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TRADECORE LAUNCHES NEW PLATFORM IN THE UK TO HELP FINTECH START-UPS INNOVATE AND GET TO MARKET FASTER

  • The platform provides a one-stop shop for the technology and ecosystem needed to build and launch new fintech businesses, reducing time-to-market from months and years to a matter of weeks
  • Removing significant ecosystem complexity, regulatory and technology barriers to entry that blight many aspiring new fintech businesses
  • Ecosystem partners include ten category-leading fintechs such as Modulr, Truelayer and ComplyAdvantage to cover multiple verticals including investments and digital banking
  • The platform launches in the UK with two customers FlexInvest and OrbPay

 

Fast growth fintech, TradeCore, has launched its new platform in the UK, aimed at increasing the pace of innovation in the fintech industry. The platform can reduce time to market for new fintech businesses from months, or even years, down to weeks.

The platform was founded by CEO, Stefan Pajkovic, after witnessing what he calls the Fintech ‘spiral of death’; whereby fintechs fail to launch due to the complexity of the sector. It’s not uncommon for new fintechs to spend up to a year or more navigating complex regulatory or licensing hurdles; often then running out of money or losing relevance before they even get to market.

TradeCore changes this. The platform combines fintech infrastructure excellence to remove complex back-end processes to help fintechs launch quickly and effectively, taking the burden of regulatory responsibility so that its customers can focus on what really matters: customer acquisition and retention.

With more than ten key partner integrations, it will mean customers, for example, can access: payments powered by Modulr, including Bacs, Faster Payments, and SEPA, for euro payments; utilise category leading open banking infrastructure via Truelayer; and remain compliant through KYC and onboarding with ComplyAdvantage.

Customers have a single contract with TradeCore, along with a single price offering – meaning there is optimal pricing for the value added and no multiple billing points. Within this, TradeCore handles legal activity, making it transparent for customers, including billing, lengthy agreements and any problems that may occur with partnerships and leading vendors. It then integrates the wider payments ecosystem and handles ever-changing integrations which can be costly and hard to maintain.

 

Stefan Pajkovic, founder and CEO at TradeCore comments: “For too long fintechs have faced too many barriers to market in the form of regulation, compliance or costly processes to reach the market. This has stifled innovation, cost far too much money, and has had a detrimental effect on the ability of fintechs to move quickly. This had to change. And that’s what we plan to do with TradeCore. By partnering with some of the biggest names on the fintech scene, we’ve created a one-stop shop that’s secure, trusted and compliant; allowing fintechs to move quickly and with agility, and to launch products and services that can grow their customer base quickly.”

 

TradeCore’s platform provides:

  • Card Issuing: Issue Mastercard virtual and physical cards with compliance made easy
  • Investment: Access capital markets and market data vendors using TradeCore’s asset-class agnostic trading interface
  • Digital Banking: Use industry leading providers for payments, issues IBANs, monitor transactions through open banking and more
  • Crypto: Automate secure cryptocurrency dealings with full regulatory compliance
  • KYC: Optimise digital account opening strategy and create a modern onboarding experience
  • Infuse: Unlock powerful information about customers to maximise the ROI of a fintech’s users using TradeCore’s data platform

 

Myles Stephenson, CEO of Modulr comments: “Modulr is on a mission to make money flow more efficiently through business and the economy, whether customers are using the Modulr platform directly or indirectly through our partners like TradeCore. Powered by Modulr, TradeCore is able to embed payments functionality and provide customers with the same level of access as established banks to payment services.”

“We value our partnership with TradeCore, especially as they understand the competitive advantage a digital payments infrastructure brings to their customers. We look forward to supporting the payments of the fast-to-market fintech community TradeCore is creating.”

TradeCore’s platform launches in the UK with founding customers FlexInvest and OrbPay using the platform to launch into the UK market. OrbPay is a Bitcon payments gateway for businesses, and is using TradeCore to launch its crypto-processing payments product. FlexInvest is a simple, commission-free investing and banking platform, allowing customers to invest in global stocks, as well as borderless banking using FlexInvest’s digital wallet and debit card. Using the TradeCore platform, FlexInvest is now able to launch in a matter of weeks.

 

FlexInvest’s CEO, Rodrigo Garza comments: “TradeCore is the true backbone of our product. It’s significantly reduced our time to market, meaning we can launch our product in weeks, instead of the 6-9 months that’s typical for an EMI application. The platform also takes on the compliance burden, giving us a huge growth advantage and letting us move much faster. Building on the TradeCore platform has allowed us to focus completely on what makes our product standout and on our mission to disrupt the mobile investment and banking space.”

 

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FUNDS’ RUSH TO THE CLOUD MUST NOT BE A BOX TICKING EXERCISE

By Ed Gouldstone, Global Head of R&D for Asset Management at Linedata

 

The fund management industry has held up remarkably well against the strains of Covid-19 – from a dramatic spike in market volatility to the sudden shift to remote working. However, the quantum leap in digitalisation spurred on by the pandemic has underscored the disparities between fund houses’ journeys to cloud – some are quite far along, while others are quickly having to play catch-up.

However, the need to rapidly advance digitalisation efforts must not result in cloud migration becoming a box ticking exercise. Some managers may be tempted by the convenience of a ‘lift and shift’ approach. That is, simply building their cloud infrastructure as if it was their existing data centre without optimising it for cloud. This is by far the quickest option but, if rushed, it doesn’t necessarily bring the cost-saving and flexibility benefits that managers are looking for. Cloud provides for advanced levels of security that go beyond traditional deployed models, but only when the necessary tools are put in place. Fund managers therefore need to put in the required thinking beforehand, to ensure the optimisation and any necessary re-engineering of tools whilst accelerating shift to the cloud.

 

The risks of rushing cloud adoption

Elasticity is one particular area where cost savings come from in the cloud, because cloud is designed to scale up and down as and when you need it. When migrating infrastructure to the cloud, fund managers must ensure that the all applications are optimised in a way that enables horizontal scalability, as many legacy applications are built around a fixed number of servers. This could impede the potential to quickly scale up operations in rapidly changing markets, inhibiting fund managers’ growth ambitions and ability to compete.

Ed Gouldstone

Another risk of rushing the transition to cloud, is that a lift and shift approach can actually increase costs when computing and storage practises are not rationalised. Migrating existing infrastructure as it is also means migrating all existing inefficiencies along with it, such as zombie servers, duplicated workloads, and outdated records. By not doing the due diligence to ensure excess computing capacity is left behind, companies could seriously diminish the cost savings they would have otherwise enjoyed.

Building resilience into operations is of paramount importance for fund managers who are planning to migrate to the cloud. Although infrastructure is more secure with cloud, the greater accessibility it allows means that points of entry on the client side can be weak spots if not properly protected. This must not become overlooked in a rushed cloud migration. Unlike with private data centres and VPN access where hardware offers protection, extra layers of authentication need to be added to endpoints to ensure the security of the system, while enabling access from any device. This is even more necessary in our highly regulated industry, where fund managers are dealing with large client funds and processing vast quantities of real-time financial data.

 

Realising the opportunities provided by cloud

When handled correctly, a successful migration to cloud offers fund managers a great opportunity to drive digital transformation, scale their businesses and upgrade the technology they rely on. Perhaps the biggest driver for cloud adoption, the pay as you go, on-demand scalability offered by cloud providers, enables rapid growth and reduces costs. Previously, in order to scale up, businesses would have to install new hardware and pay for its maintenance, as well as acquire the physical space that new servers take up. This process is much slower and more expensive than the quickly scalable, pay-as-you-go cloud, but expert guidance is crucial to avoid the aforementioned risk of transferring excess computing power, and ensuring applications are scalable so that potential cost savings are realised.

Another major driver to migrate infrastructure to the cloud is the data analytics capabilities available. The cloud’s ability to support data lakes that can store structured and unstructured data at any scale and operate real-time analytics, provides unique opportunities to create new insights and therefore greater value. The data lakes enable better use of the artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that are reaching maturity and are increasingly mission critical. This is crucial in a market where margins are getting smaller and traditional investment models are being challenged. Analytics can create value throughout all operations, from the front office through to the back office, whether it is sentiment analysis of client engagement, or reducing operating costs through process automation.

In terms of security, while moving to public cloud does imply some inherent loss of in-house control compared to historic ‘installed’ technology models, the bottom line is that cloud providers offer robust levels of security unmatched by in-house technology installations. But it is still critical that firms have the requisite knowledge about cloud deployment and cybersecurity, or partner with a technology service provider that does, who can protect endpoints with new identity and access measures such as two-factor authentication.

The need to migrate to cloud infrastructure has become more pressing at a time when fund managers are increasingly introducing flexible working for the long-term. While implementing a cloud first business strategy is now considered crucial for longevity, it must not be rushed at the risk of costly mistakes and the perpetuation of outdated operating models that limit adaptability. A rapid, productive cloud migration is still possible, but firms need to ensure they have well-considered plans and strong partnerships with experts in place to ensure success.

 

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MORE THAN HALF OF EUROPEAN SMES CONFIDENT IN 2021 BUSINESS RECOVERY

  • Finland most confident in Europe followed by France, UK and Germany – Spain, doesn’t show the same optimism
  • Hope for the new year comes mainly from the agriculture (60%), real estate (58%), business services (55%), and food & drink (55%) industries

 

Despite continued uncertainty, 57% of SMEs across seven European markets feel positive about the future and think that economies will recover to pre-Covid levels within the next two years, according to a research conducted by CapitalBox, leading online pan-European SME funding platform.

A further 18% are still confident about a recovery, but believe it will take at least two years. However, when it comes to their own businesses’ recovery as opposed to the wider economies, over half of SMEs (51%) feel that their business will in fact recover this year, in 2021.

SMEs in Finland are the most confident in their own business recovery in 2021 (57%), compared to:

  • 50% in France
  • 50% in the UK
  • 48% in Germany
  • SMEs in Spain, with 27%, are the least confident in their own recovery

Optimism for the new year mainly comes from the agriculture (60%), real estate (58%), business services (55%), and food & drink (55%) industries. As hospitality looks towards a new normal in the new year, 52% are confident of their business recovery this year. The least optimistic industries for the new year are healthcare (28%) and wholesale, retail and franchising (31%).

Most of this optimism is reflected in how trusting SMEs are in their respective governments’ support. 53% of SMEs stated that they are certain their governments will continue to provide the right support going into 2021. The most confident in their government support are those most optimistic SMEs, in Finland (58%), France (51%), and the UK (55%). On the other hand, the least confident are SMEs in Spain, with 35% of respondents not feeling like their government will provide the right support moving forward.

 

Scott Donnelly, CEO of CapitalBox commented: “The pandemic continues to have a big impact on businesses and economic recoveries around the globe, and there is certainly a bumpy road ahead to get there. SMEs in Europe, however, are confident that this new year will bring positive changes, and that their businesses will return to growth. As the backbone of many economies, it is great to see SMEs being optimistic about the future and the ‘new normal’, putting effort into getting back on track.” 

“As small and medium businesses look toward a road of recovery, it is critical that the right financing is available to them to help guide them. From government support to alternative lending, they need to feel confident in their recovery in 2021. At CapitalBox, we will always strive to help those financially underserved SMEs.”

 

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