In success stories, we profile some of the key stories in Fintech and payments this month, focusing on areas of growth, resilience and innovation.
This month we follow fresh developments in crypto, green finance and diversity initiatives. We also cover new remote strategies as well as innovative payment tools.
Australia new stablecoin
ANZ mints first Australian dollar stablecoin
ANZ has become the first bank in Australia to execute a stablecoin transaction through a public permissionless blockchain platform.
ANZ delivered the stablecoin for private wealth management firm Victor Smorgon Group, who wanted to put $30m into the crypto markets via their digital asset fund manager Zero Cap.
ANZ minted 30 million of A$DC using an ANZ built Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible smart contract deployed through the Fireblocks platform. The coins were transferred between the parties and later redeemed back into Fiat currency.
ANZ banking services lead Nigel Dobson says: “An ANZ issued Australian dollar stablecoin is a first and important step in enabling our customers to find a safe and secure gateway to the digital economy. We’re excited to continue to trial our capability and explore how this use case can be applied in other industries and customers in the future.”
Green fintech funding
Climate X raises $5.4m
London-based climate risk analytics provider Climate X has raised $5.4 million in a seed funding round co-led by CommerzVentures and A/O PropTech.
Voyagers Climate Tech Fund, Blue Impact Ventures, Deloitte LLP and a gaggle of angels joined the round for Climate X, which uses data and analytics to help businesses, government and individuals tackle the multi trillion-dollar climate risk problem.
The UK Government has already announced mandatory climate-related financial disclosures by publicly quoted companies, large private companies and LLPs, enforceable for financial reporting periods starting on or after 6th April 2022.
Climate X says its tools can help firms meet these and other statutory requirements, delivering location-specific risk ratings and loss estimates for extreme weather events linked to climate change through to the year 2100, under multiple warming scenarios.
Female Finance Fund
NatWest and Meta launch support for female entrepreneurs
NatWest and Meta have joined forces to offer digital skills and financial readiness training to female entrepreneurs in the UK.
NatWest is providing the financial readiness training as part of Meta's #SheMeansBusiness programme, which also offers digital skills training and opportunities to expand business connections and networks.
As part of the partnership, the two companies are also launching a competition from mid April to offer 50 female entrepreneurs the chance to win Meta advertising credits, 1:1 digital mentorship and support to build a creative advertising campaign, as well as NatWest coaching and peer-to-peer sessions.
Julie Baker, head, enterprise, NatWest, said: "More women than ever are starting up businesses and we must harness this potential. The latest Rose Review progress report showed that women are starting more businesses than ever: last year 140,000 new businesses were founded by women compared to 56,000 in 2019.
UBS introducing 100% remote framework
UBS introduces Virtual Worker Framework
UBS has launched a 'Virtual Worker Framework', that will provide US employees in eligible roles with the opportunity to work 100% remotely.
An extension to the bank's current hybrid working model, the Framework will begin a phased implementation over the coming months to select current and prospective employees across the country.
In a global survey, 86 percent of UBS employees stated that they value greater flexibility, including the ability to maintain a remote or hybrid work arrangement.
“Hybrid working has positively reshaped the future of our workplace,” says Tom Naratil, president of UBS Americas. “We’re reimagining the way we work and believe this framework will provide an enhanced work-life balance for some of our employees, appeal to a more diverse pool of applicants and increase employee retention. We recognise the world has changed and we continue to adapt so that we can deliver the best for our clients and our people."
Mastercard unveils new payment tools
Mastercard rolls out open banking payments tools
Mastercard has unveiled a pair of open banking tools designed to improve predictability and transparency in digital account-to-account payments for merchants.
Developed by Finicity, the open banking specialist acquired by Mastercard in 2020, the Payment Success Indicator and Payment Routing Optimiser use advanced data analytics and machine learning to make the payment experience safer and smarter.
Using real-time bank account information permissioned by the consumer, Payment Success Indicator lets the payment originator — a merchant, a bank, a digital wallet, or payment service providers — assess a consumer’s balance and historical behavioural risk patterns for each transaction
The Payment Routing Optimiser interprets that score and recommends the optimal day and payment rail (such as Same Day ACH or Next Day ACH) taking into account cost, speed and risk.
For example, if Payment Success Indicator shows that the balance for a transaction is available today but may not be in the next few days, Payment Routing Optimiser will recommend using Same Day ACH.
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