In today’s The Fintech Times Bi-Weekly News Roundup, Unit forges a partnership with Currencycloud to provide seamless cross-border payments. While, Plaid teams up with Moneybox to give customers control over their finances.
Launches and product updates
Clinical regtech provider Comentis has launched a new financial vulnerability analytics tool. The dashboard presents firms with an overview of the vulnerability trends that exist among their customer base. It uses insights collected from vulnerability assessments, carried out through Comentis’ Cognitive Assessment Engine.
Stripe Terminal is now available in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Terminal extends Stripe’s payment infrastructure to the physical world, allowing online-first companies and platforms to integrate their online and offline businesses into a single omnichannel offering.
Volume, the payments fintech startup, has launched its 1-click checkout product for the e-commerce industry – Transparent Checkout. As well as seamlessly enabling consumers to pay online in one click straight from their bank accounts, the startup lets merchants save up to 75 per cent in fees by cutting out payment transaction costs.
Open, an SME-focused neo-banking platform, has launched Zwitch, a no-code embedded finance platform that lets fintechs, brands and enterprises to launch innovative fintech services using a DIY drag and drop interface. Zwitch takes care of the banking partnerships, compliance and technology through its network of 14-plus partner banks in India.
PPRO, the payments infrastructure provider, has integrated Indonesian buy now, pay later firm Kredivo. PPRO describes the addition of Kredivo to its platform as a milestone in its Indonesia expansion. Kredivo now sits alongside other key Indonesian payment players on the platform, such as Alipay and WeChat Pay.
Unit, the banking-as-a-service platform, has teamed up with Currencycloud. Following the integration, Unit offers US-based customers the ability to make cross-border payments, access FX and wallets, as well as quickly expand into global markets. Unit and Currencycloud will also offer their APIs as a joint solution to customers.
KNEIP has partnered with Nasdaq to register investment funds in Europe on the distribution channel Nasdaq Fund Network (NFN). KNIEP will provide European users with enhanced transparency and accessibility of investment products with a standardised 5-character symbol. NFN facilitates the collection and dissemination of fund data.
UnionPay signs new agreement with Nets to expand acceptance across Nordic region. The agreement will enable UnionPay contactless acceptance throughout Nets’ Nordic merchant portfolio. In addition, UnionPay acceptance will be extended to more than 6,000 ATMs in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. While, UnionPay and Nets also expect to agree to extend UnionPay’s existing POS merchant acceptance rate in Finland.
Financial software company NeoXam has strengthened its ties with financial data firm Refinitiv. Refinitiv will provide reference, pricing, ESG, regulatory and tax data sets, while NeoXam will disseminate and provide quality control through its NeoXam DataHub platform.
TenureX and Elucidate have announced a strategic partnership with a mission to increase financial inclusion worldwide. Together they also plan to tackle the ‘laborious and outdated approach’ taken by correspondent banks when onboarding respondent banks and managing the periodic review process of counterparties.
Sygnum Bank has onboarded VZ VermögensZentrum, an independent Swiss financial services company, as the latest partner for its B2B banking solution. Clients of VZ VermögensZentrum can now securely buy, hold, and trade various leading cryptocurrencies, as well as access a range of regulated asset management services.
Payments platform Paysafe has teamed up with the International Air Transport Association, the trade association of the world’s airlines. Global airlines and travel suppliers will be able to benefit from Paysafe’s travel payments solution through its integration with the Association’s omni-channel payment and orchestration platform.
Meanwhile, Saigon Commercial Bank selects BPC as its solution partner in Vietnam to provide hyper-personalised experiences for customers. The bank has plumped for the SmartVista ATM switching and card management system. SCB will also deploy next generation, self-service virtual teller machines to help onboard and issue cards for customers and facilitate transactions.
There’s also a partnership for Moneyhub and expense management software provider Expense Once. Powered by Moneyhub’s Open Banking API, Expense Once offers its clients real time visibility on purchases on business credit cards. The service is also available for personal credit cards.
Marqeta has unveiled a collective partnership with Paycast and Mastercard to empower marketplaces with payment solutions. Specifically, Marqeta will support Paycast by providing and open API platform as well as leveraging virtual card functionality. Paycast enables marketplaces to hold funds in escrow between buyers and sellers until conditions of sale are verified.
Even more partnerships
Azimo, the digital money transfer service, has partnered with open banking payment provider Trustly to meet growing demand for cross-border payments in Europe. Trustly is available to all Azimo customers sending from the Nordics, the Baltics, Germany, Austria and Poland.
Plaid has partnered with Moneybox, the app-based digital wealth manager, to give customers greater control and visibility over their finances. With the help of Plaid’s Payment Initiation, Moneybox launched an instant payments option across a number of products for customers who want to top up their accounts in minutes.
Transak, the UK-based fiat on/off ramp, has teamed up with Zero Hash. Transak now leverages Zero Hash’s APIs that provide the regulatory and technology rails to expand into North America. Zero Hash, a B2B embedded infrastructure platform, provides the regulatory framework to serve more than 300 million Americans.
UK life insurance broker Reassured has appointed James Turnbull as its new chief digital officer. In the newly-formed role, Turnbull will look at how operations can be streamlined, identify new products as the company diversifies, improve user experience, as well as help find ways to increase efficiency and profitability.
Funding and investments
Allica Bank, the fintech SME challenger bank, has secured a £110million Series B funding round. Led by Atalaya Capital Management as well as existing lead investor Warwick Capital Partners. New funding will support Allica’s continued scaling as well as its recent acquisition of AIB SME lending portfolio.
Investor AnaCap Financial Partners has backed German fintech fintus GmbH, the low-code software provider. AnaCap has partnered fintus founder and CEO Benjamin Hermanns and will also provide significant growth capital, expertise as well as operational support. The fintus team will also benefit from significant investment in talent to expand operational capacity and drive sales.
Meanwhile, cybersecurity provider Shield-IoT has closed a $7.4million Series A round of funding. The Series A round was led by NextLeap Ventures and Bloc Ventures, with additional participation from Atlas Ventures and Akamai Technologies. Springtide Ventures, DIVEdigital and Janvest Capital Partners also joined the round.
Zenity, the governance and cybersecurity platform for low-code/no-code applications, exited stealth mode with a $5million seed funding round. The round was led by Vertex Ventures and UpWest. It will use the funds to expand R&D, product, marketing operation, and customer acquisition activities.
Research and insights
New research reveals the cryptocurrencies with the greatest increase in popularity and value, with one $10 investment a year ago worth over $200,000 today. BrokerChooser analysed the search volume and value increases of top cryptocurrencies to reveal the best performing coins and tokens in 2021.
Global e-commerce transactions expected to grow 23 per cent between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to an ACI Worldwide report. However, fraud attempts will also increase during the holiday season, with gaming, travel, and ticketing sectors at risk. The BNPL channel has also grown significantly – it has more than quadrupled (450 per cent) compared to the same period last year.
Mergers, acquisitions and collaborations
Lithuanian startup InRento acquires Estonian platform BitOfProperty and expands to Spain. The buy-to-let crowdfunding platform will fully integrate the BitOfProperty model, including moving all data. In Spain, InRento will specialise in the specific niche of short-term rental projects.
B4B Payments (B4B), a provider of card issuing solutions for businesses, is set to join Banking Circle. Following the deal, now in a regulatory approval process, B4B will operate as an independent sister company of Banking Circle. The management team will also remain with B4B. In addition, Tom Jennings and Brian Lawlor will join B4B’s management team to help scale the business.
United Fintech has acquired a 25 per cent stake in London-based FairXchange. According to United Fintech’s CEO Christian Frahm, FairXchange fits ‘hand-in-glove’ with United Fintech’s strategy of acquiring state-of-the-art capital markets software products ready for scaling and global roll-out on its platform.
Fintech Tintra PLC has formed a joint venture with TMC2, via its subsidiary Finsensr. The joint venture will utilise or create advanced, end-to-end AI tech – some already patented – to ‘revolutionise how compliance between developed and emerging market economies works’. Tintra also recently unveiled plans to raise additional capital to accelerate its growth strategy.
mCloud Technologies Corp has announced pricing of $9.5million underwritten public offering and uplisting to Nasdaq. mCloud currently intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for growth initiatives in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. It also plans to accelerate its ESG optimisation applications.
Alviere, the embedded finance platform, has unveiled full page newspaper ads. The ads, in The Wall Street Journal, detail how brands can bring financial services to their customer base. Last month, the company also announced an additional $50million in Series B investment.
Open Future World has announced Open Banking World Congress 2022 will take place 24-25 May 2022 in Marbella, Spain. The Congress will return as an in-person event. However, following the success of the virtual format of the last two years, there will also continue to be a free virtual ticket offering.
Altada, a provider of AI solutions for data-driven decision-making in financial services, has opened a London office, marking the sixth expansion of the company’s footprint this year. In 2021, Altada has also launched offices in New York, San Francisco, Malta, Dublin and Barcelona.