Amazon and others face digital tax

With the release of two draft EU directives introducing an interim digital services tax, along with a proposal for a longer-term solution, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren supported Commission efforts in seeking to prevent a confusing array of different national measures to try and ensure a level playing field between all business models.

New university to focus on the technology

A new university in Milton Keynes to focus on teaching the technology of the future world of work, leading in areas including digital, cyber, autonomy, robotics and artificial intelligence is being developed in partnership with business.

Uber suspends self-driving car tests

Uber’s tests with self-driving cars resulted in a fatal accident, and the company has suspended all tests in the aftermath. A woman was hit by a car and killed in Arizona – the first death caused by an autonomous car.

Cambridge Analytica raises concern

Cynics might say ‘really’ but it has come as a surprise to some that social media companies aren’t always paragons of virtue. Combine this with the amazing revelations that political parties try to influence the voters and you have the current row over Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data.

eToro raises $100m to support expansion

eToro, the social trading and investment platform, has announced a Series E fundraise of $100 million to support its expansion into new markets as well as its continued research and development of blockchain technology and the digitisation of assets.

RBS to set up own challenger

Royal Bank of Scotland is working on creating its own challenger bank to compete with new banks such as Starling, Atom, Monzo and Revolut.

OakNorth reports £10.6m profit

Challenger bank OakNorth has reported that it provided over £1.2 billion of gross lending in the UK, up from £300 million a year ago, with a pre-tax profit of £10.6 million for the 2017 calendar year, only its second full year of operations.

N26 raises $160 million

Mobile bank N26 has raised $160 million in a funding round co-led by Allianz X, the digital investment unit of Allianz Group, and Chinese giant Tencent Holdings. The funding represents the largest German equity financing round (non IPO) in the fintech industry and will be used to accelerate N26’s global growth strategy and international expansion, particularly into the US and UK later this year.

Barclays signs seven wearable payments deals

Barclays has signed partnerships with seven watch brands, including Guess, Mondaine, Timex and Kronaby, to embed contactless bPay technology into traditional watches and fitness trackers. Building on the Timex Fairfield Contactless watch last year, bPay and Timex will launch an expanded range of contactless-enabled watches in May. Guess Watches will also work with bPay to launch a range of six contactless watches.

$200bn of cybercrime laundered every year

An academic study into the macro economics of cybercrime and laundering estimate that $80-$200 billion are ‘cashed out’ each year, and in total cybercriminal proceeds make up an estimated 8-10 per cent of all illegal profits laundered globally.

Larry Page’s air taxi tests

Kitty Hawk, the company founded by Google co-founder Larry Page, has unveiled its ‘flying car’ taxi prototype. Called Cora, the aircraft can take off vertically and transition to horizontal flight, and is the result of eight years of research.

Quarter unsure of their regulatory compliance needs

A poll from hybrid cloud solutions supplier Pulsant shows a lack of alignment when it comes to managing and maintaining compliance, with 28 per cent of IT decision unsure which regulatory frameworks their organisations need to align.