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MANCHESTER TECH INNOVATORS SIGN INDIAN AUTHENTICATION DEAL FOLLOWING PRIME MINISTERIAL TRADE MISSION

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MANCHESTER TECH INNOVATORS SIGN INDIAN AUTHENTICATION DEAL FOLLOWING PRIME MINISTERIAL TRADE MISSION

VST Enterprises (VSTE), a pioneering Manchester cyber security firm has today announced a new multi-million pound deal with SreevenPaytech, that will see the companies combine to eliminate fraud from the Indian benefit system.

VST Enterprises’ VCode® technology will provide strong authentication for the electronic benefit transfer system, benefitting 40 million households inititially. In addition, the companies will also be facilitating 2 million electronic financial transactions per month before expanding within the market.

An estimated $2bn is set to be saved for the Indian government by implementing the secure system. The VCode® system allows users to authenticate themselves and help fight against fraud, ensuring benefits and financial transactions reach the genuine recipients and not the fraudsters.

The opportunity will also add a minimum of £4bn of user value to VST Enterprises’ company worth. A comparison in tech terms to the recent Facebook IPO whereas 1 active user is valued at $100.00.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said:

“VST Enterprises is a prime example of how UK firms are seizing the numerous opportunities available in overseas markets.”

“India is one of the world’s biggest and fastest growing markets, which is why the Prime Minister and I recently led a delegation of businesses there. It’s great to see VST Enterprises follow that with a new contract which will use the best of British innovation to deliver huge benefits for India and for the UK.”

Louis-James Davis, CEO at VST Enterprises, added:

“At VSTE we believe in infinite possibilities, so are thrilled to secure a major new deal to authenticate payments and  help eliminate fraud from the Indian benefit system.”

“Online security is a challenge facing large-scale government schemes across the world and VCode® will help provide faster payments quicker and safer than ever before.”

“We were honoured to join the Prime Minister’s trade mission to India and hope our technology can play a significant role in improving the lives of over 40 million households. And we hope this is just the beginning of our development into the Indian market.”

“The money saved for the government by implementing our system could provide life changing benefits to the population. India and could see new infrastructure, schools and a boost in their economy.”

K S Raju Managing Director,SreevenPaytech Pvt Ltd, added:

“At SreevenPaytech, quality is a continuous process that is reflected in the companies emphasis on improving technology and adopting global best practices to provide utmost quality deliverables to our clients.”

“We are excited to announce our joint venture company VEBT India Pvt Ltd with VST Enterprises for promoting their advanced VCode technology which can provide improved transparency in ‘electronic benifit transfer’ to protect against fraud and we are confident in bringing  quick adoption of  the VCode technology to India.”

“The recent developments in India with boosted online transactions has opened up various opportunities for VST Enterprises for creating custom solutions to multiple business verticals including media advertisement, healthcare, retail for loyalty and end-to-end traceability solutions to eliminate mainstream counterfeiting.”

The UK-India TECH Summit was hosted in New Delhi in November by the Prime Minister and her Indian counterpart, boosting hi-tech trade between India and the UK.

VST Enterprises’ VCode® technology allows genuine users to authenticate themselves across a variety of online transactions and interactions. It is currently being used to protect against fraud in many sectors, from document verification, to unattended car park payment systems, and interactive charitable-giving transactions.

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce more funding for apprenticeships in England when he unveils his budget next week, the government said on Friday.

Employers taking part in the Apprenticeship Initiative Scheme will from April 1 receive 3,000 pounds ($4,179) for each apprentice hired, regardless of age – an increase on current grants of between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds depending on age.

The scheme will extended by six months until the end of September, the finance ministry said.

Sunak will also announce an extra 126 million pounds for traineeships for up to 43,000 placements.

Sunak’s March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.

Sunak is also expected to announce a “flexi-job” apprenticeship scheme, whereby apprentices can join an agency and work for multiple employers in one sector, the finance ministry said.

“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike,” Sunak said in a statement.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout 2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies exploiting their dominance, warning that there can be no repeat of Facebook’s one-week media blackout in Australia.

Facebook’s row with the Australian government over payment for local news, although now resolved, has increased international focus on the power wielded by tech corporations.

“We will hold these companies to account and bridge the gap between what they say they do and what happens in practice,” Britain’s digital minister Oliver Dowden said on Friday.

“We will prevent these firms from exploiting their dominance to the detriment of people and the businesses that rely on them.”

Dowden said recent events had strengthened his view that digital markets did not currently function properly.

He spoke after a meeting with Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister.

“I put these concerns to Facebook and set out our interest in levelling the playing field to enable proper commercial relationships to be formed. We must avoid such nuclear options being taken again,” Dowden said in a statement.

Facebook said in a statement that the call had been constructive, and that it had already struck commercial deals with most major publishers in Britain.

“Nick strongly agreed with the Secretary of State’s (Dowden’s) assertion that the government’s general preference is for companies to enter freely into proper commercial relationships with each other,” a Facebook spokesman said.

Britain will host a meeting of G7 leaders in June.

It is seeking to build consensus there for coordinated action toward “promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties,” Dowden said.

The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, but Australia has also been invited.

Britain is working on a new competition regime aimed at giving consumers more control over their data, and introducing legislation that could regulate social media platforms to prevent the spread of illegal or extremist content and bullying.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones and John Stonestreet)

 

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at high-growth companies after a government-backed review warned that financial technology firms will struggle with Brexit and tougher competition for global talent.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said that now Britain has left the European Union, it wants to make sure its immigration system helps businesses attract the best hires.

“This new fast-track scale-up stream will make it easier for fintech firms to recruit innovators and job creators, who will help them grow,” Sunak said in a statement.

Over 40% of fintech staff in Britain come from overseas, and the new visa scheme, open to migrants with job offers at high-growth firms that are scaling up, will start in March 2022.

Brexit cut fintechs’ access to the EU single market and made it far harder to employ staff from the bloc, leaving Britain less attractive for the industry.

The review published on Friday and headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, set out a “strategy and delivery model” that also includes a new 1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) start-up fund.

“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.

Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.

The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.

It also recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.

“We recognise the need to make the UK attractive a more attractive location for IPOs,” said Britain’s financial services minister John Glen, adding that a separate review on listings rules would be published shortly.

“Those findings, along with Ron’s report today, should provide an excellent evidence base for further reform.”

SCALING UP

Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.

“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.

A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.

“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” Swinburne said.

The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).

“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.

($1 = 0.7064 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)

 

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