The FinTech Five – 13th August 2021
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. Bridgend housing development receives £2.5 million in funding from Principality Building Society
First this week, the commercial lending arm of Wales’ largest building society, Principality Building Society, has provided £2.5 million towards a new housing development coming to Bridgend.
Colman Vale, developed by Pennant Homes, the commercial subsidiary of Coastal Housing, will provide 20 new homes for the local area, including three homes at low cost home ownership.
Principality Commercial provides development and investment lending for residential and commercial properties in England and Wales. The building society has previously supported Coastal Housing Group with £10m in lending towards the delivery of affordable housing.
Jan Quarrington, Social Housing Manager at Principality Building Society said:
‘’We’re delighted that Pennant Homes, who share the ethos of helping people to prosper in their homes and communities, have accessed the lending for the Colman Vale development. We’d like to wish a warm welcome to the families moving into their new home in Pen y Fai and look forward to working with Pennant Homes on future projects, as they provide more homes for communities across south Wales.’’
Simon Jones, Executive Director of Finance at Coastal Housing Group said:
“This is the first time that Pennant Homes has secured its own development funding to build new homes. It was important to us to work with a funder we know well through Coastal Housing Group. Everyone involved is very excited about this development and we want to build houses that buyers will be proud to call ‘home’. We were delighted to put in place the facility with Principality Commercial to help make this happen.’’
2. Acquis expands product horizon to support high demand for E-bike funding in Europe
Next, Acquis has expanded their product horizon to support high demand for E-bike funding in Europe.
While the Covid-19 pandemic ground much of the economy to a halt, the knock-on effect of a mass move to home working saw an overnight reduction in the polluting commute and a surge in interest in green transport. One industry currently riding the wave is cycling, which is experiencing the emergence of its biggest trend in decades: the rapidly increasing uptake of eBikes.
Acquis has responded by partnering with one of Europe’s leading equipment finance providers to deliver a best-in-class solution to support a newly launched vendor relationship with a globally renowned bicycle manufacturer. The partnership has led to the development of a specialised programme tailored to the needs of funders, vendors and customers.
Kieran Topp, Head of Product & Underwriting at Acquis says:
“As the leading expert in providing innovative insurance solutions to the European finance industry, Acquis is proud to have collaborated with one of our longest-standing lessor partners to structure and implement this all-inclusive product in the Netherlands.”
“Our eBike insurance product adds a supplementary dimension of value to the funder’s finance offering. It provides customers with an all-in-one equipment insurance solution that gives best-in-class protection throughout the finance term, provides peace of mind to the funder that their equipment portfolio is afforded adequate protection, and generates opportunities to leverage additional non-interest-bearing fee revenue from the offering whilst bolstering the relationships between funders, the vendors and customers alike. We look forward to expanding this offering elsewhere within Europe and the UK in the near future.”
3. Backbase publishes article on how to acquire customers fast and at scale
In a new blog post Riddhi Dutta, the Regional Head for ASEAN & South Asia at Backbase, offers his views on the fourth chapter of Backbase’s Banking Transformation Case Studies eBook and the appropriate actions that banks can take to expand their customer base quickly.
Optimizing end-to-end customer journeys:
With big techs and challenger banks now offering bespoke digital onboarding experiences, banks need to shift away from high-friction processes and adopt solutions that streamline end-to-end digital processes for faster customer acquisitions.
Moreover, using an end-to-end digital process improved the bank’s cost income ratio by increasing sales while reducing operational costs.
Enhance modern digital sales processes:
Having legacy systems often impedes digital cross-selling processes. Without a comprehensive overview of the customer, employees need to rely on different programs and sources for information to handle onboarding and origination processes for new products and services – making it unnecessarily inconvenient for their customers.
To drive this point home, Mayur Vichare, Head of Strategy Consulting at Backbase, penned an article that outlines the steps in which banks should approach their digital transformation journey to orchestrate better digital sales experiences.
Ensuring seamless onboarding & origination:
Having seamless onboarding and origination processes is pivotal in accelerating digital-first executions and increasing cross-sell opportunities.
As banks and financial institutions look to speed up customer acquisition and retention and increase their share of wallet, they must start building a seamless digital sales journey that addresses their customer pain points for increased opportunities.
4. Positive claims experience drives strong Admiral Group results for H1 2021
Next, Admiral Group PLC have announced their 2021 Half Year Results where positive claims experience has driven a strong Group result.
Admiral has seen double digit growth in policy numbers in the UK and in international insurance, a higher level of profit and have made progress against our long-term strategy.
Around 10,000 of our people will each receive shares worth up to £1,800 under the employee share scheme based on the results to thank them for all of their hard work.
Comment from Milena Mondini de Focatiis, Group Chief Executive Officer:
“A good strategy is a plus; good execution is a must, especially in times of disruption. It’s been a half year of good execution for Admiral. By and large, we’ve done the right things more often and a bit earlier than most.
“This included adjusting pricing ahead of the market in the UK to reflect shifting pandemic-related claims trends and providing more self-service and digital options to our customers. These actions have rewarded us with double digit growth in policy numbers in the UK and in international insurance, whilst operating in very competitive markets.
“Another highlight of this half year is a notably higher level of profit – driven by positive development of prior years in our UK Motor book resulting in increased reserve releases and higher than usual profit commission, as well as lower levels of claims frequency. We also made progress against our long-term strategy, increasing adoption of advanced analytics models and planting new seeds for product diversification.
Analysts and investors will be able to access the Admiral Group management presentation which commences at 9.00 BST on Wednesday 11 August 2021 by registering at the following link on webcast at https://pres.admiralgroup.co.uk/admiral040 or via conference call at https://pres.admiralgroup.co.uk/admiral040/vip_connect. A copy of the presentation slides will be available at www.admiralgroup.co.uk
5. Currencycloud and Lucinity Lock Arms to Make Money Good
Last but not least this week, Currencycloud, the experts simplifying business in a multi-currency world, has contracted Lucinity to provide its Actor Intelligence solution as its latest compliance innovation, adding to their compliance solutions by helping to identify issues around money laundering.
Actor Intelligence allows compliance professionals to monitor customer behavior efficiently and better understand various risk parameters for all customers. Further to that, continuous risk scoring will substantially increase productivity and coverage in fighting financial crime. But even while moving at lightning speed, Currencycloud stays at the forefront of compliance through innovation, thought leadership, and technology.
Tanya Ziv, Chief Compliance Officer at Currencycloud, commented:
“Lucinity has built a brilliant solution that will support us as leaders in compliance. The compliance world has moved on from thinking customer intelligence is the initial information gathered from a customer. Lucinity will help us on our journey towards basing intelligence on customer behaviors. Understanding how they are using our platform – and perhaps more importantly – why they behave in the way they do.”
Lucinity builds its technology around the vision of Human AI, using the best from human and artificial intelligence. Lucinity’s founder GK is enthusiastic about building towards that vision with Currencycloud:
“It is testament to the hard work we have done here at Lucinity to acquire a customer like Currencycloud. I am convinced that the intersection between man and machine is the most exciting field in compliance today. Translating complex intelligence into information that is valuable and usable will bring immense productivity gains to various compliance fields, and that is where we excel.”
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.