News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Young woman whispers in friend's ear

1. UK – FinTech 


Altfi reports: 


“Trust in UK banks has risen over the past year, according to research by AltFi. 

Despite the financial uncertainty prompted by the pandemic, across several different areas trust appears to be rising both in neo banks such as Monzo and Starling Bank as well as large high street incumbents like HSBC, Lloyds and Barclays. 

The Opinium and AltFi Digital Banking Study 2021, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults, found 26 per cent saying their trust in digital banks has improved in the last 12 months, while 23 per cent said the same about large banks. 

The proportion who remain distrustful of neobanks remained almost stable at 25 per cent (compared to 26 per cent last year), however. 

Overall nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) said they trust large banks such as HSBC and Lloyds to keep their money safe, an increase from 57 per cent in 2020. 

While markedly lower for neobanks such as Monzo and Starling Bank, newer digital players did also see an increase in levels of trust to keep cash safe.  Almost exactly one third (33 per cent) said so, up from 29 per cent one year ago.” 


2. UK – FinTech 


Finextra reports: 

“Barclays and Anthemis are to export their Female Innovators Lab from the US to the UK and Europe, providing funding and mentoring to fintech startups founded by women. 

Established in 2019, the Lab combines Barclays’ and Anthemis’ early stage investment expertise and wide fintech network to identify female founders at the earliest stage of their journey and match them with capital and support to build and scale a company.

Three of the first companies to launch out of the Lab include Swaypay, a social commerce startup that reroutes billions of ad dollars from platforms like Facebook into shoppers pockets by democratising influencer perks for all, Nivelo, which is enabling faster ACH payments with a new API security layer, and First Boulevard, a digitally native neobank focused on improving the financial livelihood of Black America.” 


3. UK - FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

“Santander has pulled the plug on its Wise-rival PagoFX just 15 months after it launched. 

Santander described the move as being designed to refocus efforts on business-to-business payments within its PagoNxt division. 

“We have ambitious plans to grow PagoNxt and expect to more than double revenues in the media term, with an immediate focus on high growth segments such as merchant and trade services,” a PagoNxt spokesperson said. 

“To help support this growth, we have decided to integrate the PagoFX technology into our trade services business to leverage the fast and secure payment capabilities offered by the service.” 

PagoFX was launched as an “autonomous fintech startup” with 50 employees and the promise of becoming a real challenger in the low-cost international money transfer space.” 


4. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“French banking-as-a-service platform Swan has secured a $16 million equity raise in a funding round led by Accel. 

Via simple APIs, Swan lets companies embed white-labeled banking features like accounts, cards, and Ibans, into their workflows and UX. Founded in 2019 with the start-up studio eFounders, Swan has an e money license to deliver banking features across Europe, and will use the funding to expand into new territories, beginning with Germany.

The company enables developers to begin testing in its sandbox environment in just seconds, directly via the Swan website, removing the need for a sales and onboarding process to get started.” 


5. International – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“The cryptocurrency markets have been trading down after news of another crackdown on the industry from China. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has issued a statement that has reiterated that all cryptocurrency trading activities in the country are illegal, and regulatory authorities will be increasing their enforcement activities on companies/businesses and individuals engaging in these types of transactions. 

As mentioned in a report from digital assets firm Grayscale, many people should recall that this isn’t the first time China has issued similar guidance “seeking to curb the rapidly growing crypto industry.” Some past actions include bans on initial coin offerings (ICOs)crypto mining, and BTC transactions, the report noted. 

Although investors have started to expect a selloff after news of another Chinese crypto ban, the market has “historically recovered,” the report added.”