News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Income Tax square on Monopoly board, with dice.

1.UK – FinTech        


 Altfi reports: 

“Hargreaves Lansdown has partnered with open banking provider Ecospend to provide an open banking-powered “pay by bank” service for its clients. 

Ecospend’s solution will allow Hargreaves Lansdown’s users to make payments directly to their accounts without the need for cards. 

The news comes as open banking is seeing increasing adoption within the UK. Less than four months after reaching a milestone of 5 million open banking users, the UK recently hit a new record of 6 million users. 

Ecospend, founded in 2017, provides open banking tech that is used across 13 HMRC tax regimes, including self-assessment, PAYE, corporation tax and VAT, and was recently acquired by Swedish fintech Trustly. 

Ecospend first hit the headlines when it nabbed a £3m contract to build the HMRC’s payments infrastructure, and earlier this year said that nearly £2.5bn worth of transactions have been made in a year via its open banking technology. 

Using the new solution, Hargreaves Lansdown users will no longer need to enter card details when adding money to an account, which the firm claims significantly reduces the risk of data entry errors and card fraud risk. 

The payment is authorised via the client’s chosen online banking service, in app or website, typically using biometric ID. 

Hargreaves Lansdown claims the account to account ‘pay by bank’ method, which bypasses card networks and interchange fees, can bring cost savings as well as efficiencies, and that the automated user experience removes the risk of human error and saves the time taken to reconcile manual bank transfers.” 


2. UK – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“The lastest fraud figures released by UK Finance reveal a huge rise in authorised push payment (APP) fraud in 2021, with losses 39% up on the same period in 2020. 

A total of over £1.3 billion was stolen through fraud and scams in 2021: unauthorised fraud was £730.4 million and APP fraud was £583.2 million, with nearly 40 per cent of APP losses due to impersonation scams.

In 2021, criminals impersonated a range of organisations such as the NHS, banks and government departments via phone calls, text messages, emails, fake websites and social media posts to trick people into handing over their personal and financial information. They subsequently used this information to convince people into authorising a payment.” 



3. UK – FinTech 


The Fintech Times reports: 


“Funding Circle, a UK small business loan platform, has refreshed its ‘Money To Do More’ scheme with enhanced benefits for Funding Circle employees, known as Circlers. 

The company has set aside £300k this year, with each of Funding Circle’s 600 Circlers in the UK receiving a £500 allowance to support their development and wellbeing. 

The previously established Learning & Development allowance of £300 is designed to help individuals with achieving their personal and career development goals. The allowance can be spent on anything from relevant textbooks and subscriptions, through to classes or conferences. This supplements the extensive training resources available via the company’s internal training facility, the FC Academy. 

The wellness allowance is a new addition to Funding Circle’s ‘Money To Do More’ scheme in 2022 and is designed to give Circlers the freedom to choose what they need to live a more healthy and balanced life. From new running shoes and gym classes/memberships, to a good book or cookery lessons, it is for Circlers to decide what will make a difference to their wellbeing. Circlers can also transfer their wellness allowance to support their Learning & Development allowance if they so wish.” 


4. UK – FinTech 

Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) has reportedly selected Ecospend, the United Kingdom’s Open Banking provider, in order to offer a “pay by bank” service to its customers. 

Ecospend’s solution should enable HL’s clients to complete payments directly to their HL accounts more quickly and securely and without the need for payment cards. 

The payment option eliminates the requirement to enter card details when adding funds to an account, significantly reducing data entry errors as well as card fraud risk. The payment is authorized through the customer’s preferred online banking service (in-app or website) using a biometric ID, creating a secure experience.” 


5. International – FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

“Card issuing and payments giant Marqeta is significantly expanding its credit platform with more than 40 new credit APIs. 

Alongside its huge API expansion which the company will enable customers to design, test and launch differentiated credit card experiences, it is also introducing a “new, intuitive dashboard”. 

Customers will also have the option to leverage First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO)’s program management and banking capabilities in addition to the new features on offer. 

“We’ve brought the power of modern card issuing to the credit card market to bring much-needed innovation and give our customers increased agility to respond to rapidly changing consumer demands,” Marqeta chief technology officer Randy Kern said. 

“With these new features offered with FNBO, our customers have a much more intuitive experience and can leverage APIs to design compelling card programs with personalized rewards, digital-first experiences, and fast onboarding.” 

According to the payments platform, the tech behind credit cards largely is not keeping up with consumer spending habits, which have evolved over the course of the pandemic.”