EMEA Daily: FTFT UK Develops eWallet for Students Studying Abroad in Britain

Today in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, FTFT launched the Orbit eWallet for Chinese students studying in the U.K., and Nationwide Building Society announced that it has recruited Moneyhub to help facilitate open banking payments for customers opening a savings account.

FTFT UK Develops eWallet for Students Studying Abroad in Britain

A new eWallet for Chinese students studying abroad in the U.K. has been developed by FTFT UK Limited, the subsidiary of blockchain application technology developer and FinTech service provider Future FinTech Group.

To promote its Orbit eWallet app, FTFT UK participated in eight orientation meetings in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen for Chinese students heading to the U.K. to study. The meetings were organized by the University of Manchester and 21 other universities in the region.

The Orbit app will offer account opening services as soon as it officially launches. Student applicants who open accounts before coming to the U.K. can get a free account preapproved by FTFT UK, per the release.

Orbit operates similarly to Alipay and WeChat Pay, and FTFT UK’s initial version will allow users to send money and shop.

FTFT UK said its eWallet has the majority of the central services people expect from traditional banks, including international remittances, payment transfers, physical debit cards and bill payments.

Nationwide Selects Moneyhub for Savings Account Sweeping

The U.K.’s Nationwide Building Society announced today that it is deploying the open finance platform Moneyhub, giving customers the ability to open a savings account and fund it straight away.

Nationwide is currently a minority stakeholder in Moneyhub. Previously, Nationwide customers members would have to wait a few days until the account was fully opened before they could transfer the money needed to meet the account funding requirements.

The building society stated that this led to around 8% of accounts being closed “as members would simply forget to credit the account.”

Nationwide said that initially, the new process will be available for Fixed Rate Online Bonds before being rolled out to other savings products in the future. Moneyhub’s open banking payment initiation service (PIS) technology, also known as sweeping, will connect savers directly to accounts held elsewhere, facilitating a more immediate transfer of funds. 

UK Warning on Sanction Evasion Puts Crypto Firms at Risk

People subject to sanctions are reportedly using cryptocurrency services to evade the sanctions, which could put crypto firms and those transacting in crypto at risk of fines or criminal prosecution.

This should serve as a “red flag” for firms to implement proper due diligence and effective monitoring, according to a press release issued by anti-money laundering (AML) software provider SmartSearch today.

The SmartSearch warning comes after the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce (JMLIT), a partnership between United Kingdom law enforcement agencies and the financial sector, issued a “red alert” about the situation.

The alert from JMLIT reported that designated persons (DPs) are using crypto services, associates and close contacts to evade sanctions, move “significant sums” of money and protect their personal or commercial holdings, per the press release issued by SmartSearch.

EU, MENA FIs Embrace, Bank on the Metaverse

As banks in EMEA and around the world increasingly explore the possibilities of the metaverse, PYMNTS takes a look at the emerging field of Metaverse banking.

Thanks to initiatives like a recently announced accelerator program being organized by Emirates NDB in collaboration with Microsoft and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Fintech Hive, Metaverse startups are helping banks find innovative ways to deliver financial services in the metaverse.

APIs Bridge Payment Gap for Online Merchants Selling Into Africa

In an interview published on PYMNTS today, Jess Anuna, founder and CEO of Nigeria-based tech firm Klasha discusses the current lack of eCommerce payment infrastructure and what Klasha is doing to help online retailers in the region.

Part of its goal, Anuna explained, is to allow international merchants, including business-to-business (B2B) wholesalers and retailers, to seamlessly scale on the continent through an application programming interface (API) and access the millions of African consumers seeking products and services online.

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