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.

Strogner Together: Women’s Payments Networks Join Forces Across the Pond

Alliance between EWPN and Wnet sees increased benefits on both sides of the Atlantic for women in fintech and payments

Women's Payments Networks Join Forces Across the Pond

Amsterdam and Atlanta – 07 November 2019 – The European Women Payments Network (EWPN) and the U.S.-based Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions (Wnet) share a mission to create better opportunities for women and the men that advocate for them in the fintech and payments industries. As a result of their like-minded goals to improve inclusion and diversity, the two organisations today announced they are coming together to allow their respective members to share the benefits of both networks. Members of both organisations can learn more by visiting EWPN and Wnet.

Through the new alliance, EWPN and Wnet will publish dedicated landing pages where members can access each organisations’ extensive intelligence, networking opportunities events, and programming. EWPN, launched in 2015 to champion diversity and inclusion in fintech and payments, serves over 1,000 individual members and 11 corporate members. Wnet, launched in 2005, serves over 3,000 women each year in the U.S., through events, information and knowledge sharing, and networking opportunities.

“This exciting alliance will see EWPN and Wnet working together, leveraging both networks for the benefit of all our combined members”, explained Martha Mghendi-Fisher, Founder of EWPN. “Both networks are dedicated to improving prospects for all women in the payments industry, increasing inclusivity and diversity. Sharing our insights, knowledge and membership will make us both stronger and allow us to bring about change as quickly as possible”.

Members will also have access to each organisation’s workshops and networking events in various U.S. and European countries throughout the year, as well as mentorship programmes. In addition, individual members of EWPN and Wnet may become members of the other organisation at a discounted rate, even if their employer is not a corporate member or sponsor.

Wnet Executive Director Lisl Dutterer announced the collaboration news on stage at the 2019 Wnet Leadership Summit “Leading in a Changing World“, the premier payments industry event designed by and for women leaders and the men who advocate for them.

“By working together, Wnet and EWPN are creating global change and the opportunity for more women to lead in the payments industry”, said Dutterer. “Wnet has been extending our member benefits to women around the globe, and we are excited for the opportunity to work with EWPN’s leadership to accomplish that goal. Sharing our insights, knowledge, and experience will make our organisations stronger and is another effort to bring about positive change across the global payments ecosystem”.

For further information, please contact:

Wendy Harrison – Harrison Sadler, for EWPN

T: +0208 977 9132

E: [email protected]

Jessie Hennion, Wnet Public Relations

T: +1 781-876-6280

E: [email protected]

Notes to Editors

About EWPN

The European Women Payments Network (EWPN) is focused on championing the skills and expertise of women in the burgeoning FinTech and payments sectors. In particular, through mentorship, leadership programmes, networking events and workshops, EWPN is providing the opportunity for women to learn, network, share and celebrate their achievements.

Each year EWPN holds the only Pan-European Conference specifically focused on women working in FinTech & Payments. The conference brings together women from all over Europe for a full-day event, featuring interactive panels, deep-dive workshops, and plenary sessions with industry female leaders.

About the Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions (Wnet)

The Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions (Wnet) is the premier professional organization for women in payments and the men that advocate for them, providing personal enrichment no matter what stage members are in their careers. The organization provides world-class national and regional programming, fosters networking and promotes mentoring to help members achieve greater personal success, influence and professional parity. Founded in 2005, Wnet is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization serving thousands of women in payments annually. For more information about national and regional events and programming, or to become a member, please visit www.wnetonline.org.

Note from editor: see also this article about Promoting Women

Banking disruptor seeks innovative developers in Denmark

Visit booth at GOTO Copenhagen 2019
18-20 November 2019

Banking Circle

London, November 2019 – Since launching in 2015 as the first ever non-bank to provide Virtual IBAN accounts, Banking Circle has been delivering ground-breaking FinTech solutions to help increase financial inclusion. As a next-generation provider of mission-critical financial services infrastructure, Banking Circle is continually growing its team and recruiting innovative developers to build market-leading solutions.

Now the multi-award-winning financial utility, which started life in a small Copenhagen office, is seeking new talent to join the team based in Denmark. Michel André, Chief Technology Officer of Banking Circle, commented: “When Banking Circle launched it had just three employees, but has grown at a tremendous pace with the global team now comprising over 200 people, including more than 50 already based in Copenhagen.

“However, to continue developing so rapidly and delivering solutions which offer true value to businesses around the world, we need to grow our team and bring in new talent with diverse experiences and new ideas.

“We are excited to be attending GOTO Copenhagen 2019 later this month and look forward to showing budding and experienced developers how they can be part of improving SME financial inclusion around the world, which in turn boosts economies. Not only is Banking Circle a great place to work, but it is a FinTech pushing for and inspiring change in the global financial industry today.”

As Chief Technology Officer, Michel André heads up the Banking Circle technology team based in Copenhagen. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a financial services developer, designing and redesigning a wide range of existing and new trading and risk management systems to increase scalability and throughput.

To find out more about Banking Circle, visit its booth at GOTO Copenhagen, or www.bankingcircle.com.

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.

For further information and interviews please contact the Banking Circle Press Office: 

Wendy Harrison – Harrison Sadler

T: 0208 977 9132

E: [email protected]

Deutsche Bank Near Bankruptcy, Could Retail Boss Save It?

The giant Deutsche Bank is near bankruptcy, and, according to the Financial Times, the only way to save it would be if its retail boss, Manfred Knof, could extract €1.4bn in annual cost savings and increase revenues.

The giant Deutsche Bank is near bankruptcy, and, according to the Financial Times, the only way to save it would be if its retail boss, Manfred Knof, could extract €1.4bn in annual cost savings and increase revenues.

When did it all start?

That the Deutsche Bank is near bankruptcy is now news at all. The rumors started back in 2013 when the investment bank recognized the need for capital. To obtain those funds, they sold shares worth 4,500 euros. But that wasn´t enough and, shortly after that, they offered more shared with a 30% discount. This measure, of course, enraged those who had bought shares before.

Two years after those events, it was pretty clear that the Deutsche Bank lacked money, and it faced a net loss of almost 7,000 million euros, something that hadn´t happened since the 2008 crisis.

What put the Deutsche Bank in this situation?

According to the Professor of Economics and Law William Black, what put the Deutsche Bank near bankruptcy were the mistakes and financial crimes. He literally claimed in March 2018, that the Deutsche Bank (DB) was the “largest criminal enterprise in Germany.”

Professor’s Black words caused a huge impact, and many wouldn´t take his words seriously. However, in mid-October 2019, Chicago Federal Judge John Tharp ruled that ex-DB traders can be prosecuted for alleged “spoofing,” under the wire fraud statute. This decision will enable criminal cases against two former Deutsche Bank metal traders, accusing them of spoofing trades. Allegedly, the two men had been manipulating precious metals markets from 2009 to 2011.

Seeking solutions

In the beginning, the solution to save the Deutsche Bank, the possibility of merging it with the Commerzbank, was considered. Yet, as this other German bank had enough problems on its own, German regulators discarded the possibility since merging two entities, both with huge losses, would worsen the scenario.

Drastic measures to deal with Deutsche Bank near bankruptcy

High hopes were put into the “ruthless” retail boss Manfred Knof management, who is determined to deliver results. The recently announced decisions reducing the Executive Council, performing a rigorous restructure of the investment bank, and cutting down 18,000 job positions up to 2022, are part of the strategy of reducing costs and focusing on the activities of corporate banking, financing, currency exchange, private banking, and asset management.

Regarding most cuts, Deutsche Bank has said that most of them will affect back-office staff and support roles, located in places as distant as Florida, India, the Philippines, and Germany. This massive job cuts raised uncertainty and anxiety in all its employees, although in October 8, 2019, it was announced that the Deutsche Bank had no plans to perform further job cuts.

There´s no doubt those new and drastic measures are being taken trying to maintain the giant Deutsche Bank alive – which rather than near bankruptcy seemed to be standing at the edge of the deepest of the cliffs. Will the efforts be enough? Will “Ruthless Knof” save the monster from extinction?

Could cryptocurrency be the saviour? See also about Vatican facing bankruptcy.

Understanding Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology finds its origin in the digital coin named Bitcoin. It was invented primarily to sustain it. Although blockchain is tightly associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, these are just the top of the iceberg.

Blockchain technology finds its origin in the digital coin named Bitcoin. It was invented primarily to sustain it

Currently, blockchain technology is being used in other commercial applications, and annual growth of 51% is expected for 2022 in several markets, including financial institutions and Internet of Things (IoT).

What is blockchain technology, and what makes it secure?

A blockchain is a list of digital records or blocks of data that are stored in a linear chain that is constantly growing. It´s a kind of digital general ledger than can be shared with many users and that keeps record of every transaction. Each block contains encrypted data, for instance of a Bitcoin transaction, and is linked to the specific user that made it. There´s no way to alter the data in them since they are time-stamped and connected to the previous block.

The security of blockchain relies on the fact that it can be updated only with the agreement of all the participants and the system itself. 

The information of the whole chain is kept in each node, so each participant has an exact copy of the entire chain. If someone wanted to attack the service, he should overturn or nullify every node in the net given that just one operative node is enough for all the information to be available. 

As new records are created, these are verified and validated by the nodes and added to a new block that is linked to the chain. Once added, this block becomes unalterable. For a transaction to be accepted and added, some specific digital signatures or requirements must be met. For example, people that use the crypto-currency Ethereum, must meet several conditions to demonstrate that they have that crypto-currency and can operate with it. 

Why is blockchain useful for?

As it is a peer-to-peer network, where transactions are time-stamped, and that enables managing all the information exchange among the users in an autonomous way, without the need for an administrator, it is an excellent tool for all types of businesses. Any information that needs to be kept intact and available can be safely stored in a blockchain. 

Many industries, such as transport, fintech, and sanitary services, to mention just a few, are taking advantage of this technology that streamlines processes, improving productivity. 

Challenges organizations or companies could face with blockchain

Thanks to blockchain, the operative models and business-making models of the companies and organizations could undergo a total transformation with the adoption of blockchain technology. Many organizations are using blockchain technology for their transactions. Still, if it were massively adopted, one of the challenges that governments of extremely controlled sectors will have to solve is the lack of regulation.

Blockchain is complex, and it takes a longer time to process any transaction. It can take hours to complete a transaction. And the more it grows, the slower it gets. This could be an obstacle for specific industries.

Despite the above, the biggest challenge that blockchain technology faces is the reluctance of private and public sectors, along with the skepticism of the potential users who, as with each new technology, need time to learn, get used, and trust.  

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