The Fintech Fix 28/09/2022
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.
Supporting people through hard times
The British pound is now £1.08 to the dollar. Such a plummet in value has set a worryingly dark shadow on the UK. Customer preferences and demands over their financial services could have less to do with extra rewards and add-ons and are more to do with what people can reasonably afford. Fortunately, fintechs in the region have their ears on the ground regarding the economic stagnation of the country and are developing products and services that are more fit for purpose
Our biggest story this week comes from our favourite neobank, Revolut. The company recently launched Revolut Pro, an income, payment and expense management account within the Revolut app, specifically catered to the self-employed and those in the gig economy.
The traditional business account incumbents offer doesn’t translate to the flexible operations of a one-person business. Revolut Pro looks to facilitate freelancers by providing them with a free account, which has no monthly fees, where they can securely send transfers or instant payments to external banks and other Revolut accounts. As expected with Revolut, the onboarding takes minutes, and customers are offered 1% cashback on their debit card.
Maria Marti Garcia, the Product Owner of Revolut Pro, commented: “The explosive increase in gig workers, artists, bloggers, and the like alongside more traditional individual professions including private teachers, home service providers and fair vendors has driven demand for better ways for those working on their projects, be it full time or part-time, to manage income and expenses.
In partnerships, Zopa Bank has teamed up with credit marketplace Clearscore and unveiled a cross-industry initiative to help people strengthen their finances during the cost of living crisis. Intending to drive 10 million actions, the 2025 Fintech Pledge is providing UK consumers with guidance on how to build up their financial resilience, from setting up savings pots to building credit.
As the daily news feed clogs up with predictions of the UK’s financial future, enhanced navigation on how to protect your finances is essential, and if the government is hard-pressed for answers, it’s time for fintechs to take the lead in supporting a nation.
For such success, look no further than the Sub Sahara and FF News’ recent episode exploring the array of digital payment options available in Africa. In this burgeoning region, mobile money is king and has strengthened the financial and physical mobility of millions of citizens. We spoke to fintech leaders Frank Molla of BPC Banking Technologies and Diego Gutierrez of Vodacom Groups, about how mobile banking has revitalised the Sub Sahara and how the effects in time and manual effort it takes to send and receive payments have been cut dramatically – creating an ecosystem of Smart Cities where cash is no longer a barrier.
In-house Shake Ups and Expansions
The last week has also been representative of the great internal changes fintech companies have been undergoing in their goal to offer something new to the industry – whether that be a new acquisition or a new, sleek, product.
Banking-as-a-Service provider Finastra takes centre stage in their recent partnership with Visa, offering a new BaaS solution which incorporates new functionality on its Payments Hub solutions and implements Visa Direct. The new capability will give Finastra banking customers, both SMEs and individuals, global access to cross-border payout capabilities in multiple currencies and countries.
“Innovation in cross-border money movement is accelerating at an incredible pace and banks are under pressure to quickly implement and launch programs for their customers that stay ahead of their expectations,” said Ruben Salazar Genovez, SVP, Global Head of Visa Direct. “We are excited to partner with Finastra to support the enablement of their bank customers worldwide with simple access to Visa Direct. Together, we are bringing benefits of our global network to thousands of banks globally, providing a wide range of new and existing case studies to clients.”
That’s not all from the BaaS innovator, Finastra has also embarked on a collaboration with technology services and consultancy provider, Wipro, in modernising digital banking in India. Deploying Finastra’s API-enabled platform, and Wipro’s consultancy expertise, the multi-year venture looks to digitise core trade finance processes, whilst keeping costs low. The partnership with Wipro, gives those banks access to Finastra’s expansive cloud-based platforms and channels, further solidifying their place in the world as a global head in the fintech space.
India’s fintech sector is on track to a $1trillion valuation by 2030, and is only second to China (35%) in its country’s daily usage of digital wallets. The strides the country is taking to digitalise their financial ecosystem, with payment services companies like Paytm and RazorPay, further shows its zealous commitment to giving consumers more choice in how they use their money.
On the topic of industry support and ecosystem building, Tech Nation has welcomed 13 late-stage startups into its Future Fifty programme – which boasts an alumnus of Revolut, Monzo, Skyscanner, and Deliveroo. The new roster of companies operates across 19 countries and has already raised $2.2bn in VC investment, with a total employee count of 4,269. What makes this next cohort more exceptional is the amount of talent coming from outside London. From Macclesfield-based Zuto to Somersham’s Paragraf, regional startups are finally getting the attention and investment they deserve.
Hussein Kanji, Partner at Hoxton Ventures and Future Fifty 11.0 Judge, said: “Over the past decade, Tech Nation’s Future Fifty programme has been the definitive list for identifying the UK’s best and brightest scaling technology companies. This is the strongest cohort I have seen to date in terms of ambition, innovation and scaling potential. It’s amazing to see both the winners and applicants improve year over year, as the UK’s tech ecosystem continues to mature.”
Bigger offerings in Insurance
Insurtech is beefing up its product offerings with cyber insurer Cowbell announcing the debut of Adaptive Cyber Insurance and its new subsidiary Cowbell Specialty Insurance Company. Both expansions look to enforce the company’s goal of evolving cyber insurance, of which the risks in cybercrime are rapidly changing, and close the insurability gap. Adaptive Cyber Insurance offers customers a dynamic plan which changes accordingly to the current cybercrime risks. Paired with Cowbell Re – the company’s reinsurance captive, Cowbell’s Speciality offers a more robust range of services for the cyber insurance market, underwriting for unit-based profitability. This approach to cybercrime is a necessary one, as fraud and hacking become more sophisticated. Fixed, yearly policies are not appropriate for an industry where businesses are exposed to new risks daily.
Our last story for the Fix harkens back to last week’s explosive InsureTech Connect Vegas (ITC) 2022 conference. Here, insurtech Zywave announced further collaboration with industry power player, Salesforce, in bringing together insurance agency sales and client service through the use of data. Zywave for Salesforce will offer insurers a CRM platform which will give them more control in customising their workflows. On their interconnected cloud-based platforms, the companies can allow real-time connectivity for insurance quoting and policy management for ongoing service and renewals.
“The future of insurance requires innovative and connected technology that provides clients with the elegant digital experience they’ve come to expect,” said Raja Singh, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Salesforce Industries. “Salesforce and Zywave are a great match due to our shared vision of full customer-journey enablement. We’re particularly excited to work with Zywave, given their open API framework for small group benefits quoting, as well as their app-exchange products for both industry data and content, thus enabling our strategy of automating these critical insurance workflows within Salesforce. Together, Salesforce and Zywave enable users to efficiently do their jobs, and unlock their critical business data, so it can be leveraged for real-time intelligence going forward.”
That concludes your weekly Fintech Fix! Stay tuned for another round of big fintech buzz, right here at FF News.
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