The Fintech Five – 11th February 2022 

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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. Trust Payments Contributes to The Payments Association Green Paper on CBDCs

First this week, Trust Payments have contributed to The Payments Association’s latest green paper, “A new era for money”, focused on the promising potential of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

A CBDC is a digital token that represents a country’s currency, issued by a nation’s central bank and fully backed by the issuing government. This green paper discusses the possibilities CBDCs would open up, not only in terms of the speed of digital transactions, but also the opportunity for privacy in payments, as well as convenience and accessibility.

Operationally, the payments landscape as it stands is extremely complex, with transactions being required to pass through multiple parties before clearing. Trust Payments have aimed to eliminate the need for third parties through their industry-leading Converged Commerce™ setup. As the Payments Association outlines, the adoption of CBDCs would support Trust Payments’ vision of simpler payments, free from legacy systems and updated for the high-speed demands of modern finance.

For retailers, CBDCs would mean fewer costly, frustrating chargebacks, near instant settlements, and a reduction in transaction costs. For consumers, CBDCs would bring better security, allow for interaction with a central bank directly, and eliminate any risk of a commercial bank collapsing.

Alison Conway, Head of Strategic Development at Trust Payments will be discussing this more on a webinar on 17 Feb, 2-3.30pm GMT.  Save your place for the webinar here.

Read the full article on Trust Payments’ website here. 

2. Hodge to partner with fintech Modulr to deliver superior payments experience for savings customers

Next, Hodge has partnered with Modulr, a digital payment specialist, which will power Hodge’s savings customers with a payment and accounts infrastructure to deliver a market leading, real-time digital banking experience.

Powered by Modulr, Hodge customers will get a digital banking experience and superior customer service, including the ability to see their balance and payments in real-time for increased control and reassurance. Likewise, Hodge’s customers also benefit from Modulr’s Confirmation of Payee service, ensuring when the customer sends funds to their Hodge account number, the sending bank recognises the account as their own.

This is the first time Modulr has partnered with a bank in this way and marks an exciting milestone for both organisations; bringing together the experience of a 56-year-old bank with the digital at-scale technology of a FinTech.

Katie Johnson, Managing Director of Savings at Hodge, said: “We’re committed to putting our customers first and focusing on what matters to them. What they’ve told us is they want greater control and transparency when it comes to their finances, in a fast and convenient way.

“Our partnership with Modulr is about providing exactly that. We’re looking forward to working with Modulr on new projects, especially with their focus on customer confidence and control over finances using facilities like Confirmation of Payee.”

Myles Stephenson, CEO and Founder of Modulr added: 

“This really shows how financial services have changed in recent years, and it’s a great reminder of how FinTechs and banks can work together to turn analogue experiences into digital ones. Not only does Modulr provide the fast, reassured, and convenient payments infrastructure customers demand, we also provide security and trust for Hodge’s customers. We hope to provide support to those who are less familiar with online banking and using digital tools like Confirmation of Payee to provide an important level of protection and visibility.

Read the full announcement on Hodge’s website here. 

3. Acquis’ customer centric approach delivers excellent Net Promoter Score

Next this week, Acquis have released the results of its latest customer satisfaction survey.  The business achieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 69.23, an outstanding result significantly higher than the insurance industry average of 42 as detailed in ClearlyRated’s 2022 Benchmarking Report.  

NPS is a measure of customer satisfaction calculated based on responses to a single question: How likely is it that you would recommend a company to a colleague? Acquis asked this question as part of its annual client survey in December 2021. Bain and Company, the NPS creators note that a good NPS score is classed as 0 and above, 50 and over is excellent with above 70 being outstanding and rare.  

Over 92% of respondents felt Acquis was professional, knowledgeable and supported their business extremely well.  

Nick Leader, CEO at Acquis commented:  

“Many of the industry’s leading brands count on us to enhance their asset finance offering. This outstanding score is testament to the dedication of our teams and the customer centric approach we adopt at Acquis.  We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with our clients to deliver impressive and sustainable results.” 

Read the full announcement on Acquis’ website here.

4. Currencycloud  Partners With Instajet To Make Private Aviation More Accessible

Next, Instajet, the private jet community redefining private aviation, has partnered with Currencycloud, the experts simplifying business in a multi-currency world, to offer a robust fixed pricing model, and exceptional safeguarding of its high-value transactions.

Instajet’s goal is to make private jet flying easily accessible to both long-term private fliers and first-time private fliers alike. 

Currencycloud enables Instajet to achieve one of its key aims, that of offering instant, guaranteed price reservations from the outset for both passengers and operators. The partnership also means Instajet can reach more jurisdictions and offer a truly global service; fulfilling its bookings with a multi-currency payment service that has no currency fluctuation risk. Currencycloud enables Instajet to offer unlimited financial protection to its customers, providing peace of mind to individuals when they reserve their flight via the app.

Nick Cheetham, Chief Revenue Officer, Currencycloud says, “Instajet is setting out to change the world of private aviation for both business and leisure travellers. We are excited to be partnering with them in this endeavour, ensuring Instajet’s clients’ transactions are completed securely wherever they are in the world.”

Read the full announcement on Currencycloud’s website here. 

5. Sonovate explores ‘How RecTech is supporting diversity in contract recruitment’ in latest blog

Last but not least this week, Sonovate explores ‘How RecTech is supporting diversity in contract recruitment’ in their latest blog. 

Tackling unconscious bias 

“Unconscious bias recruitment is when we allow ourselves to make decisions intuitively before we’re aware of the consequences. These pre-formed judgments can be either positive or negative, however, they remain unconscious…

We can tackle recruitment discrimination in more ways than one. It’s imperative that you analyse every step of the recruitment cycle and identify which areas are suffering from unconscious bias…

Fostering a workplace that values diversity and inclusion is simply better for business. When employees from diverse backgrounds come together, they provide a plethora of experiences and perspectives that help create more innovative solutions.”

The role of AI in recruitment  

“Although we can begin tackling unconscious bias recruitment by identifying preconceived judgements, recruitment technology, or RecTech, is a fantastic tool that can further mitigate the lack of diversity in workplaces…

Recruitment technology can help us cover basic biases by hiding applicants’ pictures or posting job ads in multiple search engines…

However, AI recruitment can further enhance equality and diversity in recruitment by using data to broaden outreach and funnel potential candidates.

Recruitment agencies use big data, analytics, and AI to support recruiters with their diversity efforts. An ATS (applicant tracking system) can process data from various channels to ensure that the recruitment process is compliant with internal objectives and gender diversity regulations. It can identify hiring patterns and reduce any trends that lean towards unconscious bias recruitment. 

Nevertheless, it’s worth mentioning that although AI recruitment is more efficient at tackling recruitment discrimination, it doesn’t mean it is completely non-partisan.”

Why contract recruitment struggles with diversity & inclusion

“Companies are making an effort to promote equality & diversity in recruitment but an area that still struggles with this critical issue is contingent recruitment. Many organisations view their contract labour as stand-in workers that don’t provide as much value as permanent members of the team. 

Staffing Industry Analysts reported that almost two-thirds of HR professionals believed diversity and inclusion should be prioritised when hiring permanent employees whilst only a quarter held the same beliefs for contingent workers.”

Read the full blog post on Sonovate’s website here. 

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.

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