Rapyd, a fintech as a service company, has announced on Tuesday the launch of its service in the United Kingdom, allowing both local and global businesses to access every major local payment method — such as cash, bank transfers, e-wallets, and cards — through one easy to integrate connection.
The London-headquartered platform is offering a “full-stack” solution that brings fragmented local payment solutions in a specific country into a single, integrated connection, meaning it allows businesses operating outside the UK to operate in the UK market from anywhere in the world, all through one platform.
“The idea behind our full-stack offering is simple: provide companies with the capability to accept every major local payment method without having to expend resources to build complex payments infrastructure needed to power fintech and commerce applications as digital payments accelerate,” Sarel Tal, vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Rapyd, said.
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Another payments unicorn aiming to disrupt the market
Rapyd has partnered with major payment gateways including Visa, Mastercard, Payzone, and ClearBank for offering its services.
It is primarily targeting fintech services, cross-border B2B companies, neo-banks, gig-economy platforms, and global retailers operating globally to tap into any specific global markets. According to the company, its services will save the companies costs and alignment with complex regulatory requirements.
Founded in 2016, the company is also well-funded and raised $170 million to date, per Crunchbase, and valued at nearly $1 billion. It is backed by major venture capitals and tech firms including Tiger Global, Coatue, General Catalyst, Stripe and Entrée Capital.
“With the launch of this platform, Rapyd is making operating in the UK market as simple and efficient as it can be for companies around the world,” said Martin Rouse, retail director at Payzone. “We are excited to work with Rapyd to provide local payment options for companies around the globe and help them grow their businesses and provide better payment options for UK consumers.”
FinovateAsia: Innovation in Customer Experience, Regtech, and Financial Crime
How have customer expectations changed as financial services companies around the world rush to embrace digital transformation? How can technology be leveraged to provide more personalized financial solutions without violating privacy or adding unnecessary complexity? What is the role of digital identity technology in making the online and mobile worlds safer places for all of us to work and live?
On our final day of FinovateAsia Digital, these are some of the questions our fintech industry experts answered – often with surprising responses. From the rise of “the offer you can’t refuse” in customer experience to negotiating between the helping hand of government and its ever-present regulatory arms, our experts bring a wealth of experience and insight into fintech’s most urgent themes.
If you missed any of the conversation from FinovateAsia Digital this week, then you’re in luck. You can still register and gain access to an entire week worth of informed commentary and lively discussion on the biggest trends shaping fintech in Asia.
On the opportunities in digital and the rise of new customer expectations
I think if you look at what happened in the first few months of this year, I tend to call this the biggest digital training course the world has ever seen. We had to turn to digital for every aspect in our life. And we learned the benefits of digital, like working from home. Sometimes it’s really fun and sometimes it’s really challenging. But it’s part of our day-to-day life and it won’t disappear soon.
I think we’re at the beginning of a new phase of customer experience. Customer expectations will change. I think that in the last ten years, we mainly saw an evolution of digital convenience, and many companies understood that and became really big because of that. I think that situation has matured. In my opinion, we’re at the beginning of a new curve, of new customer expectations that will be formed thanks to new technologies like AI, IoT, 5G, quantum computing, robotics, the general purpose technologies … But it’s not going to just be technology that drives new customer expectations, it will also going to be personal dreams and wishes, and also the challenges the world will be facing.
–-Steven Van Belleghem, Author, Customers The Day After Tomorrow
On leveraging advanced technologies to deliver more personalized solutions
I’m a techie. And that’s true for the rest of our team. We love our algorithms, our data models. And one of the things we’ve learned is that sometimes (with) personalization, the best one (solution), the most engaging one, does not come from the most clever models that you come up with, but instead comes from fairly simple rules. So it should not be underestimated: you should not fall in love with your beautiful, artificial intelligence and data science models to the detriment of simplicity, because sometimes simplicity is what is bringing the most engaging content.
Another (lesson) we learned as well very early on is to make sure that customers and users are in control. And that whatever bite-sized, personalized piece of content you are delivering to them is going to give them them the option to say “stop” or “give me more” or “give me less often” … (to put them) in control of that feed of information they are receiving.
–Olivier Berthier, CEO and Co-founder, Moneythor
On the challenge of providing digital identity solutions in an increasingly globalized world
If I was to look at the way that digital identity is changing the landscape, I think actually what we’re seeing at the moment is really the proliferation of a lot of intermediating layers. So there is quite a number of different platforms that are evolving, platform players that are actually doing a lot of the heavy lifting for a lot of the companies in the fintech space. So whether you might be talking about somebody like Onfido or any of their competitors, there’s been this whole big wellspring of different types of companies that are actually doing that integration work.
And I think they have been carrying off the back of a lot of the actual governmental work that’s been happening to come up with different digital identity models. These are very complex problems, but I think given that the last decade or so, a lot of trade has been increasingly globalized, payments have been increasingly globalized, it’s become very difficult for people to keep pace with the change of all of these different governments coming up with different types of systems and experimenting.
–Danielle Szetho, Fintech Client Advisory, Standard Chartered Bank
Available On Demand for five days after the end of the conference week, FinovateAsia Digital is a unique opportunity for those interested in learning more about fintech in the Asia-Pacific region. Browse our all-digital presentations, interviews, and discussions; network with fellow attendees; and gain key insights into the trends driving fintech innovation in critical, emerging markets. Visit our FinovateAsia Digital Hub and register today.
Real-time payments: driving future innovation in the US
Moving money efficiently and quickly is essential for modern-day life and commerce. To that end, there are now over 46 countries live with instant payments schemes and the global real-time payments (RTPs) market is set to reach $26 billion by 2023, according to research by Markets and Markets. But not every RTP journey is the same.
In the US, the maturing RTP infrastructure is a catalyst for wider payments transformation initiatives which will increase competitiveness and deliver new, enhanced and resilient services for customers. Yet, significant challenges must be addressed before these opportunities can be realised.
Real-time hitting the big time?
Unlike many other countries that have responded to market demand with an incentivised, centralised, government-led faster payments network, the US has evolved differently due to its size, complexity and tradition of market-driven innovation. Exploring different approaches, by definition, takes time before consolidation to the dominant paradigm can take place.
After a relatively steady start, we are now starting to see RTPs become firmly established across the US. The Clearing House (TCH) is driving up the volume through its RTP network throughout 2020 and beyond, and momentum will accelerate when the FedNow RTP scheme comes online in a few years.
Moreover, compelling use-cases are gaining traction. ‘Request for Payment’ pilots are promising to make bill payments quicker and easier, while business-to-business B2B payments – constrained by paper checks – are an obvious opportunity. New challenges are also being discovered, but with new challenges come new solutions. Due to COVID-19 in the US, more people are shopping for friends, families, neighbours – so “split the check” and “split the rent” features have been joined by “split the grocery bill” feature on mobile apps.
This means it is decision time. Financial institutions will have to decide whether they adopt early or sit tight and wait for the Fed scheme to roll out.
Whatever the strategy, it is important to understand that RTPs are just one part of a broader payments transformation picture. Consumers now demand simple, experiential and instant products and services. And if banks want to stay competitive, they simply can’t afford to wait.
Starting the journey
This means tackling complexities head-on in order to future-proof businesses.
Transforming core architecture can be a daunting prospect, though. Banks are understandably concerned that migrating away from legacy solutions will be too expensive to yield a short-term return on investment or could even tear apart their core banking functionality completely. Neither is necessarily true, though, and it all comes down to the game plan.
It is essential that financial institutions begin their transformation journey with a strategic, enterprise-level roadmap to ensure new technology adaptation delivers a platform for future innovation. This is easier said than done, and because there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, financial institutions should look beyond ‘silver bullet’ technology platforms in favor of collaboration to find the right solution for their business need. Often, it’ll be cheaper and deliver a better path to the rapid development of new, resilient products and value-added services that can both retain and attract customers. Furthermore, it will allow individual business lines to fund the initiative that makes sense for their business plan, rather than forcing a business line to make investments “for the common good” – which rarely happens.
Payment transformation and modernisation need not wait for RTPs to go mainstream in the States.
First-mover banks will be best-placed to support emerging technologies and business models and be ready to harness the power of RTPs.
It is critically important, therefore, for financial institutions to define their payment strategies now. For those with clear and executable transformation plans in place, this is an unprecedented opportunity to assert digital leadership, reduce risks and costs, and maximise value from investments.
China Teams Up with On Demand Transport Firm Didi to Test Digital Currency
The ways that ride-sharing companies in Asia have leveraged their platforms to bring a variety of financial services to underserved communities is one of the more noteworthy – and unexpected – developments in the evolution of fintech in the region.
Many people are familiar with Grab, the car-sharing and food delivery company founded in 2012 and based in Singapore. The firm picked up more than $850 million in funding in February to help fuel both its payments and financial services operations. Grab competes with other similar companies in the region such as Indonesia’s Gojek that have also taken the so-called “Super App” route to diversifying their offerings into e-commerce and financial services.
This week we learn that Asia’s ride sharing industry is helping financial services innovate in another way: China’s Didi has inked a deal with the country’s central bank to test its digital national currency. The strategic partnership, announced earlier this week, is designed to “jointly study and explore the innovation and application of digital RMB in the field of smart mobility.”
Digital RMB trials began earlier this year in April, and involved four Chinese cities – as well as host of major U.S. brands like Starbucks and McDonald’s. China’s top four, state-owned banks have been included in the trials, and are reportedly testing a wallet to enable users to store and send the digital currency. The People’s Bank of China hopes to launch its digital RMB around the time of the 2022 Winter Olympics, to be held in Beijing. The central bank has been working on its digital currency project – known as Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) since 2014.
We took a look at how different countries around the world have begun to examine the role digital currencies could play in their economies earlier this year in Finovate Global. Here is our reporting on digital currencies and central banks in Europe and the Americas. For more on the pros and cons of digitizing national currencies, check out our coverage from the beginning of the year, as well.
Founded in 2012, Didi has more than 550 million users in China, Asia, Latin America, and Australia who use its on-demand transportation service.
Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Pair Finance, a digital debt collection company based in Berlin, Germany, secures $2.2 million (€2 million) in new funding from existing investors.
- U.K.-based banking services provider ELPASO goes live for Ukrainian SMEs and merchants.
- Paysafe, a payment service provider headquartered in the U.K., launches its Paysafecash solution in Bulgaria.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Paymentology, a cloud-based payment processor based in the U.K., to expand its operations in the Middle East.
- Discover and Saudi Payments ink strategic agreement that will enable cardholders to use the cars on the country’s mada network.
- Libyan fintech Tadawul Tech launches its new Electronic Payment Platform.
Central and Southern Asia
- India’s Paytm to acquire insurance company Raheja QBE in deal valued at $76 million.
- Central Bank of Sri Lanka to develop blockchain-based KYC platform.
- Pakistan-based digital wallet SadaPay hires former Gojek executive Jon Sheppard as its new Chief Technology Officer
- India-based insurtech marketplace PolicyBazaar scores $130 million in new investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Fintech-as-a-service company Rapyd goes live in Mexico with its integrated payment solution.
- Brazilian fintech Swap, which helps FIs build their own fintech businesses, raises $3.3 million in seed funding.
- Brazilian SME financial solution provider One7 acquires small business invoice financing firm Rapidoo.
- Payfazz, an Indonesian company that provides financial services to the underserved communities, raises $53 million in Series B funding.
- A partnership between Viet Capital Bank, 7-Eleven Vietnam, and JCB International (JCBI) powers the launch of the Viet Capital Bank JCB 7-Eleven credit card.
- Fintech Futures looks at open banking adoption rates in South Korea.
- Global online money transfer services company WorldRemit goes live in Somalia.
- Nigeria’s Inter-Bank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS) reports an increase in mobile payments of more than 390% since May 2019.
- Visa launches its online payment solution, Click to Pay, in South Africa.
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