" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> The Fintech Fix 14/09/2022 - Fintech Finance
Thursday, December 01, 2022

The Fintech Fix 14/09/2022

Welcome to The Fintech Fix, where we cover the biggest fintech stories of the working week. Whether it’s the next groundbreaking trend in crypto, or a new partnership that’s about to change the global economic landscape, this is the place to keep up with the breaking news of the future.

Neobanks and Payments Take the Lead

As Q3 draws to a close, fintechs have taken the opportunity to expand on their digital and financial offerings to an increasingly online consumer base. A round-house kicker was dealt by dutch company Adyen, who yesterday announced their launch of Real Time Visa Account Updater (VAU), being Europe’s first platform to do so. The fintech will help its clients, the likes of which include H&M, Facebook, and Microsoft, by automatically updating their Visa accounts in real-time – increasing revenue and authorisation rates from card-on-file payments. European customers will now have ease in transactions, as the feature will allow businesses to submit a payment, with their customers’ most up-to-date card details added automatically.

“It can be a point of frustration for consumers to have to update their new card information with multiple merchants, and this can create a poor experience for those customers,” said Neil Caldwell, SVP of Merchant Sales & Acquiring, Europe, at Visa. “With Real-Time VAU, Adyen’s customers can bypass that friction and make the checkout smooth. Adyen has been a wonderful partner over the years and we’re excited that they are launching with us in Europe.”

Adyen first to launch Real Time Account Updater with Visa in Europe | Fintech Finance

Wise Platform is shaking up the financial messaging game with the introduction of its International Receive service. This service will allow bank customers to receive cross-border payments without having to go through SWIFT. A win for the neobanks, many of which, like Monzo and Nubank, are not connected to SWIFT, as it allows their customers to safely and affordably receive funds internationally. Financial institutions who already have a setup with SWIFT can also transfer to the Wise platform, making competition all the more heated for the established messaging service.

Wise is also taking further steps in its international partnerships, with new alliances being formed in Turkey (Fibabanka), Israel (Max), Malaysia (GoTrade), and Singapore (Tiger Brokers).

Looking outside of the eurozone, the UAE is proving once again its commitment to improving digital financial infrastructure by launching its first paperless Direct Debit Marketplace. Consumers and merchants are now able to make recurring payments like insurance fees, rent, and gym memberships through one online platform. All direct debits facilitated by the platform will be integrated into, and regulated by the UAE central bank.

The marketplace was cultivated through the MBRIF Innovation Accelerator programme, which was launched by the UAE Ministry of Finance to boost innovation in the nation.

Ummair Butt, Founder and CEO of Direct Debit System said, “Writing four cheques for rents or three for school fees are commonplace in UAE. Our Direct Debit Marketplace app provides residents and citizens with a safe, legal alternative to make all their recurring payments in one place, ideally on a monthly basis. Monthly payments and avoiding quarterly or bi-annual bulk payments means Direct Debit Marketplace can help over 96% of monthly salaried people to stay in control of their finances and out of debt.”

Also expanding their offerings, neobank Revolut has launched a new online checkout feature for UK and EEA merchants called Revolut Pay. The add-on will be presented as a direct payment method across product, cart, and checkout pages, dominating every stage of eCommerce. Revolut users can now make payments without sharing their account information, securing payments through biometric ID alone. Even non-Revolut users can get in on the action by using saved Mastercard or Visa cards issued by any other providers. The move from Revolut follows the growing use of digital wallets for retail transactions as facilitated by the ease of embedded finance technology.

Insurtechs and Breaking Away from Tradition

Last week, the Head of Marketing for cargo insurer Anansi, Anna CarlessThe Fintech Fix 14/09/2022 | Fintech Finance, contributed to FF News with an article interrogating the place of legacy insurance companies in the insurtech space. Carless explained how insurtechs and legacy insurers are intrinsically linked and must forge a strong relationship if innovation is to be promised. Partnerships are beneficial on both ends when it comes to insurance. Most often than not, legacy insurers need insurtechs when adopting new technologies and opening up their distribution channels. On the other hand, insurtechs need legacy insurers to connect to an established customer base and for technical insurance services like underwriting regulation compliance.

The success of such alliances can be illustrated by the recent news of Carbon Underwriting Limited and its approval from Lloyd’s to become a full Lloyd’s syndicate with effect from 1st January 2023. Through Lloyd’s ‘Syndicate-in-a-box’ model, facilitated by managing agent Asta, the underwriter started off as Carbon Syndicate 4747 and has proved its underwriting ability since its start in underwriting in 2021. The transition to full syndicate will allow Carbon to make even wider use of Lloyd’s franchise, international licensing and rating capabilities.

Nick Tye, Carbon’s CEO, said, “We are thrilled to become the first Lloyd’s syndicate-in-a-box to transition to full syndicate status. During the last two and a half years, we have attracted new A-rated capacity providers, and have expanded our highly talented team of underwriters, data analytic engineers, pricing analysts and claims managers. This next step is a milestone in our development and has been achieved with tremendous thanks to the Carbon team for their hard work – we look forward to a bright future of continued sustainable growth.”

From Partnerships to Education, Fintech is Maturing

Carbon technology has made a real splash this week in terms of investment and partnerships. Hungarian bank OTP has partnered with carbon tracking organisation Cogo after its successful run in the institution’s Startup Booster Program. Cogo will be launching two pilots, using their carbon footprint technology, the first pilot will utilise consumer spending data to allow bank users to view their carbon footprint. In the second pilot, Cogo and OTP will develop a solution that will help SMEs lower their footprint. The partnership is one of the many efforts OTP is implementing in its innovation journey. By giving customers access to their carbon emission data, it branches out the bank’s appeal to the eco-conscious.

This precedent is also a step in the right direction after the pushback from carbon campaigners like the Rainforest Action Network who have called out big banks on their egregious carbon emissions. By collaborating with carbon startups, banks may finally be putting their money where their mouth is when boasting about their neutrality goals.

The Fintech Fix 14/09/2022 | Fintech FinanceWith any new tech, a great amount of learning and education is involved, whether that be by consumers or big financial institutions.

For our last story of the Fix, we can look to Bitstamp and the launch of their Learn Center. As the world’s longest-running crypto exchange, Bitstamp’s new platform will include videos, articles, and other resources for users of any level of crypto knowledge. The launch comes after the company’s successful Summer of Discovery campaign which aimed to better UX for customers. Bitstamp’s Crypto Pulse Q2 survey found that the main barrier for people engaging with crypto was a lack of knowledge. To uphold the promises of decentralised finance, crypto needs to push for inclusivity, and education is the way to do it. Bitstamp joins the likes of Coinbase and Binance in their gamified ‘learn and earn’ programmes, which extends an interactive hand to amateurs just getting into the space.

Bobby Zagotta, CEO of Bitstamp USA and Global Chief Commercial Officer said: “We found that the more people understand crypto, the more they trust it. The launch of Bitstamp’s Learn Center is crucial in creating more entry-points for the millions of retail users who are interested in crypto as an opportunity to diversify their assets.”

The investment in climate efforts and crypto education represents an industry that is maturing and reacting to the most pressing issues of our evolving world – leveraging the use of technology experts and resources to legitimise these efforts. It is certainly a formative time for both legacy institutions and first-starters in the fintech space.

That concludes your weekly Fintech Fix! Stay tuned for another round of big fintech buzz, right here at FF News.

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