London-based FinTech unicorn TransferWise said on Tuesday (March 17) that it is partnering with Alibaba’s Alipay to power international money transfers in China. The partnership gives TransferWise’s estimated 7 million customers the ability to transfer Chinese yuan from 17 currencies to Alipay’s 1.2 billion users across the globe.
Penta, the Berlin-based business banking challenger that also now operates in Italy, has raised €18.5 million, described as the first closing of a new funding round. Leading the round is new investor RTP Global and existing investor HV Holtzbrinck Ventures. Also participating is ABN AMRO Ventures, and VR-Ventures, and Finleap (the fintech company builder that has a major stake in Penta).
Monzo, the U.K. challenger bank, is officially launching business bank accounts today, after an extensive trial period over the last 12 months that saw early access given to 2,500 business customers.
Arcus, a U.S.-based fintech platform, announced on Monday it has formed a partnership with global retail chain 7-Eleven to introduce a suite of payment solutions to its mobile app to focus on “cash-centric” consumers. Through the partnership, 7-Eleven is using Arcus’ technology to power an integrated payment experience for Latin American customers who are paying with cash.
Startup Payhawk, the paperless corporate card that simplifies expenses for businesses, just announced closing a €3 million seed funding round, led by Earlybird’s Digital East Fund, and with participation from Berlin-based TinyVC, and industry experts like Mark Antipof, ex-Chief Commercial Officer at Visa Europe, and Keith Robinson, Chief Strategy Officer at Sage. Payhawk will use the new funds to increase its presence in the German market after it recently opened an office in Berlin.
YAPEAL has become the first financial institution in Switzerland to receive a fintech banking license. The new digital bank plans to challenge the traditional retail banking sector with personalized accounts tailored to individual clients.
Three months after launching, French startup Pixpay announces a new fundraising of €8 million, which it will use to strengthen its position in France, grow its team and continue supporting teens manage their pocket money. Founded in 2019, Pixpay helps young people manage their money, while teaching them to gain independence in a fun way.
BBVA is tweaking its Open Talent competition for startups as part of a wider realignment of its relationship with the fast-maturing fintech sector. For this year's competition, the Spanish giant will set specific challenges it wants to work with fintechs to solve. These challenges - things like regtech and personal finance management - come directly from the bank's business units in its core countries.
The UK Government is to undertake a review of the country's booming fintech scene, promising increased funding and support for the sector in today's Budget statement. The review will be led by Ron Kalifa, chairman of payments firm Network International and a non-executive director at the Bank of England and Transport for London.
OakNorth almost doubled profit last year hitting £65.9m, as the challenger bank saw the number of savers who trust the business with their deposits jump more than a five-fold. The London-based start-up said pre-tax profit lifted from £33.9m in 2018 as the digital business bank continued to lend to ‘Missing Middle’ firms.
Berlin-based tech subscription scale-up Grover has chosen the payment orchestration platform IXOPAY to manage its payment processes. Grover enables people to rent over 2,000 different tech products monthly instead of buying them. Customers can rent a variety of gadgets with Grover, including smartphones, laptops, virtual reality (VR) gear, and wearables
Marqeta, the global modern card issuing platform, announced today that it has begun transacting in Australia, where it will be supporting two of its major global customers, Klarna and Doordash with their own expansions into the country.
Digital bank Starling, which is based in Britain, has been announced as the official banking partner of Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. As part of its involvement with the British team, the London-based bank, which focuses on current and business account products, will offer each athlete a Starling retail account with £100 deposited to help them towards their next financial goal.
A blockchain trade finance platform developed by eight banks, including HSBC and Standard Chartered, is getting ready for commercial launch. After completing over $30 million worth of letter-of-credit transactions last year during its trial phase, the Contour blockchain trade finance platform is ready to be launched in the second half of the year.
Fuel Ventures has taken a strategic equity position in Open Banking thought leader Volt Technologies (“VOLT”). The company is an Open Banking payments processor and gateway, with a global focus. This investment gives Fuel access to fast-developing Open Banking markets, an important growth sector in fintech.
Australian fintech Airwallex is raising more funds from investors as $27 million remains frozen in Hong Kong bank accounts after the company was involved in alleged fraud. The real-time payments platform was valued at over $US1 billion ($1.5 billion) last year, making it a tech ‘unicorn’, after it raised $US100 million from high-profile investors DST Global, Sequoia Capital China, Tencent, Hillhouse Capital, Gobi Partners, Horizons Ventures and SquarePeg Capital
India’s Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned central bank’s two-year-old ban on cryptocurrency trading in the country in what many said was a “historic” verdict. The Reserve Bank of India had imposed a ban on cryptocurrency trading in April 2018 that barred banks and other financial institutions from facilitating “any service in relation to virtual currencies.”
AWSM Bank, one of the industry’s latest start-ups to break into the US challenger bank scene and target the 13-18-year-old consumer bracket, insists it is an edtech before it is a fintech.
Nubank, the Brazilian digital bank valued at $10 billion, is launching its Nu credit card in Mexico – a country where the unbanked population counts 36 million people. The Sao Paulo-based fintech company, known for its fully-mobile digital bank and credit card, has raised $820 million across seven rounds of investment and has amassed nearly 22 million customers in Brazil alone.
YES Bank has approached domestic asset management companies (mutual funds) for raising fresh equity capital worth $300-$500 million. This comes amid a slew of rating downgrades and stress on its loan book.