New bid to help Fifers in financial hardship during lockdown

Tech4Good gets entrepreneurs to make a positive difference

FifeTech, in partnership with Fife Council and various other organisations, is launching a new programme to help people  suffering from financial hardship.

The new programme, ‘Tech4Good’, will offer accessible digital, data enabled products, services and policies to help people manage their money during the pandemic.

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It hopes to help anyone going through hardship and avoid them seeking  unregulated and unaffordable finance assistance.

The launch webinar on Wednesday hopes to build on the success of Nationwide’s ‘Open Banking for Good’ (OB4G) challenge to Scotland.

A Fife Council spokesman said: “The aim is to seek out our most pioneering entrepreneurs, start-ups and industry-leaders to harness their tech skills and create solutions to make a positive difference on the lives of Fife’s citizens. ”

Paul Vaughan, the local authority’s ead of communities & neighbourhoods will take part in the launch.

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He will discuss Covid-19’s financial impact on communities across the region.

Mr Vaughan said: “During these times a lot of people are finding coping with the additional financial strains arising from the pandemic especially difficult. That is especially true in some parts of Fife.

“This is a hugely timely initiative to make use of all that technology can provide and help our local organisations deal more effectively with the real hardships that people are now suffering from.  #

“We are looking forward to working with Strathclyde University and the #FifeTech consortium to repeat the successful Nationwide Open Banking for Good programme in Scotland.”

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The webinar will also host talks from experts with tech and finance backgrounds, including Devraj Basu senior lecturer for accounting and finance at Strathclyde University,  Phil Gosset, head of innovation at Nationwide, Sharon Collard, professor of personal finance and research director, University of Bristol and Niall Alexander an associate at the Carnegie Trust.

Tech4Good has evolved from a collaboration of representatives from Fife Council, Nationwide’s Open Banking for Good challenge team, Strathclyde University, Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol and the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) at the University of Edinburgh.

Matt Kennedy, leader of the consortium said: “I have observed Nationwide’s Open Banking for Good Challenge and its successful outcomes driven by supporting early stage FinTech businesses and engaging them directly with charitable partners.

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“Technology has the potential to make real differences to people’s lives and the potential of creating #FifeTech with a grounded innovation approach, offers Scottish businesses and innovators here the opportunity to harness tech for social good.”

You can register your attendance for the launch at:

> Hannah Brown is the Local Democracy Reporter for Fife & Angus

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