FStech Awards 2018: winners announced
Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Bank of Ireland, Wayra and Starling Bank were among the companies to scoop a coveted trophy at the 18th annual FStech Awards last night. Celebrating excellence and innovation within the UK and EMEA financial services sector, this year’s awards saw a record number of entries, with the winners revealed at a prestigious gala dinner and awards ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel in Mayfair, hosted by comedian Lucy Porter.
UK-China FinTech alliance launched
A FinTech alliance between the UK and China was launched this week by BGTA during the Innovate Finance Global Summit. It is aimed at fostering the development of the global tech and investment ecosystem with a fund that benefits the UK via inward investment and acts as a catalyst for exports to China.
Technology innovation centre established in London
Investment firm Motive Partners have announced the opening of a new European Innovation and Investment Centre in London, with firms such as Mastercard and RBS taking residence there. The 14,000 square foot space will focus on building the next generation of financial technology and boosting industry growth through building and partnering with market-leading technologies. The centre will be home to collaborative projects between institutions and emerging technology firms, seeking new solutions for the financial services industry.
Google enables payment via voice command
New functionality added to Google Assistant means people can send money to friends and family via Google Pay using only their voice. It is now possible to send or request cash from contacts for free using the Assistant on Android and iOS phones in the US, with plans to extend this to voice-activated speakers like Google Home.
eToro secures $100m Series E funding
Trading and investment platform eToro has raised $100 million in a Series E funding round, led by China Minsheng Financial with participation from SBI Group, Korea Investment Partners, World Wide Invest and others. The funding round, which brings the total capital raised to $162 million, follows a period of significant growth for the company, which now boasts more than nine million users worldwide.
PSR won’t shy away from using powers
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has published its Annual Plan and Budget for 2018/19, stating it will not shy away from direct intervention and using its competition powers. Hannah Nixon, managing director of the PSR, said it has succeeded in shaking up a sector that was dominated by major players.
Revolut launches disposable online cash cards
Revolut has launched disposable virtual cards to help improve the security of online transactions. Each time a Premium customer makes an online payment with a Disposable Virtual Card, systems will instantly detect the transaction and automatically destroy those card details, generating new ones that will appear directly in the Revolut app.
Bank of England sets up FinTech hub
The Bank of England is setting up its own FinTech hub to explore ways emerging technology such as digital currencies can be used to benefit the UK’s economy. Speaking at HM Treasury’s International Fintech Conference yesterday, the deputy governor for markets and banking Dave Ramsden said the hub will be a central point of contact for the FinTech sector to engage with the BoE, and will play an active role in the new regulatory taskforce.
Government lays out FinTech sector strategy
A new cryptoassets task force, the next steps in ‘robo-regulation’ and a UK-Australia ‘FinTech bridge’ to help UK firms expand internationally, have been announced by the government. Speaking at its second International Fintech Conference, chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond said he was committed to helping the sector grow and flourish.
Open Banking ‘a big opportunity’ for UK FinTechs
Some 94 per cent of UK FinTech companies see Open Banking as a major area of opportunity for 2018, new research from EY has found. The survey asked 31 UK-based FinTechs on their views of the Open Banking initiative, finding that 59 per cent of firms view Open Banking as an opportunity to review their collaboration strategies. Three quarters of participants believe that new competitors such as technology firms will become increasingly important over time.
Survey finds FinTech firms held back by regulation
Two thirds of global FinTech companies see government controlled factors, such as regulation, as their largest barriers to growth. A survey carried out by YouGov among more than 400 FinTech companies across Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Singapore, Turkey, UK & USA – all of which have had at least Series A funding rounds or above – also found that access to skilled staff and costs to business, including tax, further impeded their expansion.