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Weekly News Highlights - 5 August 2021
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Weekly News Highlights – 5 August 2021

This week’s news article brings you the latest trends from fintech. We look at highlights of banking, online insurance, acquirence, new upcoming platforms, cybercrime, invoicing solutions and crypto.

Starling Bank acquires buy-to-let specialist mortgage lender, Fleet Mortgages (Starling Bank)

Starling Bank has announced the acquisition of specialist buy-to-let mortgage lender Fleet Mortgages in a £50 million (€58.7m) cash and share deal. Fleet Mortgages, based in Hampshire, focuses on providing mortgages to professional and semi-professional buy-to-let landlords, only via mortgage adviser distribution channels. Read more.

What is Ethereum’s London Hard Fork update & how will it impact investors? (The Economic Times)
The second largest cryptocurrency across the globe, Ethereum, underwent a much-awaited update called ‘London Hard Fork’. The biggest benefit of the new update is that it should enable the network to handle many more transactions per second. There are also hopes that this added scalability will tackle high gas fees. Read more.

Indian online insurer PolicyBazaar files for IPO, seeks to raise over $800 million (€675.8m) (Techcrunch)

Indian online insurance aggregator PolicyBazaar has filed for an initial public offering in which it is seeking to raise $800 million (€675.8m), becoming the fourth startup in the past two months from the South Asian market to explore public markets. In papers submitted to the market regulator in India, PolicyBazaar said that it is looking to raise $504 million (€426m) by issuing new shares while the rest will be driven by sale of shares by existing investors. Read more

Square to buy Afterpay, which offers a ‘buy now, pay later’ service, for $29 billion (€24.5b) in stock (The Verge)

Square plans to acquire Australian company Afterpay, which offers a “buy now, pay later” service that lets you pay for purchases in installments interest-free, for $29 billion (€24.5b) in stock. Square and Afterpay expect the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2022. Once the acquisition is completed, Square will appoint an Afterpay director to join Square’s board. Read more.

Next up on Synapse’s fintech services platform: White-labeled credit products (Techcrunch)

Synapse is announcing a new platform — Credit Hub, a full-stack API platform designed to give fintech companies and neobanks a way to make credit products “easier and smarter” for everyday Americans. The platform is designed to allow any company to build white-labeled credit products — including card issuance, credit-building tools, lending accounts and cashback rewards — in as little as six weeks. Read more

UK Suffers £5.7million (€6.7m)in Cyber Crime Financial Losses so far in 2021 (The FintechTimes)

British people and businesses have suffered financial losses of £5.7million (€6.7m) from a reported 14,883 cyber crime incidents since the start of the year. The new study from click fraud prevention experts PPC Shield indicates that malicious hacking, fraudulent use of social media accounts and email scams are the most common form of cyber crime so far this year – accounting for 43% of all reported incidents since 1st January. Read more. 

Uruguayan Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Allow Crypto to be Used for Payments (Coindesk)

A senator from Uruguay, Juan Sartori, has introduced a bill to allow businesses to accept cryptocurrencies as payments and regulate their use within the South American country. It seeks to provide “legal, financial and fiscal security in the business derived from the production and commercialization” of cryptocurrencies. Read more

Biller launches new AI-powered BNPL invoicing solution (FintechFutures

Fintech start-up Biller has launched a new buy now, pay later (BNPL) invoicing solution for B2B purchasing. Biller claims its AI-powered payments product helps businesses reduce risk and optimise cash flow to streamline the payments process and “future proof” B2B invoicing. Read more

Australian banks re-engage with Apple over access to NFC chip (Finextra)

Australian banks have opened a new front in their battle to gain access to the NFC chip on Apple’s mobile wallet, in written submissions to a parliamentary enquiry on mobile payments reform. The banks contend that by restricting direct access to the NFC chip in its mobile devices, Apple is potentially stifling innovation and increasing transaction costs for mobile payments. Read more. 

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