The Fintech Times News Roundup
Fintech Latest News Roundup

This Week in Fintech: TFT Bi-Weekly News Roundup 24/08

The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup on Tuesday sees African fintech OPay raise $400million and Binance Singapore unveil Richard Teng as its new CEO.

Job movers
Amr Tharwat, MD and CEO of Bank ABC Egyptappointed new MD and CEO of Bank ABC Egypt
Amr Tharwat is MD and CEO of Bank ABC Egypt

Arab Banking Corporation (Bank ABC) has named Amr Tharwat as new MD and CEO of its Bank ABC Egypt franchise. He joins from HSBC, where he worked in both Dubai and Egypt. His arrival coincides with the final stages of Bank ABC Group’s acquisition of BLOM Bank Egypt.

Wael Makarem is now senior market strategist for CFD provider Exness in the MENA region. He will represent Exness on various media platforms in English and Arabic as well as host webinars and trading workshops across the Middle East and North Africa.

Finverity, the supply chain finance platform, has a new chief risk officer – Brett
Downes. He joins from Greensill Capital, where he was also chief risk officer. His appointment follows the recent appointment of Alex Collingwood as head of sales & origination.

Fiat-to-crypto platform Binance Singapore has appointed Richard Teng as CEO. He is the former CEO of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and also previously held the role of chief regulatory officer of the Singapore Exchange (SGX). Binance Singapore offers Singapore residents trading pairs for Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as Binance Coin.

New World Capital Advisors Malaysia has appointed Rahimin Aziz and Jalil Rasheed to its board. NWCA Malaysia was established earlier this year by New World Group in partnership with Berjaya Corporation. Prior to his official appointment, Aziz has supported NWG co-founders Adam Sadiq and Zeiad Idris in an advisory capacity.

Sajeev Nair
Sajeev Nair and Reena Vivek
More appointments

Zurich International Life has unveiled Sajeev Nair as head of its Zurich Workplace Solutions (ZWS) business in the Middle East. Until recently, ZWS was led by Reena Vivek, who is now interim CEO for Zurich International Life in the Middle East.

Shawn Holtzclaw has joined fintech Consilient as its new president. He joins from The Knoble, where he served on the board and as executive director. Holtzclaw will focus on driving strategic growth as Consilient introduces its flagship product Dozer to the market to help combat financial crimes.

Credit management platform Know-it has appointed Gordon Merrylees as chief commercial officer. He’s the former managing director of entrepreneurship for NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank. Know-it hopes Merrylees’ network and experience in working closely with Scottish businesses will help it connect with organisations who need its services the most.

While, ARIE Finance, the financial ecosystem for business banking customers, has unveiled David Grunwald as group director of strategy. As well as corporate and investment strategy, he will also oversee the development of ARIE Finance’s marketplace banking services, strategic partnerships and the creation of ARIE Lab.

Mergers and acquistions

Swvl expands into Europe, LATAM and APAC via acquisition of mass transit SaaS platform Shotl. Central to both companies’ missions is the belief that providing accessible and equitable mobility solutions is a gateway to social and economic empowerment. Swvl is a global tech startup based in Dubai.

Retail finance platform Deko has announced the acquisition of technology services provider Imegamedia. The deal, which includes 100 per cent acquisition of the Imegamedia Services and TrueInnovation businesses, will enhance Deko’s integration service; paving the way for accelerated growth. The acquisition follows new Deko partnerships with NewDay, SNAP and ZIP.

Partnerships

Dubai National Insurance & Reinsurance has partnered with Magnati, a subsidiary of First Abu Dhabi Bank to support customers with a payment gateway. The solution is offered in collaboration with UAE digital wallet payit. NIR customers now have payment channels including payit, QR code payment, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

NPCI International Payments Ltd has partnered with Mashreq to offer acceptance of its mobile-based payment system Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in the UAE. Its Indian customers can now pay for their purchases using UPI-based mobile apps across shops and merchant stores in the UAE.

There’s also a partnership for payments platform Adyen and food delivery marketplace Just Eat Takeaway.com. Adyen’s solution enables Just Eat Takeaway.com to issue pre-funded cards to employees for meal expenses. Employees can use the Takeaway Pay Card offline to spend their meal allowance for on-the-go meals.

Meanwhile, MX, the financial data platform, is helping customers of finance platform Goalry take control of managing their financial lives. Goalry uses MX’s aggregation capabilities and money management tools to provide its customers with a unified money experience.

Žltý melón, a Slovak P2P lending platform, has joined forces with fintech Salt Edge to implement PSD2-integrated access to clients’ bank data and streamline the loan application journey. Joining forces with Salt Edge, Žltý melón gets instant access to more than 2,500 banks across Europe.

Žltý melón and Salt Edge partner for open banking-enabled lending
Žltý melón and Salt Edge partner for open banking-enabled lending
More collaborations

Regtech firm Clausematch has launched a Partnerships and Certification programme. The goal is to create an end-to-end holistic solution and an ecosystem for a complete compliance process. As well as to educate the market it’s working with to get wider adoption of digital transformation.

Emirates NBD has unveiled plans to increase financing available to the Dubai diamond industry as well as double its diamond financing book in the UAE by 2025. Emirates NBD has collaborated with Dubai Multi Commodities Centre on the project. It further aligns with Dubai’s five-year plan to increase foreign trade to AED2trillion.

Meanwhile, AllianceBlock, the chain-agnostic blockchain project, has announced a strategic partnership with Pangolin, a community-driven DEX powered by Avalanche. Pangolin will also become a node validator for AllianceBlock’s Bridge and will be integrated into the liquidity mining as a service programme.

Chargeback Gurus is working with Vindicia to provide end-to-end chargeback prevention and recovery solutions to subscription merchants worldwide. Vindicia’s customers can use solutions including Revenue Recovery, Root Cause Analysis, Prevention Alerts and Order Intelligence.

While, Bukalapak, one of Indonesia’s largest technology companies, will leverage Vesta’s fraud solution to maximise approvals of legitimate credit card transactions and prevent would-be fraudsters. Vesta will focus on increasing approvals and stopping e-commerce fraud.

Zevoy, a Finnish expense management fintech, has plumped for fintech Enfuce as its payment service provider. With the partnership, Zevoy will expand its all-in-one expense management solution to several European markets.

Zevoy partners up with Enfuce
Zevoy partners up with Enfuce
Further partnerships

Butn has successfully completed the initial phase of its partnership agreement with MYOB. Via the MYOB|Butn invoice finance product, businesses have access to embedded, in-workflow, fully integrated invoice financing, assisting them in managing their cash flow and driving growth.

Meanwhile, Paytia, the phone-payments firm, has teamed up Talkdesk. Paytia’s Secure Virtual Terminal will now be available in the Talkdesk AppConnect Marketplace, offering businesses of any size a better way to take payments securely during calls.

Peruvian-based fintech platform B89 has joined the Polymesh blockchain as the newest node operator. B89 aims to empower Hispanic Americans through borderless financial services. Polymesh is a permissioned blockchain purpose-built by Polymath specifically for regulated assets.

Launches

Fintech service provider TigerWit has announced the opening of a sales and customer service centre in Dubai, UAE. The move comes as the firm has received its licence to serve and cater for individuals and entities looking to add exposure to global markets.

SUSE has announced the availability of SUSE Professional Services – including consulting, training and premium support services – in AWS Marketplace. AWS customers can now access SUSE professional services alongside already-available SUSE software.

PwC Switzerland, PwC UK and CUBE are working together to launch KYR, a service designed to shake up the compliance space. The technology-based assessment draws on regulatory data from across 180 jurisdictions in 60 languages. It aims to accelerate the process of understanding applicable regulations as well as identifying how the organisations is complying with them.

TheJobApp is a new fintech app launched to ‘revolutionise shift working and support businesses across the UK’. It offers a fully automated service managing tax and NI deductions, payroll and customer services. The app also offers to pay shift workers immediately after their shifts.

Company updates

Emirates NBD, a banking group in the MENAT region, was recognised for its unique customer service business model at the Digital CX Awards 2021. The bank secured the win for Multiplier Effect Framework, an end-to-end framework for customer personalisation.

Chargebacks911 has recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Over the years, it has protected more than 10 billion transactions and recovered more than $1billion in falsely disputed or stolen revenue. It has also grown from working with just 12 merchants to more than 45,000.

Moneytree Software, a provider of cloud-based financial planning solutions, has added data account aggregation into the Moneytree Plan platform. Moneytree helps financial advisors analyse client finances and deliver in-depth planning solutions.

David Becker Honored by the Indiana Bankers Association
David Becker honored by the Indiana Bankers Associatio

David Becker, the founder, chairman and CEO of First Internet Bank is named a ‘Leader in Banking Excellence’ by the Indiana Bankers Association. The accolade is given to bankers who’ve ‘left their mark on the industry through innovation, community involvement and service and civic involvement’.

Insights and research

Personal finance website WalletHub has released the latest installment of its WalletHub Economic Index. It reveals that consumers view their financial outlook significantly more positively now compared to last year. In March, consumers also felt the most confident that their debt level would decrease over the following six months.

Clearpay has introduced a new merchant analytics platform, Clearpay iQ, which lets brands gain access to valuable customer-centric analytics. Its latest quarterly report reveals that Millennial and Gen Z share of spending will increase to 48 per cent by 2030. In the UK, buy now, pay later spending has also grown by 315 per cent compared to a four per cent increase for debit and credit card purchases.

Funding and investments

The British Business Bank has announced a further £62.4million of financing to Shire Leasing under its ENABLE Funding programme. The transaction follows on from a first round of funding of £37.4million in 2017. The financing will aid Shire Leasing in delivering in excess of £150million to help smaller businesses with cash flow, recovery, growth and investment plans.

While, Enable, the cloud-based software solution for B2B rebate management, has secured a $45million Series B funding round. It will use the funding to fuel its growth plans. The round was led by Norwest Venture Partners, as well as previous investors Menlo Ventures and Sierra Ventures.

Finally, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 has led a $400million funding round for OPay. The round marks the fund’s first investment in an African startup. Investors, including DragonBall Capital and 3W Capital, also took part in the new financing round.

Author

  • Claire works across print and online as Editor for The Fintech Times.

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