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Alt Lending Week ended 23rd April 2021

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Bankrolling football’s  breakaway rebels is an own goal for JP Morgan

Practically all serious newspapers run this story but I liked Ben Marlow’s take on it. The new European super league has created a backlash of extraordinary ferocity across Europe particularly, of course, it’s supporters but also many establishment features. I particularly noticed the slogan scrawled across a banner being displayed by Manchester United fans which said “created by the poor stolen by the rich”. I will not dwell on the rights and wrongs of this episode but JP Morgan is very publicly facilitating this deal which is potentially the most egregious example of the unacceptable face of capitalism, and banking, that we have seen since the financial crisis of 2008. What’s more it is mainstream conversation among tens of millions of ordinary Europeans. At the same time JP Morgan is trying to enter the world of digital banking in the UK under the Chase Manhattan banner. Seems like Mr. Dimon does not quite get the European view on sport. This is a very political story and likely to reflect very badly on JP Morgan and capitalism in general.  At the time of writing it looks like the whole ridiculous idea is going to fall over but the 12 clubs and the bankers have shown their true colours and it will not be forgotten easily.

Goldman takes £ 50 million stake in Starling

While this is just pin money for Goldman and they have stated publicly it was a private equity investment and not connected presumably with any kind of strategic interest it certainly counts symbolically. Certainly CEO Anne Boden thinks so commenting that the Goldman connection will help them with their lending activities. We will see but lending profitably is going to be a big challenge over the next few years. Ms. Boden has built a valuable asset within what is becoming quite a crowded space. Is technology loosening the grip of the big four UK lenders? I couldn’t help notice that competition is providing 95% mortgages in the UK outside of the newly arranged government scheme. Was that supposed to happen? I don’t think so but it demonstrates the errors that are being made to support the UK housing market. Then end result will be to make properties even less affordable than they are now.

Banks mindful of mental health training staff to handle upcoming COVID debt collection

This story appeared at the weekend and shows the seriousness that is being attached to the undoubted bad publicity that will be forthcoming from the attempts banks make to recover sums advanced under the various, government guaranteed COVID support mechanisms. I cannot help but feel somewhat sorry for any institution that has got itself caught up in this and particularly the Fintech newcomers practically all of which are headed up by technical specialists. Undoubtedly they were pressurised to help out but the initial requirement to bring something to market quickly trumped all other considerations. The result will be huge bad debts, depression, suicides etc. and the bans will take some of the blame when it is really the government that should take the wrap. Life isn’t fair and some of the borrowers who took out these support facility never intended to repay them in the first place. The people who are going to have the sleepless nights are those who borrowed because they had no choice as the UK government had shut down their businesses through no fault of their own. It remains to be seen how it all pans out but I do not expect good outcomes. This is a lose-lose situation however one looks at it.

Howard Tolman is a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London,

We have a self imposed constraint of 3 news stories per week because we serve busy senior Fintech leaders who just want succinct and important information.

For context on Alt Lending please read the Interview with Howard Tolman about the future of Alt Lending and read articles tagged Alt Lending in our archives.

Daily Fintech’s original insight is made available to you for US$143 a year (which equates to $2.75 per week). $2.75 buys you a coffee (maybe), or the cost of a week’s subscription to the global Fintech blog – caffeine for the mind that could be worth $ millions.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://dailyfintech.com/2021/04/23/alt-lending-week-ended-23rd-april-2021/

Payments

Thiel-backed Block.one preps $10bn crypto exchange

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Block.one, the blockchain software firm backed by Peter Thiel, is pumping $10 billion into a new cryptocurrency exchange subsidiary.

The new unit, Bullish Global, is planning to launch its blockchain-based crypto exchange this year, promising to combine the performance, user privacy, and compliance offered by central order book technology with the vertically integrated user benefits of DeFi market architecture.

The new venture has been capitalised with over $10 billion in cash and digital assets following an initial injection by Block.one of $100 million, 164,000 BTC, and 20 million EOS tokens, which power Block.one tokens.

Another $300 million has been raised in a funding round joined by Thiel and fellow Block.one investors Alan Howard, Louis Bacon, Richard Li, Christian Angermayer, Galaxy Digital, and Nomura.

The exchange will offer automated market making, lending, and portfolio management tools to its users to deliver functionality that it says has previously been monopolised by incumbent players in traditional finance, while driving deeper liquidity to digital assets.

Bullish will utilise Block.one’s EOSIO and the EOS Public Blockchain to produce a cryptographically validated, provable, and immutable audit trail of all transactions processed on the platform.

Says Thiel: “Bullish’s balance sheet is strong, and its vertical integration offers stability and liquidity to the cryptocurrency space. I’m happy to join Bullish as an investor and advisor as it gets started on a long and fruitful journey.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/38025/thiel-backed-blockone-preps-10bn-crypto-exchange?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Engage People makes hiring push

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Engage People, the only loyalty network that enables program members to pay with points directly at checkout, is growing – and hiring.

The company currently has more than 25 job openings across North America and boasts the ability to onboard new team members remotely.

Open positions range from the DevOps and client success teams to human resources and graphic design. The preferred location for the positions is in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, but the company is location agnostic and will consider applicants from anywhere in North America.

“We are looking to grow our team to keep pace with the demand for loyalty solutions from our partners. Banks and retailers are coming to us because e-commerce is undergoing a fundamental transformation and we are at its vanguard,” said Len Covello, CTO. “Consumers increasingly expect to be able to shop online and pay via a variety of methods, including with loyalty points, and this shift represents more than an abating trend.”

Engage People’s hiring push comes as the company is undergoing significant growth. In 2020, Engage People experienced more than 30% year-over-year growth. This expansion was largely driven by the adoption and validation of the ‘Pay with Points’ (PwP) model, and 2021 promises even more as new customers and merchants are added.

“Engage People is a fantastic place to work,” said Jonathan Silver, CEO of Engage People. “We offer industry-leading pay and benefits. We also have an employee-first program aimed at enhancing employee engagement and culture, enriching the employee experience, and supporting the professional growth and development of our team. And, we are committed to having a diverse workforce, and this commitment extends to our willingness to hire employees located anywhere in the world.”
 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/87579/engage-people-makes-hiring-push?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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ClearBank chooses Napier transaction screening tech

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Napier, the London-based provider of next-generation anti-financial crime compliance solutions, has announced that it will be providing ClearBank, the cloud-based clearing bank, with its advanced Transaction Screening system.

As a purpose-built, technology-enabled clearing bank, ClearBank offers cloud-based banking services to financial service providers, FCA-regulated businesses and fintechs. Its new Transaction Screening system, built on Napier’s AI-enhanced technology, will allow ClearBank to identify sanctioned individuals and entities in payments, while reducing false positives and accurately alerting on risk.

Stuart Morley, CIO of ClearBank, commented: “As with all financial organisations, it is imperative that ClearBank has a robust sanction screening programme in place to support the industry in its constant battle against financial crime. Having gone through a thorough vendor selection process, we are delighted to have now joined forces with Napier, whose next-generation technology and AI-enhanced capabilities are leading the way in AML compliance. We feel this has the potential to become a long-term partnership with the RegTech provider.”

Napier works with institutions such as ClearBank around the globe to provide its AI-led platform for intelligent KYC, AML & trade compliance. Doubling its annual revenue in 2020, Napier has recently been strengthening both its senior management team and its roster of global customers.

Former HSBC Group COO and BCG Global Banking Chair, Andy Maguire, joined Napier as Board Advisor, while the RegTech provider was also recently named as the official anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing technology platform for Australia Post.

Julian Dixon, Napier CEO, said: “We are honoured to be the vendor of choice to help ClearBank supercharge its Transaction Screening. Our technology will help provide its agency and transaction banking services with a faster, smarter way to meet regulatory requirements while driving business efficiency.

“We are going to be building on this new relationship with ClearBank by partnering on future cutting-edge product development too, so there’s a lot to look forward to that will really raise the bar for the industry as a whole.” 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/87578/clearbank-chooses-napier-transaction-screening-tech?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Blockchain

Palantir Reveals First Quarter Results, Starts Accepting Bitcoin

Software and analytics maker Palantir today reported 49% revenue growth for its first quarter of 2021.

The post Palantir Reveals First Quarter Results, Starts Accepting Bitcoin appeared first on BeInCrypto.

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Software and analytics maker Palantir today reported 49% revenue growth for its first quarter of 2021.

Co-Founded by Peter Thiel, Palantir has built its business on lucrative government deals for their data analytics software. The company revealed that its government revenue hit $208 million for the period. However, they also improved their commercial returns with impressive growth across the United States of $133 million.

Founded in 2003 by PayPal’s Thiel, Palantir developed their software and analytics offerings through computer scientists and analysts from the intelligence agencies over three years. Their proposal being intelligence augmentation, the use of human analysts to explore data from many sources in an attempt utilize artificial intelligence effectively.

Last year, during the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, they were one of four large technology companies working with the NHS to track and contain the virus, among other exploits to combat the virus. Palantir was awarded a $44.4 million contract by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in December 2020.

This rounded off a year in which the company had also gone public, with its share price opening at $10 in September 2020 and rising as high as $19.89 today.

Significant crypto embrace

Palantir revealed, alongside their first quarter results, that they would now be accepting bitcoin as a form of payment from their clients. This move is in keeping with Peter Thiel’s other companies, PayPal and Venmo, who also embraced cryptocurrency payments.

Both companies allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through their applications and PayPal is even exploring the launce of a stablecoin. During this morning’s earnings call, they even said that the possibility of adding bitcoin to their balance sheet was, “definitely on the table.”

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A Social Science graduate from Trinity College Dublin, Adam is working in London while studying for a self-paced MicroMasters in Data, Economics and Public Development online with MITx.

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://beincrypto.com/palantir-starts-accepting-bitcoin/

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