Top 10 FinTech deals of February 2021 (UK & Europe version)
By Megha Bhattacharya
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process of digitalisation for the financial services industry. Amidst the unprecedented market volatility, the industry’s appetite for digital technology has been on the rise. The new year saw some significant deals being undertaken by FinTech companies.
Check out the top FinTech deals that took place in February 2021 (UK & Europe) :
UK’s app-based bank Atom recently announced a collaboration with Open Finance platform Plaid in a bid to power the launch of open banking services to its customers along with a streamlined loan application journey and faster decision making. The collaboration will enable Plaid’s customers to share their banking data securely with Atom.
According to Atom, Plaid will be working with it in the business lending process for both CBILS and non-CBILS application. The app-based bank will be using Plaid’s Payment initiation capabilities to streamline fee payments.
Atom Bank was one of the UK’s first banks to be built for smartphone or tablet, without any branches, and the first digital-only challenger bank to be granted a full UK regulatory licence. It is based in Durham, North East England.
European FinTechs N26 and Raisin expanded their collaboration to address the low-interest rate issue in the German market. The partnership allows N26 to extend its product portfolio with overnight deposit provider EasyFlex Savings, with an interest rate of 0.21% p.a. According to Raisin, the deposit products on its German platform are made available through N26’s EasyFlex Savings include the competitive 0.21% overnight account at Norwegian Komplett Bank, with a minimum investment of €500.
Prior to this, Aviva partnered with savings platform Raisin UK, enabling it to offer its customers a selection of fixed-term savings accounts with a number of banks. FinTech Raisin leveraged its Savings as a Service technology to launch Aviva Save, allowing the pension and investments specialist to enter the cash savings market for the first time in the UK.
N26 also recently expanded its Allianz Assistance travel insurance included with N26 You, N26 Business You, N26 Metal, and N26 Business Metal to cover epidemic and pandemic related claims. The company stated that trips starting on 19th January or later will cover cancellations as well as emergency hospitalisation or medical treatment abroad, repatriation assistance and cancelled/interrupted trips.
BBVA, in February, entered into a collaboration with Google Cloud for transforming its security strategy with the optimisation of its security infrastructure. BBVA stated that it will utilise the partnership for developing new AI and ML models for predicting and preventing cyberattacks against its banking infrastructure. The Bank is expected to implement Google Cloud’s AI capabilities into its security strategy.
The collaboration will see the combination of its Chronicle with BBVA’s security operations departments for preventing cyberattacks.
Last year, Deutsche Bank and Google Cloud signed a multi-year partnership for accelerating the bank’s transition to the cloud and the ability to co-innovate new products and services. The agreement enables the Bank to enhance the way products and services are designed and delivered.
Recently, Klarna announced a collaboration with Ingenico, a part of Worldline, in a bid to make Klarna’s online payment solution accessible to European merchants. The collaboration is expected to boost Klarna’s potential merchant base and consumer brand. The expansion builds on an initial successful rollout in the Nordics, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The company also teamed up with Swedish cryptocurrency broker Safello for bringing its open banking service on the latter’s platform for cryptocurrency trading. Safello has rolled out Klarna Open Banking with an aim to strengthen its market position and enhance its range of payment options. The partnership will enable around 180,000 Safello users to directly purchase cryptocurrencies from their bank account, using Klarna’s secure payment solution.
Established in 2005, Klarna is a Swedish FinTech company that provides online financial services such as payments for online storefronts, direct payments and post-purchase payments.
Digital identity company Signicat partnered with SaaS banking platform Mambu in a bid to help banks, FinTechs and financial service providers to increase customer acquisition, enhance customer experience and reduce time to market. The collaboration is expected to see the integration of Signicat’s identity platform with Mambu via a single API.
According to Signicat, the partnership enables financial service providers across Europe to onboard customers digitally, conduct web-based identity authentication and use electronic signatures. It is also expected to give financial service providers tools to reduce drop out rate and increase customer acquisition.
Recently, Mambu announced a €110 million funding round, bringing the total valuation of the FinTech to over €1.7 billion. The latest round was led by TCV, the growth-stage investor which has previously invested in Netflix, RELEX, Spotify and WorldRemit, with additional investments from Tiger Global and Arena Holdings.
Money transfer company TransferGo announced a partnership with core banking technology company Thought Machine in a bid to boost its expansion into new markets. The collaboration enables the money transfer company to leverage Thought Machine’s core banking platform Vault for enhancing its customer experience with the provision of advanced platform capabilities. It will also be able to expand its real-time payments platform, build products rapidly and release future card and account capabilities without delay.
According to TransferGo, Vault will allow it to build and deliver payment services as well as improve its digital payments service for the migrant worker community. Recently, TransferGo and Mastercard teamed up for facilitating international money transfers for customers across 20 European countries. The transfers can be made from any payment card or bank account directly to a Mastercard debit or credit card.
Cloud banking and digital transformation solutions provider nCino said that its Bank Operating System has gone live at UK-based SME bank Recognise. The collaboration is expected to provide Recognise with a scalable platform for managing client-specific needs and enhancing customer service.
According to nCino, its workflow mirrors the loan journey, allowing applications – from enquiry or referral through to the loan drawdown – to be rapidly processed on a single, end-to-end platform. The cloud-based technology also helps financial institutions meet various compliance obligations while providing valuable, timesaving automation in lieu of tedious, manual tasks.
Recently, Recognise received authorisation with restriction (AwR) from the PRA/FCA. The banking license from the PRA/FCA aims to address the service app for SMEs and enable Recognise to meet mobilisation conditions that will lead to the removal of the deposit restriction.
European small business lender iwoca announced a UK-first integration with small business platform Xero. iwoca’s invoice checkout – iwocaPay will be integrated into Xero’s platform for enabling small businesses to provide a Pay Later option to their business customers. The collaboration will allow iwocaPay to be directly accessible in Xero.
According to the FinTech, iwocaPay is a new invoice payments product that aims to help SMEs and their customers manage cash flow. The tool allows SMBs to get paid immediately while providing the customers with an option to pay upfront or spread the cost over the next 3 months. The company launched its invoicing product in June 2020 in a bid to reduce the risk in payment terms and encourage SMBs to offer trade credit.
Japan-based JCB Co. Ltd.’s international operations subsidiary – JCB International Co. Ltd announced the expansion of its partnership with Worldline. The collaboration is expected to strengthen the growth of JCB’s contactless enablement across Europe.
The partnership will enable Worldline merchants to accept face-to-face contactless payments in other European markets from Q2 2021 and also welcome online JCB cardmember transactions. , Merchants will also gain the advantage of 24/7 authorisation of e-commerce, manual and contactless transactions, centralised billing for debit and credit cards and a safeguarded billing process.
Recently, ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time digital payment software and solutions, and JCB International announced that JCB has completed the successful global rollout of its JCB Web API Service, including its Web API-based dispute function.
Deposit Solutions recently announced a partnership with Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance in a bid to enable the French bank to offer savings products in Germany, starting with fixed-term deposits offered through the ZINSPILOT portal. The collaboration will also allow Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance to use the Hamburg-based FinTech’s network of distribution partners.
According to Deposit Solutions, financial institutions can connect to its platform and offer their products to the customers of the company’s distribution partners, including Deutsche Bank, Hamburger Sparkasse, Deposit Solutions’ own distribution channel ZINSPILOT, and many others. As of today, Deposit Solutions has transmitted more than € 30 billion through its platform.
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