This Thursday’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest international fintech stories. Temenos extends DXC Technology partnership, while Auriga and ACI Worldwide join forces for next-generation ATM.
Umbria Network, a decentralised finance platform on the Ethereum blockchain, is building its suite of applications on Polygon. Polygon (previously Matic Network) provides scalable, secure and instant Ethereum transactions using plasma side chains and a proof-of-stake network.
In a cross-Pennine collaboration, Yorkshire-based staff management software provider RotaCloud has partnered with Manchester’s Orka Pay. RotaCloud can now offer more than 3,000 UK SMEs access to Orka Pay, the earned wage access platform.
“By partnering with RotaCloud, we can make a real difference to the lives of 100,000 workers.”
Meanwhile, fintech Penny has forged a partnership with freelance services marketplace Fiverr to support freelancers and small businesses. Penny provides Fiverr freelancers 20 per cent off its fees. In turn, Penny users get a discount on a Fiverr membership.
Banking group Emirates NBD and insurance firm MetLife have joined forces to provide insurance products and solutions to customers across the United Arab Emirates.The long-term partnership will make available a comprehensive range of customisable protection and savings solutions for customers, covering life, accident and health insurance.
Mphasis has unveiled a strategic collaboration with London and Bengaluru-based financial analysis company Frontline Analysts Ltd. The new partnership enables financial institutions to integrate judgment-based analysis into existing services, as well as tackle risk modelling and loan credit analysis.
Riyadh International Catering Corporation (RICC), McDonald’s franchisee for the Central, Eastern and Northern regions of Saudi Arabia, has made MEmob+ its authorised data partner. The marketing technology company specialises in data mining, management and monetisation.
There’s also a new partnership for engagement banking platform provider Backbase and Georgian bank BasisBank. Backbase’s platform will allow BasisBank to integrate third-party financial services providers into its mobile app. As well as the corporate banking sector, BasisBank believes the partnership will lead to a ”compelling, digital-first experience for retail customers’ as well.
Qatar-based IT services provider MEEZA is supporting blockchain powered mobile money wallet CWallet with cloud services and data centre services. Cwallet also facilitates e-commerce platforms to use the built-in wallet for API integration.
Consultancy firm Synechron and data analytics provider RavenPack partner to give buy-side firms access to advanced augmented data analytics. The enhanced data analytics capability will enable investment professionals to make more informed decisions by incorporating the effects of public information into their models and workflows.
Clearstream and Xceptor are collaborating on a joint service for withholding tax processing for financial intermediaries. The standardised process allows for full automation of tax documentation workflows, accurate tax rate determination and an optimised withholding tax relief and reclaim process.
OpenMoney updates its money management app
Sapiens International Corporation, a provider of software solutions for the insurance industry, and insurance firm VPay, have forged a partnership to extend digital payment services to workers’ compensation insurers. The joint offering will provide insurers a complete digital payment platform.
There’s a partnership for TrueNorth and Codat. The collaboration provides Codat’s financial institution clients with direct access to a software engineering implementation team to integrate Codat’s single API solution.
Meanwhile, Bristol-based fintech Evershare has launched a QR-code based donations tool, with payments powered by Moneyhub. Using Evershare, charities can save up to 75 per cent in card payment processing fees through using Moneyhub’s open banking payments API that initiates direct bank to bank payments.
Financial advice provider OpenMoney is introducing new energy, mobile and broadband saving features to its money management app following a partnership with price comparison platform Decision Tech. Using the app, customers will be able to view a complete picture of their finances, including their energy, mobile and broadband bills, all in one place.
DXC Technology has signed an extended agreement with Temenos to help its global banking customers modernise their core banking technology. Together, Temenos and DXC offer a cloud-native core banking solution based on the BIAN architecture.
iPipeline, a provider of digital solutions for the pensions market, has hooked up with Wipro Limited to deliver the SSG self-service, end-to-end platform. The new collaboration will drive the delivery of digital transformation in the protection market, and also help insurers accelerate their digital growth plans.
Ozan Electronic Money Turkey, established to bring individual users together with SMEs on financial services, has secured its Visa principal membership. Omer Suner, the CEO of Ozan Electronic Money Turkey, has also outlined plans for the Ozan SuperApp to launch in Turkey soon.
UK-based digital archiving specialist Arkivum has joined up for the second, prototyping phase of a European data preservation project. The aim of ARCHIVER (Archiving and Preservation for Research Environments) is to achieve radically improved archiving and digital preservation for petabyte-scale data-intensive research. Arkivum, in partnership with Google Cloud, successfully completed the initial design phase of the three-year project in October 2020.
UK-based Finastra has announced that Baptist Health Federal Credit Union and affiliates has plumped for its solution to digitise banking offerings. The credit union will also use Allied Bill Payment from Allied Payment Network for real-time person-to-person payments and account-to-account transfers.
Funding and investment
Swedish fintech Billhop raises €4million in Series A funding from Element Ventures. The funding will be used for further product development and to strengthen Billhop’s sales, marketing and customer support functions. Billhop enables businesses and individuals to pay their invoices using their existing card.
Brokerage group Makor Group has hired Lionel Botbol as global head of its investment bank based in London. Previously, Botbol has worked at a number of investment banks and corporates, and founded his own boutique merchant bank Lionsfield Capital in 2012.
Ahead of its imminent launch, Australian neobank Cape has hired Rahul Pakrashi as chief risk officer. He brings an expertise of embedding machine learning into alternative finance products to improve customer outcomes. Cape plans to reinvent the corporate card to help business owners gain control of their cash flow through their cash management platform. A launch is mooted in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Alex Bursak is now director and regional head of insurance for LiquidX in APAC. The global network for working capital, trade finance and insurance said Bursak will accelerate its strategic expansion in Asia, as well as in the broader trade credit insurance market.
Michael Gouverneur joins Planixs
Planixs has expanded its continental European operations with the appointment of industry sales professional Michael Gouverneur. He joins the treasury software provider from Calypso Technology. His mission is boost Planixs’ presence across the DACH region and Continental Europe, as well as promote its Realiti software.
While, investment management firm Invesco has named Gwendolyn Ansah Smith as managing director for Africa. She will explore and lead efforts to develop, execute and manage Invesco’s Africa business. Additionally, she will also harness Invesco’s expertise to provide investors across the globe greater access to the burgeoning Africa market.
Announcements and Updates
Cryptocurrencies are now a form of payment at the KIKLABB free trade zone in Mina Rashid, Dubai. The Dubai Government-owned company said cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether, can now be used to pay for trade licences and visa fees.
stc and Thales introduce customisable contactless payment cards
Dubai’s IBC pledges 100,000 Bitcoin to support setup of the Miami 2.0 Blockchain Strategy Foundation. The pledge, the largest in Bitcoin history, will be significant in facilitating the digital-currencies adoption across multiple industries as well as supporting Miami’s vision to integrate Bitcoin in everyday transactions.
Saudi Digital Payments Company (stc pay) and Thales have introduced contactless cards to enable payments at point of sale (POS) machines, e-commerce transactions and cash withdrawal at local and international ATMs. stc pay’s customers can order the card and set spending limits through their mobile app.
Meanwhile, the Italian Banking Association and the German Banking Industry Committee have joined forces to call on European institutions to adopt regulatory measures to counter the economic effects of Covid-19. A white paper, co-authored by the two leading institutions, wants significant first and second level regulatory measures introduced.
Mastercard has joined forces with Island Pay to launch the Bahamas Sand Dollar prepaid digital currency-linked card. Issued by the Central Bank of The Bahamas, it carries the same value and consumer protections as a traditional Bahamian dollar.
Auriga has unveiled a partnership with ACI Worldwide, a provider of real-time digital payment software and solutions. Together, they will launch a next-generation ATM and self-service banking platform aimed at improving the omni-channel banking experience for global consumers.
Blockchain protocol Aventus has launched the Aventus Network (AvN). This new layer-2 blockchain protocol aims to brings scalability, lower costs and faster speed to Ethereum transactions. AvN is 133 times faster than Ethereum, scaling up to 2,000 transactions per second compared to Ethereum’s 15.
Savola Group has launched the Corporate Venture Capital Program in order to invest in innovative and disruptive technologies and opportunities in the food and retail space regionally and globally. Earlier this year, the programme invested in logistics digitisation platform Lyve and acquired Lilbab, a KSA-based e-grocery pureplay.
Finally, Stor.ai, the end-to-end digital commerce solution for grocers, has introduced Smart Basket to make online grocery shopping more experiential, seamless and simple. Customers get the option to repurchase a ‘one-click’ basket, as well as reminders based on previous purchase history.