Investment firms ‘slow to adopt new technology’
A new report from State Street has found that many investment firms are moving slowly to embrace new technologies when compared to leading counterparts in their sector. The study stated that firms who are successful with digital transformation are excelling in integrating their internal and external data; drawing new intelligence from IT to improve decision making, agility and client-centricity; and then safeguarding the data with the highest levels of cyber security.
Barclaycard unveils plan for contactless jewellery
Barclaycard has agreed two new partnerships that will see its bPay payment technology embedded into jewellery and watch brands available on the High Street. The first deal is with DCK Group with their range of ‘Tutch’ jewellery, while the second is with Tappy Technologies, which embeds payments functionality into watches. Full details on the products, retail stockists and price ranges are set to be announced over the coming months.
Financial phishing attacks ‘on the up’
The amount of financial phishing attacks increased by 13 per cent in 2016 to account for 47.5 per cent of all phishing attacks registered by Kaspersky Lab last year. The firm’s anti-phishing technologies detected almost 155 million user attempts to visit different kinds of phishing pages in 2016. Of those, almost half of detections were attempts to visit a financial phishing page – where the aim was to obtain valuable information from users, such as account numbers, social security numbers and login information for online banking.
Mizuho completes blockchain sharing trial
Japanese bank Mizuho and tech provider Cognizant have built a new application after completing trials using blockchain technology in cross-border document sharing and a custom digital currency. The application was developed to help enhance collaboration through facilitating data sharing, as well as the issue and transfer of digital currency between Mizuho subsidiaries. The trial verified that blockchain technology can be leveraged to create an effective platform for information sharing among multiple group companies.
Welsh University launches FinTech course
The North Wales Business School at Wrexham Glyndwr University has opened applications for a new degree dedicated to financial technology. The three-year course aims to provide students with the appropriate business skills needed to exploit opportunities within the FinTech sector. A mix of theory and practical skills will be incorporated into the course. Students can also study on a fast-track option over two years, saving on a year’s tuition fees.
Monzo raises £19.5m in latest funding round
UK challenger bank Monzo has completed a new £19.5 million funding round, led by Thrive Capital, Passion Capital and Orange Digital Ventures. The digital startup will use the money to launch its current account service later this year as well as expand the bank’s current team of staff. Monzo are also looking to raise a further £2.5 million from a new crowdfunding round. In a blog posting, the firm stated: “Last year our community invested £1 million in Monzo in what is still the fastest crowdfunding round in history — the response was just incredible.
FCA signs FinTech bridge deal with Ontario
Under a new co-operation agreement between the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), FinTech firms in the UK and Ontario will be able to seek support from their regulators as they look to expand to the other’s market. The regulators may provide support to innovative businesses to help reduce regulatory uncertainty and time to market.
ClearScore launches credit score chatbot
Credit checking firm ClearScore has launched what it claims is the world’s first chatbot designed to build consumers’ credit confidence. The bot-based service, called Coaching, is free to use and is split into three programmes. Depending on whether someone has a thin credit file, has faced financial challenges in the past or just wants to fine tune their finances, ClearScore automatically recommends the right Coaching programme for them.
Starling Bank unveils plan for first hackathon
Starling Bank has revealed plans to host its first hackathon, making it the first UK licenced bank to launch a public API in keeping with the ambitions of PSD2 and the Open Banking initiative. The API enables third-parties to access customer data and build on top of the Starling platform to create products and services such as chatbots, spending analytics or connections with the Internet of Things.
UK consumers ‘concerned about data security’
More than half of UK consumers do not trust businesses, including financial institutions, to protect their confidential data, a new report has found. ACI Worldwide’s global survey of more than 6,000 consumers found that only three countries had more than 50 per cent of respondents indicate that they trust institutions to protect their financial and payments data.
NatWest & RBS introduce in-branch tech support
NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland are investing in specialist ‘TechXperts’, who will help branch customers use online and mobile banking and raise awareness of other convenient ways to bank. By the end of April 2017, NatWest (which has 1,000 branches) and RBS (with 200 branches) aim to have a TechXpert in every outlet in England, Scotland and Wales.