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Railsbank Launches in Australia, Plans to Develop Embedded Finance Market Opportunity

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Railsbank, a leading global Banking as a Service (BaaS) platform, has launched in Australia via a partnership with the country’s first neobank, Volt.

The partnership enables Railsbank to continue its expansion within the APAC region and it considers Australia a highly strategic market.

The embedded finance market in Australia is in its infancy, but both Railsbank and Volt believe it is set for rapid growth over the coming years.

Volt will also engage with Railsbank’s global network of partners and customers, and enable a broader BaaS solution in Australia that will enable companies to prototype, launch and scale financial products within their own customer experience.

Nigel Verdon, co-founder and CEO of Railsbank, said: “This deal has a personal resonance for me as one of my ancestors, Sir George Verdon, was General Manager and a founding father of the ANZ Bank, so it’s good to be back in Australia again!

“It’s very exciting to see that Australia’s fintech scene is thriving. We are ready to support all Australian business that want to innovate and capitalise on the expected exponential growth of embedded finance.

What we bring new to the table is represented by deconstructed financial components, tools for product managers, and APIs to allow anybody to come into our toolset to access our consumers and customers for distribution.

These can then be reconstructed into financial use cases. This is what Apple did with iTunes. They deconstructed the music industry and changed the economics of the industry.

Collaborating with Volt gives us access to local knowledge and capabilities to help us succeed. This is a significant partnership for Railsbank as we continue our global expansion and strengthen our foothold in Asia Pacific.”

Justin Xiao, COO of Railsbank, Asia Pacific, said: “Australia is strategically important for Railsbank and it’s a real privilege for us to be partnering with Volt in this next phase of our growth. The strength of the Volt brand, balance sheet, and compliance offering makes it the ideal partner to help us launch into the local market and tap the growth opportunity in embedded finance.

“Australia’s fintech scene is vibrant and Railsbank has a lot to offer in terms of bringing innovative solutions and best practices to customers. Collaborating with Volt gives us access to local knowledge and capabilities to help us succeed. This is a significant partnership for Railsbank as we continue our expansion in the Asia Pacific region.”

Volt founder and CEO, Steve Weston, said: “We are proud to be the first and only bank selected to launch Railsbank’s embedded finance offering in Australia.

“Railsbank has a proven track record of servicing millions of customers through partnerships with banks like Volt in global markets. This partnership demonstrates how our prudent and measured approach to market entry, built on the sturdy foundation of our unique BaaS platform and partnership strategy, could help to make Volt a long-term contender for a share of Australia’s highly lucrative banking sector.”

Railsbank is headquartered in the UK and has offices in Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the US, Germany, Lithuania. Melbourne and Sydney.

It has relationships with numerous banks and financial institutions across Europe, the US, and Asia-Pacific and will continue its expansion across Asia with a view to deepening its footprint in Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam later this year.

In November last year, Railsbank raised US$37 million as part of continued equity funding to support its global growth and product expansion. Significant investors include Mastercard and Visa.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Flutterwave, 9PSB Partner to Boost Growth of Inclusive Financial Services in Nigeria

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Flutterwave and 9PSB

Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company and Nigeria’s very first payment service bank, 9PSB on Monday entered into a partnership agreement that will help facilitate seamless financial services for Nigerians.

In a joint statement issued by both companies, the partnership seeks to create a seamless payment ecosystem by aggregating and simplifying transactions for banking agents, merchants, and consumers.

The partnership will also support the drive for economic growth through empowerment of the SME sector, entrepreneurs in FinTech and other industries, as well as contribute to the transformation of the informal sector to formal.

Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, held at the 9PSB head office in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, 9PSB, Branka Mracajac remarked that the collaboration between 9PSB and Flutterwave represents an important milestone in making banking services accessible to all.

According to her, the partnership supports both companies’ commitment to expand accessibility and serve as last-mile delivery of solutions to the unbanked, under-banked and underserved. She said, “9PSB, being focused on the presence in unserved, rural, and remote areas, has a unique business model that provides Agent Banking as a Service to our partners to drive financial inclusion. Expanding on our promise to deliver relevant products, with this partnership, our existing agents, partners, and customers will have a single point of entry to enjoy various products and services provided by Flutterwave.”

With this partnership, Flutterwave and 9PSB are jointly launching a suite of products to enable other corporate entities, FinTech, technology and other industries to take advantage of the robust end-to-end system available for payments, collections, and transactions for both the banked and financially excluded Nigerians.

Commenting on the choice of 9PSB as its settlement bank, Founder and CEO, Flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola noted that both companies share the same vision and are committed to one goal of powering seamless financial services. “At Flutterwave, we believe in an ecosystem of shared value that transforms and impacts society. We are showcasing the power of strategic partnership and cross-sectoral collaboration in advancing Nigeria’s financial ecosystem,” he said.

A paper published by the CBN—Financial Inclusion in Nigeria; Issues and Challenges, admits that there is global consensus on the importance of financial inclusion due to its key role in bringing integrity and stability into an economy’s financial system as well as its role in fighting poverty in a sustainable manner. The partnership between 9PSB and Flutterwave keys into various calls for interconnectivity and interoperability amongst stakeholders in the financial sector in accelerating the country’s financial inclusion drive to create prosperity and grow the economy.

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RobinHood, WeBull, Others Trading Apps Hit 14 Million Users Globally, Twice More than a Year Ago

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Trading App - Investors King

Over the past years, trading apps have revolutionized the way people interact with the world’s financial markets and stock exchanges, making it simple and easy to trade online, whether at home or on the go. The number of people using these apps to make investments and monitor market trends has grown constantly each year, but in 2021 it surged to all-time highs.

According to data presented by BuyShares, RobinHood, WeBull, Fidelity Investments, E*Trade and eToro, as the world’s top five trading apps, doubled the number of users in the last year to nearly 14 million as of July.

RobinHood Hit 7.3M Monthly Active Users, Double the Second-Ranked WeBull

Stock trading has been moving to mobile for quite a while, and tech companies have been working on well-designed trading platforms to provide top-notch service to a new, tech-savvy set of users. That shift first started in the United States, where Robinhood has attracted tens of millions of users. On the other hand, the European market is still fragmented, with a handful of stock-trading apps slowly expanding to new markets.

According to AirNow data, RobinHood is by far the most popular trading app in the world. In July 2020, the app had around 4.3 million monthly active users. However, user numbers spiked in the first half of 2021, reaching a peak of over 9 million in May 2021. In July, around 7.3 million people worldwide used RobinHood to trade and make investments, 70% more than in the same month a year ago.

With 2.7 million monthly active users, or twice less than the leading RobinHood, WeBull ranked as the second most popular trading app globally. However, statistics show WeBull witnessed the biggest growth, with the number of users surging by 265% year-over-year.

Fidelity Investments ranked third with 1.8 million active users, 38% more than in July 2020. Morgan Stanley’s E*Trade and eToro followed, with 1.1 million and 1 million monthly active users, respectively.

RobinHood Reached 11.9M Downloads in 2021, Close to Other Top Four Apps Combined

Stock trading app developers are constantly innovating and adding new features to make portfolio management easier to do on the go. For example, many of the latest-gen trading platforms now feature AI-based tools to help users evaluate investment risks.

Besides having the largest user base, RobinHood also witnessed the biggest number of downloads this year. In the seven months of 2021, the trading app was downloaded 11.6 million times, close to the other top four apps combined, with almost one-third of all downloads happening in January.

WeBull was downloaded 5.6 million times in this period, 2.3 million more than the third-ranked eToro. Fidelity Investments and TD Ameritrade round the top five list, with 1.9 million and 1.2 million downloads, respectively.

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Verve Partners OBMEET To Give Cardholders 50% Discount

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Verve-Investors King

In furtherance of its drive to strengthen the payment landscape across the globe, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, Verve, has announced its partnership with OBMeet, a video conferencing and networking company, to give Verve cardholders a 50% discount on the platform.

The discount which is currently running till December 31, 2021 avails Verve cardholders added value for the services they enjoy on the OBMeet platform.

With this collaboration, Verve cardholders accessing the OBMeet no longer have to worry about the incidental challenges associated with such video conferencing and multi-streaming platforms, such as complex payment structure, capital flight, inconsistent exchange rates etc.

Speaking on the discount, Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Interswitch Group, said the partnership with OBMeet to reward Verve cardholders with a 50% discount on the selected packages is a demonstration of Verve’s commitment to reward its cardholders’ loyalty.

Eromosele said the firm is stirred to partner with OBMeet because they share a similar vision of delivering an invaluable experience to their esteemed customers.

She explained that the partnership will guarantee Verve cardholders faster and safer payment experiences on the OBMeet platform.

She said: “Consistent with our mantra of being ‘the rewarding way to make payments’, Verve cardholders are not only rewarded with seamless, faster, and convenient payment solutions, but they also enjoy more rewards in discounts as much as 50% on the OBMeet platform, from now till December 31, 2021.”

Vincent Ogbunude, Divisional Head of Verve, commented on the firm’s commitment to delivering top-notch digital payment solutions to Nigerians.

“It is no gainsaying that Verve has consistently delivered innovative payment solutions to Nigerians and the Africa continent.

“We are continuously seeking opportunities to ease payment pain points for Verve cardholders as well as Africans and this partnership with OBMeet is a testament to that commitment.

“We are confident that our cardholders will enjoy seamless payment on the OBMeet platform and the 50% discount offer is added value to the invaluable payment experience the Verve card provides,” he said.

Speaking on the partnership, Emmanuel Gabriel, founder of OBMeet stated that the collaboration is instrumental for companies, institutions, content creators, Small and Medium Enterprise, entrepreneurs to overcome the many challenges of capital flight, complex payment systems inherent in accessing video conferencing and multistreaming platforms.

He said: “Our focus is to give everyone around the world the opportunity to connect, build ideas and express themselves in a new way.

We are focused on creating economic value via the OBMeet communication platforms which bridge communication gaps and language barriers around the world.”

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