Revolut Business has launched a set of new spend management tools in the UK, US, and EEA.
Lloyds Bank is rolling out new tech to make it easier for its customers to use asset finance to manage working capital. The bank has partnered with software business Alfa, which is supplying the technology.
SWIFT is collaborating with Capgemini to explore the interlinking of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). SWIFT, the global payments infrastructure network, concluded a first set of CBDC experiments in 2021 which demonstrated they could successfully conduct a cross-border transaction between one entity on a DLT-based CBDC network and a second operating on a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system.
Zopa Bank is partnering with Open Banking platform TrueLayer to provide account-to-account payments for savers.The challenger bank has collaborated with TrueLayer to launch the feature for its Smart Saver savings account.
London-headquartered FinTech Previse has raised $18 million of new capital.
Open Banking platform Yapily is partnering with B2B Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) start-up Two.
UK-based FinTech lender Creditspring has announced a £48 million funding round. The company has a credit subscription service and offers loans for short term credit.
Klarna has announced it is cutting its workforce by 10 per cent in response to a “volatile economic environment”.
UBS has announced a purely digital product line for clients who want to carry out their banking transactions from their smartphone as part of long-term plans to digitize the bank’s entire offering.The Swiss banking giant said that UBS key4 is integrated into the UBS mobile banking app and will now become the general gateway to digital banking services.
HSBC has reportedly suspended one of its senior executives over comments he made about climate change at an event last week.
Allica Bank saw SME lending increase twelvefold to £560 million last year. The bank is focused on providing credit and payment services to established, growing SMEs.
The governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, has said that he wants more staff to return to the office. During an interview on podcast Jimmy’s Jobs of the Future, the governor said he was worried that new staff members will struggle to gain new skills with seasoned staff members working from home.
Closing bank branches can have a devastating effect on communities and local businesses. According to a running tally by Which magazine, around 4,000 local branch banks have closed since 2015 to date, at a rate of around 50 per month. In a bid to change this trend and maintain financial inclusion, tech firm OneBanks is harnessing the power of Open Banking.
Less than two thirds (60 per cent) of UK banking customers feel their personal data is safe with their financial services provider, according to new research from NetApp.The survey of 1,200 consumers across the UK, Germany, France and Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands for the cloud data services provider found that while 78 per cent of UK customers felt their money is safe with their bank, fewer feel the same about their personal data.
Ripple is committing $100 million to carbon markets with the aim of accelerating development of carbon removal technology and climate-focussed FinTechs.The enterprise blockchain and crypto exchange giant said the funding will target innovative carbon removal companies and help to modernise carbon markets.
UK-based investment banks operating in the European Union should have more staff based in the bloc to avoid “empty shells” at trading desks, the European Central Bank (ECB) has said.
Nationwide Building Society is building a culture of ‘mission collectives’ covering functions from frontline to technology in order to transform the customer experience. Speaking at the RBR conference on Self-Service and Digital Banking in London this morning, Paul Riseborough, managing director for hassle free money at Nationwide, told audiences the building society is adopting the ‘mission’-centric approach as a way of uniting different parts of the business to enable a connected experience for customers (known as ‘members’).
Deutsche Bank has announced that from July it will make vendor sustainability ratings mandatory.
The FCA has been handed new powers to protect access to cash for consumers across the UK.Under the upcoming Financial Services and Markets Bill, the government is for the first time handing regulatory powers to the FCA to ensure that the UK’s largest banks and building societies maintain availability of withdrawal and deposit facilities in local communities.
Google has admitted that its decision to only host adverts for financial services products from FCA approved firms has impacted its revenue.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is to use new powers to speed up cancellation or removal of firms that do not use their regulatory permissions.The new powers, launched as part of the regulator’s ‘use it or lose it’ initiative, will require businesses to prove they are carrying out the regulated activities they are permitted to or face losing this permission.
FinTech The Credit Thing has partnered with TrueLayer to launch the first Variable Recurring Payments (VRP) for consumers in the UK. TrueLayer, an Open Banking platform, and The Credit Thing have worked together to implement a recurring payments API, which successfully processed the first consumer VRP transaction through HSBC.
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has agreed to acquire a market data solutions provider for an undisclosed fee. MayStreet provides global low latency technology and market data to over 65 industry participants including banks, asset managers, and hedge funds.
Embedded payments platform Modulr has announced a new £83 million series C funding round. The company’s technology enables businesses to build payments into their platforms without needing to become regulated.
Payments company Mollie has announced a new partnership with Dutch Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) business in3. The partnership will give Mollie customers located in the Netherlands access to in3’s BNPL payment method.
Volt has launched a new product designed to help merchants save on debit card fees by offering customers a seamless switch to an Open Banking payment after selecting to pay with a debit card at checkout. The product, called Transformer, uses bank identification lookup technology and prompts customers to pay in real time directly from their bank accounts.
Almost nine in 10 British consumers say they would abandon a purchase if faced with friction when paying, according to research from Open Banking platform Tink.
UK cloud banking FinTech Thought Machine has closed its series D funding round with a valuation of $2.7 billion.
Mastercard is launching the same biometrics tech used to unlock phones to verify consumers in-store and online checkout.
Japan’s Nomura Holdings is creating a new digital asset company offering institutional clients a comprehensive range of trading, investor products, and investment services. Launching later this year, the new company will operate as a wholly owned segregated entity of NHI and will offer institutional clients products and services related to cryptocurrency, stablecoins, decentralised finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other tokens.
Business banking platform Tide and Sage, the accounting and enterprise software firm, are partnering to launch an end-to-end accounting and tax solution for small business customers.
Tide Accounting will be offered to Tide members for automated accounting and bookkeeping services integrated with their business bank account. The solution will help these businesses to stay compliant and avoid penalties.
Zilch, the UK-based Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider is launching into the US market.The FinTech, which will base its US operations out of a new headquarters in Miami, is launching with over 150,000 pre-registered customers, the company said.
BNP Paribas has signed an agreement with China’s Ant Group on a bilateral sustainability linked credit facility arrangement that will support Ant Group in implementing its ESG strategy and carbon neutrality roadmap. Under the terms of the agreement, the French banking giant will offer revolving credit lines to Ant Group that come with a “two-way interest rate adjustment mechanism” tied to a number of the Company’s SPTs (Sustainability Performance Targets).
Revolut has reported a 215 per cent in so-called ‘silver swipers’ - users aged 55 and over- in a sign that digital banking adoption is growing across the generations.The challenger bank said that since the start of the pandemic in 2020, it has seen an increase of over 215 per cent in the number of UK users aged between 55 and 74.
Leading economists have warned the government that plans to cut City regulation could risk another financial crash.The Guardian newspaper reported that 58 economists, including former Liberal Democrat business minister Vince Cable, have signed an open letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak in response to measures proposed in the Financial Services and Markets Bill.
Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin by market capitalisation, has returned to parity with the US dollar. Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency designed to remain the same value as another asset, in Tether’s case the US dollar.
Digital wealth manager Moneybox has raised £6.25 million its second crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. Over the three days, more than 15,000 people invested in the company, in what is Crowdcube’s most popular crowdfunding campaign of the year so far.
Token.io, the Open Banking payments platform, has raised $40 million in a Series C funding round co-led by Cota Capital and TempoCap. Element Ventures, MissionOG, PostFinnce and existing investors Octopus Ventures also participated in the latest funding round, with Torch Partners advising on the financing.
FintechOS has launched a new offering to allow traditional institutions to create, customise and roll-out their own buy now, pay later (BNPL) products.The open and low-code offering means that teams at financial institutions can build and edit BNPL and embedded lending products, customer journey and business automation logic in “a single orchestration”, said the systems provider.
Chainalysis has finalised a $170 million Series F funding round, bringing the Blockchain platform's valuation to $8.6 billion.The round was led by GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund. Previous investors Accel, Blackstone, Dragoneer and FundersClub increased their investment in the company, and the Bank of New York Mellon and Emergence Capital participated in the round too.
Santander has successfully migrated 80 per cent of its IT infrastructure to the cloud, making it one of the largest banks in the world to have digitalized its core banking systems.The Spanish banking giant said the cloud migration and digitalization project, enabled by Gravity, a software developed in-house, would help the organisation become “digital-native” within the next 2-3 years.
Klarna has announced a new worldwide hybrid working policy, saying that the past two years had “proven” significant growth and success can be achieved with flexible working.The policy gives employees the option to work remotely within their country of employment, or state/province in the US and Canada, as well as from the office.
BVNK, the crypto-powered payments platform for businesses, has secured a $40m series A funding round to help expand into new markets.“The investment will fuel our launch into new markets, including the US, accelerate our acquisition of regulatory licences and support the expansion of product capabilities,” said BVNK.
BBVA has seen an 81 per cent surge in customer acquisition across digital channels, as the Spanish bank reported first net attributable profits of € 1.65 billion in the first quarter - the best recurring result in the bank’s history. In its first quarter report BBVA reported a record increase of 2.4 million new customers by the end of March 2022, bringing their total customer base to 43.6 million, up 36 per cent from March 2020.
Starling bank has doubled headcount at its office in Cardiff as the challenger bank continues its growth strategy. Employee numbers stand at 868 in the Welsh capital city, a 117 per cent increase from 2020.
Cloud-based payments provider Checkout.com is acquiring French digital identity verification startup ubble.The deal will enable Checkout.com to better support the payment journey, by ensuring merchants and FinTechs are compliant with local regulations, can verify that their customers are who they say they are, and can stay ahead of changes to the EU and global regulatory landscape in the future.
Google is collaborating with Mastercard, Visa and American Express to launch Google Wallet, which will store virtual card numbers on Chrome and Android. Starting this summer, Google will roll out the virtual cards feature to help users in 40 countries safely store numbers for payment cards.
Tumelo has announced the completion of a $19 million funding round. Tumelo is an impact-focused financial tech firm aiming to provide retail investors and pension members with a more sustainable investment system. It uses a white-label software delivered via APIs or a user dashboard.
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has called for transparency and a holistic approach to the international financial system amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Metro Bank has launched the second edition of its start-up collaboration programme, Metro Bank Magic Makers, once again in collaboration with investment company L Marks. In 2021, solutions from the three chosen start-up companies - Surfly, Solidatus and Poly AI - succeeded in evolving Metro Bank’s customer experience provision and the bank’s operational efficiency.
The government has announced a new law that will repeal existing regulation of the UK’s financial services in the first major shift for the industry following Brexit. Rishi Sunak is putting forward a new Financial Services and Markets Bill, announced in the Queen’s speech on Tuesday, with the aim of “cutting red tape” in the sector.
South Africa’s largest digital bank, Capitec Bank, has partnered with cloud banking company nCino, to develop the bank’s business banking loan management system. Capitec’s said the deal with nCino will help them to build a system offering simplicity and efficiency.
Provenir, the risk decisioning software for the FinTech industry, has joined Visa’s buy now, pay later (BNPL) programme.
E-commerce payments firm Adyen is deepening its partnership with Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider Afterpay to include local acquiring in markets including the UK and Europe.As a result of the move, Afterpay, which is known as Clearpay in UK and European markets, will be able to process payments for Adyen’s retail clients in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US.
HCL Technologies UK has announced it is buying Switzerland-based digital banking and wealth management consulting business Confinale. The tech company said the move is part of plans to expand its footprint in the global wealth management market.
Open Banking platform Yapily is set to acquire finAPI, German Open Banking solutions provider finAPI in a deal set to make Yapily the largest Open Banking platform in Europe. The deal, which has been made in agreement with credit bureau Schufa Holding AG (SCHUFA), will double Yapily’s user base, with the addition of well-established finAPI clients including over 50 large enterprise firms across the financial, insurance, and IT sectors.
IBM has advised EU legislators against being overly prescriptive in the upcoming negotiations between the EU parliament and council over the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) for banks and financial services. The meeting on 10 May aims to set EU standards for online defences within the financial sector.
British sunseekers and staycationers are being urged to take care when booking a break this summer, with scams linked to holidays increasing by a third (33 per cent) over the last year, according to analysis from Lloyds Bank. According to scams reported to the bank, fraud relating to flight bookings was up by 13 per cent in the 12 months to March 2022. The average amount lost to a flight scam was £2,955.
Mastercard has teamed up with Enterprise Nation to launch a new app aimed at helping micro and small businesses across the UK make business plans from their smartphones. The programme, supported by Strive UK, is an initiative from the Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth that aims to empower 650,000 micro and small businesses succeed in the digital economy over the next three years.
Payments platform Paysafe has sealed a global partnership with gambling technology provider Playtech. The agreement is the extension of an existing partnership between the two companies into the UK and Europe from the US, where Playtech offers Paysafe’s solutions to its iGaming operator customers.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has told lenders and brokers they could face regulatory action if they don’t stop using misleading terms in their credit ads.
UK-based core banking platform provider SaaScada has announced a £2.5 million seed funding round. The investment comes from more than ten companies, including organisations from the banking and private investment sectors.
Central bank collective the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has called for a new governance system that gives consumers and companies more control over data shared with banks and social media platforms.
Block Inc, the FinTech led by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, has reported $1.29 billion in gross profit in the first quarter of 2022, up 34 per cent on a year-on-year basis. The California-based firm, which formerly operated as Square, saw its share price jump 10 per cent after it confirmed a strong set of results.
The global cryptocurrency market is projected to reach a value of $4.9 billion by 2030, according to a report by Allied Market Research. In line with this rapidly growing market, banks across the globe are continuing to investigate how Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) could help to meet the needs of their increasingly digitally savvy customers.
The UK’s financial watchdog has announced the launch of its ‘ScamSmart’ campaign, designed to raise awareness about “increasingly sophisticated” investment scam tactics.
UK buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Zilch has joined the Financial Technology Association (FTA) ahead of its launch in the US. Zilch provides an Over the Top (OTT) BNPL product that allows its customers to spread their payment over six weeks for zero interest and zero fees.
Nearly 20 per cent of Barclays shareholders have voted against its climate strategy for 2022. The bank said that while it notes that a fifth of investors rejected its climate targets, there has been “extensive engagement” with stakeholders around the issue over the past year.
Citi is launching Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Instant Payments in Europe.The move is the latest step in the bank’s effort to increase its global Instant Payments offering.
John Lewis is relaunching its rewards-based credit card with NewDay, ending its existing partnership with HSBC.
NatWest Group is introducing Variable Recurring Payments (VRP) as a payment option for businesses and consumers, after signing deals with three payment providers.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has hired three new people to join its senior leadership team.
Klarna will begin reporting customer debts to credit agencies in the UK from next month, which could have an impact on customer credit ratings. From 1 June, 2022, the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) giant will report UK consumer purchases paid on time, late payments and unpaid purchases for Pay in 30 and Pay in 3 orders to Experian and TransUnion.
Plaid has added three new European partnerships to its network – Primer, UniPaas, and NoFrixion. The Open Finance data network and payments platform said that additional partners mean more vendors and merchants can access Open Banking.
The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to bolster its unit responsible for protecting investors in crypto markets from cyber-related threats. Twenty additional positions – almost doubling the current provision -- will be allocated to the newly renamed Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit (formerly the Cyber Unit) in the Division of Enforcement, growing the unit to 50 positions.
Paysafe is extending its partnership with Visa to incorporate the company’s real-time push payments platform. The specialised payments platform said that the real-time technology is particularly well suited to cryptocurrency, FX trading, and iGaming, where speed of settlement is key.
The European Commission has claimed that Apple is abusing its dominance in the market for mobile wallets on iOS devices. According to the governing body, there is evidence that the company has restricted third-party access to key technology needed to develop rival mobile wallet solutions.
Aviva is using artificial intelligence (AI) to boost the accuracy and efficiency of UK motor claims. The insurance business has teamed up with UK tech unicorn Tractable, which develops visual AI to calculate repair costs for damaged homes and cars by using photos.
The UK’s Current Account Switch Service has completed over eight million switches since its launch and redirected over 120 million payments. Between January and March of this year, there was an uplift in switching to 196,964 compared to 138,964 switches during the same period of 2021.
Visa is partnering with RegTech provider W2 to provide compliance solutions and tools for UK business card holders. Under the terms of the partnership, W2 will provide regulatory compliance software including Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) solutions through a single access point.
NatWest has reported a 40 per cent rise in pre-tax profits for the first quarter of 2022.The banking group, which formerly operated as Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), saw pre-tax profits jump to £1.2 billion, up from £885 million for the first three months of 2021, beating analyst expectations.
SWIFT has announced that it will let financial institutions connect to its network through a number of public cloud providers. Cloud suppliers allowed on the network include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft.
Open Banking platform Tink is expanding its payment services to five new markets in Europe. Its Payment Initiation Services (PIS) product is now live in the Netherlands, Norway, Estonia, Finland and Latvia.
Barclays has recorded a profit decline of £300 million in the first quarter of the year. The bank said that it is suspending its share buyback programme with the intention to relaunch it “as soon as practicable”.
The government has announced the launch of a new 'fraud squad' to crack down on criminal gangs involved in stealing taxpayer money. The £25 million central government taskforce, based in the Cabinet Office, will be made up of analytics experts and crime investigators and is set to be operational by the summer.
The global FinTech industry has experienced a 182 per cent hike in tech job growth during the first quarter of the year, but the industry might struggle to fill new vacancies.
Starling Bank has completed an internal fundraise of £130.5 million, which has raised the company’s pre-money valuation to more than £2.5 billion.The fundraising round included existing investors Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, Harold McPike, RPMI Railpen and Qatar Investment Authority.
Stripe is partnering with digital consultancy Mobiquity with the aim of building frictionless payment experiences for global businesses. Under the terms of the tie-up, Mobiquity, which designs digital products and services for some of the world’s largest brands, will work with payments and financial infrastructure company Stripe to build a holistic payments platform with a personalised user experience.
Pre-tax profits at HSBC were down by $1.6 billion to $4.2 billion in the first quarter of the year. The bank said that the profit decline reflected a net charge for expected credit losses and other credit impairment charges (ECL) compared to a net release during the same period of last year, as well as lower revenue.
Open Banking platform TrueLayer has unveiled its variable recurring payments (VRP) API. The API is intended for “sweeping” and “non-sweeping” to help change the way customers make and manage e-commerce payments, subscriptions, utility bills and other items.
Trust in financial advisers has reached an “all-time high”, according to CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals.The annual Enhancing Investors’ Trust study covering 15 markets, including the UK, measures trust levels among retail and institutional investors. The CFA Institute commissioned research among 3,588 retail investors and 976 institutional investors.
Santander has reported a 58 per cent rise in attributable profit to €2.5 billion for the first quarter of 2022, buoyed by resilience in its European businesses.The Spanish banking giant said that underlying profit increased by 19 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2021, supported by growing customer revenues and efficiencies.
Mastercard has launched an identity technology which aims to improve the e-commerce experience and tackle fraud. Microsoft has be named as its first partner for the solution.
Twitter creators can now have their earnings paid into a cryptocurrency wallet through Stripe. The payments giant said it is trialling a new crypto payout service on the social media platform, which already uses its Connect to pay feature to pay creators their earnings from Twitter’s monetisation products, including Ticketed Spaces and Super Follows.
Irish RegTech unicorn Fenergo has acquired Sentinels, an anti-money laundering (AML) transaction monitoring specialist using artificial intelligence. Sentinels’ technology is purpose-designed to detect and eliminate criminal transactions “fast and at scale”, it says.
FinTech zenda has secured a $9.4 million seed round and unveiled an app to manage school fees in the MENA region. The company was founded in June 2021 by Raman Thiagarajan and Haseeb Ahmed, alumni of McKinsey & Company, where Thiagarajan led the firm’s financial services practice in the MENA region.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is launching a new campaign to get more businesses to use FinTech. The organisation said that the future for business and government “must feature FinTech to fuel growth”.
Banks are well behind in reaching their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, according to research from global IT services firm Avanade and financial industry body Efma. Their report, entitled “Taking sustainability seriously: Are banks ready?”, highlights how banks and financial institutions are under increasing regulatory pressure to track and monitor their ESG progress.
William Hockey, the co-founder of financial infrastructure company Plaid, has launched FinTech bank Column. He is co-chief executive of the new venture with his wife Annie Hockey, a former private equity investment executive. William Hockey is still on the board of Plaid.
Pay.UK has appointed David Morris to the newly created role of chief technology officer (CTO). The operator of the UK’s national retail payment systems, including Faster Payments, Bacs and Direct Debit, said that Morris will be responsible for “critical technology projects” that underpin the organisation’s long-term strategy.
A review by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that there are weaknesses in some challenger banks’ financial crime controls. The financial watchdog says that challenger banks need to improve how they assess financial crime risk because some are failing to adequately check their customers’ income and occupation.
Incumbent retail banks are still struggling to address changing customer demands, according to research. The World Retail Banking Report 2022, from Capgemini and Efma, says 75 per cent of customers surveyed are attracted to FinTechs’ “fast, easy-to-use products and experiences” that are “readily available while remaining low in cost”.
Santander UK has announced it will reduce branch opening hours in the summer. From 18 July, branches hours will be cut by an hour and a half – from 9.30am-16.30pm to 9.30am-15.00pm.
Stock trading app Robinhood has announced it is buying British cryptocurrency FinTech Ziglu. Ziglu enables UK-based consumers to buy and sell eleven cryptocurrencies and earn yield through its ‘Boost’ products.
Citi is to use recycled PVC (rPVC) for its corporate cards, with the roll-out starting in the EMEA region this month, before being adopted globally in phases.
Monneo has launched a new service which enables online retailers to accept cryptocurrency payments through their websites. The solution converts the crypto payment into its equivalent fiat currency value and then Monneo settles it to the IBAN of the merchant.
Yonder is partnering Open Banking platform Yapily to give better access to credit for the five million adults living in Britain who have little to no credit history or don’t have a UK credit score.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has finalised proposed rules which will require listed companies to disclose against targets on the representation of women and ethnic minorities on their boards and executive management.
TSB has shared an urgent warning to households over what it described as prolific impersonation fraud, which has surged by more than 300 per cent since 2019 according to figures from UK Finance.
Worldwide spend on RegTech will reach over $204 billion by 2026, a study from Juniper Research has found. This means that global RegTech spend will account for more than half of all regulatory compliance spending for the first time, according to the study.
Decentralised credit-based stablecoin business Beanstalk was hacked over the weekend – resulting in $182 million being drained from the its reserves.
Societe Generale has launched its first accelerator programme aimed at supporting payments and transaction banking startups.The French banking group said the programme would focus on startups linked to trade finance, cash management, factoring, cash clearing and correspondent banking activities.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for new policies that ‘proportionately target’ both FinTech firms and traditional banks. Authors of the organisation’s Global Financial Stability Report, Antonio Garcia Pascual, deputy chief in the global markets analysis division at the organisation, and Fabio M. Natalucci, deputy director of the monetary and capital markets department, warned that emerging firms are often taking on more risk than traditional banks.
NatWest Group has formed a new three-year partnership with the University of Edinburgh to facilitate climate education for 16,000 employees across the bank by the end of 2024. The £1.5 million partnership will support relationship managers and other client facing colleagues, as well as the delivery of its Climate Change Transformation training programme for those in “priority roles” who require a broader level of knowledge.
£130 million worth of purchases in the UK - or 664,000 online transactions - have been declined in the four weeks since Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) was implemented, data from Barclaycard Payments has found.
Over a third – 36 per cent – of finance teams say their company has already entered the metaverse, with a further 52 per cent saying they plan to increase their presence, according to research from Sage.
UK financial wellbeing app Wagestream has raised $175 million. The Series C funding round consisted of $60 million in equity investment from Smash Capital and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, as well as $115 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank.
People who are under the age of 35 are more likely than older age groups to be targeted in impersonation scams, according to research from UK Finance.
TrueLayer has launched its closed-loop payments product for businesses in several European countries.The Open Banking platform has gone live with the system in Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Lithuania and the Netherlands.
Crypto exchange Binance has appointed ex-Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) executive Steven McWhirter as its global director of regulatory policy. McWhirter most recently served as the FCA’s manager on data, technology and innovation division for FCA innovate. He contributed to the Kalifa Review into UK FinTech.
Mastercard has partnered with operational resilience business Interos to bring risk monitoring capabilities to financial institutions. The company’s Systemic Risk Assessment is a fully automated platform that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to map and monitor business relationships across global trade.
FinTech group Mode Global Holdings has announced a new partnership with global payroll platform Lano. The move will enable Lano’s customers to pay their UK employees a portion of their salary in Bitcoin.
Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking (TxB) and payment tech provider Form3 have announced a new FX and payments solution. Form3 said its platform will use TxB’s cross-border payments and foreign exchange (FX) execution capabilities.
London-based digital financing platform Stenn has raised $50 million at valuation of $900 million. The equity funding round was led by US investment firm Centerbridge Partners LP.
Bank of England (BoE) FinTech leader Varun Paul is set to join US cryptocurrency firm Fireblocks. Paul was previously Head of the Fintech Hub at the central bank.
Mastercard has opened a new campus-style European technology hub in Dublin. The card provider said that the building enables it to accommodate its headcount target of over 2,000 people in the Irish capital by 2025. The company currently has a workforce of 975 in the city.
The EU has announced the launch of its Digital Finance Platform. The platform, a joint initiative between the European Commission, ESAs, and national competent authorities, is designed to support financial innovation and digital technologies in the European Union.
There are “significantly strong levels” of consumer demand for embedded finance products, according to new research from core banking platform Tuum. The study, which surveyed 2,000 consumers and over 106 IT decision makers in financial services in the UK, highlighted a high demand from consumers for services like insurance and loans as opposed to sourcing separately.
The 10th annual Payments Awards are now open for entries, with a deadline of 8 July to get your company in the running.The black tie gala ceremony will take place on 10 November 2022 at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, and will honour the brightest and best of the payments industry as it continues to grow and evolve at a rapid pace.
Bolt is set to acquire cryptocurrency start-up Wyre for $1.5 billion. Wyre, founded in 2013, provides API infrastructure which enables retailers to accept cryptocurrency as a payment method.
Meta is reportedly planning to launch new digital coins, dubbed ‘Zuck Bucks’, to be used across its apps. According to a report by the Financial Times, the company will also introduce tokens and lending services on its platforms.
The Bank of England quadrupled its data scientist payroll after Covid-19 hit, according to data from a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request from the Parliament Street think tank. Between 2017 and 2021, the bank spent almost £3 million on data scientist and data analyst roles.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a new three-year strategy designed to help “improve outcomes for consumers” and in markets across the UK. The strategy will prioritise resources to prevent serious harm, set higher standards, and promote competition.
Binance US has raised over $200 million in a pre-seed funding round at a valuation of $4.5 billion. Investors in the round included RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital, Original Capital, VanEck, Circle Ventures, Gaingels, and Gold House.
30 per cent of British shoppers plan to use crypto as a form of payment this year, according to research from payments giant Checkout.com.
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has agreed to acquire Global Data Consortium Inc (GDC) as it looks to expand its global range of KYC and digital identity solutions. GDC is a global provider of identity verification data to support clients with Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.
NatWest and Coutts have launched a programme to help entrepreneurs in the Interactive Entertainment (IE) space build and develop their businesses.Starting in June 2022, the six-month accelerator is aimed at e-sports, gaming, social media and streaming entrepreneurs across the UK who have recently started a business or are thinking about forming a company.
HSBC has revealed that it has delivered a new counterparty credit risk (CCR) and derivative valuation adjustment (XVA) engine powered by Google Cloud.The banking giant said that the rollout includes an in-house built analytics library NOLA 2.0.
Mastercard has completed its takeover of McDonald’s personalisation platform Dynamic Yield. The payments provider said the move would strengthen its existing engagement and loyalty services.
NatWest Group has implemented a new SaaS Confirmation of Payee (CoP) solution from Bottomline. The move is part of the bank’s plans to service its Agency Institutions in a bid to tackle authorised push payment fraud (APP) in the UK.
The government has said that stablecoins will be brought into regulation and recognised as a form of payment in the UK. Stablecoins are a type of cryptoasset that are usually pegged to a fiat currency like the dollar and are designed to maintain a stable value.
Digital wealth manager Moneybox has raised £35 million in a Series D funding round. The round was led by Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, a dedicated venture capital team at Fidelity International, alongside existing investors as well as new investor Polar Capital.
Just under a fifth - 18 per cent - of UK adults now own cryptocurrency, according to research from crypto exchange Gemini. Nearly half of these UK adults - 45 per cent - invested in cryptocurrency for the first time in 2021.
The metaverse could be worth between $8 trillion and $13 trillion by 2030, according to new research from Citi. The bank said that total metaverse users could number around five billion by the same year.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said he will ask the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to investigate ways to reform credit card and loan APRs.
Dutch payments business Adyen is expanding its services beyond payments to develop embedded financial products.
Lloyds Banking Group has warned that millions of UK bank account holders are putting themselves at greater risk of fraud by ignoring warnings from the Confirmation of Payee (CoP) service.
Cashless payment firm Dapio has raised $3.4 million.The firm, formerly known as Paymob, was founded in London in 2019 by Kosta Du and Grigory Gurbanov.
The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has set out plans to investigate high card fees and explore ways to encourage more competitive deals for merchants.Setting out its plans for 2022/23, the payments watchdog said that one of its priorities would be increase competition between payment systems, including unlocking the potential of account-to-account payments and encouraging better deals for merchants by comparing and switching advisers.
Employees across bank, building society, and Post Office branches have worked alongside the police to stop £202.8 million of fraud since 2016.
Agricultural banking specialist Oxbury has acquired IT partner Naqoda. Naqoda, founded in 2011, provides a low-code development platform.
Lloyds Banking group is working with ServiceNow’s ‘NextGen Professionals Program’ to find new talent in the industry. NextGen aims to address talent shortages currently faced by companies and help participants secure long-term employment from communities that are typically excluded from the workforce.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has released the findings of its research on attitudes towards digital payments as part of its investigation into a digital euro. The report revealed a “strong preference” for payment methods with pan-European reach and universal acceptance in physical shops and online.
Visa has announced the launch of a new initiative that aims to help digital-first creators build their small businesses through NFTs.
Klarna has launched a new sub-brand and business unit to support its Open Banking platform. The Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) firm said that the new brand, called ‘Klarna Kosma’, provides financial institutions, FinTechs, and merchants with connectivity that allows them to develop the “next generation” of apps and services.
OakNorth Bank experienced a 73 per cent increase in pre-tax profits to £134.5 million last year, up from £77.6 million in 2020. The bank, which specialises in business lending, also reported a 60 per cent hike in new lending to £1.8 billion.
Santander says it has become the first European bank to launch a real-time payments solution enabling customers to make transfers into Brazil in local currency. The new service, which is delivered through the bank’s payments FinTech PagoNxt, will allow instant payments for companies from Europe to Brazil.
Around $600 million of cryptocurrency has been stolen from Ronin Network. Ronin Network is the blockchain which powers online game Axie Infinity, which allows users to trade Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) within a virtual world.
Mastercard is collaborating with cloud banking platform Temenos as part of plans to help banks boost their introduction of Request to Pay services in the UK. Request to Pay is a new method for settling bills which uses a messaging service to enable billers to request payment rather than sending an invoice.
The Bank of England has announced that last month it agreed to collaborate with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a twelve-month research project on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
HSBC has announced it will work with IBM to explore applications for quantum computing in financial services in a new three-year partnership.
The FinTech industry is pushing the UK’s tech ecosystem to record growth, with the country's tech sector now worth a landmark $1 trillion valuation. According to data compiled by Dealroom and analysed for the UK Digital Economy Council the country has become the third in the world ever to reach the landmark valuation of $1 trillion.
Revolut Bank has launched its digital banking operations in Ireland. The move will allow the FinTech’s 1.7 million existing users in Ireland to access protected deposit accounts, which are insured for up to €100,000 per customer.
NatWest is no longer under majority public ownership following a £1.2 billion sale of part of the government’s shareholding back to NatWest.The NatWest Group, which was formerly Royal Bank of Scotland plc, has been under majority public ownership since the UK government stepped in to support banks during the 2008 financial crisis.
The Bank of England has released a new report covering cryptocurrency and decentralised finance (DeFi). The report from the bank’s financial policy committee said that the “direct risks to the stability of the UK financial system from cryptoassets and DeFi are currently limited”.
Digital bank, Chase, has launched a new savings account for UK customers.JP Morgan’s digital bank says the saver account, which is linked to the Chase current account, is offering rates of 1.5 per cent AER.
Experian has partnered with Santander on a new credit card offer for its customers. Customers using its Experian Boost service that have raised their credit score will get a £40 Amazon voucher when taking out a Santander Credit Card through Experian Marketplace.
The Competition and Markets Authority has published a set of recommendations for the future oversight and governance of Open Banking. The regulator said its proposals will form part of the design of a future entity which will succeed the current Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE).
NatWest Group is using technology from Adobe to gain a single view of customer interactions. Across several Adobe platforms, the bank said it will gain insight about its 19 million banking customers across branches and digital channels.
30 of the world’s largest financial institutions have ‘lobbied to weaken key sustainable finance policies’, according to research from think tank InfluenceMap.The study looked to compare the financial sector's stated climate policies and commitments to its climate-relevant financing and policy lobbying activities.
NatWest and Meta have announced a new partnership that will deliver “financial readiness training” and other support to women business owners. The training is part of Meta’s #SheMeansBusiness initiative, which provides digital skills training and opportunities to expand business connections and networks.
Lloyds Banking Group has confirmed plans to close a further 60 branches across the UK as customers continue to switch to online banking. The Group will close 24 Lloyds Bank, 19 Banking of Scotland, and 17 Halifax branches, with a loss of 124 jobs.
Chetwood Financial has acquired core banking provider Yobota as part of plans to extend its Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) capabilities. Yobota is a London-based FinTech that has a cloud-native core banking platform. It is designed to enable companies to create financial products and manage them independently.
Apple has acquired UK FinTech Credit Kudos, according to sources originally reported by The Block. The London-based company uses Open Banking to run credit checks on consumers, competing with established credit reporting firms such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
PayPal has announced it is appointing Archana Deskus as executive vice president and chief information officer (CIO). Deskus joins PayPal from Intel, where she has been senior vice president and chief information officer since 2020.
Innovate Finance, which is the industry body representing the UK financial technology sector, has launched the International FinTech Group (IFG). The organisation said that the move aims to “strengthen the UK’s standing as a global leader in the sector”.
Citi has formed a new partnership with SME funding platform Stenn as part of plans to promote deep tier supplier financing. The bank said it is working with the global FinTech to help “close the financing gap” faced by many international small and medium sized businesses.
Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking is collaborating with ProjectPay to help tackle the issue of late payments in the UK construction market.
Corporate card FinTech Jeeves has hit a $2.1 billion valuation after raising $180 million in a Series C funding round. The company provides a card and expense management platform for businesses.
Global e-commerce payments company Reach has secured a $30 million investment. The round was led by Vistara Growth and includes investment from Bluesky Equities, Tribune Capital, and Rising Tide.
The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has published letters it sent to Barclays and Lloyds Bank which outline a set of breaches to its Retail Banking Market Investigation Order. The UK watchdog said that both banks failed to make continuously available "accurate, comprehensive and up to date information on its products and services" through the Open APIs.
The European Commission-backed European Payments Initiative (EPI), an initiative to create a pan-European payments network to rival Visa and Mastercard, has announced changes to its approach after a number of financial institutions dropped out of its plans.
Goldman Sachs has completed its first over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency derivatives trade. The trade was made in conjunction with New York-based financial technology firm Galaxy Digital, founded by ex-Goldman partner Mike Novogratz.
UK clearing and embedded banking platform ClearBank has announced a £175 million equity investment. The round was led by funds advised by Apax Digital, the growth equity arm of Apax, a global private equity advisory firm.
The value of consumer credit card rewards will exceed $108 billion by 2026, according to research from analyst firm Juniper Research. Juniper said the value of these rewards currently sits at $92 billion.
Mastercard has announced the launch of its business-to-business (b2b) payment service in the UK. HSBC is the first issuer to bring ‘Mastercard Track’ to Britain.
UK InsurTech Ondo, previously known as LeakBot, has listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The firm’s device clips to the internal mains water supply pipe inside a domestic house, which can detect leaks on mains water plumbing systems and update the homeowner on their smartphone.
BNP Paribas Securities Services and CACEIS have announced plans to combine their issuer services into a joint venture.
RegTech business Tintra PLC is building the world’s first bank designed specifically for the metaverse and Web 3.0. While a number of incumbent banks such as HSBC have recently announced moves into the metaverse through platforms such as The Sandbox and Decentraland, Tintra says it is en route to building a purpose-built bank capable of functioning operationally within the digital realm of the metaverse.
HSBC, J.P. Morgan Wealth Management, Monneo, and The Cambridge Building Society were among those to scoop up awards at last’s nights FStech awards ceremony. Now in its 22nd year, the awards, which celebrate the brightest and best of the financial services technology sector, were celebrated with a glitzy gala dinner at the Marriott in London’s Grosvenor Square.
HSBC has announced new measures to achieve its net-zero ambitions after the bank faced backlash from activists and investors.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is set to make a £1.8 billion investment into building out its UK data centre presence over the next two years. The BigTech giant said this will bring AWS’s total investment in the UK to more than double what it is today, benefitting existing customers as well as strengthening the UK’s digital infrastructure.
A new set of laws, which include measures to address social media scams, are to be introduced in parliament today. The government will launch what it describes as a set of "world-first" online safety laws, which will force the biggest tech companies - including Facebook, Instagram, and Google - to prevent paid-for fraudulent adverts featuring on their platforms.
UK neobank Novus has been chosen to join an initiative by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which aims to develop innovative products and services that aid the transition to a net-zero economy.
Blockchain engineering firm ConsenSys has hit a $7 billion valuation in its latest funding round.
The $450 million Series D funding round comes as the New York-based firm said its flagship product MetaMask hit 30 million users in January, a 42 per cent rise compared to November, when MetaMask reported 21 million users.
HSBC has announced it is entering the metaverse through a new partnership with blockchain gaming business The Sandbox. HSBC is to buy a plot of land in The Sandbox metaverse, which will be developed to engage with sports, e-sports, and gaming enthusiasts.
Visa-owned FX and cross-border payments company Currencycloud has announced it is partnering with Moov. Moov is a US-based developer platform focussing on the payment experience.
The average contactless payment has increased by almost 30 per cent since the new £100 limit was introduced, according to data from UK Finance. Card spending data for December 2021 shows that the average amount spent per contactless card transaction rose by almost 30 per cent following the contactless spending limit increase from £45 to £100 in October last year.
HSBC is closing 69 bank branches across the UK. The move means that there will be an average increase of 0.3 miles travel distance to a branch for HSBC UK customers and the average distance to a branch for in-person contact will be four miles.
London-based FinTech Zilch – which says it’s Europe’s fastest-ever company to go from Series A to unicorn status – has announced that it has surpassed two million customers. The company also reported a record number of registrations of over 425,000 new customers in December last year.
UK FinTech Revolut has announced it will offer payment services to all refugees, regardless of nationality, fleeing Ukraine following the Russian invasion. The company said it was easing many of the requirements needed to set up an account to make it easier for those fleeing the war, as well as a number of FX and top up fees.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has clarified the definition of sweeping in a letter to the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE). The move comes after a decision by the authority in July last year to mandate the use of Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs) as the mechanism for implementing sweeping under item A10 of the Open Banking Revised Roadmap.
French bank BNP Paribas has set a target of hiring 1,000 more women to its technology team by 2024.
The bank said that the new hires will come from a mixture of internal and external sources.
HSBC has said it is the first bank in the UK to launch a video call support feature as part of its online advice service. The new feature, called Remote Assisted Digital, will enable customers to complete a booking request through the My Investment Public website page and organise a Zoom appointment.
43,000 transactions worth £3.64 million were declined at the point of sale in February as Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) ramped up throughout the month, according to figures from Barclaycard Payments.
Hargreaves Lansdown has chosen financial technology provider Bottomline to help support its cloud-first payments strategy.The investment and asset management firm will use Bottomline’s cloud-based business payments platform Bottomline PTX as part of the company’s wider digital transformation strategy.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned operators of cryptocurrency ATMs in the UK to shut their machines down or face enforcement action. Cryptocurrency ATMs allow consumers to buy cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum using their debit cards.
UK-headquartered financial app Curve, which combines debit, credit, and loyalty cards into one, has announced its launch in the US.
Starling Bank has warned its customers that more transactions may be declined when new Secure Customer Authentication (SCA) rules come into play next week.
Blockchain and crypto solution business Ripple has announced the first independent creators to receive money for their NFT projects through its Creator Fund.
The Bank of Ireland is set to recruit for 100 tech roles for its in-house tech team. The new hubs are set to be in Swords, Blanchardstown, Santry, Newlands Cross, Gorey, Mullingar, Newbridge, Dundalk, Northern Cross, Balbriggan, and Naas.
At a Bank of England forum held last month – which included some of Britain’s top banks – members largely expressed support for the creation of a “basic but extensible” core platform if a
Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) were to be developed in the UK.
Funding Circle has announced that it is permanently closing its retail platform to new investors.
The news came as the company revealed pre-tax profits of £64.1 million in 2021, up from a loss of £108.1 million in 2020 in a strong set of fully-year results.
The vast majority – 85 per cent – of European IT executives in banking have a “clear strategy” for adopting AI in the development of new products and services, according to research.
Fraud victims are losing around £28,000 to bank transfer scams every 60 minutes – more than the average UK worker earns in a year, according to research from Which?.
Consumer finance platform Lendable has raised £210 million in its latest funding round. The round, led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board via its Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP), gave the firm a valuation of more than £3.5 billion.
Banco Santander has announced it is exploring the possibility of developing crypto-secured loans related to agricultural products like soya beans, corn, and wheat. The bank is working with Agrotoken, a global tokenisation infrastructure for agrocommodities, to create these new loans.
With the deadline for Secure Customer Authentication (SCA) fast approaching, KPMG has said that the new rules will help boost customer trust in financial institutions. The deadline for the implementation of SCA is next Monday 14th March.
Lloyds Bank is partnering Satago, an invoice financing startup for UK SMEs, in a deal that will see the bank invest £5m into the FinTech in exchange for a 20 per cent equity stake.
Satago, founded in 2021, enables UK SMEs to access short-term finance against pending invoices, thereby opening up the capital and assets needed to drive business growth.
Growth Lending has partnered Currencycloud for API-enabled automated payments. Growth Lending, a B2B alternative finance provider will use Currencycloud’s integrated API to process payments more efficiently, including the ability to instruct cash allocation every 15 minutes.
The government has announced an update to draft legislation that will give regulators power to tackle “harmful and misleading” adverts on social media and search engines.
UK-based embedded finance network mmob has raised £5 million. The firm, founded in 2020, provides a network which helps banks and FinTechs incorporate new services into their online platforms.
Aviva and Zego have announced a new multi-year partnership which will provide fleet policies for trade and haulage businesses. Launched in 2016, Zego is a privately held start-up with a value of more than $1 billion, which the company said makes it the UK’s first InsurTech unicorn.
Consumer card spending increased by 13.7 per cent last month compared to the same period of 2020, according to data from Barclaycard. This marks the highest level of growth since November 2021.
US president Joe Biden is reportedly set to sign an executive order outlining the US government’s strategy on cryptocurrencies. The sources, originally reported by Bloomberg, said that the order will examine potential regulatory changes and the impact of cryptocurrencies on citizens and national security.
The World Bank’s board of executive directors has approved a $723 million emergency support package for Ukraine. The package includes a $100 million pledge from the UK.
Tesco Bank has announced a partnership with biometric authentication provider Onfido. The company will overhaul the onboarding process for new Tesco Clubcard Pay+ customers, following the launch of the new product in January.
UK politician Dame Margaret Hodge has reportedly called for global banks to cut all ties with Russia.To comply with sanctions put forward by the UK, EU, and US, international banks have had to stop services to Russian businesses.
Visa, Mastercard, American Express (AmEx), and PayPal have joined a growing list of companies cutting ties with Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Over the weekend, the four global payment networks announced that they would be shutting down all operations in the region.
The majority – 52 per cent – of SME merchants are fed up with slow response times from their payments service providers (PSPs), according to data from Mollie. The PSP surveyed 500 SMEs with e-commerce activities generating between £500,000 and £25 million in revenue per year.
London-headquartered broker ETX Capital has implemented TrueLayer’s payment platform. The platform enables the company to deliver instant deposits and withdrawals for its customers.
Investment app Plum has added customisable savings pots as a widget feature for iOS users.
Plum users can now view how much the pots on their iOS home screen without having to open the app.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed that it opened over 300 cases relating to potentially unregistered cryptoasset businesses over a six month period last year, many of which it suspected of being scams. The UK’s financial regulator confirmed that it currently has 50 live investigations, including criminal probes, into unauthorised businesses.
Revolut is giving companies access to its on-demand pay product, which providers early salary access. The UK FinTech has partnered with IRIS Software Group (IRIS) to enable the roll out.
More than 2 in 5 (44 per cent) Generation Z shoppers who are using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services feel ‘overwhelmed’ by repayments, according to research from Barclays Partner Finance.The survey of 2,000 BNPL users across the UK found that Gen Z consumers (those aged between 18-24 years old) who use BNPL spend an estimated 20 per cent of their discretionary income on making repayments.
Delio, a private markets access FinTech, has raised a further $8.3 million in a growth funding round led by Octopus Ventures. The UK-based FinTech, which digitises access to private markets for banks,wealth managers and other financial firms, is aimed at creating greater investor access to alternative assets such as private equity, private debt and real estate.
TSB Bank has introduced AI-powered answers and intelligent automation to its multi-cloud banking platform. The technology, developed by Dynatrace, is supporting the bank in its move towards becoming an all-digital bank.
UK-based compliance technology firm Detected has raised £1.5 million. Detected, founded in July 2020, provides ‘Know Your Business’ (KYB) technology which allows users to search registered businesses internationally.
Credit losses at Klarna surged to $542 million (SEK 4.6 billion) last year. The Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company attributed the losses to continued growth in its consumer base and expansion into new markets.
The UK’s financial regulatory has outlined a new employment offer after some of its employees voted in support of industrial action over pay.
Revolut chief executive Nik Storonsky has publicly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
UK-based bank transfer platform Cheddar has acquired Open Banking technology company Upside Saving. Upside has an Open Banking-enabled marketing platform which aims to connect retail brands with consumers by offering personalised cashback.
JP Morgan has invested in blockchain intelligence company TRM Labs. TRM Labs, founded 2017, provides software that allows businesses to manage and prevent cryptocurrency-related fraud and crime.
Global payment giants Mastercard and Visa have blocked a number of financial institutions from their payment networks. Michael Miebach, chief executive of Mastercard, said that it had carried out the move to abide by sanction orders
Lloyds Banking Group has announced a new partnership with FinTech Bink. The bank said that it would work with the UK-based company to change how customers of its retail brands are able to connect with retailers and their reward programmes.
Barclays Bank has been fined £783,800 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for “oversight failings” in its relationship with collapsed payments business Premier FX. In February last year the UK regulator publicly censured the firm for failing to protect its customers' money.
The Ukrainian government and non-government organisations (NGOs) providing support to the military, have raised almost $18.9 million in cryptocurrencies. The figures, from blockchain analysis company Elliptic, come after Ukraine’s government posted an appeal on its official Twitter account on Saturday, sharing two cryptocurrency addresses.
The government has announced new measures targeting the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
Payment card shipment revenue for technology companies is set reach $11.7 billion worldwide in 2026, according to a new study from Juniper Research. The analyst firm said this 20 per cent jump - from $9.7 billion in 2022 - reflects innovations in the payment cards space and the maturity of the contactless cards roll-out.
US FinTech TreviPay has acquired Baton Financial Services. Baton, founded in 2017 in New Orleans, provides a B2B invoice payments network aimed at the small businesses.
BNY Mellon has formed a new partnership with Chainalysis to help boost its risk management programme, using the company’s compliance software as part of its strategy to develop crypto services.
Santander has announced a new cash dividend and share buyback, bringing the total amount allocated to shareholders against 2021 results to approximately €3.4 billion.
Lloyds Banking Group has announced a new strategy that will see the UK bank invest £3 billion over the next three years.
Metro bank has reported pre-tax losses of £245 million in 2021, down from £311 million recorded in the previous year. The loss follows the settlement of an investigation by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), provisioning for a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigation, sanctions related remediation and non-recurring expense items.
There has been a nearly 99 per cent increase in risk and compliance (R&C) vacancies in the UK compared to last year, according to research from Morgan McKinley and Vacancysoft. The research said that this has led to average pay increases of 20 to 25 per cent across risk disciplines.
The UK’s energy industry was identified as the country’s top target for cyber-attacks, accounting for 24 per cent of all incidents, according to a report from IBM.
TSB has partnered with identity verification provider Onfido to launch its new customer onboarding journey.The tie-up will see the bank use Onfido’s biometric technology to enable customers to sign up for a current account in 10 minutes, which the pair estimate will be completed in ‘8 mobile scrolls’.
NatWest Group has announced it is creating a personalised banking experience with Amazon Web Services (AWS). The partnership aims to bring together data from across the bank, which NatWest says will help it “gain an even deeper understanding of its customers’ interactions”.
London-headquartered technology business Weavr has announced the close of a $40 million funding round led by Tiger Global. Weavr aims to disrupt the existing banking-as-a-service model by making embedded financial services available to any business with a digital presence.
Crypto-trading business Bitpanda has announced its first ever acquisition. The European unicorn, founded in 2014, is buying London-headquartered Trustology, a cryptoassets service provider.
Virgin Money has integrated customer onboarding and KYC technology from HooYu to help boost the account opening experience for new customers. The full-service digital bank previously had manual steps and offline processes for customers that fail the database check process.
The majority – 60 per cent – of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) customers are concerned about the impact of the payment option on their credit scores, according to research from UK FinTech Pave. The study, which surveyed over 1,000 people aged 18 to 44 last month, also found that 78 per cent of respondents who have used BNPL don’t fully understand its impact on their credit.
A group of over 70 FinTech chief executives and leaders have signed a letter calling for bolder action to realise the aims of the Kalifa Review. The letter contained signatures from leaders at companies including Monzo, Starling, Checkout.com, Klarna, Atom Bank, Zopa, and Innovate Finance.
HSBC has reported pre-tax profits of $18.9 billion for 2021, an increase of over $10 billion in comparison to the previous year. Adjusted operating profit was up by 79 per cent to $21.9 billion.
London-based RegTech start-up Umazi has raised £750,000. The pre-seed funding round included investment from government-backed innovation agency Innovate UK and various angel investors.
FinTech platform PrimaryBid has closed a $190 million Series C investment round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The company, which aims to provide retail investors with “fair access to public markets”, said that the investment follows a period of accelerated growth in 2021.
Dell Technologies and VMware have announced they are working with Munich Re to help improve the reinsurer’s global IT operations. The technology companies are also aiming to help the business better adhere to compliance requirements.
Sokin has announced that it will introduce e-commerce payments for the metaverse. The payments provider said that while at the moment there is no single metaverse where consumers can shop for their favourite brand, it will launch its own 3D community of retailers.
The FCA is reportedly looking to make several new hires within the consumer finance space. The roles include director of consumer finance, and retail and regulatory investigations, EMO, according to a publicly available online job advert.
Atom bank has said it is taking on the ‘Big 6’ UK banks by increasing the rates on its instant and fixed-rate savings products for the second time this year. The challenger bank claims its instant saver now offers 75 times more rewards than Lloyds, HSBC, and Barclays’ equivalent products.
Aviva has issued a warning to homes with virtual reality headsets after receiving a flood of claims relating to VR games.
Open Banking services are now being used by more than five million people in the UK, according to data provided by the CMA9. The CMA9 represents the nine British banks and building societies mandated by a Competition and Markets Authority order to roll out Open Banking in the UK.
NatWest Group returned to profitability last year, reporting full-year net profit of £2.95 billion. Overall pre-tax profits reached £4 billion in 2021, increasing from a loss of £481 million the year before.
Stablecoin provider Circle has hit a $9 billion valuation. The Boston-based company is primarily known as a provider of the USD Coin (USDC), a “stablecoin” or a cryptocurrency which tracks the value of the US dollar.
JPMorgan Chase, Toshiba, and Ciena have created what the partnership describes as a “first-of-its-kind” quantum key distribution (QKD) network for metropolitan areas. They said that the network is resistant to quantum computing attacks, can detect and defend against eavesdroppers.
KPMG and Blue J have launched a new AI-powered tax analysis tool for the UK. Blue J is a provider of predictive analysis tools for tax positions in North America.
UK Finance has said it still has concerns about the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) proposed new Consumer Duty, after the organisation expressed reservations over initial proposals published by the regulator last year.
Amazon will no longer be blocking Visa credit card payments in the UK after the two companies reached an international deal.
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has filed an application to offer Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). An NFT is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger - or a blockchain - that certifies the uniqueness of a digital asset.
TSB has launched Revenu, a new app designed to help SMEs receive faster payments and manage their business finances. The banking technology, developed by BankiFi, enables TSB’s business customers to collect consumer payments from requests sent via SMS, WhatsApp, email, and QR code.
HSBC has reported a 72 per cent reduction in telephone fraud in January compared to the same month last year. The rate of attempts was also down by two-thirds year-on-year over the same period.
JP Morgan has outlined its metaverse strategy in a new paper. The investment bank said it is building and scaling technologies including but not limited to tokenisation and digital identity.
UK app-based bank Atom has raised over £75 million as it heads towards its planned IPO. The move follows a £40 million raise in April last year – bringing total raised by the digital lender to over £115 million in the past 12-months.
ACI Worldwide has launched a new Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solution for merchants and payment service providers.
Payments firm Paysafe has appointed two new execs to its digital wallets team, Rachel McShane and Megan Oxman. McShane will take on the role of chief financial officer, while Oxman is set to take on the newly created role of senior vice president of new product development.
Revolut has announced that it has further expanded its cryptocurrency in the US. The UK FinTech is now offering three new tokens: Aave (AAVE; Chainlink (LINK); and Matic/Polygon (MATIC).
HSBC has is rolling out a new solution that automates shareholder ID requests. Proximity’s Shareholder ID has been successfully launched in the UK and Europe and will soon be expanded to HSBC clients in Asia.
NatWest Group is set to close 32 branches. The High Street bank said 21 of these sites operate under its NatWest brand, while 11 are RBS branches.
Novus, the UK challenger bank, has raised $3 million in its latest funding round. To date, the organisation has raised $5 million in total.
3S Money has announced a new partnership with ClearBank. The partnership will enable the online banking service for cross-border businesses to offer multi-currency accounts to its retail and corporate clients.
The UK’s financial watchdog has announced changes to potentially “unfair and unclear” terms in the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) contracts of Clearpay, Klarna, Laybuy, and Openpay. The move comes as Barclays calls for more robust regulation of BNPL.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has reportedly made its first seizure of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). An NFT is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger - or a blockchain - that certifies the uniqueness of a digital asset.
NatWest has launched green loans and asset finance for SMEs that are investing in eligible clean buildings, energy, transport, and agriculture. The launch comes after the bank announced a £100 billion climate and sustainable funding and finance ambition.
Over the past 12-months, the number of people targeted by romance fraud scams has almost doubled, according to new research. The data, which comes from email security business Tessian, found 32 per cent of people in the UK and US have received a romance fraud scam in the past year.
Klarna is planning to raise new funds which could boost its value to between $50billion and $60 billion, according to sources reported by Bloomberg. The sources said that the Swedish Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) firm hasn’t finalised a precise price target for the funding, and that it is looking to attract sovereign wealth and pension funds as new investors.
Andrew Bailey has said that there “need be no time limit” on EU banks having access to British clearing houses. At the annual TheCityUK dinner, the Bank of England governor welcomed a recent announcement of a three-year extension of temporary equivalence for UK-based clearing.
SME lending platform LendingCrowd has closed a £100 million funding deal with Barclays Bank and a large global investment firm. The money will be delivered via the British Business Bank’s Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) – which LendingCrowd has been accredited as a lender for – as well as through its term lending product.
The UK is second on the list of global money laundering hotspots, new research from Credas has found. The study found that an estimated £88 billion is laundered every year in the UK.
NatWest has introduced Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating into its digital mortgage hub. The new feature will show customers up-to-date information about the EPC rating of their property.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reportedly told banks to test their cyber defences in case of an attack from Russia. Banks with significant operations have been contacted by the watchdog regarding heightened cybersecurity risks if financial sanctions are imposed on Russia in response to military action in Ukraine, according to sources at The Financial Times.
TransUnion has become the first credit agency in the UK to accept Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) finance data, according to the organisation. The organisation said that after extensive research into the flexible payment option, it decided it would include BNPL data within its credit information to “help protect consumers and enable finance providers to ensure that payment plans are affordable and sustainable”.
In collaboration with NatWest and Santander, three UK FinTechs have finished a pilot which involved the issue of tokenised security on a public blockchain, with the payment leg conducted through a Distributed Ledger Technology (DTL)-enabled payments system.
Worldpay is taking on the role of global blockchain validator for Crypto.com. The company will be responsible for processing card-based purchases and sales of cryptocurrencies.
While four in 10 current account holders have been with the same bank for over 20 years, challenger banks are outperforming traditional High Street banks on customer satisfaction, according to research from Which?.
The US Justice Department said that it has seized $3.6 billion in stolen bitcoin, linked to the 2016 hack of the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange. The department seized 94,000 bitcoins from a New York couple, Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Morgan, arresting them for alleged conspiracy.
Direct bank payment business GoCardless has announced a Series G funding round of $312 million. The company is now the latest unicorn in the European and UK tech space, with a value of $2.1 billion.
Hodge and Modulr have announced a new partnership which will enable the UK-based bank's customers to access their balance and payments in real-time. Modulr is a Payments as a Service API platform for digital businesses.
A coalition of financial services firms, including Coinbase and Circle, have signed a pledge to combat digital asset market manipulation.The new group said its pledge focused on “cultivating a fair digital asset marketplace to combat market abuse and manipulation and promote public and regulatory confidence in the new asset class”.
The European Affairs Committee has opened a new inquiry into the impact of Brexit on the UK financial services market. The Committee, which considers matters relating to the UK’s relationship with the EU and the EEA, will be looking at the impact of the absence of a framework for UK-EU regulatory cooperation.
London-based FinTech Sokin has partnered with Visa to roll out its inclusive global currency account and debit cards across Asia Pacific. The payments provider, which was launched in 2019, aims to support economic migrant workers.
UK-based virtual IBAN and corporate account provider Monneo has announced a new partnership with automated currency management business Kantox. The new partnership will give Monneo customers access to immediate foreign exchange transfers across different currencies.
UK FinTech firms attracted $37.3 billion worth of investment in 2021 according to KPMG. The UK’s share of FinTech funding exceeded any other region in EMEA, where overall funding grew to a record $77 billion in 2021 according to the Big Four accountancy firm.
International payments platform Paysend has announced it is expanding its peer-to-peer money transfer services globally via Visa Direct. The company’s US customers will be able to send funds to eligible Visa cards in 107 countries while UK customers will be able to send funds to eligible Visa cards in up to 114 countries and territories globally.
Barclays is partnering with corporate venture builder Rainmaking to launch several initiatives targeted at FinTech founders. The aim of the new programmes is to help grow and develop financial technology businesses, from early-stage to scale-up.
Monzo is set to offer three month sabbaticals to longer-serving staff. The perk will be available to employees who have served at the bank for more than four years.
PayPoint’s CounterCash service is now live in 2,000 stores. The service, which launched at the end of last year, allows consumers to access cash services locally.
The Treasury committee has called for the government to include measures to address fraud via online advertising in the upcoming Online Safety Bill. The call follows an inquiry into economic crime opened on 23 October 2020, aimed at reviewing the progress that has been made in combatting economic crime since the former committee’s inquiry on the subject in the previous Parliament.
The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) has announced the appointment of Henk Van Hulle as its first ever chief executive. The organisation said the creation of the new position was recognised in the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) recently published updated governance arrangements for OBIE.
Nationwide is using AI technology to streamline its digital onboarding process by verifying the identity and age of its new members. The UK building society teamed up with Jumio, which provides AI-powered, end-to-end identity orchestration, eKYC, and AML solutions.
Modulr has struck a strategic partnership with Ripple, the blockchain and crypto company, to enable real time payments in the UK and Europe. The partnership will provide businesses with the ability to run payments on RippleNet, Ripple’s financial technology.
The average API response time across some of the UK’s biggest banks was 511 milliseconds last year, an improvement of 28 per cent compared to 2020, according to research from Yapily. The Open Banking infrastructure provider said that British banking groups are continuing to invest in Open Banking technology as user adoption grows.
InsurTech Charles Taylor has entered into a strategic partnership with Fraud Keeper, an AI-driven fraud detection solutions provider, acquiring a majority share of the company. Fraud Keeper, based in Argentina and with a presence in Spain, claims to have developed an automation and AI-driven SaaS platform that helps insurers detect, prevent and manage fraudulent transactions in real time.
Banking and financial services were the most popular target for ransomware attacks in the third quarter of 2021. The research, from cybersecurity company Trellix, found that the industry was more prone to ransomware attacks than the utility industry, which it said accounted for 20 per cent of ransomware attack detections, and the retail industry, which it found accounted for 16 per cent of detections.
Santander reported €46.4 billion in total revenue for last year, up 7 per cent, which the bank said was largely driven by its five million new customers and activity across the group’s regions and businesses.
Technology industry initial public offerings (IPOs) raised £6.6 billion in 2021 in the UK, according to data from the London Stock Exchange (LSE). This is more than double 2020’s total of £3.1 billion according to the exchange’s figures.
Experian has announced plans to establish a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) bureau in the spring aimed at protecting consumer credit scores. The company, which has been working with some of the largest BNPL providers since 2016, said that the “first-of-its kind speciality bureau” will provide “visibility so lenders can help further financial inclusion".
Capital One is using Trovata’s technology platform to provide a new cash management service for its commercial clients. Trovata is a FinTech specialising in automating cash workflows through multi-bank API data aggregation for corporate finance and treasury teams.
Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX has raised $400 million in a Series C financing round. The firm, founded in 2019, claimed that it has been the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world and the largest exchange outside of China since October.
The Post Office has secured agreement from 30 UK banks, building societies, and credit unions to continue handling bank account cash deposits and withdrawals for a further three years. The postal service said the move, which follows months of negotiation, would safeguard the millions of people and small businesses that rely on cash.
The Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) and Societe Generale have marked the admission of the first financial instruments registered on a public Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) on LuxSE’s Securities Official List (LuxSE SOL).The three series of security tokens admitted on LuxSE SOL are digital covered bonds (OFH Tokens) and structured products that have been issued and deployed by Societe Generale’s digital assets arm, Societe Generale - FORGE (SG - FORGE), natively on the Ethereum and Tezos public blockchains respectively.
Tesco Bank has admitted to breaching UK competition rules related to its motor insurance. In a letter to the bank, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that it had provided misleading information.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed Penny James, chief executive of Direct Line Group as chair of its practitioner panel.James, who has been a member of the panel since September 2020, will take up the post of panel chair from 1 March. She succeeds Paul Feeney, CEO of Quilter in the role.
Payments player Worldline has announced plans to hire 5,000 new members of staff as part of its global expansion strategy.The French payments and transactional services company, which has been operating from its HQ in Bezons, France since 1974 said it is looking to recruit thousands talented people to continue its consolidation strategy.
Google Cloud is set to launch a digital assets focused team. The BigTech said the new team will support its customers’ needs in building, transacting, storing value, and deploying new products on blockchain-based platforms.
Motor retailer JCT600 has become the first retailer in the UK to use Lloyds Bank’s new payment product ‘PayFrom Bank’. The payment option enables consumers to pay for things online via their online banking service, without registering, inputting card details, or sharing personal data.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has urged British companies to “bolster their cyber security resilience” following malicious cyber incidents which took place in Ukraine. The UK organisation said that there have been no current threats to the country identified so far but that the guidance would enable businesses to build resilience ahead of potential incidents.
Germany’s largest bank has said all of its core businesses performed at or ahead of its plan last year, with net profit rising to the highest since 2011. Deutsche Bank’s yearly net profits increased by more than fourfold to € 2.5 billion (£2.08 billion), while pre-tax profits tripled to € 3.4 billion (£2.8 billion).
Crypto payments company BCB Group has raised $60 million in a Series A funding round. BCB Group provides business accounts as well as cryptocurrency and foreign exchange market liquidity and custody for financial institutions.
Nationwide had the largest net switching gain in the third quarter of last year, picking up 33,828 customers during the period. Starling Bank followed, with 15,371 people switching over to the challenger’s current account.
The number of technology roles in England and Wales reached record highs in 2021, according to new research. The study, by recruitment consultancy Robert Walters and data analytics company Vacancysoft, found that there were more than 12,800 new vacancies for tech professionals last year.
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has set out new proposals to improve card-acquiring services for UK merchants. A review published by the authority in November found that the supply of these services does “not work well for merchants with annual card turnover up to £50 million”.
Meta is set to sell its stablecoin project - The Diem Association - to Silvergate Capital, according to sources reported by The Wall Street Journal. The deal, which includes the venture’s technology, was worth around $200 million according to the publication’s sources.
A quantum computer could break the encryption of Bitcoin and simulate a key molecule in the fight against global food shortages and climate change, according to new research.
Insurer Willis Towers Watson (WTW) and Thatcham Research have partnered to understand the impact of advanced vehicle technologies on claims risk. WTW said vehicle technology is creating new complexity for insurers, pressuring them to get a more sophisticated picture of claims data related to the varying features of new vehicle models.
BBVA has said that it will create 200 jobs with the opening of two new technology centres in Bilbao. The centres will include specialised roles such as computer, telecommunications, systems, and industrial engineers, as well as mathematicians.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Klarna has announced the launch of its physical card in the UK. Klarna Card will enable consumers to use the flexible payment option in-store, wherever cards are accepted.
Santander has announced the launch of Zinia, a new buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform. The tech behind the platform has been operating in Germany over the past 12 months, where it already has more than two million customers.
JP Morgan is set to acquire a 49 per cent stake in Greek payments platform Viva Wallet. The price of the acquisition was not confirmed, however sources reported by Reuters said that JP Morgan's investment will worth be over $1.15 billion.
The UK’s financial watchdog has warned firms using company or insolvency law to manage their liabilities could face action if their proposals unfairly benefit them at the expense of their customers.
Multimodal mobility company GoTo Global has joined cross-border payments provider Finaro in the Priceless Planet Coalition. The Coalition is Mastercard’s global platform bringing together companies, banks, cities, and consumers to help promote environmental conservation.
Payments platform Modulr has received its electronic money license from the Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). The FinTech, which offers a Payments-as-a-Service solution, said it will build on the existing services and capabilities it offers clients in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Credit Suisse’s investment arm has issued a profit warning for the fourth quarter of 2021. The Swiss bank said it had seen a reduction in transaction-based revenues across its investment bank and wealth management businesses.
Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of banks believe that Open APIs that enable partnerships with a broad range of FinTechs and consolidation of payments types are key drivers for the modernisation of payment systems. A survey of nearly 100 banking executives by ACI Worldwide and Edgar, Dunn and Company also found that a third of financial institutions now generate over half of their income via payment processing, with 86 per cent of large banks generating more than 30 per cent of their revenues through this channel.
Tink has launched a new income check service which aims to streamline income verification using the company’s Open Banking technology. The move comes a week after the Swedish FinTech announced a new partnership with Cogo to provide carbon footprint tracking services to banks including NatWest.
H&R Block has announced the launch of a new mobile banking platform. H&R Block is a US company providing tax preparation services, financial products, and small-business solutions.
Huawei has partnered with Curve to bring contactless payments to its smartphones. Curve is an app which combines debit, credit, and loyalty cards into one.
US digital banking firm Chime has asked Goldman Sachs to assist with an initial public offering (IPO), according to sources reported by Reuters. The news organisation’s sources said that the value of the IPO is likely to be around $40 billion and to be on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
A new law that allows consumers to request cashback in shops without making a purchase will not be enough to protect access to cash, according to new research from Which?. A study by the consumer organisation found that many people think taking money out this way is inconvenient and even a security risk.
More than half (52 per cent) of senior corporate treasurers say that meeting ESG requirements is a top concern for their organisation according to a new survey from Economist Impact and Deutsche Bank.
The global survey of senior corporate treasurers found that 36 per cent of respondents consider increasing ESG requirements as the top trend impacting the treasury function in the fourth quarter of 2021, up from 21 per cent in the previous quarter.
The Federal Reserve Board has released a discussion paper examining the potential benefits and risks of a US central bank digital currency (CBDC). The highly anticipated move marks the first step by the US central bank in exploring the possibilities of a digital currency.
Google has hired former PayPal executive Arnold Goldberg to help oversee its move into financial services. Sources reported by Bloomberg said the hire was part of a broader move into financial services by the BigTech giant, including the cryptocurrency space.
The government has said that new laws are needed to drive up security standards in outsourced IT services used by nearly all UK companies.
Mastercard has launched a new virtual card that uses machine learning and straight-through processing to enable instant payment of supplier invoices.
BBVA has announced the launch of its new global software division which includes over 16,000 developers across the Group. The bank said the new division will speed up delivery of digital solutions and make them more easily scalable across the countries where it operates.
US FinTech Plaid has acquired identity verification and compliance platform Cognito. Plaid said Cognito’s technology allows companies to combine tools and data sources for automated identity verification, Know Your Customer (KYC), and AML screening.
UK workplace savings FinTech Cushon has closed a £35 million fundraising round and announced its third acquisition. This brings the total raised over the past two years to £61 million.
Digital personal finance company SoFi Technologies has received regulatory approval to become a national bank. SoFi describes itself as “a member-centric, one-stop shop” for financial services, including loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance, investing and deposit accounts.
The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) strategic review of retail banking has found that growing competition in the sector is driving choice and lower prices for consumers and small businesses, despite the financial impact of the pandemic.In an update to its 2018 strategic review of the sector, the FCA found that, while still strong, there are signs large banks’ historic advantages are starting to weaken, driven by digital innovation from the FinTech challengers and changing consumer behaviour.
Revolut has launched a commission-free stock trading service in the US. Users of the London-based challenger bank’s service will be able to trade 1,100 securities, including shares on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq exchange.
Spend management solution Spendesk has raised €100 million as an extension to its latest Series C funding round. The Paris-based FinTech said this investment brings its valuation to over €1 billion.
The UK financial watchdog has proposed what it describes as a “significant strengthening” of regulation around the marketing of high-risk financial products. The announcement comes after the government published plans to strengthen the rules on cryptoasset advertisements and protect consumers from misleading claims.
Nordic FinTech Lunar has partnered with London-based banking technology firm Thought Machine. Lunar, founded in 2015, offers a mobile banking app to consumers in the Nordic region.
Santander has bought a 30 per cent stake in venture debt manager Atempo Growth, which has just launched a fund focussing on financing European tech businesses with high growth potential.
Open Banking platform Tink and sustainability FinTech Cogo have formed a strategic partnership to provide carbon footprint tracking services to banks including NatWest.
The partnership has been officially announced following the launch of an in-app feature for more than 8 million NatWest customers which allows them to see the CO2 emissions associated with their daily spending and offers nudges to help them reduce their climate impact.
Mastercard has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase on a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) marketplace. An NFT is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger - or a blockchain - that certifies the uniqueness of a digital asset.
Ikea parent company Ingka Group has invested in Swedish climate data platform Doconomy, via its Ingka Investments arm. Doconomy, founded in 2018, provides a platform which allows consumers and businesses to measure their C02 output.
The government has published plans to strengthen the rules on cryptoasset advertisements and protect consumers from misleading claims. The government said it plans to introduce legislation to address misleading cryptoasset promotions.
The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has charged five payments companies including Mastercard fines totalling £33 million for cartel behaviour in the prepaid cards market. After concluding its investigation into two cartels in the prepaid cards market, the UK payments regulator found that five parties including Mastercard, allpay, Advances Payment Solutions (APS), Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) and Sulion had broken competition law by agreeing not to compete or poach each other’s customers in prepaid markets in Great Britain.
European firms wishing to remain in the temporary permissions regime
(TPR) need to meet the FCA’s standards to continue operating in the UK, the regulator has said.The TPR regime was designed to ensure that European firms operating in the UK via a passport when the Brexit transition period ended could continue operating temporarily while they seek full authorisation in the UK.
JP Morgan has predicted its technology spending will hit $12 billion in 2022, according to sources reported by The Financial Times. The US banking giant said this figure will come as part of an 8 per cent increase in this year’s overall expenses to around $77 billion.
Checkout technology firm Bolt has hit a $11 billion valuation, according to sources reported by TechCrunch. The valuation came as part of a Series E funding round worth $335 million.
The FCA issued fines totalling £568 million in 2021 amid a surge in financial crime and non-compliance during the pandemic. In a review of its activities in 2021, the regulator said that it had “continued to act to protect and enhance the integrity of the UK financial system” with a series of decisions including a £264 million fine issued to NatWest, which was the regulator’s first criminal prosecution under anti-money laundering legislation.
Amazon is postponing plans to stop accepting Visa credit cards for UK payments, which had been due to take effect this week. The e-commerce giant had previously informed customers that they would not be able to pay with Visa credit cards from 19 January owing to “high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions.”
Antonio Horta-Osorio has resigned from the role of chairman of Credit Suisse after breaking Covid quarantine rules. Horta-Osorio joined the Swiss banking giant nine months ago following a 10-year tenure as chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group.
Embedded finance platform Railsbank has launched a new white label Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) credit service for retailers. The solution enables retail companies to develop their own branded BNPL option that is customisable.
The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has said that it has not seen any evidence that the costs of operating payments services have increased for card issuers to warrant recent hikes to fees.
Israel-based compliance technology firm Shield has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round. Shield, which is used by compliance teams at financial services firms, said it will use the funding to expand its US presence with a New York City office, and to establish itself in markets such as Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific.
Visa is partnering with blockchain tech company ConsenSys to bridge new Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) networks with the existing financial ecosystem.
London-based FinTech Zilch has expanded its partnership with Mastercard to bring its Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) digital card to Europe. The news comes after Zilch hit a $2 billion valuation after raising $110 million in a Series C funding round in November.
Today marks the fourth year anniversary of the launch of PSD2, which made Open Banking a regulatory requirement in the UK. According to the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) there are now 4.5 million regular users of Open Banking, of which 3.9 million are consumers and 600,000 small businesses.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Swiss National Bank (SNB), and SIX Swiss Exchange have announced the successful test of wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in the back-office systems and processes of five commercial banks.
A House of Lords committee has concluded there is no convincing case for introducing a UK Central Bank Digital Currency. The Lords Economic Affairs Committee said a CBDC would have far-reaching consequences for households, businesses, and the monetary system and could also pose significant risks for banks.
Checkout.com has raised $1 billion at a valuation of $40 billion in a Series D funding round. This investment makes Checkout.com one of Europe’s most valuable FinTechs, exceeding the $33 billion valuation that Revolut achieved as part of a $800 million funding round in July 2021.
UK FinTech Revolut has announced that it is now using its Lithuania-based European banking licence across 10 European markets. The company is now operating as a bank in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden.
Digital insurance provider Marshmallow is partnering with the AA to provide customers who add breakdown cover to the policy to receive a range of roadside and vehicle-related issues. The InsurTech’s tie-up with the AA will offer customers the option to add Marshmallow Assist to their policy, which will include the AA’s Roadside Assistance, Home Start and National Recovery services.
Tandem Bank has announced that it will acquire consumer lender Oplo. Tandem said that the move was part of plans to make it a “fairer, greener” digital bank.
The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has led a $7.5 million Series A funding round for corporate debt quote system BondCliQ. The New York-based firm operates a consolidated quote system for the corporate bond market.
Banks in the UK are exposing customers to fraud risk through flaws in their online banking security systems, a new Which? investigation has found.
International insurer Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK) has partnered with Accenture to help transform its finance and HR functions in the UK and Singapore by digitising and consolidating several of its systems.
Allica Bank has joined the APPG for Challenger Banks and Building Societies as an associate member. The APPG is a cross-party group of MPs and peers that aims to inform parliament about challenger banks and building societies , the issues and challenges facing them, and to promote competition and diversity within the banking sector.
London-based FinTech Twig, which merges payments with resale, has announced a $35 million Series A funding round. The company said that its service enables the instant and sustainable monetisation of items.
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is looking into ways to access more data from BigTech cloud providers, according to sources reported by The Financial Times. The data would cover the operational resilience of their solutions according to the newspaper’s sources.
Atom Bank has reported a 500 per cent increase in applications for open roles following its announcement of a four-day week. The bank said that the introduction of a shorter working week has been a success with “no negative impact on customer service or operations”.
UK challenger bank Starling has announced that it has stopped all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
A cross-party group of MPs and Lords in the UK Parliament have formed a new group focused on the UK’s cryptocurrency and digital assets sector. The Westminster All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) is backed by digital asset trade association CryptoUK, who said the group will act as a forum for parliamentarians, policymakers, and the UK crypto sector to discuss policy and regulation of the industry.
The total value of transactions made over prepaid cards will exceed $4.1 trillion globally in 2026, according to research by analyst house Juniper Research. This is an increase of 75 per cent from $2.3 trillion in 2021 according to Juniper.
The value of global financial institution enforcement penalties reduced by 49 per cent in 2021, finds data from Fenergo. Last year, fines to firms and their employees totalled $5.4 billion for non-compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and data privacy regulations, according to the research.
Digital P2P payments company MoneyGram International has taken a minority stake in Coinme, the largest licensed cryptocurrency cash exchange in the United States. The move, which closes out Coinme's Series A financing round, means that MoneyGram has a 4 per cent ownership of the crypto exchange.
Virgin Money has announced a new FinTech partnership with Expend, adding an expense management service to its new business banking proposition. The London-based platform, launched in 2015, aims to simplify the expense management experience for businesses.
Starling Bank is set to embark on a new phase that will see the challenger bank offer its Software-as-a-Service proposition to banks around the world. In a blog, the bank’s chief executive said the service will offer partners the benefit of using Starling’s advanced technology as their own.
Britain recorded its best ever 12 months for FinTech investment in 2021, exceeding $11.6 billion (£9.7 billion). The figures, published by Innovate Finance, represent a 217 per cent hike compared to the previous year.
Cryptocurrency-based crime hit a new all-time high in 2021, according to a report by blockchain data platform Chainalysis. Cryptocurrency addresses linked to illicit activity received $14 billion over the course of 2021, up from $7.8 billion in 2020.
Sygnum, which describes itself as the world’s first digital asset bank, has raised $90 million in a Series B funding round. The Swiss bank is now valued at $800 million on a post-money basis.
Bitcoin could take market share away from gold, Goldman Sachs analysts have claimed. The research note to clients estimated that Bitcoin’s overall market capitalisation as being close to $700 billion at today’s prices.
UK Finance has warned that retailers with an online presence will risk customer purchases being declined if they do not meet the 14 March deadline to support Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).
Monument has appointed Ian Rand, former CEO of Barclays Business Banking, as chief executive officer (CEO).The move, which is subject to regulatory approval, will also see Monument co-founder and current CEO Mintoo Bhandari transition to the strategic role of global head of corporate development.
Digital commerce and payments company CellPoint Digital has announced a $25 million funding round led by Toscafund and its private equity arm Penta Capital. The move follows a series of investments by the companies into CellPoint Digital following their initial investment in 2019 and brings their total investment to over $56 million.
UK-headquartered mobile payments platform Judopay is partnering with Mastercard to offer its SCA compliant ‘click to pay’ solution to customers. Mastercard’s Click to Pay is designed for consumers paying online via apps and mobile devices.
Nationwide’s payment systems experienced an outage yesterday. The issues impacted payments both leaving and arriving in customer accounts.
High Street lender Lloyds Bank reportedly has plans to buy a minority stake in British FinTech Bink.
The UK’s central bank has announced that it is publishing a new pop-economics book titled ‘Can’t we just print more money?’.
Mastercard-powered digital money transfer platform Zen.com has introduced the conversion of fiat money into digital assets. The company, which is licensed under Lithuania’s central bank, is also launching transfer of fiat currencies into any digital wallet servicing BTC, ETH or USD-T (ERC-20).
53 FinTechs have signed a letter challenging a recent claim by Starling’s Anne Boden that Open Banking has “not been a success”.
Chinese tech giant Tencent has taken a minority stake in Monzo as part of a top-up to the bank’s latest funding round. Tencent is one of China’s most valuable firms, with a current market capitalisation of over $500 billion and interests in social media, telecoms, e-commerce, and gaming.
Investment platform Acorns’ co-founder Walter Cruttenden has raised $20 million for an embedded finance platform, Ant Money. The Series A financing was led by Franklin Templeton's Franklin Venture Partners, Walter Cruttenden, RX3 Ventures, SteelBridge Laboratories, and Steelpoint Capital Partners.
SWIFT will work alongside Clearstream, Northern Trust, SETL, and others next year to explore how it can support interoperability in the development of the tokenised asset market. The organisation said that relative to cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, the current market capitalisation of tokenised assets is small but "momentum for these digital assets is expected to accelerate rapidly in the coming years”.
With the end of 2021 in sight, we crunched the numbers to bring you a round-up of FStech’s most popular stories of the year.
There are just a few days left of 2021, a year once again marked by the disruption of the pandemic along with some seismic shifts in the UK’s financial technology landscape. From digital currencies and embedded finance to leaps forward in alternative payments, AI and ESG, 2021 has been a busy year for innovation and further digital transformation of the sector.
LiveFlow, the new FinTech designed to automate finances and consolidates accounts in real time, has raised $3.5 million in a seed round led by Moonfire ventures.
Mastercard has announced that it will acquire McDonald’s personalisation platform and decision engine company Dynamic Yield. Dynamic Yield provides individualised product recommendations, offers, and content based on a number of factors, including past purchases, page views, time of day, current store traffic, and trending products.
One in five large organisations will use digital currencies for payments, stored value, or collateral by 2024, according to analyst house Gartner. Gartner’s report predicted this wider adoption of digital currencies will be partly driven by the “healthy” environment of service providers and solutions available to large enterprises that have already identified a specific use case for digital currencies.
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) issued Metro Bank a £5,376,000 penalty for failing in its regulatory reporting and governance and controls. The UK financial watchdog said that the bank failed to act with due skill, care, and diligence in relation to the reporting of its capital position.
JPMorgan Chase has partnered with Siemens to create a blockchain-based system for its payments, according to sources reported by The Financial Times. The infrastructure is being used for automated payments processing between the German group’s internal accounts according to the sources.
The number of third party providers offering account information and payment initiation services in Europe has grown by 300 per cent since 2019, according to a new report published by PwC Italy and payments consortium CBI. The consulting and professional services firm and CBI, an Italian consortium company comprising around 400 payment service providers as shareholders, have jointly published the first edition of their joint global Open Banking report, which finds that the number of third party providers offering these services in Europe now stands at around 500.
Visa has announced it has completed the acquisition of Currencycloud in a deal that values the FX and cross-border payments company at $963 million (£700M). The payments giant first announced its intention to acquire Currencycloud in July 2021.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced charges against the broker-dealer subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase for what it describes as “widespread and longstanding” failures to maintain and preserve written communications.
Marieke Flament has been appointed chief executive of the NEAR Foundation. The NEAR blockchain is a permissionless, proof-of-stake carbon-neutral blockchain designed to be super-fast, secure, and scalable.
More than a quarter – 26.9 per cent – of UK insurance customers say they will only use digital services in future, according to new research from SAS. The study also found that 15 per cent of customers, around 8 million people, started using a digital service or mobile app for the first time due to the pandemic.
Payment technology firm Bottomline is set to be acquired for around $2.6 billion by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. The US-based company provides domestic and international payments, cash management, automated workflows for payment processing and bill review, fraud detection, behavioural analytics, and regulatory compliance products to businesses.
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has fined Standard Chartered £46.5 million for failings in regulatory reporting governance in relation to a tailored liquidity expectation from the regulator.
Amazon has partnered with Barclays to enable customers to pay in instalments in the UK. Instalments by Barclays will enable to split the cost of purchases of £100 or more on the e-commerce giant’s UK website.
Funding Options, a marketplace for business finance, has partnered with money transfer business Wise to further expand its offering for SMEs.
UK payments platform Checkout.com has appointed ex-Meta executive Meron Colbeci as its chief product officer. Colbeci, who joined the company previously known as Facebook in 2018, had been head of consumer product management at Novi, the BigTech giant’s cryptocurrency wallet service.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined HSBC £63.9 million for failings in its anti-money laundering processes. The regulator said that the bank used automated processes to monitor hundreds of millions of transactions a month to identify possible financial crime.
HSBC and IBM have designed and tested what they describe as an advanced token and digital wallet settlement capability which facilitates direct transactions between two central bank digital currencies (CBDCs.)
Nationwide has moved its member website to Microsoft Azure. The UK building society said that it wanted to use more cloud technology so it can continue to lay the foundations for future innovation.
Allianz has announced an agreement with InsurTech firm Cytora for AI-based digital risk processing solutions. The partnership comes as part of Allianz’s plans to build a scalable and data-driven commercial insurance business model.
Irish bank AIB has signed a €65m agreement with IBM to accelerate its hybrid cloud digital transformation strategy. Under the terms of the three-year agreement, IBM will work with the Dublin-based bank to roll out its next generation IBM z15 compute platform.
The Bank of England has announced that UK banks funding the wholesale cash infrastructure have made commitments to ensure an “effective, resilient, and sustainable” cash infrastructure which will support continued retail access to cash.