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The UK’s Crypto and Digital Assets Group will be welcomed, but it needs to reach out to the industry

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Crypto and Digital Assets

by Jennifer Clarke of regtech CUBE

 

The advent of the Crypto and Digital Assets Group will be welcomed with open arms by the financial services industry, many of whom have been crying out for regulatory action in this space for some time.

Cryptocurrency and the innovation surrounding it marks an exciting step for the future of finance, but it is prone to gamification, turbulence, and financial crime which, at present, is difficult to contend with from a regulatory perspective. Many regulators have been getting creative with existing regulations or stretching their regulatory parameters in an attempt to tackle non-compliance.

However, in many instances this is a case of ‘square peg, round hole’, which is becoming untenable as crypto and digital assets evolve. The establishment of this new group marks a step in the right direction for future regulation, which will protect consumers and hopefully level out the market.

The newly formed group should first reach out to their counterparts in other jurisdictions to understand the move to crypto on a global scale, with a view to implementing a standardised regulatory framework for crypto, not a framework that exists solely in the context of the UK. Other countries are looking to regulate crypto, and this marks the perfect opportunity to create collaborative regulation, rather than regulating now and collaborating later.

We are long-term advocates for regulatory standards, and crypto seems like the perfect test ground for such a project. The cross border nature of cryptocurrencies and digital assets are both what make them so appealing, and what make them so challenging for regulators to manage.

Of course we welcome a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency, especially if it moves to combat financial crime. But it’s important that such a framework makes things easier to manage – not more complicated. Managing regulatory change is hugely challenging in today’s climate. Not only is regulatory change enacted at a pace and scale that is becoming humanly impossible to oversee, but the divergence between regulations – both in what they say and what they look like – means that global banks who do not utilise RegTech are expending huge amounts of time and resource to standardise regulations and implement them across borders.

As it stands, every jurisdiction is in the inception phase of regulating for crypto. It would be remiss of global regulators to create such regulations in silos, which would cause irregularity and difficulty down the line. Collaboration is key.

 

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Rivery Raises $30M B Round of Venture Funding from Tiger Global

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With data needs growing and data talent scarcity, there is huge demand for Rivery’s 100% SaaS solution to create an efficient scalable data stack.

Rivery, the SaaS ELT today announced a new funding round of venture capital led by Tiger Global Management alongside existing investors State Of Mind Ventures and Entrée Capital. This financing follows from last year’s A round, bringing the total venture capital raised to date to $48 million. Rivery’s product-led growth has significantly accelerated since the launch of the Pay As You Go program in December 2021, which is growing at a rate of 50% month over month. This new pricing model complements the existing Self-Service experience plan, which opens the door to any type of company that would like to immediately get started with Rivery.

Rivery provides a single end-to-end ELT solution which covers key processes to create the optimal data stack: Ingestion, Transformation, Orchestration and Reverse ETL. Teams can choose from the different modules to build their ideal data infrastructure. Before Rivery, companies had to rely on legacy ETL platforms that were not built for cloud, and lacked the flexibility to scale. By streamlining and unifying how data stacks are built, maintained and automated, Rivery helps companies to unlock data value with a complete SaaS solution suitable for companies that need to scale fast. Besides helping data teams remain lean and agile to grow, it avoids the costly and complex issues that come with managing fragmented data stacks that rely on multiple disjointed tools.

Used by over 300 customers globally, Rivery’s approach to data management is a generational technology leap that incorporates automation and actionable logic into the traditional data ETL/ELT (extract, transform, and load) processes. Some of the world’s fastest-growing cloud-native companies including EMAAR, Bayer, Webedia, BuzzFeed, Papaya Global, American Cancer Society, NEXT, and WalkMe use Rivery as the core engine to power their data stack.

The new funds will help expedite the growth of the company across all teams in New York and Tel Aviv HQ including R&D, Product, and Sales, as well as expanding on EMEA where a London office has been launched to focus on the regional market. In addition, Thibaut Ceyrolle, who founded Snowflake EMEA Division, has joined Rivery’s Board of Executives to lead and define the company’s growth strategy across EMEA.

Itamar Ben Hemo, CEO of Rivery said: “Companies have to scale faster than ever before, which means data teams need to achieve more with less. By offering a fully SaaS end-to-end solution as the core to their data stack, Rivery plays a pivotal role to provide unlimited scalability. This funding is a great milestone that will help us grow our global presence, making Rivery a de-facto tool that empowers businesses to unlock the unlimited power of their data.”

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How to reignite your store with streamlined operations and a distinctive customer experience

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Colin Neil, MD, Adyen UK

 

Retailers know that prioritising customer experience is vital to success today. This, amongst the management of complex supply chains and the cost of living crisis is a lot to oversee.

Further, the pandemic has accelerated technology’s role in building a relationship between store and customer. Consumer adoption of digital, cashless payments has accelerated. PwC’s ‘Payments 2025 and Beyond’ report predicted that cashless transactions could triple in volume by 2030. This trend aligns with our own experience of 2021, in which we’ve witnessed a 70% jump in transaction volumes. It demonstrates the rapid digital transformation of retail as pandemic trends amplified the role of ecommerce in online and offline sales.

Operationally, there’s a lot for retailers to think about. The question is: Which are the technologies that will allow them to truly transform the customer experience?

Consider Android mPOS

Traditional mobile POS (mPOS) terminals are a great way to unshackle sales from a static cash-desk, helping to reduce queues and improve the overall shopping experience. However, they’ve also presented some operational challenges. These devices only take payments; they’re unable to scan barcodes or check stock, meaning that sales teams become burdened with a utility-belt’s worth of additional devices to fulfil these needs.

But recently, the entrance of the new Android mPOS terminal has caused a stir since it’s an all-in-one solution that can manage a multitude of functions, via installed apps. This includes: checking a customer’s previous orders and eliminating the need for separate cash registers, barcode scanners, and even customer facing displays.

These devices represent a fundamental change in the role of the payment terminal. Thanks to its app management system, retailers can manage the functions they use every day in a single hand-held device, from inventory management, to loyalty programmes, returns and more.

Palisis, a provider of sales and operations solutions for tourism and transportation businesses, and Immfly, an in-flight digital services provider, are among the first of our customers to roll out the terminals. In doing so, they’re simplifying the management of their business and freeing up staff to focus on the customer experience. Here’s how:

  1. Streamlining operations

Android mPOS terminals let you consolidate your store’s business functions into one device. This is a big benefit for your bottom line, since managing multiple systems and hardware can lead to high costs, from set up to ongoing maintenance. Furthermore, customisation from a centralised location gives an overview of all a retailer’s terminals. Adyen’s Terminal Fleet Manager, for example, is capable of multiple configurations – including terminal location, logo, refunds, receipts etc – remotely.

Consolidating these systems reduces cost of ownership, helping you free up budget for other investments and innovations. It’s also simpler for staff to use the one system, making their jobs much easier, especially during busy periods.

  1. Flexibility to grow

When systems are consolidated on a single device, it’s easier to update and scale technology as your business evolves. For example, if you process payments on a centralised platform, like Adyen, the same software and end-to-end encryption can be quickly rolled out across all your stores, anywhere in the world. You can also cater to customers’ preferred local payment methods, as well as the major global ones, without needing additional terminals or worrying about local acquiring headaches.

On top of that, if all customer-facing channels and backend systems are connected via one platform, you can monitor online and in-person payments in one place. You can recognise and reward loyal customers in real-time, future-proofing the customer experience with invaluable data insights. 

  1. Convenience for customers

Mobile devices allow customers to make purchases from anywhere. This has led some retailers to consider doing away with the till area completely. Tesco’s entered this space last year, and Sainsbury’s partnered with Amazon to introduce the experience too. With no cash desks, the store is given over completely to product and service.

Getting your roll out right

Take a look at what our customers Immfly and Palisis have been able to achieve with their roll out. Immfly needed to be able to create and process drinks and snack orders during flights, without involving any extra hardware for air stewards to handle and manage. Its Android S1F2 devices integrate cash register systems directly onto WiFi-enabled terminals via an app, which sync stock levels throughout the flight. Payments can also be taken while offline on both long and short haul flights. These capabilities also mean leading ticketing and reservation tech provider Palisis can use them in many different weather conditions, from ski slopes to tour buses in the world’s biggest cities.

The best customer experiences are convenient and modern payment terminals can help retailers deliver this. Just remember, when you’re looking to roll out any new in-store tech, it’s important to research and pilot the scheme thoroughly. In that way, you’ll be sure to have the best possible impact on your customer experience and ultimately your revenue.

 

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