Connect with us

Top Stories

ZAPP BOLSTERS SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM AHEAD OF 2015 CONSUMER LAUNCH

Published

on

Mark Stevenson CMO

Senior executives Mark Stevenson and Stuart Neal bring new entrepreneurial and management experience from across retail, finance and marketing

Zapp, the UK’s leading mobile payment innovation announced two major new executive appointments who will bring Zapp to market in 2015, transforming payments for millions of consumers.

Zapp enables near real-time payments on people’s mobile phones through their existing mobile banking application, to allow secure payments to happen between consumers and retailers.

Mark Stevenson joins Zapp as Chief Marketing Officer (from o2) and Stuart Neal joins as Chief Commercial Officer (ex-Barclays).

The senior executives join the 150-strong Zapp team, under the leadership of CEO, Peter Keenan and will be instrumental in continuing to build support for Zapp in the retail and financial communities ahead of its launch to consumers.

Diverse expertise

The strengthened senior leadership team at Zapp combines deep and diverse experience that positions the business for rapid success at launch in 2015.

Mark Stevenson CMO

Mark Stevenson CMO

Mark Stevenson, Zapp CMO spent seven years heading up o2’s sponsorship portfolio, and led the launch of o2’s highly successful Priority Moments. Mark has deep expertise in commercial, digital, partnership, strategic marketing and sponsorship.

Stuart Neal CCO

Stuart Neal CCO

Stuart Neal, Zapp CCO has previously worked for hungry start-ups like Boku, the world’s leading Direct Carrier Billing business. He is passionate about bringing a ‘super slick’, digital-first check-out process to merchants, which will entice new customers and convert more sales. Stuart’s focus at Zapp includes building a consortium of merchants and banks within a commercial framework.

Further building cross-industry support

Zapp is an open payments platform and has assembled a broad group of financial institutions, retailers, billers and payment providers to form the largest coalition of support for a new payment method ever announced in the UK. The new executive appointments will continue to expand Zapp’s alliance of partners.

Banks that have already announced their support for Zapp ahead of its 2015 launch include HSBC, first direct, Nationwide, Santander and Metro Bank, collectively representing over 18m bank accounts. Sainsbury’s, Asda, House of Fraser, Thomas Cook and Shop Direct are among the major British retail brands backing Zapp mobile payments as a way to deliver secure, convenient mobile payments to their customers. In addition, Zapp has agreed partnerships with payment innovators including WorldPay, Optimal Payments, Realex and SagePay. Together this group represents 60% of UK merchants being able to take advantage of Zapp payments.

Peter Keenan, Chief Executive Officer of Zapp, said, “Zapp will transform the way we pay in 2015 and I’m excited to welcome Mark and Stuart to the team to be part of the revolution. The chance to create a new national payments method comes along once in a generation, and I’m pleased the opportunity proved irresistible to execs of their calibre. They bring glittering CVs and proven track records in bringing new consumer innovations to market. We are now forging ahead with our plans to launch Zapp and deliver the massive cost, security and convenience benefits of a digital first, mobile based payment method.”

Top Stories

Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England

Published

on

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)

Continue Reading

Top Stories

UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout

Published

on

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)

 

Continue Reading

Top Stories

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

Published

on

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)

 

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now