Global IT and fintech company, Digital Wallet Corporation (DWC), has reached an agreement with Seven Bank, Ltd (Seven Bank), a Japanese bank run by Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd, operating Seven-Eleven stores in Japan, to acquire its subsidiary and international money transfer service, Seven Global Remit, Ltd. DWC owns and operates Smiles Mobile Remittance (Smiles), known as Japan’s first and most popular mobile remittance application. This acquisition will allow DWC and Seven Bank to collaborate in redefining and improving the landscape of international money transfer services and financial inclusion for foreign residents in Japan. The agreement concluded on 9 February 2024.
Customers currently using Seven Global Remit’s service are scheduled to transition to Smiles sequentially. Seven Bank and Digital Wallet will promptly inform their customers regarding the service transition as soon as it is determined.
With the alliance between DWC and Seven Bank, all Smiles customers will gain access to Seven Bank’s extensive ATM network after the service transition, significantly enhancing convenience. This partnership establishes Smiles Mobile Remittance as the premier choice for foreign residents in Japan, providing unparalleled access to the country’s largest ATM network and setting its position as the number one service in the market.
In 2014, DWC Founder and CEO Eiji Miyakawa, a former Sony Corporation leader of a cloud technology group, started Digital Wallet with leading engineers of Sony with the same goal to utilize IT and fintech to maintain peace and sustain the international society. Since its launch in 2017, Smiles Mobile Remittance has assembled a diverse team representing over 13 nationalities, each contributing their talents to deliver exceptional service. Recognized as the top-rated mobile remittance application in Japan, Smiles was also honored as the recipient of the prestigious Good Design Award 2021 for its outstanding product design.
With the anticipated easing of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and administrative support aimed at addressing labor shortages accompanying the decline in the working-age population, there is an expected increase in foreign residents living in Japan.
“We started Smiles with the ambition to offer a fair, fast and affordable remittance service for our hardworking migrant workers,” said Mr. Miyakawa, “and because we made it happen, we’ve been receiving mass support from our customers and now we’re number one in Japan.”
Smiles aligns its service with evolving needs, providing an array of features to offer convenience for its customers including the option for direct remittances from over 50 thousand ATMs in Japan. In addition to Lawson Bank, Japan Post (Yucho) Bank and AEON Bank’s ATMs, Seven Bank’s network of 27 thousand ATMs will make Smiles Mobile Remittance Japan’s largest ATM network, beating all competitors in the market. This will also enable customers to easily deposit funds into their accounts and send money to over 200 countries worldwide using their smartphones.
“We’re very grateful that Seven Bank approached us to work with them,” added Mr. Miyakawa. “It goes to show how much they trust our expertise in IT and fintech, and we are even more motivated to help the growing number of migrant workers in Japan. Through this alliance, we strive to deliver a better international society with the Seven Bank team.”
Revolut introduces robo-advisor service in the Republic of Ireland
Revolut, the global financial super-app with a customer base exceeding 35 million worldwide, has recently unveiled its Robo-Advisor service in Ireland.
The company, known for its innovative approach to banking and financial services, aims to simplify the investment process for its users.
The introduction of the Robo-Advisor is a response to the growing demand for accessible investment options. Many potential investors find the research and management of investments time-consuming and complex, especially those with limited trading experience or those who cannot dedicate time to actively manage their portfolios.
Revolut operates as a financial super-app, offering a wide range of services from traditional banking to cryptocurrency trading. The app is designed to be a one-stop solution for users’ financial needs, making it easier to manage money in a fast-paced digital world.
The new Robo-Advisor service is designed to automate the investment process. By answering a series of questions, customers can have a fully diversified and customized portfolio created for them. This portfolio is then automatically managed, with investments made based on the customer’s risk tolerance and financial goals. The minimum investment to access the Robo-Advisor is EUR 100, with an annual management fee of 0.75% of the portfolio value.
Additional features of the Robo-Advisor include the ability for customers to set up recurring transfers from as little as EUR 10, allowing for regular portfolio growth and minimization of the impact of market volatility. The service also automatically rebalances portfolios and conducts periodic reviews to ensure alignment with the customer’s investment objectives.
Rolandas Juteika, Head of Wealth and Trading (EEA) said, “We are excited to add a Robo-Advisor to our suite of wealth and trading products. We know that many of our customers do not have the time to manage a portfolio or invest in individual securities. In fact, 53% of customers we surveyed last year said they simply don’t know where to start when it comes to investing. Built to make investing more accessible, we want to give our customers the ability to make their money work for them in what we believe will be a tailored and stress-free solution.”
Revolut’s recent expansion of its investment offerings across the EEA, including shares of European listed companies and the introduction of Trading Pro for advanced traders, highlights its commitment to providing comprehensive financial solutions. With over 2,200 US-listed securities, 220+ EU-listed securities, and 270 ETFs available through the app, Revolut continues to enhance its platform, making investing more accessible to a broader audience.
Investment services in the EEA are provided by Revolut Securities Europe UAB, which is regulated by the Bank of Lithuania. While Revolut aims to make investing straightforward and efficient, it’s important for customers to remember that investments carry risks, including the potential for loss and currency fluctuations.
Source: Fintech Global
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Hawk AI welcomes new general manager Robin Lee
Hawk AI, a front-runner in AI-driven solutions for fraud and anti-money laundering (AML) surveillance, has recently announced the strategic appointment of Robin Lee as General Manager for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
Tobias Schweiger, CEO of Hawk AI, expressed his enthusiasm about the new addition to their team. “I’m very pleased to welcome Robin Lee to Hawk AI. He brings deep expertise in regulatory compliance and outstanding knowledge of the anti-financial crime sector. He’s also an exceptional leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and infectious energy. We’re excited to have someone of his caliber onboard.”
Lee is also highly engaged in global financial crime fighting initiatives, currently serving as Vice-Chair for the APAC Chapter of the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime and as the Global FinTech Liaison for the US Department of Justice’s FinTech Sector Public Dialogue (FSPD), its public-private partnership focusing on FinTechs.
On joining Hawk AI, Lee shared his excitement, “I’m delighted to be joining Hawk AI. The Hawk AI platform is streets ahead of other vendors in the sector, with explainable AI that has been built-in from the ground up and an integrated approach to tackling financial crime that delivers truly extraordinary results for customers.
“I’ve also been deeply impressed by the Hawk AI team. They’re an exceptional group of people, combining world-class technologists and seasoned financial crime-fighters. I’m very proud to be part of their continued growth.”
Since its inception in 2018 by finance industry veterans, Hawk AI has shown remarkable growth. The company now plays a pivotal role in monitoring or screening billions of transactions worldwide. Its unique approach, leveraging explainable AI, has set new industry standards by significantly reducing false positives compared to traditional AML/Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT) solutions.
Hawk AI’s modular solution offers financial institutions a powerful tool to either enhance or replace legacy systems with AI-powered transaction monitoring, payment screening, pKYC, and fraud prevention capabilities, ensuring greater accuracy and efficiency in real-time.
Source: Fintech Global
Velexa launches new Fractional Bonds feature: Making elite investments accessible to all
Velexa, recognised as a top WealthTech100 company, has recently unveiled its latest innovation: fractional bonds. This new feature is a significant addition to their comprehensive suite of investment tools, designed for both embedded and standalone applications.
Following the successful implementation of fractional shares, Velexa’s move to introduce fractional bonds marks a strategic step towards making high-quality bond investments accessible to the mass retail market.
The introduction of fractional bonds by Velexa is set to revolutionize the investment landscape. This feature enables institutions to offer retail investors the chance to explore a diverse portfolio of over 300 high-quality corporate and government bonds. These bonds span major markets, including the US and the EU, and are available for investment with minimal initial sums.
This approach to asset fractionalisation—splitting a high-value asset into smaller, tradable units—is gaining momentum among capital market players. Despite the popularity of fractional shares, the bond market has remained relatively untapped, mainly due to its complexity and the high entry barriers for retail investors.
Historically, the bond market has been the playground of institutional investors, largely due to the high entry costs and the intricate trading mechanisms involved. Many bonds come with minimum investment requirements set by the issuers or dealers, typically in increments of $10,000, and often trade in lot sizes exceeding $100,000.
This structure has effectively sidelined retail investors, making it difficult for them to access bond investments. Velexa’s fractional bonds initiative aims to dismantle these barriers, opening up the bond market to a broader audience and democratizing access to what has traditionally been an elite investment domain.
Tamara Kostova, CEO of Velexa, emphasized the transformative potential of fractional bonds, stating, “With the roll-out of fractional bonds functionality, Velexa is taking a significant step to make the bond market more accessible, offering a lower-cost entry point into this vast market.
“More investors will be able to diversify their portfolios, potentially reducing risk and enhancing possible returns. As a company on a mission to democratise wealth generation through investing, building the right tools to empower retail investors to achieve their financial goals is a focal point in the way we design our technology.”
Velexa’s commitment to enhancing the personal investing experience extends beyond the launch of fractional bonds. The company’s API-based platform and solutions are designed to enable customers to offer a personalized and robust investment experience to their end-users. The modular technology allows for easy integration of new functionalities into existing channels and apps through Velexa’s Investing API solution.
The debut of fractional bonds is more than just an expansion of Velexa’s investing toolkit; it represents a crucial shift in the personal investing landscape. By bridging the divide between large-cap investments and the individual investor, Velexa is setting the stage for retail-focused institutions such as banks, neobanks, brokers, and exchanges to expand their customer base and cater to the diverse needs of the next generation of investors.
Velexa is a pioneering WealthTech company dedicated to democratizing the wealth management industry. Its B2B2X investing technology platform enables client institutions to tap into the growing demand for modern and ubiquitous investing solutions among new generation investors.
Source: Fintech Global
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