In success stories, we profile some of the key stories in Fintech and payments this month, focusing on areas of growth, resilience and innovation.
Here’s this month’s dose of positivity, featuring boosted US banking, AI optimisation, cross border payments in Africa, a fintech booking agent and smart incentivisation.
Biden Boosts Banking
New Executive Order to tackle business competition problems in the US
President Biden’s Executive Order is aimed at boosting the American economy as a whole, but in so doing is opening up opportunities for Fintech and Payments investment to flourish. In Fintech and Open Banking, the Order will help to tackle industry monopolisation heightened by the pandemic as well as enhance scrutiny on banking mergers.
President Biden has also encouraged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to allow customers to download their banking data and take it with them, in order to reduce the cost of switching bank.
“This is the first step along the path to a truly competitive, open banking ecosystem in the US” said Siamac Rezaiezadeh, Director of Product Marketing at GoCardless. Doubtless we will see many new products and services flow from Biden’s opportunity, revitalising Fintech in America.
Barclaycard’s latest shopper pleaser
Barclaycard working with Visa have created a new shopping incentive to reward consumers with automatic cashback. Available in popular retailers this scheme rewards eager shoppers with up to 15% cashback, helping to stimulate a return to the shops as in store economy starts to gear up for the welcome return of consumers as pandemic restrictions ease.
The system uses shopper data to tailor offers based on shopping habits when using the Barclaycard Visa credit card.
Designed to be as seamless and convenient as possible, customers can choose to have their cashback redeemed to their card, transformed to an e-voucher or donated to a chosen charity.
Fintech Travel Agent?
Revolut has created its own accommodation service
The new booking.com? Revolut has taken a bold step into the travel industry with its new booking feature ‘Stays’, available as part of the Revolut app.
The company set aside £70m in order to offer holiday shoppers a 10% cashback incentive on all bookings made through the app.
Revolut could well inspire a new wave of payments innovation into the travel industry, at a time when travel is uncertain and risky, now is a great time to strike. As Marsel Nikaj, Revolut’s head of savings and lifestyle puts it, “we want to give people more and make their money travel further.”
AI Accelerates Automation
EZOPS announces new software solution to enhance data control
This new software succeeds over the current End User Defined Technologies (EUDT) in terms of cost, risk and efficiency. EUDT are used to manually onboard, aggregate, transform, enrich or reconcile data, and manage business processes.
EZOPS’ solution eliminates key person dependency and features automation that drives efficiency for repeatable activities such as fetching, validating, transforming, calculating data, and informing and instructing workflow.
This new technology is a step towards the future in mitigating risk in concert with maximising efficiency for payment systems.
“Data quality challenges resulting in manual workarounds impedes growth for financial institutions” says Bikram Singh, CEO and co-founder of EZOPS. “The path to driving operational alpha and profits lies in intelligent automation and reducing reliance on EUDT.”
Borderless Payments in Africa
PayQin envisions a single payment area for West African countries.
Cross-border start-up PayQin announced a €300K seed investment round that will take the company's funding up to $1m. The start-up aims to reach 1 million daily transactions across West Africa in a year, acting as a single pay point between West African countries.
The company currently operates in the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, and Mali, or about 22% of their long term goal. In time however the company hopes to serve all of the 400 million people that call West Africa home.
The company is handing out free virtual cards to small local business owners in partnership with Flutterwave, Africa’s largest fintech company. These cards open business owners to the world of online ads, enabling them to better promote their businesses and products for increased sales.
“We are building a safe and secure environment for online transactions, giving the unbanked access to products and online services that are not available locally,” said Fabrice Amalaman, PayQin co-founder and CEO.
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