Ukrainian Residents Able to Collect Cash From Globus Bank’s Branches Following Paysera Partnership

Paysera has partnered with Globus Bank in Ukraine, giving local residents the opportunity to pick up money sent by their relatives in cash at one of 150 branches of Globus Bank and its partners. 

Gintautas Mezetis, CEO of Paysera, says that although there are many international cash transfer companies in the market, there is still room for a new player.

According to the World Bank, Ukrainians received transfers worth €17billion from abroad last year. This year, due to the humanitarian and economic crisis caused by the Russian invasion, the World Bank predicts that transfers to Ukraine will grow by a further 20 per cent and reach record highs.

“Transferring money to a bank account is not always convenient and sometimes impossible. For one thing, four out of 10 Ukrainians do not have an account. Secondly, a standard money transfer from the EU to a bank in Ukraine may take up to two business days, with correspondent banks charging an additional fee of €10-20. This sometimes makes cash pickup transfers the only option – money reaches the recipient in minutes, and it’s cheaper than a standard transfer. It is symbolic that our expansion into the cash pickup transfer market starts in a country whose population needs financial support from relatives and other kind-hearted people more than ever before”, says Gintautas Mezetis, CEO of Paysera.

Anna Dovgalskaya, deputy chairman of the board of Globus Bank, says that the cooperation between Globus Bank and Paysera will be 100 per cent productive, as it is supported by a strong team, many years of experience in the field of money transfers, and a focus on customer needs, which is very important. Dovgalskaya also adds that today, more than ever, it is important to think about the citizens who have left Ukraine and to provide a simple, reliable, and inexpensive money transfer service, which they have successfully implemented with Paysera. Cash transfers are still relevant, and in the Globus Bank network, a client can always receive a transfer in a foreign currency.

Currently, cash pickup transfers via Paysera to Ukraine can be made in EUR. When picking up the money at Globus Bank, the recipient may request to convert euros into hryvnia at the rate provided by the bank on that particular day.

Cash pickup transfers can be made via Paysera’s online banking. This transfer method is expected to be activated in the app in the coming months. Private individuals can send cash pickup transfers to Ukraine.

More than 60,000 Ukrainians have Paysera accounts. Most of them became our clients before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. In the first weeks of the war, Paysera received 400-600 applications per week from Ukrainians to open an account.

  • Francis is a junior journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

RecognID Enters The Global KYC Market With Deep Expertise in Fintech

Know your customer (KYC) service provider RecognID recently announced its global market expansion. After several years of serving as an identity proofing solution for existing partners, the team of MD Finance, a group of fintech companies, decided to give the product an additional boost and development.

Based on its team’s experience in top-notch KYC, RecognID has evolved into a separate product, ready to conquer new horizons.

Core features to provide reliable identity proofing

The team of RecognID aims to cover a wide range of possibilities for clients to go through eKYC and anti-money laundering (AML) processes online. Based on a rich experience in data science, the product RecognID acquired ensures a clear and ambitious roadmap of its further development. At the same time, product release one already includes a vast set of features which are successfully operating in a number of the company’s partners.

Product solutions may be divided into two fundamental categories: selfie-based and document-based checks. The first group includes all checks related to the person physically. For one thing, liveness detection allows RecognID to instantly analyse any physical interventions, face masks, etc. Along with the age detection functionality it may conclude whether to provide any specific products or services which have age restrictions. For a full-fledged identity proofing, the product uses 3D Mask feature, thus generating a facial model for high-precision recognition.

In parallel, a set of document-based checks allows to get an in-depth identity analysis. It includes accurate optical character recognition (OCR) and ID document verification, assessing the authenticity of the document produced, as well as address verification by analysing providing documents, such as utility bills, bank statements. Checking for software changes to the photo or ID data is performed by Photoshop detection. Another crucial feature implemented in RecognID is checking for user records in international databases – politically exposed persons (PEP), AML (sanctions) watchlists.

Artem Bezrodny, product owner RecognID & MD Finance: “We are thrilled to announce our product launch for the global market. After several years of successfully providing KYC services to our partners, we decided to give product full development in the business environment in the form of a B2B service provider. Such real-time automated KYC service allows RecognID partners to set up flawless verification, and clients to pass clear and easy to use methods of verification.”

Business-centric product tailored to a range of audiences

Despite a ‘rising star’ status in the world of online verification services, the team of RecognID completely understands all the intricacies of the market and how to customise the product to the customer’s needs, thereby providing him with an effective service.

“We are truly certain of the quality of product initially developed to suit our own needs,” said Vasiliy Mayor, CEO at RecognID & MD Finance. “The technology kit for client verification and onboarding used in RecognID is laid in the foundation of our existing LaaS (lending-as-a-service) product called CloudPulse. Thanks to the clear understanding of how KYC products shall function in a business environment, we can confidently state that we are offering our customers more than a technical integration, but a business solution.”

Their client’s portfolio already consists of several finance organisations mainly Europe-market focused. Thus, for more than four years our KYC product effectively serves huge local market players in Romania and Czech Republic. The full product suite allows those businesses to process hundreds of thousands of verification requests every month.

Thanks to the tailored approach and flexible customisation, identity proofing solutions by RecognID can be adjusted to a variety of industries, such as fintech, crypto, gaming, betting, casino, insurance, telecom and other. Starting from summer 2022, the team stated its desire to launch a global market campaign for further growth.

Wise: UK Fintech Disruptor Lowers Cost of Currency Transfers

Today’s fintech is tackling an ancient challenge: how to move money across the world as fast and cheaply as possible. Bank-based methods are costly because commissions are charged by intermediary banks. Margins between buying and selling a currency are often between five and 10 per cent.

These costs impact Australian businesses – especially exporters with operations and employees overseas. It also impacts Australians who want to transfer money to friends and families overseas.

One company that’s tackled this challenge head on is LSE-listed Wise, formerly TransferWise. Established in London in 2011, the company can execute foreign transfers in more than 50 currencies. According to Anhar Khanbhai, senior manager, public relations, Wise aims to create a money-transfer service that was instant, convenient and transparent.

“At Wise, ‘instant’ means the money arrives in less than 20 seconds. ‘Convenient’ means it’s a 100 per cent digital experience. ‘Transparent’ means no hidden fees or exchange rate markups. On average we charge one-eighth the cost of our traditional competitors,” says Khanbhai.

Australian consumers are open to fintech innovation

Wise launched in Australia in 2016. According to Anhar, the market was right for disruption. Australia has a large migrant population with millions of citizens and residents who want to transfer money to family members overseas. However, there was little competition for money-transfer services.

“Back then, Australia was one of the most expensive countries in the world to send money from,’ she says. ‘It made perfect sense for Wise to launch here.”

Australia: an attractive destination for fintech investors

Anhar says that despite the challenges, it proved easier to set up operations in Australia as compared to other financial jurisdictions.

“Australia’s a great place for fintechs to invest,” she says. “The regulators benchmark themselves against financial regulators in other countries. This makes them adaptive. But it also means fintechs that come to Australia meet familiar territory.”

Wise has expanded its product suite since setting up in Australia. In November 2020, APRA issued Wise a Purchased Payment Facility licence. This is a limited banking licence that allows Wise to directly connect to Australia’s real-time payments systems.

Wise Austrade

Wise Austrade

Fintech helps Australian exporters lower the cost of money transfers

Wise’s initial target market was Australian consumers. Almost immediately, however, businesses began asking to use the same service. Wise began to open up the services to commercial customers.

Anhar says that thousands of Australian businesses are now using the service’s dedicated business features. These include batch payments, integrations with accounting platforms for simpler reconciliation and multi-user access.

Wise’s technology can also be integrated into business backend systems, to run international payroll.

“Wise is making it cheaper for Australian businesses to trade overseas,” says Anhar. “Small exporters benefit particularly. This is one example of how fintech is helping to lower the barriers for Australian companies that are building overseas markets.”

Helping Australia’s challenger banks

According to Anhar, Wise is helping to shake up financial markets in Australia as well. This is creating more choice for businesses and consumers.

For example, some of Australia’s challenger banks have now connected Wise into their own banking apps.

“In 2019, we teamed up with Australian challenger digital bank Up,” she says. “Up integrated Wise’s API into its app. This saved it from having to build up its own international transfer feature from scratch.’

To learn how Australia’s fintech brilliance can help your business, visit

Austrade is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency. It delivers quality trade and investment services to businesses to grow Australia’s prosperity. They do this by generating and providing market information and insights, promoting Australian capability and facilitating connections through Austrade’s extensive global network.

StashAway’s Flexible Portfolios Brings Customisation and Risk Management to Malaysia

StashAway, a Malaysian wealth management platform, has launched Flexible Portfolios. It is the first product in Malaysia that offers investors the choice to customise their portfolios with ease.

Flexible Portfolios allows investors to pick the asset classes they want, decide their exact allocations, and change them any time. This new offering adds to StashAway’s drive for innovation in the industry to provide an intelligent, convenient, and less expensive alternative to traditional wealth management providers. Flexible Portfolios come highly requested from StashAway clients who want to influence their investments based on their own market views and holdings outside StashAway.

Flexible Portfolios has two features that make these customised investments different from brokerages: firstly, investors are able to easily customise their portfolios by picking their desired asset classes. StashAway curates the best exchangetraded funds (ETFs) for more than 55 asset classes such as emerging markets, S&P500, REITs, gold, energy, government bonds, and more. The underlying funds feature ETFs from some of the world’s top fund managers, including iShares, SPDR, VanEck, Vanguard, ARK, and GlobalX, giving investors access to some of the most popular funds. This means clients do not have to spend time doing research on which ETF is best.

The second feature is risk management. StashAway calculates the portfolio’s potential downside to ensure that investors know how much risk they are taking on as they customise a portfolio. StashAway will even let investors know when their portfolio’s risk level changes due to changing economic conditions. In addition, as part of the launch, StashAway is offering an entire year of free investing for Flexible Portfolios by waiving the management fee on any fresh funds until 30 June 2023.

Wong Wai Ken, country manager, StashAway Malaysia said, “We really value feedback from our investors, and many were keen to create or customise their own portfolios according to their risk appetites. We are excited that our clients are becoming more and more savvy as they invest with us, and are pleased to enable them to have a say while we still deliver on two of our core values: investment intelligence and risk management.”

  • Francis is a junior journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

Filling the Super App Gap in the U.S.

There is a Super App-shaped hole in the U.S., and earlier this year, F.T. Partners published a report titled The Race to the Super App that examines the most eligible companies to fill the gap.

The report details three major categories of potential Super App contenders in the U.S., including challenger banks, large fintechs, and big tech companies/ retailers. Here is a breakdown of U.S. players in each category:

Challenger banks

  • Upgrade
  • Dave
  • Avant
  • Varo
  • Chime
  • MoneyLion
  • Current
  • Mission Lane
  • Oportun

Large fintechs

  • PayPal
  • Square
  • Robinhood
  • Figure
  • Betterment
  • H&R Block
  • M1 Finance
  • TrueBill
  • American Express
  • Wealthfront
  • Affirm
  • SoFi

Big tech companies/ retail

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Uber
  • Walmart

The report takes an extensive look at the super app industry and details two Super App models. The first is the winner-take-all model. In this approach, the Super App provider begins by offering a banking service and then expands to provide a wider range of services, aiming to eventually become users’ primary financial services tool. The second model is an aggregator approach in which the Super App provider acts as a marketplace that connects users to existing financial services.

Ultimately, banks have a choice to leverage either the winner-take-all model, in which they will build their own Super App to compete with third party players, or to take a hybrid approach in which they both host their banking products on third party marketplaces and offer third party tools to their clients within their own ecosystem. In the former approach, banks will incur competition from major players. However, when taking the latter approach, banks risk relinquishing the primary banking relationship status with their customers.

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto

Kofax Acquires e-Invoicing Network Tungsten
  • Kofax is acquiring B2B e-invoicing network Tungsten.
  • The combined companies will offer clients a more holistic e-invoicing approach.
  • Financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.

Intelligent automation software platform Kofax has acquired B2B e-invoicing network Tungsten for an undisclosed amount. Kofax CEO Reynolds Bish anticipates the acquisition will “provide more comprehensive and higher value invoice processing and accounts payable automation solutions” to the company’s customers.

Founded in 2000, Tungsten facilitates invoice-to-pay processes by digitalizing invoices using automation. Headquartered in London, Tungsten enables suppliers to submit tax compliant e-invoices in 54 countries. The company processes invoices for 60% of the FTSE 100 and 68% of the Fortune 500. Last year, Tungsten processed transactions worth over $270 billion for clients including Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and the U.S. Federal Government.

When combined with Kofax’s invoice processing and AP automation portfolio, the combined companies will offer a more holistic e-invoicing approach to companies across the globe. The cloud-based offering will provide solutions for direct supplier onboarding, e-invoice exchange, interoperability, scanned and OCR paper invoices, machine readable PDF invoices, PDF data extraction, and payment processing.

“Finance procurement leaders are looking beyond traditional invoice OCR and workflow capabilities to modern e-invoicing, supplier management, and value-added services – accelerating how they pay and relate with suppliers,” said Tungsten CEO Paul Cooper. “A full technology suite from Kofax will bring efficiencies to how they work with their suppliers, compliantly invoice, and focus on leveraging data to drive insights while reducing cost.”

Kofax was originally founded in 1985 and leverages robotic process automation (RPA) to automate and enhance business’ workflow. The company’s SaaS solutions automate the processing of over 60 million invoices for more than 11,000 organizations around the world. Two years after Kofax went public in 2013, the company was delisted when it was acquired by Lexmark for $1 billion. In 2017, Kofax was once again acquired, this time by private equity firm Thoma Bravo. Kofax itself has made a total of 12 acquisitions, including Tungsten.

Lucky Gets Lucky as Its Cashback Card Receives Final Go-Ahead From Central Bank

Lucky has obtained final approval from the Central Bank of Egypt to launch its ‘Lucky One’ card.

The Egyptian fintech app announced this week that it has obtained the Central Bank’s final approval to launch its recently-developed ‘Lucky One’ card in collaboration with Mashreq Bank, Meeza and MDP.

The card is specifically designed to offer cashback rewards, as well as mobile bill payments, withdrawals and deposits.

The partnership comes in line with the Egyptian Central Bank’s financial inclusion goals, in addition to encouraging the development of Egypt’s cashless economy.

Card users will have the ability to withdraw and deposit cash via ATMs, pay by using the card at any merchant, and earn up to five per cent cashback on transactions; being the highest cashback percentage in Egypt and the card’s unique selling point.

Ayman Essawy, co-founder and managing director of LuckyAyman Essawy, co-founder and managing director of Lucky
Ayman Essawy

Commenting on the partnership, Ayman Essawy, co-founder and managing director of Lucky, said: “Lucky’s mission is to support the fintech ecosystem; and to bring a seamless shopping, saving and payment experience by providing the underbanked users with the banking experience that they never had before.”

Amr El Bahey, CEO of Mashreq Bank Egypt, added: “This partnership enables us to expand our product proposition and enhance our customer experience, in addition to facilitating collaboration between Mashreq Bank – Egypt and fintechs with the aim of supporting financial inclusion in Egypt.”

The cooperation protocol was signed on 25 April 2022 by El Bahey, Essawy and Ahmed Nafie, CEO of MDP.

Nafie concluded with: “MDP’s strategic partnership with Lucky will expand its digital financial solutions offerings, as we empower our customers through delivering best-in-class, modern card issuing and processing capabilities.

“We continue to develop and expand our fintech-as-a-service offerings, giving our partners the agility and flexibility to meet their customers’ everchanging and dynamic needs.”

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

SMU Academy To Offer Metaverse and DAO Programmes To Prepare Singapore for the Arrival of Web 3.0

Facilitating the country’s heightened interest in the web 3.0 space, Singapore Management University (SMU) has launched two new web 3.0 courses together with TechFin Consulting.

The programme is set to focus on two major aspects of the highly anticipated web 3.0, decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) and the metaverse.

The courses aim to equip fintechs and tech participants with web 3.0-harnessing technologies in preparation for the arrival of the next generation of the internet.

As expressed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) chief Ravi Menon, Singapore’s interest in developing the web 3.0 space has led to the inception of the ‘Global FinTech Hackcelerator 2022‘; an event seeking to harness innovative technology to further enhance the web 3.0 space.

The future of the local web 3.0 scene has a positive outlook and corresponds with the sharp growth in global business opportunities. The global metaverse market value is projected to hit $800billion as soon as 2024; accelerated by Binance Labs$500million investment in blockchain and web 3.0 companies.

Fintechs and tech companies can best prepare themselves for the future by acquiring relevant digital skills and knowledge now. According to data from Deloitte, 83 per cent of businesses are discussing or working on digital assets in the context of solutions or strategies.

In response to this fast economic paradigm shift, SMU Academy and TechFin have designed this programme to assist business leaders in identifying blockchain and metaverse and the impact it is expected to have on education, the environment, healthcare and diversity.

The courses hope to ‘demystify’ the areas of DAOs and the metaverse and facilitate their journey into web 3.0. Participants looking to venture into the job prospects of this space can solidify their credentials by obtaining a certificate upon completion of the course.

The programme is split into two separate full-day courses, with each focusing on DAOs and the metaverse separately. Conducted by people working in the industry, it will feature Sheng Le Yong, the former deputy director of the fintech and innovation group at MAS alongside Soh Wan Wei, the CEO and founder of IKIGUIDE Metaverse Collective.

Sheng Le Yong, the former deputy director of the fintech and innovation group at MASSheng Le Yong, the former deputy director of the fintech and innovation group at MAS
Sheng Le Yong

Identifying how the metaverse and DAOs are here to stay, Le Yong states that the courses hope to “empower leaders and entrepreneurs to identify the value drivers of these innovative technologies and to give them the practical understanding to build solutions.”

The course will encourage participants to engage in open discussions with trainers and will expose them to real-life case studies and applications that will help prepare them for the digital future.

The ‘Understanding DAO’ course will commence on 3 August 2022, and the “Diving into the Metaverse” will be held on 22 August 2022.

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

Cellulant Saturates Zambian Water Companies With Paytech After Tapping Into Latest Partnerships

Cellulant has quenched the thirst of five Zambian water companies for paytech with digital payment integrations that will allow customers in the province to pay their water bills digitally.

The Pan-African payments technology company is now engaged in partnerships with five of Zambia’s main water utility companies, including Nkana Water, Kafubu Water, Mulonga Water, Chambeshi Water and Western Water.

Doing so will enable the water companies’ customers to pay their water bills with their mobile or through bank accounts with Standard Chartered Bank, Zambia National Building Society or Natsave.

The company has connected the water providers to its payment gateway Tingg to enable service improvements around how customers are able to pay for the water they use.

Currently, customers in remote areas of the country are required to travel long distances in order to pay their water bills; a journey that could soon be made redundant with this integration.

Digitising the payment collection process unlocks access to efficient and more affordable water services for thousands of Zambians by creating a virtuous cycle of payment and service improvement.

Ultimately, when customers are enabled to pay easily and have a good customer experience, their willingness to pay on time and consistently increases substantially.

In turn, the water utility companies experience reduced costs in collections and increased revenue, increasing their ability to upgrade services, invest in innovation and extend their network.

country manager for Cellulant Zambia, Gilbert Lungucountry manager for Cellulant Zambia, Gilbert Lungu
Gilbert Lungu

Speaking at the partnership launch event in Kitwe, the country manager for Cellulant Zambia, Gilbert Lungu, said: “Through the years, we have built a payments platform that seeks to solve issues faced by businesses and their consumers.

“Partnerships such as this are critical in ensuring that we deliver the best possible digital payment service in Zambia. The vertical of water utility companies is particularly critical because of the need to improve the collection efficiency for thousands of Zambians.”

He added: “We believe in technology’s power to unlock opportunities, and that is why we are here today to provide collection efficiency for all the water utilities. Honourable Minister, we know that your Government has spoken of the role technology will play in growing the Zambian economy and Cellulant as a technology player in this space. We are ready to drive this growth.”

Speaking at the same event, the minister of water development and sanitation, Mike Mposha, commended Cellulant for bridging the digital payment gap and was delighted to note that the water utility companies are migrating to technologies that will enhance efficiency and effectiveness in revenue collection.

He said: “I wish to take this opportunity to urge the utility companies to utilise technologies and innovations that will bring about revenue generation efficiency and help improve the financial viability of water utility companies.

“Revenue collection has been a challenge, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic; therefore, digital services provide a solution for decongesting payment points for water utility companies whilst arresting the spread of Covid-19.”

He closed by commending water supply companies to putting their customers’ needs first by ensuring they pay conveniently from mobile money.

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

Podcast: Role of Technology in Financial Education

In this episode of The Fintech Times Podcast, we discuss the important role of technology in financial education.

Financial education can help people make well-informed choices and can encourage responsible behaviour. From budgeting to personal financial management, financial literacy is hugely important.

In this podcast, Polly Harrison, features editor of The Fintech Times, chats to Jacqueline Dewey, CEO of Smart Money People, and Peter Komolafe, founder of Conversation of Money.

Together, they discuss why financial education is important, look at what types of financial education are on offer and highlight innovative services and initiatives we have seen in the sector.

They also address the risks associated with using technology and debate the responsibility of finance providers and fintechs in providing education on finance.

Listen to the podcast….

LuLu Financial Holdings and Samsara Remit Select Aerotruth for B2B Partner Onboarding

Both Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Financial Holdings and the Nepali money transfer service Samsara Remit join Aerotruth‘s commercial partner onboarding platform. 

Aerotruth is an Australian and New Zealand-based startup. Its online platform has been designed to make the partner business-to-business (B2B) onboarding process for fintechs, banks and other financial institutions easier.

The industry is currently experiencing a heightened level of inter-sector collaboration but also remains dependent on efficient B2B partner onboarding processes.

Traditional email-based onboarding methods are time-consuming, burdening companies with cumbersome documentation exchanges. Delays and technical complexities also lead to abandonment, further magnifying the costs of inefficient onboarding processes.

In an effort to reevaluate the maintenance of this process, both LuLu Financial Holdings and Samsara Remit are to now leverage Aerotruth’s cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) document repository platform.

Aerotruth’s platform assists in the management of the document exchange process required between companies when onboarding new and existing commercial partners.

Aerotruth’s clients can also network with each other, providing a pre-qualified avenue to partnership and network growth.

Identifying a “real and pressing global need for a safe and secure software platform for partner onboarding” Aerotruth co-founder and CEO Michael Liu remains “delighted” with the news of LuLu Financial Holdings and Samsara Remit are using the company’s platform.

LuLu Financial Holdings' head of business transformation Joseph CleetusLuLu Financial Holdings' head of business transformation Joseph Cleetus
Joseph Cleetus

Expressing that the company’s fintech arm, Digit9, was actively seeking to digitise its partner onboarding process, LuLu Financial Holdings’ head of business transformation Joseph Cleetus describes how the company found a solution in Aerotruth, sharing “Aerotruth has made that process possible, and we look forward to being a part of the Aerotruth ecosystem.”

It’s the same story for Samsara Remit, with the company’s head of business development Suraj Chhetri describing how it “wanted to move away from the manual process of onboarding our global partners” while going on to complement how the platform is “very easy to use” and “gives our partners a digital-first solution and smooth user experience when we invite them to the Aerotruth platform to submit due diligence documents.”

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

Comdex: Synthetic Commodity Assets Can Break Down Opportunity Barriers for Inflation-Wary Investors

The current rise of inflation has made many investors look away from risky ventures such as cryptocurrencies, and look to safer investments such as commodities. These are not always easy for the small investor to get a foothold in though, but blockchain and the introduction of synthetic commodity assets could change this.   

Abhishek Singh is the co-founder and CEO of ComdexAbhishek Singh is the co-founder and CEO of Comdex
Abhishek Singh is the co-founder and CEO of Comdex

Abhishek Singh is the co-founder and CEO of Comdex, a decentralised synthetics protocol in Cosmos ecosystem. Comdex aims to provide users access to synthetic commodity assets, on-chain, which have inherent and tangible value. Users can gain exposure to a range of synthetic perpetual commodity contracts.

Speaking to The Fintech Times, Singh explains how small investors could establish themselves in the commodities market:

In the opening weeks of 2022, faint hopes that inflation would ease its upward course have been summarily dashed. One recent analysis from Goldman Sachs suggests that economic complications resulting from Omicron’s continued spread will likely tip off a worse-than-expected inflationary surge. The news isn’t good — or all that surprising — for investors already exhausted by last year’s record-breaking inflationary stint.

“Between wages and shelter, we haven’t seen the worst of inflation, even if energy prices moderate, even if supply chain issues start to resolve themselves,” Michael Strain, the American Enterprise Institute’s director of economic policy studies, told the Washington Post. “I still think we’re in for several months where prices are growing faster than what we’ve seen.”

The prospect of worsened inflation is a grim one; after all, no investor wants to see the value of their holdings erode under an inflationary tide. The watchword for the year may well become preservation as investors flock en masse to “safe haven” commodities that may stand a better chance of retaining their value.

The question is, will such investment opportunities be available once they arrive?

Commodity investment provides an inflation-resistant haven for (some) investors

Commodities (i.e, economic trade goods and resources such as oil, gold, coffee, etc.) are known for their capacity for retaining value through inflationary spikes. Unlike more speculative assets like cryptocurrency, commodities don’t offer the potential for sudden and spectacular gains; however, they don’t pose a risk for devastating loss, either.

Such assets are understandably attractive to inflation-wary investors who prioritise value stability over the faint hope of high profits. However, access to commodity investment opportunities is far from universal. Small-scale investors have historically struggled to enter the commodities investment market thanks to Byzantine investor qualification requirements, complex payment structures, and high illiquidity.

The first of the three is perhaps the most exclusionary — strict regulations around investor qualifications make the commodities market one of the most difficult for small investors to breach. Some might try to circumvent these restrictions by investing in the Bloomberg Commodity or S&P GSCI Commodity Index; however, these tactics don’t always afford access to the highest-potential asset types.

“Lithium, copper, tin—all of these electrification metals are going to have a big demand surge over coming years. These are not common in the indexes [….] these metals are underinvested.” Bobby Blue, a senior manager research analyst for Morningstar, told Barron’s in early January of this year.

Blue suggests that aspiring commodities investors can get a proverbial foot in the door by connecting with an actively-managed fund. However, such funds are relatively rare in the commodity sector, and some investors may not want to cede any of their strategic autonomy — or profits — to an active commodities manager.

Those who choose to do so, however, face other hurdles. Backed as they are by receivables, trade finance debt products cannot provide much liquidity before asset maturity. The sheer complexity of commodities’ underlying payment structures exacerbates this problem further, making it difficult for investors to liquidate their commodity investments on a short turnaround.

Given these exclusionary factors, many smaller, inflation-aware investors may feel as though they have no choice but to put their money into more speculative crypto assets that may, with luck, provide returns high enough to beat inflation. However, the inflationary protection such an approach offers is partial at best.

As Luke Lloyd, an investment strategist for Strategic Wealth Partners, summed up the matter for Forbes last year: “While Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies might eventually serve as an inflation hedge much like gold, due to their limited supply, the price of Bitcoin is influenced by too many other outside factors — like regulatory concerns, company adoption and governments creating their own digital assets — to be considered an inflation hedge right now.”

Investors seem to face an unenviable choice: either lose value to inflation or risk it in speculation. However, emerging blockchain technology may afford a third option: accessing “safe haven” commodity investment opportunities via synthetics.

Blockchain-facilitated commodities synthetic assets could provide inflation protection to historically excluded small investors

Synthetic assets put a blockchain spin on an economic idea that has persisted for centuries: derivatives.

Derivatives are financial contracts that source their value from an underlying benchmark; for commodity investors, assets such as oil, precious minerals, metals, or agricultural products could provide a baseline for valuation. These arrangements allow investors to assume a speculative position even if they don’t possess the underlying asset.

Synthetics, otherwise known as tokenised derivatives, apply this concept to the blockchain; every derivative receives a record on the blockchain and a corresponding cryptocurrency token. Like traditional derivatives, synthetics allow investors exposure to the price movement of commodity assets through the creation of collateralised debt positions (CDPs); investors do not need to own commodities to benefit from their value stability.

Synthetics solve every major accessibility problem small investors face when attempting to enter the exclusionary commodities sector. Through tokenised derivatives, investors can circumvent the eligibility restrictions and have more flexibility to leverage their investments; through synthetics, investors can provide liquidity, borrow, and speculate as they please. Synthetics will also solve fractional ownership of illiquid assets, as investors can access liquidity without the nuances of the real-world purchasing structures.

Synthetics provide an opportunity for financial stability amid continued inflation and economic uncertainty

Commodity synthetics can provide value to small investors who want to protect their fortunes from inflation’s rising tide — and, critically, the commodities market may be more likely to accept their investment amid 2022’s continued economic uncertainty.

Per a recent report published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), rejection rates for trade finance soared to new heights during the pandemic. Over half (57 per cent) of surveyed banks and firms said that covid-29 had “worsened the shortage of trade finance support”, and 14 per cent of banks claimed that they “reduced capital availability to support trade”.

These funding gaps pose a significant problem for the commodities sector, which requires continual financing simply to meet its working capital requirements. In this context, synthetics don’t just pose an opportunity for small investors; they also provide a crucial alternative funding solution for the global commodities market.

2022 will prove to be a crucial trial period for synthetics. If investors and commodity enterprises successfully leverage tokenised derivatives, their collaboration could effectively democratise access to inflation-resistant commodity assets — and set the groundwork for a revolutionary bridge between DeFi and CeFi.

How Instant Bank Payments Are Set to Change the Customer Experience in Europe

Too often, online payments are slow, insecure and prone to friction. So how can instant bank payments help businesses offer a better customer experience?

TrueLayer is a global open banking platform that makes it easy for anyone to build better financial experiences. Businesses of every size use TrueLayer to power their payments, access financial data, and onboard customers across the UK, Europe and Australia.

Till Wirth, head of product for core banking at TrueLayer, is an alumnus of Oxford University and NYU and also previously served as a lead product manager at GOV.UK/Pay. Here he discusses with The Fintech Times the growth of instant online payments.

Till WirthTill Wirth
Till Worth at TrueLayer

When it comes to online payments in Europe, expectation rarely meets reality. Today’s consumers benefit from a fast-paced digital economy, and they want payments that can keep up. Offering a rapid, frictionless experience is the way to win them over, especially in industries where timing is everything.

Take trading, for example. Research from TrueLayer and YouGov has found that 64 per cent of current investors place more trust in platforms that offer instant payments. And they’re not alone. Two thirds of e-commerce customers take refund time into consideration when making a purchase.

Smooth and efficient payments, refunds and withdrawals go a long way with consumers. Too often, though, actual payment experiences fail to live up to this ideal. Cards are still the preferred payment method in countries like Spain, France and Ireland, leaving customers and businesses alike prone to slow and cumbersome experiences. And even other options like manual bank transfers can be slow and error-prone.

Instant bank payments offer a solution to this problem. Examples such as TrueLayer Payments use open banking technology and Europe’s fastest payment rails to let businesses take advantage of instant pay-ins, pay-outs and refunds.

So how can instant bank payments help European companies offer a better payment experience to their customers? Here are just a few of the biggest advantages.

Faster experiences

In many industries, providing an instant experience is key to winning and retaining customers. Take trading, for example. Delayed payments can cause customers to lose out on big opportunities. Case in point: a quarter of European investors have missed investment chances because their funds took too long to reach their accounts.

Unfortunately, traditional payment methods often prevent merchants from offering this kind of seamless experience. With cards, payments can take up to 10 days to settle. Whether consumers are trying to top up an account or get a refund, delays like this can frustrate customers and erode their loyalty.

Instant bank payments can help merchants avoid these pitfalls. By harnessing the speed of instant payment rails, they enable businesses to offer instant experiences to their customers. This gives consumers piece of mind and a far better experience, preserving customer loyalty and reducing churn.

Reduced friction

Smoothness is just as important as speed in offering a great customer experience. An efficient and intuitive payment flow reinforces a merchant’s credibility and builds trust in their brand. In turn, this leads to higher conversion rates.

Too often, though, traditional payment methods add friction to a process that should be seamless. When customers pay with cards and manual bank transfers, for example, they have to enter their payment details by hand, significantly slowing down the process and increasing the risk of mistakes. And while online card payments now benefit from increased security thanks to the implementation of strong customer authentication (SCA), customers now have to take extra steps to verify the ownership of their accounts. Customers are more likely to abandon their transaction when faced with either scenario.

Instant bank payments remove these barriers. Customers don’t need to type in their details to make a payment, saving time and eliminating the risk of human error. SCA is also built into instant bank payment flows, making the process simpler for the consumer. Each of these factors reduces friction, making it easier for customers to complete their payments.

Greater safety and security

At a time when many fintech firms continue to grapple with fraud, providing a good experience means providing a safe experience. Still, traditional payment methods remain vulnerable. In Europe, fraudulent card transactions were valued at €155million in 2020. Three quarters of those losses were the result of card not present (CNP) fraud, where scammers use a consumer’s card remotely to make a fraudulent payment.

As these figures suggest, cards in particular are problematic from a security perspective. Customers must share or store details to make a payment, exposing them to fraud if their information is stolen. In these cases, merchants don’t just suffer from chargebacks, but also from reputational damage and a loss of consumer trust.

By leveraging the security of open banking, Instant bank payments keep that from happening. Providers like TrueLayer typically prepopulate payment details, so unlike cards, they’re never shared or stored. This ensures customers’ data and privacy are kept safe and secure. SCA also ensures that customers verify their identities for each transaction, further reducing the risk of fraud.

Throughout Europe, instant bank payments are an effective way to create a fast, safe and secure customer experience.

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Why Bitcoin Still Matters

This week, the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has plummeted with billions of dollars lost. The crash is hitting investors all over the world and the rapid declines wiped out two years of financial gains overnight.

Some attribute this to inflation, rising interest rates, and the Ukraine conflict. I believe it is a combination of things, that are mostly related to crypto things like the Terra (LUNA) collapse a month ago, the SEC investigation of Binance and its BNB coin, Coinbase’s dropping stock price and rumors of possible bankruptcy, the recent failure of Celsius, and several other things. Everything has created a perfect storm, making investors very nervous.

Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency and it accounts for almost 45% of the market. Bitcoin’s price has plunged, losing over 65% of its value since its November 2021 high of over $69,000 for a single coin. Today that price is just over $20,000.

Though volatile, over the last decade the crypto market has shown tremendous durability, with each reset resulting in price-market capitalization growth and rapid innovation.

The amount of money invested in Bitcoin makes it difficult to think that digital currency could one day become obsolete. Over $30 billion was invested in crypto startups just last year, nearly four times the previous record of $8 billion in 2018.

Hundreds of new companies have created blockchains, the underlying ledger system on which Bitcoin is based. But many industry “experts” predict the coin’s demise. Earlier this month, 26 concerned technology experts wrote an open letter to the U.S. Congress urging “a critical, skeptical approach toward the industry.”

No one knows what the future holds, but Bitcoin still matters.

In January 2014 Marc Andreessen wrote “Why Bitcoin Matters,“ an article in the New York Times explaining the importance of Bitcoin:

“Bitcoin is a digital bearer instrument. It is a way to exchange money or assets between parties with no pre-existing trust.”

In his article, he outlines Bitcoin’s benefits are very low transaction fees, no credit card fraud risk, and it can be used in countries where the banking system is not well developed.

Last week at Consensus 2022, Edward Snowden talked about money and privacy and his involvement with Zcash. Out of everything that he talked about, one thing stuck with me:

I use bitcoin to use it. In 2013, bitcoin is what I used to pay for the servers pseudonymously.”

Using Bitcoin to buy things was not always the case, but these days you can buy an awful lot of things in different ways with Bitcoin.

You can purchase goods from Amazon with Bitcoin, using a third-party service called Purse. With Purse a customer selects the item he or she wants to buy on Amazon, copies Amazon’s URL, and pastes it on Purse. Purse completes the transaction and gives customers up to a 15% discount on Amazon’s price.

Major retailers and high-end brands have also been jumping into the crypto and Web3 space. Gucci is the latest luxury brand to accept crypto payments in-store. In March, the fashion label Off-white started accepting payment with six cryptos in its stores in Paris, Milan, and London. LVMH’s luxury watch brand Hublot released a limited edition collection that could only be purchased using Bitcoin.

It’s not just where you pay with Bitcoin, but how. Both Visa and Mastercard have partnered with cryptocurrency providers to introduce crypto payment cards that convert digital currency into traditional money. Early in the year, Visa said that customers made $2.5 billion in payments with its crypto-linked cards in its fiscal first quarter of 2022.

Bitcoin can be very important for micropayments, embedded payments, and machine-to-machine transactions. It might not look that way right now, because of the high fees and slow transaction times, but as Layer2 technologies ramp up that’s going to change.

Imagine your car with its own wallet paying for its insurance, parking, tolls, and a car wash. By 2030, about 95% of new vehicles sold globally will be connected and this value pool is expected to reach $450 billion.

According to BitInfo, the average fee for a Bitcoin transaction in 2022 was around $2, making it not only expensive for purchases less than $1 but also more expensive than a credit card even for larger payments.

Some people already use bitcoin as a currency, and nearly 20% of all adults in the United States say they’re likely to make a purchase using crypto, according to a recent report by PYMNTS. But most people and businesses don’t because of its volatile nature.

Technologies like the Bitcoin Lightning Network will change both fees and times, costing only a few cents to send Bitocin and making transactions near-instantaneous.

In a bull market, everybody thinks they’re a genius.

For those that want to invest, you need to proceed with caution. This reminds me of the “Athens Stock Exchange Crash of 1999” when people with no understanding of capital markets (farmers, blue-collar workers, etc.) invested everything they owned to randomly buy stocks, borrowed money to invest, and ended up losing their shirts.

That’s exactly what happened with two friends of mine in the crypto market. Fortunately, they were not financially ruined, but they lost everything after the Terra-Luna crash. When they started investing in 2020, they invested only in altcoins, because they wanted at least triple-digit returns. Buying some altcoins along with your Bitcoin will always give you better returns than a Bitcoin-only portfolio. But, having a portfolio consisting of only new altcoins, is a sure way of losing it all when the market changes.

Keep in mind that you are likely to lose money if you’re looking for short-term gains. Start thinking about “Dollar Cost Averaging,” and stop thinking in terms of days, weeks, and months and start thinking in terms of years.

For example, buying $100 of Bitcoin every month for 3 years starting 3 years ago would have turned $3,600 into $9,783 (+171%). When you consider that we’re currently almost 70% down from Bitcoin’s all-time-high in November, that return is amazing.

Investing this way requires that you continue to buy even in a bear market, regardless of the short-term losses. The reason this works so well is that even though your investment stays the same (eg $100), you accumulate more BTC when prices drop. In this sense, dips are a great opportunity.

To everyone that thinks that crypto is dead, remember that Bitcoin is a survivor.

The metaverse may represent Bitcoin’s thriving survival. Cryptocurrency is a prominent way of payment for anything from online sports betting to Web3 game platforms like Roblox, and Bitcoin is the most common mode of exchange. Though fiat money will almost certainly continue to be accepted, companies such as Nike, Puma, Gap, and other major brands have been developing new imprints and products in the metaverse over the last six months. The rise of these worlds means that paying with altcoins will likely rise and benefit the ubiquitous Bitcoin.

Bitcoin has come a long way since its start and has a long way to go. It represents an opportunity for anonymity and legitimacy in online purchases and an alternative to nationally-manipulated money.

by Ilias Louis Hatzis is the founder and CEO of Kryptonio wallet.

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Alt Lending Week ended Ended 17th June 2022

UK mortgage lending underwriting has grown old and tired

Gerard Lyons who I believe would have made an excellent candidate for governor of the Bank of England rather than the less than impressive Andrew Bailey makes the point that PM Boris Johnson’s comments on the housing market last week were unlikely to be effective. He suggests that mortgage lenders should consider  reducing the huge deposits that first time buyers a forced to come up with which means that many quite eligible and high earning couples are stuck in rented accommodation where they are unable to move onto housing ownership. This has a drag effect on the whole of the market. Lenders refuse to accept a strong track record of rental payments as evidence of trust. They should reconsider or some bright spark  should come up with an insurance product to cover part of the risk. The security of the property is after all the secondary source of repayment after the earning power of the owners. In the Uk we have priced mortgages incorrectly for years. Time for a rethink.

EU resort once more to move financial business from London to less attractive locations within the protectionist Bloc.

This is a story that doesn’t want to go away and paints a woeful picture of the mindset of EU institutions who are constantly thinking up new ways to undermines London as a financial sector. US banks are showing some resistance to these moves and for very good reasons. None of the continental centres have the same depths of liquidity technical and business expertise as London  has or Zurich has for that matter, Ultimatelt forcing European companies to use European banks to process transaction will cost European clients more and limit their ambitions. This doesn’t  seem to matter to the bureaucrats in Brussels whose only thoughts concern punishing Britain for having the temerity to reject the EU outright. There are three major reasons why London is preferred by New Yorkers. Firstly we speak the same language (yes it still matters) secondly we think more like the Americans and thirdly London is more fun. There is another reason Banking and finance are creative businesses. Not much creativity over the other side of the channel.

Another tale of unrelenting Hubris in London valuations.

My first reaction to this story was to wonder who Bank of London group was. Turns out it is a unicorn that has raised money on a valuation of over £ 1 billion. Not bad for a start up but apart from holding nine patents and promising to “transform the very fundamentals of banking” it looks to me like another possible piece of snake oil salesmanship. I wish them all the best but I’ve seen it all before. The company has net assets of £ 21,3 of which £13 million is in cash, and made a £ 48k loss in its first published accounts. Its founder is a technician as is its chairman and its board contains Lord Mandelson one of Tony Blair’s old mates. I am sorry but these valuations are ridiculous. Also what are the fundamentals of Banking?  Technology doesn’t change them or they would already have changed by now. The start up space looks very crowded with highly speculative ventures.

Howard Tolman is a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London,We have a self imposed constraint of 3 news stories per week because we serve busy senior  Fintech leaders who just want succinct and important information. For context on Alt Lending please read the Interview with Howard Tolman about the future of Alt Lending and read articles tagged Alt Lending in our archives. Daily Fintech’s original insight is made available to you for US$143 a year (which equates to $2.75 per week). $2.75 buys you a coffee (maybe), or the cost of a week’s subscription to the global Fintech blog – caffeine for the mind that could be worth $ millions.

Digital Blockchain Budgeting Accountability and Tracking Project Launched by SIMBA and USAF

After securing a $1.5million contract with the US Air Force (USAF) in 2020, and several expansions in 2021, the blockchain-as-a-service firm SIMBA Chain has been awarded a seventh contract with the air service branch. The new deal tasks SIMBA Chain with the creation of a blockchain-based system for tracking and monitoring the USAF’s movement of funds and supply chain quality and management.

Named Digital Blockchain Budgeting Accountability and Tracking (DiBaT), the project involves the tokenisation of every dollar within USAF’s supply chain budget and the recording of fund movement across billing centers, purchasing departments, and suppliers.

DiBaT leverages SIMBA Blocks’ custom multi-chain blockchain platform to keep track of and audit funds in a safe, zero-trust, tamper-proof blockchain, enabling USAF management to see where money is being used and how it is presently positioned within the allocation and payment system. Additionally, it will enhance supply chain visibility to demonstrate readiness and increase visibility and transparency in the materials being acquired.

“DOD’s budgeting process can create mismatched incentives for military departments and their field commands, leading to less efficient execution of strategic goals. DiBaT will bring greater transparency to actual expenditure of resources, identifying execution vs intent mismatches. Even better, it will not alter any current budget flexibility. ” says Jeff Curtis, director of defense and supply chain at SIMBA Chain.

Besides increasing trust and providing audit-like mapping of dollars via tokenised spending, SIMBA Chain’s solution will 1) rapidly determine if parts are coming from or being made in China in an earthquake zone, 2) identify if a supplier no longer manufactures a part, 3) detect if parts are coming from an area where human capital is being exploited, and 4) identify potential high-risk supplies.

This will enable portfolio-based management of DoD acquisition programs, enhance digital budgets to include real-time tracking of actual costs, and establish Free Cash Flow incentives while documenting savings by allowing commanders or departments to use a portion for immediate priorities, among other benefits.

SIMBA Chain stands out in solving market imperfections around supply chain and financial management. The firm’s seventh engagement with USAF under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative accentuates its position as the “go-to” platform for the US Department of Defense in blockchain-related matters.

  • Francis is a junior journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

Appletree Digital Commerce To Offer $5Billion eCommerce Grants to One Million African Small Traders

E-commerce company Appletree Digital Commerce has launched its ‘Taking One Million African Traders Online’ (TOMATO) solution in an effort to address the lack of opportunities available for African youth.

Appletree provides end-to-end global commerce business-building tools to merchants in order to allow them to accept payments and enable commerce capabilities. Its TOMATO solution will enable this to happen on a much wider scale by funding part of the process.

According to The African Development Bank, Africa is home to 1.2 billion people who live among 36 of the world’s 40 youngest countries. Of this figure; 420 million are aged between 15 and 35 years old.

Figures show that the continent’s youth population is projected to double in size to over 850 million by 2050, with between 10 and 12 million young people expected to enter the workforce every year.

However, only three million formal jobs are created annually – showing the need to teach young Africans to think entrepreneurially and take firm and deliberate steps to support small businesses.

While existing business models are unable to sustain the projected growth in Africa’s young population, a vast number of opportunities can be found through the targetted application of the internet.

According to The World Bank, growth follows the internet; and studies reveal that gross domestic product (GDP) per capita growth is 2.7 to 3.9 per cent higher after the introduction of broadband.

Where it doesn’t create whole new businesses, broadband connectivity can lower costs and increase returns. In developing nations, a 10-percentage point increase in broadband reach translates to a 1.35 per cent increase in GDP.

In response to this; Appletree has created a global network of cherry-picked technology partners to create a digital ecosystem with which they aim to take at least one million African traders online, estimating that it costs, on average, $5,000 for an SME to set up an e-commerce solution that could actually deliver results.

Realistically, this is a price that most African small traders can’t afford. So in an effort to offset the price, the e-commerce company hopes to raise $5billion over the course of the next 10 years to then be able to offer $5,000 in grants for e-commerce solutions to one million African traders.

Nigel Daura, Managing Director of Appletree Digital CommerceNigel Daura, Managing Director of Appletree Digital Commerce
Nigel Daura

Nigel Daura, the company’s managing director, said: “We came across some alarming statistics which inspired us to think differently about how we could provide practical solutions to help young Africans to realise their entrepreneurial potential.

As a first step, the company worked with Zimbabwean individuals and businesses to compile ‘Africa’s Best Jobs Crowdfund Prize Draw’ to raise $263million while simultaneously creating new business opportunities for 38 lucky winners.

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

Five More Members Join FinTech Australia’s Corporate Partnership Programme

Five new corporate partners have joined FinTech Australia‘s ever-expanding corporate partnership programme.

The new Gold tier partners to the country’s national fintech association’s ecosystem partnership programme include the innovation and venture capital partner of ANZ Bank, 1835i and OneSpan, the digital agreements company.

Ecosystem partners include the technology consulting firm Endava, cybersecurity companies Palo Alto Networks and banking services and digital identity and cybersecurity company Thales.

The addition of these five companies follows the association’s April 2022 announcement that insurance specialists ii-A, enterprise technology company Oracle Australia and the business process management solutions provider WNS had also joined as gold tier partners.

April’s ecosystem partners also included the business certification and efficiency specialist BSI Group, corporate advisors Latimer Partners, customer experience organisation Probe CX and AI-powered eKYC and AML compliance platform Jumio Corporation.

A lot of names, with a lot happening in the last five months for FinTech Australia, but what does its programme actually set out to achieve?

The association describes itself as a ‘member-driven organisation’, setting out to ‘build a strong community, and foster connections while supporting innovation and regulation’.

Partners, including the five that have been announced this week, can expect to leverage the association in a collaborative way to expand their customer base, their insight into one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, and their professional network with other likeminded organisations operating in Australia.

FinTech Australia's head of strategic partnerships Rehan D'AlmeidaFinTech Australia's head of strategic partnerships Rehan D'Almeida
Rehan D’Almeida

Speaking on the addition of its latest members, FinTech Australia’s head of strategic partnerships Rehan D’Almeida describes the global interest in Australia’s fintech industry as “red hot”, and how the association is in “an ideal position to help convert this into deeper connections and potential partnership opportunities.”

Stating that the company is “pleased” to join the programme, 1835i’s managing director Ron Spector adds that “we believe there are many opportunities for partnership, and we look forward to taking a more active role in this growing ecosystem.”

Noting how it’s already helped a number of Australian banks and financial institutions to mitigate fraud risk, digitise internal and consumer-facing agreement processes, and comply with industry regulations, OneSpan’s country manager Nigel Stewart added that “we look forward to partnering with FinTech Australia to enable organisations to deliver secure and trusted digital experiences through collaborations with Australian fintechs.”

Likewise, Endava shares in the excitement of joining the programme, with the company’s principal industry consultant David Marsh adding: “We’re excited to have partnered with FinTech Australia and look forward to helping Australia’s fintech and financial institutions leverage the latest technologies to compete on the global stage.”

Identifying how collaboration and sandboxing between established banking and fintechs is driving innovation and competitive advantage, Steve Manley, regional vice president, ANZ at Palo Alto Networks, added: “Through this partnership, we hope to encourage the Australian fintech community to adopt and leverage cybersecurity measures to mitigate current risks while preparing for new security risks associated with innovations.”

With its foot in FinTech Australia’s door, Thales’ SVP of banking and payment services in Asia, Michael Au, says that the company is “uniquely positioned” to meet the needs of fintechs down under, adding that “we are already bringing innovative solutions, sustainable product options and rapid deployment programs to many fintech organisations and welcome the opportunity to work with more customers in Australia.”

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

Plenitude Launches Plenitude ClientSight to Help Businesses with AML, KYC and CDD

Plenitude, the financial crime, risk and compliance specialist has launched Plenitude ClientSight, a comprehensive, cloud-based Client Risk Rating (CRR) solution.

CRR is a key control for all anti-money laundering (AML) regulated firms which forms part of an effective risk-based approach. CRR determines the level of know your customer (KYC) and client due diligence (CDD) that needs to be performed, and the level and frequency of ongoing monitoring activities across the client lifecycle. The implications of a weak or non-compliant CRR methodology are visible in the significant enforcement actions against financial institutions taken by regulators globally over recent years. The consequences of getting it wrong can also directly impact a firm’s bottom line if clients are assigned an unnecessarily higher risk rating that may present additional CDD/KYC and ongoing monitoring requirements with associated costs.

To address this industry challenge, Plenitude has developed ClientSight with a comprehensive CRR methodology that meets the regulatory requirements of key global markets and provides full coverage across a wide spectrum of risk themes including: money laundering; terrorist financing; sanctions violations; proliferation financing, bribery and corruption and tax evasion.

Through ClientSight, financial institutions, fintechs and professional services firms are able to assess the inherent financial crime risk of both individuals and entities with key risk indicators, and sources monitored and updated as part of the subscription service, to ensure ongoing compliance. The inbuilt sanctions and PEP screening module which is optional, also enables screening of clients and their ultimate beneficial owners and legal representatives based on up-to-date international sanctions and PEP lists.

The launch follows the deployment of ClientSight to HLB, with member firms from Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America already using the solution.

Commenting on the launch of ClientSight, Marco Donzelli, CEO of HLB International, said: ‘’Plenitude has been an affinity partner of HLB since 2019. Multiple HLB member firms use Plenitude ClientSight and value the firm as an industry thought leader.”

Dr. Antonio Ghaleb, HLB International, Qatar, said: “Plenitude and its professional team have offered us an effective and efficient tool to perform a risk assessment for our existing and potential clients. Using ClientSight enables our compliance team to comply with the rules and regulations and meet the AML requirements in Qatar. On top of that, screening individuals and companies are the main advantages that allow our money laundering reporting officer to assess the natural and legal person’s profile, to identify if they are linked or exposed to any international sanctions.”

Asad Choudhary, Plenitude partner, commented: “We are delighted to announce the launch of ClientSight which we believe will help firms address the challenges associated with developing and maintaining a regulatory compliant and effective CRR methodology and solution. ClientSight builds on our existing suite of cloud-based regtech products with full integration with Compass, our country risk rating solution. “

Pedro Arevalo, Plenitude senior executive and ClientSight product owner, added: “ClientSight also significantly reduces the costs associated with the development and maintenance of an inhouse solution and access can be enabled immediately through the web portal or API to feed existing systems. We are already seeing a strong demand for the product and look forward to deploying it across multiple sectors.”

  • Francis is a junior journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

Americans Scamper To Sell Failing Crypto Currencies Amid Industry Crash

Amid the industry-shaking crypto crash, Los Muertos has identified the cryptocurrencies that American sellers are desperate to shift. 

The community-driven NFT project scoured online search trends to establish the cryptocurrency that each US state wants to sell the most.

Shiba Inu had the highest number of states wanting to sell the cryptocoin with a total of nineteen states, including Florida, Nevada, New York and Tennessee.

Shiba Inu was one of the most affected coins in the recent crypto market crash, tumbling from the £0.00002034 it was enjoying as recently as 12 April to an astonishing £0.000006695 this week (recorded at the time of writing).

However, it has been predicted that the coin will rebound and rise to $0.00015 in 2023; albeit an optimistic view.

Bitcoin was the second most searched cryptocurrency to sell in America with seventeen states searching to sell Bitcoin more than any other cryptocurrency, including Oregon, Kansas, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

A total of eight states want to sell Dogecoin the most, the third-highest number in the research, including Hawaii, Minnesota, Wyoming and Delaware.

In the last week, Ethereum has crashed by more than 15 per cent, leading it to be four American states’ most searched cryptocurrency to sell, with states being Maine, California, Louisiana and Georgia.

Cardano was also the most popular cryptocurrency to sell in only three states – New Mexico, Utah and New Jersey.

Los Muertos describes its findings as an “insight into where various cryptocurrencies are potentially being sold from across America,” stating that “it will be interesting to see if these findings will be reflected in future prices.”

  • Tyler is a Fintech Junior Journalist with specific interests in Online Banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.