Up until a few years ago, my trip planning routine went something like this:

Flights — Check

Hotels — Check

Delicious local restaurants — Check

Adventurous excursions for selfies — Check

Spending money — ????

Growing up as a 90s kid, spending money on holidays abroad involved a bum bag stuffed with 20 euro notes and gingerly navigating Spain’s sticky fingered locals.

Alas, times are changing. Spending abroad has largely been replaced with cards yet using your everyday card abroad could land you with excessive charges such as ‘non sterling transaction fees’ and ‘ATM withdrawal fees’.

With sterling falling against…


In China tech behemoths AliPay and Tencent have demonstrated the seismic power of disruptive innovation; uprooting traditional banking institutions and planting unique value propositions that intertwine social media, e-commerce and payment functions into user friendly apps. Combined, AliPay and Tencent process over 90% of China’s $15.5trn online payments market with c. 54% and 39% market share respectively.

AliPay QR Code

In the UK, however, its a markedly different landscape.

Despite the emergence of fintechs such as Monzo, Starling and Revolut and speculation that their steady rise would displace traditional high street banks, customers have remained stoically loyal to their good old fashioned banks.

Kirsten Lockyer

Payments Insights from around the world 🌍 💳

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