UK FinTechs are represented strong in this issue of FinTech Wire. Both startups and mature enterprises can surprise. Read more to see how a new bank can dedicate itself to one goal – providing accessible housing to the Brits!
Weekly FinTech news digest: 26 May—2 June 2021
Open banking innovations in Wealthify
Gather funds, improve, repeat, succeed
Wealthify is an online investment service which lets you build personal investment plans and then manages them for you. Now, the platform is going to become much smarter, thanks to implementing an open banking solution by Tink, a Swedish API provider. Thanks to this partnership, investors can consent to connect to their bank account in the Wealthify app or web page and complete their payment in a few steps. Of course, such an upgrade wouldn’t be possible without some hard cash. Tink’s €85 million investment round at the end of 2020 laid the foundations for the firm’s rapid development.
But what’s in it for the customers? Rafa Plantier, UK and Ireland country manager at Tink, explains: “This is a significant partnership for Tink in the UK. Payment initiation services, as part of the wider Open Banking movement, gives businesses the ability to create low-cost, uninterrupted transaction journeys that can lead to better conversion rates.”
Read more about open banking
Paysend are now fundraising to support their global expansion
Globalisation of payment services for even more customer satisfaction
Paysend is the next-generation payment platform enabling customers and businesses all around the world to pay, hold and send money online anywhere, anyhow and in any currency. Now, they have announced a $125m Series B funding round, which will help contribute to funding their global expansion plans. Led by One Peak, the funding round had additional input from Infravia Growth Capital, Hermes GPE Innovation Fund and existing Silicon Valley-based investor Plug and Play. “There remain significant barriers to entry for consumers and SMEs to pay and send money globally; our platform aims to democratise the service by providing a one-stop-shop to pay and send money to families, suppliers, employees and partners in any currency anywhere in the world at a significantly reduced cost,” Ronald Millar, the CEO and co-founder of Paysend, says.
Read more about API development
Scottish Financial Enterprise launches a five-year strategy for the financial services sector
Long-term strategy to boost FinTechs in Scotland
We often talk about Scotland’s FinTech sector in Code & Pepper, so it’s not a surprise that we always mention it in FinTech Wire whenever something important happens there. Now, Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) launched its five-year strategy for the financial services sector, establishing a range of proposals to drive collaboration across the industry and with both the Scottish and UK Governments. As the official website of the organisation says, the new programme is going to affect the lives of all consumers of financial services long-term. There are four main goals to achieve:
- Inspiring global leadership in green finance and supporting the Scottish economy to achieve net zero.
- Facilitating the immediate and sustainable recovery of the Scottish economy following the coronavirus pandemic
- Delivering the innovative and inclusive products and services that meet the evolving needs of all customers.
- Enabling financial services firms to recruit, develop and retain diverse, high-performing skills within the industry.
Download a copy of Scotland’s Financial Services Strategy here.
Read more about FinTech in Scotland
Sue Hayes, an industry veteran to become BGG CEO
New player in the UK banking industry has one goal
GBB is a new bank created to support SME property developers in underserved UK regions. The main goal of the institution is to boost housebuilding and give the Brits access to more affordable properties. The idea was conceived in response to the fact that Only around half of the government’s house building target is being met and one third of property developers have had an application for finance declined. As a completely new player, the bank is to launch its products to the market soon, but first it needs appropriate staff. To maximise chances for success, Sue Hayes was appointed the CEO. With over 17 years of experience in the banking sector, she will definitely be the right person for the job. Good luck, Sue!
Read more about banking technology
A new investment platform by FinTech veterans from Chip launches with successful funding
Chip to offer investment funds from BlackRock
Chip has been helping save money for over 5 years and now it wants to do more. To help its customers multiply what they save. To do it, the company decided to launch an investment platform. Creating the new service costs, though. The money is invested by BlackRock, which looks after more than $8.67 trillion assets worldwide, into a collection of smaller tracker funds, containing a wide spread of equities and bonds, in markets all around the world. Originally tested via a controlled rollout to a queue of 17,000 customers, the new investment option will be made available to all customers on ChipAI and on its upcoming premium model ChipX. The former will charge a 0.75% annual platform fee on top of the £1.50 per month subscription fee, while the latter’s £3 per month plan incur a 0.25% investment charge.
Read more about developing investment platforms
Say hi to the Wales’ First $1bn Fintech Unicorn – Sonovate
From a service provider to a business angel and more
The report by the UK government’s Digital Economy Council and data firm Dealroom.co names the Cardiff-headquartered disruptor as a potential future unicorn – Sonovate. The company created an end-to-end solution that helps employers to pay their employees easily, quickly and in the optimal way, no matter how they are contracted. It’s especially beneficial for recruitment agencies and businesses that need to work with many types of employment contracts at the same time, as it helps organise the work of HR departments. Founded in 2013, Sonovate has provided a total of £1.9bn in funding, enabling more than 3,000 businesses in 40 countries to grow and ensuring 25,000 independent workers around the world get paid in full and on time. So, besides offering an innovative product, the company also helps create workplaces!
Read more about innovative payment solutions