Consumer vulnerabilities continue to be in the headlines for some time and remain a significant focus in regulated industries. Also, there is pressure mounting on financial services to improve outcomes and experience for those most vulnerable customers.
According to the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, “A vulnerable consumer is someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.”
In this regard, a lot of organisations have been established to ensure that customers in vulnerable circumstances are treated fairly with empathy and sensitivity.
London-based Pockit is one such company that provides financial services to vulnerable customers – those typically ignored by high street banks – including a prepaid debit card, international money transfers, and direct debits.
Bagged €16.5M funding
Recently, the company secured a £15M (approx €16.5M) Series B funding round from existing investors and some new investors. The UK fintech company also opened a £500K crowdfunding round through Crowdcube to provide its customers and supporters with a unique opportunity to invest in the business. To date, the company has raised a total of £27M in funding.
“Since its launch, Pockit has helped over half a million customers to take control of their financial affairs, many of whom never previously had a current account that let them shop online or make contactless payments. The time to accelerate is right now; the COVID recession and the end of furlough schemes will disproportionately affect the financially underserved. Some 12 million people in the UK need a solution urgently, and we believe Pockit is that solution,” says Virraj Jatania CEO & founder of Pockit
Investors in the crowdfunding campaign will get a Convertible Loan Note, with an 8% annual interest. The money raised in this round will be matched by the Future Fund, the funding scheme designed by the UK government and delivered by the British Business Bank.
“This investment round provides the perfect opportunity for our loyal customers to join our established investors and own a piece of Pockit,” he adds.
Through this platform, users can open a current account in a minute, claims the company. With a Pockit contactless prepaid Mastercard, customers can send and receive money to over 29 countries, make payments online and in-store.
Partnership with Railsbank
Last month also saw the successful migration of the payment services and functions that underpin the Pockit accounts and operations to PayrNet Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Railsbank.
According to the company, “This move fulfils Pockit’s commitment, made during the summer of 2020, to complete an orderly transition to a new UK-based payments provider that can provide scalability and reliability of Pockit’s service.”
Boost disposable income by up to six times
According to Pockit, customer’s can boost disposable income by up to six times, including a £557 annual savings on everyday shopping with Pockit cashback deals.
Account-holders can have their salary, benefits, or pension paid in via bank transfer, or with cash, at any of the 30,000 PayPoint locations across the UK.
Main image credits: Pockit