Bitcoin App Mode Hires Open Banking Specialist as CTO

Mode has appointed Jonathan Conway as Chief Technology Officer as the Bitcoin app plans to launch its novel payments and loyalty solution powered by Open Banking in Q2 2021.

Conway co-authored the payments and security sections of the UK Open Banking Specification which lays out an open standard that enables account-to-account (A2A) payments, and a safe and secure way for third parties to interact with customers’ bank accounts.

Mode plans to leverage Open Banking to provide merchants with an alternative to rising card interchange fees and boosting loyalty amongst consumers. The app allows customers to manage fiat currency and digital assets, make instant payments, and earn rewards in Bitcoin.

Jonathan Conway joined Mode from Mastercard, where he was an API and Payments Architect. Prior to that, he was CTO at Banked, an Open Banking payments start-up.

Jonathan Rowland, Executive Chairman at Mode, said: “Jonathan brings a wealth of experience in payments and Open Banking, a key pillar of growth and innovation for Mode as we build out our new suite of products and services. The skillset he brings coupled with our expanding team of talent will be crucial to our ambition to build, launch and grow our innovative payment solutions, the next step in our mission to create an all-encompassing super app with payments, loyalty, and digital assets combined into one.”

Jonathan Conway, Chief Technology Officer, said: “I’m very excited about joining a fintech innovator such as Mode that’s looking to democratize access to finance and specifically digital assets, combined with Open Banking payments. Given my track record in this area and knowing Mode’s ambitions, I’m delighted to be a part of this team and really look forward to helping the company to realize its goals.”

Mode saw its customer numbers grow by 500% from August to December 2020 and reached n.2 in the App Store’s UK finance category rank. January 2021 was another record-breaking month in terms of Bitcoin traded on the platform, according to the firm. Volumes grew by more than 130% compared to December 2020.

The firm has successfully IPO’d on the London Stock Exchange in October 2020.

Most recently, Mode launched its Android app, which matches the iOS version with the same core features such as an easy sign-up process, free and instant GBP bank transfers, and Open Banking top-ups in British pounds. Customers can make use of the Bitcoin Jar service, which rewards them for holding Bitcoin.

It was in February 2020 that R8 Group’s London-based fintech firm Mode announced the launch of its Bitcoin banking mobile iOS app. Available to users globally, except in the United States of America, the app is backed by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. Mode charges a fee of 0.99% at the time of purchasing and selling Bitcoin. The platform is partnered with leading digital asset custodian BitGo.

Mode’s competitive edge is its simplicity as the app avoids needlessly complex processes and focuses on a responsive UI and UX with a new and innovative Bitcoin product. Mode’s trading volumes have grown 110% month-on-month since August 2020.