Finch Capital announces two new investments in key geographical markets

Today Finch Capital, financial technology venture capital firm, announced that it has led the Series A investments for two companies: an investment in Ayopop, an Indonesian mobile bill payment platform and a €2 million investment in Ikbenfrits, a digital mortgage broker based in the Netherlands Finch Capital will join both companies’ boards.

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Albert has had an eventful November with over 1,000 five-star ratings, a feature by Apple and a new Expenses addition to the app.

Albert is the the first UK finance app for freelancers, to pass a whopping 1,000 five-star ratings in the Apple App Store – currently making it the UK’s Highest Rated Business Finance App. “A free app with no catches and actually a brilliant product – does that even happen anymore?” says a user on one of their many app store reviews. Albert clearly has a huge army of loyal users, who eagerly and regularly contribute their feedback and requests via Albert’s customer support channel. This feeds into a voting system that ultimately informs the way the app is built and developed.
It’s safe to say, this user-centred approach and its appreciation by Albert’s users hasn’t gone unnoticed by Apple, who featured Albert on the app store homepage this month in the ‘Life Hack: Work Anywhere’ category, beside several other superbly successful apps you may have heard of, such as Slack and Mailchimp.
With the launch of Albert’s most recent, innovative Expenses update, it has expanded some of its unique user experience. The app now allows people to file their expenses and invoices alongside one another, from the same handy access point; which are then stored side by side in the same, single To-Do List. This ‘All-In-One’ mindset, also seems to have informed other aspects of the workflow, making it a much smoother experience to record one’s expenses. Dan Bruce, Albert’s co-founder says, “Rather than having to switch between screens, we’ve created a newer, smarter design whereby you can zoom in on your receipt image to better view its details whilst logging it; and then also remain in view mode, whilst you select an expense category.” It’s taking the time to think about these kinds of extra details, which may go unnoticed on an everyday basis, but make all the difference to users in the long run.
Ivo Weevers, Albert’s other co-founder concludes: “It’s crazy that most self-employed people still don’t feel comfortable with their daily finances. These are basic aspects of our lives that are supposed to be easy and manageable. The whole Albert team is working extremely hard to solve this for freelancers across the world; and we’re very proud of the fact that our users, and others, seem to recognise that too.”
To find out more or download the app, visit www.getalbert.com

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Award-winning Shariah-based fintech firm Yielders is pioneering the growth of Islamic finance

The UK’s first FCA regulated, Islamic Fintech platform, Yielders, has been awarded the esteemed Islamic Economy Award in the Money and Finance category as it continues to lead the way with its inclusive and innovative Halal investment platform.
The Islamic Economy Award, managed by Thomson Reuters and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, recognises innovative world-class business initiatives and ideas that have contributed to the social and economic welfare of the Muslim population.
Islamic Finance is currently worth $2 trillion in total assets, which only accounts for 1% of global financial assets. Yet, 25% of the global population is Muslim, leaving enormous potential for growth.
Yielders are filling this gap through their Islamic Fintech property platform, which offers investments from as little as £100, allowing a much larger population to be involved in real estate investment opportunities without the hassle of being a landlord or having the burden of a mortgage.
Earlier this year, Yielders became the first Islamic Fintech platform to directly receive Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorisation, giving investors even more assurance. As a result, Yielders experienced impressive quarterly growth in investment value, with a 260% increase in Q2 and 137% comparatively in Q3.
In September, Yielders received a further boost from MP, Steve Barclay – Economic Secretary to the Treasury – who commended the firm’s contribution to the UK Islamic Finance industry in his opening remarks at the Islamic Finance conference.
Irfan Khan, Yielders founder, added: “Islamic Finance is not new, but its principles are re-defining the meaning of modern investment. Tier-one banks, and leading financial institutions are now opening their eyes to the power of this investment vehicle and this award further demonstrates its appeal to all consumers.”
This latest accolade marks the end of a successful year for the Yielders. Having already seen all of their previous properties become fully-invested, the firm will now aim to achieve the same with their new asset in the popular commuter town of Milton Keynes.
Marwa Adawy, Yielders co-founder who is listed in the Women in Fintech Powerlist 2017, added: “What’s most interesting about our user base is that half of it is made up from ages between 25 – 35, and 1 in 3 of our investors are actually female. This is just further evidence of how we’ve modernised property investment and made it attractive to the millennial Muslim investor.”
The Islamic faith prohibits interest and Yielders conform to this by pre-funding their investments, which means there is no need for a mortgage and, through pre-defined rental incomes, investors can earn almost straight away.
Yielders now look to build upon their solid foundation and further dispel myths that Islamic Finance isn’t competitive. They recently made further technology improvements to their platform, which will help them offer even more Shariah-based investment opportunities.
If you would like to know more about Yielders, or join the Fintech platform, please visit the Yielders website www.yielders.co.uk or contact The Yielders Team by phone on 0207 205 4650 or email Team@yielders.co.uk.
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EPP System® | Electronic Payment Processes takes up Shufti Pro®

Need for digital KYC has compelled one of the pioneers in the payment processing industry to join hands with Shufti Pro® for an improved credibility experience through their digital identity verification services
BATH, United Kingdom – October, 2017 – Shufti Pro®, the Software as a Service, has collaborated with EPP System® to provide authentic and seamless digital identity verification services. They aim to verify new customers at every carrier level between bank-to-bank payment transfers. Banks provide a fixed budget to the PSPs, who then equally distribute the budget between their voluminous retailers. Those resellers then provide services to the merchants, completing the chain.
EPP System® works to endow their customers with safe and secure monetary transactions between banks. They have opted Shufti Pro’s e-KYC services to integrate at each carrier level mentioned above. Every step is separately tested for fraudulent consumers so no discrepancy disrupts the transfer processes. Online money exchanges are usually card-not-present transactions, so work is made easy for the fraudsters. Therefore, a certified system was definitely needed to make sure the customer is present with their own government-issued identity documents. EPP System will now be able to confirm the 3-dimensional presence of the user through Shufti Pro’s real-time video verification. The originality of the legal documents is also examined using intelligent verification system.
CEO, Shufti Pro® said:
“Our goal is to provide Electronic Payment Services to our rather sizeable number of customers. Opting for Shufti Pro’s digital ID verification services has allowed us realize our aim in a secure, accurate and efficient manner. We’re extremely proud to present our customers with quick, real-time verification services so they can enjoy the fast and effective experience seamlessly.”
Shufti Pro aims to make the digital markets secure so all high-risk transactions can be performed without the added apprehension of fraudsters and swindle connections. The rising star in the digital KYC and online identity verification services aims to get established as a symbol of the clients’ go-to service when in need. The successful integration of artificial and human intelligence has not only raised security protocols’ standards, rather have managed to attract more traffic to the SaaS owing to greater client satisfaction. Likely, Shufti Pro’s days in the sun have just begun now that they have EPP Systems as their on-board clients.
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First Data Acquires BluePay Holdings

First Data, a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, announced news that it has acquired BluePay Holdings.
A provider of technology-enabled payment processing for merchants in the U.S. and Canada, BluePay was one of First Data’s largest distribution partners with a strong focus on software-enabled payments and card-not-present transactions. The company processes approximately $19 billion of annual sales volume for more than 77,000 eCommerce companies and is integrated into more than 450 software platforms.
BluePay offers software integration solutions that complement those offered through First Data’s CardConnect business.
“The addition of BluePay’s integrated Card-Not-Present solutions to CardConnect’s cutting-edge ISV product suite affords First Data a unique and comprehensive offering in the high-growth integrated payments space,” said First Data Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano. “Importantly, this acquisition will also allow us to enhance our service offerings to our JV alliances and other distribution partners.”
BluePay CEO, Bala Janakiraman, will continue to lead BluePay’s payment processing operations.

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Retail Fraud Online Actually Went Down For Black Friday

Here’s a nice change of pace going into the weekend: It looks like online fraud did something unsual for Black Friday this year.
It went down.
For the first time in several years, credit card fraud (the most common fraud form factor for retailers online) fell to 42 percent of total fraud during the holiday shopping weekend. Last year, the same weekend saw credit card fraud at 59 percent of all fraud, according to data from authentication and fraud prevention provider iovation.
The falling figures may indicate that retailers are getting better at sniffing out card-not-present (CNP) fraud, which has been ticking steadily upward in recent years; particularly since the brick-and-mortar retail world made the big migration to EMV.
Consumers are shopping online more frequently and shifting their commerce behavior out over days instead of over a single weekend, so retailers have been able to better tailor their promotions and security strategies going into the very active holiday shopping season.
Data indicates that Black Friday through Cyber Monday saw 62 percent of all transactions coming from phones or other mobile devices — a bounce from last year’s 55 percent.
“Online retailers who leverage device intelligence are making significant inroads when it comes to proactively preventing card-not-present fraud,” said Greg Pierson, CEO and co-founder for iovation. “This type of fraud not only cuts into their bottom line results; it can cause irreparable harm to their brand, so this is a meaningful improvement.”
A separate survey of consumers found that shoppers may be getting a better grip on how to best protect their online security by using credit rather than debit cards for online purchases, keeping a regular eye on their credit score and shopping with well-known retailers with established track records.
The one notable area of exception was passwords: Users both repeat them too often and don’t make them hard enough to crack.
But perhaps passwords will soon be a secondary security measure, as multi-factor and bio-authenticaion is becoming increasingly popular. Using context to determine how trustworthy the user is ensures the appropriate level of authentication is required, and biometrics also tend to be more frictionless for consumers.

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Best Bang For Your Buck Via Amazon Assistant

Bargain shopping is nothing new to almost any consumer out there today. People are always looking for high-quality items at a reasonable price point. Following the 2008 recession, this has become even more apparent with the rise of online second-hand stores selling a range of items, from high-end luxury goods to furniture and jewelry.
As consignment stores have seen growth over the last decade, they have certainly had an impact on consumers and the way they shop for new items. Today, people are on the hunt to find the best bang for their buck and sometimes will spend hours scouring the internet, reading customer reviews and checking out various sites to find the exact desired item.
Amazon is looking to help out with the launch of its Amazon Assistant. It’s being introduced as an extension to browsers that helps people quickly find the highest-quality product at various price points to meet the consumers’ budget. The way it works is that people can add items onto their Amazon Wish List, which then in turn shares notifications as a new sale or special offer becomes available. This offering is compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera but not on Safari for now.
It’s likely that anyone looking to get the best price for what they would like to buy would use this new feature for items to be bought down the road. This would probably not work for any impulse buying decisions. As Amazon continues its forward momentum, this new extension may be a new way for the eCommerce giant to expand its presence among long-term customers.

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