The Fintech Fix 15/06/2022
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 – Starling Bank has supercharged their Spending Insights Tool to help people improve how they budget ahead of the nation’s cost of living crisis. Thirty-six new spending categories have been introduced, giving customers instant access to monthly spending data across each category. Starling is also rolling out a search capability that lets customers gain insights on specific categories, vendors and purchases.
“Knowledge is power when it comes to meeting your financial goals and we hope that by offering customers even more insight into their spending patterns, they’ll have more control of their personal and household budgets in order to adapt a little easier to the cost of living crisis” said Helen Bierton, Chief Banking Officer at Starling.
Money never sleeps, and now more than ever, international payments are essential to how the world operates. Güven Aytaş, Global Head of Sales at EMBank UAB, paints a fascinating picture of how international payments have evolved, the need for real-time cross border payments and how EMBank can play a part in the digitalisation of payment technologies.
Since its launch, M-PESA has changed millions of lives in Kenya. Safricom and Visa look set to continue this mission, as they launched a new virtual card, M-PESA GlobalPay. The card works by enabling customers to generate a unique card verification value (CVV) – the security code on payment cards – which can be used to confirm transactions with merchants online or when travelling abroad. For added security, each unique CVV generated lasts for just 30 minutes and is only accessible once a customer has inputted their M-PESA PIN.
Join us in our Virtual Arena with JCB International’s Vice President for Development and Infrastructure Support, Andrew Mitchell, as we discuss what Unified Commerce means for merchants and for consumers, the omnichannel approach, and what role will payment tokenisation play in our future.
Despite claims BNPL had hit its ceiling in 2021, the trend still proves relevant today, with PayU, the leading online PSP operating in 50 emerging markets, announcing that it is launching Payflex in South Africa, allowing users to pay in four equal and interest-free instalments. Furthermore, PayU is launching Scan to Pay and Pay by USSD in Nigeria, creating a more inclusive experience for customers in their online shops with popular and accessible local payment methods.
Digital bank Zopa has entered the BNPL space too, with a suite of fully regulated products that prioritise transparency and customer protection. Zopa bank will:
- Only offer affordable credit by running credit checks and affordability tests for all customers
- Share data with credit rating agencies (CRAs) to give other lenders a full picture of people’s debt positions
- Enable users to build their credit profiles and improve their financial positions
Tim Waterman, Chief Commercial Officer at Zopa said “against a backdrop of global financial uncertainty Zopa is entering the buy-now-pay-later space to make instant, yet responsible lending decisions with products that are sustainable and fit for purpose.”
With a new name comes new offerings at Railsr! The leading global embedded finance platform launches a Rewards-as-a-Service product that enables brands to build their own branded rewards programmes. This was highlighted as “an important step towards achieving what we see as the future of finance”, according to Stuart Gregory, Chief Product Officer at Railsr. The product, only available in the US for now, looks to incentivise customer behaviours through rewards, such as cashback, crypto rewards, exclusive experiences, or other perks. Brands can also unlock insights with customer data dashboards that track and measure the impact of promotions.
And lastly, we flew to New York City last month in attendance for ITI USA 2022 and check out our coverage on the world’s leading insurtechs.
Big Partnerships To Watch – Just two partnerships to share this week. Firstly, Ripple and Modulr looks to supercharge Remessa Online, Brazil’s international transfers platform. Remessa Online can now provide its customers with access to Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Instant payments and the UK’s Faster Payments; enabling them to make payments 24/7, 365 days a year, in no more than 10 seconds, to the UK and Europe.
Pomelo Pay launched a partnership with Dialog Axiata PLC to provide an enhanced payment platform for SMEs in Sri Lanka, helping them to digitalise and accept payments. The partnership is in line with Pomelo’s plans to expand its global presence in Asia and Europe and will consolidate about 80,000 SME merchants across Dialog’s multiple platforms, including ezCash into a common payment platform Genie. These merchants will be able to send and receive payments securely and seamlessly via QR codes and track all their transactions within the same payment interface via their mobile or online.
Funding – Often, we celebrate our industry, but with fears of retaining and attracting the right people to build on this legacy, we must never forget that it is the people who make our progress, and make it worthwhile.
With that in mind, Cloverleaf has closed a $9M Series A Funding round and intends to use the money to transform the work coaching space and maximise employee talent through communication and collaboration tools employees use every day, such as Google Workplace, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft teams.
“At the heart of Cloverleaf’s mission is to provide managers and teams with tools to help them develop team cohesion, efficiency and understanding,” says COO Kirsten Moorefield. “Cloverleaf is designed with every aspect of the employee life cycle in mind – from hiring to mid-career and even at the end of an employment arrangement. We’ve found that with just one minute of engagement daily, the platform allows everyone to discover their unique talents and skills, and then allows for managers to leverage those skills in ways that are mutually beneficial for employees and team leaders.”