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Moneyhub Makes Open Banking Payments The Default Way to Pay

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Moneyhub, the market-leading Open Finance data, intelligence and payments platform, has today made its cutting-edge Payments system available to all its white label clients.

The functionality allows all businesses to build tailored products and services that incorporate card-free payments, as well as offering content-driven access to financial analytics and insights.

Moneyhub API clients already benefit from the ability to embed plug and play payments into their own front ends. Now everyone using the Moneyhub platform, including white label clients, has access to the same Open Banking card-free payments protocol, allowing their users to easily transfer money between accounts using just one service rather than a number of different apps or portals. Payments can be secured with a thumbprint, eye scan, or pin number, depending on the customer’s choice.

The update is a key milestone on a roadmap that will fast-track the transformative nature of Open Banking and make “sweeping” money with rules such as rounding up, matching a spend, or beating a budget the new normal. When Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs) are introduced, it isn’t just card payments that will no longer be needed: standing orders and direct debits will also become redundant.

Moneyhub’s full implementation of Open Banking’s Payment Initiation Service will democratise savings and investments for everyone and save Moneyhub’s enterprise clients millions of pounds in the process. It will be a customer-centric transformation on all levels.

Moneyhub’s new Payments update also resonates with its wider mission to enhance the financial wellness of consumers and businesses by providing immediate clarity and holistic control over their finances.

Moneyhub has already established itself in the wealth, insurance and retail markets in the UK, and boasts clients including Mercer, Aon, Nationwide, Hometrack and Standard Life.

It has established the largest number of native Open Banking connections in the UK of any provider in the market, with 200 financial services providers covering 584 specific UK payment accounts, as well as a further 3,500 connections in Europe. Now white-label clients will be able to take advantage of this unique, vast and ever-growing network to power payment solutions.

The combination of Moneyhub’s platform, team and clients allowed it to secure a number of prestigious awards in July 2021. It was awarded the Best Open Finance Innovation prize by a panel of industry experts at the Open Banking Expo Awards. Moneyhub also secured Best Open Banking Partnership in the Consumer section for its work with Mercer to develop a Financial Wellness proposition in the workplace, savings and investments sector. It went on to win Pensions Tech of the Year and Wealth Tech of the Year at the UK FinTech Awards.

Financial services institutions that use Moneyhub’s services already enjoy greater engagement from their customer distribution channels. In the pensions space, for instance, Moneyhub has been used to create applications that have prompted younger people to engage with their longer-term savings with unprecedented frequency.

Any business, including pension providers, wealth managers, employee benefits consultants (EBC) and so forth can now offer their own customers the game-changing ability to perform core banking functions inside their own offerings, driving further engagement and offering enhanced, personalised customer experiences.

Dan Scholey, Moneyhub COO, carried out the first-ever Open Banking payment by a member of the public at the Altus Platform Efficiencies Event on 19 September 2018, using payment initiation services (PIS) to enact an instant and direct bank to bank payment.

“Moneyhub Payments enables any business to provide end-to-end digital journeys that result in actionable positive outcomes that are effortless for people. We can finally help our clients exceed, not just meet, their customers’ ever-increasing expectations for high-quality immediate delivery of products and services.” Scholey said.

“This is an important release for Moneyhub, but it also has a wider significance across the industry. Embedded financial services are here and companies that are not in the tech space can now offer their customers access to advanced Open Banking payments inside a single service that also offers total visibility and control of their finances at all times.

“Banks are becoming excellent utilities because money management is now an integral part of any product and service for people in today’s ‘always on’ digital economy. Aggregation of accounts combined with payments means important financial transactions are no longer limited to banks and can now be performed inside any app with immediate effect, enabling a truly outstanding customer experience.

“We’re excited to give all Moneyhub clients a new industry-leading ability which will improve their customers’ financial wellbeing and open up new ways of managing their finances.”

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Banking Sector

Global Banking Sector Grows 40% Reviving Pandemic Losses in Just 12 Months

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European Investment Bank - Investors King

In 2020, the global banking sector took a hit following the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which was reflected in the overall market capitalization. However, with the ongoing global recovery, the banking industry has regained most of the losses incurred during the health crisis. 

According to data acquired by Finbold, in just 12 months between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021, the global banking sector’s market cap has surged 39.62%, adding €2.1 trillion from €5.3 trillion to €7.4 trillion. On the path to recovery, the market cap slightly plunged in 2020 Q3 to €5.2 trillion before gaining 17.3% the next quarter.

Among the Western European banks, Spain’s BBVA bank recorded the highest total shareholder return rate at 19.7% between April 2021 – July 2021, followed by Société Générale from France at 13.8%, while Banco Santander, also from Spain, ranks third at 12.1%. United Kingdom’s Barclays is the worst performer with a TSR of -8%. Data on the global banking sector’s market cap is provided by Banking Hub.

How banking sector sustained growth

The registered market capitalization is supported by the large-scale reopening of economies due to the vaccine rollout. Additionally, the banks, especially from major economies like the United States and Europe, have reaped from policies meant to cushion the economy from the adverse effects of the pandemic. Notably, the decisions by most banks to retain a low-interest-rate environment has been beneficial to banks.

Worth noting is that during the pandemic, banks found themselves in a tight spot. Historically, the banking sector has been considered the custodian of the economy but the pandemic also plunged the banks into a crisis. The banking sector’s profits were adversely affected considering they are bound to the business cycle and interest rates.

At the same time, banks also put in place measures like approaching loans with caution due to uncertainty in repaying which directly impacted profits. However, banks were tapped to facilitate the distribution of stimulus packages boosting their capital reserves in return.

Worth pointing out is that institutions like the European Central Banks allowed banks to continue using their capital buffers flexibly with a planned extension until 2022. With such moves helping banks sustain growth, it eliminates the worry of straining capital buffers while the health crisis is still impacting the banks’ balance sheets.

Furthermore, the crisis highlighted the need for banks to keep huge reserves of capital that can be activated in the wake of economic turmoil. Although most banks have historically relied on assets for future cushion, a crisis like the coronavirus calls for more capital because selling assets in such an environment is challenging.

Besides the policies, the banking sector recovery was partly aided by existing operational risk management arrangements. The pandemic tested all financial market participants and most leading banks successfully invoked business continuity plans. The plans ensured that the financial markets continued to run smoothly and orderly.

The sector’s recovery has also been accelerated by other factors like the increased adoption of pre-pandemic trends like digitalization and sustainability. Digitization of operations has been backed by consumers who are willing to conduct transactions online. At the same time, the digital shift has presented a competitive factor in the sector, with institutions that had established online presence benefiting the most.

Notably, the recovery was at some point under threat during the third quarter of 2020 amid concerns of the pandemic’s second wave. However, the sector sustained the gains with the rollout of the vaccine. Furthermore, moving into 2021, the industry appears not to be bothered by the Delta variant.

The future of the banking sector

By sustaining the market capitalization for two consecutive quarters, it can be assumed that the banking sector response to the health crisis is bearing fruits. However, it is still early to determine if the recovery is sustainable.

The rally will be tested, especially when central banks eliminate all the policies meant to cushion the economy. However, in the long run, banks will have to tailor their operations towards changing consumer behaviour.

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Banking Sector

How Stanbic IBTC is Transforming Nigeria’s Trade Landscape

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, has reiterated its commitment to fostering international trade and help the nation actualise its economic growth and development goals.

The Bank said it will continue to fine-tune its three-pronged approach to facilitating trade activities for clients. These are the development of bespoke financial solutions to help boost trade for clients; sponsorship of relevant trade shows that bring together stakeholders in global trade, including exporters and importers; and organisation of seminars and workshops to provide clients and other stakeholders with industry insights and enlighten them on global trade opportunities.

“Our goal is to become the ‘go-to’ Bank as far as global trade is concerned, with emphasis on Africa-China trade. This approach is of immense value to our clients and will help us achieve our fundamental purpose, which is to drive Nigeria’s growth,” Chief Executive Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, Wole Adeniyi, said.

In line with this resolve, Stanbic IBTC organised a webinar on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The webinar themed: ‘AfCFTA State of Play: Understanding Potential and Maximising Opportunities for the Customer’, emphasised Stanbic IBTC’s readiness to leverage the trade opportunities of the AfCFTA agreement to unlock business opportunities for its clients in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector as well as its corporate clients.

In 2019, Stanbic IBTC launched its Africa China Agent Proposition (now called Africa China Trade Solutions – ACTS) to boost trade transactions between Africa (Nigeria) and Asia, especially China, and help customers consummate the best business deals without having to travel to China.

According to Stanbic IBTC, ACTS will give customers exclusive access to an array of exporters in China through an accredited agent, Zhejiang International Trading Supply Chain Co Ltd, also known as Guamao.

Stanbic IBTC has held various fora as part of its sensitisation drive on ACTS and the currency swap agreement between Nigeria and China. These fora provided insight on how best to help clients and businesses leverage the opportunity and assess the impact of the Chinese economy on trade in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

According to Wole, these workshops were geared towards deepening trade connections with the Chinese business community, thereby stimulating strong trade and business ties between Africa, with a special focus on Nigeria and China.

Stanbic IBTC Bank was a platinum sponsor of the 2021 Global Trade Review (GTR) West Africa Conference themed ‘Connecting the Region’s Trade Experts. The GTR West Africa Conference is an annual regional event for trade discussions and networking among leading practitioners in trade, export, and commodity finance to strategically explore the latest developments, strategies, and solutions needed to drive growth.

Experts have continued to commend Stanbic IBTC on this bold approach to educate its clients and investors about the benefits of AfCFTA, the Nigeria China currency swap deal, and the ACTS proposition, all geared towards helping clients unlock business opportunities.

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Banking Sector

Arise B.V., Equity Investor, Invests US$75 Million in Ecobank

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Ecobank - Investors King

A leading investor in financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, Arise B.V. has made US$75 million perpetual non-cumulative AT1 capital investment in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.

In a statement signed by Adenike Laoye, the Group Head of Corporate Communications, Ecobank, the fund will help optimise and improve ETI’s Tier 1 capital.

“This Basel III compliant instrument is the first AT1 instrument issued by ETI and a landmark transaction in the sub-Saharan Africa region. The investment will optimize and improve ETI’s Tier 1 capital by US$75 million,” the bank stated.

The latest investment showed Arise, an existing shareholder of Ecobank, has confidence in the bank’s future given the series of support and commitment the leading equity investor has provided to Ecobank in recent years.

Speaking on the new investment, Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of ETI, stated: “This investment by Arise is a testament to continued support and confidence from our shareholders; their commitment to, and belief in our strategy which we remain focused on executing to deliver value to our shareholders and excellence to our customers. Indeed, in addition to improving our double leverage ratio, it is also a good boost for the firm and its staff”.

Deepak Malik, Chief Executive Officer of Arise stated: “ETI is our primary banking investment in Francophone West Africa and Anglophone West Africa. We are very supportive of ETI’s growth ambitions and its ability to increase financial services to Agri, SMEs & retail customers. Our investment will also strengthen the balance sheet of ETI and provide additional risk capital”.

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