FinTech Futures: Top five stories of the week – 1 July 2022
Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
Aussie challenger Volt to shutter
Australian digital bank Volt has announced it is shutting down after failing to raise sufficient funds to support the business.
The firm says it is “closing its deposit-taking business and intends to return its banking licence”, and has “commenced the process of returning all deposits to its account holders”.
Although accounts are still operational, Volt Bank says customers need to withdraw funds before 5 July 2022.
“We have considered all options but ultimately we have made this call in the best interest of our customers,” Volt founder and CEO Steve Weston says.
India’s Pine Labs acquires API fintech start-up Setu
Delhi-based merchant commerce platform Pine Labs has announced it is acquiring Bengaluru-based API start-up Setu.
Founded in 2018 by Sahil Kini and Nikhil Kumar, Setu provides low-cost Application Programming Interface (API) infrastructure to businesses launching onboarding, payments, deposits, lending and data services “in a matter of days, not months”.
While terms of the deal were not disclosed by the firms, according to reports, the acquisition came at a price tag of between $70-75 million.
OBIE report shows open banking and cloud accounting benefit SMEs
The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) has published its latest report which shows small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) find cloud accounting improves efficiency and profitability.
The bi-annual report, titled the Open Banking Impact Report, assesses the progress of open banking adoption in the UK and its impact on consumers and small businesses.
In its third edition, the report focuses on a new element – how small businesses are utilising cloud accounting.
Cloud accounting lets businesses manage accounting tasks such as managing cashflow and issuing invoices through cloud-based software and open banking, which gives companies the ability to connect their bank account to their chosen accounting service.
London BNPL firm Zilch raises additional $50m in Series C extension
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform Zilch has secured an additional $50 million in funding in an extension of its Series C round.
The total amount raised in that round now stands at $160 million following an initial raise of $110 million in November last year, which valued the company at more than $2 billion.
The extension brings Zilch’s total funding to more than $460 million in debt and equity and sees the fintech company maintain its valuation.
Fintech Unlimint to become Telegram’s official payment provider
London-based fintech Unlimint is to become messaging app Telegram’s official payment provider.
The integration will allow Telegram’s more than 500 million users to make payments from the platform to purchase services and goods directly through the messenger.
Unlimint says the move is a result of the advent of “social commerce”, changing consumer demand and “a response to the evolution of online shopping”.
The firm’s payment solution includes a 3DS user authentication system for every transaction. To ensure customers’ information is kept private, sellers on the marketplace cannot store and process personal data from buyers and the built-in automated anti-fraud system sifts out suspicious transactions.