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Road safety: Data show improvements in 2018 but further concrete and swift actions are needed

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Fewer people died on European roads last year but more efforts are needed to make a big leap forward, according to new, preliminary figures on road fatalities for 2018 published today by the European Commission.

In 2018, there were around 25 100 fatalities in road accidents in the EU 28. This is a decrease of 21% compared to 2010, and 1% compared to 2017. With an average of 49road deaths per one million inhabitants, this confirms that European roads are by far the safest in the world. But it also shows we are off track to reach our target of halving the number of road deaths by 2020. This underlines the need for swift action by Member States and the entire road safety community to deliver on the EU’s strategic road safety action plan, published in May 2018 as part of the Juncker Commission’s ‘Europe on the Move‘ package, which set out specific actions envisaged under the current Commission mandate.

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “While I of course welcome any reduction in road traffic fatality figures, even a single road death is unacceptable. We have been assertive and ambitious in tackling road safety, adopting a strategic action plan, concrete actions on vehicle and infrastructure safety, and a policy framework for the next decade. As we continue to work towards ‘Vision Zero’ – zero road deaths by 2050, we are committed to working with all Member States, as well as the Parliament and road safety community, to provide a level of safety that EU citizens demand and deserve.  

The Commission has already delivered concrete measures on vehicles and infrastructure safety, and both were agreed upon by the Parliament and Council in early 2019. For infrastructure, risk mapping will be carried out for all motorways and for primary roads, and vulnerable road-users will have to be systematically taken into account in all safety assessments, audits and inspections. For vehicles, a number of safety features will be included in all new vehicles, such as Intelligent Speed Assistance to help drivers keep within the speed limit, and other proven new technologies such as Automated Emergency Braking and Lane Keeping Assistance.

For the majority of Member States, the road fatality rate was below 60 deaths per million inhabitants in 2018.

The EU countries with the best road safety results in 2018 were the United Kingdom (28 deaths/million inhabitants), Denmark (30/million), Ireland (31/million), and Sweden (32/million). The countries with a higher-than-average decrease in road deaths from 2017 to 2018 were Slovenia (-13%), Lithuania (-11%), Bulgaria (-9%) and Slovakia and Cyprus (both -8%).

Only two EU Member States recorded a fatality rate higher than 80 deaths per million inhabitants, against 7 in 2010. The countries with the highest fatality rate were Romania (96/million), Bulgaria (88/million), Latvia (78/million) and Croatia (77/million).

A large number of vulnerable road users were affected: pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and the elderly, particularly in urban areas. With demographic changes and the ongoing trend towards active and sustainable mobility, these groups are expected to represent a higher proportion of road users in the future, and will require particular attention.

In addition to fatalities, the EU’s focus is also on the seriously injured: it is estimated that, for every road death, five more people were seriously injured on EU roads last year (around 135,000).

Next steps

In its road safety policy framework for 2021-2030 and strategic action plan on road safety, both published in May 2018 as part of the ‘Europe on the Move’ package, the Commission confirms the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries in road transport by 2050. The new interim targets, responding to the 2017 Valletta Declaration by transport ministers are to cut the number of road deaths by 50% between 2020 and 2030, and to halve the number of serious injuries in the same period.

For more information

MEMO: 2018 road safety statistics: What is behind the figures?

Commission’s road safety work and EU road safety statistics

 

Road deaths per million inhabitants – preliminary country by country statistics for 2018[1]

  2010 2017 2018 2017-2018 2010-2018
Belgium 77 54 52 -4% -30%
Bulgaria 105 96 88 -9% -20%
Czech Republic 77 55 62 14% -18%
Denmark 46 30 30 0% -31%
Germany 45 39 39 3% -10%
Estonia 59 36 51 40% -15%
Ireland 47 33 31 -5% -30%
Greece 113 68 64 -6% -45%
Spain 53 39 39 -1% -27%
France 64 51 48 -5% -18%
Croatia 99 80 77 -4% -26%
Italy 70 56 55 -2% -20%
Cyprus 73 62 57 -8% -18%
Latvia 103 70 78 10% -31%
Lithuania 95 67 61 -11% -43%
Luxembourg 64 42 60 44% 13%
Hungary 74 64 64 1% -15%
Malta 31 41 38 -5% 38%
Netherlands[2] 32 31
Austria 66 47 45 -3% -28%
Poland 103 75 76 2% -26%
Portugal 80 58 59 1% -35%
Romania 117 99 96 -4% -21%
Slovenia 67 50 44 -13% -34%
Slovakia 65 51 46 -8% -28%
Finland 51 43 43 -1% -13%
Sweden 28 25 32 28% 22%
United Kingdom[3] 30 28 28 -2% -4%
EU 28 63 49 49 -1% -21%

Fintech

MICT Reports Financial Results for the Third Quarter Ended September 30, 2019

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MICT, Inc. (Nasdaq: MICT), today announced financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2019.

MICT’s financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019 reflect Micronet, Ltd. revenues for the months of January 2019 and February 2019 only. On February 24, 2019, Micronet closed a public equity offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange which resulted in a dilution of MICT’s ownership interest in Micronet to 39.53%. Thus, based on U.S. GAAP, MICT no longer includes Micronet’s financial results in its consolidated financial statements effective as of March 1, 2019. On September 5, 2019, Micronet closed a public equity offering on the TASE. As a result, MICT’s ownership interest in Micronet was diluted from 33.88% to 30.48%, and MICT’s current voting interest in Micronet stands at 37.79% of the issued and outstanding shares of Micronet.

“In the third quarter, we closed on a $7.25 million funding, as part of a $9 million funding agreement in support of our planned business combination with BNN Technology and others. This $7.25 million funding included a $2 million investment from BNN into MICT. We expect to close on the balance of the additional $1.75 million in the near future,” stated David Lucatz, Chief Executive Officer of MICT.

On November 7, 2019, MICT closed on a $25 million private placement of convertible notes, converting automatically at $1.41 per share of MICT common stock at the closing of an acquisition by the Company of Global Fintech Holdings Ltd (GFH), which acquired the ParagonEX Limited group of companies and the trading companies of BNN Technology PLC. Through its newly acquired subsidiaries, GFH is already a successful and profitable business, providing its platforms within the financial trading and Contracts for Difference (CFD) sectors in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. GFH expects over the coming months to implement its program to acquire substantial revenues through the acquisition of significant players in the sector, resulting in rapid growth and the contribution of significant profitability to the MICT group.

Upon closing of the merger, the combined MICT group is expected to have a strong balance sheet with over $25 million in cash, enabling the Company to pursue a revenue acquisition program and to materialize significant fintech opportunities in China.

David Lucatz, CEO of MICT, said, “We strongly believe that our strategic decision to change our business and enter into the fintech space will contribute very positively to value creation for our present and future shareholders. The funding enables us to acquire GFH, a very exciting fintech company with world class technological assets, operational management and significant profitability. We expect the combination of strong cash reserves and abundant opportunities will facilitate substantial earnings growth potential for the Company.

Darren Mercer who recently joined the Board of MICT and is a director and officer of GFH, added, “The opportunity to be a part of the MICT group is a very exciting proposition for us. The GFH group of companies brings to MICT a suite of world-leading technology platforms that are product-agnostic and can support all our new ventures within the fintech space, be they through acquisition or through organic growth, including in the very significant Chinese marketplace. Supported by MICT’s strong balance sheet and our combined cash resources, we believe it is a very exciting time for all new and existing MICT shareholders.”

Q3 2019 Review

  • Gross loss for MICT was $0 for three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to gross profit of $54,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Research and development (R&D) expense for MICT for the three months ended September 30, 2019 was $0, compared to $425,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense for MICT was $501,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to $2.93 million for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Net loss attributable to MICT was $1,210,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a net loss of $2.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019. On a per share basis, MICT reported a net loss of $0.11 per basic and diluted share from continued operations for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a net loss of $0.28 per basic and diluted share from continued operations for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • As of September 30, 2019 MICT had $5.77 million in cash and equivalents

Nine Months 2019 Review

  • Gross loss was $369,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a gross profit of $3.31 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
  • R&D expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 was $261,000, compared to $1.46 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
  • SG&A expense was $2.36 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to $6.28 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Net loss attributable to MICT was $3.22 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 compared to a net profit of $10,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2018. On a per share basis, MICT reported a net loss of $0.30 per basic and diluted share from continued operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a net loss of $0.54 per basic and diluted share from continued operations and a net profit per share of $0.54 from discontinued operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.

Conference Call

The Company invites all those interested in participating in the call tomorrow, November 15, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. EST, to dial 1-888 -298 5973. Callers from outside of the U.S. may access the call by dialing: From London (and Europe) dial in +448 0818 90708 From Israel +972 79-939 8931.

user pin: 4444

Please dial in a few minutes before 9:00 a.m. EST. Participants may also access a live webcast of the conference call through the Investor Relations section of MICT’s website at: http://mixlr.com/servicesmict/

A telephone replay of the call will be available for two weeks at: 1-888 -298 5973. Callers from outside of the U.S- may access the call by dialing: From London (&Europe) dial in +448 0818 90708 From Israel +972 79-939 8931.

user pin: 3333

A slide presentation accompanying management’s remarks can be accessed at www.mict-inc.com.

No Offer or Solicitation

This communication is not intended to and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to subscribe for or buy or an invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or the solicitation of any vote in any jurisdiction pursuant to the proposed transaction or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Subject to certain exceptions to be approved by the relevant regulators or certain facts to be ascertained, the public offer will not be made directly or indirectly, in or into any jurisdiction where to do so would constitute a violation of the laws of such jurisdiction, or by use of the mails or by any means or instrumentality (including without limitation, facsimile transmission, telephone and the internet) of interstate or foreign commerce, or any facility of a national securities exchange, of any such jurisdiction.

Important Additional Information Will be Filed with the SEC

In connection with the proposed acquisition, MICT intends to file a proxy statement on Schedule 14A and other relevant materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. Stockholders of MICT are urged to read MICT’s proxy statement and all other relevant documents filed with the sec when they become available, as they will contain important information about the proposed transaction. A definitive proxy statement will be sent to MICT’s stockholders seeking their approval of the proposed transaction. MICT’s stockholders will be able to obtain these documents (when available) free of charge at the SEC’s web site, http://www.sec.gov. In addition, they may obtain free copies of these by contacting MICT’s Secretary, 28 West Grand Avenue, Suite 3, Montvale, NJ 07645.

Participants in Solicitation

MICT and its directors and executive officers, may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies for the special meeting of MICT’s stockholders to be held to approve the proposed business combination. Information regarding the persons who may, under the rules of the SEC, be deemed participants in the solicitation of MICT’s stockholders in connection with the proposed business combination will be set forth in the proxy statement. You can find information about MICT’s executive officers and directors in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.

 

SOURCE MICT, Inc.

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New free digital banking service puts dollars back in the pockets of Canadian shoppers

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Photo source: pymnts.com

 

Just in time for the holiday season, Price Drop is rolling out across the country for new and existing motusbank and Meridian Members. Price Drop promises to put real dollars back in the pockets of Canadian shoppers by automating the traditionally time-consuming process of price matching for retail purchases. The free digital banking service is the first of its kind offered by a financial institution.

“We’re excited by how easy and convenient it is to use Price Drop, not to mention the savings it offers, especially at a time of year when shoppers are looking for the best deals,” says David Baldarelli, COO of motusbank and SVP of Digital Banking & Analytics at Meridian. “We’re especially delighted that we can now extend this free value-add feature to more Canadians to offer a solution that eliminates stress and hassle in their every-day lives.”

While 150 of the top retail chains in Canada offer price matching, research shows that only five to eight per cent of shoppers take advantage of these price-matching guarantees. Many shoppers don’t know they exist while others are put off by the legwork involved in price-matching manually, on their own.

HOW PRICE DROP WORKS

The Price Drop feature is available – with no obligation or cost – to new and existing motusbank and Meridian Members by simply downloading the mobile banking app they use and opting in for the service. Price Drop automates the process in three easy steps:

  • After making a purchase, users simply snap a photo of the receipt of the item (if bought in-store) or obtain the digital receipt (if bought on-line) and send to Price Drop via email;
  • Price Drop then searches for better prices on electronics, furniture, toys, apparel, and other eligible items from price-matching retailers;
  • Price Drop will send an email or in-app notification if it finds a better price. It will also provide proof required to claim the difference in cost from the retailer.

There is no limit to the number of receipts that can be submitted or refunds received.

PROVEN PRICE DROP SAVINGS

We worked with Winnipeg-based fintech company PriceRazzi in helping to develop and test the digital service. More than 2000 Price Drop users participated in the successful pilot phase, revealing that:

  • 52% of people who submitted eligible receipts saved money through Price Drop
  • 23% of users who saved money by using Price Drop saved 30% or more on their purchase
  • Savings ranged from $2 – $500 for purchases for small household products to big screen TVs
  • The average saving per purchase through Price Drop was $25

“Consumers never have to waste another second searching for lower prices again,” says Baldarelli. “We invite all Canadians to have a chance to save money and experience the fresh approach to banking we make available to Members. We see the introduction of this service as yet another example of how we constantly focus on helping Canadians live simpler, easier lives.”

To learn more about this value-add feature and find out how to save dollars, visit motusbank or Meridian.

 

SOURCE Meridian Credit Union

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Fintech

Visa and Georgia’s TBC-backed Neobank – Space Announce Strategic Partnership

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Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, and Space, the first fully digital bank in Georgia, today announced they have signed a partnership agreement to jointly develop innovative banking services and expand digital banking footprints in new geographies.

Space is a startup backed by TBC Bank and was launched in 2018 with just three employees. They now have more than 70 employees, and have amassed a portfolio of more than 160,000 consumers. The bank operates as an innovative banking laboratory, and has successfully introduced financial services in new formats in Georgia. These include online bank account opening, remote KYC, courier card delivery by electro scooters, and the ability to manage all banking services through a mobile app.

Through the partnership, Visa will work with Space to jointly develop innovative, user-centric and secure banking solutions and help Space in their ambitions to expand to other countries focusing on CISSEE.

Nikoloz Kurdiani, the Deputy CEO of TBC Bank said, “Space has the ability to transform everyday banking experiences by making them easier and better. When we launched Space, we wanted to move beyond the traditional banking approach and outdated technology to create a new type of bank in Georgia that would be better at responding to modern customers’ needs. Now, we are ready to go global. Therefore, it is critically important for us to have gained Visa as our strategic partner. Space has proved that its innovative and ambitious vision is realistic and that it is ready to accomplish bigger goals.”

Yevgen Lisnyak, Senior Director and Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech & Ventures (Visa, CISSEE), added: At Visa we believe in the power of partnership to bring our profound experience and innovative solutions to emerging payment players like Space. Being in the center of Fintech ecosystem, we aim to share our knowledge, best practices and network of technological partners with Space to achieve mutual goals in expanding the reach of digital financial services. Today, we are witnessing a rapid transformation of the financial banking sector, where new players are playing a significant role. Neobanks are agile, consumer-centric, flexible and innovative, offering modern consumers completely new financial solutions and digital banking experience. We are excited to be able to support fintechs to navigate the payments landscape in the Caucasus region to achieve their business growth and international expansion ambitions”

 

SOURCE TBC Bank

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