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Cryptocurrency expansion across Europe – Industry roundup: 2 November

Amazon introduces a program for merchant cash advances

Amazon has partnered with Parafin, a US-based provider of growth capital for sellers, to launch a merchant cash advance service that links to future sales. Amazon's new program, which is said to provide sellers access to capital within a few days with straightforward and capped rates, no fixed term, no personal guarantee, no credit checks, and no late fees, is intended to entice US businesses to use its platform despite rising borrowing costs.

Reports indicate that companies can have access to capital ranging from US $500 to $10 million, with payments based on a fixed percentage of their gross merchandise sales. Additionally, there are reportedly no minimum payments, collateral requirements, or interest charges; instead, firms pay a fixed capital fee. Tai Koottatep, Director and General Manager of WW B2B payments and lending, Amazon, commented that sellers can expect to access capital more easily and with greater reach, improving their ability to manage their cash flow and, in turn, their entire business.

India unveils a lending solution to aid financial services companies

India's high fintech adoption rate has reportedly fuelled the country's rapid growth in the digital lending and co-lending sectors. Cashfree Payments, an India-based payments and API banking solutions provider, has launched their Lending Disbursement and Collections solution to help nonbank financial companies (NBFCs) and their partners comply with the new digital lending guidelines. The solution is expected to facilitate both digital lending and co-lending use cases.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reportedly mandated that all fund-flows related to loan disbursement and repayment be made directly between the lender's and borrower's bank accounts, with no pass-through or pool account of any third party. Cashfree Payments' solution aims to simplify the establishment of lender escrow accounts, make direct loan payments to borrowers, manage multiple LSP partnerships, perform efficient reconciliation and verify borrower identity and bank accounts. In accordance with the guidelines, Cashfree Payments also reportedly allows repayments via e-NACH and UPI AutoPay.

Cashfree Payments, with a market share of more than 50% among payment processors, claims that its solution, Payouts, leads the way in high volume disbursements in India, processing transactions worth US $40 billion annually. State Bank of India (SBI), known as the largest lender in India, has reportedly invested in Cashfree Payments recently, highlighting the company's role in developing a strong payments ecosystem.

Additionally, the fundamental banking and payments platform supporting the company's products, according to Cashfree Payments, has been developed in close collaboration with all major banks as well as integrated with well-known platforms like Shopify, Wix, Paypal, Amazon Pay, Paytm and Google Pay. Reports indicate that, aside from India, eight other nations, including the US, Canada and UAE, currently utilize Cashfree Payments products.

The company reportedly offers full-stack payment solutions that enable Indian businesses to collect payments and make payouts via all available methods with simple integration. Cashfree Payments' services include advanced and simple methods of integrating payment gateways, a split payment solution for marketplaces, a bank account verification API, and Auto Collect, which is a virtual account solution for matching inbound payments to customers.

Diversifying JCB payment acceptance across global markets via JCB and Nuvei alliance

JCB International, a global payment and credit card provider based in Japan, has partnered with Nuvei, a payment technology platform, to develop its global merchant ecosystem. Through this collaboration, Nuvei expects to enable more than 140 million JCB cardmembers to pay at Nuvei's network of 50,000 merchants worldwide. These merchant sectors, which include social media, luxury retail, travel and entertainment, are expected to boost JCB’s cardmember network of global spenders.

Merchants can expect to have flexibility and a multitude of options to obtain potential payment opportunities, raise acceptance rates, and lower operating costs through Nuvei’s system. The collaboration with JCB is aimed at expanding Nuvei's merchant community by providing thorough payment acceptances and increased sales opportunities on a worldwide scale.

Nuvei plans to provide JCB's cardmember authentication program, dubbed J/Secure(TM) 2.0, in order to adhere to the EMV(R) 3-D Secure Protocol and Core Functions Specification as well as to combat fraud. Reports indicate that J/Secure(TM) 2.0 is growing worldwide and currently endorsed by global 3DS Server and ACS suppliers. Additionally, JCB’s acquirers and issuers will reportedly be able to provide secure e-commerce transactions while also improving the experience for customers by implementing its Frictionless Flow service via risk-based authentication. In addition, it reportedly supports richer data exchanges and additional information sharing during transactions online.

This collaboration is the latest step in JCB's global expansion, helping to bring secure payments to the fast-growing sector of e-commerce. The global e-commerce market is expected to reach $6.169 trillion by 2023, accounting for more than 22% of total retail sales.

Strikepay, an Irish-based payments company, partners with TrueLayer to boost fintech payment connectivity

TrueLayer, an open banking technology platform, has collaborated with Strikepay, a payments fintech firm, to streamline and accelerate payments to fintechs in Ireland. Strikepay claims to innovate how goods and services are paid for in a cashless world by providing instant 'Tap to Pay' on any mobile device. Reports indicate that the solution Tap to Pay, which is powered by open banking, is currently utilized by nearly 7,000 merchants across the UK and Ireland.

The collaborative effort is expected to simplify the process for clients to obtain compensation immediately with just a mobile device. According to Strikepay, customers who wish to be paid quickly can now connect and verify their bank account instantly with TrueLayer's data API. In addition, Strikepay expects to reduce operational costs and streamline the process for customers who previously had to manually enter bank information. Customers would reportedly lose time as a result of this manual process, and mistakes such as incorrect IBANs would occur.

Joe Morley, General Manager Europe, TrueLayer, stated that Europe is experiencing rapid growth of fintech firms powered by open banking in order to deliver digital services to customers.

Strengthening capital market ties and green finance cooperation between Singapore and China

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has revealed new initiatives to broaden its green finance cooperation as well as strengthen capital market relations with China. The initiatives were reportedly discussed at Singapore’s 18th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation.

The following initiatives were noted in the release.

  • The Green Finance Taskforce China-Singapore (Taskforce). This team was established to effectively mobilize private capital for the region’s sustainable development needs. MAS and the PBOC plan to form a Taskforce to strengthen bilateral cooperation in green finance and promote greater public-private sector exchanges. The Taskforce intends to investigate ways to collaborate in aspects such as criteria and descriptions, green and transition financing solutions, data and technology enablers, and green investment opportunities in China and the region.
  • Product Link for Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). By year-end, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) plan to include the first three participating ETFs under the ETF Product Link. This ETF Product Link is expected to provide investors from China and Singapore with access to ETF investment opportunities in their respective markets.
  • Chinese and Singapore Exchanges' Low Carbon Index Family. The SGX and SZSE plan to join forces to launch a Low Carbon Index Family to serve as a reference point for fund managers launching new green funds focused on China, ASEAN and other Asian countries.

Leong Sing Chiong, Deputy Managing Director, MAS, commented that the Green Finance Taskforce plans to help facilitate the transition to a more sustainable future as well as expand on previous efforts to improve the Chinese yuan RMB and capital market interconnection. MAS plans to continue collaborating closely with Chinese counterparts' central banks and regulatory agencies in order to strengthen mutual financial collaborative efforts as well as potentially unleash important strategies in the respective financial systems.

Adyen, a fintech company, launches a suite of embedded financial solutions for SMBs

Adyen, a global financial technology platform, has launched two new embedded financial products, Capital and Accounts, which are reportedly available to platform and marketplace businesses across the US and Europe via a single integration. A study conducted in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group reported that 64% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) seek financial services embedded within a platform. Adyen has reportedly created a full range of innovative financial products, including cash advances, business bank accounts and card issuing, in order to capitalize on the banking-as-a-service (BaaS) opportunity and provide efficient financial experiences to their SMB users.

Pieter van der Does, Co-founder and CEO, Adyen, commented that legacy systems, reactive strategies, slowly processed authorizations and a lack of managerial expertise are all factors that constrain traditional financial services. Since SMBs have historically been underserved by these factors, 65% of platform users are reportedly willing to change financial services providers in favour of products that are better suited to their company's internal operations. The modular solution provided by the embedded financial product suite from Adyen reportedly offers platform businesses unmatched control and customization options.

Adyen’s Capital solution can reportedly enable platforms to quickly and effectively offer business financing based on past payment information, with 94% of SMBs stating that cash advance solutions would be beneficial for loan pre-approvals. Adyen's Accounts product provides users with the ability to manage their cash flow at their convenience with immediate access to funds, which is reportedly critical to 72% of SMBs. Along with Capital and Accounts, the Issuing solution allows users to spend their funds on payment cards bearing the platform's brand. Reports indicate that platforms that use the suite can expand their product line and make use of the potential of a full financial ecosystem.

The US Treasury stymies an attack by a Russian hacker group, highlighting effective cybersecurity strategies

According to a US Treasury official, the department successfully thwarted cyberattacks from a pro-Russian hacker group last month, reportedly preventing disruption and validating the effectiveness of the department's aggressive strategy towards its financial system cybersecurity. Todd Conklin, Cybersecurity Adviser, US Treasury, linked the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to Killnet, the Russian hacker group that allegedly interfered with the websites of several US states and airports in October.

Conklin further stated that the incident, which was not previously reported, took place a few days before Killnet launched similar attacks against US financial services companies. On 11 October, Killnet alleged that it had attacked the network infrastructure of JPMorgan Chase & Co. However, the bank reported no effects on its business operations. The attack on the Treasury was reported as relatively low-level DDoS activity aimed at the nodes that are essential to the Treasury's infrastructure. The Treasury reportedly acted swiftly to inform financial services companies of the internet protocol addresses used in the attack.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo reportedly urged two organizations (regulator-led Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee and the industry-led Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council), which were formed 20 years ago in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, to strengthen their collaboration in order to accelerate cloud and data protection systems as well as their processes and concentrate on emerging systemic risk issues.

Gemini accelerates cryptocurrency expansion across Europe

Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange based in the United States, has launched in more European Union countries (Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Czechia, Latvia and Liechtenstein) this week. The announcement follows the company's recent expansion into the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, where it has had its European headquarters for several years. Additionally, Gemini was reportedly the first company to register with the Central Bank of Ireland as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) and to receive authorization as an electronic money institution.

Reports indicate that consumers in these nations can now open cryptocurrency accounts that enable them to deposit funds, engage in trading and use custody services for more than 100 cryptocurrencies. Apart from retail cryptocurrency investors, Gemini plans to provide an institutional-grade platform for financial institutions, fintechs and other businesses to assist with custody, clearing, trade execution, price discovery and portfolio management.

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