Welcome to The Fintech Fix, where we cover the biggest fintech stories of the working week. Whether it’s the next groundbreaking trend in crypto, or a new partnership that’s about to change the global economic landscape, this is the place to keep up with the breaking news of the future.
A Bit of a Fixer-Upper
With a little over a month left till 2023, it seems that the fintechs have already set their new year’s resolutions. Beyond product expansions, businesses have unveiled ambitious plans to improve their offerings and strengthen their tech infrastructure – as is to be expected of an ambitious industry, to set off well before the whistles blow.
Following the race to real-time cross-border payments, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has launched their solution Swift Go which will allow Canadian businesses to make CBP of up to $10,000 in foreign currencies. An industry first for a Canadian FI, this product comes in collaboration with J.P. Morgan and Swift. With this system, small and medium-sized businesses in the region will have more control and foresight when planning their cash flow, and understanding their liquidity position.
Swift Go is currently available through the RBC PayEdge™ platform, and its key benefits go from effectively tracking payments using global payments innovation (GPI) technology, to competitive pricing at lower upfront processing costs.
More broadly in open banking, Global Payments Inc. has announced a new payment offering, Bank Payment, where merchants and businesses can accept payments and services directly from a bank account, providing an additional form of payment for customers at point-of-sale. This product comes in light of the company’s recent survey in collaboration with the market researcher, YouGov, that revealed that over a quarter (26%) of respondents said that they have abandoned an online purchase in the last six months because the merchant did not provide their desired form of payment.
A further 18% admitted that they have gone into their overdraft or had their payment declined because of slow processing. Bank Payment represents Global Payments’ effort to utilise Open Banking capabilities to give merchants more choice over how their customers can pay – creating a knock-on effect for more choice in the payment sector.
High Street mainstay, Santander UK, is evolving its self-service channel with its longtime partner, the technology provider, NCR Corporation, by selecting NCR ATM as a Service to run their 1700 ATMs in the UK. The takeover of the bank’s operations will see NCR take responsibility for Santander UK’s software, transaction processing, cash management and ATM maintenance.
“We’ve enjoyed a history of success working collaboratively with NCR, and we trust its ability to run our self-service network,” said Kirsty Lacey, the COO of Everyday Banking at Santander. “Moving to NCR ATM as a Service will enable us to offer customers a better self-service banking experience, including greater ATM availability to serve them when and where they choose. It will also simplify our operations and provide a more sustainable service for the bank. We are pleased to work with a strategic partner like NCR and know it will deliver an exceptional experience for our customers and our team.”
Embedded insurance is moving on to new heights with the creation of embedded insurance orchestration – a more evolved approach to the current product, unveiled at this year’s Slush conference. Embedded insurance orchestration will allow businesses to offer insurance products to customers who need them in the context of their transactions. This type of product follows a modular infrastructure with a plug & play capability where businesses can add insurance at any point in the buying journey, not just POS.
The development of this product comes from the work of insurtech Qover, whose single API solution works as an add-on to virtually any European company’s digital products and services.
Enforcing Structural Change in the Industry
Improvements will always be a goal for fintech, no matter how fast and secure our payments and trade are now, there will always be a better system to look toward. This precedent is not only for the fintechs, the financial and governmental institutions responsible for large-scale industry change.
Crypto ad blockchain solution builder, Ripple, launched their policy paper, “Block by Block: Building up the UK as a global cryptoasset centre,” a regulatory framework that envisions the UK as a global crypto hub. Already a world leader in fintech innovation, with a Prime Minister who has already expressed his confidence in digital currency, the UK is firmly positioned to be the epicentre for crypto advancement. A regulatory framework could open up doors to serious conversations around crypto assets and attract the attention of the biggest financial institutions in the UK to start integrating crypto capabilities into their offerings, thus developing a new crypto-forward financial ecosystem.
Cloud-native decentralised processing platform, CLOWD9 has secured certification from Visa as an issuer processor. Using Visa’s Cloud Connect infrastructure, CLOWD9 can now authorise transactions and initiate payments, among other services, for clients worldwide. Already enabling customers to make payments to the nearest cloud instance on a global scale, with Visa’s payment network, CLOWD9’s open-API platform will be available to over 80 million merchants in Visa’s catalogue.
“This is a significant milestone for CLOWD9 and a testament to the momentum of the business that, within a month of our formal launch, we have completed this partnership with Visa,” said Suresh Vaghjiani, the CEO of CLOWD9. In doing so, those clients using CLOWD9’s issuer processing platform will have access to one of the world’s largest payment networks. Visa has been innovative in the way it has embraced cloud technology, something that underpins our mission as a business – leveraging technology to build global payment networks that are fit for purpose in the modern world.”
Dapio, the paytech morphing smartphones into card readers, is launching its Tap to Pay app for SMEs in the UK. Allowing businesses to receive contactless and digital wallet payments with any NFC-enabled Android, Tap to Pay will be available for partners to integrate their Android app for their new customers. The app has been met with raucous acclaim, launching its waiting list in March. 54% of signups have come from the transportation industry, taxis and delivery services, a further 18% surprisingly being student side hustlers, and 22% across hospitality.
The launch of such a functionality is revolutionary for small businesses and merchants, putting similar structures in place for people to start their businesses and receive payments faster and without the friction of multiple payment initiators. The new product offerings seen this week are paving the way not only for better payment transparency for the fintechs and institutions but financial autonomy for business owners and end-users.
With the work of RBC, Ripple and Dapio, fintech is enabling customers to become active members of the industry. This comes with the growing power of consumers in deciding how they pay and where they spend their money. Financial institutions have realised the importance of customer-centricity, and have now put customers in the driver’s seat of innovation.
That concludes your weekly Fintech Fix! Stay tuned for another round of big fintech buzz, right here at FF News.
Read More:The Fintech Fix 23/11/2022