In today’s top Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) news, U.S. and EU officials met in Pittsburgh to discuss technology regulation, while U.K. commercial bank OakNorth is now valued at $5 billion. Plus, U.K.-based digital bank Starling expands into Europe, 6 million merchants march to cashless in South Africa, and U.K. B2B lead generation agency bant.io begins to accept cryptocurrency as payment.
US, EU Officials Talk Tech Regs at Inaugural Trade Summit in Pittsburgh
U.S. and European Union officials met Wednesday (Sept. 29) to forge a unified stance regarding new technologies, trade expansion and investment ties between the two zones.
“We renewed our engagement with the European Union, a fundamental partner in tackling the full range of significant issues facing our world today,” President Joe Biden said.
Inside Revolut: 5 Banking and Payments Products Linked to UK’s Most Valuable FinTech
Six years after its launch, London-based Revolut is now a billion-dollar challenger bank worth more than 53-year-old NatWest, one of the U.K.’s Big Four retail banks.
In July, the firm raised $800 million in funding at a $33 billion valuation, becoming the U.K.’s most valuable private tech company in history. In this piece, PYMNTS delves deeper and looks at the different products and services linked to the “financial super app” that is taking on traditional service providers with a more personalized and innovative service.
UK Commercial FinTech Bank OakNorth Valued at $5B
India’s Indiabulls Housing Finance sold a portion of its 40% stake in U.K. commercial FinTech OakNorth, after which the startup bank was valued at $5 billion. Goldman Sachs acted as an advisor on the deal.
Haryana-headquartered mortgage lender Indiabulls is the country’s second-largest housing finance company. It sold 251 crores (about $34 million) of its stake in the commercial bank, which it acquired in 2015.
Starling Expands Digital Banking to Europe
The U.K.-based digital bank Starling plans to offer its Banking-as-a-Service across Europe, including France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, in the first half of 2022.
“Starling-as-a-Service” will allow companies or businesses access to a myriad of services, including savings or current accounts, integrated digital wallets, kids’ cards, debit cards and other financial products on Starling’s platform.
Close to 6M Merchants in South Africa Still Transact Only in Cash, Says Yoco’s Carl Wazen
With its high bank account penetration rates for consumers, South Africa has always been a unique case when it comes to the financial inclusion of local small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
In an interview with PYMNTS, Yoco Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer Carl Wazen said the startup is tackling that huge problem, helping the country’s 6 million-plus merchants who still transact only in cash to make the shift to digital payments.
bant.io Becomes First B2B Lead Generator to Accept Crypto
U.K.-based B2B lead generation agency bant.io said it will begin accepting cryptocurrency as payment, making it the first company of its kind to do so.
The firm said the change will make the company more “flexible and responsive” when helping marketing agencies, Software-as-a-Service firms and technology companies find and engage with customers.
“Over the last five years, we’ve innovated B2B lead generation while offering one of the most flexible payment plans in the industry,” said Founder Andrei Breaz.