Kindly find our weekly fintech and banking newsletter. If you do not want to receive it, you can unsubscribe from the mailing list at the bottom of the page.
Finstar PR Department
Cashfree Payments launches automated escrow management solution
The Paypers, Posted February 7, 2023
India-based payments and API banking solutions company Cashfree Payments has launched `Co-lend`, a fully automated escrow management solution for co-leading.
The new service facilitates secure and instant disbursal with auto reconciliation, as well as a dashboard for managing multiple partnerships and collaborations at the same time. Furthermore, it does not require any type of manual intervention, and it notifies the loan management system automatically while eliminating reconciliation efforts.
`Co-lend` was developed according to the digital leading guidelines provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
In the collaborations made through co-leading, both the lender and the originator will have the possibility to pool the desired sum into the Co-lend escrow. The disbursals and collections will further happen from and into the escrow. The new features of Cashfree Payments aim to address all the challenges and risks that might appear in this process, such as the errors and delays that might happen because of the repayments and disbursements handled manually, or even the ones caused by accounting and reconciliation for each player in the partnership.
`Co-lend` provides its customers with an entire automated process, while focusing on its efficiency and accuracy. The clients are allowed to use the platform for co-lending originators and lenders, especially the ones that are sanctioning in high volumes of loans, cases where real-time repayments, disbursements, and reconciliation are required. The launch focuses on offering NBFCs, banks, and other financial institutions a simple service for escrow management, repayment, and disbursal, as well as concentrating on automating payments and complex reconciliation improvement
Standard Chartered and Allinpay partnership enables cross-border QR payments
Finextra, Posted February 9, 2023
Standard Chartered Bank and Singaporean company Allinpay have enabled PayNow instant cross-border payments for merchants and businesses in Hong Kong using QR codes.
Participating merchants in Hong Kong will be able to accept Singapore PayNow payments without infrastructure or operational charges. Moreover, Singaporeans will not have to face currency exchange rates or cross-border fees.
General manager of Allinpay Merchants Services, Tay Tiong Hean, commented: “It is timely to spearhead PayNow QR payments at Hong Kong merchants with the resumption of travel. We are confident that this partnership will offer a real-time and seamless digital payment experience through Allinpay’s integrated platform to truly meet our customers’ needs for better cross-borderpayments, cost savings and mobile lifestyle.”
The move is expected to encourage travel between the countries and will generate revenue for participating Hong Kong businesses.
India’s retail giant Reliance to accept CBDC at stores
TechCrunch, Posted February 2, 2023
Reliance Retail, India’s largest retail chain, will start accepting retail payments in digital rupee in a move that could supercharge the adoption of the country’s recently launched CBDC.
The Mukesh Ambani-led firm said it has partnered with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and fintech Innoviti Technologies to launch the in-store support for digital rupee. Customers who wish to pay with the country’s CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), called e₹-R, will be provided with a dynamic digital rupee acceptance QR code for scanning at the store, the retail giant said Thursday.
Reliance Retail, part of the Indian conglomerate Reliance, said it has rolled out the support for CBDC at its gourmet store line Freshpik and will extend the feature across all its properties eventually. Thursday’s move makes Reliance the largest Indian firm to adopt the digital rupee.
Malaysia: Gobi Partners Onboards Startups Durioo+, Lapasar, Paywatch, pitchIN to Superseed II Fund
Crowdfund Insider, Posted February 2, 2023
Gobi Partners, the “most interconnected” Pan-Asian venture capital (VC) firm with US$1.5 billion (RM6.5 billion) in assets under management has “onboarded four more promising Malaysian startups to its Gobi Superseed II Fund (Gobi SSII Fund).”
The four firms “being onboarded are Islamic-themed streaming service Durioo+, e-commerce marketplace Lapasar, earned wage access provider Paywatch and online investing platform pitchIN.”
All four companies have been “identified as leaders in their respective fields and have the capability to scale up and bring sizeable returns to the Malaysian economy.”
Gobi Managing Partner (Malaysia), Jamaludin Bujang is excited “to welcome the new portfolios to the Gobi family and to also help guide them through the expected economic headwinds this year.”
Freedom Finance offers 22 more products in its digital lending marketplace
The Paypers, Posted February 8, 2023
UK-based digital lending marketplace Freedom Finance has added lending products from the likes Santander, ASDA Money, Admiral, and others.
Popular brands like Santander, ASDA Money, and Admiral have joined or extended their offering on the marketplace and added more personal loans, mortgages, credit cards, auto finance, and other lending products.
Freedom Finance already partners with over 100 of the UK’s lenders and providers, helping consumers navigate borrowing with its proprietary matching platform. These latest additions further strengthen its offering, giving consumers access to a wide variety of reputable providers and products.
Lunar raises €35m for profitability push
Altfi, Posted February 9, 2023
Danish neobank Lunar has raised €35m to help accelerate its path to profitability.
Existing investors largely contributed to the round, according to a press statement from the company. Its existing investors include Tencent, Heartland, IDC Ventures and Kinnevik.
Operating throughout the Nordic region, Lunar has 500,000 retail customers and 15,000 business customers.
“The capital markets that we and other similar companies raise money in have changed completely, with earnings now becoming the key focus. Last year we improved our product, attracted more customers, and increased our revenue streams significantly,” said founder and CEO of the Lunar Group Ken Villum Klausen.
Identity decisioning fintech Alloy launches in UK
Finextra, Posted Posted February 9, 2023
US fintech Alloy launches in the UK as part of their EMEA growth and global expansion, opening an office in London office and announcing key hires.
The identity decisioning platform connects to over 170 data sources enabling financial institutions to automate customer approval, account opening, and monitor transactions. This product is already used by 350 companies globally.
The company was founded in 2015 and has worked with companies like Carta, Ramp, and Brex. Alloy announced last year it had raised $52m for global expansion and is expanding into 40 countries. The company’s former COO, Edwina Johnson, has relocated to London to lead Alloy’s global expansion efforts, and the former vice president of Onifdo, James Baston-Pitt, has been appointed EMEA director of growth. Alloy states they are currently hiring roles in the UK across sales and partnerships and will continue to build out its go-to-market and client services functions throughout the year.
Revolut debuts crypto staking
Finextra, Posted February 7, 2023
Revolut has launched cryptocurrency staking for customers in the UK and EEA, enabling users to earn returns on their holdings by locking up their cryptocurrrency in a wallet.
Staking is similar to depositing cash in a high-yield savings account. Users lock crypto assets for a set period of time to help support the operation of a blockchain and are paid interest on the balance in return.
Revolut’s staking service is initially being rolled out for four tokens – Ethereum, Cardano, Polkadot, and Tezo. Customers can either stake their existing crypto balances for these tokens or buy and then stake the balance of one or more of the four tokens. The reward is based on the balance they staked.
The payout, cadence and required minimum time to stake varies by token with customers able to earn up to 11.65% APY, says Revolut.
UK Steps Up Planning for Digital Pound Currency Backed by BOE
Bloomberg, Posted February 7, 2023
The Bank of England and the UK Treasury stepped up work on creating a digital currency to sit alongside physical banknotes and sought to allay concerns that the work could threaten the stability of banks.
Officials at the two institutions said a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, which has been unofficially dubbed “Britcoin,” could present significant opportunities for UK consumers and businesses after it’s rolled out as early as the second half of this decade. The moves are part of an effort by central banks around the world to adapt to new forms of payment that work more quickly and smoothly in online transactions. It also is aimed at keeping the government involved in supplying money as consumers shift to card payments backed by companies and not the government
UK Fintech Nucleus365 Introduces European Instant Payments
Crowdfund Insider, Posted February 7, 2023
Nucleus365, a UK-headquartered payment institution providing a centralized platform for international payment processing, FX, and connected banking, has introduced Rapid Transfer payment options for its European merchants.
Rapid Transfer enables clients to pay merchants instantly using their online banking details, offering same-day settlements of funds.
Available to merchants internationally enabling them to access the European market efficiently, the solution provides an alternative to card payments. Allowing merchants that use Rapid Transfer to take advantage of increased conversions and eliminate the processing fees typically associated with card payments.
Nine major banks invest $45m in carbon credit network Carbonplace
The Paypers, Posted February 9, 2023
Carbonplace, a carbon credit transaction network, has raised $45m from its nine founder banks and formed its own entity.
Connecting buyers and sellers of carbon credits through their banks, Carbonplace secured the seed funding from the banks that founded it, NatWest, BNP Paribas, UBS, Standard Chartered, National Australia Bank, BBVA, CIBC, Itaú Unibanco and SMBC.
Each bank now has equal equity ownership in the company, which is expected to launch its platform this year and will be headed up by CEO Scott Eaton.
“With Carbonplace, we are transforming the way that carbon credits are bought, distributed, held and retired,” Eaton said.
“I am excited to take this company to the next level of its evolution, and to help unlock its massive potential to drive significant economic and social value by opening the carbon markets up to the world.”
Fintech Apple: Big Tech Firm’s BNPL Service Launching Soon, Followed by an Extended Credit Product Apple Pay Monthly
Crowdfund Insider, Posted February 8, 2023
Apple is expected to soon launch its buy now-pay later product (BNPL) as it expands the service to a broader beta group. According to a report filed by Bloomberg, Apple Pay Later is being tested in-house by its approximately 80,000 or so retail employees. Announced last summer, in typical fashion, Apple is taking its time in releasing a new service that pushes the tech firm deeper into Fintech. As was previously reported, the BNPL product will be managed by Apple but advised by Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) – the firm that powers the successful Apple Card. Apple Pay Later will allow users to choose to pay over a six-week period of time minus any fees or interest charges.
Perhaps more interesting is the indication that Apple will add a longer-term product providing credit that includes an interest rate charge as Apple establishes itself as a consumer lender. The report has dubbed this service as Apple Pay Monthly, which will be provided in partnership with Goldman Sachs.
Fintech Provider Larky Announces Launch with Forward Bank
Crowdfund Insider, Posted February 8, 2023
Larky, a Fintech provider helping financial institutions connect with their audience in the right place and at the right time, announced its launch with Marshfield, Wis.-based Forward Bank.
The bank has introduced Larky’s nudge push notifications in order to provide its account holders with more personalized, timely communications.
With over $930 million in assets, Forward Bank is a customer-owned, independent community banking institution that serves central Wisconsin residents and nearby areas.
Leveraging Larky’s nudge allows the bank to proactively communicate with its account holders and anticipate their requirements based on behavior, patterns of travel and places frequently visited.
Forward Bank intends to reach its clients with various targeted push notifications such as post-visit surveys, geofenced event announcements, on-site financial service recommendations and service messages based on other businesses visited (i.e., auto loans or mortgages when visiting dealerships or realty offices) as well as thank you messages that account holders receive after opting in to receive notifications.
Brazil celebrates 2 years of open finance
Finextra, Posted February 2, 2023
Today marks two years since Brazil launched its Open Finance Initiative. Open banking in Brazil has blossomed thanks to the initiative, forging a new governance structure and financial system for financial institutions in the nation.
During this period, the Open Finance Initiative received 17.3 million consents from users to share personal and banking data with financial institutions. The initiative has also seen 10.8 billion successful communications within the financial ecosystem.
The system operates through APIs which are regulated through the Brazilian Central Bank, facilitating the exchange of data between institutions.
General manager of Ozone API in Latin America, Fabio Caldeira, commented on the success of the initiative: “For me, the essential point that allowed us to evolve so much in such a short time was the active role the regulator played in encouraging the market to collaborate in building what is today one of the most advanced Open Finance initiatives in the world. The creation of a governance structure and the leadership style proposed by the regulator were essential pillars to sustain the evolution that we have seen in recent years – especially in comparison with countries that are already quite developed in this area, such as the UK.”
INVEX introduces Now, its neobank
The Paypers, Posted February 7, 2023
INVEX Banco has introduced Now, a Mexico-based digital neobank which shapes a proposal that is born from the lifestyle of its users.
After monitoring the market of more than 11 million users of digital services, this neobank was created to cater to their needs for convenience, financial security, and access to the banking system.
Now offers consumers a clear, open, and appealing banking experience that enables them to pay bills, save money, and maintain complete control over their finances while constantly looking out for their financial wellbeing.
Customers of Now will have the ability to select from a variety of options the one that best fits their lifestyle. Users can access the bank through their phone in less than six minutes without any paperwork or lineups. Similarly, customers will decide how to communicate with Now – whether through digital means or directly by speaking with a support agent.
INVEX hopes to attract more than 1 million new customers with its latest bet. Currently, INVEX is the sixth credit card provider in Mexico and oversees a portfolio worth more than USD 1.58 billion.
Alviere announces partnership with Coppel
The Paypers, Posted February 3, 2023
Finance platform provider Alviere has announced its partnership with the Coppel store chain to launch a mobile wallet for digital financial services.
Following this collaboration, unbanked and underbanked customers from the US will have the ability to access digital financial services, using the embedded platform provided by Alviere.
Coppel Access, the new mobile wallet solution, was developed in partnership with Appriza Pay, a cross-border payments platform that enabled Grupo Coppel’s subsidiary from America to integrate financial products and services into its already existing offerings. Included in Coppel Access will be multiple solutions, such as diverse payment services and methods, physical and digital debit cards, as well as fast, secure, and convenient remittances to Mexico.
Furthermore, Coppel Access offers FDIC-insured accounts, aiming to improve the overall customer experience, as well as fostering financial inclusion and development.
Thank You for reading us!
Finstar PR Department