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Moven Minds its Business in B2B Pivot

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Blame it on the ‘rona? In a transition announced earlier this week, Moven – which made headlines recently with its partnership with Saudi Arabia’s STC Pay – is moving away from the direct to consumer / neobank model to focus on what founder Brett King summed up as “our distributed smart banking and financial wellness capabilities.”

“It has become patently clear we need to focus our energies and our resources on the segment of our business where we can reach the most consumers moving forward,” King said.

The company specifically noted the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Moven’s funding pipeline as a leading factor in the decision. The company emphasized that its Enterprise business remains healthy and well-funded.

“The Moven brand now has the opportunity to represent patented financial well-being, available to enterprises of all types,” Head of Moven’s U.S. Strategy Denny Brandt said. “Our patent gives us competitive strength in a rapidly evolving B2B environment. We continue to be involved in ventures in multiple geographies where we power direct-to-consumer banking services.”

Moven announced that it will close customer accounts at the end of April. The company has begun to communicate with accountholders to let them know what to expect as well as to ensure a smooth transition.

Founded in 2011, Moven made its Finovate debut a few years later at FinovateEurope in London, earning a Best of Show award. The New York-based company, among the first to combine smartphone apps, debit cards, and bank accounts as part of a unified strategy for managing personal finances, launched Moven Enterprise in 2016 to license its technology to banks and other financial institutions. Moven Enterprise debuted on the Finovate stage at FinovateEurope in 2017, showing how its engagement platform brings value to customers while producing measurable, positive business outcomes for banks.

Notably, Moven’s partnership with STC Pay is not the company’s first foray into the MENA region. A little over a year ago, Moven announced that it was teaming up with Bahrain-based Almoayad Technologies, which is leveraging the company’s technology to help fulfill the open banking mandate from the country’s central bank.

Source: https://finovate.com/moven-minds-its-business-in-b2b-pivot/

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The “Future Is Bright” for Qatar’s Fintech Firms that can Survive COVID-19 and Partner with Incumbents, According to Financial Services Professional

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Fintech adoption in Qatar is on the rise, as more consumers are making digital or online payments, instead of using cash due to COVID-19.

The nation’s residents have been asked to follow safe distancing measures in order to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus. There are nearly 45,500 reported Coronavirus cases in Qatar and there are at least 26 confirmed deaths from the virus (at the time of writing).

Henk Hoogendoorn, managing director of the Financial Sector Office at the Qatar Financial Center (QFC), stated:

“There has been substantial infrastructure and regulatory work [that has been completed] in the country to prepare [for Fintech adoption].”

The country’s reserve bank is “actively working” on Fintech initiatives.

The Gulf Times reports that several local organizations, including the Qatar Fintech Hub, have teamed up with the QFC in order to support various initiatives led by Fintech entrepreneurs, industry experts, regulators and investors.

The Qatar Financial Center reported a substantial 33% growth, in January 2020, with over 800 Fintech, IT, tax, and investment consulting firms now part of the organization (as of 2019).

The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has introduced the Qatar Mobile Payment System (QMP), which allows users to conduct secure digital payments.

QCB Governor Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud al-Thani noted that the reserve bank is working cooperatively with local organizations to support various Fintech projects.

The Qatar Development Bank has established the Fintech Incubator and Accelerator programs, which will aim to support early-stage financial technology firms.

Hoogendoorn revealed that financial institutions throughout the world are increasingly looking to work with tech firms, instead of using in-house solutions. Many traditional financial service providers prefer to collaborate with Fintechs in order to streamline their operations with appropriate digital transformation strategies.

Hoogendoorn remarked:

“For the Fintech organisations that can weather the Covid-19 storm, and partner with banks that have traditionally lagged in adoption of technological innovations, the future certainly looks bright.”

He expects disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to play a key role in improving the existing financial systems and supporting infrastructure.

He argued that consumer and SME lending platforms that can provide funding to important segments of Qatar’s economy should see steady demand for their services even after the pandemic has passed.

He claims:

“As SMEs around the world have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, traditional lending models are, now more than ever, posing a barrier in accessing funding for SMEs.” 

According to Hoogendoorn, Fintech-focused solutions could help provide capital to SMEs during these challenging times.

He added:

“As social distancing becomes an essential part of daily life, and is subsequently accelerating the need for digital solutions, new opportunities may be created for niche Fintech streams with certain winners well-positioned to grow on the back of the ongoing situation.”

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/05/161919-the-future-is-bright-for-qatars-fintech-firms-that-can-survive-covid-19-and-partner-with-incumbents-according-to-financial-services-professional/

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Hong Kong’s HKT Financial Services, the Fintech Arm of HKT Group, Introduces Digital Financing Platform

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Hong Kong-based HKT Financial Services, the Fintech division of the HKT Group, has launched another Fintech project, HKT Flexi, a digital or online financing platform that allows users to make payments via the HKT Flexi App.

HKT Financial Services offers mobile payments, merchant services, O2O solutions, insurance packages under the Tap & Go, HKT Merchant Services and HKT Care.

HKT Financial Services is a key part of HKT Group’s digital ecosystem, which provides an integrated and user-friendly platform to consumers and merchants. The company aims to support greater financial inclusion through a customer-centric approach.

The new HKT Flexi app allows customers to create a new account in minutes from anywhere and at any time.

Customers should first download the app, go through the quick digital onboarding process (which uses facial recognition), and then apply for an installment service plan.

After completing the application, users will be immediately notified about whether they’ve been approved. They can then look at their loan information via the app’s “My Installments” sector. They can also manage their repayments schedule through the software’s “Repayment Schedule” section.

The app sends SMS reminders each month when repayments are due. The app also comes with a loan calculator that aims to provide better transparency on monthly repayment amounts.

HKT Flexi is currently available when customers make purchases at HKT, 1O1O or csl shops. The app may be used to apply for a 1-year installment plan with a “personalized” interest rate, which may give users more flexibility with how they manage their cash flow.

The new service will be available at all outlets and online channels across HKT Group.

HKT Flexi customers will be able to get a special discount while being able to earn 1,250 club points, when they buy any smartphone, HDTV, notebook, or any other electronic device via the HKT Flexi App.

Customers may also receive a special service fee rebate if they subscribe to a csl 5G service plan. These promotional offers are valid until August 31, 2020.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/05/161924-hong-kongs-hkt-financial-services-the-fintech-arm-of-hkt-group-introduces-digital-financing-platform/

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Tencent, Parent Company of WeChat, to Invest $70 billion into Blockchain, AI, Cybersecurity & More in Pursuit of New Infrastructure

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Tencent, a massive Chinese conglomerate that also operates WeChat, is planning to invest $70 billion over the next five years. The money will go into “new infrastructure” including areas like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cybersecurity, big-data and more. This is according to a report in Reuters that referenced Dowson Tong, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent – who was speaking to Chinese state media.

This new infrastructure strategy is being driven, in part, from the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. Tencent expects to see “accelerated cloud services and enterprise software adoption from offline industries and public sectors over the longer term.”

Tencent’s Fintech services include WeChat Pay and QQ Wallet. These services connect people with financial products and solutions, like payments, wealth management, online lending, and more. In many respects, Tencent’s pursuit of ubiquitous financial products is a vision for the future of all financial services. There when you need them but not obtrusive.

Regarding blockchain, Tencent says it is committed to expanding and deepening its uses and provides partners with blockchain infrastructure and industry solutions. In August 2018, under the guidance of the State Administration of Taxation, the Shenzhen Municipal Office of the State Administration of Taxation led the implementation of blockchain in the country, issuing the first blockchain e-receipt in Shenzhen.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/05/161968-tencent-parent-company-of-wechat-to-invest-70-billion-into-blockchain-ai-cybersecurity-more-in-pursuit-of-new-infrastructure/

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