May 16, 2020

Payoneer moves to protect EEA customers in post-Brexit era

Fintech
Ireland
Payoneer
Bexit
Amber Donovan-Stevens
3 min
As companies make strategic moves in response to Brexit, Payoneer is the latest fintech to double down on its regulatory investments by opening an offic...

As companies make strategic moves in response to Brexit, Payoneer is the latest fintech to double down on its regulatory investments by opening an office in Ireland. 

In a bid to protect its uninterrupted cross-border commerce for customers in the EEU, Payoneer has been authorised as an Electronic Money Institution by Central Bank of Ireland. The fintech unicorn announced that it will be opening a new office in Dublin, Ireland, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to its customers in the uncertainty of trade following the UK’s exit from the EU. 

This is a notable milestone for Payoneer, which is the 12th company to obtain CBI’s authorisation as an Electronic Money Institution and passporting across the European Economic Area (EEA). Payoneer supports sellers on major platforms Amazon, Cdiscount, Joom and Rakuten, as well as supporting small businesses headquartered in Europe. With this license, the firm will be able to ensure that these customers can continue to carry out services seamlessly. 

Scott Galit, CEO of Payoneer said, “This license is the culmination of our efforts to ensure stability and continuity for our customers. With this investment, we are able to continue to support the growth of our customers from around the globe, keeping cross-border commerce flowing smoothly, regardless of the regulatory changes triggered by Brexit. We are very grateful to the CBI for their guidance and assistance in granting the new license and to IDA Ireland for its support.”

The new Dublin office will be headed by Patrick de Courcy, who previously ran Payoneer’s APAC operations. He comments: “We’re delighted to launch in Dublin and join the growing number of e-money and payment institutions established here. Ireland has a credible and experienced regulator in the CBI and provides access to a sophisticated financial services ecosystem with the deep pool of staff, managers, professional advisers and service providers that we’re looking for as we grow operations.”

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CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan said, “Ireland is a significant location for payments technologies, home to some 25 payment companies. Payoneer is a well-recognised brand in the payments industry and a very welcome addition to the sector in Ireland where, post-Brexit, they will benefit from Ireland being a committed member of the EU and Eurozone, our strong pro-business and competitive environment, open economy, and a strong skills base. I wish Patrick and his team every success here.”

Scot Galit, Payoneer CEO (L), Keren Levy, COO at Payoneer (M) and Daniel Smeds, CEO of optile, recently acquired by Payoneer. (L)

[Image: Scot Galit, Payoneer CEO, Keren Levy, COO at Payoneer and Daniel Smeds, CEO of optilerecently acquired by Payoneer. ]

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Jun 10, 2021

FIVE things fintechs must do to keep investors onboard

Fintech
Investment
venturecapital
AI
Brandon Rembe, CPO, Envestnet...
4 min
Fintech innovations drew in first-time investors who reshaped the markets. What new advancements will help them continue their rise?

New investors flocked to the stock market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty-eight percent of investors said they had never had a brokerage or similar account before opening one in 2020.

Low or no-fee trading options have helped accelerate the trend – nearly half of new investors said they accessed their account primarily through a mobile app. As FinTechs, how do we create the trust needed to keep new investors in the market and create a fruitful customer experience for them?

The financial industry does a disservice to individual investors if we merely offer tools that focus on making money quickly, an approach that usually backfires. Instead, the surge of interest presents an enormous opportunity for those who want to help more consumers use financial technology to educate them on responsible spending, saving, and investing in order to achieve financial wellness current fintech tools have welcomed individual investors in the door.

Now, it’s time to focus on education and improving their experience going forward. There are several ways those of us in fintech can step up to shape the future of retail investing so that it works better for everyone, starting with the following areas.

Equal access to financial wellness education

Financial health should be available to everyone — but today, not everyone has the educational resources to achieve it. One study shows that only 3.9% of students from low-income schools were required to take a personal finance class. What they aren’t learning in school or from family members, fintech companies can provide on their platforms.

The companies should move from solely offering financial services to a more responsible model of education, advice, and prescriptive choices to help consumers develop better habits and make wiser financial decisions. Not only can they empower consumers and bridge historical wealth divides, but they can also stimulate growth by opening up new consumer segments.

More personalisation

Just as we’ve come to expect that our fitness routines are tailored to our individual bodies, we’re also ready for finance tools that go beyond one-size-fits-all solutions. But only six percent of financial institutions say they’re using the kind of technology that allows them to deliver a deeply personalized experience. Fintech tools need to reflect that financial success looks different for each of us.

For one consumer, it may mean providing guidance on how to pay off student loans early; for another, it may mean prescriptive actions that enable them to stick to a budget for the first time; for a third, it could look like prioritizing environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments, so that her portfolio aligns with her political beliefs.

Now, we are seeing financial technology beginning to meet the demands of personalized finance in a substantial and meaningful way.

The rise of AI-Powered Advice

Big-picture advice and predictive guidance used to be a feature of high-end financial advisory firms — a perk only available to those who could afford it. But thanks to rapid advancements in data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), that kind of holistic advice is now more accessible than ever. AI-driven robo-advisors can parse many different streams of financial information, delivering customized answers to key questions: Is it time to buy a home, or is it smarter to keep renting? Can I afford to take out another student loan?

Intelligent connectivity powered by AI can anticipate consumers’ needs and next steps, making proactive suggestions that guide them along the path to financial wellbeing. Fintech companies can also help consumers identify when their financial picture becomes too complex for a robo-advisor, and help them find a human financial advisor to meet their needs. 

Focus on financial mental health

New investors are quickly finding that the market can be overwhelming. That’s not surprising, financial anxiety is common and studies show that financial stress can have an impact on mental health for some.

It’s not enough for fintech companies to give retail investors access; they also must provide the guidance and support that help consumers manage their financial well-being. Educational tools can ensure that consumers are well informed about their options.

Predictive analytics can anticipate consumers’ questions, serving them key information and insights before they ask. Features that emphasize a comprehensive notion of financial well-being, rather than short-term wins and losses, can also help ensure that consumers are keeping their eyes on the bigger picture.

Gamification for good

The surge of gamification apps has done an impressive job making investing as engaging as playing a video game or joining a social media platform.

Much of the current use of gamification emphasizes short-term thinking, but there’s also an opportunity to help consumers think more broadly about their overall financial picture. One example is peer benchmarking, a feature that enables help consumers to see how their financial habits compare to those of friends and fellow consumers.

Gamification can also be used to incentivize making smaller, smarter choices — for example, rewarding saving over making an impulse buy.

The future of fintech is about more than just broadening access to the markets. It’s about making sure more individuals have access to the tools that can help improve their financial well-being—in the ways that suit their own circumstances and needs. The potential to act within their own set of individual priorities, with their long-term financial wellness in mind is much more empowering to a consumer than simply relying on short-term, high-risk investments.

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