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WIPRO LAUNCHES OPEN BANKING API PLATFORM

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WIPRO LAUNCHES OPEN BANKING API PLATFORM

Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, today announced, the launch of its Open Banking API (Application Programming Interface) Platform. The Open API platform, will enable banks and financial institutions to launch Open Banking initiatives and create new forms of distribution channels and servicing capabilities, provide access to third-party application marketplaces, and comply with emerging regulatory norms through the standardization of APIs.

Open Banking is an emerging trend in financial technology that uses Open APIs to enable third party developers build applications and services around a financial institution. It facilitates greater financial transparency and helps financial institutions innovate and create new revenue models. Open Banking has been gaining significant momentum across the globe, especially in the European banking industry – driven by changing regulatory mandates. Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2), is one such regulatory mandate that aims to standardize, integrate and improve payment efficiency in the European Union.

Wipro expects a large number of banks and financial institutions to adopt Open Banking initiatives to conform with evolving banking regulations, meet customers’ digital expectations, and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive FinTech industry. These are transforming the way banks approach products and distribution.

The banking business landscape demands disruptive requirements such as having a single unified technology platform for all of a bank’s crowd-sourcing interactions with its developers involved with building its technology platforms or even creating branch-less banking experiences through a 100 per cent online presence. These needs extend well beyond the capabilities of regular API management.

Wipro’s Open Banking API platform accelerates banks’ journey towards the establishment of an API-enabled value ecosystem, and simplifies the onboarding and integration of FinTech services. By enabling compliance with emerging Open Banking regulatory mandates such as PSD2, the platform helps organizations keep pace with banking industry trends.

In addition to accelerated time-to-value, the platform equips banks with the ability to create and manage an API-enabled ecosystem through a single unified platform. The platform can engage an ecosystem of partners/developers to create new revenue streams and foster innovation.

Krishnakumar N Menon, Vice President – Service Transformation, Wipro Limited said: “With over 15,000 open APIs in existence already, an increasing number of organizations are realizing the true potential of an open API ecosystem. Open Banking is disrupting the banking industry with new business models and an open innovation culture. Our platform is well poised to enable banks embark on their Open Banking journey.”

The platform leverages IBM API Connect, which offers capabilities to create, run, manage and secure APIs and micro services. It enables organizations to rapidly deploy and simplify the administration of APIs for both on-premise and cloud environments.
David Wilson, Vice President, IBM Cloud Business Partners and Channel Innovation said, “Open Banking will transform financial institutions into digital platforms by securely exposing their data and products, while providing innovative services to their customers. IBM is excited to partner with Wipro, powering the underlying technology, enabling Wipro to deliver a secure, robust and best-in-class open banking API infrastructure.”

Wipro’s Open API platform fosters a culture of open innovation across financial institutions. The proliferation of partner APIs and third party ecosystems have encouraged the industry to expand the market and improve accessibility of products and services.

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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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