In today’s major news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Amazon UK is changing course and finally decided to accept Visa, and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has imposed fines of $775 million last year.
Additionally, Netherlands-based FinTech Blender bought a Lithuanian credit union, WealthKernel raised $7 million to expand into Europe, and the Swiss National Bank closed its wholesale CBDC deals with five commercial banks.
Amazon UK changes course and decides to accept the visa after all
Amazon has reversed its decision to drop Visa as a UK payment option effective Wednesday, January 19. On Monday, January 17, the e-commerce giant sent an email to its customers announcing that the ban had been lifted, according to multiple news outlets.
Amazon had said it was making the move due to high fees charged by the payment processor. Visa’s denial parallels a series of rebuttals from merchants regarding payment network transaction fees.
Britain’s FCA imposed $775m in fines in 2021
Financial crime fueled by COVID-19 led the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to impose £568 million ($775 million) in fines last year, according to a Monday, January 17 press release sent by email to PYMNTS.
The total includes fines against major banks, as well as levies against people for insider trading, non-financial misconduct and unauthorized regulated activities, according to the statement.
Juro Raises $23M in Series B Funding
Contract automation platform Juro has raised $23 million in Series B funding, increasing its market valuation more than fivefold, the London-based firm announced on Monday (January 17th).
The company provides an automated all-in-one contract platform that allows lawyers and law firms to manage contracts in a single web browser. Juro said it will use the proceeds to improve the platform’s customer experience and expand into the United States and Europe.
Software acts as a digital advocate to help EU businesses comply with GDPR
Europe is an active market for legal technology, with the European B2B legal technology market expected to generate nearly $6 billion in revenue by 2025, according to data from Statista.
The region is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), one of the strictest data privacy laws in the world. Businesses based in the European Union and the United States that process EU personal data must comply with regulations, which can be costly for many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but legal software can to help.
Swiss National Bank concludes wholesale CBDC transactions with five commercial banks
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has approved a wide range of transactions involving the central bank digital currency (CBDC), the country’s monetary authority announced.
The Zurich-based regulator said the digital tokens were integrated into the back-office systems and processes of five commercial banks during the second phase of the Helvetia project.
The multi-phase initiative of the SNB, BIS Innovation Hub and SIX was created to explore how central banks could offer settlement in central bank money with tokenized financial assets.
Demand for faster payments drives digitalization in insurance in Europe
The COVID-induced digital shift has forced payment providers to improve their payment processes as consumers seek faster payments and streamlined digital experiences, and the insurance industry works quickly to modernize its operations.
Survey found that nearly 90% of respondents have embarked on a digitization initiative to improve the customer experience and make it easier to handle complaints and manage documents for digital-first consumers, according to a survey of carriers. European insurance presented in a recent PYMNTS report. .
Revolut Intros Savings Vault with 0.7% interest to advance consumer goals
London-based challenger bank Revolut is launching Savings Vault to provide Revolut Metal customers with a savings product that offers a 0.7% interest rate and helps customers achieve their financial goals, the company has announced Monday January 17.
The global FinTech startup has 18 million customers. With Savings Vault, Revolut gives people flexibility with no minimum deposit amount, withdrawals anytime, and annual interest paid daily.
Exotec raises $335 million to streamline robotics supply chain
Global warehouse robotics company Exotec closed a $335 million Series D funding round at a $2 billion valuation. It plans to use the capital to launch large-scale deployments in North America, Europe and Asia for a number of global brands, the company announced in a press release Monday (January 17).
Exotec also said it plans to hire 500 new research and development engineers by 2025 to work on improvements to its warehouse automation technology.
Blender buys Lithuanian credit union for $5.8 million, Eyes Digital Bank Status
Netherlands-based FinTech Blender has bought a Lithuanian credit union for NIS 18 million ($5.8 million). Under the terms of the deal, Blender will own 77% of Šeimos Kredito Unija, a credit union specializing in mortgages.
With this purchase, Blender said it hopes to become a pan-European digital bank specializing in mortgage and consumer credit.
WealthKernel Raises $7M to Expand in Europe and Strengthen API Investment Infrastructure
WealthKernel, a digital investment services provider, announced a $7 million Series A+ funding round on Monday, January 17.
The London-based company said the funds will allow it to expand its investment infrastructure to include intraday trading and expand its services in Europe.
7bridges raises $17M Series A to transform supply chains with AI
Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered logistics platform 7bridges has raised $17 million to help transform supply chains, the UK-based company wrote on its blog on Monday (January 17th).
The investment will allow 7bridges to help companies improve their supply chains.
Barcelona-based Payflow closes $9.1m funding round
Payflow, the Spanish neobank, has closed an 8 million euro ($9.1 million) funding round to continue its growth in Spain and around the world, the company announced on Monday (January 17th).
FinTech’s financial platform allows employees to get paid at any time. Following the most recent round, Payflow raised over €12 million ($13.7 million).