News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

paperwork - a big pile of papers

1.UK – FinTech


Finextra reports: 

“PayPal's millions of users in the UK can now buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency, although the company is stressing that Brits should research the risks involved. 

The UK is the second country where PayPal is offering the crypto service, following the US, where it launched earlier this year. Customers can choose from four types of cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

By accessing their PayPal account via the website or the mobile app, they can view real-time crypto prices, access educational content to help answer commonly asked questions, and learn more about cryptocurrencies, including the opportunities and risks.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, GM, blockchain, crypto and digital currencies, PayPal, says: "Our global reach, digital payments expertise, and knowledge of consumer and businesses, combined with rigorous security and compliance controls provides us the unique opportunity, and the responsibility, to help people in the UK to explore cryptocurrency." 



2. UK - FinTech 


Altfi runs an “explainer” on financial buzzwords such as “embedded finance”: 

“Embedded finance is one of those phrases that has been thrown about a lot over recent months, with many still left in the dark asuch as “embedded finance”bout what it actually means. 

Over the past decade, largely thanks to the rise of fintech itself, other financial technology developments have enabled companies to make our lives so much easier. 

Put simply, embedded finance is simply when you embed finance into an app. Seems straightforward, right? Well, many people have probably encountered it without even knowing. 

If you have ever bought something in an app or online then you have likely used it. 

In technical terms, embedded finance is when banking-as-a-service is deployed to embedded a financial API into a website or app to allow for users to pay for products or services all in the one place. 

And, it’s not just fintechs and other financial institutions reaping the rewards of the embedded finance landscape, now app-based services, like Uber or Deliveroo, and high street stores are jumping on the bandwagon. 

Back in th day, online or in-app shopping was much more complicated, with customers often being directed away from the website or app to complete their purchase. 

But, as fintech and its many branches became more popular, companies were able to easily insert new, more efficient ways to pay in their websites and apps, thus creating embedded finance as we know it.  

For example, that takeaway you ordered on Deliveroo last night and paid for all without having to leave the app is a prime illustration of one of the most common uses of embedded finance. 

Even companies like Starbucks use embedded finance, with customers able to top-up their Starbucks card and pay with it in-store, rather than digging around for their wallet to pay in cash or with a debit card. 

It’s not just payments that embedded finance helped to accelerate. The technology can be used in many other instances too, such as lending. 

Now, many people will think of the process of getting a loan as a long, drawn-out process, but with the advancement of embedded technology, we’ve seen other areas soar too. 

Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) was one of the earliest driving forces behind embedded finance.  

Similar to payments, consumers get offered the option to delay a payment or to pay it in instalments in the form of a short term loan through embedded finance.” 


3. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“Visa has paid around $150,000 in Ethereum to buy a CryptoPunk non-fungible token as it explores ways to get into the fast-growing NFT game. 

The payments giant has acquired CryptoPunk 7610, one of 10,000 unique digital collectible characters with proof of ownership stored on the Ethereum blockchain.

In a Q&A on the Visa website, head of crypto Cuy Sheffield says that the company thinks NFTs will "play an important role in the "future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce".

The CryptoPunk acquisition was carried out - with Anchorage Digital - to help get an understanding of the "infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT".

With NFTs accounting for $1 billion in payment volume in August, Sheffield says it's "not surprising" that Visa is looking into "how we can apply our expertise in enabling seamless and secure digital payments to make NFT-commerce accessible and useable for buyers and sellers".

The firm is looking into how it can help businesses use NFTs to harness customer engagement and is "working on some new concepts and partnerships that support NFT buyers, sellers, and creators". 


4. International – FinTech 

Altfi reports: 

“Joining Wise and Dext in the running for worst rebrand of 2021, WorldRemit has become Zepz and simultaneously closed a colossal funding round. 

Now valued at $5bn, making it one of the UK’s most valued fintech unicorns along with Revolut and, Zepz last night confirmed a $292m funding round. 

New investors in the cross-border payments group include Farallon Capital, along with existing investors Leapfrog, TCV and Accel. 

The rebrand comes after WorldRemit acquired African payments giant SendWave last year for $500m, giving it a solid foothold in the vast region and transitioning the company into a holding company structure. 

“Today’s announced raise is another important step in the execution of our strategy,” said Zepz CEO Breon Corcoran. 

“Following the acquisition of Sendwave we have made significant progress with the integration of the different businesses and are retaining both the Sendwave and WorldRemit brands. In that context we are proud to announce the rebranding of our holding Company to Zepz.” 

With Sendwave under its belt, Zepz operates across 5,000 money transfer corridors and its 11m customers make 4.5m monthly transactions.” 


5. International – FinTech 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“Virtual banks in Indonesia must have minimum paid-up capital of IDR 10 trillion (appr. $694 million). But the capital deposit needed when submitting an application is only IDR 3 trillion. 

Indonesia’s OJK (Financial Services Authority), the nation’s financial regulator, has shared an update to its regulatory guidelines for commercial banks. The new regulations include a framework for virtual banks operating in the Southeast Asian country. 

As first reported by Regulation Asia, the updated regulatory framework is meant to support ongoing digital transformation initiatives in the country’s banking sector, promote the development of innovative banking products, and enable local banks to operate efficiently, while adapting services to the requirement of consumers. 

Under the updated regulatory guidelines, Indonesia-based digital banks may offer services with just one physical location serving as their head office and with physical locations for clients. Limited physical offices will also be permitted under the new rules.”