Web browser Opera to launch innovative fintech startup
The US internet company, Opera, has announced its first foray into the world of fintech enterprise by launching its own startup, called Dify.
Dify, (pronounced Defy), which will be rolled out in Spain first, and then later unveiled in the European marketplace, is an in-browser digital wallet for online shopping and cashback facility. Additional payments and buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) features are set to launch soon.
The service already provides a current account and virtual Mastercard debit card that can be used to make online transactions as well as Google Pay support for offline spending.
A statement released by Opera, said, "Dify Cashback allows consumers to receive cashback for online purchases through the Opera browser. The earned cashback is paid out to the Dify Wallet, which is available for Android and iOS. We are excited to first launch this in Spain with more European markets coming soon."
As one of the world's leading web browsers, Opera, which was founded in Norway in 1995, has pledged to invest $100m in the online payment solution enterprise over the next few years. The service will enable Opera's 50 million-strong active users in Europe to earn cashback from their online transactions simply and easily.
Opera's investment promise to Dify is the combined total cost of the launch of Dify and two fintech acquisitions which were finalised in 2020.
Initial features on the Dify app will allow consumers to receive e-commerce cashback for purchases made on partner websites accessed through Opera's browser. Currently, partner brands include Sephora, Asos, and Nike.
, EVP browsers & EEA fintech at Opera, explained, "Every day millions of people shop online and make their payments using the Opera browsers. With Dify, we are making the browser and a superior wallet work better, together, to improve users' shopping experience and also make it financially rewarding".
VP of fintech expansion at Opera, s, said, "Cashback is the driver into what we do next. It's the catalyst to what will come after that, and we've spoken around instant cashback, we've got some ideas around how we could really alter the shopping experience even more, with maybe features like buy-now-pay-later."
According to reports, savings management, investment opportunities, instant cashback and credit, are just some of the offerings that will be made available to Dify customers, via Opera.
Opera's decision to launch a fintech is an innovative approach from the browser. It follows the company's 2020 M&A of the Estonian startup Pocosys - a banking-as-a-service fintech, and Fjord Bank, a Lithuanian fintech. Opera also recently joined the EU's Emerging Payments Association.
"The total size of Opera's investment into Dify is expected to exceed $100m over the next few years, given we scale as expected," confirmed Kolondra. "This includes acquisitions, development cost and our marketing and distribution plans."
The idea of enabling payments and cashback facilities via a browser has not yet been done, but as Opera has a 380 million-strong global user network, the move could well see the practice adopted on a worldwide scale.
Tink partners with Novalnet AG for open banking payments
The Munich-based fintech Novalnet AG, which was founded in 2007 and is one of Europe’s leadingfintech companies, has announced a new partnership with Tink, the Swedish open banking platform currently connected to more than 3,400 European banks.
Novalnet AG delivers payment solutions and fully automated services, from checkout to debt collection. Its solutions are also available worldwide.
According to reports, the fintech company plans to launch a real-time payments feature for merchants across Europe, to expand its current services and enhance the transaction experience it operates through its platform.
The new feature, says Novalnet, will revolutionise payments for ecommerce with transactions being credited to merchant’s accounts almost instantly.
Novalnet partnership with Tink
By partnering with Tink for payment initiation services (PIS) technology, Novalnet will take previous region-specific payment methods and offer a new unified digital payments service to its merchants across Europe.
The fintech’s real-time merchant payments feature, which will be launched initially in Germany and the United Kingdom, will then be integrated across other European markets during 2021.
Speaking about the new collaboration, Emmanuel Kirse, COO of Novalnet, explained, "We expect great things from our strategic partnership with Tink, which is a significant development for both parties.
“With Tink, Novalnet can offer a new set of open banking-related solutions in Europe. The new opportunities offered by this partnership will help both Tink and Novalnet grow together, along with our merchants."
Cyrosch Kalateh, Regional Director for the DACH region at Tink said, “Our partnership with Novalnet is a big step for Tink in the German market, and we are excited to work together to bring new, innovative payments services to merchants across Europe.”
He added, “At the end of 2020 Tink committed to expanding its payment initiation services from five to 10 markets, fuelled by an €85mn investment round. We are proud to add Germany to this list by announcing we have now fully launched Tink’s PIS services in this market.”
Image credit: Novalnet AG