Monetary Authority of Singapore and International Financial Services Centre Authority Exchange MoU
Singapore Times, Posted August 1, 2022
The International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on supervisory cooperation “in the presence of the Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modi at GIFT City, Gandhinagar, India.”
The MOU provides “a framework for supervisory cooperation between the two authorities in relation to financial services including stock exchanges and technical cooperation.”
It paves the way “for mutual assistance and the facilitation of the exchange of information between the Authorities, to strengthen the supervision of cross-border operations of the exchanges and compliance by the exchanges with the applicable laws and regulations.”
Webull Launches Services in Singapore
Crowdfund Insider, Posted August 1, 2022
Webull, a trading platform that offers both traditional securities as well as crypto, has launched services in Singapore, according to a corporate statement.
Singapore residents have been able to trade using Webull since May accessing US-listed equities, ETFs, options, and fractional shares, as well as Hong Kong-listed equities and ETFs. Webull did not indicate if crypto trading would be available at launch. The announcement is part of a broader initiative to expand services across the Asia Pacific region.
Bernard Teo, CEO of Webull Singapore, commented:
“We are excited to bring Webull’s platform to Singapore’s tech-savvy investment community. Webull has enjoyed considerable success in the United States and Hong Kong, and we plan to carry that momentum into Singapore and beyond. There is a significant opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region for mobile-first brokerages that have the advanced technology to meet the demands of a new generation of investors. Starting in Singapore, we plan to capture this market opportunity.”
Webull Singapore has secured a capital markets services license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore at the end of 2021.
Visa rolls out Eco Benefits package to Asian banks
The Paypers, Posted August 3, 2022
Visa, a world leader in digital payments, today announced the launch of Visa Eco Benefits in Asia Pacific.
Eco Benefits is a suite of sustainability-focused solutions that will help Visa cardholders across the region better understand the environmental impact of their day-to-day payments. They can calculate the carbon footprint generated by their Visa transactions, and access options for carbon offsetting or charitable donations from their bank’s website or app.
Banks in Asia Pacific that sign up for Eco Benefits will be able to offer these solutions to their Visa cardholders and meet a growing demand for sustainable financial services. According to a new Visa/YouGov survey, 66 per cent of consumers in Asia Pacific expect their bank to offer eco-friendly payment solutions. Over half (52 per cent) would switch banks in order to access a product or service that helps them understand the carbon footprint of their spending.
Revolut Singapore Launches Crypto Services, More Than 80 Tokens Now Available
FintechNews Singapore, Posted August 4, 2022
Global financial superapp Revolut has launched its new cryptocurrency service in Singapore, enabling customers to securely buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies. There are more than 80 tokens available via its app.
Revolut had secured in principal approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in April this year to operate a fully regulated cryptocurrency service.
There are several ways to buy and sell crypto on Revolut. Customers can set up a stop or limit order so they don’t have to time the market, or use the Recurring Buy feature to average out volatility. They can also round up any spare change in a cryptocurrency of their choice.
Revolut said that it does not apply any hidden fees and applies a 2.5% transaction fee for Standard customers and a 1.5% transaction fee for Premium and Metal customers.
Fintechs, Finance Firms Snap Up Media Companies to Gain Audience
FintechNews Singapore, Posted August 4, 2022
This past year has seen banks, financial services companies and fintech startups snapping up media companies, realizing the merits of owning their audience to gain exposure, sell more products and become more profitable.
An extensive research paper by business analytics and market intelligence company CB Insights looks at finance companies’ possible motives and ambitions in acquiring media companies, delving into the recent deals that occurred.
The report highlights that while there is a number of reasons for purchasing media and community, perhaps the biggest benefit is that it drives the cost of acquiring a new client to much lower levels. The reason for that is quite obvious: these platforms already have an audience and traffic, allowing brands to get access to a large pool of prospects pretty much overnight.
For these firms, the ambitions are clear: being able to run more contextually relevant and impactful marketing campaigns, increasing customer engagement and affinity, becoming the go-to brand for specific topics, and, ultimately, becoming more profitable.
UK Parliament opens inquiry into crypto sector
Altfi, Posted August 4, 2022
A cross party group of UK parliamentarians has kicked off an inquiry in the UK’s crypto and digital assets sector.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the UK Crypto and Digital Assets sector is exploring the need for further regulation of the market and inviting feedback from interest stakeholders across the industry, inlcuding crypto operators, regulators, industry experts and Government.
The cross party group, chaired by Dr Lisa Cameron MP, which is made up of MPs and Lords including the likes of former Digital Minister Lord Vaizey, member of the Treasury Select Committee Harriett Baldwin MP, and former Secretary of State Matt Hancock MP acts as a forum for parliamentarians, policymakers and the UK crypto sector to discuss policy and regulation of the industry.
Ecospend rolls out Pay-by-Bank at debt recovery firm CDER
Finextra, Posted August 3, 2022
Ecospend, the open banking technology provider is proud to announce it is partnering with CDER Group, one of the UK’s foremost Enforcement and Debt Resolution companies, to provide its account to account ‘Pay-by-Bank’ solution.
Ecospend partners with CDER Group to provide customers with Secure Pay By Bank Account solution
Collecting over £250m of unpaid Central and Local Government debt each year, CDER Group are using Ecospend’s ‘Pay-by-Bank’ solution to provide an additional, easy to use, secure payment channel, via the customers own mobile or online banking service, without the need to share personal information or card data.
CDER Group will use this platform to receive direct payments from customers with every transaction authorised by bank level security thus enabling a more secure payment process, further reducing the risk of fraud.
Microsoft and Nexi collaborate to innovate across the European payments landscape
IBS Intelligense, Posted July 29, 2022
Nexi has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to digitise payments solutions and secure cloud-based infrastructures across the European market.
Microsoft has also selected Nexi as its primary digital payment provider for e-commerce acceptance in Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and expand to other countries in future.
Nexi will leverage Azure Cloud solutions to enhance its own platforms with increased innovation, agility, efficiency, cybersecurity and data protection, particularly with the Data Center Modernisation and Consolidation scenarios and particularly the Italy North data centre region cloud services when made available.
Ageras Group Expands into Europe’s Largest Market, Acquiring German Neobank Kontist
BusinessWire, Posted July 28, 2022
Ageras Group—whose suite of financial and accounting software powers more than one million small businesses across Europe and North America—announced that it has acquired Kontist, a Berlin-based neo-bank “focused on the complex accounting and banking needs of Germany’s growing populations of microbusinesses and self-employed workers.”
Ageras Co-founder and CEO Rico Andersen said:
“This acquisition is a critical step in Ageras’ growth. Kontist has created the best product in Europe’s largest market. It’s a one-stop financial shop for approximately 50,000 German small business owners today, and it’s perfectly positioned to become the go-to financial platform for future generations of small business owners in need of modern banking and accounting tools.”
Founded in 2016 by Fintech veteran Christopher Plantener as Germany’s first neo-bank focused on freelancers and the self-employed, 150-person Kontist has “developed a reputation for its modern business banking and its highly sophisticated digital tax and accounting software.”
UK is card fraud capital of Europe
Finextra, Posted August 4, 2022
The UK has been crowned the card fraud capital of Europe, with more victims and higher losses experienced than any of its continental peers.
The data comes from analysis of the European Central Bank’s Statistical Data Warehouse, sourced from all reporting card payment scheme operators for 2019.
The figures, collated by the Social market Foundation, show the UK way out in front of its European neighbours in number of victims (134 for every thousand inhabitants) and losses (£8,833.20 per one thousand people).
The value of fraud is more than £2000 higher in the UK than the second ranked country, France, and contrasts sharply with Spain, Germany and Italy by a far greater order of magnitude.
Germany’s Airbank taps Klarna Kosma for open banking platform
Fintech Futures, Posted July 28, 2022
Digital financial management platform Airbank has tapped Klarna Kosma, the fintech arm of buy now, pay later (BNPL) giant Klarna, for its open banking platform.
Klarna Kosma says its platform will provide Airbank access to the “world’s largest” international network of banks, supporting its expansion efforts into new markets across Europe and beyond.
Airbank will gain secure access to account information from 15,000 banks in 26 countries via a single API integration, opening up its business to global customers.
Berlin-based Airbank provides businesses with a top-level view of their finances by consolidating all their bank accounts, allowing SMEs and start-ups to monitor their accounts in real-time, automate bill management, make payments and forecast future liquidity.
Nets grows POS presence in Poland with Simapka acquisition
Fintech Futures, Posted July 28, 2022
Polskie ePłatności (PeP), part of European paytech Nets / Nexi Group, has acquired a majority stake in Team4U, the owner of Simapka – an app for owners of shops and service points.
The move follows several acquisitions made by PeP over the past five years in the cashless payments space, including NeoTu, PayUp, TopCard, Billbird and PayLane.
Simapka provides solutions that enhance distribution and sales processes for retail outlets. Its app allows the registration of SIM cards, sale of GSM top-ups or gift cards, number transfer between operators and new features in financial services, including loans and insurance.
“Together with PeP and Team4U, we want to build an ecosystem in which payments will be supplemented by numerous additional services offered by point of sale (POS),” says Robert Hoffman, CEO of Nets Merchant Services, part of Nexi Group.
Global Payments to Acquire EVO Payments
Reuters, Posted August 1, 2022
Global Payments Inc., a provider of payment technology and software solutions, and EVO Payments, Inc. (NASDAQ: EVOP), a global provider of payment technology integrations and acquiring solutions, recently announced that Global Payments “will acquire EVO in an all-cash transaction for $34.00 per share.”
The transaction will “significantly increase Global Payments’ target addressable markets, further enhance its leadership in integrated payments worldwide, expand its presence in new and existing faster growth geographies, and augment its B2B software and payment solutions with the addition of accounts receivable software with broad third-party acceptance.”
Cameron Bready, President and Chief Operating Officer, Global Payments, said:
“The acquisition of EVO is highly complementary to our technology-enabled strategy and provides meaningful opportunities to increase scale in our business globally. Together with EVO, we are positioned to deliver an unparalleled suite of distinctive software and payment solutions to our combined 4.5 million merchant locations and more than 1,500 financial institutions worldwide.”
The transaction will “expand Global Payments’ geographic footprint into attractive new geographies such as Poland, Germany, Chile, and upon closing, Greece, as well as enhance its scale in existing markets, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Ireland and the United Kingdom.”
Fintech Parafin Acquires $60M in Funding
Bloomberg, Posted August 2, 2022
Parafin, a financial-technology startup run by former Robinhood Markets Inc. staffers, raised $60 million in its second funding round.
GIC Pte, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, led the fundraising, Parafin said in a statement. GIC joined existing investors including Thrive and Ribbit Capital to value the company at $520 million, and bring its total equity funding to $94 million.
Founded in 2020 by Sahill Poddar, Ralph Furman, and Vineet Goel, Parafin works with companies such as DoorDash Inc. and Mindbody to build their financing arms, with a focus on lending to small businesses.
“As we started the company during the pandemic, we noticed small businesses weren’t getting the help they needed,” Goel said in an interview. “We want to be the one-stop shop to enable these platforms to offer a variety of financial products.”
Neobanking Fintech Avant Teams Up with Major League Soccer (MLS)
Crowdfund Insider, Posted August 3, 2022
As Major League Soccer (MLS) nears the mid-way mark of its exciting 27th season, MLS and Avant, a credit-first neobank that gives consumers access to the financial solutions they “deserve,” announced “a multi-year partnership.”
Kevin Chin, Head of Business Development & Partnerships at Avant, said:
“This multi-year exclusive strategic partnership with MLS further expands upon Avant’s offering to its customers. The agreement designates Avant as the Official Credit Card* Partner of Major League Soccer, the MLS All-Star Game, MLS Cup and eMLS, and will result in the creation of the fan affinity credit card.”
Cardholders will “have access to benefits including ticket pre-sales, express entry to select major events, and merchandise.”
FinTech Automation joins Mastercard Engage partner network
Crowfund Insider, Posted August 3, 2022
FinTech Automation (“FTA”) announces it has been selected as one of the technology partners for open banking within Mastercard’s Engage partner network.
The Engage program has developed a network to provide businesses easy access to technology partners that can quickly build and deploy open banking solutions for payments and lending decisioning at scale.
With the rapid adoption of open banking (i.e., consumer-permissioned data access) and digital tools across financial services experiences, FTA has been selected by Mastercard as one of the premier technology partners to spur innovation through access to its open banking platform, from lending to payments to financial management.
Swift could face challenge in new era for cross-border payments – EIU
Finextra, Posted July 29, 2022
The Russian invasion of Ukraine will cause disruption to cross-border payment systems and could, in conjunction with technological advances, challenge the dominance of the Swift network, predicts a paper from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
While domestic digital payment usage surged during the pandemic, the EIU expects this to slow over the next five years, largely owing to strong base effects.
However, customers are increasingly demanding a similar revolution in cross-border payments, which are still mostly facilitated by the “old-fashioned” and “cumbersome” correspondent banking network.
At the centre of this is Swift, which the paper notes has “encountered criticism for its relative inflexibility and lack of transparency” and seen a decline in the number of correspondent banking relationships over the last decade.
Portage preps $1bn late-stage fintech fund
Finextra, Posted July 27, 2022
Fintech investor Portage is looking to raise up to $1 billion for a new fund focused on late-stage startups.
The fund will focus on “structured opportunities” in fintech and financial services companies globally and target investments over $50 million.
Portage CEO Adam Felesky tells Reuters that the fund will invest in securities that combine debt and equity features.
Firms will not need to lock in a valuation, which Portage argues is important for startups that are wary of traditional funding rounds that require them to take a hit on valuations during the economic downturn.
“In this market environment, we’re seeing accelerated demand for flexible capital solutions as entrepreneurs and shareholders look to continue the strong growth trajectory of their business,” says fund co-head Daniel Ballen.
Nubank Emerges as the Largest Brokerage in Brazil
Crowdfund Insider, Posted August 1, 2022
Latin American Digital bank Nubank has emerged as the largest brokerage in Brazil as it tops 5 million investors.
According to a blog post, Nubank has the largest number of active investors on a digital brokerage in the country.
Nubank facilitated the investing features with the acquisition of Easynvest and the branding of NuInvest over one year ago. The investment services include stocks, ETFs, real estate investment funds, and investments in variable income. Nubank cites B3 that indicates around 1/3 of investors on the Brazilian Stock Exchange hold investments in variable income products offered by Nubank.
Nubank, or Nu Holdings, traded on the NYSE currently has a market cap of around $20 billion making it one of the biggest Fintech successes in Latam.
Paystand acquires Mexican peer Yaydoo
Finextra, Posted August 1, 2022
Paystand, the leader in blockchain-enabled accounts receivable and B2B payments, today announced the acquisition of Yaydoo, the leader in accounts payable, cash flow management, and liquidity solutions in Mexico and LATAM.
The deal represents one of the biggest technology unions in Mexico and LATAM and makes commercial blockchain-based solutions more accessible across the Americas.
In the midst of economic uncertainty, the fusion of the two firms opens a horizon of hope and opportunity, not only for other tech startups but also for Latin American businesses. Both PayStand and Yaydoo offer a wide range of technology-enabled B2B solutions for automating transactions, payment, and bill collection processes.
The two companies have built best-in-class AR / AP solutions designed for the needs of both U.S. and LATAM businesses of all sizes. They have succeeded in creating B2B DeFi payment networks in both the U.S. and Mexico, creating a network effect, and now set their sights on connecting their platforms through a single, open, instant and secure global payment network.