News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

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1. UK – FinTech  

AltFi reports: 

“Cashflow management fintech Fluidly is today adding a host of funding options to its software, helping accountants to access finance alongside forecasting and planning their cashflow. 

Among the lenders Fluidly is adding to its system are alternative platforms like Funding Circle and Iwoca, along with more mainstream lenders NatWest and Esme (owned by NatWest). 

Because of the cashflow data that Fluidly handles for its customers, businesses will find they pre-qualify for many of the funding options without having to fill out lots of forms. 

“Funding is the natural extension of our app. Cashflow forecasting is a starting point that lifts the lid on what's going on in a businesses finances, and once accountants have that visibility, they need tools to help their clients take action,” said CEO and founder Caroline Plumb OBE. 

Plumb said the decision to launch funding options was with an eye to the eventual closure of the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (which is due to close at the end of September), VAT bills coming due, and other business support schemes winding down.” 

2. UK – FinTech 

Finextra reports:

“Starling Bank has joined Monzo in leveling a range of new fees for services relating to its GBP and Euro accounts. 

Earlier this week, Monzo announced plans to slap free-loading users with a three percent charge for ATM withdrawals amounting to over £250 per month and a £5 fee for replacing lost cards.

Now Starling is getting in on the act, mimicking the £5 fee for replacing lost cards and adding a monthly £2 charge for new children's cards. The Connected card for vulnerable users will also get a £2 monthly fee but this will not affect existing users. Current account users who open an additional GBP account will also incur the £2 per month charge.

Meanwhile, account holders who choose to make payments through the large value clearing system Chaps will now have to fork out £20 per payment.” 

3. UK – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 


“UK-based Zopa, a digital bank and online lender, has reportedly started accepting credit card applications, as it continues to expand its line of products and services. 

The company is offering a credit card with annual percentage rates starting from 9.9%, however, there’s a representative APR of 34.9%. Customers may access a minimum credit limit of £200 and a maximum of £1,500. At present, Zopa’s credit card is in its soft-launch and other features may be added later on. 

The credit card may be appealing to customers who are interested in being able to apply for the card and manage their transactions via a user-friendly app. Its users will get timely payment notifications so that they can keep track of how their funds are being spent.” 

 

4. International – FinTech 

 

UK TechNews reports: 


“Visa and Vipps, the leading digital wallet in Norway, have announced a strategic partnership to accelerate mobile payments in Europe. 

Visa’s clients and partners will now be able to take advantage of the Vipps platform to create their own digital wallets and offer customers new ways to pay, be paid and manage their money. 

Covid-19 has accelerated the demand for secure, digital commerce solutions worldwide with more consumers and businesses than ever embracing digital payments as the preferred way to manage their everyday spend. 

In Europe, over 75 percent of Visa payments are now contactless and June 2020 saw ecommerce transactions increase by more than 25% year-on-year in twenty European countries.” 

5. International – FinTech 

 

A majority of senior professionals say COVID-19 has not halted plans to adopt open banking, according to a recent survey reported by AltFi.  

“The 1000 strong study of banks, lenders, retailers and personal finance management firms in the UK and Netherlands by YTS, found half (48 per cent) of all respondents saying COVID has not disrupted their open banking adoption plans, and a further 12 per cent now encouraged to accelerate their open banking adoption in the wake of the pandemic.  

Nearly a quarter said, however, that coronavirus has caused problems. 12 per cent said it had delayed firms adoption and 11 per cent said it had caused a halting of open banking plans.   

Of the respondents who aren’t currently using open banking (40 per cent), four in five (80 per cent) said they had either not considered using the technology in the last 12 months, or had never considered it at all.”