Hello, we are this week beginning the second semester of the year 😮🚀
This week we bring you nothing less than all the essentials about the Fintech industry. From investments in crypto, to partnerships, to the closing of numerous branches from the Lloyd Banking Group. Keep on reading!
Also exciting news this week, a new deep-dive report is coming out on Starling Bank. But do not worry we will let you know as soon as is available! 🔥⏳
Barclays to invest in crypto firm Copper
Uk bank Barclays has taken a stake in a recent funding round of crypto firm Copper and has invested “millions of dollars” despite decreased enthusiasm for volatile digital assets.
Founded in 2018, Copper provides a gateway into the crypto asset space for institutional investors by offering custody, trading, and settlement solutions across 450 crypto-assets and more than 45 exchanges. The company's flagship product is ClearLoop, a framework that connects the universe of exchanges in one secure trading loop — with real-time settlement across multiple networks.
Copper had been in discussions for nine months ahead of its $500 million Series C funding round and had sought a $3 billion valuation.
The company has also drawn investors from LocalGlobe, Dawn Capital and MMC Ventures.
However, the firm recently hit a roadblock over FCA policy that required digital asset service providers to apply for temporary registration in order to continue trading after setting up in crypto haven Zug in Switzerland and its partnership with State Street.
In April 2022, Copper hired a team of executives from Bank of America to help build a prime brokerage offering. Read more here.
Temenos partners with Wipro to accelerate digital transformation
Cloud-native platform Temenos has deepened their partnership with Wipro to support banks of all sizes, speed up their modernisation journeys and expand go-to-market strategies in regions such as the UK, US, and Australia.
This collaboration combines Wipro’s technical expertise with Temenos’ composable banking capabilities, allowing banks to leverage this opportunity to deliver large-scale transformations across the front and back end.
Further, with improvements to digital and transactional processes, the timeline for modernisation will be reduced and operational efficiency increased. Alongside this announcement, Wipro also becomes a part of the Temenos IMPACT partner programme, which provides its clients with domain expertise to innovate with Temenos’ technology.
The evolution of the business landscape, coupled with emerging technologies, is compelling banks to shift and enhance their models. The DNA of banking is changing to be more open, agile and collaborative. By partnering with companies like Wipro, Temenos will be able to help banks unlock the full potential of our composable banking platform.
Monzo ordered to comply with banking rules
The Competition and Markets has ordered Monzo to comply with transaction rules after failing to send thousands of customers their historic financial transactions when leaving the digital bank.
Monzo has been slapped with legally binding directions enforceable in court after the lender breached an order that sets out that every customer must receive copies of their transaction history when they close their account.
Monzo told the CMA it had failed to send transaction histories to over 13,000 customers, despite reporting a similar breach last year. On that occasion the CMA issued a warning after the bank failed to provide transaction histories to more than 143,000 former account holders.
Monzo has since contacted all affected customers to offer them a copy of their transaction history. It has also put in place measures - including auto-alerts to warn staff when the system fails to issue transaction histories to customers - designed to prevent future failures.
The CMA cannot currently impose financial penalties on businesses for breaches of this kind but has called for the power to do so.
Learn more about Monzo in our deep-dive on the company.
Gemini partners with plaid for crypto purchases
Crypto exchange Gemini, has connected with open banking and payments platform Plaid, to provide UK customers with the option to buy cryptocurrency through their bank accounts.
The move highlights the increasing emergence of crypto in the financial ecosystem, opening the door for more retail consumers to build their digital asset portfolios.
The integration will allow customers to place deposits into their Gemini accounts without having to enter bank details or pay any extra fees. Through the move, Gemini users can make secure payments and transfers through Plaid, including the use of Apple and Google Pay.
In the US, Gemini account holders already use Plaid to verify identity, connect to their bank, and fund their accounts.
Integrating with Plaid in the UK supports Gemini's mission to increase the accessibility of crypto to more people around the world. UK users can now make payments from their bank accounts in minutes, without having to leave the Gemini app.
Plaid announced partnerships with crypto exchanges, including Gemini, Binance.us, SoFi and Robinhood, earlier this month. The payments platform plans to allow more users in funding their crypto accounts and support businesses in their customer onboarding. Read more here.
Nexi partners with Microsoft to develop digital payment solutions
Italian paytech Nexi has recently announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to digitise payments solutions and secure cloud-based infrastructures across the European market. Microsoft has also selected Nexi as its primary digital payment provider for e-commerce acceptance in Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and to expand to other countries in future.
Nexi will leverage Azure Cloud solutions to enhance its own platforms with increased innovation, agility, efficiency, cybersecurity and data protection, particularly with the Data Centre Modernisation and Consolidation scenarios and particularly the Italy North data centre region cloud services when made available.
Microsoft and Nexi will work together on ensuring market adoption of joint solutions and create new products that take advantage of both companies’ expertise. The two companies will collaborate to embed Nexi payments solutions with Microsoft Cloud services and solutions.
Lloyd to shut another 66 branches
Lloyd Banking Group has identified another 66 branches to closure over the next few months.
The UK lender will shut 48 Lloyds Bank branches and 18 Halifax branches between October and February.
The move continues a sustained programme of branch shutdowns from the bank as more customers choose to do their banking online.
In May the group revealed plans for 28 closures, just two months after a decision to shut 60. It still operates more than 1300 branches.
Visits to some branches have fallen by as much as 85% over the last five years.
Once all closures previously announced are complete, Lloyds Banking Group will have 1,321 branches — 646 Lloyds Bank, 510 Halifax and 165 Bank of Scotland.
In July, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposed updated guidance which will require banks and building societies to thoroughly assess the impact of changes to their services as it looks to curb the ever-increasing number of branch closures in the country.
The C-Innovation Team