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Weekly News Roundup: 27/01

Welcome to our weekly news roundup, of headlines which we thought would be beneficial to our readers. We’ll bring you a weekly dose of some of the most interesting titles which have surfaced, with a particular focus on the topics of CBDCs, brick-and-mortar bank closures, Klarna innovations and beyond.
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This week’s roundup will feature titles on digital currency, investment in stocks and cash protection. Join us and Unlimit BaaS’ Managing Director, Jovi Overo in the exploration of some of the biggest headlines of our industry.

  • NatWest has announced the closure of 23 more branches across the UK in 2023. The high street lender is closing more of its brick-and-mortar stores as they saw a 39% rise in people using mobile apps between Jan 2019-Jan 2022. [source: Business Live]

We continue to find a new sense of normality in our digital world, with more consumers turning to the convenience of online banking for quick and easy ways to manage their finances. Whilst our society has become largely cashless since the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still a transitory period and so the need to offer consumers a continual supply of cash-friendly financial depositories will be essential.  – Jovi

  • Klarna has launched ‘Money Story’ to provide consumers with a personal spending summary of 2022. The animated story format will give useful insights to spending habits, and it aims to support consumers with improved spending habits in 2023 with their new money management tool. [source: PR Newswire]

Having such a creative, visual method to help consumers translate their yearly spendings is a smart way to build better financial habits. Now more than ever, we are seeing the evolution of brands offering more than just a product or service, as they bring additional features to benefit customers; and that is exactly what we see here. Klarna now offer personalised education around their consumers’ financial wellness, as well as their competitive payment plans. What a great start to 2023.  – Jovi

  • The Saudi Central Bank is running tests in collaboration with local banks and fintechs on a domestic wholesale digital currency. The CBDC will be monitored to see its market readiness, robustness, and economic impact.  [source: Finextra]

We see more headlines of regions and countries exploring the potential rollout of CBDCs and there reason why is simple… CBDCs bring financial inclusion, can reduce fraudulent behaviour ad act as a innovative alternative for local payments. Whilst the opportunities are rife, there is thorough testing which is required and regulatory checks to ensure a seamless integration into monetary policy. – Jovi

See you next week, back in the blog for your next weekly news roundup.

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