Digesting the Digits – UK firms owed more than £23bn, HSBC second to ban crypto credit card purchases

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Number crunching is a key component of the payment industry, with digits being scattered across the sector’s key stories. 

Each week Payment Expert digests these digits and brings an overview of the past payments week in numbers. 

Small UK firms now owed more than £23.4bn in outstanding invoices

In an exclusive feature for Payment Expert, Managing Director of payments provider Access PaySuite, Andrea Dunlop, spoke about a worrying trend currently witnessed among small UK businesses where more and more firms are being stretched thin due to late payments. 

Dunlop claimed that more than £23.4bn is owed to small firms in the UK in the form of outstanding invoices, with the Federation of Small Businesses warning that the problem might lead to some 440k companies at risk of closure. 

She added: “It remains to be seen what the outcome of the government’s latest consultation into late payments will be, and we could see the powers of the Small Business Commissioner bolstered to support suppliers. 

“In the meantime, and particularly in a challenging trading environment, firms need to be clear on their payment terms, incentivise prompt payments and use digital tools to ensure seamless transactions.”

Access PaySuite – Andrea Dunlop: ‘Shakeup of late payments can’t come soon enough’ 
SteadyPay secures a $3m seed round as it looks to fuel its annual growth 

Fintech SteadyPay has finalised a $3m seed funding round led by the N1 fintech investment fund, which will be used to secure key aspects for this year’s company growth. 

N1 CEO and Founder Nykyta Izmailov commented: “We have seen a progressive lending product for the new generation, backed by well-built AI technology. 

“It’s great that Ukrainians worldwide are involved in creating innovations. It makes one want to invest in such startups. The decision was unanimous within the team.” 

SteadyPay Co-Founder John Downie said: “The demand for lending to people with irregular incomes is growing, so we’ve created a solution.”

Downie’s colleague Ivan Istomin, who also helped with SteadyPay’s launch, added: “We see the huge demand for integration of SteadyPay lending platform under its own branding of neobanks and marketplaces for their customers asking for financing.”

British fintech SteadyPay closes $3m Seed round
Binance adds crypto trade support for five African currencies 

Binance has made further steps to expand its global presence by adding support for five African currencies that can now be used to buy crypto with. 

Liberian Dollar (LRD), Sierra Leonean Leone (SLL), Gambian Dalasi (GMD), Mauritanian Ouguiya (MRO) and Cape Verdean Escudo (CVE) are now all available to trade with on the Binance platform, making crypto accessible for a substantial new customer base. 

Nadeem Anjarwalla, Director for Binance in West & East Africa, commented: “Binance has continued to remain committed to increasing the adoption and mainstream accessibility of crypto and we are excited to be taking this step in making access to digital assets effortless for more Africans.” 

Binance enhances African focus with support for new currencies 
HSBC becomes second major UK bank to ban credit card crypto purchasing

HSBC has become the second major high street bank in the UK to significantly clamp down on crypto payments. The financial entity has now banned retail customers from making any cryptocurrency purchase through a credit card, echoing previous actions taken by Nationwide.

The bank cited concerns voiced by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about the crypto market, which became clear will eventually lead to the establishment of new regulatory guidelines for all companies operating in the country that offer crypto-related services.

As per the FCA, its statement from this February reads: “Crypto assets remain high risk. We have repeatedly warned that consumers should be prepared to lose all of their money if they buy crypto assets.”

“All crypto asset firms marketing to UK consumers, including firms based overseas, will soon need to comply with the new UK financial promotions regime. Firms must start preparing now for this regime. We will take robust action against firms breaching these requirements.”

HSBC joins growing list of banks banning credit card crypto purchases
Barclays registers utilities costs up by 43%

A report by Barclays has highlighted that the ongoing cost-of-living crisis has led to a notable shift in the UK consumer’s everyday money management, registering a total of 250 million monthly transactions between January and February. 

By breaking down the numbers, Barclays found that non-essential card spending for February was up by 5.5%, down from January’s figures (10.4%) but still higher than what it was between August and December of last year. 

Moreover, a total of 43.2% more is being spent on utilities when compared to February 2022, with 67% of respondents saying they are now actively looking for new ways to save energy at home.

Trustly: ‘Retailers should look to employ the benefits of A2A payments’