The Fintech Fix Weekly Roundup 04/05/2022
– Bobby Suman, Fintech Finance
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, this is the place to keep up with the breaking news of the future.
Hot Topics – We kick off this week’s roundup by congratulating Trustly for being awarded the 2022 FinTech of the Year for Retail Payments by readers of the FinTech Spotlight report series. Group CEO of Trustly, Johan Tjärnberg, expressed the award as “the best possible feedback for us as we strive to ensure that we are always customer-centric and in our conviction to make account-to-account (A2A) payments a new global standard.”
Revolut announced it has increased the interest rate on its popular Savings Vault to 1% for Revolut Metal customers in the UK. The company has also raised the rate to 0.85% for Premium users, 0.55% for Plus users and 0.45% for standard users of the new Savings Vault in GBP. Mikko Salovaara, Chief Financial Officer at Revolut said “with the rising cost of living, we understand that saving remains important to our customers. We’re pleased to offer saving products that will help people maximise the interest they can earn with the reassurance of being able to access their savings instantly.”
It seemed that after a prolific 2021 for NFTs, the attention for the non-fungible tokens was waning off in 2022. However, advancements continue to be made, best exemplified by Shariah Experts Ltd, a London-based halal advisory firm who have issued the world’s first NFT-Based Halal Certification on SouqNFT. The NFTs will allow companies to show definitive proof that their business practices and products are certified halal, which means they are ethical according to Islamic jurisprudence principles.
Despite doubters’ concerns, NFTs do have some very strong use cases in bringing more transparency, auditability and authenticity in any space, as Shariah Experts’ Co Founders Dr. Farrukh Habib and Mufti Billal Omarjee explain. This venture will hope to guide the Muslim world to proposerity in Web3 projects concerning cryptocurrencies, DeFi and the metaverse, as well as fintech and traditional Islamic finance.
The fact that cross border payments are still not instant, or completely free for that matter, still shocks me. EBA CLEARING, SWIFT and The Clearing House announced their plan to launch a pilot service for immediate cross-border payments, being designed with the support of banks from both sides of the Atlantic and the contribution of 24 financial institutions. The service initially will support instant payments in the U.S. dollar and euro currency corridor. It is developed with a view to being extended to other currency channels and payment systems.
Erwin Kulk, Head of Service Development and Management at EBA CLEARING explained how “our key aim is to keep things easy for financial institutions: the fact that there is no need to connect to a separate payment system should make the service very attractive for RT1 and RTP participants of all sizes.”
As we step further into the future, Open Banking continues to evolve. With that in mind, Bonifii announced it has selected Mastercard as its preferred Open Banking provider for its MemberPass® credit unions to access consumer-permissioned bank data, to inform underwriting for different loan types across mortgage, auto, personal and small business.
Andy Sheehan, EVP, U.S. Open Banking at Mastercard, noted how this technology enables credit unions to offer a digital-first method through which their borrowers can instantly provide the required information that the credit union needs to make a lending decision and replaces manual processes historically associated with the underwriting process for both the borrower and the lender.
The race to Net-Zero and improving sustainability measures has been a key feature for companies in 2022, and Personetics are leading the way as the company announced the launch of The Personetics Sustainability Insights solution. This is the world-first to show banking customers the carbon footprint of every banking transaction and recommend personalised actions to reduce carbon emissions, such as making purchases from lower carbon merchants.
David Sosna, CEO of Personetics, commented on this evolution of sustainable finance. “Sustainability Insights also drive business impact for financial institutions, by improving customer engagement, creating new occasions for targeted cross-selling, and recommending specific banking products and new accounts in a way that is personalized for each customer’s financial situation and future goals. This will create deeper relationships with banking customers and ultimately support banks’ ESG reporting.”
And lastly, I was extremely lucky to attend the City Week 2022 event recently. If you want to know the big stories on digital transformation in financial services, or plans for a US expansion for Starling Bank, click here!
Big Partnerships To Watch – Plaid is adding 3 new partners to the Payment Partner Ecosystem. Primer, UniPaas and NoFrixion join the platform to improve operations and lower costs by leveraging Open Banking capabilities.
Farid Sedjelmaci, European Partnerships Lead at Plaid, said “despite the obvious growth opportunities, keeping up with the tech landscape can be onerous for merchants. Account-to-account payments are an addition to an ever growing list of new payment types, and open banking data for onboarding may seem like an additional complication. Instead, PSPs can offer all of the necessary solutions for improved payment journeys and onboarding so their customers can tailor offerings to the local market needs.”
Similar in name, Stripe launched the Stripe Partner Ecosystem, which enables companies to easily connect with the right partners for their specific objectives by leveraging comprehensive business and technical training, blueprints for building financial infrastructure with Stripe, marketing guides, co-selling benefits, specialisation designations for partners with deep expertise on ecommerce, CRM, ERP and so much more (as if that wasn’t enough!)
Longtime Stripe partners taking part include thousands of companies powering the internet economy, like BigCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, and Xero. Dorothy Copeland, Vice President of Global Partnerships and Alliances at Stripe, commented how “the Stripe Partner Ecosystem will empower more partners to deliver modernized financial infrastructure and digital experiences to their customers, while generating new opportunities for partners to grow with Stripe.”