Gocardless, iwoca lead UK FinTech funding boom
Small business lending platform iwoca has raised £150 million in equity and debt capital, bringing its total funding to £350 million.The Series D round was led by Augmentum Fintech, along with NIBC Bank and existing investors, including Prime Ventures.
Mambu secures €30m to accelerate growth
Banking software-as-as-service provider Mambu has raised €30 million in a funding round led by US-based Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation also coming from existing investors Acton Capital, CommerzVentures, Point Nine Capital and Runa Capital. Mambu, which launched in 2011, has experienced triple-digit growth for four consecutive years as an increasing number of challenger and established banks sign on to implement the platform.
First Direct tops CMA online banking survey
First Direct have topped a poll of the best online and mobile banking services, closely followed by Barclays and Metro Bank. The Competition and Markets Authority surveyed approximately 1,000 customers across the UK for each of the 16 largest current account providers, with 16,023 people surveyed in total.
Germany 'begins blockchain consultation'
The German government has launched a consultation into the potential of blockchain technology. Sources told Reuters that staff and industry groups working with startups developing blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions have been invited to submit recommendations from this week onwards.
Sandboxes ‘not always the answer’: UN
Regulatory sandboxes are “neither necessary nor sufficient” to promote financial inclusion, and similar results can be achieved through innovation offices and other tools, according to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). However, the new report also emphasises the potential for FinTech to accelerate a dramatic rise in financial inclusion for the 1.7 billion people worldwide who do not have a bank account.
J.P. Morgan issues its own digital coin
J.P. Morgan has become the first US bank to create and test a digital coin representing a fiat currency. The JPM Coin is based on blockchain technology, enabling the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional accounts. Umar Farooq, the bank’s head of digital treasury services and blockchain, explained that JPM Coin is a digital coin representing US Dollars held in designated accounts at JPMorgan Chase, so when one client sends money to another over the blockchain, JPM Coins are transferred and instantaneously redeemed for the equivalent amount, reducing the typical settlement time.
FSB: 'BigTech poses bigger risk than FinTech’
Banks should fear competition from BigTech firms branching out into financial services more than the threat of FinTech challengers, according to the Financial Stability Board (FSB). A report from the international policy body for financial services tasked with assessing the impact of new technology on global financial stability, said the disruption that could stem from the entry of global tech giants could “materially alter the universe of financial services providers”.
Red flags raised over fake banking apps
Researchers at IT security firm ESET have warned of the emerging threat of fake banking apps. Research on the malware landscape for Android operating systems found that that cyber criminals have developed mobile banking malware that impersonates legitimate finance apps to obtain victims’ credentials, before stealing money from their bank accounts.
Barclaycard partners SAP for corporate payments
Barclaycard Commercial Payments has announced a strategic partnership with SAP UK, which will see Barclaycard integrate its business-to-business (B2B) payment product, Precisionpay, into SAP’s Ariba solutions marketplace. The integration, to become available later this year, will bring procurement and payment together in one place. The first Barclaycard product to launch within Ariba Network will be Precisionpay Bank Transfer.
Ant Financial confirms WorldFirst deal
Ant Financial, the financial arm of Chinese corporation Alibaba, has confirmed it is going ahead with the acquisition of London-based currency exchange firm WorldFirst. A spokesperson for Ant Financial said the deal would allow both companies to “better serve small businesses and promote financial inclusion around the world”. There has been no confirmation of the value of the deal, but previous reports suggested it could be in the region of $500 million.
Yolt launches Open Banking API for businesses
Open Banking is set to becoming a “global phenomenon”, according to Yolt’s chief business officer, who announced the FinTech was launching its first API-management service to businesses across Europe. In an interview with FStech to mark the launch of Yolt for Business, Leon Muis said the product was now ready to be white-labelled and rolled out across European markets, following six months of beta testing.