28 November 2014

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London has cemented its position as a world leader in financial technology, with companies in the capital attracting more than US$539 million in venture capital investment so far this year – triple the amount raised in 2013 and more than half of all fintech investment across Europe.

Investment firm Route 66 Venture says that fintech entrepreneurs seeking funding for fresh innovations in banking should focus their efforts on the development of crypto-business models, asset management, alternative lending, and bank API, mobile payments and digital channels.

As an antidote to the shopping frenzy that characterises the day after Thanksgiving in the US, Banco Santander has taken a refreshingly different approach with a campaign that encourages people to avoid the crush at the malls and instead spend more time with family and friends.

Skrill Group is to acquire Ukash, a UK-based electronic money system that allows users to exchange their cash for a secure code to make payments online.

In an uncontrollable fit of ATM rage, a Chinese man took a hammer to nine cash machines in the City of Guangzhou after his bank card was rejected.

Santander, Telefonica and MasterCard are to invest £49.2 million in Monitise, providing a welcome boost to the London-based mobile money outfit after Visa decided to sell off its stake in the company.

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Much derided mobile payments startup Clinkle has unveiled its customer acquisition strategy: bribing students with $20 bills from a vending machine stuffed with cash.

Discover has filed a lawsuit accusing rival card scheme Visa of anti-competitve practices in its debit card business.

UK transport company FirstGroup has deployed bluetooth low energy beacons on buses in Norwich to deliver messages and discounts from local retailers to passenger smartphones as they travel through the city.

Swipp, a mobile payments service owned by a consortium of Danish banks, has acquired Paii, a rival outfit formed by a group of telcos.

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