Fintech Roundup Newsletter: Issue 3

A summary of the fintech space from Gauss Ventures

Ecology Media
Sep 18, 2020 · 5 min read

elcome to our third fintech roundup newsletter, where we share the latest industry highlights. (Read our previous issue here.)

Our very own Dr Ruth Wandhöfer will be speaking at the October Women in Payments ASEAN Symposium on “The Future of Cross Border Payments in ASEAN”. Total fintech investment in ASEAN this year is poised to exceed US$338 million. With many new channels and means for businesses and consumers to spend, send, and receive money today, what is the future of cross border payments in ASEAN? Joining her on the panel will be Georgia Hanias (Ecology Media); Dora Ziambra (Azimo); Judy Bei (Standard Chartered); and Aditi Sholapurkar (Nium).

As part of The Fintech Times focus this September on Women in Fintech, Dr. Wandhöfer has also shared her top five female-led UK fintech innovations that are poised to thrive. These are Goldex, Darktrace, Inbotiqa, WorldRemit and Starling Bank.

Curve extended its Curve card to Google Pay in 14 European countries. Customers can now link their Curve card to Google Pay and use it at terminals, online, or go plastic free. Customers in Germany, Poland, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Croatia, and Slovakia can now access payments through their Android phones, as Curve customers do in the UK.

In other Curve news — over 10M Samsung users in the UK can now sign up for their own Samsung Pay Card Powered by Curve. This all-new Samsung Pay Card is a simple to use digital-first card, meaning that users can access a better banking experience through their Samsung smartphone and smartwatch.

Klarna has launched social shopping in the UK through a new app — with the move signalling a deep dive into social shopping in Britain. The app has been created to adjust to shifting consumer expectations as they adjust from a physical in-store shopping world to one that is unfolding largely online.

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

Klarna has also reached the ranking of the highest valued private fintech in Europe (and fourth highest worldwide) after raising $650 million in an equity funding roundat a post money valuation of $10.65 billion. The Swedish buy now, pay later app has over 12 million monthly active users worldwide and 55,000 daily downloads.

McKinsey has warned the fintech sector is set for an “existential crisis” as funding sources fade in the aftermath of COVID-19. The pandemic has essentially shrunk the runway for many fintechs which are still not profitable. The consultancy has suggested that fintechs will need to adjust accordingly.

Visa has released Click to Pay in Canada which transforms the online checkout experience. This helps consumers to perform secure purchases across a variety of platforms. Click to Pay is based on the EMV Secure Remote Commerce industry standard.

While global tensions rise around data security issues, Beijing revealed a “data security initiative” to function as “a global standard for data security.” Via video link from Beijing, the Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the eight-part framework that addresses issues such as Beijing’s handling of user data.

Alibaba is in talks to invest $3 billion in Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings Inc. As a sole investor in the round, Alibaba will use a portion of the funds to take over some of the Grab stock currently held by Uber. The deal would be one of Alibaba’s largest bets on Southeast Asia since its first investment in Lazada in 2016.

Tech Nation (which is supported by HM Treasury) has launched a new Fintech Pledge setting out key principles for banks’ behaviour while integrating a new fintech partner — with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest Group and Santander committing to upholding these principles. These banks have said they shall “provide clear guidance to firms on how their on-boarding process works; provide clarity throughout that process; give a named contact, guidance and feedback; uphold good practice; and ensure all of the above happen within the next six months.”

In the United States, the market value of big fintech companies has risen to $1 trillion, eclipsing that of the largest banks. Specifically, the market caps of payment stocks such as Visa and MasterCard have overtaken the value of Wall Street’s biggest banks. Square, Visa, PayPal and MasterCard are cumulatively worth $1.07 trillion, while the “big six” banks (JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs) are altogether worth less than $900 billion.

COVID-19 has put liquidity management front and center as the survival strategy for corporations,” writes Havell Rodrigues, fintech entrepreneur and co-founder/CEO of Adjoint Inc in Forbes. “This has, in turn, put the onus on CFOs to ensure they have the right processes in place to manage their financial operations and invest in optimal technology solutions.” To future-proof investments in modern digital process management tools, he outlines what CFOs should watch out for.

Traydstream has brought on Moshe Wolfson as its new sales and origination lead for European banks. He joined the company this month, after spending over 12 years at Surecomp (a provider of trade finance systems to banks and corporates) where he had been acting as executive vice-president of sales.

“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting,” Pawel Kuskowski, co-founder and CEO of Coinfirm quotes David Bowie in City A.M. where he writes about ‘Being in the right place to do something exciting’ in the Crypto AM Founders Series.

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Gauss Ventures

Seeing big numbers in the world of fintech