Fintech Company wamo Starts Operations in Europe
Wamo, a digital financial institution, has started operations in Europe where it expects to attract 10,000 customers before the end of 2021.
Last month, wamo raised a €1 million investment from a group of angel investors, bringing the total amount raised to over €1.9 million and securing funding for its expansion plan in Europe.
The digitally native fintech aimed at small and medium-sized companies, is incorporated in the United Kingdom and has headquarters in London and Malta, and aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services.
This fintech uses smart tech to streamline every aspect of day-to-day financial management processes making it possible for both businesses and consumers to 'do it all' from one app. The company is committed to constantly improve the security of transactions and has mechanisms in place to safeguard customers' money through a key partnership agreement with Railsbank.
"The future of financial services will be impacted deeply by the emergence of embedded finance: finance that promises to be more internet-like, more interconnected and more customisable, with novel components that can be effortlessly inserted into individual businesses in different sectors," Yanki Onen, CEO and founder of the company, stated.
"Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) encounter many challenges and complexities in running and growing their businesses, digital solutions have certainly not reached their full potential when fewer than 10% of the 180 million micro and small merchants (MSMs) around the world can accept digital payments. We're here to help change that," he added.
The company believes that these new consumer habits are here to stay and SMEs are in urgent need of solutions that can meet them quickly and with minimal onboarding friction for businesses and consumers alike.
BIS and MAS publish blueprint for cross-border payment idea
The Bank for International Settlements and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has published a proposed blueprint for the multilateral linking of domestic real-time payment systems across borders.
The blueprint, titled Project Nexus, outlines how countries can fully integrate their retail payment systems onto a single cross-border network, allowing customers to make cross-border transfers instantly and securely via their mobile phones or internet devices.
The Nexus blueprint was developed through consultation with multiple central banks and financial institutions across the globe. It builds on the bilateral linkage between Singapore's PayNow and Thailand's PromptPay, launched in April 2021, and benefits from the experience of the National Payments Corporation of India's (NPCI) development and operation of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system.
The Nexus blueprint comprises two main elements:
- Nexus Gateways, to be developed and implemented by the operators of participating countries' national payment systems, will serve to coordinate compliance, foreign exchange conversion, message translation and the sequencing of payments among all participants. These gateways will be predicated on a common set of technical standards, functionalities and operational guidelines set out within the proposal.
- An overarching Nexus Scheme that sets out the governance framework and rulebook for participating retail payment systems, banks and payment service providers to coordinate and effect cross-border payments through the network.
“To achieve significant cost-reduction in cross-border payment transfers, enhancements must be made on two fronts: direct connectivity between domestic faster payment systems, and frictionless foreign exchange on shared common wholesale settlement infrastructures. The BIS Innovation Hub Singapore Centre is working on both. The Nexus project maps out a much-needed set of standards to achieve seamless cross-border payment systems connectivity.” said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS.
How do cross-border payments work?
Cross-border payments are currency transactions between people or businesses that are in different countries. The sender will choose a front-end provider, such as a bank or a money transfer operator (e.g. Transferwise), to initiate the payment. The receiver then receives the payment via the medium specified by the sender. Traditionally, cross-border payments flow via the correspondent banking network (CBN) which most front-end providers use to settle the payment. But, in recent years, new back-end networks emerged to optimise cross-border payments and enable interoperability between payment methods and provide senders with more possibilities to reach the receiver.
The increased international mobility of goods, services, capital, and people have contributed to the growing economic importance of cross-border payments. The value of cross-border payments is estimated to increase from almost $150 trillion in 2017 to over $250 trillion by 2027, equating to a rise of over $100 trillion in just 10 years.