money providers need to ensure that systems, processes and controls are tight- in order to ensure a high level of consumer protection. The FCA is not afraid to place these businesses under a microscope,” Roche-Saunders concluded.