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88% OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN THE UK ARE UNDER PRESSURE TO MAKE DECISIONS FASTER

79% of these organisations are not confident in their data literacy levels

72% of FSI firms agree shorter decision making cycles will be the new normal after the pandemic

 

88% of financial services organisations have revealed they are under increasing pressure to make decisions faster as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly three quarters (72%) agree that the shorter decision making cycles they are working to will become the new normal, according to a survey of data decision makers, commissioned by high-performance analytics database provider Exasol.

 

Whilst increased pressure to make decisions faster with existing data resources comes with its own set of infrastructure and strategy challenges, as outlined in the report “Financial Services: Decision making in times of uncertainty”, most pressing and concerning is the fact that the majority of financial services organisations in the UK (79%) are not confident in their levels of data literacy.

 

One of the ways in which financial services organisations respond to crises such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is by expanding the number of people with decision-making authority (39%). However, lack of self-service analytics (data democratisation) is hindering data-driven decision-making. When people aren’t confident in their data literacy skills, it is imperative that organisations make it as easy as possible for their business units to consume the data in accessible ways.

“Thanks to Exasol we are a true data-driven business. We wanted to ensure everyone has access to the data they need for their daily work. Not only that, but we wanted it to be available to them in a simple and efficient manner. We are proud to have achieved that,” said Demeter Sztanzo, head of data engineering at Revolut. “Thanks to Exasol’s high-performance, we have reduced the time it takes to crunch data across large datasets that span several sources. This means that queries and reports that used to take hours can be completed in seconds — saving hours across every business department. This enables us to make decisions faster, without sacrificing valuable data insights.”

 

Encouragingly, 88% of respondents to the survey say that action is being taken within their organisations to improve levels of data literacy. This will be crucial for any business looking to accelerate digital, something that has become more relevant than ever in the face of the ongoing crisis. In the financial services sector, an industry that is experiencing disruption from new, digital-native players, competitive advantage will hinge not only on infrastructure –an essential part of the equation– but on digital strategy and culture across the entire organisation.

 

“The financial services sector is one where data volumes are huge due to, amongst other things, the amount of touch-points per customer per day that the industry sees. As we move to a more digital world as part of the lasting legacy of COVID-19, this will expand even further. But financial data can be siloed and difficult to navigate, so defining a data analytics strategy is crucial. Good data governance and a single source of truth are key if FSI organisations are going to adopt a business-wide data-driven culture where every employee is able to use data insights to make faster and better informed business decisions,” comments Helena Schwenk, Market Intelligence, at Exasol.

 

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UK OPEN BANKING FINTECH YAPILY ANNOUNCES EXPANSION IN VILNIUS

Yapily, a London-based fintech startup, has announced plans to set up in Vilnius, the company’s third European office. Yapily joins a growing number of UK fintechs including Revolut, Curve and Square that chose Lithuania as the location for its European hub.

 

Yapily was established in 2017, shortly after the EU’s second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) granted third-party access to customer data of financial institutions. The legislation, which aims to stimulate competition in the financial services market, compelled providers of such services to innovate their API and open banking practices. Stefano Vaccino, Founder and CEO of Yapily, used his extensive experience in fintech and commercial banking to create Yapily, a platform that enables companies to take advantage of open banking.

 

Yapily connects businesses to banks and financial institutions using a single open API. Using the platform, companies can access their customers’ account information and gain a holistic financial view without having to build and maintain hundreds of APIs of their own. Powered by a secure and regulated service, Yapily manages and facilitates the connection to fetch information and initiate payments while ensuring PSD2 compliance.

 

“Yapily makes connecting to banks easy through sharing financial data and payments infrastructure,” explains Stefano Vaccino. “We connect you to thousands of banks using an open banking API, taking care of the complexity behind the scenes”.

 

Yapily’s vision of open banking has attracted significant investment. Since its inception, the company has raised $18.4 million in VC funding. Yapily’s investors include Holtzbrinck Ventures, LocalGlobe and Lakestar, an early investor in Skype, Spotify, Airbnb and Facebook as well as some of Europe’s biggest fintechs – Klarna and Revolut.

 

Yapily now allows companies to connect to more than 600 banks, providing 80% account coverage across 15 European countries. The company boasts customers ranging from innovative fintechs to Fortune 500 companies including American Express, IBM, Intuit Quickbooks, GoCardless and BUX. In the last 12 months, Yapily has tripled its headcount and currently employs 72 people in offices in the UK and Germany.

 

According to Stefano Vaccino, Yapily’s current focus is to penetrate the European market. “This involves building a scalable platform while accelerating testing capabilities for our European users”,” he says.

 

Looking for a new European hub following the Brexit decision, Yapily considered several European locations, including Portugal and Germany. For the company, it was important to find a supportive regulator and fintech ecosystem. The expertise of Lithuanian developers; reputation of the country’s regulator; and a flourishing fintech scene all contributed to Yapily’s decision on Vilnius. It’s Lithuanian entity received regulatory license in December 2020, prior to the UK leaving the EU, and is now focused on its exciting expansion plans.

 

“Outside of the UK, Lithuania has the second largest fintech hub in Europe,” says Stefano Vaccino. “The local regulator plays a positive role in the fintech ecosystem, allowing Yapily to become a part of it.”

 

The company will hire up to 30 people in Vilnius in the coming months. Yapily is currently recruiting for compliance, engineering, product and operations roles.

 

“Open Banking will create a more competitive landscape of tailored financial services,” Mantas Katinas, Managing Director of Invest Lithuania, believes. “As more and more banks comply with the PSD2, Lithuania’s fintech community could be at the forefront of developing financial products leveraging this new access to data. Yapily’s choice to set up an office in Vilnius shows that Lithuania is an excellent base for cutting-edge fintechs.”

 

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FINTECH EEDENBULL SECURES PAYMENT TECHNOLOGY DEAL WITH NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK

EedenBull has announced a five year agreement with National Australia Bank (NAB), which allows the bank to deploy EedenBull’s innovative payment and spend management platform to the bank’s customer base of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The EedenBull platform provides the ability for the bank’s SMEs to track payments and spending simply, efficiently and in real time. By using the latest technology, the bank’s SME customers will prevent cash leakage by ensuring that the right business spending policies are adhered to.

EedenBull will be providing NAB its innovative Q Business platform, which includes Q Control for the administrator and Q App for the employee. NAB will issue their own payment cards onto the platform, with their customers using Q Business to manage cards and spend.

Nicki Bisgaard, CEO and founder of EedenBull, commented: “This announcement underlines our progress in offering best in class payment and spend management technology to the banking  community globally.  We are delighted to partner with NAB, a globally respected banking brand and Australia’s leading business bank, and to provide them innovative, digital spend solutions for their SME clients in Australia.  Q Business is taking commercial payments to the next level, and we look forward to being a partner on this journey in delivering value, control and flexibility to NAB and their many business customers.”

EedenBull is already partnering with 65 banks in Europe, and is now further expanding its global reach with banks such as National Australia Bank

Tania Motton, NAB Executive for Everyday Business Banking said: ‘’Expense management software solutions are so often out of reach for small and medium sized businesses. This exciting partnership will give our customers an intuitive expense management platform with full control and analysis of payments across their business as well as more confidence to allow their teams to spend money.

She continued: “For us, the most important thing about partnering with EedenBull to offer their technology is that it will help more Australian businesses to focus on the business of serving customers rather than time consuming administration.”

The partnership with NAB signals a step change in the global ambition of EedenBull, which is headquartered in Oslo, has its design and innovation team in Singapore, business development team in London and their operations centre in Edinburgh.

Bisgaard continued: “We are growing fast, innovating constantly, improving our products and services all the time and seeking further partnerships with existing and new banks globally, as we expand our worldwide footprint.  New technology, new regulation and new players are forever changing the way consumers and businesses think about payments – changing the way people pay, and get paid, and EedenBull is here to guide banks through this market, legislative and technology complexity.”

 

EedenBull Partnerships with Global Banking Community

EedenBull was launched in 2018 by a group of senior banking professionals and experts in digital payments. Enablement of third-party access to data from banks leading to the rise of open banking, has empowered tech-driven non-banking companies, such as EedenBull, to build new and innovative payments services.

EedenBull is a fintech innovation company specialising in B2B and Commercial Payment solution design and implementation. The company works with banks, schemes and payment partners on a global basis to enhance and drive innovative business solutions and products to better serve Corporate and Business clients. Unlike other fintech companies, EedenBull is not setting out to compete with the banks, but work with them to provide the innovation and tools they require to offer long-term competitive advantage and to enhance customer satisfaction.  EedenBull provides its partner banks first mover advantage to improve their reputations and competitive edge. Banks also get access to specialist B2B payments expertise and the opportunity to shape future innovation developments and technology features.

 

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