News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

A tiny snail on a ruler in the garden

1.UK – FinTech


UK Tech News reports a new player in the sector.

“Payments start-up Banked is poised to challenge the dominance of established players in the sector as it launches out of beta after securing another £2.35million in seed funding.

The London-based firm’s account-to-account payment software lets consumers, businesses and banks process payments in real-time, more securely, and for one-tenth of the traditional cost.

It has now raised a total of £5.35million and the latest investment was led by Force Over Mass, with participation from Backed, Acrew Capital (San Francisco based) and high net worth partners including the family office of serial investor and co-founder of, Paul Forster.

By offering payments in real time, Banked enables merchants and customers to receive money from transactions as they happen, meaning they no longer have to wait days and weeks to see the funds.”


2. UK - FinTech

Colombia is coming to the UK high street, via the British Virgin Islands… AltFi has the tale.


“A Colombian billionaire and investor has upped his stake in embattled lender Metro Bank.

Jaime Gilinski, one of Colombia's richest men, has increased his stake from six per cent to nine per cent, according to The Sunday Times.

The increase in his stake in Metro took place at the end of last year, and is likely to fuel fresh speculation that the investor is gearing up for a takeover bid.

Gilinski first emerged as an investor in Metro in November last year, taking a 6.1 per cent stake which meant he was the bank's biggest shareholder.

Gilinski was once the biggest investor in TSB's Spanish owner Banco de Sabadell and he owns Miami-based JGB Bank.

The billionaire owns his stake in Metro through the British Virgin Islands fund, Spaldy Investments.”


3. UK – FinTech

P2P Finance News reports:

“Money&Co chief Nicola Horlick has warned of a tough year for the peer-to-peer lending sector, as the Bank of England predicts the deepest recession on record due to the pandemic.

City superwoman Horlick (pictured) told Peer2Peer Finance News that she was pessimistic about the year ahead for the P2P industry because the Covid-19 induced economic downturn has had a huge impact on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“SMEs been hit particularly hard and P2P does a lot of SME lending, so I’m not optimistic for the rest of the year, unless platforms take a lot of security,” said Horlick.

“Furthermore, a lot of business is going to banks through various government loan schemes such as the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme and the Bounce Back Loan scheme, rather than going to P2P platforms, so I’d expect a bit of a dip in platform lending.

 “Banks will increase their share in the SME sector because the government is making them do it.

“Banks may well not be doing enough but a lot of the £50,000 Bounce Back loans are out of the door already.”

Horlick’s comments come as the Bank of England has forecast that the economy will shrink by 14 per cent this year, while unemployment is predicted to rise to nine per cent.

Bank of England Governor has urged banks to keep lending, saying: “By supporting households and business, banks will help to avoid a worse outcome for the economy as a whole, which would in turn generate greater credit losses and weaken their capital positions.”

The Bank’s monetary policy committee voted to keep the base rate at a record low of 0.1 per cent.”

4. International – FinTech

Crowdfundinisider on a chunky new player:

Samsung Pay announced last week it is set to join forces with online lending platform SoFi to launch a new debit card. This news comes just days after Swipe launched Samsun Pay for Swipe Visa cardholders. 

Launched in 2015, Samsung Pay describes itself as a “groundbreaking” mobile payment service that is “ushering” in a new era of mobile payments and e-commerce.

“Samsung Pay is a simple and safe digital wallet that works almost anywhere you can swipe or tap your card. Samsung Pay Inc. merged with Samsung Electronics to achieve the shared goal of delivering universal acceptance and the best mobile experience for both consumers and merchants.”


5. International – FinTech

AltFi reports:

“Australian neobank Xinja Bank has cut the interest rate on its high-yield savings account from 2.25 per cent to 1.8 per cent.

Xinja  said the interest cut on its Stash savings account to 1.8 per cent will be introduced on 11 May.

Xinja launched the deposit Stash account in January this year and its rate of interest meant it was the highest rate on offer in Australia.

It said the reduction in the interest rate is due to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the country's central bank, cutting interest twice in March- on  March  the third to 0.50 per cent, and then to 0.25 per cent on March 19.”