As the trusted and proven Paytech Pioneer™ uniquely focused on supporting the growth journeys of our customers, nothing gets us more excited than when we see our customers dominating the fintech news agenda. That is why each month we update our ‘making headlines’ blog series.
In December’s edition, we’re covering news that spans across Europe, APAC and MENA, from start-ups to established challengers, award wins and even influencer list features. So grab a cuppa and read on:
1. UK BNPL start-up, Zilch, has picked up an additional $30 million in funding, just weeks after securing a consumer credit authorisation with the Financial Conduct Authority. Zilch is looking to distinguish itself in the crowded BNPL arena by connecting directly with customers and using soft background credit checks performed by Credit Kudos via Open Banking to determine affordability. The product can be used to garner interest-free credit at any online shop where Mastercard is accepted.
2. Stocard, the leading European mobile wallet, launched its payment functionality Stocard Pay in Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. Shortly after announcing this, the fintech confirmed it had selected Moorwand for issuing and BIN sponsorship services in these areas. Bjoern Goß, CEO and founder of Stocard, commented: “As our wallets are moving to our smartphones, the digital wallet is becoming the central hub in our lives for anything around money, shopping, and banking. Together with our excellent partners, we will form a future of this through Europe’s leading mobile wallet for everyone.”
3. Razer Fintech announced it is pushing on with its plan to roll out Razer Youth Bank, targeting millennials in countries such as Malaysia and the Philippines. Other markets may include Europe, the Middle East or Latin America, where regulators are supportive, according to the company’s CEO, Lee Li Meng.
4. Enabling its three million UK customers to draw down their pay cheque a day early each month, Revolut announced it is launching a salary advance feature. Nik Storonsky, CEO and founder of Revolut, said: “Early access to salaries could be a genuine lifeline for many during these tough economic times.”
5. It’s been a month of announcements for the digital bank, as it also launched tools for its business clients to accept payments online. Revolut said its new acquiring solution would allow firms to install plug-in checkout software or build their own custom features to take card payments over the internet, pitting it against the likes of Stripe, Adyen and Checkout.com.
6. Phenomenal news for Pockit, a UK fintech that provides financial services to underserved customers, which announced it has raised £15 million, including £500,000 from a Future Fund-backed crowdfunding campaign. Virraj Jatania, CEO & founder of Pockit, said: “The time to accelerate is right now; the COVID recession and the end of furlough schemes will disproportionately affect the financially underserved. Some 12 million people in the UK need a solution urgently, and we believe Pockit is that solution.”
7. Change could be on the horizon for Starling Bank, as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Lloyds Banking Group Plc expressed interest in buying the bank, which could lead to the first big merger of an established lender with a start-up in Britain. The interest in Starling has arisen after it opened a data room as part of a plan to raise £200 million in new funding.
8. Currensea published a blog detailing why consumers still love their bank, despite the host of benefits challengers and disruptors have brought to the market. They wrote: “Amongst the new skyscrapers and chains of boutique coffee houses in the City of London, the Bank of England has retained its steadfastly solid position for nearly 300 years. Maybe we feel the same way about our money and want to be confident it will always be there when we look for it.” We are thrilled to have won a further award with Currensea in December, for Most Impactful Project in the API/Open Banking category at the IBS Intelligence Global Fintech Innovation Awards!
9. And last, but by no means least, our CEO, Joanne Dewar, was included as one of AltFi’s top female fintech leaders of 2020, alongside the likes of Anne Boden of Starling Bank and Charlotte Crosswell of Innovate Finance. The round-up mentioned our partnerships with several fintechs, as well as our strategic partnership with Visa. It also referred to GPS being selected to join the UK Department for International Trade’s London Export Champion programme, “which sees Dewar join a community of leaders who have successfully expanded their business abroad.”
As we kick off 2021, we are so incredibly proud to be partnered with such dynamic companies within the industry that have prevailed, despite the many challenges of 2020, and we very much look forward to the year ahead. For more insight and fintech news, follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.