Auriga launches Bank4ME and announces a new international acquisition

A new solution, “Bank4ME” designed to ensure that the branch is always operational but remotely, at a time when it is particularly important to offer this service to bank customers. An international acquisition thanks to which it will be able to offer to its customers the possibility to managing centrally the security of the devices by protecting, monitoring and controlling the assets.

Auriga, corporate member of Fintech District, has two important pieces of news to share. Vincenzo Fiore, CEO of Auriga, explains them in this interview, also announcing the will to accelerate international development.

As a company that is always attentive to innovating and responding to market needs, have you recently launched solutions to help banks deal with the coronavirus emergency and minimize its impact?

In the current scenario, bank branches, as an essential service for citizens and businesses, must play a key role, not only in terms of economic support in an unprecedented period, but also, and above all, in terms of accessibility to financial services.

As a result of recent social distancing provisions, several of our client banks have pointed out to us the need to guarantee continuity of the services offered to their clients and their full efficiency, while guaranteeing at the same time, adequate levels of security for both clients and employees.

Digital technologies represent a strategic solution in this context, because they not only guarantee the full efficiency of services, but also allow to preserve the human component and take advantage of the advice of banking professionals.

Our Bank4ME solution – one of the modules of our NextGenBranch proposal – has adapted itself to this situation since it is designed to ensure that the banking branch is always operational remotely.

Through a platform station, present in a reserved area of the branch and accessible to customers after recognition, you can access all the services of your bank in self-service assisted mode and interact with the bank’s consultants in videoconference, in a secure and personalized way.

What are the main advantages of this solution?

Bank4Me allows you to:

  • guarantee the continuity of the services offered to the client (consultant always available, remotely, as in a branch) and at the same time safeguard the health of both employees and clients, keeping in line with the imposed obligation of social distancing;
  • enable smart working for employees, operators and managers in branches, who until now have generally been denied the possibilityof continue working;
  • reduce the management costs of the branches and make them more flexible by freeing the offer of consultancy services from the physical presence of the manager and safeguarding the levels of service availability and customer experience.
  • make the consultancy relationship more efficient and also promote a growing digitalization of services, with a view to greater multigenerational inclusion

Bank4ME extends our NextGenBranch proposal, thanks to which the branch is transformed into a consultancy space with added value. A modern and technological branch, open 24 hours a day every day, where the customer can access all services in self-service mode without giving up consulting support or assistance in real time, but having it delivered in an innovative way.

Bank4ME also responds to the urgent need of banks to maintain their presence on the territory, while reducing branch management costs and breaking down the existing barriers between the physical and digital world, thanks to the use of technology.

What other news about your company?

Auriga recently announced the acquisition of Lookwise Device Manager (LDM), a modular cybersecurity platform and business unit of S21Sec, a leading European security services specialist and part of Sonae IM, Ventur Capital focused on cybersecurity, retail and telecommunications technology investments.

The agreement provides for the acquisition and integration of LDM expertise and technology in Auriga’s business. The acquired unit, based in Madrid, Pamplona and Mexico City, brings with it a proprietary platform capable of providing the most advanced and effective countermeasures to defend against cyber threats, malware and hacker attacks. Auriga also acquires the LDM client portfolio, while working with S21Sec to offer expanded cybersecurityconsultancy to customers and prospects.

Recognized worldwide as a solution to respond to the latest malware attacks, LDM received the ATM Cyber Security Excellence Award at the ATM Customer Experience & Security Summit in 2018.

How does this acquisition enrich your offer and what benefits does it bring to your customers?

By integrating LDM with the WWS suite, Auriga offers its customers the ability to manage the security of devices (such as ATMs, POS terminals, critical infrastructure control systems) centrally by protecting, monitoring and controlling assets.

In this way we can significantly develop the most effective cyber risk management and prevention capabilities for our customers, that in turn can protect the digital financial services offered through their channels. All with a minimal use of resources and time.

The acquisition responds to Auriga’s international growth strategy, which also sees its network of offices extended to Madrid and Mexico City, as well as its desire to invest in a sector such as cybersecurity which, in the light of the advent of a digital transformation economy and the proliferation of cyber threats, is becoming an increasingly strategic priority for banks.

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CrowdFundme. A continuous growth since the stock market listing, even during the pandemic

How’s Crowdfundme doing a year after its listing on Piazza Affari? How is crowdfunding equity getting on during quarantine? Tommaso Baldissera Pacchetti, Founder of Crowdfundme, tells us what he thinks about this, with a lot of pragmatism but also a lot of initiative, a distinctive characteristic of his company.

From March 2019 to the present, let’s retrace the milestones of your growth in these 12 months from your listing to date.

With the listing on Piazza Affari, CrowdFundme has become the bridge between fintech and traditional finance. The capital raised with the stock market landing served to accelerate our growth, especially in the second half of 2019. In fact, the portal raised more than 6.2 million euros compared to approximately 3.7 million euros in the first six months. In 2019, Consob also introduced important regulatory changes, thanks to which this year we will be able to implement the,so-called secondary market,and also place Mini-Bonds. CrowdFundMe will thus become the benchmark for Crowdinvesting, being able to offer a wide range of both Equity and Corporate Debt investment products.

Entering the real estate market. Why this choice and objectives?

The real estate market presents great opportunities, starting from Milan which is the most dynamic Italian city in this sector and the envy of several European metropolises. The data for the first quarter of 2020 certifies the potential of Real Estate Crowdfunding: it has collected over 14 million euros, improving on the record of the last three months of 2019. CrowdFundMe wants to allow investors to seize the potential of this sector, fully in line with its philosophy of offering different financial products for different types and markets, in order to build a diversified portfolio.

With the coronavirus emergency how have you changed your business strategy and the way you work as a team?

CrowdFundMe is fully operational, in the maximum security of all, thanks to smart working. The coronavirus emergency has made us reprogram part of our activities, with the aim of prioritizing the campaigns of companies that are relatively impacted by the coronavirus or that are possibly accelerated. This is the case of Tulips, an online supermarket that is benefiting from the e-commerce boom; people, forced to stay at home, are increasing the use of the web to shop and our broadcaster is recording a strong increase in demand and turnover. Its campaign has closed in the last days reaching a maximum target of 300,000 euros.

From your point of view what will be the impact of this pandemic on the crowdfunding sector, both on the corporate and crowd side?

Due to the coronavirus some Equity Crowdfunding campaigns will be postponed until better times. Investments, especially in some sectors, are likely to slow down. However, as explained for the case of Tulips, there are realities which are being accelerated by the current circumstances. If, on the other hand, we think of the companies that are suffering, it has to be said that the liquidity crisis is pushing many of these to use alternative financing. CrowdFundMe’s products are therefore becoming essential to find the resources needed to overcome the difficulties of this period and prepare for the reopening phase. To date, many elements are uncertain and it is not possible to make precise forecasts, but we are confident that our ability to adapt to the circumstances will allow us to continue on our path of growth. If we look at the first quarter of 2020, CrowdFundMe’s results were positive despite the impact of the coronavirus, with the collection marking a new record at around €4 million.

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Andrea Severino and the future of the insurtech industry, despite and thanks to the coronavirus

It seems that one of the sectors that could register growth “due” to the pandemic is Insurtech. We asked Andrea Severino, Founder of Healthy Virtuoso, what he thinks about this forecast and how he and his team have reacted to this disruptive and unpredictable period.

How have you reacted to the covid19 emergency: how have you changed your business strategy?

Despite our grief over this huge emergency, we immediately wanted to take this as a great opportunity. As far as employees and collaborators are concerned, we decided to renew our trust by keeping our contracts active. We asked our suppliers to meet us halfway with the aim of ensuring mutual continuity in the business relationship and without imbalances between the parties. As far as business is concerned, we realized that the world has officially changed and we have already begun to think about the evolution 2.0 of Virtuoso, a platform that allows,even more than before, to increase employee engagement and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. We have temporarily suspended our activities aimed at finding new customers, but are receiving a higher rate of inbound requests than usual.

And the way you work with your team?

Little has changed for us. We are used to smart working and from day one we learned to communicate at a distance. This has always given us the freedom to live peacefully and compatibly with our personal commitments and the work we have to do. The sense of responsibility of the guys who work with us has always been the proof.

What initiatives for your users have you put in place and which will you put in place?

We have activated non-profit activities aimed at ensuring real support during this emergency. Specifically

  1. we have activated on our facebook pages a series of free Lives with specialists in psychology, meditation, yoga, home training (PT) and posturology.
  2. With Udemy we have distributed more than 200,000 free courses useful to pass the time and acquire new skills until resuming business (we ourselves benefited right from the first day).

Both initiatives have been very successful.

  • Over the next few days we will launch a new partnership with Adidas Training (formerly Runtastic Results) to further encourage training from home.
  • Soon we will introduce new exciting features on the app to demonstrate your Virtuoso lifestyle even without moving from home.

What do you think the impact of this emergency on the INSURTECH sector could be in the long term?

The world has officially changed, as well as people: the way we think, interact, make decisions and collaborate, but for the Insurtech sector, I think it is a great opportunity. Insurance companies have demonstrated the social importance they have, while people have begun to understand that even what seems impossible could happen at any moment, without warning and without distinction of race, color or social status. The great challenge is to enable these people to regain confidence in their insurers, and to have simple, clear and targeted access to the services they really need. On the business side, all negotiations are not only moving forward, but during this period we have also started to receive very strong interest from abroad. The budgets of some companies will certainly be reduced, but as far as the Insurtech sector is concerned, I think that where there is value offered by startups and willingness to innovate on the part of companies, there will be absolutely no problem !

Have you noticed any changes in your users’ “habits” in the last month?

Without doubt the average number of steps of the entire Italian population has decreased considerably, even if, as shown by the data and the strong success of the online appointments, the real Virtuosi have not given up their habits and either from home, or walking around 50 times around their building,they have continued to do everything they can to keep fit. We are really happy to see so much willpower.

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Coronavirus: FD Corporate members’ initiatives

In the atmosphere of uncertainty in which the coronavirus has put us, health, social and economic, it is encouraging to see how many companies have not hesitated to launch initiatives to support those at the forefront in the fight against this virus. The Fintech District’s corporate members have also done so and we are proud to share and support them.

  • AXA Italy has financed a project to restructure the Reanimation and Intensive Care Unit of the Sacco Hospital in Milan. Thanks to a contribution of 500,000 euros, two new Air Treatment Units will be built to implement the first four beds, guaranteeing controlled biological contamination environments that are essential to protect patients and healthcare workers. A Surgical Room, one of a kind, will also be built for the possibility of performing small and medium surgery on patients with highly diffusible infections, keeping them within a highly protected environment.
  • Banca Sella has launched three initiatives to support the economy for the coronavirus emergency. It has compiled a decalogue of banking and financial services that can be done through the App and Internet Banking, comfortably and safely from home. It’s promoting Vidra a free e-commerce service to support small shops that had to close due to the emergency. It launched an innovative platform for remote dialogue with customers. The bank chooses the video and web collaboration system developed by the scale-up Bandyer to communicate remotely with its customers.
  • EY, through its EY Foundation, has launched a fundraising campaign to increase the number of intensive care places dedicated to Covid19. The donations will be donated in equal parts to the hospitals of the San Donato Group in Milan and to the Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli in Rome. Full transparency of the fundraising process and their use will be given thanks to an EY blockchain solution.
  • IBM Italy has launched three initiatives of support and solidarity for the coronavirus emergency. Through its Foundation, it donated 250,000 euros to the Pope John XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, involving its employees and Business Partners in a fundraiser, open to all. By participating in “Solidarietà digitale”, it made available to the community a and a dedicated portal, and the U.S. Department of Energy relied on Summit, the most powerful supercomputer in the world, to model what could affect the infection process and identified 77 with the potential to compromise the ability of COVID-19 to attack and infect host cells.
  • UBI Banca Group has chosen to support more than 12 healthcare institutions and research centres directly involved in the management of the coronavirus emergency with 5 million euro of funding. In order to give immediate concrete form to its commitment, UBI Banca will also donate two ambulances which will be destined in a very short time to the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia. Details of the project.
  • Zurich Group has chosen to support the National Health System with a donation of 650,000 euros in order to deal with the coronavirus emergency. Thanks to a fundraising campaign shared by employees, agents, the company and the “Z Zurich Foundation“, 650,000 euros were donated to the Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan, the Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital in Rome, the Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo and the Cotugno Hospital in Naples. Employees and agents joined forces to make a concrete contribution and, for each euro donated, Zurich Italia and the Z Zurich Foundation contributed an equal amount. Zurich Italia also offered its support to hospital facilities to facilitate the procedures for purchasing medical devices and other instruments needed to deal with the Covid-19 emergency.

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