I2c: It is unwise to underestimate the impact of crypto
McCarthy explains how the company is engineering a secure and customisable payment platform for its customers, and why focusing on crypto is in-line with preparing the industry for the future of digital transactions.
FM: This year has been a rollercoaster for cryptocurrencies: from countries implementing trading bans to meteoric rises in market value. Do you expect this to 'level out' in the near future?
JM: I don’t believe there will be levelling off in either the short or long term, but that’s just my guess. The way I see it, cryptocurrencies are still at a very early stage in terms of companies beginning to figure out their role and place in their business models.
Our clients like Netcents and Wirex are visionaries in that respect, really helping others see the potential, making crypto more mainstream and making it easy to convert into other currencies for POS payments. While using crypto they are, at their core, payments companies.
FM: Do you believe we’re reaching a consensus on crypto's place in modern economics?
JM: Personally, I think there is beginning to be a consensus and clarity around this topic. We are seeing cryptocurrency evolve to the point where it is backed by central banks and has a stable value. It is moving from an asset of stored value to a usable currency for transacting.
I see the future as being less about a new currency and more about taking the inefficiency out of the current system.
FM: How is i2c helping its clients prepare for the future?
JM: We embrace all forms of innovation. I2c has created a modern payments stack capable of all types and forms of payment – crypto and fiat, credit or debit – we support all uses on our platform. Our job is to embrace all the innovation that is occurring and make it happen. Our clients come to us with a vision and we provide the platform to enable them to realize it without compromise.
Our basic premise is that the future has always been unknowable. At i2c, we built a platform designed to address that unpredictability through an inherent level of stability and agility that’s unprecedented in comparable platforms and which allows our clients to pivot when their prediction of the future was wrong or they need to adapt.
2020 was a test for us with many of our clients who had to pivot or watch their businesses stumble.
FM: Payments companies such as PayPal and Mastercard are both notably exploring crypto. What is holding back the banking sector from (largely) doing the same?
JM: I would say that we are beginning to see banks moving into this space, with JPMorgan launching their own coin and banks around the world experimenting as well. New York state has a crypto licensing group inside its government. But, you need to remember that banking is a highly regulated industry and that many banks will look to those regulators for signals.
It’s a bit of a ‘wait and see’ as to how quickly banks will enter this space en masse, but I believe it will happen.
FM: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to draw particular attention to?
JM: It is still fairly early days and the story of cryptocurrencies is and will continue to unfold and use cases will continue to evolve. However, it would be unwise to underestimate the impact that crypto will have on payment and economies.
It’s been a great source of validation that our crypto clients have separately spoken to the agility of i2c’s platform. They are true pioneers with clear visions of what they want to create and accomplish. In order to do this, they are highly selective of their partners. They choose us for, among other reasons, our single code stack, our global reach and the robust nature of our capabilities.
Nymbus enters strategic partnership with Plaid
Nymbus, a leading provider of banking technology solutions, has partnered with Plaid, a data network powering the digital financial ecosystem, to more instantly authenticate and fund customer bank accounts for financial institutions.
This new integration will allow Nymbus bank and credit union clients to securely onboard new users in a matter of seconds, which in turn translates to more active and engaged banking experiences. Plaid’s data network enables consumers to connect their financial accounts at over 11,000 institutions globally to more than 5,000 digital finance apps, including leading payments, investing, and budgeting tools.
What are the benefits of the integration?
Benefits of the Nymbus and Plaid integration for financial institution customers include:
- Improve user identity verification and reduce fraud.
- Instantly authenticate and link members’ bank accounts.
- Streamline ACH transfers between any bank or credit union in the US.
- Access and analyse comprehensive transaction data.
- Validate real-time account balances to protect against overdraft and enable account pre-funding.
“As more consumers than ever before rely on digital finances for their everyday lives, financial institutions need to meet their customers where they are while supporting safe and reliable money management experiences,” said Sarah Howell, Chief Alliance Officer at Nymbus. “Our expanding network of partners are important contributors to Nymbus’ combined portfolio of the technology, people and process available to quickly innovate with new routes to market and revenue streams.”
Continuous growth and expanding partnerships
Founded in 2015, Nymbus has continued to grow. Most recently the company has closed a new round of financing led by the Curql Fund. The US$5 million investment will be used towards Nymbus CUSO and accelerate a shared commitment to breakthrough technology for ensuring continued growth and stability for the credit union community.
Nymbus CUSO was founded in March 2021 to help break through barriers to growth, and its mission is to connect credit unions with trusted fintech offerings that both simplify technology delivery and enable new digital revenue opportunities.
Last year Plaid set a goal to move 75% of its traffic to APIs by the close of 2021, calling it “one of our top priorities as the industry moves full-steam ahead toward a fully digital financial system.”
Recently it has announced an open finance partnership with Capital One, a digital finance innovator, and the successful completion of its migration to the Capital One API. They have also completed or have in-motion data access agreements with major US financial institutions, including U.S. Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and others.