The Fintech Fix – Weekly Roundup 17/11/2021
Welcome to the fifth week of The Fintech Fix, where we cover the biggest stories of the financial week! Whether it’s Elon Musk’s latest memecoin, a new CEO creating an economic revolution or an upcoming startup generating a huge following, this is the place to keep up with the breaking news of the future.
Hot Topics – This week’s hot topics are exciting, with themes of ESG, Cryptocurrency and Financial Inclusion generating lots of media traffic. But if you missed last week’s Fintech Fix, check it out here!
Amazon and Visa shocked the world with the announcement that Amazon will stop accepting Visa credit cards in the UK from 19 January 2022. The retail giant explained that their move came as a result of high credit card transaction fees but said that Visa debit would still be accepted. Visa, when speaking of Amazon’s decisions, said that it was ‘very disappointed that Amazon is threatening to restrict consumer choice in the future’ with a representative from Amazon firing back, claiming that ‘the cost of accepting card payments continues to be an obstacle for businesses striving to provide the best prices for customers’. However, Visa are keen to protect their ‘long-standing relationship with Amazon’ as they hope to ‘work towards a solution’.
Visa was also in the news as they announced the ‘Visa Eco Benefits’ Sustainability Bundle to empower issuers to meet climate-conscious consumer demand. The bundle will be available first on European shores and eventually rolled out across the globe to Visa’s customer base. The new offering recognises the increasing demand from cardholders to enable sustainable consumption and living and solidifies Visa’s spot as a lead proponent in driving sustainable commerce and climate action within the payments industry.
As with every generation demands only increase and this is no different for Gen Z and millennials who are demanding even more and creating space for a new age market, one being targeted by Afterpay Co-CEO’s Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar hoping that their new Money by Afterpay ‘becomes the go-to for all things money – earnings, spending, savings and BNPL’. With the product currently being launched in Australia it brings to life a new, more nuanced approach to finance, geared towards younger generations. By embracing a unique content approach aptly named Money Stories, to a seamless view of finance with BNPL integrated, Money by Afterpay becomes a one stop shop to see savings and spending.
In this week’s episode of the PayTech show Ali Paterson was joined by the wonderful Jukka Yliuntinen, Giesecke+Devrient, Gavin Maclean, Lloyds Bank and Greg Krasnov of Tonik Bank to discuss what a post PSD2 and SCA environment looks like for the financial institutions and their customers. The panel looked at whether some of the fears from SCA in 2018 were realised or whether payments regulations have been evolving naturally to fit alongside the wealth of innovation within the industry.
Barclays and Form3 this week announced the addition of a SEPA Credit Transfer service to their combined directly connected access solution. Michael Muller, Form3 CEO, when speaking about the addition and relationship with Barclays said that ‘Form3 has been working with Barclays since day one and together we are committed to making payments faster, easier and more cost-effective for the global financial community, including non-banks.’ The partnership will offer full reachability for SEPA payment transactions through a connectivity service available to Barclays’ customers who are regulated payment service providers.
As The Singapore FinTech Festival came around so did our very own 60 Seconds at Singapore, with episode one featuring Rohit Narang of Currencycloud, Vinay Samuel of Zetaris, Oliver Berthier, MoneyThor amongst an array of other FinTech giants. We found out everything from what projects and trends are on their radar to what their honest overall views on how the Festival went.
Continuing the theme of the Singapore FinTech Festival on this week’s virtual arena we talked to Evy Wee from DBS about the Festival as well as the SGFindDex. We also went deeper into DBS’ Nav Planner which looks set to change the way that people can be involved in their finances and how DBS’ through this is allowing customers to take control.
OTP Bank’s Gabor Bujaki and Dean Wallace from ACI Worldwide also explored the possibilities that are presented by the AFR in this week’s PayTech magazine. AFR is a domestic real-time payments scheme that has somewhat supercharged banks’ digital transformation. The benefits of the Central Bank of Hungary’s brainchild cannot be underestimated as it will likely fuel the adoption of QR codes at cash desks, with the five-second execution time very efficient when it comes to queues.
CoinCorner CEO and Co-Founder Danny Scott alo spoke in the PayTech Magazine this week on the reality behind the headlines and the power of the community. Danny spoke about CoinCorner’s history and the additions of products such as cashback, Lightning Network Integration and also his views on the identity of the elusive BitCoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
CHZ Token alongside AC Milan dropped 100 NFTs on Socios App, compatible with the Ethereum Marketplace, simultaneously doubling the value of CHZ token after the announcement. This announcement comes after AC Milan’s earlier partnership with FinTech Blockchain company Chiliz, which launched the $ACM Fan Token on the fan engagement and rewards platform Socios. As the world of Cryptocurrency and NFTs continues to infiltrate everyday life it is interesting to see how more non-financial organisations, such as AC Milan, adopt the ventures to catapult themselves into the next chapter of financial culture.
Big Partnerships To Watch – we have LOTS of exciting opportunities evolving in the space right now as a result of some huge partnerships that have recently emerged.
Mode partners with PayEscape to launch the pilot of the UK’s first Bitcoin Payroll product with Ryan Moore, CEO of Mode, commenting that ‘Bitcoin payroll is another step towards breaking down the barriers to mainstream Bitcoin adoption’. This integration will also serve to do more than reiterate the current crypto cultural shift as the introduction of Bitcoin into the payroll process allows providers to attract and retain all types of customers through offering them both increased flexibility and value with every payslip.
Krungsri Bank also begins their new partnership with Nium to expand their international transfer offerings with Frederick Crosby, Chief revenue Officer at Nium, saying ‘we are proud to be partnering with another one of Thailand’s largest and most reputable banks’. The partnership between Krungsi (Bank of Ayudhya PCL) one of Thailand’s largest banks and leading global platform Nium is set to enhance the international transfer offerings at both a corporate and individual level for Krungsri customers.
Wise also announced a partnership with ebankIT this week giving banks faster access to fast low-cost international money transfers across the globe. Steve Naudé, Head of Product, Wise Platform, said: “For too long, international transfers have been slow, inconvenient, and blighted by traditional providers charging high, hidden fees. It’s time for change.’ This partnership with ebankIT is what is hoped to bring about this change, an idea shared by Renato Oliveira, CEO, ebankIT, who said: “We believe in a better future for banking with true omnichannel capabilities – and international transfers are an essential part of this. By bringing together Wise, ebankIT and our clients, we are changing international transfers for everyday people across the world.
Funding News – Zilch, the London-based Fintech has announced that it has closed a $110m Series C funding round led by Ventura Capital, Gauss Ventures alongside notable existing investors such as Goldman Sachs. Philip Belamant, founder and CEO, said, “It’s really been phenomenal to watch customers adopt our product at such significant speed.’ In securing this money Zilch became the fastest company in Europe to reach a unicorn status with a valuation of over $2 billion.
So that’s your weekly Fintech Fix! Stay tuned for next week’s dose so that you can stay up to date with the biggest stories of the future, right here in the present.