31st August 2016 Science and Innovation Network
Why Global Britain is driving the fintech revolution
The UK’s history of innovation goes back a long way. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, we have carved out a far-reaching global reputation for creative thought and technological excellence. But national reputations only stick if they are backed up by concrete action – and ours has remained solid because we live it every day.
In the world of finance in particular, much of UK innovation has been driven by London. In an environment where technology meets banking heavyweights, it seems a natural progression for fintech companies such as GoCardless to emerge and flourish.
From small acorns
Founded in 2011, GoCardless has been on a quest to create a bank-to-bank payments network that spans the globe. We’ve been internationally focused from the beginning, our ideas guided by the best of Silicon Valley as part of Y Combinator, then brought back to London by British founders.
The GoCardless system is built by working with the banks and gives everyone access to the Direct Debit recurring payments system, previously open only to large firms. This has been a revolution for everyone, from entrepreneurs to enterprises, reducing late payments, improving cashflow and allowing them more space to innovate.
Now, over 20,000 of Europe’s most innovative companies – such as Thomas Cook, the Financial Times, and Box.com – use GoCardless to collect payments with ease, freeing them up to focus on what they do best – creating the best possible experience for customers. This forms a virtuous circle that further strengthens the UK’s reputation for innovation. GoCardless initially focused on businesses in the UK, but quickly expanded to serve those in France, Germany and Spain, via the Bacs and SEPA bank-to-bank payment systems. Our plan is to go global, breaking down international borders to create a new global payments network. We’ll do this by connecting together the Direct Debit systems in different countries into one streamlined whole.
Surrounded by brilliance
London’s culture of innovation plays a vital role in our success as a company. We’re surrounded by great technology firms, all set within a supportive and collaborative environment filled with the brightest international minds. This has helped us form important partnerships with other payments innovators, such as Xero, QuickBooks and Zuora. Working together is a recipe for success when it comes to getting new ideas off the ground. This year GoCardless processed over £1.5 billion worth of payments for tens of thousands of organisations – and we’re growing fast.
Just the beginning
In the wake of Brexit, we’re doubling down our focus on Europe, combining that perspective with a wider global outlook. We’ll keep pursuing the GoCardless vision to create a global payments network – a mission we believe has become more crucial than ever before. To take brand Britain forward in a new direction, every action counts, and we’re proud to be part of it.