This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 29/10

This Thursday 29 October’s Fintech Times
Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest global fintech
stories. We hear how Funding Options is teaming up with Cooper
Parry, Ossama Soliman is making a move to TrueLayer and
Zopa has launched its first ever credit card.

Partnerships and collaborations

Business finance platform Funding
has hooked up with accountancy firm Cooper
to provide financial solutions for scaleups and
SMEs. Cooper Parry will utilise Funding Options’ platform to
source debt-based products for clients in need of working capital
with the aim or ‘removing bureaucracy and delay from securing
vital funds’.

The partnership with Funding Options was a no-brainer for us. It
gives the CP Futures team the ability to connect companies to debt
finance quickly and efficiently through the UK’s leading funding

Brompton Bikes and GoCardlessBrompton chooses GoCardless
to streamline the payments of its bikes on subscription service

ABAKA, the digital saving and retirement
enterprise SaaS solutions provider, has joined forces with
Intel in order to innovate and develop an
artificial intelligence platform. ABAKA is now a member of the
Intel AI Builders programme – an enterprise ecosystem of
independent software vendors, system integrators, original
equipment manufacturers and enterprise end users.

French SaaS firm Agicap is working with
financial API platform Salt Edge to digitalise
cash flow management for SMEs. Following the partnership, SMEs can
monitor cash flows on all bank accounts, in a single dashboard.

Meanwhile, Asia-focused investment group PAG
has chosen Broadridge as a cloud-based portfolio
management technology provider. The Broadridge Sentry portfolio
management solution will help PAG’s private debt team integrate
middle- and back-office operations into a single system.

GoCardless is supporting
Brompton, the folding bike company, with its new
subscription service. Brompton Bike Hire enables customers to avoid
the upfront expense of purchasing a bike outright with monthly
payments powered by GoCardless.

Finally, United Arab Bank and
Mastercard announce strategic partnership to
accelerate payments innovation in the UAE. Mastercard is now the
preferred and exclusive partner for credit, debit and commercial
cards issued by UAB.

Industry news and announcements

Bahrain FinTech Bay is launching a virtual
acceleration programme, ‘Build for Bahrain’. Shortlisted teams
will receive incubation at BFB, as well as mentorship by industry
experts. The programme is a partnership with the US State
Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative.

Africa Fintech Summit is going virtual this yearAfrica Fintech Summit is
going virtual this year

Jack Dorsey will deliver the closing keynote at
this year’s Africa Fintech Summit. The fifth
annual Summit is being held virtually on 9, 10, and 12 November.
Dorsey’s keynote will revolve around the concepts of
decentralised finance and opportunities it creates for financial

Meanwhile, FOODICS is introducing a $100million
micro loan fund to support SMEs in Saudi Arabia. The micro loans
are Shariah-compliant and focused on helping restaurants expand
faster. In order to launch the fund, FOODICS has partnered with SME
financing provider Maalem Finance.

Dubai brokerage firm Déjà Vu Real Estate has
signedYegertek to implement a ‘comprehensive
digital transformation’. The collaboration will look to develop
technologies that leverage data to unlock profitability, and
revolutionise the user experience of the real estate sales

And, payment solutions provider Checkprint has
extended its contract with Metro Bank for cheque
services for a further six years. The contract enables Metro Bank
to continue to instantly issue chequebooks to all new account
holders, within minutes of them entering the store.

New products and services Zopa unveils new credit cardZopa has launched its
first ever credit card

OpenPayd, the API-led banking-as-a-service
provider, has launched an FX-as-a-service product. InstantFX will
provide clients with real-time trading, plus the ability to pay out
USD via SWIFT, ACH, and Wire. It also offers a range of payment
corridors, including access to UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico.

Zopa has unveiled its first credit card in
order to ‘help customers stay in control of their money’.
The card includes a ‘Safety Net’ feature that lets customers
set aside part of their credit limit for unexpected expenses. Zopa
already offers savings accounts and personal loans in addition to
peer-to-peer investing.

Mastercard and PayPal now
offer Instant Transfer in nine European markets. By using
Mastercard Send, PayPal customers can now cash out their balances
to Mastercard cards in real time. The service is now available in
Bulgaria, Bosnia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain
and UK following successful launches in the US and Singapore.

Industry movers Ossama Soliman joins TrueLayer as chief product officerOssama Soliman joins
TrueLayer as chief product officer

Ossama Soliman, the former general manager of
business lending at Amazon has joined TrueLayer as
its chief product officer. “Getting to help democratise access to
finance through TrueLayer’s open banking platform is incredibly
exciting,” Soliman says.

AI fintech Axyon AI has appointed Giovanni
Beliossi as a business advisor. Beliossi will
focus on Axyon AI’s offering for the hedge fund industry, sharing
‘unique insight into the challenges managers are facing

While Temenos has hired Joaquin De
Valenzuela Muley
to lead its digital banking SaaS product,
Infinity. The former Salesforce executive joins Tenemos as senior
vice president and business line director. He will also be tasked
with building strong customer relationships.

Adam Kelly will become the new managing
director for British Business Investments next
month, following the retirement of Peter Garnham.
Kelly joined the British Business Bank in 2013 as a senior manager
in the Investment Programme, which became part of the BBI
subsidiary when it launched in 2014.

Communications surveillance provider VoxSmart
has made a brace of appointments in order to launch a new Markets
division. Andrew Stone joins from pricing and
analytics start-up NEX Data. While Lloyd Jensen
joins from BGC Partners. The new Markets division will ‘influence
and improve’ the customer experience and market fit for
VoxSmart’s product suite.

VoxsmartsVoxSmart forms new
‘Markets’ division to strengthen product development

Finally, global financial technology infrastructure platform
Nium is expanding into Africa with two new
executive appointments. Dana Nino is now senior
vice president for global growth, customer success and
partnerships, while Clara Wanjiku Odero is vice
president, partnerships and growth. The move into Africa is part of
Nium’s broader mission to drive business productivity and cost
efficiency using fintech.



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Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 29/10
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STACS Partners With EFG Bank to Develop Blockchain Platform

Hashstacs Pte Ltd (also known as “STACS”), a Singapore FinTech company focusing on Blockchain technology solutions for financial institutions, has announced its partnership with EFG Bank (EFG) to co-develop a Blockchain platform that will enhance and simplify the processes of structured products.

“Project Nathan — Smart Structured Products”, aims at using new Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to automate and manage the entire lifecycle of a structured product. The platform comprises the underlying STACS Blockchain and smart contracts, and a business application with an intuitive user interface.

The Nathan platform was awarded the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”)’s Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Proof of Concept (POC) grant on 2 March 2020. The FSTI POC grant provides funding support for experimentation, development and dissemination of nascent innovative technologies in the financial services sector.

Ivan Ferraroni, Head of Global Markets Asia of EFG said, “Participating in this MAS funded initiative was an exciting experience for EFG and our team members. This is in line with our efforts to change the speed and scope of digitalisation in our business. Working with STACS has been very smooth and seamless, and we certainly managed to learn from each other. The project is innovative, demonstrates significant efficiency gains and can be extended to other asset classes in the future.”

Project Nathan is currently in its first phase, where STACS worked with EFG to remodel the workflows involved in a structured product transaction, facilitated the internal efficiencies between various EFG departments involved in structured product transactions, as well as looked at the usage of smart contracts to automate aspects of trade inception and trade servicing.

Benjamin Soh, Managing Director of STACS, said: “Tapping on the success of Phase 1 of Project Nathan, we are now able to proceed with further phases of commercialisation for the Nathan Platform, and look towards further rollout of our digitalisation initiatives towards the wider industry.”

With recent trends of blockchain adoption in the capital markets, STACS serves as a complete solutions partner. By co-developing a Blockchain project with EFG, STACS has provided a model for market participants, providing them a solution for industry pain-points highlighted by the participants. STACS also provides a full suite of platforms covering different services in various live projects with multiple stock exchanges and commercial banks in both the EU and Asia.

“Project Nathan demonstrates the commitment of STACS as an innovative fintech development company to help financial institutions like EFG Bank to embrace digitalisation and seek new opportunities. This is an exciting time in the FinTech world as we see a growing number of institutions looking at Blockchain, and EFG has taken the lead to adopt this innovative approach to structured products. Adoption of new technologies by financial institutions will enable them to reap the benefits of reducing costs and improve efficiencies,” added Soh.