R8 appoints ex-Alipay Emea chief Rita Liu as chief commercial officer

R8 appoints ex-Alipay Emea chief Rita Liu as chief commercial officer

UK fintech R8 has appointed former Alipay Emea chief Rita Liu as chief commercial officer as it undergoes a rebanding exercise that will see the group's distinct business units operating under a single banner.

R8, established in 2019 by Jonathan Rowland, co-founder and director of UK challenger Redwood Bank, previously operated several ventures including the Mode app that enables users to manage their sterling, euro and bitcoin from a single platform, as well as e-commerce focused payments and marketing provider, JGOO.

The group-wide rebrand to Mode will create a common identity and unifying corporate brand, says Rowland, intended to highlight the synergies on offer for consumers and merchants alike.

This will become apparent in the forthcoming launch of a new combined payment and loyalty proposition in the Mode app, that will give users the ability to make payments and engage with their favourite brands using both their traditional and digital currencies.

As part of this move, Mode has announced the appointment of ex-Alipay executive Rita Liu as chief commercial officer, responsible for the business’ strategy and commercial partnerships.

Liu previously served as head of Emea for Alipay, where she built the firm’s business and strategy in Europe, before transitioning to head of Canada. She later returned to London to become a leading member of Alipay’s global partnership with Uefa, and was also appointed as CEO of Alipay (UK) Limited.

Says Liu: "As a team, we believe that the global banking, payment and loyalty industries are characterised by fragmentation, legacy infrastructure and technology stacks, which result in pain-points for consumers and merchants alike. We also believe that today’s digital banking apps neglect cryptocurrencies even as research1 shows increasing demand for digital assets. We want to change that by helping users unlock and monetise their digital asset holdings for use in our everyday economy.”

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