May 17, 2020

Virgin Money updates its Spot app used in South Africa with blockchain

Virgin Money SA
Spot
South Africa
Blockchain
Sophie Chapman
2 min
Virgin Money SA updates blockchain-based spot with digital wallet
Virgin Money SA has upgraded Spot, its person-to-person payment app – aiming to make it more accessible, functional, and safe.

Opposed to its previou...

Virgin Money SA has upgraded Spot, its person-to-person payment app – aiming to make it more accessible, functional, and safe.

Opposed to its previous method, the app used in South Africa, now allows access to customers regardless of a 3D secure bank card.

Spot 3.0 was developed using Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain), utilising the technology’s speed and security.

Virgin Money has incorporated Spot Wallet, a digital wallet that adds and receives money from bank accounts.

“With the previous version of the app, payments went directly into the credit or debit card linked to the app. With Spot 3.0, all payments and referral rewards are paid into your Spot Wallet instantly,” stated Andre Hugo, CEO of Virgin Money SA.

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“New and existing customers can now simply link their bank accounts to cash out money from their Wallets.”

Following the app’s update, customers are now able to pat merchants using Spot 3.0 by scanning a QR code.

“Customers will need to add a bank account to cash out money from their Spot Wallet; other than that, the experience for existing customers has been enhanced, as they’re able to send and receive money into their Spot Wallet in an instant, with no monthly subscription fees and no transaction fees. It’s simple, safe and social,” Hugo continued

“Virgin Money Spot is the first retail micro-token exchange in South Africa. What this means for consumers is that we can transfer value in a fast, cost-efficient and transparent manner that protects against fraud and gives our customers peace of mind.”

“All Spot transactions are recorded in our Blockchain ledger, which means they are tamper-proof. So, Spot is not only mobile, convenient and instant, it’s also secure.”

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Jun 18, 2021

Start-ups receive $60 billion investment, smash 2020 record

techstartups
investment
Technology
Laura Berrill
2 min
Europe’s tech sector start-ups attracted more venture capital investment in 2021 than the whole of 2020 with the UK leading in tech policy

Start-ups on the continent have raised a massive 43.8 billion euros ($60.9 billion) in just the first six months of 2021, according to figures from Dealroom, surpassing the record 38.5 billion euros invested last year..

This is despite the fact that the number of venture deals signed so far is around half the amount agreed in 2020. Only about 2,700 funding rounds have been raised so far this year, compared to 5,200 last year.

Prime examples in times of change

Examples are Swedish buy-now-pay-later firm Klarna which has raised more than $1.6 billion in two financing rounds, the German stock trading app Trade Republic received $900 million in May and British payments provider Checkout.com snapped up $450 million at the start of the year.

The figures suggest that European tech firms are pulling in far larger sums of money per investment than in previous years, which defies the economic uncertainty of the pandemic and boosted online services enormously.

The CEO of Checkout.com, Guillaume Pousaz, said start-ups have often been created in times of crisis, citing the emergence of several new financial technology companies in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.

He added that big transformational change was often the time when there is the emergence of a lot of new start-ups, sometimes when people are losing their jobs for associated reasons.

UK leading the charge

Scale-Up Europe, a group that includes the founders of UiPath and Wise, proposed 21 recommendations to help the region build “the next generation of tech giants.” Among the suggestions are tax credits to corporates for investing in start-ups and regulatory changes that adapt to new innovations.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, said the U.K. leads Europe when it comes to tech policy, and that there were a number of regulatory issues needing to be addressed before the European Union can produce tech giants of its own.

Siemiatkowski highlighted EU regulation of web cookies as an example of “poor regulation.” Yet, as the number of $1 billion start-ups in Europe continues to grow, the number of exits in the continent is also increasing. 

This year has already seen some notable acquisitions, including Etsy’s $1.6 billion purchase of U.K. fashion resale app Depop and JPMorgan’s takeover of London robo-advisor Nutmeg.

As for stock market listings, a number of notable debuts have taken place in London in particular, including food delivery app Deliveroo, cybersecurity firm Darktrace and reviews site Trustpilot. Money transfer giant Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, plans to go public in the U.K. capital soon.

 

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