Union Bank of the Philippines appoints world-leading Data Scientist to further advance digital capabilities

Consistent with its commitment to make banking simpler and more inclusive via best-in-class digital and mobile capabilities, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) recently appointed global data science expert Dr. David Hardoon Ph. D., as the Bank’s Senior Advisor for Data and Artificial Intelligence (D & AI), reporting to President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista.

Senior Advisor for Data and Artificial Intelligence (D & AI): Dr. David Hardoon Ph. D.

The announcement was made as the Bank continues to see a surge in digital transactions among customers as a result of evolving consumer behavior amplified by the current enhanced community quarantine.  These transactions mean an increased volume of data running through the Bank’s systems which data science and AI can unlock to allow the Bank to serve its customers better.

“Leveraging Data and AI is a key driver to our next-level of digital transformation as we continue to put the customer – both individuals and businesses – at the heart of our business,” said UnionBank President and CEO Edwin Bautista in a statement.

Dr. Hardoon replaces John Januszczak, who is now focused in his role as president and CEO of UBX, UnionBank’s fintech subsidiary.

Dr. Hardoon is a graduate of Royal Halloway, the University of London with First-Class Honors B.Sc. in Computer Science and AI, and a holder of a PhD in Machine Learning from the University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science United Kingdom.

Prior to his appointment at UnionBank, Dr. Hardoon was the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS, Singapore’s counterpart of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) first appointed Chief Data Officer and Head of the Data Analytics Group, and subsequently MAS’ Special Advisor on Artificial Intelligence. In these roles, he led the development of the AI strategy both for MAS and Singapore’s financial sector as well as efforts in promoting open cross-border data flow.

In addition, he led and established the ASEAN Advanced Analytics of Ernst & Young Advisory Singapore as Director of EY Data, IT Advisory Services, and co-founded Azendian Solutions Pte. Ltd., an information management and data science consultancy between 2013 and 2017. He was also Head of Analytics at SAS Institute Ltd. Singapore from 2010 to 2013.

As Senior Advisor for Data and AI, Dr. Hardoon will be working with various centers, groups, and units to reinforce data infrastructure and governance, behavior modelling, machine learning, and AI capabilities as well as applications in the Bank and its parent company Aboitiz Equity Ventures.

Aside from his role with the Bank, Dr. Hardoon is concurrently Senior Advisor for AI to Singapore’s Corrupt Investigation Practices Bureau, and Senior Advisor for Data Science to Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board.

Global advisory giant to launch major digital finance operation in Dubai

One of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and services organisations is to develop a major digital finance operation from Dubai, confirms its CEO and founder.

deVere Group’s Nigel Green made the announcement on Wednesday as the world readjusts to a post-pandemic new normal.

Mr Green comments: “The world has changed forever in the last few months, the market has changed and client expectations have changed.

“Much of this is being driven by new technologies and the rapid pace of the digitialisation of our lives, including our financial lives. 

“It was a trend that was happening pre-pandemic, but which has been massively accelerated because of it.

“Indeed, this new decade is being reshaped more rapidly and more dramatically than any other.

“To meet these fundamental shifts, we’re developing and building a major digital financial organisation from Dubai.”

There are, says Nigel Green, three main drivers why Dubai has been chosen for this by the organisation that does business in 100 countries worldwide.

“First, we already have had for more than 15 years a considerable footprint in Dubai and across the UAE, with many teams of highly talented individuals.

“Second, Dubai, which is already recognised as one of the most important financial centres in the world, can be expected to become one of the world’s top ten international financial hubs to rival and more aggressively compete with the likes of London, New York and Hong Kong.”
 
He adds: “Dubai is helped in this regard by having an independent regulator, an independent judicial system, a global financial exchange, a stable, pro-business government, a high proposition of high net worth individuals, a dynamic business community, world-class infrastructure, superior digital and telecommunications networks, English as its de-facto business language, and its enviable geographical location and time zone.

“And third is Dubai’s passion for and expertise in innovation. We’ve seen this in real-time as the emirate diversified from oil to become a truly global leader in trade, transportation, finance, tourism, retail and real estate.  

“This is exemplified by Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’; as well as Sultan Al Mansoori, the UAE Economy Minister, saying recently that the new economy will now be built around digital.”

The deVere CEO says that the Dubai-based digital financial organisation will consolidate and “significantly further develop and expand” the organisation’s pioneering global Contactless Finance service and its world-leading fintech apps, which allow people to access, use, save, invest and manage their money 24/7, on-the-go, anywhere in the world.

Nigel Green concludes: “Our new Dubai-based model is designed for the new world with, as always, the client experience, and expectations and outcomes front and centre of mind.”

UnionBank bolsters COVID-19 ‘Stay-At-Home’ with range of digital services

In response to the Philippine government’s “Stay At Home” directive as part of the ongoing enhanced community quarantine, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) continues to process a growing number of digital transactions and remains business-as-usual (BAU), throughout the ECQ.

For the month of March, UnionBank logged a nearly 160% in daily sign-ups to its online and mobile banking portals, and enabled more than 500,000 credit card transactions and well over 1 million Instapay and PesoNet fund transfer transactions. Importantly, the bank waived all its fees on InstaPay and PesoNet since the start of the ECQ and has extended this to April 30.  

Most significantly, UnionBank also registered a tremendous surge in new accounts opened “100% digitally” through the UnionBank Online platform, as this was 2700X higher than year-ago levels.

These robust figures come amid reports from several consumer monitoring groups that the behavior of banking customers may be changing, preferring to use digital channels during the lockdown.

UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista said the coronavirus crisis could be the turning point in customers’ shift-to-digital – to safely access their funds, do transfer, make payments and apply for credit.

 “This represents a tremendous new opportunity for banking in the country as this should reduce the number of Filipinos who remain unbanked.  As this happens, we at UnionBank are fully prepared with the digital infrastructure already in place to offer full banking services to more people, more conveniently and more cost-effectively,” Bautista said. 

Along with its digital platforms that enable the public to bank from home, UnionBank also rolled out its 5G-enabled mobile van called 5G-Bank On Wheels (5G-BOW) to serve people’s banking needs during the ECQ.  

With its 5G-BOW clients can withdraw, pay bills, transfer funds, open an account and do balance-inquiries with faster, more robust bandwidth and internet connections, powered by its unique 5G technology.

In terms of its brick-and-mortar branches, UnionBank was able to keep 94% of its branches open, outside of those in medical quarantine and local lockdown areas; while safely keeping close to 90% of employees working from home in compliance with government guidelines.

How can cloud-based analytics help banks drive digital transformation?

By Paul Jones, Head of Technology, SAS UK & Ireland

Fintechs are turning up the heat in retail and corporate banking. As smaller, more agile providers have entered the banking market, customers are getting used to a higher level of service – a personalised, digital experience that guides them to make quicker, smarter decisions about their finances. For traditional banks to compete, they need to transform the way they operate. On the retail banking side, that means digitising customer-facing services. No queuing in branches, no paperwork. And when customers apply for a credit card or loan, they get a decision in seconds.

Meanwhile, on the corporate side, the aim of transformation is often to enable an everything as a service (XaaS) strategy, building smart packaged offerings such as treasury as a service or risk management as a service, which the bank can both consume in-house and provide to enterprise clients.

Data-driven digital transformation

To foster this type of digital business transformation, banks need to redesign both internal and customer-facing processes to embed data-driven decision making. By integrating intelligent automation and decisioning capabilities into their operations, banks can eliminate paperwork and manual processing. This will greatly improve service levels to customers while keeping the cost-to-serve to a minimum.

The creation of these data-driven services depends on the ability to design, build, test and deploy processes that embed predictive models using both well-established statistical methods and new artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) techniques. The development life cycle for these models is inherently experimental. It’s vital to try different approaches, test the results, and iterate on the candidates that offer the greatest potential. To remain relevant in the digital age, organisations must deliver such experiments with agility and speed.

The obstacle of legacy infrastructure

The problem is that banks’ traditional IT architectures – built around legacy on-premises systems – are a uniquely bad environment for developing these models. Due to the experimental nature of the models, it’s very difficult to forecast what type of infrastructure banks will need for upcoming projects. For example, different machine learning algorithms run best on hardware that has been optimised for that category of model building. If you invest in a cluster of servers with a particular configuration of memory and processors, it may only be suitable for a small subset of the work you actually need to do. And every time you need to change your approach, you’ll face high fixed costs and a long lead time to get the right infrastructure in place.

Instead, you need an IT architecture that allows you to set up experiments quickly and manage them flexibly. When an idea doesn’t work out, you should have the ability to fail fast and cut your losses. And when an idea succeeds, you need to get it into production rapidly and roll it out for enterprise-scale deployment.

The promise of cloud-based analytics

The cloud is the perfect environment for these exploratory projects. It gives you the freedom to spin up almost any type of infrastructure within minutes, and either scale it or shut it down instantly depending on the results.

Cloud environments also free you from dependencies on departmental silos and the quirks of your internal network. They give you a green-field site where cross-functional teams can collaborate freely, enabling you to build models that combine domain knowledge from different areas of the bank and create opportunities for XaaS offerings that would never have been possible in the past.

Regulatory hurdles

While most of the major public cloud providers now offer a range of analytics-specific infrastructure services, they come at a price. Once your data and models live in a particular proprietary cloud repository, they can be difficult to get out again. You’re locked into their infrastructure for the foreseeable future.

Besides the commercial implications, this lock-in poses a major regulatory problem for banks. According to the latest consultation paper on outsourcing and third-party risk management from the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), regulators expect banks to be able to port any outsourced services over to another provider or bring them back in house without any risk to business continuity.

The right tool for the job

I’ve had conversations about moving to the cloud with CIOs at banks of various sizes, and this issue of portability has been a recurring theme. They are looking for analytics solutions that work with any vendor and run on any cloud platform – or move between platforms – without significant disruption. In fact, since many banking use cases involve analysing data that is too sensitive to store outside the internal network, one of the most-requested offerings is a hybrid cloud/on-premises solution. Banks could then perform experimental projects with anonymised data in the cloud and then bring the successful models back into their own data centre for deployment in production.

Finally, while there’s a lot of buzz around AI/ML techniques, it’s important to recognise that they are not always the best option. Traditional statistical methods can be equally powerful, cost less to maintain, and can be easier to explain and audit – an increasingly important capability, as a recent legal case in the Netherlands demonstrates. My advice is always that banks should look for a single platform that gives equal support to both statistical and AI/ML modelling techniques and provides easy-to-use visualisations that make models easier to interpret. This allows your data scientists to pick the best tool for the job. And makes it easier for you to ensure the safe and responsible use of your data.

We’re working with a number of leading banks to power their digital transformation initiatives and build towards the XaaS future in the cloud. Find out more about what’s possible with cloud computing.

UBX mobile ATMs to expedite gov’t covid-19 subsidies via rural banks & coops in the Philippines

UBX, the fintech company of Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), recently started deploying a rapid and remote mobile-enabled ATM solution in response to COVID-19, as part of its i2i platform.  With i2i Mobile ATM, rural banks and financial cooperatives across the Philippines are enabled to pay-out a wide range of government subsidies direct to beneficiaries in the historically underserved countryside. This will help address the growing need to access cash, as a result of the extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, the largest and most populous island in the country.

UBX

i2i’s Mobile ATM technology works just like a standard ATM and allows rural banks, financial cooperatives, their agents and associated merchants to offer cash out and balance inquiry transactions for all locally issued debit/ATM cards. Financial institutions that avail of i2i Mobile ATM receive i2i Mobile ATM devices within days of signing up. They are enabled to pay-out government subsidies and positioned to participate in the emergency subsidy program under the Philippine government’s Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

UBX developed this state-of-the-art mobile ATM in partnership with leading Irish Financial Services Group, Fexco. Fexco currently employs more than 2,400 people across the globe, focused on delivering technology enabled financial services to a wide range of banking and fintech partners, and this initiative with UBX will build on the existing partnership in the Philippines.

Cathal Brendan Foley, CEO of Fexco Philippines, said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with UBX to assist Filipinos in this time of need. This partnership will allow us to rapidly deliver crucial financial services to consumers across the UBX and UBP banking partner network. Fexco and UBX are both dedicated to enhancing financial inclusion for both the businesses and the people of the Philippines.”

UBX’s i2i Network is the fastest-growing and largest network of financial institutions including rural banks, thrift banks, savings banks, cooperatives and other non-banking financial institutions. Since launching its technology platform in April 2019, the i2i Network is over 110 members strong with nearly 1,000 branches between them.

John Januszczak, CEO of UBX Philippines, said: “By digitally connecting community-based financial institutions best positioned to serve the financially excluded, the i2i Network and i2i Mobile ATM are extremely well poised to support our government’s effort to contain the pandemic while enabling the provision of much needed relief to those affected.” 

First Head of Fintech Strategy & Commercialisation Named at Shawbrook Bank

UK fintech market veteran, Stuart Doignie, has been appointed as Shawbrook looks to scale-up and evolve its specialist SME lending proposition

Stuart Doignie Head of Fintech Strategy & Commercialisation

Specialist SME lender, Shawbrook Bank, has started the new decade by appointing its first Head of Fintech Strategy and Commercialisation.

Stuart Doignie, who is well known within the fintech industry, joins Shawbrook’s Business Finance Division as the Bank aims to become the UK’s SME lender of choice.

Mr. Doignie has held several senior roles within the fintech space and his appointment signals Shawbrook’s intent to adopt new technologies as it looks to evolve its specialist SME lending proposition.

As Head of Fintech Strategy & Commercialisation, his primary focus will be on the adoption of technology to advance the specialist SME lender’s own infrastructure but also to support the development of new products and to leverage wider initiatives such as Open Banking.

He said: “I’ve witnessed first-hand how technology is disrupting the SME finance landscape, particularly in the un-secured space.

“The really interesting challenge now is to see how technology can help business owners’ access more sophisticated forms of funding.

“With such a diverse range of specialist SME lending products, I believe Shawbrook is perfectly placed to become one of the first institutions to demonstrate how fintech can be deployed to transform not just distribution but funding solutions too.”

Well known across the fintech industry after holding senior roles including Head of SME at Starling Bank, Chief Risk Officer at ezbob and most recently Chief Commercial Officer at OpenPayd – a leader in the Banking-as-a-Service market – Mr. Doignie has helped pioneer the use of smart technology to provide new finance solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises throughout his career.

His first task at Shawbrook will be to source and deploy a leading cloud-based commercial lending platform. This platform will enable the Bank to develop and scale-up both established and recently launched products including Commercial Loan, Development Finance, Growth Capital and Unitranche.

Neil Rudge, Managing Director of Shawbrook’s Business Finance division, said: “As a specialist lender, focused entirely on UK SMEs, we’ve built a suite of funding products over recent years to address a breadth of needs.

“We’ll be making a number of investments in technology during 2020 to help us rapidly evolve and develop these products, reduce friction in their delivery, and reach more SMEs through slicker distribution.”

He added: “With Stuart’s experience and knowledge across the fintech sector, we’re well placed to create a truly scalable and unique tech infrastructure.”

UnionBank’s ‘Tech Up, Pilipinas’ drive resonates at Singapore Fintech Festival

Only Phl banking exhibitor since 2018 draws VIPs

Visitors are drawn to the two-story UnionBank booth that highlighted revolutionary and socially relevant digital innovations.
Visitors are drawn to the two-story UnionBank booth that highlighted revolutionary and socially relevant digital innovations.

Still the lone Philippine banking institution participating at the annual Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) held at the Singapore Expo last week, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) again established a powerful presence on the world stage worthy of the visit of well-known dignitaries, the prime minister of Singapore included.   

Replicating its success on its global debut at the SFF last year, UnionBank – thrice honored by Asiamoney as the Philippines’ Best Digital Bank since 2017 – bannered its suite of emerging technologies, along with those of its fintech and thrift subsidiaries UBX and CitySavings, consistent with its relentless drive to extend more affordable and accessible financial services to all Filipinos here and abroad.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong chats with UnionBank chairman Justo Ortiz as he made a stop at the UnionBank exhibition – the first booth he visited at the SFF. With them are UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista, UBX president and CEO John Januszczak, Platform Development head Ramon Duarte, Human Resource head Michelle Rubio, Transaction Banking head John Cary Ong and Fintech Business Group head Arvie de Vera.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong chats with UnionBank chairman Justo Ortiz as he made a stop at the UnionBank exhibition – the first booth he visited at the SFF. With them are UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista, UBX president and CEO John Januszczak, Platform Development head Ramon Duarte, Human Resource head Michelle Rubio, Transaction Banking head John Cary Ong and Fintech Business Group head Arvie de Vera.

No less than the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, together with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon, graced the booth frequented by curious visitors intently asking about the bank’s cutting-edge digital products and platforms and how it benefits the common man. UnionBank has partnerships with OCBC Bank Singapore to pioneer remittance services from the city-state to the Philippines through blockchain-based platforms, and with the MAS for its SME marketplace Business Sans Borders (BSB) that is seen to empower local SMEs to explore and expand internationally.

UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista and chairman Justo Ortiz explained how, through the bank’s comprehensive strategy called “Tech Up, Pilipinas,” it is utilizing technology to promote financial inclusion for sustainable prosperity, particularly of the unbanked and the underserved, who compose around half of the Philippines’ 108 million population. Financial inclusion is a vital component for the realization of the Philippines’ vision to become a G20 country by 2050.

Other dignitaries who visited the UnionBank booth were Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Govenor Benjamin Diokno, who looked visibly proud of the Filipino ingenuity as he was toured inside the booth by Bautista. The central bank chief thanked UnionBank for raising the Philippine flag at what is dubbed as the biggest fintech summit gathering global innovation and business leaders. Bautista, in turn, said UnionBank’s remarkable showing at the SFF is a testament to its commitment to remain agile and a frontrunner in this digital revolution.

How Many Bank Accounts Should I Have? (At Least Three)

In the past, people had a checking account and a single savings account. But those were the days when you paid by check and had to go into the branch to do any banking.

Times have changed! We can now send and receive money with a click of a button on your smartphones. So why are we still stuck in the same account habits? 

If you’ve asked yourself, “how many bank accounts should I have?” read on. We’ve got all the answers. 

How Many Bank Accounts Should I Have?

The average American has between $6000-$9000 in their checking accounts. But if you are one of those people, your money isn’t working as hard for you as it could be.  

The great thing about multiple bank accounts is that you can separate your money for different purposes.

You can keep your money that is reserved for a vacation or emergency car and home repairs separate from your account that pays your monthly bills.
When your money is altogether in one lump sum, it is easier to spend money on things it wasn’t intended for.

Keep in mind that having multiple accounts is only beneficial if you aren’t paying a lot in fees and if the account doesn’t have minimum balance requirements. 
Here are some of the best ways you can separate your money into various accounts. 

Accounts for Saving

A savings account has many useful benefits. For one thing, these accounts tend to offer you higher interest rates.

Sometimes, these accounts place limits on how often you can withdraw from them. This might help you think twice about taking money out of your savings.
A lot of people have two different bank accounts: one savings and one checking.

But, two or more savings accounts are very useful for people who live paycheck to paycheck. Two or more savings accounts is a digital version of the jar saving system.

But instead of separating your savings into a jar labelled, car, school, and vacation, you have multiple accounts.
Here are some of the saving accounts you might have. 

Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is a separate saving account that you use to save for unexpected costs.

For example, you could stash some funds in this account to save for job loss, unexpected car repairs and so on. Experts recommend 3-6 months of income be saved in this account. 

Treat this account like a fire extinguisher in a glass case. You only break the glass and take out your money in a true emergency.

To grow this account, set an automatic transfer from your checking account on payday. It’s fine if you only deposit a little bit into this account each time you get paid. Over time, this fund will grow.

Short-Term Savings

A separate savings account can be set-up for your short term saving goals such as money for Christmas presents, a holiday or specific expenses like new tires for your car.

The goal of this account is to keep your money safe from accidental spending. You might have one for all your short-term saving goals, or you may prefer to have one for each goal.

The great thing about online banking is that you can name your accounts whatever you want. So you can make it clear what the purpose of each account is. Try to put a set amount into this account each pay period.

One way to help you stay on track is to figure out the total amount you need and when you need it by. Then divide that number by how many paychecks you’ll get until the goal date. This helps you figure out exactly how much money you need to set aside each pay to reach your goal on time.

Like the emergency fund, you do not use this money for bills, going out to eat or other superfluous expenses.

Long-Term Savings

You should also have an account for your long-term savings. You can save for things such as retirement or post-secondary education.
A regular savings account might not be the best place to grow your money.

Learn about investment management to help your money the most.

How Many Checking Accounts Should I have?

Now let’s talk about checking accounts. These accounts allow unlimited transactions such as withdrawals and purchases.

You may opt to have one checking account where you do all your spending. This means your paycheck gets deposited into this account. You also pay your bills from this account and buy groceries, gas for your car and go out to dinner from this account.

You can see how this may be problematic. The last thing you want is to spend money only to realize that now you don’t have enough for your rent or mortgage.
One of the best ways to avoid this is by having two checking accounts.

One account should be for your incoming funds such as paychecks. You should keep the funds you need for all your monthly bills in here.

Then, move the remainder of your money to a separate checking account. This is the account you can use for day-to-day spending. By doing this, you avoid spending money meant for your bills.

Final Words

There you have it. A complete guide to help you answer the question: “how many bank accounts should I have?”

Keep in mind that you may need to adjust this guide to suit your specific financial situation. You might find you need fewer accounts than we’ve suggested.

As long as you have a system that lets you divide your money into manageable and purposeful ways, that’s all that matters.

At CFI.co, we report on business, economics and finance to give you the information you need. Learn more about CFI here.

Cardstream Works With Banking Circle To Create Unique Lending Service

Joint white label solution allows Cardstream’s Partners to offer their merchants flexible and affordable business loans

www.bankingcircle.com

London, November 2019 – Independent payment solutions provider, Cardstream, has partnered with Banking Circle to pioneer a unique joint white label lending solution. Each of Cardstream’s more than 200 Partners provides payment services to many hundreds of SME merchants. Now, with the launch of this new initiative, they can offer these merchants access to affordable, flexible business loans which could make the difference between their success or failure.

To help smaller businesses access essential business financing more easily, Banking Circle entered the SME lending sector in 2018, launching Banking Circle Lending and Banking Circle Instant Settlement. These revolutionary new solutions were built in response to an SME study involving more than 500 businesses, which revealed the impact of high interest rates, high arrangement fees and inflexible repayment options when accessing funding through traditional lenders.

Cardstream identified that the Banking Circle Lending solutions would provide an important added-value for its Partners as CEO Adam Sharpe explained:

“Cardstream’s Partners enjoy strong and trusted relationships with the merchants to whom they provide our white labelled payment gateway service under their own trusted brand. Now, with this new service developed with Banking Circle, they can offer loans to any of their merchant customer businesses based on their online payments revenue.

“The loans are risk free to the Partner, who is able to retain a share of the revenue generated if this falls within its business model and merchant agreement. We believe it’s a win-win for both sides.  The Partner enhances its merchant relationships and the merchants have quick access to valuable funding, whether to fill a cashflow gap or to support business growth.”

Anders la Cour, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Banking Circle added: “Banking Circle is committed to providing market infrastructure as a real alternative to traditional banking solutions, with the aim of increasing financial inclusion. As part of this, we wanted to deliver a more accessible lending solution for businesses in need of a financial boost.

“Now, through our partnership with Cardstream, more than 200 payment providers have access to our unique lending solution, meaning tens of thousands of small businesses can access the cash they need to expand, restock or simply survive a quiet period. In the past, these SMEs would have been unable to borrow the vital funds, which could have meant letting employees go or even business failure.”

About Banking Circle

Banking Circle is a next-generation provider of mission-critical financial services infrastructure leading the rise of a super-correspondent banking network. Banking Circle empowers banks and financial tech businesses to support customers’ trading ambitions – domestic and global – whilst reducing risk and the operational cost of transactions. Banking Circle solutions are increasing financial inclusion by helping thousands of businesses transact across borders in a way that was previously not possible.

In 2013 Saxo Bank formed a new entity, Saxo Payments A/S, with the purpose of using Saxo Bank’s core capabilities within the non-cash payments market. In October 2015 the company launched the Banking Circle – its ground-breaking product for payments and FX to the Financial Tech industry. In October 2017, the company launched its new identity for Banking Circle, to reflect its position as a financial utility, servicing Financial Tech businesses and banks. In September 2018, Banking Circle was acquired by EQT VIII and EQT Ventures, in partnership with Banking Circle’s founders.

Domiciled  in the European Union, Banking Circle specialises in providing global banking services including accounts, payments, lending and foreign exchange services to financial institutions, including FinTechs, banks, acquirers, payment service providers, FX brokers, money transfer businesses, e-wallets, and alternative payment providers.

About Cardstream

FinTech success Cardstream is the UK’s largest independent provider of white label payment software and services. Its mission is to become the global standard for white label payment provision. Everything the company does is designed to give its partners the freedom, flexibility and control to deliver the unhindered achievement of their business objectives.

Cardstream’s breadth of relationships, advanced portfolio of features and acquirer independence ensures that its partners can build a payment proposition they control and that delivers the maximum financial return.

For further information and inteviews please contcat the Cardstream Press Office:

Leon Lee – Commercial Director

T: 0345 0099575

E: [email protected]

Visa And Georgia’s Tbc-Backed Neobank – Space Announce Strategic Partnership

Visa signs partnership agreement with FTSE250 TBC Bank’s Space, the first Georgian neobank,to develop innovative banking solutions in Georgia andbeyond in the growing digital payments landscape

Visa And Georgia’s Tbc-Backed Neobank - Space Announce Strategic Partnership

TBILISI, 14 NOVEMBER 2019 – Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, and Space, the first fully digital bank in Georgia, today announced they have signed a partnership agreement to jointly develop innovative banking services and expand digital banking footprints in new geographies.

Space is a startup backed by TBC Bank and was launched in 2018 with just three employees. They now have more than 70 employees, and have amassed a portfolio of more than 160,000 consumers. The bank operates as an innovative banking laboratory, and has successfully introduced financial services in new formats in Georgia. These include online bank account opening, remote KYC, courier card delivery by electro scooters, and the ability to manage all banking services through a mobile app.

Through the partnership, Visa will work with Space to jointly develop innovative, user-centric and secure banking solutions and help Space in their ambitions to expand to other countries focusing on CISSEE (Commonwealth of Independent States and Southeastern Europe).

Nikoloz Kurdiani, the Deputy CEO of TBC Bank said,“Space has the ability to transform everyday banking experiences by making them easier and better. When we launched Space, we wanted to move beyond the traditional banking approach and outdated technology to create a new type of bank in Georgia that would be better at responding to modern customers’ needs. Now, we are ready to go global. Therefore, it is critically important for us to have gained Visa as our strategic partner. Space has proved that its innovative and ambitious vision is realistic and that it is ready to accomplish bigger goals.”

Yevgen Lisnyak, Senior Director and Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech & Ventures (Visa, CISSEE), added:At Visa we believe in the power of partnership to bring our profound experience and innovative solutions to emerging payment players like Space. Being in the center of Fintech ecosystem, we aim to share our knowledge, best practices and network of technological partners with Space to achieve mutual goals in expanding the reach of digital financial services. Today, we are witnessing a rapid transformation of the financial banking sector, where new players are playing a significant role. Neobanks are agile, consumer-centric, flexible and innovative, offering modern consumers completely new financial solutions and digital banking experience. We are excited to be able to support fintechs to navigate the payments landscape in the Caucasus region to achieve their business growth and international expansion ambitions”

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com, www.visasoutheasteurope.com, https://www.facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE;

About Space

For the first time in region, thoroughly digital banking service – Space has launched. Space, powered by TBC Bank, is aka Neobank, that doesn’t have any branch offices or physical spaces, and exists just on mobile phones. Space is user friendly and aims at giving simple, transparent and rapid daily financial service. Space, the first ever digital bank in Georgia and in the region, was launched in May, 2018 and it has already achieved more than 400,000 downloads and 160,000 registered customers (As of 31 September, 2019). Aim of Space bank is to deliver a full daily banking mobile service with superior customer experience by putting special focus on differentiating by design, customer care, price transparency and instant service delivery. Space is available on App Store and Google Play.