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UK Fintech News Round-up: The Latest Stories 13/04

Each week we take a look at some of the latest fintech news to hit the industry. This week, Zilch announces a new partnership with Experian and digital Isle of Man announce first GBP pegged stablecoin licensed in the British isles 

Bank of England Data Scientist spending rose over 300 per cent during Covid

The Bank of England (BoE), the central bank for the United Kingdom, saw its data scientist payroll quadruple after Covid-19 hit, splashing on data staff to oversee data operations involving Covid loans.

The data, retrieved via the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and analysed by the Parliament Street think tank, revealed the number of data scientists and data analysts employed by the Bank of England, alongside the total payroll for these roles each year between 2017 and 2021. In total over the period, the bank spent a grand total of £2,994,785 on data scientist and data analyst roles.

The most significant increase came between 2019 and 2020, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, when the BoE’s total payroll for data scientists rose from £224,579 to £914,472, an increase of 307 per cent. Whilst during that year data analyst spending also grew sharply from £195,031 to £474,303.

BlueSnap launches embedded payments suite

PayRetailersBlueSnap, a global payment orchestration platform committed to helping B2B and B2C businesses accept and optimise payments around the world, has launched its Embedded Payments and Payfac-as-a-Service offering for software platforms looking to scale their customer base globally.

Ralph Dangelmaier, CEO of BlueSnap, said: “The traditional development cycle for payments processing infrastructure and global licensing takes up to three years in-house. This extended time to market puts software companies at risk of falling behind competitors and losing traction with customers. BlueSnap is on a mission to help empower platforms to reach customers globally and profit from a key, but often overlooked, part of the customer journey – payments.

“That’s why we’ve developed three tailored solutions for businesses so that they can crawl, walk, or run on their journey to become payment facilitators – choosing the best option for their growth cycle and the unique needs of their company.”

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield expands partnership with Clearpay UK

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), owner and operator of Westfield shopping centres across the US, the UK and Continental Europe, has announced the expansion of its international brand partnership with Clearpay, a provider in “Buy Now, Pay Later” payments.

Clearpay will become URW’s “Buy Now, Pay Later” brand partner with a programme of consumer advertising and experiential activity at the brand’s London flagship centres, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford.

Grace Charge, Head of Brand Experience and Partnerships, Europe at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said: “We are delighted to welcome Clearpay to Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City bringing a new way to shop in store to many retailers whilst offering customers increased choice and flexibility in how they shop. Through our international partnership, Clearpay will now be able to engage with almost half a billion Westfield customers across our network of centres in the US and UK, combined. We look forward to developing more innovative and exciting experiential activity with Clearpay in the UK and beyond.”

Open banking leader Volt continues hyper growth with key CRO appointment

Volt, an open payments gateway has recruited payments veteran Matt Komorowski as its new Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).

Matt joins Volt after almost a decade with PayPal, where for the past three years he has been leading the payments giant’s channel partnership business across APAC, LATAM, and MEA. Previously, Matt was instrumental in PayPal’s record growth in a variety of senior commercial and leadership roles across Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe.

Matt’s role at Volt will ensure that the open payments powerhouse continues on its path to hypergrowth and drives the adoption of open banking with merchants and PSPs worldwide

Zilch announces a new partnership with Experian

Zilch, the London-based fintech Unicorn, announced it has taken another major step forward in innovating its technology to measure affordability through its latest partnership with Experian, the global information services company to begin reciprocal reporting of Buy Now Pay Later credit information.

Through this new partnership, Zilch will connect the comprehensive database of insights into what its 2 million customers can afford, which in turn will assist its active decision-making processes. Zilch uniquely makes use of open banking data and its own proprietary data to assess customer affordability on each transaction and adding this to that mix will strengthen Zilch and Experian’s ability to drive customer value responsibly.

Philip Belamant, Zilch Co-Founder & CEO, said “Our mission at Zilch is to provide people with the most ubiquitous and rewarding way to pay for anything, anywhere. This partnership is one of many technology alignments that we are leveraging as we scale in order to create the most comprehensive view of a customer’s affordability all while ensuring performance is fed back to partners allowing others in the space to take responsible decisions too.”

Digital Isle of Man announce first GBP pegged stablecoin licensed in the British isles 

bankDigital Isle of Man, part of the Isle of Man Government’s Department for Enterprise, has announced that Blackfridge SC Limited (“Blackfridge”) has become the first GBP pegged stablecoin business to be licensed in the British Isles. It follows their entry into the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority’s regulatory sandbox, which was established to allow products to be tested in a live environment while reducing the potential risk to consumers.

This comes as the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority has granted a financial services licence to Blackfridge to undertake payment services and issue electronic money. Blackfridge is to soon launch its stablecoin product, “poundtoken”, the first e-money instrument constituted as a GBP pegged stablecoin issued in the British Isles.

Lyle Wraxall, Chief Executive of Digital Isle of Man, commented: “We are delighted that Blackfridge has entered the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority’s Sandbox and become the first GBP pegged stablecoin issuer licensed in the British Isles. Blackfridge is a cutting-edge business, and we’re pleased to have played a part in their journey as they reach this regulatory milestone ahead of the launch of their stablecoin. The Island welcomes innovative technology and is focused on supporting more businesses through the regulatory process, giving them the ability to best use this transformative technology.”

Author

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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