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PUBLISHED: 30/01/2020

British tech startups retain crown as European fintech capital

Innovate Finance published a report this week showing the UK as receiving the most fintech investment in Europe for another year with a new record of $4.9bn with VC and private equity investment rising 38% each year in the UK, three times that of Germany which in second place received $1.3bn. Globally the UK came second to the US with $16.3bn.

Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance, said: “It’s immensely encouraging to see the year on year growth in investment figures that the key areas of the global fintech industry are attracting, and we should be proud of the unique position the UK has carved out on an international level,” “We are a world-leading fintech hub, and as the figures reveal, the epicentre of fintech in Europe – all of which is a testament to the fact that the UK is a leading destination to start and scale a fintech business.” Read more

New York to ban cashless stores

The City Council approved legislation that prohibits stores, restaurants and other retail outlets from refusing to accept hard currency.

Councilman Ritchie Torres, the bill’s lead sponsor, Tweeted  “No longer in NYC will brick-and-mortar businesses have the right to refuse cash & effectively discriminate against customers who lack access to credit and debit,”

New York will become the latest place to ban businesses from refusing cash. San Francisco, New Jersey and Philadelphia banned cashless stores in 2019.

“The City of New York cannot allow the digital economy to leave behind the 25 percent of New Yorkers who are chronically unbanked and underbanked. The marketplace of the future must accommodate the needs of vulnerable New Yorkers.” Read more

N26 racks up a quarter of a million US customers in first six months

Berlin-based neo-bank N26 has reported 250,000 new customers in the US six months after their US launch in partnership with Axos Bank.

“American consumers are too reliant on traditional banks and face roadblocks to their financial health that have no place in the 21st century,” says Nicolas Kopp, US CEO, N26. “We’re incredibly proud to have reached a quarter-million US customers in our first five months and we are just getting started. We have big plans to offer millions of future N26 users a feature-rich, easy-to-use banking experience.”

With a workforce of almost 1500 employees N26 has five million customers with European markets showing the highest growth. Read more

Visa joins $80m Currencycloud funding round

UK based B2B cross-border payments fintech Currencycloud has raised $80 million in a Series E with investors such as Visa, BNP Paribas and Siam Commercial Bank.

Currencycloud has processed over $50 billion in cross-border payments since 2012 with clients including fintech brands such as Monzo and Revolut.

The firm plans to develop new payment methods and expand its partner network into Asia and North America while recruiting new talent. CEO Mike Laven said: “Transfer of value is fast becoming the newest layer in the modern technology stack, and Currencycloud is positioned to provide the infrastructure to make this happen. With these new strategic investors, we are well placed to be the go-to provider for the next wave of fintech innovation.” Read more

Klarna picks up $200 million investment from CBA and launches in Australia

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia said last week it had raised it’s stake in Klarna giving them 50:50 ownership rights in the company’s Australian and New Zealand business.

The CommBank app where customers will be able to register and shop online using the payments platform will show details about product price drops and out of stock notifications.

Matt Comyn CEO of CBA said: “By partnering with Klarna, we are bringing together our market leading digital technology, merchant relationships and strong customer network with Klarna’s innovative payments technology and integrated shopping experience for the benefit of CBA customers and many more Australian consumers.” Read more

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