News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

Health researchers look at xrays

1. UK – FinTech


Global payment processing giant Mastercard has announced a strategic partnership with cloud-based SME toolkit Pollinate. AltFi reports: 

“The strategic collaboration will see the two companies provide SME-focussed banks with the latest technology and data insights to further support the global SME banking arena.  

Pollinate’s platform takes existing data from banks and other financial systems to help the bank’s SME customers.  

The fintech’s platform uses existing bank infrastructure to helps merchant manage and grow their businesses, with bank-grade security, all in one place.  

Zahir Khoja, executive vice president of merchants solutions and partnerships at Mastercard, said: “Small businesses have an outsized impact on the global economy. We’re committed to powering small businesses globally, helping them sustain themselves with the right tools, network innovation, insights, services and assistance to thrive in the digital economy.”  


2. UK – FinTech 


The Federation of Small Business lobbies ahead of the next Budget. 

“The next or upcoming UK Budget will have to be the “most pro-business ever” so that it can counter the negative impact of the recession, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), a member-led, non-profit and non-party organization that represents SMBs. 

The United Kingdom is now in a recession due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has slowed down the economies of almost every country across the globe. This is notably the first time that the UK has experienced a recession in 11 years. The nation’s economy contracted by 20.4% between Q1 and Q2 2020.” 

3. International – FinTech 


A Nordic take on global FinTech, highlighted by Crowdfundinsider. 

Rotem Shneor, Ph.D., and two colleagues, Liang Zhao, and Bjørn-Tore Flåten, are publishing “Advances in Crowdfunding – Research and Practice,” a 500-page compendium of articles by 30 contributors, mostly academic researchers, about everything you ever wanted to know about crowdfunding across business models, sectors, and geographies. 

Rotem is a well-known researcher and activist in crowdfunding. An Associate Professor at the University of Agder School of Business and Law in Norway, he is also the academic director of the university’s Center of Entrepreneurship and associate researcher with the Cambridge University Center for Alternative Finance in the United Kingdom. In 2014, he co-founded the Nordic Crowdfunding Alliance, of which he remains a board member.’ 


4. International – FinTech 


Square is piloting a feature that lets users of its Cash App P2P payments service get small, short-term loans. 

According to TechCrunch, Jack Dorsey's firm is carrying out a test with about 1000 Cash App users, offering loans of between $20 and $200 that have to be paid back within four weeks and come with a flat five per cent fee.

Separately, Coinbase is set to let customers borrow cash against their Bitcoin holdings. The firm has opened a waitlist for interested customers in some US states.

Users will be able to borrow up to 30% - or $20,000 - of their Bitcoin holdings at an eight per cent APR, with no application or credit check. 


5. International – FinTech 

In response to the European Commission’s consultations on the development of the digitalisation of financial services in Europe, the Bank of Lithuania proposes to apply uniform regulation throughout the European Union (EU), following a technologically neutral approach, and applying smart supervisory solutions more widely. Finextra carries the announcement. 

“The Bank of Lithuania has made a significant contribution to the promotion of financial innovations - the FinTech ecosystem has grown in the country and gained international recognition. We are now willing to share our experience with other European countries, because we have to overcome the fragmentation arising from divergent national regulations and approaches to innovation. Europe can take up the leading international role in designing and adapting FinTech solutions if we find a far-reaching and unified approach at the community level,” said Marius Jurgilas, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania.”