Intelligent Issue 16 | Page 6


CFOs opt for defensive strategies as tech investment rises , according to Deloitte survey

CFOs of the UK ’ s largest firms are optimistic about prospects for their own businesses as they enter 2024 , according to Deloitte ’ s latest CFO survey .

The research revealed that sentiment among finance leaders has risen for the second consecutive quarter – to well above average levels – with a net 11 % of CFOs more optimistic about the financial prospects of their business than they were three months ago .
The data revealed that there is a strong consensus among finance leaders that the UK has entered a prolonged period of high labour costs . A net 92 % of CFOs expect labour costs to remain elevated in the long term , relative to 2023 . But CFOs are decidedly bullish on investment in new technology , with a net 63 % of CFOs expecting investment in new technology to increase in the long term .
Finance chiefs also anticipate a greater role for the state in the economy , with significant proportions expecting an increase in levels of taxation ( net 39 %) and regulation ( net 42 %).
By contrast , CFOs think that levels of flexible or home working have peaked , with a net 57 % expecting home working to decline in the long term .
CFOs ’ balance sheet strategies remain largely defensive . Cost reduction is their top priority , with 51 % of CFOs rated reducing costs as a strong priority for their business over the next 12 months . Increasing cashflow follows , with 47 % of CFOs rating it as a strong priority . A sharp fall in the priority assigned to introducing new products and services or entering new markets ( only 15 % of CFOs say it ’ s a strong priority now ) has driven expansionary strategies further out of favour .

JustGiving drops American Express and selects GoCardless Instant Bank Pay for open banking payments

GoCardless , the bank payment company , has extended its relationship with JustGiving to become the online donation platform ’ s exclusive open banking payment provider , replacing American Express . The move will see JustGiving use both the fintech ’ s Instant Bank Pay feature to collect instant , one-off gifts and its Direct Debit capabilities for recurring donations .

JustGiving estimates that 10 % of its donations already go through open banking payments – a proportion that it wants to grow . JustGiving does not charge a commission fee on donations to charity customers , instead relying on optional tips that donors use to cover its costs . The cost savings with Instant Bank Pay will help to sustain JustGiving ’ s business model and deliver more money to good causes . JustGiving also cites reduced fraud as another benefit of open banking payments , as well as fewer refunds : the immediate nature of these payments means a lower number of accidental transactions and duplicate payments .
Oliver Shaw-Latimer , Senior Director , Payments and Innovation , at JustGiving , said : “ We ’ ve built a suite of products to support amazing causes and it is a privilege to be the payments platform powering fundraising behind the scenes . Fast forward 23 years and over US $ 9 billion has been raised for good causes in almost every single country in the world . We ’ re constantly looking for ways to make donations go further , and open banking payments play a pivotal role .
After working with GoCardless for over a year on recurring donations , we were confident that its Instant Bank Pay feature would be perfect for one-off giving . Instant Bank Pay will not only help us to keep costs low but also provides a best-in-class fundraising experience for our customers and their donors .”
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