EMEA Daily: UK consumer loans increased in February.

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In major news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa today, consumer lending in Britain swelled in February, the most in five years, the Bank of England has revealed; Data-driven precision finance startup ArK Kapital has raised $183m in seed capital.

Additionally, Zimpler, the Swedish payments fintech, plans to expand following an equity funding round; expense management software company Medius acquired bill payment provider OnPay Solutions; and expense management tools company Yokoy raised $80 million in a Series B round.

Consumer loans rose in the UK, fueled by record credit card borrowing

Consumer lending in Britain swelled in February, the most in five years, the Bank of England (BoE) announced.

The rise was fueled by credit card borrowing, with consumers billing £1.9 billion ($2.5 billion) last month. Of that, £1.5 billion ($2 billion) was new credit card lending. This is the biggest rise since the BoE started keeping records in 1993.

ArK Kapital Raises $183M for Alternative Long-Term Funding Options

ArK Kapital, a data-driven precision finance startup, has raised 165 million euros ($183 million) in seed capital, the Stockholm-based firm announced on Tuesday (March 29), EU-StartUps reported. .com.

The new funding will be used to invest in promising businesses, research and development and double its team of 20 people this year, ArK said.

A2A Payments Company Zimpler Lands Equity Funding

Swedish fintech payments Zimpler plans to expand following a new round of equity financing, the company announced on Tuesday. The amount of funding was not disclosed.

“The investment will allow Zimpler to continue its exponential growth and accelerate the company’s business development by expanding its customer base and investing in the development of new vertical markets,” the Stockholm-based company said.

Spend Management Firm Yokoy Closes $80M Series B Funding

Expense management tools company Yokoy has raised $80 million in a Series B funding round, the Amsterdam-based software startup announced on Tuesday.

Founded in 2019, Yokoy sells its products primarily to large companies, including Dynamic Parcel Distribution, one of Europe’s largest express and parcel services, and Stadler Rail Co., the Swiss train manufacturer. The latest cash injection brings the total amount raised to over $107 million.

Russian payment system bypasses Mastercard and departure of Visa

Although the sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine have had a devastating effect on the country, they have not stopped Russians from using their Mastercard or Visa cards.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the two card companies’ decision to stop doing business in Russia may not be as earth-shattering as once thought, as the cards use a local Russian system to process payments. .

Medius acquires bill payment company OnPay

Expense management and eProcurement software company Medius has acquired bill payment provider OnPay Solutions. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed.

Founded in 2009, OnPay helps customers streamline Accounts Payable (AP) processes and reduce costs by automating bill payments. According to the release, the Florida-based company provides a virtual “contactless” card, automated clearinghouse (ACH), and check and wire payments to more than 400 customers.

EU content moderation rules could soon apply to big tech

EU Antitrust Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Monday that an agreement between EU governments and European parliamentarians on the Digital Services Act (DSA) could be reached next month, according to Reuters.

Vestager proposed the DSA just over a year ago, and it requires digital companies to do more to crack down on illegal content or face fines of up to 6% of their global revenue.

Apple’s 10th antitrust fine in the Netherlands shows high stakes at stake

Apple racked up 50 million euros ($55 million) in fines in the Netherlands for failing to comply with an antitrust ruling by the Dutch competition authority.

In December, the authority ordered Apple to adapt its App Store terms to allow dating app providers to use alternative payment methods. To encourage Apple to comply, the authority imposed a fine of 5 million euros for each week that passes without full compliance.

Chetwood CEO calls open banking ‘disappointing’ as regulation key to Neobank’s success

The UK is widely seen as a leader in implementing open banking. Regulations imposed by the European Union’s revised Payment Services Directive require banks to make customer account information available to non-bank third parties through the use of application programming interfaces.

To signal its widespread adoption across the country, the UK’s Open Banking Implementer announced that more than 5 million individuals and businesses across the country are using open banking, a landmark figure after the fourth anniversary of the creation of the regulatory requirement.

Volvo’s new CEO: We need more control over our software

Volvo Car AB needs to take more control of the software it develops and deploys in its vehicles, new CEO Jim Rowan told Bloomberg on Tuesday.

Rowan, who took over as head of Volvo last week after the company announced it was hired in January to replace longtime CEO Hakan Samuelsson, added that the increased computing power in cars will further reshape the industry. automobile than the transition from combustion propulsion to electric.

UK to propose new crypto rules as FCA closes registration

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is ending its Temporary Registration Scheme (TRR) for crypto-asset businesses on Thursday, March 31.

Businesses that are not registered may not be allowed to carry on business in the UK. Meanwhile, some news outlets have reported that the UK finance minister may announce a new regulatory regime for crypto in the coming weeks.

Challenger Bank Lunar plans to acquire Instabank for $146 million

Challenger bank Lunar is acquiring digital bank Instabank for 132 million euros (about $146 million), a move that will increase Lunar’s reach in Norway and open the door to the Finnish market, according to a blog post on Tuesday.

Founded in 2016 and based in Oslo, Norway, Instabank serves more than 60,000 people in Norway, Finland and Germany with secured and unsecured loans and savings, the blog says.

French court fines Google $2 million over ‘abusive’ developer practices

A French court has fined Google 2 million euros ($2.2 million) over what the country’s government has called “abusive” dealings with developers of its app store.

The Paris Commercial Court also ruled that Google also had to update seven clauses in its contracts that provided for a 30% commission on revenue generated by developers on the Google Play Store.

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