TOP 5 Fintech News Week 04/52 (22-01-24)

TOP 5 Fintech News Week 04/52 (22-01-24)

Federico PACHE
Fintech Weekly News

Nu Mexico and Felix Pago Collaborate to Enable US-Mexico Payments via WhatsApp

Nu Mexico, a subsidiary of Nubank, has collaborated with Felix Pago to introduce a new feature allowing customers to receive payments from the United States via WhatsApp. This initiative is designed to streamline the process of transferring money between the US and Mexico, providing users with a fast, secure, and efficient experience. The move aligns with Nu Mexico's goal of empowering individuals financially in Mexico, especially given the country's status as the second-largest recipient of international remittances.

Through the Nu app, customers can easily initiate the money-receiving process by generating a request link within the app, pre-loaded with recipient details. The link is then shared via WhatsApp, and the sender interacts with the Felix chatbot directly in the messaging platform, eliminating the need for additional downloads. The funds sent from the US are processed by Félix Pago, and once completed, the recipient receives the funds instantly in Mexican Pesos (MXN) via SPEI into their Nu Account. Additionally, stored funds can generate returns of 15% annually when placed in "Boxes." This collaboration aims to make remittances more accessible, convenient, and digital for Latinos in the US and their families in Mexico.

SourceIBS Intelligence

Tesla Collaborates with Origence to Offer Competitive Financing for Electric Vehicles

Tesla has joined forces with Origence to provide financing options for electric vehicle buyers. Customers shopping for Tesla's Model Y, Model 3, Model X, Model S, or Cybertruck can now access low-rate financing through Tesla's website or mobile app. Origence, a credit union lending technology company, facilitates this financing through its licensed subsidiary FI Connect.

This collaboration allows partner credit unions across the US to offer competitive rates and extended financing terms. When consumers finance their Tesla vehicle through FI Connect on the Tesla website, the contract will be purchased and serviced by a credit union. Tony Boutelle, President and CEO of Origence, highlights the affordability of Tesla cars for credit union members, thanks to price adjustments and the collaboration with FI Connect.


Finastra Partners with Databricks to Enhance Global Financial Solutions with AI

Finastra, a global financial software provider, is partnering with Databricks for enhanced data and AI solutions. This collaboration aims to leverage Databricks' capabilities, including generative AI (Gen AI), to unlock data access and streamline product development for Finastra globally. The implementation of the Secure Zone data platform allows teams to experiment with AI solutions, benefiting customers with advanced tools and pre-trained models.

Finastra is committed to innovation in product development through open platforms, cloud, machine learning, and Gen AI, aligning with the industry trend revealed in their Financial Services State of the Nation survey. The collaboration also includes initiatives to upskill the workforce and enhance productivity with Gen AI, emphasizing Finastra's dedication to delivering enhanced experiences for end-users.

Source: Finastra

Ally Financial sells POS financing business to Synchrony

Ally Financial has completed the sale of its point-of-sale (POS) financing business, Ally Lending, to Connecticut-based financial services firm Synchrony, including $2.2 billion in loan receivables. This strategic move enables Synchrony to offer a diverse range of credit and installment loans to Ally Lending's merchant portfolio. Synchrony plans to integrate installment loans into its home improvement vertical, targeting high-growth specialty areas.

The acquisition, seen as a growth opportunity, allows Synchrony to diversify its merchant base and achieve operational efficiency. For Ally Financial, the decision aligns with a broader strategy to invest in scale businesses and enhance relationships with dealers and consumers, optimizing risk-adjusted returns in a dynamic operating environment.

Source: Fintech Futures

Mondu and Mangopay Partner on B2B Payments Solutions in Europe

Mondu and Mangopay have formed a strategic partnership to offer tailored B2B payments solutions for marketplace businesses across Europe. This collaboration combines Mondu's B2B payments solutions with Mangopay's modular and flexible payment infrastructure. Mangopay, established in 2013, has supported over 2,500 platforms and marketplaces with its programmable eWallet solution and comprehensive payment infrastructure. Mondu, initially launched in Germany in 2021, provides a B2B buy now, pay later (BNPL) solution and has expanded its services to several European countries.

The partnership aims to empower B2B marketplaces with versatile tools and payment methods, including BNPL, enhancing flexibility in managing payment flows. Malte Huffmann, co-founder and co-CEO of Mondu, emphasized the shared vision of simplifying the payments process for marketplaces and empowering customers to choose their preferred payment methods. The collaboration reflects the growing significance of BNPL in Europe's B2B payments landscape, offering flexibility and cost management benefits for businesses.

Source: Pymnts

Zilo Secures £25m in Series A Funding

Zilo Logo
Zilo, a fintech start-up based in the UK that specializes in global asset and wealth management software, has successfully raised £25 million in its Series A funding round.

The funding was spearheaded by Fidelity International Strategic Ventures (FISV) and Portage, with additional contributions from State Street and Citi. According to PitchBook data, the company had previously raised $10.6 million in a seed round in October 2022.

Established in 2020 and headquartered in London, Zilo's mission is to enhance cost efficiency, reduce complexity, and generate sustainable value for global asset and wealth management firms, along with their clientele. Zilo's software facilitates the replacement of outdated legacy systems with a digital, real-time user experience. The platform went live with its inaugural client in July 2023.

The newly secured funds will be channeled towards accelerating product development, fostering user acquisition, and expanding its presence in the market. Additionally, the capital will be allocated to entering new markets and establishing strategic partnerships to diversify its offerings.

Philip Goffin, the founder and CEO of Zilo, commented on the funding, stating, "We are committed to empowering financial service institutions to phase out obsolete legacy technologies and significantly enhance the cost efficiencies of their operations by leveraging Zilo to transition to a modern digital solution that supports existing fund structures, new digital assets, and improves client experiences."

SOURCE: Fintech Inshorts

Amethis buys majority  in CBS

Amethis Logo
Amethis, a dedicated investment fund manager focusing on Africa, has recently acquired a majority stake in Capital Banking Solutions (CBS), a European provider of banking solutions. The transaction amount remains undisclosed.

Headquartered in Paris, France, CBS has been delivering banking solutions internationally for the past 25 years. Its prominent offerings include CapitalBanker, a core banking solution, and CapitalPrivate, a wealth management solution tailored for European private banks and wealth management specialists.

CBS, employing over 300 professionals, operates in multiple locations, including France, Monaco, Switzerland, the USA, Morocco, Lebanon, and Ivory Coast.

Amethis, through its investment, aims to support CBS in accelerating organic growth, especially on an international scale. The strategy includes facilitating CBS's external growth through strategic acquisitions, expanding its geographical reach, and reinforcing existing services.

In this transaction, Amethis secures a majority stake, collaborating with CBS's president and CEO, Samer Hanna, COO Michel Tueni, CFO Aziz Akl, and other key executives, all of whom are reinvesting their proceeds. Founded in 2012 and based in Paris, Amethis manages assets exceeding €1 billion, with over 30 investments to date. As a partner member of Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity, Amethis provides growth capital to mid-sized businesses across various sectors through its six offices in Europe and Africa.

SOURCE: Amethis

Ant Group Close to Acquiring MultiSafepay

Ant Group Logo
Chinese financial services giant Ant Group is reportedly on the verge of finalizing a deal to acquire Dutch payments firm MultiSafepay for approximately US$200 million. This strategic move is part of Ant Group's broader initiative to extend its presence in Western markets, following its acquisition of UK international payments firm WorldFirst in 2019 for US$700 million.

In its pursuit of global expansion, Ant Group had previously entered the Singaporean market through the acquisition of 2C2P in 2022. Known for operating the cross-border payments platform Alipay alongside its affiliate Alibaba Group, Ant Group has established itself as a key player in the worldwide financial services market.

MultiSafepay, generating an annual revenue of US$50 million, is poised to become a valuable addition to Ant Group's European portfolio. Unlike many companies, MultiSafepay has achieved substantial growth organically, with no external investment, expanding from its native market into Spain and Germany.

Ant Group's latest acquisition involves obtaining 100% ownership of MultiSafepay, a company renowned for providing payments acquiring and processing services to over 18,000 SMEs. Moreover, MultiSafepay collaborates with commercial partners to offer supplementary services to its clients. In 2022, the Dutch firm recorded a net profit of US$1.43 million on gross income totaling US$13.02 million. With this impending deal, MultiSafepay's CEO, Olaf Geurs, is expected to pass the reins to Ant Group.

SOURCE: Fintech Magazine

FirstOntario's Open Banking Readiness with Flinks and Everlink

FirstOntario Logo
Canadian credit union FirstOntario has teamed up with API developer Flinks and payment technology firm Everlink to bolster its open banking services in anticipation of Canada's open banking framework launch in 2025.

This partnership is set to provide greater control over financial data to FirstOntario's members, enabling the credit union to deliver a more personalized range of financial services. Lloyd Smith, CEO of FirstOntario, emphasizes the importance of this capability as a "key strategic priority" and underscores the readiness to offer this emerging service once legislatively enabled, given the anticipation surrounding open banking in the marketplace.

Flinks, headquartered in Montreal and majority-owned by the National Bank of Canada, and Everlink, based in Markham, joined forces in March 2023 to spearhead the adoption of consumer-driven banking in Canada. They achieved this by combining Flinks' open banking infrastructure product, Outbound, with Everlink's digital solutions.

This collaboration aligns with the federal government of Canada's initiative, unveiled last November, to implement an open banking framework in its upcoming budget. The framework is slated to be nationally operational in 2025, prompting financial institutions like FirstOntario to establish partnerships with suitable providers in preparation.

Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf, CEO of Flinks, notes the growing momentum for a consumer-driven financial industry, emphasizing that the inclusion of open banking functionality within FirstOntario will "elevate the banking experience" for its members.

As per the federal Department of Finance, approximately 9 million Canadians currently use screen-scraping to share confidential banking credentials with service providers, posing privacy, liability, and security risks. Canada aims to replace this process with open banking, following the lead of countries such as Australia, the European Union, the UK, Japan, and Singapore.

SOURCE: Banking Frontiers

Global Fintech Investment Drops 48% in 2023

Innovate Finance Logo
Global fintech investment totaled $51.2 billion in 2023, marking a significant 48% decline from the previous year's figure of $99 billion, according to data released by UK industry body Innovate Finance.

The number of funding deals also saw a notable reduction, with capital being distributed across a total of 3,973 deals compared to 6,397 deals recorded in 2022. The United States maintained its position as the leader in fintech funding by a considerable margin, attracting $24 billion across 1,530 deals. The UK secured the second spot with $5.1 billion, followed by India in third place with $2.5 billion. The UK's $5.1 billion in funding for 2023 was distributed across 409 deals, reflecting a 65% decrease from the previous year's $14.6 billion across 592 deals.

Innovate Finance highlights that this decline in funding aligns with trends observed in other major fintech markets, including the US, which experienced a 44% drop from 2022. An exception to this trend was the UAE, where investments surged by an impressive 92% compared to 2022. In the UK, female-led fintech companies attracted $536 million in 2023 across 59 deals, representing 10.5% of the country's total funding. The industry body also points out that "the UK received more investment in fintech than the next 28 European countries combined" throughout the year.

Janine Hirt, CEO of Innovate Finance, notes that despite economic challenges for fintech globally in 2023, the UK sector demonstrated resilience by maintaining its position as a global investment hub, ranking second only to the US and leading in Europe. Hirt sees a "clear opportunity" for UK fintechs to strengthen their presence in Asian markets, which collectively attracted "more combined investment than their European counterparts."

Innovate Finance compiled and summarized its report using data from PitchBook as of December 31, 2023.

SOURCE: Innovate Finance

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