Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from Numeral, Paytrix, CMC Markets, Detected, iwoca, CRIF and Alba.
Numeral addresses IBAN discrimination for UK fintechs
The banking aggregation and payment automation platform Numeral has now officially launched in the UK. Numeral’s platform provides fintech companies with fast access to SEPA, Bacs, and FPS through their banking partners.
Numeral found that, since Brexit, customers of UK fintech companies have faced renewed cases of IBAN discrimination – a form of financial inequity that occurs when companies or employers refuse to accept an IBAN for payment in euros due to its country code, which can lead to customers being unable to access certain services. The platform aims to help UK fintechs address this issue and thrive in the European market.
Édouard Mandon, co-founder and CEO at Numeral, said: “Using Numeral, UK fintech companies can connect to and send and receive SEPA payments with the EU banks of their choice, effectively benefiting from EU IBANs.”
Alba receives banking licence and funding
Alba has obtained its UK banking licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). It also received significant investment in its most recent funding round.
The licence sees Alba become Scotland’s first fully operational, digital-first SME-focused bank. Alba worked with the PRA as well as the FCA to develop its processes and systems.
Rod Ashley, CEO of Alba, commented: “This is unquestionably a landmark moment in our journey so far. Firstly, I’m incredibly proud of the team who have steadfastly believed in our mission of launching a new SME-focused bank and have worked tirelessly to build a comprehensive business plan which has allowed us to receive our AwR license from the regulators.”
Paytrix receives licences
London-based fintech startup Paytrix has obtained a Payments Institution Licence, to deliver regulated payment services to UK businesses.
The licence ensures that Paytrix is authorised to provide UK businesses with foreign exchange, remittance, as well as local payment services.
Aran Brown, CEO of Paytrix, said: “Achieving a gold standard in compliance and licensing across the whole business, from technology to banking partners, is core to the Paytrix vision. Our compliance-first approach, combined with the deep, technical expertise of our team, gives customers and prospects the confidence they need when it comes to moving money around the globe.
“Acquiring the Payments Institution Licence is also the first tick on our regulatory roadmap as we build out our global payments solution.”
The UK’s financial capitals
UK trading company CMC Markets has analysed The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data to discover which locations have the highest concentration of finance companies.
London ranked first, housing 22,305 total businesses, 3,400 of which are within the finance and insurance sphere, resulting in 15.42 per cent. Salford took second 1,450 finance businesses out of 10,910 (13.29 per cent). Carlisle comes in third, with 5,180 businesses, 625 of which are finance and insurance, resulting in 12.07 per cent.
The borough of Waverley (9.84 per cent); Stevenage (8.63 per cent); Westminster (8.04 per cent); Leicester (7.91 per cent); Blaby (7.35 per cent); Ashford (6.09 per cent), as well as Nottingham (5.87 per cent) rounded out the top 10.
Detected moves to the US
London-founded fintech Detected has expanded operations into the US. The company, which provides a global end-to-end KYB platform, has established a US entity to better serve its American clients.
Detected’s approach will enable US businesses to navigate complex KYB processes both domestically and internationally. The company’s expansion aims to benefit American businesses in a range of industries with existing international clients ranging from payments and supply chains to travel and online marketplaces.
Liam Chennells, founder and CEO of Detected, commented: “We are excited to expand our services to the US market. It is notoriously difficult for UK businesses to ‘make it’ in the US but we are going to do the same as we have always done, focus on the value the technology we have built delivers for our clients.”
iwoca joins forces with CRIF
Fintech business lender iwoca has partnered with CRIF, the credit information provider, to offer instant decisions on lending applications.
The embedded finance partnership will see CRIF’s ‘Credit Passport’ service, which provides SMEs with access to an open banking-powered credit profile, fully integrated into iwoca’s own services and lending platform. It will also enable instant decisions on business loans up to £25,000 and decisions within 24 hours for loans up to £500,000.
Sara Costantini, regional director for UK and Ireland at CRIF, said: “CRIF’s partnership with iwoca allows us to embed finance into our Credit Passport offering to provide instant lending. We’re also reducing uncertainty for businesses over funding decisions while making the process smoother and faster. This way, they can focus on what really matters – running and growing their business.”