Archive News

Hero labs has launched a home insurance company that rewards customers for owning smart home devices. The InsurTech, called Hiro, will offer discounts on policies to those who have invested in technology that can use sensors and predictive analytics to reduce the risk of damage to their homes and devices.
Posted: 09/04/2020
More than a third (36 per cent) of UK businesses are planning to deploy multi-cloud environments as part of their technology investment strategy. A survey of 2,485 IT decision-makers - from 23 countries in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific - carried out by Equinix, found that the adoption of multi-cloud approaches for data storage stood at 14 per cent in the UK, compared to 20 per cent worldwide.
Posted: 09/04/2020
Mobile point of sale (MPoS) software startup phos has closed a fundraising round worth €1.3 million, led by New Vision 3 and other angel investors. The investment sees the total amount raised increase to €2.5 million, and will be used to grow the FinTech's development team to introduce new features like PIN on Phone, its Software Development Kit (SDK) and an integrated loyalty system.
Posted: 09/04/20
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today confirmed a package of targeted temporary financial relief to those facing payment difficulties during the Coronavirus pandemic. Following a short consultation, it will be going ahead with the proposals outlined last week, giving firms the flexibility under its rule to help people with payments relief some of the most commonly used consumer credit products.
Posted: 09/04/20
Starling Bank is to introduce a ‘connected card’, allowing customers to connect a second card to their existing account to give to a trusted person to pay for groceries and other essential items on their behalf. It is hoped that this connected debit card will help those who are self-isolating due to the current COVID-19 outbreak to rely on the support of family, friends and neighbours for their essential supplies where they are unable to visit the shops themselves.
Posted: 09/04/2020
UK-based payments app MuchBetter and Swiss smart glass provider Winwatch have teamed up to launch a unique steel watch with smart payment functionality. It is the first watch to use STISS (Swiss Technology Inside Smart Sapphire) payments glass, a super-strong sapphire glass infused with payment technology.
Posted: 09/04/20
As Wuhan - the city at the epicentre of China’s Coronavirus outbreak - prepares to emerge from lockdown, Alipay has launched a series of digital initiatives aimed at helping small businesses get back on their feet. The digital lifestyle platform run by Ant Financial Services, the financial division of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has set up a special section on the landing page of the Alipay app, to allow the platform’s 900 million users easily locate merchants and their respective products and services in Wuhan.
Posted: 08/04/2020
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that fund management companies can now use electronic signatures to approve documents amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulator set out the measures after a number of fund management firms had made applications for approvals, but were struggling to obtain physically signed signatures on the documents due to social distancing and lockdown measures.
Posted: 08/04/2020
SoFi has acquired Galileo Financial Technologies in a $1.2 billion cash and stock deal. Salt Lake City-based Galileo provides the Application Programming Interface (API) infrastructure for the likes of Robinhood, Monzo, Revolut and Transferwise. It processed over $53 billion of annualised payments volume in March.
Posted: 08/04/20
Cash transit company RMS Group is to expand into digital payment services as part of a major rebranding strategy. RMS Group, which provides cash collections, deliveries and ATM services - including Metro Bank and Travelex since launching in Ireland in 2005 - is to change its name to Pivotal as it becomes the first cash in transit company to offer merchant services, process card and BACs payments.
Posted: 07/04/2020
TSB has launched a new Smart Agent function on its website to give customers immediate access to the measures introduced during the Coronavirus pandemic, including how to apply for a repayment holiday on mortgages, personal loans and business loans. Customers now have the ability to ask questions and get their answers ‘live’ from TSB’s employees - the first time it has provided this functionality.
Posted: 07/04/20
The Emerging Payments Association (EPA) has announced the outcomes of its first COVID-19 consultation. The paper emphasises the seismic change that COVID-19 will have on how we use payments to live, work and shop – and the effect this will have on the shape and size of the payments industry.
Posted: 07/04/20
The Financial Conduct Authority has laid out its business priorities for the year ahead, admitting that one effect of the Coronavirus crisis will be the acceleration of digitisation within financial services. “We have seen greater digitisation of the firms we regulate, and we can expect the social changes driven by Coronavirus to accelerate the development of digital markets,” read the Business Plan for 2020/21.
Posted: 07/04/20
Curve, the banking platform that consolidates multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and app, has become one of the first companies in Europe to provide numberless cards. Investors from its crowdfunding round will be the first to benefit from the technology when they receive their card in the coming weeks.
Posted: 07/04/20
Visa’s charitable foundation has committed $210 million to programmes aimed at supporting small and micro-businesses from the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Visa Foundation said the first $10 million was to be designated for immediate emergency relief to support charitable organisations responding to the Coronavirus pandemic - such as public health and food relief - in each of the five geographic regions in which Visa operates: North America; Latin America and the Caribbean; Europe; Asia Pacific; and Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Posted: 06/04/2020
Starling Bank has a launched a mobile cheque depositing feature on its banking app. The digital cheque tool will allow business and individual customers to scan a cheque with their smartphone across iOS and Android devices. The app uses device cameras to capture an image of the cheque and 'read' the details to pay the money into an account.
Posted: 04/04/2020
Enterprise connectivity platform Yapily has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round. The investment was led by Lakestar, alongside existing investors HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and LocalGlobe, with angel investors including TransferWise chairman and co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, UniCredit’s former deputy chief executive Roberto Nicastro, and former Deutsche Postbank chief executive Frank Strauss.
Posted: 06/04/20
Mettle, NatWest’s free standalone digital business account, has announced that FreeAgent, the cloud-based accountancy software for small businesses, is available free of charge for its customers. New and existing customers of Mettle can now sign up to FreeAgent directly through the app free of charge in a matter of seconds, with transactions also being shared between the two apps immediately, using Application Programming Interface (API) technology.
Posted: 06/04/20
Tully has launched a COVID-19 relief network to help people financially impacted by the pandemic get access to payment relief. The Nottingham-based FinTech is providing a free to consumer digital outsourcing service that registers consumer applications, validates eligibility for payment relief and shares that information with relevant partners in the network.
Posted: 03/04/20
Nationwide has become the second recipient of Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) fund money to return part of its grant due to not being able to proceed with the business banking plans originally submitted. Recently Metro Bank, due to changes in its strategy, proposed a revised business case to BCR under which it would continue to deliver part of the original business case while returning £50 million of the funding. This was approved by BCR and this funding is now available for redeployment.
Posted: 03/04/20
The rest of this year will be challenging for FinTechs to navigate, but prosperous times remain ahead post crisis for certain ‘disruptive winners’, according to a new report from Finch Capital. The thematic venture capital investor has since 2014 backed FinTechs like Digital Insurance Group, Goodlord, Grab, Hiber and Trussle.
Posted: 02/04/20
Digital identity platform Signicat has acquired Connectis, a Dutch identity specialist, to create a new European player in the market for online authentication. Announcing the deal, Rotterdam-headquartered Signicat said the combined company would offer digital identity solutions to a wide range of organisations in the Netherlands, particularly in the public sector, health care, insurance and financial services.
Posted: 02/04/2020
A clear majority (90 per cent) of banking customers think that the technology offering impacts their choice of banking provider. A survey of 2,000 consumers commissioned by Estonian FinTech challenger Modularbank, found that customers cared more about technology than other key factors including interest rates, which 88 per cent of consumers said would be important in their decision making.
Posted: 02/04/2020
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it is prepared to relax rules on financial services firms accepting customer phone photo 'selfies' to check their identity, as one of several measures to ease the burden during Coronavirus lockdown. In a public letter to the industry, the regulator's interim chief executive Christopher Woolard said that it has received hundreds of requests from firms and trade associations for adaptions to its rules, adding that some were “opportunistic” and the FCA will reflect on future guidance.
Posted: 01/04/20
Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) has closed its acquisition by EML payments. The deal, which was finalised by financial regulators in the UK and Ireland this morning, creates one of the largest prepaid FinTech enabling companies globally.
Posted: 01/04/20
InsurTech Loadsure has landed £1.1 million in its latest funding round.The freight insurance company aims to simplify and digitise the spot freight cargo insurance processes through its automated end-to-end process for brokers, shippers and carriers.
Posted: 01/04/2020
Starling has begun offering arranged overdraft interest holidays to personal account holders who are struggling financially as a result of the Coronavirus. Customers can apply for a three-month interest holiday starting from 1 April, with all interest charges on arranged overdrafts waived. The interest will not be added on at the end of the holiday period and interest payments will only resume the day after the holiday ends.
Posted: 01/04/20
Refinitiv has appointed Charles Smith as head of digital solutions for wealth management. In this role he will lead Refinitiv’s global digital wealth management solutions and will be responsible for its strategic direction.
Posted: 01/04/20
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns that the loss of competition brought about by the merger of FNZ and GBST could result in UK investors losing out as a result of higher prices, fewer options and less innovation. FNZ purchased rival investment platform provider GBST in November 2019 for around £150 million, ending a three-way battle which also included Bravura and SS&C and saw a 94.9 per cent premium to the closing price of the company’s shares in April, when Bravura made an initial approach.
Posted: 31/03/20
The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has set out its plans to keep the UK’s payments systems delivering for all users during the COVID-19 pandemic. The independent body, which acts as the economic regulator for the £75 trillion UK payments systems industry, today published its annual plan and budget, setting out its key aims and activities in 2020-21, alongside the expected costs of these measures.
Posted: 31/03/2020
FinTech platform Youtility has made three senior hires following the completion of a £4.5 million funding round. The London-based company saw investment from ICAP founder Michael Spencer, Barclays Ventures and Ascension Ventures’ Fair By Design Fund.
Posted: 31/03/2020
More than one million banking customers switched their accounts in 2019, according to data released by the Current Account Switch Service (CASS). Its latest report found that more than 6.3 million switches have been approved since the service launched in 2013, as customers exercise their right to access new services and benefits with the rise of digital banking.
Posted: 31/03/2020
Dzing has launched its new mobile payment app, to give international students, remote freelancers, overseas workers and travellers, access to financial services from their smart devices. Now available on Android and iOS, the app will offer its users a simple process for transferring funds across borders in the UK and Europe, providing multi-currency accounts, as well as card and partner card options.
Posted: 31/03/20
UK Finance is warning consumers to be on the lookout for 'smishing' text message scams from criminals exploiting the Coronavirus outbreak. Smishing is when criminals use text messages impersonating other organisations to trick people into giving away their personal and financial information or money.
Posted: 30/03/20
Phoebus Software has launched a new digital self-service portal that allows a bank's customers to self-serve on their accounts. Developed within the lending software provider's Innovation Hub, the Phoebus Mortgage Self-Service Portal has been designed in conjunction with client feedback to provide a range of functionality including the ability to make payments, view transactions and statements, change direct debit details and order redemption figures.
Posted: 30/03/20
NatWest is waiving monthly hire fees for Point of Sale (PoS) terminals from its payments product Tyl until the end of 2020, to support small business customers during the Coronavirus crisis. The bank also provides next day settlement to users of Tyl, helping with cash flow during this difficult period for small businesses.
Posted: 30/03/20
Barely half (51 per cent) of banks are able to keep up with the speed of their business due to legacy software, according to new figures. A survey conducted by Boomi, a Dell Technologies business, amongst 825 enterprise architects based in the EMEA region, also found that 65 per cent of banking IT budgets are being set aside for modernisation and innovation.
Posted: 30/03/20
A taskforce of UK FinTechs and industry experts has come together to deploy loans of over £500,000 to support the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with their need for funding through the Coronavirus crisis. FinTechs including digital lending platform Trade Ledger, digital SME credit scoring platform Wiserfunding, trade credit insurance provider Nimbla, and client onaboarding platform NorthRow, have formed a business lending taskforce and are inviting lenders to engage in the fully-virtual lending operation.
Posted: 27/03/2020
The chancellor’s latest measures to sure up a financial sector hit by the Coronavirus outbreak have been welcomed by the tech sector. Rishi Sunak announced a further package of measures for the self-employed, now mirroring the scheme for the employed workforce.
Posted: 27/03/20
Starling Bank has rolled out a delay function to its in-app gambling block, to help those customers that need support managing spending on betting and gaming services. This will mean those wanting to turn the block off will have to wait 48 hours before they can reactivate spending on these services.
Posted: 26/03/2020
Almost half of UK businesses (46 per cent) have fallen victim to cyber security attacks or breaches in the last year, according to the UK government’s annual cyber security survey.
Now in its fifth edition, the survey of thousands of UK businesses and charities, published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, showed that nearly a third of businesses (32 per cent) were experiencing breaches or attacks a least once a week, up from 22 per cent in 2017.
Posted: 26/03/2020
Financial communications surveillance tech firm VoxSmart has completed a strategic funding round, with £5.5 million investment from NatWest. This funding will help the company reach new markets and accelerate the innovation of new products. As the first vendor globally to offer a WhatsApp and WeChat compliance solution to financial markets, VoxSmart has built a client base of more than 100 financial services institutions.
Posted: 26/03/20
London-based FinTech Lanistar is officially launching today after raising £2 million in seed funding. The Hammersmith-based company, offering a banking alternative, is launching with the stated aim of becoming the next £1 billion FinTech unicorn.
Posted: 26/03/2020
For the first time, one of the UK’s insurers is employing artificial intelligence (AI) to create end-to-end assessments and estimates of vehicle damage. Ageas is using an AI solution, developed by Tractable, to support some of the complex tasks that a human assessor would normally carry out when evaluating vehicle damage. For example, the AI identifies which parts of the vehicle have been affected and to what extent, generating a full estimate, including recommended repair, paint and blend operations, as well as costs and labour hours.
Posted: 26/03/20
TransferGo has hired former Revolut compliance manager Francesco Fucoli as its new chief compliance officer, as it looks to grow into remittance services. Based in London, Fucoli will be responsible for leading the delivery of innovative customer experience on Know Your Customer (KYC), as well as Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CFT) prevention processes.
Posted: 25/03/2020
A survey of 602 UK, French, and Polish small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has revealed they are sticking with traditional financial services providers despite new demands from digital-first businesses. Over half now do some form of international business and a further 13 per cent expect to start doing so soon. In 2008, 60 percent of all transactions were paid in cash, but today 34 per cent of SME customers are paying by bank transfer, 23 per cent by cash, 23 per cent by credit/debit card and 19 per cent by other means.
Posted: 25/03/20
After gaining more than 10 million customers in the UK and Europe, Revolut has officially launched its app and debit card in the United States. The digital-only bank employs more than 2,000 people globally, with offices already established in New York and San Francisco.
Posted: 24/03/20
FinTech start-up UnderPinned has raised £500,000 in crowdfunding amid difficult investment conditions due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The platform provides freelancers with career management services, including automated invoices and payments, contract and portfolio management.
Posted: 24/03/2020
Members of London’s FinTech community have joined forces to build a proof of concept (PoC) to help the UK’s five million self-employed through the COVID-19 crisis. The Covid Credit prototype allows the self-employed to generate a self-declaration of loss of income due to Coronavirus, verified by Open Banking data.
Posted: 24/03/2020
The contactless limit for in-store card transactions will increase from £30 to £45, introduced as a measure in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, to reduce the need for physical contact with PIN-Entry Devices (PEDs) at points of sale. The new contactless limit will be operational at some stores across the UK from 1 April, but may take some time before it can be applied everywhere. For example, it may take longer to rollout at retailers who are currently operating at peak capacity.
Posted: 24/03/20
Finastra is back online after shutting servers and offices late last week due to a suspected ransomware attack. On Friday, customers were warned of a "potential security breach" causing disruption to certain services, particularly in North America.
Posted: 23/03/20
The FinTech industry has gone from record highs a month ago, to Coronavirus-hit lows in recent days, with market values set for turbulent times ahead. A new report from Rosenblatt Securities explained that on 19 February, the FinTech index comprising 26 public firms was up 49 per cent, compared to the Nasdaq and S&P 500, which were up 28 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. Since then, the FinTech index has under-performed both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq by seven per cent.
Posted: 23/03/20
The Financial Conduct Authority has written to companies it is aware were intending to publish preliminary financial statements in the next few days, requesting a delay to their planned publications. The regulator called for listed companies to observe a moratorium on the publication of preliminary financial statements for at least two weeks.
Posted: 23/03/20
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a clarification around MiFID II requirements on the recording of telephone conversations during the COVID-19 outbreak. The regulator said it recognises that, considering the exceptional circumstances, some scenarios may emerge where the recording of relevant conversations may not be practicable due to widespread recommendations for home working.
Posted: 20/03/20
The Bank of England (BoE) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have announced several measures to ease the burden of the Coronavirus outbreak on the financial system. The steps include the cancellation of this year’s stress test for the eight major UK banks and building societies, in order to help lenders focus on meeting the needs of UK households and businesses via the continuing provision of credit.
Posted: 20/03/20
The majority of financial services workers are not concerned that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will take their jobs in the technological revolution. A study of 1,000 accounting and finance workers by CaseWare UK, an accounting software firm, found that just 11 per cent feared their role would be replaced in future.
Posted: 20/03/2020
In a first ‘virtual’ ceremony last night, due to the Coronavirus ban on mass gatherings, the FStech Awards 2020 winners were announced online. Lloyds Banking Group got two trophies, for Best Banking IT Team and Best Use of Mobile, while JPMorgan and JPMorgan Asset Management also scooped a double, for Best Use of IT in Wholesale & Investment Banking and Best Trading System.
Posted: 20/03/20
Business banking app ANNA Money is using TrueLayer’s payment initiation system to let firms receive immediate payments for invoices via QR codes. The integration of TrueLayer’s Open Banking Payments Application Programming Interface (API) will enable ANNA’s customers to receive money instantly using QR codes via its app, as part of an expansion of ANNA’s business current account and digital admin assistant.
Posted: 19/03/2019
Artificial intelligence (AI) automation platform Rainbird has announced a research partnership with the University of East Anglia (UEA) aimed at supporting vulnerable individuals by facilitating fairer credit decisions. The proposed tool is being designed to better identify individuals who may need to be classified as vulnerable - those suffering from mental health issues, severely indebted or otherwise lacking the capacity to make fully-informed financial decisions - during the credit application process, ultimately streamlining credit providers’ ability to offer hep and guidance sooner.
Posted: 19/03/20
ClearBank has formed a strategic relationship with Temenos to provide a faster route to market for real-time payments services in the cloud. Temenos and ClearBank’s joint customers will get end-to-end service and rapid access to Bacs Payment Schemes, CHAPS and Faster Payments.
Posted: 19/03/20
The banking and finance industry stopped over £1.8 billion in fraud in 2019, according to the latest figures from UK Finance, as the industry faces calls for a cross-sector approach to tackle fraud. As banking customers were urged to be wary of fraudsters capitalising on Coronavirus concerns, the latest data from the industry body found that vigilance in the sector is rising, with losses related to unauthorised fraud falling to £825 million, down two per cent on 2018.
Posted: 18/03/2020
HooYu, a customer onboarding Know Your Customer (KYC) firm, is partnering with Baanx, a mobile cryptocurrency and fiat specialist, to build a digital compliance journey. London-based Baanx selected HooYu’s KYC platform to provide identity verification for the onboarding of new customers and streamline the application process, while improving customer experience.
Posted: 18/03/2020
Revolut has launched a Revolut Junior account aimed at helping younger customers learn financial literacy. The money management app, available for children aged seven to 17, will include an account that can be managed by a parent or legal guardian from their own Revolut account.
Posted: 18/03/2020
Monzo is moving into business banking with the launch of free and premium business accounts. The move is the latest stage in Monzo’s strategy to turn a profit within the next three years.
Posted: 17/03/2020
Which? is calling for fraud protections to be made mandatory, as more than £1 billion is estimated to have been lost to bank transfer scams in just three years. With measures set to come in that should significantly reduce the amount of money lost to this type of fraud, Which? also raised concerns that some banks are not committed to introducing the protections on time, or even at all.
Posted: 17/03/20
More than eight million people in the UK could suffer in a cashless society due to dwindling supply during the Coronavirus outbreak, according to new research. Analysis compiled by Blueclaw for A2Z Casinos found that it will become essential to curb the use of physical money in order to limit the number of infections, as pathogens and viruses can live on most surfaces for around 48 hours, and paper money can reportedly transport a live flu virus for up to 17 days.
Posted: 17/03/2020
Clearstream, Credit Suisse Asset Management, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and Natixis Investment Managers have joined to back FundsDLT, a blockchain-based technology platform for the fund industry. The Series A investment will help the startup commercially develop a novel decentralised technology platform to facilitate the distribution of funds based on distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Posted: 17/03/20
Investment in the UK’s FinTech sector has more than doubled to £4 billion since 2018, according to new research. According to Tech Nation’s annual report for 2019, the FinTech sector has also seen an employment boom, and is second only behind the US for global investment in the industry.
Posted: 17/03/2020
SWIFT is set to delay the ISO 20022 migration date for cross border payments from November 2021 to the end of 2022, reflecting challenges banks face in preparing existing infrastructure for the transition. The common global data ‘language’ is expected to see widespread payments industry adoption, so following feedback from the SWIFT community, the deadline it has been extended by a year. The ultimate deadline of November 2025 for decommissioning the legacy SWIFT MT standard remains in place.
Posted: 16/03/20
Finablr has temporarily suspended its share listing amid “material uncertainty” about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The global platform for payments and foreign exchange confirmed in a statement that the Financial Conduct Authority agreed to the suspension, following an update on 12 March that “a number of factors that were placing significant constraints on the company's access to the daily liquidity”.
Posted: 16/03/20
Payments platform Banked is teaming up with freelance career service UnderPinned to launch a new automated payment service supporting businesses to eliminate the time they spend paying contractors. The commission-free service is aiming to reduce the average time that it takes to pay a freelancer from 3.5 minutes to 30 seconds, marking an 86 per cent increase in efficiency of payments.
Posted: 16/03/2020
ING has invested €4.5 million in Eigen, a Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology company.The Dutch banking giant said the funding - made through the bank’s venture capital arm ING Ventures - is part of Eigen’s $42 million Series B investment round announced in November 2019 joining other investors including Goldman Sachs, Temasek, Lakestar and Dawn Capital.
Posted: 16/03/20
Saffron Building Society is the first financial institution to go live with Burrow’s automated pre-application qualification solution for new mortgage customers. A statement claimed that this was the UK’s first on-boarding as a service technology that allows a mortgage lender to score, rank and convert website visitors.
Posted: 16/03/20
Funding Circle is set to cut 125 staff as it scales back its European operations. The UK peer-to-peer (P2P) lender reported a £34.3 million writedown related to its Dutch and German divisions, with the subsequent lay-offs affecting its Berlin and Amsterdam offices. Instead, the firm will assemble a team of 25 employees to run its European operations from its London headquarters.
Posted: 13/03/20
Despite the growing news flow about the risk of fraud, there has been little change since 2018 in the capability of accounts payable processes to combat it. This is according to research commissioned by automated accounts payable provider Invu showing that 70 per cent of UK finance decision-makers have concerns about whether their company can prevent or detect fraud using current accounts payable processes.
Posted: 13/03/20
Mastercard has unveiled a pilot project with phos, introducing an innovative mobile solution that lets merchants accept contactless payments on Android mobile devices without the need for any additional hardware. The solution will enable millions of often cash-only micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to accept cashless payments and grow their businesses.
Posted: 12/03/20
Key players in the financial services industry are set on a clear pathway towards collaboration, whether they like it or not, according to a report from Barclays Corporate Banking. The bank conducted a survey of nearly 2,000 industry leaders from across financial services, at Money 20/20 events in Europe, Asia and the US.
Posted: 12/03/20
Standard Chartered has launched a banking-as-a-service solution enabling digital platforms and e-commerce firms to offer loans, credit cards, savings accounts and other banking services under their own brand name. The banking giant said it had already signed a “major e-commerce player in Indonesia” as its first partner for the project named Nexus, but declined to name the company. It expects to be able to co-create and launch products powered by Nexus in 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
Posted: 12/03/2020
Three partnerships between community lenders and FinTechs have secured a cash prize of £200,000 each for developing innovative solutions that make credit more accessible and affordable. The prize is part of a £2 million Affordable Credit Challenge run by Nesta Challenges in partnership with HM Treasury.
Posted: 12/03/20
The Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN), an Open Banking standards association, has announced 29 new members; including Wipro, Deloitte consulting and US Bank. The BIAN, founded in 2008, is an independent organisation aimed at promoting common standards for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and technical architecture in the banking industry.
Posted: 11/03/2020
The government has committed to an independent review of UK FinTech, with promises of investment and support for the sector. One of many post Budget statements explained that the review will be led by Network International chairman and Bank of England non-executive director Ron Kalifa.
Posted: 11/03/20
Salary Finance has acquired Goldman Sachs-funded workplace lender Neyber. The deal creates the UK’s largest employee financial wellbeing platform, according to Salary Finance.
Posted: 11/03/2020
ClearBank has partnered with incuto to allow its credit union and community bank members to make and receive payments in real time. Using ClearBank technology as part of incuto’s online platform and app, credit unions will also have instant and accurate information about their finances.
Posted: 11/03/20
Application Programming Interface (API) provider TrueLayer has integrated with online brokerage app Stake to enable Open Banking payments. As a result of the collaboration, Stake customers will be able to use TrueLayer’s Payments Initiation tool to transfer money and make investments within its brokerage app.
Posted: 11/03/2020
Revolut is considering applying for a UK banking licence, enabling it to offer FSCS-protected deposits and lending services. The digital challenger bank was granted a European banking licence by the Bank of Lithuania in 2018, but in the UK has operated as an authorised e-money institution.
Posted: 11/03/20
Lloyds Banking Group has announced a five-year partnership with Google Cloud as part of its £3 billion digital transformation plans. The strategic collaboration will see Lloyds deploy a number of Google Cloud services to help streamline, modernise and improve services for its 26 million customers.
Posted: 10/03/2020
Artificial intelligence-based risk solution firm MindBridge has opened a new office in London. Since releasing its flagship AI Auditor service in March 2017, the Canadian company has grown its client base into 15 countries around the world and tripled the size of its workforce.
Posted: 10/03/20
Financial services technology provider Finantix has announced a binding agreement for the acquisition of data science company InCube Group. According to a statement, the deal will strengthen Finantix’s platform by augmenting it with InCube’s artificial intelligence, robotics and cognitive technologies, and expand its presence in the Swiss and wealth management and insurance markets.
Posted: 10/03/20
A specialist police unit funded by the banking and finance industry prevented £31.2 million of fraud and disrupted 23 organised criminal groups in 2019. The Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU) targets the organised criminal gangs responsible for fraud and is made up of officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, as well as banking industry fraud investigators and support staff from UK Finance.
Posted: 10/03/20
INSTANDA has raised $19.5 million in Series A funding as it builds on the growth of its no-code customer and policy management platform. The investment was led by Assembly Capital Partners, with the money helping to support the InsurTech firm’s expansion into the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Posted: 10/03/2020
Neotas, a UK-based provider of online due diligence for banks and financial services firms, has been selected by Dutch banking giant ING to join its FinTech accelerator in Brussels. The onboarding platform was chosen from among 350 companies worldwide to join ING Labs Brussels, which aims to fast track new fintech solutions for ING and its customers.
Posted: 10/03/2020
Banking challenger OakNorth has reported a 95 per cent rise in annual profits to £65.9 million. The business banking unicorn reached a $2.8 billion valuation after a funding injection of $100 million in February last year, making it one of the UK’s most valuable FinTech businesses.
Posted: 09/03/2020
Challenger bank Tandem has raised £60 million in its latest funding round and is planning to use the investment to acquire a ‘green lending’ business. The funding round was led by the Qatar Investment Authority, according to Reuters news, with the ‘green lending’ business focused on helping consumers to buy solar panels.
Posted: 09/03/2020
Global risk and reinsurance specialist Guy Carpenter has chosen Charles Taylor InsureTech as a partner for its digital transformation programme.The engagement involves the creation of a global, cloud-based document management solution (DMS) to supply Guy Carpenter with a single, global document repository.
Posted: 09/03/2020
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has begun a review into the use of data and advanced analytics in wholesale financial markets, both now and in the future. The regulator has issued a Call for Input (CFI) to better understand how data and advanced analytics are being accessed and used, the value offered to market participants and whether they are competitively sold and priced.
Posted: 09/03/20
Tesco Bank has appointed Gary Balmer as its new chief information officer (CIO).
Based in its Edinburgh headquarters, and reporting to chief operations officer David Bowerman, he will be responsible for leading the bank’s 440-strong information technology function.
Posted: 09/03/20
The European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) has warned that as global financial services becomes ever more digitally interconnected, the potential for a cyber attack causing major systemic risk is becoming something which regulators and central banks must prepare for. In a new paper, the organisation stated that the system has come to rely critically on robust information and communications technology infrastructures and the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and systems.
Posted: 06/03/20
Equifax is partnering with rent reporting platform CreditLadder in a deal that will use rent payment data to calculate credit assessments. The collaboration is aimed at helping CreditLadder’s customers access credit at fairer rates and level the playing field between people with a mortgage, whose payments have historically been included in the credit files, and those who rent their home.
Posted: 06/03/2020
The UK has dropped one place, to fourth, in KPMG’s annual ranking of most promising countries in the world for disruptive technology breakthroughs that have a global impact. Now in its eighth year, the survey consisted of 810 technology leaders - 54 per cent of them c-level executives - across 12 countries. It placed the UK tied with Japan in fourth, behind the US and both China and India, which tied for second place.
Posted: 05/03/20
Metro Bank has lost its interim chief risk officer (CRO) just two weeks after he joined the business, in the latest setback for the challenger bank. Graham McGirr, a 20-year veteran of banks including Northern Rock, Barclays and the Co-operative, had been due to formally take up the role of interim CRO on 1 March.
Posted: 05/03/2020
Commission-free stock trading firm Robinhood has blamed outages this week on “unprecedented loads” experienced on the app. Responding to user ire at being offline during Monday and Wednesday, co-chief executives Baiju Bhatt and Vladimir Tenev wrote that the situation was “not acceptable” and the team has been evaluating and addressing the issue.
Posted: 04/03/20
Revolut has appointed former Goldman Sachs International co-chief executive Michael Sherwood, and experienced retail banker and former chief risk officer Ian Wilson, as non-executive directors.
Posted: 05/03/20
Barclays has announced 250 job cuts as it relocates staff to new ‘campus’ sites and closes a major processing centre in Leeds. A spokesperson for the bank explained that around 340 roles were in scope for moves to collaborative working areas in Glasgow, Manchester and Northampton – resulting in net job losses of 50. The other 200 job losses will come from the Millshaw Court office in Leeds, where the landlord’s decision to sell the site for residential development meant around 800 staff are being moved – with 270 relocating to Manchester and Sunderland, a further 100 within Leeds and the remaining circa 130 are not in scope.
Posted: 04/03/20
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that use of coins and banknotes could be spreading coronavirus. In a statement to the BBC, a spokesperson for WHO said: “We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses – we would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face.”
Posted: 04/03/20
Starling Bank has launched a third UK office in Cardiff, as the app-based bank continues its growth plans.The opening in the Welsh capital will create 400 jobs and contribute to Wales’ £8.5 billion tech sector.
Posted: 04/03/20
Since 2013, blockchain startups in the United Kingdom have raised a collective $503 million between themselves in equity raises, according to analysis by Outlier Ventures, which also found that 450 blockchain companies now call London home. Of the total capital allocation, $95 million has been invested in seed stages alone, with one in three blockchain companies in the UK managing to raise funding. However, only 13 per cent of all firms that raise funding go on to raise a Series A and just three per cent make it to Series B.
Posted: 04/03/20
Ant Financial, owner and operator of Alipay, has taken a minority stake in payments provider Klarna. This investment supports further development of their strategic cooperation, bringing more of Klarna’s solutions to consumers and merchants within the broader Alibaba ecosystem.
Posted: 04/03/20
Freedom Services Group has acquired Homelyfe for an undisclosed sum. Under the terms of the deal, Homelyfe will be sold to Freedom, but will continue to be run on the Aventus Insurance operating system, which allows it to create policies and automatically quote and bind in under a minute from a minimal question set.
Posted: 03/03/20
Nationwide has delayed the launch of its business banking services as it continues to develop its mobile app and Open Banking account switching service. The building society is using £50 million granted by the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Competition and Innovation Fund, matched by £50 million of its own funding, to overhaul its business banking offer and help inject more competition into the market.
Posted: 03/03/2020
Trussle has appointed Ian Larkin as its new chief executive. He previously held senior roles at Lloyds, Virgin Money, McKinsey and Accenture, most recently serving as chief executive of Target Group. During his five years at Target, the business delivered significant growth using technology to improve productivity, risk management and customer experience.
Posted: 03/03/20
The total number of digital banking users will exceed 3.6 billion by 2024, up 54 per cent from 2.4 billion in 2020, according to Juniper Research. The market analysis stated that this growth will be driven by the rise of digital-only banks and the ongoing focus on digital transformation by established banks.
Posted: 03/03/20
Financial markets data provider Refinitiv has acquired wealth management software-as-a-service firm Scivantage for an undisclosed sum. The deal represents the next step in Refinitiv’s plan to create digital wealth management solutions, with Scivantage’s digital client experience Wealthsqope and tax information reporting solution Maxit E2E.
Posted: 02/03/20
CreditEnable has announced a $2 million pre-Series A funding round. The artificial intelligence-driven small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) credit business stated that the investment will allow it to develop and launch a second-generation product for both lenders and borrowers, accelerate its direct marketing outreach to SMEs, and increase traction with a growing client base of lenders.
Posted: 02/03/20
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has weighed in on the various disruptive forces shaping the future of payments. The central bankers association’s latest quarterly report was dedicated to the issue, with economic adviser and head of research Hyun Song Shin commenting “The pace of change and potential for disruption have propelled payment systems to the top of policymakers' agenda – indeed, the G20 made improving cross-border payments one of its priorities in 2020.”
Posted: 02/03/20
Thought Machine has raised $83 million to continue investment in its core engineering capability and drive expansion into the Asia Pacific region. All existing investors - Lloyds Banking Group, IQ Capital, Backed and Playfair Capital - participated in the round, with IQ Capital contributing £15 million from their new scale up fund.
Posted: 02/03/20
Customers of RBS and Monzo will be able to check their credit scores for free thanks to new in-app updates. RBS launched the credit check feature earlier this week, while challenger bank Monzo is to launch its service at the end of March.
Posted: 28/02/2020
Artificial intelligence (AI) platform Sidetrade has announced the opening of a new Tech Hub in the UK, with a projected investment of £30 million and plans for 70 new tech jobs in the group. The new office in Birmingham will be home to some of the new roles focused on AI technology and product development, bringing Sidetrade’s total tech headcount to more than 150.
Posted: 28/02/20
B-Social has raised £7.8 million in seed funding from a variety of high-net worth individuals, including Karlani Capital founder Rudy Karsan. The London-based FinTech has now raised a total of £13.25 million to fund its journey towards building, and licensing, its ‘social bank’ concept.
Posted: 27/02/20
Nationwide has opened a new digital hub in Swindon, which will employ 700 people from the building society’s digital community. The site is focussed on delivery of new digital services and technological experiences to the building society’s 16 million members.
Posted: 27/02/2020
Collective Benefits has closed a £3.3 million funding round led by Stride.VC, alongside existing investors Delin Ventures and Insurtech Gateway. The InsurTech startup specialises in protection products and benefits for gig economy workers, such as family leave, sick pay, mental health support and critical injury pay.
Posted: 27/02/20
Three of the UK’s leading financial services providers announced plans for a combined 2,000 job cuts yesterday, as the industry continues to adapt to falling branch use and consumer demand for digital services. Lloyds is set to cut 780 roles across its branch network, but is not currently planning to close any branches as part of the move.
Posted: 27/02/2020
Digital Risks has raised $10.4 million in a Series A funding round led by BHL Holdings, owner of Compare the Market. Nire Capital also participated in the round, alongside existing investors Concentric, Beazley and Seedcamp. The money will be used to further develop its technology and drive expansion over the next 12 to 18 months.
Posted: 27/02/20
A strategic review at Metro Bank has caused it to submit a revised business case to Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) and return £50 million of the original £120 million grant. Metro has already deployed Capability and Innovation funds and the £70 million retained will continue to stimulate banking competition in the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market.
Posted: 27/02/20
Payment solutions provider Checkout.com has bought French technology startup ProcessOut for an undisclosed sum. This represents the first acquisition for the London-based FinTech and follows last year’s $230 million Series A funding round, which valued it at nearly $2 billion.
Posted: 26/02/20
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has referred itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over a data breach after it mistakenly published the names and other information of 1,600 people. The regulator published a statement on its website this afternoon explaining that it had inadvertently published the details on its website in November as part of its response to a Freedom of Information request about complaints lodged against the FCA by individuals or organisation.
Posted: 25/02/2020
Mastercard has announced that its president and chief executive Ajay Banga will transition to the role of executive chairman on 1 January 2021, with chief product officer Michael Miebach to become chief executive from that date, and president from 1 March 2020. As president of the company, Miebach will oversee the sales, marketing, products, services and technology organisations.
Posted: 25/02/20
The latest survey of the digital banking market from Accenture found that 19.6 million customers worldwide have signed up for neobanks, with UK providers adding more than six million new customers in the second half of 2019. Accenture tracks market data from a representative sample of 30 UK banks every six months to assess the performance of digital challenger banks - those that offer financial products via digital channels – compared to incumbents and traditional challenger banks - which operate with a physical presence.
Posted: 25/02/2020
Half of finance workers in the UK have said that concerns over security would deter them from storing sensitive personal and commercial information in the cloud. A survey of 1,000 finance professionals in the UK for Invu, an automated accounts payable and document management software company, found that cloud security remains the top concern, with the most prominent fear related to data back-up and the recover of lost data (cited by 37 per cent of workers).
Posted: 25/02/2020
Revolut has raised $500 million (£387 million) in Series D funding, making it the UK’s most valuable FinTech with a valuation of $5.5 billion (£4.2 billion).The funding round, led by US fund Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) - an early backer of Air B n B, Spotify and Netflix - propels the company beyond the valuation of rivals Monzo (£2 billion) and OakNorth (£2.2 billion), the latter of which was previously the highest valued.
Posted: 25/02/2020
JPMorgan has reportedly tapped up a former regulator to help it launch digital banking services into the UK market. According to reports in the Financial Times over the weekend, Clive Adamson, a former head of supervision at the Financial Conduct Authority, has been chosen to chair JPMorgan’s neobank venture, which is said to be launching under the Chase brand later this year.
Posted: 24/02/2020
Mastercard is planning to hire 1,500 staff in Dublin as it looks to establish its European Technology Hub in the Irish capital.The payments giant is planning to treble its Irish workforce for the new campus in Leopardstown over the course of the next three to five years.
Posted: 24/02/2020
Automation and data intelligence firm Glantus has acquired vendor credit recovery services company JPD Financial. The Dublin-based company said the acquisition will bring new levels of automation to credit recovery and financial processing for global businesses and shared services units.
Posted: 24/02/20
Investment in the UK’s FinTech sector nearly doubled last year to $48.5 billion, as the boom in digital banking services continues. According to KPMG’s Pulse of FinTech report, investment in British FinTech companies was up 91 per cent from a year earlier, when companies drew in $25.4 billion.
Posted: 24/02/2020
Youtility has closed a £4.5 million funding round led by Barclays. The home finance tech platform, which launched in November 2018, uses Open Banking and behavioural science analytics to help consumers switch suppliers. Built primarily for banks, the Youtility Application Programming Interface (API) allows partners to ensure customers have complete control over their home finances.
Posted: 24/02/20
SoftBank’s Vision Fund is reportedly set to invest $100 million in British artificial intelligence (AI) and compliance startup Behavox. The Japanese’s investment behemoth’s second Vision Fund could be ready to announce a deal next week, according to Sky News.
Posted: 21/02/2020
Last year saw FinTech funding reach a global inflection point, pulling in $34.5 billion across 1,913 deals – with annual investment falling 15 per cent year-over-year. However, CB Insights’ State of FinTech report pointed out that 2018 funding was inflated by Ant Financial’s record $14 billion deal, and removing this would make 2019 a record funding year.
Posted: 21/02/20
Morgan Stanley has acquired E Trade in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $13 billion. The combination will significantly increase the scale and breadth of Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management franchise, as E Trade has over 5.2 million client accounts with over $360 billion of retail client assets – adding to Morgan Stanley’s existing three million client relationships and $2.7 trillion of client assets.
Posted: 20/02/2020
The European Commission has unveiled its plans for a European data strategy and policies to ensure that development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology is human-centric. A key pillar of the plan outlined by EU commissioner Thierry Breton is the creation of a €2 billion European cloud platform alliance.
Posted: 20/02/20
The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa route is being expanded and renamed as the Global Talent visa, specifically to make provisions for science and research, while continuing to be open to promising applicants within digital technology. According to Tech Nation, the UK network for tech entrepreneurs which remains the endorsing body responsible for processing applications on behalf of the Home Office for the sector, the cap on the visa route has been removed.
Posted: 20/02/20
Meniga has obtained permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to move beyond financial services into Open Data partnerships with the insurance, telecoms, retail and credit sectors. The London-based FinTech, which providers digital banking solutions, has registered with the regulator as an Account Information Service Provider in the UK.
Posted: 20/02/2020
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Alan Turing Institute have proposed a high-level framework for thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) transparency in financial markets. As part of a year-long collaboration on the subject, the regulator and thinktank have presented an initial framework for thinking about transparency needs in relation to machine learning in financial markets.
Posted: 20/02/20
Only 23 per cent of small businesses and the self-employed currently have their main account with a digital bank, although the remaining 77 per cent that use traditional banks would consider switching to a digital one. This is according to a survey from software search site Capterra, which surveyed over 600 people either employed in a small to medium sized enterprise (1 to 250 employees) or self-employed, finding that they mentioned trust (68 per cent) and recommendations (21 per cent) as the most important decision-making factors.
Posted: 20/02/20
More IT and finance leaders are working together to develop flexible approaches to build new applications incrementally - in an Agile approach - to both defend against disruption and enable digital transformation. This is one of several predictions made in Deloitte’s latest Tech Trends report, which also suggested that those chief information and finance officers who are among the first to work in this way will enjoy the competitive advantages that come when finance funds innovation at Agile speed.
Posted: 19/02/20
Monese has extended its partnership with PayPoint, allowing customers to top up their accounts in more than 28,000 retailers. The deal means that the digital challenger bank's two million users can continue to make cash deposits of up to £500 directly into their accounts at a time and place of their choosing.
Posted: 19/02/20
Rapyd has announced a new agreement with Visa to help expand its worldwide business operations. Rapyd will collaborate with Visa to offer FinTech and payment services where both firms see opportunities to help businesses expand their core offerings with more expansive local and cross-border market solutions.
Posted: 19/02/20
HSBC is to slash 35,000 jobs worldwide and shed $100 billion of assets, with the investment banking arm expected to be hardest hit by plans to make operations leaner and more focused on growth. The global banking giant reported profit before tax was down by a third to $13.35 billion in 2019, down from $19.89 billion compared with 2018, with a major restructuring project set to cost around $6 billion in addition to $1.2 billion of assets disposal costs in the next two years.
Posted: 18/02/2020
SumUp is partnering with Mastercard to launch its first business payments card in the UK. The card terminal and payments platform provider said the SumUp Card will facilitate the making and taking of payments as part of a payments ‘toolkit’ for small business owners in the UK.
Posted: 18/02/2020
ING Group has partnered with Tradeteq to distribute its commodity trade finance exposures to non-bank institutional investors. Tradeteq operates the trade finance industry’s first electronic trading platform, which allows banks to package their exposures into standardised, investable notes for non-bank institutional investors.
Posted: 18/02/20
Concirrus has closed a $20 million Series B funding round led by AlbionVC. The London-based InsurTech startup will use the funding to expand its predictive analytics platform, Quest, for the automotive and marine insurance sectors.
Posted: 18/02/20
A new independent initiative has launched to help communities retain free access to cash, as the UK shifts to an increasingly cashless society. Communities across the country are encouraged to apply to participate in the new Community Access to Cash Pilots, which will help to test solutions to local access to cash needs, with the goal of developing scalable solutions which can inform national policy.
Posted: 17/02/20
Monzo is to hire 500 new members of staff worldwide, as part of a strategy to grow customers numbers to 5.5 million this year. In an interview with Reuters, Monzo founder and chief executive Tom Blomfield said the digital challenger would continue to expand its operations and has plans to charge some customers for services in a bid to turn a profit.
Posted: 17/02/2020
The quality of data will be a key priority for the credit industry as the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and blockchain become integral to the sector’s future. A Coleman Parkes survey of 155 credit management professionals working in the banking, finance and debt management sectors for Equifax examined the strategic priorities for credit management professionals in the next three years, with nearly three quarters (72 per cent) saying there is scope for future improvement of data analytics at their current companies.
Posted: 17/02/2020
Mastercard is developing its first cyber and security centre in Europe, aimed at driving collaboration between both public and private sectors, as well as regulatory bodies to further support enterprise resilience in the region. Located at Mastercard’s European Headquarters in Waterloo, Belgium, the European Cyber Resilience Centre is the first of its kind that the company has invested in outside of North America.
Posted: 17/02/20
London-based digital asset custodian Copper has raised $8 million in a Series A funding round, with plans to grow globally by expanding its commercial team and launching new products. Target Global, LocalGlobe and MMC Ventures were part of the latest investment, which followed a previous seed round raising $1.3 million in 2018, to build its custody and prime brokerage solutions and onboard both institutional and high-net worth clients.
Posted: 17/02/20
The time developers in financial services firms spend writing unit tests costs companies an average of £14,843 per year, per developer, according to a new survey from Diffblue. With an average of 43 developers employed at the companies included in the study, each organisation’s typical unit testing cost is more than £630,000 per year.
Posted: 17/02/20
Societe Generale (SocGen) has invested nearly €1.1million in Czech online life insurance startup Mutumutu. Societe Generale Assurances, the insurance branch of the French banking giant has made the investment through CreativeDock insurance holding as the lender aims to extend its involvement in the InsurTech market.
Posted: 14/02/2020
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced plans to rebrand its parent group to NatWest later this year, as its new chief executive seeks the “start of a new era”. The major rebranding exercise, which will see the group comprising RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank operate under the name NatWest Group, came along with a near doubling of annual profits to £3.1 billion, from £1.6 billion the year before.
Posted: 14/02/2020
Vertical payments company Flywire has acquired HealthTech platform Simplee to optimise the digital payments and patient engagement experience in healthcare, and scale its global payments services. Flywire also announced a $120 million Series E investment round, led by Goldman Sachs, providing additional capital to support its vision to digitise payments across education, healthcare and travel.
Posted: 14/02/20
Paysafe has appointed Sujit Unni as its chief technology officer. He will be responsible for driving the technology strategy, design and architecture of the payments platform's end-to-end technology landscape, based in the London office and reporting to group chief information officer Roy Aston.
Posted: 13/02/20
Banco Santander has appointed former Apple executive Trish Burgess as its new global head of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments. In this newly created role, she will be tasked with building P2P usage across Santander’s global footprint, in order to foster an international payment network.
Posted: 13/02/20
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has called for an industry consortium to develop a coordinated strategy for addressing security risks in the implementation of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in financial services. The market infrastructure group published a white paper, suggesting a review of existing security guidelines to fill gaps in the approach to DLT security.
Posted: 13/02/20
ABN AMRO has joined an $80 million funding round for Fenergo, an Irish startup offering client lifecycle management (CLM) and digital transformation software. The round, which values Fenergo at $800 million, was the latest investment from ABN AMRO’s ventures fund, and was accompanied by funding from IT services company DXC Technology.
Posted: 12/02/2020
Organisations that adopt artificial intelligence (AI) in finance and operations are growing annual profits 80 per cent faster, according to the Enterprise Strategy Group and Oracle. The companies surveyed 700 finance and operations leaders across 13 countries and found that emerging technologies - AI, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and digital assistants - have passed the adoption tipping point and are now creating significant competitive advantage.
Posted: 12/02/20
JHC Systems has appointed Ron Tomlinson as its chief technology officer. He has been head of solutions development at the WealthTech firm since January 2018, and will now be responsible for all delivery teams, as well as leading technology strategy to ensure a constantly evolving suite of services and platforms.
Posted: 12/02/20
Standard Chartered is partnering with Australian FinTech firm Assembly Payments for a new e-commerce venture. The new company, which will be headquartered in Singapore, is aiming to develop “next generation payment solutions” for the $29 million e-commerce industry.
Posted: 11/02/2020
N26 has issued a statement explaining that it will be exiting the UK banking market after 15 April. The German digital challenger bank explained that following the UK’s departure from the EU at the end of January, it will no longer be able to operate in the UK under its existing European banking licence.
Posted: 11/02/20
Up to half of all reported financial crime is either fraud or cyber crime, despite fraud being underreported and only one in eight cases being investigated. At last week’s Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) Financial Crime Conference, City of London Police commissioner Ian Dyson emphasised this point, stating that three quarters of all fraud crimes reported are cyber-enabled – “it’s now a lot easier than robbing a bank and the rewards are far greater”.
Posted: 11/02/20
Advanced data platform Kx has become the latest firm to join the likes of Lloyds Banking Group and Dell Technologies as a corporate partner to the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA). Kx, headquartered in California, will join the government-backed programme to give cyber security scaleups access to its advanced data processing platform, bringing together real-time and historical databases.
Posted: 11/02/2020
Competition between FinTech challengers and industry incumbents drove 2019 towards blockbuster mergers and acquisitions (M&A), with historically high deal counts and valuations. This is according to the latest market report from M&A adviser Hampleton Partners, compiled using data from the 451 Research database.
Posted: 11/02/20
Curve has opened its first United States office, setting up in Brooklyn. The UK FinTech will create 185 new jobs in the US by 2024 and invest nearly $17 million in research and development over the next decade.
Posted: 11/02/20
Revolut has launched Open Banking features, allowing its UK retail and business customers to connect their external UK bank accounts and see all of their balances and transactions in one app. The new offering has been built in partnership with Application Programming Interface (API) connection platform TrueLayer.
Posted: 11/02/20
Platform-as-a-service provider FNZ has agreed to acquire Dublin-based third-party administration (TPA) solutions firm Irish Progressive Services International (IPSI) from Irish Life. Established in 1998, IPSI offers end-to-end TPA solutions to the life insurance and pensions industry. The company currently employs more than 250 people and services more than €30 billion in assets under administration.
Posted: 10/02/20
SteelEye, the compliance technology and data analytics firm, has raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Eight Roads, alongside existing investor Illuminate Financial. This takes the total amount raised by the UK-based RegTech firm to $20 million.
Posted: 10/02/20
Barclays has signed a new, multi-year partnership with long-standing partner Visa. The European agreement is designed to drive innovation and product development, as well as facilitate international expansion at Barclays. At the same time, it will assist Visa to develop product innovations and deploy them at scale across the Barclays Payments network.
Posted: 10/02/20
Starling Bank has raised £60 million from existing investors Merian Global Investors and JTC. The investment will bring the total raised by Starling to £323 million and follows two funding rounds of £105 million in aggregate led by Merian in 2019.
Posted: 10/02/20
The UK tech sector’s performance is in limbo, with staff hiring declining and new business activity flat-lining in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to KPMG’s latest market analysis. UK tech companies reported that overall business activity was unchanged from the third quarter, which marked the worst performance for the sector since the current phase of expansion began seven-and-a-half years ago.
Posted: 10/02/20
Standard Chartered has signed a strategic agreement with Infor to introduce its Nexus network to the bank’s clients. The network will update traditionally manual processes of data matching across multiple commercial documents, including purchase orders, invoices and transport documents.
Posted: 07/02/20
InsurTech startup Laka has raised $4.7 million in a seed round led by LocalGlobe and Creandum, with support from several angel investors. The London-based firm focuses on the cycling market, with a product insuring bicycles and cycling equipment against theft or damage now used by around 5,000 people across the UK.
Posted: 07/02/20
Compared with industries such as hospitality, airlines, transport and home entertainment, the financial services industry is yet to see a new entrant capture significant market share, according to PwC. According to a new report by the professional services firm, while there have been new entrants to financial services sectors, incumbents have generally been able to withstand these challenges and avoid any loss of their customer base.
Posted: 07/02/20
The Royal Bank of Scotland’s standalone digital bank Bó has asked around 6,000 customers to shred their debit cards as it catches up with new EU rules on customer card security. The app-only digital bank, which launched in November last year, has written to customers asking them to destroy debit cards issued before 3 January 2020, as it re-issues cards which comply with tougher rules on Chip & PIN and contactless payments.
Posted: 06/02/2020
Financial services consultancy the lang cat has launched Platform Analyser, an online tool and insight service to simplify the investment platform selection process for advisers. The new RegTech service combines the lang cat’s data set - covering 11,500 data points across 25 advised platforms - with an interactive tool built with the Product Intervention and Product Governance Sourcebook in mind.
Posted: 06/02/20
New research has revealed that nearly half (49 per cent) of artificial intelligence (AI) projects are being held back by a lack of deep learning skills.Research among 350 chief information officers and senior IT makers from the UK and the Nordic region, commissioned by operational AI firm Peltarion, found that 83 per cent of AI decision-makers thought the lack of skills in areas such as data science, machine learning and AI was impacting their business’ ability to compete in the market; with 49 per cent saying it is causing projects to be delayed.
Posted: 06/02/2020
The European Central Bank (ECB) is teaming up with the Reply digital network to run a coding marathon focussed on the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in supervisory functions.The ‘supervisory data hackathon’, a 48-hour event later this month, will bring together more than 80 specialists from the ECB Reply’s network of companies to develop projects focussed on data quality, interlinkages in supervisory reporting and risk indicators.
Posted: 06/02/2020
Financial services firms are trying to build the firm of the future, but their lack of progress is stoking deep scepticism among investors, according to Oliver Wyman’s annual State of the Financial Services Industry report. Only 25 per cent of investors surveyed were confident that firms’ digital transformation strategies will be effective, and less than one per cent believed the plans were both clear and credible.
Posted: 06/02/2020
More than four in 10 employees in the UK believe their job will disappear in the next five years because of technology, according to new research. Spend management firm Compleat Software commissioned Sapio Research to survey 763 office workers and 250 finance workers late last year, finding that manufacturing and production workers (80 per cent), those in the medical profession (52 per cent) and accounting and finance staff (45 per cent) were the most fearful that their current job will cease to exist in its current form over the next half decade.
Posted: 06/02/20
Starling Bank has expanded its business marketplace with the introduction of three new partners – Molo, Underpinned and PayStream. The trio of new partners take the total number of integrations available in the bank’s marketplace to 24, all of which link with customers’ accounts and data, and are accessible via Starling’s banking app.
Posted: 05/02/20
Pay.UK has launched a consultation into the clearing and settlement capability of the New Payments Architecture (NPA). It will focus on the payments authority’s recommended approach to use the global standard ISO 20022 for the clearing and settlement infrastructure of the NPA, which will change the way that all UK retail payments are processed.
Posted: 05/02/2020
NatWest has appointed Julie Ashmore as chief executive of its digital overdraft alternative Rapid Cash, in a bid to accelerate growth of its working capital venture throughout 2020. Ashmore joins from Growth Street, where she was commercial director for the peer-to-peer lender. Prior to this, she was head of SME lending at HSBC, has over 30 years’ experience working within the small business banking market, and has also run her own consultancy and coaching business.
Posted: 05/02/20
The European Investment Bank has agreed €20 million debt agreement with money transfer service Azimo. The financing is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.
Posted: 04/02/20
Lending by UK challenger banks has doubled in the last five years to reach a record of £115 billion. Data from accountancy firm BDO suggested that a wave of challenger banks, such as OakNorth and Starling, have filled the gap left in the market after the credit crunch, particularly targeting under-served market segments like small businesses.
Posted: 04/02/2020
Goldman Sachs is in advanced talks with Amazon to offer business loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on its lending platform.The Financial Times reported that the tie-up could launch to US customers as soon as March, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Posted: 04/02/2020
Glasgow-based RegTech firm Encompass has received a £1.97 million research and development grant from Scottish Enterprise to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) platform. The AI development will help Encompass’ financial services customers quickly and accurately find risk relevant information about their organisations and investments, from a wide-ranging pool of data.
Posted: 04/02/20
Worldline has agreed to acquire Ingenico for €7.8 billion, in a deal that will create the fourth largest payments services firm in the world. The companies, both headquartered in France, have agreed to merge their businesses in order to continue growing their payments ecosystem and consolidate Worldline’s revenues of €5.3 billion and Ingenico’s €1.2 billion in 2019.
Posted: 03/02/2020
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm Rimilia has secured $15 million in growth funding, with participation from investors Eight Roads Ventures, Kennet Partners and Silicon Valley Bank. The latest investment brings the total amount raised by the UK-based FinTech to $40 million. This new capital will be used to drive continued product innovation, invest in new talent and fuel the company’s global expansion.
Posted: 03/02/20
Nationwide is trialling ‘smart posters’ which enable the public to donate to homeless people when visiting the cash machine. Made possible by embedded contactless technology, the pilot project is live in Bath, Somerset. The default payment is set at £3, but people can tap multiple times should they wish to give more.
Posted: 31/01/20
Total new worldwide funding commitments to the InsurTech sector in 2019 were $6.37 billion - 33.9 per cent of the historical total - following a record-breaking $1.99 billion of investment in 75 projects during the fourth quarter. This was according to the latest Quarterly InsurTech Briefing from Willis Towers Watson, which found that eight ‘unicorn making’ rounds of investment took place during 2019, creating five new privately held startups valued at over $1 billion, of only 10 InsurTechs globally that have reached this threshold. Last year also saw a 90 per cent jump in investment rounds that exceeded $40 million.
Posted: 31/01/20
Investment in the UK’s FinTech sector jumped 38 per cent last year as London’s FinTechs clinched second place in the global ranking for venture capital (VC) funding, despite Brexit-related uncertainty. According to Innovate Finance’s annual FinTech Investment Landscape report, the UK’s thriving FinTech sector attracted a record $4.9 billion capital in 2019, up from $3.6 billion the previous year.
Posted: 26/09/2020
If financial advisers don’t start securing customer communication channels, then the regulator is likely to make an example of them, according to experts. Speaking at the Empowering Advice Through Technology conference yesterday, Origo Services managing director Anthony Rafferty pointed out that more than half of the Financial Conduct Authority’s most recent Business Plan for the industry made reference to cyber security measures.
Posted: 31/01/20
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has said the company is planning new tools for commerce and payments in 2020, as well as a new computing platform featuring augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). The social media giant’s quarterly results revealed that more than 2.9 billion people and more than 140 billion small businesses worldwide are now using Facebook’s platforms, including the WhatsApp and Instagram social media networks.
Posted: 30/01/2020
Lloyds Banking Group has announced plans to close 56 branches across the UK by the end of this year.It will shutter 31 Lloyds, 10 Halifax and 15 Bank of Scotland branches between April and October 2020.These are the first closures to be announced since August 2019, and are expected to result in fewer than 80 job losses. Many branch staff will be redeployed into other branches.
Posted: 30/01/2020
Pleo has signed partnerships with JPMorgan and Mastercard as it looks to re-focus on corporate credit cards for small businesses. The Copenhagen-based FinTech, founded in 2015, initially specialised in pre-paid company spending cards. Its smart expenses card catches receipts on the go, automatically categorises expenses based on previous behaviour and eliminates the need to do manual expense reports.
Posted: 30/01/2020
Barclays has announced the 10 FinTech startups to join its 2020 accelerator programme.
The seventh edition of the programme, powered by the Techstars network, features startups spanning sectors including data science, InsurTech, asset finance, enterprise software, small business finance, PropTech, the gig economy and consumer protection.
Posted: 29/01/2020
Temenos has signed a strategic partnership with Google Cloud to help financial services organisations run mission-critical banking software and applications. The two companies began collaborating last year to integrate Temenos’ cloud-agnostic software into Google Cloud and have already worked with several joint banking customers in Europe and Asia.
Posted: 29/01/20
NatWest has teamed up with security firm G4S to launch an automated account crediting system linked to a physical safe. The on-site cash deposit system allows business customers’ accounts to be credited daily with their cash takings, without the need to leave their business to visit a branch.
Posted: 29/01/2020
New research has revealed that 77 per cent of cyber security decision-makers in financial services are concerned about the threat deepfakes pose to their industry, but just 28 per cent have implemented measures to combat such a threat. Biometric authentication firm iProov polled over 100 experts responsible for overseeing cyber security operations in financial services firms, finding that just under half (43 per cent) cited deepfakes as the tactic most likely to compromise facial authentication defences.
Posted: 29/01/20
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has urged the government to develop a new public data trust facility for financial services and a digital platform for self-employed workers. A new report from the thinktank has also prompted the Local Government Association (LGA) to highlight the role of local councils in fostering digital inclusion.
Posted: 29/01/20
A new independent global network to digitise and modernise the $18 trillion trade finance market has been launched. It follows a series of live pilots in 14 countries and a global trial with more than 50 banks and corporates, which reduced processing times for Letters of Credit by over 90 per cent, from five to 10 days to under 24 hours.
Posted: 28/01/20
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has launched a consultation for view on the competition issues that could emerge in the UK’s New Payments Architecture (NPA).The NPA is the UK payments industry’s proposed new way of organising the clearing and settlement of payments between banks, known as interbank payments. 
Posted: 28/01/2020
A review commissioned by HM Treasury has found that the UK’s financial services sector will lose out in the war for talent with rival global centres and BigTech companies if it does not act now to tackle the skills crisis.The Financial Services Skills Taskforce, chaired by former City minister Mark Hoban, and convened by TheCityUK, found that changes in the workplace due to technological and demographic shifts demand a new approach if London is to retain top graduates an survive the wave of tech-centred disruption.
Posted: 28/01/2020
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.
Posted: 27/01/20
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.
Posted: 27/01/20
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.
Posted: 27/01/2020
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.
Posted: 27/01/20
OakNorth has today appointed former chancellor Philip 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.
Posted: 27/01/20
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.
Posted: 24/01/20
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.
Posted: 24/01/20
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.
Posted: 24/01/2020
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.
Posted: 24/01/20
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.
Posted: 24/01/20
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.
Posted: 23/01/20
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.
Posted: 23/01/20
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).
Posted: 23/01/2020
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.
Posted: 23/01/20
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.
Posted: 23/01/20
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.
Posted: 23/01/2020
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.
Posted: 22/01/2020
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.
Posted: 22/01/20
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.
Posted: 22/01/20
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.
Posted: 22/01/20
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.
Posted: 21/01/20
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.
Posted: 21/01/2020
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.
Posted: 21/01/20
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.
Posted: 21/01/20
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.
Posted: 21/01/20
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.
Posted: 21/01/2020
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.
Posted: 21/01/2020
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.
Posted: 21/01/20
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.
Posted: 20/01/20
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.
Posted: 20/01/20
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.
Posted: 20/01/2020
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.
Posted: 20/01/20
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.
Posted: 20/01/20
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.
Posted: 17/01/2020
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.
Posted: 17/01/2020
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.
Posted: 16/01/2020
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.
Posted: 16/01/2020
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.
Posted: 16/01/2020
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.
Posted: 15/01/2020
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.
Posted: 15/01/2020
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.
Posted: 15/01/2020
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.
Posted: 15/01/2020
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.
Posted: 14/01/2020
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.
Posted: 14/01/2020
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.
Posted: 14/01/2020
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.
Posted: 13/01/2020
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.
Posted: 13/01/2020
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.
Posted: 13/01/2020
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.
Posted: 13/01/2020
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.
Posted: 10/01/2020
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.
Posted: 10/01/2020
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.
Posted: 10/01/20
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.
Posted: 09/01/2020
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.
Posted: 09/01/20
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.
Posted: 09/01/2020
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.
Posted: 08/01/2020
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.”
Posted: 08/01/20
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.
Posted: 08/01/2020
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.
Posted: 08/01/20
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.
Posted: 08/01/20
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.
Posted: 07/01/20
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.
Posted: 07/01/20
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).
Posted: 07/01/20
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.
Posted: 07/01/20
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.
Posted: 06/01/20
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.
Posted: 06/01/2020
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.
Posted: 06/01/20
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.
Posted: 03/01/20
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.
Posted: 03/01/20
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.
Posted: 02/01/20
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.
Posted: 02/01/20
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.
Posted: 02/01/20
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.
Posted: 02/01/20
With 2019 nearly over, we crunched the numbers and can bring you a round-up of FStech’s most popular stories of the year.
Posted: 23/12/19
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.
Posted: 23/12/19
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."
Posted: 20/12/19
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.
Posted: 20/12/19
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.
Posted: 20/12/19
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.
Posted: 19/12/19
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.
Posted: 19/12/19
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.
Posted: 19/12/19
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.
Posted: 19/12/19
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.
Posted: 18/12/19
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.
Posted: 18/12/19
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.
Posted: 18/12/19
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.
Posted: 18/12/19
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.
Posted: 17/12/19
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.
Posted: 17/12/19
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.
Posted: 17/12/19
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.
Posted: 17/12/19
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.
Posted: 16/12/2019
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.
Posted: 16/12/2019
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.
Posted: 16/12/19
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.
Posted: 13/12/19
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.
Posted: 13/12/19
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".
Posted: 13/12/19
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.
Posted: 13/12/19
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.
Posted: 13/12/19
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.
Posted: 12/12/19
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.
Posted: 12/12/2019
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.
Posted: 12/12/2019
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.
Posted: 12/12/19
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.
Posted: 12/12/19
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.
Posted: 11/12/19
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.
Posted: 11/12/2019
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.
Posted: 11/12/19
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.
Posted: 11/12/2019
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.
Posted: 10/12/19
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.
Posted: 10/12/19
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.
Posted: 10/12/19
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).
Posted: 10/12/19
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.
Posted: 09/12/19
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.
Posted: 09/12/19
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.
Posted: 09/12/19
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.
Posted: 09/12/19
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.
Posted: 09/12/19
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”.
Posted: 06/12/19
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.
Posted: 06/12/19
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.
Posted: 06/12/19
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.
Posted: 05/12/19
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.
Posted: 05/12/19
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.
Posted: 05/12/19
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.
Posted: 05/12/2019
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.
Posted: 05/12/19
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.
Posted: 05/12/19
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).
Posted: 04/12/19
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.
Posted: 04/12/19
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.
Posted: 04/12/19
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.
Posted: 04/12/19
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.
Posted: 03/12/19
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.
Posted: 03/12/19
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.
Posted: 03/12/19
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.
Posted: 02/12/19
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.
Posted: 02/12/19
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.
Posted: 12/11/19
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.
Posted: 02/12/19
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.
Posted: 29/11/19
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.
Posted: 29/11/19
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”.
Posted: 29/11/19
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.
Posted: 28/11/19
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.
Posted: 28/11/19
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.
Posted: 28/11/19
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.
Posted: 28/11/19
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.
Posted: 27/11/19
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.
Posted: 27/11/19
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.
Posted: 27/11/19
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.
Posted: 27/11/19
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.
Posted: 27/11/19
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.
Posted: 26/11/19
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.
Posted: 26/11/19
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.
Posted: 26/11/19
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.
Posted: 25/11/19
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.
Posted: 25/11/19
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.
Posted: 25/11/19
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.
Posted: 25/11/19
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.
Posted: 25/11/19
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.
Posted: 22/11/19
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.
Posted: 22/11/19
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.
Posted: 22/11/19
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.
Posted: 22/11/19
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.
Posted: 22/11/19
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.
Posted: 22/11/19
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.
Posted: 21/11/19
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.
Posted: 21/11/19
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.
Posted: 21/11/19
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.
Posted: 21/11/19
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.
Posted: 21/11/19
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.
Posted: 21/11/19
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.
Posted: 21/11/2019
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.
Posted: 19/11/2019
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.
Posted: 19/11/19
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.
Posted: 19/11/19
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.
Posted: 19/11/2019
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.
Posted: 19/11/19
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.
Posted: 19/11/2019
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.
Posted: 19/11/2019
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.
Posted: 18/11/19
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.
Posted: 18/11/19
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.
Posted: 18/11/19
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.
Posted: 18/11/19
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.
Posted: 15/11/19
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.
Posted: 15/11/19
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.
Posted: 15/11/19
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.
Posted: 15/11/19
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.
Posted: 14/11/19
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.
Posted: 14/11/19
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.
Posted: 14/11/19
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.
Posted: 14/11/19
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.
Posted: 14/11/19
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.”
Posted: 12/11/19
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.
Posted: 12/11/19
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’.
Posted: 12/11/19
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.
Posted: 12/11/2019
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.
Posted: 12/11/19
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.
Posted: 12/11/2019
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.
Posted: 11/11/2019
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.
Posted: 11/11/19
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.
Posted: 11/11/2019
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.
Posted: 11/11/19
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.
Posted: 08/11/19
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.
Posted: 08/11/19
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.
Posted: 07/11/2019
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.
Posted: 07/11/19
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.
Posted: 07/11/2019
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.
Posted: 07/11/19
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.
Posted: 06/11/2019
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.
Posted: 06/11/19
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.
Posted: 06/11/2019
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.
Posted: 06/11/19
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.
Posted: 06/11/19
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).
Posted: 06/11/2019
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.
Posted: 05/11/19
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.
Posted: 05/11/19
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.
Posted: 05/11/19
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.
Posted: 05/11/19
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.
Posted: 04/11/19
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.
Posted: 04/11/2019
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.
Posted: 04/11/2019
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.
Posted: 04/11/19
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.
Posted: 01/11/2019
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.
Posted: 01/11/2019
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.
Posted: 01/11/19
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.
Posted: 01/10/19
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.
Posted: 31/10/2019
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”.
Posted: 31/10/19
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.
Posted: 31/10/2019
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.
Posted: 30/10/2019
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.
Posted: 30/10/2019
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.
Posted: 30/10/19
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.
Posted: 30/10/19
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.
Posted: 30/10/19
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.
Posted: 29/10/19
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.
Posted: 29/10/19
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.
Posted: 28/10/19
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.
Posted: 28/10/19
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.
Posted: 28/10/19
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.
Posted: 25/10/19
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.
Posted: 25/10/2019
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.
Posted: 25/10/2019
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.
Posted: 25/10/19
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