Ep. 279. News: It only works if you're alive

1h09 listen

On this week's episode, Simon and Leda sit down with Livia Benisty and Ryan Edwards-Pritchard to discuss the latest and greatest news in fintech.

Our hosts Simon and Leda are joined by two great guests, Livia Benisty, Head of Financial Crime at ComplyAdvantage and Ryan Edwards-Pritchard, MD at Funding Options.

First up, Revolut’s brand new banking licence. British fintech unicorn Revolut wins banking licence. Revolut has secured a European banking licence from authorities in Lithuania, allowing them to start offering current accounts and loans across the EU from early next year. Initial focus on Lithuania, where it has about 150,000 customers, before expanding into larger markets including the UK, France and Poland later next year. However, its plans to offer full banking services in its home market could be delayed in the event of a disorderly Brexit if financial firms lose the right to serve retail customers on licences granted in the rest of the EU.

Barclays customers to switch off their spending. Barclays has become the first High Street bank to allow its customers to "switch off" certain types of spending on their debit cards. The idea is to help vulnerable customers, particularly problem gamblers, or those in serious debt. They can’t block specific retailers but all account holders can now block their own spending in a number of categories.

Fintech is changing how millennials manage debt. Fintech is moving millennials from credit cards to personal loans in the US. Compared to the previous generations, millennials are more likely to take out a personal loan to cover everyday costs, relying less heavily on credit cards as their predecessors. Fintech firms originated 36% of all personal loans last year, compared to less than 1 percent in 2010.

Metro payments go international. Metro Bank is adding international payments through personal and business accounts via its mobile app. The new service enables customers to make same day Swift and next day SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) payments in Euros, US dollars and Sterling. International payments are integrated alongside the app’s domestic payments functionality, and allows customers to choose whether they or the payee cover the charges.

We spoke to Alex Park, Metro Bank’s Director of Digital to tell us more about this, how it was a customer-led initiative, and what’s coming next.

HSBC Launches robo advisors. My Investment, an online platform designed to make wealth advice accessible to investors, will be available from as little as £1,000 to invest at an initial charge of 0.5% followed by fees of up to 0.46%.
HSBC estimates My Investment could be used by 2.87 million of its existing retail customers, including many who may not have considered wealth management an option in the past. Advice will be given based on investor's answers to questions about their finances, investment experience and appetite to risk.

Funding Options bags CMA prize. Business finance marketplace, Funding Options, has been announced as one of the winners of the second phase of Nesta’s ‘Open Up Challenge’ - one of only three companies to have won both stages of this challenge. The Open Up Challenge prize is part of a package of reforms from the Competition and Markets Authority designed to shake up retail banking.

Plaid to hit $2.65B valuation. $250M series C fundraising round led by Mary Meeker who will join the board. Other investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Goldman Sachs, Spark Capital and others. The platform allows companies to create financial services applications without having to hire their own team of engineers to build out a tool that connects apps to its users’ bank accounts. Plaid builds infrastructure that allows a consumer to interact with their bank account on the web through a number of third-party applications, like Venmo, Robinhood, Coinbase, Acorns and LendingClub.

SoftBank’s record breaking IPO. SoftBank Group Corp is set to raise 2.65 TRILLION yen ($23.5 billion) in Japan’s biggest-ever IPO. The share sale widely regarded as finalizing the group’s transition from domestic telco to a monolithic global tech investor. It also said it will sell all extra shares set aside for excess demand, taking the total just shy of the record $25 billion raised in 2014 by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group - of which it also owns a 30% share. SoftBank offered nearly 2 billion shares for sale and allocated over 80% of the sale for domestic retail investors.

Barclaycard joins up with Evernym. Barclaycard wants to make passwords a thing of the past and as such they have joined an accelerator programme run by self-sovereign identity (SSI) specialist Evernym. SSI is the concept of enabling people to securely store information about their digital identity, totally under their control, so that they can share verifiable proof of who they are, for life.

We spoke to Evernym MD Andy Tobin to find our more about this partnership and the Evernym accelerator.

And Finally...

Finger payments to go campus-wide at Copenhagen Business School. Finger vein payments technology is to be introduced campus-wide at Copenhagen Business School. The technology, named FingoPay, works via an electronic reader which builds a 3D map of the customer’s finger veins, generating a 'natural personal key' - thus removing the need for the individual to enter any personal details upon registration to make a payment. FingoPay successfully processed more than 12,000 transactions in the restaurant and coffee shop of the business school.

All this and so much more on today's episode of Fintech Insider!

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This week's episode was produced and written by Laura Watkins, and edited by Alex Woodhouse.

Special Guests: Leda Glyptis, Livia Benisty, and Ryan Edwards-Pritchard.

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