FinTech Daily News – Edition 6, 11.07.2017
July 11, 2017
FinTech Daily News – Edition 8, 13.07.2017
July 13, 2017

FinTech Daily News – Edition 7, 12.07.2017

FinTech Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition 7, 12.07.2017

Deals, Investments & M&As

London Fintech Curve Closing In On $10M Series A

Steve O’Hear -Tech Crunch

Curve, the London fintech startup that offers a platform that lets you consolidate all your bank cards into a single Curve card and manage your money, is on the verge of closing $10 million in Series A funding.

FAO: Also mentioned in last Friday edition.  Lead investor is Connect Ventures.

World Bank, Alibaba Fund Invest In Hong Kong-Based Fintech Startup

Elzio Barreto – Reuters

Hong Kong-based startup CompareAsiaGroup has secured $50 million in funding from investors led by the World Bank’s commercial lending arm, as the personal finance management platform looks to develop its technology and launch more products.

FAO: World Bank’s The International Finance Corp (IFC) agreed to invest $15m. Other investors include Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund and Japan’s SBI Group.

Numberz Set To Raise About $3 Million From Sequoia

Mugdha Variyar – Economic Times

Fintech startup Numberz, which helps small businesses in invoice and cash flow management, is in advanced talks to raise a new round of funding from Sequoia Capital. The Gurugram-based startup had last year raised seed funding from Kae Capital and Khosla Impact.

China’s Ping An Seeks Fintech, Healthcare Assets In U.S., Israel, Singapore

Kane Wu, Julie Zhu – Reuters

Ping An Insurance Group Ltd, China’s largest insurer by market value, is scouting for fintech and healthcare assets in the United States, Israel and Singapore, as it looks to use a $1 billion investment fund, a company executive said.

FAO: Out shopping?

Innoviti Raises $ 18m

Sangeetha Chengappa – The Hindu Business Line

Omni-channel payment solutions provider Innoviti said it has raised a fresh round of funding of $18 million (₹120 crore) to further its vision of digitally organising the flow of money for businesses across the retail supply chain.

FAO: Lead investor of this Series A round was SBI-FMO Fund. Other investors: Catamaran Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners.

Lending

Why Fintech Startups Need To Take A Localised Lending Approach For SMEs

Nihit Nirmal – Inc 42

The Government of India’s focus on building India as the business hub of the world through ambitious projects like Start-up India, Digital India, Make in India and the roll out of GST has given tremendous growth impetus to several industries.

Wealth & Personal Finance

Fintech Wins Private Bank Investor

Finews

Swiss fintech Nectar has attracted one of Switzerland’s largest private banks as an investor, Julius Baer. It will invest in the Pfaeffikon, Switzerland-based wealth management provider.

FAO: Last year Urs Wietlisbach, one of the founders of private equity asset manager Partners Group, bought a stake in Nectar.

Regtech

Meet Regtech, The Fastest Growing Segment Of Financial Technology

Josh Ye – South China Morning Post

FAO: Useful figures once again. VCs have invested US$2.3 billion in regtech since 2012 ( according to CB Insights) while the regtech market is expected to grow to around US$120 billion by 2020.

Retail banking

FAO: Ref. to this article and my comment in yesterday’s edition, on latest report issued by U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Regulator Warns Banks on Use of New Technologies

Rachel Witkowski – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

WASHINGTON—Banks should be cautious about taking on new technologies for financial products, a national bank regulator said Friday in a semiannual report on risks facing the industry.

FAO: Hmmm. Interested to find out more about this warning. Maybe somebody from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency can send an opinion? We will publish it.”

Jeff Kutler, Editor in Chief – Risk Intelligence, Global Association of Risk Professionals, sent us his opinion:

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The 23-page report touches on various categories of risk that the agency – which supervises some 1,400 banking entities accounting for more than two-thirds of U.S. bank and savings association assets – perceives as worthy of higher levels of alert or vigilance. The risk categories outlined are credit, operational, compliance, and strategic. Regarding the last, the report’s executive summary says:  “Strategic risk remains elevated as banks make decisions to expand into new products or services or consider new delivery channels and continue merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. Banks face competition from nonfinancial firms, including financial technology (fintech) companies entering the traditional banking industry. This competition is causing changes in the way customers and financial institutions approach banking.”

That is one of only two places in the report where the word “fintech” appears, and it is a hardly unreasonable statement of a fact that incumbent financial firms ignore at their peril. The other mention of fintech is in the context of relationships with third-party service providers and the “increased risk relating to third-party risk management.” This is where an institution is exposed to operational, reputational, cybersecurity and other such weaknesses of vendors and business partners it contracts with. That may be a caution sign but is not an admonishment against “taking on new technologies for financial products.”

If anything, big, incumbent banks have been overly conservative, through their notoriously rigorous partner-vetting and due-diligence processes, in establishing business relationships with “disruptors.” Many now have some form of incubation program or innovation council to break down those bureaucratic barriers. The Comptroller’s office has been encouraging in this regard; Comptroller Thomas Curry, who stepped down in May, preached “responsible innovation” and launched an Office of Innovation last year, noting how regulators in some other countries are more openly supportive of fintech than U.S. overseers had been.

Under “strategic risk,” the semiannual report says:

“Boards of directors and management should comprehensively understand the benefits and risks of strategic changes before implementation [of innovative products, services and processes]. Banks involved in responsible innovation should use new products, services, and processes to meet the needs of consumers, businesses, and communities in a manner that is consistent with sound risk management and business strategies.”   

That is not an unheard warning – just a reminder of the critical importance of risk – and IT risk – management in adopting these strategies and, when applicable, working with a new breed of business partner.

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FAO: And here’s more from GARP (Global Association of Risk Professionals) ref. to report issued by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Regulator Outlines Top Strategic, Credit, Operational and Compliance Risks

Ted Knutson – GARP

From the vantage point of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the U.S. banking system is healthy and credit risk is stable in a continuing low-interest-rate environment. But various strategic, competition-related and operational risks, not least the prospect of rising rates and cybersecurity, require close attention.

Data Centers

Equinix Further Expands SG2 IBX Data Center in Singapore

PR Newswire

Equinix announced the eighth phase expansion of its SG2 International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Singapore.

FAO: Equinix is on full swing. Remember the announcements last week – new data centers in Frankfurt (reported here) and Amsterdam (reported here).

FinTech People

Launch of AlgoMe Set to Disrupt Asset Management and Fintech

PR Newswire

Professionals and companies easily create a free profile and find matches for new roles or mentoring using the innovative AlgoMe technology.

Via Crowdfund Insider – CFTC) Acting Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has appointed Daniel Gorfine to serve as Director of LabCFTC and Chief Innovation Officer.

Latest Developments & Agreements

Fintech Lender Strikes Partnership With Major Italian Bank

Ryan Weeks – Alt Fi News

Iwoca has announced a strategic partnership with Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo. The fintech lending platform will now sell its credit products into the Italian banking group’s SME client-base.

FAO: Another win-win.

Thailand And Singapore Build Fintech Bridge

Finextra

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) signed a FinTech Cooperation Agreement (CA) and updated an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Banking Supervision.

Regulation

Incoming EU Banking Regulations Are A ‘Headache For Everyone’, RBS Fintech Advisor Says

Ryan Browne – CNBC

New banking regulations involving customer data sharing and data protection are a “headache for everyone”, according to a fintech advisor at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Accelerators & Hubs

France Seeks to Make Paris Europe’s Leading Finance Hub

The New York Times

PARIS — France will use “all means” to make Paris Europe’s main post-Brexit financial capital, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday, while international bankers said they wanted to see if such pro-business reforms would stick over time.

Impact of Brexit, US Politics Being Felt By Fintech Firms, Says Western Union’s Head Of Partnerships

Ryan Browne – CNBC

Fintech has felt the impact of Brexit, U.S. politics and a perceived direction towards protectionism, Western Union’s partnerships lead has said.

FAO: France’s President Macron recently kicked off new tech incubator, Station F. Also, remember last week’s discussions on the post-Brexit topic…Germany has its own agenda on this topic.

FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News

DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News