Shawbrook Bank has named industry veteran Stuart Doignie as its first head of FinTech strategy and commercialisation. The small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lender, founded in 2011, made the hire as it prepares to grow its specialist lending proposition.
More than half of financial services professionals (56 per cent) now consider New York to be the world’s preeminent financial sector, against just a third (34 per cent) for the UK. This is according to Duff & Phelps’ latest Global Regulatory Outlook, which surveyed 240 senior executives working across banking, asset management, hedge funds, private equity, broker dealers and others in the UK, US and Asia.
Finnish digital banking service Holvi has launched its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) banking services in the UK. BBVA-owned Holvi, founded in 2011, provides the self-employed, sole traders, freelancers and small business owners with digital banking services, including a business payment account with a Mastercard, invoicing tools and automated bookkeeping capabilities.
Currencycloud has raised $80 million in a Series E funding round which included Visa, BNP Paribas and Siam Commercial Bank. International Finance Corporation - a member of the World Bank Group - and SBI Group also joined the round, alongside existing backers Sapphire Ventures, Notion Capital, GV, Accomplice and Anthemis.
OakNorth has today appointed former chancellor Phillip Hammond to its advisory board, “working with clients and senior policymakers to redefine lending to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)”. Before he became a politician, Hammond ran an SME housebuilding business, while in government he supported the sector with initiatives including the Bank Referral Scheme, the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Guarantee and ENABLE Build Programmes.
Following extensive consultation with the global community, the World Economic Forum has announced the Global Consortium for Digital Currency Governance. This is the first initiative to bring together financial institutions, government representatives, technical experts, academics, international organisations and members of the forum’s communities on a global level.
Which? research has revealed that some of Britain’s biggest banks are refusing to reimburse victims of money transfer fraud, despite the introduction of new industry standards intended to protect consumers. The introduction of a voluntary code in May 2019 was aimed at ensuring that all victims get their money back, but the consumer champion heard from a number of people who said they were denied reimbursement unfairly.
Andrew Bailey, the incoming Bank of England (BoE) governor, has called for BigTech companies to collaborate with regulators to help protect consumers. In a podcast interview, in which he reflects on his tenure as chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Bailey said the regulator would need help from tech giants to ensure that the revolution in data and digital services does not harm consumer rights and protections; particularly with regards to false advertising.
The Bank of England (BoE) is planning to make more use of public cloud services as part of its One Bank Services Transformation strategy. It has begun to look for partners to work with it in the design and construction of a new hybrid cloud environment under a two-year deal scheduled to start in April.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England (BoE) have committed to undertake work to better understand how developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are driving change in financial markets; including business models, products, services and consumer engagement. In October, the FCA and the BoE published a report on the application of AI/ML in UK financial services, which constituted a first step towards better understanding of the impact on UK financial services.
Tesco Bank is to create 120 new technology and change roles across its Edinburgh and Newcastle offices, as part of a wider investment in customer-centric solutions. Roles the bank is recruiting for include: test, software and systems engineers, systems architects, solution designers, project managers, IT and business analysts.
Barclays has announced a partnership with Nimbla, giving its one million small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers the new ability to take out insurance against individual invoices. The InsurTech startup lets businesses insure a single invoice from as little as £6, compared to insuring a whole book which typically starts at around £5,000. The solution also speeds up sales from typically taking days or weeks, to a few minutes.
Two thirds (66 per cent) of job roles in financial services industry require digital skills from prospective candidates. Analysis from Gov.uk of eight million job adverts found that the industry where digital skills were most in demand was information and communications (79 per cent).
Canapi Ventures has launched its inaugural early to growth-stage FinTech venture capital fund with $545 million in commitments from an institutional investor base. This is partly made up of more than 35 banks and strategic investors under the Canapi Alliance banner, including 11 of the top 50 and 23 of the top 100 banks in the United States by total asset size, along with The American Bankers Association, the Independent Community Bankers Association and several state banking associations.
Revolut has entered the UK savings market with an easy-access savings account with a limited interest rate of 1.35 per cent AER, in partnership with Flagstone. The new Savings Vault, which is FSCS protected up to £85,000 through Paragon Bank. There is no minimum deposit amount, withdrawals can be made at any time, and interest is paid daily.
More than one million banking customers switched their accounts in 2019, according to data from the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).With incumbents and digital challengers offering more competitive rates and a range of new online and mobile app services, the figures show that switching reached its highest level since 2016, with 260,000 switches completed between October and December of last year.
Vodafone is the latest in a growing list of global companies to withdraw from Facebook’s Libra digital currency project.The Libra Association confirmed that the telecoms giant has exited the collective following an exodus of major payments and financial organisations last year.
Visa is joining with its partner banks to launch an industry-wise ‘access to cash’ scheme aimed at incentivising retailers to offer cashback in areas of UK where ATMs and bank branches are limited. The new initiative will incentivise shops and businesses to offer cashback to consumers using their Visa debit cards, prioritising rural and remote communities. It is hoped to also encourage individuals to visit and shop in their local communities, driving footfall and revenue for independent retailers.
Liberis has closed a £32 million round in its largest equity capital fundraise to date. This investment represents the FinTech’s first institutional equity fundraise and was led by FTV Capital. Liberis is already backed by Blenheim Chalcot, with this latest round bringing total debt and equity funding to over £150 million.
Fewer than one in 10 Brits have gone digital-only and a quarter are uncomfortable with online banking, according to a new YouGov survey. Its tracker data from the past six months showed that only eight per cent are using mobile-only banks to manage their money, while 35 per cent don’t use mobile banking to interact with their main provider at all.
Catalyst Fund, managed by BFA Global and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), has announced a new £12 million commitment from UK aid and J.P.Morgan to advance financial inclusion for underserved people across the world. Over the next three years, the inclusive FinTech accelerator will support the growth of 30 additional startups across five key emerging markets: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, India and Mexico.
More than half (51 per cent) of finance workers within UK businesses say their firm has rushed to implement new software in the last 12 months to meet new reporting demands. Research conducted by spend management software company Compleart found that one in three firms has turned to new and automated financial software in the course of the last six months to comply with new rules such as HM Revenue & Customs’ Making Tax Digital.
The Bank of England, Bank of Canada, Bank of Japan, European Central Bank, Sveriges Riksbank and Swiss National Bank, together with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), have created a group to share experiences as they assess the potential cases for central bank digital currency (CBDC) in their home jurisdictions. The group will assess CBDC use cases; economic, functional and technical design choices, including cross-border interoperability; and the sharing of knowledge on emerging technologies.
Amazon is working with Visa to develop a contactless biometric identification system to let customers to pay by waving their hands through a scanner. The Wall Street Journal reported that the e-commerce giant is working with Visa, and is in discussions with MasterCard, to test its hand scanner terminals, which will digitally map a shopper’s hand, link it to their credit card and allow them to pay with a wave.
HSBC has launched FX Flexpay, which lets clients make automated, international payments in more than 140 currencies, using a single Application Programming Interface (API). FX Flexpay connects Global Disbursements - the bank’s process for cross-border, low value mass payments - with FX FlexRate, HSBC’s proprietary foreign exchange pricing technology that guarantees foreign exchange rates or offers them in real-time.
Barclays and the Bank of Ireland have joined counterparts from nine EU countries to seek clarification on the definition of e-money transactions and the related fraud reporting requirements issued by the European Banking Authority (EBA).Banks who have signed the note to the EBA include Aktia Bank, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, BCEE, CaixaBank, Danske Bank, Erste Group Bank, Helaba, KBC Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International, and UniCredit.
Fledging challenger bank Vive has been awarded a banking licence, with restriction, by the Bank of England. Vive is aiming to fully launch itself as bank in the second quarter of 2020 with a suite of personal loans, a fixed rate savings account and Open Banking-based Money Manager app.
ComplyAdvantage has appointed Vatsa Narasimha as chief operating officer and chief financial officer. He is the former president and chief executive of foreign exchange trading platform OANDA Global Corporation (OANDA). Prior to this, Narasimha spent eight years as a principal at The Boston Consulting Group, working with leading financial institutions on a variety of growth strategy, corporate development and operational issues.
Capgemini and Efma have launched the Financial NewTech Challenge 2020, a competition to showcase collaborative business solutions to a panel of experts and industry influencers. It defines NewTechs as startup and scale-up firms which provide business-to-business solutions for financial institutions. It began late last week and will run until 22 April, with 2 March being the deadline for submissions.
Ghela Boskovich has been appointed as the European chapter leader at the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA). The economist, FinTech expert and diversity champion will remain global ambassador for FemTechGlobal, the organisation promoting inclusion in financial services which she founded in 2015.
Open Banking platform Bud has appointed former Man Group chief executive and City grandee Lord Fink as chairman of its board of directors. Bud’s technology platform underpins banks’ mobile apps to aggregate financial data and help customers understand their finances.
Customer use of Open Banking in the UK has surpassed the one million customer mark for the first time. The latest figures from the Open Banking Implementation Authority (OBIE) showed that customer numbers have grown strongly, doubling in the last six months.
Tink today has completed a €90 million funding round, with the money set to be used for further expansion of its Open Banking platform across Europe. The investment was co-led by two new investors, London-based venture capital firm Dawn Capital and San Francisco-based investment management firm HMI Capital, together with existing investor Insight Partners.
Financial services businesses are missing out on transformative insights because only three per cent are using machine learning (ML) to analyse their unstructured data, according to research. A Censuswide survey of 150 senior IT decision makers at UK financial services firms for Cloud Technology Solutions found that while artificial intelligence (AI) and automated functions such as Machine Learning are being used to process and analyse structured data, the value of unstructured data remains untapped.
Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR), the independent body charged with implementing the £775 million Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Alternative Remedies Package, has appointed Richard Anderson as a non-executive director. A former chairman of the Institute of Risk Management and a currently an independent non-executive director at Pay. Uk, Anderson will join the BCR leadership team alongside John Howard as one of two non-executive directors working alongside the board.
Lloyds Banking Group is partnering with Microsoft to accelerate the banking giant’s £3 billion digital transformation strategy. The new service will involve the development of Microsoft Managed Desktop, Windows 10 and an advanced device solution as part of efforts to provide a modern digital workplace for all Lloyds Banking Group employees.
Callsign has appointed former OakNorth executive Amir Nooriala as chief strategy officer.The identity and authentication software company hired Nooriala, a former chief strategy officer at OakNorth, as it targets a larger footprint in the financial sector.
Payments platform Marqeta has announced a collaboration with Mastercard designed to help digital banks and FinTechs grow faster. The California-headquartered FinTech has become a certified processor with Mastercard, with daily payments app Twisto lined up as the first European customer to deploy Marqeta’s card issuing capabilities. The platform with enable Twisto to access real-time transaction data.
Banco Sabadell has signed a $1 billion deal with IBM to lead an upgrade of its IT systems, including those of UK subsidiary TSB, over the next ten years.The Spanish banking giant said that the agreement would enable it to use IBM’s cloud capabilities to accelerate digital transformation and develop a modern technology platform that integrates all its data and applications to meet growing consumer demand for digital and app-based banking services.
Monzo has extended a deal with PayPoint, giving account holders access to its nationwide cash deposit network. Monzo customers can deposit up to £300 in cash directly into their accounts in a single transaction, and a maximum of £1,000 over six months, at PayPoint’s 28,000 convenience stores across the UK- bigger than all banks, post office and supermarkets combined.
Investment in the UK’s tech sector surged to a record-breaking £10.1 billion in 2019, with FinTech leading the charge on £4.1 billion - more than double the total funding for the sector in 2018.Data from Tech Nation and Dealroom showed that overall investment in UK tech companies increased by £3.1 billion last year- up 44 per cent on 2018- making the UK the strongest market in the world for growth in this sector, and smashing previous records.
NatWest has announced a partnership with pre-paid company card provider Soldo.The bank said the deal will enable two of its digital ventures, Esme Loans and Rapid Cash, to directly reach Soldo’s business customers as NatWest looks to boost SME lending in 2020. Soldo offers pre-paid services for business expenses across Mastercard, mobile app and online. Its platform automates expense reporting while giving businesses control over how and where employees and departments can spend company money.
Money transfer firm Transfergo has partnered with global payments platform Currencycloud to extend their cross border payments businesses to 55 new markets. The partnership will extend TransferGo’s Peer to Peer (P2P) payments offering to 14 new markets including Africa and Asia in the first three months of 2020, making the service available in 69 countries across the world.
The European Baking Authority has set out the key challenges to emerge from the growth of Big Data and advanced analytics, including machine learning, across the financial services sector. The EU’s banking regulator’s report identifies key trends taking hold as banks embrace financial technology, Open Banking and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data-driven processes. It also recommends safeguards to ensure “technological neutrality” in the use of advanced analytics.
Visa has signed a $5.3 billion deal to buy data sharing FinTech Plaid. The San Francisco-based firm provides a data network connecting consumer bank accounts with digital financial apps and services in the US such as Acorns, Betterment, Expensify, and Venmo. Founded in 2013, Plaid provides connectivity to one in four people with a US bank account and enables them to share their financial data with more than 2,600 FinTech developers across 11,000 financial institutions.
Starling Bank has extended its business offering with loans of up to £250,000 and a financial management toolkit. The challenger bank last year won £100 million last year from the Capability and Innovation Fund, which is aimed at increasing competition in SME banking.
Travelex, the foreign exchange service hit by a ransomware attack, has said it is making good progress on containing the virus and has begun the process of refunding customers while it remains offline. The company took its website down two weeks ago after a hacking group compromised systems and demanded a reported £4.6 million ransom with a threat to release personal customer data including social security numbers, dates of birth and card information.
Nearly half (47 per cent) of UK consumers said they would use Open Banking apps to help them manage their finances, according to new research. An Opinium survey of 2,000 adults for Nesta’s Open Up 2020 challenge found that 31 per cent of 18-34 year olds plan to sign up to an open banking app this year in order to use financial data to improve saving and manage spending.
UK regulators handed out a total of $388.4 million in fines for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) related incidents last year, according to new research. Analysis of global AML penalties between 1 January and 31 December 2019 by automated Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions firm Encompass Corporation found that a total of $8.14 billion of fines were handed down for a total of 58 AML-related breaches, with the UK coming second only to the US.
Monzo co-founder and deputy chief executive Paul Rippon is standing down to spend time running an alpaca farm with his wife in Northumberland. In a blog posted to LinkedIn, Rippon, who co-founded Monzo with chief executive Tom Blomfield in 2015, announced that he was leaving the challenger bank to “go and enjoy life” after 27 years working in financial services and eight years away from his farm, where his wife Debbie has taken the lion’s share of work setting up their business Barnacre Alpacas.
Ant Financial has launched a new global cyber security service platform for its payments service Alipay. Announcing the move at the Alipay Connect Risk and Cybersecurity Conference in Singapore, the Chinese FinTech said the platform would provide support to partners to help them better protect their customers through technology.
The fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive has come into force today, with warnings that many companies now governed by the regulations are not prepared. Last year the government consulted on proposals for the transposition of the EU rules into UK law, but due to the general election, the Treasury has not yet officially responded with its findings.
Mastercard has launched a new augmented reality (AR) app that lets cardholders explore the benefits of their card in a 360-degree virtual environment. The benefits app is being pitched as an immersive, photorealistic experience where customers can access a series of interactive portals to bring information about their of their cards to life on their mobile.
Adviser tech platform Advicefront has integrated with Intelliflo’s business management software Intelligent Office (iO). The partnership will give financial planners integration between Advicefront’s Onboard platform - a suite of fact-finding, risk-profiling, client agreement, billing and digital signature tools - and Intelliflo’s iO.
Standard Chartered has made a strategic investment into Chinese supply chain financing platform Linklogis. The purchase of an equity stake for an undisclosed amount is aimed at helping it join the supply chain ecosystem proposition and provide suppliers with access to affordable financing.
New research has revealed that 40 per cent of business leaders feel pressure to make split-second decisions is standing in the way of data-led processes. A Censuswide survey of 150 c-suite level executives and 462 business decision-makers in the UK, France and Germany. for data platform Splunk. showed that more than half (53 per cent) were under pressure to make a ‘critical’ business decision once a day, with fewer than one in 100 leaders claiming that they are always able to make decisions led by the actual data.
The Libra Association’s vice chairman has argued that Bitcoin has no future as a payment system. Speaking at the Digital Money Forum at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas yesterday, Dante Disparte commented: “Bitcoin as an asset class has proven that mathematical scarcity can support an incredibly exciting asset – it’s not a means of payment; it just isn’t.”
Starling Bank has aspirations to become the UK’s first publicly listed digital challenger bank by 2022, according to chief executive Anne Boden. Speaking to the Daily Mail, she forecasted the FinTech’s first full year of profitability by the end of 2021 and suggested that an Initial Public Offering (IPO) would be the route to long term profits.
Digital identity solution provider Signicat has appointed a new chief executive and chairman to help accelerate its international expansion. Johan Tjärnberg, special advisor at Ingenico Group and previous chief executive of Bambora, has been appointed as new chairman, while Asger Hattel, previous chief executive and head of Nets Merchant Services, is being appointed as the new chief executive today.
Freelancer platform UnderPinned has launched a paid-for membership product and partnerships with Digital Risks and Finmo. The full service gives members access to Virtual Office, a cloud-based career management portal which includes services for portfolio and project management, invoicing and contracts.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England (BoE) have outlined plans to develop their data and analytics capabilities. The FCA’s refreshed Data Strategy sets out a transformation plan to become a highly data-driven regulator, outlining an increased focus on the use of advanced analytics and automation techniques to deepen its understanding of how markets function and allow it to predict, monitor and respond to firm and market issues.
Customer preference for banking apps increased to 46 per cent in 2019, while digital channels - mobile apps and online banking combined - also increased to 79 per cent. This is according to the 21,290 UK consumers who shared their banking channel preference across the year on Smart Money People, a financial services review website and research company.
Willis Towers Watson and digital insurance provider eBaoTech have teamed up to provide a middle office platform to accelerate digitalisation across the sector. The collaboration will see Willis Towers Watson’s rating engine, Radar Live, integrated with eBaoTech’s middle office platform, InsureMO, which is designed for open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
ING will spin-out Katana, its advanced analytics platform that supports portfolio managers, investing £1.5 million alongside other investors as part of a £3 million funding round. Katana is one of the 25 different innovation initiatives in ING Labs in Amsterdam, London and Singapore, following other projects such as Yolt and Cobase from startup to scale-up.
Travelex is reportedly being held hostage by the hackers that disabled its website and internal IT systems on New Year's Eve. They have demanded payment in exchange for either restoration of IT systems or the preservation of customer data. It is understood that a deadline for payment has been set by the cyber-criminals.
This will be the year the full potential of Open Banking is realised, according to an expert at Equifax. With a week to go until the second anniversary of Open Banking implementation on 13 January, Robert McKechnie, senior manager at Equifax, said that 2020 will mark a turning point for financial data sharing, as incumbents and challengers embark on mass adoption of apps and a services to meet rising consumer need.
The eighth iteration of Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab London has named its latest cohort of 20 startups, noting a doubling of the number of female founders from the previous year. During the three-month accelerator programme - which runs from 6 January to 27 March - FinTechs will be partnered with senior executives from over 40 financial institutions to develop their technologies and business models.
Former Starling Bank co-founder and chief technology officer Mark Hipperson is preparing to launch a new cryptocurrency startup. After leaving the digital challenger bank in 2016, he started working on the new venture in late 2018 and has an application in for e-money licence from the Financial Conduct Authority.
Mastercard has acquired artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics firm RiskRecon. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is expected to close in the first quarter of this year, subject to regulatory conditions.
B-North, the Manchester-based firm building a small business lending bank for the UK, has secured in excess of £2 million of fund raising from new and existing investors through Crowdcube and Growthfunders, adding to the £4.2 million raised in previous rounds. This follows the announcement in December that B-North had selected Newcastle Strategic Solutions to provide its deposit-taking solution, as it moves towards a scheduled launch in the first half of 2020.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has delayed the introduction of Open Banking by six months amid concerns over testing and security. The country's competition watchdog updated the timeline for the implementation and launch of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) Act in the banking sector from February to July 2020.
Curve has launched a new product letting customers send and receive money free of charge and without any currency conversion fees. Curve Send is the first feature that is not directly connected to the Curve card.
Omnio has announced the first close of a private placement, raising €15 million by issuing 23,077 shares at a subscription price of €650 per share. The financial platform-as-a-service (PaaS) firm received interest from new institutional investors, family offices and high net-worth investors across Europe, in particular in the Nordic region.
With 2019 nearly over, we crunched the numbers and can bring you a round-up of FStech’s most popular stories of the year.
With only a few days left of 2019, it’s time to get the crystal ball out and gaze into what 2020 holds for the wide world of financial technology. As ever, we’ve asked a range of experts from across the industry for their thoughts about what’s to come in the next 12 months.
Ripple has announced $200 million in Series C funding, led by Tetragon with participation from SBI Holdings and Route 66 Ventures. Chief executive Brad Garlinghouse commented: “We are in a strong financial position to execute against our vision - as others in the blockchain space have slowed their growth or even shut down, we have accelerated our momentum and industry leadership throughout 2019."
New academic research has cast doubt on the sustainability of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, warning of the risks in underestimating the inherent inefficiencies with such alternative finance. In a new paper, EDHEC Business School professor of finance Gianfranco Gianfrate questioned the sustainability of matching lenders to borrowers on a smaller scale through online platforms.
The government is planning to create a new body to regulate large tech firms, such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, after Brexit. The Financial Times reported that the regulator will be given power to implement a range of rules, including an enforceable code of conduct and ensuring better data accessibility for consumers.
The European Commission (EC) has welcomed a provisional political agreement reached between the European Parliament and the European Council on its proposal to boost crowdfunding in the European Union. The proposal aims to harness opportunities presented by emerging technology-enabled innovations in the financial sector. With this agreement, 12 out of 13 Capital Markets Union legislative proposals have been adopted or agreed at EU level.
FISCAL Technologies has made £3.6 million in Series A funding lead by Octopus Investments and supported by Calculus Capital. The forensic risk management solutions startup is based in Reading, UK, with a Raleigh, North Carolina, operation and has been entirely self-funded since it was founded in 2003.
ABAKA has completed a Series A funding round with a joint investment of $6.5 million from Thames Trust, Ace&Co and Downing Ventures. This means total investment in the London-based digital retirement solutions provider to date has reached $10 million.
The Federal Reserve has warned Facebook that it will be expected to meet a high threshold of legal and regulatory safeguards before launching its Libra cryptocurrency. Speaking at the European Central Bank Colloquium in Frankfurt, Fed board member Lael Brainard laid out the US central bank’s concerns surrounding the rise of global stablecoins.
Nutmeg has appointed chief financial and operating officer Neil Alexander as its new chief executive, as Martin Stead leaves the business in early 2020 to move overseas. During his time at Nutmeg, Stead has helped to secure £90 million of capital investment into the company to fund growth plans and expansion into new markets in Asia.
US RegTech firm ComplySci has moved into a new office in London, as part of its expansion plans. The new base will be home to its growing London-based team, comprised of 13 full-time staff.
New research has warned that building societies risk losing ground to both established banks and digital challengers if they do not prioritise innovation and provide new services to younger demographics. Unisys Corporation surveyed over 300 consumers in the UK, finding that the most important deciding factors when choosing a banking provider were technological innovation, security and a trusted brand.
Citi and PayPal have expanded their partnership to enable Citi’s institutional clients to make payments into customers’ PayPal digital wallets via the WorldLink cross-border payments platform. Both Citi and PayPal have developed the partnership with the goal of making payments as simple and digital as possible, while offering choice and flexibility for customers at all times. Starting in the first quarter of 2020, Citi clients will be able to make payments into PayPal wallets globally in more than 200 markets.
State Street Corporation has announced a new digital asset pilot in collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange and custodian Gemini Trust Company. The pilot builds on ongoing research and development in the digital asset space to combine Gemini Custody with State Street’s back office reporting.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today launched a call for input on the opportunities presented by so-called ‘Open Finance’. As it explained, this builds on the principles of Open Banking - the sharing of data which provides new ways for customers and businesses to make the most of their money - extending them to a wider range of products.
Mastercard has announced a new partnership with sync. as it prepares to launch a new smart banking service across the UK and Europe. The service is an all-in-one hub that allows users to open an account in minutes, linking all existing bank accounts and cards.
Wealth Wizards has confirmed that is in ongoing discussions with potential investors with a view to raising further growth capital to support its development and broaden its investor base; alongside its existing investor LV=. The new funding round will accelerate the adoption of the financial advice technology provider's software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to drive expansion within the financial advice, banking, insurance and employee benefits markets.
A European Commission (EC) expert group is calling on regulators to respond to developments in FinTech to ensure customers are benefitting from the changing nature of financial services. Spanish banking and financial services group BBVA, which is a member of the EC’s Expert Group on Regulatory Obstacles to Financial Innovation, has recommended four broad areas in which the bloc’s regulators need to focus to ensure progress in the sector.
Curve has appointed Paul Harrald to lead its credit business, as the card consolidation platform prepares to move into the space. A founding member of SAV Credit, now branded as New Day, he will lead preparations to apply for Financial Conduct Authority approval next year.
SWIFT ha opened its global Know Your Customer (KYC) registry to corporate groups, enabling them to manage and share KYC data with their banking partners across the globe. The go-live for corporates follows a successful testing period with 18 leading corporate groups, including BMW, Spotify and Unilever, which was supported by 16 global banks representing over 7,000 corporate to bank relationships on SWIFT.
Klarna’s chief executive has not ruled out taking the company public, while also indicating more private investment is possible to fund US expansion plans. In August a $460 million funding round valued the payments company at $5.5 billion - making it the most highly valued privately held FinTech in Europe.
As part of the transition underway following the launch of the Future at Lloyd’s Blueprint One, the insurance marketplace has announced key governance appointments, along with confirmation of raising £300 million of senior debt to fund the transformation. In preparation for a series of phased deliveries beginning in 2020, Lloyd’s has focused on establishing a robust governance, oversight and funding framework to ensure on-time, on-budget execution of the solutions announced in Blueprint One.
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has published a discussion paper on the design of a prudential treatment for crypto assets. A statement from the committee of banking supervisory authorities explained that while the crypto asset market is still small relative to the size of the global financial system, and banks' exposures to crypto-assets are currently limited, "the absolute size of the market is meaningful and there continue to be rapid developments, with increased attention from a broad range of stakeholders".
Yooz has announced a global partnership with Microsoft, combining its paperless accounts payable systems with the Azure cloud platform to let companies automate their accounting processes. The startup makes it possible to capture invoices, ensuring they are automatically recognised and that the information they contain is recorded for accounting and analytical purposes.
Only 13 per cent of finance executives are using artificial intelligence (AI), analytics and automation to transform multiple processes across their enterprises, according to Genpact. The professional services firm commissioned Longitude to survey 516 c-suite and senior finance executives across the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Norway, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark. Respondents work at companies with revenues from $500 million to over $50 billion, with a quarter being chief financial officers.
Curve has expanded its wearables offering by partnering with Garmin, Fitbit and Sony’s Wena pay. The banking platform that consolidates multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and app, has now enabled wearable device users to pay with any of their cards using its technology.
Moorwand has been chosen by Telleroo to provide e-money issuing and digital banking access. The deal will let Telleroo make payments on behalf of small businesses to combine these payments across all clients into a single, unified workflow.
JPMorgan Chase has partnered with data aggregation and analytics platform Envestnet Yodlee to offer customers greater data protections and improved access to their financial data. Envestnet Yodlee’s cloud-based data aggregation platform will provide the framework for JPMorgan Chase customers to send their financial information to the more than 1,200 third-party applications.
A new report has projected that establishing financial identities for the world’s financially excluded - or ‘unbanked’ - population would add an extra $250 billion to global gross domestic product (GDP), mainly from developing nations in Asia and Latin America. The research was authored by independent global advisory firm Oxford Economics, on behalf of financial-identity-as-a-service firm Juvo, and identified India ($7 billion GDP uplift), Indonesia ($15 billion), the Philippines ($15 billion), Pakistan ($9 billion) and Mexico ($31 billion) as the stand-out markets for this growth.
Brex has announced a $200 million debt capital raise to help continue the expansion of its e-commerce product. The capital comes in the form of a warehouse line of credit from Credit Suisse, backed by Brex’s corporate charge card receivables. This is the FinTech’s second warehouse line of credit – its first was a $100 million debt facility announced with Barclays Investment Bank in April.
Almost one in three (30 per cent) UK adults consider the search for a better customer experience in digital interactions the main driver for changing banks. Boomi, a Dell Technologies business, surveyed 6,000 adults across the UK and Europe, with 17 per cent of UK customers stating that their traditional bank felt ‘a bit old’ and they were looking for an improved digital performance.
HSBC has signed a three year deal with Bud to drive its global roll-out of Open Banking services. The global partnership will give HSBC access to Bud’s aggregation, data intelligence and marketplace Application Programming Interface (API) services, and will initially see the technology implemented directly to the First Direct challenger brand, with HSBC’s UK bank to follow in 2020.
Wefox Group has disclosed $110 million in Series B funding, at a pre-money valuation of $1.65 billion. The extension round was led by Omers Ventures, along with Chrysalis and Samsung Catalyst Fund and existing investors.
More than three quarters (85 per cent) of financial services professionals lack trust in cloud computing, according to new research. A survey of 6,000 professionals in five sectors in six countries for commercial property agent Savoy Stewart found widespread distrust of cloud computing security, along with confusion over how the technology works.
Currencies Direct has appointed Pedro Batista as chief payments officer. The newly created role will see him lead the organisation’s payments strategy, managing banking relationships and the delivery of new payment solutions.
Token.io has launched M10 Networks, a new spin-out company focused on developing digital money solutions. Token will continue to consolidate its Open Banking infrastructure, while M10 will focus on building out a digital money rail to help multinational banks perform money transfers, settlements and remittances instantly and at a low cost.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has so far charged firms £391 million in 2019, up from £60 million during 2018. This year's figure is the highest since 2015, when the regulator fined firms £905 million.
Contrary to a widespread belief that the chief digital officer (CDO) position has a short shelf-life, an overwhelming majority of business and IT professionals participating in a new survey saw their organisation’s CDO as champion for achieving digital transformation and delivering customer benefit. Technology services firm Mindtree interviewed 323 global business and IT professionals in the US and UK who work under a CDO, finding that the those in that position have been effective in championing many business-driving digital initiatives, such as giving customers the seamless digital experiences (27 per cent) and creating new business models (20 per cent).
Customers using the NatWest app will now be able to see where their money is going with the new ‘spending’ tab which will show categorised outgoings from their current account. The app already shows customers all of their accounts in one place, including their mortgage, savings, loans and current accounts.
Nets has launched a pilot programme testing facial recognition as a payment method. Around 1,000 people - all working at Vibenshuset, an office community of 25 companies in Copenhagen - can now sign up to participate in the pilot. By linking their face with their employee ID card, they can now pay for their lunch using their face at the cafeteria.
Tinkoff announced the launch of Russia’s first 'super-app', designed to meet almost any financial, leisure or lifestyle need its users may have. It combines all the components of the Tinkoff ecosystem and adds more capacity for its 10 million customers.
Global international digital money transfer transaction volume will reach two billion by 2024, up from 1.1 billion in 2019, according to Juniper Research. The market analysis suggested that both online and mobile channels are achieving strong growth, with FinTech disruptors and market incumbents rapidly gaining traffic.
A new digital and technology programme has opened applications for its first cohort, looking to foster the UK’s startups. The Exchange scheme will offer early stage tech companies and entrepreneurs access to the tools and infrastructure they need, as part of Enterprise City, a two million square foot tech, media and cultural cluster in the heart of Manchester city centre.
The European Council and the European Commission have stated that digital currencies such as Facebook’s Libra should not be allowed in the European Union until the risks they could pose are properly addressed. So-called 'stablecoins' may present opportunities in terms of cheap and fast payments, especially cross-border payments, the statement explained, but “at the same time, these arrangements pose multifaceted challenges and risks related for example to consumer protection, privacy, taxation, cyber security and operational resilience, money laundering, terrorism financing, market integrity, governance and legal certainty”.
With new regulation set to come into effect on 9 December, stakeholders have hailed the change as a “watershed moment” for the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry. The rules raise standards in risk management, governance, disclosure, marketing and wind-down planning, putting the regulation of P2P on a par with other mainstream financial sectors.
More than two thirds (69 per cent) of asset managers claim that the data management systems and processes that they use today are not ‘very effective’ at supporting business and operational decision-making. This is according to a survey of 100 decision-makers in finance organisations with more than 50 employees, commissioned by financial services data management provider Asset Control.
Smart Pension has partnered with Revolut to provide a retirement savings solution for its business customers. The collaboration will allow companies from across Europe that sign up for Revolut’s business account to set up a workplace pension for their UK employees within minutes.
The Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority have published their joint consultation papers on operational resilience, warning financial services firms to make better preparations for disruption to key services. The proposals set requirements and expectations for firms and financial market infrastructure to identify their important business services by considering how disruption can have impacts beyond their own commercial interests.
Almost 20 per cent of finance professionals are unaware of the uses of blockchain and 29 per cent have no idea what the technology even is, according to Onguard. The order-to-cash company’s annual FinTech Barometer, which surveyed 1,000 finance professionals, found that while 29 per cent of finance professionals either already use or are beginning to plan using blockchain, this figure rises to 57 per cent when looking specifically at the chief financial officer (CFO) role.
Yolt has announced that chief executive officer Frank Jan Risseeuw is leaving the Open Banking app to lead another division within Dutch parent company ING. A statement from ING said he will leave Yolt on 1 February 2020 to become programme director of Model Bank, based out of Madrid, after leading Yolt for four years as chief executive.
One in five customers - and one in three Millennials - already consider their primary account to be with a challenger bank, while one in eight prefer to use challenger banks for shopping online. This is according to research from A.T. Kearney, which suggested that retaining four-fifths of customers shows that traditional banks remain dominant.
Cryptocurrency exchange and custodian Gemini Europe has hired former Starling Bank co-founder Julian Sawyer as its managing director in the UK and Europe. He will be responsible for shaping Gemini's overall strategy in the region, developing products, and charting the course for operations.
British businesses are missing out on the benefits of automation by not combining the right technologies, research from ABBYY has found. While 19 in 20 businesses have deployed some form of automation, only one in 20 use the full stack, meaning most businesses are missing out on what the firm calls the ‘secret weapons’ that could deliver the most return on investment (ROI).
PwC has partnered with Fenergo to provide client onboarding and Know Your Customer (KYC) review and refresh operations as managed services, adding to the professional services giant's existing Anti-Money Laundering and KYC remediation offerings. Designed in response to client demands to shorten onboarding times and amalgamate different KYC processes under a single cloud-based solution, the resulting services will help improve customer experience, while providing regulatory certainty for financial institutions.
Digital challengers and banking incumbents clashed yesterday on a panel debating what legacy players can learn from FinTech startups. Speaking at FinTech Connect, the Royal Bank of Scotland’s innovation lead for enterprise solutions Vicky Zhang admitted that with a 300-year history, it was inevitable that the institution had become a bit too big and siloed.
The first biometric fingerprint payment fob issued by a UK bank began a three-month national trial today, with NatWest is piloting the technology with 250 customers. The bank has previously piloted biometric cards, but this will be the first-time payments have been made possible over £30 without a bank card or mobile phone.
Monzo has hired Visa's global head of payment products and platforms TS Anil to lead its US expansion. The 25-year financial services veteran has experience from roles at Standard Chartered, Citi and Capital One. He will become the UK digital challenger bank's US chief executive early next year.
Zopa is set to secure £140 million in funding, enabling it to meet the regulatory capital requirements required to make its long-planned move into banking. US venture fund IAG Capital Partners and its UK investment vehicle Silverstripe will take a majority stake in the UK peer-to-peer lending firm.
Hastee has secured £208 million of investment to fund the development and growth of its financial wellbeing solution that gives workers immediate access to their earned pay. The funding was led by Umbra Capital and supported by IDC Ventures and others.
Allianz Insurance has partnered Dinghy to provide business insurance for the freelancer market. The InsurTech offers flexible on-demand business insurance for freelancers, where cover is charged by the second and customers pay only for what is used. Cover levels may be flexed up or down, on or off, and payment is settled in arrears - all controlled though an app.
Halifax Home Insurance has partnered with Trov to launch an end-to-end digital renters insurance. The white-labelled product includes blanket coverage for items in the home, on-demand insurance for individual items taken out of the home, plus liability and emergency accommodation cover.
Despite 92 per cent of financial services firms investing in Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), more than half (55 per cent) expect to invest less than £10 million. This is according to a survey of 364 blockchain professionals within financial institutions by FinTech Connect, which noted that when they were asked why, 63 per cent cited the lack of a ‘clear business use case’ as a key reason for not investing more time and resources into blockchain technology.
Several banks have given updates on their progress towards commitments made in order to get funding from the board of Banking Competition Remedies (BCR). The second update from Pool A recipients and first update from Pool B and D recipients, indicate that mobilisation of the awardees is now moving into the delivery phase.
Tech Nation has revealed the 33 regional winners of its nationwide Rising Stars competition, which represents and recognises the UK’s most exciting and innovative early-stage scaling tech companies. The winners were required to be at seed to pre-Series A funding or generating annual revenues up to £1.5 million. Selected by a panel of industry experts, the companies have been regarded as tech leaders within their respective regions.
Coadjute, a network for decentralised workflow and data sharing within the property industry, has agreed a project with NatWest and a consortium of property software providers to create a new home buying journey leveraging distributed ledger technology (DLT). The purpose of the consortium-led project is to speed up and simplify the entire home buying process through a NatWest mobile banking app.
Open Banking standards are more likely to morph into some form of digital identity protocol than any government-backed scheme, according to a panel of experts at TechUK’s Open Banking conference. Alastair Campbell, global head of digital portfolio and digital identity at HSBC, admitted that the bank struggles internally to agree on sharing of digital IDs, so “while I suppose this could happen in the UK, I think it’s unlikely”.
Robo advice has been hailed as a solution for widespread and affordable financial guidance, but research into consumer attitudes from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has suggested those who might benefit most may be least likely to trust it. A new article from the regulator has found substantial resistance among consumers to robo advice, identifying a hardcore of ‘robo-refusers’, who have something of a disposition to reject advice from an algorithm.
Finablr and Alipay have announced a global partnership for cross-border remittances. Alipay users will get seamless access through Finablr’s omnichannel network through its trusted global brands Xpress Money, Travelex, Unimoni and UAE Exchange, while Finablr becomes one of the first cross-border remittance partners for Alipay, which serves more than 1.2 billion people globally together with its local e-wallet partners.
HSBC has launched Digital Vault, a custody blockchain platform to digitise the transaction records of private placements. The platform, developed by the bank’s Securities Services unit (HSS), will allow investors to access these records quickly at a time when investment in the private asset markets is growing strongly.
Almost seven in ten (68 per cent) compliance professionals believe that Open Banking presents a significant risk to banking security, closely followed by artificial intelligence (64 per cent) and then cryptocurrency and quantum computing (both at 48 per cent). FinTech Connect conducted a survey of 364 compliance professionals this autumn, finding that 48 per cent strongly or somewhat agreed that state sponsored antagonists will be the biggest cyber crime threat to financial institutions.
Mortgage Engine, a new FinTech which uses Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to connect lender back office systems to distributors, has today launched to the market. Its digital platform is designed to enable a truly end-to-end mortgage application process, with intermediaries able to source decisions in principle from multiple lenders simultaneously.
Trussle has appointed Todd Zino as its new chief technical officer, among several new hires. The online mortgage broker explained that Zino’s remit is to drive innovation and revolutionise Trussle’s product. Most recently, he was the co-founder and chief technology officer of credit card FinTech Wallaby Financial, leading the startup through mergers with Bankrate, Red Ventures and ZPG, with him ultimately running product teams in Los Angeles, Austin and London.
NatWest has officially launched its new cloud-based, digital bank Bó on Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Featuring a bright yellow Visa card and a mobile app, Bó has been built on new technology with its own Faster Payments connection.
Banks suffer five IT failures every week, according to Which? analysis, leading it to call on the next government to protect cash as a backup. In the last year, the main UK banks suffered 265 IT shutdowns that prevented customers making payments, the consumer organisation’s analysis of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) data found.
Banks must balance the use of customer data to personalise products, with the potential to ‘freak them out’ in terms of privacy concerns, according to a Barclays tech guru. Speaking at yesterday’s MoneyLIVE summit in London, Stephanie Waismann, chief customer officer at the Barclays Ventures offshoot, explained that consent was at the crux of personalisation.
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has fined Citigroup Global Markets, Citibank London and Citibank Europe £43.9 million for failings in relation to internal controls and governance arrangements. Between 19 June 2014 and 31 December 2018, the firms’ UK regulatory reporting framework was not designed, implemented or operating effectively, which led to a failure to submit complete and accurate regulatory returns to the PRA.
Microgen Financial Systems and Touchstone Wealth Management have announced their intention to merge, to become a leading provider of technology to the trust and corporate services market. The deal will enable the combined company to provide the global coverage, scale and innovation to meet the requirements of a rapidly evolving market. The name of the new entity will be decided and announced in due course.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has welcomed an initiative by European banks to develop a rival payment system to challenge the dominance of Visa and Mastercard and the threat from Chinese and US BigTech firms. Backed by twenty French and German banks, the The Pan European Payment System Initiative (PEPSI) would seek to handle all forms of cashless transactions.
TSB has published strategy plans which include closing 82 branch closures next year - reducing its network from 540 to 454 - and increase investment in IT, following repeated problems with its back-office systems. Chief executive Debbie Crosbie outlined the bank’s three-year strategy today to restore competitiveness, with £120 million earmarked for digital products and services that will customers.
Citi has announced the winners of its FinTech Challenge, with Wipro and Traydstream among those from the UK. Other winners included PaySky and Fawry from Egypt and Octet from Turkey.
Mortgage applications with Nationwide are expected to become faster for brokers as it trials new Application Programming Interface (API) technology. The building society has launched a sandbox pilot that enables third party systems to connect with its credit risk and back office systems via APIs, aiming to speed up the process by reducing the time it takes mortgage brokers to source and submit client applications.
MiddleGame Ventures (MGV) has raised a new fund targeting post-seed, Series A and Series B lead investments in Europe and North America. MGV’s Venture Fund I achieved its first close, with a target size of €150 million. It will invest in and partner with business to business and business to consumer startups driving the transformation of financial services, from analog to digital and from centralised to decentralised, with an emphasis on middleware and back office solutions.
Business confidence, growth and sales volumes are all in decline across the UK’s tech sectors, according to KPMG’s quarterly survey. The latest analysis revealed a downturn in new work across the tech sector for the first time since the middle of 2012, due to softer global economic conditions and ongoing domestic political uncertainty.
TSB is facing a fresh IT glitch after customers failed to receive wages, benefits, pensions and other payments into their accounts. The latest technical issue is likely to affect thousands of customers and comes just days after the publication of a scathing report into the handling of a botched systems upgrade that left 1.9 million customers locked out of their online accounts.
New research has revealed that 58 per cent of banking professionals were either ‘somewhat agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA) would in some way replace banks in the next five years. Trade show FinTech Connect surveyed 364 respondents from financial institutions and FinTechs, finding that 68 per cent saw Brexit as having a ‘negative’ or ‘disastrous’ impact on their businesses.
Finastra has hired Lisa Fiondella as chief data officer to lead its data strategy, including how data collected through the FusionFabric.cloud platform and various cloud-based solutions, can be best utilised. She will be responsible for developing a data product roadmap and managing the process of bringing new data products to market.
KPMG has partnered with nsKnox to develop a secure payments system to prevent fraud in real time. KPMG Secure Payments will provide organisations with an end-to-end, holistic defense against fraud in supplier payments, whether caused by cyber attacks, internal fraud, social engineering, or data manipulation attempts. The joint solution verifies supplier and account details, safeguarding the payment process at every point of the transaction.
Nearly three quarters of global financial services executives have admitted they are challenged by the fractured nature and vast amount of data available. The Aite Group surveyed 682 marketing and risk executives at financial institutions across five countries during the third quarter, finding that in the UK alone, 71 per cent of executives said they were challenged by the immense amount of data they have.
A shortage of technology and finance skills could hamper the growth of the UK FinTech sector, according to new research from Experis. With a record-breaking $2.9 billion invested into UK FinTech in the first half of 2019, its talent requirements are growing. In the past two years alone, the proportion of FinTech vacancies for IT professionals has increased by almost two thirds.
HSBC is working with MuleSoft to build a digital banking platform for its more than 38 million customers worldwide. With MuleSoft’s Anypoint API Community Manager, HSBC is building Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allow access to core banking products and enable collaboration with partners, accelerate innovation and open new revenue channels.
While digital challenger banks have made significant progress recently, the public’s trust in technology is a significant barrier to widespread adoption, according to Fujitsu. The technology firm surveyed 8,574 consumers in the UK, Germany, Spain, the Nordics and the Republic of Ireland in August, finding that 40 per cent of the British public (2,041 consumers were based in the UK) do not trust challenger banks at all and 77 per cent admitted to only banking with a traditional bank.
RegTech firm Governor Software has released a live version of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Handbook which lets UK financial institutions map, track and report regulatory compliance. This has been integrated into the FCA Handbook website to enhance overall user experience, improve navigation and provide .csv downloads of relevant items.
Commission-free investment platform Robinhood is set to launch in the UK early next year. Since launching in the US in 2013, over six million Americans have signed up, getting access to over 3,500 US stocks and over 1,000 global stocks, with no foreign exchange fees and no account minimums.
Revolut has appointed Pierre Decote as its new group chief risk officer – the latest of its senior appointments. He follows the arrival of chief operating officer Richard Davies and chief financial officer David MacLean since the summer, and Martin Gilbert as non-executive chairman earlier this month.
Barclays has unveiled a finger vein scanner to help businesses access their banking facilities securely in seconds. The Barclays Biometric Reader (BBR), developed in collaboration with Hitachi, uses infra-red technology to identify the user by scanning their unique finger vein patterns. Even more secure than a fingerprint, this innovation removes the need to remember PINs or passwords and eliminates the risk of PIN capture, identity fraud or sharing of account details.
Generation Z consumers, who are leading the rise in online shopping, are the most likely to be concerned about payments fraud and want to see action from banks to tackle it, according to new research. A survey of 1,096 consumers from Gen Z (those aged 4 to 24) by IDEX Biometrics ASA and Arlington Research, found that 79 per cent thought banks should do more to protect their customers from fraud, while more than half (52 per cent) were worried about someone stealing their identity.
Financial services professionals are preparing for cash to stop being the preferred method of payments for the majority of consumers by 2030. A poll of 129 financial services professionals by EY at the SIBOS conference unanimously (96 per cent) agreed that cash will be replaced by digital payments methods by the end of the next decade, with 59 per cent believing mobile payments will be the most common.
FinTech startup Snoop has been approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to handle customer data. The firm will use consumer’s financial data shared under Open Banking to give personalised insights on their bills, insurance, loans and savings – automatically transferring them to better deals when they become available.
Europe’s payments industry saw a rise of 32.3 per cent in overall deal activity during the third quarter, when compared to the four-quarter average, according GlobalData. The market analysis firm’s database showed a total of 41 deals worth $5.93 billion were announced for the region during the third quarter this year, against the last four-quarter average of 31 deals.
Financial firms have invested more in cyber security in 2018-2019 than any other industry, with an average layout of £22,050 according to a new report. An analysis of UK government data on cyber security solutions by Specops Software found that finance and insurance providers invested an average of 23 per cent more than 2017-2018, when these firms spent £17,900 on average.
TSB has published the independent review of the bank’s botched 2018 migration to a new IT platform, which criticised the board for failing to address “common sense challenges” about aspects of the process. Law firm Slaughter and May’s report sets out a number of findings on aspects of the planning and preparation for migration which they believe could have been done differently, including the need for stronger oversight of suppliers and questions around how testing was carried out.
One in four finance and technology professionals blames senior management for slow adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, which is holding them back from progress in digital transformation. A Censuswide survey of 500 financial and tech professionals for MHR Analytics found that resistance to new technologies among senior staff could mean companies being left behind.
Open Finance-enabled data sharing has the potential to “transform” the nature of competition in financial services markets, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). At the Tax Incentivised Savings Association's (TISA) conference yesterday, Sheldon Mills, the FCA’s director of competition, spoke of the potential for the data-sharing revolution started by Open Banking to extend to other areas of financial and consumer services.
Tymit, the new mobile enabled credit card, has secured £4 million worth of debt and equity funding. The money will be used develop a customer servicing platform and underwriting practice to enable rapid growth.
British Patient Capital, a subsidiary of the British Business Bank, has committed $45 million to the Balderton Capital Fund VII, as it closed at $400 million. The fund will focus on the Series A stage to support tech founders at this critical point in a startup’s journey.
Elavon, the global merchant acquirer and subsidiary of US Bancorp, has agreed to acquire Sage Pay, the payments gateway business in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The deal will extend Elavon’s market share in the UK and Ireland, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce of Tech Nation's Lawtech Delivery Panel has today published its legal statement on the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts under English and Welsh law. The landmark statement sought to address legal uncertainty by recognising cryptoassets as tradable property and smart contracts as enforceable agreements under English law.
Allianz and Microsoft have announced a strategic partnership focused on digitally transforming the insurance industry. The insurance group will move core pieces of its global platform, Allianz Business System (ABS), to the software giant’s Azure cloud and will open-source parts of the solution’s core to improve and expand capabilities.
Google is preparing to launch a bank account in partnership with Citigroup next year. Code-named Cache, the Wall Street Journal reported that the current accounts will not be branded as Google.
Facebook is set to launch a new payments feature this week, allowing users to send and receive payments on its social media platforms, including Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. The announcement follows months of speculation over the progress of Facebook’s closely guarded plans for an in-app payments feature, as well as the controversial announcement of plans to launch the Libra digital currency and the Calibra digital currency wallet, which are separate to Facebook Pay and are currently scheduled for launch in 2020.
Real-time payments are growing rapidly in the UK, signifying potential for business payments for banks and FinTechs, according to the Emerging Payments Association (EPA). The trade association published original research on how consumer expectations have drastically changed over a short period of time – with delays to fund movement or clearance no longer tolerated.
Standard Chartered has invested in a $6.2 million funding round for artificial intelligence-powered anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing startup Silent Eight. The fresh capital from this round will be used to hire new employees to support a pipeline of customers, comprising large banks and insurance companies. The company is hiring for its offices in Singapore, Warsaw, London and New York, with plans to double the headcount by the end of the first quarter next year.
More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of UK financial services workers believe that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform many industry practices, but companies are still slow to adapt to the technology. This is according to content services firm Nuxeo, which surveyed 501 respondents working in the finance industry last month, finding that 58 per cent also think firms which embrace AI are a more attractive place to work.
Nesta Challenges’ Open Up 2020 Challenge has named the 15 FinTechs to secure funding for solutions that use Open Banking to transform how people across the UK manage their finances. Run in partnership with Open Banking Limited (OBL), the prize has awarded each of the different solutions £50,000 of the £1.5 million prize pot. Three of them will also receive an additional £50,000 based on their solution’s emphasis on financial inclusion.
The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) has called for greater supervisory convergence in European crypto asset regulation. In a new paper, the industry body set out five recommendations intended to encourage collaboration between regulators in Europe, pointing out the areas where divergence in regulation exists between National Competent Authorities.
SWIFT and Token.io both celebrated double wins at last night’s Payments Awards. Now in its seventh year, the payment sector’s biggest event of the year was celebrated with a glitzy gala dinner at the Marriott in London’s Grosvenor Square.
A new report from HSBC has argued that the common narrative - which portrays traditional banks as lumbering dinosaurs ripe for extinction by a combination of insurgent FinTech startups and tech giants - is false. Its new Banking in the Future report admitted that this is an attractive analysis, because it pits different types of organisations against one another in a winner takes all scenario. “But change is far more likely to come about through partnerships between the established banks and the technology sector.”
Business finance marketplace Funding Options has partnered with predictive intelligence platform DueDil to simplify its customer journey and speed up finance applications. The partnership aims to improve financing outcomes for customers by improving the fit between customer and lender, therefore speeding up the application process.
Research among fund managers has revealed that 71 per cent believe the number of chief executives, finance directors or very senior executives being fired as a result of poor data storage and management will increase over the next three years. This is according to a survey of 30 top fund managers, conducted last month by data visualisation company Zegami, which found that 90 per cent saw the number of companies being fined for this increasing, with 23 per cent predicting a ‘dramatic rise’.
Revolut has announced that City veteran Martin Gilbert has been appointed non-executive chairman, as the FinTech unicorn continues to bolster its top team ahead of a global expansion drive. The appointment of Gilbert, a former co-chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management and chairman of the Prudential Regulation Authority’s Practitioner Panel, is statement of Revolut chief executive Nik Storonsky’s ambitions for the challenger bank as it prepares to launch in the US by the end of the year.
Zego has become the first UK InsurTech to be awarded its own insurance licence – a milestone for the business that will enable it to build and sell its own products. While Zego will still work in tandem with its growing network of insurer partners, the licence will enable the company to innovate with new policies and implement product changes in less than 24 hours.
NatWest has announced a technology integration with cloud accountancy platform Xero. The integration will allow Xero subscribers to access NatWest financing services directly from the software.
Goldman Sachs is facing a probe by the New York financial authorities following online claims that the algorithms it uses to set credit limits for the Apple Card are gender-biased.New York’s Department for Financial Services confirmed it has launched an investigation after Bloomberg News reported that tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson posted a series of Tweets alleging he had been offered a credit limit 20 times higher than his wife when they applied for the card, despite her having a higher credit score.
Ashurst has announced the first cohort of businesses for FinTech Legal Labs, its FinTech legal accelerator programme. The international law firm will offer its first cohort of 36 businesses legal support and access to investors.
Cloud credit control software firm Chaser has raised $4 million in funding to fuel growth. The company, founded in 2014, provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with software to disrupt traditional methods, using cloud technology to send automated email chasers and cut down on late invoice payments.
Deutsche Bank is facing up to continued payment system failings, as the regulator demands answers. Reporting in the Financial Times revealed that the bank’s executives met Bank of England (BoE) officials two weeks ago, after internal auditors reviewed annual submissions on how well it is complying with expected standards.
RegTech is the “sleeping giant” of the financial services world, according to Financial Conduct Authority’s director of innovation. Speaking at the CDO Exchange event earlier this week, Nick Cook said that while it is certainly growing - investments more than doubled between 2017 and 2018 to £3.4 billion - RegTech is still an “underserviced” area of the regulatory sandbox he started – which is currently open for cohort six until 31 December.
Total payments industry deals for September 2019 worth $404 million were announced globally, according to GlobalData’s database. However, this marked a decrease of 91.6 per cent on the previous month and a drop of 94.3 per cent when compared with the last 12-month average of $7.03 billion.
InsurTech company Cover Genius has raised $10 million in a Series B funding round.The Australia-based company - which also has offices in London, New York and Tokyo - said it would use the money to fund its expansion into the UK, US and Asian markets.
Open Banking platform Tink has appointed Stripe’s former head of EMEA banking Rafael Plantier as its new country manager for the UK and Ireland. In his new role, Plantier will lead and grow Tink’s UK and Irish arm, building on existing partnerships with companies such as NatWest, PayPal and Klarna.
Peer-to-peer lending platform Zopa has announced plans to become a digital bank with the launch of a trial of a fixed-term savings account. The digital funding platform, which was the first peer-to-peer (P2P) lender when it launched in 2005, said the Fixed Term Saver Product - currently in beta stage with existing customers - marks a significant step on the company’s journey to becoming a fully-fledged challenger bank.
Curve has partnered with Google Pay so that its customers can now connect all their accounts and pay using their Android smartwatch as well as other devices from the likes of Acer, Huawei, HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola. The new feature means that once you register your Curve card with Google Pay, the app will now work with all the banks and cards on the Mastercard or Visa networks. This is significant for Google Pay customers, as it enables support from banks like Barclays and Virgin, which have built near field communication (NFC) enabled payments into their own banking apps.
American Express and business expenses firm Coupa are set to launch a virtual AmEx card on Coupa’s digital business spend management platform. The integration with Coupa Pay is set to be available to American Express corporate customers in the UK and Australia before the end of the year and in the United States midway through 2020.
Savings app Chip has raised £7.3 million to fund its expansion, with £3.8 million crowdfunded by customers, and the remainder from angel investors. The company has also brought in several industry veterans to help drive its growth. Last year, Chip broke UK crowdfunding records, raising around £4 million by the time it closed. This year, the startup welcomed many more investors, bringing the total number to over 10,000.
IBM has teamed up with Bank of America to design a financial services-ready public cloud, as rivals gear up to challenge the dominance of Amazon and Microsoft in the fast-growing cloud services sector. The software giant said that its public cloud offering would also be available to financial services institutions and their suppliers, with Bank of America committed to collaborating to use its platform built on IBM’s public cloud to help develop the industry-specific offering.
Non-banks now account for a quarter of the institutions offering payment services, up from 14 per cent in only six years, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The Basel-based association for central banks stated that driven by innovation and shifts in consumer preferences, new systems, methods and players are shaping the future of payments.
GoCardless has partnered with TransferWise to create the first global network for bank debit. Designed to be a transparent way to collect recurring payments such as subscriptions, invoices and instalments via bank debit, GoCardless customers can now get payments via multiple bank debit schemes around the world - without needing to navigate the specific rules for each - through a dashboard or partner integrations.
Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) expect that within the next five years the financial world will no longer be able to operate without big data, while 13 per cent think this is already the case. This is according to a survey of 100 CFOs by Onguard, which revealed that financial directors are mainly using big data to make well-informed decisions (54 per cent), to aid predictive analysis (41 per cent) and to analyse large, unstructured databases (29 per cent).
Payments and fraud-prevention provider Riskified has made $165 million in a Series E funding round led by General Atlantic, at a valuation of more than $1 billion. The proceeds will be primarily used to more rapidly scale its business domestically and internationally, and to expand its product footprint.
The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) has called for the capital markets industry to realise the full potential of public cloud. In a new paper, the industry body set out 14 recommendations to increase the transparency and collaboration required to build confidence, trust and capability in public cloud.
NatWest has announced that its business banking customers will be able to use Apple Pay. The bank has launched the feature across its full range of VISA debit cards to its one million business account customers.
Existing securities rules could apply to digital currency initiatives, like Facebook’s Libra, to help realise its benefits, according to International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). At its meeting on 30 October, the regulator’s board met to consider the risks and benefits arising from ‘stablecoin’ initiatives with a potential global reach, and how securities market regulation may apply to such initiatives.
Banco Santander has announced a £350 million strategic investment in Ebury, the trade and foreign exchange facilitator for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). The investment will strengthen its Global Trade Services offering and improve Santander’s SME proposition across Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) finance platform Alternative Business Funding (ABF) has raised £6 million in funding to fuel its expansion. ABF will use the money to build upon the 25,000 registered small businesses and £40 million in SME finance it has made available since its launch in 2014, with a particular focus on accelerating the development of its technology, helping it to provide predictive lending powered to customers and capitalise on Open Banking.
UK tech scale-ups are competing with their German rivals to lead the ranking for late stage funding in 2019, with FinTech driving a surge in European funding deals over the last 12 months. A report by Tech.EU and payments platform Stripe identified FinTech and software as the top industries for attracting scale-up funding rounds - so-called ‘mega funding rounds’- of €100 million or more in the first three quarters of 2019, with FinTech the top performing sector on €6.8 billion and software third on €3.1 billion.
Curve has launched its first purely mobile offering with Samsung Pay. The banking platform, which consolidates multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and app, will now allow customers to link their Samsung Pay account to any Mastercard and Visa debit or credit card.
Merchant services platform Pollinate has announced that Mastercard, Motive Partners and EFM Asset Management will join Royal Bank of Scotland as backers of the business, which has raised £60 million since its launch in 2017. Pollinate first deployed its cloud-based merchant services in spring this year, with the launch of Tyl, NatWest’s merchant acquiring service, aimed at allowing small business customers to receive payments in-store and online.
The Treasury Select Committee has called for harsher regulatory action on financial firms which are yet to introduce Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and anti-fraud measures due to be implemented by March 2020. In a unanimously-agreed report, MPs called on regulators to take action on firms that are not ready to roll out the Confirmation of Payee system by the March deadline, and for tougher rules for firms when compensating the victims of scams such as push-payment fraud.
Online mortgage broker and lender Habito has launched an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows partners’ customers to use its proprietary whole-of-market mortgage search algorithm and its mortgage calculation tools, from inside the partner’s app. Its first two partners to use the API - Landlord Studio and Emma - will be using it for buy-to-let remortgaging and residential remortgaging respectively.
RegTech Live will return in 2020 to take another deep dive into this rapidly-expanding sector, identifying the key trends, exploring emerging technologies and hearing from senior experts. Regulatory technology outsourced to third-party vendors, as well as in-house compliance, has expanded into new areas since our inaugural event earlier this year, spreading to supervisory technology (or SupTech) as the watchdogs try to keep up with the pace of change.
New regulations are forcing financial services providers to invest in new technology or seek third party outsourcing to help meet new data management requirements, according to a new study. A survey of 100 UK asset managers at financial services firms for financial data solutions provider Asset Control found that more than half (58 per cent) think changing regulations have prompted them to turn to tech or third party suppliers. Meanwhile, cutting the cost of regulatory compliance was cited as the main reason a third of respondents from buy-side financial services firms to outsource.
Overdraft fees currently account for roughly 30 per cent of bank revenue from personal current accounts, but with the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) changes to overdraft charging coming into force next April, incumbent institutions must move to protect profitability and meet customer needs. In June, the FCA confirmed its reforms to a “dysfunctional” sector, aiming to make them simpler, fairer and easier to manage, calling it the “biggest overhaul to the overdraft market for a generation”.
With 72 per cent of UK consumers now saying that they do the majority of their banking online, the mobile app is increasingly providing the front door to a bank, rather than physical branches.That is according to a survey of 800 UK and 1,200 US consumers by Propeller Insights for card issuing platform Marqeta, which found that banking apps are fast becoming the preferred way of accessing financial services, with 77 per cent of account holders considering switching to digital-only providers.
Starling Bank is launching a business euro account, along with a dual-currency debit card, as it steps up its challenge to Revolut’s multi-currency offering. The digital challenger bank said the new functionality would enable business and personal customers to spend directly in pounds or euros with a single debit card.
France and Germany have launched plans to establish an EU-wide data infrastructure, as part of efforts to challenge the dominance of tech giants including Amazon and Microsoft over the cloud computing market. A joint statement issued by the finance ministries of France and Germany announced a timetable for the development of a blueprint for a “secure and trustworthy” European data infrastructure to foster home-grown cloud computing challengers.
Modulr has announced it will invest £20 million in the Scottish FinTech industry, as part of its ambition to radically transform small business banking. The Edinburgh-based startup was awarded £10 million from the BCR Capability and Innovation Fund, designed to drive innovation and boost competition in UK business payments, which will be matched by a £10 million investment to deliver on its commitments to expand into this area.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published a report identifying potential impediments to the cross-border provision of banking and payment services in the EU. Developed under the EBA’s FinTech Roadmap, it calls on the European Commission (EC) to facilitate cross-border access, including the update of interpretative communications on the cross-border provision of services and further harmonisation of consumer protection, conduct of business and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, in order to facilitate the scaling up of activity cross-border.
Revolut for Business customers registered in the UK can now make direct and secure connections into the Intuit QuickBooks Online accounting platform via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This marks the first time that Revolut has collaborated with a third-party provider to use the functionality of Open Banking.
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has announced the appointment of Lynn Bishop as chief information officer, effective immediately. In this role, she will be responsible for the ongoing development and testing of all the technology that supports DTCC’s post-trade infrastructure, communications networks, processing and messaging systems; as well as the IT applications underlying its range of products and services.
Retail banks are struggling to deliver customer demands for more comprehensive and personalised banking, according to the World Retail Banking Report (WRBR) published today by Capgemini and Efma. This year’s edition featured data from a global survey of more than 7,900 retail banking customers in 20 countries, along with an executive survey conducted among more than 50 senior banking executives across 30 markets.
Mastercard has launched a global initiative to simplify the way it works with FinTechs, offering a single entry-point to the company’s portfolio of programs. Mastercard Accelerate gives startups and emerging brands support and assistance for every stage of their growth and transformation, with programme participants connected to relevant parts of the business to integrate Mastercard’s proprietary technology, leverage cyber security services, engage new customers, and reach new markets.
NatWest’s asset finance arm Lombard has launched a new digital service that allows businesses to receive instant agreement to fund assets such as cars, vans, machinery and technology; up to a maximum of £250,000. The new function, available through Lombard’s website, lets customers create a personalised quote across any one of 40 asset classes, with an instant decision provided at the end of a quick and simple application process.
The Treasury Committee has published a unanimously-agreed report warning that regulators must act to reduce the “unacceptable number” of IT failures in financial services sector. With bank branches and cash machines disappearing, customers are increasingly expected to rely on online banking services. These services, however, have been significantly disrupted due to IT failures, harming customers left without access to their financial services, stated the group of MPs.
Refinitiv has announced the appointment of Alex Cesar as its chief technology officer, reporting to chief information officer Phil Wellard. She will lead the software engineering teams that build, operate and innovate the firm’s strategic data platforms and the core requirements that underpin them.
Barclays has performed a u-turn over pulling cash withdrawal services from the Post Office, after the decision sparked widespread criticism from MPs and consumer groups. Earlier this month, the lender announced that customer and business cash withdrawals from the Post Office network would end from January 2020, while pay in service would be unaffected. The move was aimed at adapting to the shift to online and digital banking services and a fall in demand from customers for direct services.
More than half of the UK’s largest companies are concerned that their ability to transfer data will be restricted after Brexit, according to new research. A survey of 200 IT decision makers by data custody and availability firm 4sl found that 60 per cent of UK enterprises are concerned that vital data back up and other critical processes could be severely hampered by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
The Financial Conduct Authority’s chief executive has admitted that the regulator must improve its efficiency and plans to make major investments in data analytics to do so. Andrew Bailey used last night’s Mansion House speech to address criticisms, stating: “We can point to very big achievements at the FCA in recent years – our work on high cost credit in its various forms being a well-known example.
Revolut has launched its digital banking services in Singapore as part of plans to make the city state its Asia-Pacific hub.The London-based FinTech, which has stepped up its global expansion strategy with a US launch planned in the coming months, said the official launch in Singapore followed successful beta testing.
Total new worldwide funding commitments to the InsurTech sector this year have already surpassed the 2018 full-year total – and during the third quarter exceeded $1.2 billion for the fifth consecutive quarter-year period. This is according to Willis Towers Watson’s latest market analysis, which showed 83 deals with a total value of $1.5 billion were announced in the third quarter of 2019, up six per cent over the previous three months to reach the third-highest quarter for global InsurTech investment to date.
Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of financial services firms have encountered some type of supply chain risk in the last year, according to a new survey. The study of 200 procurement and supply chain professionals in financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications and retail organisations - conducted by Vanson Bourne for procurement platform Ivalua - found that the greatest supply chain risks encountered by financial services firms included supply shortage (45 per cent), supplier failure (43 per cent) and environmental impact (35 per cent).
The Current Account Switch Service’s latest figures have revealed that age continues to be a key indicator of switching behaviour, with younger people (37 per cent of under 25s) more likely to choose to multi-bank and leave their old account open when getting a new one with a different provider; compared to 17 per cent of over 35s. This was according to online research with 2,300 respondents conducted earlier this month, released alongside the third quarter current account switching dashboard.
While the Financial Conduct Authority has a neutral approach to financial firms' use of technology, one of its executive directors has implored the industry to experiment with new technology to tackle the array of financial crime. Speaking today at the Royal United Services Institute in London, the FCA’s executive director of supervision for investment, wholesale and specialists Megan Butler said: “I’m not going to tell you whether you need to automate all your systems or question why you aren’t using AI in every part of your business.
Half of Millennials would, if it was offered, purchase investment products through a well-known BigTech company like Google, Apple or Microsoft. Global fund network Calastone surveyed more than 3,000 people aged 23 to 35 across the UK, France, Germany, US, Hong Kong and Australia, finding that for Millennials who already actively invest, this figure rises to almost two thirds (63 per cent) globally and to 71 per cent in the UK – which could have significant impact on the $47 trillion funds industry.
The Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) has announced a new Technology Taskforce (TF-22) on digital assets, to help examine how it may identify possible harmonisation of standards. The association aims to foster standardisation within the financial industry by upholding the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) principles and by promoting International Securities Identification Numbers (ISINs), Classification of Financial Instrument codes (CFIs) and Financial Instrument Short Names (FISN) for financial instruments.
Starling Bank has raised £30 million in a new funding round, designed to support its retail and small business bank accounts, as well as its B2B banking services and European expansion. The investment was led by Merian Chrysalis Investment Company putting in £20 million, while Starling’s existing investor, JTC, added a further £10 million.
Citi has launched a digitised supply chain payment solution with its internal WorldLink Payment Services platform. The Citi Supplier Finance offering combines Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions with WorldLink’s cross-border payments platform to deliver one point of implementation, a virtual interface and the opportunity for clients to transact across multiple major currencies for settlement.
Santander Group’s FinTech venture capital fund Santander InnoVentures is leading an expansion funding round for cloud-based digital lending platform Roostify. Santander first invested in the company in February 2018 and this is its second investment.
Revolut has partnered with Mastercard as the FinTech prepares to launch in the US as part of its global expansion plans. The London-based challenger bank said the partnership would enable it to issue its first Revolut cards in the US by the end of 2019.
Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank Group (CYBG) has announced the next stage of its integration programme, as it transitions towards using the single Virgin Money brand by 2021. The gradual rebrand process will begin with the B digital banking service changing to the refreshed Virgin Money brand by the end of 2019, enabling the group to offer customers the first Virgin Money branded, digitally-enabled current account.
Business banking platform Tide is deploying Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) match receipts to transactions.The updates to its expense management feature use a proprietary algorithm to let customers auto-match receipts to transactions and upload documents in bulk, removing the burden of manual processing.
The financial services industry is moving from the era of digitisation - services moving online - to a truly digital industry, drawing on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s executive director of strategy and competition. Speaking today at a City of London and Cicero event on the future of regulation, he explained that this digital transformation is reflected in the new products finding their way direct to consumers over the internet – “some good, some bad, some downright fraudulent”.
Ebury has announced its first acquisition, buying international payroll payments provider Frontierpay for an undisclosed sum. The European FinTech has done the deal as part of an expanded technology investment programme. Its strategy is to invest in technologies that will help accelerate the automation of international payment processes, specifically targeting those within finance and treasury functions of mid-market corporates.
BNP Paribas and Allfunds have entered into an agreement to create one of the world’s largest WealthTech platforms. Global custodian and fund services provider BNP Paribas Securities Services intends to use Allfunds as preferred access to the fund market, exploring opportunities to enhance services to fund providers and financial institutions.
Galileo Financial Technologies has announced its first institutional funding round - a $77 million investment led by venture capital firm Accel, with participation from Qualtrics co-founder and chief executive Ryan Smith. The company plans to use the funds to accelerate growth - including expansion into Latin America, the UK and Europe - and for continued product expansion.
Pan-European payment processor Lemon Way has signed a €25 million investment from Toscafund Asset Management, the London-based specialist financial services investor. The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, marks Toscafund’s first private equity investment in France.
Only 17 per cent of banks have succeeded in digitally transforming at scale, according to new research from Infosys and Efma. More than 350 financial services companies globally took part in the report, which found legacy technology and system integration challenges were perceived as the biggest barriers to digital transformation, followed by the time and cost required to bring the concept to reality.
International law firm Ashurst has launched FinTech Legal Labs, an accelerator programme aimed at enabling FinTech businesses to gain insight into legal issues affecting their business – as well as accessing the firm's network of corporate clients, financial institutions, investors and potential joint venture partners. The multidisciplinary collaboration between 19 Ashurst partners and senior lawyers across different practice groups has been set up to address the demand from FinTech companies at various stages of development for legal support and access to investors.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published an opinion on the deadline for the migration to Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), setting a deadline to 31 December 2020 and prescribing the expected actions to be taken during the migration period. This applies under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) for e-commerce card-based payment transactions, recommending that national competent authorities (NCAs) take a consistent approach toward the SCA migration period across the EU, requiring their respective payment service providers (PSPs) to carry out the actions set out in the regulations.
A financial services survey from the UK’s regulators has revealed that legacy systems and data limitations are the biggest constraint in terms of machine learning (ML) innovation – especially so in banking and insurance. The Bank of England (BoE) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) conducted a joint survey this year to better understand the current use of ML in UK financial services.
Santander Group’s FinTech venture capital fund Santander InnoVentures is leading the Series B funding round in CrossLend, a Berlin-based pan-European digital debt marketplace. The round also included funding from existing investors Lakestar, ABN AMRO Ventures and Earlybird, with more institutions expected to join as equity investors over the next few months.
The Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA) has completed the first phase of its project to deliver an Open Savings and Investment infrastructure, building on the back of Open Banking reforms to create wider Open Finance data sharing. This supports the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) strategic ambitions, which TISA is actively involved in.
Yorkshire Building Society has selected OutSystems’ development platform to deliver its next-generation of mobile applications for retail banking and broker customers. The project will introduce a significant update to the building society’s back office systems, moving to a digital platform which will provide a more immersive customer experience, while vastly increasing security.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing to charge the cryptoasset firms it is set to regulate registration fees of £5,000 and much higher annual periodic fees based on income. In a consultation paper published yesterday, the regulator explained that under the Economic Crime Plan 2019-22, it will be the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing supervisor for cryptoasset businesses, effective from 10 January 2020.
NatWest has launched a digital and innovation apprenticeship programme designed to support talented individuals from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Developed in partnership with social mobility charity Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB), participants will undertake a four-year paid apprenticeship working across the NatWest Ventures and digital teams, while simultaneously completing a fully-funded degree.
More than a quarter (27 per cent) of financial services firms in the UK feel that their cyber risk mechanisms were ineffective compared to a global average of 19 per cent, according to new research. A global survey of 588 senior executives for risk solutions firm Kroll also found that just 60 per cent of UK business leaders around the world feel that their organisation’s whistleblowing programme is an effective method of detecting risks such as cyber breaches – six per cent below the global average.
Nearly half (49 per cent) of IT decision makers in the UK believe that uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit has not impacted their company’s decision to invest in IT infrastructure. A survey of more than 2,450 global senior IT professionals for connectivity firm Equinix found that political uncertainty was not deterring companies from making longer-term decisions on digital transformation.
Facebook’s Libra project yesterday confirmed that 21 firms have signed the Libra Association charter, following an exodus of financial services firms from the initiative amid regulatory concerns.The formal announcement of a governance structure and charter for the digital currency project confirmed the continued membership of tech giants Uber, Spotify and Vodafone, but revealed that major early backers Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Booking Holdings and Mercado Pago have now followed payments firms PayPal and Stripe in abandoning the project.
There were 1.6 billion debit and credit card transactions made in the UK in July 2019 - 5.7 per cent more than a year ago. This reflected a total spend of £60.1 billion - 0.7 per cent less than in the same period in 2018.
Modular banking platform OpenPayd has recruited a former head of payments at Sainsbury’s as its new chief product officer. The startup announced that Adam Bialy will lead OpenPayd’s technology development and growth strategy, while Sophie Guibaud, a former managing director for Europe at Fidor, has been appointed chief growth officer.
UK Open Banking tech provider TrueLayer is establishing a presence in Australia, making it the first European specialist to do so. Earlier this year, TrueLayer was selected by the UK’s Department of International Trade to pilot its FinTech bridge programme to Australia, alongside Smart Pensions.
The UK’s financial services firms are leading the way in global efforts to automate processes through technology such as robo-advisers, according to PwC. A global survey of 248 financial services organisations by the professional services firm found that the UK is leading the world in implementing robotic process automation (RPA) services, with 37 per cent of UK firms successfully deploying such tools, compared to 28 per cent globally.
Banks and other financial institutions will need to spend hundreds of billions of pounds on their IT systems over the next few years in order to be able to compete in the digital world, according AXA Investment Management. With the banks alone forecast to spend $296.5 billion globally by 2021 according to a report from Celent, Vincent Vinatier, manager of the AXA WF Framlington FinTech fund, stated that changing consumer behaviour in the digital era has already seen a sharp jump in investment in technology by financials as they seek to stay ahead of competition from peers and new fintech businesses.
One in five retail investors (21 per cent) claim to have stopped using a wealth management service because its digital offering was too weak. This is according to research from Nucoro, which commissioned Consumer Intelligence to interview 1,028 UK retail investors in August, finding that there were significant differences based on age.
Metro Bank has announced a trio of FinTech partnerships – Funding Options, Conance and DueDil. The partnerships come as the bank sets about deploying the £120 million funding it was awarded from the RBS Capability & Innovation Fund to help provide products and services to the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market.
Starling Bank has partnered with insolvency insurer Nimbla. The digital insurance platform is designed to protect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) against customers which go out of business. As a result of the partnership, Starling business customers can protect themselves from financial losses caused by bankrupt clients, by accessing Nimbla through the bank’s in-app marketplace.
InsurTech startup Cuvva has announced that Lloyd’s of London chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown has joined the board as its new chairman. In a sign that the centuries-old insurance market is embracing technology-driven change, he will join the digital insurance platform as it looks to corner the market in app-based and flexible micro-insurance policies which can provide cover for as little as an hour.
Facebook’s digital currency Libra must meet stringent standards if its it to become a significant part of the payments landscape, according to the Bank of England (BoE).In a hardening of its stance on Facebook’s plans to launch the digital payments system, along with the Calibra digital wallet, across its messaging platforms, the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said the system has the potential to “become a systemically important payment system” and would need to ensure it meets the highest regulatory standards in advance of a roll-out, currently planned for 2020.
Investec Asset Management has appointed Lucia Pino-Garcia as its new chief technology officer. A statement from the firm said she has been appointed to enhance its technology platform for the next phase of development.
The Open Banking revolution is not yet fully implemented in the UK, despite being ahead of its European peers when it comes to data sharing, according to the trustee of the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE). Speaking on a panel at the PayExpo in London, Imran Gulamhuseinwala said the UK has some way to go in fully realising the benefits of the second Payment Services Directive (PDS2), but suggested that the financial data sharing enabled by early adoption of Open Banking is just the start of a much wider transition to Open Data.
Only 10 per cent of payments firms reviewed by the regulator had adequate risk and governance resources, it was revealed at this year’s PayExpo. Speaking during a payments exchange session at the conference, Daniel Hurl, head of the prudential specialists department at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said that there was quite a lot of improvement needed across the industry in order to meet the watchdog’s expectations.
The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has expressed its concern at plans announced by Barclays to remove cash withdrawal services from the Post Office network. The High Street lender announced yesterday that customers and businesses would still be able to pay in cash, cheques and check their balance at Post Office branches, however over the counter cash withdrawals will end from January 2020.
Skipton Building Society has adopted Experian’s Open Banking technology to take the hassle out of mortgage applications. People applying for a home loan will have the option of giving consent for Skipton to securely view their bank account information using the Experian Open Banking affordability solution.
Payment providers and online merchants must not “kick the can down the road” in preparing for the implementation of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) head of payments and retail banking. Speaking at the PayExpo conference in London, Maha El Dimachki urged the industry not to misinterpret the decision to grant an 18 month extension to e-commerce and payments firms to comply with the SCA rules, and insisted they should be ready to implement them in 523 days’ time.
Finastra has teamed with Ripple to integrate blockchain technology through its payments solutions in order to support fast cross-border payments. As part of the collaboration, Finastra’s customers will be able to connect and transact with RippleNet partners - more than 200 financial institutions worldwide - and in turn, partners can access Finastra’s global footprint.
There is a growing willingness amongst Millennials to switch banking providers in pursuit of better digital experiences, according to research from MuleSoft. The application network platform surveyed more than 9,000 consumers, finding that almost half (49 per cent) of consumers aged 18 to 34 said they have switched or considered switching banks in the last 12 months in order to receive a better digital experience.
Business banking platform Tide has raised £44.1 million in a first round of Series B funding.
The latest round of funding, led by Japanese FinTech investment firm The SBI Group and Augmentum FinTech, takes the total funding in Tide to more than £130 million since it was founded in 2015.
The British Standards Institution (BSI) has published a publicly available code of practice for digital identification and Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). The new specification - PAS 499:2019 - is for organisations with regulatory requirements under the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and related regulations.
Citi has partnered with Cachematrix to update its online investment portal for money market funds. The new solution will allow treasury professionals to manage their portfolios in a more streamlined manner. For both active and automated investments, clients will be able to leverage automated analytics tools to support their strategic decision-making and risk management processes, through the bank’s mobile banking solution, CitiDirect BE.
Financial services firms are losing millions of pounds due to manual processing of agreements, according to 4C research. The average loss is over £10 million a year, while 31 per cent of companies lose £1 million or more a year.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) needs careful nurturing if it is to deliver on its potential for financial services firms, according to Accenture and the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG). The analysis of AI in financial services featured a recommendation that regulators would have to allow businesses to innovate responsibly, while also retaining public trust.
PayPal has become the first company to drop out of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, as the project receives increased regulatory scrutiny. The social media giant has attempted to reassure authorites by explaining the digital payment technology would be overseen by the Libra Association’s independent board - featuring what was 28 technology and payments firms - to ensure a stable roll-out and maintain high security standards.
The first biometric fingerprint credit card issued by a UK bank begins its three-month national trial today. NatWest is piloting the technology with 150 customers in partnership with Mastercard and Gemalto.
OakNorth has appointed a former Google executive to lead the growth of its new credit platform. The FinTech unicorn said that Sunil Chandra, who scaled Google’s global talent as vice president, will take up the role of chief executive of OakNorth’s credit platform, with responsibility for expanding the platform in the US, Europe and Asia.
London-based venture capital firm 83North has raised $300 million for a new fund targeting European and Israeli consumer and enterprise technology firms. The latest round of fund-raising takes its total assets under management to $1.1 billion.
More than 100 FinTechs have applied to take part in a £1.5 million prize challenge aimed at rolling out more Open Banking enabled solutions to UK customers. Entrants to the Open Up 2020 Challenge, a joint initiative run by Nesta Challenges and the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), are competing to secure a share of the funding to develop their Open Banking-enabled tech.
Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency could lead to financial exploitation and make key payments institutions redundant, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s executive director of strategy and competition. Speaking at the P20 Global Payments Conference in London yesterday, Christopher Woolard said that the planned new digital payment system could pose a risk to an already huge money laundering black market.
SnapLogic has raised $72 million in growth financing to accelerate global expansion. The new round was led by Arrowroot Capital, joined by Golub Capital and existing investors. The company’s self-service, artificial intelligence-powered interface enables application integration, data integration, API management and data engineering projects on a single, scalable platform.
Insurtech Europe, Plug and Play's Munich-based InsurTech platform, has announced the 14 startups selected for its third 'batch'. The winter program aims to facilitate opportunities for pilots, proof of concepts and new relationships between the selected batch startups and Plug and Play's global ecosystem, with a special focus on corporate partners Munich Re, Generali, Versicherungskammer Bayern, Talanx, Irish Life, Willis Towers Watson, Swiss Re, Covea and Baloise.
Open Banking platform Curve has appointed the former head of Samsung Pay Europe as its new chief operating officer (COO). Nathalie Oestmann held senior management positions at the likes of American Express, Samsung Pay and IDEMIA, before taking the helm at Samsung Pay’s European division, where she launched the Samsung Pay solution across six European countries and established several strategic partnerships.
Metro Bank’s chairman Vernon Hill will leave the board by the end of the year, as the challenger bank continues to deal with the fallout from a major accounting error. The announcement came as it launched a new bond sale, initially worth £300 million, a week after pulling a similar offer due to lack of interest from investors.
More than three in five (63 per cent) UK consumers are concerned that their contactless payment cards could be used fraudulently, according to new research. A survey of 1,000 current account or credit card holders in the UK by IDEX Biometrics ASA found that 54 per cent fear that contactless technology could enable criminals to scan a contactless card in their pocket and steal funds without their knowledge.
Refinitiv has announced a strategic partnership with SigFig to deliver financial advice technology solutions. Specifically the technology will be targeted at the institutional users of Refinitiv’s BETA platform and will enable the pair to deliver an integrated digital advice experience.
More than half (56 per cent) of financial services leaders are concerned that their organisation could be left behind by the pace of technological innovation because they have failed to plan radically enough, according to Fujitsu.The survey of 800 business leaders and 3,000 consumers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland found rising demand for financial services companies providing a wider range of digital services, with a third of people saying that the way they bank has changed in the last five years.
Fintech-as-a-Service firm Rapyd has secured $100 million to drive development of its cloud-based technology platform. The funding round, which comes on the back of a $40 million Series B investment earlier this year, pushes the London-based company towards a $1 billion valuation. It was led by Oak HC/FT with participation from Tiger Global, Coatue, General Catalyst, Target Global, Stripe and Entrée Capital.
New data from SeedLegals has revealed a rise in the frequency of smaller funding rounds for UK startups, with a tech-enabled model of ‘agile funding’ enabling companies to raise money on-demand. Data collected from companies raising money via the legal platform showed that UK startups are now raising money four times more frequently than the traditional 12 to 18-month cycle.
NatWest will use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict how financial markets will behave following a collaboration with Microsoft and DreamQuark. The lender has worked with the software firms to develop a platform called Next Generation Complex Analytics, which will use AI to simulate financial markets, transport networks and other environments. It will then use learning from this to spot opportunities and risks in certain markets using this data and the patterns it generates.
The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies in the UK is still being stunted by a lack of digital skills in financial businesses, according to Rainbird. The automated decision-making platform commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 100 senior decision-makers in enterprise organisations, finding that the main reason behind financial services firms not implementing AI is a shortage of talent in their workforce for handling automation processes.
UK Finance is launching an initiative to help local communities identify and secure appropriate access to cash and payment services, progressing work on digital payment alternatives and education, driving improved local cash ‘recycling’ and improving awareness of existing cash channels. Over the summer, the conglomeration of financial trade associations has been engaging with consumer representatives, local authority representatives and market participants - including LINK and its members - on the cash needs of local communities.
Cyber security risk and artificial intelligence (AI) are amongst the top business concerns of compliance and procurement professionals, according to new research. A ComRes poll of 630 compliance and procurement professionals for data insights firm Dun & Bradstreet found that respondents were increasingly less confident of their ability to manage third party relationships.
Nationwide Building Society has opened a collaboration space in London to support five startups building Open Banking-based apps and services as part of the second phase of its Open Banking for Good (OB4G) challenge. With Nationwide experts, charities and other partners providing ongoing workshop support throughout the incubator phase, the five FinTechs working together in the space are: Openwrks, Ducit.ai, Trezeo, Toucan and Tully.
Accenture has partnered with AXA XL to provide a range of new cyber security services. The professional services firm has struck a partnership deal with the specialty risk division of insurance giant AXA to provide cyber threat assessments, post-breach response and other security services to underwriters, brokers and clients.
Visa and Revolut have announced a new agreement that will help the mobile-only bank expand its business globally. Leveraging Visa’s brand and global acceptance footprint, Revolut will bring its product offerings to five new regions, reaching 24 new markets for a total of 56 markets globally. Under the terms of the agreement, Revolut will primarily issue Visa-branded cards in the global expansion.
TSB has partnered with Vocalink to launch an anti-payment fraud platform. The move pitches the challenger as one of the first UK banks to implement a Confirmation of Payee process, which can help avoid payments being misdirected with an account name checking service.
Starling, the challenger bank which started life as a mobile banking app, is launching a web-based online banking service for its 66,000 business and sole trader account customers.
The new Online Banking service will be rolled out as a web app enabling business customers to use their Starling account on desktop and smartphone in addition to their smartphone.
Visa has launched a portal to encourage more FinTechs to partner with the company and make use of its digital payments infrastructure.The Visa Partner portal is Visa’s attempt to tap into the $17 trillion market in consumer payments still made by cash or cheque and provide financial services to the 1.7 billion people worldwide who remain outside of the formal financial sector.
The banking industry stopped £820 million of unauthorised fraud in the first half of 2019 -equivalent to £4.5 million a day, according to new figures from UK Finance. New data from the industry association found that financial services institutions succeeded in preventing 14 per cent more cases of unauthorised fraud in the first six months of 2019 than last year.
HSBC is rolling out Quantexa’s automated financial crime detection and surveillance system to disrupt financial crime in international trade.The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) system, built in partnership with Quantexa - a decision intelligence, AI and data analytics company - is focussed on HSBC’s global trade and receivables finance (GTRF) business.
Over a year on from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Capgemini Research Institute has found that companies vastly overestimated their readiness for the rules, with just 28 per cent having successfully achieved compliance.This is compared to a GDPR readiness survey last year which found that 78 per cent expected to be prepared by the time the regulation came into effect in May 2018.
Santander UK has chosen nCino's to replace manual processes and 13 disparate legacy systems in favour of a single, end-to-end solution spanning the small business, corporate and commercial bank. The change is aimed at streamlining processes, decreasing lead cycles and credit decision times by more than half. In addition, it will enhance regulatory compliance and provide a single view of the customer.
The asset management industry is not immune to the pressures of mounting fees, rising costs and demanding regulations, as firms use the cloud to focus on value-add activities and invest in data warehousing technology to support growing reporting requirements. IHS Markit commissioned WBR Insights to survey 100 representatives from buy-side firms in Europe and North America with $10 to 100 billion in assets under management (AUM), finding that 52 per cent use the cloud for data management today and a further 28 per cent plan to migrate data management to the cloud in the next 18 months.
Lloyds Bank has partnered with distributed ledger technology firm Komgo to launch a blockchain-based platform for its commercial banking division. The lender announced that Komgo’s platform would use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to enable quicker international commodity trade finance.
New research has revealed that 83 per cent of investors believe that positive reviews and social proof are critical or important for generating interest in FinTech firms. Trustpilot commissioned London Research to survey 56 startups and 87 scale-up businesses across all major business sectors, including fintech companies, across the UK, US, Asia and Europe in May.
The bank of the future will be more responsive to changing customer needs and technological capabilities - while the Bank of England (BoE) may well allow more FinTechs to access its payment systems - but disruption will not be allowed to become a revolution, as in other industries. Speaking at the Sibos conference yesterday, Victoria Cleland, executive director for banking, payments and innovation at the BoE, said they will make more use of emerging technologies in future and could allow more non-bank businesses to access its payments system – but any benefits such technologies and partnerships might offer must not come at the expense of the stability and security of the system.
The Payment Systems Regulator’s new boss has admitted that he’s got a “big job” on his hands to oversee the renewal of virtually all the infrastructure underpinning the UK’s interbank payments. Speaking at the Sibos conference in London, recently appointed managing director Chris Hemsley explained that a large part of this is the New Payments Architecture (NPA) which Pay.UK must deliver over the next few years.
Tribe Payments has launched a sandbox environment to enable testing of new payments technology. Announcing the launch at the Sibos conference in London, the company said the sandbox would be free-to-use and provide access to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to encourage experimentation in back end payments.
Visa’s B2B Connect cross-border payments platform has expanded to 32 new countries since its launch in June. The rapid expansion of the payments network brings the total number of trade corridors since the platform launched to 62.
FinTechs could usurp banks to become the primary providers of consumer and business services if the incumbents fail to embrace Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as a means of reforming and reinvigorating business processes. This was according to Citi’s Tony McLaughlin, who has responsibility for emerging payments business development and treasury and trade solutions at the bank.
The boss of Britain’s biggest banking group stated that despite recent rounds of job cuts, investment in its people - rather than technology - has been behind its post-recession turnaround. Speaking at the first day of the Sibos conference in London, Lloyds Banking Group chief executive António Horta-Osório said that when he took over in 2011 the bank was “on its knees”, but successive transformation plans have revived Lloyds, Bank of Scotland and Halifax.
The Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) is partnering with six major banks - including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bangkok Bank - to trial ‘coreless banking’ infrastructure. The not-for-profit banking standards association will lead the group of banks, solution providers and academic institutions to run a pilot, which will consist of testing a platform for banks to collaborate with software vendors on developing a future-proof, regulatory-compliant and universally compatible banking infrastructure based on micro-services.
OakNorth is partnering with payments security firm Shieldpay to launch escrow accounts for borrowers looking to make high value, secure payments.The FinTech has partnered with Shieldpay, founded in London in 2016, to develop a digital escrow account to secure high value transactions between two parties.
NatWest has launched the UK’s first Faster Payments clearing Application Programming Interface (API). The move will let its FCA-regulated financial institution customers make use of the data sharing technology to make and receive payments in real-time.
American Express has announced plans for an Open Banking service enabling UK customers to pay for online purchases directly from their bank account.Due to launch later this year, the Pay with Bank transfer service will partner with a number of merchants to launch the bank transfer service on their e-commerce sites.
The UK FinTech sector has continued to attract rising levels of investment, despite global economic uncertainty, although many still see challenges ahead in finding the right talent and the levels of consumer adoption. The 2019 UK FinTech Census from EY and Innovate Finance, based on a study of over 224 FinTech companies and supported by HM Treasury, revealed that the average total investment raised by firms grew by a third from £15 million in 2017 to more than £20 million in 2019, despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that Sheree Howard has been appointed as executive director of risk and compliance oversight (R&CO). She is currently interim director of R&CO, having joined the FCA as a senior adviser in December 2017.
JPMorgan Chase has announced that it is building a new office in Glasgow for up to 2,700 tech workers. The US bank has been in Glasgow for 20 years and claimed to be the largest technology employer in Scotland, with around 2,000 staff spread between two locations in the city.
Stripe is now valued at $35 billion after a $250 million funding round led by General Catalyst, Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz. The new valuation is up by $12.5 billion on its last funding round in January.
More than one in 10 new bank accounts opened are with digital banks, as 2019 marked a “tipping point” for the growth of UK FinTechs. A report from Vocalink, a Mastercard company, showed a steady rise in the popularity of digital-only banks, with around one in three (30 per cent) of consumers aged 25 to 44 considering opening an account with an app-based challenger.
Revolut has continued its c-suite hiring spree with the appointment of Joe Heneghan as chief executive of Revolut Ireland and Virgilijus Mirkės as chief executive of Revolut Lithuania.The arrival of Heneghan in Dublin, from his former post of chief administrative officer at Ulster Bank, and Mirkes, a former chief executive for SEB Investment Management, at the head of Revolut’s Lithuania arm, have topped off a major hiring spree for the FinTech. It recently announced new appointments in the roles CFO, CRO, CTO and a range of other posts in compliance, credit and treasury.
One in 10 free cashpoints in the UK have now closed or switched to fee-paying, according to the latest research from consumer campaign group Which?. An analysis of data from Link, the UK’s largest network of ATMs, found that nine per cent of free cashpoints across the country closed or became fee paying over a 17 month period, with deprived areas losing free access to cash at a much higher rate than more affluent areas.
Despite fears of widespread disruption to online retail, the recent deadline for the rollout of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) has had no initial impact on sales, according to new data from Barclaycard. The card and payments provider’s analysis of transaction data for 14 September - the implementation date for SCA rules - and the following day showed that merchants and shoppers had not seen an increase in abandoned transactions or declined payments.
Nationwide has invested in digital lettings firm Bunk, which uses Open Banking technology to improve access to the rental market.The investment is the latest from the building society’s £50 million Venturing Fund set up last aimed at creating partnerships enabling it and startups to share knowledge and expertise.
Nets has collaborated with KPMG, to develop a new fraud monitoring and prevention solution. Nets Fraud Ensemble is an anti-fraud engine that deploys machine learning - a system that identifies emerging fraud indicators as well as established patterns - to step beyond existing rules-based models that are currently in use across the banking industry.
European rules around Open Banking could end up increasing the cyber attack risk for financial services organisations and their customers, according to new research. A report published by cyber security firm Trend Micro found that several pre-existing vulnerabilities in financial services systems could become heightened under the new regulation.
J.P. Morgan and Societe Generale have invested in Wematch, as it advances plans to transform traditionally voice-traded financial markets. The FinTech firm provides technology which augments how traders at banks match, negotiate and manage trades.
Digital ID company Trulioo has secured more than £40 million in a Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity (GSGE).The Vancouver-based FinTech, which claims to provide identity verification software to 250 million companies worldwide, announced funding of C$70 million, bringing total capital since 2011 to $96.6 million.
High Street banks including Barclays, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered have teamed up with the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) to pilot the use of blockchain to enhance the sustainability and efficiency of global supply chains.The Trado model was also piloted with the backing of Rabobank, Sainsbury’s and Unilever in a bid to prove a use case for distributed ledger technology.
Tech Nation is calling for applicants for three of the UK’s most renowned growth programmes - Future Fifty, Upscale and Rising Stars. The programmes are designed to scale and grow the next generation of UK tech businesses, with alumni including Monzo, Starling Bank, Darktrace, Deliveroo and Skyscanner.
Travelex has unveiled a new FinTech platform, Travelex Business, which allows partners including banks, credit unions, retailers and digital technology companies, to access its range of payments and foreign exchange services in one place. The launch follows a four-year digital transformation project for the Finablr-backed firm, developing cloud-based, Application Programming Interface (API) based systems.
High costs, low margins and increasingly commoditised business models are eroding payment profits, resulting in some services failing to break even, according to a new report. Based on a global survey of senior executives at the world’s top-tier banks, commissioned by Icon Solutions and carried out by Aite Group, it found 80 per cent think payments are becoming less profitable, with only 18 per cent able to charge what they want.
As global cashless transactions boom and competition flourishes, many banks remain reluctant to embrace Open Banking, ecosystem partnerships and open platforms, according to Capgemini. The consultancy’s World Payments Report combines its 18 market Open Banking Assessment, an online survey across banks, non-bank financial services institutions and corporates in June, and several senior executive interviews.
Many FinTech firms will struggle to implement the new requirements of the upcoming 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) coming into force on 10 January 2020, according to LexisNexis Risk Solutions. The global analytics provider argued that businesses must ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to prepare for the impending regulation, or risk facing penalties for regulatory breaches.
Between the start of May and the end of August this year, there were 20 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) related penalties handed down globally, totalling fines of over $352.5 million. This is according to market analysis carried out by Encompass Corporation, which found that during the same period in 2018, four fines totalling $707 million were handed out.
Investment in cyber security to tackle growing risk is now an investment priority for nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of UK banks, according to research from Lloyds Bank. A sentiment survey for the lender canvassed the views of more than 100 senior decision-makers at UK financial services firms - from global banks and insurers to intermediaries, investors and asset managers - finding that impact of Brexit continues to weigh heavily on optimism about UK economic growth.
New analysis has suggested that £8 billion - 18.1 per cent - of UK banks’ revenue is likely to be displaced by digital payments in the next six years. Accenture conducted an online survey of 240 retail and corporate payments executives globally from the largest banks in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland and Hong Kong), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and United States.
A regulatory environment that supports the safe and robust development of Big Data technology will be essential if banks are to meet the challenge of FinTech players, BigTech firms and crypto assets, according to Deutsche Bank. A white paper published by the investment bank outlined the need for regulators and financial institutions to adopt a flexible approach to emerging technologies and warned that artificial intelligence (AI), Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), cloud and blockchain will not be to their full potential without rich and relevant data sets.
Goldman Sachs has hired an Amazon Web Services (AWS) executive as its next co-chief information officer. A note sent to staff yesterday confirmed that Marco Argenti, who has served as vice president of technology at AWS since 2013, will replace Elisha Wiesel, who departs the investment bank after 25 years.
New research has revealed that 56 per cent of UK Millennials are unhappy with their current wealth management services and are not loyal to any one manager – with an average of three private banking relationships. This is according to a study by pricing strategy specialists Simon-Kucher & Partners, which found that three in five Millennials were not satisfied with traditional wealth managers and 80 per cent were using, or considering, using FinTech alternatives to manage their money.
Launching an Open Banking strategy has become a top priority for nearly a third (29 per cent) of European banks as tech giants begin to enter the market, according to new research from Temenos and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). A survey of 400 global banking executives by the banking software firm and the EIU found that major retail banks are gearing up for the challenge posed by the long-awaited BigTech entry into financial services, with a quarter believing they will be their biggest source of competition by 2020 and 31 per cent believing that this will be the case by 2025.
The Geneva-based association tasked with overseeing Facebook’s Libra digital currency is to pursue a license as a payment system in Switzerland. The Libra Association, an independent non-profit, brings together Facebook’s Calibra digital currency project with 27 global payments, technologies, telecommunications and venture capital firms - including Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Uber and eBay - to supervise the launch and development of the social media giant’s Libra coin; currently scheduled for 2020.
Mastercard has announced a new initiative to increase the nation’s access to cash, letting merchants earn a fee every time they dispense cash to a shopper paying with a Mastercard debit card from April 2020. Although cashback at shops has been a withdrawal option for bank account holders for some time, by providing retailers with this fee, Mastercard suggested that it will offer a new income stream to the High Street and provide further incentive for local shops to offer the service.
Banco Santander has become the first lender to launch an end-to-end blockchain bond. The Spanish-headquartered bank said the launch of the $20 million bond marks the arrival of a disruptive new technology which has the potential to make issuing bonds faster, simpler and more efficient.
Retail banking and fintechs are the leading sectors when it comes to payments innovation, with regulation playing a key role in forcing industry change, according to a new study.
Research from payments firm ACI Worldwide and Ovum research based on interviews with senior executives in nearly 1,200 companies highlighted that many planned changes to culture, organisation and technology-centric factors in the coming years.
Hackers and fraudsters operating on the dark web are fuelling a “thriving” trade in cybercrime-as-a-service, with a raft of new goods and services, even including aftersales support, according to new research. The data was taken from 12 different English and Russian speaking dark markets and forums between February and June 2019 by researchers at cyber security firm Armor.
Mastercard is partnering with software company R3 to develop a blockchain-powered cross border payments solution. Under the terms of the strategic partnership, Mastercard will act as the network operator to process, clear and settle international payments while R3’s blockchain software and Corda ecosystem will enable banks to deliver a single frictionless real-time payments proposition.
Citi is launching a FinTech challenge aimed at finding innovative ideas to transform its transaction banking division.The FinTech challenge is being launched to mark the tenth anniversary of Citi’s first Innovation Lab in Dublin.
Nationwide Building Society has partnered with Qlik to help 18,000 employees improve their data literacy as the lender drives forward its £4.1 billion technology and data transformation programme. Nationwide said the partnership with Qlik, a Swedish data visualisation and analytics software company, would offer staff the tools and data insights they need to perform more accurate decision-making and help the UK’s largest building society to become a ‘data enabled’ organisation.
The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has announced that it is to explore opening up access to data in the UK’s new payments architecture. The UK’s economic regulator for payments has released the findings of a report on the use of data in the payments industry, finding that there are a “number of areas where the industry needs to manage key issues” in managing the large volumes of data that flow through payments systems every day.
Starling Bank has added InsurTech firm Digital Risks and cyber security platform CyberSmart to its business marketplace. The two new partners are part of Starling’s strategy to provide business customers with the tools they need to set up and grow their operations. Accessible from within the Starling app, the complementary products allow customers to manage more of their business admin from one place.
Just a quarter of banks believe their compliance processes are fully ready for Open Banking, ahead of the introduction of new PSD2 rules set to come into force this week. A survey of more than 200 IT decision-makers from the UK and US’ largest financial institutions by Cloud Elements found that with the deadline for next tranche of Second Payments Directive (PSD2) looming this month, less than 29 per cent of FinTechs believe they have their compliance in hand.
Sellers of the Big Issue will now able to accept contactless payments following successful trials with mobile point of sale company iZettle. A statement pointed out that cashless payments now outweigh cash transactions, with one in five people in the UK now not carrying notes or coins at all, while contactless card or mobile transactions accounted for 5.6 billion payments last year.
More than half (54 per cent) of global asset managers believe that legacy technology systems are holding back attempts to carry out digital transformation programmes. A survey of 150 asset managers, fund administrators and custodians across Europe, the United States and Asia by banking software company Temenos, in partnership with Funds Europe and Funds Global, found that a significant majority (93 per cent) saw investment in operational systems as essential to improve efficiency and reduce cost.
Sonovate has secured £110 million debt and equity finance, led by M&G Investments, MXB Holdings, Dawn Capital and Rocket Internet. This latest round of investment follows Series B funding secured in October 2016, led by Global Founders Capital, the investment vehicle of Rocket Internet, and supported by Dawn Capital. Dawn also led the previous Series A funding earlier that year.
US payments firm Stripe is launching a cash lending service to its online business customers. The payments software giant, founded in 2009, said that Stripe Capital would help small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access finance, as traditional banks have scaled back their lending.
Prudential Financial has agreed to buy InsurTech startup Assurance IQ for $2.35 billion, as the US insurance giant joins fellow incumbents in investing in digital channels used by a new generation of customers. The deal will add Assurance IQ, an AI and data analytics consumer solutions platform for health and financial wellness, to Prudential Financial’s growing portfolio of digital services.
ING has partnered with Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn and US FinTech startup AiFi to pilot a cashierless store concept. The trial store, in the city of Zaandam, is only 14 metres square, and uses a system similar to the Amazon Go stores in the US.
SWIFT has published a new Application Programming Interface (API) standard for the pre-authorisation of funds. This allows a payer’s bank to earmark funds for a purchase in advance, guaranteeing that the future payment will be honoured. It is the second of SWIFT’s Open Banking extensions API standards, following the Pay Later API standard earlier this year.
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has announced the appointment of Chris Hemsley as its new managing director. He has been acting as co-managing director since April, having joined the PSR as head of policy in November 2018, from previous regulatory work as the deputy director of Railway Markets and Economics and chief economist at the Office of Rail and Road.
Tech Nation has revealed the 23 scaleups accepted onto its 2019 FinTech growth programme, delivered as part of HM Treasury's Fintech Sector Strategy.
In its second year, the six-month programme aims to help some of the most promising UK FinTech companies accelerate their growth and scale at speed at home and abroad. Starting on 24 October, the bespoke programme is specifically designed to connect and create opportunities for the founders through a series of in-depth insight sessions, networking events with key stakeholders and a three-day international showcase trip to the US.
Tribe Payments has announced the appointment of a new chief technology officer (CTO), chief information officer (CIO) and chief commercial officer (CCO).Vytautas Mickevicius, a former employee of Deutsche Bank, will join as CTO, while Fadl Mahmoud, who helped to develop the Nets payments platform in Denmark, will join as CIO. Mahmoud will work with Tribe’s technical team to ensure its systems are state of the art and processing can scale with growth.
Tandem Bank has appointed Noam Ziegerson to the role of chief data officer, as the challenger bank seeks to boost its artificial intelligence (AI) technology capabilities. The digital lender said that Ziegerson will bring with him 18 years of experience and insight into AI, machine learning and data governance.
FinTech startup Curve raised £4 million on Crowdcube in the first 42 minutes of its latest crowdfunding campaign, in the fastest ever raise seen by the crowdfunding platform. The London based firm, which enables users to merge all of their cards into one in a smart card and mobile app, has now hit the £6 million milestone from 9,591 individuals, after the raise launched to pre-registered customers yesterday.
Despite rising optimism for digital transformation projects, the vast majority of organisations are still suffering failure, delays or scaled back expectations, according to Couchbase. The cloud database provider surveyed 450 heads of digital transformation in enterprises across the UK, US, France and Germany, finding that 73 per cent have made ‘significant’ or better improvements to the end-user experience in their organisation through digital innovation.
Nationwide is using the OutSystems low-code platform to develop a new digital business savings service. The building society’s new digital business banking savings service is expected to launch in early 2020, powered by the FinTech’s application development tools.
The Dutch central bank has announced that it is to begin regulating cryptocurrency services from 10 January 2020. In a statement this morning, De Nederlandsche Bank said: “In concrete terms, firms offering services for the exchange between cryptos and regular money, and crypto wallet providers, must register with De Nederlandsche Bank.”
Digital challengers banks are on track to treble customer numbers to 35 million in the next year as they catch up with incumbents’ market share, according to Accenture. Analysts at the professional services firm surveyed data from 30 UK banks, finding that in the first half of 2019, mobile-only banks added five million new customers in the UK. The acceleration of customer acquisition has reached a growth rate of 170 per cent, the analysis found.
A typical European bank, serving 10 million customers, could save up to €10 million annually and avoid growing regulatory fines by implementing Know Your Customer (KYC) tech processes, according to new research. Mitek and Consult Hyperion found that following new EU Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) rules extending the scope of KYC requirements, the annual cost of punitive non-compliance fines has risen to €3.5 million.
Six out of 10 consumers would not give up their debit card in favour of mobile payments, according to new research. A survey of 1,000 current account users, conducted by Arlington Research for IDEX Biometrics ASA, also found that while the UK is quickly progressing towards a cashless society, three quarters of consumers have concerns about the transition to cardless.
Allied Irish Banks (AIB) will be adopting nCino’s cloud-based operating system, beginning with its asset finance division. The bank will also use nCino’s customer engagement solution, as well as the partner portal functionality to streamline operations and enhance visibility, providing a seamless customer experience and improved workflow for employees.
Aberdeen Standard Investments is standardising thousands of its Windows virtual desktops around the world via IGEL’s operating system to help simplify deployment, security and maintenance, while improving desktop performance. Aberdeen Asset Management began the move to a virtual desktop environment four years ago. After the initial project, the next step was to change the Windows endpoint devices, which were still having to be patched and maintained.
TSB and Square have partnered to make card payments more accessible for business banking customers.The collaboration with the San Francisco-based payments provider, founded by Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, will equip TSB’s small business owners with fast-track access to credit and debit card processing and point of sale software to help them start, run and grow their businesses.
More Millennials are falling victim to scams designed to trick them into handing over cash to fraudsters than any other age group, according to Lloyds Bank. There has been just under a four-fold increase in the number of 18 to 34 year-olds being caught out by impersonation scams in the past 12 months, who are now as likely as those aged over 55 to fall victim to such scams.
Revolut is driving its European expansion with plans to create up to 400 new jobs in a customer operations centre based in Portugal. The long-term investment, reported to amount to £4 million, in a new office in Porto will increase the FinTech’s total headcount by a third. Roles will range across customer support, complaints, investigations and compliance.
UK FinTech startup Ipagoo, which entered administration at the start of August after regulators told it to freeze customer accounts, has now found a buyer. Anglo-Dutch investment group Chairman Financial announced an exclusivity agreement to buy the business, as well as certain assets of its parent company Orwell Group.
A last minute surge of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims crashed websites and phone services at UK banks last night, as customers rushed to make the midnight deadline. A number of High Street banks apologised for IT glitches and extended phone waiting times as their systems struggled to cope with customers looking to make claims.
The board of Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) has published the first update on progress against commitments made by the challenger banks it gave grants to. Metro Bank, Starling Bank and ClearBank were all part of Pool A of the Capability and Innovation Fund, designed to promote competition in the market for banking services to UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through expansion of business capacity, product offering and/or target markets.
Citibank has appointed of Anne-Maree Tassell to the role of head of operations and technology for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She will transition from her current role as head of operations and technology in Australia and New Zealand and start in her new role in London on 1 October.
Less than half (45 per cent) of procurement processes have been digitised, with paper-based or manual processes costing UK businesses an average of £1.94 million per year, according to new research. A Vanson Bourne survey of 200 procurement, supply chain and finance professionals for procurement firm Ivalua found that procurement teams are spending almost a third (31 per cent) of their time dealing with analogue processes, with 71 per cent of respondents believing that the rate of digitisation is holding them back from doing their jobs.
More than a third of UK banks (34 per cent) lack the expertise to implement new technology, according to new research. A survey of 50 UK banks by FinTech provider Fraedom found that almost half of banks (48 per cent) have recruited new skills, or are using partners and third party suppliers to gain the necessary skills.
Both employers and employees are open to using robo-investing to support savings and investments, according to new research from Smarterly. The online savings platform surveyed 1,248 employees and 508 HR professionals in UK businesses.
Banking software company Temenos has agreed to acquire digital banking software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm Kony for $559 million and an earn-out of $21 million, subject to regulatory approvals. The acquisition significantly enhances Temenos’ scale and capabilities in the US and accelerates digital front office product Temenos Infinity.
Payments firm Shieldpay has announced the appointment of WorldPay founder Nick Ogden and former Citi chief executive Jim Cowles to the company’s board. The two will serve as non-executive directors with immediate effect as Shieldpay, a London-based FinTech founded in 2016, looks to accelerate the growth of its digital payments service for high value transactions.
The volume of FinTech deals reached a three year high in the first three months of 2019, with 198 mergers and acquisitions (M&A) recorded. Analysis from Hampleton Partners found that the rise in European and North American FinTech deals - up from 164 in the second quarter of 2018 - was followed by record investment from venture capital firms, which reached $10.9 billion in the second quarter of 2019.
InsurTech startup Zego has partnered with car-subscription service Drover to insure its private hire vehicle subscriber base. The partnership sees Zego’s flexible insurance policy integrated with Drover’s sign-up process so that private hire drivers are automatically insured when taking out a subscription on a vehicle.
Credit Suisse’s Swiss Universal Bank (SUB) division has announced plans to invest “a sum in the high three-digit million range” in the digitalisation of its client business by the end of 2021. The Swiss bank explained in a statement that its retail and commercial clients, who primarily use core banking products, will from September be served by a separate, newly-created business area; Direct Banking. In addition, its investment banking function will be moved out of the corporate banking business and will report directly to the chief executive.
RBS and NatWest online services and website are back up and running after suffering a series of outages since customers were left locked out of online banking on Tuesday morning. A message posted to NatWest's Twitter feed yesterday evening read:"Our website is now back up and running. Sorry for any problems this caused you and thanks for your patience while we fixed it."
The cost of data breaches will rise from $3 trillion each year to over $5 trillion in 2024, an average annual growth of 11 per cent. Analysis by Juniper Research suggested this will primarily be driven by increasing fines for data breaches as regulation tightens, as well as a greater proportion of business lost as enterprises become more dependent on the digital realm.
The UK’s FinTech founders have warned that the UK could lose its place as a global FinTech leader. The Digital Finance Forum surveyed 50 founders of UK FinTech firms to assess their levels of optimism around the sector’s growth prospects in the UK. In addition to Brexit-related concerns, nearly half said that the rules applying to Open Banking should extend to sectors including insurance and utilities, as the Open Data trend picks up pace.
The governor of the Bank of England has mooted the creation of a network of central bank digital currencies to help overcome the destabilising dominance of the US Dollar on international trade. Speaking at the Jackson Hole Symposium last Friday, Mark Carney explained that history shows the rise of a reserve currency is founded on its usefulness as a medium of exchange, by reducing the cost and increasing the convenience of international payments.
Money Dashboard has made £4.6 million in the biggest FinTech fundraise on Crowdcube this year. The Edinburgh-based personal finance firm reached its initial target of £1.5 million in just 45 minutes, topping out at £3.6 million with the support of 3,300 crowdfunders.
Revolut has strengthened its senior executive team by appointing a new treasurer, deputy chief financial officer and director of financial crime risk. The new treasurer is Wolfgang Bardorf, who joins from being global head of liquidity models and methodologies at Deutsche Bank. He is also a former executive director in corporate treasury at Goldman Sachs.
Esme Loans, NatWest’s standalone digital lending platform for small businesses, has now lent over £70 million to UK businesses. The lender has seen a sustained period of rapid growth in lending to small businesses, with the most recent milestone representing over £20 million of lending in the space of four months, an increase of 40 per cent in the total loan book.
Financial market network solutions provider IPC and cloud communications company Cloud9 Technologies have partnered for a new open voice trading and collaboration solution. The integrated cloud-based service unites Cloud9’s C9 Trader voice communications and analytics platform, IPC’s Unigy trading communications platform and the Connexus Cloud financial ecosystem.
The EU’s antitrust regulators are weighing up a competition probe into Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, according to reports. The European Commission’s competition watchdog has sent out a questionnaire to a number of those involved in the Libra project, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the potential probe.
US InsurTech Root is set to complete a $350 million funding round at a valuation of $3.7 billion, led by new investors Coatue Management and DST Global. This latest investment comes about a year after it raised $100 million and secured unicorn status.
Open Banking platform Tink has published an open letter calling on the UK’s financial regulators to show greater flexibility around the September deadline for the implementation of Application Programming Interface (API) standards under the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2). In the letter, Tink’s vice president of product Tomas Prochazka warned of the need for banks to be given extra time to implement API measures to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ scenario which could leave millions of customers’ access to online or web-based financial services in jeopardy.
The FStech Awards 2020 are now open for entries, ahead of the ceremony next 19 March. Now in their 20th year, the biggest night of the year for the FinTech industry returns with several new categories that reflect this dynamic sector.
Large General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fines against British Airways and Marriott have had a ripple effect on board level involvement and spending plans in relation to cyber security within UK financial firms. Data security firm Clearswift surveyed senior business decision-makers within enterprise financial organisations in the UK, finding that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) recent judgements - a £183 million proposed fine for BA and £99 million proposed fine for Marriott - were key turning points in addressing their own cyber security.
Visa has announced a suite of security capabilities to help prevent and disrupt payment fraud. These should help protect the integrity of the payments ecosystem by detecting and disrupting fraud threats targeting financial institutions and merchants. They are available to Visa clients at no additional cost or sign-up.
Thousands of UK banking customers were unable to pay credit card bills and access account information yesterday after an IT outage hit US payments company TSYS. Customers of Royal Bank of Scotland, Tesco and Nationwide Building Society were unable to view credit card information in their mobile apps and digital banking accounts after the glitch with third party provider TSYS, which apologised for the outage in a statement to the FT on Tuesday evening, citing a “hardware-related issue”.
Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has convened a special cross-sector working group tasked with driving the development of FinTech and informing policy under the Irish government’s financial services strategy. Chaired by BPFI, the Fintech Foresight Group brings together representatives from domestic and international banks, global technology companies, indigenous FinTech firms, third-level institutions, public sector representatives and international experts.
A vast majority of chief of financial officers (83 per cent) are already working with a FinTech company or developing their own financial software, as digital transformation continues to disrupt business models. A survey of 100 UK-based CFOs by credit platform Onguard found that nearly two thirds (65 per cent) believe digital transformation will result in fewer jobs.
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe (SMBC) has partnered with RegTech firm Exiger to use its artificial intelligence (AI) powered Know Your Customer (KYC) technology. Following an evaluation period, SMBC selected the DDIQ solution to deploy throughout its client onboarding and monitoring processes. The product understands and analyses content with cognitive reasoning to accelerate and enhance risk assessments of clients, investments, transactions, third parties and counterparties.
Better.com has closed a Series C fundraise at $160 million, bringing the company’s total funding to $254 million to date. Activant Capital, Ping An Global Voyager Fund, Ally Financial, Citi, AGNC, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and American Express Ventures joined existing shareholders Goldman Sachs, Pine Brook and Kleiner Perkins in the round.
Oracle has released new tools which it claims will help drive the shift towards quicker and easier digital mortgage lending. Its solution is aimed at helping banks and building societies transform residential, buy-to-let and small business mortgage origination by using open architecture design and process automation.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published further clarifications to its guidance on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) under second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) legislation after a fifth set of issues had been raised by participants of its working group. The latest clarifications, which are aimed at explaining the mechanisms of the rules, respond to issues raised on the measurement of response times of the dedicated interface, the machine-readability of the EBA register, reliance on eIDAS certificates and various issues related to the contingency measures, including the identification of third party providers through ‘guest books' and the fact that the data that can be accessed as well as documentation.
A majority (87 per cent) of finance leaders believe that automation will lead to greater efficiency for their business in the next three years, according to new research. A survey of 250 senior finance decision-makers by data and analytics firms Dun & Bradstreet, in association with the the Chartered Insitute of Credit Management (CICM), found that despite expectations that automation is set to drive workplace transformation, nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of financial and credit organisations are automating less than a quarter of their processes.
The City of London Corporation has installed four new contactless card points to help the area’s homeless and rough sleeper population get donations from those that don’t carry cash. Londoners will be able to donate £3 a time to homelessness charity Beam, by tapping their debit and credit cards on the contactless devices.
The London’s Stock Exchange (LSE) has “transitioned to regular trading” after a systems failure led to the longest outage in eight years. Trading opened at 9:40am this morning, 100 minutes late, following a technical issue.
Curve is to launch its first crowdfunding campaign next month. The app-based banking platform, which consolidates multiple payment cards into one smart card, is to open a seven figure crowdfunding campaign to investors in September. The round will be run on equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
Global investment in FinTech ventures fell sharply in the first half of 2019, as fundraising and deal activity in China that had soared a year earlier ground to a halt, partially offsetting strong gains in the US, UK and several other European countries. This is according to Accenture analysis of data from CB Insights, including global financing activity from venture capital and private equity firms, corporations and corporate venture capital divisions, hedge funds, accelerators and government-backed funds.
New research has revealed that 70 per cent of financial services firms have experienced a cyber security incident in the past year. Vanson Bourne interviewed 100 senior decision-makers from UK financial organisations on behalf of data security company Clearswift, finding that almost half of the incidents reported over the past 12 months originated from employees failing to follow security protocol or data protection policies.
Monzo is rolling out short-term loans to its 2.5 million customers as the challenger bank seeks to take on incumbents with a range of digital banking services.The loans service - which is being launched after a nine-month trial with 4,000 customers - will not be targeting the typical ‘payday loans’ market, with lower interest rates than those charged by companies such as Wonga, which sometimes reached around 1,000 per cent APR.
Previsico, an InsurTech business spun out from Loughborough University which specialises in modelling flooding in real-time, has completed a successful seed funding round. It is now targeting insurers, reinsurers, brokers and big data firms that are interested in improving their flood response capabilities.
Enterprise blockchain firm R3 is set to further its European expansion with the opening of a new office in Dublin next year. It will serve as another of R3’s tech hubs and will be primarily staffed by engineering specialists who will work closely with the existing engineering team in London.
Thomson Reuters has launched a global RegTech competition designed to provide early stage startups in the legal, tax and regulatory space the opportunity to partner with one of the business information services provider.
Entrants will need to demonstrate how their solutions help lawyers, tax and compliance professionals and or governments solve regulatory and compliance challenges through the smart application of new technologies. They will be judged on criteria that include: market opportunity, value proposition of their solution, technical expertise, partnership opportunities and quality of presentation.
Challenger bank Tandem is asking the public to participate in creating the UK’s first crowd-designed mortgage service.The digital bank plans to launch the mortgage lending service in 2020 and is inviting customers and potential customers’ to help design its features, with a focus on accessibility for aspiring home owners.
Bloomberg has acquired RegTek.Solutions in order to deliver a fully-integrated service that supports compliance with regulatory reporting requirements across multiple jurisdictions. RegTek.Solutions’s products will be integrated with Bloomberg’s Regulatory Reporting Hub (RHUB), as well as its enterprise data management and trading systems.
The board of Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) has awarded £10 million grants from its Capability and Innovation Fund Pool C to Atom Bank, iwoca, Modulr Finance and The Currency Cloud Group. This fund is designed to facilitate the expansion of business offerings to include lending or payments services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the United Kingdom, or international payments services to SMEs in the United Kingdom.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed a plan to grant the payments and e-commerce industry 18 months of extra time to implement Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).It was reported last week that the financial regulator had drawn up plans to give the UK a minimum 18 month extension to the 14 September deadline for firms to comply with SCA rules required by European Union’s Payment Services Directive (PDS2).
Financial services firms are facing an “onslaught” of cybersecurity threats, with 348 breaches targeted at Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and financial records data reported in 2018. According to a survey of 211 organisations carried out by IT services firm Wipro, the banking, financial services and insurance sector is consistently one of the most targeted industries, with 68 per cent of organisations saying email phishing is a top risk.
British cryptocurrency exchange CoinCorner has started paying its employees in Bitcoin. Staff at the company were given the option to receive part or all of their salary in cryptocurrency earlier this year, according to a statement. Each member of staff had the choice to receive the GBP equivalent of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or XRP - cryptocurrencies currently supported by CoinCorner - to include in their monthly pay packet.
Village Capital has announced the launch of Finance Forward — a global coalition created with MetLife Foundation, PayPal and local partners to support more than 100 early-stage entrepreneurs building tech-enabled solutions around financial health in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and India. Finance Forward will provide capacity-building support for entrepreneurs in the program, as well as $850,000 in capital through grants and direct investments. Based on the past results of Village Capital accelerator programs, the coalition is aiming to drive at least $10 million in follow-on funding to program participants over the next five years.
NatWest is to launch the first trial of voice banking through the Google Home smart speaker device and Google Assistant on smartphone. The three-month pilot will enable 500 participating customers to trial banking services through Google’s voice technology, and will be the first trial of voice banking through smart devices to be carried out by a major UK bank.
The Central Bank of Ireland has confirmed it will put a “limited migration period” in place for regulated firms to comply with the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules. The deadline is currently 14 September under the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), but in line with a European Banking Authority (EBA) opinion published in June, the Irish financial regulator has taken up the suggestion of giving merchants and payment providers “limited additional time” to ensure no disruption to payment systems.
FinMkt has closed a $5 million Series B equity round led by FINTOP Capital, with participation from existing investors including ManchesterStory Group and West Loop Ventures. The New York-based firm provides technology solutions for the online lending industry.
Commission-free stock trading app Robinhood has been authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a broker in the UK. The US FinTech has yet to give a date for its formal launch, but is currently hiring for several roles in London across compliance, operations, user research and marketing.