Allianz and Microsoft have announced a strategic partnership focused on digitally transforming the insurance industry. The insurance group will move core pieces of its global platform, Allianz Business System (ABS), to the software giant’s Azure cloud and will open-source parts of the solution’s core to improve and expand capabilities.
Google is preparing to launch a bank account in partnership with Citigroup next year. Code-named Cache, the Wall Street Journal reported that the current accounts will not be branded as Google.
Facebook is set to launch a new payments feature this week, allowing users to send and receive payments on its social media platforms, including Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. The announcement follows months of speculation over the progress of Facebook’s closely guarded plans for an in-app payments feature, as well as the controversial announcement of plans to launch the Libra digital currency and the Calibra digital currency wallet, which are separate to Facebook Pay and are currently scheduled for launch in 2020.
Real-time payments are growing rapidly in the UK, signifying potential for business payments for banks and FinTechs, according to the Emerging Payments Association (EPA). The trade association published original research on how consumer expectations have drastically changed over a short period of time – with delays to fund movement or clearance no longer tolerated.
Standard Chartered has invested in a $6.2 million funding round for artificial intelligence-powered anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing startup Silent Eight. The fresh capital from this round will be used to hire new employees to support a pipeline of customers, comprising large banks and insurance companies. The company is hiring for its offices in Singapore, Warsaw, London and New York, with plans to double the headcount by the end of the first quarter next year.
More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of UK financial services workers believe that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform many industry practices, but companies are still slow to adapt to the technology. This is according to content services firm Nuxeo, which surveyed 501 respondents working in the finance industry last month, finding that 58 per cent also think firms which embrace AI are a more attractive place to work.
Nesta Challenges’ Open Up 2020 Challenge has named the 15 FinTechs to secure funding for solutions that use Open Banking to transform how people across the UK manage their finances. Run in partnership with Open Banking Limited (OBL), the prize has awarded each of the different solutions £50,000 of the £1.5 million prize pot. Three of them will also receive an additional £50,000 based on their solution’s emphasis on financial inclusion.
The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) has called for greater supervisory convergence in European crypto asset regulation. In a new paper, the industry body set out five recommendations intended to encourage collaboration between regulators in Europe, pointing out the areas where divergence in regulation exists between National Competent Authorities.
SWIFT and Token.io both celebrated double wins at last night’s Payments Awards. Now in its seventh year, the payment sector’s biggest event of the year was celebrated with a glitzy gala dinner at the Marriott in London’s Grosvenor Square.
A new report from HSBC has argued that the common narrative - which portrays traditional banks as lumbering dinosaurs ripe for extinction by a combination of insurgent FinTech startups and tech giants - is false. Its new Banking in the Future report admitted that this is an attractive analysis, because it pits different types of organisations against one another in a winner takes all scenario. “But change is far more likely to come about through partnerships between the established banks and the technology sector.”
Business finance marketplace Funding Options has partnered with predictive intelligence platform DueDil to simplify its customer journey and speed up finance applications. The partnership aims to improve financing outcomes for customers by improving the fit between customer and lender, therefore speeding up the application process.
Research among fund managers has revealed that 71 per cent believe the number of chief executives, finance directors or very senior executives being fired as a result of poor data storage and management will increase over the next three years. This is according to a survey of 30 top fund managers, conducted last month by data visualisation company Zegami, which found that 90 per cent saw the number of companies being fined for this increasing, with 23 per cent predicting a ‘dramatic rise’.
Revolut has announced that City veteran Martin Gilbert has been appointed non-executive chairman, as the FinTech unicorn continues to bolster its top team ahead of a global expansion drive. The appointment of Gilbert, a former co-chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management and chairman of the Prudential Regulation Authority’s Practitioner Panel, is statement of Revolut chief executive Nik Storonsky’s ambitions for the challenger bank as it prepares to launch in the US by the end of the year.
Zego has become the first UK InsurTech to be awarded its own insurance licence – a milestone for the business that will enable it to build and sell its own products. While Zego will still work in tandem with its growing network of insurer partners, the licence will enable the company to innovate with new policies and implement product changes in less than 24 hours.
NatWest has announced a technology integration with cloud accountancy platform Xero. The integration will allow Xero subscribers to access NatWest financing services directly from the software.
Goldman Sachs is facing a probe by the New York financial authorities following online claims that the algorithms it uses to set credit limits for the Apple Card are gender-biased.New York’s Department for Financial Services confirmed it has launched an investigation after Bloomberg News reported that tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson posted a series of Tweets alleging he had been offered a credit limit 20 times higher than his wife when they applied for the card, despite her having a higher credit score.
Ashurst has announced the first cohort of businesses for FinTech Legal Labs, its FinTech legal accelerator programme. The international law firm will offer its first cohort of 36 businesses legal support and access to investors.
Cloud credit control software firm Chaser has raised $4 million in funding to fuel growth. The company, founded in 2014, provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with software to disrupt traditional methods, using cloud technology to send automated email chasers and cut down on late invoice payments.
Deutsche Bank is facing up to continued payment system failings, as the regulator demands answers. Reporting in the Financial Times revealed that the bank’s executives met Bank of England (BoE) officials two weeks ago, after internal auditors reviewed annual submissions on how well it is complying with expected standards.
RegTech is the “sleeping giant” of the financial services world, according to Financial Conduct Authority’s director of innovation. Speaking at the CDO Exchange event earlier this week, Nick Cook said that while it is certainly growing - investments more than doubled between 2017 and 2018 to £3.4 billion - RegTech is still an “underserviced” area of the regulatory sandbox he started – which is currently open for cohort six until 31 December.
Total payments industry deals for September 2019 worth $404 million were announced globally, according to GlobalData’s database. However, this marked a decrease of 91.6 per cent on the previous month and a drop of 94.3 per cent when compared with the last 12-month average of $7.03 billion.
InsurTech company Cover Genius has raised $10 million in a Series B funding round.The Australia-based company - which also has offices in London, New York and Tokyo - said it would use the money to fund its expansion into the UK, US and Asian markets.
Open Banking platform Tink has appointed Stripe’s former head of EMEA banking Rafael Plantier as its new country manager for the UK and Ireland. In his new role, Plantier will lead and grow Tink’s UK and Irish arm, building on existing partnerships with companies such as NatWest, PayPal and Klarna.
Peer-to-peer lending platform Zopa has announced plans to become a digital bank with the launch of a trial of a fixed-term savings account. The digital funding platform, which was the first peer-to-peer (P2P) lender when it launched in 2005, said the Fixed Term Saver Product - currently in beta stage with existing customers - marks a significant step on the company’s journey to becoming a fully-fledged challenger bank.
Curve has partnered with Google Pay so that its customers can now connect all their accounts and pay using their Android smartwatch as well as other devices from the likes of Acer, Huawei, HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola. The new feature means that once you register your Curve card with Google Pay, the app will now work with all the banks and cards on the Mastercard or Visa networks. This is significant for Google Pay customers, as it enables support from banks like Barclays and Virgin, which have built near field communication (NFC) enabled payments into their own banking apps.
American Express and business expenses firm Coupa are set to launch a virtual AmEx card on Coupa’s digital business spend management platform. The integration with Coupa Pay is set to be available to American Express corporate customers in the UK and Australia before the end of the year and in the United States midway through 2020.
Savings app Chip has raised £7.3 million to fund its expansion, with £3.8 million crowdfunded by customers, and the remainder from angel investors. The company has also brought in several industry veterans to help drive its growth. Last year, Chip broke UK crowdfunding records, raising around £4 million by the time it closed. This year, the startup welcomed many more investors, bringing the total number to over 10,000.
IBM has teamed up with Bank of America to design a financial services-ready public cloud, as rivals gear up to challenge the dominance of Amazon and Microsoft in the fast-growing cloud services sector. The software giant said that its public cloud offering would also be available to financial services institutions and their suppliers, with Bank of America committed to collaborating to use its platform built on IBM’s public cloud to help develop the industry-specific offering.
Non-banks now account for a quarter of the institutions offering payment services, up from 14 per cent in only six years, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The Basel-based association for central banks stated that driven by innovation and shifts in consumer preferences, new systems, methods and players are shaping the future of payments.
GoCardless has partnered with TransferWise to create the first global network for bank debit. Designed to be a transparent way to collect recurring payments such as subscriptions, invoices and instalments via bank debit, GoCardless customers can now get payments via multiple bank debit schemes around the world - without needing to navigate the specific rules for each - through a dashboard or partner integrations.
Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) expect that within the next five years the financial world will no longer be able to operate without big data, while 13 per cent think this is already the case. This is according to a survey of 100 CFOs by Onguard, which revealed that financial directors are mainly using big data to make well-informed decisions (54 per cent), to aid predictive analysis (41 per cent) and to analyse large, unstructured databases (29 per cent).
Payments and fraud-prevention provider Riskified has made $165 million in a Series E funding round led by General Atlantic, at a valuation of more than $1 billion. The proceeds will be primarily used to more rapidly scale its business domestically and internationally, and to expand its product footprint.
The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) has called for the capital markets industry to realise the full potential of public cloud. In a new paper, the industry body set out 14 recommendations to increase the transparency and collaboration required to build confidence, trust and capability in public cloud.
NatWest has announced that its business banking customers will be able to use Apple Pay. The bank has launched the feature across its full range of VISA debit cards to its one million business account customers.
Existing securities rules could apply to digital currency initiatives, like Facebook’s Libra, to help realise its benefits, according to International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). At its meeting on 30 October, the regulator’s board met to consider the risks and benefits arising from ‘stablecoin’ initiatives with a potential global reach, and how securities market regulation may apply to such initiatives.
Banco Santander has announced a £350 million strategic investment in Ebury, the trade and foreign exchange facilitator for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). The investment will strengthen its Global Trade Services offering and improve Santander’s SME proposition across Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) finance platform Alternative Business Funding (ABF) has raised £6 million in funding to fuel its expansion. ABF will use the money to build upon the 25,000 registered small businesses and £40 million in SME finance it has made available since its launch in 2014, with a particular focus on accelerating the development of its technology, helping it to provide predictive lending powered to customers and capitalise on Open Banking.
UK tech scale-ups are competing with their German rivals to lead the ranking for late stage funding in 2019, with FinTech driving a surge in European funding deals over the last 12 months. A report by Tech.EU and payments platform Stripe identified FinTech and software as the top industries for attracting scale-up funding rounds - so-called ‘mega funding rounds’- of €100 million or more in the first three quarters of 2019, with FinTech the top performing sector on €6.8 billion and software third on €3.1 billion.
Curve has launched its first purely mobile offering with Samsung Pay. The banking platform, which consolidates multiple cards and accounts into one smart card and app, will now allow customers to link their Samsung Pay account to any Mastercard and Visa debit or credit card.
Merchant services platform Pollinate has announced that Mastercard, Motive Partners and EFM Asset Management will join Royal Bank of Scotland as backers of the business, which has raised £60 million since its launch in 2017. Pollinate first deployed its cloud-based merchant services in spring this year, with the launch of Tyl, NatWest’s merchant acquiring service, aimed at allowing small business customers to receive payments in-store and online.
The Treasury Select Committee has called for harsher regulatory action on financial firms which are yet to introduce Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and anti-fraud measures due to be implemented by March 2020. In a unanimously-agreed report, MPs called on regulators to take action on firms that are not ready to roll out the Confirmation of Payee system by the March deadline, and for tougher rules for firms when compensating the victims of scams such as push-payment fraud.
Online mortgage broker and lender Habito has launched an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows partners’ customers to use its proprietary whole-of-market mortgage search algorithm and its mortgage calculation tools, from inside the partner’s app. Its first two partners to use the API - Landlord Studio and Emma - will be using it for buy-to-let remortgaging and residential remortgaging respectively.
RegTech Live will return in 2020 to take another deep dive into this rapidly-expanding sector, identifying the key trends, exploring emerging technologies and hearing from senior experts. Regulatory technology outsourced to third-party vendors, as well as in-house compliance, has expanded into new areas since our inaugural event earlier this year, spreading to supervisory technology (or SupTech) as the watchdogs try to keep up with the pace of change.
New regulations are forcing financial services providers to invest in new technology or seek third party outsourcing to help meet new data management requirements, according to a new study. A survey of 100 UK asset managers at financial services firms for financial data solutions provider Asset Control found that more than half (58 per cent) think changing regulations have prompted them to turn to tech or third party suppliers. Meanwhile, cutting the cost of regulatory compliance was cited as the main reason a third of respondents from buy-side financial services firms to outsource.
Overdraft fees currently account for roughly 30 per cent of bank revenue from personal current accounts, but with the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) changes to overdraft charging coming into force next April, incumbent institutions must move to protect profitability and meet customer needs. In June, the FCA confirmed its reforms to a “dysfunctional” sector, aiming to make them simpler, fairer and easier to manage, calling it the “biggest overhaul to the overdraft market for a generation”.
With 72 per cent of UK consumers now saying that they do the majority of their banking online, the mobile app is increasingly providing the front door to a bank, rather than physical branches.That is according to a survey of 800 UK and 1,200 US consumers by Propeller Insights for card issuing platform Marqeta, which found that banking apps are fast becoming the preferred way of accessing financial services, with 77 per cent of account holders considering switching to digital-only providers.
Starling Bank is launching a business euro account, along with a dual-currency debit card, as it steps up its challenge to Revolut’s multi-currency offering. The digital challenger bank said the new functionality would enable business and personal customers to spend directly in pounds or euros with a single debit card.
France and Germany have launched plans to establish an EU-wide data infrastructure, as part of efforts to challenge the dominance of tech giants including Amazon and Microsoft over the cloud computing market. A joint statement issued by the finance ministries of France and Germany announced a timetable for the development of a blueprint for a “secure and trustworthy” European data infrastructure to foster home-grown cloud computing challengers.
Modulr has announced it will invest £20 million in the Scottish FinTech industry, as part of its ambition to radically transform small business banking. The Edinburgh-based startup was awarded £10 million from the BCR Capability and Innovation Fund, designed to drive innovation and boost competition in UK business payments, which will be matched by a £10 million investment to deliver on its commitments to expand into this area.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published a report identifying potential impediments to the cross-border provision of banking and payment services in the EU. Developed under the EBA’s FinTech Roadmap, it calls on the European Commission (EC) to facilitate cross-border access, including the update of interpretative communications on the cross-border provision of services and further harmonisation of consumer protection, conduct of business and anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, in order to facilitate the scaling up of activity cross-border.
Revolut for Business customers registered in the UK can now make direct and secure connections into the Intuit QuickBooks Online accounting platform via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This marks the first time that Revolut has collaborated with a third-party provider to use the functionality of Open Banking.
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has announced the appointment of Lynn Bishop as chief information officer, effective immediately. In this role, she will be responsible for the ongoing development and testing of all the technology that supports DTCC’s post-trade infrastructure, communications networks, processing and messaging systems; as well as the IT applications underlying its range of products and services.
Retail banks are struggling to deliver customer demands for more comprehensive and personalised banking, according to the World Retail Banking Report (WRBR) published today by Capgemini and Efma. This year’s edition featured data from a global survey of more than 7,900 retail banking customers in 20 countries, along with an executive survey conducted among more than 50 senior banking executives across 30 markets.
Mastercard has launched a global initiative to simplify the way it works with FinTechs, offering a single entry-point to the company’s portfolio of programs. Mastercard Accelerate gives startups and emerging brands support and assistance for every stage of their growth and transformation, with programme participants connected to relevant parts of the business to integrate Mastercard’s proprietary technology, leverage cyber security services, engage new customers, and reach new markets.
NatWest’s asset finance arm Lombard has launched a new digital service that allows businesses to receive instant agreement to fund assets such as cars, vans, machinery and technology; up to a maximum of £250,000. The new function, available through Lombard’s website, lets customers create a personalised quote across any one of 40 asset classes, with an instant decision provided at the end of a quick and simple application process.
The Treasury Committee has published a unanimously-agreed report warning that regulators must act to reduce the “unacceptable number” of IT failures in financial services sector. With bank branches and cash machines disappearing, customers are increasingly expected to rely on online banking services. These services, however, have been significantly disrupted due to IT failures, harming customers left without access to their financial services, stated the group of MPs.
Refinitiv has announced the appointment of Alex Cesar as its chief technology officer, reporting to chief information officer Phil Wellard. She will lead the software engineering teams that build, operate and innovate the firm’s strategic data platforms and the core requirements that underpin them.
Barclays has performed a u-turn over pulling cash withdrawal services from the Post Office, after the decision sparked widespread criticism from MPs and consumer groups. Earlier this month, the lender announced that customer and business cash withdrawals from the Post Office network would end from January 2020, while pay in service would be unaffected. The move was aimed at adapting to the shift to online and digital banking services and a fall in demand from customers for direct services.
More than half of the UK’s largest companies are concerned that their ability to transfer data will be restricted after Brexit, according to new research. A survey of 200 IT decision makers by data custody and availability firm 4sl found that 60 per cent of UK enterprises are concerned that vital data back up and other critical processes could be severely hampered by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
The Financial Conduct Authority’s chief executive has admitted that the regulator must improve its efficiency and plans to make major investments in data analytics to do so. Andrew Bailey used last night’s Mansion House speech to address criticisms, stating: “We can point to very big achievements at the FCA in recent years – our work on high cost credit in its various forms being a well-known example.
Revolut has launched its digital banking services in Singapore as part of plans to make the city state its Asia-Pacific hub.The London-based FinTech, which has stepped up its global expansion strategy with a US launch planned in the coming months, said the official launch in Singapore followed successful beta testing.
Total new worldwide funding commitments to the InsurTech sector this year have already surpassed the 2018 full-year total – and during the third quarter exceeded $1.2 billion for the fifth consecutive quarter-year period. This is according to Willis Towers Watson’s latest market analysis, which showed 83 deals with a total value of $1.5 billion were announced in the third quarter of 2019, up six per cent over the previous three months to reach the third-highest quarter for global InsurTech investment to date.
Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of financial services firms have encountered some type of supply chain risk in the last year, according to a new survey. The study of 200 procurement and supply chain professionals in financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications and retail organisations - conducted by Vanson Bourne for procurement platform Ivalua - found that the greatest supply chain risks encountered by financial services firms included supply shortage (45 per cent), supplier failure (43 per cent) and environmental impact (35 per cent).
The Current Account Switch Service’s latest figures have revealed that age continues to be a key indicator of switching behaviour, with younger people (37 per cent of under 25s) more likely to choose to multi-bank and leave their old account open when getting a new one with a different provider; compared to 17 per cent of over 35s. This was according to online research with 2,300 respondents conducted earlier this month, released alongside the third quarter current account switching dashboard.
While the Financial Conduct Authority has a neutral approach to financial firms' use of technology, one of its executive directors has implored the industry to experiment with new technology to tackle the array of financial crime. Speaking today at the Royal United Services Institute in London, the FCA’s executive director of supervision for investment, wholesale and specialists Megan Butler said: “I’m not going to tell you whether you need to automate all your systems or question why you aren’t using AI in every part of your business.
Half of Millennials would, if it was offered, purchase investment products through a well-known BigTech company like Google, Apple or Microsoft. Global fund network Calastone surveyed more than 3,000 people aged 23 to 35 across the UK, France, Germany, US, Hong Kong and Australia, finding that for Millennials who already actively invest, this figure rises to almost two thirds (63 per cent) globally and to 71 per cent in the UK – which could have significant impact on the $47 trillion funds industry.
The Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) has announced a new Technology Taskforce (TF-22) on digital assets, to help examine how it may identify possible harmonisation of standards. The association aims to foster standardisation within the financial industry by upholding the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) principles and by promoting International Securities Identification Numbers (ISINs), Classification of Financial Instrument codes (CFIs) and Financial Instrument Short Names (FISN) for financial instruments.
Starling Bank has raised £30 million in a new funding round, designed to support its retail and small business bank accounts, as well as its B2B banking services and European expansion. The investment was led by Merian Chrysalis Investment Company putting in £20 million, while Starling’s existing investor, JTC, added a further £10 million.
Citi has launched a digitised supply chain payment solution with its internal WorldLink Payment Services platform. The Citi Supplier Finance offering combines Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions with WorldLink’s cross-border payments platform to deliver one point of implementation, a virtual interface and the opportunity for clients to transact across multiple major currencies for settlement.
Santander Group’s FinTech venture capital fund Santander InnoVentures is leading an expansion funding round for cloud-based digital lending platform Roostify. Santander first invested in the company in February 2018 and this is its second investment.
Revolut has partnered with Mastercard as the FinTech prepares to launch in the US as part of its global expansion plans. The London-based challenger bank said the partnership would enable it to issue its first Revolut cards in the US by the end of 2019.
Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank Group (CYBG) has announced the next stage of its integration programme, as it transitions towards using the single Virgin Money brand by 2021. The gradual rebrand process will begin with the B digital banking service changing to the refreshed Virgin Money brand by the end of 2019, enabling the group to offer customers the first Virgin Money branded, digitally-enabled current account.
Business banking platform Tide is deploying Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) match receipts to transactions.The updates to its expense management feature use a proprietary algorithm to let customers auto-match receipts to transactions and upload documents in bulk, removing the burden of manual processing.
The financial services industry is moving from the era of digitisation - services moving online - to a truly digital industry, drawing on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s executive director of strategy and competition. Speaking today at a City of London and Cicero event on the future of regulation, he explained that this digital transformation is reflected in the new products finding their way direct to consumers over the internet – “some good, some bad, some downright fraudulent”.
Ebury has announced its first acquisition, buying international payroll payments provider Frontierpay for an undisclosed sum. The European FinTech has done the deal as part of an expanded technology investment programme. Its strategy is to invest in technologies that will help accelerate the automation of international payment processes, specifically targeting those within finance and treasury functions of mid-market corporates.
BNP Paribas and Allfunds have entered into an agreement to create one of the world’s largest WealthTech platforms. Global custodian and fund services provider BNP Paribas Securities Services intends to use Allfunds as preferred access to the fund market, exploring opportunities to enhance services to fund providers and financial institutions.
Galileo Financial Technologies has announced its first institutional funding round - a $77 million investment led by venture capital firm Accel, with participation from Qualtrics co-founder and chief executive Ryan Smith. The company plans to use the funds to accelerate growth - including expansion into Latin America, the UK and Europe - and for continued product expansion.
Pan-European payment processor Lemon Way has signed a €25 million investment from Toscafund Asset Management, the London-based specialist financial services investor. The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory approvals, marks Toscafund’s first private equity investment in France.
Only 17 per cent of banks have succeeded in digitally transforming at scale, according to new research from Infosys and Efma. More than 350 financial services companies globally took part in the report, which found legacy technology and system integration challenges were perceived as the biggest barriers to digital transformation, followed by the time and cost required to bring the concept to reality.
International law firm Ashurst has launched FinTech Legal Labs, an accelerator programme aimed at enabling FinTech businesses to gain insight into legal issues affecting their business – as well as accessing the firm's network of corporate clients, financial institutions, investors and potential joint venture partners. The multidisciplinary collaboration between 19 Ashurst partners and senior lawyers across different practice groups has been set up to address the demand from FinTech companies at various stages of development for legal support and access to investors.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published an opinion on the deadline for the migration to Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), setting a deadline to 31 December 2020 and prescribing the expected actions to be taken during the migration period. This applies under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) for e-commerce card-based payment transactions, recommending that national competent authorities (NCAs) take a consistent approach toward the SCA migration period across the EU, requiring their respective payment service providers (PSPs) to carry out the actions set out in the regulations.
A financial services survey from the UK’s regulators has revealed that legacy systems and data limitations are the biggest constraint in terms of machine learning (ML) innovation – especially so in banking and insurance. The Bank of England (BoE) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) conducted a joint survey this year to better understand the current use of ML in UK financial services.
Santander Group’s FinTech venture capital fund Santander InnoVentures is leading the Series B funding round in CrossLend, a Berlin-based pan-European digital debt marketplace. The round also included funding from existing investors Lakestar, ABN AMRO Ventures and Earlybird, with more institutions expected to join as equity investors over the next few months.
The Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA) has completed the first phase of its project to deliver an Open Savings and Investment infrastructure, building on the back of Open Banking reforms to create wider Open Finance data sharing. This supports the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) strategic ambitions, which TISA is actively involved in.
Yorkshire Building Society has selected OutSystems’ development platform to deliver its next-generation of mobile applications for retail banking and broker customers. The project will introduce a significant update to the building society’s back office systems, moving to a digital platform which will provide a more immersive customer experience, while vastly increasing security.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing to charge the cryptoasset firms it is set to regulate registration fees of £5,000 and much higher annual periodic fees based on income. In a consultation paper published yesterday, the regulator explained that under the Economic Crime Plan 2019-22, it will be the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing supervisor for cryptoasset businesses, effective from 10 January 2020.
NatWest has launched a digital and innovation apprenticeship programme designed to support talented individuals from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Developed in partnership with social mobility charity Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB), participants will undertake a four-year paid apprenticeship working across the NatWest Ventures and digital teams, while simultaneously completing a fully-funded degree.
More than a quarter (27 per cent) of financial services firms in the UK feel that their cyber risk mechanisms were ineffective compared to a global average of 19 per cent, according to new research. A global survey of 588 senior executives for risk solutions firm Kroll also found that just 60 per cent of UK business leaders around the world feel that their organisation’s whistleblowing programme is an effective method of detecting risks such as cyber breaches – six per cent below the global average.
Nearly half (49 per cent) of IT decision makers in the UK believe that uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit has not impacted their company’s decision to invest in IT infrastructure. A survey of more than 2,450 global senior IT professionals for connectivity firm Equinix found that political uncertainty was not deterring companies from making longer-term decisions on digital transformation.
Facebook’s Libra project yesterday confirmed that 21 firms have signed the Libra Association charter, following an exodus of financial services firms from the initiative amid regulatory concerns.The formal announcement of a governance structure and charter for the digital currency project confirmed the continued membership of tech giants Uber, Spotify and Vodafone, but revealed that major early backers Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Booking Holdings and Mercado Pago have now followed payments firms PayPal and Stripe in abandoning the project.
There were 1.6 billion debit and credit card transactions made in the UK in July 2019 - 5.7 per cent more than a year ago. This reflected a total spend of £60.1 billion - 0.7 per cent less than in the same period in 2018.
Modular banking platform OpenPayd has recruited a former head of payments at Sainsbury’s as its new chief product officer. The startup announced that Adam Bialy will lead OpenPayd’s technology development and growth strategy, while Sophie Guibaud, a former managing director for Europe at Fidor, has been appointed chief growth officer.
UK Open Banking tech provider TrueLayer is establishing a presence in Australia, making it the first European specialist to do so. Earlier this year, TrueLayer was selected by the UK’s Department of International Trade to pilot its FinTech bridge programme to Australia, alongside Smart Pensions.
The UK’s financial services firms are leading the way in global efforts to automate processes through technology such as robo-advisers, according to PwC. A global survey of 248 financial services organisations by the professional services firm found that the UK is leading the world in implementing robotic process automation (RPA) services, with 37 per cent of UK firms successfully deploying such tools, compared to 28 per cent globally.
Banks and other financial institutions will need to spend hundreds of billions of pounds on their IT systems over the next few years in order to be able to compete in the digital world, according AXA Investment Management. With the banks alone forecast to spend $296.5 billion globally by 2021 according to a report from Celent, Vincent Vinatier, manager of the AXA WF Framlington FinTech fund, stated that changing consumer behaviour in the digital era has already seen a sharp jump in investment in technology by financials as they seek to stay ahead of competition from peers and new fintech businesses.
One in five retail investors (21 per cent) claim to have stopped using a wealth management service because its digital offering was too weak. This is according to research from Nucoro, which commissioned Consumer Intelligence to interview 1,028 UK retail investors in August, finding that there were significant differences based on age.
Metro Bank has announced a trio of FinTech partnerships – Funding Options, Conance and DueDil. The partnerships come as the bank sets about deploying the £120 million funding it was awarded from the RBS Capability & Innovation Fund to help provide products and services to the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market.
Starling Bank has partnered with insolvency insurer Nimbla. The digital insurance platform is designed to protect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) against customers which go out of business. As a result of the partnership, Starling business customers can protect themselves from financial losses caused by bankrupt clients, by accessing Nimbla through the bank’s in-app marketplace.
InsurTech startup Cuvva has announced that Lloyd’s of London chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown has joined the board as its new chairman. In a sign that the centuries-old insurance market is embracing technology-driven change, he will join the digital insurance platform as it looks to corner the market in app-based and flexible micro-insurance policies which can provide cover for as little as an hour.
Facebook’s digital currency Libra must meet stringent standards if its it to become a significant part of the payments landscape, according to the Bank of England (BoE).In a hardening of its stance on Facebook’s plans to launch the digital payments system, along with the Calibra digital wallet, across its messaging platforms, the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said the system has the potential to “become a systemically important payment system” and would need to ensure it meets the highest regulatory standards in advance of a roll-out, currently planned for 2020.
Investec Asset Management has appointed Lucia Pino-Garcia as its new chief technology officer. A statement from the firm said she has been appointed to enhance its technology platform for the next phase of development.
The Open Banking revolution is not yet fully implemented in the UK, despite being ahead of its European peers when it comes to data sharing, according to the trustee of the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE). Speaking on a panel at the PayExpo in London, Imran Gulamhuseinwala said the UK has some way to go in fully realising the benefits of the second Payment Services Directive (PDS2), but suggested that the financial data sharing enabled by early adoption of Open Banking is just the start of a much wider transition to Open Data.
Only 10 per cent of payments firms reviewed by the regulator had adequate risk and governance resources, it was revealed at this year’s PayExpo. Speaking during a payments exchange session at the conference, Daniel Hurl, head of the prudential specialists department at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said that there was quite a lot of improvement needed across the industry in order to meet the watchdog’s expectations.
The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has expressed its concern at plans announced by Barclays to remove cash withdrawal services from the Post Office network. The High Street lender announced yesterday that customers and businesses would still be able to pay in cash, cheques and check their balance at Post Office branches, however over the counter cash withdrawals will end from January 2020.
Skipton Building Society has adopted Experian’s Open Banking technology to take the hassle out of mortgage applications. People applying for a home loan will have the option of giving consent for Skipton to securely view their bank account information using the Experian Open Banking affordability solution.
Payment providers and online merchants must not “kick the can down the road” in preparing for the implementation of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) head of payments and retail banking. Speaking at the PayExpo conference in London, Maha El Dimachki urged the industry not to misinterpret the decision to grant an 18 month extension to e-commerce and payments firms to comply with the SCA rules, and insisted they should be ready to implement them in 523 days’ time.
Finastra has teamed with Ripple to integrate blockchain technology through its payments solutions in order to support fast cross-border payments. As part of the collaboration, Finastra’s customers will be able to connect and transact with RippleNet partners - more than 200 financial institutions worldwide - and in turn, partners can access Finastra’s global footprint.
There is a growing willingness amongst Millennials to switch banking providers in pursuit of better digital experiences, according to research from MuleSoft. The application network platform surveyed more than 9,000 consumers, finding that almost half (49 per cent) of consumers aged 18 to 34 said they have switched or considered switching banks in the last 12 months in order to receive a better digital experience.
Business banking platform Tide has raised £44.1 million in a first round of Series B funding.
The latest round of funding, led by Japanese FinTech investment firm The SBI Group and Augmentum FinTech, takes the total funding in Tide to more than £130 million since it was founded in 2015.
The British Standards Institution (BSI) has published a publicly available code of practice for digital identification and Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). The new specification - PAS 499:2019 - is for organisations with regulatory requirements under the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and related regulations.
Citi has partnered with Cachematrix to update its online investment portal for money market funds. The new solution will allow treasury professionals to manage their portfolios in a more streamlined manner. For both active and automated investments, clients will be able to leverage automated analytics tools to support their strategic decision-making and risk management processes, through the bank’s mobile banking solution, CitiDirect BE.
Financial services firms are losing millions of pounds due to manual processing of agreements, according to 4C research. The average loss is over £10 million a year, while 31 per cent of companies lose £1 million or more a year.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) needs careful nurturing if it is to deliver on its potential for financial services firms, according to Accenture and the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG). The analysis of AI in financial services featured a recommendation that regulators would have to allow businesses to innovate responsibly, while also retaining public trust.
PayPal has become the first company to drop out of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, as the project receives increased regulatory scrutiny. The social media giant has attempted to reassure authorites by explaining the digital payment technology would be overseen by the Libra Association’s independent board - featuring what was 28 technology and payments firms - to ensure a stable roll-out and maintain high security standards.
The first biometric fingerprint credit card issued by a UK bank begins its three-month national trial today. NatWest is piloting the technology with 150 customers in partnership with Mastercard and Gemalto.
OakNorth has appointed a former Google executive to lead the growth of its new credit platform. The FinTech unicorn said that Sunil Chandra, who scaled Google’s global talent as vice president, will take up the role of chief executive of OakNorth’s credit platform, with responsibility for expanding the platform in the US, Europe and Asia.
London-based venture capital firm 83North has raised $300 million for a new fund targeting European and Israeli consumer and enterprise technology firms. The latest round of fund-raising takes its total assets under management to $1.1 billion.
More than 100 FinTechs have applied to take part in a £1.5 million prize challenge aimed at rolling out more Open Banking enabled solutions to UK customers. Entrants to the Open Up 2020 Challenge, a joint initiative run by Nesta Challenges and the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), are competing to secure a share of the funding to develop their Open Banking-enabled tech.
Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency could lead to financial exploitation and make key payments institutions redundant, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s executive director of strategy and competition. Speaking at the P20 Global Payments Conference in London yesterday, Christopher Woolard said that the planned new digital payment system could pose a risk to an already huge money laundering black market.
SnapLogic has raised $72 million in growth financing to accelerate global expansion. The new round was led by Arrowroot Capital, joined by Golub Capital and existing investors. The company’s self-service, artificial intelligence-powered interface enables application integration, data integration, API management and data engineering projects on a single, scalable platform.
Insurtech Europe, Plug and Play's Munich-based InsurTech platform, has announced the 14 startups selected for its third 'batch'. The winter program aims to facilitate opportunities for pilots, proof of concepts and new relationships between the selected batch startups and Plug and Play's global ecosystem, with a special focus on corporate partners Munich Re, Generali, Versicherungskammer Bayern, Talanx, Irish Life, Willis Towers Watson, Swiss Re, Covea and Baloise.
Open Banking platform Curve has appointed the former head of Samsung Pay Europe as its new chief operating officer (COO). Nathalie Oestmann held senior management positions at the likes of American Express, Samsung Pay and IDEMIA, before taking the helm at Samsung Pay’s European division, where she launched the Samsung Pay solution across six European countries and established several strategic partnerships.
Metro Bank’s chairman Vernon Hill will leave the board by the end of the year, as the challenger bank continues to deal with the fallout from a major accounting error. The announcement came as it launched a new bond sale, initially worth £300 million, a week after pulling a similar offer due to lack of interest from investors.
More than three in five (63 per cent) UK consumers are concerned that their contactless payment cards could be used fraudulently, according to new research. A survey of 1,000 current account or credit card holders in the UK by IDEX Biometrics ASA found that 54 per cent fear that contactless technology could enable criminals to scan a contactless card in their pocket and steal funds without their knowledge.
Refinitiv has announced a strategic partnership with SigFig to deliver financial advice technology solutions. Specifically the technology will be targeted at the institutional users of Refinitiv’s BETA platform and will enable the pair to deliver an integrated digital advice experience.
More than half (56 per cent) of financial services leaders are concerned that their organisation could be left behind by the pace of technological innovation because they have failed to plan radically enough, according to Fujitsu.The survey of 800 business leaders and 3,000 consumers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland found rising demand for financial services companies providing a wider range of digital services, with a third of people saying that the way they bank has changed in the last five years.
Fintech-as-a-Service firm Rapyd has secured $100 million to drive development of its cloud-based technology platform. The funding round, which comes on the back of a $40 million Series B investment earlier this year, pushes the London-based company towards a $1 billion valuation. It was led by Oak HC/FT with participation from Tiger Global, Coatue, General Catalyst, Target Global, Stripe and Entrée Capital.
New data from SeedLegals has revealed a rise in the frequency of smaller funding rounds for UK startups, with a tech-enabled model of ‘agile funding’ enabling companies to raise money on-demand. Data collected from companies raising money via the legal platform showed that UK startups are now raising money four times more frequently than the traditional 12 to 18-month cycle.
NatWest will use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict how financial markets will behave following a collaboration with Microsoft and DreamQuark. The lender has worked with the software firms to develop a platform called Next Generation Complex Analytics, which will use AI to simulate financial markets, transport networks and other environments. It will then use learning from this to spot opportunities and risks in certain markets using this data and the patterns it generates.
The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies in the UK is still being stunted by a lack of digital skills in financial businesses, according to Rainbird. The automated decision-making platform commissioned Vanson Bourne to survey 100 senior decision-makers in enterprise organisations, finding that the main reason behind financial services firms not implementing AI is a shortage of talent in their workforce for handling automation processes.
UK Finance is launching an initiative to help local communities identify and secure appropriate access to cash and payment services, progressing work on digital payment alternatives and education, driving improved local cash ‘recycling’ and improving awareness of existing cash channels. Over the summer, the conglomeration of financial trade associations has been engaging with consumer representatives, local authority representatives and market participants - including LINK and its members - on the cash needs of local communities.
Cyber security risk and artificial intelligence (AI) are amongst the top business concerns of compliance and procurement professionals, according to new research. A ComRes poll of 630 compliance and procurement professionals for data insights firm Dun & Bradstreet found that respondents were increasingly less confident of their ability to manage third party relationships.
Nationwide Building Society has opened a collaboration space in London to support five startups building Open Banking-based apps and services as part of the second phase of its Open Banking for Good (OB4G) challenge. With Nationwide experts, charities and other partners providing ongoing workshop support throughout the incubator phase, the five FinTechs working together in the space are: Openwrks, Ducit.ai, Trezeo, Toucan and Tully.
Accenture has partnered with AXA XL to provide a range of new cyber security services. The professional services firm has struck a partnership deal with the specialty risk division of insurance giant AXA to provide cyber threat assessments, post-breach response and other security services to underwriters, brokers and clients.
Visa and Revolut have announced a new agreement that will help the mobile-only bank expand its business globally. Leveraging Visa’s brand and global acceptance footprint, Revolut will bring its product offerings to five new regions, reaching 24 new markets for a total of 56 markets globally. Under the terms of the agreement, Revolut will primarily issue Visa-branded cards in the global expansion.
TSB has partnered with Vocalink to launch an anti-payment fraud platform. The move pitches the challenger as one of the first UK banks to implement a Confirmation of Payee process, which can help avoid payments being misdirected with an account name checking service.
Starling, the challenger bank which started life as a mobile banking app, is launching a web-based online banking service for its 66,000 business and sole trader account customers.
The new Online Banking service will be rolled out as a web app enabling business customers to use their Starling account on desktop and smartphone in addition to their smartphone.
Visa has launched a portal to encourage more FinTechs to partner with the company and make use of its digital payments infrastructure.The Visa Partner portal is Visa’s attempt to tap into the $17 trillion market in consumer payments still made by cash or cheque and provide financial services to the 1.7 billion people worldwide who remain outside of the formal financial sector.
The banking industry stopped £820 million of unauthorised fraud in the first half of 2019 -equivalent to £4.5 million a day, according to new figures from UK Finance. New data from the industry association found that financial services institutions succeeded in preventing 14 per cent more cases of unauthorised fraud in the first six months of 2019 than last year.
HSBC is rolling out Quantexa’s automated financial crime detection and surveillance system to disrupt financial crime in international trade.The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) system, built in partnership with Quantexa - a decision intelligence, AI and data analytics company - is focussed on HSBC’s global trade and receivables finance (GTRF) business.
Over a year on from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Capgemini Research Institute has found that companies vastly overestimated their readiness for the rules, with just 28 per cent having successfully achieved compliance.This is compared to a GDPR readiness survey last year which found that 78 per cent expected to be prepared by the time the regulation came into effect in May 2018.
Santander UK has chosen nCino's to replace manual processes and 13 disparate legacy systems in favour of a single, end-to-end solution spanning the small business, corporate and commercial bank. The change is aimed at streamlining processes, decreasing lead cycles and credit decision times by more than half. In addition, it will enhance regulatory compliance and provide a single view of the customer.
The asset management industry is not immune to the pressures of mounting fees, rising costs and demanding regulations, as firms use the cloud to focus on value-add activities and invest in data warehousing technology to support growing reporting requirements. IHS Markit commissioned WBR Insights to survey 100 representatives from buy-side firms in Europe and North America with $10 to 100 billion in assets under management (AUM), finding that 52 per cent use the cloud for data management today and a further 28 per cent plan to migrate data management to the cloud in the next 18 months.
Lloyds Bank has partnered with distributed ledger technology firm Komgo to launch a blockchain-based platform for its commercial banking division. The lender announced that Komgo’s platform would use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to enable quicker international commodity trade finance.
New research has revealed that 83 per cent of investors believe that positive reviews and social proof are critical or important for generating interest in FinTech firms. Trustpilot commissioned London Research to survey 56 startups and 87 scale-up businesses across all major business sectors, including fintech companies, across the UK, US, Asia and Europe in May.
The bank of the future will be more responsive to changing customer needs and technological capabilities - while the Bank of England (BoE) may well allow more FinTechs to access its payment systems - but disruption will not be allowed to become a revolution, as in other industries. Speaking at the Sibos conference yesterday, Victoria Cleland, executive director for banking, payments and innovation at the BoE, said they will make more use of emerging technologies in future and could allow more non-bank businesses to access its payments system – but any benefits such technologies and partnerships might offer must not come at the expense of the stability and security of the system.
The Payment Systems Regulator’s new boss has admitted that he’s got a “big job” on his hands to oversee the renewal of virtually all the infrastructure underpinning the UK’s interbank payments. Speaking at the Sibos conference in London, recently appointed managing director Chris Hemsley explained that a large part of this is the New Payments Architecture (NPA) which Pay.UK must deliver over the next few years.
Tribe Payments has launched a sandbox environment to enable testing of new payments technology. Announcing the launch at the Sibos conference in London, the company said the sandbox would be free-to-use and provide access to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to encourage experimentation in back end payments.
Visa’s B2B Connect cross-border payments platform has expanded to 32 new countries since its launch in June. The rapid expansion of the payments network brings the total number of trade corridors since the platform launched to 62.
FinTechs could usurp banks to become the primary providers of consumer and business services if the incumbents fail to embrace Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as a means of reforming and reinvigorating business processes. This was according to Citi’s Tony McLaughlin, who has responsibility for emerging payments business development and treasury and trade solutions at the bank.
The boss of Britain’s biggest banking group stated that despite recent rounds of job cuts, investment in its people - rather than technology - has been behind its post-recession turnaround. Speaking at the first day of the Sibos conference in London, Lloyds Banking Group chief executive António Horta-Osório said that when he took over in 2011 the bank was “on its knees”, but successive transformation plans have revived Lloyds, Bank of Scotland and Halifax.
The Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN) is partnering with six major banks - including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bangkok Bank - to trial ‘coreless banking’ infrastructure. The not-for-profit banking standards association will lead the group of banks, solution providers and academic institutions to run a pilot, which will consist of testing a platform for banks to collaborate with software vendors on developing a future-proof, regulatory-compliant and universally compatible banking infrastructure based on micro-services.
OakNorth is partnering with payments security firm Shieldpay to launch escrow accounts for borrowers looking to make high value, secure payments.The FinTech has partnered with Shieldpay, founded in London in 2016, to develop a digital escrow account to secure high value transactions between two parties.
NatWest has launched the UK’s first Faster Payments clearing Application Programming Interface (API). The move will let its FCA-regulated financial institution customers make use of the data sharing technology to make and receive payments in real-time.
American Express has announced plans for an Open Banking service enabling UK customers to pay for online purchases directly from their bank account.Due to launch later this year, the Pay with Bank transfer service will partner with a number of merchants to launch the bank transfer service on their e-commerce sites.
The UK FinTech sector has continued to attract rising levels of investment, despite global economic uncertainty, although many still see challenges ahead in finding the right talent and the levels of consumer adoption. The 2019 UK FinTech Census from EY and Innovate Finance, based on a study of over 224 FinTech companies and supported by HM Treasury, revealed that the average total investment raised by firms grew by a third from £15 million in 2017 to more than £20 million in 2019, despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that Sheree Howard has been appointed as executive director of risk and compliance oversight (R&CO). She is currently interim director of R&CO, having joined the FCA as a senior adviser in December 2017.
JPMorgan Chase has announced that it is building a new office in Glasgow for up to 2,700 tech workers. The US bank has been in Glasgow for 20 years and claimed to be the largest technology employer in Scotland, with around 2,000 staff spread between two locations in the city.
Stripe is now valued at $35 billion after a $250 million funding round led by General Catalyst, Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz. The new valuation is up by $12.5 billion on its last funding round in January.
More than one in 10 new bank accounts opened are with digital banks, as 2019 marked a “tipping point” for the growth of UK FinTechs. A report from Vocalink, a Mastercard company, showed a steady rise in the popularity of digital-only banks, with around one in three (30 per cent) of consumers aged 25 to 44 considering opening an account with an app-based challenger.
Revolut has continued its c-suite hiring spree with the appointment of Joe Heneghan as chief executive of Revolut Ireland and Virgilijus Mirkės as chief executive of Revolut Lithuania.The arrival of Heneghan in Dublin, from his former post of chief administrative officer at Ulster Bank, and Mirkes, a former chief executive for SEB Investment Management, at the head of Revolut’s Lithuania arm, have topped off a major hiring spree for the FinTech. It recently announced new appointments in the roles CFO, CRO, CTO and a range of other posts in compliance, credit and treasury.
One in 10 free cashpoints in the UK have now closed or switched to fee-paying, according to the latest research from consumer campaign group Which?. An analysis of data from Link, the UK’s largest network of ATMs, found that nine per cent of free cashpoints across the country closed or became fee paying over a 17 month period, with deprived areas losing free access to cash at a much higher rate than more affluent areas.
Despite fears of widespread disruption to online retail, the recent deadline for the rollout of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) has had no initial impact on sales, according to new data from Barclaycard. The card and payments provider’s analysis of transaction data for 14 September - the implementation date for SCA rules - and the following day showed that merchants and shoppers had not seen an increase in abandoned transactions or declined payments.
Nationwide has invested in digital lettings firm Bunk, which uses Open Banking technology to improve access to the rental market.The investment is the latest from the building society’s £50 million Venturing Fund set up last aimed at creating partnerships enabling it and startups to share knowledge and expertise.
Nets has collaborated with KPMG, to develop a new fraud monitoring and prevention solution. Nets Fraud Ensemble is an anti-fraud engine that deploys machine learning - a system that identifies emerging fraud indicators as well as established patterns - to step beyond existing rules-based models that are currently in use across the banking industry.
European rules around Open Banking could end up increasing the cyber attack risk for financial services organisations and their customers, according to new research. A report published by cyber security firm Trend Micro found that several pre-existing vulnerabilities in financial services systems could become heightened under the new regulation.
J.P. Morgan and Societe Generale have invested in Wematch, as it advances plans to transform traditionally voice-traded financial markets. The FinTech firm provides technology which augments how traders at banks match, negotiate and manage trades.
Digital ID company Trulioo has secured more than £40 million in a Series C funding round led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity (GSGE).The Vancouver-based FinTech, which claims to provide identity verification software to 250 million companies worldwide, announced funding of C$70 million, bringing total capital since 2011 to $96.6 million.
High Street banks including Barclays, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered have teamed up with the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) to pilot the use of blockchain to enhance the sustainability and efficiency of global supply chains.The Trado model was also piloted with the backing of Rabobank, Sainsbury’s and Unilever in a bid to prove a use case for distributed ledger technology.
Tech Nation is calling for applicants for three of the UK’s most renowned growth programmes - Future Fifty, Upscale and Rising Stars. The programmes are designed to scale and grow the next generation of UK tech businesses, with alumni including Monzo, Starling Bank, Darktrace, Deliveroo and Skyscanner.
Travelex has unveiled a new FinTech platform, Travelex Business, which allows partners including banks, credit unions, retailers and digital technology companies, to access its range of payments and foreign exchange services in one place. The launch follows a four-year digital transformation project for the Finablr-backed firm, developing cloud-based, Application Programming Interface (API) based systems.
High costs, low margins and increasingly commoditised business models are eroding payment profits, resulting in some services failing to break even, according to a new report. Based on a global survey of senior executives at the world’s top-tier banks, commissioned by Icon Solutions and carried out by Aite Group, it found 80 per cent think payments are becoming less profitable, with only 18 per cent able to charge what they want.
As global cashless transactions boom and competition flourishes, many banks remain reluctant to embrace Open Banking, ecosystem partnerships and open platforms, according to Capgemini. The consultancy’s World Payments Report combines its 18 market Open Banking Assessment, an online survey across banks, non-bank financial services institutions and corporates in June, and several senior executive interviews.
Many FinTech firms will struggle to implement the new requirements of the upcoming 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) coming into force on 10 January 2020, according to LexisNexis Risk Solutions. The global analytics provider argued that businesses must ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to prepare for the impending regulation, or risk facing penalties for regulatory breaches.
Between the start of May and the end of August this year, there were 20 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) related penalties handed down globally, totalling fines of over $352.5 million. This is according to market analysis carried out by Encompass Corporation, which found that during the same period in 2018, four fines totalling $707 million were handed out.
Investment in cyber security to tackle growing risk is now an investment priority for nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of UK banks, according to research from Lloyds Bank. A sentiment survey for the lender canvassed the views of more than 100 senior decision-makers at UK financial services firms - from global banks and insurers to intermediaries, investors and asset managers - finding that impact of Brexit continues to weigh heavily on optimism about UK economic growth.
New analysis has suggested that £8 billion - 18.1 per cent - of UK banks’ revenue is likely to be displaced by digital payments in the next six years. Accenture conducted an online survey of 240 retail and corporate payments executives globally from the largest banks in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland and Hong Kong), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and United States.
A regulatory environment that supports the safe and robust development of Big Data technology will be essential if banks are to meet the challenge of FinTech players, BigTech firms and crypto assets, according to Deutsche Bank. A white paper published by the investment bank outlined the need for regulators and financial institutions to adopt a flexible approach to emerging technologies and warned that artificial intelligence (AI), Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), cloud and blockchain will not be to their full potential without rich and relevant data sets.
Goldman Sachs has hired an Amazon Web Services (AWS) executive as its next co-chief information officer. A note sent to staff yesterday confirmed that Marco Argenti, who has served as vice president of technology at AWS since 2013, will replace Elisha Wiesel, who departs the investment bank after 25 years.
New research has revealed that 56 per cent of UK Millennials are unhappy with their current wealth management services and are not loyal to any one manager – with an average of three private banking relationships. This is according to a study by pricing strategy specialists Simon-Kucher & Partners, which found that three in five Millennials were not satisfied with traditional wealth managers and 80 per cent were using, or considering, using FinTech alternatives to manage their money.
Launching an Open Banking strategy has become a top priority for nearly a third (29 per cent) of European banks as tech giants begin to enter the market, according to new research from Temenos and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). A survey of 400 global banking executives by the banking software firm and the EIU found that major retail banks are gearing up for the challenge posed by the long-awaited BigTech entry into financial services, with a quarter believing they will be their biggest source of competition by 2020 and 31 per cent believing that this will be the case by 2025.
The Geneva-based association tasked with overseeing Facebook’s Libra digital currency is to pursue a license as a payment system in Switzerland. The Libra Association, an independent non-profit, brings together Facebook’s Calibra digital currency project with 27 global payments, technologies, telecommunications and venture capital firms - including Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Uber and eBay - to supervise the launch and development of the social media giant’s Libra coin; currently scheduled for 2020.
Mastercard has announced a new initiative to increase the nation’s access to cash, letting merchants earn a fee every time they dispense cash to a shopper paying with a Mastercard debit card from April 2020. Although cashback at shops has been a withdrawal option for bank account holders for some time, by providing retailers with this fee, Mastercard suggested that it will offer a new income stream to the High Street and provide further incentive for local shops to offer the service.
Banco Santander has become the first lender to launch an end-to-end blockchain bond. The Spanish-headquartered bank said the launch of the $20 million bond marks the arrival of a disruptive new technology which has the potential to make issuing bonds faster, simpler and more efficient.
Retail banking and fintechs are the leading sectors when it comes to payments innovation, with regulation playing a key role in forcing industry change, according to a new study.
Research from payments firm ACI Worldwide and Ovum research based on interviews with senior executives in nearly 1,200 companies highlighted that many planned changes to culture, organisation and technology-centric factors in the coming years.
Hackers and fraudsters operating on the dark web are fuelling a “thriving” trade in cybercrime-as-a-service, with a raft of new goods and services, even including aftersales support, according to new research. The data was taken from 12 different English and Russian speaking dark markets and forums between February and June 2019 by researchers at cyber security firm Armor.
Mastercard is partnering with software company R3 to develop a blockchain-powered cross border payments solution. Under the terms of the strategic partnership, Mastercard will act as the network operator to process, clear and settle international payments while R3’s blockchain software and Corda ecosystem will enable banks to deliver a single frictionless real-time payments proposition.
Citi is launching a FinTech challenge aimed at finding innovative ideas to transform its transaction banking division.The FinTech challenge is being launched to mark the tenth anniversary of Citi’s first Innovation Lab in Dublin.
Nationwide Building Society has partnered with Qlik to help 18,000 employees improve their data literacy as the lender drives forward its £4.1 billion technology and data transformation programme. Nationwide said the partnership with Qlik, a Swedish data visualisation and analytics software company, would offer staff the tools and data insights they need to perform more accurate decision-making and help the UK’s largest building society to become a ‘data enabled’ organisation.
The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) has announced that it is to explore opening up access to data in the UK’s new payments architecture. The UK’s economic regulator for payments has released the findings of a report on the use of data in the payments industry, finding that there are a “number of areas where the industry needs to manage key issues” in managing the large volumes of data that flow through payments systems every day.
Starling Bank has added InsurTech firm Digital Risks and cyber security platform CyberSmart to its business marketplace. The two new partners are part of Starling’s strategy to provide business customers with the tools they need to set up and grow their operations. Accessible from within the Starling app, the complementary products allow customers to manage more of their business admin from one place.
Just a quarter of banks believe their compliance processes are fully ready for Open Banking, ahead of the introduction of new PSD2 rules set to come into force this week. A survey of more than 200 IT decision-makers from the UK and US’ largest financial institutions by Cloud Elements found that with the deadline for next tranche of Second Payments Directive (PSD2) looming this month, less than 29 per cent of FinTechs believe they have their compliance in hand.
Sellers of the Big Issue will now able to accept contactless payments following successful trials with mobile point of sale company iZettle. A statement pointed out that cashless payments now outweigh cash transactions, with one in five people in the UK now not carrying notes or coins at all, while contactless card or mobile transactions accounted for 5.6 billion payments last year.
More than half (54 per cent) of global asset managers believe that legacy technology systems are holding back attempts to carry out digital transformation programmes. A survey of 150 asset managers, fund administrators and custodians across Europe, the United States and Asia by banking software company Temenos, in partnership with Funds Europe and Funds Global, found that a significant majority (93 per cent) saw investment in operational systems as essential to improve efficiency and reduce cost.
Sonovate has secured £110 million debt and equity finance, led by M&G Investments, MXB Holdings, Dawn Capital and Rocket Internet. This latest round of investment follows Series B funding secured in October 2016, led by Global Founders Capital, the investment vehicle of Rocket Internet, and supported by Dawn Capital. Dawn also led the previous Series A funding earlier that year.
US payments firm Stripe is launching a cash lending service to its online business customers. The payments software giant, founded in 2009, said that Stripe Capital would help small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access finance, as traditional banks have scaled back their lending.
Prudential Financial has agreed to buy InsurTech startup Assurance IQ for $2.35 billion, as the US insurance giant joins fellow incumbents in investing in digital channels used by a new generation of customers. The deal will add Assurance IQ, an AI and data analytics consumer solutions platform for health and financial wellness, to Prudential Financial’s growing portfolio of digital services.
ING has partnered with Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn and US FinTech startup AiFi to pilot a cashierless store concept. The trial store, in the city of Zaandam, is only 14 metres square, and uses a system similar to the Amazon Go stores in the US.
SWIFT has published a new Application Programming Interface (API) standard for the pre-authorisation of funds. This allows a payer’s bank to earmark funds for a purchase in advance, guaranteeing that the future payment will be honoured. It is the second of SWIFT’s Open Banking extensions API standards, following the Pay Later API standard earlier this year.
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has announced the appointment of Chris Hemsley as its new managing director. He has been acting as co-managing director since April, having joined the PSR as head of policy in November 2018, from previous regulatory work as the deputy director of Railway Markets and Economics and chief economist at the Office of Rail and Road.
Tech Nation has revealed the 23 scaleups accepted onto its 2019 FinTech growth programme, delivered as part of HM Treasury's Fintech Sector Strategy.
In its second year, the six-month programme aims to help some of the most promising UK FinTech companies accelerate their growth and scale at speed at home and abroad. Starting on 24 October, the bespoke programme is specifically designed to connect and create opportunities for the founders through a series of in-depth insight sessions, networking events with key stakeholders and a three-day international showcase trip to the US.
Tribe Payments has announced the appointment of a new chief technology officer (CTO), chief information officer (CIO) and chief commercial officer (CCO).Vytautas Mickevicius, a former employee of Deutsche Bank, will join as CTO, while Fadl Mahmoud, who helped to develop the Nets payments platform in Denmark, will join as CIO. Mahmoud will work with Tribe’s technical team to ensure its systems are state of the art and processing can scale with growth.
Tandem Bank has appointed Noam Ziegerson to the role of chief data officer, as the challenger bank seeks to boost its artificial intelligence (AI) technology capabilities. The digital lender said that Ziegerson will bring with him 18 years of experience and insight into AI, machine learning and data governance.
FinTech startup Curve raised £4 million on Crowdcube in the first 42 minutes of its latest crowdfunding campaign, in the fastest ever raise seen by the crowdfunding platform. The London based firm, which enables users to merge all of their cards into one in a smart card and mobile app, has now hit the £6 million milestone from 9,591 individuals, after the raise launched to pre-registered customers yesterday.
Despite rising optimism for digital transformation projects, the vast majority of organisations are still suffering failure, delays or scaled back expectations, according to Couchbase. The cloud database provider surveyed 450 heads of digital transformation in enterprises across the UK, US, France and Germany, finding that 73 per cent have made ‘significant’ or better improvements to the end-user experience in their organisation through digital innovation.
Nationwide is using the OutSystems low-code platform to develop a new digital business savings service. The building society’s new digital business banking savings service is expected to launch in early 2020, powered by the FinTech’s application development tools.
The Dutch central bank has announced that it is to begin regulating cryptocurrency services from 10 January 2020. In a statement this morning, De Nederlandsche Bank said: “In concrete terms, firms offering services for the exchange between cryptos and regular money, and crypto wallet providers, must register with De Nederlandsche Bank.”
Digital challengers banks are on track to treble customer numbers to 35 million in the next year as they catch up with incumbents’ market share, according to Accenture. Analysts at the professional services firm surveyed data from 30 UK banks, finding that in the first half of 2019, mobile-only banks added five million new customers in the UK. The acceleration of customer acquisition has reached a growth rate of 170 per cent, the analysis found.
A typical European bank, serving 10 million customers, could save up to €10 million annually and avoid growing regulatory fines by implementing Know Your Customer (KYC) tech processes, according to new research. Mitek and Consult Hyperion found that following new EU Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) rules extending the scope of KYC requirements, the annual cost of punitive non-compliance fines has risen to €3.5 million.
Six out of 10 consumers would not give up their debit card in favour of mobile payments, according to new research. A survey of 1,000 current account users, conducted by Arlington Research for IDEX Biometrics ASA, also found that while the UK is quickly progressing towards a cashless society, three quarters of consumers have concerns about the transition to cardless.
Allied Irish Banks (AIB) will be adopting nCino’s cloud-based operating system, beginning with its asset finance division. The bank will also use nCino’s customer engagement solution, as well as the partner portal functionality to streamline operations and enhance visibility, providing a seamless customer experience and improved workflow for employees.
Aberdeen Standard Investments is standardising thousands of its Windows virtual desktops around the world via IGEL’s operating system to help simplify deployment, security and maintenance, while improving desktop performance. Aberdeen Asset Management began the move to a virtual desktop environment four years ago. After the initial project, the next step was to change the Windows endpoint devices, which were still having to be patched and maintained.
TSB and Square have partnered to make card payments more accessible for business banking customers.The collaboration with the San Francisco-based payments provider, founded by Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, will equip TSB’s small business owners with fast-track access to credit and debit card processing and point of sale software to help them start, run and grow their businesses.
More Millennials are falling victim to scams designed to trick them into handing over cash to fraudsters than any other age group, according to Lloyds Bank. There has been just under a four-fold increase in the number of 18 to 34 year-olds being caught out by impersonation scams in the past 12 months, who are now as likely as those aged over 55 to fall victim to such scams.
Revolut is driving its European expansion with plans to create up to 400 new jobs in a customer operations centre based in Portugal. The long-term investment, reported to amount to £4 million, in a new office in Porto will increase the FinTech’s total headcount by a third. Roles will range across customer support, complaints, investigations and compliance.
UK FinTech startup Ipagoo, which entered administration at the start of August after regulators told it to freeze customer accounts, has now found a buyer. Anglo-Dutch investment group Chairman Financial announced an exclusivity agreement to buy the business, as well as certain assets of its parent company Orwell Group.
A last minute surge of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims crashed websites and phone services at UK banks last night, as customers rushed to make the midnight deadline. A number of High Street banks apologised for IT glitches and extended phone waiting times as their systems struggled to cope with customers looking to make claims.
The board of Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) has published the first update on progress against commitments made by the challenger banks it gave grants to. Metro Bank, Starling Bank and ClearBank were all part of Pool A of the Capability and Innovation Fund, designed to promote competition in the market for banking services to UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through expansion of business capacity, product offering and/or target markets.
Citibank has appointed of Anne-Maree Tassell to the role of head of operations and technology for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She will transition from her current role as head of operations and technology in Australia and New Zealand and start in her new role in London on 1 October.
Less than half (45 per cent) of procurement processes have been digitised, with paper-based or manual processes costing UK businesses an average of £1.94 million per year, according to new research. A Vanson Bourne survey of 200 procurement, supply chain and finance professionals for procurement firm Ivalua found that procurement teams are spending almost a third (31 per cent) of their time dealing with analogue processes, with 71 per cent of respondents believing that the rate of digitisation is holding them back from doing their jobs.
More than a third of UK banks (34 per cent) lack the expertise to implement new technology, according to new research. A survey of 50 UK banks by FinTech provider Fraedom found that almost half of banks (48 per cent) have recruited new skills, or are using partners and third party suppliers to gain the necessary skills.
Both employers and employees are open to using robo-investing to support savings and investments, according to new research from Smarterly. The online savings platform surveyed 1,248 employees and 508 HR professionals in UK businesses.
Banking software company Temenos has agreed to acquire digital banking software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm Kony for $559 million and an earn-out of $21 million, subject to regulatory approvals. The acquisition significantly enhances Temenos’ scale and capabilities in the US and accelerates digital front office product Temenos Infinity.
Payments firm Shieldpay has announced the appointment of WorldPay founder Nick Ogden and former Citi chief executive Jim Cowles to the company’s board. The two will serve as non-executive directors with immediate effect as Shieldpay, a London-based FinTech founded in 2016, looks to accelerate the growth of its digital payments service for high value transactions.
The volume of FinTech deals reached a three year high in the first three months of 2019, with 198 mergers and acquisitions (M&A) recorded. Analysis from Hampleton Partners found that the rise in European and North American FinTech deals - up from 164 in the second quarter of 2018 - was followed by record investment from venture capital firms, which reached $10.9 billion in the second quarter of 2019.
InsurTech startup Zego has partnered with car-subscription service Drover to insure its private hire vehicle subscriber base. The partnership sees Zego’s flexible insurance policy integrated with Drover’s sign-up process so that private hire drivers are automatically insured when taking out a subscription on a vehicle.
Credit Suisse’s Swiss Universal Bank (SUB) division has announced plans to invest “a sum in the high three-digit million range” in the digitalisation of its client business by the end of 2021. The Swiss bank explained in a statement that its retail and commercial clients, who primarily use core banking products, will from September be served by a separate, newly-created business area; Direct Banking. In addition, its investment banking function will be moved out of the corporate banking business and will report directly to the chief executive.
RBS and NatWest online services and website are back up and running after suffering a series of outages since customers were left locked out of online banking on Tuesday morning. A message posted to NatWest's Twitter feed yesterday evening read:"Our website is now back up and running. Sorry for any problems this caused you and thanks for your patience while we fixed it."
The cost of data breaches will rise from $3 trillion each year to over $5 trillion in 2024, an average annual growth of 11 per cent. Analysis by Juniper Research suggested this will primarily be driven by increasing fines for data breaches as regulation tightens, as well as a greater proportion of business lost as enterprises become more dependent on the digital realm.
The UK’s FinTech founders have warned that the UK could lose its place as a global FinTech leader. The Digital Finance Forum surveyed 50 founders of UK FinTech firms to assess their levels of optimism around the sector’s growth prospects in the UK. In addition to Brexit-related concerns, nearly half said that the rules applying to Open Banking should extend to sectors including insurance and utilities, as the Open Data trend picks up pace.
The governor of the Bank of England has mooted the creation of a network of central bank digital currencies to help overcome the destabilising dominance of the US Dollar on international trade. Speaking at the Jackson Hole Symposium last Friday, Mark Carney explained that history shows the rise of a reserve currency is founded on its usefulness as a medium of exchange, by reducing the cost and increasing the convenience of international payments.
Money Dashboard has made £4.6 million in the biggest FinTech fundraise on Crowdcube this year. The Edinburgh-based personal finance firm reached its initial target of £1.5 million in just 45 minutes, topping out at £3.6 million with the support of 3,300 crowdfunders.
Revolut has strengthened its senior executive team by appointing a new treasurer, deputy chief financial officer and director of financial crime risk. The new treasurer is Wolfgang Bardorf, who joins from being global head of liquidity models and methodologies at Deutsche Bank. He is also a former executive director in corporate treasury at Goldman Sachs.
Esme Loans, NatWest’s standalone digital lending platform for small businesses, has now lent over £70 million to UK businesses. The lender has seen a sustained period of rapid growth in lending to small businesses, with the most recent milestone representing over £20 million of lending in the space of four months, an increase of 40 per cent in the total loan book.
Financial market network solutions provider IPC and cloud communications company Cloud9 Technologies have partnered for a new open voice trading and collaboration solution. The integrated cloud-based service unites Cloud9’s C9 Trader voice communications and analytics platform, IPC’s Unigy trading communications platform and the Connexus Cloud financial ecosystem.
The EU’s antitrust regulators are weighing up a competition probe into Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, according to reports. The European Commission’s competition watchdog has sent out a questionnaire to a number of those involved in the Libra project, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the potential probe.
US InsurTech Root is set to complete a $350 million funding round at a valuation of $3.7 billion, led by new investors Coatue Management and DST Global. This latest investment comes about a year after it raised $100 million and secured unicorn status.
Open Banking platform Tink has published an open letter calling on the UK’s financial regulators to show greater flexibility around the September deadline for the implementation of Application Programming Interface (API) standards under the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2). In the letter, Tink’s vice president of product Tomas Prochazka warned of the need for banks to be given extra time to implement API measures to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ scenario which could leave millions of customers’ access to online or web-based financial services in jeopardy.
The FStech Awards 2020 are now open for entries, ahead of the ceremony next 19 March. Now in their 20th year, the biggest night of the year for the FinTech industry returns with several new categories that reflect this dynamic sector.
Large General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) fines against British Airways and Marriott have had a ripple effect on board level involvement and spending plans in relation to cyber security within UK financial firms. Data security firm Clearswift surveyed senior business decision-makers within enterprise financial organisations in the UK, finding that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) recent judgements - a £183 million proposed fine for BA and £99 million proposed fine for Marriott - were key turning points in addressing their own cyber security.
Visa has announced a suite of security capabilities to help prevent and disrupt payment fraud. These should help protect the integrity of the payments ecosystem by detecting and disrupting fraud threats targeting financial institutions and merchants. They are available to Visa clients at no additional cost or sign-up.
Thousands of UK banking customers were unable to pay credit card bills and access account information yesterday after an IT outage hit US payments company TSYS. Customers of Royal Bank of Scotland, Tesco and Nationwide Building Society were unable to view credit card information in their mobile apps and digital banking accounts after the glitch with third party provider TSYS, which apologised for the outage in a statement to the FT on Tuesday evening, citing a “hardware-related issue”.
Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has convened a special cross-sector working group tasked with driving the development of FinTech and informing policy under the Irish government’s financial services strategy. Chaired by BPFI, the Fintech Foresight Group brings together representatives from domestic and international banks, global technology companies, indigenous FinTech firms, third-level institutions, public sector representatives and international experts.
A vast majority of chief of financial officers (83 per cent) are already working with a FinTech company or developing their own financial software, as digital transformation continues to disrupt business models. A survey of 100 UK-based CFOs by credit platform Onguard found that nearly two thirds (65 per cent) believe digital transformation will result in fewer jobs.
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe (SMBC) has partnered with RegTech firm Exiger to use its artificial intelligence (AI) powered Know Your Customer (KYC) technology. Following an evaluation period, SMBC selected the DDIQ solution to deploy throughout its client onboarding and monitoring processes. The product understands and analyses content with cognitive reasoning to accelerate and enhance risk assessments of clients, investments, transactions, third parties and counterparties.
Better.com has closed a Series C fundraise at $160 million, bringing the company’s total funding to $254 million to date. Activant Capital, Ping An Global Voyager Fund, Ally Financial, Citi, AGNC, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and American Express Ventures joined existing shareholders Goldman Sachs, Pine Brook and Kleiner Perkins in the round.
Oracle has released new tools which it claims will help drive the shift towards quicker and easier digital mortgage lending. Its solution is aimed at helping banks and building societies transform residential, buy-to-let and small business mortgage origination by using open architecture design and process automation.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published further clarifications to its guidance on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) under second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) legislation after a fifth set of issues had been raised by participants of its working group. The latest clarifications, which are aimed at explaining the mechanisms of the rules, respond to issues raised on the measurement of response times of the dedicated interface, the machine-readability of the EBA register, reliance on eIDAS certificates and various issues related to the contingency measures, including the identification of third party providers through ‘guest books' and the fact that the data that can be accessed as well as documentation.
A majority (87 per cent) of finance leaders believe that automation will lead to greater efficiency for their business in the next three years, according to new research. A survey of 250 senior finance decision-makers by data and analytics firms Dun & Bradstreet, in association with the the Chartered Insitute of Credit Management (CICM), found that despite expectations that automation is set to drive workplace transformation, nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of financial and credit organisations are automating less than a quarter of their processes.
The City of London Corporation has installed four new contactless card points to help the area’s homeless and rough sleeper population get donations from those that don’t carry cash. Londoners will be able to donate £3 a time to homelessness charity Beam, by tapping their debit and credit cards on the contactless devices.
The London’s Stock Exchange (LSE) has “transitioned to regular trading” after a systems failure led to the longest outage in eight years. Trading opened at 9:40am this morning, 100 minutes late, following a technical issue.
Curve is to launch its first crowdfunding campaign next month. The app-based banking platform, which consolidates multiple payment cards into one smart card, is to open a seven figure crowdfunding campaign to investors in September. The round will be run on equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
Global investment in FinTech ventures fell sharply in the first half of 2019, as fundraising and deal activity in China that had soared a year earlier ground to a halt, partially offsetting strong gains in the US, UK and several other European countries. This is according to Accenture analysis of data from CB Insights, including global financing activity from venture capital and private equity firms, corporations and corporate venture capital divisions, hedge funds, accelerators and government-backed funds.
New research has revealed that 70 per cent of financial services firms have experienced a cyber security incident in the past year. Vanson Bourne interviewed 100 senior decision-makers from UK financial organisations on behalf of data security company Clearswift, finding that almost half of the incidents reported over the past 12 months originated from employees failing to follow security protocol or data protection policies.
Monzo is rolling out short-term loans to its 2.5 million customers as the challenger bank seeks to take on incumbents with a range of digital banking services.The loans service - which is being launched after a nine-month trial with 4,000 customers - will not be targeting the typical ‘payday loans’ market, with lower interest rates than those charged by companies such as Wonga, which sometimes reached around 1,000 per cent APR.
Previsico, an InsurTech business spun out from Loughborough University which specialises in modelling flooding in real-time, has completed a successful seed funding round. It is now targeting insurers, reinsurers, brokers and big data firms that are interested in improving their flood response capabilities.
Enterprise blockchain firm R3 is set to further its European expansion with the opening of a new office in Dublin next year. It will serve as another of R3’s tech hubs and will be primarily staffed by engineering specialists who will work closely with the existing engineering team in London.
Thomson Reuters has launched a global RegTech competition designed to provide early stage startups in the legal, tax and regulatory space the opportunity to partner with one of the business information services provider.
Entrants will need to demonstrate how their solutions help lawyers, tax and compliance professionals and or governments solve regulatory and compliance challenges through the smart application of new technologies. They will be judged on criteria that include: market opportunity, value proposition of their solution, technical expertise, partnership opportunities and quality of presentation.
Challenger bank Tandem is asking the public to participate in creating the UK’s first crowd-designed mortgage service.The digital bank plans to launch the mortgage lending service in 2020 and is inviting customers and potential customers’ to help design its features, with a focus on accessibility for aspiring home owners.
Bloomberg has acquired RegTek.Solutions in order to deliver a fully-integrated service that supports compliance with regulatory reporting requirements across multiple jurisdictions. RegTek.Solutions’s products will be integrated with Bloomberg’s Regulatory Reporting Hub (RHUB), as well as its enterprise data management and trading systems.
The board of Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) has awarded £10 million grants from its Capability and Innovation Fund Pool C to Atom Bank, iwoca, Modulr Finance and The Currency Cloud Group. This fund is designed to facilitate the expansion of business offerings to include lending or payments services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the United Kingdom, or international payments services to SMEs in the United Kingdom.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed a plan to grant the payments and e-commerce industry 18 months of extra time to implement Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).It was reported last week that the financial regulator had drawn up plans to give the UK a minimum 18 month extension to the 14 September deadline for firms to comply with SCA rules required by European Union’s Payment Services Directive (PDS2).
Financial services firms are facing an “onslaught” of cybersecurity threats, with 348 breaches targeted at Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and financial records data reported in 2018. According to a survey of 211 organisations carried out by IT services firm Wipro, the banking, financial services and insurance sector is consistently one of the most targeted industries, with 68 per cent of organisations saying email phishing is a top risk.
British cryptocurrency exchange CoinCorner has started paying its employees in Bitcoin. Staff at the company were given the option to receive part or all of their salary in cryptocurrency earlier this year, according to a statement. Each member of staff had the choice to receive the GBP equivalent of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or XRP - cryptocurrencies currently supported by CoinCorner - to include in their monthly pay packet.
Village Capital has announced the launch of Finance Forward — a global coalition created with MetLife Foundation, PayPal and local partners to support more than 100 early-stage entrepreneurs building tech-enabled solutions around financial health in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and India. Finance Forward will provide capacity-building support for entrepreneurs in the program, as well as $850,000 in capital through grants and direct investments. Based on the past results of Village Capital accelerator programs, the coalition is aiming to drive at least $10 million in follow-on funding to program participants over the next five years.
NatWest is to launch the first trial of voice banking through the Google Home smart speaker device and Google Assistant on smartphone. The three-month pilot will enable 500 participating customers to trial banking services through Google’s voice technology, and will be the first trial of voice banking through smart devices to be carried out by a major UK bank.
The Central Bank of Ireland has confirmed it will put a “limited migration period” in place for regulated firms to comply with the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules. The deadline is currently 14 September under the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), but in line with a European Banking Authority (EBA) opinion published in June, the Irish financial regulator has taken up the suggestion of giving merchants and payment providers “limited additional time” to ensure no disruption to payment systems.
FinMkt has closed a $5 million Series B equity round led by FINTOP Capital, with participation from existing investors including ManchesterStory Group and West Loop Ventures. The New York-based firm provides technology solutions for the online lending industry.
Commission-free stock trading app Robinhood has been authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a broker in the UK. The US FinTech has yet to give a date for its formal launch, but is currently hiring for several roles in London across compliance, operations, user research and marketing.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is set to delay enforcement of the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) payment security rules by than 18 months, on the recommendation of UK Finance. This is according to reports in the Financial Times, which reported that as part of its consideration of an extension to the 14 September deadline for implementing the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), the regulator asked the trade association to design an alternative timetable for the UK.
Commerzbank is testing a blockchain-based machine-to-machine payment system with Daimler Trucks. The pilot involved the exchange and settlement of payments between an electronic charging point and a Daimler Truck system without any human intervention.
Lloyds Banking Group is partnering with InsurTech firm Trov to release a portfolio of end-to-end, white-labelled insurance products. The Powered by Trov platform comprises four core modules: policy sales; including quoting, binding, billing and adjustments; claims, including consumer and business interfaces; business intelligence, including conversion, engagement and risk analytics; and customer relationship management.
UK financial services organisations are rapidly embracing new cloud-enabled technologies to transform the ways they operate and serve customers, although skills shortages, security barriers and worries about compliance are standing in the way of digital transformation. This is according to research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) and Aryaka, which surveyed 250 IT and business decision-makers at UK-based financial services organisations with 50 or more employees and IT procurement budgets averaging £8 million per year.
Multicurrency accounts FinTech Ipagoo has fallen into administration, becoming the first non-bank with access to the CHAPS clearing house to do so. The collapse followed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ordering it to stop all regulated activity on 24 July, after it was discovered that Ipagoo had problems segregating customer money.
The Federal Reserve has announced plans to develop a new round-the-clock real-time payment and settlement service, called the FedNow Service, to support faster payments in the United States. A statement from the central bank explained that the rapid evolution of technology presents a pivotal opportunity for it and the payment industry to modernise the nation's payment system and establish a safe and efficient foundation for the future.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has launched Sandbox Express to provide firms with a faster option to test innovative financial products and services in the market. Eligible applicants can begin market testing in the pre-defined environment within 21 days of applying to MAS, instead of taking a longer time to customise their sandboxes under the existing FinTech Regulatory Sandbox.
Mastercard has entered into an agreement to acquire the majority of the corporate services businesses of European PayTech firm Nets for €2.85 billion.
The acquisition comprises the clearing and instant payment services, as well as e-billing solutions of Nets’ corporate services division. The addition of Nets’ technology and teams should strengthen Mastercard’s existing account-to-account capabilities.
Monzo has disclosed a security oversight that saw customer PINs stored incorrectly within its internal systems. Discovered on Friday, the bug was spotted by one of Monzo’s security engineers, and meant that some login details were simultaneously stored in encrypted log files accessible by certain staff.
Avantia, the technology-enabled insurer behind HomeProtect, has updated its retail pricing model, employing Bayesian optimisation as an alternative to traditional A/B testing. The new approach uses machine learning to more quickly identify the optimal price for its products, achieving this with fewer rounds of iteration and with less reliance on human involvement and the biases that entails.
Experian has reported that its Open Data Platform underpinned more than 20 million of the UK’s Application Programming Interface (API) requests made in April. This represents 40 per cent of the 49.1 million made in the UK overall, according to figures from the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), with the number of API requests made in the UK more than doubling since February.
Starling Bank chief executive and founder Anne Boden has published a letter today stating, among other things, that the digital challenger is aiming to reach a break-even point at the end of next year. She wrote that since November 2018, financial performance has outperformed expectations, with growth of 110 per cent in customer numbers and of 200 per cent in the deposit base – resulting in a 150 per cent increase in annualised revenue run rate over the same period, which is expected to double by this December.
OakNorth has announced the appointment of Jackson Hull as its chief technology officer (CTO) and chief operating officer (COO). A statement from the credit platform explained that with over 15 year’s c-suite experience in London and San Francisco, he is an expert in building high-volume e-commerce applications, global software-as-a-service platforms, mobile and Internet of Things platforms.
A survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute in the US has revealed that half of global financial services organisations have suffered theft of sensitive customer data or system failure and downtime because of insecure software or technology. Synopsys commissioned the study, which found that many organisations are struggling to manage cyber security risk in their supply chain and are failing to assess their software for security vulnerabilities before release.
Enterprise blockchain software firm R3 has reaffirmed its commitment to London, doubling the size of its London Wall hub to accommodate a rapidly-growing engineering team. The extra space will also support an “aggressive hiring plan” to increase the company’s global headcount from its current level of 215 to nearly 300 by the end of the year. Of this, over half of the new hires will be in the London office, with more than 40 new recruits being made in the capital.
Lloyd’s of London has announced 11 new teams of InsurTech disruptors to join the global (re)insurance market’s innovation accelerator. More than 130 applications were received from across the world for the third cohort of the Lloyd’s Lab. The successful teams were selected as part of a competitive process involving 24 shortlisted applicants which presented their ideas to experts across the market during pitch day.
The Treasury Select Committee is calling for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to be given greater formal regulatory powers. A report set out the committee’s views that the scope of the financial watchdog’s regulatory perimeter is currently “insufficient”.
Nationwide Building Society has announced plans to open a new digital innovation centre in London, aimed at attracting the talent it needs for the future whilst building on the existing skills of its workforce. This follows an announcement in September 2018 that it would spend an additional £1.3 billion on technology over the next five years – totalling £4.1 billion over the period.
Cyber criminals launched 3.5 billion attempted attacks on the financial services sector over a six month period. Data from US cloud and digital services provider Akamai found that half of all unique organisations impacted by observed phishing domains were from the financial services sector.
HM Treasury is launching a £2 million challenge prize in partnership with Nesta Challenges to encourage UK FinTechs to come up with affordable credit solutions.The Affordable Credit Challenge is offering to fund FinTech companies willing to partner with community lenders to design innovative services to help people access credit and avoid the need to turn to payday or guarantor loans providers.
The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has agreed definitive terms to acquire Refinitiv in an all share transaction worth approximately $27 billion. The transaction will result in the Refinitiv shareholders ultimately holding an approximate 37 per cent economic interest in LSEG and less than 30 per cent of the total voting rights of LSEG.
The UK’s most innovative payments companies have only one week left to enter for the 2019 Payments Awards. Now in their seventh year, the ceremony will take place at the Marriott Grosvenor Square in London on 13 November, hosted by award-winning comedian and panel show regular Holly Walsh.
New research has revealed that 29 per cent of finance managers at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are likely to switch their main bank account in the next five years. Finastra commissioned YouGov to survey more than 450 UK SMEs, finding that while the majority of respondents (86 per cent) were either fairly happy, or very happy with their bank, almost a third could be open to a new offering from a challenger bank.
The UK’s FinTech sector defied a slowdown in global investment in the first half of the year, drawing $3.06 billion of new funding, according to KPMG. The professional services firm’s analysis of investment activity in the first six months of 2019 found that the UK landed six of the top ten deals in Europe, along with 68 per cent of Europe’s total venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) investment.
Revolut launching a stock trading service, which will allow customers to make commission-free trades within the app. The service will initially be available to its Metal card customers, who will be able to make 100 free trades of a basket of 300 US listed stocks on the New York Exchange and NASDAQ.
FNA has closed a $5.5 million Series A funding round led by IQ Capital, with participation from GETTYLAB. The funds will be used to further develop the firm’s solutions to help financial regulators and institutions operationalise advanced data analytics, identify fault lines and prepare better for cyber threats.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has confirmed that the company's new credit card will launch next month, as the iPhone maker looks to become the latest tech titan to enter financial services. Apple first announced plans for a Mastercard credit card, issued in partnership with Goldman Sachs, in March.
Swiss Re has partnered with Expert System to use its Cogito natural language understanding technology to empower its digital and analytics strategy throughout the entire value chain. With Expert System's artificial intelligence-driven approach, which focuses on deep knowledge understanding and data accuracy, Swiss Re has been achieving greater efficiency by automating tasks such as assessing risk reports or evaluating claims evaluation.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its final guidance on the cryptoasset activities it regulates, in response to the consultation published earlier this year. The guidance aims help firms understand whether their cryptoasset activities fall under FCA regulation, giving them a better understanding of whether they need to be authorised and what they need to do to ensure they are compliant.
Capital One has confirmed that it was the victim of a hack which involving the data of around 100 million US individuals and six million in Canada.The US financial services giant announced that the hack, which was discovered on 19 July, involved “unauthorised access by an outside individual who obtained certain types of personal information” relating to people who had applied for its credit card products and to Capital One credit card customers.
Microsoft and Publicis Sapient have partnered to support the launch of the world’s first end-to-end digital trade bank, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank (AGTB). Publicis Sapient will function as a digital partner, using Microsoft’s cloud-based security and data solutions to provide implementation strategy, technology and client experience from the outset. AGTB is designed to be a digital-only trade finance bank to encourage greater trade by companies, particularly in the Middle East, the UK and Asia. It uses blockchain technology to offer clients full control over simple, streamlined and transparent processes, while analysing data to mitigate risk.
Responding to US lawmakers’ scrutiny of Facebook’s digital currency plans, Ripple executives Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen have written an open letter urging the authorities not to paint all cryptocurrencies with the same regulatory brush. Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee have demanded an immediate moratorium on the implementation of Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency and digital wallet, citing the social media giant's recent privacy issues as a threat to the world economy.
Revolut has confirmed that David Maclean, a finance director at Metro Bank, is set to be appointed chief financial officer, as the FinTech challenger continues to bolster its team with City veterans. Revolut confirmed that Maclean would be appointed later this year, subject to regulatory approval.
The demand for Application Programme Interface (API) technology is gaining momentum as firms look to digital services to improve efficiency and establish new business models. A joint report from secure financial messaging provider SWIFT and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that interest in APIs - which determine rules and standards for integration between software applications and data sharing - have seen a marked rise in interest from financial services firms over the course of the past year, particularly in the post-trade area.
Legal & General has announced a partnership with Raisin UK, providing the asset manager’s customers with access to cash savings accounts through the FinTech’s marketplace. The partnership is an attempt to diversify Legal & General’s product offering and answer growing calls from consumers looking for greater choice and more control when it comes to planning for their financial future.
Flaws have been discovered that allow hackers to bypass the payment limits on Visa contactless cards. Positive Technologies tested the attack with five major UK banks, successfully bypassing the UK contactless verification limit of £30 on all tested Visa cards, irrespective of the card terminal.
FinTech financing hit $10.9 billion during the second quarter of 2019 – the second best quarterly performance ever recorded by FT Partners. The San Francisco-based tech investment firm’s latest report recorded mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity during the first six months of this year already topping the entirety of 2018, at $148.3 billion, compared to $127.8 billion.
Starling Bank has partnered with mobile point of sale company SumUp to provide small merchants with access to faster settlements. SumUp’s terminals can be used with an accompanying app, or without an app via the company’s standalone 3G Reader, which comes with an integrated free data card.
SoftBank Group is set to launch its second Vision Fund, with participation from major tech players including Apple, Foxconn and Microsoft. The Vision Fund 2 will focus on artificial intelligence (AI) based technology, with about $108 billion in capital committed, according to the published memoranda of understandings. SoftBank’s own investment in the fund will be $38 billion and it is still in discussions with other potential participants, so the total size of the new fund is expected to increase.
Several European associations representing banks and third party providers (TPPs) have released a joint statement agreeing on joint efforts regarding the transition to EU new payment rules. Responding to recent updates from EU authorities regarding the 14 September deadline for the revised payments services directive (PSD2), the European Credit Sector Associations (ECSAs) and TPP associations have pledged to improve their interactions regarding the implementation of the new standards.
Paysend has raised £8.5 million in Series B funding to support the global roll-out of its international money transfer technology. The startup said the round was led by a £3.95 million investment from GVA capital, alongside 933 investors on the Seedrs crowdfunding platform, who raised a collective £4.6 million.
InsurTech investment worldwide continued at high levels during the second quarter of 2019, marking the fourth consecutive quarter during which total new funding commitments exceeded $1.2 billion. This is according to the latest Quarterly InsurTech Briefing from advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson, which found 69 deals with a total value of $1.41 billion that were announced in the second quarter.
TSB has announced a return to growth in the first half of 2019 as the bank recovers from last year’s IT-related woes.It reported statutory pre-tax profit had climbed to £21.1 million in the first six months of this year, versus a loss of £107.4 million in the same period in 2018.
Hippo Insurance has secured $100 million in a Series D funding round led by global technology investment firm Bond. The round brings the InsurTech startup’s total funding to $209 million, with other participation in this round from Comcast Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Fifth Wall, Hillhouse Capital, Horizons Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, Lennar Corporation, Michael Ovitz, Pipeline Capital, Propel Venture Partners, RPM Ventures, Standard Industries and Zeev Ventures.
People favour face-to-face and over-the-phone contact, despite the increasing amount of digital communication channels available to them, according to new research. The study of 2,166 UK adults conducted by YouGov in April, on behalf of Getty Images, revealed that in-branch contact is preferred by those aged 45-54 (39 per cent) and over 55 (43 per cent) however, the youngest of the generations surveyed still value direct human contact. For those aged between 18 and 34, telephone and then branch contact followed closely behind smartphone app communication.
Mastercard has announced a partnership with SumUp aimed at extending payment acceptance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 27 European countries. The five-year deal will enable micro and SME companies to accept electronic payments via SumUp’s card readers, by card and digital enabled devices such as smartphones, smartwatches or wristbands.
UK FinTech startup Hokodo has been awarded €2 million by Horizon 2020, the funding programme for research and innovation run by the European Commission. Grants are awarded to “market-creating innovations” that demonstrate high growth prospects, and are highly competitive - only around 7.5 per cent of the startups which enter are successful.
Business bank account switching has more than doubled in a year, according to the latest figures from the Current Account Switch Service (CASS). The data collected shows that 246,974 switches were completed in the second quarter of 2019, with 17,687 business account switches using the CASS service – up from 8,000 in the same period last year.
UK FinTech firm Centtrip has established a new company in Amsterdam, Centtrip Europe, to grow its presence in mainland Europe. The treasury management firm has also partnered with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and amsterdam inbusiness as part of a commitment to invest in the country’s FinTech scene. To complement its technology services, Centtrip is also applying to De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) for authorisation as an Electronic Money Institution.
The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has published its latest paper on Access to Cash, with research suggesting that despite a strong shift to alternate payment methods, over 80 per cent of Brits paid for something using cash in the previous week. The regulator commissioned BritainThinks to ask consumers and small businesses from across the UK how they use and accept cash. A telephone survey was used to ensure a demographically representative sample from 1,590 UK consumers, while an online survey targeted 542 UK small businesses.
More than half (52 per cent) of UK consumers are looking for new tools and apps, such as those enabled by Open Banking, to help them feel more in control of their finances.This is according to consumer research published by Nesta Challenges to mark the launch of its Open Up Challenge 2020, which is offering part of a £1.5 million prize to encourage FinTech innovators to create solutions which help people make more of their money.
Revolut and Starling Bank have both announced new business banking initiatives today, hoping to appeal to the UK’s smaller traders. Starling has opened up its business account to hundreds of thousands more UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by inviting companies with more than one person of significant control (PSCs) to sign up, while Revolut for Business launched two business account plans with zero monthly subscription fees, designed to support startups from freelancers to corporates.
Banco Santander has announced plans to consolidate all its digital services into a single global platform.The Spanish-headquartered bank revealed the plan as it published results for the first six months of 2019, with attributable profit standing at €3.2 billion, dragged down by €814 million of planned restructuring costs, including €26 million in the UK and a further €80 million for UK PPI provision.
Nationwide Building Society has partnered with Mastercard as it prepares to launch a new business banking service targeting Britain’s 5.6 million small businesses. Whilst Nationwide continues to gear up for the introduction of its business accounts, Mastercard debit cards will be made available to business customers following the launch early next year.
Credit reporting agency Equifax has agreed to pay up to $700 million to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over a 2017 data breach which left the details of up to 150 million people exposed. The deal reached with the US regulator, which will involve at least $575 million, will register as the largest ever payout to the FTC to settle a data breach case, following the $148 million paid by Uber last year.
Robinhood has announced a $323 million Series E financing, valuing the company at a $7.6 billion. The fee-free stock trading app released a brief statement, explaining that the round was led by DST Global, with participation from investors including Ribbit Capital, NEA, Sequoia and Thrive Capital.
Morgan Stanley is launching a digital vault to enable document sharing between wealth management clients and their financial advisors. The digital vault, powered by cloud technology provider Box, provides an encrypted repository for clients to store and share their most important documents, such as wills, deeds, estate plans, financial statements and tax filings with their financial advisors.
Visa has acquired German point of sale (PoS) firm Payworks in a deal that will enable Visa to offer cloud-based in-store and online payments processing. Visa said it would integrate Payworks’ PoS payment gateway software with its CyberSource digital payment management platform to create a fully integrated payment acceptance solution for merchants and acquirers.
Token.io has partnered with UK property marketplaces, StuRents and Mashroom, to give renters, landlords and agents access to Open Banking services, including bank direct payments and data aggregation. StuRents operates a national student property platform that combines a student-centric property search with online contract signing, payment facilitation, property management and research capabilities. It will integrate Token’s technology to expand the payment options available to tenants and property managers who transact within StuRents’ ecosystem.
Digital challenger Atom Bank has raised £50 million as it prepares to re-platform operations into the cloud. The round was led by BBVA, Toscafund, Woodford Patient Capital Trust and funds advised by Perscitus, taking the bank’s total funding since it launched in April 2016 to £450 million.
Kiwi FinTech firm FNZ has acquired JHC Systems, a UK-based provider of platform software to the wealth management industry. The acquisition should result in the combined group becoming one of the top broking platforms in the UK, when respective existing customers are combined. The financial details were not disclosed.
New research from TSB has revealed that more than half (57 per cent) of over 55s say they never use mobile banking, despite being smartphone users. This is in contrast to 82 per cent of 18 to 34 year-olds who say they use mobile banking. The findings come as the bank rolls out new functionality which allows customers to open a current account using a ‘selfie’ phone photo, without the need to visit a branch.
Banking software firm Temenos has acquired artificial intelligence (AI) platform Logical Glue for £12 million, as the industry responds to demand for “explainable” AI banking products. Temenos said Logical Glue’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform would bolster its AI offering, giving banking clients enhanced transparency and explainability when it comes to automated decisions.
Payments FinTech SumUp has raised €330 million to grow its network of merchants across 31 markets worldwide. The funding round was led by Goldman Sachs Private Capital, Bain Capital Credit, HPS Investment Partners and TPG Sixth Street Partners.
Following from the success of RegTech Live in February, FStech is pleased to announce the inaugural CyberSecurity Live conference. As the amount of personal data processed by financial services firms increases exponentially, so does the potential for criminals to intercept it. Not a week goes by without a new threat identified or breach admitted to, so this one-day event will bring together experts from across institutions, regulators and government - along with the leading tech firms - to debate the biggest issues in cyber security.
German digital bank N26 has seen its valuation climb to $3.5 billion after extending a Series D funding round to $470 million.The Berlin-based mobile bank, which launched in the UK in October, has added a further $170 million into its coffers as it prepares to launch its services in the US over the summer. The extension is a bolt on to a $300 million raise in January.
Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) has announced the results of the second Incentivised Switching Scheme application process, with only Habib Bank Zurich applying and meeting the eligibility criteria. Its offer will go live in mid-August 2019, while existing eligible applicant Nationwide Building Society has met all eligibility criteria, but is yet to launch a business current account offering. It has plans to do so in early 2020.
Facebook is prepared to postpone the launch of its Libra digital currency until global financial regulators are satisfied that it meets security, data privacy and consumer protection standards. In an appearance before the United States Senate Banking Committee, David Marcus, a former PayPal executive who is leading Facebook’s Libra unit, told lawmakers that the company had heard concerns raised by governments and policymakers “loud and clear”.
Finix, a payments infrastructure platform built by the former PayPal, First Data and Worldpay executives, has landed $17.5 million funding from investors including Visa and Bain Capital Ventures. The US-based company, co-founded by Richie Serna and Sean Donovan, launched its payments processing solution in 2015.
The Open Banking Implementation Authority (OBIE) has published a report on the progress of the data sharing reforms, paving the way for expanding them into other areas of finance. Research for the report, commissioned from Fingleton and the ODI, was carried out with stakeholder interviews among third party providers (TPPs), representatives of banks, the OBIE, Competition and Markets Authority and Financial Conduct Authority staff and consumer representatives.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in financial services is still only at a “nascent” phase, with a number of firms yet to ask themselves fundamental questions around ethical use, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s executive director of strategy and competition. Announcing the launch of the FCA’s partnership with the Alan Turing Institute at a conference this morning, Christopher Woolard said the project would focus on the practical challenges of transparency and explainability of AI in the financial sector.
A survey of over 500 financial services IT professionals across six countries in North America and Europe has revealed that they have little confidence in users keeping data safe. The research, carried out by Blackberry, found that 94 per cent of those surveyed are not fully confident in the ability of their employees, consultants and partners to adequately safeguard data.
Revolut is using Open Banking technology from TrueLayer to integrate with financial services apps, including money management tool Emma. Under the partnership, Revolut will use Truelayer’s financial Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to allow customers to automatically integrate their financial data with Emma and track spending in real time.
FinTech startup Curve has secured $55 million (£43.9 million) in a Series B funding round that valued the company at $250 million.The Open Banking platform, which consolidates multiple cards and accounts into one smart card controlled by an app, launched out of its Beta phase in February 2018 and has since acquired more than 500,000 customers.
PayPal has launched Xoom, its international money transfer service, in the UK and 31 other European markets. Users can send up to £8,800 in a single transaction to more than 130 markets internationally. Existing PayPal customers can use their account to access Xoom’s services, and use their bank accounts to transfer funds, in addition to the debit and credit card options available through Xoom.
The UK FinTech sector is on course for a record year, with investment in the first half of 2019 reaching $2.9 billion across 123 deals, up 45 per cent on 2018. Driven by a strong start in the first two months of the year, total capital invested in FinTech startups from January to June reached nearly 85 per cent of the total raised in the whole of 2018, according to new figures from Innovate Finance.
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has found regulatory gaps in the licensing regime for crypto-asset related activities, as well as in the governance processes associated with cyber security and cloud outsourcing. Two surveys conducted by ESMA earlier this year gathered evidence from national competent authorities (NCAs) across the EU on the treatment of FinTech firms within their jurisdictions.
WorldPay and ClearBank founder Nick Ogden has joined the board of lending platform Funding Options as non-executive chairman.Ogden is regarded as a pioneer in the UK’s FinTech and payments space, having founded WorldPay in 1997, followed by ClearBank, which became the UK’s first new clearing bank in 250 years.
Starling Bank co-founder Julian Sawyer has left the FinTech challenger. He had been instrumental in building the mobile-only bank since 2015, as part of the team running operations and building the banking services business. Sawyer stepped down last week, following the departure of product director Ben Chisell a week earlier.
The number of data breaches reported by whistleblowers to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has jumped 175 per cent in since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced. A Freedom of Information request from law firm RPC revealed that the number of breaches highlighted by individuals concerned over consumer data privacy rose to 379 reports in 2018-2019, from 138 in 2017-18.
The volume of domestic money transfers via mobiles will exceed 203 billion in 2024, up from 130 billion in 2019, driven by peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, and will account for 80 per cent of all domestic transfers in 2024. This is according to Juniper Research, which pointed out that in developed markets, digital wallets have made P2P payments far simpler, with services including PayPal, Venmo and Cash App enabling low cost, fast and secure payments for a rapidly growing number of users.
Digital challenger bank Revolut is reportedly close to naming former Standard Life Aberdeen co-chief executive Martin Gilbert as its first chairman.The Financial Times reported that Gilbert, regarded as one of the most experienced figures in The City, is being brought on board to win over investors ahead of a new fundraising round.
Nearly half (44.6 per cent) of compliance professionals say that using emerging technologies such as AI and advanced analytics could help fight money laundering and financial crime, according to a study. A survey of 200 anti-money laundering professionals in the UK by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a data and analytics company, also found that Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) – the way in which businesses detect financial crime- could be improved through the use of technology.
President Trump has hit out at Facebook’s plan to launch the Libra digital currency and has said that the social media giant must apply to become a licensed bank if it wishes to operate in the US. In a stream of Tweets last night Trump revealed that he is “not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies”, which he said were volatile, not real money and “based on thin air.”
HSBC has launched an AI-driven global client wealth management portal driven by technology from software company Finantix . HSBC’s private banking division has used Finantix software and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to build a digital wealth management portal allowing wealth managers to augment their client knowledge and streamline regulatory tasks.
Revolut has announced plans to open a technical hub in Berlin as the challenger bank eyes further European expansion. The company said the hub will create up to 80 across engineering, data science and product management.The centre, which will be officially opened in October, will be focused on localising Revolut’s product and services for the German and European market as the company looks to grow its 150,000 strong customer base in Germany.
The EPSM, a European trade association of payments services providers for merchants, has called for an 18 month delay to the introduction of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) rules to prevent significant disruption to online and digital businesses. The EPSM has joined its voice to a growing number of industry and regulatory institutions warning that businesses will not be ready for the EU-wide 14 September deadline to implement SCA rules, which is being introduced under the revised payment service directive (PSD2).
The UK’s most innovative payments companies have just one week left to enter for the 2019 Payments Awards.Now in their seventh year, companies are able to submit entries for this year’s awards with an expanded selection of categories to choose from.
German digital bank N26 has today launched a phased roll out of its app-based banking services in the US. The challenger bank, which launched in the UK last year, is to begin offering the beta of its checking account and Visa debit card services to 100,00 users already signed up to the US waiting list before a full public roll out later this summer.
Young people are predicting a revival of High Street banks in the coming years despite the arrival of the cashless economy, according to a new study. A YouGov survey of 2,036 young people for software and technology firm ThoughtWorks found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) predicted that banks will be primarily responsible for looking after personal data after the arrival of the cashless economy, while 23 per cent thought they will support financial education.
Lloyds Banking Group is partnering with digital ID firm Callsign as it builds its range of digital identification and authentication solutions. Callsign’s technology works by using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) systems to process multiple real-time data points to conduct multi-factor authentication and transaction approvals.
Facebook’s plans to launch a digital currency have come under pressure from the US federal reserve chairman, who warned that the plan “cannot go forward” unless regulatory concerns over data privacy financial stability have been dealt with. Speaking to the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee Jerome Powell echoed concerns raised by lawmakers from the US and around the world over the potential for Facebook’s Libra currency to disrupt the global financial system if not properly regulated.
Financial services firms are at higher risk of hacking attempts and cybersecurity breaches than other industries, according to a new report. An analysis of security data from 225 financial services customers compiled by mobile security firm Wandera over a six month period found that financial services organisations are experiencing a higher volume of phishing attacks than their peers outside the vertical, with 57 per cent of firms in the study hit by this kind of attack compared to 42 per cent across industries.
Mastercard has completed the acquisition of cross border payments firm Transfast, as the company looks to further extend its payments network. Mastercard originally declared the intention to buy Transfast on March 8.
Lloyds Bank has announced a partnership with Blue Motor Finance for commercial banking payment Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for use in the motor finance market.The two companies, which did not disclose any finances involved in the partnership, said they would collaborate to develop instant payments through Lloyds Bank’s Commcercial Banking API Lab, specifically focussed on an innovative Faster Payments and direct debit API.
London-based fintech Soldo has secured $61 million in funding that it will use to expand its operations to Ireland in advance of Brexit. Soldo, founded in 2014, has developed a software platform that enables businesses to manage company-wide payments and expenses from a central account.
The challenges of digital transformation are taking their toll on Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and straining their relations with other executives according to a survey which revealed that just 23 per cent of UK CIOs are aligned with their chief financial officer (CFO) on tech strategy. A global survey of 555 C-level decision makers by digital transformation software Apptio and Financial Times Focus found that nearly half (47 per cent) of respondents agreed that instead of integrating their organisations, digital transformation has deepened the divide between IT and finance.
European FinTech leaders expect Artificial intelligence (AI) and Open Banking to set the standard for wide-ranging innovation in the financial services industry, according to research from Barclays. A Barclays survey of more than 600 leaders in FinTech, financial services and payments conducted at the Money 20/20 conference last month also found that 69 per cent believe collaboration between banking incumbents and more agile FinTechs is expected to be a key driver of change in the banking sector in the coming years.
More than half (59 per cent) of payments leaders admit they are losing money due to issues with their payments gateways, according to new research. A global study of more than 500 online payment professionals by electronic payments provider emerchantpay also found that a lack of data and insight, analytical skills and resources for payments services had resulted in close to two thirds (65 per cent) reporting that they need to improve payments performance "as a matter of urgency."
Starling is partnering with rent recognition platform CreditLadder to enable customers to use financial data from monthly rental payments to build their credit score. CreditLadder, an FCA-approved platform, enables renters to prove a successful history of timely rent payments in order to bolster their credit history.
Two thirds (66 per cent) of UK consumers are more concerned about the security than the speed of making payments online, according new research. A YouGov study of 2,021 of adults for credit scoring firm Equifax said that security was the top priority across all ages groups, and was a particular concern for over 55s (75 per cent) compared to just over half of 18-24 and 25-34 year olds (52 per cent and 53 per cent respectively).
HSBC has launched a series of virtual accounts which will enable its wholesale clients to consolidate bank accounts and centralise transactions.The Next Generation Virtual Accounts are aimed at helping wholesale customers to carry out reconciliation in multiple currencies in more than 20 countries and will simulate the benefits of traditional virtual accounts by enabling treasurers to centralise payments and receivables across multiple and single entity structures.
Three FinTechs have each won a share of a of £27,000 investment pot, following a pitch evening hosted by EValue and 4xxi. Following a competitive round of online applications, five startups were chosen to pitch to the panel.
A planned tax on digital businesses should be canned because it risks making Britain look unfavourable to innovative technology firms, the Confederation for British Industry (CBI) has warned. The industry body is calling for Philip Hammond’s digital services tax, which would impose a two per cent levy on revenues from April 2020, to be scrapped in favour of an international effort led by the OECD to tax digital and tech giants such as Google and Facebook.
Utah has become the second US state to launch a regulatory ‘sandbox’, providing FinTechs the opportunity to apply for a special exemption when setting up their businesses. A statement explained that the program allows participants to temporarily test innovative financial products or services on a limited basis without otherwise being licensed or authorised to act under Utah State law. The state’s Department of Commerce is responsible for applications and provides administrative oversight of the program.
Deutsche Bank Wealth Management has chosen Finantix for a new artificial intelligence-powered Know Your Customer (KYC) solution to improve the client onboarding process. The bank’s wealth management business wanted to automate certain parts, in order to enable greater human focus on qualitative analysis and exception handling, strengthening the client due diligence function.
New research has suggested that 30 per cent of the British public prefer typing in a password to login to online accounts, as opposed to new biometric methods. This number has halved since a similar poll was taken in 2016, but alternative login methods have not yet become widely accepted.
With the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) deadline approaching on 14 September, new analysis has revealed that European banks have so far failed to provide the proper technology environment for third party providers (TPPs) to access payments data as required by the new law. Swedish Open Banking platform Tink attempted to integrate 84 Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) representing 2,500 banks across 12 markets in Europe, which cover 90 per cent of the population in each market surveyed.
NatWest is to launch a video banking channel to let business customers hold a pre-arranged video call with advisers using a mobile device, tablet or PC.The new service will allow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) call multiple participants in different locations, with an option for their existing NatWest relationship manager to join for continuity, in addition to the members of the newly-formed video banking team.
Banks are preparing for their industry’s digital evolution by building their own standalone operations, with more than a third (36 per cent) looking at a greenfield digital bank, according to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). A global survey of 405 banking executives conducted by the EIU for Temenos also found that respondents see Open Banking as a true opportunity, with 41 per cent seeing their business models evolving towards becoming a digital ecosystem.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proposing rules to address harm to retail consumers from the sale of derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) referencing certain types of crypto assets. The FCA stated that it considers these products “ill-suited” to retail consumers who cannot reliably assess the value and risks of derivatives or ETNs that reference certain crypto assets.
More than half of banking and financial services customers around the world use FinTech products and services, according to a poll. A global survey of 883 consumers from the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Australasia, by financial advisory company deVere Group found that 55 per cent were using FinTech services online or via mobile on a regular basis to access and manage their money.
OakNorth has penned a five year deal to provide its AI-driven credit analysis platform to Dutch bank NIBC Bank.The enterprise-wide agreement is the first publicly announced technology deal between OakNorth and a bank, and is evidence of the company’s plans to monetize its proprietary software and data analytics platform.
Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) expect digital transformation to significantly reduce the number of jobs in the financial services industry. A survey of 1,000 CFOs by Onguard found that 38 per cent fear that the growing trends of automation and digitisation will mean their own jobs will no longer exist in its current form, with 23 per cent saying they will disappear altogether. This is a substantial increase from last year, when only six per cent of respondents reported job loss fears.
Financial services employees are inadvertently putting company and customer data at risk through their communication channels, with a third using new collaboration tools and platforms to share strategic plans regarding their company.This is according to a survey among 1,569 respondents - 780 in the UK and 789 in the US - commissioned by Symphony Communication Services, which also found 40 per cent shared information regarding a customer and 30 per cent shared financial information regarding their own employer.
Mobile banking is set to overtake the popularity of branch services by 2021, according to new analysis. A report by data firm CACI found that the rising use of smartphones for a range of services, including digital banking apps, would lead to further challenges to the traditional High Street banking model.
Blockchain-based payment networks are set to drive a seven per cent increase in business-to-business (B2B) cross-border transactions over the next four years, from 13.5 billion in 2019 to 14.8 billion processed by 2023. This is according to market analysis from Juniper Research, which suggested international payments will become faster, cheaper and less complex. The digitalisation of cross-border payment networks, aligned with the use of cloud-based tools, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and blockchain, will enable the replacement of bilateral networks with multilateral models.
The number of cyber security incidents reported by the UK’s financial services firms rose to 819 last year, up from just 69 in 2017, according to new data obtained from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A freedom of information request submitted by accountancy firm RSM found a huge rise incidents reported to the regulator, with retail banking firms accounting for 486 incidents – nearly 60 per cent of all reported.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is launching an innovation hub to encourage collaboration between central banks on meeting the regulatory and systemic challenges posed by the growth in financial technology. The Basel-based institution, which promotes joint working between the world’s central banks, said the hub - which will be based initially in Basel, Hong Kong and Singapore - will identify and develop insights into critical trends in technology affecting central banking.
Revolut has today released an in-app charity donation feature, allowing customers to round up their card payments and donate the difference to three international charities. The digital-only challenger bank explained that the whole amount goes to each charity, with no fees and no minimum donation amount. The feature can be turned on and off at any time, and customers can also set up a recurring payment or making one-off donations.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has responded to the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) opinion on Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), agreeing that some firms will be given extra time to implement the rules. Last Friday, the EBA noted key industry questions about which authentication factors comply with the requirements for SCA – a key part of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2).
Allianz Partners, with its business line Allianz Automotive, has signed a partnership agreement with Wrisk. The objective is to jointly offer new automotive insurance products on Wrisk’s mobile platform, which will be delivered in partnership with car manufacturers’ at the point of sale.
Monzo’s latest annual report revealed that losses rose to £47.2 million, up 54 per cent on the previous year, as the chief executive admitted there was “still plenty of work to do” to achieve profitability. The financial accounts for the UK’s second most valuable FinTech showed that the loss after tax was up from £30.4 million in 2018.
Visa has introduced a suite of payment instalment solution Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Through a pilot program, participating issuers and merchants will be able to offer customers an instalment payment experience at checkout using a Visa card they already have in their wallet.
ABN AMRO is collaborating with a Dutch university to explore the potential for quantum computing technology to improve cyber security in banking. The Dutch banking giant said the joint research with QuTech, which is based in Delft University, would investigate the Quantum Key Distribution via glass fibre and through the air, to ensure secure data traffic and make the safety of online banking “future-proof”.
The Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority held a joint summit with leading insurers and financial services firms this week, with the aim of generating ideas to increase the uptake of contents insurance, particularly amongst low-income renters. The Access to Contents Insurance Innovation Workshop gathered senior staff from Aviva, Direct Line Group, Urban Jungle, AON, Brolly and the Association of British Insurers, among other insurers, brokers and InsurTech firms.
BBVA has launched a new program designed to foster success among the FinTech ecosystem it engages with. Called the BBVA Open Innovation Acceleration Program, the project is aimed at giving businesses a targeted helping hand on the road to success. Over the course of nine-months, those selected will receive guidance and support from senior leaders at the bank on a range of topics.
Cyber attacks have been ranked as a top business issue in the next 12 months, but UK firms are facing paralysis in the face of increasingly advanced methods of cyber crime, according to a new study. A global survey of 2,256 decision-makers from multiple industry sectors by digital security firm NTT, found that more than half (54 per cent) of UK respondents said that cyber attack was one of the top three issues that could affect their business in the coming year, ranking it as second only to the risk of ‘economic or financial crisis’ (56 per cent).
PayPal has launched its first UK business debit MasterCard, offering business customers instant, worldwide access to their PayPal funds for online and High Street business purchases and unlimited cash back on spending. The new card has no monthly fees and offers uncapped 0.5 per cent cash back on every pound spent. There are no foreign exchange fees and a flat ATM withdrawal charge of £1 worldwide.
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) only approved four applications for banking licences in the last year, down from 14 in the previous year, while the number of applications (11) has remained virtually unchanged from last year (10). According to regulatory consultancy fscom, the fall in approvals suggests that the PRA is taking longer to approve new applicants for banking licences than in the past, with many of the recent wave of applicants for banking licences coming from digital-only challengers and FinTechs.
Research and investment in new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning, are climbing to the top of business leaders’ list of priorities, with a third (34 per cent) of firms expecting their business to change “radically” in the next two years. An HSBC survey of more than 2,500 companies in 14 countries found that more than half of businesses (55 per cent) are planning more investment in research and development of new technologies as they seek to become more customer focussed.
UK challenger banks may be more vulnerable than more established banks to late-cycle and Brexit-related risks, according to Fitch Ratings. Analysis from the ratings agency pointed out that several digital challengers have grown faster than the market, and faster than GDP, during relatively benign credit conditions in recent years, with performance not yet tested in a downturn.
A new report has suggested that Open Banking could realise £18 billion value for people and small businesses in the UK over the course of a year, but also highlighted complex challenges ahead to realise this value. The Independent Consumer and Small Business Representatives for the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) wrote to the implementation trustee of OBIE, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Treasury and the Department for Business, Enterprise, Industry and Skills (BEIS) and UK Finance to set out the need for action to ensure Open Banking delivers on its promise to make consumers better off.
Metro Bank has signed a three-year deal with Artesian Solutions to help with technology-driven compliance and Know Your Customer (KYC) management. Following a successful pilot process, the challenger bank will be adopting the Artesian Risk and Compliance Hub (ARCH), automating of risk and KYC to the frontline of the commercial banking function, improving the acquisition and onboarding of new customers.
Conventional wisdom has it that large companies always have the resources and know-how to compete, but in an age of disruption, many big businesses are struggling to digitally transform and could face an uncertain future. This is according to a new report from the CBI and Oracle, which suggested that more technology adoption, coupled with better management practices, could add £100 billion to the UK economy and cut income inequality by five per cent.
Monzo has raised £113 million, valuing the digital challenger bank at $2 billion.The funding round, led by US tech investor Y Combinator, comes six months on from its previous capital raise and drives it ahead of rival digital banking app Revolut (valued at $1.7 billion), and second only to to B2B lending challenger Oaknorth, as the UK’s most valuable FinTech.
Digital lending platform Blend has raised $130 million in Series E funding, led by Temasek and General Atlantic. Existing investors 8VC, Founders Fund, Greylock Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners also participated in the round, which brings the company's total funding to $310 million.
One in five business in the UK are losing customers and revenue due to ‘dirty data’, according to new research. A Censuswide survey of 510 UK and US decision-markers for information database firm Dun and Bradstreet found that, a year on from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), almost 20 per cent of businesses have lost a customer due to using incomplete or inaccurate information about them, with a further 15 per cent saying they failed to sign a new contract with a customer for the same reason.
Five more banks and financial services firms have joined the Trade Finance Distribution Initiative (TFDI), an international effort to use technology and standardisation for the wider distribution of trade finance assets. TFDI announced that Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), ABN Amro, London Forfaiting Company, Crown Agents Bank and Natixis have joined the likes of Crédit Agricole CIB, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ING, Lloyds Bank, Rabobank, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank as members.
Governments and regulators should act to ensure the entry of BigTech firms into financial services will not not pose risks to financial stability, competition and data protection, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The Basel-based entity, which promotes co-operation between central banks, used its latest annual report to issue a call for a swift regulatory response from governments to ensure a “level playing field between BigTechs and banks”.
London-based RegTech firm ClauseMatch has partnered with Ingenia, a Singapore-based financial consultant to provide compliance-as-a-service for small and medium-sized financial institutions in Singapore. This development follows Singapore and the UK signing three agreements in London on 13 June that will boost collaboration in financial services, including making a new agreement to enhance co-operation in data connectivity between the two financial centres.
The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding, with more than a third (38 per cent) of businesses implementing some form of the technology within the past year. A social media survey of 500 professionals carried out by MHR Analytics found that machine learning or AI featured in respondents’ analytics approach in the last 12 months.
The disruptive forces of technology and demographic change will forge a ‘new economy’ as consumers shift their lives to digitally-enabled services, according to a new report commissioned by the Bank of England. Investment banker and Bank of England adviser Huw Van Steenis set out the challenges facing the UK’s central bank in keeping up with the speed of regulatory and technological change in the financial services industry, aiming to “look beyond the immediate challenges posed by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU to identify longer-term trends shaping the economy and finance”.
Philip Hammond has announced a Treasury-led review of the UK’s evolving payments landscape.The chancellor used what is likely to be his last Mansion House speech last night to announce an industry-wide examination of the impact of technology and changing regulation on the UK’s financial services sector, as the country prepares to leave the EU.
The Bank of England’s governor has backed various FinTech initiatives, including opening its balance sheet to new payment providers like Facebook’s cryptocurrency. Earlier this week, a cooperative of technology companies, led by Facebook, proposed a new payments infrastructure based on an international stablecoin – Libra. Backed by reserve assets in a basket of currencies including sterling, it could be exchanged between users on messaging platforms and with participating retailers.
Starling Bank has partnered with Direct Line to offer customers access to insurance within the app. The tie up, which is the latest in Starling’s growing stable of third party marketplace deals, will use Open Banking Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to enable customers to make a digital application for Churchill Home Insurance.
Facebook’s plans to launch its own ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency have sparked a wave of criticism from lawmakers and businesses over its data privacy and regulatory impact, including calls for the project to be halted. Hours after Facebook confirmed on Tuesday that it was working on a long-rumoured project to launch a cryptocurrency and digital wallet as part of a push into financial services, representative Maxine Waters, chairwoman of the US House Financial Services Committee, called on the social media giant to testify in congress and put the development on ice to allow authorities to review the plans.
Almost £800 billion that traditional banks have invested globally over the past three years to transform their IT operations has not yet delivered the anticipated revenue growth, according to Accenture. A new report analysed more than 160 of the world’s largest retail and commercial banks found that half are achieving higher profitability and returns on equity, driven by greater operating leverage. But they’re not achieving differential revenue growth — instead competing for high market share in a slow-growth revenue pool.
NatWest has launched a range of new ways for customers to open a digital banking account, including facial biometrics or ‘selfie’ verification.The lender is rolling out identity verification software from HooYu, following a successful pilot with more than 60,000 customers.
Nearly one in three UK adults have considered changing banks in the last 12 months after IT glitches and poor digital experience left them frustrated. A poll of 1,000 UK banking customers by Dell’s Boomi platform found that 21 per cent had considered moving to a rival bank because of a feeling that they could get a better digital customer experience elsewhere, while the in-branch experience was a key driver for 19 per cent of those asked.
Digital transformation projects are failing in more than a quarter of cases (26 per cent), according to new research. Digital services firm Econocom commissioned Censuswide to survey 150 IT and financial decision-makers in retail, legal and financial services companies in the UK, finding that the overwhelming majority (62 per cent) of firms are in the process of implementing a digital transformation project.
A state-backed cyber attack could secretly corrupt the records of financial services providers over a period of months, according a senior Bank of England policymaker, which could pose a risk that many would probably struggle to guard against on their own. Anil Kashyap warned against the falsification of transaction records during a select committee hearing responsible for reappointing him to the Financial Policy Committee, adding that banks have mainly focused on stopping service outages.
Complex legacy IT systems and inefficient processes are slowing the efforts of insurers to digitally transform and achieve a single customer view. This is according to research conducted by market intelligence provider Research in Insurance, commissioned by data platform provider MarkLogic Corporation, gathered from in-depth interviews with over 200 senior professionals.
More than half (54 per cent) of UK businesses are unaware of the potential benefits of Open Banking, according to a new survey, which also revealed that just 17 per cent consider themselves to be completely prepared for the move to the new model. An Ipsos Mori survey of 400 financial decision-makers in UK businesses, for payments processor Bottomline Technologies, found that many are struggling to keep up with the pace of new regulations, with concerns raised around Open Banking (54 per cent), New Payments Architecture (51 per cent) and the ISO20022 regulation (52 per cent).
Cyber security is now recognised as a key business driver by the c-suite, rather than a cost factor, according to new research. Radware commissioned Merrill Research to survey 263 executives from across the globe, with four in five of them helping to lead companies with revenue of $1 billion. Respondents this year were split across 30 per cent in financial services, 21 per cent in retail and hospitality, 21 per cent in telecoms, seven per cent in manufacturing and distribution, seven per cent in computer products or services, six per cent in business services and consulting.
The number of jobs in the UK’s FinTech sector rose by 61 per cent last year, according to a new study. A survey from recruitment firm Robert Walters found that demand for FinTech specific skills such as data analytics, software development, computer science and Artificial intelligence (AI) has driven salaries up by as much as 25 per cent.
NatWest has appointed Marieke Flament as chief executive of Mettle, the bank's new digital proposition for small businesses. She will be leading the next phase of Mettle’s roll out as it becomes available in the Apple app store from August.
Facebook expects its cryptocurrency ecosystem called Calibra, including a digital currency and wallet, to go live in 2020. The social media giant has confirmed that it has developed a digital wallet to store, save and send Libra, a new global currency built on blockchain technology.
London-based InsurTech firm Zego has raised $42 million to fuel its expansion across Europe and double its workforce. The Series B round was led by pan-European investment firm Target Global, with other backers including TransferWise founder Taavet Hinrikus.
Cifas, the UK's largest cross-sector fraud sharing database, has revealed that its members have reported a six per cent overall annual increase in fraud cases. The figures are based on 323,660 cases of fraudulent conduct recorded in 2018, from over 470 UK organisations across sectors, with identity fraud reaching record highs and plastic cards taking the brunt of the blame.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has announced that 24 payment service providers from 11 countries have confirmed their intention to support the delivery of a pan-European Request to Pay (R2P) infrastructure solution. The announcement followed an extensive user consultation on an R2P blueprint created by a dedicated EBA Clearing task force from November 2018 to March 2019. As the blueprint had been well-received by its user community, the industry provider of pan-European payment infrastructure solutions issued a call for action in April to rally the necessary support for the development of the proposed solution.
A lack of trust and understanding in cryptocurrencies is holding consumers back from using digital currency, with just 10 per cent saying they have a grasp on how it works. A survey of 13,434 consumers in 22 countries by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky found that despite the fact that 29 per cent of survey respondents had ‘some knowledge’ of cryptocurrency, the vast majority (81 per cent) had never purchased one.
Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers can now see their savings and credit card accounts in real-time, alongside current accounts in their banking app. Via Open Banking technology, as other banks and payment service providers join the service, app users will not only be able to see their accounts in different providers’ mobile apps, but also add savings accounts and credit cards held with other providers.
Starling Bank is partnering with Bottomline Technologies to support payments for business customers. The UK challenger bank said the tie up would enable business to process payments 24/7 and in real time for domestic and international payments and access the US FinTech’s automated workflows for payment processing, bill reviews and compliance functions such as fraud detection, behavioural analytics and regulatory solutions.
Jointly-developed artificial intelligence (AI) systems hold great potential for tackling common security issues, according to a new Euro Banking Association (EBA) report. The EBA’s Open Banking Working Group focused on collaboratively created systems, which could unlock solutions for common issues such as fraud prevention and cyber security. For example, AI could detect security threats across institutions and jurisdictional boundaries, thus improving the overall efficiency and resilience of the financial system at large, the report explained.
Wealth managers believe that delivering highly personalised services is essential to achieve a competitive differentiation, but a third are being held back from doing so by old technology. A new report from Forbes Insights and Temenos, found that 64 per cent of wealth managers are segmenting clients and creating detailed and distinct profiles in line with the expectations of high-net worth individuals (HNWIs), but 32 per cent are still lagging behind.
One in five financial services jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) or automation within the next five years, according to the latest KPMG and Harvey Nash report.The survey of 3,600 IT leaders found that 43 per cent of banks expect a fifth or more of their workforce to be replaced by AI or automation by 2024.
The board of Banking Competition Remedies has announced the results of the Capability and Innovation Fund Pool D grant process, with Codat, Fluidly, Form3, Funding Options and Swoop Finance getting £5 million each. Pool D is designed to facilitate the commercialisation of financial technology that is relevant to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
FinTech challengers N26 and Monzo are gearing up to launch their services in the US in the coming months, as European challenger banks accelerate their global expansion strategies. Berlin-based digital bank N26, which first launched in Germany in 2015, announced that it had now reached the milestone of 3.5 million customers across 24 markets, and confirmed that it would be ready to launch its app-based banking services in the US “in the coming weeks.”
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Bank of England (BoE) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that they will be working together to strengthen cyber security in their financial sectors. MAS and the UK financial authorities will commence work towards a Memorandum of Understanding to signify this enhanced collaboration.
Augmentum Fintech has announced a total of £8.5 million of follow-on investments to startups in its growing portolio. The publicly listed venture capital outfit has topped up its existing funding in business banking firm Tide (£5 million), mobile-only current account provider Monese (£2.5 million) and predictive business intelligence platform DueDil (£1 million).
Venture capital firm InsurTech Gateway is targeting up to £30 million of investment for a new fund aimed at supporting tech startups in the insurance and reinsurance space. The Gateway Fund has kicked off by investing £2.25 million in By Miles - UK-based provider of pay-per-mile car insurance - Floodflash - a provider of tech-enabled flood insurance for small business - Guardhog - a plug-in insurance provider for the gig-economy - and Insurdata - a technology provider for peril-specific exposure and risk data.
More than seven million people in the UK were left unable to use their debit or credit cards due to an IT or technical crash in the last year, according to research from Which? A survey of more than 2,091 consumers conducted by the consumer watchdog found one in seven respondents were unable to use their card due to a serious outage in the last year, with half (49 per cent) saying they were unable to pay for goods and services at the point of sale as a result.
Tech Nation has, for the fifth-year running, revealed a continued rise in demand for applications for the Tech Nation Visa, up 45 per cent for 2018-19 with a total of 650 applications. The countries with the highest amount of visa applications continue to be India and the USA, from software engineers and business developers in artificial intelligence and machine learning, FinTech and enterprise/cloud sectors. Nigeria, Russia, Canada, Australia, China and South Africa also top the list for number of applications.
The greatest barrier to UK financial institutions developing digital products, services and operations is regulatory compliance risk. This is according to a report from FIS which surveyed more than 2,000 C-level and senior executives across buy-side, sell-side, insurance firms and retail banks.
Legal & General has launched ‘estua-re’, the first pension risk transfer execution platform driven by blockchain technology. Part of the insurance and investment group’s global Pension Risk Transfer (PRT) strategy, it is a single ecosystem capable of driving every stage of the reinsurance value chain, including pricing, claims handling, financial reporting and collateral; utilising data dynamically stored on the blockchain.
Datactics has raised £1.2 million in a funding round led by Kernel Capital and Par Equity. The Belfast-based RegTech startup provides data quality and matching software to the financial services industry and government departments to help measure, clean and match data.
New research has found consumer openness to alternative payment options - including wearables and smartphones - although acceptance of cashless payments comes with a high degree of concern surrounding the ability to secure these devices. A study commissioned by Transaction Network Services (TNS) surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, finding 44 per cent of respondents are willing to make a payment using a wearable device like a ring or a bracelet.
Visa is rolling out a blockchain-based cross-border payments network for business to business (B2B) customers. The B2B Connect network will use distributed ledger technology (DLT) to help financial institutions process high-value corporate payments faster and more securely. The network aims to remove friction by facilitating transactions from the bank of origin directly to the beneficiary bank.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) deputy managing director has warned that while FinTech can support productivity and growth by strengthening financial development, inclusion and efficiency, it “may pose risks to consumers and investors and, more broadly, to financial stability and integrity”. Speaking at a conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, earlier this week, Tao Zhang said that FinTech is expected to promote competition in the financial sector, particularly in payments clearing and settlement.