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Global Fintech Investment Rebounds to $98 Billion in H1 2021 – KPMG

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Global fintech investment rebounded in the first half (H1) of 2021 from COVID-19 battered 2020, according to the latest report from KPMG.

In the report, global fintech grew from $87 billion in H2 2020 to $98 billion in H1 2021. Also, the fintech deal volume rose to a new record of 2,456 in the first half of 2021.

The report noted that “A wealth of dry powder, COVID-related digital acceleration, an increasingly diverse range of fintech hubs and subsectors, and robust activity in almost all regions of the world contributed to the strong start to 2021.”

Ian Pollari, Global Fintech Co-Leader, Partner, National Banking Leader, KPMG Australia, who commented on the new report, said “Global investment in fintech has seen a quick V-shaped recovery from 2020 levels. Growing deal sizes, valuations and successful exits for proven players and proven thematics have driven this result. Corporates are also increasingly looking to seize new market opportunities or urgently address gaps by embracing partnering and M&A to achieve their strategic objectives.

On global VC Investment, the report noted that it rose over $52 billion in the first half of 2021 – very close to the annual record of $54 billion in 2018. The largest VC rounds in H1 2021 included US-Based Wealthtech Robinhood’s $3.4 billion, Brazil-based digital nubank’s $1.5 billion, Sweden-based buy now, pay later firm Klarna two rounds totaling $1.9 billion and Germany-based wealthtech Trade Republic $900 million.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Soft POS User Base to Grow 475% Globally by 2027

The total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34.5 million globally by 2027

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A new study from Juniper Research has found the total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34.5 million globally by 2027; rising from 6 million in 2022. This growth will be driven by Apple’s entrance into the soft POS space; enabling iOS users to access an affordable mobile POS solution.

Soft POS enables NFC enabled smartphones or tablets to accept contactless payments, without additional hardware.

1.2 Billion iOS Users Added to Soft POS Market

The research forecasts that Apple’s decision to enable third parties to develop soft POS solutions leveraging iOS NFC capabilities will result in an influx of iOS-specific services; leading to innovative solutions for merchants. Furthermore, the research predicts Apple’s entry will provide 1.2 billion iOS users with soft POS capabilities; unlocking a previously untapped market.

Soft POS is the latest development from Apple within the payments space; building upon Apple Pay and Apple Pay Later. Soft POS vendors should leverage Apple’s payment ecosystem by developing innovative solutions such as integrated QR payment acceptance, using Apple Pay and Pay Later compatibility to attract a broader iOS user base.

Increasing Contactless Payment Adoption to Drive Soft POS Uptake

The research anticipates soft POS adoption being driven by the increasing use of contactless payments – with volumes expected to rise from 195 billion in 2022 to 408 billion by 2027. Therefore, consumers will come to expect contactless acceptance as standard; forcing smaller merchants to adopt contactless-capable POS solutions. Merchants are anticipated to embrace soft POS, based on cost savings achievable from eliminating the need for additional hardware, as well as mobility advantages over contactless POS.

This will be profound for small-sum and mobile merchants that must accept contactless transactions, but lack the need for high-cost dedicated terminals. As such, the research recommends soft POS vendors must look to target micro and mobile merchants; designing solutions that meet their unique needs.

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Buy Now Pay Later Users to Reach Over 900 Million Globally by 2027

Buy Now Pay Later users will surpass 900 million globally by 2027; increasing from 360 million in 2022.

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A new study from Juniper Research has predicted that the number of BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) users will surpass 900 million globally by 2027; increasing from 360 million in 2022. This substantial growth of 157% will be driven by the anticipated economic downturn, which will increase the demand for low-cost credit solutions.

BNPL schemes enable consumers to spread the cost of their purchases without interest charges; making them a highly attractive alternative to credit cards. Additionally, BNPL services do not require hard credit checks and an increasing number of merchants are accepting this payment method; making it easier to access for consumers than traditional credit.

India to Experience High User Growth

The research identified India as having potential for rapid growth in BNPL, with users predicted to grow from 25 million in 2022 to 116 million by 2027. This is due to rising eCommerce usage and growing interest in international goods available through online retailers. In turn, it recommends that vendors build strategic partnerships with vendors in developing markets with established consumer bases, to successfully capitalise on this user growth and associated revenue.

Virtual Cards to Further Boost Usage

The research predicts that the adoption of virtual cards, where digital only cards are used for purchases, will increase the usage of BNPL solutions, as they only require merchants to accept card payments – overcoming previous limitations on growth. The advancement of virtual cards allows BNPL schemes to compete with credit cards; particularly in-store, where single use BNPL cards can be used within a digital wallet to complete contactless transactions.

Juniper Research recommends that in order to compete in this highly competitive landscape, BNPL vendors must differentiate their services: including offering virtual cards, browser extensions that automatically facilitate BNPL payment services, and digital loyalty schemes.

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Digital Wallet Users to Exceed 5.2 Billion Globally by 2026

The total number of digital wallet users will exceed 5.2 billion globally in 2026, up from 3.4 billion in 2022.

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A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total number of digital wallet users will exceed 5.2 billion globally in 2026, up from 3.4 billion in 2022; representing strong growth of over 53%. The research predicts that the presence of ‘superapps’ will drive digital wallet use in developing countries that are currently considered cash heavy.

Superapps are multipurpose apps able to integrate digital payments alongside other services, including wealth management and eCommerce.

Asia Pacific Countries to Experience Rapid Growth

The study identified three countries in Asia Pacific primed for rapid growth over the next four years:

1.    Philippines
2.    Thailand
3.    Vietnam

It predicts that the adoption of digital wallets will near 75% of the population in each of these countries by 2026. It cited the rising access to online and mobile commerce services as driving forces behind the use of digital wallets, notably through superapps.

Research co-author Damla Sat explained: “These rapidly growing markets represent a significant opportunity for digital wallet vendors, but they must work intelligently to maximise their position. A highly competitive wallets’ landscape means that vendors must differentiate themselves by integrating machine learning to provide spending insights and introduce new services such as wealth management to add value.”

Innovation Needed for Future QR Payments Growth

Additionally, the research identified QR code payments as the most popular digital wallet transaction type in 2026; reaching 380 billion transactions globally, and accounting for over 40% of all transactions by volume. However, as usage within markets including China and India reaches its apex, vendors must innovate to remain competitive entering new geographic markets. Therefore, the research recommends that QR code payment vendors integrate loyalty features and personalised marketing capabilities to incentivise merchant acceptance, which will be critical to driving adoption.

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