Banking on traditional banking services: UBS acquires Credit Suisse
Switzerland’s largest bank UBS plans to acquire its embattled domestic rival Credit Suisse. The combination is expected to create a business with more than USD 5 trillion in total invested assets and sustainable value opportunities. It will further strengthen UBS’s position as the leading Swiss-based global wealth manager with more than USD 3.4 trillion in invested assets on a combined basis, operating in the most attractive growth markets.
UBS Chairman Colm Kelleher said: “This acquisition is attractive for UBS shareholders but let us be clear, as far as Credit Suisse is concerned, this is an emergency rescue. We have structured a transaction which will preserve the value left in the business while limiting our downside exposure. Acquiring Credit Suisse’s capabilities in wealth, asset management and Swiss universal banking will augment UBS’s strategy of growing its capital-light businesses. The transaction will bring benefits to clients and create long-term sustainable value for our investors.”
UBS Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers said: “Bringing UBS and Credit Suisse together will build on UBS’s strengths and further enhance our ability to serve our clients globally and deepen our best-in-class capabilities. The combination supports our growth ambitions in the Americas and Asia while adding scale to our business in Europe, and we look forward to welcoming our new clients and colleagues across the world in the coming weeks.”
UBS has obtained pre-agreement from FINMA, Swiss National Bank, Swiss Federal Department of Finance, and other core regulators on the timely approval of the transaction.
Bank accounts in crypto are now real: the new BaaS solution from Mercuryo
Meanwhile, in the world of crypto currencies, global payments infrastructure platform Mercuryo introduces the first Banking-as-a-Service product tailored to suit the needs of crypto market participants. Digital asset organizations, such as exchanges, wallet providers, NFT services, DeFi protocols, DAOs, and others can integrate the BaaS solution into their ecosystems and open full-fledged bank accounts. Doing so enables their customers to seamlessly store, transfer, spend, and convert fiat to crypto within a single platform.
BaaS is among the newest financial trends. Crypto organizations have long been struggling with the integration of fiat payments into their platforms. As this industry is still young and far from perfect, it’s difficult for CeFi and DeFi projects to integrate and work directly with traditional finance players. Creating a seamless bridge between crypto and traditional finance, the integration empowers cryptocurrency users in the UK and the EU to access instant SEPA transfers via their own IBAN accounts for buying, selling, and storing digital assets with no to minimal commissions.
“Mercuryo seeks to become a one-stop-shop for both conventional and crypto-native platforms that seek to seamlessly integrate financial infrastructure for crypto and fiat payments alike. Introduction of our BaaS product is a major step in bringing the two worlds together, and we are already seeing great demand for it among our partners and beyond,” says Petr Kozyakov, Mercuryo’s co-founder and CEO.
Business services becoming more reliant on Artificial Intelligence
Speaking of virtual solutions on the rise, a report from Grand View Research projected that the global artificial intelligence market size was valued at USD 136.55 billion in 2022 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030. The report said: “Software solutions led the market and accounted for more than 36.7% of the global revenue in 2022. This high percentage can be attributed to prudent advances in information storage capacity, high computing power, and parallel processing capabilities to deliver high-end services.”
Companies adopt AI services to reduce their overall operational costs, yielding more profit. Artificial Intelligence as a Service, or AIaaS, is being used by companies to obtain a competitive advantage over the cloud. Artificial intelligence services include installation, integration, maintenance, and support undertakings.
The growing deployment of cloud-based computing platforms and on-premises hardware equipment for the safe and secure restoration of large volumes of data has paved the way for the expansion of the analytics platform. Rising investments in research and development by leading players will also play a crucial role in increasing the uptake of artificial intelligence technologies. Vendors in the market are focusing on increasing the customer base to gain a competitive edge in the industry. Therefore, key players are taking several strategic initiatives, such as mergers and acquisitions, and partnerships with other major companies.
Shopify and Google Cloud AI integration creates advanced ecommerce capabilities
As one of the latest examples of AI breaking new ground, Shopify Inc. and Google Cloud announced a new integration that enables retailers using Commerce Components — Shopify’s enterprise retail solution — to leverage Google-quality search capabilities and AI innovations. Enterprise brands on Shopify can today access Google Cloud’s Discovery Al solutions directly through Commerce Components, Shopify’s modern, composable stack for enterprise retail. This integration, which can now be used by Shopify merchants globally and is available in most languages, increases access to Google’s advanced search and browsing technologies so that retailers can create more fluid and fruitful shopping experiences for their customers.
“We’re thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with Google Cloud,” said Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify. “We’re bringing together the best in commerce with the best in search to solve a complex and costly problem for enterprise retailers — world-class search and discovery for the online store.”
“Shopify integrating Google Cloud’s Discovery AI technology into its enterprise retail solution puts the power of AI directly into the hands of merchants and brands to solve everyday problems,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “Now, retailers will be able to enhance their digital properties with better product discovery experiences, creating more fulfilling shopping experiences for their customers.”