B2B Domestic Payments Forecast To Exceed $54 Trillion by 2023

https://thefintechtimes.com/b2b-domestic-payments-forecast-to-exceed-54-trillion-by-2023/

The transaction value of B2B domestic payments across payment methods is forecast to exceed $54 trillion in 2023; up from $49 trillion in 2021.

This is according to new data from Juniper Research, which predicts a growth of 10%; reflecting a slow recovery in business activity following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The research identified that while many businesses are now operating at pre-pandemic levels, the longer-term economic consequences of the pandemic are still restricting value growth. As such, leveraging payments automation to reduce manual work and boosting small business cashflow will be critical to recovery.

Domestic Payment Methods Shifting as Digital Takes Hold

The new research found that the need to automate B2B payments at scale is leading to a fundamental shift in the way payments are made. The research forecasts that the volume of B2B domestic cheque payments will fall by 30% globally between 2021 and 2023, with cash payments falling by 11% over the same period. The need to automate payments means a shift towards more easily automated payment types, such as card and instant payments.

Nick Maynard, Lead Analyst, Juniper ResearchNick Maynard, Lead Analyst, Juniper Research
Nick Maynard, Lead Analyst, Juniper Research

Research author Nick Maynard explained: “The pandemic has accelerated the transition away from traditional payment types, with growth focused on instant payments and card payments. This transition will be important for automation, but will take some time, given the established nature of these processes.”

Instant Payments – Fastest-growing B2B Domestic Payment Method

The research found that by 2023, global instant payment transaction volumes in the B2B domestic channel will grow by 56%; the fastest of any single payment method. The research identified the launch of instant payment schemes that can carry additional remittance data as having significant potential for simplifying the complex B2B payments ecosystem. However, the report acknowledged the uneven state of instant payments scheme roll-outs as a critical limiting factor, with Europe moving much faster than North America.

  • 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.

https://thefintechtimes.com/b2b-domestic-payments-forecast-to-exceed-54-trillion-by-2023/

This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 19/10

https://thefintechtimes.com/this-week-in-fintech-tft-bi-weekly-news-roundup-19-10/

In The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup this Tuesday, Zopa Bank unveils a $300million pre-IPO funding round while David Curneen joins EML Payments.

Job moves

Payments provider Paya has named Michele Shepard as chief commercial officer while Balaji Devarasetty joins as chief technology officer. Darrell Winfield, Paya’s chief information officer will focus on Paya’s long-term innovation agenda and product roadmap, in addition to further developing relationships with key clients and prospects across Paya’s verticals.

David Curneen David Curneen
David Curneen joins EML

EML Payments has welcomed David Curneen to the newly created role of group chief operating officer. Most recently, he was Digicel Financial Services‘ group CEO for 32 Caribbean, Central American and South Pacific markets. He will drive and implement EML’s strategic plan, Project Accelerator.

Financial infrastructure API platform Fidel API has unveiled three executive appointments to support its significant growth in response to a record year. Kevin Akerman joins as VP of global strategic initiatives, Mounir Mouawad is VP of payments and emerging products while Carlos Vilhena is named head of engineering.

Meanwhile Mettle, the NatWest-backed business account, has appointed Andrea Himmelbaeur as the company’s first culture and people lead. She joins from fintech Arcus where she was director of people operations and will focus on people-focused strategies.

The API Ratings Agency (TARA) has named four members to its board. In addition to David O’Neill, CEO of APImetrics, members now include Brian Costello of the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence and Don Thibeau, formerly of the OpenID Foundation. Also joining is John Musser, founder of programmable web and API science and Lorinda Brandon, VP of software development at BetterCloud.

Finally, Laurel Powers-Freeling has joined Moneybox, the saving and investing app, as independent non-executive chair. She provides strategic counsel and governance oversight. Last year, Moneybox raised £38.8million in a Series C investment round.

Funding and investments

Tala has unveiled a $145million Series E fundraise led by Upstart with additional participation from the Stellar Development Foundation. New investors Kindred Ventures and the J. Safra Group also joined the round. Tala will use the investment to accelerate the rollout of its new financial account experience. It also plans to grow its team across Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, India and the US.

Money management app Plum has secured new funding to drive the company’s expansion. The first close of $14million is part of an anticipated $24million Series A. New investors dmg ventures and Ventura Capital join previous Plum backers Global Brain, VentureFriends and 500 Startups.

PlumPlum
Plum

Digital savings account Chip has closed the biggest equity crowdfund ever held on Crowdcube. The fintech has raised £11.5million from 12,954 investors. Chip raised £1million in under 10 minutes and hit £8.6million in under 48 hours. Following the crowdfund, the company added 6,500 new investors, growing its shareholder community to more than 23,000 and making it the second biggest fintech investor community in the UK.

Zopa Bank announces a $300million pre-IPO funding round led by Softbank. Chimera Abu Dhabi, IAG Silverstripe, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, NorthZone and Augmentum Fintech also joined the round. Since its launch in June 2020, Zopa has attracted £675million in deposits for its fixed savings accounts.

Company updates 

Tradeshift says its virtual credit card product Tradeshift Go is on track to process $2.5billion in charge volume this year. That’s a sixfold increase from 2020. With Tradeshift Go, employees don’t have to be cardholders on a commercial card account to access payments. While budget managers can issue pre-approved, encrypted virtual cards.

Football West Ham

Football West HamDigital asset wealth management platform YIELD grows assets to $339million and sponsors West Ham United. Over the third quarter of 2021, YIELD doubled its managed assets. YIELD will feature throughout the Hammers’ communications in order to significantly broaden the reach of digital assets to mainstream audiences.

Encompass Corporation, a provider of know your customer solutions, has expanded into North America, with office headquarters based in New York. Alex Ford has been appointed president of North America in order to drive business growth. Joining Alex in the US will initially be six senior staff members before increasing to more than 10 by the end of 2021.

International fashion group OTB joins the AURA Blockchain Consortium as a new founding member. Aura Blockchain Consortium was created in April 2021 by luxury players LVMH, Prada Group and Cartier. The Consortium aims to address challenges of communicating authenticity, responsible sourcing and sustainability in a secure digital format.

Engagement banking platform provider Backbase Backbase has been awarded Best-in-Class in the latest Aite Matrix Report: US Digital Banking Point Solution Providers, published by advisory firm Aite-Novarica Group. Aite-Novarica evaluated the overall position of Backbase against eight of the other most significant digital banking solution providers.

Launches

Tata Consultancy Services has launched an enhanced TCS BaNCS Marketplace – an innovation hub for customers to collaborate and adopt cutting-edge partner solutions. The Marketplace offers an ecosystem of solutions and APIs from fintechs, insurtechs, risktechs, regtechs and other innovators.

Partnerships and collaborations

Open payments gateway Volt has paired up with  European payments platform Worldline. Worldline will propel Volt’s payment method across Europe while expanding its global footprint into high-growth markets. Earlier this year, Volt raised a $23.5million Series A.

Cybersource, a Visa solution, and payments firm EBANX have forged a new partnership for payments in Brazil. Cybersource’s clients around the world will be able to access EBANX’s payment solutions for Brazil, and offer their customers in the country the ability to pay online for products and services with local payment methods.

Dua Pay

Dua PayAllianceBlock has teamed up with dua to support the creation of dua.pay, a remittance transaction and payment platform leveraging DeFi to build digital banking service for international deposits. Transactions via dua.pay will require $DUA, a stablecoin cryptocurrency backed by ALBT AllianceBlock’s digital asset.

Meanwhile Railspay partners with Parpera to launch Australia’s first BaaS product in market, after closing $95million. The partnership gives Parpera access to Railspay’s range of embedded finance capabilities, allowing it to rapidly launch and scale financial products in Australia and then globally.

First Internet Bank and ApplePie Capital have signed a loan purchase agreement to provide financing solutions for franchisees. Under the partnership, First Internet Bank expects to purchase $100million of ApplePie’s growth-oriented ApplePie Core conventional loans by year end.

Finally, global payment network Veem has collaborated with Visa. Now, more than 400,000 of Veem’s customers will have access to a new SMB Visa card programme and digital money movement capabilities through Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time push payments platform.

  • Claire works across print and online as Editor for The Fintech Times.

https://thefintechtimes.com/this-week-in-fintech-tft-bi-weekly-news-roundup-19-10/

Women in Fintech: YAP Global, Cake DeFi, Xero, the Access Group, TPAY MOBILE, Capitalixe

https://thefintechtimes.com/women-in-fintech-yap-global-cake-defi-xero-the-access-group-tpay-mobile/

This October at The Fintech Times we are championing the fantastic females in the fintech industry. Around 30% of the fintech workforce are women, and we want to spotlight those who have not only made it to the top, but those who have overcome hurdles, bulldozing a path for the women to follow.

Here we hear from Samantha Yap, Bettina Hosp, Anna Curzon, Andrea Dunlop, Sahar Salama and Lissele Pratt as they share how they paved the way for others to follow.

Samantha Yap, CEO and Founder of YAP Global

Samantha Yap, CEO and Founder, YAP GlobalSamantha Yap, CEO and Founder, YAP Global
Samantha Yap, CEO and Founder, YAP Global

“Actions speak louder than words, and I believe by staying focused on building up my firm, I am paving the way for women and minority groups to do the same in the DeFi, Crypto, and PR space. While stereotypes exist in varying degrees, I have never let my race or gender limit what I am able to achieve, and I feel others should not as well.

“Although it is not an external ironclad policy, my team and I will always go the distance especially for panel discussions and press coverage, to ensure that deserving speakers get equal opportunities to shine as thought leaders. This is often more challenging as it takes more time, as we want to weigh all factors and select by merit, but also want to take the chance to elevate those who are underrepresented.

“Internally, for hiring and training employees, we at YAP Global have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, and recognition is given fairly based on effort and achievements. I also embrace global diversity by leveraging the different skills sets and experiences of team members, which is a big part of how I’ve been able to expand from five to 20 plus employees from Australia, the UK US, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Germany, and India in just one year.

“In essence, let the quality of your work and accomplishments, and your values as a person define you rather than your race or gender, and you will steadily and surely empower underrepresented groups.”

Bettina Hosp, VP, Operations of Cake DeFi

Bettina Hosp, VP, Operations of Cake DeFiBettina Hosp, VP, Operations of Cake DeFi
Bettina Hosp, VP, Operations of Cake DeFi

“I think it’s difficult to take credit for something like this. In an ideal world, every employer is a fair employer — one that ensures that hires are made based on the person’s ability to do the job, and not because of their race, gender or religious beliefs.

“At Cake DeFi, our ‘rope ladder’ consists of progressive initiatives and policies that enable a safe, friendly, and highly flexible work culture. Everyone at Cake DeFi has the opportunity and the right to express their opinions and they are encouraged to share them openly and often, which enables us to understand ways in which we can improve to better support them. We also like to think that we empower our people to forge their own paths to leadership, not simply by working hard and smart, but also by expressing unique ideas that have the ability to positively impact their team and the company. You could say that we operate on a meritocratic basis, with zero tolerance for any work-based discrimination and prejudice.”

Anna Curzon, Chief Product Officer, at Xero

Anna Curzon, Chief Product Officer, at XeroAnna Curzon, Chief Product Officer, at Xero
Anna Curzon, Chief Product Officer, at Xero

“One of the biggest challenges many women in technology face is the unconscious gender bias that comes with being a minority in your field. In my early years, I often struggled to connect with my colleagues because I was a single mother and everyone on the leadership team was male. I often didn’t see people like me around the table. Relationship building and business was done in the evenings over drinks and it was inaccessible to me.

“As I learned more about the importance of diversity and inclusion and the evidence published about the benefits, the more confidence I grew. I realised the lens I was providing was really important and that being the odd one out in the room meant that you were probably the most valuable because of your unique perspective. It’s irrefutable that having a gender balance leads to better business outcomes, greater profitability and value creation so I do everything I can to ensure my team realises the same thing and can reap the benefits of being afforded equal opportunity.

“I remember when one of our long-serving female product leaders came to me because she was so convinced that we needed to build a cash flow forecasting tool to help our customers. I backed her conviction, purpose-led drive and data-orientated proposal to make a real difference to the lives of our small business customers and as it happened, once the global pandemic hit, cash flow became even more critical for the survival of businesses. Because our product leader foresaw this need and we supported her in meeting it, we were able to provide the first iteration of our short-term cash flow tool to all our businesses and partners at no cost during the pandemic.

“We need to create business environments where everyone can thrive. This is particularly important in the tech sector, where women and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have historically been shut out of this world. This means enabling people to think critically and understand their privilege and how they can actively use it to ensure everyone feels included. Today, over 60% of the global leadership team at Xero are women and I’m proud that 50% of my product leadership team are women. We have programs in place to foster an inclusive and equitable workplace and this changes everything. For example, it is a requirement for any leadership role at Xero to undertake unconscious bias training and this year we also launched our D&I Leadership training so that all our managers know how to create and lead diverse teams. This is one of the reasons why Xero is included in the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the second consecutive year. I also believe it’s why my team is the most effective and highly performing team I have worked with in my career.

“Thinking of this important cause, I’m reminded of a quote from Michelle Obama‘s Mum in her book, Becoming – “Bullies are scared people hiding inside scary people” – and that’s why this year, I’m committed to offering everyone in my team the opportunity to undertake Ally Training so we can better understand our individual power and privileges – and learn how to use them for the benefit of others. We are all responsible for creating a safe environment for those around us and I encourage everyone to do an ally training course — it will not only change your life but also the lives of those around you.”

Andrea Dunlop, Managing Director of the Payment Division at the Access Group

Andrea Dunlop, Managing Director of the Payment Division at the Access GroupAndrea Dunlop, Managing Director of the Payment Division at the Access Group
Andrea Dunlop, Managing Director of the Payment Division at the Access Group

“I recognised that in my early career I had been focused on my own career, juggling the challenges, and learning and struggling to navigate the ever-increasing politics of senior leadership.  I started to look for help, and it was in that process of looking for help myself that I started to see the same themes come up time and again.  The types of experience that I was having were common among many women, I wanted to make a difference not only within my own company but much wider within the industry but just didn’t know how to affect that change.

“I talked through these challenges for women with Tony Craddock, Director General of the Payments Association and we determined that networking for women was a major gap.  We agreed to hold an event and invite several people from across the industry, both men and women, to attend with the purpose of asking women what they want out of networking events as a fact-finding mission. This started, I think, a process within me on how I could use my position to raise awareness of the challenges faced by diverse groups, not just within my own company but across the industry and make a difference. To a large extent, in the early days of this process it was about creating events focused around key areas to help develop people, and to promote mentorship and sponsorship across the industry.

“The events helped us to create on-going and self-supporting platforms which helped people build confidence, share knowledge and insight.  At these events, I became increasingly confident to talk about my own challenges and struggles and it opened a door to meet new people and to widen my impact on supporting others.  From that first networking event to now, I mentor men and women not only within my own organisations but across industry and even back to my old days of serving in the Military,  supporting  groups likes  Ex Military Jobs, Ex Military Careers, Jobs for Ex Military Personnel which is focused on helping servicemen and women to make the jump from the military into civilian roles. In fact one of my mentees is ex-military and he is doing so well in his career in banking now – it’s very inspiring.

“There is no doubt that the way in which I help to make a difference has evolved, and while I still do many gender-led initiatives and belong to many groups like European Women Payments Network (EWPN), I also act as a sponsor for many helping people helping navigate into new roles. I’m also a co-founder of Investfem helping women to raise funding for their businesses.  I have also used my experiences to help people through grievance processes in the industry, leveraging my own personal experience of being involved in grievances as a manager, and also my own experience of raising grievances.  These can be lonely and stressful situations for many people and I’m pleased to be able to listen and give pragmatic support to help people navigate very difficult situations.

“I do rather unashamedly leverage my network to help others, and there is nothing better than helping to lift others up and see people move on to bigger and better.

“I will always be grateful for those first steps I made and the people that helped kickstart my journey which in turn has enabled me to create my own power network of supporters. I have to say that I personally don’t feel I would be where I am today without all those people that have supported me and continue to support me today.  It has taken some time to create that rope ladder for others but it is definitely there in new networking organisations, support networks, and the skills and experiences that I share and I’m proud to do this every day.”

Sahar Salama, CEO of TPAY MOBILE

Sahar Salama, CEO of TPAY MOBILESahar Salama, CEO of TPAY MOBILE
Sahar Salama, CEO of TPAY MOBILE

“There have been positive strides in the drive for workplace diversity, yet for both women and overlooked minority groups, there are still huge inclusion gaps. The question remains, how do we actively change this? How do we encourage a broader, more diverse demographic to show an interest in and enter the fintech world?

“In my experience, the latter is answered by not only focusing on attracting talent but on retention strategies for diverse backgrounds. At TPAY MOBILE, we work hard to promote an inclusive work culture, ensuring resources are purposely allocated to the recruitment of all groups to fill senior positions, and not only encouraging but empowering any group who faces pervasive disadvantage in the broader society to stand up for themselves and what they believe in.

“The lack of parity in the fintech space is partly driven by the belief of some that women, as well as racial and ethnic groups, lack the aptitude or skills to succeed in the fintech industry, particularly at a senior level. This underestimation can be extremely demotivating for those working in fintech and even lead to them walking away from their role, and indeed, the workforce.

“To overcome this obstacle, I have implemented anti-discrimination policies to endorse diversity (like training employees in implicit bias) and accountability practices (like implementing a formal reporting system for discrimination). TPAY MOBILE promotes a culture of effective policy compliance across the organisation. I also ensure that as a company, we offer diversity mentoring and professional development programs to help minority groups who want to gain more experience and move up the career ladder in fintech. It is important to have role models to look up to – but these are not always easy to find.

“At TPAY MOBILE, the message that I pass on to those below is to have confidence. It’s important for people who are breaking into the fintech market to believe in themselves and speak up for their ideas. Regardless of experience, each one of us always has something valuable to add and contribute.”

Lissele Pratt, Director and Co-founder, Capitalixe

LisLis
Lissele Pratt, Director & Co-founder, Capitalixe

“This year I implemented entry-level traineeships at Captalixe, specifically targeted at young women who want to work in finance. Gender diversity is extremely low in this field, and these roles are still very much male-dominated. According to a study carried out by the Financial Conduct Authority, women only make up 17% of FCA-approved individuals. I think it’s imperative to give young women the opportunity to thrive in a finance career. Our first entry-level trainee starts this month, and I plan on making more traineeships available as we continue to grow and scale our business. 

“Capitalixe does not require any of our recruits to hold a bachelor’s degree. I’m incredibly hands-on with training my team and believe that anyone can thrive in this industry through hard work and dedication. As a child, I moved around a lot. Before the age of 15, I had lived in Thailand, Spain and England. Because of this, I missed out on a lot of schooling. I wasn’t the biggest fan of school work and knew that university and the traditional schooling route wasn’t for me. Because of this, I understand that, regardless of what educational background you have, it’s still possible to succeed if you are passionate. If I wasn’t given the opportunity to work as a Junior FX Broker at the age of 18, I would likely not be where I am today.

“I’m also a huge advocate for mentoring. I hold monthly mentoring meetings with each and every one of my team, where we discuss their progress and whether they would like additional training. I also mentor two young women interested in entrepreneurship. At present, I hold monthly video calls with them to discuss their goals, ambitions, and I answer any questions they may have. Then, we set out monthly goals and work towards achieving them. These goals could be anything from creating user personas to confidence-building activities like writing down daily affirmations and also working on their needle movers in the business. Recently, one of my mentees launched her own business. It’s been brilliant to see her idea turn into a reality, and I’m excited to help her with its future growth.

“Finally, I recently launched a mastermind group for aspiring entrepreneurs on WhatsApp. Here, we focus on collaboration, brainstorming and peer accountability. People challenge each other to set strong goals and hold them accountable for achieving them. This has proven to be really successful in inspiring these young aspiring entrepreneurs.”

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

https://thefintechtimes.com/women-in-fintech-yap-global-cake-defi-xero-the-access-group-tpay-mobile/

Equator: Why Wealth Managers Must Invest in Tech

https://thefintechtimes.com/equator-why-wealth-managers-must-invest-in-tech/

Garry Hamilton, Chief Growth Officer and founder at Equator, shares his thoughts on why wealth managers must invest in tech. 

Garry Hamilton, Chief Growth Officer

Few sectors have escaped change during the Covid-19 pandemic, but wealth management was met with a perfect storm of issues that will forever alter the industry’s face.

A toxic cocktail of miss-selling, an extended hangover from the previous decade’s financial crisis, and the rapid shift to online and self-managed investments have dealt blows to a historically resilient profession.

Throw in a hefty compliance and paperwork burden, along with a legion of wealth managers reaching retirement age, and it’s fair to say many firms have been buckling under the pressure of a resourcing crisis.

And yet, while all of these events leave the future uncertain, a considerable growth opportunity is within reach. For the time being, at least, consumer borrowing is at its lowest since 1994, with global savings swelling by $5.4tn. In the UK, more fortunate households were able to put away more disposable income during lockdowns, while the recently ended furlough scheme protected millions of incomes.

While we should remember that the pandemic has taken its toll on some people, others will seek ways to grow their wealth. Modern digitally enabled and reputable wealth businesses are in the perfect place to capitalise. But to succeed, they will need to secure funding to drive the digital transformation of their business.

PE’s role in the future of wealth management

There has never been a better time for wealth management organisations to seek funding for growth. Opportunities to bring scale and drive profitability abound – and Private Equity (PE) has the expertise to deliver.

PwC notes that in the last quarter of 2019, mergers of wealth management firms topped $26bn across 50 deals. The deal value is strong for the wealth business, typically courting over seven times EBITDA.

Consolidation and acquisition in the PE space will likely continue to grow. With so much dry powder in PE, the opportunities for consolidation and profit with wealth management businesses are clear. 

The technology that will drive a digitally-led future for wealth management requires investment, and that’s the apparent role of PE in this space.

As part of an in-depth study into wealth management digital transformation, we considered the strategy behind investing in a tech stack that’s fit for purpose.

In broad terms, a successful approach is built on eight actions:

Be diligent – Without a strategy in place, acquisition can smash together disparate technologies and actually undermine efficiency until problems are fixed. A robust digital assessment of core business platforms, ERP systems, and sales and marketing solutions is needed to determine the required planning and budgeting.

Harness AI – Cutting-edge technology is already addressing many wealth management pain points, from admin tasks and managing risk to scaling. It’s therefore imperative to assess current AI adoption and plans for its future use.

Beware roadblocks – Technology allows wealth management firms to find new opportunities to improve staff effectiveness and customer experience. Reviewing business needs and obstacles will help firms align existing or new tech to the needs of internal users and external customers.

Optimise CRM – Measuring marketing activity on any scale is tough without having an integrated CRM strategy in place. Integrated, cloud-based CRM is the most effective tool for consolidation and extracting value. The correct configuration will allow the business to exploit automation and drive new fee-earning opportunities.

Choose wisely – At the heart of any web offering is the Content Management System (CMS), the core platform for growing and managing digital presence. Make this a part of due diligence to discover what tech is needed now and for the future.

Be creative – Content is key: research from CMI shows that 72% of marketers believe a focus on content has increased their number of leads. Regularly delivered through careful distribution channel management, thoughtful content can prove a powerful lead generator and loyalty builder.

Improve search – A comprehensive search strategy is a crucial lever for customer acquisition. Get it right, and you have a platform for growth. As you grow and consolidate, ensure that scale and localisation are realised in a strong presence on Google – a strategy linked directly to content production.

Level-up analytics – With a properly implemented setup, a business learns and can adapt its digital operations in real-time. It’s critical to ensure all CRM efforts are measurable and accountable, so web analytics must be robust and accurate. This minimises waste and brings efficiency to sales and marketing operations.

Grasping the opportunity

In a post-COVID world, the opportunity afforded by PE is fast becoming an obligation. Many businesses that cannot scale digitally without funding risk being left behind in a sea of fast-paced, tech-agile competitors as a golden opportunity slip from their grasp.

Conversely, a combination of Private Equity and wealth management points to a bright future. Placing a comprehensive digital transformation strategy at the core of investment ensures value creation, makes a business more easily scalable and delivers a thorough competitive advantage.

As a result, tomorrow’s wealth manager will be digitally enabled and customer-centric.

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

https://thefintechtimes.com/equator-why-wealth-managers-must-invest-in-tech/

Latest Fintech Jobs New This Week: 18/10

https://thefintechtimes.com/latest-fintech-jobs-new-this-week-18-10/

Are you on the hunt for a new gig? Well, you have come to the right place. This week, we’re bringing you three brilliant (and interesting) roles that are available on Fintech Times Jobs. So if you are looking for a new opportunity, get applying…

Senior Analytics Manager, eClerx

This role on eClerx ABU’s (Analytics Business Unit) leadership team is a unique opportunity to work across diverse problem statements, mentor a team of deeply passionate data experts, have direct access to C-level leaders and their priorities, and have a measurable impact on growth and value-creation. Over the past few years, they have continued to focus on delivering top-quality analytics services and growing their analytics footprint within existing and prospective clients.

eClerx’s Analytics team plays a crucial role in communicating the value their solutions and services can offer in solving the business problems they uncover with existing and prospective clients. In this role, you will collaborate with members of the delivery, sales, and account management teams to discover how clients can derive value from their data, and work to make data more useful across organisations. The ideal candidate is self-motivated and will have previous work experience in the analytics, big data, and/or consulting services industry. He or she will be able to lead by example in taking a consultative approach to discover unarticulated analytical needs of customers and connecting the dots between customer requirements to our solution, service, and consulting offerings, as a trusted advisor to the client.

Assistant Manager, Data Management & Analytics, Deloitte

As a technical practitioner within the field of Data Management and Analytics, this is your opportunity to become a part of a thriving, industry-leading Technology team. As a multinational organisation, Deloitte can offer you the breadth and depth of experience you are looking for. They can provide you with access to state of the art technology, labs and the opportunity to work with clients on high-impact matters, both in the UK and abroad.

This is a multi-disciplinary role that requires the ability to provide outstanding levels of service in a fast moving, constantly changing and flexible environment. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 2-5 years of proven success in enterprise application support and customer service. A technical understanding of hardware, software, development and production support methodologies is desired.

The successful candidate will act as an application support expert for the Data Management & Analytics application environment and be actively involved as a support resource in the incident management process. The candidate will be expected to solve technical issues in an application environment and infrastructure while working with 3rd party vendors for support as needed. The candidate will be expected to contribute to the infrastructure design to drive continuous improvements as well as be accountable for system availability and performance required to meet business needs.

Head of Talent, MarketFinance

At MarketFinance, their vision is for entrepreneurs to have the time to build the world we all want to live in. Frictionless access to funding helps make that happen. So, they provide entrepreneurs with the right business finance to solve their cash flow issues that get in the way of progress.

This is an exciting opportunity to join a well funded FinTech scale-up as their Head of Talent Acquisition, with the opportunity to have immediate impact and build a world-class talent function and team. After an incredibly successful Series B, MarketFinance has gone from strength to strength and achieved huge growth in terms of team size, bottom line, product offering and additional funding. As a result they are looking to double down on this recent success and grow their team by circa 100 heads over the next 12 months and towards Series C.

Reporting into the VP People, the Head of Talent Acquisition will set and drive the hiring strategy. You’ll be the talent acquisition expert in the company; driving growth through best practice and building a world-class TA team who will support managers in finding and attracting the best talent out there. They take real pride in hiring high performers who share their values and who want to progress their careers.

  • Rebecca works for our job board partner, Jobbio. Based in Dublin, she has been working as a writer for six years, creating engaging and insightful digital content. She has worked in Dublin, New York and London, and has a Masters Degree in Marketing from DIT.

https://thefintechtimes.com/latest-fintech-jobs-new-this-week-18-10/

Searching for Mana: A Unicorn in the Fragmented World of Payments | Claire Gates, PPRO

https://thefintechtimes.com/searching-for-mana-a-unicorn-in-the-fragmented-world-of-payments-claire-gates-ppro/

The consumer is driving up economic growth at an unprecedented rate around the world, and Claire Gates discussed with Lloyd Wahed in this week’s Searching for Mana podcast how the ease of paying for what you want to buy is a key part of that.

Claire is the Chief Commercial Officer at the $1B+ valued PPRO, a global provider of payments infrastructure that facilitates responsible credit transactions, making its own revenue from the merchant with the consumer protected and hassle-free.

Claire exudes energy and enthusiasm and talks animatedly about her own journey which has been opportunistic and focused as she started out with a degree in chemical engineering but through an early exposure to sales and a passion for international travel and business, has taken her to a prominent position driving the commercial success of this market leader.

She is a strong advocate of the need for leaders to have a vision for their businesses and their teams and being able to help everyone understand where they fit in. Claire is customer-facing and coaching her people with a clarity of purpose and dynamism. “Find what you enjoy” is vital advice for career development, and she describes her appreciation for effective salespeople and culture, and in particular listening as a key skill in commerce.

Balancing an international commercial career, an infectious enthusiasm for making the most out of opportunities, being a mother and staying fit is an inspiring combination.

https://thefintechtimes.com/searching-for-mana-a-unicorn-in-the-fragmented-world-of-payments-claire-gates-ppro/

Money20/20 Meet Ups: Verimatrix in Amsterdam

https://thefintechtimes.com/money20-20-meet-ups-verimatrix-in-amsterdam/

One of the first in-person events to launch after the global pandemic, Money20/20 Europe took place in Amsterdam during late September 2021. During the show, The Fintech Times caught up with a number of companies to chew the fat over what the last 18-months looked like for them and what the key focus was now.

This time, Neil Michie – Director of Product Management at Verimatrix, sat down with Editor-in-Chief Gina Clarke, to discuss more.

Verimatrix helps power the modern connected world with security made for people. They protect digital content, applications, and devices with intuitive, people-centered and frictionless security. Leading brands turn to Verimatrix to secure everything from premium movies and live streaming sports, to sensitive financial and healthcare data, to mission-critical mobile applications.

https://thefintechtimes.com/money20-20-meet-ups-verimatrix-in-amsterdam/

Money20/20 Meet Ups: ACI Worldwide in Amsterdam

https://thefintechtimes.com/money20-20-meet-ups-aci-worldwide-in-amsterdam/

One of the first in-person events to launch after the global pandemic, Money20/20 Europe took place in Amsterdam during late September 2021. During the show, The Fintech Times caught up with a number of companies to chew the fat over what the last 18-months looked like for them and what the key focus was now.

This time, Jackie Barwell – Director of Fraud Product Management at ACI Worldwide, sat down with Editor-in-Chief Gina Clarke, to discuss more.

ACI Worldwide delivers the mission-critical real-time payments software solutions that enable corporations to process and manage digital payments, power omni-commerce payments, present and process bill payments, and manage fraud and risk.

https://thefintechtimes.com/money20-20-meet-ups-aci-worldwide-in-amsterdam/

Miami Dolphins Sign Sokin to Three Year Deal

https://thefintechtimes.com/miami-dolphins-sign-paytech-sokin-to-three-year-deal/

Sokin, a global payments provider, has announced a new multi-year partnership with the Miami Dolphins. The three-year deal is Sokin’s first substantial sponsorship agreement in North America and its first with an NFL team.

During the season, Sokin will invest in activations that inspire fans to achieve their MoneyGoals – whether its saving for new merchandise or supporting local community projects – through the benefits of Sokin’s global payments and international transfers.

“Not only does this partnership symbolise Sokin’s intent to revolutionise the global remittance landscape, but it also furthers our portfolio of working with forward-thinking organisations who understand the importance of using tech innovation to help improve the lives of those around us,” added Vroon Modgill, CEO of Sokin. “The US’ diverse migrant culture is a very important market for Sokin, and we wanted to create a payments solution which genuinely supports this demographic, and their payments needs. As a result, we’ve ensured our Global Currency Account has a tremendous footprint on an unprecedented scale compared to other providers in the market. This means we can truly help those people looking to for a better way to manage their money.

“We are thrilled to join forces with the Miami Dolphins as we continue to grow throughout the Americas to help millions of sporting fans and followers around the world have greater access to global payments saving them time and money.”

“The Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium are global brands, and we are excited to join forces with Sokin, a progressive and dynamic organisation on their first NFL partnership,” said Jeremy Walls, Senior Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer of Miami Dolphins. “Miami’s culture, demographics and innovative ethos fits perfectly into Sokin’s comprehensive strategy to helps fans and companies achieve their financial objectives.”

Over recent months, Sokin has been confirmed as the Official FX Global Payments Provider for well-known football clubs Arsenal, Everton, Fulham FC and AS Monaco.

Sokin launched its Global Currency Account in August 2021 to give consumers and businesses access to a fairer and more transparent payments system by removing barriers that have historically hindered access and financial inclusion.

Sokin is the first subscription-based global payments solution with unlimited international transfers and cost-effective currency exchange in 38 currencies to over 200 countries and territories for one fixed monthly fee, without hidden charges.

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

https://thefintechtimes.com/miami-dolphins-sign-paytech-sokin-to-three-year-deal/

Mashreq Launches NEOBiz To Develop the API Ecosystem

https://thefintechtimes.com/mashreq-launches-neobiz-to-develop-the-api-ecosystem/

Mashreq, a financial institution in the UAE, has become the region’s first bank to launch an active Application Programming Interface (API) developer portal to encourage the development of new and innovative digital journeys and experiences for consumers.

The platform, which is already active, allows developers from businesses and fintechs to browse APIs, test them in a secure environment and consume Mashreq’s APIs for use in their own applications.

Mashreq’s first flagship API product is NEOBiz Connect, which gives licensing authorities the capability to allow a customer to send a full NEOBiz application directly from their own digital platform, in one click. NEOBiz is Mashreq’s exclusive digital bank for SMEs, which has revolutionised SME account openings and helped to support the growing SME ecosystem in the UAE.

Fernando Morillo, Senior Executive Vice President and Group Head of Retail Banking, at Mashreq Bank, said, “APIs are at the heart of today’s digital revolution and have transformed the traditional customer experience across the world. They provide vital functionality for companies as they seek to develop new and innovative digital journeys for customers, as well as more personalised experiences. Signing up to the Mashreq API Developer Portal will allow users to browse our available API products, and encourage development, engagement, and API innovation. These provide a crucial environment for the advancement of the digital economy and in transforming the digital banking landscape in the UAE.”

The creation and launch of this active API developer portal – already populated with API products – represents a new chapter in fintech innovation. Not only will more APIs become regularly available, but companies and customers will have the ability to bring their own API ideas to the portal, creating an ever-richer ecosystem of API innovation and adoption.

Vikas Thapar, Head of Business Banking and NEOBiz, said, “The launch of the Mashreq API Developer Portal is a reflection of Mashreq’s dedication to fostering and promoting continuous innovation within the banking eco-system. Mashreq will be the first bank in the region to have an active API platform that will enhance the user experience in innovative ways. Now, with NeoBiz Connect opening a business banking account with Mashreq will be very fast and seamless.”

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

https://thefintechtimes.com/mashreq-launches-neobiz-to-develop-the-api-ecosystem/

Digital Transformation’s Red Headed Stepchild: Customer Engagement

https://thefintechtimes.com/digital-transformations-red-headed-stepchild-customer-engagement/

By Matt Gillin, CEO, Relay Network

If we were to ask a random sampling of any 100 CEOs in the financial sector if their business would benefit from more customer engagement, I’m certain all 100 would reply with a resounding “Yes!”.  If we were to ask how they are going about solving their engagement problem, all would answer with some version of “we are investing heavily in digital transformation.”

And yet, if we asked them whether digital transformation was yielding the results they expected, I believe most would probably look away. That is because the digital transformation playbook often discounts for today’s most critical business challenge: Solving the customer engagement problem. In fact, IDC analysis estimated that 70% of digital transformation initiatives do not achieve their desired business outcomes.

According to Gartner’s 2021 View from the Board of Directors survey, board members rate enhanced customer engagement as the top outcome expected from digital business investments. Customer engagement has never been rated this highly in the past. And yet, ironically, banking customers are feeling less engaged than ever. In fact, according to Gartner, eighty-five percent of your customers feel are not receiving value. IDC analysis estimated that 70% of digital transformation initiatives do not achieve their desired business outcomes.

The new battleground for banks is not how digitally transformed a business has become but how effective that business is in building meaningful digital relationships with its customers. At Relay, we’ve been helping organizations digitally engage with their customers for eleven years, and the primary lesson we’ve learned is that all business objectives ultimately roll up to a single, universal outcome: creating customers for life — it’s the best single investment a business can make, because a customer for life is deeply invested in a brand, they feel the brand adds value to their world, and, ideally, they can become a brand advocate. To create customers for life we need to build trust. After all, how can we create customers for life if they don’t trust us?

The problem is that the methods and tools we use to engage with customers today are not intended to build trust, which makes them less and less effective at driving business outcomes.  For example, automating emails, customer relationship management, personalized web portals, AI chatbots and omni-channel communications are all components of a digital transformation tech sack, but they aren’t designed to build trust.

Back in the day we earned customer trust through one-on-one engagement: Your banker would call you to congratulate you on your new job and offer to help you enrol in direct deposit or guide you towards a banking product better suited for a return on your savings once your nest egg had grown beyond your liquidity needs. In the digital age, financial institutions are trying to bridge that gap with personalized SMS messages, or pop-ups and banners in web portals and mobile apps. But in doing so, they are forcing the customer to come to them, making the customer do all the work and, really, cheapening the meaning and value of the word “engagement”.

Engagement should be personal, right? There’s a big delta between something personalized and something personal. Do clickthrough rates really map to customer lifetime value? And when they do click-through, did they achieve the desired outcome? A user logging in to check their balance is, of course, an essential digital capability — but it’s transaction, not an engagement. Transactional interactions are often errantly referred to as “engagements”, whereas true engagement should be meaningful — how customers feel known, educated and good about their relationship with their bank.

What we’ve learned is that true engagement is the only way to establish trust with customers. The litmus test for true engagement is that it mustn’t be purely transactional. That is, true engagement doesn’t merely benefit some business outcomes, like increasing revenue and reducing costs, it is mutually beneficial for a business and its customers — anticipating and meeting their needs like feeling known, feeling like their time is valued — not making them navigate a maze of links and forms to get something done.

To address this need for true engagement, we’ve created a digital channel through which businesses and customers can meaningfully engage. It’s a 1:1 feed containing the experiences that are most relevant to them. In our world, experiences don’t merely map to outcomes like revenue and cost savings, we believe that fostering and deepening customer relationships through education and information are just as important as getting them through the next most revenue-generating hoop. We’ve partnered with several of the top financial institutions in the United States to identify the key mutually beneficial experiences that foster customer trust in banking. These experiences are natively built into our software, making it easy for multiple product silos to integrate the delivery of those experiences natively with their existing tech stacks. We can start driving more of the highest value experiences that matter to you and your customers at the highest rate on day one.

When I say our goal is to create customers for life, I mean that not only for our clients, but for us as well. We think of our customers as partners, and our goal is to enable our partners to continue creating customers for life through mutually beneficial true engagement.

https://thefintechtimes.com/digital-transformations-red-headed-stepchild-customer-engagement/

Climarket Combines Climate and ESG To Meet Increased Demand From Institutional Investors

https://thefintechtimes.com/climarket-combines-climate-and-esg-to-meet-increased-demand-from-institutional-investors/

Climate Solutions, the climate-focused capital raising, and strategic advisory firm, has announced the launch of Climarket, the online marketplace for institutional investors seeking climate and ESG-focused investment opportunities in private markets.

The launch of the Climarket marketplace comes as a direct response to the rapidly increasing demand from institutional investors for higher returns and a greater impact.

To empower companies to raise capital at scale and pace in private markets, the digital platform connects banks, family offices, VCs, private equity funds, fund managers, and high net worth individuals with debt and project finance investment opportunities within Climate Solution’s five investment themes of energy transition, sustainable agriculture, net-zero real estate, water solutions, and the circular economy.

All investment opportunities are thoroughly pre-screened using Climate Solutions’ proprietary investment screening tool. The Climarket platform identifies which of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are advanced by each investment opportunity.

To scale the growth of vertical farming, biofuels, carbon capture, and electric vehicle adoption, the platform launches with over $175 million of secured green bond investment opportunities. Having publicly launched less than two months ago, Climate Solutions has already signed over $2.5 billion of equity and debt capital raising mandates with respect to energy transition and vertical farming.

Climarket is powered by Delio’s specialist private markets technology. Their digital tools are already used by more than 90 of the world’s financial institutions to offer investors compliant access to unlisted investment opportunities.

Climarket will expand to include Climate Solutions’ private market equity investment opportunities in the near future.

Simon Puleston Jones, CEO, Climate SolutionsSimon Puleston Jones, CEO, Climate Solutions
Simon Puleston Jones, CEO, Climate Solutions

Simon Puleston Jones, CEO of Climate Solutions, said: “Climate Solutions was founded to address an immediate global problem. Whilst institutional investors are increasingly committing to invest billions, or even trillions, of dollars in climate change solutions by 2030, where can they find quality investment opportunities in which to invest at such scale and pace? Climarket directly addresses their demand and brings much-needed transparency to private markets.”

Gareth Lewis, Chief Executive, DelioGareth Lewis, Chief Executive, Delio
Gareth Lewis, Chief Executive, Delio

Gareth Lewis, Chief Executive of Delio, added: “Our mission is to help financial institutions to unlock private markets for their clients. The interest in the impact space from both individual and institutional investors means that the launch of Climarket comes at a vital time, helping to satisfy investor demand and addressing the urgent need for action around climate change. We’re delighted that our technology will support Climate Solutions in connecting investors with companies that are making a positive contribution to the world.”

  • 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.

https://thefintechtimes.com/climarket-combines-climate-and-esg-to-meet-increased-demand-from-institutional-investors/

Fiat-to-Crypto Withdrawal Service Coming to NETELLER Platform

https://thefintechtimes.com/fiat-to-crypto-withdrawal-service-coming-to-neteller-platform/

The digital payments provider NETELLER has announced a new feature for its digital wallet that enables users to withdraw funds directly to a cryptocurrency address.

Users of the NETELLER service, which is part of the specialised payments platform Paysafe, will now find themselves being able to instantly convert and withdraw their fiat balance to an external cryptocurrency wallet. The launch follows the availability of the fiat-to-crypto withdrawal service for Skrill, Paysafe’s other digital wallet, in February of this year.

Using NETELLER’s cryptocurrency service, customers can convert 40 fiat currencies, including the Euro, US dollar, and British pound sterling, into interests in 38 different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC) and, most recently, Solana (SOL).

This withdrawal feature is already live in ten countries internationally including the UK, Chile, Canada, and Australia, with plans to roll it out in additional countries and add more cryptocurrencies for withdrawal in the future.

Jordan Stoev, Head of Crypto and Trading, Paysafe GroupJordan Stoev, Head of Crypto and Trading, Paysafe Group
Jordan Stoev, Head of Crypto and Trading, Paysafe Group

“With so much interest in the digital asset space right now we’re excited to announce this new feature for NETELLER’s cryptocurrency service, which is the latest in a series of new additions and enhancements,” said Jordan Stoev, Head of Crypto, Skrill and NETELLER, at Paysafe. “The new withdrawal feature saves both time and money spent on fees for our NETELLER cryptocurrency users by allowing them to move their existing fiat balance to a crypto address of their choosing.”

  • 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.

https://thefintechtimes.com/fiat-to-crypto-withdrawal-service-coming-to-neteller-platform/

Globacap: Are Innovative Fintech Firms Looking To Find an Alternative to IPO?

https://thefintechtimes.com/globacap-are-innovative-fintech-firms-looking-to-find-an-alternative-to-ipo/

Funding Circle led the way for fintechs in 2018 as it became the first company in the sector to be publically listed on the London Stock Exchange. Since then, a plethora of fintechs have followed suit hoping to find success, however, questions are starting to be asked whether a traditional IPO is the best way to list one’s company or if going public is even the correct decision to begin with.

Alexander Green is the Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder at Globacap. Green leads business development with institutional partners including VC and PE funds. Green is focused on solving problems for clients and delivering innovative capital markets solutions for Globacap’s customers.

He spoke with The Fintech Times to discuss how an IPO listing may not be in a fintech’s best interests, and that remaining private and in control is a better choice, especially now more options are available to companies who want to generate capital, offload shares, or even exit, without the need to go public. Despite this, Green explains some companies would still want a public listing. For them blockchain tech could provide new routes to liquidity:

Alexander Green, Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder at GlobacapAlexander Green, Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder at Globacap
Alexander Green, Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder at Globacap

Given the number of UK fintech companies we’ve seen choosing to IPO lately, you might be forgiven for forgetting the first ever public fintech listing – Funding Circle – took place less than three years ago, in Autumn 2018.

Since then, there’s been an explosion of fintech companies looking for the liquidity (and status) that comes with a high-profile IPO. But anyone who follows the trials and tribulations of tech IPOs will know that they’re not without their risks. Funding Circle, for all the impact it had as the UK’s first fintech IPO, struggled on its first day of trading, a situation mirrored famously by Deliveroo earlier this year.

This could be why Wise, 2021’s biggest fintech public offering, didn’t choose a standard IPO, but chose a direct listing instead. Though its shares are still tradeable on the London Stock Exchange, Wise’s listing represents a move away from the traditional, something that might tempt other fintech organisations to do the same.

Recently, we conducted some research into how UK finance leaders view the prospect of IPOs, and our findings reflected an overall desire to ease off on the rush to public listing. A vast majority (87%) of CFOs and finance directors say that they intend to keep their company private for as long as possible and hold off on an IPO. However, this drops to 84% among leaders in the finance sector, and just 78% among leaders in tech.

In the shadow of a year of decidedly mixed IPOs, the time is right to be opening a conversation around alternative routes. As IPOs continue, we will ultimately see more of them fail, but this is because of the inherent faults in the traditional process, rather than that of the company.

Fintech companies represent the cutting edge of UK industry, but so many continue to choose the old, traditional route to liquidity, when they should be empowering themselves to stay private and stay in control.

Wise’s direct listing is the first small step towards breaking down the traditional routes to liquidity, but it still comes with its own risks. IPOs, direct listings and company buyouts are no longer the only options thanks to technological advancements in private capital markets. More options are now available to companies who want to generate capital, offload shares, or even exit, without the need to go public.

And what about the future? Blockchain technology will enable tokenisation of securities and be able to list on exchanges without the requirement of going public. The world outside of finance is starting to understand the benefits of physical asset tokenisation – and it’s also the direction of travel for many financial processes.

Frustratingly, the majority of innovative fintech companies looking to publicly list will actually be using blockchain tech, either as a fundamental part of their business offering, or to support the running of their organisation. Now that these platforms exist, why haven’t they made the leap to start using blockchain in their capital raises and liquidity rounds?

Fintech companies will always see an IPO as a goal, particularly for the buzz it can generate and prestige it can offer. However, what unsuccessful IPOs have taught us is that there are clear, fundamental issues with the traditional process and that companies deserve a wider range of liquidity options.

With the advent of blockchain tech, companies are now able to take back control and gain a new route to liquidity. It won’t be long before companies start to fully utilise the advances brought by blockchain technology, and at that point we’ll likely see a trend of more companies deciding to stay private and taking back control of their own liquidity.

https://thefintechtimes.com/globacap-are-innovative-fintech-firms-looking-to-find-an-alternative-to-ipo/

Women in Fintech: Creating a Rope Ladder with Mettle, INZMO, Dwolla, OBE, Goodbox and Tradeshift

https://thefintechtimes.com/women-in-fintech-creating-a-rope-ladder-with-mettle-inzmo-dwolla-obe-goodbox-and-tradeshift/

This October at The Fintech Times we are championing the fantastic females in the fintech industry. Around 30% of the fintech workforce are women, and we want to spotlight those who have not only made it to the top, but those who have overcome hurdles, bulldozing a path for the women to follow.

Here we hear from Marieke Flament, Meeri Rebane, Helen Child, Jackie Ward, Smita Gupta and Francesca Hodgeson as they share how they paved the way for others to follow.

Marieke Flament, CEO of Mettle 

Marieke Flament, CEO of Mettle

“There are three key areas of activity that I focus on to support women and minority groups in the workplace.

D&I programs within the organisation: I help to raise awareness and align the leadership team on the importance of diverse and inclusive teams, putting in place clear objectives to ensure our hiring processes are fit for recruiting diverse candidates.

“As an organisation, we use OKRs to measure progress and help the wider team stay committed and provide training to help raise awareness – for example, unconscious biases.

“I also stress the importance of role modelling (you can’t be what you can’t see) and try to encourage voices from across the business to share their stories.

“Mentorship: I’ve been lucky enough to be mentored and coached by amazing people, so I try to give back and do the same for others. At any point in time I mentor/coach between two and five people and try to dedicate at least one hour per month to each one. Currently, I mentor two BAME women and commit to spending at least one hour per month with each of them. I approach mentorship like coaching ‘What do you need help with?’ and build it from there. I often find that I play a support role or ‘a cheerleader’ – helping others build their confidence and believe in their abilities. I tend to recommend books to read, make intros and share experience and insights on what I’ve learned (often the hard way)!

“Advocate for others: I am often contacted by peers in the tech industry or headhunters looking for great people, and I always take the time to think and refer people from my network – minorities in particular, as I think those are the ones that are not talked about enough. I like to refer good people and be a voice for younger/stellar generations.”

Meeri Rebane, co-founder & CEO of INZMO

Meeri Rebane, co-founder & CEO of INZMOMeeri Rebane, co-founder & CEO of INZMO
Meeri Rebane, co-founder & CEO of INZMO

“Insurance has traditionally been a male-dominated industry with women underrepresented particularly within leadership positions. There is also a lack of diversity among Insurtech co-founders and even more so in Germany where INZMO is based (German insurtech Friendsurance found only 4% of insurtechs were founded by women and a 2019 Boston Consulting Group study found only 4% of German startups have female founders).

“At INZMO we are committed to ensuring gender diversity, and as a female insurtech founder I’m well aware more needs to be done to attract female talent to the sector. At INZMO we are really proud to have a 50:50 male/female split in our employee base and what’s more five of the eight leadership positions in the business are held by females.

“While we haven’t been specifically targeting women for the positions we’ve been hiring for – it has genuinely been the case that we are appealing to a strong number of extremely talented female candidates who want to work with us because of the number of women already at the organisation, and who occupy the most senior positions. The gender diversity of our organisation is often mentioned as one of the influencing factors for women applying to work here.

“However, we know that to improve the gender balance requires more than just attracting female talent but focusing also on retention and promotion strategies. We actively celebrate the female leaders in our business and we have clearly defined career development and support programmes. We also actively encourage our female leaders to regularly share their knowledge – both about the industry and being a woman in insurtech. We know having visible role models will have a substantial impact on our junior female colleagues. It sets the scene for their progression as well as the reality of the challenges and opportunities present in our sector and how best to navigate these.”

Helen Child, co-founder of OBE

Helen Child, co-founder of OBE

“There are no glass ceilings at OBE and we work hard to give our team the environment they need to thrive. In the past year, we have faced the same challenge as any company: remote working. Yet we’ve used this to inspire a new working model that suits everyone. 

“A large part of our culture comes from the international nature of OBE, which was founded to enable a global conversation and inspire the sharing of knowledge in Open Banking and Finance. We have spent years building up trust in the community, so are now able to draw on connections in every corner of the industry and from around the world.  OBE recently launched its first Campfire in Brazil with Mastercard, Accenture, the DIT, Central Bank of Brazil, and others. I’m extremely proud of the OBE team: it’s not often you can say you have launched in a country that you’ve never stepped foot in!” 

Jackie Ward, VP of Risk & Compliance, BSA and OFAC Officer, at Dwolla

Jackie Ward, VP of Risk & Compliance, BSA and OFAC Officer, at DwollaJackie Ward, VP of Risk & Compliance, BSA and OFAC Officer, at Dwolla
Jackie Ward, VP of Risk & Compliance, BSA and OFAC Officer, at Dwolla

“I’ve always tried to leave things better than I found them and I have worked through some interesting times. I remember pushing back on dress code issues (I had to make sure ‘skorts’ were the right length above the knee…unbelievable) and asking for more diversity and inclusion discussions. Early on in my career, the focus shifted to anti-harassment training. Not quite to the diversity side yet, but eventually to what made us different, sharing, understanding and celebrating those differences.

“Over the years I have enjoyed the focus on having more conversations around inclusion and equity. I think the next phase of DE&I (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) education in the FinTech industry will come in the form of discussions around age as we see a slight shift in the median age of team members. Can you imagine what we can do when we bridge that gap? Unstoppable.

“I’ve had the benefit and blessing of being at a few companies that were ahead of the curve with diversity initiatives, but I come from an industry that always seemed a little behind. Joining the FinTech community was a breath of fresh air! I literally was told one time a while back (and no, it wasn’t while in the military) that it was probably best not to make anyone uncomfortable by talking about my wife or having pictures of us out on my desk. I straight up said that is not ok and unless you can point me to a handbook that says this is true for all employees, I will not be following that advice.

“Through my tenure with that company we had many discussions about unintended disparity in health care benefits and other policies for same-sex marriage. Nobody intended to be discriminatory, but also nobody had pointed out the flaws in their then current policies. Until me! It wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it. Conversely, I had the benefit of a couple companies that so far exceeded expectations in the realm of diversity and inclusion that they left me far better than they found me. Dwolla has been one of those companies for me. I learned things I didn’t know I needed to learn and opened myself to more understanding. Just when you think you are inclusive and support diversity, you realise there is always room for growth.”

Smita Gupta, VP, Global Marketing, Tradeshift

Smita Gupta, VP, Global Marketing, Tradeshift

“I’ve always felt a sort of personal responsibility to take care of the people around me. Growing up in India, my father was always very generous to offer a helping hand or provide guidance to those who seeked it. He would tell me, “Knowledge is a piece of treasure; the more you share, the more you draw.” Seeing that giving spirit modelled so naturally, has shaped how I view my role as a leader at work.”

“Diversity and inclusion is incredibly dear to me, and it has been a privilege to have the opportunity to organise formal bias training and education, and showcase the power of outside perspectives. At my previous employer, I served as a global ambassador to the organisation’s women’s leadership program and hosted a monthly speaker series featuring external experts on everything from diversity to innovation, as a way to challenge and expand viewpoints.””While I’m a fervent advocate for workplace diversity and inclusion programs, the real work of pulling up those around us happens outside of a conference room.

“As a leader, I hope to have a positive impact on anyone’s life that I touch – whether that be through sharing experiences, mentoring or coaching, or looking out for new opportunities. I love to see people around me flourish. Throughout my career, I’ve seen incredibly talented women settle for roles that keep them behind the scenes due to a lack of confidence. When I spot untapped talent, I make a point to pay it forward by building those women up, showing the strength in vulnerability and helping them realise that they have the support system around them to advance their careers.

“I encourage women in technology to be deliberate in finding a mentor or sponsor. Like a customer life cycle, our careers have a growth cycle. It is invaluable to identify the people who can provide counsel through the growing pains and champion our success. But most importantly, I encourage women to share the treasure they’ve drawn along the way.”

Francesca Hodgson from Goodbox

Francesca Hodgson, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, GoodBoxFrancesca Hodgson, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, GoodBox
Francesca Hodgson, Co-Founder, GoodBox

“I don’t necessarily see it as a rope ladder, more just leading by example. I think it’s important to show up and treat people how you would want to be treated. Diversity is an important topic and we certainly still have a long way to go. We all need to make a conscious effort to be kind, open, welcoming and as business leaders we should build diverse teams. Certainly, we all have a part to play in continual improvement for the future.”

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

https://thefintechtimes.com/women-in-fintech-creating-a-rope-ladder-with-mettle-inzmo-dwolla-obe-goodbox-and-tradeshift/

Paul Marcantonio on the Current State of Open Banking in the UK

https://thefintechtimes.com/paul-marcantonio-on-the-current-state-of-open-banking-in-the-uk/

ECOMMPAY analyses the current state of Open Banking in the UK, and what needs to be done to educate consumers so businesses can feel the benefit.

Paul Marcantonio, Executive Director UK and Western Europe, ECOMMPAYPaul Marcantonio, Executive Director UK and Western Europe, ECOMMPAY
Paul Marcantonio, Executive Director UK and Western Europe, ECOMMPAY

In this guest-authored piece for The Fintech Times, Paul Marcantonio, the Executive Director UK and Western Europe at ECOMMPAY, details the current state of the UK Open Banking market and offers suggestions on how to educate consumers for the benefit of the economy.

The UK often leads the charge in fintech innovation and growth, and Open Banking is no different. Since its inception as part of the European PSD2 legislation in 2018, Open Banking has made it easier for consumers to manage their finances and for businesses to benefit from better payments solutions. Almost 300 fintech companies and payment service providers have joined the Open Banking ecosystem in the UK and with 102 of those live in the market, the number of people sharing their data through Open Banking has tripled since the start of the pandemic.

However, three years on almost half (48%) of UK consumers still find the concept of Open Baking confusing and only 14% claim to completely understand it. On the business side, just 36% of leaders said their company had adopted Open Banking before 2021, with bigger businesses more likely to have done so. Although, one in 10 (10%) business leaders said they still don’t know what Open Banking is or how it could help their business.

With the shift to cashless unlikely to slow down, there is a strong demand for payment options that are safe, secure, and convenient that Open Banking can provide. Businesses can enrich and personalise the customer experience to reduce pain points and benefit from faster payments. Open Banking provides a clear opportunity for real innovation from the fintech industry, but first, we need to understand the state of the UK market and what needs to be done to educate consumers so businesses can feel the real benefits.

The structure of the Open Banking market

By partnering with regulated banks, third-party providers (TTPs) can offer the consumer Open Banking services. Aggregators – the majority are Technical Service Providers (TSPs), but they can also be Payment Service Providers (PSPs) or stand-alone solutions – can work with variety of TTPs to establish better connections to the banks and provide a full scope of services. TTPs can have connections with up to 30 banks and some connections will be better than others. It’s the quality of those connections that is important, as competitors will also have this quantity and the trust of the consumer could be lost if they receive a data error from a bad connection.

To differentiate themselves PSPs can add other services such as payouts and enhanced fraud prevention technologies to their Open Banking offerings.

All TPPs have the same APIs and work with the same banks, this need to differentiate and provide a USP will push further innovation within the fintech market. However, as Open Banking is limited to the ability of the banks using it, they must focus on upgrading their APIs while also educating consumers on the benefits of what Open Banking offers.

Building trust with businesses and consumers

Open Banking may seem a daunting concept to both consumers and businesses. For consumers, giving access to personal financial information requires trust. Wider education is needed to share information and proof of Open Banking’s benefits. This will continue to be a gradual process but more communication on the licenses held, and permissions asked for, as well as giving visibility to the banks using the technology instead of the unknown TTPs will help build this trust with the consumers.

For businesses, choosing the right Open Banking provider is critical. With hundreds to choose from in the UK alone, it’s worth looking for an expert not just in Open Banking but one that understands the technicalities of payments, what the best results look like, and offers a high quality of service across multiple products. There are now hundreds of players within the Open Banking market, and if these TPPs wish to be trusted, they must provide the latest and easiest technology in their solutions to appeal to both banks and businesses. Furthermore, to provide the best service, they will also need to have expertise on payments, UX design, and quality control, as well as being proactive in understanding and combatting the latest fraud and scamming attempts.

It will likely take few more years of education, trust-building, and proof for Open Banking to be more widely accepted in the UK. With the increase in banking fraud and payments scams taking place, it’s easy to understand why businesses and consumers are wary of Open Banking. Ultimately, Open Banking’s benefit to the industry will become more evident as it spends more time within the market, giving rise to more acceptance and more innovations from providers. It should be seen as a long-term payment infrastructure investment, with the value of the Open Banking market set to reach $43.15 billion globally by 2026.

  • 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.

https://thefintechtimes.com/paul-marcantonio-on-the-current-state-of-open-banking-in-the-uk/

Coinbase Ventures Into the NFT Market – Trend Setting for Other Crypto Platforms?

https://thefintechtimes.com/coinbase-ventures-into-the-nft-market-trend-setting-for-other-crypto-platforms/

Coinbase has announced the launch of its marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Prospective users will be able to join the waiting list to use Coinbase NFT – a decentralised marketplace for NFTs that will make minting, purchasing, showcasing, and discovering NFTs easier for its users.

NFTs offer buyers the opportunity to own digital assets that are stored on the blockchain. NFTs have gained mainstream attention across the art, music and fashion industries, enabling creators to monetise their digital work and providing buyers with a unique and clear proof of ownership.

NFT trading activity is on the rise. It soared this summer, more than doubling between July and August 2021, with roughly 280,000 unique buyers and sellers by the end of August. High profile NFT sales include the £500,000 sale of the ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ NFT earlier this year.

Coinbase NFT will be a peer-to-peer marketplace designed to enable creativity. The initial launch will support Ethereum-based ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards with multi-chain support planned for the near future. The platform has been created to foster community and connect creators, collectors and fans. Users will receive a personal feed that will showcase their NFTs in one place, helping to connect them with like-minded fans or artists.

As part of Coinbase’s overarching mission to drive economic freedom, Coinbase NFT will empower creators and help to raise the ‘creator economy’ from being a smaller subset of the ‘real economy’ into a central driver of economic activity.

The Knock-on effect

Despite using blockchain, crypto exchanges have typically kept their distance from NFTs. In the last couple of years, NFTs have seen an unprecedented level of popularity, setting off alarms for crypto exchanges, making them wonder if it should be something to look at. Coinbase has finally taken the plunge, but what will this mean for the NFT market and how will other crypto exchanges respond?

Barron Solomon, CEO and co-founder of Solo Music said, “While established exchanges like Coinbase and Robinhood [rumoured] have come to the NFT space later than the industry’s most prominent platforms, their arrival is a promising sign for the future of NFTs. Crypto-curious people are likely to feel more comfortable starting their NFT research with entities they know and trust, with familiar platforms. Once they dip their toe into the NFT world, I’m confident that they will become interested in the space and look to platforms new or old that are offering unique NFTs specific to their interests. I think NFTs in the music and entertainment industry in particular will see massive engagement as fans and consumers become more familiar with engaging in the digital space. Ultimately, this will lead to mainstream adoption which benefits the industry as a whole.”

“Coinbase’s Coinbase NFT launch signals that the entire cryptocurrency market has fully embraced NFTs.” said Aubery Strobel, Head of Communications at Lolli. “For many, Coinbase was their first experience in buying bitcoin and other alt-coins. Now it will be, for many, their first on-ramp to owning an NFT. Next for this industry will be the integration of NFTs into a digital and physical identity across platforms, creating the beginnings of the metaverse.”

On the topic of the digital and physical identity Victor Hogrefe, CBO and Co-Founder at EonLabs, said, “A broader point here about NFTs is that their popularity shows we’re shifting from the real-world economy to the digital economy. It’s about changing how and what we value.

“It may not be a smooth ride for NFTs, though. The tokenisation of traditional assets has met with two massive obstacles:

  • The problem of connecting the asset with the token in a meaningful and secure way, thus preventing double-spending or other types of fraud (If I can tokenise a house, and sell those tokens to overseas investors, what is to prevent me from then also selling the house in a traditional way, thereby double selling the house?)
  • Securities laws. The problems of dealing with securities law, regulatory and jurisdictional issues make tokenisation of assets a pain and tend to erode the benefits of doing so at all.

“The low-hanging fruit of asset tokenisation is assets that already only exist in digital form, and this is exactly what we’ve seen with the rise of NFTs.”

María Paula Fernandez, Advisor to the Board of Directors at Golem Network said, “Coinbase have a proven track record of having one of the easiest crypto onboarding processes in the industry. Coinbase provided many options for getting the best use out of coins, but we never had anything like that for NFTs. OpenSea is good but they are not as widespread as Coinbase – they don’t have the know-how of what a user needs to the same extent, and how to capitalise on an increase of users through word of mouth.

“It would be great to see other crypto platforms follow suit but they would have to be mindful approach towards onboarding new technologies and new users – understanding the risks that come with this.

“I think Coinbase’s expansion is fantastic as we needed healthier competition in the space. No market should be dominated by a singular business. The expansion offers a new alternative for people, to change up what they had previously been used to and not go to that only option in the market.”

Anndy Lian, Founding Member of INFLUXO, said “The announcement that Coinbase is entering into the NFT market, coupled with FTX launching a Solana-based NFT marketplace, suggests strongly that NFTs are going to go mainstream in a big way. While the current dominant NFT marketplace OpenSea has seen up to 80,000 transactions a day its browser based wallet is not super easy to use at times and there have been security issues which have put people off. The Coinbase emphasis on usability, from initial minting to discovery of new and exciting NFTs, is a sign of the growing accessibility of the NFT market. Another sign of taking NFTs mainstream may be what Coinbase describes as a ‘personal feed’, blending social media and NFTs. Following Twitter’s rollout of profile NFTs and TikTok’s launch of its first creator-led NFT collection, TikTok Top Moments, this could be huge, especially if Facebook picks up on this NFT personalization trend and runs with it.

Coinbase’s reach will bring new users to the world of NFTs and whilst they will initially only use Coinbase as a means to trade and mint, the more confident they get, the more likely they will explore other platforms.

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

https://thefintechtimes.com/coinbase-ventures-into-the-nft-market-trend-setting-for-other-crypto-platforms/

PayNearMe and WePay CEO’s Share Their Predictions for the Future of the Fintech Industry

https://thefintechtimes.com/danny-shader-ceo-of-paynearme-and-bill-clerico-ceo-of-wepay-to-gain-their-insights-and-learn-about-their-predictions-for-the-future-of-the-fintech-industry/

The Fintech Times sat down with Danny Shader, CEO of PayNearMe and Bill Clerico, CEO of WePay, to gain their insights and learn about their predictions for the future of the fintech industry

Tell us more about your company

Danny Shader, CEO, PayNearMe

Danny Shader, PayNearMe: PayNearMe is a Payment Experience Management company. Our customers are billers and iGaming operators. We handle everything around their payment experiences to increase payment acceptance and reduce operating costs by enabling deep customer engagement and improved operational efficiencies.  

Bill Clerico, WePay: I co-founded WePay in 2008 with a mission to simplify payments. By 2014, the business evolved to deliver integrated, white-label payment solutions to ISVs and SaaS platforms, and in 2017, JPMorgan Chase acquired WePay. I love helping other entrepreneurs and am an angel investor and part-time partner at Y Combinator. I’m excited to have joined PayNearMe’s Board of Directors this summer and look forward to helping Danny, who has been a friend and mentor for many years, and his team take PayNearMe to its next phase of growth. Outside of work, I’m an avid pilot and love to ski.

What are the current trends you’re seeing in fintech at the moment?

BC: I see fintech taking commodity products like credit cards for college students and wrapping them with more value so that they’re not just a financial product. This innovation is disrupting the industry. The big banks have this very tough problem where they have enormous scale, but they are getting attacked by the startups that are going after niche business and building an order of magnitude better products.

DS: The biggest trend in our part of the world is the movement towards Payments 3.0 — using fintech to fundamentally transform payments. 

In commerce, the classic Payments 3.0 experience is Uber – you don’t even realise you are having a payment experience because it’s seamlessly wrapped in personal transportation. In the realm of recurring bill payments (one of our non-commerce domains), this experience can include smartphone notifications that take the thinking out of payment due dates and link customers directly to their unique payment flow without having to remember account information or passwords. In just a few quick taps, a consumer can make a secure payment with their preferred payment type.

This revolution in non-commerce payments is necessitated by the high customer expectations that have been set by commerce innovators like Uber. Today’s consumers expect modern bill payment options that are as convenient and frictionless as making an Amazon purchase or paying a friend with Venmo. For instance, consumers want more mobile-friendly options for how and when they pay their bills – with 38% saying if they had the option, they would be likely or very likely to use Apple Pay or Google Pay to pay bills; 27% would want to use Venmo. 

What innovation in the industry has you most excited?

Bill Clerico, CEO, WePay

BC: Personally for me, it’s the verticalisation of fintech. People are building great, highly-specialised financial solutions for smaller markets. For example, there’s a company called Mercury that is building a checking account for tech startups. There’s another company called Atob, which offers a credit card to long-haul truckers. You name it, there’s a company being built around serving the needs of niche markets in new ways. I think there will be 1000’s of these companies built over the next 10 years.

DS: Something profound is going to happen at the intersection of centralized and decentralized finance leveraging the wisdom of crowds. For example, I think the underwriting of risk could drop dramatically if the low cost of crypto/DeFi technology were used to enable the individuals aggregated at scale to properly price risk in the real world. Imagine, for instance, highly-efficient predictions markets for credit risk.

What are your predictions for the future of the payments industry?

DS:  Payments 3.0 will win. Product-led companies will ultimately prevail over the financially-engineered rollups that preceded them. Basically, in a world where everything was standardised and you couldn’t innovate, the winning strategy was to achieve scale economies by consolidating businesses and using that scale to compete on price. In today’s world where innovation can impact the costs around payments, that’s a horrible trap. The rollups don’t have the resources, systems, people or cultures to compete with the innovators. They’re literally playing different games.

I think, however, these changes may take longer to happen in financial services than they did in retail because financial services are so heavily regulated. That delay will provide some near-term air cover but the end game seems clear.

BC: Eventually the upstarts will flip the market in a big way, but it will take a long time. It’s really hard to switch providers, so upstarts aren’t taking business from the incumbents; they are growing from net new business. Meanwhile, the incumbents’ growth is stagnating. When the upstarts disrupt the incumbents’ customers and begin taking share away from them, that’s when it will flip.

What is the future of fintech going to look like?

BC: I think fintech becomes the modernisation engine behind software over time. Let’s say, for example, that I want to build software to make it easier for landlords to track tenants, get paid, pay taxes, etc. Why not give the software away for free and just be the backend bank handling all the payments. It’s all part of the same experience. I think there will be something like that for every type of business out there.

Crypto could be the future of fintech, but I’m not sure. Crypto is either the web in 1999, where everyone’s just selling to and speculating on each other and when the bubble pops, it all goes away. Or it’s mobile in 2009, where the iPhone is a new platform, and the world’s about to change in a really big way. It’s sort of hard to tell which one it is.

DS: Crypto is like Razzles – a candy and a gum. Crypto is a computing platform and a financial system. Those things have never been two sides of the same coin before, and it will be interesting to see how that unfolds.

Do you have any advice for budding fintech founders?

DS: Startups only fail if they run out of money or run out of heart. Your job as CEO is to make sure neither of those two things happen. If you assemble a team of motivated people who are capable of really listening and adapting, and you point them in the general direction of a big market – and you don’t run out of money and don’t run out of heart – you will find success.

First, start with an idea that excites you to the point you can’t sleep at night. Since things are only going to get harder as your brilliant idea bumps into market realities, the momentum of that excitement helps keep you going. Along those lines, don’t be too in love with your original idea because it almost inevitably will prove to be wrong. But if you use that idea as a prop to engage with consumers, they’ll probably tell you what to do if you’re willing to listen.

BC:  Pick the right people to be around you for the journey. It sounds simple, but at the end of the day, human experiences are what actually matter.

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

https://thefintechtimes.com/danny-shader-ceo-of-paynearme-and-bill-clerico-ceo-of-wepay-to-gain-their-insights-and-learn-about-their-predictions-for-the-future-of-the-fintech-industry/

Yobota Steps Into the Banking-As-A-Service Market

https://thefintechtimes.com/yobota-steps-into-the-banking-as-a-service-market/

The core banking provider Yobota has announced its move into the Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) market through a new partnership with Chetwood Financial.

BaaS describes a business model in which licensed banks grant companies access to their modular banking services, generally via application programming interfaces (APIs). This allows businesses to develop their own financial offerings, such as lending and payment services, on top of the BaaS provider’s regulated infrastructure.

London-based Yobota has partnered with Chetwood to intermediate a version of the bank’s new BaaS offering. The technology vendor provides the core banking system (CBS) that enables businesses to embed lending and deposit products into their proposition, and thereby offer fully compliant financial services to end-customers under Chetwood’s banking license.

Yobota offers pre-packaged, regulatory compliant products and processes built on top of its cloud- native CBS and quant engine. It also provides an extensive suite of APIs required for integrated banking services.

By removing the operational concerns involved and managing the user experience, Yobota’s innovative BaaS offering reduces time to market for those without a banking license and infrastructure. It allows businesses to configure bespoke and scalable financial products.

The vendor’s BaaS components include core banking provision, APIs that can be deployed against bank partners, regulatory coverage, white labelling, consultancy, and partnerships.

Ammar Akhtar, CEO, YobotaAmmar Akhtar, CEO, Yobota
Ammar Akhtar, CEO, Yobota

Ammar Akhtar, CEO of Yobota, said: “This move marks a significant milestone in Yobota’s relatively short history, and we’re proud to have partnered with Chetwood at this critical stage in our journey.

“We entered the BaaS space knowing we had something unique to offer. By combining our innovative core banking platform and the proven foundation of our bank partners, businesses can quickly and efficiently build customised, secure and scalable financial products.

“A cloud-based, modular, and API-driven approach to architecture is fundamental to delivering BaaS, and at Yobota we have kept these requirements sacred in the creation of our platform. Our team of developers can oversee the technical challenges involved in bringing new offerings to life, while our financial expertise means our platform meets strict compliance and ongoing regulatory requirements.”

Andy Mielczarek, Founder and CEO, Chetwood FinancialAndy Mielczarek, Founder and CEO, Chetwood Financial
Andy Mielczarek, Founder and CEO, Chetwood Financial

Andy Mielczarek, Founder and CEO of Chetwood Financial, added: “Chetwood is proud to be opening our banking systems to third parties who want to create better end-to-end journeys for their customers. Together with experienced partners like Yobota, we are able to handle both the regulatory and technological complexities involved in helping brands embed financial services directly into their propositions.”

  • 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.

https://thefintechtimes.com/yobota-steps-into-the-banking-as-a-service-market/

French Banking Customers Have Expressed Great Interest in Biometric Payment Cards

https://thefintechtimes.com/french-banking-customers-have-expressed-great-interest-in-biometric-payment-cards/

A recent survey produced through a collaboration between Fingerprints and Kantar has revealed an insatiable appetite amongst French banking customers for the use of biometric cards.

In an online survey of 1,000 consumers in France, 59% would say ‘yes’ to a biometric payment card, compared to 50% in 2019 and 51% in 2020.

Essentially, a biometric card replaces the need for traditional chip and PIN with fingerprint ID technology to verify the cardholder’s identity. The chip in the card powers an embedded sensor that authenticates a transaction through recognition of the holder’s fingerprint; although some forms of biometric technology can also adopt iris or facial recognition.

When considering the survey, 52% of French customers were prepared to switch banks in order to access a biometric card, which rose to 64% in some areas of France, and 67% among the 18 to 34-year-olds. Also, 55% would pay an average of €3.20 more per month to have one, up from 50% in 2020.

According to a previous 2020 survey by Fingerprints, consumers have a ‘card-first’ approach to in-store payments (73%), with smartphones and mobile wallets accounting for 2% of transactions.

A significant factor behind the growing eagerness for biometric payment cards amongst interested French consumers is the unique balance of security and convenience they bring to in-store payments.

  • Security: 71% of French consumers that are interested in this technology would feel safer when using a biometric card, even if they lose it, as use is limited to the authorised user.

  • Ease: With consumers worried about forgetting PINs, 42% are drawn to the simplicity of a biometric payment card as it does not require one for daily use.

  • Hygiene: Since the pandemic, 1 in 5 consumers are worried about the health risk of physical surfaces, and 40% of French consumers want a biometric payment card for hygiene reasons as it removes the need to touch a PIN terminal.

  • Convenience: 37% of French consumers think the €50 contactless payment limit should be removed. With biometric payment cards, there is no contactless limit to in-store payments.

Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payments and Access, FingerprintsMichel Roig, SVP Business Line Payments and Access, Fingerprints
Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payments and Access, Fingerprints

“It’s exciting to see the high interest among consumers, and in a country first to roll this out in a larger scale,” comments Michel Roig, SVP Business Line Payments and Access at Fingerprints. It took time and considerable expertise to equip payment cards with fingerprint sensors. 2021 and beyond will see biometric cards deployed by banks and financial institutions around the world, for the benefit of their business, merchants and consumers. Banks need to understand the technology itself to make informed decisions, to offer customers a card that enhances the shopping experience, rather than hindering it.”

  • 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.

https://thefintechtimes.com/french-banking-customers-have-expressed-great-interest-in-biometric-payment-cards/