Digital Initiatives in Banking
- Malaysia’s Hong Leong Bank introduced HLB Pocket Connect – a digital banking initiative which targets young savers. HLB Pocket Connect serves Junior Account Customers and helps inculcate money management habits. Through features such as Earn, Spend and Save, young natives can track, spend and save their pocket money and other earnings. Another feature HLB Pocket Connect offers is its seamless customization and integration with the parents’ HLB Connect online banking – allowing easy transfer and tracking of the child’s account and facilities such as block or freeze of the Junior Debit Card instantly to ensure safety and security of funds against fraudulent activities.
Fintech Funding Continues
- Neat, a multi-currency payments fintech based in Hong Kong last week announced that it extended its US$ 11 M Series A round which closed in April 2020 by another US$ 4 M. Both new and existing investors participated in this extension round. Neat through its “multi-currency Neat Account” enables international SMEs and entrepreneurs make cross-border payments quickly and at lower costs.
- Billon, a blockchain and DLT fintech which enables P2P transaction across multiple currencies, received £2 million investment from the UK’s Future Fund Scheme. The Future Fund Scheme- set-up to help promising start-ups and innovative companies tide the pandemic, is an initiative where the UK Government matches investment commitments by angel investors and VCs. With this additional support Billon plans to “help clients pursue digital transformation and new business models” through the use of blockchain and DLT.
- Moov Financial, a Banking-as-a-Service, announced $5.5 million seed round. Bain Capital Ventures led the seed round, with 6 other institutional investors and 27 individual investors. According to the press release, Moov Financial said that “this round allows us to grow the Moov community and accelerate our product roadmap.”
- HSBC India, committed to enabling a sustainable ecosystem, recently announced the launch of its “Green Deposit Programme”. This initiative is available to the bank’s corporate clients and deposits accepted under this initiative will be used to finance green initiatives such as renewable energy, clean transportation, pollution prevention & control, green building and others. This deposits will be accepted in INR as fixed term deposits with pre-agreed returns and the bank will ensure transparency by providing “customers with a quarterly report containing portfolio-level information regarding the use of the deposited funds.”
- In 2018, BBVA launched “Pledge 2025” whereby the bank “committed to securing €100 billion in sustainable financing between 2018 and 2025”. BBVA last week reported that it had already secured 40% of its target as of June 2020. As per the bank, this finance was secured through transactions in green finance, social entrepreneurship, agri-business, sustainable infrastructure and other sustainable banking initiatives.