The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup takes a look at the latest international fintech stories. As well as recent appointments, this Tuesday we feature fintech collaborations, product launches and success stories.
New roles and fintech movers
Spiros Margaris, a fintech influencer and founder of Margaris Ventures, says he is excited to join the board of STCPay. Margaris turned to Twitter to announce he is was hooking up with the mobile wallet brand, a subsidiary of Saudi Telecom Company.
UAE bank Mashreq has unveiled Rania Nerhal as its new chief client experience & conduct officer. She will oversee a new division that will be responsible for enhancing the bank’s client experience strategy.
Integrated value creation is the ‘north star’, according to Maha Abouelenein – the new chief value officer for Gary Vaynerchuk and EVP of business development for VaynerX. Abouelenein also says, it’s all about ‘service to others and to be authentic in business’.
Investments, collaborations and brand developments
Tanzanian fintech startup Mipango is taking part in a startup development programme. The AI-based personal finance mobile app will join NVIDIA Inception, a virtual accelerator run by the US tech firm NVIDIA. As well as product development, prototyping and deployment, startups also benefit from marketing support and technology assistance.
Following its 2019 launch into the fintech recruitment sector, Storm2 has raised additional growth funds from Puffin Point Investments. In addition to raising $3million in Series A funding, Storm2 says it has successfully partnered with more than 100 fintechs across global financial centres.
Software provider Finastra has helped VPBank separate its treasury operations from its legacy core banking system using solutions Fusion Kondor and Fusion Risk. VPBank says Finastra’s front-to-back treasury system has given it significant efficiency gains because it no longer needs to manually execute transactions.
After a successful pilot run in early 2020, the pan-African banking sandbox of Ecobank Group is now accessible to the African fintech community. Ecobank says the sandbox is a major milestone for its open banking strategy. Meanwhile, Nokwary, Ukheshe and Growth Factor are toasting success in the Ecobank Fintech Challenge. More than 600 applicants across Africa, Europe, North America and Asia applied for the Challenge.
Digital bank Zopa is launching its first fixed term savings account. As well as offering UK savers rates of up to 1.3 per cent up to five years, Zopa says accounts can be set up in ‘four minutes’.
Meanwhile, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has unveiled a new license for startups, entrepreneurs and technology firms. It hopes that the ‘exciting new offering’ will attract technology-led, sector agnostic startups that will disrupt the fintech sector.
The new DIFC Innovation License provides an important springboard for future economy pioneers to establish, upscale and future proof their business within the stable framework of a world leading global financial centre.
Russian digital bank Tinkoff is delighted after coming top of a customer loyalty survey. According to the report, 50 per cent of Tinkoff’s customers are ‘promoters’ (loyal customers). In addition, high income Russians aged 25 to 34 are the ones most willing to recommend Tinkoff.
Singapore-headquartered alternative lender Robocash is reporting a 112 per cent year-on-year growth in the FY2019 comprehensive income. At the same time, it is also toasting a 62.5 per cent revenue increase year-over-year.
Luno, the cryptocurrency firm, says it now has now five million customers and is available in Australia. According to Luno, the launch reflects Australia rapid growth in the fintech sector – with a five-fold increase in fintechs in just five years.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a huge rise in financial crime scams, warns financial crime victims support company Encompass Corporation. Meanwhile, Parliament Street think tank says the Financial Conduct Authority is investigating over 150 coronavirus-related scams since the outbreak began.
These risks are a reminder of the threats posed to regulated firms seeking to enforce anti-money laundering measures and customer verification checks.
Finally, Payment International Enterprise, one of Bahrain’s largest fintechs, has achieved the PCI Data Security Standard Compliance Certification. The company says being at the forefront of driving cashless payments in the MENA region means ‘security is always the top priority’ for PIE.