AI-powered finance concierge Zeni has raised $34 million in a Series B funding round. The round was led by Elevation Capital with participation from Think Investments and Neeraj Arora.
55 per cent of British employees say the pandemic has made them more aware of the importance of saving for the future, according to research from Cushon. The study, which surveyed 2,000 UK employees in May, found that only 11 per cent feel like they cannot afford to save money at the moment.
Payments-as-a-service company Rapyd has raised $300 million in a Series B funding round. The Israeli FinTech provides an API which allows third parties to integrate services like payments, mobile wallets, money transfers, card issuing, and fraud protection into their own offerings.
HSBC has said that it is moving to a hybrid model of working, which means it needs less office space. As a result, in its latest financial results the bank revealed that it would be cutting its global office footprint by 20 per cent by the end of the year.
Halifax Home Insurance is partnering with Ideavate Limited, as part of efforts to help customers save energy in the home. The tie-up with the energy-saving tech provider Ideavate will mean that policyholders making a claim for a large leak or significant water damage where home renovations are needed, will be given the option of accessing an app called My Carbon Manager, which shows people how to make their lives more energy efficient.
Insurance giant Legal & General has reported post-tax profits of more than £1 billion in the first half of the year, a significant jump from the £290 million accumulated during the same period of 2020. The company’s operating profit increased by 14 per cent to £1.07 billion in the first six months of the year.
More than half of millennial and Gen Z Muslims would adopt Islamic banking if it were more accessible, according to new research. A report from cloud banking platform Mambu, which surveyed 2,000 people globally, found that 53 per cent of young Muslims would choose Islamic banking if barriers to entry were removed.
More than half of UK adults would be very interested in taking out a loan by using crypto holdings as a guarantee, according to new research.
Lloyds Bank is partnering with Visa to offer Straight Through Processing (STP) technology to customers using its commercial charge cards.The tie-up makes Lloyds the first bank in Europe to partner with Visa to deploy the STP technology, which enables more efficient payment of invoices while providing the traditional benefits of commercial card payments to both the buyer and the supplier.
Regulators should closely monitor the role of BigTech in finance, according to a new paper from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).The paper highlighted how “utilising user data from their existing businesses” allows BigTech firms “to scale rapidly and establish a substantial presence in financial services very quickly.”
Yolt Technology Services (YTS) has announced that it is expanding its Open Banking technology to accounting software providers in the UK. Now accountancy firms can use YTS PSD2-compliant APIs to pull customer data in real time, including collecting bank details and invoices, quarterly VAT declarations, annual reports, and income tax declaration.
SWIFT has appointed Cheri McGuire as its chief technology officer (CTO). SWIFT is a co-operative which provides a global network that allows financial institutions to send and receive information about financial transactions.
Telecommunications and mobile money services company Airtel Africa has received a $200 million investment. The money, invested by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) affiliate Qatar Holding, will be spent on Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV), a subsidiary of Airtel Africa.
Pre-tax profits at HSBC increased by $6.5 billion to $10.8 billion in the first half of 2021. Last year, profits before tax at the UK-based bank reached just $4.3 billion during the same period.
US payments firm Square is set to buy Australian Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) firm Afterpay for $29 billion. The all-stock acquisition values Afterpay’s shares at $92.65 each and represents a 30 per cent premium on the firm’s last close.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has started an investigation into Monzo’s compliance with money laundering regulations.
Mercury, a FinTech that provides software and banking services for SMEs and start-ups, has raised $120 million. The Series B funding round gives the San Francisco based company a valuation of $1.62 billion.
Lloyd’s of London has set out plans to help the insurance sector collaborate with critical industries to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. The move comes as the insurance and reinsurance marketplace launches a new sustainability report.
NatWest Group is increasing its minimum annual distribution to shareholders to £1 billion over the next three years. NatWest, which returned to profit after a £1.3 billion loss last year, said that distributions would come in the form of ordinary and special dividends.
Starling Bank had the highest net gains for current account switchovers in the first quarter of the year. According to the latest Current Account Switch Service (CASS) Dashboard, 17,769 people switched to the challenger bank over the period.
Visa has released Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) APIs, which allow its credit card issuing partners to develop and pilot their own instalment payment programmes. Card issuers will be able to choose the duration of the loans offered using the APIs, as well as the participating merchants and cards, interest, and fees.
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has decided that Pay.UK should phase the development of the UK’s New Payments Architecture (NPA) by narrowing the scope of the NPA central infrastructure services (CIS) contract.The successful renewal of the UK’s interbank payments infrastructure will benefit people and businesses but risks to its successful delivery need to be reduced, the PSR concluded.
Buy Now, Pay Later firm Klarna has launched a £3 million SME support package to help businesses recover from the pandemic. The move comes as new research reveals nearly a quarter of SMEs aren’t confident their business will survive the next two years, with 46 per cent of owners stating their main priority is to simply survive the next six months.
Just 3 per cent of financial services (FS) organisations are confident they are prepared for the next major Open Banking enforcement deadline according to new research.A survey of 100 tech leaders in the banking and insurance industry in EMEA and APAC by DevOps data company Delphix found that despite the Second Payments Services Directive (PSD2) and Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) requirements -which were initially slated to take effect September 2019- and then delayed by two years to September 2021- the majority of FS organisations are still not ready.
The FCA has proposed changes to its decision making process, which it is hoped will speed up decisions and lead to improvements in how the regulator tackles firms and individuals who do not meet the required standards. The FCA is consulting on moving some decision-making from its Regulatory Decisions Committee (RDC) to its authorisations, supervision and enforcement divisions. This will give greater responsibility for decisions to senior members of FCA staff close to the matters, the regulator said.
Lloyds Banking Group has announced it is buying investment and retirement platform Embark for £390 million. The acquisition will enable Lloyds to “re-platform” its pensions and retirement platform and address the mass market and self-directed wealth segment, completing its wealth proposition.
The top 10 UK investment apps have gained around 1.6 million users on Google Play since March 2020, new analysis from App Radar has found. According to the research, this brings the total number of UK users to at least 3.2 million.
SWIFT has announced the launch of a new service that will enable small businesses and consumers to send quick, low-value cross-border payments anywhere in the world direct from their bank accounts.
The Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub in Singapore has published a proposed blueprint for enhancing global payments network connectivity. The blueprint, also supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), aims to improve network connectivity via multilateral linkages of countries’ national retail payment systems.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has given nine major UK banks permission to use variable recurring payments (VRPs) as the mechanism for implementing sweeping. Sweeping is the automatic transfer of money between a customer’s own accounts, for example, moving excess funds into a separate savings account or using them to repay a loan or overdraft account.
Mastercard has launched a new cryptocurrency, digital assets, and blockchain programme for start-ups. The Start Path scheme involves seven global crypto and digital assets companies.
The total volume of contactless transactions is set to hit $2.5 trillion in 2021, up from $1.7 trillion in 2020, according to new research from analyst house Juniper Research. Card payments will still account for most contactless transactions – 79 per cent - in 2021 according to Juniper.
UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has said that if a central bank digital currency (CBDC) was implemented it would exist as a complement to cash and not serve as a replacement. Sunak said that the government and the Bank of England had not yet made a decision on whether to introduce a CBDC into the UK.
New research has revealed that UK banks need to go further to gain customer trust in an increasingly digitised world. A study from IBM found that 43 per cent of banking customers want their banks to launch more advanced cybersecurity and privacy features.
Barclaycard has announed a new cashback programme with Visa, giving shoppers automatic cashback when spending at a range of High Street and e-commerce retailers. The new scheme will give customers personalised offers towards their favourite brands, based on their previous shopping habits when spending on their Barclaycard Visa credit card.
Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking and Fiserv have announced a new partnership for supplier payments. Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking, through Goldman Sachs Bank USA, is a digital-first and cloud-based business.
Tesco Bank is set to close all its 213,000 current accounts at the end of November. Tesco Bank, which has offered current accounts since 2014, said only 12 per cent of these accounts had been used for more than “limited activity” and most were “being used for other purposes, such as a savings pot.”
Mode has launched its new payments rewards solution on iOS devices in Public BETA today. The news will see iOS customers have access to the same features the company’s Android customers, including payments and instant Bitcoin cashback.
Nigeria and India are reportedly set to move ahead with plans to implement central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). A CBDC is a state-backed digital token that represents a virtual form of the fiat currency of a particular nation.
Starling Bank has bought buy-to-let specialist mortgage lender Fleet Mortgages for £50 million, marking the beginning of the FinTech challenger's wider acquisition and growth strategy. The mortgage company, based in Hampshire, focuses on providing mortgages to professional and semi-professional buy-to-let landlords, only via mortgage adviser distribution channels.
Financial crime prevention costs UK financial institutions on average £374,000 a year, according to new research. A DWF study, which surveyed 300 financial crime decision makers working in the UK financial services sector, found that on average, organisations spent £53 annually on financial crime defence for each customer relationship they have.
UK banks have welcomed the extension to implement Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for e-commerce transactions, with 42 per cent planning to use the extra time to improve and enhance the sophistication of their SCA roll out plans.
Mastercard and Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking have announced a new partnership to deliver an Open Banking payment solution for the bank’s business clients. Lloyds Bank’s PayFrom Bank, enabled by Mastercard’s Open Banking Merchant Payment feature, enables consumers to make payments on an organisation’s website directly from their bank account, without having to enter any payment details.
Most people have reasonable access to cash through a combination of bank, building society, or post office branches and ATMs, according to new research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR.)
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company Zilch is set to raise $110 million from Goldman Sachs and DMG Ventures, the investment arm of the Daily Mail group, according to sources reported by Sky News. The cash and equity deal brings the overall size of the FinTech’s Series B funding round, announced in April, to $200 million.
Revolut has announced the launch of its latest UK product, a daily interest savings vault. British customers with a Revolut standard plan can now start to earn 0.15 per cent daily interest on the funds in their GBP vaults.
Barclays, HSBC, TSB, the Bank of Scotland, Tesco Bank, and Sainsbury’s Bank were all hit by an internet outage on Thursday. For a short period, online banking services were either inaccessible or only partially accessible.
A review of ethnic diversity and inclusion at the Bank of England has found a ‘leaky pipeline’ in recruitment when it comes to ethnic diversity. The review revealed that while the bank has attracted an ethnically diverse pool of experienced-hire applicants, the share of minority ethnic candidates fell substantially between application and appointment.
Visa has signed a definitive agreement to acquire cross border payments platform Currencycloud.The deal, which builds on an existing strategic partnership between the two companies, values Currencycloud at £700 million, inclusive of cash and retention incentives.
Santander has announed the roll out of a new international cash management platform as part of the bank’s ongoing digital transformation programme. Santander Global Connect is a brand-new cash management platform designed to support international growth plans for Santander’s corporate and commercial customers.
Starling Bank has reported revenue growth of nearly 600 per cent to £97.6 million for the period ended 31 March. This compares to £14 million for the previous period, ending 30 November 2019.
Yapily, an Open Banking infrastructure provider, has raised $51 million in Series B funding. The round takes total investment in the London headquartered company to date to $69 million.
The European Commission has proposed new financial laws including legislation that will impact the cryptocurrency sector. On Tuesday, the commission presented a number of legislative proposals to strengthen the EU’s existing anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (EU AML/CFT) rules.
UK FinTech Soldo has secured $180 million in a series C funding round led by Temasek.
The company, which offers automated payments and spending management technology for businesses, said it will use the cash to fuel its plans for international expansion.
Mettle, NatWest’s business account for SMEs and sole traders is partnering with accounting software provider FreeAgent to enable real-time syncing. The new feature uses API technology to share data between the two platforms, which NatWest said is an improvement on the existing capability that uploads transactions between a customer’s business account and their accountancy software.
UK Finance has launched a joint report with Microsoft and EY into making the language used in the technology and cyber security sectors more inclusive. The report highlights what changes should be made to the language used in legacy application systems and coding to help drive positive action and remove any language that portrays people in an unnecessarily negative light.
In the first half of 2021, the UK has seen the establishment of seven new $10 billion+ tech businesses. According to research from Tech Nation, this ranks Britain third in the world for the number of technology companies valued over $10 billion, also known as ‘decacorns.’
Revolut has said that it will give £70 million to its customers in a 10 per cent cashback scheme via its new travel feature. The FinTech claimed that the average customer would save £69 a year on accommodation costs for bookings made through the ‘Stays' feature.
Mastercard will update its existing card programme for cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges by making it simpler for partners to convert digital assets to traditional fiat currency.
Stock trading app Robinhood is seeking to triple its current valuation in its upcoming listing. The company hopes to have a market capitalisation of around $35 billion after its IPO.
Danske Bank has announced it is raising its sustainable financing ambitions after it reached a previous target earlier than expected. The Danish multinational bank said that the original target, 100 billion DKK, was reached in early 2021.
Wise has reported revenue growth of 43 per cent to £123.5 million in the first quarter of its financial year. During the same period last year, the company accumulated £86.3 million in revenues.
Thousands of people were reportedly locked out of their Lloyds, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland accounts on Monday, with no access to internet banking or apps. According to Down Detector, more than 1000 people reported an issue with the Lloyds website by 11am.
Lord Hill of Oareford, the former EU commissioner for financial services, is joining the advisory board for UK based financial services start-up W1tty.
The volume of UK daily cryptocurrency transactions has risen by 30 per cent to £468 million in the second quarter of the year, according to figures from Coinbase. This compares to the first quarter, where brits contributed £325 million worth of crypto transactions.
Credit Suisse has led a $20 million funding round in Daloopa, an AI-driven data extraction company for hedge funds, investment banks, as well as other financial institutions.
Mastercard has launched a UK real-time payments gateway service called PayPort+. The service provides access into the UK’s real-time payments infrastructure for financial institutions and payment service providers.
Biometric FinTech Zwipe has partnered with card payment processor ICPS to bring its biometric payment cards to banks across Africa and Asia. Fingerprint sensors are embedded with the biometric cards, which means customers don’t need to use pin codes.
The Bank of England is widely believed to be using quantitative easing (QE) to finance the Government’s deficit during the pandemic which could lose it credibility, a report from the Economic Affairs Committee has said.
Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of US payments company Square, has announced his company is set to enter the decentralised finance (DeFi) market. DeFi is a blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on traditional intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks, and instead utilizes smart contracts on blockchains, the most common being cryptocurrency Ethereum.
Boubyan Bank Group has launched Nomo, the world’s first Islamic international digital bank. The fully digital bank can now offer Sharia-compliant UK bank accounts and financial management in Kuwait and the Middle East region.
The UK watchdog for the financial industry has committed to being a more innovative, adaptive, and assertive regulator, as the organisation launches its business plan for the year. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released its first annual plan since Nikhil Rathi joined the regulator as chief executive in October 2020.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India's central bank, has banned Mastercard from issuing debit or credit cards to domestic customers.The indefinite ban will take effect from July 22 but will not impact existing users.
Revolut has become the UK’s most valuable FinTech after raising $800 million in a Series E funding round. The British company, which was launched in 2015, is now valued at $33 billion.
The governing council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has launched the investigation phase of a digital euro project. The investigation will last 24 months and aim to address key issues regarding design and distribution.
US digital homeownership platform Better HoldCo is buying digital mortgage broker Trussle. Better said the acquisition of the British business will help it enter the £1.5 trillion mortgage market in the UK.
Starling Bank has partnered with InstaVolt, the rapid electric vehicle charger network, on a new marketing campaign. The digital bank is now using the charging network as a full-service advertising channel.
Payments platform Modulr has secured Visa Ready certification, which will enable it to extend its services to small businesses in the UK and EU. The company, which provides a Payments-as-a-Service API platform for digital business says the certification will enable businesses to automate payment flows, embed payments within their proposition and launch new features and services.
Apple is planning to launch a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service according to sources reported by Bloomberg News. The service, which is reportedly being called Apple Pay Later internally, will be entirely separate from the Apple Credit card.
UK FinTech Quantexa has raised $153 million in a Series D funding round. The FinTech, founded in 2016, provides software which aims to help financial services institutions fight financial crime and manage data.
Financial Services CEOs rank cyber attacks as the greatest threat to future growth prospects - more than a pandemic or over-regulation - according to a survey from PwC. The consulting and professional services firm surveyed 1108 chief executives as part of its annual global survey, and found that more than half (56 per cent) of those leading some of the world’s biggest banks, insurers and asset managers considered cyber attack to be the most significant threat to growth in 2021.
An increasing reliance on a small number of cloud service providers (CSPs) could “increase financial stability risks” without greater regulatory oversight, a Bank of England report has found. The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) has previously highlighted that the market for cloud services is highly concentrated among a few CSPs, which could pose a threat to financial stability.
Detectives have made the UK’s largest cryptocurrency seizure worth nearly £180 million. This beats a previous record set by the Metropolitan Police a few weeks ago.
Financial services firms need to improve their defences against cyberattacks as homeworking is set to continue long term, according to a statement by the Financial Stability Board (FSB). The FSB was founded in 2009, after the 2008 financial crisis, and provides guidance on regulation to the G20 nations and central banks.
Cryptocurrency trading volumes were down by over 40 per cent in June, according to research from CryptoCompare. Spot trading transaction volumes fell 42.7 per cent to $2.7 trillion, while derivative trading volumes fell 40.7 per cent to $3.2 trillion.
Record-breaking investment has taken place across the UK FinTech sector in the first six months of the year. According to research from Innovate Finance, an industry body representing UK FinTech, the first half of 2021 saw $5.7 billion raised across 317 deals in UK firms.
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) has awarded Microsoft Azure with a multi-year deal. The platform will be the bank’s primary cloud application.
Tide has received $100 million in funding, valuing the British company at more than $650 million. The UK business financial platform, which has been in operation for just four years, has now raised $200 million in funding to date.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is set to clampdown on misleading crypto advertisements. The watchdog told the Financial Times the effort to police “irresponsible” advertisements, primarily online and on social media, will start this month.
Google is reportedly entering the financial services market in Japan by buying a cashless payment company for $180-270 million. According to a report by Nikkei Asia, the world’s largest financial newspaper, Google is in negotiations to acquire all the shares in Tokyo-based start-up pring.
NatWest has adopted the Green Home Finance Principles (GHFPs) for its Green Mortgage. According to NatWest, it is the first High Street bank in the UK to adopt the principles, which were established by the Green Finance Institute.
Global FinTech Circle has announced plans to go public via a merger with Concord Acquisition Corp. The transaction values the company, which is the principle operator of digital dollar currency USD Coin (USDC), at $4.5 billion.
More than half the world population will use a mobile wallet by 2025, according to new research carried out by Juniper Research. At the end of 2020, there were over 2.8 billion mobile wallets in use according to the research commissioned by payments FinTech Boku.
Stripe, one of the world’s most valuable FinTechs, is preparing for a public listing according to sources reported by Reuters. The news comes after the payments processor closed a $600 million funding round in March which valued it at $95 billion.
80 per cent of Brits say they feel their money is safe at their bank, while only 66 per cent feel the same when it comes to personal data, new research has shown.
Netherlands-based challenger bank Bunq has raised $228 million (€193 million.) According to a report by TechCrunch, the company’s founder Ali Nikham participated in the round, investing around $29.5 million (€25 million.)
Wise has been valued at nearly £9 billion in a record direct listing in London. Yesterday the company announced its direct listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Visa customers have spent more than $1 billion on crypto-linked cards in the first half of 2021. The payments giant has teamed up with BlockFi, Coinbase, and Goldman Sachs backed firm Circle over the past year to allow its users to make purchases directly from their cryptocurrency wallets.
GoCardless has announed a new partnership with Pennylane which will enable small businesses to automate their invoices, accounting, and payments. GoCardless is an account-to-account payments company, currently serving around 60,000 worldwide businesses.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), and the Bank of England have announced regulatory plans to improve diversity and inclusion in financial services.
Wise has today announced its direct listing on the London Stock Exchange. The listing is expected to give the company a market capitalisation of more than £7 billion, according to Refinitiv prices on Wednesday.
Toqio, a London-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform aimed at FinTechs, has raised $9.4 million in seed funding. The start-up said its platform makes it easier for FinTechs to launch financial solutions by removing the need to build and manage complex software.
Deutsche Bank has announced that it will relocate just under 250 roles from Dublin to other centres around the world. The bank said the move is part of a wider strategy to simplify its operations and reduce costs, which was begun in July 2019.
Pleo has reached unicorn status after raising $150 million in a Series C funding round. The investment was led by Bain Capital Ventures and Thrive Capital.
European digital investment platform Bitpanda has named Irina Nicoleta Scarlat as the company’s first chief growth officer. Scarlat previously held the role of global head of growth at Revolut, having joined the company in 2018. There she built the challenger bank’s growth machine, led the growth teams in CEE and helped grow its user base from one million to 15 million globally.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a consultation into new proposals which would see founders able to retain more voting rights after listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The changes could include the introduction of a dual-class share structure into the premium listing segment of the exchange, used by larger companies subject to more regulatory oversight.
The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has appointed Natalie Timan, a former chief economist for the BBC, as its new head of strategy analysis and monitoring. Timan will take up the newly created role on 6 September 2021.
Joanna Hannaford is leaving her current role at Goldman Sachs to join Credit Suisse Group as chief technology and operations officer. Hannaford, who will also become a member of the executive board, will be based in Zürich and report directly to the group chief executive, Thomas Gottstein.
Clearpay, the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider, is launching a rewards programme for customers who pay back on time. The Pulse Rewards programme is aimed at acknowledging customers who adopt a responsible approach to spending with benefits for on-time payments.
UK Finance, the trade association representing around 300 financial services firms, has announced four new appointments to its board.
Lloyds Banking Group is teaming up with Mastercard and training organisations Good Things Foundation and Clean Slate to launch a digital and financial skills initiative. The ‘Nobody in the Dark’ campaign aims to support digitally and financially excluded people who have particularly struggled during the pandemic.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 is reportedly one of several companies considering investing up to $1 billion in UK digital bank Revolut. A report from Sky News revealed that the banking and payments app is in talks about an investment that could value the company at more than $30 billion (£21.7 billion.)
NatWest has partnered with cash management company Loomis UK to roll out a same day credit service following a successful pilot. Businesses will now be able to deposit cash returns and receive credit to their account without leaving their premises.
25% of UK finance workers favour fully remote working post-pandemic. One in four UK employees surveyed at financial services firms (FSIs) would prefer to work entirely from home in the future, according to new research by Accenture.
Hamburg-based challenger bank Tomorrow has introduced a new feature within its banking app that shows customers carbon emission calculations alongside bank transactions. The data will be based on each purchase made with a Visa card.
The Santander Foundation has launched a £1.8 million fund to improve digital and financial skills in the UK. The money will be spent on providing grants to support British charities and community interest companies to help equip people with the tools, knowledge and confidence to make better and more informed decisions about money.
Finance minister Rishi Sunak has announced a new roadmap to "ensure UK financial services remains competitive" now it has left the EU.
Codat, a FinTech that provides APIs which enable small businesses to share business and financial data with service providers, has raised $40 million from investors. The FinTech, founded in 2016, claims to have doubled its headcount over the past year and to have increased annual recurring revenue (ARR) 300 per cent.
Revolut has launched a Points feature which allows customers to earn points when they use their Revolut app or card. The FinTech said that customers will earn points for completing challenges such as making transactions,sending money to another Revolut customer, referring friends, setting up Vaults, and more. The more they use Revolut, the more their points increase.
Payment tech provider Tribe Payments has entered a partnership with ClearBank to provide its customers with better access to payment schemes. The collaboration aims to strengthen the company’s Bank Connect solutions by enabling clients to quickly and easily integrate Faster Payments, CHAPS, BACS and Direct Debit payments to improve the functionality of their offerings.
German neobank N26 has launched a flexible instalment payment solution which allows customers to retroactively split past purchases and pay them back over time.The N26 Installments solution, which has been launched to customers in Germany, is intended as an alternative traditional loans or buy-now-pay-later products by focusing on past purchases already paid for in full.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) represent a step change for complexity, speed, and scale, all of which could amplify existing risks in financial services, the Bank of England’s deputy governor for markets and banking said at a recent event.
Scandinavian mobile wallets MobilePay, Pivo, and Vipps are set to merge, in a move intended to challenge the dominance of BigTech’s mobile wallets in the region. MobilePay is Danish and developed by Danske Bank, Vipps is Norwegian and controlled by DNB ASA, while Pivo is Finnish and controlled by OP Financial Group.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has issued its assessments of the current benefits and risks of the use of regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions in financial services. The report published by the EBA looks at the application of technology-enabled innovation for regulatory, compliance and reporting requirements and provides analysis into the five most frequently used RegTech segments: Anti Money-Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), fraud prevention, prudential reporting, ICT security and creditworthiness assessment.
Klarna has joined several climate change initiatives, committing to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. The retail bank and payments FinTech announced on Wednesday that it would be joining The Climate Pledge and the Race to Zero.
More than half (51 per cent) of millennials would rather place an order using a potentially insecure app or website rather than visit a location in person post-Pandemic, according to a new survey of digital behaviours and cybersecurity conducted by IBM. A global survey of 22,000 consumers in 22 markets also found that on average individuals created 15 new online accounts during the pandemic, with 44 per cent saying they do not plan to delete or deactivate following the pandemic - which IBM suggested would greatly expand the attack surface for cyber criminals.
The vice chair for supervision at the US Federal Reserve has said that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are risky and comparable to the fad of parachute trousers in the 1980s.
J.P. Morgan has announced that it will buy OpenInvest, a company that helps financial professionals customise and report on values-based investments. The FinTech will keep its own brand and be integrated into J.P. Morgan’s private bank and wealth management client offerings.
Google is set to crackdown on online scams on its platform, following Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) calls for social media giants to prevent financial fraud. Mark Steward, the FCA’s director for enforcement, told parliament's Treasury Select Committee earlier this month that his organisation had issued 1,200 consumer warnings in 2020 about social media scams, double that of 2019.
Global high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are looking for a mix of digital and direct interaction when it comes to wealth management, according to research from Capgemini. The organisation said that HNWIs have become more involved in their investments over the past 25 years and now “seek more and broader advisory support.”
Klarna has partnered with business finance platform Liberis to offer pre-approved revenue-based financing for its global merchant base. Klarna currently provides 250,000 merchants across 17 countries with its Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service for shoppers.
Tide has committed to spend £100 million as part of its entry into the India market. The business financial platform also said that it would create more than 1,000 jobs in the region over the next five years.
NatWest Group’s Ulster Bank has agreed to sell the majority of its commercial lending to Allied Irish Banks (AIB.) In February, NatWest announced it would begin a phased withdrawal from the Republic of Ireland as it could no longer generate sustainable long term returns for its shareholders in the region.
Bank profits in the UK declined by more than a half over the past year, according to The Banker’s latest ranking of the top 1000 world banks. The ranking is based on Tier 1 capital, a key measure of banking strength.
The Metropolitan Police has said that detectives investigating money laundering offences have arrested a woman after it seized cryptocurrency worth £114 million. The crypto bust represents the largest of its kind in the UK and is believed to be one of the biggest globally.
Financial institutions, including Mastercard, Ant Group, and BBVA have joined a global partnership aimed at encouraging one billion people to take green action. The Every Action Counts (EAC) coalition has been launched by the Green Digital Alliance (GDFA) and funded by the Finance for Biodiversity (F4B) initiative.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned cryptocurrency exchange Binance from operating in the UK. The financial services watchdog did not outline the reasons for its actions.
Russian bank VTB has partnered with Visa and local FinTech O.Vision to let restaurant customers make payments with facial recognition. VTB, founded in 1990, is one of Russia’s largest banks and posted net profits of $1.04 billion for the 2020 financial year.
The UK’s central bank is taking supervisory action against Euroclear UK and Ireland (EUI) following a settlement system outage which took place last September. The outage, caused by an issue with messaging software, caused significant market disruption. Settlement was immediately halted while investigations were undertaken.
26 per cent of UK consumers do not know their credit card interest rate, according to a trend report from Klarna. The company, known for its Buy Now, Pay Later service, revealed that only 15 per cent of Brits pay the minimum balance on their credit cards every month.
UK credit marketplace ClearScore has received £143 million ($200 million) in funding. The investment, made by Invus Opportunities, values the company at £503 million ($700 million.)
London is second in the world in terms of the number and success of its FinTech companies, beating all the competition apart from San Francisco according to a new index from Findexable. New York, Sao Paulo, and Tel Aviv rounded out the remaining spots in the top five, coming third, fourth, and fifth respectively.
Deutsche Bank has partnered with Oracle to accelerate its digital transformation. The multi-year deal aims to modernise the bank’s database technology.
Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are moving from concept to practical design and could renew the institution of money for the digital age, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). In its latest annual economic report, the BIS lays out the design choices for CBDCs, which, alongside cash, would be issued and backed by a central bank.
The Bank of England is launching the new polymer £50 note, which will feature codebreaker Alan Turing. The bank also announced that paper £20 and £50 notes will be withdrawn next year.
BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, Citi and Deutsche Bank are among six global banks preparing to adopting SWIFT’s new platform for international payments flows. The group of institutions, which also includes Bank of China and Bank of New York Mellon, are preparing to implement the transaction management platform when it goes live in November 2022.
Lloyds Bank today announced it will permanently shut 44 Lloyds and Halifax branches, sparking backlash from trade unions. Unite expressed anger at the decision to close the bank branches, describing the move as a “bitter blow for customers, staff, and local communities.”
Visa is set to acquire Swedish FinTech Tink in a €1.8 billion deal, which mixes cash and retention incentives. Tink, founded 2012, provides an Open Banking platform that enables financial institutions, FinTechs, and merchants to build financial management tools, products and services for European consumers, and businesses based on their financial data.
43 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) working in financial services say that limited collaboration between teams disrupts IT’s ability to respond quickly to sudden changes, according to new research.
More than half of financial services employees in the UK expect to actively look for jobs outside of their current company in the next 12 months, according to new research. A study commissioned by analytics company Visier found that nearly a quarter of people working in the industry are already looking for new jobs.
Crowdcube has partnered with investment tech company Seccl to deliver API-based access to public markets, in preparation for the launch of its Community IPO product later this year. The investment crowdfunding platform is integrating with Seccl’s infrastructure to boost its capital markets tech and offer an all-in-one experience as the company eyes retail participation on a mass scale.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a warning to Monzo after it breached a rule requiring it to send banking transaction histories to over 143,000 former account holders. The Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017 means banks and building societies are required to send customers a history of their current account banking activity, called a “transaction history”, within 40 days of a customer or small business closing their current account.
Deutsche Bank has announced a joint venture with Fiserv to create a comprehensive provider of payment acceptance and banking solutions. The joint venture will serve small and medium-sized companies in the German market and will be based in Frankfurt am Main, pending regulatory approval.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published new proposals on climate-related disclosure rules for listed companies and certain regulated firms. The proposals follow the introduction of climate-related disclosure rules for the most prominent listed commercial companies in December 2020 which are aligned with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Amsterdam-based payment service provider (PSP) Mollie has raised $800 million in a Series C funding round. This brings Mollie’s total funding raised to date to $940 million.
Net losses at London-based challenger bank Revolut widened from £107.4 million to £207 million in 2020, rising 93 per cent year-on-year. However, the FinTech’s overall revenues increased 34 per cent to £222 million from £166 million in 2020, despite losing income from its core travel related operations.
Santander wants to become a key player in the European investment banking market, according to a report from the Financial Times (FT.) Santander, which has traditionally focussed on its consumer banking network, is Europe’s biggest retail bank.
Goldman Sachs is set to launch its transaction banking business in the UK. The division will offer UK companies cash management services.
TSB has joined a host of banks that have said they will ban cryptocurrency payments. The bank is concerned about high fraud rates among crypto trading platforms.
BBVA Switzerland has announced the opening of its first crypto-asset trading and custody service for its private banking clients. The new service, which was launched today, is only available in Switzerland. The financial services company said this was because Switzerland has clear regulation and widespread adoption of digital assets.
Novus has teamed up with Visa and Railsbank to launch a new digital banking app that rewards concious consumers for sustainable purchasing choices. The new platform will give customers real-time impact points that can be spent, saved, and tracked via the app.
French InsurTech Akur8 has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round. Founded in 2018, the company provides a cloud-based machine learning solution which assists actuaries with insurance pricing.
More than half of millennials are happy to switch to or already have a digital-only bank, according to new research. A new poll from financial advisory organisation deVere Group found that 59 per cent of the 550 clients surveyed that were born between 1980 and 1996, already only ever use digital banking services or are planning to make the switch this year.
The number of UK adults holding cryptoassets has risen in the past year to 2.3 million, according to research published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The regulator said the rising number of crypto asset holders, up from 1.9 million in the last 12 months, is evidence that attitudes to the digital assets have changed.
Nutmeg is to become a part of JPMorgan Chase, in a move that will help support the bank’s plans to move into the UK retail banking market later this year. The company, an online investment management company based in London, said it would “form the bedrock” for JPMorgan’s retail digital wealth management offering internationally over the long term, and complement the launch of Chase as a digital bank in the UK.
German full-service payment provider Novalnet and Tink are partnering on a new Open Banking payment feature for the European payments market. The real-time payments feature is for merchants across Europe and will aim to enhance Novalnet’s existing payment systems.
Alongside the Nordic countries, Britain has been crowned the best place for Open Banking, according to new research. A study from Mastercard found that a high number of Open Banking APIs, progressive regulators, and consumer readiness, make these countries the perfect spots for Open Banking in Europe.
Several Australian banks – including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp, and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group - experienced website outages on Thursday. The downtime has been linked to an issue with Akamai Technologies’ content delivery network (CDN).
Wise, formerly TransferWise, has announced plans to go public in a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange. Kristo Käärmann, the FinTech’s chief executive, said the company’s decision to go public via a direct listing was “transparent and fair.”
London FinTech 10x Future Technologies has completed a $187 million Series C funding round.
The FinTech, founded by former Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins, says it produces technology which allows established financial services institutions to compete with digital challengers. The funding round was co-led by funds managed by BlackRock and CPP Investments and supported by existing investors JPMorgan Chase, Nationwide, Ping An, and Westpac.
Standard Bank, Africa’s largest financial institution, is investing in Microsoft Azure to accelerate its digital transformation and drive growth in the region. The bank’s cloud investment will involve migrating workloads, applications, and platforms to Microsoft Azure.
Two former PayPal executives have launched a decentralised cross-border payment network that connects both traditional and digital currencies. The new company, Six Clovers, is a FinTech infrastructure that links banks, merchants, and payment providers to transact in digital currencies around the world.
27 per cent of all UK payments were contactless last year, according to UK Finance’s latest payment markets report. The trade association, which represents around 300 financial services institutions, found that during 2020 the number of touch-free payments increased by 12 per cent to 9.6 billion.
London-based FinTech DNA Payments has received a £100 million investment from private equity firm Alchemy Partners. DNA said it serves 45,000 merchants and provides them with over 70,000 terminals making over 20 million transactions worth over £600 million a month.
American Express (AmEx) company Kabbage has launched the company’s first business checking account for the US market. ‘Kabbage Checking’ marks the first of a number of planned digital cash flow management offerings from AmEx.
Laybuy has launched a new digital Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) card in the UK. Customers will now be able to buy goods and services across six instalments in stores using the digital card, which is accessed on a smartphone.
Lloyds Banking Group has announced it is appointing David Gledhill as group chief operating officer. Gledhill, who has been working in Singapore for DBS Bank for 11 years, will begin the role in August.
The executive chair and founder of Snoop has written a letter urging the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to force banks to promote Open Banking. Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who founded the FinTech in 2020, said that the main barrier to achieving quicker and widespread adoption is not technical but instead down to consumer attitudes and perceptions relating to data sharing.
Watchmaker Timex has launched a new range of watches that allow wearers to make contactless payments. The new collection, called “Timex Pay”, will allow US consumers to make payments anywhere which accepts Visa.
ABN Amro has announced that it is introducing a new instant payment service for the gig economy. The new service aims to make it easier for flexible workers to decide when their invoice is paid once the work is done.
Societe Generale has joined forces with Kyriba to launch a cloud treasury management system. The new system, designed for the bank’s corporate clients and their subsidiaries, will include payment automation and fraud management functionalities.
Many of the UK’s largest banks are struggling to meet Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) challenges, according to new research. A report by business intelligence firm alva found that while HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest, and Standard Chartered generate “65 per cent of the share of voice,” they have an average ESG Index score of -40.
Bud has signed a deal with Nordic eco-payments company Enfuce to bring its “My Carbon Action” product to the UK. The Open Banking FinTech will combine its existing services with Enfuce’s carbon tracking engine, to offer UK customers a clear indication of how their spending impacts their carbon footprint.
The Bank of France, Swiss National Bank, and the BIS Innovation Hub are collaborating with a private sector consortium to conduct an experiment exploring the use of wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) for cross-border settlement. While a retail CBDC would be available to the public, the use of a wCBDC is limited to financial institutions and government bodies.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the Bank of England have jointly launched the BIS Innovation Hub in London. The centre is the fourth hub to be opened in the past two years.
Buy Now, Pay Later company Klarna has announced new equity funding of $639 million. The money will be spent on the business’ international expansion and to “further capture global retail growth.”
Australian FinTech BlackArrow has picked Glasgow as its new centre of global operations. Founded in 2014, the FinTech provides an AI-based financial planning app.
Ledger, the crypto hardware wallet developer, has announced $380 million in funding. The French company, which was founded in 2014, said that the funding will help make digital assets more secure and accessible to everyone.
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has published a proposed five-year strategy, which aims to ensure payments and payment systems “work well for everybody.” The new strategy hopes to enable fairer competition and access to payments.
Marqeta has reportedly reached a valuation of $15 billion following its initial public offering. Last week it was reported that the company, which is backed by Uber and hedge fund Coatue, was aiming for a valuation of around $12 billion in the listing.
UK Finance, which represents over 300 financial institutions, has said that its members ‘strongly support’ the Bank of England’s decision to conduct a climate change stress test.
El Salvador has become the first country in the world to make cryptocurrency legal tender. Salvadorian congress embraced president Nayib Bukele's plan to classify Bitcoin as a legal currency, with 62 out of 84 possible votes in favour of the proposal on Tuesday night.
Lithuania’s central bank has revoked the licence of UAB Finolita Union, which is suspected to have stolen over €100 million from Wirecard weeks before the company collapsed. The move comes nearly a month after EU lawmakers urged Lithuania to tighten its financial oversight after it was revealed that the Vilnius-based FinTech was involved in the scandal.
Brazilian neobank Nubank has received $500 million in funding from US conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway. Founded in May 2013, the São Paulo headquartered company has around 38 million customers, 35 million of which are in Brazil.
On Tuesday the Bank of England announced it would run an extensive stress test to explore the financial risks posed by climate change for the largest UK banks and insurers. The bank runs regular exploratory scenarios to help assess the resilience of the UK financial system and individual institutions.
72 per cent of UK financial executives say that the pandemic has increased their focus on Open Banking, compared to 68 per cent of European execs in the industry. According to new research from Open Banking platform Tink, 56 per cent of UK respondents said that the digital shift is permanent.
US-based banking app Dave is set to go public via a special purpose acquisition (SPAC) deal at a valuation of around $4 billion. SPACs create public listings through reverse mergers with a private firm, sometimes called a “backdoor listing”, while the acquiring company is sometimes called a “blank check company”.
Santander has responded to Which’s call for banks to “come clean” on scam reimbursement numbers. Last week the consumer organisation urged financial institutions to reveal how much money victims of bank transfer scams are being reimbursed.
Without specified prudential treatment, cryptoassets could increase global financial stability concerns, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has said.
The UK’s central bank has said that stablecoins used as money should meet the same regulatory standards as those provided by commercial bank money or bank deposits. A ‘stablecoin’ describes digital tokens issued by the private sector which aim to maintain a stable value at all times, primarily in relation to existing national currencies.
Swedish Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) firm Klarna is likely to choose the US for a stock market listing over London, according to an interview with chief executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski in the Sunday Times. The FinTech recently hit a valuation of $40 billion, on the news it is close to securing a new round of funding from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.
The chair of Infosys has said that India should embrace cryptocurrencies as an asset class. According to a report from the Financial Times (FT), Nadan Nilekani said that cryptocurrencies should be encouraged as an asset to be bought and sold like a commodity.
HSBC has launched a new API Developer Portal, which will give customers access to tools that can be integrated with its API features into their own products. The bank said that the portal enables customers and developers to find the right APIs for their business needs, access the technical documentation, and try out APIs in the test environment.
Virtual cards could unlock untapped potential in the commercial cards sector thanks to the extra security, control, and efficiency they provide, according to RBR. Virtual commercial cards are digital card numbers generated centrally or instantly issued, which are distinct from tokenised versions of plastic cards in mobile wallets.
Fiducia & GAD IT, a German company that provides IT services to many of the nation’s co-operative banks has been hit by a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). DDoS attacks aim to overload a website by firing huge amounts of requests at it from multiple machines until it is forced to crash.
Online insurance broker Anorak has raised €5.8 million in funding. The start-up, which specialises in life insurance, income protection, and critical illness cover, claims to be the world’s first fully automated life insurance advice platform.
Marqeta is reportedly aiming for a valuation of over $12 billion in its US public offering. The US payments company, which filed for the IPO last month, has profited from the shift to online shopping and the increase in food deliveries during the pandemic.
New York-based alternative investing app Yieldstreet has raised $100 million in a Series C funding round. The FinTech’s platform allows users to make “alternative investments” in assets like real estate, shipping, legal finance, and commercial loans that are generally associated with institutional investors.
The US is beating the UK in the rollout of the 3D Secure 2 (3DS2) multi-factor authentication protocol, according to new research. Data from fraud detection and payment acceptance company Ravelin shows that 68 per cent of transactions in the states now use 3DS2, with a significant 99 per cent authentication success rate.
NatWest Group is reportedly preparing for only 13 per cent of staff to work full-time across its offices. According to a report from The Guardian, around 8,300 staff will be expected to commute to the bank’s offices and branches.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said that a significant number of firms are withdrawing their applications, as result of not being able to meet its anti-money laundering (AML) standards. The FCA is set to extend the end date of its temporary registrations scheme for existing cryptoasset businesses from 9 July 2021 to 31 March 2022.
HSBC UK has become the first High Street bank to launch a free news-style fraud awareness app to protect businesses from scams. According to the National Crime Agency, fraud costs the UK private sector more than £140 billion a year.
Morgan Stanley and Microsoft have announced a strategic cloud partnership aimed at accelerating the bank’s digital transformation. Morgan Stanley’s technology teams will use Microsoft Azure, which Microsoft said would help the bank solve challenges specific to the financial services industry.
Coinbase card users will now be able to use cryptocurrency to make payments via Apple Pay and Google Pay. The publicly traded crypto exchange said users will also be able to earn rebates of up to 4 per cent on their purchases.
Revolut Business has doubled down on APIs by partnering with accounting software company Clear Books. The FinTech said that the partnership will enable business customers to access a quicker and easier way to manage bills and payroll directly from their Clear Books accounts.
The question is not if but where, and to what extent, central banks should respond to the climate crisis, the Bank of England (BoE) said on Tuesday.
Starling has been accredited by the British Business Bank as a lender under the government-backed Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS.) The scheme is the successor to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Berlin-based InsurTech wefox has raised $650 million of Series C funding, giving the company a valuation of $3 billion. This is the largest Series C funding round for an InsurTech ever according to the company, and the valuation was almost double the $1.65 billion it achieved in its December 2019 funding round.
UK FinTech ikigai has raised £1.9 million to help fund its digital banking and wealth management app. According to the company, which said that the campaign was overfunded by 158 per cent, it is the first premium British FinTech to combine digital banking with wealth management in one application.
Standard Chartered has entered an agreement with Doconomy to build a new digital tool that helps clients track, measure, and manage their impact on carbon emissions and freshwater consumption based on goods and services they have purchased.
Revolut will be adding new cryptocurrencies to its app over the coming weeks with the launch of the ‘New Token Tuesdays’ initiative.The weekly release of cryptocurrencies will add to the 21 token already supported in the app, beginning with 8 new additions to Network and Oracle’s collections.
Santander Asset Management is extending its alternative investment proposition with the addition of a trade finance fund. The fund, which invests in short-term trade finance assets and is registered in Luxembourg, will receive an initial capital contribution of EUR 25 million from Banco Santander.
Cloud payment provider Checkout.com has announced the launch of its Barcelona office which will serve as headquarters for operations across Southern Europe, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece.
Less than half of bank transfer scam losses, which amount to £700,000 every day, have been compensated under a new voluntary reimbursement code. UK Finance figures reveal that a total of £412.9 million has been lost across 189,000 cases of bank transfer fraud between the introduction of the code in May 2019 and the end of 2020.
Expecting to find a cannabis farm, West Midlands Police discovered a cryptocurrency mine stealing thousands of pounds worth of electricity last week. The police force executed a drugs warrant at a Black Country industrial unit in Sandwell, after receiving intelligence that the warehouse was being used to grow marijuana.
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company Klarna doubled its gross merchandise volume (GMV) – the overall value of all the transactions on its platform - to $18.9 billion between January and March. The news comes as the Swedish FinTech is close to securing a new round of funding from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank that will give it a valuation of $40 billion, according to sources close to the matter.
NatWest has become the first bank to join the government’s campaign to encourage small businesses to pledge to cut their carbon emissions.
The UK is the fourth most cashless country in Europe according to research by personal finance website money.co.uk. The different European countries were evaluated according to the percentage of the population aged over 15 with a credit card or debit card, the number of cash machines available per 100,000 adults, the contactless payment limit, and the number of major e-wallet operators available.
While FinTech companies head towards profitability and experience double-digit growth, traditional banks are creating digital-only opportunities to stay competitive, according to research from Capgemini.
Klarna has announced plans to open a new technology hub in Madrid, creating 500 new jobs in the city. The global payments and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company has over 4,000 employees across the world, 1,500 of those focused on engineering.
Apple is currently recruiting a business development manager with several years’ experience in the crypto space, hinting at an increased interest in digital assets by the BigTech giant. The role will centre on “alternative payments” and will also require experience in in Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services.
Goldman Sachs has signed up to The Green Software Foundation, a sustainability initiative launched by Microsoft, ThoughtWorks, Accenture and GitHub.The non-profit foundation has been set up to address the carbon emissions crisis and is aimed at encouraging companies to make impact pledges to become carbon neutral or carbon negative through development and use of green software.
HSBC has announced that it will exit its US domestic mass market retail banking business. The bank will instead reposition the business towards international banking and wealth management.
Mobile payments platform Paysend has closed a Series B funding round of $125 million. The FinTech offers international money transfers, global accounts, business banking, and e-commerce support for small businesses.
Singapore’s DBS Bank has said that it aims to fill more than 140 engineering jobs at its virtual career fair for women technologists. Last year, the bank ran the same event with 50 job opportunities, which had over 500 applications.
Digital investment platform Wealthify has chosen Open Banking company Tink to provide automated payment initiation services (PIS.) The partnership will see Tink’s PIS technology embedded in the Wealthify app.
UK banks and investors are responsible for almost twice the nation’s annual carbon emissions, according to a new report from Greenpeace UK and WWF. The study, which suggests that finance is one of the UK’s biggest contributors to climate change, found that banks and asset managers made up 1.8 times the annual net emissions of the UK as a whole.
NatWest has issued an alert to customers warning of the dangers of cryptocurrency scams.
NatWest customers this morning received a notice urging them to be vigilant over a sophisticated cryptocurrency scam targeting investors.
Deutsche Bank is reportedly moving 100 bankers from the capital to offices in the EU and Asia, as part of its post-Brexit corporate bank restructuring plan.
Revolut Business has launched a new tool for invoices. The feature will enable customers to send professional invoices from their Revolut Business accounts.
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) firm Zip has acquired Prague-based BNPL provider Twisto and UAE-based BNPL provider Spotii. The Sydney, Australia-based Zip, founded in 2013, first launched in the UK in March 2021
More than one in three UK businesses (37 per cent) have lost revenue from cross-border card payments post-Brexit, according to new research. The analysis by payment service provider ECOMMPAY based on surveys of 1,002 UK consumers and 500 business leaders in the UK, in collaboration with Censuswide found that average revenue lost from cross-border card payments post-Brexit is £66,812.
Cryptocurrencies and similar digital assets are a danger to the public, according to the Bank of England’s Andrew Bailey. "I'm sceptical about crypto-assets, frankly, because they're dangerous and there's a huge enthusiasm out there," the governor told the British parliament’s Treasury select committee on Monday.
Banking tech start-up Zeta has announced a $250 million investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The new funding values the UK company at $1.45 billion.
Deutsche Bank must give women around 50 per cent of vacant senior management roles to meet its 2025 target, according to The Financial Times (FT.) The German lender has recently committed to increasing the share of women across its 600 most senior executive jobs to at least 30 per cent by the end of 2025.
UK banks HSBC and Barclays have railed against Open Banking reforms which they say have led to much higher costs than previously estimated. The government says that Open Banking aims to place competitive pressure on the larger, established banks who have accounted for over 80 per cent of the current account market for many years.
NatWest is to enable customers to set daily bank transfer limits to help protect customers against fraud. The bank hopes the move, first reported by Which? Money, will reduce authorised push payment (APP) scams where victims are tricked into transferring money into a criminal account.
The UK’s exit from the EU could mark an opportunity for the capital to strengthen its position as a global finance centre by drawing in more FinTechs and banks, according to Klarna’s chief executive.
Revolut has launched currency forward contracts – foreign exchange (FX) forwards - in the UK for its business customers. This means customers will be able to get a fixed FX rate for a set amount and date in the future via their Revolut Business web app.
Financial market vulnerabilities led to tightening of financial conditions and dysfunction in March 2020, according to Jonathan Hall, member of the Bank of England’s (BoE) financial policy committee.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has extended the deadline for implementing Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for e-commerce transactions by six months.
ComplyAdvantage, a RegTech which provides financial crime solutions, has received an investment from the growth equity team at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The investment tops up the RegTech’s latest Series C funding round to $70 million.
For instant payments to become the new normal, they must be cheap and easy to use, the European Central Bank (ECB) has said.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined American Express (Amex) £90,000 for sending more than four million marketing emails to customers who did not want to receive them. In 2020, the ICO dished out fines worth over £42 million across 16 companies.
Danish payroll automation company Pento has raised $15.6 million in Series A funding. Monzo founder Tom Blomfield and Stripe’s Diede van Lamoen were among a number of founders and operators that took part in the round.
Digital currencies could impact the nature of currency competition, the architecture of the international monetary system, and the role of government-issued money, a study from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has found.
Stake, an Australian-founded commission free consumer trading app, has raised $30 million. The app allows UK investors to trade US stocks without paying the commission fees associated with traditional brokerages.
The UK’s financial regulator is “upping its game” against online fraud and scams. Alongside its ongoing reactive work, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has increased its proactive monitoring of the internet with a dragnet approach to capture suspicious advertising on the same day or 24 hours after it first appears.
US payments company Square has launched its solution in Ireland, marking its first launch inside the Eurozone. The San Francisco based company, currently valued at around $100 billion, provides a point-of-sale (POS) solution which enables vendors to accept credit and debit cards and set up online stores.
first direct has introduced a new transaction details feature on its mobile banking app through its integration with FinTech platform Bud. The new feature will draw together financial and transaction data together to help customers better understand their spending and spot anomalous transactions.
Paymentus Holdings, a US-based payments and billing network, is set to make an initial public offering (IPO) at a projected valuation of $2.43 billion. The Redmond, Washington company, founded in 2004, reports over 1,300 clients in financial services, insurance, healthcare, and telecoms which serve 16 million consumers and businesses.
Tink is continuing its European expansion with the buyout of German Open Banking company FinTecSystems. The FinTech, which is active across 150 banks and other FinTechs in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, specialises in data analytics, digital account checks, account aggregation, and Open Banking payments.
EU lawmakers have urged Lithuania to tighten its financial oversight after it was revealed that a Vilnius-based FinTech was involved in the Wirecard scandal, according to The Financial Times (FT.) UAB Finolita Unio is suspected to have stolen over €100 million from Wirecard weeks before the company collapsed.
Credit Suisse has announced plans to hire more than 1000 IT employees in India this year. The global wealth manager and investment bank said that it is committed to establishing India as a centre for technology innovation across the organisation globally.
Goldman Sachs’s retail banking arm Marcus is set to launch an automated investment solution in the UK by the first quarter of 2021, shifting its focus towards investment management. The news comes over two years after Marcus originally entered the UK market in September 2018 as a high interest savings account.
Lithuania-based payments company UAB Finolita Unio is suspected to have stolen over €100 million from Wirecard weeks before the company collapsed. Some of the money is believed to have been channelled to Wirecard’s ex-chief operating officer Jan Marsalek.
American Express (AmEx) has launched a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) service that will enable its US consumer card members to book AmEx travel flights and pay for them in monthly instalments.
Santander apologised to customers on Monday after it experienced technical issues over the weekend.
Payment technology start-up Marqeta has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq.The target valuation for the listing is unknown, but the FinTech’s stock already trades on private markets at a valuation of between $16 billion to $17 billion.
Wise, formerly TransferWise, has announced plans to help open a coding school in Estonia. Estonia is home to Wise’s biggest office with over 1,000 employees.
More than half of compliance professionals say digital transformation of the customer due diligence process will have the biggest impact on their risk organisation over the next 12 months, according to new research.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it plans for a new Consumer Duty which will set a higher level of consumer protection in retail financial markets. Although financial institutions are already bound by FCA rules to treat customers fairly, the authority said that it has seen evidence of practices that cause “consumer harm.”
Two key execs at the Bank of England (BoE) have publicly spoken about the possibility of a state-run digital currency this week.
Financial services firms that experience a data breach report an average loss of roughly $4.2 million per attack, according to new research by network services provider Infoblox. The research surveyed 800 responses from IT professionals working in the financial services industry in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
PayPal is expanding its existing partnership with Google Cloud to further accelerate the company’s digital transformation.
NatWest is giving customers complete control to set their own payment limits. The bank’s new online banking feature will enable customers to set the maximum amount that can be transferred from their account in a day.
The Diem Association has announced a new partnership with Silvergate Capital, which will become the exclusive issuer of the organisation’s stablecoin cryptocurrency in the United States.
Lili, a US-based mobile banking service aimed at freelancers, has raised a $55 million Series B funding round. The round was led by FinTech focused venture capital firm Group 11, and other investors included Target Global and AltaIR.
eBay has become the first e-commerce platform to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs.) The company has introduced the sale of the digital tokens for online collectibles, including trading cards, images, or video clips, according to a report by Reuters.
Revolut has launched a range of new features for retail customers, including the ability to track price movements, set limits and stop orders with cryptocurrencies and commodities.
SWIFT has said it has a “unique role to play” in a payments ecosystem that includes CBDCs, following the publication of a joint report exploring the cryptocurrency.
eBay UK has announced a new finance programme for small businesses. Capital for eBay Business Sellers (CEBS) will involve a number of financing products for the 300,000 small and medium sized businesses that sell via the UK platform.
Block.one, a blockchain technology company backed by Peter Thiel, is set to launch a new cryptocurrency exchange called Bullish, capitalised with over $10 billion in cash and digital assets. Peter Thiel is a famed Silicon Valley investor who co-founded Paypal and big data firm Palantir Technologies.
EY and IBM have launched a Centre of Excellence to help financial institutions accelerate digital transformation with hybrid cloud solutions.
Global payment tech company Nuvei Corporation has announced it will buy FinTech start-up SimplexCC for $250 million. Simplex is a flat-cryptocurrency infrastructure that connects exchanges, brokers, wallet and liquidity providers. It provides a platform for users to buy or sell cryptocurrencies using credit and debit cards.
The Chancellor has authorised the sale of 580 million shares in NatWest, raising a total of £1.1 billion. This is the government’s fourth sale of its NatWest shareholding and the second transaction in two months.
American Express has partnered with Open Banking platform Tink to improve the onboarding process for new European card members.
Curve, the card consolidation FinTech, is launching a fresh fundraising round via Crowdcube five months after raising $95 million in equity investment. The company, which combines multiple cards and accounts into a single app, will launch the crowdfunding round to its customer base in May.
Revolut has announced a new partnership with crypto-asset risk management and blockchain analytics company Elliptic. The move is part of the Revolut’s plans to broaden its cryptocurrency offering.
Rental deposit lending company Fronted has secured more than £1 million of funding in a debt and equity deal which included two of Monzo’s co-founders. Fronted, founded in December 2019, allows consumers to spread out rental deposits into smaller monthly payments over 12 months.
Deutsche Bank has launched digital proxy voting through Proxymity’s digital investor communications platform. The German investment bank’s implementation of Proxymity, will enable electronic proxy voting solution for issuers, intermediaries and institutional investors and provides post-meeting vote confirmation for shareholder meetings.
NatWest has been integrated into MoneySuperMarket’s mortgage comparison technology platform.NatWest joins Nationwide and Santander as the first three lenders to be integrated into the price comparison website’s platform via APIs, which will allow customers to compare products and get a decision in principle on a remortgage within minutes, MoneySuperMarket said.
Lloyds Banking Group is reportedly nearing a £400 million takeover of Embark Group, the digital retirement platform. Lloyds is in advanced talks about the acquisition, which will be the bank’s biggest buyout since it returned to private ownership four years ago, according to Sky News.
JP Morgan has appointed James Reid as a chief information officer (CIO). Reid will have responsibility for a new division — Employee Experience and Corporate Technology — that will focus on updating and modernising the banks IT systems. He will be the bank’s first black CIO in its history.
Crowdcube has launched Cubex, a secondary European marketplace for shares in private companies. Retail investors will be able to use the marketplace to buy and sell shares in high-growth private European companies.
A new report has revealed record-breaking number of technology mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the first quarter of 2021. Tech deal activity was up 28 per cent compared to the previous year, with 268 deals announced, according to a new report.
PayPal processed $285 billion worth of payments in the first few months of the year, an increase of 50 per cent on 2020. The company also gained 14.5 million new customers in across the same period, taking the total number of active accounts up to 392 million.
Citigroup is weighing up whether to establish cryptocurrency services following a surge in interest from its customers.
Tide has announced it will launch a new invoice assistant for small businesses later this month. The feature will enable companies to automatically chase and match invoices, insure against non-payment, set up direct debits and be notified when they are paid.
More than eight in ten consumers (86 per cent) say that their payments habits have changed since the start of the pandemic as adoption of digital and contactless methods rises. A survey of 8,000 consumers from the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Italy on behalf of payments platform PaySafe found that 59 per cent had tried a new payment method for the first time in past 12 months, with that number rising to 77 per cent of 18-24 year olds.
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is beginning to reshape markets as financial institutions and technology providers move from experimentation to implementation, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group. The report, which explores the increasing commercialisation of DLT such as blockchain in capital markets, was based on findings from eight global workshops and more than 100 interviews with executives from leading financial institutions, FinTechs, regulators, and adjacent industries.
Digital payments platform Pomelo Pay has partnered with Mastercard to expand its offering for SMEs.The agreement will mean the London-based FinTech will become a Principal Issuing Member of Mastercard, and will be able to issue payment cards directly to its small and medium-size enterprise (SME) customer base.
Revolut has announced the launch of crypto withdrawals, which will give customers the option to transfer bitcoin to their personal wallets. Revolut Metal customers based in the UK will now be able to choose where to store their bitcoin, whether that’s on Revolut or hot or cold storage.
Metro Bank has renewed its partnership with Backbase as part of its digital transformation plans. The UK challenger bank is using the company’s tech to provide digital innovation support for its business banking customers.
Klarna has announced plans to double its UK headcount in the coming year and expand office space in London and Manchester. The Buy Now Pay Later giant has taken an 11,000 sq. ft. space at WeWork’s Aviation House building in Holborn and has expanded existing office space at its Northern hub in Manchester.
HSBC UK has announced that its voice biometrics system has prevented nearly £249 million of attempted telephone fraud over the past year. The bank reported a decrease in the rate of attempted fraud of 50 per cent year-on-year.
B2B focused payments company Boost Payment Solutions has closed a $22 million Series C funding round led by Invictus Growth Partners. Boost, which offers solutions which help B2B payments players improve commercial card use and acceptance, claims to have processed over $10 billion in card payments for over 15,000 enterprises.
Canadian consumer investment platform Wealthsimple has achieved a C$5 billion valuation after raising a C$750m investment. The funding round was led by Meritech and Greylock, with DST Global, Sagard, Iconiq, Dragoneer, TCV, iNovia, Allianz X, Base 10, Redpoint, STEADFAST, Alkeon, TSV, and Plus Capital also participating.
Bank of Ireland is set to recruit 130 technology professionals to support the delivery of its new digital agenda. The recruitment drive will include positions for technical architects, software developers, engineers, specialised project managers, scrum masters, and data analysts.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched Amazon FinSpace, an analytics service for financial services organisations (FSIs). The company claims that the web application-based service can reduce the time it takes to find, prepare, and analyse financial data from “months to minutes.”
Trustly has temporarily scrapped its $9.34 billion listing after regulators raised concerns about the company’s due diligence processes.
The New York State Department for Financial Services (DFS) has warned that the next significant financial crisis could be triggered by a cyber-attack, following an investigation into the industry’s response to the SolarWinds Attack.
Coinbase is making it possible for US customers to buy cryptocurrencies using debit and bank accounts linked to PayPal. The company said that those with an existing PayPal account will be able to start making transactions on the platform straight away.
Nine out of ten Gen Z consumers are choosing banking incumbents like HSBC and NatWest over FinTech challengers, according to new research. A survey of 500 UK banking customers aged 12-23 by payments and card issuing provider Marqeta found that despite their status as the most tech aware and ‘digitally savvy’ generation, many are choosing more traditional financial services than expected.
Irish RegTech unicorn Fenergo hits $1bn valuation. Fenergo, a Dublin-based FinTech, has achieved unicorn status after selling a $600 million stake iits business.
The UK’s new Financial Services Bill has received Royal Assent and is now officially law. The government said the legislation represents a “major milestone” in shaping a regulatory framework for UK financial services outside of the European Union.
Virgin Money has partnered with FinTech Trade Ledger as part of plans for a new business banking proposition. The bank will use Trade Ledger’s lending-as-a-service (LaaS) capability, which supports secured and unsecured lending, to unlock working capital and business lending products for businesses that otherwise find access to finance difficult.
The Bank of England is considering plans for a simpler prudential framework for smaller, non-international banks following the UK’s exit from the European Union. Under existing regulations, based on the approach adopted in the EU, the same rules are applied to all banks and building societies, regardless of size or activities.
Goldman Sachs and QC Ware researchers claim to have created quantum algorithms that outperform the most advanced classical algorithms for Monte Carlo simulations. A Monte Carlo algorithm is a randomised algorithm - which uses randomness as part of its reasoning process - whose output may be incorrect.
Deutsche Börse and Commerzbank are entering a strategic partnership with FinTech 360X to develop blockchain-based digital marketplaces and ecosystems for real asset classes such as art and real estate. Deutsche Börse is a marketplace organizer for the trading of shares and other securities which partially controls the Frankfurt Stock Exchange- the world's 12th largest stock exchange by market capitalisation.
Deutsche Bank has announced pre-tax profits of €1.6 billion in the first part of the year, the highest since 2014. Profits were up from just €206 million in the first quarter of 2020.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published proposals to strengthen its financial promotion rules for high-risk investments to help retail investors make more effective decisions.The proposed changes follow feedback to its Call for Input (CFI) on consumer investments.
The European Central Bank (EIB) has issued its first ever digital bond on public blockchain platform Ethereum. The two-year bond, which is worth €100 million, was launched in partnership with Goldman Sachs, Santander, and Societe Generale.
Payments FinTech Wise (formerly Transferwise) is partnering with core banking technology firm Thought Machine to allow banks and FS firms to carry out faster international transfers.
The tie up will see Thought Machine’s core banking engine, Vault, integrated into Wise’s international payments platform.
Now in their 9th year, the 2021 Payments Awards are now open for entries. The awards recognise and celebrate companies which have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the rapidly changing payments space. The deadline for entries is 16 July 2021.
Barclays US has announced a new partnership with Amount, which will see the consumer bank offer point-of-sale (POS) financing instalment options. According to Barclays, the move will make it one of the first providers to offer merchants the option of buy now, pay later (BNPL) under the merchant’s own brand.
Brits lost around £625 million to fraud and cyber-crime in the first three months of the year, according to new research. A report from Money.co.uk found that there were 137,695 fraud and cyber-crime related police reports issued between January and March this year.
Lloyds Banking Group saw pre-tax profits surge to £1.9 billion in the first quarter of the year, following a significant release of money set aside for covid-related loan losses.
JP Morgan is partnering with Asia’s DBS bank and Temasek to establish a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) open industry platform for multi-currency cross-border payments, trade transactions and foreign exchange settlements. Partior, a joint venture company which will run the technology platform, is being set up in association with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Cryptocurrency platform Gemini has partnered with Mastercard and WebBank to issue a credit card. Gemini was founded in 2014, by twin brothers Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, who gained notoriety for their legal disputes with Mark Zuckerberg about their role in Facebook’s founding.
TSB is set to launch 43 new pop-up branches spread across the UK: 22 in England, 19 in Scotland, and two in Wales. The move comes after the High Street bank’s decision to close almost half of its physical branches, approximately 80 in 2020 and 160 during the start of this year.
Bank-to-bank payments company GoCardless has announced the launch of its new Open Banking feature. The feature is directly integrated into the FinTech’s global payment platform and will enable merchants to take instant, one-off bank-to-bank payments from both new and existing customers while still having access to bank debit for recurring payments.
Swiss investment bank UBS has announced a loss in operating income of $774 million following the collapse of Archegos Capital Management.
Tesco Bank has partnered with Cisco’s imimobile to enhance its customer interactions and increase usage of its mobile banking application. The retail bank said that imimobile’s cloud communications software and solutions provider would help it to build customer engagement with its Mobile Banking app.
Corporate credit card provider Brex has achieved a $7.4 billion valuation after a $425 million Series D funding round. This brings the total funding of the San Francisco based company, which has over 600 employees, to $940 million.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed restrictions on American Express from onboarding new domestic customers onto their card networks from May.
Over 50 per cent of customers in the UK find their bank’s digital experience lacking, according to research from digital transformation agency Equator. Young people were the most dissatisfied with the experiences on offer according to the research, with 78 per cent of Generation Y and 83 per cent of Generation Z finding their bank’s digital experience lacklustre.
Santander has entered a new underwriting agreement with investment bank Peel Hunt. The bank said that the deal will give both parties the scale, expertise, and finance to underwrite the UK’s biggest equity capital markets (ECM) transactions.
Market research and data analytics firm YouGov has purchased Lean App, a mobile app start-up which helps consumers cancel and manage their subscriptions via Open Banking. The app works using the platform offered by London-based FinTech TrueLayer, which allows developers to build applications which utilise Open Banking.
Israeli FinTech Pagaya is set to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal, according to sources reported by Israeli newspaper Calcalist. Pagaya, founded in 2016, sells a product that uses machine learning for credit evaluations, which it said speeds up the loan application process.
Ally Tech has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to explore how quantum computing can transform the financial services market. Together with Microsoft, the US FinTech will apply the latest research on quantum inspired algorithms to understand how they can be leveraged to solve complex challenges.
The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce of LawtechUK has published rules designed to enable faster and more cost-effective resolutions to legal disputes around blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts.
Rising demand for digital services could cost insurers £8.3 billion in displaced premiums by 2025, according to a new report from Accenture.The report, which examined the impact of digital services on customer retention and revenues for UK life and general insurers, found that up to £3.5 billion of market share is up for grabs through new technology products.
London’s High Court has allowed a copyright infringement lawsuit against bitcoin.org by an Australian computer scientist who claims he invented the cryptocurrency. Craig Wright, who alleges he created bitcoin, will serve the lawsuit against the operator and publisher of the website, which calls itself Cobra.
Revolut has announced that it will make a multi-million pound investment in India over the next five years. The UK-based FinTech has committed to the creation of 300 new jobs in the Asian country.
Citi has selected Mastercard as its network partner for its Citi Plex Account on Google Pay, a new digital checking and savings account which the bank said focuses on financial wellbeing and mobile functionality. Customers with a Citi Plex Account will receive an auto provisioned instant digital debit card, with an option to request a contactless-enabled, physical debit Mastercard with access to Citi’s nationwide network of over 60,000 cash machines.
NatWest will refuse to provide services to business customers who accept cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, according to reports. According to The Guardian, board member Morten Friis, head of NatWest’s risk committee told an online shareholder event yesterday that the bank would maintain a “cautious” approach to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which the bank considers to be “high risk.”
Currencycloud, a cross-border payments solutions provider, has officially opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore as it continues its expansion in the region. The new office, located in Raffles Quay, will serve as a hub to drive the London-based FinTech’s growth in Asia Pacific including South East Asia, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.
The Bank of England (BoE) has announced plans for a new northern hub as part of a review of its footprint across the UK. The bank’s chief operating officer, Jo Place, is to lead the review.
Over 40 of the world's biggest banks have partnered to form the Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), which aims to combine existing and new-net zero finance initiatives into one sector-wide forum. The NZBA said it will work to mobilise the trillions of dollars necessary to build a zero emissions economy and deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2050.
Visa has committed to reach net-zero emissions by 2040. The company said that it had already achieved carbon neutrality across its operations last year.
UK Finance has welcomed an amendment to the Financial Services Bill which will allow cashback without purchases. The post-Brexit legislation will give corner shops, pubs, and cafes permission to offer cashback without customers needing to buy something first
A clear majority – 81 per cent – of financial services professionals believe Digital ID would improve crime prevention in the industry according to research from financial consultancy Duff & Phelps. The survey was conducted at a conference hosted by Duff & Phelps where The Investing and Saving Alliance (TISA) unveiled their new Digital ID scheme, which it claimed will reduce the costs of identity verification checks by up to 50 per cent.
HSBC UK has launched a human live chat feature to its online investment service. The bank said that customers accessing its My Investment service will have access to Live Chat with a UK-based support team, and claims to be first bank to offer a human live chat investment service.
Several US banks are implementing AI assisted cameras to analyse customer preferences, monitor their workers and watch for homeless people sleeping near their ATMs, according to sources reported by Reuters. The sources claimed there have been unreported trials of the technology at City National Bank of Florida (CNB), JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) must continue to embrace innovation whilst levelling the playing field for firms who stick to the rules, said the organisation’s chief executive at UK FinTech Week.
Global tech provider FintechOS has announced $60 million Series B funding. The money will primarily be used to further cement the company’s position in Europe and the UK. But the funds will also go towards an international expansion in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, Africa, and North America.
Business financial platform Tide has joined Tech Nation’s Future Fifty Programme, designed to bring together and accelerate the growth of top tech companies in the UK.
Santander is teaming up with Prosegur Cash to launch in-store digital cash management for businesses. The new service, called ‘Cash Today,’ is designed to guarantee the cash merchants collect is held in a secure device and contractually insured.
Mastercard is set to acquire digital identity provider Ekata for $850 million. Ekata’s solution seeks to verify the online identity of a person making a transaction in real-time, using various indicators to provide a score which determines the risk of fraud, like a credit score.
The Seattle-based company was spun-out in June 2019 from an existing background checking company called White Page Pro.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced plans to boost UK FinTech and financial services with a number of new proposals, including a central bank digital currency (CBDC) taskforce.
Starling Bank has received £50 million of funding from Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, the US investment bank’s growth stage and technology investment division. The investment is an extension of the bank’s £272 million Series D funding round it announced in March 2021, which valued it at over £1.1 billion.
Mastercard has partnered with new FinTech Hi55 Ventures on a market-first salary access card. The new card will enable people to access their pay as soon as they have earned it.
Revolut is set for a new funding round that will value the company at between £7.2 billion and £10.8 billion, according to sources reported by Sky News. San Francisco based investment banking firm FT Partners, which focuses on FinTech, is said to be advising on the deal.
Credit Karma has announced its partnership with Bud, a move that will give its UK members access to Open Banking services.
More than 440 banking and financial organisations have moved or are moving part of their business, staff, assets, or legal entities from the UK to the EU following Brexit.
The use of RegTech could cut the annual cost of compliance for Britain's top five banks by a combined total of £523 million - 0.05 per cent - according to a report by the City of London Corporation. RegTech is technology that enhances regulatory processes, including monitoring, reporting, and compliance, which can be used to spot criminal offenses such as money laundering.
Citigroup has announced that it will cut its consumer banking services in 13 countries as part of an ongoing strategic review.
JP Morgan has said it will use blockchain for fund transfers between international banks using a new solution called Confirm. Confirm is an international account information validation application based on Liink, the bank’s peer-to-peer data transfer network.
42 per cent of UK finance leaders are focused on growth with automation as key priority amid the disruption of the pandemic, according to a new report. Research for Dun & Bradstreet conducted by Censuswide based on interviews with 251 CFOs and finance leaders across a range of industries found that CFOs are preparing to embrace new technologies to improve efficiencies across automation, data and planning as they look to increase their ability to manage disruption in 2021.
More than half – 52 per cent - of consumers have never heard of Open Banking, according to a Censuswide survey commissioned by financial services platform Mambu. In addition, 61 per cent of the 2,000 respondents said they have never used Open Banking, despite 80 per cent of respondents using one or more mobile finance apps.
The pandemic drove a 15 per cent spike in FinTech app use during 2020, with 4.6 billion downloads as consumers sought to take control of their finances amid the uncertainty. A report from mobile and data analytics platform App Annie and mobile app marketing firm Liftoff found that FinTech apps outperformed even the most highly rated banking apps by a factor of up to 10.8 times over the course of 2020.
J.P. Morgan is expanding its use of Acin’s operational risk platform to cover its global markets business.The US banking group has deployed Acin’s SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution to create a digitized platform and peer-to-peer network for operational risk management which enables it to access benchmarking data for risks and controls.
NatWest is relaunching its enterprise programme to boost support for scale-up businesses including climate, FinTech, and B-Corp focussed businesses. The programme is free to enter and open to applications from UK SMEs from 15 April, with the cohort set to start in June.
TSB is partnering with price comparison FinTech ApTap to introduce a new bill management feature for banking customers. The bank trialled ApTap’s tool with more than 10,000 customers, who were able to organise bills for energy, utilities and broadband as well as compare prices and switch to other deals. Customers in the trial saved on average £150 a year.
New Zealand has become the first country in the world to introduce a law that requires financial institutions to report the impacts of climate change on their business.
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is launching its first Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT.)
Blockchain software engineering firm ConsenSys have announced a $65 million funding round, with key investors including JP Morgan, Mastercard, and UBS. New York based ConsenSys, founded in 2015, develop decentralized software services and applications that operate on the Ethereum blockchain.
Today Coinbase will list on Nasdaq, marking another key step towards cryptocurrencies becoming a mainstream medium of exchange. Last month the US cryptocurrency exchange said private market transactions had pushed the company’s value up to $68 billion, compared to just $5.8 billion in September 2020.
Goldman Sachs is expanding its UK footprint with a new office in Birmingham, which is expected to generate hundreds of new technology roles. The bank said that the West Midlands site would provide access to a strong talent pool of academic institutions, a growing tech sector, and leadership in STEM industries.
Mastercard has partnered with Swedish FinTech Doconomy to release a new carbon calculator.
The payments giant said the solution can give consumers a snapshot of the carbon emissions generated by their purchases, which it claimed are powered by the independently verified index.
HSBC has joined the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) to develop its IT architecture through the use of common standards. BIAN, which was established in 2008, is a collaborative not-for-profit global network made up of banks, tech providers, consultants, and academics.
The Bank of Russia has confirmed plans to release a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which it said could be fully launched by 2023. A central bank digital currency (CBDC) is a digital currency issued and backed by a central bank, fundamentally different from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Corporate credit card start-up Ramp has raised $115 million, which the FinTech claims gives it a $1.6 billion valuation and unicorn status. Ramp creates software which allows companies to administer and track cash outflows and provides company cards to businesses.
UK-based DNA Payments has announced the launch of its Open Banking payments service. The integrated payments company is partnering with Ecospend, which will deliver the service to DNA Payments’ 30,000 merchants.
Lloyds Bank has created a team to help corporate clients make their businesses more sustainable. The bank said that the new team will specialise in structuring environmental, social and governance (ESG) products and services.
Huawei’s Industrial Digital Transformation Conference shone a light on the progress and future path for banks as they complete the leap to being fully digital competitors in the new age of finance.
Swedish payments firm Trustly is planning to raise $934 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq Stockholm. Trustly provides a payment method that allows customers to make purchases from their online bank account, without the use of a bank card or application.
The Chinese government has levied a record $2.75 billion fine on Alibaba following allegations of monopolistic practices, almost triple the $975 million chip manufacturer Qualcomm had to pay Chinese regulators in 2015. Alibaba, currently valued at around $608 billion, controls a significant portion of the Chinese domestic e-commerce and cloud computing markets.
Citi Innovation Labs and The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have trialled cross-border payments from the US to Latin America and the Caribbean using blockchain and tokenised money.
Asian investment bank Nomura has appointed Sameer Jain as chief information officer of its wholesale division. Jain, based in New York, will report to Jonathan Lewis, group chief administrative officer and chief executive officer at Nomura International, and Steve Ashley, head of the wholesale division.
A central bank digital currency (CBDC) is crucial to strengthening London’s position as a financial centre following the UK’s exit from the EU, according to The City United Project.
Atom Bank has confirmed a £40 million funding round at 60p a share, halving the bank’s valuation.
Revolut will allow employees to work from abroad for up to 60 days a year. The FinTech challenger said the move marks the latest step in its agile working strategy.
While 83 per cent of banks have a clearly articulated digital transformation strategy, 60 per cent say they are yet to make significant progress on executing their plans.
Mastercard has announced the launch of its new Request to Pay application service through Pay.UK. The payment giant said that the new solution is the first to offer end user application services within Pay.UK’s Request to Pay framework, designed to provide flexibility for individuals and businesses on bill payments.
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) start-up Zilch has launched a new service which enables customers to ‘pay-over-time’ in store with just a tap. According to the London-based company, this will be the “first-ever” product of its kind in the UK and Europe.
Coinbase, Square, Fidelity Investments and Paradigm have founded a lobbying group aimed at correcting “wrong impressions” around cryptocurrency and influencing future regulation. The alliance, called the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI) has launched a website outlining its intention to be a voice for crypto industry leaders in demonstrating “the transformational promise of crypto and communicate its benefits to policymakers, regulators, and people around the globe.”
FinTech Plaid has been valued at $13.4 billion in its latest funding round, almost triple the $4.9 billion valuation it received from Visa last year. The San Francisco-based company, founded in 2014 has built a data transfer network that powers FinTech and digital finance products, which claims to connect information from 11,000 banks and financial institutions to over 4,500 FinTech customers.
JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon has warned traditional banks of incoming threats from FinTech and BigTech disruptors in his annual letter to shareholders. The banking chief claimed that banks are “playing an increasingly smaller role in the financial system”.
Sentenial, which owns Open Banking brand Nuapay, has been bought by EML Payments for $110 million. Sentenial, which is currently connected to 1,750 banks, is a cloud-native payments company which processes around €45 billion euros a year.
Open Banking platform TrueLayer has raised $70 million in a Series D funding round as the company advances with its ambition to build the world’s most valuable Open Banking network.The round was led by new investor, Addition, with participation by existing investors including Anthemis Group, Connect Ventures, Mouro Capital, Northzone, and Temasek.
Visa has handled one billion additional European touch-free payments less than a year since contactless limits across 29 countries were increased in response to the pandemic. 400 million of the contactless transactions were made in Britain.
The market value of cryptocurrencies surged beyond $2 million for the first time on Monday.
Bitcoin value also hit record levels, with a $1 trillion market cap over one week.
Stripe has announced the official launch of its expansion to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The financial services and software company said that it is also opening a new UAE office in Dubai Internet City.
Credit Suisse has announced it will face a $4.7 billion loss following the collapse of Archegos Capital Management.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the principal public agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales, is preparing for a rise in the number of prosecutions related to cryptocurrency scams. Sources told the Financial Times that the government's response to the uptick is expected to include the opening of a specialised City of London court dedicated to financial crime by 2026.
Over half of UK businesses want to remove the option of cash payments, according to a study of more than 1,200 British companies.
Brazil’s central bank, Banco Central do Brasil (BCB), has licensed the use of WhatsApp for initiating fund transfers. WhatsApp attempted to launch the transfer service last June, but the bank said that licencing the service could negatively impact the country’s existing payments system.
LendInvest has teamed up with Credit Kudos in a move it says will streamline the underwriting process and allow it to leverage Open Banking enabled insights for credit assessment. LendInvest, founded in 2008, is a property finance platform which allows property professionals to access commercial property finance.
Alwyn Jones, Monzo’s chief financial officer, is set to join cryptocurrency firm Luno in the same role. The executive is set to serve out his six-month notice period at the challenger bank while they search for a replacement.
Mastercard is one of five companies accused of breaching competition rules by engaging in ‘cartel behaviour’ in the pre-paid cards market.
NatWest is set to offer SMEs up to £1million of cashflow funding through its digital overdraft alternative Rapid Cash, as it looks to support UK businesses as they enter the next phase of economic recovery. NatWest’s Rapid Cash service now provides businesses with a flexible line of credit based on outstanding invoices for up to £1million, offering a quick solution to temporary cashflow difficulties.
Commerzbank has strengthened its strategic partnership with Google Cloud as part of a five-year cloud transformation agreement.The German commercial bank said the expanded collaboration would see a “significant number” of applications moved to the cloud in the next five years.
Mastercard is set to invest $100 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce (AMC), the mobile money subsidiary of Airtel Africa. Airtel Africa is a FTSE-250 listed company that provides telecommunications and mobile money services in 14 countries in Africa, which posted $3.42 billion in revenue for 2020.
Phishing attacks are the most common cause of cloud security incidents for financial services organisations, accounting for 26 per cent of instances. Other common causes of cloud security incidents included targeted attacks on cloud infrastructure, which caused 22 per cent, and ransomware which caused 15 per cent according to data security vendor Netwrix’s latest report.
A number of top banks could face investigations from UK and US regulators over a fire sale of Archegos Capital Management assets worth around $20 billion following the hedge fund’s collapse.
Marcus, Goldman Sachs' retail banking offering, is set to introduce a cash ISA in the UK. The news comes over two years after Marcus entered the UK market in September 2018.
Nationwide Building Society has renewed its technology partnership with Tata Consultancy Services, (TCS) with the aim of strengthening its operational agility and resilience. Nationwide has been collaborating with TCS for the last 10 years with a strategic focus on the transformation of its core technology stack to help accelerate the development of new services and more innovative experiences for customers.
Cambridge-based payment solutions provider Monavate has secured £5 million of seed funding from an undisclosed major US institutional investor.
This marks one of the largest seed funding rounds for a UK FinTech in the last 12 months.
PayPal has announced the launch of its new cryptocurrency checkout service ‘Checkout with Crypto.’ The feature enables consumers pay for select purchases at millions of online businesses with their cryptocurrency of choice.
Stephen Khan, head of technology and cyber security risk at HSBC, has been appointed the new chair of ClubCISO. ClubCISO is a community of 520 chief information security officers (CISOs) and security leaders. The group has grown by 56 per cent in the past year.
Marqeta has been chosen by Mastercard to join its FinTech Express programme. The global card issuing platform will work closely with Mastercard on future banking tech innovations, with a focus on expanding and launching more FinTech programmes.
UK FinTech Tide has said the “slow uptake of Open Banking” has meant missed opportunities for customers and companies who could have launched new products and services.
Tide provides mobile-first banking services for SMEs, and claims 320,000 members, which it says is equivalent to 5 per cent of the UK’s SME banking market.
The Bank of England (BoE) has urged banks to seek its approval before moving jobs or operations from the UK to the European Union. The UK central bank is reportedly concerned that European regulators are requesting more relocation than is needed to retain financial stability following the UK’s exit from the EU.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said that Open Finance, the extension of Open Banking-like data-sharing to a wider range of financial products, could offer “significant benefits” following a Call for Input.
UK FinTech Wise has launched a coalition to fight IBAN discrimination in partnership with other European FinTechs, including Starling Bank, N26, Revolut, Raisin, Klarna, SumUp and Fire. IBAN discrimination is when an employer, merchant, or any other company in the single euro payments area (SEPA) refuses to accept a SEPA-enabled IBAN for payments or direct debits.
Visa has announced it will become the first major payments company to accept transactions in USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin backed by the US dollar. The payments giant is piloting the cryptocurrency with Crypto.com and plans to expands the USDC capability to other partners later this year.
UK Finance has called for new legislation to make online platforms responsible for taking down fraudulent content and protecting consumers from scams.
British financial institutions will face tougher ‘cyber stress tests’ to assess their resilience to cyberattacks under new Bank of England (BoE) plans.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has tackled what it says are "misconceptions" about the proposed digital euro, reaffirming the digital currency would complement not replace cash. The digital euro would be a form of central bank digital currency (CBDC), a digital currency issued and backed by a central bank, fundamentally different from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Equifax is partnering with FinTech Curve for the roll out of its Open Banking consumer credit solution Curve Credit. The business and consumer insights firm said the exclusive agreement would include comprehensive verification and ID solutions for Curve Credit.
TSB’s virtual Smart Agent chat service has been fully integrated into the bank’s mobile banking app. The challenger bank announced that its IBM-powered chat service is averaging over 1,000 conversations a day on mobile devices.
Santander will close 111 branches by the end of August 2021 in response to the shift towards mobile and online banking during the pandemic. The news comes after HSBC announced plans to close 82 UK branches in January and TSB promised to close 164 bank branches over 2021 in September 2020.
Santander has said that by 2025, all of its debit, credit, and pre-paid cards across Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK will be made of sustainable materials like PVC or a corn-based plastic substitute.
81 per cent of consumers said that more flexible and easy-to-access banking would motivate them to switch to a challenger from traditional banking providers, according to new research from Capgemini. The world retail banking report compiled by the technology consulting firm in association with Efma, found warned that retail banks are facing a choice between aligning their offerings to customer expectations or run the risk of losing those customers altogether.
NatWest Group and Microsoft have partnered to help UK businesses better understand their carbon footprint and create tailored action plans to reduce their emissions by using digital tech. The project, which is to be piloted later this year, will draw from Microsoft’s cloud, data and AI platform and NatWest Group’s customer knowledge.
Nationwide is rolling out a ‘work anywhere’ approach, which will enable its 13,000 office-based employees to work from any location in the UK. The UK’s largest building society said that the policy would help put employees in control of how they balance their work and home lives.
Online pension consolidator PensionBee is planning an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) at a potential valuation of £350m. Over 8,000 customers have registered their interest in purchasing shares via retail investing platform PrimaryBid.
NatWest is to overhaul its retail banking business to rival FinTechs and boost revenues, according to a report by The Financial Times (FT.)
N26, a mobile-focused German neobank, has appointed Gilles BianRosa as its new chief product officer. BianRosa will lead all product teams based across the bank’s offices in Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna, and New York.
The UK’s financial watchdog warned that younger investors are getting involved in higher risk investments like cryptocurrencies and foreign exchange.
Airwallex, a FinTech who provide infrastructure for cross-border payments, has reached a $2.6 billion valuation in its latest funding round. The Melbourne based FinTech raised $100 million in a round led by US-based Greenoaks, with participation from Australia’s Grok Ventures, Skip Capital and ANZi Ventures, alongside other existing investors.
HSBC has launched Kinetic, a business banking app for SMEs.The launch comes as leading FinTech challengers including Monzo, Starling and Revolut scale up their business account offerings as a route to profitability.
Financial fraud solution provider Feedzai has reached a valuation of more than $1 billion following its latest funding round, giving it unicorn status.
The San Mateo headquartered start-up raised $200 million in a round led by investment company KKR, who were joined by existing investors Sapphire Ventures and Citi Ventures.
Fidelity said institutional investors are in “education mode” about cryptocurrencies in an interview with Reuters, despite soaring demand for digital assets by large investors. The news comes as Bitcoin hit a record price of $62,000 earlier this month.
Digital identification firm Jumio has announced a $150 million Series B funding round.The investment was led by Great Hill Partners, which last year acquired Notonthehighstreet.
Automatic savings app Chip is partnering Seccl to power the launch of its investment platform.The FinTech said the integration with Seccl’s custodian and investment technology would be enabled via API and would provide users with simple and affordable access to financial markets.
Risk data aggregations has become the top compliance concern for 70 per cent of chief data officers within financial services firms, according to new research. A survey of 100 data and information technology executives by WBR Insights also found that 88 per cent of organisations are devoting 40 per cent or more of their total data practice budget to compliance functions.