Future of Fintech | Edition #98 – Dec 2023
Fintech Pulse: Weekly Digest (Dec 5th-11th)
Brew Alert! ☕
We’re back with another brewing edition that spills the fintech tea on the freshest headlines that'll have you buzzing all week long. Brace yourself for a ride through the vibrant fintech landscapes of APAC, MENA, and LATAM – where the sun never sets on groundbreaking moves and financial evolution. So, get your fintech fix and join the global financial soirée!
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We’ll embark on a journey through the week's fintech wonders in just a short while, but first, let’s explore how a US brokerage platform has crossed continents to revolutionise crypto services in Europe!
Get ready, Europe! Robinhood is about to turn the crypto game on its head!
Just a week after storming the UK with its stock-broking services, the Silicon Valley disruptor is unleashing commission-free crypto trading across the European Union. Crypto enthusiasts can now dive into the world of over 25 cryptocurrencies, including the likes of Bitcoin, Ether, and Solana’s SOL.
Imagine snagging some Bitcoin as a thank-you gift for your monthly trading adventures—yes, Robinhood's launching a cashback-style loyalty program that credits a percentage of your trading volume in Bitcoin.
But here's the twist – why isn't the UK getting a piece of this crypto pie just yet? According to Robinhood Crypto's general manager, Johann Kerbrat, it's all about a local lack of regulatory clarity around digital assets. Nevertheless, crypto prices are soaring, with crypto notional trading volumes on Robinhood spiking by a whopping 75% in November. The app's revenue strategy involves grabbing a chunk from market makers and trading venues, with European trades racking up a higher rebate than their US counterparts. Hold on tight – Robinhood's European expansion is just beginning, and more features, tokens, and staking services are set to drop in the coming year.
The crypto revolution is crossing the pond, and Robinhood is leading the charge, one commission-free trade at a time. Are you ready to join the crypto party?
Fuel your fintech curiosity with a piping-hot cup of the latest fintech headlines, brewed up for you in Edition #98.
Here's the TL;DR
We begin the journey of unravelling the weekly fintech endeavours in Europe, where Klarna joined forces with Germany-based online pharmacy DocMorris to offer German consumers a seamless, fair, and secure payment experience while further improving convenience and access to healthcare products. In the UK, PwC and Engine by Starling teamed up to enhance PwC’s digital banking offerings to clients worldwide, leveraging Engine’s modern, modular, API-based, cloud-native technology. Making our way upwards, TrueLayer hopped on the payment infrastructure of Nordic challenger bank Lunar in a bid to extend its account-to-account payment services across Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
Continuing the trail of fintech infrastructure-related moves, Brim Financial announced a strategic partnership with Mastercard, embedding Mastercard’s open banking capabilities to enable US players to provide their customers with a more seamless payment experience. Meanwhile, Temenos integrated with Wyden to offer digital asset trading and orchestration to banks using the Temenos banking platform.
Another firm that set its sights on expanding the reach of digital currencies in Latin America was Circle, which forged a partnership with Brazilian neobank Nubank to enhance the adoption and understanding of USDC through Nubank’s Nubank Crypto platform. Amid the rising competition among the neobanks vying for big banks’ share in Brazil, Inter made waves in the space after its major customer acquisition milestone of 30 million customers in December.
That’s not the only milestone that grabbed headlines the past week, as Canadian challenger bank Koho was in the news for surpassing one million users and a $100M run rate. The fintech startup secured a $86M CAD extension to its Series D round, maintaining a $800M valuation.
Players across industries were observed to find ways to protect their customers last week, with Experian integrating NeuroID’s behavioural analytics to enable clients to seamlessly deploy fraud detection that helps identify user intentions through robust data-driven insights. At the same time, Catawiki and Cover Genius teamed up to offer embedded protection to Catawiki sellers directly within the online shipping process for in-country and cross-border shipments.
For the longer read, let's get going –
Take a look into the Open Finance extravaganza, where the payment game gets a turbo boost for both consumers and businesses.
HT Drinks went live with open banking provider Bankzy, enabling customers to pay for goods directly from their business bank accounts.
Wix joined forces with the creator of PaidBy — ISX Financial EU Plc — to allow Wix's UK-based merchants to leverage PaidBy's open banking payment platform.
Yaspa launched instant deposit functionality for clients of Switzerland-based Casino Lugano, enabling them to effortlessly scan a QR code with their mobile phones while inside the casino and be redirected to their preferred online banking app to initiate a deposit.
Dive into the Digital Finance spectacle, where innovators are unveiling user-friendly financial solutions that redefine simplicity in the fintech landscape.
Argentinian neobank Ualá launched a new Mastercard credit card issued by Argentine digital bank, Uilo. Credit cardholders can access perks through the Ualá+ loyalty program.
Nubank extended the availability of its Money Boxes (Caixinhas) to business account customers. Originally introduced in July 2022 for individual customers, Caixinhas facilitates straightforward financial organisation and planning with customisation options and a yield component.
Unveil a dynamic week of Embedded Finance revelations, where highs and lows intertwine to create a captivating tapestry of industry activities.
Direct Transact collaborated with open banking platform and fintech marketplace FutureBank to facilitate the rapid roll-out of embedded finance in sub-Saharan Africa.
B2B payments company Mondu partnered with Mangopay to support B2B marketplace businesses through flexible payment infrastructure and payment terms.
In a turn of events, ZestMoney made headlines for announcing that it is shutting down its operations by December end. The shutdown comes as the company was struggling to survive, especially since the RBI prohibited all non-bank prepaid instrument issuers from loading instruments with credit lines.
Embark on a thrilling exploration of the Fintech Infrastructure realm, where visionary alliances are transforming the financial landscape, making client journeys more efficient than ever!
Mastercard and MDP formed an alliance to transform MDP into a one-stop shop for processing services, creating a more robust and seamless payment processing hub that caters to the unique needs of the MENA region.
Q2 and Array expanded their partnership, where Q2 will resell Array’s financial wellness solution – My Credit Manager – directly to banks and credit unions. This allows financial institutions to quickly add the Array solution to their dashboards and put powerful financial wellness tools at the fingertips of their account holders.
Take a walk into the flourishing realm of Green Finance, as finance undergoes a green metamorphosis, seamlessly blending sustainability into its financial fabric.
Societe Generale issued its first digital green bond as a Security Token directly registered by SG-FORGE on the Ethereum public blockchain with increased transparency and traceability on ESG data.
Carbon Centrum and Neonomics partnered to leverage the power of open banking to connect individuals with more precise CO2 footprints by combining many diverse data inputs into a single platform that autonomously tracks CO2 consumption at a more granular level.
Magnati entered into a partnership with Fils, aiming to provide its merchants with actionable environmental insights and promote green payments as part of its broader commitment to sustainable finance.
Uncover the myriad of dynamic activities in the DeFi world, where players are expanding the horizons of digital asset services, rewriting the rules of finance.
US-based brokerage platform Robinhood (HOOD) broadened its crypto service to Europe, hailing the region's comprehensive digital asset rules. To spur customers to use the service, Robinhood will pay customers a percentage of their trading volume back every month, paid in bitcoin (BTC).
Société Générale made the news bulletin as it is set to launch its own stablecoin, called EUR CoinVertible, on Luxembourg-based Bitstamp. SocGen’s stablecoin will be widely available for trading.
Some other happenings in the fintech universe 🪐
Eager for a side of swift fintech delights with your tea? Indulge your fintech cravings through this scrumptious spread of some more headlines:
SumUp raised $307M in growth capital with plans for product and geographic expansion.
Scalable Capital raised $65M to deepen its presence in key European markets.
Liberis secured $112M in debt financing to further growth and expand to Canada and Germany.
Pontera raised $60M to fortify operations and hire new talent.
And that's a wrap 👋
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Weekly Fintech Brew!
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