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This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 14/03

The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday 14 March 2024 serves up the latest industry movers and global insights.

Research and insights

New data from Adobe reveals that a combination of the leap year and increased use of buy now, pay later services saw UK online spending reach £8.8billion in February 2024, representing a 5.0 per cent increase on the £8.4billion spent in February 2023. Despite the positive uplift in overall spending, of the additional £400million spent in February 2024, £285million was spent on the leap day of 29 February.

An analysis of more than 16,000 ‘anti-money laundering events’ recorded across the globe in the last decade shows drug trafficking is the most prevalent issue, a new report from SmartSearch, the UK digital compliance software provider reveals. It inspected a total of 16,150 AML events recorded between 2013 and 2023  to determine which financial crimes and AML compliance issues are most prominent.

Banks have dramatically reduced their hiring over the past 12 months following well-publicised restructuring across the sector last year. That’s according to the latest report from Broadbean Technology. Over the entire year, vacancies dropped by 39 per cent with the biggest fall in new jobs taking place in Q4, which saw a 59 per cent decline when compared to the same point in 2022.

European corporates are still reliant on too few FX counterparties, leaving them at risk of serious short-term liquidity issues should a banking partner fail, according to the MillTechFX European Corporate CFO FX Report 2024 from FX-as-a-service company.  MillTechFX. European corporates have just 2.67 counterparties and only 0.4 per cent have more than five.

surveys

More insights

UK-based research carried out by the non-profit Open Identity Exchange (OIX) and Daon, a cross channel identity and biometric solutions company, has revealed high levels of ongoing uncertainty around digital Identity. The research highlighted that industry explanation and technical language adds uncertainty and confusion.

Customer engagement platform Twilio has looked into the impact of ‘nudge’ marketing techniques intended to pressure consumers to make purchases – such as countdown clocks, ‘last chance to buy’ notifications, and email chasers prompting them to complete abandoned transactions. Its research reveals almost 39 per cent of UK consumers would prefer to never encounter nudge marketing and sales tactics, with over 67 per cent considering them to be misleading and that they create a false sense of urgency.

Hokodo has released a report that explores the habits and e-commerce expectations of business buyers. It reveals that payment terms are a non-negotiable requirement for more than eight out of 10 B2B buyers, as 83 per cent of respondents indicated that they would abandon an e-commerce purchase if no payment terms were offered at checkout.

Partnerships

Zodia Markets, a UK-headquartered institutional crypto trading business backed by Standard Chartered, and Fireblocks, an enterprise platform to manage digital asset operations and build innovative businesses on blockchain, have forged a strategic collaboration to address correspondent banking challenges and improve efficiency by enabling value transfer utilising the power of digital assets.

Intellias, a global software engineering company, has teamed up with Invoys, an invoice processing company focused on empowering businesses to automate accounts receivable and accounts payable processes. Under this new partnership, Intellias will apply its technical expertise to implement invoicing solutions for its clients and assist those of Invoys with the development of additional bespoke solutions.

Personetics and Banco BPI partner to deliver financial management insights and tools for small and medium-sized businesses with Pulsoo app. The app leverages open banking and Personetics’ AI-powered personalised engagement platform to increase the financial health and viability of small and medium-sized businesses.

partnerships

Appointments

iProov, a provider of science-based facial biometric identity solutions, has appointed Leo Curran to the position of VP of global partnerships and alliances. He has previously held senior operational and go-to-market roles for high-growth companies such as Automation Anywhere and UiPath, and IT transformation and consulting services companies like TCS.

Payment services and data enrichment platform Tink has unveiled new appointments based in its UK offices, bolstering its senior leadership team. Ian Morrin is appointed head of payments and platforms, while Andrew Boyajian is named head of products for payments and CX. Jack Spiers has been promoted to banking and lending director (UK&I).

Fintech platform Floww has appointed Umerah Akram as chief operating officer. Akram joins Floww from LSEG where she was the head of private markets and played a pivotal role in expanding the group’s offerings beyond public markets and its links into the private markets ecosystem. As COO, she will spearhead the expansion of Floww’s commercial activities and business operations.

Gillian Lungley joins the board of directors of LHV Bank Limited – the fourth independent non-executive director. She also becomes a member of its risk committee and remuneration committee. Lungley’s early career began at J.P Morgan. She’s also held senior technology positions in Credit Suisse, UBS and Deutsche Bank.

Fino Payments Bank has appointed two new members on its board. Anita Sudhir Pai and Neeta Mukerji, banking industry veterans with over three decades of experience, have been appointed as additional directors in the capacity of independent directors of the bank.

fintech appointments

More appointments

The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) appoints Alexandre Kech to the position of CEO, effective 26 June 2024. Kech will join GLEIF as CEO-elect on 1 May, while Stephan Wolf, who has served as CEO since GLEIF’s inception in 2014, will work closely with Alexandre Kech to enable a smooth transition before stepping down after 10 years in the role.

Fiserv, a global provider of payments and financial services technology, has welcomed Ajei Gopal to its board of directors. Gopal has served as president and chief executive officer of engineering simulation solution provider ANSYS since 2017. Previously, Gopal was an operating partner for Silver Lake Partners, a senior VP and general manager of Hewlett Packard Software, and executive VP at CA Technologies.

Fintech DKK Partners has appointed Zain Abbas as its new head of product to spearhead the development and innovation of its tailored FX services. Abbas’ appointment will enable DKK to better serve emerging markets across the world, including Africa and the Middle East, and further build DKK Partners’ product function.

ETC Group, a European provider of exchange-traded products (ETPs) on cryptocurrencies, appoints Ronald Richter as director, investment strategy and Wendy Langridge as chief regulatory officer. ETC Group issues institutional-grade crypto ETPs that enable private as well as institutional investors to access digital assets.

Following investments by BNP Paribas and Citi, United Fintech names Troels O. Lindblad as CFO and Rasmus Bagger as CCO while Marc Levin advances to CEO of Athena Systems in a strategic management reshuffle to adopt even more customer-centric ways of working. Meanwhile, Athena CEO Luis Otero becomes CTO of United Fintech.

Company updates

Razer Fintech, the financial technology arm of Razer Inc., together with its B2B payments unit, Razer Merchant Services (RMS), has revealed a rebranding initiative. The company unveils a new single name, logo, and identity as Fiuu, signifying its plans to become a leading force in the future of digital payments. Fiuu is set to operate as a standalone subsidiary of Razer Inc.

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