News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

escalator ascending into light

1.UK – FinTech   

AltFi reports: 

 

“It seems the marketing team at TransferWise (now Wise) weren’t the only ones plotting a rebrand for 2021, as Receipt Bank has also shed its name this week to become Dext. 

The change comes as Dext says it now has over 1m users, with 250,000 of those joining last year alone and the group having doubled its users over the past 24 months. 

“One million users is a phenomenal landmark, but there are hundreds of thousands of accountants looking after hundreds of millions more businesses that still need sound financial insight to survive and thrive,” said Dext CEO Adrian Blair. 

Dext’s acquisition of data quality specialist Xavier (now Dext Precision) last year accelerated the group’s growth and came off the back of its £55m Series C funding round at the start of 2020.” 

 

2. UK – FinTech 


AltFi reports: 


“Payments app VibePay has taken a step closer to becoming a one-stop-shop for payments, combining its Account Information Service Provider (AISP) and Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) capabilities on its app for the first time.  

As an AISP, VibePay has been granted the ability to retrieve account data from other banks and financial institutions and as a PISP the fintech is able to make payments into or out of a person’s account. 

From today, VibePay users can connect all their bank accounts in its app, giving them the ability to see all their transactions, balances and make payments in one place regardless of who they bank with.” 

 

3. International – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 


“The European Payments Initiative, a bank-backed joint venture that aims to build a rival to Mastercard and Visa, has put out a Request for Information for 'qualified technical partners' to help build its central infrastructure. 

Backed by 31 major Eurozone banks and acquirers Wordlline and Nets, the EPI is striving to create a unified pan-European payment system, offering a card for consumers and merchants across Europe, a digital wallet and P2P payments.

Expected to enter the operational phase in 2022, the coalition established the EPI Interim Company in Brussels in July, with the intention of setting out clear deliverables including the completion of the technical and operational roadmap.

EPI is currently assessing how the necessary central infrastructure could be obtained, or built, and how best it should be operated, "to sustain all the necessary scheme functions and needs, as well as the solution needs of the technical entity, in relation to the payment products EPI intends to deploy". 

 

4. International – FinTech 


Crowdfund Insider reports: 


“After a proposal from the Bank of Lithuania, the European Central Bank (ECB) has reportedly issued a specialized banking license to the Lithuanian capital company UAB SME Digital Financing. 

It’s now expected that after acquiring such a permit, UAB SME Digital Financing will begin accepting deposits, offer account financing services and loans to companies or businesses. 

At present, there are five “specialized” banks offering services in Lithuania: AB Mano bankas, Revolut Bank UAB, UAB GF bankas, AB Fjord Bank and European Merchant Bank UAB. Their primary activity is to accept deposits and issue loans. Another specialized banking platform – Crius LT, UAB – is getting ready to launch operations. 

The Bank of Lithuania, along with the ECB, are currently reviewing six other applications for a specialized banking license. These types of banks are typically associated or involved with the further development of Fintech services, which aim to increase consumer-focused competition, attractiveness of modern financial solutions, and an overall better user experience (UX).” 

5. International - FinTech 

 

Finextra reports:

 

“Basiq, a NAB, Westpac, Salesforce and Plaid-backed open banking platform, is introdocuing a new feature for lenders to aggregate outstanding consumer loans, including buy now, pay later debt, to get more visibility into customer liabilities. 

Pitched as a means for banks and fintechs to help consumers manage and make repayments, Basiq's External Liabilities package surfaces loan data across Australia’s most popular buy now pay later platforms and alternative lenders.

The move comes as consumers increasingly turn to BNPL platforms and alternative lenders as a way to gain access to credit beyond traditional credit card accounts.

A recent review into the BNPL sector in Australia by the country's Securities and Invesment Commission found that one-in-five BNPL users had missed repayments and were experiencing financial hardships due to the interest charged on the debt.

Basiq’s data network allows customers to link liabilities data from over 100 financial institutions for a complete picture of their loan obligations.”