How KeyPoint uses location-based alerts to target inactive app users

https://bankinnovation.net/2019/06/how-keypoint-uses-location-based-alerts-to-target-inactive-app-users/
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Silicon Valley-based KeyPoint Credit Union is seeing a lift in user numbers resulting from targeted push notifications. The push notifications target members who haven’t used the app in three weeks, alerting them to the app’s features. They remind members they can send peer-to-peer payments, deposit checks and verify their balances through the app.  The notifications feature …Read More

https://bankinnovation.net/2019/06/how-keypoint-uses-location-based-alerts-to-target-inactive-app-users/

Digital-only First Internet Bank retains 90% of its original customers

https://bankinnovation.net/2019/06/digital-only-first-internet-bank-retains-90-of-its-original-customers/
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As upstart digital-only banks face increasing pressure to acquire and retain customers, a 20-year-old online-only bank has managed to hold on to most of its original customer base. David Becker, CEO of Fishers, Indiana-based First Internet Bank, told Bank Innovation that it has kept 90% of its original customer base as a result of its niche …Read More

https://bankinnovation.net/2019/06/digital-only-first-internet-bank-retains-90-of-its-original-customers/

Juniper says digital remittances to surge to $525 billion by 2014, aided by blockchain

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/juniper-says-digital-remittances-to-surge-to-525-billion-by-2014-aided-by-blockchain/
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Juniper Research issued a new forecast stating that international digital remittances will surge to $525 billion by 2024, compared with an estimated $332 billion in 2019.

The report estimates that mobile remittances will show a sharp increase in market share, growing to 41% of international money transfers, compared with 33% in 2019.

The report says blockchain-based payments have the potential to further grow digital payments, as the technology may be used to disrupt traditional business models.

“While traditional operators have launched digital solutions, they have yet to adopt transparent pricing of transfers,” Nick Maynard, who authored the research report, said in a company release. “Unless operators accept this requirement, they will continue to lose market share.”

The report showed that blockchain based network operators can offer faster, cheaper and more transparent services. Services like RippleNet and IBM Blockchain World Wire are expected to disrupt the industry, the report said.


Topics: Money Transfer / P2P, Trends / Statistics

Companies: Juniper Research


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Discover enters alliance with Bulgaria's Borica AD on payment card acceptance

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/discover-enters-alliance-with-bulgarias-borica-ad-on-payment-card-acceptance/
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Borica AD, the owner of Bcard, the national payment system in Bulgaria, announced an agreement with Discover Financial Services to provide acceptance of the card outside of the country using Discover’s global payment network.

Bcard will collaborate with the payment network to develop integration of Discover’s EMV contact, contactless and mobile solutions as well as D-PAS for international payment, according to a company release.

“Discover has become a nimble and flexible partner to organizations around the world by providing them the tools and resources to grow and increase acceptance,” Joe Hurley, senior vice president and head of global business development at Discover, said in the press release.

He said the agreement complements a strategy by Discover to create global alliances to help give customers choice with where and how they pay.

Discover Global Network, which includes Discover, Diner’s Club, Pulse and affiliated networks, has more than 44 million merchant locations where the card is accepted and about 2 million ATM and cash access locations in a total of more than 190 countries and territories around the world.


Topics: Card Brands, Mobile Payments, Region: EMEA

Companies: Discover Financial Services


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https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/discover-enters-alliance-with-bulgarias-borica-ad-on-payment-card-acceptance/

Utrust signs with Portugal soccer champs SL Benfica for crypto payment acceptance

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/utrust-signs-with-portugal-soccer-champs-sl-benfica-for-crypto-payment-acceptance/
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Utrust, a Switzerland-based cryptocurrency startup, entered an agreement with Portugese soccer champions S.L. Benfica to become the first major European club in the sport to accept crypto payments.

Under the partnership, Benfica fans can use cryptocurrency to buy match tickets and merchandise through the club’s online store. The club has more than 14 million supporters globally and about 7 million followers across various social media platforms.

Payment through the Utrust platform can be made using the Utrust token or using bitcoin or Ethereum. The store operates via desktop, mobile devices or a dedicated app.

“This partnership with Portugal’s number one football club marks a major milestone for Utrust and the blockchain ecosystem as a whole,” Nuno Correia, co-founder and CEO of Utrust, said in a company release. “Benfica is one of the biggest sporting clubs worldwide, and we are delighted to be making cryptocurrency payments possible for their 14 million supporters around the world.”


Topics: Region: EMEA


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Alipay collaborates with six European mobile wallets on QR code interoperability

https://www.mobilepaymentstoday.com/news/alipay-collaborates-with-six-european-mobile-wallets-on-qr-code-interoperability/
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Alipay announced agreements with six European mobile wallet providers in a collaboration designed to promote interoperability in the use of QR codes for digital payments.

The six mobile wallet providers, Bluecode, ePassi, momo pocket, Pagaqui, Pivo and Vipps are working together to develop a unified QR code to unify what officials say has been a fragmented marketplace. When completed, users of these six mobile apps will be able to make QR code payments in 10 European countries where these apps are accepted, and Alipay users will be able to make payments at merchants that accept these various payment systems.

“It has always been our vision to enable European banks with a widely accepted European mobile payment offering,” Christian Perkner, CEO of Blue Code International, said in a company release. “As a payment solution provider, we naturally support this collaboration of European wallets agreeing on a technical format.”

“Even more compelling that it is compatible with Asia’s leading lifestyle app Alipay,” he said.

The collaboration is based on a similar deal in December between Alipay and two Nordic firms, Vipps and ePassi. Those two firms have begun to roll out QR code formats in several Nordic countries and Spain-based Momo, Austria’s Bluecode and Portugal’s Pagaqui plan to extend the collaboration to their home markets later this summer.

Alipay has more than a billion users around the world and works with more than 200 Chinese financial institutions.


Topics: Card Brands, Mobile Apps, Mobile/Digital Wallet, Mobile Payments, Region: APAC, Region: EMEA


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How to Invest Your Money So It Grows

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To build a fortune, it is wise to learn how to invest. There are several great ways to do this, and the more you learn, the more money you can make. Most people who become wealthy don’t get there simply by working at their job, they learn smart ways to make their money grow through the right investments. Many people find that working with FinTech can facilitate their wealth goals. These FinTechs include wealth management platforms that help customers make transactions without human assistance with a program that helps make predictions regarding markets and other innovations that make investing more available to the average person on an everyday basis.

What should you invest in?

As you learn how to invest, you will quickly realize that there are many options when it comes to building personal wealth. Some of the most common ways to invest money include buying stocks and bonds. The advantages of stocks and bonds include the fact that you can get started with a small amount of money, as little as $5 may be enough to start an account with some brokers. As the price of the stock rises, your investment becomes worth more. Plus, if you choose to re-invest the dividends and interest, you will be able to purchase more stock shares or more bonds. A potential disadvantage to investing in stocks and bonds is that the stock market does fluctuate, and if the price of the stock drops dramatically, you will lose some or all of your investment.

If you are not ready to invest in stocks and bonds, or not sure how or where to begin, look into mutual funds. You can sign up for accounts from a number of different companies that offer mutual fund investing. Essentially, a mutual fund is a collection of different stocks rolled into one investment – this is considered “diversified.” Mutual funds are managed by professionals, and you would have someone making decisions about what stocks you are investing in. By expanding the number of stocks in the funds you invest in, you are reducing your risk because if one stock goes down, your entire account will not be as heavily impacted.

Another popular way to invest is by purchasing real estate. Purchasing a home that you can rent and earn income from is a great way to invest if you do it right. You should be familiar with the area, and know whether or not the property values are going up in that area. There are multiple advantages to investing in real estate. First, as the value of the home grows, the equity or the value of an investment will also grow. Additionally, if you are renting the home, then you are probably getting enough money to cover the mortgage and taxes, and being able to pocket some extra money each month. Potential disadvantages include expensive repairs, declining neighborhoods, and bad tenants. This can be a good way to get started if you want to know how to invest.

Retirement accounts are extremely popular. Many people want to plan well in advance for their retirement so that they don’t have to plan on working forever. A huge advantage of many retirement accounts, such as 401k plans, is that employers will often match the amount that an employee contributes, helping the account to grow more quickly. Traditional and Roth IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) are also common. As with any other investment, there are pros and cons, and with retirement accounts, the pros and cons are most closely associated with when you have to pay income tax on the amount (some are pre-tax contributions, others are after tax; some accounts will tax you when you withdraw, others will not). Be sure you know the details and understand all of the tax implications.

How risky is investing?

Certainly, as with anything that comes with a reward, there is some risk involved in investing. But, while you can continue to work at your regular job and just bring home your paycheck, perhaps setting aside a few dollars each month, when you start learning how to invest you can turn those few dollars into many, many more, with the right knowledge and techniques. It can be intimidating when you begin investing, if you don’t fully understand how the returns, dividends, interest, fees, etc., all work. But, there is plenty of help online, or by contacting a financial or investment advisor. Don’t be afraid to turn your small nest egg into big wealth! Make wise, well-educated decisions, have patience, and start simple if you want to go far with your investments.

Post66Co-founder

Miruna Secuianu is the Co-founder of Post66, a social media management platform for businesses. Miruna is also an experienced freelance writer passionate about digital marketing, finance, and technology trends.

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https://gomedici.com/how-to-invest-your-money-so-it-grows/

Mobile Payments: Comparison of Two Powerhouses of the World

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China and the USA are the largest economies of the world, and one of the most important criteria for being a large economy is having an evolved financial infrastructure. A well-advanced financial infrastructure has helped in the financial inclusion of both countries which have in-turn helped in the growth of the economies. The financial infrastructure of both the countries have been heavily dependent on the advanced technologies to provide convenience to the user so far, but in the next stage, the increase of financial activity features on mobiles would determine the next wave of convenience for the users. In the chart below, we have compared the mobile transaction value to the total cashless transaction value in the respective countries.

mobile-payments-comparison-of-two-powerhouses-of-the-world-1.jpg

Source: BIS, People’s Bank of China, and Forrester Research.

It can be noted that China has mobile payments accounted for approximately 6.1% of cashless transactions in 2018 and this is majorly due to the faster adoption rate of mobile payments by consumers in online retail, financial, and on-demand services, such as ride-sharing activities, movie ticket bookings, and retail payments. According to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), around 583 million people made mobile payments in China in 2018 compared to 526.6 million people in 2017 – an increase of 10.7% from 2017 to 2018. Alipay and WeChat Pay are the two players that are prominent in the mobile payment market in China. Collectively, both companies hold 92% of the market share in China.

mobile-payments-comparison-of-two-powerhouses-of-the-world-2.jpg

On the other hand, mobile payment transactions in the USA has grown steadily with a CAGR of 32.71% from 2014 to 2018. Consumers in the US are more inclined towards making payments through credit cards and debit cards compared to mobile payments. On average, a person in the USA holds 3.1 credit cards, and 67% of the total population in the USA have credit cards. The other major concern for mobile payments is that consumers do not feel secure in linking their bank accounts with payment applications. A study by YouGov states that 56% of US consumers feel that mobile payments increase the chances of fraud and theft. Only 5% of people trust mobile payment as a secure method.

Introduction of payment applications from major companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon have fueled the growth of mobile payments in the USA in recent times. Alipay has entered the US market by partnering with Atlanta-based payments processor First Data, under which more than 4 million US merchants will accept payment via Alipay. However, Alipay is more interested in the growing number of Chinese tourists and students in the USA to gain mobile payment market share.

According to a study by Nielsen, over 90% Chinese tourists would prefer to use mobile payment overseas and that if overseas merchants supported the use of Chinese mobile payment brands, it would further increase their desire to shop. This, along with the significant rise in per capita income of residents in China and the increasing number of Chinese citizens traveling overseas, makes accepting China’s mobile payments smart business for US merchants. The number of Chinese visitors to the USA is expected to reach 6 million by 2021, according to the US Travel Association.

Conclusion

It is quite clear that China is way ahead of the United States in terms of mobile payments. China’s mobile payments inflation has been escalated by the adoption of smartphones, financial and on-demand services, online retail, and because of being the world’s largest internet market. However, the US mobile payments market has also grown over the past years, and as per The Economist, it is projected to reach $282 billion by 2021. The fundamental challenge in the USA would be to remove the fear of identity theft or data breach besides vastly enhancing contextualization and personalization of payments; and consequently, the opportunity ahead of the American payment FinTech ecosystem is to utilize the smartphone to provide a seamless mobile transaction element into the overall payment experience of the user.

Ravi conducts research across all FinTech domains and has in-depth experience in the areas of consulting & research. He also has a deep understanding of talent mapping solutions and has previously worked with Fortune 500 companies to solve their talent-related problems. Ravi is especially interested in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain. He has helped various companies understand upcoming technologies in the FinTech domain across the globe. He truly believes that the two things that matter the most in any business is ‘money’ & ‘talent’ and loves solving problems related to these two drivers.

A FinTech researcher and management graduate, Nagendra works on various syndicated and custom research assignments spanning multiple FinTech segments. He likes to analyze startup companies in the online retail and FinTech sectors. His interests also lie in corporate social responsibility, environmental impact assessment, and financial modelling.

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https://gomedici.com/mobile-payments-comparison-of-two-powerhouses-of-the-world/

Amazon Launches Card For Prime Users With Bad Credit

https://www.pymnts.com/amazon/2019/synchrony-credit-builder-card/
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Amazon is linking with Synchrony Financial to offer a new credit card for Amazon Prime members who have bad credit.

As reported Monday (June 10), the card, known as “Amazon Credit Builder” will let users build up their credit profiles through the use of a secured card, and the firms also will offer budgeting tools. Upon establishing credit, those users can obtain other Amazon cards, which may be unsecured cards.

Secured cards require that individuals deposit $500 in an account to secure cards with commensurate credit limits.

In an interview with the news outlet, Tom Quindlen, Synchrony executive vice president and CEO of retail card operations for the bank, said that “There’s always going to be people that we can’t give credit to — this is a large population that we weren’t able to reach. It’s a new segment of the market.”

Among other features of the card are perks such as 5 percent cash back on purchases, and Quindlen told the site that such offerings will help boost loyalty among holders.

The move comes as 11 percent of the U.S. population has a credit score below 550, as determined by a FICO survey. And as much as 3 percent of the population has a credit score of between 300 to 499, considered a bad score. In addition, 25 percent of U.S. households are defined as being unbanked or underbanked.

As noted in the report, the applications for the credit-building cards take their place alongside other Amazon cards. If Amazon members are in turn not approved for some Amazon card offerings, they are then prompted to consider the “Amazon Credit Builder” offering, which in turn can only be used for Amazon purchases, and the card limits can range from $500 to $1,000. There are no annual fees, but in order to get the cash back rewards, holders have to pay the $119 annual fee for Amazon Prime membership.

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Fraud poses a severe threat to FIs and the trust their customers place in them. While AI, with its ability to find patterns in real-world scenarios (and in real time), is uniquely suited to address these risks, only 12.5 percent of FIs’ fraud departments are actually using it. In the June 2019 AI Innovation Playbook, PYMNTS surveys 200 FI decision-makers to examine the promise of this powerful fraud-fighting tool, and its adoption barriers.

https://www.pymnts.com/amazon/2019/synchrony-credit-builder-card/

UK Prime Minister Launches London Tech Week

https://thefintechtimes.com/pm-london-tech-week/
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Prime Minister Theresa May today launches the sixth annual London Tech Week festival, spearheaded by Informa Tech, bringing together many of the biggest names from global technology and business.

In her opening speech the Prime Minister is expected to say:

“Already we are one of the best places in the world to start and grow a tech business. British Tech is growing over one and a half times faster than the rest of the economy, adding more than one hundred and thirty billion pounds to our economy every year…

But if we are going to maintain our position as a global leader, our challenge is how we develop British Tech and make it even better. We want this to be the place everyone thinks of – and comes to – first when they want to develop their world changing tech ideas. This is a challenge shared between industry and Government…

Today as we sit on the cusp of the next great industrial revolution, we have the opportunity to work together and ensure that the advances we see transform our world for the better, and for the benefit of everyone. Government will back you all the way.”

The Prime Minister will also make a number of ambitious commitments that will ensure the UK remains the largest tech hub in Europe.

These include:

  • £153million government funding, with an additional £205million pledged by industry, to unlock the potential of quantum technologies, including accelerated drug development from quantum computing.
  • 2,500 places available for the first time for AI and data conversion courses starting next year, to equip tech-driven businesses and people across the country with the skills they need. This includes 1,000 government-funded scholarships to open up opportunities for people from all backgrounds.
  • Launching a study into tech competitiveness to identify opportunities and support for digital businesses to ensure the UK remains the most attractive place to build a tech business. This will be led by industry: Cindy Rose from Microsoft UK, Suzanne Ashman from LocalGlobe, Stephen Coleman from CodeBase, and Avid Larizadeh Duggan from Kobalt.

We have the opportunity to work together and ensure that the advances we see transform our world for the better, and for the benefit of everyone.

Some of the UK’s biggest tech companies this morning applauded the new initiatives.

Cindy Rose CEO, Microsoft UK, said: “Given the pace of change in technologies like Artificial Intelligence, there has never been a more important time for London Tech Week. The UK has a long history of world leading technological innovation and is ideally placed to capitalise on the AI opportunity for economic growth. We have all the elements we need to succeed, a thriving start-up scene, a vibrant investment community, cloud-first government policy and a great pool of UK and global talent.” 

Bill Kelleher, Chief Executive, IBM UK and Ireland said: “London is a major hub for innovation and creativity. New technologies such as AI, Blockchain, Cloud and Quantum are creating powerful opportunities for the tech ecosystem to transform businesses and empower people to do good.”

On Wednesday the 12th June, as an official part of London Tech Week, The Fintech Times will gather the leaders of Fintech to discuss the major trends in the payments industry.

For more information and to register with us, click here.

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https://thefintechtimes.com/pm-london-tech-week/

Synapse Receives $33 Million for Backend Fintech

https://finovate.com/synapse-receives-33m-for-back-end-fintech/
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Synapse, a San Francisco-based fintech startup, has raised $33 million in a series B round led by a16z, with participation from existing investors Trinity and Core and unnamed individual investors, including 9Yards Capital, reports Henry Vilar of Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication.

This brings the start-up’s total raised to $50 million, following a $17 million series A round in September 2018. Synapse says it has over three million clients using its cloud-based tools, with 10,000 new signups and five million API requests every day.

In total, Synapse says it has facilitated more than $10 billion in transactions to date. The company reports facilitating more than $2 billion as automated clearing house (ACH) and $40 million in payment card transactions for over 100 companies so far this year.

Synapse provides payment, deposit, lending, and investment products as APIs to financial technology companies, which in turn launch consumer-facing financial services.

The fintech plans to build direct processor integrations with both Mastercard and Visa, which it expects will speed up API calls around card issuance and open up features like just-in-time funding and dynamic spending controls.

The company also intends to launch a brokerage account product and to enhance its loan origination and servicing API. This will make it easier for developers to apply for a warehouse line of credit and add automated text and phone loan collection support.

Toward the end of this year, the goal is to launch services in Europe and Canada, starting with payments, deposits, and debit card issuance. Lending and investment products will follow.

The firm plans a chatbot platform to answer customer questions, along with self-servicing tools for developers, a seed investing program. Synapse will also improve its security tools, including its ID verification and video authentication stack, add-ons around duplicate profile detection, and fraud and transaction monitoring.

“After 2019, our goal is to add support for two key markets each year, plus one underserved market, where we will build consumer-facing products until developer ecosystems are built,” said cofounder and CEO, Sankaet Pathak.

As a part of the series B, a16z’s Angela Strange and Michael Hoffmeyer, director at the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Memphis, have joined Synapse’s board of directors.

Founded in 2015, Synapse demoed its white label loan issuance at FinovateSpring last year. The tool originates and services unsecured consumer and business loans while providing customizable decisioning, automated compliance, smart notifications, and an origination and servicing UI.

https://finovate.com/synapse-receives-33m-for-back-end-fintech/

87% of Magento E-Commerce Websites at ‘High Risk’ from Cyber Criminals, Says New Report

https://thefintechtimes.com/magento-e-commerce/
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New research has found 87% of SME websites using the Magento platform are currently at high risk from cyber attacks.

By contrast, under 10% of websites using other major e-commerce platforms surveyed register in the same high risk category.

The research, from cyber security specialists Foregenix, analysed nearly 9 million websites worldwide, including over two million in Europe. 200,000 of sites surveyed worldwide use Magento (and companies using Magento 2 were also covered in the research).

The analysis carried out in April and May by Foregenix’s Threat Intelligence Group using its website security solution, WebScan, further revealed the proportion of Magento websites at high risk has increased from just under 80% from research carried out in October last year.

Other findings show the percentage of SME sites using Magento being at high risk is lower in Europe compared to North America. Europe, which accounts for 48% of all websites surveyed, registered 28% of high risk Magento sites. By contrast North America accounts for 43% of global sites analysed, but registered 60% of high risk sites.

With small differences, 1.4% of the total number of Magento sites globally are compromised and showing signs of payment card harvesting malware stealing their customer data. One exception to the trend is Europe where 0.63% of Magento sites were compromised.

Sites assigned as high risk generally miss critical security patches or have serious security vulnerabilities such as an exposed admin page. Many of these issues can be easily resolved.

SecurityScorecard recently revealed one of the most common methods used by nefarious players to compromise financial data is post-exploitation network sniffing.

For e-commerce merchants, post-exploitation network sniffing malware extends an attack beyond the initial vector of entry. This attack targets compromised sites, places malicious code into the website, and intercepts customer data. Thus, despite a merchant remediating the initial data breach, they remain compromised, often without realising it. Malware at the end-user level aligns with traditional definitions. Trojans, named after the Greek Trojan horse, disguise themselves as normal files that trick users into downloading and installing them.

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Deutsche Bank Auditors Found AML Process Weaknesses

https://www.pymnts.com/bank-regulation/2019/deutsche-bank-auditors-aml-weaknesses/
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Internal auditors at Deutsche Bank found weaknesses in anti-money laundering processes resulted in checks and high-value electronic payments being processed without undergoing the proper vetting.

The Financial Times, citing people familiar with the review, reported the lax anti-money laundering and sanctions controls were in place for years. The paper reported that one of the six weaknesses was called a filtering gap that impacted checks written by corporate clients to foreign recipients. Checks may not be as popular as in the past, but The Financial Times noted Deutsche Bank processes around 50,000 each year via its cash management units in the U.K. and Ireland. It’s not clear how many checks got through the weak anti-money laundering processes and how many years it goes back.  The bank told The Financial Times that the checks issued are small in scope and only impacted checks that were written by three corporate clients that fell in the low-risk customers bucket because they were strong companies in developed countries. In 2018 under 100 checks were impacted but the internal auditors aren’t sure how many got through before 2018.

In addition to the check issues, Deutsche Bank is looking into other “critical” and “significant” failings found by auditors, including client due-diligence name list screening practices in Hong Kong, Singapore and India, and staff sending sensitive information over WhatsApp or personal emails. The paper reported the auditor team warned executives at the bank that the shortfalls in compliance could mean Deutsche Bank isn’t completely compliant with the MLD4 anti-money laundering rule introduced in 2018 by the European Union.

“We carried out a regularly scheduled audit into our check processing processes, which was completed last year and did not identify any AML or sanctions breaches,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement to the FT. “We have invested substantially in our IT and anti-financial crime capabilities.” The bank said it improved its Swift IT system and fixed eight of the 11 major issues laid out in the report. It also rolled out a so-called “four years rule” in which two people have to check high-value payments.  Deutsche Bank has already paid millions in fines for failing to comply with money laundering directives, noted the report.

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Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. The May 2019 Payments And The Platform Economy Playbook, aims to help platform payments decision-makers identify and manage the risks and rewards inherent in optimizing their operations and navigating real-time challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/bank-regulation/2019/deutsche-bank-auditors-aml-weaknesses/

China To Retaliate Against US By Limiting Tech Exports

https://www.pymnts.com/news/international/2019/china-tech-exports-us/
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In what could be seen as a retaliation by China in the escalating trade war with the U.S., China is gearing up to pull back some exports of tech to the U.S.

Reuters, citing Hu Xijin, the chief editor of China’s Global Times newspaper, reported that in a tweet he said the country is “building a management mechanism to protect China’s key technologies.” If China moved forward, it would imply a retaliation to the move by the U.S. government to blacklist Huawei Technology, preventing it from doing business in the U.S. “This is a major step to improve its system and also a move to counter U.S. crackdown,” the editor of the pro-Chinese government paper said. “Once taking effect, some technology exports to the U.S. will be subject to the control.”

While the Global Times isn’t the official newspaper of the Communist Party, the views expressed in it are thought to be that of the leaders. Reuters noted that around the time Hu was tweeting, China’s state media Xinhua reported the National Development and Reform Commission announced it would create a study to develop a “national technological security management list system.”

In May the White House took the step to blacklist Huawei, citing national security concerns, which was seen as a major blow to the Chinese telecom company. Since then Google and Facebook have announced their apps wouldn’t be preinstalled on any upcoming Huawei handsets. In a recent interview with Reuters, Huawei Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei said the move by the White House will hurt the lead Huawei has built over the past two years. He added that the company will ramp up its chip supply or find other options to remain ahead in the smartphone and 5G markets. Following the initial announcement, the U.S. Department of Commerce said it was looking to scale back some of the restrictions on the company to prevent any interruptions to existing network operations and equipment.

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Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. The May 2019 Payments And The Platform Economy Playbook, aims to help platform payments decision-makers identify and manage the risks and rewards inherent in optimizing their operations and navigating real-time challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/news/international/2019/china-tech-exports-us/

How Basel III Affected SMB Lending

https://www.pymnts.com/news/b2b-payments/2019/fsb-basel-iii-smb-lending/
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The Financial Stability Board says Basel III rules have not led to a squeeze of the small business bank lending market, according to reports on Friday (June 7).

The FSB announced Friday the findings of its analysis of Basel III regulations on the small business lending space. Basel III regulations, which were agreed upon in 2010 and set to be fully in effect by 2027, imposed stricter capital requirements on financial institutions that some critics argued stifled FIs’ ability to provide loans to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Some regulators aimed to mitigate that impact. In Europe, the European Union introduced lower capital requirements for banks’ small business lending operations, reports noted, adding that EU analysis found in 2016 that those efforts did not actually lead to an increase in small business lending by banks.

“The more stringent risk-based capital (RBC) requirements under Basel III slowed the pace and in some jurisdictions tightened the conditions of SME lending at the most ‘affected’ banks (i.e. those lease capitalized ex ante) relative to other banks,” the FSB concluded in its report, “Evaluation of the effects of financial regulatory reforms on SME financing.”

But the FSB concluded that such effects only occurred immediately after the implementation of Basel III requirements, and only in the short term. Rather, the broader economy and public policy had and have a greater impact on SMB lending volumes.

As such, the FSB said it does not expect to introduce any new industry regulations.

“Based on the evaluation at the level of the FSB, I do not anticipate any review, revisiting of the current rules,” said FSB Vice Chair Klaas Knot, reports said, adding that any negative effects on SMB lending were “generally found to be temporary.”

Knot also warned against banks using decreases in capital holding requirements to ramp up lending, though acknowledged that the industry’s global consensus appears to be shifting towards the direction of the EU’s earlier “SME supporting factor” capital requirement strategy.

Separate reports in Forbes noted that banks’ own internal processes and systems could have a greater negative impact on small business lending than broad regulations like Basel III.

The publication pointed to recent research from Moody’s Analytics that concluded “most banks do not have effective systems and practices to accurately and efficiently assess small business risk and seamlessly conduct lending activities.”

However, the Financial Stability Board acknowledged in its report that bank regulations and capital requirements may have unintentionally led to negative consequences in the small business bank lending market.

The FSB noted in its report that it is continuing to accept comment on the matter after presenting its findings to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors last week. Some G20 participants have “expressed concern that banks may have increased the pricing and the proportion of secured SME lending — as well as reduced credit to riskier firms — including as a result of the reduced eligibility collateral … for regulatory capital purposes.

“In that context,” the FSB continued, “some participants raised the question of whether regulation strikes the right balance in terms of overall financing structure needs of SMEs.”

Below, PYMNTS looks at some data points about regulation and the current small business bank lending climate.

A total of 189 banks recently surveyed are in compliance with Basel III, according to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, with 109 of the world’s biggest lenders only $34.13 billion short of Basel III capital requirements as of last year. That compares with a 70 percent shortfall as of the end of 2015, reports in the Financial Times said in March.

And 82 percent of small businesses said they have taken some type of action as a result of regulations, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness in a survey published earlier this year. However, SMBs pointed to Dodd-Frank the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, and the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act as the regulations driving change — not Basel III.

Forty-three percent of SMBs applied for financing last year in the U.S., a recent Federal Reserve survey found, with nearly half receiving the full amount they requested. High-risk SMBs were almost as likely to apply for financing with an alternative lenders as with a traditional bank, the Fed noted.

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Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. The May 2019 Payments And The Platform Economy Playbook, aims to help platform payments decision-makers identify and manage the risks and rewards inherent in optimizing their operations and navigating real-time challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/news/b2b-payments/2019/fsb-basel-iii-smb-lending/

eBay Partners with Asto to Offer its Small Business Customers a New Finance Solution

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eBay and Asto, the Santander-backed fintech that aims to help small businesses run and grow through a range of financial and non-financial services, have partnered up to offer cash flow loans to eBay.co.uk’s growing network of small businesses. The partnership looks to help eBay’s small business customers ease cash flow pressures and grow their businesses.

With over 200,000 SMEs using its platform in the UK, eBay is committed to helping Britain’s small businesses to successfully grow and thrive.

Paolo Levoni, eBay Chief Operating Officer, said:

“eBay is passionate about helping small businesses succeed. We help power over 200,000 British SMEs, helping them grow through access to 180 million consumers in 190 markets across the globe. Our partnership with Asto is designed to help our business sellers efficiently access cash loans to help them expand and manage cashflow – our latest step in helping small businesses in the UK to thrive.”

Asto aims to make access to financial services for the UK’s freelancers and small business owners, simple, seamless and easy to manage on-the-go. The Asto finance app will provide eBay customers a way to get accessible finance in a matter of clicks, to help them stay on top of their money and keep their cash flow positive.

Sigga Sigurdardottir, CEO of Asto, commented on the partnership:

“I am excited by the opportunity for Asto, as a fintech start-up, to partner with eBay, a global ecommerce platform that shares our ambition to help small businesses grow and thrive. Asto is built on the belief that no good business should fail for want of time, insight, support or access to finance. Working with eBay, Asto will empower small business owners with secure access to funds in a matter of minutes from their phone, versus traditionally several weeks.”

The cash flow loans for eBay users will be launched later this year.

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Women in FinTech: “The Ability to Serve Customers in the Best Manner Possible is Where I Draw Energy.”

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As part of our #WomeninFinTech series, we sat down with Kristin Marcuccilli, executive vice president and chief operating officer at STAR Financial Bank.

We talked about her transition from the world of college football to the world of banking and finance, what technology she thinks will lead the way, and why it is important to work with like-minded individuals to drive a business forward.

Finovate: How did you start your career?

Kristin Marcuccilli: STAR Financial Bank is a privately-owned family bank that’s been around for more than 75 years; in fact, my grandfather’s name is the “T” (Thomas) in STAR. Despite this family history, I didn’t always aspire to become a banker. I earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and pre-medicine from the University of Notre Dame, and my student work in football operations and player development ultimately led me to my first job in the Notre Dame Football office for three years.  It wasn’t until later that I decided to pursue a master’s degree in business administration and management from Indiana University.

While working toward my master’s degree, I asked my dad about potential opportunities with the bank – though I still was unsure if this was the right path, I became more curious as I progressed in my studies and job experiences. When an opportunity to join the bank arose, I had to follow the same process as anyone else. Our bank has strict rules about family employees: we must work somewhere else for five years first; new positions won’t be created just for family members; and we must pursue an MBA or banking certification to even be considered for a senior management role.

In 2008, I joined the bank as a project manager, and haven’t looked back since. Over the past 11 years, I have worked my way up to chief operating officer, and I now help oversee our technology partnerships, project management efforts, bank operations and strategic direction. During my time at the bank, I’ve helped establish a strategic vision, oversaw a website redesign, helped implement 55 Interactive Teller Machines and have enhanced our digital banking strategy.

Finovate: What sparked your interest in fintech?

Marcuccilli:My interest in fintech stems from the reason I choose to work in community banking – it’s a relationship business, and our team’s involvement in creative thinking that will ultimately help change and influence the way people and businesses interact with their bank is an ever-present and ever-evolving challenge. A passion for fintech calls for an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to embrace failure and change nearly every day. For me, that’s an exciting challenge.

Finovate: What technologies have you seen lately that have excited you?

Marcuccilli: New technology seems to appear overnight. Years from now, we expect that real-time payments will be the norm – no more waiting for money to move overnight or over the course of several days via check. The application of biometrics and advanced analytics for enhanced security will continue to expand and evolve, and artificial intelligence will support personalized customer experience through digital channels. Electronic delivery of documents, signatures and account opening will also likely be dominating a once paper-intensive banking environment. Self-service kiosks will also have advanced to replace much of the standard transaction activity both as in-branch and as standalone options. All of this excites me, as the ability to serve our customers in the best manner possible is where I draw energy.

Finovate: Why is it important for banks to embrace new tech? How is Star Financial Bank doing this?

Marcuccilli: In our rapidly changing industry, banks that are slow to adapt risk falling behind and losing critical business. Bankers have a significant advantage when it comes to building valuable relationships and supporting their local communities, but they must also add modern technology to remain nimble and relevant.

At STAR, we place a strong emphasis on maintaining our community focus while optimizing delivery channels and meeting customers where they are on their financial journey. We take a collaborative approach when evaluating and implementing new technology, starting at the top with our CEO who encourages the team to embrace change.

I am proud to be part of a powerhouse team, working alongside innovators and leaders who dedicate significant time and effort toward studying technology and client behavior to best meet our community’s needs. We have a group of smart, data-driven individuals who ensure our technology and services align with our business and customer demands.

Finovate: Where do you think the future of fintech is heading?

Marcuccilli: Delivery channel optimization (to ensure convenient and engaging customer experience), security threats and payments are all rapidly evolving and will continue to be a major focus in the fintech space. To effectively address these trends, there will be a growing demand and emphasis on the selection of third-party partnerships.  Finding the right technology partner – both a technical and cultural fit – will be important in facilitating the best experience for customers.

Finovate: Why is the #WomeininTech movement important?

Marcuccilli: There is a general lack of female representation in financial services, especially when it comes to the technology side of the house.  As industry professionals, we can help influence this by supporting and encouraging women to join and contribute to the field. Series like these are a powerful way to highlight how women are innovating and making a difference in their local communities through financial services and technology.

Finovate: What piece of advice would you give women starting out their career in finance/ fintech?

Marcuccilli: My advice is to be open to different possibilities within the financial services and fintech space as there are no shortage of opportunities. It’s important to surround yourself with strategic and smart individuals who help build up the team, supporting professional goals and development. I’d also encourage women to become involved in their local communities. Learning and growing from individuals outside of your organization can also be key to professional success. When we commit to staying attuned to business and industry trends and recent developments, we’re able to better support an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and growth in our local communities.

Finovate: And what piece of advice do you have for other banks to attract and retain more star female talent?

Marcuccilli: At STAR, we prioritize collaboration and innovation, and that’s been very attractive to top talent. Showing potential employees that the bank cares about exploring new ideas from all levels of the institution, not just from management or the C-suite, can be a powerful differentiator. Institutions that break down silos, encourage cross department collaboration and transparency, and embrace change will find more success in attracting and retaining star female talent.

https://finovate.com/women-in-fintech-the-ability-to-serve-customers-in-the-best-manner-possible-is-where-i-draw-energy/

Amazon Tests Scout Delivery Robot

https://www.pymnts.com/amazon/2019/amazon-scout-delivery-robot/
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Amazon has created detailed virtual maps to train the company’s new Scout delivery robot.

Scout VP Sean Scott told The Verge that the eCommerce giant has collected 3D data, real-life textures, and even modeled the sidewalk down to the storm drains in order to create the maps and boost the development of the robot.

“We can run thousands of deliveries in simulation overnight versus taking a bot outside in the real world,” Scott says. “The bot doesn’t actually know it’s in a simulation. It thinks it’s in the real world, which is pretty cool.”

Scott added that the company’s other training apparatus includes an indoor robot park, as well as special rigs to test the resilience of the robot’s wheels.

In January, Amazon unveiled Scout, a robot on six wheels about the size of a small cooler that will deliver packages right to consumers’ doors. The company said it will start with six Scouts working Monday through Friday, in the daylight. The robots will follow their routes autonomously, but at least for a while they’ll be accompanied by an Amazon employee.

“We developed Amazon Scout at our research and development lab in Seattle, ensuring the devices can safely and efficiently navigate around pets, pedestrians and anything else in their path,” the company said.

In fact, Scott says a major part of Scout’s development is making sure the robots are a natural part of the environment. In addition, it needs to be able to navigate in a way that doesn’t bother pedestrians, including getting out of the way for children, pets, strollers, and the elderly. Scott even showed off two videos of Scout encountering the same neighborhood dog. In the first video, the dog is wary of the robot, but in the second, it barely pays attention to it. “What better way to gauge response than from a pet like this,” he says.

“We have a ladder to the Moon … but we’ve only made it to the first rung of the ladder,” he added. “We’re learning lots, and we’re just getting started.”

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Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. The May 2019 Payments And The Platform Economy Playbook, aims to help platform payments decision-makers identify and manage the risks and rewards inherent in optimizing their operations and navigating real-time challenges.

https://www.pymnts.com/amazon/2019/amazon-scout-delivery-robot/

Look Who’s Coming to Dinner: UK Fintechs Preparing for Luxembourg Regulator Visits

https://thefintechtimes.com/luxembourg-regulator-visits/
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UK payment services businesses and other fintechs need to be prepared for site visits from Luxembourg’s financial services regulator, warns fscom, the financial services regulatory consultancy.

fscom says that it recently met with the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) to discuss its regulatory approach to UK fintechs that propose to establish in Luxembourg as part of their Brexit preparations. In this meeting, the CSSF confirmed that UK payments services businesses and other fintechs will be subject to its regime of site visits.

fscom warns that these visits have already begun.

The CSSF has previously publicly warned that it would be paying site visits to UK asset managers that establish a presence in Luxembourg in order to retain their EU passporting rights post-Brexit.

The CSSF’s proactive approach to visits is radically different from the FCA in the UK, which undertakes site visits extremely infrequently. fscom says that, as a result, many UK-based financial services businesses are now unused to dealing with visits from the regulator, and risk being unprepared.

The CSSF has previously publicly warned that it would be paying site visits to UK asset managers that establish a presence in Luxembourg in order to retain their EU passporting rights post-Brexit.

The CSSF will visit all newly-regulated firms in Luxembourg six months after their initial authorisation, to make sure that they are keeping the commitments they made as part of their authorisation, including:

  • Having staff working at the firm’s designated address
  • Having board members present in Luxembourg
  • Hitting agreed targets in establishing a full presence in Luxembourg

fscom says that while the CSSF is likely to take a relatively pragmatic approach, it has the power to levy significant fines. Fines are especially likely in cases where the regulator believes a business has misled it deliberately.

fscom says that while the CSSF is likely to take a relatively pragmatic approach, it has the power to levy significant fines.

James Borley, Director at fscom, comments: “UK payments businesses and fintechs need to be aware that they will not escape scrutiny from the Luxembourg regulator. The CSSF has already started visiting the firms that have established offices in the country since the EU referendum.”

“Asset managers have been warned about living up to their commitments to the regulator, but other financial services businesses need to make sure they are hitting the targets – customer base, staffing levels, revenue etc. – they agreed with the CSSF, or have plausible explanations for why not.”

“The CSSF is in no way a ‘soft touch’ regulator. It is open to having conversations with prospective applicants and will be pragmatic and work with firms to give them the best opportunity to comply and be successful, but it will come down hard on any business that thinks it can get away with having a ‘brass plate’ presence.”

In this month’s print edition, TFT had a catch up with Nasir Zubairi, the CEO of the LHoFT – Luxembourg House of Financial Technology, on fintech innovation, Luxembourg’s central role in Europes

“We’re looking after traditional institutions, helping them in their digitalisation. When we go around the world, we find fintech firms that look interesting and could solve current problems financial companies we know are facing. We then help them connect and move towards collaboration..” 

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https://thefintechtimes.com/luxembourg-regulator-visits/

Top 5 Tech Predictions for London Tech Week

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Livingstone, the global M&A advisory firm, examines the trends and topics that will take front and centre next week at the much anticipated London Tech Week (June 10-14).

Connecting Global Markets –

Some of the most important considerations when it comes to globalisation and technology will be AI and its disruption across economies. Blockchain will still be a focus due to its ability to track goods more efficiently and for its disruption on global financial trading. Additionally, there will be a lot of discussion around unlocking business and technology possibilities in emerging markets such Asia and Africa.

Cybersecurity 

As digital connectivity increases, especially in legacy industries, cyber protection is one of the most important considerations businesses will need to make. A lot of the discussions will revolve around the Internet of Things (IoT) and how to improve the security of devices and information, protect intellectual property from bad actors, and improve the privacy of cloud technology.

Digital Transformation –

The UK is a world leader in business digital transformation, surpassing even countries like the United States and Germany. The biggest discussions this week will involve 5G as it begins to be rolled out in the UK and 5G’s implication for vehicles, smart cities, and mobile communication.  

A lot of the discussions will revolve around the Internet of Things (IoT) and how to improve the security of devices and information

Start-up Scaleup –

UK tech firms secured £1.8 billion in venture funding in 2018, almost double the amount raised by German companies, which came in second place. Fintech remains London’s most attractive sector and enjoys the most investment compared to all other UK tech sectors. London Tech Week will be a major networking event for start-ups who are trying to raise capital.

Attracting Talent –

A question on many tech firms’ minds is the implications of recruiting and sponsoring non-EU skilled tech workers in a Brexit environment. Attracting and engaging the best of tech talent in order to stay competitive is a major business concern. There will also be a lot of discussion around inclusion of women and minorities as the industry ranks one of the lowest for diversity of senior leaders and board members.

Daniel Domberger, Partner at Livingstone and technology expert, comments on the event:

“Positioning the UK at the centre of the tech spotlight is more important than ever before. London Tech Week has proven to be a valuable vehicle for sharing ideas, showcasing Britain’s brightest, and attracting international investment and talent.   Whether it’s future proofing your business through digital transformation or understanding how 5G will revolutionise our everyday life, London Tech Week will be productive and insightful.”

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