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 virtual expansion and service optimisation, a bitcoin bonanza on Twitter and growing female investment.
Female Focussed Fintech
Barclay’s and Anthemis bring Female Innovators Lab from the US to the UK
The fintech innolab is female focussed, providing funding and mentoring to fintech startups founded by women. The project began in the USA in 2019, but will now enter Europe and the UK.
Data from Pitchbook showed that venture funding for female founders hit a three-year low in Q3 of 2020 as the pandemic had a disproportionately negative effect on women and minority-founded businesses. In Europe, companies founded solely by women in 2020 garnered just 2.1% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups, something this project aims to change.
Startups picked to join the programme will receive an investment from the $30 million UK-based fund of which Barclays is the anchor LP, bespoke support from the Lab team and access to Barclays and Anthemis’ dedicated office spaces in London.
Kathryn McLeland, group treasurer at Barclays, comments: “By working alongside the Barclays Innovation team and Anthemis, the Barclays Principal Investments team is able to provide strategic support, which may include capital for early stage female led fintechs, and also unlock identified barriers of growth for these founders so they can scale at pace."
Singapore Speedy Payments System
Singapore and Malaysia link faster payment systems
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has announced plans to commence a phased linkage of the country's PayNow plumbing with Malaysia’s DuitNow real-time payment systems.
The project will streamline the high volume of remittances between Singapore and Malaysia, which reached S$1.3 billion in 2020.
The first phase of the PayNow-DuitNow linkage will be launched in Q4 of 2022. This will allow customers of participating financial institutions to make real-time fund transfers between Singapore and Malaysia using just a mobile number. Customers will also be able to make retail payments by scanning NETS or DuitNow QR codes displayed at participating stores.
Tweeters Tipping Bitcoin
Twitter gives users ability to tip other tweeters in bitcoin
Twitter is rolling out its tipping feature to all users and letting some tip their favourite tweeters using bitcoin.
First unveiled in May, Tips is designed to help users earn money from their feed. It is now available to all iOS users, with Android to follow in the next few weeks.
Tweeters can add a link in their profile to a host of payment options, including the Cash App, Patreon, Venmo, Wealthsimple Cash and PicPay.
Now, people in the US and El Salvador can also get tipped with bitcoin using Strike - a payments application built on the Bitcoin Lightning Network.
Mobile Wallets Soar
Mobile Wallets Transacting Over £1billion a Year Will Have Gone up By 27% By 2025 Boku Reports
The biggest study of mobile wallets in the world reveals that Europe will be home to four of the ten fastest-growing countries for mobile payment transactions by 2025.
These include Russia, Germany, Portugal, and Sweden comprising four of the ten fastest globally, with France, Norway, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, and the UK, being the other European nations helping make up the top 20.
Boku’s report also reveals that one in two people globally will use a mobile wallet by 2025. The growth of mobile wallets is down to factors such as:
- Displacement: Mobile wallets are displacing cash, bank transfers and card transactions as commerce shifts further online and consumers seek more convenient and secure payment methods.
- Ease of access: Many consumers in emerging markets, particularly younger ones, are opting for mobile wallets.
- Super-apps: Outside of North America and Europe, mobile wallets offer greater utility – from ticketing to delivery services. They are increasingly “essential” for digital commerce.
Virtual Card Extend’sion
Virtual Cards Are Coming to US Businesses thanks to Extend’s Partnership With American Express
American Express and Extend, a New York City-based fintech specialising in virtual cards, announced their partnership to expand virtual Card solutions for businesses in North America.
U.S. companies with an eligible American Express Business Card will be able to enroll and create virtual cards, known as tokens, through Extend’s app or desktop login using their existing American Express Card account.
“We have seen more and more businesses ramp up their use of virtual cards since the start of the pandemic as they looked to digitise their payments processes and increase their use of touchless payments,” says Dean Henry, Executive Vice President, Global Commercial Services, American Express. “With today’s announcement, our Business Cards can work even harder for our Card Members through this quick and easy virtual Card option.”
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