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Sopra Banking Software taps Tink’s data channel

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Sopra Banking Software, the subsidiary of Paris-based technology firm Sopra Steria, has partnered with Swedish open banking provider, Tink.

The partnership will see Sopra tap Tink’s open banking solutions. These include data aggregation and enrichment, payment initiation, and personal finance management (PFM) technology.

Tink founders

Tink’s CEO Daniel Kjellen and CTO Fredrik Hedberg

Sopra Banking Software serves roughly 1,500 banks and financial institutions across the world. This makes the partnership a big milestone in Tink’s growth trajectory.

The partnership

Tink says the Sopra Banking Platform will use the start-up’s technology to offer new cloud-based digital banking solutions.

Sopra’s banking platform currently offers financial firms a catalogue of retail and business products. These span across accounts, savings, lending, payments, channels, and compliance.

Tink’s data will essentially power future banking products offered by Sopra. The start-up called the partnership a “big leap for open banking in Europe” in a statement.

Later in 2020, Sopra plans to use “several” of Tink’s own solutions, including multi-banking, enhanced credit scoring, and integrated payments and transfers.

Tink’s growth to date

The Swedish start-up already connects to more than 2,500 banks and taps roughly 250 million bank customers across Europe.

The fintech landed a second strategic investment from PayPal in June. This undisclosed investment added to Tink’s latest €90 million investment round which took place in January 2020.

At the end of March, the fintech acquired Madrid-based Eurobits technology, a firm which provides account aggregation services, for €15.5 million.

Part of the start-up’s growth strategy following its €90 million investment saw Tink acquire Eurobits to expand its connectivity across Europe.

In December, Tink also opened Italian, Portuguese and Spanish offices. This followed a major deal with Portugal’s largest bank, Caixa Geral de Depósitos.

Read next: Tink lands second strategic investment from PayPal

Source: https://www.fintechfutures.com/2020/07/sopra-banking-software-taps-tinks-data-channel/

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Digital Wallet Eco Secures More Than $26 Million Through Latest Investment Round Led a16z Crypto

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Ecoa U.S.-based digital wallet for saving and spending, announced on Friday it raised more than $26 million through its latest investment round, which was led by a16z Crypto with participation from Founders Fund, Activant Capital, Coinbase Ventures, and Slow Ventures. Eco reported that the investment round comes after it raised over $8.5 million from Expa and Pantera Capital.

Founded in 2018, Eco describes itself as a digital wallet for saving and spending. The platform states it replaces checking accounts, credit cards, and more with a single product that rewards customers every time they save, spend, or send money. 

“With Eco, users earn up to 5% annually on their deposits and also get 5% cashback on spending at major merchants. Eco is developing features to help users pay bills, send money to friends, and more — all from the same, single wallet. But today, there’s a second trend at play: trust in institutions is plummeting. Not only is everyone looking for alternatives, but they are open to new ideas from non-institutional players.”

While sharing more details about the company’s services, Andy Bromberg, CEO of Eco, explained:

“Eco is arriving at the moment we need it most, existing financial infrastructure is failing us, and we deserve something better. Eco puts your money back to work for you. It’s not a bank, checking account, or credit card — we’re building something better than all of those combined.”

Eco added it is now focused on expanding the benefits offered to users, meeting the increasing demand for the product, and building towards the future of novel, aligned financial services business models. The funds will be used for the continuous growth and development of the Eco products.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/03/172895-digital-wallet-eco-secures-more-than-26-million-through-latest-investment-round-led-a16z-crypto/

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ShopeePay Mobile Wallet Added to Digital Payments Acceptance Options Supported by Malaysia’s GHL Systems

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GHL Systems Berhad’s Malaysia-based business operations have reportedly added the ShopeePay mobile wallet to their digital payments acceptance options. The new payments service has been added after a recent partnership with ShopeePay Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Through the partnership, GHL will enable its offline merchant base and new merchants with the option to take digital payments for purchases via the ShopeePay mobile wallet.

ShopeePay mobile wallet users are able to make payments at 104,300 selected GHL Transaction Payment Acquisition (TPA) merchant touchpoints based in Malaysia.

GHL said that it would introduce ShopeePay payment acceptance services in different phases with the initial batch going live in early February 2021.

GHL’s management claims they’re one of the ASEAN region’s largest non-bank merchant acquirers. They aim to provide a comprehensive range of cashless payment acceptance options and support transactions with credit and debit cards, mobile wallets and direct bank transfers for online and offline merchants.

Sean S. Hesh, Group CEO aat GHL, stated:

“With the addition of another e-wallet is definitely the way forward to enable our merchants reach a larger consumer base, and the base continues to grow along with ShopeePay’s promising scalability. We hope to help ShopeePay mobile wallet holders move beyond their use online to the offline merchants. At the end of the day, consumers are the clear winners from the wide range of choices and an enhanced payment experience.”

Alain Yee, Head of ShopeePay, remarked:

“Through our partnership with GHL Malaysia, ShopeePay will be integrated further for a seamless payment experience for offline transactions. And with our added cashback benefits, we will make the adoption of our mobile wallet a win-win for all sides by leading our users to support businesses through good deals, subsequently improving traffic for their outlets and helping them retain even more customers in the long run.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/03/172865-shopeepay-mobile-wallet-added-to-digital-payments-acceptance-options-supported-by-malaysias-ghl-systems/

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Indonesian Fintech PAYFAZZ Invests $30M into Singapore’s Xfers to Enable Financial Inclusion in Southeast Asia

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Indonesia-based Fintech firm PAYFAZZ has revealed that it invested $30 million in Xfers, a Singapore-headquartered business. The investment was made to establish a new financial entity, known as the Fazz Financial Group (FFG).

PAYFAZZ stated that the companies will be keeping their respective names while operating under the new financial entity. FFG will be responsible for overseeing their shared goal or mission of enabling financial inclusion via modern Fintech services across the Southeast Asia region.

With this latest investment, Xfers will be serving as the business-to-business (B2B) division of FFG, which mainly focuses on connecting different merchants to the payment infrastructure and FFG’s user network.

In Indonesia, Xfers helps businesses or companies access various payment methods which includes bank transfer, e-wallets and offline channels like agent banking networks and convenience stores.

With PAYFAZZ and various other agent banking networks as its clients, Xfers has been able to reach more than 10 million underbanked Indonesian consumers, the company claims.

PAYFAZZ operates as an “agent-driven” banking network with over 250,000 registered agents.

During Q2 2021, the FFG will mainly be focused on improving its infrastructure and enhancing its product offerings.

FFG has hired Hendra Kwik, Co-Founder and CEO of PAYFAZZ, to serve as Group CEO which will involve leading the overall direction and strategy from both companies. Tianwei Liu, Co-founder and CEO at Xfers, will be joining as the Group’s Deputy CEO.

The two will continue as Chief Executives of their respective firms. The Group has also hired Robert Polana, former-CFO of Tiket.com, to serve as the Chief Financial Officer.

Hendra Kwik, Group CEO of Fazz Financial Group, stated:

“Leveraging PAYFAZZ’s vast local Indonesia network and Xfers’ robust payments infrastructure in the region, it was a natural next step for both firms to band together and work towards a common goal. With the newly-formed FFG group, our team will be broadening the combined capabilities to accelerate inclusion through financial services in Southeast Asia.”

Tianwei Liu, Deputy CEO of Fazz Financial Group, remarked:

“We are thrilled to further deepen our partnership with PAYFAZZ, and for Xfers’ new role as the B2B and regional arm of Fazz Financial Group. With more resources on hand, we are also looking forward to helping more brands enter Southeast Asia. Especially for businesses looking to access the underserved consumer segment in Indonesia.”

PAYFAZZ had finalized a $53 million Series B investment round in 2020. The round was led by B Capital and Insignia Ventures Partners, along with contributions from Tiger Global, Y Combinator, ACE & Company and BRI Ventures.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/03/172863-indonesian-fintech-payfazz-invests-30m-into-singapores-xfers-to-enable-financial-inclusion-in-southeast-asia/

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US and Asian Wealth Management Professionals Discuss Financial Planning and Effective Use of Robo-Advisory Services

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When discussing wealth management strategies and how Fintech solutions can help investors better manage their portfolios, analysts often talk about how to create new wealth. They may discuss goal setting, risk profile management, and investment management.

Dr. Sekar Jaganathan, Director of Digital Strategy at Kenanga Bank, says that wealth management as an industry has to grow and then it has to “mature.”

Dr. Sekar, whose comments came during a panel discussion about the power of data in wealth management, pointed out (along with the other panelists) that data analytics in the asset management sector is still in its early stages of development.

Ned Philips, founder of a Singapore-based Robo-advisory firm Bambu (and one of the panelists), noted:

“We actually don’t believe that individuals are the right people to understand their own retirement, their own risk, and their own choices. In fact history has shown us that people are actually very bad at managing money and making investment choices. Indeed in America today, almost 50% of people run a cashflow negative life.”

Bambu is getting ready to introduce Predictive Financial Planning. The new tool will take  information such as consumer spending habits, lifestyle, education, income, number of dependents, where you currently live and then analyze it. This will allow the software to provide retail clients with personalized financial management strategies.

Mike Hom, Head of Financial Solutions in InterSystems, noted that these AI-enhanced tools and related advancements may help clients with managing their finances.

While commenting on automated financial software tools, Hom added:

“And I think that is great, because [financial management software] tailors to what people want. From the institutional side, you can expand your customer base. How many clients can one advisor take on? Well with some help, some advice and some insights that were given to them immediately, he or she can probably service a lot more [clients].”

There’s also no shortage of information available on the Internet when it comes to money management, and that’s part of the problem for individuals trying to make appropriate investment-related decisions.

In statements shared with CI, Patrick Rush, CEO of Triad Financial Advisors, stated:

 “There is an overabundance of information, so much that it can make your head spin.”

The solution(s) to this “information-overload” issue isn’t always to get help from a financial advisor, Rush explains, because working with one who is focused more on their own benefit instead of their clients’ requirements may lead down the wrong path.

Rush further noted the key is first “educating yourself in the fundamentals of financial planning.” He pointed out that the wealthiest Americans have “grown their fortunes by understanding financial basics and following a set of fundamentals.”

Rush also mentioned that “while there are thousands of complicated ways to invest your money, there are only a handful of proven ways to grow wealth.” Like many other financial analysts, he recommends “keeping it simple.”

Rush provides a six-point set of fundamentals individuals can learn to assist them with their wealth management:

A financial plan. Rush says this is “the most important tool to help you build wealth and confidence.” He adds that “everyone should have a financial plan in place before they start seeking investment recommendations,” while noting “that plan should address budgeting, expenses, insurance, investing, long-term care, estate planning, tax-planning benefits, and other matters critical to long-term financial success. It also establishes a list of specific financial goals.”

Evidence-based investing. Rush adds: “This approach maximizes returns by pursuing a proven investment strategy backed by facts, reason, and historical data. It’s a rational, scientific process to determine where to put your money to best make it work for you. Evidence-based investing helps “prevent chasing hot equities at their peak and panic selling.” Those kinds of “fear-based decisions cause investors to buy high and sell low, which eats away at your portfolio over time.”

A portfolio paycheck. Retirees “get anxiety wondering how they’re going to live comfortably when they don’t have their former paycheck coming in.” Rush adds that “the key is finding the right way to draw a paycheck from your portfolio without taking unnecessary risks that could jeopardize your life savings.” He also mentions that “your cash needs will influence how aggressive or conservative you’ll want to be in retirement.”

Taxes, and how efficiencies can benefit you. Rush further notes “tax law is confusing in the best of times.” Since “the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the SECURE Act of 2019, more people than ever are uncertain about how the law applies to them and how to optimize their tax situation.” Rush further notes that “there are ways to avoid costly mistakes,” He believes that “prudent asset allocation helps investors defer or eliminate taxes. If you do only one thing to create a tax-efficient portfolio, max out your 401(k).”

Choosing the right healthcare. A study by Fidelity Investments “found that a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2019 will need $285,000 to cover medical expenses through retirement.” Rush also suggested that we need to “formulate a plan for our healthcare needs ahead of time.” He added that  “a major medical emergency or long-term illness can devastate your finances. Most elderly Americans will need long-term care insurance at some point.”

Charitable giving. Rush added that “donor-advised funds are a tax-efficient way to give to charity.” He further noted that “qualified charitable contributions are especially attractive to individuals who have reached the Required Minimum Distribution age of 72, when you have to start withdrawing funds from an employer-sponsored retirement plan.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/03/172862-us-and-asian-wealth-management-professionals-discuss-financial-planning-and-effective-use-of-robo-advisory-services/

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