The Fintech Fix 03/08/2022
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, this is the place to keep up with the breaking news of the future.
Hot Topics – Kicking off this week’s roundup, Ekmel Cilingir, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of European Merchant Bank, outlined the benefits for enhanced cooperation between banks and fintech. Not only does cooperation ensure a basis for saving time and money, but it allows for the creation of new products, services, increased customer satisfaction, and is “one of the best formulas for pushing aside any thoughts of constant competition.” Will we see the growth of partnerships in the ecosystem for the rest of the year?
Revolut recently partnered with the Sidemen, the YouTube supergroup with over 130 million followers, for the creation of two new cards. These new cards include traditional Revolut features, as well as giving customers 10% cashback on all Sidemen brands, including XIX Vodka & SDMN clothing. What’s also interesting here is why more financial institutions turn towards non-financial brands? It’s clear that social media is a massive nudge for the younger generations – is relating to that audience through non-financial brands the key for FIs to unlock potential revenue?
Critics claimed that BNPL had reached its ceiling by the end of 2022, however the trend still seems to show value for the industry. In fact, Virgin Money, announced its new, fully regulated BNPL product, Virgin Money Slyce, where customers can also build their credit score when using Slyce, spend abroad in any currency with no FX fees, and earn cashback when shopping at leading retailers such as H&M and Space NK.
Europe’s leading embedded finance platform, Solarisbank, have announced their change to ‘Solaris’. Roland Folz, Group CEO of Solaris explained how “driven by the vision of creating a world where financial services seamlessly sync with life, the name Solaris symbolises for us in its purest form the energy that powers us to make this dream a reality.”
Rakuten Viber, a global leader in private, secure messaging and voice-based communication, is launching a mobile wallet available through the Viber app. This new function will allow Viber users to easily send money to each other, and set up a digital wallet to store money, starting with Euros. It will later expand to include multiple currencies, along with other services.
It’s become increasingly difficult to get on the property ladder these days, not made easier by the cost of living crisis. Thus, Nationwide has invested in Kettel Homes, a rent-to-own start up, to help first-time buyers unable to access typical mortgages get a home within 36 months by saving a slice of their rent to build their deposit. Those using the service are asked to save a 10 per cent deposit and will be given a standard repayment mortgage as they transition from renting to owning.
Big Partnerships To Watch – Temenos and Wipro Limited, recently announced an expanded partnership to help banks of every size accelerate their modernisation journey and accelerate their go-to market strategies in regions like the US, UK and Australia. The hope is that Temenos’ open platform for composable banking and Wipro’s deep technical expertise will deliver large-scale transformation from front-end digital capabilities to back-end transactional processing.
Nexi and Microsoft have collaborated to help the digitalisation of SMEs, Corporates, Public Administrations and FIs across Europe. Nexi will leverage Microsoft Azure Cloud solutions to accelerate the transformation of its own platforms and to bring further innovation agility into the IT Infrastructure, leveraging the Data Center Modernization and Consolidation scenarios. Both companies are willing to closely collaborate on driving wide market adoption of joint solutions and to co-create new products that leverage respective areas of expertise.
And thirdly, the UK’s first digital mortgage lending platform, Molo Finance, has announced a partnership with leading Australian mortgage lender, ColCap Financial. The partnership includes a broader strategic alliance between the two lenders that will allow ColCap to expand into the UK market as the first step of their international strategy. Francesca Carlesi, CEO and Co-Founder of Molo, shared how the partnership “will integrate ColCap’s product innovation with Molo’s innovative tech platform, and strengthen our offering further as we work to relaunch back into the market”.
Funding – One company I’ve personally been excited by since their launch in May is Shares, Europe’s first social and community-based investing app. Recently, the team closed a $40million Series B funding round, bringing their total investments raised to $90M. This boosts the company’s plans to expand across Europe whilst launching its crypto-asset proposition, amongst other innovative social-first community features, to its platform.
Digital commercial bank, Grasshopper, recently completed a $30.4 million capital raise, as the team look to address the increase in demand for banking services among the millions of SMBs and entrepreneurs with its full suite of digital tools, robust array of fintech partnerships, and commitment to personalised service and solutions.
Transfer News – Justt, a leading fintech revolutionising the chargeback process through machine learning, announced the expansion of its senior leadership team with two key hires: Renata Caine as Chief Commercial Officer and Lissa Andrews as VP of Global Marketing. The two female fintech veterans will spearhead the company’s rapid expansion into new markets including the United States.
Trive South Africa, a multi-asset investment platform, has appointed Travis Robson as its new Managing Director based in Johannesburg to lead expansion of the brand into Africa. With 18 years of global financial services experience, Robson has held positions in multiple continents and has an established track record of ensuring businesses are best aligned to meet strategic, operational, and financial objectives.
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.