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The “Digital Wallet Race” Intensifies as Banks and Fintechs in Europe and Around the World Invest in Insurance: Chubb Survey

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  • Strong consumer demand accelerating adoption of digital insurance offerings globally, with Latin America and Asia leading the pack and gaining momentum in Europe
  • Banks and fintechs are bullish on embedded insurance: majority expect offerings to comprise 10% or more of revenue in just three years

LONDON, Aug. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A new survey from Chubb, the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, reveals that a majority (56%) of financial executives involved in insurance decision-making globally expect to generate more than 10% of their revenue from embedded insurance within three years.  Today, just 11% of firms in Europe report that level of revenue, compared to 20% globally, but 62% say their customers are interested in obtaining embedded insurance.

Digital insurance embedded in websites and apps is becoming a must-have rather than a nice-to-have offering, according to 81% of financial executives globally, and 77% in Europe. This sets the stage for accelerating adoption of insurance products in financial services platforms.  The trend is most pronounced in emerging markets in Latin America and Asia, with booming consumer interest in Europe.  

“Banks and the Digital Wallet Race – The Embedded Insurance Strategy,” a global survey of 2,000 consumers and 200 finance leaders conducted during the second quarter 2023, reveals the rapid adoption and investment by banks and fintechs in embedded insurance to meet blossoming consumer demand.  Over half of consumers globally are interested in purchasing more insurance and in Europe, 42% believe that digital is the obvious way to buy it.

“The race to win a greater share of consumer digital wallets is intensifying – banks and fintechs are advancing with expanded offerings of insurance products to deepen customer relationships, drive growth and narrow the protection gaps of their customers,” said Sean Ringsted, Chubb’s Chief Digital Business Officer. “Digitized insurance is already widely popular with global consumers, and financial service providers are building trust and loyalty while unlocking new avenues for growth by offering customers simple, relevant and affordable insurance protection options embedded in their digital customer journey. As highlighted in the report, this is a global phenomenon, with companies in Asia and Latin America investing heavily in these digital insurance capabilities. Banks and fintechs in North America are in the race too, but not yet at the pace of their counterparts in other regions.”

Booming Consumer Demand, Led by Emerging Markets

According to Chubb’s survey, consumers are responding to a growing landscape of risk exposure with booming demand for insurance. Overall, 56% of consumers globally believe they are underinsured, including more than half (51%) of those surveyed in Europe. These figures are more pronounced in certain markets: Sixty-two percent of consumers in Latin American and 60% in Asia express interest in purchasing more insurance that not only protects their “stuff,” but also their lifestyle.

Opportunity for Established Firms

Established banks and insurers have a unique opportunity to leverage these trends, especially in developed markets in Europe, all while structuring the insurance offers in compliance with applicable insurance laws and regulations.  Over 60% of consumers in the region expressed high levels of trust purchasing insurance from established banks, and 63% indicated the same for established insurers. This compares with nearly 40% expressing high levels of trust in insurance purchases with digital-only insurers and 31% with digital-only banks. Globally, fifty-five percent of financial executives agree that established insurers have an edge over digitally native insurtechs because they have consumers’ trust. 

“Markets in Asia and Latin America already demonstrate the massive growth opportunity for banks and fintechs with embedded insurance,” said Gabriel Lazaro, Head of Digital, Chubb Overseas General Insurance. “Consumers view legacy banks and insurers as the benchmark in this space, and as a result, we have seen our network of digital distribution partners around the world continue to scale. Global consumer demand is massive for embedded insurance, and we believe the next stage of expansion will come in developed regions and from established financial institutions.”  

“Across the European region, established banks and fintechs are looking at embedded insurance as an opportunity to not only drive revenue, but to build customer satisfaction and ‘stickiness,'” said Israel Rayan, Senior Vice President of Consumer Distribution for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Chubb.  “With a growing consumer appetite for buying insurance digitally, the embedded insurance market in Europe is quickly gaining momentum and is a growth avenue for the banking sector.”

Survey Methodology

The results presented are based on a survey conducted by iResearch Services, a leading global provider of first-party consumer and professional data. The online survey was fielded during the second quarter of 2023 and results are based on completed surveys by 2,000 consumers and 200 financial executives.

Respondents represented all age groups, levels of education, and professional status. Consumers were evenly split among four regions: North America (500), Latin America (500), Asia Pacific (500) and Europe (500).

Financial executives represented established banking organizations (52%) and fintechs (48%). They were also evenly split among four regions: North America (50), Latin America (50), Asia Pacific (50), and Europe (50). The majority of fintechs (84%) had revenues of $10 million to $500 million; the majority of established banking organizations (89%) had AUM (Assets Under Management) of at least $1 billion. All executives are engaged in decision-making about insurance products, such as embedded insurance.

For both consumers and financial executives, the regions included the following countries: North America: U.S. and Canada; Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, and Chile; Asia Pacific: South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, and Vietnam; Europe: United Kingdom, France, and Spain.

About Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. With operations in 54 countries and territories, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. As an underwriting company, we assess, assume and manage risk with insight and discipline. We service and pay our claims fairly and promptly. The company is also defined by its extensive product and service offerings, broad distribution capabilities, exceptional financial strength and local operations globally. Parent company Chubb Limited is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Chubb maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London, Paris and other locations, and employs approximately 40,000 people worldwide. Additional information can be found at: www.chubb.com.

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Web3 Startups Raise Nearly $1.9B in Q1 2024 Despite Overall Downtrend in Crypto VC Interest

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Venture capital funding for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects has seen a notable resurgence in the first quarter of 2024, marking its first quarterly rise since 2021. Crunchbase data released today indicates that Web3 startups secured nearly $1.9 billion in funding across 346 deals during this period. This represents a substantial 58% increase from the previous quarter, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the ongoing downward trend in overall crypto VC interest.

The recent surge in funding can be attributed to investors adopting a more long-term perspective on Web3, as opposed to the hype-driven “tourist investors” predominant in recent years. Chris Metinko, the author of the report, notes that investors are shifting their focus to the AI sector, indicating a change in investment strategy. There is a growing interest in supporting the foundational infrastructure of the decentralized internet, rather than solely concentrating on crypto wallets and lending platforms, which attracted significant investments during the peak period of 2021 to 2022.

While large funding rounds were relatively uncommon in Q1, several notable investments stood out. Exohood Labs, a company integrating AI, quantum computing, and blockchain, secured a remarkable $112 million seed round at a valuation of $1.4 billion. EigenLabs, an Ether token “restaking” platform, raised $100 million in a Series B round led by a16z crypto. Additionally, Freechat, a decentralized social network leveraging blockchain technology, secured $80 million in a Series A round. These investments, among others, contributed to the increase in valuations and the emergence of four new Web3 unicorns in Q1.

Despite the recent progress, the future trajectory of Web3 remains uncertain. Metinko suggests that the next few quarters will be pivotal in determining the industry’s direction. While investors anticipate a rebound in investment as the decentralized internet evolves, it may take another year for venture capital activity to stabilize after the exuberance of 2021. Factors such as the approval of U.S. spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds and the upcoming Bitcoin halving could also influence the market, given the rising prices of Bitcoin and Ether.

A noteworthy example of significant funding in the Web3 space is Monad Labs’ recent successful funding round, which secured $225 million led by Paradigm. Monad Labs is a layer-1 blockchain compatible with Ethereum, offering faster transaction processing. This funding round harkens back to the golden era of crypto funding in 2021-2022, when L1 solutions attracted substantial investments.

Earlier this year, Balance, a digital asset custodian based in Canada, announced that it had once again reached $2 billion in assets under custody (AUC) amidst the recent market recovery. Similarly, Korea Digital Asset (KODA), the largest institutional crypto custody service in South Korea, has experienced remarkable growth in crypto assets under its custody, expanding by nearly 248% in the second half of 2023.

Analysts at Bernstein Research project that crypto funds could reach an impressive $500 billion to $650 billion within the next five years, representing a significant leap from the current valuation of approximately $50 billion. This forecast underscores the growing optimism and potential for substantial growth within the crypto industry in the coming years.

Source: cryptonews.com

The post Web3 Startups Raise Nearly $1.9B in Q1 2024 Despite Overall Downtrend in Crypto VC Interest appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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ASIC cracks down on blockchain mining firms

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Three blockchain mining companies – NGS Crypto, NGS Digital, and NGS Group – along with their directors, Brett Mendham, Ryan Brown, and Mark Ten Caten, are facing legal action from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for allegedly operating without a license, in violation of Australia’s Corporations Act. ASIC initiated legal proceedings against these entities on April 9, citing concerns about their non-compliance with financial regulations and their solicitation of Australian investors.

According to ASIC, the NGS companies promoted blockchain mining packages with fixed-rate returns to Australian investors, encouraging the transfer of funds from regulated superannuation funds to self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) for conversion into cryptocurrency. Approximately 450 Australians invested a total of around USD 41 million in these packages, raising concerns about potential financial losses.

The legal action filed by ASIC alleges that the companies violated section 911A of the Corporations Act, which prohibits companies from providing financial services without a valid Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL). ASIC is seeking interim and final court orders to prohibit the NGS companies from offering financial services in Australia without an AFSL.

ASIC Chair Joe Longo emphasized the importance of investors carefully considering the risks before investing in crypto-related products through their SMSFs. Longo stated that ASIC’s actions send a message to the crypto industry about the regulator’s commitment to ensuring compliance with regulations and protecting consumers.

In a separate development, the Federal Court appointed receivers for the digital currency assets associated with the NGS companies and their directors to safeguard these assets amid concerns about the risk of dissipation. Mendham was also issued a travel restriction order, preventing him from leaving Australia.

While a court date for the proceedings has not been set, ASIC’s investigation is ongoing, with the regulator continuing to gather evidence and build its case. It is worth noting that the investigated companies share a similar name with NGS Super, a legitimate Australian pensions provider, leading to potential confusion among investors. NGS Super clarified that it is not involved in selling cryptocurrency or related products and has taken legal action to protect its trademark and members’ interests.

Source: iclg.com

The post ASIC cracks down on blockchain mining firms appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Crypto and Blockchain Weave Deeper Into the Biometrics Space – Identity News Digest

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AuthID Inc. has formed a strategic partnership with the National Notarial Centralized Verification System (NNCVS) to integrate biometric identity verification into NNCVS’s online notary platform. NNCVS, a provider of nationwide online services for notaries, aims to transition from a local, in-person framework to a more secure, digital model. By leveraging AuthID’s platform, NNCVS will authenticate the identities of notarial agents and their clients using biometric checks that compare selfies with ID document photos. This enhancement ensures heightened security throughout users’ interactions with the service.

iVALT has introduced a mobile app called OnDemandID, designed to enable users to verify the identity of individuals during phone calls, video calls, or online interactions with a single click. The app employs multiple verification elements, including biometrics, device ID, and location-based parameters like geofencing and time windowing, to prevent deepfake attacks and identity fraud. OnDemandID prioritizes user privacy by storing biometric data locally on the device and refraining from tracking user movements. Additionally, iVALT offers integration into existing enterprise mobile apps, providing a solution to enhance caller verification processes within corporate environments.

Keyless, a company specializing in secure facial recognition, has partnered with EnQualify, an AI-powered Know Your Customer (KYC) verification provider, to enhance online identity verification. Keyless’s privacy-centric ZKB technology will integrate with EnQualify’s AI for initial user verification, enabling a seamless and secure authentication process. This collaboration eliminates the need for repetitive steps and data storage, offering a faster and more user-friendly verification experience while ensuring robust security measures.

Australian fintech Waave has launched its Wallet app to enhance security and convenience for online payments. Integrated with Waave’s Pay by Bank system, Wallet utilizes fingerprint or facial recognition for secure authentication, eliminating the need for passwords and card details. This approach addresses concerns about online fraud, providing a streamlined payment process for consumers and merchants alike. Additionally, Wallet will introduce expense tracking features later in 2024, further enhancing its utility for users.

BeatBit Wellness Lab has introduced the CUDIS ring, a wearable device focused on user-controlled health data management. Powered by Solana blockchain technology, CUDIS tracks biometric data and offers personalized health insights using AI algorithms. Users can contribute anonymized data to a research network and earn rewards, emphasizing data ownership and privacy. The CUDIS ring integrates securely with other Solana and Web3 products, offering users a comprehensive health monitoring solution within the decentralized ecosystem.

Worldcoin has unveiled World Chain, a new blockchain platform designed to prioritize verified human users over bots, aiming to reduce network congestion and transaction fees. Integrated with the Worldcoin protocol’s Proof of Personhood, World Chain provides verified users with priority blockspace and gas allowances. This Layer 2 solution, secured by Ethereum, offers developers access to a large pool of verified users for deploying utility applications. World Chain is set to be open source and permissionless, with plans for community-based governance in the future.

New South Wales (NSW) has launched an Australia-first trial to test digital birth certificates, involving over 18,000 children associated with specific educational institutions. Led by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in collaboration with the Department of Customer Service, the pilot explores the use of digital certificates with the same legal validity as traditional paper versions. Digital birth certificates aim to simplify administrative tasks and offer enhanced security and convenience, particularly in disaster-prone areas where paper documents could be compromised.

Source: findbiometrics.com

The post Crypto and Blockchain Weave Deeper Into the Biometrics Space – Identity News Digest appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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