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This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 12/03

The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday 12 March 2024 reveals a  new group CEO for Starling Bank, while Allica Bank partners with Sage and Xero.

Research and insights

Research from financial technology firm EV and Opinium finds that 80 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds, and 49 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 would consider moving their current account to access digital tools to help with financial decisions. Popular sources of support are friends and family (29 per cent) and banks (20 per cent), but 10 per cent are seeking help from social media, rising to 23 per cent of those aged 18 to 34.

More than eight in 10 (85 per cent) of businesses globally are feeling optimistic about the year ahead; a significant increase from 2022 when 60 per cent felt this way, reveals Taulias global Supplier Sentiment Survey. In the US, 87 per cent expressed optimism about the upcoming year. This is closely trailed by Canadian businesses (85 per cent), the UK (84 per cent), France (67 per cent) and Germany (65 per cent).

Partnerships

Mangopay, the payment infrastructure provider for marketplaces and platforms, has been selected by luxury hotel guest experience management platform Eleanor to launch a tailored payment solution for its hotel and resort clients. With Mangopay’s embedded payments infrastructure, hotels and resorts can take full control of transactions via the Eleanor platform.

Auriga, a global software provider for the omnichannel banking and payments industry, has bagged a major new contract with Nationwide to provide a new software solution to run, manage and secure the ATMs installed across its UK branch network. Auriga’s ‘out of the box’ integration with the payments switch BASE24 will enable Nationwide to “stay at the forefront of payments innovation”.

FlexTrade Systems, a multi-asset execution and order management systems company, announces a direct integration with Coinbase Prime, an institutional prime broker platform for digital and crypto assets.  With the integration to Coinbase Prime, FlexTrade clients can directly access one of the largest pools of liquidity for digital assets via FlexTRADER EMS and FlexONE OEMS.

emerchantpay, a global payment service provider and acquirer, joins forces with Brazil-based fintech company FitBank to reinforce emerchantpay’s payment proposition in Latin America. The alliance enables emerchantpay to strengthen its cross-border payments offering to merchants and partners targeting the sought-after Brazil e-commerce market.

Allica Bank has announced partnerships with accounting software platforms Sage and Xero. The direct integrations will mean Allica Bank business current account customers that use Sage and Xero can have their account transactions fed through automatically to their accounting software. By sharing this data (including amount, date, time, direction, reference and merchant information) it can save business owners and their accountants significant amounts of time, reduces manual work and the potential for error.

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More partnerships

Earnix, a global provider of AI-based SaaS solutions for financial services, and Sollers Consulting, an international operational advisory and software integrator for the financial sector, have forged a partnership delivering Earnix solutions to property and casualty (P&C) insurers in the UK, US, France, Benelux, Nordics, and DACH regions.

Sopra Banking Software (SBS), a technology partner to over 1,500 financial institutions worldwide, has joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Accelerate Program, a co-sell programme for AWS Partners who provide software solutions that run on or integrate with AWS.

Metrobank, one of the Philippines’ largest banks, has partnered with Temenos and Collaboration Betters the World (CBTW) to implement Temenos Wealth. With Temenos Wealth, Metrobank gains access to the latest Temenos digital banking capabilities such as wealth analytics with embedded responsible AI, digital onboarding capabilities and self-service functionality, including robo-advisory and goal-based planning.

Appointments

Starling Bank has appointed Raman Bhatia as group CEO. He takes over from John Mountain, who has been acting as interim CEO since founder Anne Boden announced she was stepping back from the role last year. Bhatia is currently the chief executive of OVO, a UK energy retailer. Before that, he was the head of digital bank for HSBC’s retail banking and wealth management business in the UK and Europe.

Workplace pension and savings fintech Cushon has welcomed Veronica Humble as its new chief investment officer. The news comes at a time of continued growth and transformation for the business following its acquisition by NatWest Group last year. Humble has joined Cushon from Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM).

Ecommpay, a payment service provider and UK and Europe direct bank card acquirer, has made the high-profile appointment of Miranda McLean as chief marketing officer. Strengthening the representation of women in its senior leadership team, the new hire will support the company’s continued investment in innovation and its differentiated merchant proposition.

Zodia Custody, an institution-first digital asset custodian whose shareholders include Standard Chartered, SBI Holdings and Northern Trust, has appointed Kal Chan as CEO of its Hong Kong operation. The appointment of a CEO follows the custodian entering the market in October 2023, as it looks to capitalise on the special administrative region’s status as a global hub for digital assets.

fintech appointments

More appointments

Fintech MoneyGram International appoints Cory Feinberg as general counsel and corporate secretary and Bahar Dave Sahajwalla as chief regulatory and public affairs officer. Prior to joining MoneyGram, Sahajwalla worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the International Division. While Feinberg has been with MoneyGram since 2015.

Zumo, the B2B digital assets infrastructure that prioritises compliance and sustainability, has named Ashwath Mehra as a non-executive director. Mehra is CEO of the ASTOR Group, a private investment and advisory business, working across mining, technology, biotech and real estate. He has over 30 years’ experience in debt and equity capital markets.

Funding and investments

Nanonets, an AI-based workflow automation platform, has raised $29million in a Series B funding round led by Accel. The funding round also saw participation from existing investors Elevation Capital, YCombinator and others. This takes the total funding raised till date to $42million.

Vouch, a provider of business insurance for high-growth companies, has closed a $25million Series C-1 funding round, led by Ribbit Capital. The funding will enable Vouch to expand its insurance product set and distribution channels and also to continue investing in its technology platform.

Company updates

fscom, a governance risk and compliance consultancy, has acquired risk and compliance solutions provider FMConsult. fscom said the acquisition accelerates the firm’s expansion into asset and fund management and consolidates its position as a leading authority within the sector.

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