Digital payments alone could become a $100 trillion industry, according to PwC. And that’s just one component of the global Fintech industry. This channel tackles the lenders and buyers, the obstacles and achievements, and the trends and trend makers leading the ongoing technological evolution in global finance.
Robinhood (NASDAQ: HOOD) has launched its Crypto app in the European Union (EU), allowing eligible customers to engage in crypto trading with the added incentive of earning Bitcoin rewards. Customers stand to receive up to 1 BTC as a reward when signing up and can earn an additional 1 BTC for each successful referral. The platform claims to be the sole custodial crypto platform in the EU offering customers a percentage of their trading volume back every month, paid in Bitcoin.
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Samsung Electronics (KRX: 005930) and Mastercard (NYSE: MA) have partnered to launch the Wallet Express program, offering banks and card issuers a cost-effective way to expand digital wallet offerings. Through Wallet Express, issuers can integrate Samsung Wallet, allowing consumers to make payments using various methods, including Galaxy wearable devices.
Berlin-based neobroker Trade Republic has secured a full banking license from the European Central Bank, marking a significant milestone for the fintech. This license empowers Trade Republic to both hold customer deposits and venture into the lending business.
Credit Agricole (EPA: ACA) is reportedly considering acquiring a stake in Worldline (EPA: WLN), leading to a nearly 12% surge in Worldline’s shares on Friday. The move aims to stabilize the struggling payments partner. Other French financial institutions may also play a role in Worldline’s future.
Pluto, a prominent provider of financial corporate spend management solutions in the UAE, has forged a strategic alliance with Mastercard (NYSE: MA), the global technology giant in the payments sector. The collaboration, unveiled at Abu Dhabi Finance Week, aims to revolutionize B2B payment solutions throughout the GCC region, emphasizing innovation and efficiency.
SoFi Technologies Inc., a rapidly expanding financial-services provider, is exiting the cryptocurrency market due to heightened regulatory scrutiny. The San Francisco-based company, initially focused on student-lending refinancing, diversified its services over 12 years. Having obtained a bank charter in January 2022, with conditions attached regarding its crypto business. Those necessitated regulatory approval or an exit from the digital asset sector within a two-year conformance period.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has presented a proposal to terminate its credit-card and savings account partnership with Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) within the next 12 to 15 months, marking a potential end to one of the most highly-anticipated collaborations between a tech company and a bank.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), a unit of Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) have announced a significant expansion of their strategic partnership at AWS re:Invent. The collaboration deepens integrations across data and artificial intelligence (AI), making select Salesforce products available on the AWS Marketplace for the first time. This facilitates seamless and secure data management across both platforms, enabling the infusion of the latest AI technologies into applications and workflows.
Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) (NSE: LICI) is embarking on a digital transformation journey with the establishment of a fintech unit. Under the project DIVE (Digital Innovation and Value Enhancement), LIC aims to implement cutting-edge digital initiatives for various stakeholders, including customers, intermediaries, and marketing personnel. The first phase of this transformation focuses on customer acquisition, involving agents, bancassurance, and direct sales.
Lunate and BNY Mellon (NYSE: BK) are jointly investing in a new financial technology company, Alpheya, based in Abu Dhabi. Alpheya aims to develop a tailored wealth management technology platform for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. With a capital commitment of $300 million, the platform is set to launch in 2024, addressing the increasing demand from wealth and asset managers for a comprehensive digital solution.
ESG.AI, a Canadian ESG decision support company, has collaborated with the London Stock Exchange Group (LON: LSEG) to introduce an advanced ESG analytics platform. This platform aids organizations and consultancies in visualizing ESG data, enhancing understanding, data quality, and providing advanced modeling, planning, and impact analysis capabilities.
Revolut, the UK-based fintech firm, is set to expand its trading services by offering European clients the ability to trade government and corporate bonds starting in the first quarter of next year. This move follows the addition of European-listed stocks to its platform in October.
Enfuce, a prominent provider of embedded finance solutions, has forged a partnership with Funding Circle (LON: FCH), the UK’s leading small business lending platform, to introduce a new small business credit card as part of its FlexiPay product. The FlexiPay card, developed through Enfuce’s MyCard service, streamlines the process for companies to launch their own card app. This collaboration aims to enhance Funding Circle’s offering, providing small businesses in the UK with a revolving line of credit to manage various business costs and short-term cash flow needs.
Visa (NYSE: V) and Visa Foundation have announced their commitment to supporting small and micro businesses (SMBs) globally, particularly in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region. The Visa Foundation is pledging $100 million over five years to support underserved and women-led SMBs in APEC economies, focusing on advancing digital financial inclusion, job creation, and increased access to capital. This announcement comes as Visa surpasses its three-year goal of digitally enabling 50 million SMBs globally, reaching nearly 67 million SMBs, with an estimated 29.6 million in the APEC region, including 10.9 million women-led SMBs.
Tenet Energy Inc., a climate fintech platform facilitating affordable electric vehicle (EV) ownership, has successfully concluded a funding round exceeding $30 million. This includes over $10 million from a Series A investment and a substantial $20 million warehouse debt facility. Led by venture capital firm Nyca Partners, the Series A funding will support the expansion of Tenet’s leading EV financing product and the scaling of TenetConnect, a new digital renewable energy platform aimed at reducing charging costs on EV owners’ utility bills.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) (TYO: 8306), Japan’s largest financial services provider, has entered a multiyear global agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to accelerate its digital transformation and reduce IT costs. By adopting AWS as its preferred cloud provider, MUFG aims to leverage cloud technologies, including generative artificial intelligence (generative AI) and machine learning (ML), to enhance customer service across asset servicing, banking, and fund financing.
British fintech firm Wise (LON: WISE) has reported a substantial increase in profits, citing a boost from higher interest rates. In its half-year results for the period ending on September 30, 2023, Wise revealed a revenue of £498.2 million, up 25% year-on-year. The total income, including interest income, reached £656 million, marking a 58% year-on-year increase. Notably, pre-tax profits soared to £194.3 million, up a remarkable 280% compared to the previous year.
SBI Holdings (TYO: 8473), a major Japanese financial firm, is launching a $663 million fund aimed at supporting Web3, AI, and fintech startups. Scheduled to invest in 150-200 companies, the fund is set to begin operations by year-end. The investment scale is substantial, with key contributions secured from major financial institutions like Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (TYO: 8316), Mizuho Bank (TYO: 8411), Nippon Life Insurance, and Daiwa Securities Group (TYO: 8601).
Black Ore Technologies Inc., a financial technology startup specializing in artificial intelligence tools for the financial services sector, has emerged from stealth mode with a substantial $60 million in funding. This investment places the company among the growing ranks of AI startups that secure significant funding even in their early stages. Notable examples include Stability AI, which raised $101 million, and Mistral AI, which secured $113 million in their initial funding round.
Froda, a rapidly growing Swedish fintech company, and Ageras, a prominent provider of software for banking, accounting, and administration, have forged a strategic partnership. Froda’s mission is to facilitate access to financing for small businesses, having already assisted over 50,000 businesses. Ageras, on the other hand, serves more than 300,000 SME customers across Europe in various financial and administrative capacities.
FinTech: Klarna Pivots To An Operating Profit Of SEK 130M In Q3 Of 2023, Versus A Loss Of SEK 2B In Q322
Klarna, the AI-powered global payments network and shopping assistant, has announced its Q3 2023 financial results, showcasing a significant net profit.
The company reported an operating profit in Q3 of SEK 130 million, a sharp improvement from the previous year operating loss of SEK 2 billion, demonstrating the company’s preparedness for the upcoming Q4 investments.
QI Tech, a licensed FinTech and Direct Credit Company endorsed by the Brazilian Central Bank, recently secured $200 million in its Series B round, led by General Atlantic. Existing investor Across Capital also doubled the size of its initial investment. Founded in 2018 by Pedro Mac Dowell, Marcelo Bentivoglio, and Marcelo Buosi, QI Tech aims to revolutionize the credit market. The company’s goal is to simplify loan procedures and make credit more accessible beyond traditional banks.
Fintech giant Klarna is currently grappling with a significant challenge in Sweden: the looming threat of a union strike. Over the past few months, Klarna has resisted union appeals to establish a collective agreement, which would require the company to engage in negotiations with unions for substantial changes, such as layoffs. On November 7, the white-collar trade union Unionen and Engineers of Sweden, the country’s largest union for graduate engineers, decided to stage a strike.
Worldline’s (EPA: WLN) shares tumbled by almost 60 percent in Paris as the French payments group revised its sales outlook downwards and took steps to combat fraud by severing ties with certain clients. This decline pushed the company’s share price to €9.4 on Wednesday, resulting in a market capitalization of €2.7 billion. The payments sector experienced a significant sell-off in response to this warning, impacting both European and US peers.
Flourish Ventures, a venture firm specializing in fintech investments, has secured $350 million in funding, marking a significant milestone for its early-stage global venture fund. This new investment adds to the initial $200 million in portfolio investments and $300 million in capital obtained during the spinout from Omidyar Network in 2019. With a total of $850 million under management, Flourish is on a path to establish a permanent capital base, all while intensifying its commitment to fintech investments across the U.S., Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The primary goal is to foster a more equitable financial system.