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Natixis Payments and TransferWise announce a partnership

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Natixis Payments and TransferWise announce a partnership Banques Populaires’ and Caisses d’Epargne’s customers will be able to access to the best service to send money abroad

Amsterdam, 4 June 2018 – Today TransferWise, Natixis Payments and Groupe BPCE, France’s second largest bank, announce a partnership that will enable Banques Populaires’ and Caisses d’Epargne’s 15,1 million individual active customers to sending money to over 60 countries at the real exchange rate. It’s the first time in Europe that a major bank will directly integrate TransferWise’s API into mobile banking apps.

This partnership between Groupe BPCE, Natixis Payments and TransferWise is set to be launched at the beginning of 2019 and will offer a digital solution to send money outside the eurozone at TransferWise’s usual low fee. The service will be available 24/7 via the banks’ apps.

TransferWise, Natixis Payments and Groupe BPCE are committed to offering the best possible service and the fairest deal to their customers and this collaboration is an important step in making that a reality for everyone. This partnership fits in perfectly with Groupe BPCE’s TEC 2020 strategic plan to embrace digital innovation and tackle the digital revolution head on.

“Integrating fintech services in our customer journey is an integral part of Natixis Payments’ DNA and know-how, allowing us to build better payments every day, says Pierre-Antoine Vacheron, Member of the Senior Management Committee of Natixis, in charge of payments. We are excited to join forces with a solution as innovative as TransferWise, that meets the critical needs of consumers today when it comes to international money transfer. This integration is a concrete use case of Instant Payment, of which Natixis Payments and Groupe BPCE are frontrunners.”

« TransferWise has a mission to make money move around the world as fast and as cheaply as email, explains Kristo Käärmann, co-founder and CEO, TransferWise. This partnership is a momentous step on that journey – for the first time a major mainstream bank is offering its customers the chance to benefit from TransferWise’s lightning fast, low cost service. It’s great to work with such an influential institution trailblazing this innovation for the benefit of its customers. The banking industry is beginning to embrace the services challengers can offer, and we look forward to more banks joining us on this journey. »

About Groupe BPCE

Groupe BPCE, the 2nd-largest banking group in France, includes two independent and complementary cooperative commercial banking networks: the network of 14 Banque Populaire banks and the network of 16 Caisses d’Epargne. It also works through Crédit Foncier in the area of real estate financing. It is a major player in Asset and Wealth management, Insurance, Corporate & Investment Banking and Specialized Financial Services with Natixis. Groupe BPCE, with its 106,500 employees, serves a total of 31 million customers and enjoys a strong local presence in France with 7,800 branches and 9 million cooperative shareholders.

About Natixis

Natixis is the international corporate and investment banking, asset management, insurance and financial services arm of Groupe BPCE, the 2nd-largest banking group in France with 31 million clients spread over two retail banking networks, Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne. With more than 21,000 employees, Natixis has a number of areas of expertise that are organized into four main business lines: Asset & Wealth Management, Corporate & Investment Banking, Insurance and Specialized Financial Services. A global player, Natixis has its own client base of companies, financial institutions and

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institutional investors as well as the client base of individuals, professionals and small and medium-size businesses of Groupe BPCE’s banking networks. Figures as at March 31, 2018

About Natixis Payments

Natixis Payments brings together all the Groupe BPCE’s expertise in payments, with the mission to building better payments every day. Natixis Payments is major player in processing for financial institutions, digital payments for consumers, and issuing and acceptance solutions for merchants – With a market share of over 20% for electronic banking and over 7 billion transactions. In addition to card payment and SEPA solutions, the company’s range includes third-party payment services and omni-channel acceptance solutions provided by Payplug and Dalenys in France and across Europe. Natixis Payments also offers a range of service vouchers (Chèque de table/Apetiz, Cesu Domalin, Cado Chèque/Cado Carte), the online money pot Le Pot Commun, the E-Cotiz membership subscriptions online management system, the Depopass online peer-to-peer high value payment solution as well as Comiteo’s platform and market place dedicated to works councils.

Àbout TransferWise

TransferWise is a new kind of financial company for people and businesses that travel, live and work internationally. It’s the fairest, easiest way to manage your money across borders. With a simple money transfer platform and borderless accounts, it makes managing your money quick, easy and painless.

Co-founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, TransferWise launched in 2011. It is one of the world’s most successful fintech startups having raised $397m from investors such as IVP, Old Mutual, Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson, Valar Ventures and Max Levchin of PayPal.

Over three million people use TransferWise to transfer over €2 billion every month, saving themselves over €2 million every day. www.transferwise.com

Press contacts

Groupe BPCE
Christophe Gilbert: +33 1 40 39 66 00 / +33 6 73 76 38 98 [email protected]
Natixis
Sonia Dilouya: +33 1 58 32 01 03 [email protected]
Laure Sadreux: +33 1 58 19 34 17 [email protected]
TransferWise :
Magali Van Bulck: +44 7872 383 772 [email protected]

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Deloitte: Middle East organizations need to rethink their workforce in the wake of COVID-19

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Deloitte: Middle East organizations need to rethink their workforce in the wake of COVID-19 1

Organizations in the Middle East have had to take immediate actions in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as shifting to remote and virtual work, implementing new ways of working and redirecting the workforce on critical activities. According to Deloitte’s 10th annual 2020 Middle East Human Capital Trends report, “The social enterprise at work: Paradox as a path forward,” organizations now need to think about how to sustain these actions by embedding them into their organizational culture.

“COVID-19 has created a clarifying moment for work and the workforce. Organizations that expand their focus on worker well-being, from programs adjacent to work to designing well-being into the work itself, will help their workers not only feel their best but perform at their best. Doing so will strengthen the tie between well-being and organizational outcomes, drive meaningful work, and foster a greater sense of belonging overall,” said Ghassan Turqieh, Consulting Partner, Human Capital, Deloitte Middle East.

According to the Deloitte report, many organizations in the Middle East made quick arrangements to engage with employees in the wake of the pandemic through frequent communications, multiple webinars where senior leaders addressed employee concerns, virtual employee events, manager check-ins, periodic calls and other targeted interactions with the workforce.

The report also discussed how UAE and KSA governments have reexamined work policies and practices, amended regulations and introduced COVID-19 initiatives to support companies and the workforce in the public and private sectors. Flexible and remote working, team-building and engagement activities, well-ness programs, recognition awards and modern workspaces are among the many things that are now adding to the employee experience.

Key findings from the Deloitte global report include:

  • Only 17% of respondents are making significant investments in reskilling to support their AI strategy with only 12% using AI primarily to replace workers;
  • 27% of respondents have clear policies and practices to manage the ethical challenges resulting from the future of work despite 85% of respondents saying the future of work raises ethical challenges;
  • Three-quarters of leaders are expecting to source new skills and capabilities through reskilling, but only 45% are rewarding workers for the development of new skills; and
  • Only 45% of respondents are prepared or very prepared to take advantage of the alternative workforce to access key capabilities despite gig workers being likely to comprise 43% of the U.S. workforce this year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Worker well-being is a top priority today, and similarly to the rest of the world, companies in the Middle East are focusing their efforts to redesign work around well-being by understanding workforce well-being needs,” said Rania Abu Shukur, Director, Human Capital, Consulting, Deloitte Middle East.

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One in five insurance customers saw an improvement in customer service over lockdown, research shows

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SAS research reveals that insurers improved their customer experience during lockdown

One in five insurance customers noted an improvement in their customer experience over lockdown, according to research conducted by SAS, the leader in analytics. This far outweighed the 11% of customers who felt it had deteriorated over the same period.

This is positive news for insurers during such challenging times, with 59% of customers also saying that they would pay more to buy or use products and services from any company that provided them with a good customer experience over lockdown.

The improvement in customer experience also coincides with a rise in the number of digital customers. Since the pandemic started, the number of insurance customers using a digital service or app has grown by 10%. Three-fifths (60%) of new users plan to continue using these digital services moving forward.

However, while the number of digital users grew over lockdown, half of the insurance customer base has not yet chosen to move to digital insurance apps or services.

Paul Ridge, Head of Insurance at SAS UK & Ireland, said:

“It’s impressive that there was a net improvement in customer experience during lockdown, despite the challenges the industry was facing with a transition to remote working and increased claims for things like cancelled holidays. While many were forced to wait on customer help lines for long periods, part of the improvement may be explained by even a small (10%) increase in the number of digital users.

“However, it’s clear that a huge number of customers are still yet to make the move online. It’s vital that insurers provide the most accurate, timely and relevant offerings to customers, and this is best achieved by having additional insight into online customer journeys so they can understand them better. Using analytics and AI, insurers can seize this opportunity to digitalise their customer experience and offer a more personalised approach.”

Meanwhile, for insurers that fail to offer a consistently satisfactory customer experience, the price could be severe. A third (33%) of customers claimed that they would ditch a company after just one poor experience. This number jumps to 90% for between one and five poor examples of customer service.

For more insight into how other industries across EMEA performed during lockdown, download the full report: Experience 2030: Has COVID-19 created a new kind of customer? 

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The power of superstar firms amid the pandemic: should regulators intervene?

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The power of superstar firms amid the pandemic: should regulators intervene? 3

By Professor Anton Korinek, Darden School of Business and Research Associate at the Oxford Future of Humanity Institute. Gosia Glinska, associate director of research impact, Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Darden School of Business

Recent news that Apple hit a market cap of USD2 trillion highlights an extraordinary success story: A once struggling computer-maker on the verge of bankruptcy innovates its way to becoming the most valuable publicly traded company in the United States.

Apple’s 13-figure valuation is indicative of a larger trend that is not entirely benign — the rise of a handful of superstar firms that dominate the economy. Over the past three decades, advances in information technology, mainly the Internet, have supercharged the superstar phenomenon, allowing a small number of entrepreneurs and firms to serve a large market and reap outsize rewards. And COVID-19 has greatly accelerated the phenomenon by pushing us all into a more virtual world.

Apple — along with Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Netflix — is a case in point. The combined market value of those six companies exceeds USD7 trillion, which accounts for more than a quarter of the entire S&P 500 index. Even amid the pandemic’s economic wreckage, these megacompanies continue to prosper. The combined share price for Apple and its five peers was up more than 43 percent this year, while the rest of the companies in the S&P 500 collectively lost about 4 percent.[1]

Superstar firms can be found in almost every sector of the economy, including tech, management, finance, sports and the music industry. They command increasing market power, which has consequences for technological, social and economic progress. It is, therefore, critical to understand how their advantages arose in the first place.

THE FORCES BEHIND THE SUPERSTAR PHENOMENON

The “economics of superstars” was first studied by the late University of Chicago economist Sherwin Rosen. Forty years ago, Rosen argued that certain new technologies would significantly enhance the productivity of talented workers, enabling superstars in any industry to greatly expand the scope of their market, while reducing market opportunities for everyone else.[2] Digital innovations, including advances in the collection, processing and transmission of information, is what Rosen envisioned would lead to the superstar phenomenon.

Digital technologies are information goods, which are different from the traditional, physical goods in the economy. What it means is that fundamentally different economic considerations apply. Unlike physical goods — a loaf of bread or a car — information goods have two key properties: They are non-rival and excludable. Non-rival means that something can be used without being used up. Excludability means that an owner of digital innovation can prevent others from using it, by protecting it with patents, for example. These two fundamental properties of information goods are what give rise to the superstar phenomenon.

In a working paper I co-authored with Professor Ding Xuan Ng at Johns Hopkins University[3], we described superstars as arising from digital innovations that require upfront fixed costs that allow firms to reduce the marginal costs of serving additional customers.[4] For example, once an online travel agency has programmed its website at a fixed cost, it can easily displace thousands of traditional travel agents without much additional effort, scaling at near-zero cost.

Because a firm can exclude others from using its digital innovation, it automatically gains market power. The innovator then uses that power to charge a mark-up and earn a monopoly rent — basically, a price superstars charge in excess of what it costs them to provide the good — which we call the ‘superstar profit share’.

THE POLICYMAKER’S DILEMMA

In a vibrant free market economy, businesses compete for customers by innovating and improving their offerings while keeping prices low; otherwise, they are displaced by more innovative rivals entering the market. Unfortunately, the increasing monopolization of the economy by technology superstars is weakening the competitive environment around the world.

Monopoly power is the main inefficiency from the emergence of superstar firms, because superstars can exclude others from using the innovation that they have developed.

So, what policy measures can be employed to mitigate the inefficiencies arising from the superstar phenomenon?

We do have antitrust policies designed to promote competition and hence economic efficiency. Authorities could take a drastic measure and break up monopolies. Or they could tax all those excess profits megacompanies make.

Another policy to consider involves giving consumers control rights over their data. Right now, only companies have that data, and they are selling it. If you free it up and don’t allow them to sell it anymore, it reduces their monopoly profits. And if you give consumers more freedom over their data, they could, for example, share it with the latest start-up and create a more competitive landscape.

However, such policy remedies can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they reduce monopoly rents. On the other hand, they can also reduce innovation.

Innovation requires investments in R&D, which represent a significant sunk cost that only large firms can afford. Government regulations can easily backfire, discouraging large firms from making long-term R&D investments.

What, then, is the best policy intervention? Professor Ding Xuan Ng and I believe that basic research should be public. Digital innovations should be financed by public investments and should be provided as free public goods to all. This would make the superstar phenomenon disappear, and the effects of digital innovation would simply show up as productivity increases.[5]

We live in a brave new world that is increasingly based on information. Because the information economy is different from the traditional economy, antitrust policy should be revamped to reflect that. Instead of worrying about the economy being eaten up by these gigantic monopolies, policymakers need to focus on the question ‘What specific actions can we pursue to make the economy more competitive and efficient?’

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