A Guide to Banking in the Metaverse: Part 1

Shefali Vasave | July 13, 2022 | 128 views | Read Time : 05 min

Banking in the Metaverse
The next generation of banking technology is here, and it’s in the metaverse. The metaverse is a virtual space that allows users to go beyond the web browser to engage in or even share experiences. The metaverse is built using technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), blockchain and more. Consider being able to shop at a store, or play a game, or interact with friends, or meet with your bank representative, all in the 3D and without leaving your home. Now that the future is here, financial institutions will need to prepare to enter the metaverse and reimagine how they cater to their customers online. According to the Financial Brand, more than 47% of bankers believe that by 2030, many customers will use AR/VR as a channel for transactions. The opportunity is now.

1 Benefits of Banking in the Metaverse

The most significant opportunity for banks is to capitalize on AR/VR to develop seamless consumer and employee experiences in the real-world. Some of the benefits include:

1.1 For Consumers

  • Providing consumers with the ability to check balances, pay bills, transfer money, and do business utilizing AR and VR channels is known as metaverse banking
  • Personalizing the banking experience by offering white glove service, tailored financial recommendations, investment planning and much more.

1.2 For Employees

  • Providing immersive learning opportunities in the secure, replicated settings of customers or integrating their remote staff in ways that foster engagement, learning, and a sense of belonging.
  • Equipping employees with the ability to underwrite loans using digital twins of a property instead of 2D photos and videos of the building.

2 How the Metaverse Will Impact Consumer Relationships?

Banks shouldn't think of just entering the metaverse, determining the conditions of interaction, and capitalizing on it in order to increase trust and foster engagement. Innovative financial institutions will need to establish open communication with their consumers so that they are aware of the goals and intents of the organizational brand. The value transfers between institutions and consumers are no longer viable since the dynamic is one of collaboration and not just a vendor buyer relationship. Banks will need to reorganize how they create value if they want to build and maintain trust.

3 Moving Forward

Many prominent financial institutions are riding the wave of metaverse banking. In the next part of this article, we will discuss organizations that are moving fast when it comes to adopting banking on the metaverse and how they are monetizing it.

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Machine Learning Application in Finance

Article | June 22, 2022

Machine learning (ML) is a facet of data science that uses experience instead of programming to learn patterns and improve performance. There is no doubt that it offers an exciting opportunity for the financial industry, where data rules the roost. Machine learning, like artificial intelligence, is designed with automation as the end goal. Ideally, machine learning will enable computer systems to access data and improve experiences based on them. All of this happens in the background. As such, there is no room for human intervention and, thus, no human errors or bias. Subsequently, this brings precision and accuracy in data insights, even when the volume of data is tremendous. With the inexplicable power that machine learning brings to finance, many fintech and financial institutions are implementing it in a multitude of ways. From an economic point of view, it is very premature to predict what we have for the next months and years, but within all the effects that this pandemic brought, it is notable that people have increased the desire to have their own companies and go digital.” Oscar Jofre Jr., Co-Founder, President/CEO at KoreConX Here are some of the applications that are currently in use. 1 Trading based on Algorithms Traditionally, traders rely on mathematical models that are based on constant monitoring of trade news and real-time market activity. These models use some predetermined criteria like timing, quantity, pricing, and other such factors to make automated trades. Algorithmic trading involves the use of trained algorithms to make informed and precise trading decisions. However, it takes the analysis and monitoring aspects to the next level. It is able to process enormous amounts of data and make near-instantaneous decisions, which gives traders an edge over the market. It also eliminates emotion-based decisions, making the process truly revolutionary. 2 Detecting and Preventing Fraud A fortified digital infrastructure is a must for banking and financial institutions to operate in the modern world. However, fraud and cybersecurity threats continue to grow in significance. Traditional fraud systems are susceptible to modern fraudsters. However, with machine learning at the helm, organizations can sift through a massive amount of data in less time to identify anomalies or unusual activities. This way, security teams can be instantly alerted to act. 3 Computed Portfolio Management Machine learning is taking portfolio management by storm with the introduction of robo-advisors. Robo-advisors are online applications that use machine learning to deliver financial insights to investors. They use algorithms that assess the investor’s goals and risks and provide a financial custom financial portfolio tailored to their risk tolerance. Not only are robo-advisors cheaper, but they also require low account minimums. 4 What’s the Writing on the Wall for Financial Services? AI, machine learning, and deep learning are the heart of the technology-driven innovation in finance and banking. Fintech applications like Signifyd, that uses ML to spot fraud transactions during checkout stages on eCommerce sites are paving the way for multi-industry digital security. Another ML startup called Zest is empowering lenders with credit scoring solutions that help in risk management. These examples only illustrate the many innovations that are driving the exponential growth and use of machine learning in trading, investments, and finance.

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3 Reasons CFOs Should Care About Investing in Cloud Based Banking

Article | April 15, 2021

Consumers today want fast, seamless, and effective services at their fingertips. In a world of virtualization, these demands keep bank C-levels on their feet. What better than cloud technology to address these demands? Cloud computing uses the internet to access data stored on external servers. Traditionally, banks have been slow adopters of technology and for good reasons. The risks involved in becoming a heavily cloud-dependent organization aren’t few. And banking institutions too, take their own time to assess risks. Despite this, cloud computing in banking presents a glowing opportunity for financial institutions to transform their operations. On-premise banking infrastructure no longer cuts it. It cannot meet modern challenges that require banks to access applications via the internet. Moving to the cloud isn’t a not an easy bargain, but one with many paybacks that bank CFOs must take note of. In this article we talk about the intricacies of switching from on-premise to the cloud in a modern context. We also talk about how CFOs can regulate costs and drive long-term financial strategies using the cloud. Ironclad Security Security is a serious concern for banks when moving to the cloud. Although 90% of banks use cloud computing for non-core processes, core services remain on the premise and off the cloud. This leaves a huge opportunity unused. With the unique security challenges so common to banking institutions, CFOs can advocate for specialized security enforcement solutions inside and outside the cloud that can meet rigorous security parameters. Fraud detection- It is important to mention here that public clouds are known to be more secure than on-premise infrastructure. This is thanks to the layers of protection that the cloud can be equipped with. Cloud-based banking also offers seamless fraud detection and protection by assessing large amounts of data from a variety of sources. It empowers banking institutions to stay ahead of the curve when anticipating discrepancies beforehand. Blockchain integration- Blockchain is the latest in technological innovation to provide ground-breaking use cases. In cloud banking services, blockchain is outgrowing its cryptocurrency ecosystem. It can be used to add a layer of security to data and cloud architecture. Richer Analytical Insights, Better Financial Reporting Cloud services for banks arm banking and financial institutions with the ability to breakdown data silos across the organization. This leads to centralizing data and generating 360-degree insight for analytics. Data insights have been proven to transform decision-making, operational efficiencies, and organizational processes. The most significant advantage, however, is product and consumer analytics. Product analytics- A reduction in product deployment cycles is just one of the many advantages that cloud computing in banking has to offer. It simplifies product testing in a way that enables organizations to test new solutions and to meet market demands and challenges while thinking on their feet. One of the most significant advantages is the easy facilitation of cloud banking possibilities that can empower customers of both traditional and non-traditional financial services. Consumer analytics- The cloud offers a hyper-flexible platform that is ideal for processing tremendous amounts of real-time data. For instance, when the cloud replaced an investment bank’s legacy banking infrastructure, it yielded an enormous boost in analytics. The transformation enabled trading teams to explore new strategies, execute experiments, and adopt analysis of data points they did not have before. Barclays, a premier banking institution, was able to free up resources for its risk analysis team by implementing a cloud-based automation process. This is further helping banks and financial firms tailor products that align with consumer demand while also balancing financial risks in a volatile market. Companies that do not make customer experience a priority will struggle and quickly fall behind.” Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO at The Pedowitz Group Agility in Developing and Scaling New Product Offerings Agility is not just a buzzword in business. Today’s processes need to be lean and simplified to support growth in a fast-changing market. Cloud computing empowers organizations to be nimble in reacting to competitive market landscapes. In addition, accompanied by the power of data, modern financial institutions can go further than they would have anticipated in designing solutions. The wide-berth of opportunities posed by cloud computing for financial services can help create a highly competitive, agile, and scalable financial organization. Constraints to Look Out for When Switching to Cloud Computing for Banks While cloud banking services provide a new vista for banking and financial services, the transition to cloud banking may not be simple. The banking sector is evolving, and the demonstrated capabilities of the cloud come with a significant challenge that senior leaders must take into account. Migration Costs- The upfront cost of using cloud computing in banking is high. This may keep many banking and financial services’ organizations, especially smaller ones, from truly leveraging the cloud for open banking. A thorough financial analysis and planning is required to attain an equilibrium in cost through cloud banking services. Skill Shortage in Cloud- According to an Accenture study, 41% of organizations rank a shortage of cloud skills as one of the top three barriers to adopting the cloud. Achieving a balance of in-house and third party cloud talent is key. A great example of this was demonstrated by the banking industry itself when it transitioned from brick-and-mortar operations to digital and from websites to mobile. Compliance Concerns- Meeting security regulations and banking compliance codes is another significant challenge for cloud banking. Although regulatory authorities are increasingly supporting the cloud transformation, many banking institutions are cautious when it comes to exposing critical moving parts to regulation and the risk of non-compliance. To Round Off The cloud offers modern technology that is ready to scale at a day’s notice. With agility on offer, cloud computing in finance is much more than just an on-demand access to computing resources. Banking technology services are poised for a revolution, and cloud banking will play a major role in it. The points covered in this article discuss the immediate benefits that the cloud can offer. But as consumer demands and expectations undergo a whirlwind of activity, banking and financial services must join the bandwagon. They will need to assess how to leverage the cloud for their specific needs in a way that increases ROI and creates a sustainable, thriving organization. Frequently Asked Questions What are some storage options for cloud computing in finance? Public cloud storage is easily scalable as well as economical while private cloud storage offers complete control and greater scalability. Hybrid cloud storage offers the best of both worlds with significant user control and simplified customizations. Banks can explore a combination of cloud storage solutions that align with their security needs. What are the types of cloud banking services used by banking institutions? The types of cloud banking services that banks can opt for include: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) How many banks are now using the cloud? An IBM banking multicloud survey revealed that over 91% of banking and financial institutions were already actively using cloud technology.

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How Open Banking is Uncovering the Shroud of Consumer Experience

Article | July 20, 2022

The future of financial services is here, and transparency is at the core of the evolution. While technology, as with other industries, is at the center of the transformation, the unfolding face of finance is fueled by more than just innovation in technology. Putting the Consumer at the Heart of Banking Open banking is the latest advancement to come out of the crucible of technology and growing consumer demands. Open banking is the practice of enabling third-party financial solutions providers complete access to the consumer financial data stored by banks and non-banking financial institutions. This is executed with the help of application programming interfaces, or APIs. The concept of open APIs has been around in the form of standard web APIs that provide limited access to consumer data to IT departments of financial institutions (FIs). How Open Banking Aims to Raise the Bar? Currently, several process challenges are hampering customers’ banking experiences across the board. Some of these include lack of proactive customer service, lengthy resolutions, and delayed support. Open banking will get the ball rolling for new and small banks to compete with larger, established banking institutions. The increase in competition, transparency, freedom, and clarity is aimed at empowering consumers to seek out comparisons and customizations in financial services. For instance, through open banking solutions, consumers can easily access details on interest rates, banking fees, and other costs associated with a financial product or service. What’s in it for Financial Institutions? Any new financial and banking concept must be lucrative for it to be sustainable. So, it wouldn’t be unwise to ask how it benefits financial institutions of all shapes and sizes. While the open banking practice is customer-centric at heart, it has several benefits for everyone, from large corporations to small banks. Increasing Traction for a Wider Range of Products and Services Open banking will offer next-generation analytics capabilities that will set the ball rolling for banking institutions to cross-sell their products. By storing and managing all banking data on one platform, organizations will be able to optimize business resources while personalizing cross-selling and upselling offers to customers. Garnering Clear Insights to Inform New and Better Business Decisions Consumer research will no longer be needed for rolling out new products and services. With a holistic view of the banking customers’ data at hand, FIs can drum up their investments and make better business decisions. Gaining an Edge Over Competitors with Much Lesser Market Research Open banking allows fintech companies and other financial institutions access to data. But in addition, it also allows institutions to communicate with each other, which means being able to diversify and offer financial products that are a departure from the usual offering. Even then, FIs will be able to mold their solutions to meet the most urgent challenges of customers. Preparing for the Inevitable Disruption Whether or not you’re looking to adopt the open banking system, it is on a path towards disruption in financial services. Where FIs have been traditionally closed in order to maintain security, open banking is delivering iron clad security and privacy without the restrictions. Getting a peek into a rich set of consumer data is the best way to create valuable offering that uplifts traditionally banking service to be innovative and customer-centric and thus sustainable and effective.

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Blockchain and Its Most Useful Applications in Finance

Article | May 19, 2022

Blockchain technology is notable for its transparent database, safe data, decentralized network, and cryptographic transactions. By incorporating blockchain into existing banking procedures, FinTech firms have advanced even further. The powerful blockchain technology notably stores and records information on identities, assets, transactions, money and asset swaps in a secured network. Interestingly, the data is stored in blocks, each with a storage capacity of 1 MB. Having said that, Blockchain capabilities have contributed a new dimension to the Fintech scene, evolved as a technological revolution, provided enormous potential, and resulted in substantial changes to business structures and operations. Furthermore, they have piqued the interest of both start-ups and financial application development firms in investigating the demand for blockchain. Principles of Blockchain Blockchain, aside from being safe, gives true democracy and equality to financial institutions overseas. Blockchain has grown as a tremendous possibility for banking services to give billions of people the best and most convenient financial operations worldwide. Behind the successful virtue of blockchain, what are the core principles based on which blockchain is in demand nowadays? Find out the core in the following: Peer-based communication Computational logic A distributed database Permanent records Consensus protocol Distributed ledger All of the above principles of blockchain are successfully catering to the financial industry. Useful Blockchain Applications in Finance Blockchain applications gained popularity after the digital transformation of the finance industry. Some of the applications have assisted finance in shifting its operations to a more efficient and effective path. Based on these blockchain applications, Accenture predicts that embracing blockchain will save banks $8 billion in costs by 2025, a 27 percent decrease from 2019. Reduced costs of transactions Secured digital identity management A global network having no geographic limitations Crypto lending Regulatory compliance New crowdfunding models KYC Verification Maximizing Benefits and Minimizing Dilemmas Blockchain technology applications in finance have shown maximum benefit and have minimized a lot of financial glitches that existed before. To stay abreast, the legacy system of financial deeds is becoming increasingly rare, as most financial institutes and banks implement the technology globally. According to a Deloitte analysis, revenue from business blockchain applications is expected to reach $19.9 billion by 2025, giving considerable prospects for growth in blockchain FinTech. While talking about the transformation to the blockchain, automation played a crucial role in reshaping critical financial, operational risk and finance systems on a cloud platform. Most financial organizations now store their data on the blockchain, eliminating inefficiencies such as input failures, duplication, fraud, and other issues. The combination of automation and data empowers faster financial services that is likely to enable more effective financial services and client experiences in the future.

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Rêv Partners with Searchlight Capital Partners to Acquire Netspend Consumer Business

Rev, Searchlight Capital and Netspend | August 08, 2022

Rêv Worldwide, Inc., an international fintech company, and Global Payments, a leading worldwide provider of payment technology and software solutions, announced that Rêv, in partnership with funds advised by Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P., has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Netspend consumer business from Global Payments in an all cash transaction valued at $1 billion. The acquisition brings back Netspend’s founders, Roy and Bertrand Sosa, who also founded Rêv. The Sosa brothers look to leverage the strategic assets of the two entities to build a global, high growth company that delivers on a mission of financial empowerment and product innovation. For Searchlight, this transaction represents another exciting partnership with dynamic fintech entrepreneurs while also being able to support growth and innovation for consumer financial services to underserved markets. With this sale, Global Payments delivers on its commitment to divest itself from Netspend’s consumer business, allowing the company to focus on its core B2B operations and growth opportunities with Rêv as a partner. Since the Sosas founded Netspend in 1999, the company’s consumer business has developed into a clear industry leader in the prepaid and debit card space serving millions of customers nationwide, processing hundreds of billions of dollars of cardholder purchases, and established the largest retail partner network with over 130,000 locations nationwide where consumers can load their prepaid and debit card products. Netspend’s consumer products are also available online via direct-to-consumer mobile and web channels. “We’ve gone full circle, launching programs with partners around the globe in our journey to provide innovative financial services to underserved mass markets. We are very excited by the opportunity to partner with the Netspend consumer team and Searchlight as we deliver new products, expand into new markets and add more value to customers across the world,” - Roy Sosa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rêv Christopher Cruz, Partner, Searchlight, added “The characteristics of this investment are rare to find. Combining an industry leading operation in Netspend’s consumer business with modern platform technology and digitally native solutions from Rêv unlocks great growth potential by meeting the needs of a significant and sizable market. We look forward to partnering with Roy, Bertrand, and the Rêv team as they continue their mission to financially empower underserved consumers through fintech innovation.” According to a recent industry report, the global market for Prepaid Cards, estimated at US$1.6 Trillion in the year 2020, is projected to reach US$2.7 Trillion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 9.6% over the analysis period. Leveraging its proprietary multi-currency payments and loyalty product platform, Rêv provides mobile-first payment solutions and offers banking-as-a-service capabilities for partners around the world, such as Etihad Airways, Itaú Private Bank, LATAM Airlines; as well as direct-to-consumer branded products owned and managed by Rêv, such as the recently launched X World Wallet currently available in the U.S. For Bertrand Sosa, President of Rêv, “The market opportunity for Netspend’s consumer business has always been massive, as evidenced by the history of growth the company has experienced. Now we have a chance to expand upon it globally by leveraging unique synergies we bring along with our entrepreneurial spirit.” The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023 subject to relevant regulatory approvals, and customary closing conditions. Jefferies LLC is serving as lead financial advisor, and Nomura Securities International, Inc. is serving as financial advisor to Rêv. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is representing Searchlight, Gunderson Dettmer is advising Rêv. Evercore is serving as financial advisor to Global Payments, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is representing Global Payments in the transaction. About Rêv Rêv is a fintech company, founded by prepaid debit industry pioneers Roy and Bertrand Sosa, dedicated to delivering innovative payment experiences to consumers worldwide. Its solutions are powered by the company’s proprietary multi-currency and multi-language payments processing platform. With vast experience pioneering a number of payment industry firsts, Rêv is focused on the international banking & travel sectors. Rêv has partnered with companies across the globe to launch products in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. About Searchlight Searchlight is a global private investment firm with over $10 billion in assets under management and offices in New York, London and Toronto. Searchlight seeks to invest in businesses where its long-term capital and strategic support accelerate value creation for all stakeholders. About Netspend Netspend is a leading provider of payments and financial solutions for consumers and businesses. From prepaid and debit card solutions to digital account and money movement services, Netspend has a broad suite of products and technologies that deliver exceptional experiences for its customers and business partners. About Global Payments Global Payments Inc. is a leading payments technology company delivering innovative software and services to customers globally. Our technologies, services and team member expertise allow us to provide a broad range of solutions that enable our customers to operate their businesses more efficiently across a variety of channels around the world. Headquartered in Georgia with approximately 25,000 team members worldwide, Global Payments is a Fortune 500® company and a member of the S&P 500 with worldwide reach spanning over 170 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

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Synapse Announces Partnership with Lineage Bank, Enabling a Wide Range of Financial Services for Fintech Companies and Their Customers

Synapse and Lineage Bank | August 17, 2022

Synapse Financial Technologies Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform that increases access to best-in-class financial products, and Lineage Bank, a developing, traditional community bank based in Franklin, Tennessee, today announced a partnership to enable fintech companies and other non-banks to build and deliver innovative financial apps and services. “We are thrilled to welcome Lineage Bank as part of our multi-bank strategy, enabling us to serve fintech customers in faster, highly flexible, and more comprehensive ways, Lineage is a nimble, fast-moving bank that recognizes the power of the BaaS space to serve more customers. This partnership will help both companies deliver on our promise to quickly provide best-in-class solutions to all kinds of fintech innovators.” - Sankaet Pathak, CEO and co-founder of Synapse Synapse’s multi-bank strategy uniquely positions the company to make it faster and easier for fintech companies to launch and scale a wide range of financial services and products leveraging multiple bank partners simultaneously. Through Synapse’s bank relationships – as well as the regulated position of its affiliates – it can extend the most flexible and advantageous terms and features and provide a path to market for its customers that can be better, faster and with reduced partner risk, by driving an efficient and frictionless onboarding experience. Lineage is committed to staying on the leading edge of banking technology to better serve our local customers and reach new ones, This new partnership represents an extension to our BaaS technology partners, further increasing our reach into a digital-first audience of consumers and businesses via neobanks. It also aligns perfectly with our growth strategy by providing new opportunities through embedded, digital-first banking solutions,said Kevin Herrington, CEO of Lineage Bank. Lineage Bank will serve as a sponsor bank to Synapse and its affiliates, providing core banking services such as FDIC deposit insurance, payment processing, and card issuance. By working together, Synapse and Lineage Bank will be able to help fintech providers get up and running rapidly in a safe, regulated environment that serves the needs of everyday consumers who need access to all types of financial services. About Synapse Synapse was founded in 2014 with the mission to ensure that everyone around the world has access to best-in-class financial products, regardless of their net worth. Synapse’s banking-as-a-service platform provides payment, card issuance, deposit, lending, compliance, credit and investment products as APIs to more than 15 million end users. It has an annualized transaction volume of $67 billion and $11 billion of assets under management across its platform. With white-labeled APIs for developers and bank-facing APIs for institutions to automate their back-end operations, Synapse customers can quickly build, launch and scale innovative financial products and services. The company is backed by more than $50 million in funding from top venture firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz, 500 Startups, and Trinity Ventures. Global cash management services are provided by Synapse Brokerage LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC. Synapse is not a Bank. Banking and card services are provided by Synapse Financial Technologies Inc.’s partner banks, Members FDIC. About Lineage Bank Lineage Bank is a developing, traditional community bank located in Franklin, Tennessee, and is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. The bank’s focus is serving the everyday banking needs of customers in Middle Tennessee as well as those in other areas through digital BaaS solutions. Lineage Bank is part of the Lineage Financial Network, a bank holding company that empowers community banks with the technology and local customer focus to create a unique banking experience. Lineage Financial Network is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, and was founded in 2020.

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PNC BANK SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDS SURCHAGE-FREE ATM ACCESS THROUGH NCR'S ALLPOINT NETWORK

PNC BANK and NCR Corporation | August 17, 2022

PNC Bank announced today a new partnership with NCR Corporation and its Allpoint ATM network, providing customers with surcharge-free access to cash through more than 41,000 machines across the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska. PNC customers now have surcharge-free access to nearly 60,000 PNC Bank and PNC partner ATMs across the country. "As a Main Street Bank, PNC is committed building a platform that empowers the financial well-being of our customers. A key part of that is making our solutions available to customers no matter where they live or where they may travel, Partnering with NCR's Allpoint ATM network allows us to more than triple our already expansive network, providing our customers with significantly greater surcharge-free access to their cash from coast-to-coast." - Alex Overstrom, head of Retail Banking for PNC NCR's Allpoint network, the largest retail-based surcharge-free ATM network in the United States, provides banks like PNC with access to ATMs at top retail establishments including grocery and convenience stores, pharmacies, and big-box stores. We know consumers prefer a financial services provider that delivers convenient account access and management, including surcharge-free cash access, Through NCR's robust Allpoint ATM network, PNC can help meet their customers' cash access needs in the places that work best for them – the conveniently located stores that already are part of their lives, said Don Layden, EVP, Payment & Network, NCR. PNC Bank National Association PNC BankNational Associationis a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.

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Rêv Partners with Searchlight Capital Partners to Acquire Netspend Consumer Business

Rev, Searchlight Capital and Netspend | August 08, 2022

Rêv Worldwide, Inc., an international fintech company, and Global Payments, a leading worldwide provider of payment technology and software solutions, announced that Rêv, in partnership with funds advised by Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P., has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Netspend consumer business from Global Payments in an all cash transaction valued at $1 billion. The acquisition brings back Netspend’s founders, Roy and Bertrand Sosa, who also founded Rêv. The Sosa brothers look to leverage the strategic assets of the two entities to build a global, high growth company that delivers on a mission of financial empowerment and product innovation. For Searchlight, this transaction represents another exciting partnership with dynamic fintech entrepreneurs while also being able to support growth and innovation for consumer financial services to underserved markets. With this sale, Global Payments delivers on its commitment to divest itself from Netspend’s consumer business, allowing the company to focus on its core B2B operations and growth opportunities with Rêv as a partner. Since the Sosas founded Netspend in 1999, the company’s consumer business has developed into a clear industry leader in the prepaid and debit card space serving millions of customers nationwide, processing hundreds of billions of dollars of cardholder purchases, and established the largest retail partner network with over 130,000 locations nationwide where consumers can load their prepaid and debit card products. Netspend’s consumer products are also available online via direct-to-consumer mobile and web channels. “We’ve gone full circle, launching programs with partners around the globe in our journey to provide innovative financial services to underserved mass markets. We are very excited by the opportunity to partner with the Netspend consumer team and Searchlight as we deliver new products, expand into new markets and add more value to customers across the world,” - Roy Sosa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rêv Christopher Cruz, Partner, Searchlight, added “The characteristics of this investment are rare to find. Combining an industry leading operation in Netspend’s consumer business with modern platform technology and digitally native solutions from Rêv unlocks great growth potential by meeting the needs of a significant and sizable market. We look forward to partnering with Roy, Bertrand, and the Rêv team as they continue their mission to financially empower underserved consumers through fintech innovation.” According to a recent industry report, the global market for Prepaid Cards, estimated at US$1.6 Trillion in the year 2020, is projected to reach US$2.7 Trillion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 9.6% over the analysis period. Leveraging its proprietary multi-currency payments and loyalty product platform, Rêv provides mobile-first payment solutions and offers banking-as-a-service capabilities for partners around the world, such as Etihad Airways, Itaú Private Bank, LATAM Airlines; as well as direct-to-consumer branded products owned and managed by Rêv, such as the recently launched X World Wallet currently available in the U.S. For Bertrand Sosa, President of Rêv, “The market opportunity for Netspend’s consumer business has always been massive, as evidenced by the history of growth the company has experienced. Now we have a chance to expand upon it globally by leveraging unique synergies we bring along with our entrepreneurial spirit.” The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023 subject to relevant regulatory approvals, and customary closing conditions. Jefferies LLC is serving as lead financial advisor, and Nomura Securities International, Inc. is serving as financial advisor to Rêv. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is representing Searchlight, Gunderson Dettmer is advising Rêv. Evercore is serving as financial advisor to Global Payments, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is representing Global Payments in the transaction. About Rêv Rêv is a fintech company, founded by prepaid debit industry pioneers Roy and Bertrand Sosa, dedicated to delivering innovative payment experiences to consumers worldwide. Its solutions are powered by the company’s proprietary multi-currency and multi-language payments processing platform. With vast experience pioneering a number of payment industry firsts, Rêv is focused on the international banking & travel sectors. Rêv has partnered with companies across the globe to launch products in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. About Searchlight Searchlight is a global private investment firm with over $10 billion in assets under management and offices in New York, London and Toronto. Searchlight seeks to invest in businesses where its long-term capital and strategic support accelerate value creation for all stakeholders. About Netspend Netspend is a leading provider of payments and financial solutions for consumers and businesses. From prepaid and debit card solutions to digital account and money movement services, Netspend has a broad suite of products and technologies that deliver exceptional experiences for its customers and business partners. About Global Payments Global Payments Inc. is a leading payments technology company delivering innovative software and services to customers globally. Our technologies, services and team member expertise allow us to provide a broad range of solutions that enable our customers to operate their businesses more efficiently across a variety of channels around the world. Headquartered in Georgia with approximately 25,000 team members worldwide, Global Payments is a Fortune 500® company and a member of the S&P 500 with worldwide reach spanning over 170 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

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Synapse Announces Partnership with Lineage Bank, Enabling a Wide Range of Financial Services for Fintech Companies and Their Customers

Synapse and Lineage Bank | August 17, 2022

Synapse Financial Technologies Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform that increases access to best-in-class financial products, and Lineage Bank, a developing, traditional community bank based in Franklin, Tennessee, today announced a partnership to enable fintech companies and other non-banks to build and deliver innovative financial apps and services. “We are thrilled to welcome Lineage Bank as part of our multi-bank strategy, enabling us to serve fintech customers in faster, highly flexible, and more comprehensive ways, Lineage is a nimble, fast-moving bank that recognizes the power of the BaaS space to serve more customers. This partnership will help both companies deliver on our promise to quickly provide best-in-class solutions to all kinds of fintech innovators.” - Sankaet Pathak, CEO and co-founder of Synapse Synapse’s multi-bank strategy uniquely positions the company to make it faster and easier for fintech companies to launch and scale a wide range of financial services and products leveraging multiple bank partners simultaneously. Through Synapse’s bank relationships – as well as the regulated position of its affiliates – it can extend the most flexible and advantageous terms and features and provide a path to market for its customers that can be better, faster and with reduced partner risk, by driving an efficient and frictionless onboarding experience. Lineage is committed to staying on the leading edge of banking technology to better serve our local customers and reach new ones, This new partnership represents an extension to our BaaS technology partners, further increasing our reach into a digital-first audience of consumers and businesses via neobanks. It also aligns perfectly with our growth strategy by providing new opportunities through embedded, digital-first banking solutions,said Kevin Herrington, CEO of Lineage Bank. Lineage Bank will serve as a sponsor bank to Synapse and its affiliates, providing core banking services such as FDIC deposit insurance, payment processing, and card issuance. By working together, Synapse and Lineage Bank will be able to help fintech providers get up and running rapidly in a safe, regulated environment that serves the needs of everyday consumers who need access to all types of financial services. About Synapse Synapse was founded in 2014 with the mission to ensure that everyone around the world has access to best-in-class financial products, regardless of their net worth. Synapse’s banking-as-a-service platform provides payment, card issuance, deposit, lending, compliance, credit and investment products as APIs to more than 15 million end users. It has an annualized transaction volume of $67 billion and $11 billion of assets under management across its platform. With white-labeled APIs for developers and bank-facing APIs for institutions to automate their back-end operations, Synapse customers can quickly build, launch and scale innovative financial products and services. The company is backed by more than $50 million in funding from top venture firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz, 500 Startups, and Trinity Ventures. Global cash management services are provided by Synapse Brokerage LLC, a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC. Synapse is not a Bank. Banking and card services are provided by Synapse Financial Technologies Inc.’s partner banks, Members FDIC. About Lineage Bank Lineage Bank is a developing, traditional community bank located in Franklin, Tennessee, and is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. The bank’s focus is serving the everyday banking needs of customers in Middle Tennessee as well as those in other areas through digital BaaS solutions. Lineage Bank is part of the Lineage Financial Network, a bank holding company that empowers community banks with the technology and local customer focus to create a unique banking experience. Lineage Financial Network is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, and was founded in 2020.

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PNC BANK SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDS SURCHAGE-FREE ATM ACCESS THROUGH NCR'S ALLPOINT NETWORK

PNC BANK and NCR Corporation | August 17, 2022

PNC Bank announced today a new partnership with NCR Corporation and its Allpoint ATM network, providing customers with surcharge-free access to cash through more than 41,000 machines across the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska. PNC customers now have surcharge-free access to nearly 60,000 PNC Bank and PNC partner ATMs across the country. "As a Main Street Bank, PNC is committed building a platform that empowers the financial well-being of our customers. A key part of that is making our solutions available to customers no matter where they live or where they may travel, Partnering with NCR's Allpoint ATM network allows us to more than triple our already expansive network, providing our customers with significantly greater surcharge-free access to their cash from coast-to-coast." - Alex Overstrom, head of Retail Banking for PNC NCR's Allpoint network, the largest retail-based surcharge-free ATM network in the United States, provides banks like PNC with access to ATMs at top retail establishments including grocery and convenience stores, pharmacies, and big-box stores. We know consumers prefer a financial services provider that delivers convenient account access and management, including surcharge-free cash access, Through NCR's robust Allpoint ATM network, PNC can help meet their customers' cash access needs in the places that work best for them – the conveniently located stores that already are part of their lives, said Don Layden, EVP, Payment & Network, NCR. PNC Bank National Association PNC BankNational Associationis a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.

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