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What banks are looking for after COVID-19




As the number of vaccinated adults in the United States grows and the average rates of COVID-19 infections drops, bankers and their customers are eager to move ahead. But what does “move ahead” look like, and how has consumer demand changed over the course of the past year?

To answer this question, we at MX surveyed 1,000 randomly selected U.S. consumers with results published in our ultimate guides. Among many insights, we found that 87% of consumers say they now visit their bank branch less often than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, while 89% say they use mobile banking more often. We also found that a quarter of respondents said they’d currently feel insecure about their financial situation if they hadn’t received a third stimulus check, while half said that without the stimulus check they’d struggle to cover their monthly living expenses such as rent, mortgage, and recurring bills.

In other words, consumer demand for digital banking has surged at the same time that consumers have received an influx of stimulus cash — a shift that puts banks in a bit of a bind. As covered in an article from Bloomberg Opinion columnist Brian Chappatta, banks now face the largest gap in decades between a typical bank’s deposits at hand (which are high) and the demand for new loans (which is low). Given this gap, Chappatta writes, “In the near future, [banks] may need to rely even more heavily on revenue outside of their traditional business of making loans.”

Banks looking for these new revenue models in the wake of COVID-19 should know that the way forward must be digital first.

One possibility worth exploring is a subscription service, possibly in the vein of Amazon Prime. As Bradley Leimer, co-founder of Unconventional Ventures, says, “If banks can’t offer something more valuable than Amazon Prime, then we’re probably in the wrong business. I think we just need to retool our mindsets and put the customer at the heart of these decisions. What is at stake, in my opinion, is literally the future of the financial services model. The wolves are at the door.”

In light of this, financial institutions can ask themselves which benefits they offer could be packaged together for a monthly subscription. For example, Utah Community Credit Union (UCCU) has developed a product called UCCU Prime, which gives members services including $600 per claim in cell phone protection in the event their phone is broken or stolen, $80 in coverage for roadside assistance (4x a year), a $10,000 reimbursement in expenses in the event of stolen identity, $10,000 travel accidental death coverage, special deals for local businesses, travel discounts nationwide, debit card rewards, and more — all for $6 a month. As UCCU creates new offerings, they can add them to the bundle and increase this revenue stream.

This is just one of many possibilities that comes with looking at banking with a new pair of eyes as we work to put COVID-19 behind us and explore new revenue streams.

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The FinovateSpring eMagazine




It’s hard to believe that we’ve now done a full calendar year of digital events! FinovateSpring was our fifth completely digital event, and while we’re excited about the return to in-person events later this year, it’s already clear that things aren’t going to return to the same “normal” that existed in 2019.

This same pattern holds for the larger banking ecosystem as well. It’s clear that we are entering a new, substantially more digital era in finance and banking. Customer behavior has changed forever (and so have customer expectations), and it’s not going to change back.

Over the past year, the industry has (understandably) been focused on dealing with immediate challenges, but now it’s time to start looking at fintech more broadly again. We’re a long way from a new status quo, and things are going to keep moving quickly. It’s up to all of us to decide if we’re willing to move quickly too.

Download our latest eMagazine from FinovateSpring, to get access to:

  • Insight from our resident analysts on the top trends from the event and beyond
  • Thought leadership from Headline Sponsor, InterSystems
  • The Best of Show demos videos
  • Expert opinion on machine learning, tapping into the female financial market and much more…

In collaboration with

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Major UK Retailers and Business Organizations Commit to Cash-Friendly Pledge from Which?




Thousands of UK supermarkets and other retail outlets have reportedly committed to a “cash-friendly” pledge from Which?, an expert testing, reviewing, and advice service. According to the terms of the pledge, retailers are guaranteeing that they will keep taking physical currency notes and coins as an alternative to virtual payments.

Some of the UK‘s largest retailers, such as Aldi, Asda, Co-op, John Lewis, LloydsPharmacy and Waitrose have pledged to continue to take cash at their store locations.

The supermarkets committing to this initiative are responsible for nearly 4,500 outlets in the United Kingdom, and claim a grocery market share of over 30%.

The Which? initiative has reportedly been backed by major retail associations in the UK that represent thousands of shops. The British Retail Consortium, Association of Convenience Stores and the British Independent Retailers Association have asked their clients to sign up.

The Federation of Small Businesses is backing the initiative as well. The scheme has also received considerable support from the Bank of England.

Chief cashier Sarah John stated:

“The ability to use cash as a way to pay for goods and services, as well as for day to day budgeting, remains vitally important for many people. By signing up to this pledge, businesses are helping to ensure that everyone in the UK is able to use the form of payment that best meets their needs.”

Which? research has revealed that around 34% of UK consumers have said they were not able to make cash payments on at least one occasion when attempting to purchase certain items since the COVID-19 crisis began (or awareness spread around March 2020).

The lobbying group is also asking the UK government to confirm when legislation to protect access to cash will be released. The group expects a lot more clarity regarding these plans.

This may include putting the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in charge or responsible for the cash-friendly scheme, Which? noted.

Anabel Hoult, CEO at Which?, remarked:

“The government announced it would legislate to protect access to cash more than a year ago. Now it must set out when this will be introduced and explain its long-term plan to protect cash for as long as people need it.”

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U.S. Fintech MovoCash Teams Up With Mastercard & Coastal Community Bank to Launch On-Demand Mobile Banking App




MovoCash, a U.S. fintech, announced on Thursday the launch of its on-demand mobile banking app, which was created through the company’s partnership with Mastercard and Coastal Community Bank.

Founded in 2014, Modo describes itself as a next-generation digital bank with “powerful, secure, and fast payment functionality.

MOVO is more than a banking service, a mobile payments wallet or a financial hub. It’s an all in one-digital-financial solution designed for speed and backed by unparalleled security, so you can do more with your digital cash network in real time, right from the app.”

Modo reported that its patented technology, HyperBIN, is built to use digital tokens to manage the convergence of traditional banking solutions with mobile payments, blockchain, distributed ledger, cryptographic, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. 

HyperBIN® delivers real-time bank accounts and debit cards. This includes instant delivery, issuance, activation, secure and settled banking, merchant payment and P2P transactions redeemable at 45 million merchants and over one million ATMs worldwide.”

Speaking about the app’s launch, Eric Solis, CEO and Founder of MovoCash, Inc, stated:

“Our patented ‘Digital Cash’ Brand Network is what every consumer will expect from this day forward. [The app]  will fundamentally shift the way people act and think about digital transactions.”

 Eric Sprink, President and CEO of Coastal Community Bank, added:
“We’re thrilled to partner with MovoCash, a digital leader that brings a unique solution with top-notch fraud protection and compliance security to the market. MOVO is changing the payments game, we are excited to join them on this journey.”

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Pakistani Fintech SadaPay Shares How they Creatively Designed Payment Cards, Company Appoints New Head of Legal




Pakistani online payments Fintech SadaPay notes that it’s been well over three months now since they began rolling out their numberless debit cards. The SadaPay team points out that the designs “perfectly” fit their vertical debit cards.

The company’s management noted that they wanted to create something that tells their brand story while designing it in a manner that communicates their message in a “sada” (or plain and simple) manner. The cards have also been designed to have a “skater-smooth unboxing experience.”

Omar Qureshi from SadaPay claims that it “wasn’t easy to come up with what’s out there on the shelves right now.” He revealed that it took their team (Brandon Timinsky, Founder and CEO at SadaPay, Omer Salimullah, Asad Amjad and him) more than 3 months to finalize all the packaging.

Qureshi also mentioned that their debit cards and their jackets are the “only two collaterals” that allow them to have a “tangible connection” with the end-users (because they’re supposed to be a neobank).

After a lot of hard (and creative design) work, the SadaPay’s Official Card Packaging was “rendered for the last time, zipped, and sent to our printers across the border via WeTransfer,” the Fintech firm noted in its blog post.

Last month, the SadaPay team also welcomed Zainab Samantash as their Head of Legal. This appointment is “a testament to SadaPay’s emphasis on enlisting top-tier talent to help in achieving its mission to bring modern financial services to millions of Pakistanis,” the announcement noted.

Zainab will be working out of the firm’s Islamabad office and will work closely with the compliance division to develop a solid legal infrastructure for their innovative financial products.

As noted in the update:

“Zainab obtained her LLB Honors from the University of London with a First Class Distinction and later completed her LLM from Harvard Law School. She has since undertaken many notable representations in her legal career. She most recently represented Tencent Corporation, in connection with the ban on PUBG mobile game by Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, which was later overturned.”

Zainab also represented the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan in connection with the “unauthorized access and breach of internal corporate databases,” the SadaPay team noted.

Zainab has also advised Google LLC, a former White House advisor, and has “worked as part of the legal teams representing various high-profile government officials.”

Abdul Qadir Sultan, Chief Compliance and Risk Officer, stated:

“We are excited to have Zainab Samantash join SadaPay. She has a great personality, skillset, and experience. We believe every fintech needs to be well within the boundaries of the law and Zainab is the best person to help us out with our legal needs. Her attention to detail and understanding of the local laws on the fintech circuit in Pakistan impressed us all. We wish her all the best and look forward to working with her.”

In her new role, Zainab is expected to manage all legal affairs related to the structure of the firms including providing guidance on corporate governance and regulatory compliance.

Zainab will also be “overseeing the negotiation and drafting of contracts, risk management, and the development of plans and policies.” Her strategic thinking and deep knowledge of legal frameworks “solidify her ability to lead SadaPay’s legal wing as we continue to challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of what is possible in the financial landscape of Pakistan,” the announcement noted.

As previously reported, SadaPay aims to bring modern financial services to Pakistan in “partnership with MasterCard.” By removing the “high costs of managing the physical infrastructure of traditional banks from the equation,” SadaPay claims it is able to “pass those savings onto the customer to provide free financial services.”

The company’s mission is to “eliminate the complexity of banking and make money so simple that any other way would become unthinkable.”

As reported in March 2021, SadaPay secured $7.2 million in capital through a seed funding round led by Recharge Capital.

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