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Fintech Fridays: TFT’s Weekly Fix of Product News & Deals 28/07

Welcome to Fintech Fridays! The Fintech Times weekly roundup serves up something for the weekend – a shopping list of the latest deals, product launches and service updates.

eToro launches portfolio featuring fintechs

etoro-fintecheToro has launched ‘Fin-Tech’, a portfolio offering retail investors long-term exposure to companies “leading the fintech revolution”.

It has chosen 40 fintech companies, taking into consideration factors, including market capitalisation, liquidity parameters, and analyst ratings. The initial allocation includes Block, Lemonade, Adyen and Xero, as well as new players such as Stone, Nexi and SoFi.

Dani Brinker, head of investment portfolios at eToro, says: “This new portfolio offers users a carefully selected mix of top-performing companies from a variety of verticals within the fintech ecosystem, including paytech, insurtech, digital banking and trading. As a fintech company, we are excited to give our users the opportunity to invest in companies advancing the mission of opening global financial markets.”

Initial investment starts from $500 and investors can also access tools and charts to track the portfolio’s performance.

Klarpay AG Unveils USD-denominated Visa debit card

Klarpay has enhanced its services to let clients create US dollar denominated Visa debit cards linked to Corporate USD accounts.

This offering aims to improve the way Klarpay clients transact with popular services, which are often charged in USD, including Google, Facebook and Amazon Web Services, by eliminating FX costs.

Martynas Bieliauskas, Klarpay CEO, stated: “The introduction of USD-denominated Visa debit cards marks another milestone in our mission to empower businesses and individuals with best-in-class solutions for managing and scaling their online businesses.”

Viva Wallet now offers Tap to Pay on iPhone for businesses

iphoneViva Wallet, a European cloud-based neobank, now enables UK merchants to seamlessly and securely accept in-person contactless payments with Tap to Pay on iPhone and its Viva Terminal iOS App.

Tap to Pay on iPhone accepts all forms of contactless payments, including Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards and other digital wallets, using only an iPhone and the Viva Terminal iOS App — no additional hardware or payment terminal needed.

On an iPhone XS or later running the latest iOS version, merchants can download the Viva Terminal App on the Apple App Store to start using Tap to Pay on iPhone. At checkout, the merchant prompts the customer to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch to pay with Apple Pay, their contactless credit or debit card, or other digital wallet near the merchant’s iPhone, and the payment will be securely completed.

Digital bank Kroo ups current account interest rate

Digital bank Kroo will increase its current account interest rate to 4.35 per cent AER/4.26 per cent gross (variable) on balances up to £85,000 from 1 August.

A customer maintaining a balance of £5,000 in a Kroo current account for the month of August can expect to earn £18.11 in interest on 1 September. Kroo calculates interest daily and pays it monthly on the first of every month.

Andrea De Gottardo, CEO of Kroo, says: “Your money earns interest from the Bank of England, regardless of where it’s kept, so it’s only fair that you’re putting money back in your pocket, especially in times like this. As regulators crack down on banks profiteering from or failing to pass on savings rates to customers, our team is proud that Kroo is challenging the traditional model and putting our customers first.”

Bitstamp launches global app

Crypto exchange Bitstamp has launched a new app to help users buy and sell crypto confidently on-the-go.

Originally launched in April on Android for European customers, the new app is now launching on the Apple App Store and Google Play for users residing in the UK and US.

The Bitstamp app comes with several new additional features including access to a crypto education hub. Additionally, the app incorporates Bitstamp’s two products Earn Staking and Earn Lending.

Through Earn Staking, customers have the opportunity to earn additional crypto rewards, while Earn Lending enables customers to generate yield from their cryptoassets.

Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux, CEO of Bitstamp, said: “With projections suggesting that approximately one billion users will own or have access to crypto by 2030, we’re supporting this mainstream adoption by offering customers a simple, transparent and informed way to get started with crypto.”

Bybit and Oracle Red Bull Racing introduce digital art collaboration

Bybit, the cryptocurrency exchange, has launched Velocity Series, a collaboration between Bybit, Oracle Red Bull Racing and digital artists.

This initiative will merge art and racing by creating unique digital collectibles inspired by race team data and telemetry from the RB19 F1 car.

The series starts with Rik Oostenbroek, a Dutch artist known for his dynamic shapes and abstract forms.

At each of the four Velocity Series releases, pass holders can also participate in a holder-exclusive NFT sale to secure digital masterpieces by the featured artists. Pass holders also receive a complimentary open-edition NFT at each of the four releases.

Additionally, pass holders gain access to Oracle Red Bull Racing experiences, and chances to win rare prizes from Oracle Red Bull Racing and Bybit.

TrueLayer launches payment links

payment linksTrueLayer, the European open banking payments network, launches payment links, a new feature that enables businesses to offer instant payments, powered by open banking, directly from an email, text message or a QR code.

To use payment links, a customer scans a QR code or clicks an online link – whether that’s through an email, chatbot conversation, text message – which takes them straight to their online bank accounts to make the payment directly to the business. Either online or as part of the in-store shopping experience, users can utilise this functionality.

Payment links are already live with TrueLayer customers, including Topps Tiles, which has over 300 stores nationwide, and Southampton’s Solent Wholesale, a carpet wholesaler.

Both use TrueLayer’s new product feature to improve invoicing by automating the process via email, reducing payment processing costs as well as simplifying the payment for their customers.

Michael Brown, head of ecommerce at TrueLayer, said: “Powered by open banking, payment links are an easy to implement, instant to settle solution that will allow merchants to accept open banking payments anywhere: across their marketing channels, emails, texts and even in-store.”

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