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The world’s hottest digital banking startup takes home 2 international awards in one week, preparing to launch in Puerto...

This past year, Puerto Rico has taken its place among the world’s most attractive spots for business incorporation and development of cutting-edge products and services.

Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló wants to see the island develop to meet the needs of the rapidly growing innovative tech & gig economy: “I would like to see Puerto Rico become a place where businesses serve customers and coordinate operations throughout the Americas, what I like to think of as a “human cloud,” where workers spread across the island handle tasks remotely for businesses around the world.”

Puerto Rico’s agenda aligns well with Arival Bank’s goals, which aims to provide banking services for innovative tech and crypto-related SMEs. It makes Arival Bank a perfect fit into the Puerto Rico ecosystem, creating its solutions on the basis of opportunities, generously provided by the U.S. territory.

Now, it will also become the home for two international fintech awards from different corners of the world, proving that Arival Bank is on the right track.

(more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Hotnews, news, SME

November 14, 2018

“Fintech unicorn” WB21 faces securities fraud enforcement action from SEC

Michael Gastauer, CEO of WB21 digital bank, is facing a lawsuit for selling $165 million worth of fraudulent microcap stocks.

On October 2nd, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed a lawsuit against Michael Gastauer and Roger Knox for “intentionally defrauding investors by secretly dumping large quantities of stock.”

(more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Hotnews

October 11, 2018

946

Should I create my own payment app?

One of the hottest niches in tech right now is payments. If it’s big enough for Google, Apple and Paypal to pursue – it’s BIG. If the Bitcoin, a currency built specifically for instant (de-centralized) online transactions, increase in value 100-fold over a period of several years, it is another very solid indication the world is moving towards digitized transactions. In fact more than 50% of all transactions taking place in the USA are cash-free.

Building a money transfer application has more than a few hurdles. Many have tried and failed, and the others are sitting on the fence waiting for the industry to boom to make substantial profits. The top money transfer apps in 2018 are composed of large companies who have been in the domain of online payments from way before mobile apps even existed.

The difficulties of creating money transfer apps

Regulation

The biggest hurdle in creating a money transfer app is definitely NOT the programming you need to put in, nor the UI, no anything else you would traditionally say is the sticking point of creating app. It’s regulation.

When you handle people’s money, you need to be carefully inspected and show beyond any reasonable doubt you are eligible to be in this position. It goes way further than just the regulator, by the way – banks are very reluctant to deal with you, and so us other providers. So, you need to be approved by a regulator (or SEVERAL regulators if you are going to accept people from different regions in the world), be in excellent relations with at least one bank, and prove one or more tax authorities people are not using your platform to evade taxation.

All of the above is far more complex than it sounds and it will require serious resources to accommodate all of the above, and particular as a startup.

Liquidity pool

If you are going to handle people money you need a line of credit to enable real-time transactions. That means that you need to cover the deficiency in cash inside your system between the time that someone pays, and until you actually receive the money. That is a significant issue and you need to have significant reserve pools just in any case. What happens if your security is breached and some money is stolen off the system? What happens if you have a an unusually high number of feedbacks in one certain month? You need a few millions of dollars to be sitting aside to facilitate a real money transfer network.

Product

Although this aspect only comes third on our list, to compete in the payment business you have to come up with a very slick app that appears trustworthy, maintains the highest level of security (super important), and is easy to use as your target audience is very broad. In essence, you need to out-do companies which have been in the market since before the 2000 high-tech bubble like Paypal. It is obtainable, but it will require high level of expertise and yet again – a sizeable investment.

Foreign exchange – liquidity and capability

If you intend to accept clients from overseas who are paying via multiple currency, you need to be able to exchange foreign exchange through your application. This requires connecting with a source of liquidity provider who is also able to facilitate currency exchange, and a lot of additional hurdles when it comes to product development and regulation. Cross border transfers tend to be more sensitive and difficult to execute.

Finding partners / Marketing

Payment applications is a very saturated market, and thus, you will need to be able to compete through not only better offering than your competitors, but in fact have powerful business partners who are able to integrate your payment app into their systems. Apple and Google don’t need such a partner, being of such immense size and influence, but you would need them.

Not making money

When you go into an overly competitive market which is currently focused on acquisition and not profit, you would not be able to compete if your prices would be higher than your competitors. Venmo is practically free when it comes to transfers in the U.S, similarly  Google Pay and Apple Pay, and cross-border applications like Transferwise’s charge as little as 0.5% off each transaction, you are not going to be making money in the short and medium term. This is a long term game.

Final words

Looking at all the hurdles expected, you should be entering the payment app industry only if you have a very solid foundation. If you plan on making your mark with your team of 4 out-of-college programmers working in your grandma’s basement, you should at softer and more niche industries.

 

Banks, Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews, Remittances

October 7, 2018

2633

UOB taps Personetics to gain deeper customer insights

United Overseas Bank has invested in Israel-based AI firm Personetics and plans to deploy its cognitive analytic tools to help customers make smarter banking decisions. (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews

July 20, 2018

1892

MAS to ramp up measures to fight money laundering, terrorism financing

By Annabeth Leow for Business Times

REGULATORS in Singapore are looking to ramp up targeted measures against financial crime, including tapping data analytics and boosting information sharing with financial institutions, said an official from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday morning. (more…)

Government activities, Hotnews

July 18, 2018

1606

CEO Problems

By Brad Feld

Originally published at Feld Thoughts.

Recently, I was talking to a CEO of a company I’m on the board of. We were discussing a problem in the category of something new Is fucked up in my world every day (more…)

Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews

July 16, 2018

1701

The Industry Analyst Evaluation Game

By Brad Feld – managing director at Foundry Group

Originally published at Feld Thoughts.

Over the past 25 years, I’ve invested in many startups that sell products to large enterprises. Many of these companies end up either creating or helping to create a new category. As the startups (or the category) become visible, they inevitably attract the attention of industry analysts, who write reports on the categories and the startups as part of the industry analysts’ business.

(more…)

Fintech news, Hotnews, Influences FinTech

July 13, 2018

1823

Analyzing the Ethereum — Security Decision by the SEC

The purpose of this article will not be to give the news that the SEC revealed that they would not deem Ethereum to be a security. (more…)

Cryptocurrencies, Financial Markets / Trading, Hotnews

July 10, 2018

1733

TransferWise opens in Hong Kong

By InvestHK,

Leading London-based fintech company TransferWise announced today (6 July 2018) the official launch of its international money transfer platform in Hong Kong, giving it a major foothold in Asia as part of the company’s ongoing international expansion. (more…)

Global trends, Hotnews, Remittances

July 9, 2018

2006

HSBC highlights the six new banking careers of the future

HSBC is preparing for the ongoing revolution in banking, highlighting six new types of jobs that will be necessary to forge a career in a digitally-enabled financial services industry. (more…)

Hotnews

July 6, 2018

1980

JPMorgan Chase begins nationwide roll-out of mobile-only bank

JPMorgan Chase is taking its mobile-only banking offshoot Finn nationwide following its debut in St. Louis in October. (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews

June 29, 2018

1872

PayPal Checkout adds smart payment buttons

At PayPal, we’re building solutions for global commerce to help consumers and businesses seamlessly connect across all contexts. (more…)

Global trends, Hotnews

June 29, 2018

SigFig Raises $50 Million in Series E

Automated wealth management advisory specialist SigFig has raised $50 million in new funding in a round led by General Atlantic. The Series E round also featured the participation of existing investors UBS, Eaton Vance Corporation, DCM Ventures, New York Life, Nyca Partners, and Bain Capital Ventures. (more…)

Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews

June 25, 2018

1263

Fintech friends: Monzo partners with TransferWise for international payments

By Steve O’Hear for techCrunch,

“So what’s going on here then?” I ask. “Two good friends just got even better [friends],” replies TransferWise co-founder Kristo Käärmann laughing, while Monzoco-founder Tom Blomfield, who is also on the video call, smiles approvingly. “Sorry for spoiling your news,” I tell the pair, who I’m interviewing ahead of an announcement today that the two companies are working together. (more…)

Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews

June 25, 2018

Money20/20 Europe: key takeaways

Martin Whybrow sought out the trends and key issues when the Money20/20 Europe circus rolled into Amsterdam this week. (more…)

Government activities, Hotnews

June 9, 2018

580

TransferWise nets first big EU bank customer

France’s second-largest bank, BPCE Groupe, is to become the first in Europe to directly integrate with TransferWise to offer mobile money transfers to its 15 million customers. (more…)

Banks, Global trends, Hotnews, Remittances

June 4, 2018

633

N26 now has 1 million customers

You don’t sign up to a bank account every day. And yet, German startup N26 has managed to attract 1 million clients across Europe. They generate €1 billion in transaction volume every month ($1.17 billion). (more…)

Hotnews

June 4, 2018

588

Goldman Sachs leads $250m Tradeshift funding round

Supply chain finance outfit Tradeshift has joined the unicorn club after closing a $250 million Series E funding round led by Goldman Sachs and Public Sector Pension Investment Board. (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews

May 30, 2018

593

Ant Financial signs third Chinese bank technology deal

Ant Financial, the financial services spin-off of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has added another string to its bow, signing its third deal this month as a strategic technology supplier to the Chinese banking industry. (more…)

Global trends, Hotnews

May 30, 2018

945

Rakuten invests in UK payments group Azimo

Move reflects fast-growing market for challengers to traditional way of sending money

(more…)

Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews

May 29, 2018

503

Tandem reaches 100,000 clients, signs for Form3 paytech

UK-based challenger Tandem says “100,000 Brits are now using the bank to spend, save, and manage their money”. (more…)

Banks, Hotnews

May 29, 2018

602

WeInvest Raises $12.3 Million for its WealthTech Platform

By Julie Munh for Finovate

B2B digital wealth management solutions provider WeInvest has taken in an investment of its own today. The Singapore-based company just closed on $12.3 million in Series A funding. (more…)

Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews

May 28, 2018

755

Adyen confirms plans for IPO

Payments processor Adyen is chasing a $9 billion valuation after confirming its intent to sell 15% of its shares in an IPO on Euronext Amsterdam. (more…)

Global trends, Hotnews, Payment processors/providers/gateways

May 25, 2018

916

Equifax works with HSBC on Open Banking credit applications

By Equifax,

HSBC UK has created the first live use case of open banking for credit applications using the InterConnect platform from Equifax, the consumer and business insights expert. (more…)

Banks, Credit scoring, Hotnews

May 18, 2018

725

Revolut expands payments feature to friends nearby

By Revolut

Sending and requesting money is one of the most popular features among Revolut users, and we’ve just made it even better. (more…)

eWallets, Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews, Mobile-first banks

May 16, 2018

717

Morgan Stanley to offer market insights on Alexa devices

 

Morgan Stanley is to offer voice-powered market insights and investment ideas available to clients using all Alexa-enabled devices.

Listeners will be able to tune in to timely insights drawn from Morgan Stanley’s Equity and Fixed Income Research as well as podcasts and other original content.  (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews

May 16, 2018

Prosper Announces First Quarter of 2018 Results: Loan Originations Up 27% Year-over-Year & More Than $2 Billion of Co-Sponsored...

Prosper, a peer-to-peer lending platform connecting borrowers and investors, reported earlier this week its financial results for the first quarter of 2018. The online lender revealed that loan originations increased 27% year-over-year to $744 million, driven by strong demand for the company’s personal loan product and stable funding. (more…)

Fintech news, Global trends, Hotnews

May 16, 2018

480

Circle raises $110 million (or 13,300 BTC)

By Romain Dillet for TechCrunch;

Cryptocurrency startup Circle has raised a $110 million funding round, which values the company near $3 billion. Cryptocurrency mining company Bitmain is leading the round. (more…)

Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, Hotnews

May 16, 2018

607

Robinhood raises $363m for $5.6bn valuation

Fee-free stock trading app Robinhood has seen its value soar to $5.6 billion after closing a $363 million Series D funding round led by DST Global. (more…)

Global trends, Hotnews

May 11, 2018

589

Visa and PayPal extend collaboration pact to Canada

By Visa

Visa (NYSE: V) and PayPal (Nasdaq: PYPL) today announced an extension of their strategic partnership to Canada that will see them work collaboratively to accelerate the adoption of secure, reliable and convenient digital and mobile payments for consumers and merchants in Canada. (more…)

Hotnews

May 11, 2018