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Automic Group partners with Five V Capital to accelerate Registry Industry Evolution

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Automic Group, the leading Australian cloud-based registry and professional services provider, announced today it has welcomed Five V Capital as a shareholder in the company.

Since launching in 2015 as the first integrated cloud-based registry platform to the Australian market, Automic Group has grown quickly to work with over 800 ASX listed and unlisted organisations from start-ups to established corporate entities. Today, Automic provides integrated corporate solutions for Legal, Registry, Company Secretarial, Governance and Finance services to clients, including Zip, Guzman & Gomez, NobleOak and helloworld travel.

This new partnership recognises the growth opportunity given the pace of technological change across the ASX and international markets, as well as heightened scrutiny on corporate governance capabilities. Automic offers Management Teams and Boards a single platform to manage governance needs, bringing simplicity to complex processes.

Under the terms of the agreement, Five V Capital will invest alongside existing shareholders and take a significant minority interest in Automic as part of a substantial capital injection.

Automic Managing Director, Paul Williams, welcomed Five V Capital as a shareholder, “Automic has always been at the cutting edge of customer success and market-leading technology. This partnership will accelerate our strategic growth initiatives and our ambition to reshape the Australian registry industry.

“We are proud to stay wholly Australian owned and be able to continue our world class client service now and into the future.”

Five V Capital’s Justin England added, “Five V Capital is focused on the growth of sustainable, market-leading businesses. In an increasingly connected world of technology, people and capital, Automic is well placed to meet the future market needs. With this partnership, we see great potential for this innovative technology to further digitise and streamline registry services across the listed and unlisted markets.”

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Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/automic-group-partners-with-five-v-capital-to-accelerate-registry-industry-evolution/

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From Affirm to Visa: The Latest from the Buy Now Pay Later Beat

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The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) revolution shows no signs of abating any time soon. A combination of newcomers, Buy Now Pay Later pioneers, and even credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard are figuring out new ways to integrate themselves into the biggest consumer commerce phenomenon since shopping by smartphone.

According to CNBC, which bases its analysis on data from FIS Worldpay, the Buy Now Pay Later market has an estimated value of $60 billion globally as of 2019 – though there are even higher estimates. Excluding China, this sum represents 2.6% of all e-commerce. And while BNPL represents less than 2% of sales in North America, the overall BNPL market, CNBC believes, could reach $166 billion by 2023.

Here is just a smattering of this week’s headlines from the Buy Now Pay Later beat that only underscores the velocity of the flight from credit cards and traditional consumer financing.

Stripe teams up with Klarna as BNPL competition from Square, PayPal intensifies

Klarna, a company with a long pedigree in providing consumers with alternative payment options, announced this week that it was partnering with ecommerce innovator and payments platform Stripe. The deal will enable Stripe customers in 20 countries to offer Klarna as a payment option to their customers. As part of the partnership, Klarna will use Stripe to accept payments from consumers in both the U.S. and Canada.

“Over the past years, Klarna and Stripe redefined the e-commerce experience for millions of consumers and global retailers,” Klarna Chief Technology Officer Koen Köppen said. “Together with Stripe, we will be a true growth partner for retailers of all sizes, allowing them to maximize their entrepreneurial success through our joint services. By offering convenience, flexibility, and control to even more shoppers, we create a win-win situation for both retailers and consumers alike.”

The partnership is widely seen as a way for Stripe to compete with payments rivals PayPal and Square, which have deepened their commitment to BNPL in recent months. Square agreed to acquire Australia’s Afterpay for $29 million in August. A month later, PayPal announced its $2.7 billion acquisition of Japanese Buy Now Pay Later company Paidy.


Affirm partners with American Airlines to ease cost of holiday travel

In a move well-timed to take advantage of end-of-year travel trends, American Airlines has announced a partnership with Buy Now Pay Later innovator Affirm. The collaboration will enable eligible travelers to pay for the costs of airfare over time on an installment basis, providing them with “flexibility, transparency, and control,” according to Affirm Chief Commercial Officer Silvija Martincevic. Using Affirm, travelers can pay for flights costing at least $50 with monthly installments without having to pay late fees or worry about hidden charges.

“While consumers are as eager as ever to get away,” Martincevic said, “they remain conscious of fitting travel into their budget.” Martincevic cited a survey conducted by the company that indicated that 74% of Americans queried said they would spend more on holiday travel this year “than ever before,” but that 60% were worried that they would not be able to “afford to travel as they would like to.”

The offering is currently available only to select customers, but will be expanded to include more U.S. consumers in the weeks to come. The collaboration marks the first time that American Airlines has integrated BNPL options into its website.


Marqeta and Amount announce collaboration to help banks offer BNPL

The partnership announced this week between card issuing platform Marqeta and bank technology provider Amount will make it easier for financial institutions to get into the Buy Now Pay Later business. Marqeta and Amount have forged a virtual card and loan origination partnership that will enable banks to go to market with their own BNPL/virtual card offering in months. This will help them boost revenues, grow market share, and promote loyalty.

Echoing the challenge that banks and other financial institutions face from Big Tech and fintech alike, Amount CEO Adam Hughes pointed to the partnership with Marqeta as a way for banks to close the consumer expectations gap between themselves and more tech-savvy, tech-native enterprises entering the financial services space. “Banks must compete or continue to lose market share to digital challengers who offer a more flexible way for their customers to pay,” Hughes said.

Part of what makes the Marqeta/Amount partnership interesting is how it takes advantage of research that suggests that a significant number of consumers who have used BNPL would prefer it if the service came from their bank or credit card provider. Amount’s modular approach to BNPL is configurable, easy to deploy, and integrates readily with banks’ legacy platforms, giving FIs the ability to introduce BNPL offerings over a variety of different channels and payment methods.


Berlin-based Billie banks $100 million in funding

The latest reminder of the international growth of Buy Now Pay Later comes from the $100 million investment secured by Berlin, Germany-based, B2B Buy Now Pay Later startup, Billie. The Series C round was led by U.K.-based Dawn Capital and featured participation from Tencent and, interestingly enough, Klarna. In fact, Klarna’s investment comes in the wake of a strategic partnership with Billie in which the two companies will integrate their service to better leverage their core competencies, with Billie serving business customers and Klarna handling retail consumers.

“BNPL for B2B is still in its infancy phase,” Klarna CEO and co-founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski explained, “even though the demand has never been higher. We are here to solve problems and by being able to offer this service to our merchant partners together with Billie, we are doing just that.”

The Series C round gives Billie a valuation of $640 million, and is believed to be the largest B2B Buy Now Pay Later funding round to-date. Co-founder and co-CEO of Billie, Dr. Matthias Knecht noted that those companies buying from larger businesses and individual retailers are increasingly embracing a “digital-first” approach that includes not just “modern user interfaces, high limits for shopping carts, as well as real-time decisions for B2B” but options like BNPL, as well. “There is nearly no provider of a BNPL product (for these companies) like what Klarna offers for B2C,” Knecht said. “We aim to close this gap.”


Visa expands BNPL offerings in Canada via partnership with Moneris

International card company and financial services provider Visa has been making inroads of its own into the Buy Now Pay Later market. This week, the company made headlines in the Canadian fintech news space via a new collaboration with unified commerce company Moneris.

“We’re happy to be working with a trusted brand like Visa Canada on providing a buy now pay later option to Canadians,” Moneris Chief Product and Partnership Officer Patrick Diab said. “Bringing flexible payment methods like buy now pay later to our merchants helps them offer their customers more options when it comes time to pay.”

Courtesy of the new collaboration, merchants partnered with Moneris will be able to leverage Visa’s BNPL solution – Visa Installments – to give eligible Canadian credit cardholders access to installment payments on qualifying purchases. Cardholders can use the existing credit on their cards to pay for purchases in smaller, equal payments over a defined time period, with no additional, new service sign ups or requirement to apply for a new line of credit.

Moneris is set to begin offering Visa Installments to its customers by the spring of 2022.


Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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Source: https://finovate.com/from-affirm-to-visa-the-latest-from-the-buy-now-pay-later-beat/

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NTUC Income Expands Micro Insurance Offering to Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia

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NTUC Income, an insurance cooperative in Singapore, made its first overseas foray into three Southeast Asian markets namely Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The company had formed partnerships with PT Central Asia Financial (JAGADIRI) in Indonesia, Post and Telecommunication Joint Stock Insurance Corporation (PTI) in Vietnam and VSure Tech Sdn. Bhd (VSure) in Malaysia.

These strategic alliances are built on Income’s Insurance-as-a-Service (IaaS) model that enables the company to bring digital-first insurance business models to partners overseas.

This enhances their speed-to-market, and equip them with the right capabilities and tools to capture new customer segments and revenue streams.

As part of Income’s strategic partnerships with JAGADIRI, PTI and VSure, these companies will be the first in Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia to launch Droplet respectively across four cities including Greater Jakarta, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as Kuala Lumpur.

Droplet is a micro-insurance product that is designed to address price surges on ride-hailing platforms during rainy days.

Andrew Yeo

Andrew Yeo

Andrew Yeo, Chief Executive Officer at NTUC Income said,

“The market potential of countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam is huge given their relatively young populations and high mobile penetration rates. JAGADIRI, PTI and VSure are well-respected brand names in their respective markets.

We are honoured to have them onboard our IaaS model and look forward to bringing more ground-breaking insurance propositions to delight customers and plug the protection gaps in these markets.”

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Source: https://fintechnews.sg/56726/insurtech/ntuc-income-expands-micro-insurance-offering-to-indonesia-vietnam-and-malaysia/

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Regulatory Sandboxes Chug Along, Find A Place In The Sun

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Initially conceptualized for fintech, regulatory sandbox programs have since expanded to other areas. These sandboxes benefit innovators by allowing government regulations to be exempted in usage of new technologies and innovations, until regulators can ascertain the product or service is useful. Buffeting specific themes for new products, sandboxes stimulate business growth and serve to launch up-and-coming companies.

UK-based Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched one of the world’s first fintech regulatory sandboxes in 2016. Since then, the number of jurisdictions with sandboxes has skyrocketed. Per World Bank’s 2020 Report, 73 fintech-related sandboxes were operating globally in 57 jurisdictions. Though most promoted innovation in delivery of financial services, several encouraged insurtech, blockchain and regtech solutions.

In insurance, sandboxes have helped businesses develop services outside the status quo and explore ideas that better serve customers. US states with insurance sandboxes include:

  • Kentucky, the first state with a comprehensive framework for an insurance “sandbox” in 2019 which is open until 2025.
  • West Virginia established a sandbox this July to encourage insurance businesses into the state that would otherwise be subject to regulatory hurdles.
  • This March, South Dakota signed into law a regulatory sandbox targeting insurers, where companies can offer their products or services in a controlled environment for up to two years.
  • Utah passed a bill this March to expand the scope of its sandbox program.
  • Vermont deployed an insurance sandbox in 2020, allowing its State Department to waive laws prohibiting the introduction of more innovative services.

Mandates under sandboxes typically require offered products to be available to fewer than 10,000 consumers or being limited to a 12-month period with a one-time 12-month extension. Successful applicants may be required to post a consumer protection bond or similar assets as security for potential losses suffered by consumers. In most cases, the sandbox is required to submit a final report to the applicable State agency at the end of its pilot.

The challenge in providing appropriate regulatory frameworks is that traditional regulation and rule-making processes haven’t kept pace with technology. Hence, regulators are evolving and collaborating with industry experts to implement flexible programs that balance consumer protection and foster innovation. North Carolina(NC) became the latest state when it signed the NC Regulatory Sandbox Act this month into law, making it the 10th state to launch a “regulatory sandbox”.

NC’s addition is important not only due to it’s large banking and technology industries but also because fintech sandboxes are all working to generate evidence for issues that could help build consensus for national standards.

Other advantages envisaged are to:

  • Facilitate market entry
  • Foster partnerships
  • Strengthen competition
  • Enable market development
  • Build regulatory capacity

Evidence shows that thematic sandboxes effectively encourage particular technologies or products to come to market. While  nearly 60% of sandboxes target general fintech innovations, some have adopted specific themes, such as enhancing blockchain technology, innovations in insurance or payment systems, or digital authentication technologies.

In hindsight, 22% of fintechs that participated in the FCA sandbox have since gone out of business. Participation in sandboxes doesn’t guarantee success. Of 108 fintechs across six cohorts, nine of 24 from the second and five of 29 from the fourth, shut down. To put in context, 60% of new businesses in UK fail within three years versus 22% among FCA’s cohorts, underlining the difficulty for startups to sustain with or without sandboxes.

However, fintechs continue to be enthused about sandboxes despite it not assuring market success. Studies have validated that sandboxes deliver real value to firms, be it from guidance for applying regulation or innovative propositions or stress testing business models. While regulators are not in the business of picking winners, the overwhelming feedback it that being accepted into the sandbox and proving the technology increases the credibility of firms with investors and customers alike.

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Source: https://dailyfintech.com/2021/10/28/regulatory-sandboxes-chug-along-find-a-place-in-the-sun/

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Zeal Solutions and Basiq partner to leverage consumer-consented data throughout the credit lifecycle

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With the Comprehensive Credit Reporting (CCR) regime, Consumer Data Right (CDR), and the proliferation of alternative credit, detailed analysis of a borrower’s financial viability is more important than ever. Comprehensive, accurate and up to date customer financial data can not only help financial institutions better service borrowers with a positive credit history and a new generation of ‘borrowers’ but also those going through financial hardship.

To help more providers and lenders take advantage of consumer-consented data throughout the credit lifecycle, Basiq and Zeal Solutions have partnered to provide enriched credit assessment solutions that accelerate customer onboarding with real-time data and improve servicing and decisioning through transaction insights.

Since 2006, Zeal Solutions has helped some of Australia’s largest financial institutions manage consumer and commercial credit risk with a suite of products and services across loan origination, debt collection and compliance. By partnering with Basiq, Zeal is now able to get a live feed of financial data, whether it’s being stored in a bank, fintech or alternative credit provider. Basiq ensures all the data returned is normalised and enriched for insights so that Zeal can help make the best financial decisions on behalf of customers. This includes identification of discretionary versus non-discretionary spend to better assess an applicant’s current financial situation as well as their ability to adjust spending to improve affordability in the future.

Specifically, Zeal will use Basiq’s consumer-consented transaction data and insights to:

  • Accelerate onboarding processes with the ability to instantly understand customer spend and their ability to service a loan based on up to two years of transaction data.
  • Add Personal Financial Management functionality to provide customers with insights into spending and saving patterns.
  • Provide clients with ‘Customer Assistance’ tools that help customers repay their debts through informed transaction data.

By partnering with Basiq Zeal Solutions can also provide clients with ongoing visibility into a customer’s finances. Having real-time, ongoing digital visibility into a customer’s financial position can assist customers in repayments through tailored payment plans. This extends to automated notices and reminders. Zeal Solutions Digital Collect Ezee system also provides an integrated payment gateway, which combined with their real-time system, provides a powerful solution to increase collection rates.

For Zeal’s CEO, Dion Nathanielsz, financial data is key to revolutionising credit risk management, adding, “Only recently have we started to see the use of alternative data sets in credit performance. The benefits are clear but there’s been little in the market that reflects how powerful financial data can be. We are extremely excited with this partnership as it allows us to execute on these benefits and leverage transactional data insights to improve every aspect of the credit lifecycle for borrowers and lenders.”

As the CDR facilitates more Open Banking participation, Basiq will allow Zeal to take advantage of comprehensive, accurate and up to date customer financial data from an even wider set of institutions. For Basiq CEO, Damir Ćuća, open access to enhanced data will reduce the information imbalance between borrowers and lenders whilst helping borrowers through hardship.

“Mandated data sharing under Open Banking and CCR make it possible to better differentiate and service customers based on risk. Making this more accessible will only lead to better pricing for low-risk customers, more accurate lending decisions and the ability to better assist customers going through financial hardship.”

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Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/zeal-solutions-and-basiq-partner-to-leverage-consumer-consented-data-throughout-the-credit-lifecycle/

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