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BFC FinTech Monitor 1st – 10th December

Stay up-to-date on all the all the latest FinTech news and information from around the world in the BFC FinTech Monitor.

Around the World:

  • According to a recent Deloitte survey of 800 top managers, many financial institutions around the world will increase their investments into blockchain technology slightly (27%) or significantly (14%) in 2021.
  • Andrey Kostin, the head of VTB Bank, and Grigory Marchenko, the former chair of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, believe the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) needs to create a single payment area with settlements available in national currencies as well as a common currency.
  • The Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, in collaboration with the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, published a study on the impact of COVID-19 on the global FinTech market. This study indicates that FinTech companies are continuing to grow globally, especially in the areas of digital payments, financial management and digital asset management.
  • China plans to impose restrictions on the activities of the country’s largest national FinTech companies as part of an effort to “prevent new systemic risks”.
  • The new European Evolution of Banking 2020 study from Mastercard reveals a growing interest in digital banking, e-services and associated apps among Europeans.
  • There have been 3 recent development in the world of digital currencies: (1) G7 countries are strongly pushing for digital currency regulation; (2) the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) successfully tested a wholesale digital currency; and (3) Facebook has renamed Libra.
  • According to London-based venture capital firm Atomico, European FinTech companies raised a record USD 41 billion this year (up from USD 40.6 billion one year ago). Additionally, British FinTech startups are not likely to face significant challenges from Brexit.
  • SWIFT and Lloyds Banking Group have introduced a new global instant payment service that will allow instant cross-border payments.
  • Visa is collaborating with startup BlockFi to launch a new dollar credit card that offers cashback rewards in Bitcoin.
  • Indian ICICI Bank is transforming its iMobile mobile app into a service for clients of any bank.

Russia

  • The annual Waves Enterprise Conference, which is dedicated to blockchain applications in the business and public sectors, will be held on December 15, 2020 in an online format. Register here.
  • A concept note for the digital ruble is expected to be revealed in early 2021 and will contain 4 different operational models.
  • Ivan Zimin, director of the Financial Technology Department of the Central Bank of Russia, has stated that the regulator is not currently active in monitoring the circulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia. At the same time, a bill is being introduced to incorporate digital currencies into the state tax code.
  • Alfa-Bank and Raiffeisenbank have both launched innovative services. Alfa-Bank now offers “branch locations” in instant messengers. These bank bots can issue consumers a digital card instantly for use in online or offline stores. Raiffeisenbank, working with the company Invoice, now allows businesses to accept payments using QR codes provided by a bot.
  • Sberbank has announced its plans to launch its own cryptocurrency in 2021 as well as its belief that e-commerce will become its flagship business. Sberbank is also active in continuing the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), launching its own machine learning platform, announcing the opening of the first institute for AI studies in Russia and working with Microsoft to develop an AI-based robot control system.

Ukraine

  • PaySpace Magazine has compiled a list of the main tech players in Ukraine. The list includes Privatbank, Mastercard, Portmone.com, Post Finance, 4bill, AgroApp, Wurmie, Finik.Pro, NeoFin, Karbo, Concord Bank, SDK.Finance, UnityBars, Paycore.io, Lime Systems, Lending Software, Renome-Smart, Corezoid and Profix.
  • Concord Bank has built the first ecosystem in Ukraine that allows clients to create and develop their own FinTech projects.
  • Raiffeisen Bank Aval has launched a chatbot to help businesses open accounts.
  • Privatbank began implementing software PPOs (cash registers) for entrepreneurs.

Belarus

  • Alexander Yegorov, deputy chair of the ASB Belarusbank’s board, discusses the digital transformation of ASB Belarusbank (the largest bank in Belarus), whether or not cryptocurrencies will replace traditional currencies and more.
  • MTBank has introduced MTBusiness, a mobile bank for entrepreneurs. MTBusiness allows businesses to more easily manage finances online and solve their business challenges.

Kazakhstan

  • Beginning in the new year, banks in Kazakhstan will start using a new information security assessment methodology that includes both identifying critical information assets and assessing information security risks for those assets.
  • Forbes examines why Kazakh FinTech giant Kaspi is no ordinary tech startup.
  • Daniyar Zhanbekov, founder of Everest Capital Management LLP, is set to take over as owner of the Kaspi insurance company, which has been rebranded as IC Basel since May 2020.

Kyrgyzstan

  • Halyk Bank Kyrgyzstan is the first in the country to launch automated deposit business machines, which can be used for regular money transfers to the bank.
  • Kyrgyz Prime Minister Artem Novikov believes that the development of the digital economy will open up new prospects for economic, social and cultural development within the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Tajikistan

  • The number of payment cards in Tajikistan has grown significantly, with more than 3 million payment card transactions having taken place as of the beginning of the last quarter.

Uzbekistan

  • HUMOPay is now available in 4 more apps: Joyda (Uzpromstroybank), Milliy (National Bank), Quant (Qishloq Qurilish Bank) and Ipak Yo’li Mobile (Ipak Yuli).
  • new service from Kapitalbank and Venkon allows for payments to be sent directly to 1C and Didox.
  • The Banker has named Orient Finance the Best Uzbek Bank of 2020, citing its focus on the development of retail businesses, mobile banking and mortgages.

Azerbaijan

  • The Association of Banks of Azerbaijan is developing a new base for the digital payment ecosystem of the country.
  • The Central Bank of Azerbaijan has announced its focus on the development of non-cash forms of payment for the upcoming period, especially innovative digital payment solutions.

Armenia

  • Visa and ACBA have launched the first mobile payment program in Armenia. It is based on Visa Token Service technology, which replaces confidential information about a payment card with a unique digital identifier (i.e. a token). To use the new service, Visa cardholders need Android mobile devices (version 4.4 and higher) that have NFC capabilities.
  • Ardshinbank and the international payment system RIA have announced a reduced commission of 0.8% (as opposed to 1.0-1.6%) for money transfers from Armenia to Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine through February 2021.

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