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Spool hones in on bringing institutions into DeFi by launching its expansive V2 upgrade

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Spool DAO, or Spool, the platform allowing institutions and users to build customizable risk-managed DeFi products, launches its V2 upgrade. Spool’s new platform expands its original DeFi infrastructure and tools, with heightened decentralized access and new capabilities. Institutions of all sizes can now leverage its slate of new features and interface updates to build, manage, and explore DeFi products with unparalleled flexibility, risk reduction, and security.

Despite crypto’s whirlwind year, DeFi’s blue-chip protocols managed to largely withstand the industry-wide chaos. But that doesn’t mean the DeFi landscape hasn’t changed at all. Looming regulatory steps, such as the new bipartisan bill entering the U.S. Senate, aim to monitor DeFi apps similarly to banks, setting the stage to accommodate increasing interest from legacy financial institutions. Banks and institutions clearly see potential in crypto and DeFi’s financial possibilities, but they lack the proper tools to enter it easily, compliantly, and on their terms.

To meet this institutional need, Spool now provides a completely rebuilt platform for risk-managed and automated DeFi yield. Created from the ground up to be faster, more efficient, more composable, and easier to use than its predecessor, V2 represents a leap for Spool and institutions expanding their DeFi presence. The upgrade expands upon Spool’s core offering and introduces several key features to maximize the effectiveness of institutional DeFi investment. These features and enhancements include:

    • Multi-Asset Smart Vaults: Institutions creating Smart Vaults can now build them to contain a range of yield strategies using multiple assets. Multi-asset Smart Vaults enhance functionality in addition to Spool’s classic auto-swapping and auto-rebalancing capabilities. Investors can simply create or pick an existing Smart Vault that matches their investment preferences, and send the assets they have available. The assets are then automatically swapped and implemented in audited and battle-tested smart contracts to attain the best yields possible while allowing funds to be withdrawn at any time.
    • Smart Vault Guards: Institutions building Smart Vaults can now dictate which users can deposit or withdraw from the Vault based on specific criteria, mirroring traditional investment funds. This helps institutions tailor DeFi offerings not only to regulatory compliance but to their specific client needs as well. Institutions can create KYC and AML-compliant Smart Vaults, for example, and only allow access to vetted investors through whitelisted wallets. Other parameters include NFT or Token Gating (where a user must hold a specific NFT or token amount to access the vault), and Time Locks.
    • Actions: Spool builders can now implement customizable actions tied to user activities such as entering or exiting a Smart Vault that is configured during its creation. Actions help support institutions by creating a framework that feels familiar to traditional finance and includes features such as deposit or withdrawal fees, deposit insurance fees, and automated asset swaps that help streamline the once-manual process for yield farming.
    • Liquid Staking Derivatives (LSDs) Support: LSDs are tokens issued in return for staking cryptocurrency through a staking provider. This comes in handy for networks such as Ethereum, where validators must hold a minimum of 32 ETH to access staking and validator privileges. LSDs also allow users to withdraw staked ETH, which validators cannot do. As strategies using LSDs become more popular and prevalent, adding support in V2 enables greater convenience.
    • Advanced Automation: One of DeFi’s major obstacles lies in manual asset management within yield farms. V2 improves upon Spool’s original automation features while maintaining decentralization and self-custody. Once assets are within a Smart Vault portfolio, V2 automatically rebalances them between various strategies configured in the Vault. Spool also now offers automated collateral conversion, meaning clients investing in a Smart Vault can utilize any underlying asset they have available. Spool automatically converts the asset before investing, granting increased ease and choice.
    • Deposit NFTs (dNFTs): D-NFTs provide users with an immutable NFT receipt of their Smart Vault deposits, enabling the withdrawal of funds. ERC-20 Smart Vault Tokens (SVTs) are created by burning D-NFTs and act as yield-bearing stablecoins, which can be easily transferred or traded on a secondary market, creating a new liquid financial instrument.

Check out Spool’s video here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/150B6sSdX9gMAjdig-5675nLfftciWidJ/view

More detailed video with features overview can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uIr_AJ_iHKErkHR5lFaUWk39A4-NUtEo/view?usp=drive_link

Among these new features, Spool V2’s completely redesigned interface allows institutions and asset managers to have a birds-eye view of their Smart Vault portfolio. The platform champions accessibility while providing the comprehensive tools and oversight that institutions require. This includes tools for easily white-labeling Smart Vaults for client access with their own branding and unique insights into Smart Vault performance based on customizable KPIs.

By enabling the codeless creation of financial services and products backed by audited financial primitives, institutions that don’t have DeFi-specific teams are now able to easily access DeFi. The upgrade’s capabilities set the stage for large-scale institutional partnerships in the pipeline for Spool, following a steady stream of integrations and collaborations leading up to its launch.

“We are incredibly proud to launch Spool V2 after countless months of our team developing, testing, and listening to the feedback and needs of our institutional partners,” says Philipp Zimmerer, Lead of Token Strategy of Spool. “This lands at a pivotal moment in crypto in a year that has been all about responsibly rebuilding the industry and forging a new path for DeFi. Improving access, flexibility, and security will not only garner further institutional support but set a new standard for what DeFi can make possible for any investor.”

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Suspected Digital Fraud Originating from Canada Soars in 2023; Canada with Third Highest Increase in Fraud Rates Among 19 Countries Analyzed by TransUnion

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Key Findings:

  • 39% growth in the rate of suspected digital fraud attempts year-over-year (YoY) for transactions originating from Canada in 2023.
  • 60% of Canadians surveyed said they were recently targeted with fraud, of which 10% fell victim.
  • 93% said having confidence their personal data will not be compromised is important when choosing who to transact with online.
  • 42% said they abandon their online shopping carts due to fraud and/or security concerns.
  • 8.4% of e-commerce transactions in 2023 were targeted by suspected fraud attempts originating from Canada.
  • 202% increase in the volume of suspected digital fraud attempts from Canada between 2019-2023.
  • 258% increase in the rate of suspected digital fraud attempts originating from Canada within telecommunications sector from 2022-2023.

Canada experienced a significant increase in suspected digital fraud attempts in 2023, with more than 5% of all transactions where the consumer was located in Canada being targeted by suspected fraud, revealed a new data analysis from TransUnion (NYSE: TRU). While the rate of suspected digital fraud grew YoY globally by 8% from 2022-2023, Canadian-based fraud significantly outpaced the global rate with a 39% increase in 2023 from 3.6% in 2022. Canada had the fifth highest rate of suspected digital fraud and the third highest rate increase from 2022-2023 out of the 19 countries analyzed.

The pivot to increasingly digital transactions since the beginning of the pandemic means Canadians face a new norm when it comes to the elevated severity and volume of attempted digital fraud rates. At the same time, the number of digital transactions has markedly risen in the last few years, further fuelling the volume of potentially fraudulent activity with a 202% increase in suspected digital fraud attempts originating from Canada from 2019-2023. The rate of suspected fraudulent digital transactions also increased during this same period by 105%.

“Digital fraud attempts from Canada grew dramatically over the past year across most industries. As the world accelerated digital engagement, fuelled by the pandemic, Canadian consumers and businesses face a new norm with significantly elevated fraud risks,” said Patrick Boudreau, head of identity management and fraud solutions at TransUnion Canada. “Canadian businesses and consumers are challenged to remain one step ahead of these increasingly sophisticated and ever evolving fraudsters. Fraudsters continue to prey on organizations that have direct access to money, products or services with easily transferable monetary value. There is no doubt that fraud remediation will continue to be a key priority for organization and businesses.”

Top Industries Targeted by Suspected Digital Fraud from Canada Include Retail, Communities, Video gaming, Gambling and Financial Services.

In 2023, the retail sector experienced the highest rate of suspected digital fraud, with just over 8 in every 100 transactions (8.4%) where the consumer was located in Canada being suspected fraudulent. The rate of suspected digital fraud in 2023 (the number of fraudulent transactions divided by all transactions in that industry) originating from Canada for all industries analyzed were:

  • Retail: 8.4%
  • Communities (online dating, forums, etc.): 6.2%
  • Video gaming: 4.6%
  • Gambling: 4.0%
  • Financial services: 3.1%
  • Telecommunications: 2.7%
  • Insurance: 2.5%
  • Travel and leisure: 0.6%
  • Logistics: 0.4%

Significant Increase in Rate of Suspected Digital Fraud Across Multiple Sectors.

Increased suspected digital fraud rates originating from Canada spanned every industry except one analyzed. The telecommunications industry saw the most significant increase with a 258% jump from 2022-2023; followed by communities at 129%; and financial services at 75%. The only industry without an increase was logistics, which experienced a decline of 34%.

Suspected Digital Fraud Attempts Shift to New Industries Globally vs. Canada

Industry Canada Rate Change from 2022-2023 Global Rate Change from 2022-2023
Telecommunications +258% +111%
Communities (online dating, forums, etc.) +129% +17%
Financial services +75% +3%
Insurance +43% -8%
Gaming +27% +41%
Travel & Leisure +8% +8%
Public sector +9% -1%
Retail +4% +21%
Gambling +4% -30%
Logistics -34% -30%

Fraud Concerns have Strong Influence over Who Canadians Choose to do Business with and make Purchases from.

TransUnion survey data from December 2023 shows that Canadians’ fraud risk and security concerns have significant influence over who they choose to do business with. This includes:

  • 42% of Canadians abandon their online shopping carts due to fraud and/or security concerns.
  • 71% will not return to a website if they have fraud concerns.
  • 93% of Canadians said having confidence their personal data will not be compromised is important when choosing who to transact with online.
  • 34% of Canadians have switched their online transactions to another website due to fraud or security concerns.
  • 46% of Canadians said that security of their personal data was the number one consideration when deciding what online company to do business with.

Canadians Report Being Targeted by a Diverse Mix of Fraudulent Schemes.

In the same December 2023 survey, 60% of Canadians surveyed said they were targeted with online, email, phone call or text messaging fraud in the last three months, of which 10% fell victim. Of those who said they were targeted, Canadians reported a diverse mix of fraudulent schemes including:

  • Phishing (fraudulent emails, websites, social posts, QR codes, etc., to steal data): 50%
  • Smishing (fraudulent text messages intended to trick the victim into revealing data): 43%
  • Vishing (fraudulent phone calls intended to trick the victim into revealing data): 38%
  • Third-party seller scams on legitimate online retail websites: 22%
  • Identity theft (personal information like name, address, phone number or security number was stolen in a company’s data breach): 14%
  • Social engineering scam (solicited to transfer or move illegally acquired money on behalf of someone else): 18%
  • Stolen credit card or fraudulent charges: 14%
  • Money mule scam (solicited transfer or move illegally acquired money on behalf of someone else): 12%
  • Account takeover (online account used without permission): 11%
  • Unemployment fraud: 6%

The Most Suspected Digital Fraud Occurs at Account Creation.

In reviewing the different points in a consumer journey, the data analysis reveals that the highest percentage of digital fraud occurs at account creation.

Globally, the analysis found that 13.9% of all digital account creation activity involved suspected fraud in 2023. For digital transactions where the consumer was in Canada, the suspected fraud rate at account creation was 4.9% last year. In comparison, the rate of suspected digital fraud at account login in Canada was 3.9% in 2023 (2% globally). When money is being exchanged in the transaction for instance for purchases, transfers, deposits and withdrawals, 2.3% of those types of transactions from Canada were suspected fraudulent (3.6% globally).

The post Suspected Digital Fraud Originating from Canada Soars in 2023; Canada with Third Highest Increase in Fraud Rates Among 19 Countries Analyzed by TransUnion appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Top US Bank, Commerce goes live with loan origination on Temenos banking platform

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Temenos (SIX: TEMN), today announced that Commerce Bank, a top US bank, has gone live with Temenos’ (Infinity) loan origination solution, increasing operational efficiency and delivering a frictionless, hyper-personalized customer experience.

The latest go-live follows the successful modernization of the bank’s core banking system, moving from legacy systems for deposits to Temenos’ modern, agile and open platform tailored for the US market. In 2022, the bank migrated over 2.5 million customers and 6.9 million accounts to the Temenos platform.

Named among America’s Best Banks by Forbes, Commerce operates using a “super community bank” model that brings together sophisticated banking products with high-touch, high-tech delivery to create and build deep relationships.

Temenos (Infinity) Loan Origination offers powerful decisioning, highly customizable applications, dynamic features, and extensive third-party integrations. The solution has been deployed to create a fast, omni-channel origination experience for securities-based loans and lines of credit provided though Commerce Trust – Commerce’s Private Bank.

Commerce previously relied on manual calculations, documentation and collateral gathering to process applications, which was complex to configure and set up. With Temenos (Infinity) Loan Origination, Commerce has been able to automate the process with increased digitization to eliminate paper processes, improve reliability and drive end-to-end product origination process down to 5 minutes or less.

John Handy, President and Chief Executive Officer for Commerce Trust, commented: “Commerce helps high-net-worth individuals simplify their complex financial lives. The Temenos’ loan solution will help us keep ahead of the competition, to take the lending experience to the next level, increasing staff efficiency and customer satisfaction.”

Philip Barnett, President – Americas, Temenos, said: “We are delighted to build on our close relationship with Commerce to modernize its loan origination capability. This latest go live proves the strength of our banking platform, which is tailored for the needs of US banks – from large regional incumbents, and global disruptors to challenger banks. Private banking is an increasingly competitive segment in the US and with Temenos, Commerce can continue to differentiate and meet the rising expectations for personalized, fast and easy banking interactions.”

Temenos was recently named a Leader in IDC MarketScape: North America Lending Decisioning Platforms and is ranked as the #1 best-selling banking software for Digital Banking and Channels by IBS Intelligence.

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Nigerian digital bank FairMoney in talks to buy Umba in $20M all-stock deal, sources say

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FairMoney, a digital bank based in Lagos and headquartered in Paris, is in discussions to acquire Umba, a credit-led digital bank providing payroll and financial services to customers in Nigeria and Kenya, in a $20 million all-stock deal, sources tell TechCrunch.

The move signals FairMoney’s interest in growing its customer base by expanding into more countries, specifically Kenya. But it also underscores the challenges facing fintechs in Africa amid a challenging market for startups globally: a $20 million all-share deal would be roughly equivalent to the amount Umba raised from outside investors.

Acquisition negotiations are still in their early stages, according to the sources, who requested anonymity due to the confidential nature of the details. FairMoney and Umba did not respond to requests for comment ahead of publication.

Umba, founded by Tiernan Kennedy and Barry O’Mahony in San Francisco in 2018, was launched as a credit-led digital bank targeting emerging markets. It provides banking services such as loans, current accounts, savings accounts, fixed deposit accounts and bill payments to customers in Nigeria and Kenya.

To date, the digital bank has secured around $20 million in funding, per PitchBook data. Its investors include Costanoa Ventures, Monzo co-founder Tom Blomfield, Lachy Groom, ACT Ventures, Lux Capital, Palm Drive Capital, Banana Capital and Streamlined Ventures.

Meanwhile, FairMoney has been backed by the likes of Tiger Global, DST, Speedinvest and others and has raised just over $57 million, according to PitchBook. It was last valued at between $400 million and $500 million following a bridge round last year.

FairMoney, best known for its lending services in Nigeria, has been looking for more avenues for expansion. In 2020, FairMoney ambitiously entered India as its second market, but beyond a momentum update in 2021, it has not made any more recent disclosures about how that business is doing.

FairMoney has also been expanding its product. The startup’s eponymous app originally launched as a digital lender in Nigeria six years ago. Since then, it has added other financial services, such as debit cards, transfers and payments. It says that it has over six million retail customers.

FairMoney’s previous acquisitions have included PayForce, a sub-brand of YC-backed Nigerian merchant payment service CrowdForce, which it picked up in a cash-and-stock deal worth $15-20 million.

“We see ourselves as a retail bank, but the line between merchants and retail is often blurry,” FairMoney CEO Laurin Hainy told TechCrunch in an interview last year around the PayForce acquisition. “We’ve thought about the merchant space more and more, and we see a lot of potential synergies between what PayForce and we have built independently.”

Umba also started as a retail-focused digital bank in Nigeria before diversifying its offerings to include merchant financing and business banking products in the West African country as well as Kenya. Google Play indicates over 1 million installs of its app, but the number of registered and active users is not disclosed.

FairMoney’s potential acquisition of Umba may not solely hinge on user numbers or product offerings. For one, Umba launched merchant and business-facing products within the last four months, so it’s improbable to have garnered significant traction and volumes in that time frame. FairMoney could likely be more interested in Umba’s microfinance license, obtained in 2022 through acquiring a majority shareholding in Daraja Microfinance Bank. This license allows Umba to offer banking services in Kenya.

Obtaining a microfinance bank license in Kenya can be challenging. Unlike Nigeria, which has over 600 microfinance bank licenses, Kenya has only 14 such licenses. For the Tiger-backed FairMoney, acquiring Umba could streamline entry into Kenya, bypassing the lengthy licensing process that took Umba three years. As such, an acquisition could see FairMoney leverage Umba’s existing infrastructure or combine both fintech capabilities to launch its services in Kenya.

Sources tell us while Umba wasn’t actively seeking a sale, it may find FairMoney’s offer enticing, particularly given its current financial status. Between January and June 2023, the fintech generated $335,000 in revenue while incurring $1.54 million in expenses, as outlined in an investor pitch deck obtained by TechCrunch.

Additionally, after securing a $15 million Series A funding round at a $60 million valuation in February 2022, Umba sought further funding last December. Ultimately, it raised a $1.55 million bridge round at a valuation of just $25 million which is in line with FairMoney’s offer. The fintech may be considering other options, the sources say.

Amid the fintech boom, digital banks and challenger banks in Africa attracted tens of millions of dollars in venture capital investments, spurring numerous players’ emergence with plans to challenge traditional incumbents.

Now the story is different. VC funding continues to tighten, and many of the big bets are not playing out as forecast, with companies missing growth targets and facing challenging unit economics. That has led to more M&A conversations. Just this month, Nigerian neobank Carbon acquired Vella Finance, an SME-focused banking service provider. And FairMoney’s potential acquisition of Umba, if successful, would mark its second deal in two years.

Source: Techcrunch.com

The post Nigerian digital bank FairMoney in talks to buy Umba in $20M all-stock deal, sources say appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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