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Fintech

Experian A/NZ acquires Australian fintech Look Who’s Charging to bolster open data offering

Alex Marginean

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Source Photo: www.experianplc.com
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Consumers and financial institutions to benefit from richer data

Experian Australia & New Zealand today announces its acquisition of Look Who’s Charging, the Australian fintech startup which has solved the everyday frustrating problem of unrecognised bank transactions by providing instant clarification on the merchant behind a transaction.

Look Who’s Charging is integrated with a number of Australian banks, with their data available to millions of Australians directly within existing digital banking applications.

The move will combine Experian’s global open data solutions with Look Who’s Charging’s advanced enrichment capabilities. Following the recent legislation of Open Banking as the first stage of the Consumer Data Right (CDR), the deal will create a market leading open data platform in the Australian market that will have wide ranging benefits for consumers, businesses and financial institutions.

Experian’s present open data solution, built in the UK, facilitates 40% of all UK Open Banking application program interface (API) requests.

Andrew Black, Managing Director of Experian A/NZ explains how the acquisition enables Experian to provide organisations with a sophisticated aggregation and categorisation solution and granular insights for them to apply across their business:

“If a transaction is unable to be categorised accurately, it is often classed as ‘unknown’ which can result in decisions impacting consumers being based on limited data. This can have a big knock on effect if, for example, banks are using one platform to help a customer understand their own income and expenditure, and another to decide what loan they can afford.

With Look Who’s Charging’s enriched data integrated into our open data platform, we will be able to provide a uniquely accurate and comprehensive solution for the Australian market. This will help our customers lend more responsibly while enhancing their fraud checks and reducing their call centre traffic for unrecognised transaction queries, as well as ensuring consumers have a greater understanding of their financial situation.”

Over 1 billion transactions are enriched every single month through Look Who’s Charging’s platform to provide Australian consumers complete clarity on their spending.

“Look Who’s Charging’s forward-looking and problem-solving nature is aligned with our business and approach to innovation,” adds Mr Black. “We share the aim to help businesses and consumers make better and more informed decisions, and we are delighted to be working with a company who is truly having a positive impact on not only our financial services industry but Australian consumers too.”

Ben Elliott, CEO of Experian APAC commented: “The acquisition – our sixth investment in Asia Pacific since 2017 (following venture investments in Grab, Jirnexu, C88 Financial Technologies, BankBazaar.com and CompareAsiaGroup) – demonstrates our ongoing commitment to investing in this region and using our advanced data and analytics expertise to remove complexity from the lending process. Bringing Look Who’s Charging and our innovative solutions together will help Australian organisations, and ultimately consumers, as Open Banking standards are adopted in Australia.”

Founder of Look Who’s Charging, Stuart Grover, said: “We are extremely excited to combine the technology and data we have built to support the Australian banks with Experian’s market leading open data technology. We are very proud to have built Look Who’s Charging from an idea, born from the frustration of unrecognised transactions to a product which helps millions of Australian consumers, in under 4 years.

With Experian’s scale, we have an opportunity to help solve more of the immediate problems faced by Australian consumers and financial institutions, whilst the Look Who’s Charging solution is also rolled out to other key markets around the world.”

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Europe

Venture Capital Investment in FinTech: A Visualisation

Alex Marginean

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Right after the 2008 World Financial Crisis, a new sector has dominated the financial industry scene. We’re talking about the FinTech sector. The financial technology industry, an ensemble of financial services that span from banking to loans to insurance technology, regulatory technology, payments, mobile banking, among other types of technology has grown immensely in the past decade, and we appear to have entered the apex of this growth right before the start of the year 2020.

But what has been the impact of FinTech on job creation, money transfer, consumer experience, taxation in Europe and Switzerland, and in various other areas of society?

To help draw some interesting conclusions and answer a few of these questions, visualising the data on investment in the financial technology industry can be extremely helpful.

In the EU FinTech map and graph we can clearly observe the decline in investment in the UK following the divisive 2016 Brexit vote. The reason for the decline could be the uneasiness in investing money in the UK when the situation is uncertain at a political level. Yet, financial trends suggest that this decline, which reflects data based on venture capital investment, is perfectly in tune with a consolidating industry, where the investment comes more from later rounds of funding.

The decrease in capital invested is still most certainly due to investor’s uncertainty. The changes in the banking, insurance and loaning industries are shaking the foundations of what used to be regarded as a solid sector before the 2008 WCF.

In this climate, one of the most interesting insights the map offers is the slow but steady rise of Germany as a dark horse in the FinTech sector. Germany has long been second to the UK in financial technology investment and start-up creation, yet there could be a shift in trends that might make Germany the leading European power in this booming industry.

The UK has always attracted new business through well-placed regulations aimed at facilitating the creation of new opportunities for all. Separation from the EU and the subsequent immigration policies that may be implemented could drive international talent away from the British territory.

To have a better understanding of the data, you can check the below interactive map and time graph:

About the author: Nicola Clothier is CEO of Accurity GmbH, a Swiss-based employment service provider. Nicola has an Honours degree in English Literature from Stirling University and more than 20 years’ experience in Swiss employment, and personnel leasing up to executive level throughout Europe.

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Croatia

Investors’ confidence in P2P lending is growing in Europe

Alex Marginean

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According to a survey by the platform Robo.cash, 64.9% of the European P2P investors have full confidence in P2P lending. Remarkably, 52.3% of respondents mentioned that P2P loans take a considerable share of their investment portfolio – over 25%.

The fully-automated P2P service Robo.cash surveyed 600 European P2P investors. According to the findings, 45.4% of respondents consider P2P lending reliable for investments, although they were hesitant at first. Another 19.5% of investors have trusted this sector from the very beginning.

The level of confidence in P2P lending is also observed in the distribution of funds in the investment portfolios. It’s no secret that most investors look for diversification by investing in various assets – stocks, bonds, cryptocurrencies etc. It is remarkable that 52.3% of respondents said that investments in P2P loans take more than 25% of their portfolios. 7% of respondents mentioned investing only in P2P lending.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Sergey Sedov, Chief Executive Officer of Robocash Group, added: “The expertise of online lending platforms is one of the factors influencing the degree of investors’ confidence. We see this by the example of our own P2P platform. In 2017, when Robo.cash was just launched, the average monthly number of new investors joining the platform was 140. In 2019, it has grown to 360. Investors’ trust is also reflected in the volume of invested funds. Today, we have 382 users who have allocated the maximum possible amount compared to 125 at the end of 2018. Looking at the European P2P lending on the whole, it is clear that its volumes keep growing from year to year. Developing at a fast pace, this segment will continue gaining trust of the increasing number of investors.”

About RoboCash:

Robo.cash is a Croatia-based fully automated P2P platform with a buyback guarantee on investments operating within the European Union and Switzerland. Launched in February 2017, the platform belongs to the financial holding Robocash Group that unites non-bank consumer lending companies in seven markets in Europe and Asia. As a part of the group, Robo.cash works according to a “peer-to-portfolio” model providing an opportunity to invest in short-term loans issued by the affiliated companies. For the time of operation, it has attracted over €9 mln of investments, which has allowed to finance €115 mln worth of loans.

 

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Fintech

Wirex Launches Enhanced Cryptoback™

Vlad Poptamas

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Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Today, payments platform Wirex launched a supercharged update of their revolutionary Cryptoback rewards programme. Customers can now earn up to 1.5% back in Bitcoin on Wirex Visa card purchases.

Released in 2018, Cryptoback™ was the world’s first rewards programme that paid out 0.5% in cryptocurrency for all in-store spending with the Wirex Visa card. Thanks to the recent launch of the Wirex Token (WXT), customers can now triple the amount of BTC they earn – making investing in cryptocurrency easier than ever before.

Depending on the amount of WXT held, in-store Wirex card purchases now generate up to 1.5% in Bitcoin. There are three levels of crypto rewards available:

  • 500,000 WXT = 1.5% Cryptoback
  • 100,000 WXT = 1.0% Cryptoback
  • 50,000 WXT = 0.75% Cryptoback

Wirex have calculated that the average UK consumer stands to earn more than £300 in Cryptoback™ every year, just by using their Wirex Visa card for day-to-day spending. Unlike many other cashback programmes, Wirex doesn’t impose restrictions on what customers can do with their rewards. Cryptoback™ can be redeemed instantly into their Bitcoin accounts, or quickly and easily exchanged into fiat for spending.

Enhanced Cryptoback™ is just one of the ways that holding Wirex Tokens allows customers to get even more out of their account. They can also enjoy heavily discounted fees based on the same structure, with access to premium products, merchant offers and airport lounges coming soon. As Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev explains:

“We created the Wirex Token to be something that provides tangible value and benefits for holders beyond its market trajectory. Enhanced Cryptoback™ is the perfect example of this, as it allows customers to earn and invest in digital currency with a minimum of fuss. We’re looking forward to introducing even more benefits for WXT holders soon.”

 

SOURCE Wirex

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