uk news round up

Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week, a new click and collect currency service launches at Heathrow, while we take a look at new research into hybrid working. 

Heathrow hosts the first foreign exchange click and collect service

Foreign exchange company Travelex has launched a new service for customers to pre-order foreign currency online and collect it from ATMs in Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5.

Customers can collect up to $800 or €800 from an ATM by placing an order using the Travelex website. The orders do not require additional collection fees and can be collected at any time. Further currencies and locations are expected to be added shortly.

Fraser Brown, director of retail at Heathrow Airport, said: “It is fantastic that passengers travelling through Heathrow will now be able to easily pre-order foreign currency online and collect it for free at airport ATMs.

“As the UK’s only hub airport our vision is to give passengers the best airport service in the world, so access to convenient services such as this from Travelex is so important to us – which is why we are proud to be the first airport in the world to have this service.”

Klarna App adds purchase history feature

Klarna app

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Klarna has extended its existing shopping app to include all purchase history and to offer delivery tracking.

The new feature requires users to link their email account to the Klarna App; which is then able to take relevant information from order confirmation emails and import it into the app to view.

Alex Marsh, head of Klarna UK said: “At Klarna we’re always trying to help customers save time and money, and give them more control over their personal finances regardless of whether they purchase with Klarna or not. So our customers have asked for a tool to help manage all online orders in one place, removing the need to switch back and forth between platforms to keep track of everything.”

Alternative investments are increasingly popular

Invest sign

Property investment platform Shojin revealed that alternative investments (including private equity and real estate) are becoming more popular with UK investors due to quickly increasing inflation.

Shojin found that 18 per cent of UK investors made alternative investments in 2022, with this figure rising to 41 per cent among those aged between 18 to 34. Up to 32 per cent of investors were considering seeking out such investments by the end of 2023.

Jatin Ondhia, CEO of Shojin, said: “With inflation topping nine per cent and likely to rise further in the months to come, many investors are evidently weighing up their strategies carefully. Tellingly, our research shows that half of UK investors, and even more younger ones, have made or are considering alternative investments in the current climate.”

Metaverse is the future for hybrid working

Metaverse workingRegus, part of workspace group IWG, has also shared research results – it found that 66 per cent of business leaders believe the metaverse will significantly impact hybrid working in the future.

The survey included responses from around 2,000 office workers alongside 250 senior executives. The results suggested general enthusiasm for the metaverse due to the potential for new business opportunities, reduced presenteeism, greater diversity and improved mental health.

Mark Dixon, founder and CEO of Regus, said: “Change in the world of work is almost always driven by technology. In the 90s, email transformed the way we did business, while during the pandemic we turned to video conferencing to enable more effective working.

“This data shows that business leaders expect the metaverse to have a similarly transformative effect on hybrid working. It will enable better collaboration for people working all over the world, reducing the need to commute and allowing greater flexibility in people’s day-to-day working schedules.”

Study shows finance is leading the hybrid working race

Hybrid workingECI Software Solutions, an office management software provider, has analysed around 220,000 job postings to determie that finance is one of the best industries for hybrid working.

The index found that 40.67 per cent of 445 investment analyst roles were advertised as hybrid working.

Jamie Bradley, sales engineer for field service at ECI Software Solutions, commented: “Since the Covid-19 pandemic, hybrid working has taken off and is here to stay. Seeing these ten sectors including the finance industry lead the way in offering roles that support a better work/life balance is great to see and is likely the way forward.”

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