The Fintech Fix 21/10/2022
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.
Living in a Web3 Paradise
By now, you will have seen Gartner’s prediction that a quarter of the population will spend at least one hour of their day in the metaverse, with a further 30% of businesses delivering metaverse products and services – all within the span of 4 years.
The prediction now carries substantial weight, as the fintech sector lends more investment and engineering into the scaffolding of Web3 infrastructure. Gritti, a new Web3 social fitness app, has managed to secure $1.7 million in its seed funding round. Lingfeng Innovation Fund, along with a series of Web3-driven VCs, Youbi Capital, Bixin Ventures, Orderly Network, Stratified Capital and CDI, has invested in the company, which will use this investment to create a solid conversion channel between Web2 and Web3.
With over 100 million active users, the app prioritises group fitness, providing a gamified reward system and networking platform for fellow runners. Gritti has also dipped into the NFT market, dropping 2000 of their “Gritti Genesis Sneakers” in their first phase of NFTs.
Web3 wallet of crypto exchange KuCoin, KuCoin Wallet, has announced a strategic partnership with Ethereum scaling platform Polygon Network.
On the alliance, the Head of KuCoin Wallet, Jeff Haul, said, “We are excited to work with Polygon, which has been dedicated to building a thriving ecosystem and continuously expanding its technical capabilities. With its scalability, speed, and low network fees, we attempt to provide the best experience for our users.
“Polygon PoS has emerged as a hub for some of the most important Web3 projects. With Polygon as one of our partners, we can integrate more innovative Web3 features in the future to make users explore the Web3 world in a comprehensive way.”
Back Office Introspection at Sibos 2022
There is one area of production that needs the most improvement in the financial services industry, and that is the back office. If companies, startups and incumbents alike, are to exact open banking and Faster Payments to their fullest potential, operationalising data and investing in interoperable systems is the top priority.
In our exclusive coverage of Sibos 2022, we speak in-depth with the leaders of the global banking platform, Temenos, who proclaim that at this stage in fintech, any business that wants to offer financial services, is essentially a bank. Temenos has the ambitious goal of being “Everyone’s Banking Platform” where customers can personalise what software components they use depending on their needs. The secret to Temenos’s success lies in their leading investment in R&D, of which they have put in over $1 billion, and in building strategic partnerships with tech-forward engineers and businesses.
“We need partnerships,” stresses Erich Gerber, the President & Global Head of Field Operations at Temenos. “[Banks] need to be intellectually honest with themselves and say ‘OK, this is what we do well and we double down on this, and the rest we use partners for because someone else is doing that better than we do.”
Another pressing conversation at this year’s Sibos revolved around the increasing focus on Anti Money Laundering (AML) and what the fintech industry is doing about it.
“We have to comply with laws and regulations – we do not get to choose these. But you’d struggle to find anyone who will argue that the public and private sectors are applying resources to optimum effect and getting the results from FCC that we hoped for,” explains David Howes, the global head of financial crime compliance (FCC), conduct and compliance framework at Standard Chartered.
The company is taking a leading role in shaping a cross-sector approach to AML, but, as Howes says, the industry’s efforts in reporting suspicious activity are left strained due to the tight international sanctions around the area. Standard Chartered’s solution to this barrier involves fintechs taking a more central and supportive role on the half of banks and FIs, by being more transparent with their products and diligent about the data they collate.
“The compliance mission of the banks in the past has primarily been protecting the bank from regulatory action; that’s important but it should not be the purpose. We should recognise the bigger contribution financial institutions can make to society by leading the fight against financial crime,” Howes said.
Developments in Trading Culture
Ever warping the means of communication and relationships, social media again has proven to be the ultimate tool for the financial services industry in getting products to market. Such is the case with Hollywood actor Ed Westwick, you may have seen him in shows Gossip Girl, White Gold, or the rom-com Chalet Girl. Ed recently partnered with Europe’s first social trading app Shares, of which he is also a business partner.
The campaign started this week and sees the actor debunk elitist myths around trading and what first-time investors can expect from Shares when it comes to investment options and education.
Westwick comments: “There are a number of investing platforms out there at the moment, but none speak to the growing Gen Z investing community as well as Shares does. I love the idea of being able to trade and communicate with like-minded people at the same time, and it’s incredibly exciting to be involved with such a fast-growing company.”
The trading community also welcomes the arrival of SH Digital, a world-first fully licensed digital asset trading platform. With licensing from DMCC, UAE, and also a Virtual Asset Service Provider registration from Lithuania, the new kid on the block aims to offer customers wide access to financial institutions and the ability to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency through multiple on and off-ramps.
SH Digital was founded by crypto expert and leaders Kevin Neuschatz and Mohit Davar, the latter of which has over 25 years’ worth of experience in the crypto and global payments field. Clients will have access to tier-one liquidity, allowing them to perform high-volume trades and white-glove settlement processing.
The launch of SH Digital further cements crypto’s stronghold in the trade and the world economy, as platforms where it can be exclusively traded become more popular. One of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world, Binance, recorded a volume of trade at $7.7 trillion in 2021. More platforms like Shares and SH Digital permeating into the consciousness of amateur investors are doing the work in priming the next generation for common crypto use – continued investment into blockchain technology and Web3 infrastructure further proving it to be the future standard in trade.
That concludes your weekly Fintech Fix! Stay tuned for another round of big fintech buzz, right here at FF News.
- Nordea Supports Small and Medium-sized Businesses Together With the European Investment Fund Read more
- TerraPay & Beyon Money partner to enhance outward remittances from Bahrain to key corridors Read more
- Wombat appoints ex-abrdn CEO Richard Charnock to Board of Directors as it prepares for European expansion Read more
- How Small Businesses Can Go Digital – and Why They Have No Choice Read more
- Nucleus365 launches European Instant Payments – Rapid Transfer Read more