The Fintech Fix – Weekly Roundup 20/10/2021
Welcome to The Fintech Fix, where we cover the biggest stories of the financial week! Whether it’s the next groundbreaking advancement in Blockchain technology, a new CEO creating an economic revolution or an upcoming startup generating a huge following, this is the place to keep up with the breaking news of the future.
Hot Topics – First, let’s take a look at some of the most popular discussion points within the community at the moment.
Key figures in the field, including Krista Griggs from Fujitsu, Microsoft’s Joanna Molik and Harvard Business School’s Anjali Rain, offered very perceptive insights into the future of wellness and wellbeing in the workplace – as we become increasingly acclimatised to the ‘new normal’, the hybrid workplace will likely become permanent for many financial institutions, as some jobs will still maintain a physical presence when in-person interactions and networking are crucial to success. Having flexible solutions between at-home productivity and on-site connections is definitely a healthy hybrid that ensures everybody is included. However, it’s only effective if leaders and managers understand that the work-life balance has changed, and subsequently cater to their employees’ personal circumstances. The very fact that these discussions about wellness are taking place though, as Anjali Rain pointed out, is ‘maybe a wonderful fallout of this whole process, as I don’t think employers have ever really cared that much’, at least not in the mental dimension.
Steve Lemon, Co Founder of Currencycloud, a money transfer service, triggered a powerful discussion about, in his eyes, the death of traditional banking, buried by embedded finance. Lemon holds the extreme view that the process of making payments will eventually be ‘abstracted away’ both from those executing them and the banks traditionally responsible for making them happen, with embedded finance delivered by a new generation of ‘banking lite’ providers.
If Nike wanted to launch a banking service, it could just give a banking-as-a-service provider its colour palate and its logos, and off it goes.’ Could our favourite brands replace the traditional system of banking, or is our global trust in Fintechs not there yet? It’s likely the latter, although embedded finance and open finance is very much a global movement, with Asia’s digital enablement in apps such as Alipay and WeChat Pay reflecting a possibility of a future for everybody.
Ashok Kalyanswamy from Saxo Bank Jason Ang from SmartStream and Keybank’s Jonas Ing were also part of a valuable talk on how cloud-based technology can provide more business opportunities across the world. In terms of cost, there’s a mutualisation of software and hardware which allows individuals to provide an impelling user case. In terms of expertise too, there’s a significant amount of risk reduction in implementing cloud-based technologies. Clients can therefore have further trust in their providers, as there is increased efficiency and capability. Cloud enables scale; there’s software available that all can use to enrich their ecosystem experience and further organisational agility.
Also, if you did miss any of the biggest highlights from Money 20/20, be sure to digest both Jane Loginova, CEO of Radar Payments, talk about the promise of the Fintech community, as well as Timothée Gruner, Chief Commercial Officer at Antelop Solutions, about the company’s acquisition by Entrust and what the partnership will enable.
Transfer News – This week marked some extremely interesting changes in personnel within the financial community.
InsurTech company CPP Group UK announced their appointment of Anna Sant as their new Commercial Development Manager. Sant, formerly a Moneysupermarket Travel Insurance Specialist, is tasked with developing CPP’s Parametrics Insurance offerings and rebuilding consumer trust in international travel as the world slowly reopens against the COVID pandemic.
And Chubb has named Kevin Rampe Head of North America Claims. In his new role, Rampe will oversee all aspects of Chubb’s North America commercial and personal lines claims and provide claims insights to Chubb’s underwriters, clients, agents and brokers.
Big Partnerships To Watch – As conveyed at Sibos 2021, Money 20/20 and even smaller conferences like the Dark Money Conference 2021, there is an increased emphasis on collaboration within the Fintech community at the moment. This has paved the way for an increasing number of partnerships to emerge.
Airbank, a financial management solution that monitors cash flow in real time, has partnered with Open Banking infrastructure provider, Yapily, to help its users manage their finances with ease. Airbank commonly deals with European startups and SMBs, however more time and resources will be saved as Yapily’s API infrastructure connects Airbank users with more than 1,500 banks across the UK and Europe including Deutsche BankCommerzbank, Sparkassen, Volksbanken and neobanks.
Standard Chartered and Atome Financial locked in a 10 year multi-product strategic partnership last week too, as the two seek to combine their services to effectively deliver in Asian markets. Judy Hsu, CEO, Consumer, Private and Business Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, commented that the ‘partnership with Atome Financial gives us the opportunity to be part of the rapidly growing digital consumer finance ecosystem and provides convenient and relevant digital financial products to complement and enrich clients’ digital lives’. This is extremely exciting, especially given Atome is Asia’s largest BNPL platform.
One last venture to keep an eye on is how Green Dot Corporation selected Temenos to help power their cloud based processing platform, enabling more feature-rich, secure and streamlined banking and payment experiences for customers, as well as scalable growth. Temenos are indelibly renowned for their success in the Fintech world, and so any interaction with their high quality services will, as Jacqueline White of Temenos says, ‘support financial institutions to deliver value to their customers.’
Funding – NatWest lead the pack here, as they pledge to commit £100 billion of Climate and Sustainable Funding and Financing (CSFF) by the end of 2025 to support UK decarbonisation and the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, in-line with the 10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. Although not near the region of billions, Chip, the digital savings account, closed the biggest equity crowdfunding ever held on Crowdcube this week, netting £11.5 million from 12,954 investors. This enormous feat also marks Chip as the second biggest investor community in the UK’s fintech scene, as the company added 6,500 new investors, growing its shareholder community to over 23,000 off the back of the crowdfund.
The InsurTech, Humn, also announced impressive funding recently, as they secured £10.1 million in Series A Funding, led by BXR Group and Shell Ventures as well as Hambro Perks Leaders Fund and Woodside Holdings. With the investment, Humn aims to further develop its unique insurance data capabilities and expand the commercial functions of the business, as well as expanding into Europe next year.
With Singapore existing as a healthy hub for Fintechs, it is no surprise that, a Singaporen cloud-based InsurTech platform that drives network orchestration and enables efficient communication of information, raised US$1 million in its seed round funding. Since its launch, Surer has seen strong traction with over 350 intermediary signups and demo requests, more than 1,000 insurance proposals sent and over S$1.2M in gross written premiums.
So that’s your weekly Fintech Fix! Stay tuned for next week’s dose so that you can stay up to date with the biggest stories of the future, right here in the present.
- astrantiaPay Selects SaaScada to Enrich Swiss Landscape of Business Payments and Fill Market Gap Read more
- Swift Go sign-ups triple as cooperative makes significant progress on G20 goals to enhance cross-border experience Read more
- Nationwide’s Matt Cox on Modern Payments and Giving Customers Back Their Control Back Read more
- Transact Payments Appoints Aaron Carpenter as CEO Read more
- Plum makes crypto investing available for EU customers Read more