N26 and Monzo gear up to launch in US
FinTech challengers N26 and Monzo are gearing up to launch their services in the US in the coming months, as European challenger banks accelerate their global expansion strategies. Berlin-based digital bank N26, which first launched in Germany in 2015, announced that it had now reached the milestone of 3.5 million customers across 24 markets, and confirmed that it would be ready to launch its app-based banking services in the US “in the coming weeks.”
BCR splits Pool D funding between five FinTechs
The Board of Banking Competition Remedies has announced the results of the Capability and Innovation Fund Pool D grant process, with Codat, Fluidly, Form3, Funding Options and Swoop Finance getting £5 million each. Pool D is designed to facilitate the commercialisation of financial technology that is relevant to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Robots to take 1 in 5 finance jobs
One in five financial services jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) or automation within the next five years, according to the latest KPMG and Harvey Nash report.The survey of 3,600 IT leaders found that 43 per cent of banks expect a fifth or more of their workforce to be replaced by AI or automation by 2024.
IT glitches left 7m unable to pay with card
More than seven million people in the UK were left unable to use their debit or credit cards due to an IT or technical crash in the last year, according to research from Which? A survey of more than 2,091 consumers conducted by the consumer watchdog found one in seven respondents were unable to use their card due to a serious outage in the last year, with half (49 per cent) saying they were unable to pay for goods and services at the point of sale as a result.
Augmentum adds further £8.5m to FinTech funding
Augmentum Fintech has announced a total of £8.5 million of follow-on investments to startups in its growing portolio. The publicly listed venture capital outfit has topped up its existing funding in business banking firm Tide (£5 million), mobile-only current account provider Monese (£2.5 million) and predictive business intelligence platform DueDil (£1 million).
Demand for UK tech visas up 45%
Tech Nation has, for the fifth-year running, revealed a continued rise in demand for applications for the Tech Nation Visa, up 45 per cent for 2018-19 with a total of 650 applications. The countries with the highest amount of visa applications continue to be India and the USA, from software engineers and business developers in artificial intelligence and machine learning, FinTech and enterprise/cloud sectors. Nigeria, Russia, Canada, Australia, China and South Africa also top the list for number of applications.
InsurTech Gateway readies £30m funding pot
Venture capital firm InsurTech Gateway is targeting up to £30 million of investment for a new fund aimed at supporting tech startups in the insurance and reinsurance space. The Gateway Fund has kicked off by investing £2.25 million in By Miles - UK-based provider of pay-per-mile car insurance - Floodflash - a provider of tech-enabled flood insurance for small business - Guardhog - a plug-in insurance provider for the gig-economy - and Insurdata - a technology provider for peril-specific exposure and risk data.
UK and Singapore regulators join to fight cyber threat
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Bank of England (BoE) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that they will be working together to strengthen cyber security in their financial sectors. MAS and the UK financial authorities will commence work towards a Memorandum of Understanding to signify this enhanced collaboration.
Regulation ‘biggest barrier’ to digital innovation
The greatest barrier to UK financial institutions developing digital products, services and operations is regulatory compliance risk. This is according to a report from FIS which surveyed more than 2,000 C-level and senior executives across buy-side, sell-side, insurance firms and retail banks.
Cashless payments adoption ‘at inflection point’
New research has found consumer openness to alternative payment options - including wearables and smartphones - although acceptance of cashless payments comes with a high degree of concern surrounding the ability to secure these devices. A study commissioned by Transaction Network Services (TNS) surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, finding 44 per cent of respondents are willing to make a payment using a wearable device like a ring or a bracelet.
Northern Irish RegTech raises £1.2m
Datactics has raised £1.2 million in a funding round led by Kernel Capital and Par Equity. The Belfast-based RegTech startup provides data quality and matching software to the financial services industry and government departments to help measure, clean and match data.