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U.S. Senator Blumenthal demands AT&T drop push for ad-subsidized cellphone plans

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By Kenneth Li

(Reuters) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal on Friday called on AT&T Inc <T.N> to stop pursuing plans to offer cellphone plans partially subsidized by advertising that he said would undermine consumer privacy.

“Consumers expect that their phone and broadband providers are not spying on their phone calls and web browsing or using their private data for commercial gain,” Blumenthal, a Democrat, wrote in a letter to AT&T Chief Executive John Stankey.

The request follows a Reuters interview with Stankey this week in which he discussed a plan to discount cellphone bills as early as a year from now.

“I believe there’s a segment of our customer base where given a choice, they would take some load of advertising for a $5 or $10 reduction in their mobile bill,” Stankey said in the interview.

While Stankey said AT&T was not yet announcing a new product available to consumers, he discussed how the company was building toward such an offer as it doubles down on the advertising business.

Stankey said the company’s engineers were working on how “unified customer identifiers” could help tie together data sets across its portfolio that could help it better target advertising to consumers in the future.

AT&T said in a statement it had received Blumenthal’s letter and will respond.

The company is hoping to breathe new life in a concept that has not caught on in the past. Although various tech and telecoms companies have offered to discount or offer free mobile services in return for viewing advertising, AT&T is hoping that better user targeting technology would make its version of a service more palatable.

Blumenthal requested a response by Oct. 18 to a list of questions that included the timing of a launch of the proposed product and whether the data would include phone or internet records.

(Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Timothy Gardner)

Image Credit: Reuters

Source: https://datafloq.com/read/us-senator-blumenthal-demands-att-drop-push-ad-subsidized-cellphone-plans/9638

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British could lead the world with first sovereing data exchange

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British could lead the world with first sovereing data exchange

The British island of Jersey, is ideally placed to become the world’s first privacy enhancing sovereign data exchange which will have huge benefits to the whole of the UK and beyond. Global Smart City expert and digital transformation consultant, Joe Dignan said the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of a combined data view of a population, and now is the time to establish a trusted, highly regulated and ethical exchange. He has called on the Jersey government to support the idea for the benefit of everyone.

A sovereign data exchange is a regulated infrastructure that allows data owners to store, share and monetise their data while retaining ownership and privacy.

‘If dealing with the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that single sources of data are meaningless unless synthesized with other data and visualised so we can understand it,’ said Joe.

‘Jersey is a microcosm where it controls the levers of the economy, legislature, government and security in an enclosed and agile environment that already has a digital twin. It also has all the necessary skills for regulatory and governance of that data, through its finance industry. This puts it in a unique global position to act as a data exchange which can bring huge health, economic and environmental benefits to the UK and elsewhere.’

Joe and a host of global technology experts, including Fintech titan, Nick Ogden, are discussing Jersey’s position as a sandbox for data innovation and digital testing at a series of free online events for Jersey Tech Week, 16th to 23rd October.

Nick set up what is believed to be the world’s first e-commerce business in the Island in 1994, before launching World Bank. Key figures from IBM, Ocado, World Bank, Carlsberg and Microsoft, will also demonstrate the very latest trends and developments for the industry, including insights into emerging tech trends – with fintech, artificial intelligence, digital health and creativity.

Joel Mills, the CEO of AugmentCity, will showcase the digital twin of Jersey, part of the United Nations’ United 4 Smart Sustainable Cities initiative, which is already helping to inform decision making.

‘Covid has been terrible for everyone, but it has speeded up the adoption of technology, from the simple need to work from home to the urgent need for good quality data and its use,’ said Joel.

‘The pandemic has shown that single sources of data are meaningless. This has opened up opportunities for us to make big improvements in the future with informed decisions using data from multiple sources and visualised for human understanding.

‘Using simulation in partnership with the UN’s smart sustainable development goals, allows us to connect humans and data like was never possible before. Breaking down barriers, fast tracking new technologies and reducing time and cost. If we are to beat the virus we need to embrace technologies and Jersey is playing a key role in prototyping this.’

Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/british-could-lead-the-world-with-first-sovereing-data-exchange/

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EBANX announces expansion to Central America and the launch of EBANX GO within the LatAm region

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EBANX announces expansion to Central America and the launch of EBANX GO within the LatAm region

EBANX, fintech company specialized in payment solutions for Latin America, announced the Push LatAm, an initiative that comprises expansion of its operations to new markets in Central and South Americas; the offering of hybrid services within Latin American countries; and the launch of EBANX GO, a prepaid card that offers a digital payments account in a partnership with Visa, to other markets in the region besides Brazil; all within the next 12 months. Push LatAm was announced this Thursday, October 15, at the Latin America Summit, EBANX annual event about business in Latin America.

EBANX expansion to Central America will start in Panama, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Guatemala. Paraguay, in South America, is also a destination. These five new markets will add to the current nine where the company already operates – Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Besides the geographical expansion, Push LatAm also consists of model expansion. After having unveiled its local payment processing, EBANX will now launch its hybrid model, making things more flexible for global companies that have offices in the region, in a fully compliant way. By combining cross-border and local processing services within the same territories, this new model will allow local settlements for merchants, starting by South American countries.

And following a market trend of electronic payments and digital accounts that was accelerated by the pandemic in Latin America, EBANX will also launch EBANX GO in other LatAm markets. The e-wallet was soft launched in Brazil in the beginning of 2020, with a Visa card and a digital payments account, and has been growing steadily ever since. Around 60% of the current purchases made with the EBANX GO card are within EBANX merchants, proving the product can also work as a performance tool for them, besides being an easy-to-use payment option for consumers in the region.

“The Push LatAm initiative reflects our mission from the beginning of EBANX: to create access, to connect Latin Americans and global brands, always with a customer and product-driven mindset. Expanding our footprint and our solutions right now is the perfect realization of this goal. This will enable us to keep excelling in our commitment with Latin America: to be highly specialized in the region, translating each one of its countries and their singular cultures to businesses around the world,” said João Del Valle, co-founder and COO of EBANX.

Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/ebanx-announces-expansion-to-central-america-and-the-launch-of-ebanx-go-within-the-latam-region/

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StructureFlow’s accelerated 2020 growth sees expansion of international operations, customer base and new hires

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StructureFlow’s accelerated 2020 growth sees expansion of international operations, customer base and new hires
StructureFlow, a legal tech start-up helping lawyers and finance professionals quickly and easily visualise complex legal structures and transactions, announces two hires to its senior leadership team and continued expansion of its international operations and customer roster. The start-up is also currently participating in Allen & Overy’s ‘Fuse’ Incubator and Founders Factory’s 6-month FinTech accelerator programme as part of its growth strategy.

Founded by former corporate lawyer Tim Follett, StructureFlow is a cloud-based software that was developed to address the difficulties and inefficiencies he faced when trying to visualise complex legal structures and transactions using tools that were not up to the task. The start-up was formally launched earlier this year at a time when many firms were, and continue to be, heavily focused on finding new technologies that enable efficient collaborative working.

Global growth and expanding beyond the legal industry

StructureFlow opened its first international office outside of the UK in Singapore earlier this year and has been running successful pilots of its visualisation software with prestigious international law firms. In addition to the growing customer base in the UK – the company is expanding internationally and is excited to announce that it will be onboarding customers in India, Australia, the Netherlands, and Canada in the next month.

With the belief that accounting teams, investment banks, private equity firms and venture capital firms will also benefit from access to StructureFlow’s visual structuring tool, the start-up has begun venturing beyond its legal customer base working with a small number of asset management and private fund businesses. This includes M7 Real Estate, a leading specialist in pan-European, multi-tenanted commercial real estate investment and asset management operations.

“We decided to expand internationally despite the pandemic as there is a heightened need for new technologies to support global organisations who are restructuring business models to adapt to the ‘new normal’,” said Alex Baker, Head of Growth. “Our product helps law firms and other financial institutions to work securely whilst working from anywhere and our growing Singapore operations will allow us to better serve our customers in Asia Pacific.”

 

New hires join the senior leadership team

Jean-Paul de Jong joins StructureFlow as its Chief Technology Officer and Chief Security Officer along with Owen Oliveras its Head of Product.

With a background in enterprise software development, information security and a track record of many successful large-scale integrations, De Jong has held several prominent positions within regulated industries in both private and public sectors.

Oliver is a co-founder of Workshare Transact, the legal transaction management application that was acquired by Litera in 2019, having been previously a corporate lawyer with Fieldfisher.

Together, they bring decades of legal and technology leadership and expertise to expedite StructureFlow’s product development and will be instrumental in developing the software to meet the demands of the company’s broadening customer base.

Tim Follett, CEO of StructureFlow, commented on these developments, “The decision to further expand our presence across the legal and financial technology markets in Europe, Asia and North America is a logical step in our business growth strategy. The addition of Jean-Paul de Jong and Owen Oliver will bring first-class engineering, security and product expertise to our team, bolstering our ability to build and scale innovative enterprise products.”

Accelerator programmes to complement growth strategy

In a move to broaden its global presence and increase the impact of its product, StructureFlow has joined two reputable accelerator programmes this year. Following the company’s success as the inaugural winner of Slaughter and May’s Collaborate programme, StructureFlow has subsequently joined the fourth cohort of Fuse, Allen & Overy’s flagship legal tech incubator.
More recently, the team has partnered with Founders Factory, joining its FinTech accelerator programme giving StructureFlow unparalleled access to the programme’s corporate partners. The programme also includes mentorship supporting the company’s growth and impact of its product across the legal, financial services and other key sectors.

“Being accepted into two industry-acclaimed incubator and accelerator programmes is a crucial part of our expansion plans and will provide us with expert guidance to further develop our visualisation software. By utilising the expertise of industry experts, we expedite our plan of becoming a global platform for a range of organisations and stakeholders to visually engage with essential corporate information,” Follett added.

Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/structureflows-accelerated-2020-growth-sees-expansion-of-international-operations-customer-base-and-new-hires/

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