FINTECH Circle’s trending news and headlines


PUBLISHED: 23/01/2020

Six countries form digital currency group to compete with China

Six of the world’s central banks The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Sveriges Riksbank and the Swiss National Bank, together with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), are joining forces to access potential cases for central bank digital currency (CBDC) in their own jurisdictions.

In response the perceived threat to the monetary policy and financial stability from private sector digital currencies, such as Facebook’s Libra the group, which will include senior representatives of the participating institutions co-chaired by Benoît Cœuré, head of the BIS Innovation Hub, and Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor of the Bank of England and chair of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures. Read more.

Customer use of Open Banking in the UK has surpassed the one million customer mark

The figures, reported by the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) show that customers using open banking, from the nine biggest current account providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, has doubled in the past six months.

Imran Gulamhuseinwala, trustee, Open Banking Implementation Entity, said: “One million is a significant milestone, but by no means is it the end. Open Banking is about giving customers access to their data to rebalance the market in their favour. By creating greater competition, we are seeing innovation from new entrants and incumbents, which is leading to greater convenience and crucially greater engagement. We believe 2020 will be the year when adoption of Open Banking financial services really takes off.” Read more.

Visa is acquiring Plaid for $5.3 billion, 2x its final private valuation

Currently one in four people with a US bank account have used Plaid to connect to more than 2,600 fintech developers across more than 11,000 financial institutions. Visa hopes to expand their fintech influence beyond US borders with Open Banking and is opening a UK office to support European expansion with integrations with eight of the UK’s biggest banks and challenger banks.

Al Kelly, CEO and chairman of Visa, said: “Plaid is a leader in the fast growing fintech world with best-in-class capabilities and talent. The acquisition, combined with our many fintech efforts already underway, will position Visa to deliver even more value for developers, financial institutions and consumers.”  Read more

Former Google Pay execs raise $13.2M to build neo-banking platform for millennials in India

Google Pay co-founders Sujith Narayanan and Sumit Gwalani have raised VC backing to build a neo-bank for millennials in India. Narayanan told TechCrunch that the eight-month old startup epiFi has raised $13.2 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital and Ribbit Capital, valuing them at $50 million.

The platform is to help customers understand their spending and make informed decisions about their money. “We realised that a consumer’s financial journey extend beyond digital payments. They want insurance, lending, investment opportunities and multiple products.” The company have around 24 employees, some of which have moved from Netflix, Flipkart and PayPal. Read more.

Manchester-based fintech Raisin UK has revealed a £1 billion target for 2020

Raisin UK was launched in 2017 after the acquisition of PBF Solutions by German-founded Raisin in 2017.

In July 2019 the parent company received an investment of €25 million from Goldman Sachs, taking its total investment to €195m and making it the best-funded start-up in the savings and investment area in Europe.

“This year has been significant for us laying down a strong foundation to achieve our £1 billion targets next year,” Raisin UK CEO Kevin Mountford said.

“From tech partnerships with leading money management apps Yolt and Monese, we’ve also developed strong distribution partnerships with UK market leaders Legal & General and ClearScore.” Read more.

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