E-current account provider Unizest has launched in the UK with support from Mastercard, Railsbank, Association of Labour Providers (ALP), and several international recruiters. Unizest’s mission goes beyond traditional fintech solutions, as the company aims to help solve the long term problem facing UK recruitment agencies when arranging payment for overseas workers, and offer a better start for newcomers to the UK.
In a simple and secure five-step onboarding process, Unizest allows workers and students coming to the UK to open an e-current account before they leave their home country. Upon arrival in the UK, customers receive their Debit Mastercard.
Helping recruiters attract overseas workers and remove friction
Restrictions as a result of the pandemic, coupled with the implications of Brexit, have left the UK facing a significant shortage of staff across many sectors – including healthcare, hospitality and agriculture. These industries play a vital role in the recovery of the UK’s economy, and yet recruiters are having to work even harder to attract overseas workers to fill thousands of vacancies.
Unizest recognises that one of the causes of friction for people who newly arrive in the UK for work and study is the simple need to open a bank account. The team’s mission is to support recruiters – Unizest is already working with recruitment agencies such as Response Recruitment, Australasian Recruitment Company and Tri Consulting – and in turn, candidates, with this important stage in the transition to life and work in the UK.
“On a daily basis, we have overseas workers walking off the street into our office looking for employment. Many can’t open a traditional UK bank account but obviously need to set up a basic banking service. We can now offer Unizest’s new e-current account. It’s a win-win for recruiters, their clients and candidates,” says John Devine, managing director at Response Recruitment.
Matt Oldham, co-founder of Neofin Ventures – the company behind Unizest’s launch – says; “Our aim with Unizest is to ensure that all newcomers to the UK, whether that be for work or for study, are given the best start when embarking on their new life here. We want to help smooth the transition by removing one of the biggest hurdles they face – setting up basic banking services.”
“By kick-starting the process of getting an account, before new hires even arrive in the UK, Unizest enables businesses to focus on the many other processes and aspects of recruitment.
Support from industry partners
After going through a rigorous approval process, Unizest has become an approved service partner of the Association of Labour Providers (ALP). Instigated by the UK government, the association promotes responsible recruitment and shares Unizest’s values of integrity and putting people first.
“We are pleased to welcome Unizest as an ALP service partner and look forward to their e-current account helping to promote good practice,” says David Camp, chief executive of the Association of Labour Providers.
Unizest’s partnership with Just Good Work demonstrates its commitment to empowering its end-users, by providing them with independent advice and guidance on work and life in the UK – including rights and obligations, recruitment and employment information directly on the app.
“People coming to a new country to work or study are making a big life change. By partnering with Unizest, Just Good Work provides practical help and support at every stage in multiple languages. Whether that be understanding how things work here or getting sound advice in avoiding deception or exploitation. We are excited to be supporting Unizest, who share our desire to protect and support people newly arriving in the UK,” says Quintin Lake, director of Just Good Work.
Unizest has already attained Pending B Corp® status, reflecting its ambition to meet higher standards of transparency, accountability and performance.
More than a fintech solution
Offering a fairly priced fintech solution for overseas workers and students, Unizest customers can manage their money through the Unizest app – available to download on iOS and Android:
E-current accounts can be opened before arriving in the UK through a secure onboarding process including facial recognition. Once a UK address is confirmed, customers receive a contactless Debit Mastercard.
Onboarding is five steps: the process links to Home Office Share Code to ensure customers have a confirmed right to reside in the UK, making the set up simple for Unizest users;
Sending and receiving money both in the UK and overseas;
Setting up of direct debits;
Integrated ‘community’ feature with useful information, advice and tips in conjunction with Just Good Work;
Partner offers – tailored discounts for products and services relevant to new-to-UK customers including education, training, travel, telecoms and groceries.