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Future of FinTech | Edition #22 – June 2022
We’re upholding our weekly tradition of keeping your cups abubble with the latest FinTech deets as we bring you the newest edition of the Future of FinTech Newsletter! If you're new and curious, read on to find out what happened in FinTech across six dynamic themes and join other FinTech nerds in receiving some fresh Weekly FinTech Brew served right to your inbox every Tuesday! ☕️
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What’s Brewing? Apple entered the BNPL space with its new Apple Pay Later feature, allowing users to split any Apple Pay purchase into four equal installments over six weeks with zero interest and no fees. The move has elicited quite the mixed responses within the few hours of its release: a game-changer or a bite into increasing debt?
Additionally, we bring you the week’s Top 10 FinTech News Stories as an accompaniment to your zesty FinTech cuppa:
Back to business then 😎
Edition #22 comes with numerous power-packed partnerships across all segments as ecosystem participants gear up to make more seamless financial experiences.
Here’s the TL;DR:
OpenPayd and Yapily unite to meet the demand for simplified payments.
Marqeta joins Mastercard’s Network Enablement Partner program to offer APAC region customers live issuance on a faster timeline.
DePay brings web 3 P2P payment gateway to eligible Shopify merchants.
Accenture, Microsoft, and Avanade to co-develop climate and ESG solutions.
Germany raises $4.3B from green bond proceeds with plans to establish a green yield curve.
For the longer read, let's get going –
The Open Finance landscape witnessed a lot of players teaming up last week as Open Banking rapidly makes its way into the mainstream.
MENA region’s Tarabut Gateway entered four new key banking partnerships as part of its expansion in Saudi Arabia. The Open Banking platform was selected by Riyad Bank, Saudi British Bank (SABB), Alinma Bank, and Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) as a partner to continue supporting the sector’s growth in the Kingdom. TrueLayer and Thunes teamed up to facilitate clients in the UK and different parts of the European region in improving their payment experience. Yolt also made the headlines for its collaboration with SME lending platform October to demonstrate how Open Banking can play a vital role in providing greater financial inclusion for SMEs while making the process much easier when applying for a loan. Furthermore, Sherpa CRM joined forces with Nordigen to enable the former’s clients to connect their bank accounts directly to the management tool and stay on top of all their finances in one place.
Not only that, but Plaid also added online payment services provider Mollie to its payment partner ecosystem to provide SME merchants across the UK and Europe with tools to grow their businesses to match the growing e-commerce market demand. Similarly, Salt Edge and US-based PFM app Banktivity partnered to enable the latter’s customers in the UK and EU to instantly access 2,500+ Open Banking and PSD2 channels, thus helping to fix the pain point of tedious manual financial data entry. OpenPayd and Yapily also united to combine their respective payments and open banking expertise to provide a unified service offering in instant payments for businesses across the UK and Europe, all through a single API.
In other news, Financial Data Exchange announced its Spring release of FDX API 5.1. The updated version merges the main Core, Tax, and Money Movement introductions into one document for ease of use and improved formatting.
The Digital Finance sector seemed to be bustling with several activities the past week as firms looked to make the movement of money more reliable and secure.
On the partnerships front, Nav Technologies Inc. announced a partnership with Marcus by Goldman Sachs to offer small business owners financially smart lines of credit with fixed rates, no origination or maintenance fees, and a fully digital experience. Monzo integrated with global FinTech firm Wise to give clients a simple, affordable way to send funds overseas using the “real” exchange rate with “no hidden fees.” CreditRich, a Black woman-owned neobank offering intelligent bill pay for credit optimization, and Visa announced the CreditRich Visa debit and credit card intending to deliver a simple, high-reward neobanking experience to Millennials, Gen Z, the Black community, and the underbanked. Revolut collaborated with e-grocery app Bringo to offer Revolut users in the Romanian market to benefit from 10% cashback if they shop from the Bringo app and pay with the Revolut card or app.
Marqeta also joined Mastercard’s Network Enablement Partner program to empower its Asia-Pacific customers to quickly scale across multiple geographies, accelerate product innovation, and optimize performance and efficiency. While German neobank N26 partnered with Stripe to power its payments technology, M-Pesa teamed up with Visa for virtual card payments service in Africa. Moreover, Vietnam’s Maritime Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MSB) selected Temenos to modernize its core banking system to transform it into an agile, future-ready bank. Bexs Pay also sealed a partnership with Nubank to provide Brazilians with easier access to international products and services.
As for the various funding rounds, Saudi Arabia’s HyperPay raised $36.8M in a new investment round led by Mastercard to support the payment services provider’s regional expansion to Egypt, Qatar, and Oman. Neobank Kroo also secured $32.5M in a Series B funding to further its growth and development, focusing on recruitment, expansion and contributing to social causes.
Speaking of expansion, Singapore’s MSME-focused Green Link Digital Bank made its debut with the aim of helping underserved businesses with accessible commercial banking, looking into expanding its service coverage to the digital economy. The Banese Group similarly introduced a new digital bank Desty to the Brazilian market with support from Technisys to monitor market changes and help meet consumer needs to support financial inclusion in the country. China’s Ant Group also made the headlines for launching a digital wholesale bank in Singapore, dubbed ANEXT Bank, as part of a strategic effort to ensure the banking sector remains progressive, globally competitive, and vibrant.
Multiple industry players came together to form necessary integrations and affiliations in the Embedded Finance sphere as the demand for multiple BNPL options continues to rise.
BNPL platform Optty’s partnership with payments provider Payoneer answers just the same. Payoneer is the latest to be added to Optty’s partnership list, with the company’s Payment Platform acting as an integration tool for the BNPL offering, providing easy access to amending the customer’s shopping experience. B2B BNPL Tranch, in a similar move, picked technology provider Yobota to provide its core banking infrastructure as Tranch develops its flexible payments service. Stripe also made the bulletin for offering customers BNPL installment plans thanks to an integration with Affirm's adaptive checkout product. Likewise, Federal Bank extended its existing partnership with Pine Labs to enable Federal Bank credit card holders to avail the benefits of BNPL at any merchant store pan India, powered by Pine Labs PoS terminals.
What’s more – Marqeta announced a new partnership with Klarna, where Klarna will use it to issue the Klarna Card to enable its US customers to pay anywhere using Klarna’s “Pay in 4” solution both online and in-store. Swiss web 3 payment startup DePay also integrated its web 3 P2P solution into commerce platform Shopify to allow buyers to send direct payments to store owner wallets with tens of thousands of accepted tokens on supported blockchains.
Klarna was also in the news announcing it would report its credit data to lenders, reporting consumer purchases paid on time, late payments, and unpaid purchases for their “pay in 30 days” and “pay in three” orders. As for the other activities, Kabbage co-founders launched Keep Financial, a business model that helps companies attract and retain top talent by regularly distributing a cash bonus to employees as long as they stay on board with the firm for a pre-determined period. FinTech unicorn slice secured $50M as part of its Series C funding round to support its new UPI product expansion. SaaS construction procurement platform Constrafor also grabbed $106M in equity and credit seed funding to finance construction subcontractors.
An assorted mix of affairs made for the eventful buzz in DeFi as new solutions pave their way into the expanding industry.
DeFi crypto wallet Kirobo introduced its new inheritance solution, allowing users to generate and execute an automated last will without the need for lawyers, government authorities, or any other centralized entity. US-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken launched a staking feature through its mobile Pro app to enable users to stake and unstake while at the same time managing and tracking their rewards through the application. Lithuanian FinTech company Kudona, a subsidiary of the German company rubarb GmbH, grabbed headlines for its plans to recall a conventional savings book that currently yields significantly higher interest rates. The target groups are private individuals and companies, which are particularly affected by negative interest rates. The application will be easy to use and focuses strongly on the security of customer funds.
That’s not all – Luxembourg-based Bitstamp introduced its Bitstamp Earn product to American investors, where investors fund their Bistamp accounts and then collect staking rewards. For its part, Bitstamp takes a fee on the yield customers earn. Blockchain oracle platform Chainlink announced the launch of its price feeds on the Solana blockchain. The integration allows DeFi developers to use the feeds within their dApps. Solana-based projects have committed to using the price feeds for their products. Yield aggregators Francium and Tulip and lending protocol Apricot Finance are among those that will use them. Lewis Capaldi’s upcoming performance on an exclusive DeFi-funded show this summer initiated by scalable and boutique ticketing solution XTIXS in partnership with GET Protocol also made for a key headline in the segment.
Several platforms were seen unifying their offerings under one roof to streamline access to information in the Platform Finance vertical.
UAE FinTech startup Pemo launched its all-in-one spend management platform to offer fast, transparent, and simplified invoice payment and expense management solutions and smart corporate cards for SMEs in the MENA region. Commercial property finance brokerage Stamford Capital introduced a FinTech marketplace for commercial real estate agents, providing insights on the lending market comprising banks, non-banks, and private lenders. Toronto-based FinTech startup Wealthsimple similarly launched its new, rebranded app that ensures its users will be able to access the startups’ core services, from stock and crypto trading to spending, through a single interface. Singapore also officially launched a centralized platform, Singapore Trade Data Exchange, that streamlines information flows across a fragmented global supply chain, providing "trusted, secure, and inclusive" access.
On the other hand, Indian supply chain finance platform KredX and Tradewind Finance made the news for working together to help provide financing for international business, exports, and imports. Indonesia’s technology group PT GoTo Gojek Tokopedia also hit the headlines for injecting fresh capital of $58.6M into its subsidiaries Velox SEA and GoPay.
Numerous brands were observed to take steps for their commitment to managing their environmental impact in the Green Finance space.
Sustainability-as-a-Service solution provider ecolytiq closed its investment round, raising $14.5M to expand its solution, which is currently available in Europe, Canada, and the US, serving ecolytiq’s core mission to help banks all over the globe to empower their customers with much-needed transparency on individual environmental impact. Rimac Group raised $536M, which will help the Croatian startup expand beyond its electric hypercar roots and grow into a global EV components supplier — and eventually a publicly-traded company. Germany also raised $4.3B in green bond proceeds to fund green expenditures and investments as part of its sustainability strategy.
Furthermore, BlackRock joined hands with sustainability analytics and data science platform Clarity AI, integrating the latter’s capabilities into its own Aladdin operating system to support enterprise reporting for the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) framework. Accenture, Microsoft, and their digital, cloud, and advisory services and solutions joint venture Avanade announced the launch of a new partnership to help organizations transform operations, products, services, and value chains to accelerate the net-zero transition, with plans to expand focus in the future to tackle other ESG issues. Bloomberg also launched new indices, including EU Paris-Aligned Benchmarks, expanding the firm’s fixed-income and equity index offerings. Even Nasdaq made the news for acquiring ESG data collection, analytics, and reporting software provider Metrio to bolster its IR & ESG services portfolio.
When it comes to the various regulatory events, the French regulator, The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), called for the regulation of providers of ESG data, ratings, and related services in response to an ongoing public consultation by the European Commission into the functioning of the ESG rating market, and into the consideration of ESG factors in credit ratings. EU markets regulator, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), similarly announced the release of a new supervisory briefing to align the supervision of investment funds with sustainability features. However, all wasn’t sunshine and rainbows in the green space, as German prosecutors raided asset manager DWS and its majority owner Deutsche Bank over allegations of misleading investors about "green" investments. Following the same, DWS’ CEO, Asoka Woehrmann, resigned from his position, with Stefan Hoops joining in as his replacement.
Some other happenings in the FinTech universe 🪐
Some more notable headlines from beyond the six dynamic themes to keep you up-to-date on the FinTech bustle–
Brazilian FinTech Marvin closed a $15M Series A round,
Israel’s Hourly.io raised $27M for payroll solutions,
Binance raised a $500M fund to back web 3 tech, and
Kryptomon secured $10 in funding led by NFX.
And that's a wrap 👋
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Weekly Crypto Cuppa, and we'll be back with more next week!
If you're hungry for more FinTech insights, check out some of our other work at WhiteSight.
Our latest publications include exploring how The Future of Financial Services Will Run on Open Rails and Unearthing The Bustle In Green Finance: Earth Day 2022.
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