News Briefing - Crowdfunding, SME And Alternative Finance

crowd at an airport, man works on laptop

1.UK – FinTech 

Altfi reports: 

Zopa has poached a Monzo exec for its new chief risk officer. 

Graham Robinson, Monzo’s former director of credit risk, will move into the CRO role and brings with him over two decades of experience within the financial sector, including more than 18 years at Captial One. 

Robinson joins the bank just over a year after Zopa bagged its banking licence and will help the digital bank to further its growth.” 


2. UK – FinTech 

Finextra runs a profile interview: 

“Finextra sat down with Mode’s chief commercial officer Rita Liu – also former CEO of AliPay UK, to discuss Mode’s recent partnership with trade association CryptoUK, and how market players and regulators are boosting adoption and education around crypto. 

October 2021 saw the fintech launch its open banking-powered QR payments service on The Hut Group’s (THG) tech platform, THG Ingenuity. The platform’s use of Mode will see QR codes as a key mode of payment for users of the group’s 30+ digital commerce merchants.

Making digital wallets de rigueur in the UK

Liu explains that she joined Mode because she shares the same vision as its founder, Jonathan Rowland, in his belief that the UK fintech scene needs a wallet ecosystem that disrupts legacy systems.

Emerging technologies such as open banking reinforce the opportunity for this. “In simple terms, we’re building a digital wallet powered by open banking. We're facilitating account to account payment between merchants and users.”

Mode’s wallet technology is built on QR codes, designed to be omni channel, and was inspired by successful examples of digital wallets such as AliPay or WeChat Pay.” 


3. UK - FinTech 


Altfi reports: 

“Just three weeks after hitting one million customersFreetrade has reached another milestone. 

The trading and investment platform has surpassed £1bn in assets under administration after just three years in operation. 

As it stands, Freetrade is the second largest retail broker by the number of trades on the London Stock Exchange. 

“It’s humbling that our customers have entrusted over £1 billion in assets with us. We built Freetrade to make investing more accessible, supporting our customers in making decisions that should benefit their finances over the long term,” Adam Dodds, CEO and co-founder of Freetrade, said.” 


4. International – FinTech 

Finextra reports: 

“A full-scale, multiple central bank digital currency (mCBDC) network could potentially save global corporates up to $100 billion in transaction costs annually, according to a joint research report from Oliver Wyman and JPMorgan. 

The report estimates that of the nearly $24 trillion in wholesale payments that moved across borders via the correspondent banking network each year, global corporates incur more than $120 billion in total transaction costs; this excludes potential hidden costs in trapped liquidity and delayed settlements.

Jason Ekberg, partner, corporate and institutional banking at Oliver Wyman, states: “The case for CBDCs to address pain points in cross-border payments is very compelling. The bulk of today’s wholesale cross-border payments process remains sub-optimal due to multiple intermediaries between the sending and receiving banks, often resulting in high transaction costs, long settlement times, and lack of transparency on the status of the payments."

The research specifically outlines four critical elements required for mCBDC implementation, which include (i) the building blocks, from minting and redeeming of CBDCs to FX conversion and settlement; (ii) the roles and responsibilities of central banks, commercial banks, and service providers; (iii) the key design considerations covering data, technology, privacy, and credit extension; and (iv) the governance framework.” 


5. International – FinTech 


Crowdfundinsider reports: 

“International provider of Cloud-enabled data automation and reconciliation services, Duco, confirms that digital currency platform, Coinhako, has adopted Duco’s services in order to automate and control its data management, supporting the firm’s growth objectives. 

Established in 2014, Coinhako is a platform for access to digital assets like Bitcoin. Headquartered in Singapore, the firm specializes in on-and-off ramp services for crypto-assets with local currencies, and they maintain operations in multiple countries across the APAC region. 

As noted by its management, the Coinhako platform was founded by Singaporean entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, and they’re backed by established investors including Tim Draper, Josh Jones, as well as VC firm Boost VC. 

Coinhako is focused on creating an intuitive and seamless way to access a wide range of virtual currencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Cardano (ADA), among several others. The Duco platform will aim to automate control reconciliations across all business or company lines internationally in order to assist Coinhako with handling the increasing volumes in cryptocurrency trading and technicalities in their business operations.”