The Fintech Fix 01/06/2022
Welcome to The Fintech Fix, where we cover the biggest stories of the financial week. Whether it’s the next groundbreaking trend in cryptocurrency or Blockchain technology, a new partnership about to change the global, economic landscape or an upcoming startup generating a huge following.
Hot Topics – Today’s roundup, as always, is full of interesting stories, but if you want to see another collection of excellent content on the industry’s most cracking innovations, check out The Fintech Magazine #24.
Revolut Business, the super app with more than 500,000 business customers worldwide, is helping companies to proactively control their finances after launching ‘Spend Management’ in the UK, US and the EEA. The ‘Spend Management’ tool, available on mobile and web, is a new suite of solutions where businesses can:
- Issue an unlimited number of physical/virtual debit cards, free of charge on corporate accounts
- Control spending limits with granular roles and permissions for specific categories/time frames
- Control which account each card draws from, in 28+ currencies across 100+ countries
- Monitor spend in real-time from a central dashboard
- Track and optimise cash flows and funds circulated by the saff through virtual and physical corporate cards
The International Payments Industry came under scrutiny recently after Wise lost 60% of its stock value. Whilst some people believed this raised a question of whether the global payments industry was in jeopardy, the reality was much more explainable; not only did Wise’s Co Founder, Taavet Hinrikus, offload $110 million worth of shares as he prepared to diversify into new ventures, Wise’s CEO, Kristo Käärmann, was fined more than $500,000 by UK tax authorities for intentionally failing to pay his tax bill, raising concerns about his integrity. In reality, the global payments industry is experiencing significant growth, driving volume growth as well as record market valuations for a rising number of payment specialists, including Currencycloud, Banking Circle, and even Wise themselves (before the sell-off).
Ekmel Cilingir, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of European Merchant Bank, recently shared the four trends he believed will be the future of banking in the EU. These included environmental influences, the rapid development of artificial intelligence, Open Banking and BaaS. Cilingir noted that “whereas the European Union used to be dominated by conservative commercial banks, it has now been replaced by fast, innovative digital banks. They are making banking easier for small and medium-sized businesses and innovating the financial industry.”
And lastly, NatWest have successfully enabled the UK’s first ever Variable Recurring Payments for ‘non-sweeping’ use cases. The VRP payments were made by NatWest customers to Charity Right, an international charity that provides school meals to children, and Pink Chilli, a lettings software provider that has a single platform designed to bring the property industry into the digital age.
Daniel Globerson, Head of Bank of APIs at NatWest Group, commented how “as a relationship bank for a digital world, we’re committed to offering innovative and convenient payment methods to businesses and consumers. We’re delighted that our customers are now experiencing the benefits of VRP, and we’re proud to see organisations such as Charity Right using VRP to manage charitable donations.”
Big Partnerships To Watch – Sticking with NatWest, the company also announced that they are working with Accenture and Microsoft to build a new customer engagement platform which looks to replace its multi-system, legacy frontline architecture. NatWest’s new platform will integrate all of NatWest’s legacy front office systems across its contact centre and branch networks, customer messaging, video banking and complaints channels onto a single, digital platform.
Rob Smithson, Business Applications Lead at Microsoft UK said “by combining the expertise of Accenture and the power of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 platform, NatWest can deliver exceptional customer experiences, building value and loyalty through deeper customer insights and relationships.”
Cryptocurrency, despite the crash, has made more headlines recently as CHILI.com, the video on-demand platform, has partnered with Coinbar, to allow its users to make Bitcoin (BTC), XRP, DigitalBits (XDB) and Tether (USDT) using CoinbarPay. This makes CHILI.com the first OTT platform in Europe to accept crypto payments.
Giorgio Tacchia, CEO and Founder of CHILI, voiced how “whether the Web 3.0 technology revolution will indeed be a paradigm shift for our society is perhaps too early to say; however, it is a phenomenon that cannot be overlooked. Many users, business customers and investors today need to pay with this new currency, and CHILI has always been a pioneer in offering its customers a glimpse of the future.”
Thought Machine have partnered with Salt Edge, leader in providing Open Banking solutions, to offer Open Banking SaaS solutions that help banks tackle Open Banking at 360 degrees and comply with any Open Banking regulations across the globe. Salt Edge offers its open banking solutions on Vault Core Open Banking Compliance, Account Information, Payment Initiation, White Label PFM, and Mobile SCA. This means that, alongside banks and financial institutions, any company interested in benefiting from Salt Edge’s open banking solutions, will be able to do so including through Vault Core, as well.
Funding – Stable, the ‘home of hedging’ for the $5 trillion agricultural commodity industry, today announced the close of a $60m Series B investment. Stable will use the new funding to help clients understand and manage their price risk. New initiatives will see the aggregation of financial news via Stable Media™, investment in the Stable Data™ product suite to visualise and assess the markets, and the development of Stable Risk™ from its current focus on options to offering clients swaps and collars.
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.