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Research Highlights - 31 August 2021
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Weekly News Highlights – 2 June 2023

Stay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates on regulations, legislation, partnerships, and more. Enjoy reading!

MAS and Google Cloud collaborate on generative AI (Finextra)
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is to work with Google Cloud to explore potential use cases for generative AI. Under the agreement, the Singapore central bank and Google Cloud will conduct technical pilots of “responsible” generative AI for MAS’ internal and industry-facing digital services. The MoU will also serve to cultivate MAS technologists with deep AI skillsets. MAS is already working to fill the AI talent gap in the Singaporean financial sector, last month launching a programme to provide training modules and workshops to banks which incorporate the latest developments and trends in AI, with strong financial sector application. This includes developing case studies to promote sharing of good use cases and industry relevant data resources. Read more

Starling Bank chief Anne Boden to step down amid record profit (BBC)
Anne Boden is stepping down as chief executive of Starling Bank, nine years after founding the company. The Welsh businesswoman said it was the right time to step aside as it reported a record pre-tax profit of £195m, a six-fold increase on the previous year. She will step down on 30 June, but will stay on the board and still part-own the company. Starling was one of a few so-called challenger banks which promised to revolutionise the UK sector. With no branches, it prides itself on its app and customer service. Read more

German mobile tax app Taxfix cuts 120 jobs in restructuring effort (Fintech Futures)
Berlin-based mobile tax app Taxfix has laid off 120 employees, around 20% of its workforce, according to a TechCrunch report. The news comes just two months after Taxfix acquired fellow German start-up Steuerbot, which offers a chat-based tax app, for an undisclosed sum as the company looks to accelerate its expansion in the German market. The company has also expanded its operations to Italy and Spain, claiming “millions” of app downloads. The layoffs form part of a wider restructuring of the business to bring down costs. Just last year, Taxfix raised $220 million in a Series D funding round at a valuation of over $1 billion. Read more

Regnology in talks to acquire French regtech Invoke (Fintech Futures)
Regnology, a regulatory reporting software provider, is in exclusive talks to acquire Invoke, a France-based provider of financial, regulatory and tax reporting solutions for supervisory authorities and reporting entities. On completion, the deal will mark the fifth acquisition by Regnology in less than a year. The move follows the acquisition of UK-based statistical SDMX reporting specialist Metadata Technology earlier this month. Regnology CEO Rob Mackay says these acquisitions set the firm “on an accelerated path for growth internationally”. Read more

£1.3bn record turnover at Nasdaq-bound Noventiq (Business Cloud)
Noventiq, a digital transformation and cybersecurity provider, generated a record $1.6 billion (£1.3bn) turnover in the 12 months to 31st March 2023. The firm, listed and headquartered in London, saw 40% turnover growth and a 50% climb in gross profit to $176.3m (£142m). It connects more than 75,000 organisations from all industries with hundreds of IT vendors, while also delivering its own services and solutions. Noventiq, formerly known as Softline, is expected to list on New York’s Nasdaq exchange via a merger with Corner Growth Acquisition Corp. Its 6,400 employees work in almost 60 countries throughout Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa – with a focus on markets with significant growth potential. Read more

Diebold Nixdorf files for chapter 11 bankruptcy – pressure on for hardware providers (Payments Cards and Mobile)
Diebold Nixdorf (Company), which sells ATMs, payment terminals and other technology, has announced that it, certain of its subsidiaries and certain creditors collectively holding a significant majority of the its outstanding secured term loan debt and secured notes (the “Consenting Creditors”) entered into a restructuring support agreement to effectuate a comprehensive debt restructuring transaction. The unrelenting retreat from static points of contact in the payments and financial services industries has pushed the traditional terminal maker to breaking point. Read more

‘Bye, bye birdie’: EU bids farewell to Twitter as company pulls out of code to fight disinformation (EuroNews)
Despite Twitter’s withdrawal, the EU’s anti-disinformation code remains “strong,” said Vera Jourova. Vera Jourova, the European Commission’s Vice-President for Values and Transparency, bashed Twitter’s latest decision to leave the EU’s anti-disinformation code as “irresponsible” at a time when Russia’s disinformation is extremely dangerous. “Bye, bye birdie,” Jourova tweeted on Saturday. “Twitter has chosen a hard way to comply with our digital laws,” she added. “Russia’s disinformation is dangerous and it is irresponsible to leave [the] EU’s anti-disinformation Code”. Read more

Simplifai launches InsuranceGPT, a bespoke AI solution for the insurance industry (Global Fintech)
Simplifai, renowned for its AI automation solutions, introduces Simplifai InsuranceGPT, which the company claims is the first-ever custom GPT tool specifically crafted for the insurance sector. This revolutionary product stems from Simplifai’s no-code AI-powered platform, fortifying the company’s comprehensive business process automation capabilities. Simplifai, an Oslo-based firm established in 2017, excels in providing secure AI solutions. It has designed a user-friendly AI Automation platform, which forms the basis for various solutions including Simplifai Archiver, Claims Handling, Document Handling, Debt Collection, and Customer Service. With offices spread across Pune, India, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Ukraine, Simplifai’s influence and operations extend globally. Read more

Fintech giant Stripe is getting into the credit game (Tech Crunch)
Stripe wants to make it easier for businesses to access credit. The private financial infrastructure giant announced a new charge card program today from Stripe Issuing, its commercial card issuing product, Denise Ho, head of product for BaaS at Stripe, told TechCrunch exclusively. The company originally launched its Issuing product in 2018, and since then it’s helped companies such as Shopify and Ramp issue more than 100 million cards in the U.S., the United Kingdom and the European Union. Today, the product is one of Stripe’s fastest-growing, Ho said — supporting half a million transactions a day. Fintechs like Klarna “build entire businesses on it,” the company claims. Read more

Mastercard Invests into Italian Embedded Finance Fintech Fabrick (Fintechnews Switzerland) 
Mastercard and Open Finance sector pioneer Fabrick announced an expanded new partnership to develop Embedded Finance solutions that will improve the digitalization of businesses, financial institutions and fintechs across Europe. As part of the agreement, Mastercard has made a minority investment in Fabrick – it has acquired a minority stake in Fabrick in a €40 million raise in which Mastercard and others joined the shareholding structure. Part of the resources were raised through a capital increase, with which Mastercard and others joined the shareholding structure with minority stakes. The resources will be used to support the consolidation process in Italy, investments in products and services, infrastructure scale-up and expansion into other European markets. As an example of expansion Fabrick just acquired UK leading payments platform Judopay. Read more

TD Cowen Shuts Institutional Cryptocurrency Division (Finance Magnates)
American investment bank TD Cowen has closed down its cryptocurrency unit, Cowen Digital, today (Thursday), just over a year after its launch, without providing any proper explanation. Today will be the last day for the team here at Cowen Digital,” the investment bank stated in an email sent to its staff yesterday (Wednesday), according to Bloomberg News. Cowen Digital had roughly eleven employees. Cowen Digital was launched last year in March to facilitate cryptocurrency market exposure to institutions. The platform offered 16 crypto assets at launch, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular names. Additionally, the investment bank strengthened its cryptocurrency division by filling new positions as recently as last December. It even planned to expand its offerings with the addition of services around crypto futures, derivatives, and decentralized finance. Read more

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