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Every fortnight, The Banker showcases the most interesting insights from the world of fintech. Liz Lumley reports.

Fintech is a wide-ranging, multi-sector and global industry, the growth of which influences not only the banking world, but society as a whole. Our deep dives, interviews and coverage looking at the evolution of payments, finance and banking are fuelled by constant updates, news and commentary on deals, funding rounds and partnerships. Fintech Fortnightly captures the latest and most significant events in the fintech world.

This fortnight, e-money providers get a ‘Dear CEO’ letter from the UK regulator, a new card lets consumers fund innovative science projects, Griffin Bank adds financial crime assurance to its Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, Purpl launches a digital wallet in Lebanon, and the Isle of Man announces an international cohort for its FinTech Innovation Challenge. 

Dear CEO, are you safe?

Signed by Matthew Long, director, payments and digital assets at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a ‘Dear CEO’ letter was sent to firms authorised or registered under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 and the Electronic Money Regulations 2011, such as payment institutions, electronic money institutions and registered account information service providers. 

The letter said: “We welcome the competition and innovation we have seen in the payments sector and the improved choice, convenience, and value this can provide for customers. However, we remain concerned that many payments firms do not have sufficiently robust controls and that as a result some firms present an unacceptable risk of harm to their customers and to financial system integrity. We consider that the risk of customer harm is heightened by the tightening economic conditions and the cost-of-living crisis. 

“You should identify the messages in this letter that are relevant to your firm and take appropriate action to deliver three outcomes that we have set for payments firms:

  • Ensure that your customers’ money is safe;
  • Ensure that your firm does not compromise financial system integrity; and
  • Meet your customers’ needs, including through high quality products and services, competition and innovation, and robust implementation of the FCA Consumer Duty.”

Pay me with science!

Enfuce and Science Card launch a card to fund science through day-to-day payment activity

Card issuing and processing provider Enfuce has partnered with UK neobanking start-up Science Card to launch a payments card, which forms part of a new infrastructure for funding scientific research. Science Card’s customers have access to funding infrastructure, and through the payment app can fund scientific research at leading UK universities. 

Enfuce will issue and process the Mastercard-branded card, which will be made available through Science Card’s app with Enfuce’s API, allowing customers to top up their account with money and use it as their primary spending account. 

Crime stoppers

Cable and UK bank Griffin partner to integrate automated financial crime assurance into Griffin’s BaaS platform

Griffin has partnered with all-in-one testing platform provider Cable. The UK bank will use Cable’s technology to integrate additional oversight processes into its current financial crime control framework. 

“We are excited to work with Cable to enhance our BaaS platform,” said David Jarvis, CEO at Griffin. “We partnered with Cable because of their team and innovative technology and comprehensive approach to financial crime compliance. Through this partnership, we can better manage our customers and automate lengthy compliance processes, freeing up valuable time and resources for our customers to focus on product development.”

E-money access 

Lebanese fintech Purpl launches digital wallet on Mambu

Purpl customers can now use the financial app to send and receive money, and cash out at hundreds of ATMs across the country. Having secured its digital wallet licence, Purpl’s offering, built on Mambu’s cloud-native banking platform, will provide Lebanese citizens at home and abroad with seamless ways of transacting.

Jean-Marie Khoueir, co-founder and COO at Purpl, says: “We are operating in a region with a large number of financially excluded people, and we exist to bridge this gap. Digital wallets provide a form of electronic money to those who otherwise cannot access traditional bank accounts, which is now the case of more than 80% of the Lebanese population. Underlying all this is a convenience factor and a more efficient and transparent user experience. Mambu enables us to live and breathe the digital- and customer-first model, ensuring that a broader range of users have access to essential financial services.”

Island challenge 

The Isle of Man’s FinTech Innovation Challenge cohort has been announced

Sixteen global companies have been selected for the Isle of Man’s flagship FinTech Innovation Challenge. Solutions address a range of crucial issues facing the financial services industry, from blockchain and cryptography protections to AI-based business forecasting. 

The cohort includes: Blindspot Solutions, Codos Foundation, Crucial Compliance, Cygnetise, Digidentity, ID-Pal, Infrasoft Technologies, Nettle, ONBORD, SignD Identity, SQR Group, Sure (Isle of Man), Trust Stamp, WeavAir, Whitespace Global and Yoti.

The challenge will conclude with a demo day on June 29, where entrants’ solutions will be showcased in front of a panel of judges, as well as industry experts and potential customers.


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