Paying The Living Wage

Lidl, the popular supermarket chain, will incur additional expenses of over £9million following its announcement to increase the minimum wage of its employees. It represents a 14 per cent salary rise for over 51 per cent of its staff. The firm has chosen to benchmark its pay against the UK Living Wage rather than the national minimum wage of currently £6.50 (for over 21s). The Living Wage as calculated by the Living Wage Foundation takes into account “the basic cost of living in the UK” allowing pay to escape poverty.

Though Lidl pays the highest of the supermarkets, it is not the only supermarket chain following this guide. Tesco, Sainsburys, Aldi and Asda all pay above the national minimum wages with the first three paying their staff above the UK living wage (for outside London). Though agreed to be broadly positive, the living wage must not be blindly accepted. Far from being just an issue of pay, could it be one of employer morals too? And are we focussing too narrowly on pay rates at the expense of other important workplace indicators – such as wellbeing and labour turnover or job satisfaction?

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Data Attacks: Will FinTech Be Next?

Data Attacks: Will FinTech Be Next?

If you have ever printed photos through CVS Photo, you may have recently received a troubling email. Although medical and pharmaceutical data remained safe, it is believed that CVS Photo’s credit card data and potentially actual photographs were stolen on July 17, 2015.

This is just one of many large corporations to recently have the security of their databases compromised. Similarly Yahoo, Citigroup, Bank of America, and MasterCard and most other corporations have either been attacked or declared problems with their data security protocols. CVS blamed their third-party website host, PNI Media, for the incident. However, should it be considered a lack of oversight by CVS as well? So far, FinTech (bar cryptocurrencies) has largely been safe, but it is only a matter of time before the hakers realise there is a lot to be gained from attacking this nascent sector.

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Supporting Whistleblowing: Blacklist Fears

When Charlotte Proudman hit back against Alex Carter-Silk for sending her an inappropriate response on LinkedIn, she became a figurehead against sexism in a professional setting. What she did was akin to whistleblowing: bring everyone’s attention to an unprofessional or unlawful habit. And like the typical whistleblower she is attacked though her experience is far from unique. Many of the commentators have mentioned that this has “ruined” her career and effectively “blacklisted” her from the profession. This commentary is the same reason many fail to stand-up against discrimination.

Style magazine’s article “The Truth About Maternity Leave” was a painful reminder of the sexism rife in the workplace and the blacklisting fear silencing the tortured. Unfortunately, the concerns, worries and blacklisting fears of these women are warranted. Though legislations (such as Employment Rights Act 1996 and specifically Public Interest Disclosures Act 1998) exist, they are not enough to tackle the mental and financial anguish caused by whistleblowing. Bullying and retaliation following whistleblowing allegations are still major problems, which we must manage through robust corporate culture initiatives, rather than just the courts.

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Building Ethical Practices Into FinTech

With current regulation of the financial industry currently not fit for purpose let alone for FinTech; and increased prevalence of big data, the FinTech sector has a wide range of potential ethical dilemmas on global society. FinTech may be able to manage compliance better than the traditional financial infrastructure. It is rising from the aftermath of consumer dissatisfaction over such matters. However, the sector is still vulnerable to the development of unfair services regarding interest rates, loans, credit, and even insurance. Ultimately, it is up to those in the FinTech sector to responsibly enhance these services while taking advantage of simplified compliance. But, how can we ensure this compliance prevails and stop the previous greed that occurred from suffocating it.

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Crowdfunding Hub: Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia has really taken to promoting its FinTech as it seeks to diversify its national revenue away from mainly commodity exporting. The Malaysian Securities Commission’s (SC) Chairman Datuk Ranjiy Ajit Singh recently stated their aim was to “create new growth for the Malaysian financial and capital markets”. His comments were made during the World Capital Markets Symposium – a biannual event held in Kuala Lumpur. At this year event entitled “Markets and Technology: Driving Future Growth Through Innovation” the Prime Minister (Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak) was in attendance to kick start the event – demonstrating just how crucial FinTech as a sector is viewed by the government. However, it is not all talk and there have been supportive forwarding thinking ideas which are being implemented in the country too.

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Mobile Identity: Trust in Financial Services

Mobile Identity: Trust in Financial Services

Telstra has just released an interesting report (Mobile Identify – The Fusion of Financial Services, Mobility and Identity) looking at the increasing interconnected nature of mobile technology, identity security and financial services. It charts the changing attitudes to financial apps between generation X (those born between the early 1960s and early 1980s) and Y (often dubbed ‘Millennials’): and gives users the awful name of ‘no-finapp-phobic’ (guys, it’s not going to catch on, stop trying to make it a thing!). What we do agree on are their views on the importance of trust, and the shifting trust paradigm which is happening right now. However, even with all this talk of ‘trust’ it is clearly still lacking in the financial services sector; but it seems consumers don’t have any other institutes to which they may turn.

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