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PayU Acquires Israeli Payment Technology Provider, ZOOZ, with a shared vision to create new global standard in payments infrastructure

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PayU Acquires Israeli Payment Technology Provider, ZOOZ, with a shared vision to create new global standard in payments infrastructure

PayU today announces the acquisition of leading payments technology platform ZOOZ. The deal supports PayU’s ongoing expansion into high growth markets and targets the $994 billion* opportunity in cross border payments.

The ZOOZ acquisition is for an undisclosed amount but brings PayU’s total sum of investments and acquisitions in global fintech to more than $350 million since it began a series of strategic moves across the globe in 2016 to open access to financial services.

The ZOOZ and PayU teams will work together to create the leading, global standard payments infrastructure of the future. As part of this vision they will build a comprehensive, modular, and highly flexible ‘Payment OS platform’ that can support evolving merchant and broader payment industry needs. The platform’s immediately expected features include fraud management and real time reporting or smart routing, to better aid global merchant growth.

The deal follows a successful partnership which, for the first time, gave PayU merchants such as GettandKiwi.comaccess to 2.3 billion new customers across high growth markets via the ZOOZ-designed PayU Hub platform. It leverages PayU’s payments infrastructure and ZOOZ’s state-of-the-art technology to open up access to new markets for merchants with global aspirations and sets a new standard for payments across borders.
As part of the deal, due to close summer 2018, ZOOZ’s co-founder and CEO Oren Levy and CTO Ronen Morecki will become part of PayU’s Global Leadership team, focusing on tech and business development. ZOOZ’s 70-strong team of experienced technical and payments experts will also become part of the PayU team, boosting the business’ technical capabilities.
Laurent le Moal, CEO of PayU, said: “PayU is one of the most active investors in the fintech space and we are always looking for opportunities to innovate and support our merchant clients to grow. Today’s announcement is a great illustration of this philosophy in action and we are pleased to be welcoming the ZOOZ team further into the PayU fold. By working together to create the first ‘Payment OS’ platform we will advance PayU’s mission to help build a world without financial borders”.

Oren Levy, co-founder and CEO of ZOOZ added: “After a year-long, productive partnership, our shared vision to create a new global standard in payments infrastructure is becoming a reality with PayU’s acquisition of ZOOZ. The unique contribution we bring to PayU is an advanced technological layer which not only helps merchants worldwide to upscale their operations and provide a better customer experience, but also offers analytics and optimization capabilities that equip them with unprecedented insights”.

With the cross-border market expected to reach $994 billion in 2020, nearly two-thirds of cross-border business will come from high growth markets like Asia and Latin America, according to a report by Accenture*. Alternative payment methods still represent as much as two-thirds of all payments in these markets.
ZOOZ was founded in 2010 by Oren Levy and Ronen Morecki. It has become one of the most well-known payments technology players in Israel.
PayU is part of Naspers, a global Internet and entertainment group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Following completion of the deal, ZOOZ will be wholly owned by Naspers, strengthening its Payments division and supporting its strategy to grow its financial services footprint across emerging markets with long-term growth potential.

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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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