The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Thursday 15 July takes a look at the latest international fintech stories.
Paydock, the payments orchestration platform, hires Jenela Gunasekaran as its chief product officer. She joins from HSBC’s mobile payment service PayMe in Hong Kong, where she held the head of product role. Gunasekaran will drive further innovation on the platform.
Regtech platform Kalgera unveils new advisory board as it seeks to support banks in protecting vulnerable customers. New members include Helene Panzarino, Richard Zirps, Chris Kelsall, Hugh Furness as well as Rishi Bhattacharya, who join Ivona Wolff and Karen Thomas.
Meanwhile, Flutterwave, the African payments technology company, has appointed Oluwabankole Falade (Bankole) as its chief regulatory and government relations officer. He will provide strategic oversight and government relation strategies, while ensuring the business aligns with regulators.
Geidea, a fintech firm in Saudi Arabia, has appointed Nick Ogden to its board of directors. The serial entrepreneur will guide the company’s strategic vision as well as drive its growth across the MENA region.
Judith Persson has joined dispute resolution firm MyChargeBack as vice president of European operations and business development. She previously held the role of senior vice president at payment provider Nets. MyChargeBack is currently expanding its footprint beyond the Nordic market into the rest of Europe.
Insurtech Concirrus has further strengthened its advisory panel with the onboarding of three fintech gurus. Tide’s chief technology officer Guy Duncan, Google Cloud‘s Antoine Larmanjat, as well as Elly Hardwick, a NED at both AXIS Capital and Alpha Bank, join the 10-strong panel.
Commercial bank Fifth Third Bank has plumped for a Unbound Security solution to protect its sensitive data in the Cloud. It has deployed Unbound CORE to tokenise credit card and other personally identifiable information (PII) to improve data security.
Thunes, the digital payments network, has unveiled a partnership with ABA Bank that lets Cambodians overseas send money back home. Locals and expats in Cambodia will also be able to receive real time bank account transfers from Thunes’ network of sending partners.
There’s also a partnership for Constant, a provider of digitised, self-service technologies for banks and credit unions, and digital banking solutions provider Alkami. Constant, through the partnership, will offer its hardship relief and financial wellness solutions to cPort Credit Union.
Meanwhile, InstaVolt, the electric vehicle charger network, has secured an advertising partnership with Starling Bank. 100 InstaVolt chargers are to be covered in Starling Bank branded wrap, and the digital bank will also appear in onscreen adverts and have an in-app presence.
MoonPay, which provides payments infrastructure for buying and selling cryptocurrency, has selected financial technology leader FIS for merchant acquiring services. The firm will use Worldpay from FIS merchant services to process consumer credit and debit card-based purchases and sales of cryptocurrencies as well as NFTs.
Al Fardan Exchange, a financial services provider in the UAE, has announced a partnership with contactless payment and instant credit ecosystem Empay. Al Fardan Exchange will be the exclusive remittance partner of Empay.
Emma, the budgeting app, has partnered with open banking infrastructure provider Yapily to launch its new peer-to-peer (P2P) payments feature. Utilising Yapily’s API, Emma customers can now request money and pay bills ‘in a matter of seconds’. The company currently boasts 600,000 customers in the UK, US and Canada.
Verizon Business and Mastercard have forged a strategic partnership to drive transformational solutions for the global payments and commerce ecosystem. The pair will test and embed 5G to deliver solutions, such as immersive retail technology, point-of-sale experiences, as well as digital capabilities for small and medium businesses.
iPipeline, a provider of low code / no code content-enabled digital solutions to the financial services market, has teamed up with OneFamily, the UK financial mutual society. OneFamily has chosen iPipeline’s SSG Digital platform to replace its existing savings, investments and protection platform.
Qrator Labs, a DDoS mitigation and continuous availability service provider, has partnered with HUAWEI CLOUD Marketplace. Qrator DDoS Protection is a flexible cloud service for traffic filtering that is designed to detect and mitigate attacks targeting customer’s web infrastructure on all network layers.
247 Group, operator of online motor finance marketplace CarFinance 247 and lender 247 Money, has launched 247 Connect to make use of open banking, in partnership with Credit Kudos. It says it is the motor finance industry’s first lender to use open banking data in the credit decisioning process.
Finally, a North American exchange has utilised Chronicle Software‘s Java-based FIX engine to provide low-latency connectivity to their clients. Chronicle’s buy and build solution includes provision of the source code, enabling the exchange to create and maintain a custom FIX engine.
Research and insights
One of the most significant drivers for fintech growth across emerging markets is the demands and needs of consumers, according to Jupiter Asset Management. In its latest white paper, Jupiter identifies which fintech trends have had the greatest impact in the last year. It also investigates how they are playing a role in evolving the financial services sector.
Mastercard has highlighted the important role of government support in helping SMEs across the Middle East and Africa in its inaugural Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index. Across MEA, 51 per cent of SMEs say government-led initiatives could have a positive impact in supporting their businesses.
Funding and investments
UK-based online marketplace OnBuy.com has closed a £35million series A+ funding. Investors include Bring Ventures, Norway Post venture arm, Fuel Ventures, Guy Hands, Knut Frängsmyr and Richard Goulding. In addition to external investment, a fully funded £2million allocation was set aside for existing retailers currently using the platform. This funding will be used to further develop OnBuy.com’s product offering for both sellers and consumers as well as pursue global expansion.
Railsbank, the embedded finance platform, has raised $70million in its latest funding round. It will use the funds to drive international expansion of its embedded finance products. The latest fundraise was led by Anthos Capital alongside investors including Central Capital, Cohen and Company and Outrun Ventures. Existing investors also participated.
YuLife, the tech-driven insurance company, has raised a $70miilion Series B. The round was led by Target Global and supported by new investors Eurazeo and Latitude as well as existing investors. YuLife will use the capital to develop new products, expand its UK market penetration and broaden its reach into new global markets.
Quantexa, the data and analytics software company, has raised $153million in Series D funding. Investments comes from Warburg Pincus and a growing group of blue-chip investors. Quantexa serves blue-chip banks, insurers and government organisations globally.
Launches and announcements
Verafide, a verifiable credentials technology provider, has launched its platform on the SETL enterprise blockchain. The open source solution enables any community, network or organisation to set up and maintain a digital credentials ecosystem.
The London Institute of Banking & Finance has launched a professional certification course in fintech for MENA. It has teamed up with ADGM Academy and LendIt Fintech to launch the certified fintech practitioner MENA course. The six-week immersion course will run in September.
Finance app Nude has unveiled a new feature called ‘Team Up’ for pairs of partners, friends or families to save together toward their first home. Each person can choose to save or invest their deposit in a Nude Lifetime ISA and receive a government bonus of up to £1,000 per year for free. As a duo, this could add an extra £2,000 towards a home every single year, Nude says.
Modulr, the payments-as-a-service API platform for digital businesses has secured Visa Ready certification. Modulr says the collaboration will help accelerate its growth through access to Visa’s global network and expertise.
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts and the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority have signed a cooperation agreement in order to promote use of the DIFC Courts’ portfolio of public services. The agreement will also facilitate increased focus on exchanging knowledge, studies and research.
Meanwhile, the Qatar FinTech Hub has concluded the second virtual demo day for Wave 2 of its Incubator and Accelerator Programmes. Twenty-two graduating fintechs introduced services that aim to accelerate the digital transformation of local, regional and global financial markets.