The FinTech Five – 10th June 2022
Welcome to the FinTech Five, the part of the week where we take a closer look at the best articles, news, and features from over the past week from our FinTech Wales members.
1. Tickets available for Fireside Chat with Lucy Cohen, Co-Founder of Mazuma
We’re delighted to welcome passionate innovator and disruptor Lucy for an evening of insightful discussion in front of FinTech Wales members and the supporting ecosystem.
With over 15 years at Mazuma – the UK’s leading Online Accountants for small and micro-businesses – and 19 years in total in the accountancy industry, Lucy is widely recognised as an industry expert and regularly called upon to contribute to trade publications and industry discussions.
Lucy – whose role at Mazuma is to lead the company forward through innovation, marketing and business development – has been shortlisted for numerous awards, such as: Director of the year (Innovation) by the Wales Institute of Directors in 2019, Top Women in Accountancy and Finance 2020, Practice Pioneer at the Accounting Excellence Awards 2021, to name just a few.
The evening will of course be accompanied by free drinks, snacks and the opportunity to connect and network with members afterwards.
2. Currencycloud Gains ASIC Licence To Operate In Australia
Next, Currencycloud, the experts in simplifying business in a multi-currency world, have announced that they have been granted an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The granting of the licence means that Currencycloud can now offer their full suite of services to Australian businesses.
The granting of the AFS licence follows the appointment of Nick Briscoe as Country Manager, Australia, in January of this year and gives Currencycloud the springboard to build the team and ramp-up customer support in-country.
Currencycloud has some fast-growing clients in Australia but to date, the services they have been able to use have been limited to international payments only. Now those clients will be able to provide customers with collections, management services and Currencycloud’s multi-currency ewallet: Currencycloud Spark, which allows clients’ customers to pay, collect and hold more than 30 currencies in one account.
Alex Prater, CEO for FX Corp, a Currencycloud client in Australia, commented:
“With the expansion of Currencycloud’s offering, FX Corp has been able to augment the range of currency capabilities it provides to clients, particularly in minor and exotic currencies which have traditionally been problematic to deal in. Add to this a user-friendly interface and the ability to easily track cross-border payments, and Currencycloud offers a compelling value proposition which has assisted FX Corp to offer a more complete range of services to its growing client base.”
Nick Briscoe, Australian Country Manager at Currencycloud, said:
“The fintech landscape here is incredibly vibrant and highly sophisticated in its approach to both clients, and service providers. Gaining our Australian licence puts us in a great position to support our existing Australian clients and their ambitions, as well as work with other businesses across the country.”
3. Backbase raises 120M from Motive Partners to accelerate growth
Next this week, Backbase, creator of the category-leading Engagement Banking Platform, raised €120 million in growth equity funding from Motive Partners. Having grown organically to over €200 million in revenue, Backbase is now partnering with a Fintech specialist private equity firm, to further strengthen its claim on the Engagement Banking category.
This growth investment values Backbase at €2.5 billion. Motive Partners is a founder-friendly partner, fully supporting Backbase in remaining an independent force and driving the Engagement Banking strategy, by continuing to focus on customer-centric innovation that transforms the financial services industry’s siloed channels and legacy applications.
Most banks struggle with a patchwork of disconnected, point and channel solutions that were never designed to service the customer holistically, leaving behind a raft of broken journeys for their customers. This investment will allow Backbase to double down on its vision for Engagement Banking and accelerate its mission of re-architecting banking around the customer.
Engagement Banking is a paradigm shift. Rather than stitching these legacy applications together and trying to rework banking around outdated technology, banks and credit unions can instantly leverage the power of a cloud-based engagement banking platform to create frictionless customer journeys across all the stages of the customer lifecycle. From onboarding, to servicing, to lending, to expanding share of wallet, this investment supports the growth through product expansion and further growing our sales and marketing operations.
Jouk Pleiter, Founder and CEO of Backbase, says:
“Today is a major milestone for more than 2,000 Backbasers and 150 customers around the world, to celebrate the incredible progress we made. With this partnership, we’re even better equipped to drive our Engagement Banking vision to the next level. I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and the positive impact we can make. To all our customers, I personally want to restate our long-term commitment to being your independent, long-term partner in innovation. For us, it is still day one.”
4. BR-DGE and Trust Payments partner to expand payment offering to merchants
Next, Leading payment orchestration provider BR-DGE has partnered with global fintech disruptor Trust Payments to provide its merchants access to Trust Payments’ suite of Converged Commerce™ offerings.
The new partnership will enable BR-DGE customers to access Trust Payments’ technology – including an all-in-one payments platform, award-winning risk management tools, Anti Money Launder (AML) and fraud detection features.
Through a single point of integration, BR-DGE’s merchants can access a world of payment providers, fraud capabilities and alternative payment methods. Coupled with Trust Payments’ cutting-edge smart tools in storefront, payments, loyalty and data management, the partnership offers a flexible and secure solution to improve offerings.
Daniel Holden, CEO, Trust Payments, commented:
“Our partnership with BR-DGE will open up enormous possibilities for merchants. Our technology will drive better choice and flexibility to tailor and layer e-commerce offerings to remain competitive and grow fulfilling our vision for Converged Commerce™. We are delighted to work together with BR-DGE to help them expand their offering and we look forward to what the future holds as we create payment experiences that customers want,”
The partnership with Trust Payments reflects strong growth in both businesses. BR-DGE’s continued scaling of its product offering, alongside the launch of a number of strategic partnerships, meant that in the last year, the team has grown by 50% with YoY growth expected to double again in 2022. The company has also signalled plans to enter the US market later this year. Trust Payments also had a positive 2021 and recently reported a 73% increase in total revenues to £108.7m, up from £62.7m the year before while headcount doubled from 214 to 428 employees across the UK, EU and US.
5. An interview with Sally Jones-Evans: Breaking down barriers in the male-dominated world of finance
Last but not least this week, Delio published an insightful interview with their non-executive director, Sally Jones-Evans, discussing what she had seen on her journey into senior management, how this had impacted her career, and how she had helped other women along the way.
The interview sees Sally Jones-Evans explain how her inspiring career began, detailing Sally’s dedication to developing her skills through lifelong learning and professional development.
Reflecting on her time at Lloyds, during which Sally founded and co-chaired the Breakthrough Women’s Network which was created to help ambitious women fulfil their career potential, sally explains:
“When I first started working in banking in the 1980s and 90s, there were very few women who progressed into senior management roles; I was one of only a handful that did.
Financial services were dominated by women in junior, client-facing roles, with men taking much more senior positions…The Breakthrough Women’s Network was born from my desire to be part of the solution for women. Myself and a few like-minded senior female peers from various career backgrounds established the network to offer a focus on career development. We wanted to instil confidence in women, empower them to take bold steps that would benefit their careers and move up the career ladder, and to take the chances many may have overlooked in the past.”
When asked ‘What do you think companies and the fintech sector as a whole can do to be more accessible to women interested in working in the industry?’, Sally answered:
“I think it is so important that schools’ curriculum and youth organisations really start trying to change unconscious biases early, a sentiment echoed by Delio as demonstrated in their International Women’s Day article. By promoting positive biases, girls may be more attracted to STEM subjects and start to believe that careers in finance, business or technology are genuinely available to them.”
Until Next Week
And that’s it for the FinTech Five this week. Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to join us next week for more of the best content from across our FinTech Wales membership.