Finextra’s year in review

With 2020 drawing to a close, we take a look back at our most popular news items, videos and community engagement activities over the course of the past year.

Top news stories of 2020

January

Banco Sabadell and TSB sign $1 billion cloud services deal with IBM

Banco Sabadell has signed a ten-year $1 billion deal with IBM to advance its hybrid cloud strategy, while UK subsidiary TSB contracts with Big Blue to rebuild its technological infrastructure after last year’s disastrous IT meltdown.

February

Encompass receives £2 million grant for AI project

RegTech Encompass has been awarded a £2 million grant from Scottish Enterprise to develop an artificial intelligence engine to accompany its KYC product offering.

March

Revolut and Monzo refute rumours of imminent collapse; Revolut launches in US

As it launches its financial super app in the US, Revolut hits back at rumours circulating on social media that it is facing financial difficulties as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

April

Nationwide to close down branches and disconnect call centres over weekends

Having already announced plans to shutter fifty branches and reduce opening hours, Nationwide Building Society is taking further steps to reduce physical contact and unburden overworked staff members by shutting down all branches and call centre operations over weekends.

May

Ripple gets ready for ISO 20022

Ripple claims to have become the first blockchain-focused payments company to join the ISO 20022 standardisation committee, future-proofing its business for the eventual arrival of the data-rich messaging protocol.

June

CBA to ban customers that use transaction descriptions to send abusive messages

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is cracking down on the use of its transaction description feature after discovering that it is being used to send abusive messages, including threats to domestic abuse victims.

July

Monzo: Covid:19 casts ‘significant doubt’ on ability to continue operating

The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic casts “significant doubt” on Monzo’s ability to continue as a going concern, says the challenger bank in its annual report, which shows a £113.8 million loss for the year.

August

A tale of two banks: Monzo vs Starling

While other digital challengers struggle to keep afloat during the pandemic, Starling Bank says it remains on course to reach profitability by the end of 2020, overseeing significant growth in staff, customers numbers and its loan book over the past year.

September

HMRC puts £3 million Open Banking project out to tender

The UK tax authority has put out a £3 million tender for the provision of an Open Banking-based Payment Initiation and Account Information Service.

October

Former Barclays execs to launch digital bank

A team of financial services experts led by two former Barclays executives has unveiled plans to launch Pennyworth, a new digital bank to serve the needs of young professionals and middle managers.

November

HSBC to launch Transferwise rival

HSBC is taking on the likes of Transferwise and Revolut with the launch of Global Money Account, a free mobile-based service that customers can use to hold, manage and send funds in various currencies to HSBC customers in over 20 markets around the clock in real-time without incurring any fees.

December

Lloyds Bank is first in the world to connect to Swift gpi Instant

Lloyds Bank in the UK has become the first bank to switch on Swift gpi Instant, a new service from the Brussels-based interbank co-operative that enables consumers and businesses to send tracked payments in seconds across borders.

Long reads

Bitcoin halving: What does this mean and what will its effect be?

Event Stream Processing: How Banks Can Overcome SQL and NoSQL Related Obstacles with Apache Kafka

Banking-as-a-Service: A disruptive force for good 

A short guide to the ISO 20022 implementation: 2020 update

Request to Pay: What does it mean for instant payments?

Finextra TV

Head of FIs GTS, Bank of America’s predictions and advice during crisis

Keeping SMEs afloat during the Covid-19 Crisis

The future of money post-pandemic with Citibank

Funding the world’s best climate crisis solutions

6 ways Covid-19 is transforming Digital Finance

Blogs

COVID-19 A message of support – We will get through this together

How National Digital Currencies Will Change Our Lives

SWIFT’s major announcement slips under the radar

Cryptocurrency is dead. Long live Central Bank Digital Currency!

Top Six Banking as a Service Providers to Lead the Next Banking Revolution

Most Commented

PayPal introduces interest-free buy-now-pay-later product

An opportunity to transform the credit card world

Open Banking – Comments on CMA Year 2 Report

Coinbase offers exit packages for staffers unhappy with no-politics stance

EC’s refusal to delay SCA ‘kicking retailers while they’re down’

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