Each fortnight we compile some of most important news updates and events in the fintech industry covering digital banking, payments, cryptocurrency, and more.
Monzo is removing a £20 ($27) fee-free buffer that it currently offers and will charge interest rates of 19%, 29%, or 39% based on the credit score of a customer in overdraft. Starling will be charging interest rates of 15%, 25%, or 35% on overdrafts, also based on the credit score of the customer in question. It is also removing a £2 ($2.67) maximum monthly interest charge for unauthorized overdrafts. The neobank previously charged a flat 15% rate on all overdrafts.
Volt, the first neobank to receive an unrestricted authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) licence from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), has begun onboarding some of the 40,000 in its waitlist.
EQ Bank, the digital subsidiary of Canada’s Equitable Bank, has signed a partnership agreement with TransferWise which will see the latter underpin EQ Bank’s international payments. EQ Bank customers will be able to send money from their Savings Plus Account at “the real exchange rate”, paying a “small, transparent TransferWise charge”.
Alibaba Group and Ant Financial Services Group have entered a strategic partnership with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, in which the companies will deepen their cooperation in fintech and financial services. The companies plan to use their expertise in payments, ecommerce and fintech to focus on electronic payment settlement, cross-border finance and scenario-based financial services.
Striving to become “a big global virtual bank” which acts as “a one-stop shop” for consumers and investors, Supreme Fintech will now act as both a banking service to individuals and as well as an investment marketplace that showcases legitimate fintech ventures worth backing. The venture is self-funded by Malaysian-born founder and CEO Datuk Abdullah.
Blockchain firm Ripple raised $200 million in its Series C funding round, bringing its valuation to $10 billion. The funding round was led by New York investment firm Tetragon and will be used to expedite hiring, Ripple said in a statement.
Metro Bank has launched an app called MCash for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to pick up and drop off cash as needed. The timeframe for the pickups can be from 24 hours to a week ahead of time. There are about 4.2 million SMBs in the UK that rely on having cash on hand to do business every day. Metro Bank’s customers will make about 250,000 trips to either deposit or take money out every year, an activity that totals about £30 million of deposits every month.
Rebank, the UK fintech start-up tackling “unintuitive interfaces and complicated payments” in the business banking industry, has raised $2.8 million in seed funding. Led by long-term tech investor ADV, the round also saw participation from Silicon Valley seed accelerator Y Combinator, early-stage tech investor Oriza Ventures and angel investors such as British internet entrepreneur, Jude Gomila.