The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup this Tuesday puts the spotlight on the latest partnerships, appointments and funding rounds.
Mergers and acquistions
Paysafe is acquiring payments platform SafetyPay in an all-cash transaction. It has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SafetyPay for $441million. Paysafe also recently announced an acquisition agreement with Peruvian payments platform PagoEfectivo. Together the two acquisitions set Paysafe up to be a leading open banking and e-cash solutions provider in Latin America.
Fintech startup 9th Gear has selected CPQi to help develop its foreign exchange technology. A DevOps team is working on the first-generation of the 9G platform to power FX transactions on a distributed ledger. 9th Gear said the partnership will help it ‘rapidly ramp up development resources while simultaneously realising cost savings’.
Sustainable bank Triodos Bank UK is implementing SurePay’s confirmation of payee solution in the UK. As well as financial institutions in the Netherlands and the UK, SurePay also supports the Dutch and UK governments with checking payments related to Covid-19 job retention schemes.
Mortgage broker Coreco has teamed up with Hometrack, a provider of insight to the UK mortgage market. Hometrack will provide property valuation reports to Coreco’s brokers in order to guide clients on the likely value of the property they are remortgaging or looking to purchase.
Meanwhile, KPMG Spark has selected Bill.com as its preferred partner to offer automated bill pay for their clients. KPMG Spark is a managed accounting solution that connects SMEs with a dedicated KPMG bookkeeper.
Solidatus has been chosen by British Business Bank to enhance its data governance and data lineage capabilities. Solidatus will make it possible for departments across the Bank to build a more comprehensive understanding of its data to address problems, as well as make more informed decisions and minimise risk.
Product news and launches
Hodlnaut, a crypto interest-earning platform in Singapore, has revised its interest rates for assets including BTC, DAI, ETH, USDT, USDC and WBTC. It has also introduced a tier system in order to maintain the best risk management policies. In addition, users can now withdraw their crypto assets at a lower transaction cost.
ZenBusiness, a business management platform, has introduced ZenBusiness Money – an all-inclusive payments and invoicing app. It lets users send and customize invoices, accept credit card and bank transfer payments, as well as manage their income in a dashboard across mobile, tablet and desktop devices.
IDnow, the platform-as-a-service provider for identity verification, has expanded its automated solution AutoIdent for additional highly regulated use cases. AutoIdent is an AML Act compliant identity verification solution.
Standard Chartered Bank UAE has launched the third cohort of the Women in Tech programme. In partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Fintech Hive and Hub71, it focuses on capacity building for women-owned enterprises. It also provides female-led entrepreneurial team with training, mentorship and seed funding.
Further launches and updates
Giant Eagle and GetGo become the first US grocery and convenience store chains to offer customers the ability to utilise PayPal and Venmo payments at the register. Their customers are now able to pay using PayPal or Venmo QR codes at checkout.
Meanwhile, Veem, a provider of online payment solutions, has released two new Veem Capital products to boost SMEs with spending for their operations. The Pay Later and Pay with Card products give business owners the opportunity to allow greater control of cash flow as well as more financial freedom.
The National Bank of Bahrain has launched its Digital Banking Challenge in strategic partnership with Bahrain FinTech Bay. It is one of MENA’s largest fintech Hubs open for all Bahraini youth to develop creative solutions for NBB’s new digital banking app. The challenge includes a bootcamp, followed by a six-week digital incubation period.
Patrick Gauthier is the CEO of new standalone B2B cross-border payments and foreign exchange solutions provider, Convera. The launch of Convera follows the acquisition of B2B payments and foreign exchange solutions division of Western Union for $910million by Goldfinch Partners and The Baupost Group. Gauthier was most recently head of Amazon Pay.
LHV UK has strengthened its team to support its UK banking licence application. Gary Sher is the chief financial officer; Assad Kazi is chief risk officer while Rebecca Wright is named chief people officer. It said the management expansion supports its ambition to ‘found the UK’s fintech and SME-focussed bank.
Funding and investments
Keebo, the challenger credit card and app launching in October, has secured £5million in seed funding. The round was led by Breega and Connect Ventures. In addition, Keebo has been awarded three technology grants by the UK government for developing its financial modelling. Keebo says it is the only credit card company authorised by the FCA for open banking based underwriting.
Ryde, formerly Ryders, has raised £2.5million. The SaaS platform will use the funding to expand its vision to become the world’s first fully integrated delivery management system. This seed round was co-led by Forward Partners and Triple Point, with additional participation from Seedcamp and Swiss Founders Fund.
Fintech Robocash is celebrating after it doubled yearly loan disbursement volumes in the first half of 2021. In the next half of 2021, Robocash plans to scale its current products, as well as access new markets and expand its product range. It also plans to launch an online lending service in Sri-Lanka, as well as new financial products in the Philippines.
While, Bank ABC Islamic has described its performance in the first half of the year as ‘reassuring’. Net profit of $19.2million reflects the Bank’s ‘success in returning to normal’ after absorbing the impact of fraud related credit costs of 2020, it says. The Bank’s net profitability also showed growth on a year-on-year basis.
Six-time lucky Arab Bank has scooped the ‘Best Bank in the Middle East 2021’ Global Finance Award, again. The Global Finance Awards covers more than 150 countries and territories across Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Central America, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America as well as Western Europe.
Terra Virtua, the immersive digital collectibles metaverse, has switched its platform from the Ethereum blockchain to Polygon. The switch will see the business reduce energy used to create a single NFT by 99.9 per cent. This ensures that NFTs use as little energy as it takes to send two emails.
European Merchant Bank (EMBank) has reached a monthly break-even point in under three years after getting a licence from the European Central Bank. By Q2 2021, EMBank has doubled its deposit volume and has seen a ten-fold increase in its outstanding loan balance, compared to 4Q2020.
A new report by Blacktower Financial Management Group reveals the world’s best state pension systems in 2021. Its findings are based on various factors including average retirement age and contributions. Finland ranked top country for pensions, followed by Poland and Sweden.
Embedded finance leads to significantly speedier and more successful loan applications for businesses, according to research from iwoca. Nearly 30 per cent of all loan applications to iwoca now come through embedded finance partners. In addition, customers who applied through an embedded finance partner received a lending decision in less than two minutes.