Headline on Crown Agents

Published on 26th November 2023

General Ludendorff described the British/Australian/Canadian breakthrough before Amiens on 8th August 1918 as ‘the black day of the German army in the World War’.

The week of 23rd October 2023 could be described as the black week for Fintech.

CAB Payments – the former payments division of Crown Agents Bank – was in the vanguard, with its shre price tanking on the back of policy adjustments by the Nigerian central bank. It must have been a robust and diversified business model to collapse upon that sort of change-of-circumstance, hardly rare in the area of remittances into the territories CAB Payments prided itself on.

That was just the start.

Shares in Worldline went down 50%, Worldline being one of the major connection enterprises between merchants (via physical terminals and eCommerce apps) and Visa, Mastercard and other payment systems.

Then we had the announcement that cases of Authorised Push Payments Fraud – Fintech’s gift to the British nation – were up 22% year-on-year, a brilliant testimony to the effectiveness of Confirmation of Payee and the other measures implemented by the Payment Systems Regulator.

Yet within the microsystem of the payments industry the train rolls on – responses to the Garner Review on the Future of Payments in the UK, Open Banking featuring with a major effort at each of party political conferences, the UK government welcoming the response of the Venture Capital world to its latest plan for the UK to put all its pension nest eggs into the Fintech basket(case).

Founder of FTX convicted, Binance and its CEO reach US$4 billion settlement with US authorities, and yet, for the UK government, this remains the future.