Hastee, a UK and Ireland-based fintech which allows employers to pay its workers ‘on-demand’ – be that hourly, daily or weekly – has today launched its contactless Visa debit card.
Since 2017, Hastee has paid users up to 50% of their hourly pay or yearly salary up front to their nominated bank account through its app, which tracks the pay workers accrue in real-time.
But now, Hastee users are being given a separate card specifically for spending their on-demand wages. The start-up says it’s the first card of its kind in the UK, as competitors such as SalaryFits partner with existing pre-paid card and e-wallet providers to pay workers.
Looking ahead, the fintech says it will use the card offering, which is powered by banking and payments solution provider Contis’ ‘Buffer’ technology, to develop cashback reward schemes.
Hastee built its proposition on the gig economy, with its CEO James Herbert having previously founded Brightsparks, a company which connects student and graduate talent to the world of work and events.
Now it’s finding larger companies are looking into these sorts of liquidity solutions for their workers too, further induced by the current coronavirus crisis which is encouraging big firms to find ways of retaining employees to avoid spending big money on hiring new talent.
So, whilst Hastee’s hospitality-based business will inevitably have been and be impacted by the UK’s furlough scheme, it seems the start-up has also been able to broaden its pool of potential client verticals. Some of its clients currently include IRIS Software, Just Eat and London City Airport.
The company’s chief technology officer Peter Ingram is the former CTO of London-based private hire taxi firm Addison Lee, where he worked for 17 years and helped grow the courier’s turnover from £10 million to £250 million over the course of 7-8 years. The firm now makes roughly £390 million annually.
Because of the on-demand business model at Hastee, Ingram tells FinTech Futures he has not had to face some of the challenges he faced at Addison Lee, like app download retention.
“Users visit our app on average one and a half times a day,” says Ingram. “They won’t necessarily withdraw cash, but they can see what they’re earning as they work for it.”
The start-up charges a 2.5% transaction fee on withdrawals over £10, which the company can decide whether it covers, or whether employees do. Generally, Ingram says users withdraw money once a week at an average value of £65-£70.
So far, the fintech has signed up 110,000 workers, and Ingram says Hastee is growing this figure 25% month-on-month. When the start-up signs up a new employer, it finds on average that 30% of the workforce will sign up to the platform. “We want to be the next PayPal,” says Ingram.
Since launch, the company has gathered plenty of transaction data on the users which sign up to its service. The top four categories of spend include essentials rather than frivolities: groceries, ATMs, subscriptions, and Amazon.
The fintech has set its sights on Spain, France and Italy for European expansion, having already familiarised itself with processing euros in Ireland.
NextGen.Net integration expertise gives Finsure strategic advantage
Finsure’s cloud-based broker CRM platform Infynity currently requires brokers to first upload, then re-download documents before they can upload and attach them to an application in ApplyOnline.
“This new piece of technology will enable the documents to be sent concurrently – similar to email attachments – and appear automatically in ApplyOnline,” says Simon Bednar, General Manager of Finsure Finance & Insurance and LoanKit Aggregation.
The solution will also integrate with their new customer portal.
“That’s where NextGen.Net and Finsure work really well together,” says Bednar.
“Our customer portal will allow customers to upload their documents on behalf of the broker. The broker will immediately see the documents in Infynity, confirm they’re correct and hit a button to send them to ApplyOnline along with the application data.”
Bednar estimates a 50 percent time saving, explaining “as part of that process we have a tax file number and sensitive data reduction piece of technology”.
“NextGen.Net work collaboratively with Finsure to ensure our systems talk to each other in a highly sophisticated manner to eliminate double handling and streamline the process from Point of Sale all the way to the lender’s approval,” says NextGen.Net national Customer Account Executive Greg Phillips.
“NextGen.Net and Finsure share the same vision to digitise and streamline the entire mortgage lending process,” says Phillips.
He adds that the seamless integration of ApplyOnline with Infynity, is “a holistic solution for Finsure’s brokers”.
Keen to take advantage of what open banking and NextGen.Net’s acquisition of Frollo might mean for their business, Bednar is excited about brokers being able to access borrower’s data directly from banks to inform an application.
“That’s exactly what I’m looking for, to have as little third-party integration and interaction as possible. It was great to see that NextGen.Net had that breadth of knowledge outside of submissions,” he says.
Bednar relies on NextGen.Net’s ApplyOnline platform to cover off on ‘efficiencies and accuracy’.
“That’s a huge piece of work in itself,” he exclaims, adding “we keep our platform open to allow brokers to be a little bit more fluid in how they collect the data; and the idea of them sending it to NextGen.Net is great for me because they effectively become the quality insurer and checker that allows our system to be efficient and accurate – so when it goes to the lender the data is complete.
“From a strategic partnership perspective that’s powerful.”
TrueLayer raises US$70m to build the world’s most valuable Open Banking network
TrueLayer, Europe’s leading open banking platform, today announced it has secured a US$70m Series D investment round led by new investor Addition. The latest raise reflects the growing demand for its open banking-based services and marks another significant milestone for TrueLayer on its mission to open up finance, building an open banking network that brings together payments, financial data, and identity to redefine how people spend, save, and transact online.
Existing investors, including Anthemis Group, Connect Ventures, Mouro Capital, Northzone, and Temasek, also participated, with a significant increase to the company’s valuation. Additional investors in the round include Visionaries Club, Surojit Chatterjee (CPO Coinbase), Zack Kanter (CEO Stedi), Daniel Graf (ex-Uber, Google, Twitter) and David Avgi (ex-CEO SafeCharge, CEO UniPaaS). It brings the total investment to date in TrueLayer to US$142m.
The new funding will be used to fuel global expansion and accelerate the development of premium open banking-based services that will continue to drive innovation and revenue growth for clients. It will also be used to expand TrueLayer’s engineering, product and commercial teams to meet the increasing global demand for its open banking platform.
TrueLayer’s API-first platform accounts for more than half of all open banking traffic in the UK, Ireland and Spain, processing billions of pounds in payments. It powers services for some of Europe’s fastest-growing brands, including Revolut, Trading 212 and Payoneer.
TrueLayer has a market-leading payment conversion rate that is 22% higher than other providers, according to OpenBanking UK and other bank sources, and up to 40% higher than cards. Merchants offering TrueLayer as a payment method in their checkout have found that on average, 1 in 3 consumers chose to pay via TrueLayer. As a result, open banking is displacing other payment methods, such as cards, as the default payment option online.
Over the past 12 months, TrueLayer has expanded its services across 12 European markets, growing payment volumes by 600x, and adding hundreds of new customers across digital banking, eCommerce, trading and investment, wealth management, crypto and iGaming. It has continued to innovate, for example, with the recent launch of PayDirect, combining instant pay-in capabilities with instant pay-outs, to deliver a higher converting, lower fraud method for online payments.
“When Luca and I started TrueLayer in 2016, we imagined open banking becoming a new digital channel for solving cost and complexities around payments, digital identity, credit data and much more. We wanted to open up this newly built infrastructure to many businesses and consumers. It is such a joy to see our vision coming alive and open banking based payments quickly becoming the new normal,” commented Francesco Simoneschi, CEO and Co-Founder at TrueLayer.
TrueLayer is rapidly expanding as demand for its open banking platform increases, largely driven by consumer demand for digital financial services that work better for them, and give them more control over their financial lives.
“We have achieved this milestone thanks to the hard work of our stellar team. Bringing radical new products into the hands of consumers and businesses is incredibly exciting,” explained Luca Martinetti, Co-Founder and CTO at TrueLayer. “This new financial network we are building on top of open architectures has massive long term implications for the whole fintech ecosystem and we won’t compromise our vision in any way.”
“That is why it is so important to select investors that can help you to plan for the next 15 years, not the next 15 months,” added Simoneschi. “The Addition team thinks very long term and it has been such a pleasure working together. They complement the incredibly strong group of experienced backers who align with our vision of how financial services are evolving.”
Lee Fixel, Founder of Addition, commented, “TrueLayer is ideally positioned to benefit from the trends shaping the future of financial services as more and more companies embed digitally native payments into their platforms. We look forward to supporting the TrueLayer team as they scale their offering and drive continued innovation.”
Novatti’s Ripple partnership live to The Philippines
Leading Australian digital banking and payments company Novatti, reports that its recently signed partnership with global payments disrupter Ripple, is now live with revenue-generating transactions taking place.
Ripple uses its decentralised, global financial network, RippleNet, to provide its partners with the ability to process global payments instantly, as well as providing access to emerging, high-growth capabilities, such as blockchain and the digital asset, XRP, a top five global cryptocurrency currently valued at more than USD$40 billion.
The initial focus of the partnership was to target cross-border transactions between Australia and the South- East Asia region, particularly the Philippines. This focus is delivering new customers, with Novatti now partnering with the Australian subsidiary of the Philippines’s largest non-bank, Filipino-owned, remittance service provider, iRemit, through RippleNet. This alone is expected to result in several thousand transactions a month being processed by Novatti through RippleNet. Revenue from this partnership is dependent on take-up of the services. Importantly, discussions are already underway to also expand this service to new financial services clients in South East Asia.
Managing Director of Novatti, Peter Cook, said, “We are delighted to see this partnership delivering for both Novatti and Ripple in such a short period of time. The partnership with Ripple not only provides Novatti’s customers with access to new, innovative payment solutions, it also highlights how Novatti’s partnerships translate into revenue.”
“Forming our partnership with Ripple was part of Novatti’s broader strategy to develop a banking and payments ecosystem that enables our existing platforms to scale quickly. In addition to Ripple, Novatti’s ecosystem now includes partnerships with world-leading payment and fintech companies including Visa, Apple Pay, Alipay, UnionPay International, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Marqeta and Decta.”
“The early success of Novatti’s partnership with Ripple also highlights the benefits of our broader overseas expansion since the start of this year, with new licences obtained for the New Zealand market and Emersion now up and running in the US. As shown through Ripple, this expansion opens Novatti up to new revenue opportunities, and provides us with greater exposure to the global demand for digital payments that we expect to accelerate going forward.”
Cape awarded MVP Grant to kickstart new wave of Open Banking powered business finance tools
Cape, the Corporate Card helping small to medium business (SMBs) take control of their cash-flow, has been awarded a prestigious Minimum Viable Product (MVP) grant by the NSW Government.
The Cape team is improving the operating efficiency and long-term success of growing businesses by automating accounting and helping lower their bills, enabling business owners to get their spend management under control. Cape’s solution utilises Open Banking to help businesses unlock capital to invest in growth, whilst optimising cash flow to save on unnecessary expenditure.
The grant was awarded thanks to Cape’s proposition to build a cash management platform to remove vendor, expense and spend management roadblocks, saving thousands of dollars in the process for business owners.
Cape’s founders said that the grant would go towards securing early-stage growth opportunities for the company, particularly in product development and sales initiatives, as the company seeks to transition out of the pre-revenue stage.
Ryan Edwards-Pritchard, CEO of Cape, commented, “We’re excited to have the support of the NSW government in our mission to help business owners stay on top of their cash and keep their companies healthy. The grant shows how invested the government is in developing the local economy and continuing New South Wales reputation as an active fintech hub.”
Stuart Ayers, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres commented, “It is fantastic to see promising startups such as Cape tap into the NSW Government’s Minimum Viable Product (MVP) grant. The MVP grant is designed to support promising startups like Cape progress from product development to first sales.
Cape is currently gearing up for their launch and will initially go to market with a Rewards platform, before delivering Machine Learning capabilities to streamline receipt and business expense management across supplies, third party services, SAAS subscriptions & payments.
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