Mobile money app Monese partners with Veriff
According to reports, the partnership was motivated by Monese recognising the need for enhanced security for its digital banking services. The collaboration will provide an additional layer of safety and security for the mobile money app.
Monese, which was launched in 2015 by Estonian entrepreneur Norris Koppel, was the UK’s first mobile app alternative to incumbent banks, and currently offers services for mobile money accounts across 31 countries.
Veriff is an Estonia-based technology company focused on identity verification that has seen rapid growth over the past 18 months. In April, it secured US$69mn in a Series B funding round led by investment firms IVP and Accel.
Cybersecurity and fintech
The spate of data breaches in recent weeks is driving companies to seek cutting-edge technologies to fortify their platforms against hackers who use malware and ransomware to infiltrate and steal customer data. Identification fraud is also on the rise.
The partnership with Veriff will see enhanced security solutions integrated into the onboarding and authentication processes of Monese’s platform, to verify the identities of Monese users and help the company meet KYC (know your client) requirements.
The integration will also speed up and improve the accuracy of user screening, thus helping to prevent identity fraud.
Monese customer base
The majority of the banking fintech’s customers work in the gig economy, are self-employed, or living in a different European country to that in which they were born, and are not therefore well served by mainstream banks. Monese has filled a gap in the market by providing access to flexible financial services and support.
Customers can deposit salaries, set up Direct Debits or standing orders, and use their account as a savings platform. Monese also allows users to link their PayPal and Avios accounts to their Monese accounts and pay via Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Competative market for fintech
Speaking about the new partnership, Janer Gorohhov, co-founder and chief product officer of Veriff explained, “This partnership with Monese strengthens our position in the UK’s highly competitive digital banking market. We’re excited to aid Monese in its mission to provide access to fair, flexible financial services and support while minimising friction as we simultaneously expand our organisation’s footprint in the UK via our customer base and team.”
Atul Choudrie, Chief Commercial Officer at Monese, said the move would improve customer services and increase protection against fraudulent behaviors. “At Monese, we help people build sustained financial resilience, by providing access to fair, flexible financial services and support.”
He added, “Working in partnership with Veriff, we are unlocking new possibilities in delivering a safe and efficient onboarding experience that will help us reach more customers.”
Upgrade launch new credit card with bitcoin rewards
Upgrade, a fintech company focused on providing credit for mainstream consumers, has launched the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card a new version of its Upgrade Card featuring bitcoin rewards. Under the new programme, users earn unlimited 1.5% bitcoin rewards on every purchase as they make payments.
The custody and trading platform for holding and selling bitcoin is provided by NYDIG and the card is a Visa Signature card, which includes benefits such as trip and baggage insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage.
The company offers credit lines from $500 to $25,000 with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card depending on your credit score. It works with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Like other Upgrade credit cards, there are no monthly fees, late fees, or returned payment fees.
"Upgrade Card is already delivering over $3 billion in annualised credit to consumers," said Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and CEO at Upgrade. "Starting today, anyone can apply for an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card and enjoy the same affordable and responsible credit as with any Upgrade Card, plus the potential upside and fun of owning bitcoin."
Participating in the crypto economy
Upgrade isn’t the first company to announce a credit card with bitcoin rewards, but it’s the first one that is generally available. Anyone can apply with no waitlist, and start using their virtual card immediately until they get their physical card in the mail.
"Crypto rewards introduce cardholders to a new asset class that is increasingly part of a consumer's financial portfolio," said Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of Fintech at Visa. "Whether you're a crypto enthusiast or just getting started, programmes like the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card offer an engaging and low-risk way to participate in the crypto economy."
At the moment, you can’t do much with your bitcoins. You can choose to hold them or sell them. There’s no way to transfer your bitcoins to another wallet for instance. If you choose to sell your rewards, there’s a 1.5% transaction fee.
This card is not currently available in all 50 states. Customers in Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia can’t order an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card at the moment.