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Industry roundup: 3 June

10 growth-stage companies chosen for 2021 FIS Fintech Accelerator programme

FIS and The Venture Center have announced the ten companies selected to participate in the 2021 FIS Fintech Accelerator programme. In its sixth year, the programme is focused on identifying and fostering startup financial technology firms with promising, high-potential technologies that advance the way the world pays, banks and invests. 

The 2021 programme received applications from fintech companies in the US and 29 other countries. The ten selected fintech companies and their focus areas are:

  • Array - Credit monitoring.
  • AtomicFI - Authentication/direct deposit.
  • Bankifi - Banking-as-a-service.
  • BankLabs - Lending.
  • Informed.IQ - Automation.
  • Long Game - Financial wellness.
  • OakNorth - Lending.
  • Railz - Banking-as-a-service.
  • TaxStatus - Authentication/lending.
  • Vymo - Customer relationship management.

Thirty percent of this year’s cohort features solutions created by women founders. The 2021 programme again will be conducted virtually. The 12-week accelerator programme begins on June 7 and is preceded by a four-week programme to prepare company founders to work with FIS and its clients. The public is invited to learn more about these companies at the FIS Fintech Accelerator Virtual Kickoff on June 9, 2021. 

The 2021 programme will culminate with a Demo Day on August 26, where leaders from each of the participating firms will demonstrate their refined solutions to hundreds of financial institutions, potential investors and industry participants.


Standard Chartered and BC Group partner on Europe-based institutional digital asset trading venture

SC Ventures, the innovation and ventures unit of Standard Chartered, and BC Technology Group, parent of Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)-licensed digital-asset platform OSL, have announced they have partnered to establish a digital asset brokerage and exchange platform for institutional and corporate clients in the UK and Europe.

BC Group Chief Information Officer Usman Ahmad will be CEO of the new company, and Nick Philpott of SC Ventures will be COO. The joint venture will be underpinned by BC Group’s OSL digital asset technology and Standard Chartered’s global network and experience in brokerage and providing access to European markets.

Based in the UK, and initially targeting the European market, the company will connect institutional traders to counterparties across markets, delivering access to deep pools of liquidity in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital assets. The JV aims to launch in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.


Fed to begin winding down portfolio of the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility

The Federal Reserve Board has announced plans to begin winding down the portfolio of the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF), a temporary emergency lending facility that closed on December 31, 2020. The SMCCF proved vital in restoring market functioning last year, supporting the availability of credit for large employers, and bolstering employment through the COVID-19 pandemic.

SMCCF portfolio sales will be gradual and orderly, and will aim to minimise the potential for any adverse impact on market functioning by taking into account daily liquidity and trading conditions for exchange traded funds and corporate bonds. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which manages the operations of the SMCCF, will announce additional details soon and before sales begin.

The SMCCF was established with the approval of the Treasury Secretary and equity provided by the Treasury Department under the CARES Act.


Temenos launches virtual COO for SMEs

Temenos and Canadian Western Bank (CWB) have developed an explainable AI-driven (XAI) solution, Temenos Virtual COO, which has now launched globally. The solution is built on Temenos Infinity, a digital banking platform, and leverages Temenos Analytics and API-first, cloud-native technology. 

Temenos Virtual COO is designed to offer open banking-driven data aggregation with real-time insights for SME owners to take control of their business growth, ultimately enabling smarter funding. The digital advisor for smart decision-making is available as an app, and aims to help SMEs run their business, free up time and provide financial insights to help them grow.

Often SMEs see banks as a barrier to growth rather than a trusted partner, experiencing a $5.2 trillion funding gap worldwide, according to Temenos. And yet, according to a new report by the Financial Brand, only 62% of financial institutions feel that they have been successful in innovating in the SME space, a sector that generates $850 billion in banking revenue.

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