The Fintech Fix 17/11/2022
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.
Reaching New Heights
Industry-disrupting partnerships have made a huge impact on the fintech community in the past week. With players like Mastercard and Klarna taking centre stage, startups and incumbents have begun to see that working together can lead to laying the foundations for a new, more homogenous, type of financial services, one that prioritises customer satisfaction and business growth.
Stretching the scope of their use cases, Starling Bank has partnered with end-of-life admin service Settld, who will now be streamlining the account administration for Starling customers who have passed away. Using Settld’s online service, the bereaved next of kin can immediately notify the bank and all relevant service providers, of the death in one go. Going a step further in ensuring sensitivity, the bank has not made it a requirement that bereaved individuals need to provide the prefixes of Mr, Mrs, Ms etc when notifying the company – with respect to the relationships of the departed.
“As a digital bank we pride ourselves on making life easier for our customers, and we are focusing renewed attention on those who are bereaved and vulnerable,” said Charity Wood, the Head of Customer Service at Starling Bank.
“Through our new partnership with Settld, Starling Bank now offers even better bereavement customer service and sympathy. We want our customers to know that we are here to help and that we care.”
Keeping on the theme of fintech partnerships going the extra mile, cross-border currency exchange, Wise has joined forces with HR and payroll company Deel, to provide a new service that makes it faster for global workers to get paid. Through Wise, customers can send funds via Deel using just an email address – 10 different currencies are now integrated into Deel’s payment infrastructure, so SMBs and publicly traded companies in their clientele can now move money faster and without providing a surplus of personal information. Before, Deel customers in certain markets would have only had access to USD or EUR currencies and only been able to transfer funds through SWIFT – making the process stretch over a couple of days and require a wealth of information like account type and address to action.
The new feature marks another milestone in the partnership between Deel and Wise, which began in 2019. Fintech currently supports Deel in paying people in over 150 countries. This new step is a win for small businesses that are hosting employees in different locations, and a testament to the creativity of partnerships when they are cultivated and engaged with by both parties.
The achievements do not stop there for Wise, as they have announced that they will now stop charging fees for customers moving money out of their GBP Wise accounts to another GBP account outside Wise, and for Brazilian customers, have dropped the price for sending money abroad. Wise customers holding GBP, EUR, HUF and SGD will no longer be charged for same-currency transfers, and through much-demanded engineering, customers in Brazil who want to send or convert BRL will have fewer fees to worry about.
Lars Trunin, the UK Head of Product at Wise said, “our mission is to bring down the price of moving and managing money around the world over time and we’ve built a long-term, sustainable growth model where we share our successes with our customers to achieve this goal.”
Lately the punching back for BNPL speculators, Klarna – who recently saw a down round and dip in valuation – have partnered with European neobank, Viva Wallet, in their product and services expansion. Klarna will now be integrated into Viva’s online and in-store payment platforms, padding out the bank’s suite of services – with use cases from public transport to small businesses and merchants, across several countries around Europe.
“At Viva Wallet we feel we share the same vision with Klarna; to make payments simple and frictionless. We are excited to add such a forward thinker and leading global player in the payments industry to our ever-growing list of partners,” commented Alexandros Pappas, E-Commerce Director at Viva Wallet. “Together, we are improving the shopping experience to fit the needs of the modern consumer, whilst making the integration process as accessible and simple as possible for the merchants that wish to capitalise on this global payments trend.”
Strategic partnerships, specifically those that have been nurtured over years, have done the most in accelerating innovation in the fintech industry because of their modulation of operational needs. Looking at the collaborations between Wise and Klarna, the goals companies want to attain are met faster because they work to build solutions with partners that are already experts in that particular product.
Partnerships are at the core of infrastructure
This leads to our next collection of partnerships, which delve more into the technical workings of staple fintech functionalities. UK BaaS innovator Griffin and global FS OS 11:FS Foundry, have come together to help businesses better understand how embedded finance works and what benefits it provides. Griffin’s BaaS products will be integrated into 11:FS, and both companies will be developing educational content around the service for businesses to learn and get better acquainted with embedded technology.
David M. Brear, the Group CEO of 11:FS said, “11:FS and Griffin share a common passion for bridging the gap between modern technology and both legacy and challenger brands wanting to go to market quickly. The power of embedded finance opens up new and exciting opportunities for companies globally, and with this partnership, together, we can integrate, orchestrate and now create financial instruments in a truly digital way.
J.P.Morgan and Mastercard are also collaborating on a Pay-by-Bank solution that will allow ACH payments to be processed through open banking capabilities. The service will allow customers to securely pay their bills directly with their bank account and give permission to have their financial data shared between the parties they trust. Without the need to manually type in their account number, individuals and merchants alike will have access to an automated service that does not require the saving of personal information.
Now essentials like bills, mortgage payments and insurance can be handled in this way if customers choose to integrate the J.P. Morgan Payments Pay-by-Bank solution on their existing payments page. The service will be soft launched in the U.S. to select billers and merchants but is expected to expand later in 2023.
Ending with a nod to retailers, UK supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s has partnered with cloud-based payments service provider Checkout.com, in an effort to modernise their payments infrastructure. At the beginning of this multi-year collaboration, Checkout.com’s SmartShop functionality will allow customers to pay on the go with Sainsbury’s SmartShop app, without having to visit a physical till. The fintechs payment platform will also enable transactions through digital wallets, and ProcessOut, a Checkout.com product, will act as Sainsbury’s payment orchestration platform, directing all of the company’s future processing.
“We’re excited to roll out this new capability, made possible by Checkout.com’s technology, as we redefine an omnichannel checkout experience for customers with SmartShop,” said Helen Hunter, the Chief Technology Officer of Customer and Data at Sainsbury’s. “Our strategic partnership with Checkout.com is an important part of our plan to simplify and modernise our payments infrastructure across Sainsbury’s.”
The industry is moving towards rebundling and the offering of ‘super apps’ – for a single entity to deliver a multitude of services, expertise across the industry is imperative and the cost and time it would take to build a functioning infrastructure in-house would not be cost or time effective for one company.
That concludes your weekly Fintech Fix! Stay tuned for another round of big fintech buzz, right here at FF News.
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