Bahrain Latest Country To Introduce A “Regulatory Sandbox” To Test Emerging Fintech

If you have been wondering what the latest big trend in Fintech is, wonder no more. It’s the “Regulatory Sandbox”.

What is a regulatory sandbox? Essentially, it’s a strategy being adopted by different governments and regulatory authorities in order to encourage young Fintech startups to experiment with new products, services, and systems, without having to worry about breaking the law. Read more “Bahrain Latest Country To Introduce A “Regulatory Sandbox” To Test Emerging Fintech”

eToro Unveils New Pilot Blockchain Wallet For Digital Currencies At SPIEF

A few years back when people referred to “digital currencies” it would be safe to assume that they were referring to bitcoin – but not any longer.

Literally hundreds of digital currencies have flooded the market since the blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology emerged as potentially the future of the financial services industry. Read more “eToro Unveils New Pilot Blockchain Wallet For Digital Currencies At SPIEF”

Zopa Receives £32 Million From New Backers To Build “Next Generation” Bank

Zopa first launched in 2005 as a peer-to-peer lending site. Since then, it has lent over £1.8 billion and helped its lenders earn more than £75m of interest.

The company says it has “built a profitable, scalable and viable business”, but now, subject to regulatory approval, it wants to “launch a next generation bank to complement our existing peer-to-peer products.” Read more “Zopa Receives £32 Million From New Backers To Build “Next Generation” Bank”

SWIFT Fights Trend Towards Fintech Alternatives With Launch Of GPI Cross-Border Payments Tracker

Whilst the world’s media obsess about Fintech and Blockchain technology, it’s easy to forget that SWIFT, The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication to call it by its full name, still rules the financial messaging roost.

In fact, SWIFT has been the top dog for nearly 40 years – since it was first founded, in 1973 with the support of 239 banks in 15 different countries.

Read more “SWIFT Fights Trend Towards Fintech Alternatives With Launch Of GPI Cross-Border Payments Tracker”

What are APIs And How Do Fintech Firms Use Them?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. In the banking world, APIs can be used by “third party” developers to access data stored by banks.

A good example would be where a third party developer, say a credit reference agency, could use APIs to access somebody’s credit history, allowing them to make a more informed judgment about whether the applicant constituted a credit risk.

But there are plenty of other ways that an API can be used. For example, an app developer could use an API to offer customers a real-time view of the money they are spending using a bank card, by requesting access to a users’ bank account and downloading the information.

Read more “What are APIs And How Do Fintech Firms Use Them?”

Hidden Fees & Unfair Exchange Rates; Why Do Bank’s Charge So Much For Sending Your Money Abroad?

Banks and wire transfer services charge too much in fees and offer the least favourable exchange rates

If you are a follower of the financial news media, you are probably aware that how people are sending money abroad is changing.

The most common ways to send money abroad at the turn of the decade would have been to either use a money transfer agency like Western Union or Ria, or to visit your high-street bank.

But what many people don’t realise is that because of the monopoly that the banks, and these two transfer agencies had on the market, they were able to charge unnecessarily high fees, as well as offering you a price that did not accurately reflect the current value of a currency.

Read more “Hidden Fees & Unfair Exchange Rates; Why Do Bank’s Charge So Much For Sending Your Money Abroad?”

Sending Money Abroad – 5 Things To Check Before You Hit ‘Send’

There are all sorts of reasons for sending money abroad. But whether it’s for business purposes; paying the wages of an overseas employee, for example; personal, buying a property or sending money to a new country before relocating there; or family, paying for a son’s or daughter’s education perhaps; the same rules apply when searching for the right service.

Let’s take a look at the 5 things to look out for before making a transfer. It pays, literally, to plan in advance, take your time, and consider all the options available to you. You might be surprised how many there are.

Read more “Sending Money Abroad – 5 Things To Check Before You Hit ‘Send’”

Blockchain; $107m Investment Round For R3 Group – But Signs Of A Major Issue For Distributed Ledger Tech?

R3’s fundraising largest ever for a blockchain / distributed ledger technology provider – yet people are talking about banks that didn’t invest.

 

The blockchain is what made Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) famous, but now imitation platforms and services are springing up everywhere

The latest major force is R3, an independent group developing innovative DLT for finance services, such as trading, or international money transfers. Read more “Blockchain; $107m Investment Round For R3 Group – But Signs Of A Major Issue For Distributed Ledger Tech?”

Ria Money Transfer Launches “Gold Standard” Service In India

Ria Money Transfer offering Indian customers chance to win 100 grams of gold.

The country of India is the world’s largest market for receiving migrant remittances. It’s no surprise therefore, that Ria Money Transfer is making a concerted effort to increase market share in the region.

Ria will provide its new Gold Standard service using a network of 3 leading local agents. Weizmann Forex Limited, Paul Merchants Limited and Transcorp International Limited have all agreed to become partners. Read more “Ria Money Transfer Launches “Gold Standard” Service In India”

How To Use The Money Cloud To Transfer Money To Malaysia

There may be all kinds of reasons why you might want to transfer money to Malaysia. You may be a Malaysian living overseas who wants to send their money back home to relatives. You may be a business paying a Malaysian supplier, or setting up an office there. Perhaps you want to pay for a holiday in advance, or pay ahead for some tuition. You may be buying a property there.

Well, we can’t find you a flat in downtown Kuala Lumpur, but we can help you on the currency side – by showing you how easy it can be to transfer money overseas. Read more “How To Use The Money Cloud To Transfer Money To Malaysia”

Japan Introduces Regulatory Sandbox For Fintech Startups

The Japanese government are set to make it easier for the country’s fintech startups to trial new services and technology. Their financial authorities are introducing a pro-innovation sandbox that will offer firms the opportunity to conduct regulator-free trials.

A government agency will review proposals from developers and startup fintech firms. If granted approval, the developers will be given a limited time to run experiments within the sandbox. Read more “Japan Introduces Regulatory Sandbox For Fintech Startups”

Revolut Attempts To Close Gap To Transferwise By Making Money Transfers Under £5k Free

The battle to be the best overseas money transfer service is hotting up.

Revolut, has announced that it is scrapping its 0.5% fee on all international money transfers under £5,000 pounds sterling.

The 2-year-old fintech startup has raised more than $15m from well-known London VCs such as Index Ventures and Balderton Capital. Read more “Revolut Attempts To Close Gap To Transferwise By Making Money Transfers Under £5k Free”

WorldRemit & Wafacash Partner To Provide Instant Remittance Service To Morocco

London based money transfer service WorldRemit will join forces with Moroccan financial services company Wafacash to allow customers to send remittances for collection at Wafacash’ 1,620 stores in Morocco.

There are more than 8 million Moroccans currently living overseas, and 7% of Morocco’s GDP is made up of remittance payments, according to the World Bank. Read more “WorldRemit & Wafacash Partner To Provide Instant Remittance Service To Morocco”

Can I Really Manage My Finances From A Smartphone App?

Remember when all you would hear during the ad breaks for your favourite television programme would be “there’s an app for that”.

This was a few years ago now, when apps were brand new and the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung wanted you to learn all about these mysterious new widgets that could solve your everyday problems at a cinch. Read more “Can I Really Manage My Finances From A Smartphone App?”

London & Hong Kong’s Financial Bodies Join Forces To Support Global Fintech Innovation

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and its Hong Kong equivalent, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) have signed a co-operation agreement that will promote information sharing between the two regions, and introduce a referral system that will make it easier for approved, UK based fintech startups to set up operations in Hong Kong, and vice versa. Read more “London & Hong Kong’s Financial Bodies Join Forces To Support Global Fintech Innovation”

TransferWise Introduces Borderless Business Bank Accounts To Facilitate Overseas Transfers

Borderless bank accounts for sole-traders, SMEs and freelancers will reduce cost of sending money to different countries.

TransferWise have taken the ground-breaking, but entirely logical step of introducing “borderless” bank accounts for freelancers, businesses and sole traders who need to frequently conduct cross border trades and payments. Read more “TransferWise Introduces Borderless Business Bank Accounts To Facilitate Overseas Transfers”

Ant Financial Enters Malaysian Market As Bid For MoneyGram Nears Approval

Fintech giant is rapidly becoming a global force.

Ant Financial is the wholly owned subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd; the fintech arm of the Chinese ecommerce giant that raised a staggering $4.5 billion in Series B funding back in April 2016, in a round led by the China Construction Bank, China Investment Corporation and China Development Industrial Bank. Read more “Ant Financial Enters Malaysian Market As Bid For MoneyGram Nears Approval”

Starling’s Developer Portal Has Launched and 3rd Parties Are Already Taking Advantage

Starling bank are arguably the UK’s most exciting Fintech “Challenger Bank” – that is, a new kind of firm offering users a different kind of banking proposition; simple, transparent, and without the hidden fees and charges that can make high street banks so unappealing to modern, mobile savvy millennials. Read more “Starling’s Developer Portal Has Launched and 3rd Parties Are Already Taking Advantage”

6 Payments Apps That Are Great For SMEs

After trialling the product for some time over here, Square, the US based payments provider startup founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has finally launched in the UK.

Square, which floated on the New York Stock Exchange in November 2015 at a valuation of around $6bn, provides independent traders with a means to take card payments using a reader- and it will retail over here in the UK at just £39.

It got us thinking about other payments apps that are valuable to startups and SMEs, and in that spirit, we present 6 of the best we could find! Read more “6 Payments Apps That Are Great For SMEs”