FINTECH

Global Fintech, Jeeves, and MasterCard Join Forces to Offer Fully Locally-Issued Physical and Virtual Cards for Mexican Businesses

Jeeves | November 29, 2021

Global-Fintech
Mexico is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, yet its local businesses still struggle to access credit without exorbitant fees and tedious paperwork. Mastercard, the world's leading payments company, and Jeeves, the preferred financial partner for Mexican businesses, have partnered together to solve this issue by launching the first physical card that allows companies to pay in any local currency from all countries Mastercard currently operates.

The startup ecosystem in Mexico and all of Latin America is thriving. As founders ourselves, we understand their needs, which is why it is important that we offer this card to them now. In addition to no fees and up to 4% cashback, our cards provide the flexibility and security LATAM startups are hungry for."

Dileep Thazhmon, CEO and founder of Jeeves.

Jeeves is the first and only expense management and business banking company in Mexico that is a fully-approved Mastercard Principal Member with both physical and virtual cards. Jeeves cardholders can benefit from no fees, unlimited virtual cards, and up to 4% cashback. Since its launch in January 2021, the company has successfully onboarded over 700 businesses in Mexico, including Runa, Moons, Bitso, Kavak, Jüsto, etc.

Kavak, one of the fastest-growing Mexican startups, has been using Jeeves card during the last year. Carlos García Ottati highlights its benefits: "Jeeves makes everything faster. Kavak is growing exponentially. We need a partner that understands and fulfills our needs. Thanks to Jeeves card and expense platform we can operate cross border seamlessly."

"Thanks to Jeeves, we can grow our business without worrying about the logistics of expenses and payments. Each of our team members has access to their own cards and is tailored to their specific needs. When we travel - Jeeves makes it easy. You can pay in any currency and link it to the bank account you prefer. Our finance team loves it. No other company lets you go global so easily and quickly," says Alexander Clapp, Moons COO, and co-founder.

"In recent years, we have seen an exponential growth of the fintech ecosystem in the market. We are very excited about this alliance with Jeeves. Through these collaborations, we can contribute to a fast digital transformation that provides startups with the products that directly align with their needs and facilitate access to financial services," assured Pablo Cuarón, Director of New Payments Flows at Mastercard México.

Unlike traditional financial service providers, Jeeves approves credit cards in record time and with no personal guarantees. This allows companies to operate immediately with the support, strength, and network of Mastercard.

The partnership allows Jeeves cardholders to use their cards in all countries where Mastercard currently operates, allowing companies to pay in local currency including Mexican Pesos, Colombian Pesos, USD, and GBP, with 30 days of credit.

The partnership comes off the heels of two successful funding rounds backed by some of the most prestigious investors in Silicon Valley, including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Y Combinator, and CRV, raising a total of over $188 million.

About Jeeves
Jeeves is an all-in-one expense management platform for startups in global markets including Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Canada, UK and Europe. Cash, corporate cards with up to 4% cash back, and cross border payments all run on the Jeeves proprietary infrastructure which allows companies to spin up their finance function within minutes. Jeeves can handle multiple currencies for payback. More than 1000 global companies trust Jeeves with their financial payment stack. Jeeves has raised $188 Million from Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, CRV, Tencent and Silicon Valley Bank to fuel its international expansion.

About Mastercard
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

Spotlight

The business benefits of all-flash are so compelling that leading analysts, IDC, believe around two-thirds of all enterprise budget allocated to primary storage over the next few years will be spent on these arrays. Given this huge migration from spinning disk to flash, it’s essential that you have all the facts about the new storage economics that all-flash has created. However, one note of caution – not all flash solutions are equal. Which is why we’ve created this handy at-a-glance guide to help your business derive the very best cost-efficiencies from your new investments.


Other News
FUNDING

Astra Launches First-Ever Point-to-Point Debit Transfer Product Powered by Cross River

Astra, Inc. | December 17, 2021

Astra, Inc. (“Astra”), the automation platform for money movement, today announced the launch of its first-ever card-to-card instant payment API. Through a strategic partnership with Cross River Bank (“Cross River”), a technology-driven financial services organization that provides core infrastructure and embedded financial solutions, Astra is providing the critical infrastructure that will, for the first time, enable fintech developers to fund accounts and facilitate deposits via the debit card payment rails. “Astra’s new instant payment API gives fintech developers the ability to easily embed card-to-card transfers into their own application, for the first time without the need for any additional infrastructure. The funds are instantly applied to the destination card,” said Gil Akos, CEO of Astra, Inc. “Never before have developers been able to leverage card payment rails like Visa to instantly transfer cash between debit cards. We are extremely excited about the product innovations our team, together with Cross River, have been able to build on our platform that will transform the industry.” Financial technology products have the ability to choose several payment options when processing account-to-account (A2A) transactions via ACH or traditional card processing services. With this new solution, developers can process a transaction instantly, directly from one debit card onto a second debit card, without the need for settlement accounts or developing reconciliation operations. The solution is also PCI compliant by default. Astra’s secure API integration ensures developers will have limited liability for sensitive card data. “Astra chose to partner with Cross River to develop this innovative solution and with our new product, we can leverage the experience of Cross River and combine it with our work in risk mitigation and automation to make fast transfers on the debit network more streamlined and efficient than ever before,” said Sam Morgan, COO of Astra, Inc. Cross River provides leading technology and deep banking expertise which has become the foundation on which dozens of partners build their ecosystems and fuel their brands. This partnership will add new functionality to Astra’s payments API while increasing the speed of transfers and the accessibility of the debit card system for developers across the United States, all through Cross River’s comprehensive, one-stop-shop platform that provides streamlined access to the payment rails, core infrastructure, and a robust compliance framework. We are excited to partner with Astra as they bring their innovative payments solution to market. Cross River’s payments and banking API infrastructure allows fintechs like Astra to create value for their clients. Gil, Sam, and the entire Astra team have created a unique and differentiated way to move money, leveraging our core competency in card payments.” Keith Vander Leest, Director of Payments at Cross River. About Astra Astra is a leading provider of advanced bank-to-bank transfer technology for financial institutions, fintechs, and enterprises. With headquarters in San Francisco, the company was founded in 2016 by co-founders Gil Akos and Sam Morgan. Astra’s proprietary, vertically integrated API allows developers to easily embed financial automation within their existing products. For more information, visit https://astra.finance. About Cross River Cross River is a fast-growing financial services organization that merges the forward-thinking offerings of a technology company with the established expertise and traditional services of a bank. Since its founding in 2008, Cross River has developed strategic partnerships with leading technology companies, marketplace lenders and payment providers, while maintaining a strong focus on regulatory compliance and consumer protection. Cross River provides a highly secure, API-based banking platform and comprehensive suite of products encompassing lending, payments, risk management and Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) offerings to deliver responsible financial solutions that empower businesses and consumers anytime, anywhere. Cross River Bank is a New Jersey state-chartered FDIC insured bank.

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PAYMENTS

Choice Brings on Nexa Equity as Majority Investor and Acquires Direct Payment Consultants

Choice; Nexa Equity | April 27, 2022

Nexa Equity LLC, a private equity firm focused on scaling lower middle market software and fintech businesses, announced today that it has acquired Choice Inc., a leading global payments platform. Additionally, Choice has acquired Direct Payment Consultants, a payments provider that partners directly with merchants. After the acquisition, Choice's platform will process more than $3 billion in annual payments volume across 7,000+ customers in the United States and Canada. The founding teams of both Choice and Direct Payment Consultants each continue to hold a meaningful stake in the combined business. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed. The Choice global payments platform provides advanced, end-to-end omnichannel commerce solutions to merchants and technology companies of all sizes. The company's modern payment integrations and business management solutions empower independent software vendors (ISVs), payment facilitators (PayFacs), enterprise merchants and independent sales organizations (ISOs) to enable their merchants to accept multiple electronic payment types and tools to scale their businesses. Direct Payment Consultants is focused on helping merchants complete end-to-end payment transactions for their businesses. Combined with Choice's leading platform, the customers of Choice and Direct Payment Consultants will benefit from an expanded product portfolio and the shared knowledge of operators with a deep understanding of the payments space. Choice's mission to modernize the convergence of payments and technology to transform the future of commerce aligns well with Nexa Equity's investment strategy, We look forward to scaling the Choice platform through organic initiatives while continuing to actively pursue strategic acquisitions like Direct Payment Consultants." Nexa Founder and Managing Partner Vlad Besprozvany. Nexa Equity's investment will augment Choice's go-to-market team and enhance its omnichannel fintech platform. The platform includes a payment gateway, application programming interfaces (API), point-of-sale-software, invoicing, recurring billing, embedded financing, real-time underwriting, and comprehensive partner and merchant reporting. We wanted to bring on a capital partner that understands our business, goals and end customer, and we found that in Nexa Equity, Choice is laser focused on providing customers with the most comprehensive and cutting-edge omnichannel payment solutions in the industry to benefit all parties in the equation. Our acquisition of Direct Payment Consultants will enable us to execute on this vision even further and I'm thrilled to have the Direct Payment Consultants team join us and to take Choice to the next level together." Choice CEO John Paul Golino. We are excited to join forces with Choice and to enhance our service to customers by offering them the proprietary software and tools in Choice's platform, The combination solidifies our ability to deliver a leading integrated payments solution to our customers and partners, and we look forward to what we will achieve as a combined team." Direct Payment Consultants CEO Jim Black. About Nexa Equity Nexa Equity is a San Francisco, California based private equity firm that partners with founder-led, rapidly scaling SaaS and fintech companies that address markets underserved by technology to create enduring value for the benefit of its investors and portfolio companies. The firm has more than $250 million in private equity capital under management and is focused on continuing to grow its portfolio of companies. The Nexa Equity team brings substantial investing and operational experience to the table and helps management teams professionalize and scale their businesses and drive long-term sustainable growth. About Choice Merchant Solutions Choice is a fast-growing payments and technology fintech that offers merchants a robust, omnichannel commerce experience. The company's proprietary technology platform integrates seamlessly into software vendor technology stacks, enabling embedded payment monetization along with fraud management tools, analytics and comprehensive reporting for ISVs and their merchants. About Direct Payment Consultants Direct Payment Consultants is a Pennsylvania based payments company. Direct Payment Consultants partners with businesses across the country to accept all major payment cards. The company is committed to offering customers best-in-class payment processing services, alongside cost saving measures, to enable customers to drive better business results.

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BITCOIN AND CRYPTO

BitPay’s Accurate Payment Protocol Adopted by Exchange Partners Bitso, Bitstamp and Wallet Partners Edge and Guarda

BitPay | April 25, 2022

BitPay, the world’s largest provider of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payment services, today announced two new exchanges and two new wallets are adopting its accurate payment protocol including top crypto providers Bitso, Bitstamp, Edge, and Guarda. BitPay’s accurate payment protocol, the BitPay Protocol, enables more reliable blockchain payments by eliminating common payment exceptions including overpayments, underpayments, late payments, unconfirmed payments, and potential double-spend payments. In addition to the new partners, the BitPay Protocol has already been adopted by Blockchain Wallet, the world’s largest self-custody wallet. Many other leading wallets are also payment enabled including Electrum, BRD, Metamask, Ledger and more. Verifone’s 600,000 merchants, with a footprint of 35 million devices, also have BitPay’s Payment Protocol automatically enabled for in-store and online purchases. BitPay first launched its accurate payment specification in 2017 to eliminate payment exceptions in transactions made with cryptocurrency, setting the standard currently adopted by top wallet organizations. Since then, the company has expanded upon the available features and now businesses can accept crypto through BitPay and receive error-free payments from over 200 million crypto users. As a blockchain payment processor, BitPay’s goal is to work with all wallets, and BitPay is the only payment processor who works with more than 100 different wallets to facilitate and optimize consumer to business and business to business payments. The company has processed over $5 billion in payments volume since inception, for tens of thousands of businesses worldwide. Businesses accepting crypto should be able to accept payments from any crypto wallet and payments should post fast and be free of payment expectations. BitPay Protocol delivers on all these benefits and BitPay is pleased that our new and existing wallet and exchange partners have set the industry bar for payment quality, We are developing payment technology solutions to transform how businesses and people send, receive, and store money around the world making payments faster, more secure, and less expensive.” Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay. Since the founding of Edge, we have always been passionate about people truly using cryptocurrency to buy and sell goods and services, We are happy to support the BitPay Payment Protocol to streamline the user experience at the point of sale for thousands of merchants and further drive adoption of cryptocurrency.” Paul Puey, CEO / Co-founder at Edge. About BitPay Founded in 2011, BitPay is one of the oldest cryptocurrency companies. As a pioneer in blockchain payment processing, the company’s mission is to transform how businesses and people send, receive, and store money. Its business solutions eliminate fraud chargebacks, reduce the cost of payment processing, and enable borderless payments in cryptocurrency, among other services. BitPay offers consumers a complete digital asset management solution that includes the BitPay Wallet and BitPay Prepaid Card, enabling them to turn digital assets into dollars for spending at tens of thousands of businesses. The company has offices in North America, Europe, and South America and has raised more than $70 million in funding from leading investment firms including Founders Fund, Index Ventures, Virgin Group, and Aquiline Technology Growth.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

PRA Group Announces Refinancing of European Credit Facilities

PRA Group, Inc. | April 05, 2022

PRA Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRAA), a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, announced today that on April 1, 2022, it completed the refinancing of its European credit facilities. This refinancing includes a new $800 million UK credit facility and an amended and resized $750 million credit facility covering the rest of Europe, excluding the UK. The new UK facility includes a diverse group of both new and existing lenders that participate in both the North American and European credit facilities. Our global bank group has been extremely supportive through the entire process. We are appreciative of the significant commitments from our long-time banking partners and pleased to welcome new members to the bank group. This refinancing provides us with additional flexibility, further diversifies our lending group, and decreases overall borrowing costs. We appreciate the continued partnership and ongoing support from our lenders." Pete Graham, executive vice president and chief financial officer for PRA Group, Inc. About PRA Group, Inc. As a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, PRA Group, Inc. returns capital to banks and other creditors to help expand financial services for consumers in the Americas, Europe and Australia. With thousands of employees worldwide, PRA Group, Inc. companies collaborate with customers to help them resolve their debt.

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Spotlight

The business benefits of all-flash are so compelling that leading analysts, IDC, believe around two-thirds of all enterprise budget allocated to primary storage over the next few years will be spent on these arrays. Given this huge migration from spinning disk to flash, it’s essential that you have all the facts about the new storage economics that all-flash has created. However, one note of caution – not all flash solutions are equal. Which is why we’ve created this handy at-a-glance guide to help your business derive the very best cost-efficiencies from your new investments.

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