R8 relaunches as Mode, appoints ex-Alipay CEO Rita Liu as CCO
R8, the London-based fintech launched by challenger Redwood Bank’s founder, has rebranded to Mode.
It has also landed Alipay’s former UK chief executive Rita Liu as its chief commercial officer (CCO) and non-executive board director.
Mode is one of the fintech’s two entities – which also includes JGOO. Mode, launched in 2019, offers solutions for digital assets.
Whilst JGOO, launched two years earlier, acts as the official UK partner for WeChat Pay and Alipay on all things sales and marketing.
Liu spent just under ten years at Alipay, spearheading its expansion into new markets.
During her time at the Chinese Big Tech, she formed partnerships across Russia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Canada. Before finally landing back in the UK as its British subsidiary’s chief executive.
Her appointment to newly branded Mode will see her responsible for the business’ strategy and commercial partnerships.
As well as digitising general financial services, Mode focuses on bringing digital asset services into the mainstream.
“Today’s digital banking apps neglect cryptocurrencies even as research shows increasing demand for digital assets,” says Liu.
She cites the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) research from 30 June 2020. It shows 2.6 million UK consumers have bought cryptocurrencies at some point, a 73% increase since last year.
“We want to change that by helping users unlock and monetise their digital asset holdings for use in our everyday economy,” she adds.
A new face
Founded in 2015, then-called R8 acted as a group majority investor in its businesses. The move under the name Mode sees it bring together these separate businesses under one roof.
R8 previously operated the Mode app, which enables users to manage sterling, euro and Bitcoin via a single platform. It also operated payments and marketing provider, JGOO.
“Our rebrand signals the evolution of the group,” says Mode’s chairman, Jonathan Rowland. “[We] will deliver enhanced financial services tailored to a new post-COVID norm where the transition to online and mobile interactions is accelerating.”
As well as revamping its face, R8 turned Mode is looking to expand its payments proposition.
The idea is to “integrate loyalty into the user payment experience”. Users would be able to make payments to brands using both traditional and digital currencies.