Fintech targeting 10% market share in Scotland

A fintech firm that is looking to become the specialist challenger bank for small firms is aiming to increase its market share of all new Scottish businesses to 10 per cent in the coming years.

Cashplus chief executive Rich Wagner shared the firm's ambitious Scottish expansion plans. Picture: Contributed
Cashplus chief executive Rich Wagner shared the firm's ambitious Scottish expansion plans. Picture: Contributed

Cashplus launched in 2005, and has since served 1.5 million customers, while it has processed more than £10 billion of payments, mostly by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Additionally, its revenue is £38 million, which it says significantly exceeds the combined income of rivals Atom, Monzo, Revolut and Starling.

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Cashplus has been profitable for about seven years, creating a sustainable model for businesses and consumers to leverage its banking products, chief executive Rich Wagner told The Scotsman.

“We’re focused and looking to be the specialist challenger bank for SMEs and primarily small businesses,” he said, singling out microbusinesses and start-ups. “We’re looking to build an outstanding reputation in this particular space.”

Wagner stressed that the London-based firm is “open for business” north of the Border, where it now provides banking services for about 3,600 companies.

It has proved popular in Scotland with the likes of tradesmen and individuals providing professional services, while its digital offering plays well in more rural areas.

Cashplus boasts a market share of 6 per cent of active, current Scottish firms and is looking to increase this by reaching 10 per cent of all new businesses over the next five years. However Wagner would like to see this achieved in three. It would like to grow with SMEs as they grow and succeed in Scotland.

The business added that only 45.5 per cent of businesses in Scotland make their fifth birthday, and a lack of flexible capital is often cited as a factor.

Wagner noted developments such as the firm launching of a product that allows thousands of simultaneous payments to be processed instantly and potentially halves transaction fees to high-street banks.

And in 2017 it secured two, three-year funding arrangements totalling £30m led by Royal Bank of Scotland.

The firm last year announced plans to more than double its workforce by 400, with Wagner stating at the time that it was an “exciting” time in Cashplus’ history as it moved to become a challenger bank.

The fintech is looking to eventually release some of its balance sheet “to really supercharge and get money into the hands of businesses to stimulate the UK economy”.

By becoming a bank it will release over £300m “to then redeploy and get out to deserving companies… especially in Scotland”, and the sum looks set to considerably exceed £1bn over the next three to five years.

Cashplus last year suffered a service disruption, and Wagner denied that this will affect its growth. “We take outages extremely seriously… certainly from our standpoint in the process of becoming a bank we are building more robust and resilient systems.”