Fintech, Finance, Technology, Banking Highlights – 28 February 2018

Mastercard and Dream partner to speed up insurance payouts

Mastercard announced a global partnership with Dream Payments aimed at getting insurance customers paid quickly, simply and securely.

Both companies share a vision where insurance policyholders will receive fast payments into any payment card or account. Northbridge Financial, a Fairfax company, will be the first insurance provider in Canada to use the Mastercard Send platform through the Dream Payments Hub, followed by international markets.

According to the latest annual Insurance Bureau of Canada report, the local insurance industry pays out approximately CAD$30 billion in claims a year. This collaboration will allow insurance companies to digitize and automate claims disbursements, replacing the friction associated with printing, sorting, and mailing of checks, with the speed and efficiency of digital payments. Customers can expect to receive funds quickly and directly, initially into their debit card account of choice, avoiding unnecessary wait times and getting the funds when they need it the most.

Mastercard Send is a global push payments platform designed to work with banks, businesses, digital players, governments and money transfer services, helping them to modernize the way they send money, both domestically and cross-border. Already today, Mastercard Send facilitates the delivery of funds in near real-time to virtually all domestic debit card accounts in the United States.

Catalyst acquires Knadel

Livingstone’s Business Services sector team has advised Catalyst Development, an award-winning specialist financial markets consultancy, on its acquisition of investment management consultancy Knadel.

This marks the first in a series of planned strategic acquisitions by Catalyst, with the combined group forecast to almost double business revenues in the coming financial year. The acquisition follows an investment from mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge in October 2017, which Livingstone also advised on.

Knadel is a market-leading investment management consultancy, providing business and technology consulting across the full range of the investment industry. Since launching in 2009, Knadel has worked on circa 400 projects with over 120 different clients. With offices in London and Jersey, Knadel works with firms who have UK, European and global business models, supporting both onshore and offshore clients.

Catalyst specialises in regulatory-driven change, organisational improvement and talent development programmes for global financial markets firms. Since its foundation in 1994, Catalyst has worked with more than 70 clients in over 30 financial centres worldwide, including nine out of the world’s top 12 investment banks, and has mentored more than 250 of the most senior figures in financial markets. Catalyst holds the UK’s highest business accolade, The Queen’s Award for Enterprise, in recognition of the firm’s global impact.

Starling Bank joins Bacs

Starling Bank, one of the new breed of mobile-only challenger banks, has joined Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs); the bank becomes the latest participant to offer access to systemically important payment methods, Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, to its commercial customers.

In the last 12 months alone, four new banks – including Starling – have joined Bacs, providing even wider access to the nation’s most prolific payment system; last year, Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit payments totalled 6.35 billion in number, a new record, with a high of 111.7 million transactions processed on a single day.

Michael Chambers, chief executive officer of Bacs, said: “Bacs has been around for 50 years this year, yet our payment methods clearly still resonate – with bill payers, with billers, and for salary, benefit, and pension payments, demonstrated by the fact that we process more transactions and set new records every year.

“That an exciting challenger brand such as Starling sees merit in being able to provide its commercial customers with a route into our schemes is further endorsement of our payment offering, and I’m thrilled to have this new bank on board.”