News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd in nightclub, seen from a DJ point of view

1. UK – FinTech

Cash usage is fastest decliningin the UK, compared with the rest of Europe during coronavirus: research from Accenture.

AltFi has the tale.

“UK cash usage has declined by almost 40 per cent from last year owing to the COVID-19 crisis prompting an accelerating use of digital payments. This compares to the European average of 30 per cent. 

Of course, UK cash usage was already in decline, however, but coronavirus is accelerating the trend. The COVID-19 pandemic has - owing to the lockdown as well as fear over how the virus is transmitted - caused major disruption to the way people pay. As cash usage continues to decline, banks and merchants will see accelerated use of digital payments, prompting a shift in their payment revenues.

Sulabh Agarwal, Global Payments Lead, Accenture, said: “While the decline of cash in the UK isn’t new, there’s little doubt that lockdown and social distancing measures have pushed consumers who typically rely on cash into digital payments". 


2. International – FinTech

Crowdfundinsider reports:

“Prospa, an online lender serving Australian SMEs, says it did a clean sweep of the MFAA State Excellence Fintech Lender Award for the third year running.

According to the Fintech, the company has received the Fintech Lender Award for QLD at the fifth and final virtual state event on Wednesday evening, following wins in every other state and territory over the past two weeks.”


3. International – FinTech

The FinTech Times reports:

“Ivo Gueorguiev, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Paynetics shares some insight on the complications around payments that are specific to the Latin America region. These may have informed this move, but which might hold WhatsApp/Facebook back from rolling it out to the rest of the world in the same way.

There’s no doubt that across a great many sectors, against an existing backdrop of vast digital transformation, we’ve seen years’ worth of disruption happen in a few short weeks. Worldwide, some parts of the economy have been threatened with an almost complete shut-down, and businesses have had to move quickly to keep trading and respond to huge changes in consumer demand. Perhaps the fintech industry can lay claim to being one of the industries at the vanguard of helping companies move from how they conducted business previously to face this “new normal”. We’ve had to provide innovative solutions that can support consumers and businesses as they navigate their way back to stability. But this innovation will also help to pave the way for the next iteration of the digitally-led world that will emerge in the months to come.”

4. International - FinTech

Crowdfundinsider reports:

Digital asset trading platform BlockQuake has formed a partnership with Secure Digital Markets (SDM) to provide users 24/7 liquidity in the digital asset marketplace.

SDM is a digital asset focused brokerage and trading firm based in Toronto. The company reports relationships with clients in 60+ countries. BlockQuake is a digital asset trading venue with a hard focus on compliance and institutional level services.

According to a release,  SDM will provide BlockQuake users with better access to global liquidity, accurate market prices, and a single point of entry for market participants. This will help eliminate the fragmented exchange landscape.

BlockQuake aims to be an industry-standard digital asset marketplace setting the bar in global compliance, security, transparency, and choice between traditional investment platforms and cryptocurrency exchanges.”


5. International – FinTech


AltFi runs a feature interview with the head of the newly formed European FinTech Association.

“There are topics are being discussed at a European level, and we think our voice has not been heard enough…we want to rectify that,” Roberts told AltFi.

So what kind of topics? Well, lots, but the crux is that it’s anywhere where financial services regulation remains geared towards an analogue way of doing things.

Think about cross-border financial services, said Roberts, these currently might have to run local KYC and AML checks as there’s no concept of a digital identity.

Or consumer protection laws, which are gold-plated at a national level, so then require fintechs to launch different platforms for every country they operate in to abide by each of them.

“Plus there are specific issues like the incentivisation of employees across Europe, we need a system where employee stock options allow staff to move around across Europe,” he said.

So far the Association has published two position papers on European anti-money laundering regulations and the MiFID II/MiFIR review consultation.”