News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd at an airport, man works on laptop

1.UK – FinTech

 

 Altfi reports: 


“On day 2 of the AltFi Festival of Finance, some of our panellists came together to discuss overcoming the challenges of challenger credit cards. 

Zopa's chief commercial officer Tim Waterman, Chetwood Financial’s chief product officer Julia McColl, Tymit’s CEO and co-founder Martin Magnone and GDS Link’s managing director of fraud solutions Brian Kinch all shared their thoughts. 

In the last few years, there has been a real surge in challenger credit cards, and Waterman kicked off the discussion by speaking as to why that is. 

“It’s always been a really attractive market for lenders, and it’s one of the biggest unsecured credit markets in the UK,” he said. 

“Margins are really good for lenders and the consumers are really poorly served by the incumbents. So the products and the experiences they offer just don’t meet the expectations of modern, digital consumers. So we just saw a really great opportunity to disrupt this space and really provide products that meet the key needs of the consumers.” 

Within the space of about 18 months, Zopa has originated more than a quarter of a million credit cards and become a top seven issuer in the UK based on new volumes, according to Waterman.  

This is something that has evolved from the digital bank’s ability to offer “slick, digital products” that remove the issues that exist with incumbents, he explained.” 

2. UK – FinTech 

 

Altfi on conference chat re four-day weeks. 

 

“Fintech leaders have hit out at a four-day working week, saying it can undermine productivity and that it's not realistic for high-growth businesses. 

Four fintech leaders took part in a session called Hiring, Hybrid Working and HR in 2022 at the AltFi Festival of Finance. 

Karen Kerrigan, Moneybox chief operating officer; Tom Morisse, strategy and planning associate, people, SpenDesk; Frederico Travella, CEO, NoviCap and Sam Perry, strategic alliances director, Globalization Partners, discussed some of the pertinent HR issues impacting fintech in 2022. 

These included hybrid working, remote hiring and four-day working weeks. 

Last year, Atom Bank, one of the first challenger banks, shifted to a four-day working week for its 430 staff without cutting their pay. The bank said it had led to a spike in job applications. 

And there have been increased calls for a four-day working week amid claims that it could improve people’s lives, but some employers don’t think it’s the right thing to do. 

Travella and Kerrigan highlighted some of what they saw as the shortcomings of a four-day working week.” 

 

3. International – FinTech 

 

Finextra reports: 

 

“Estonian financial services outfit LHV Group has invested €1 million in Tuum, its core banking platform provider. 

The strategic investment means that LHV is now a partner, customer and investor in local outfit Tuum, which offers an API-first, cloud-agnostic and modular banking platform that covers all retail and business banking processes.

Last October, Tuum gained access to LHV’s services, enabling it to provide customers with real-time pound and euro payments, virtual Ibans, currency exchange accounts and currency exchange transactions.

Then, last month LHV also selected Tuum to provide the core infrastructure for its banking operations in the UK.” 

 

4. International – FinTech 

 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

 

Klarna, a global retail bank, payments, and shopping service, announced its expanded partnership with cross-border e-commerce provider Global-e (Nasdaq: GLBE). 

Via this partnership, merchants selling to Canada through Global-e’s cross-border e-commerce platform, “including notable brands such as Reformation, SKIMS, Fenty Beauty, Rimowa, Versace, Marc Jacobs, and Marks & Spencer, can now offer consumers Klarna’s flexible payment options.” 

 

5. International - FinTech  

Finextra reports: 


“Commerzbank is rebranding its innovation unit and early-stage investor as part of a sharper focus on sustainability and green tech firms. 

The German lender says that customer demand in the B2B and B2C sectors is no longer just growing for digital technology, but above all for sustainable offerings.

To reflect this, the bank's main incubator, which has been operating since 2013, is being renamed neosfer.

Kai Werner, MD, neosfer, says: "Digitalization and sustainability are undoubtedly the key drivers of our current times. As neosfer, we are convinced that the two trends cannot be viewed separately from each other but are closely linked and must therefore always be considered simultaneously".

The unit, which has already invested in several sustainable startups, also develops its own prototypes and venture building projects as it seeks to push the green economy.”