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BFC FinTech Monitor 26th June – 3rd July

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:

  • 16 major financial institutions operating in the European Union (EU) have begun working on a pan-European payment system that will provide an alternative to Visa and Mastercard as well as weaken the influence of technology giants from China and the U.S.
  • Raiffeisen Bank International has released its 2nd FinTech atlas, which includes in-depth analyses of FinTech ecosystems in 19 Central and Eastern European countries.
  • According to a recent study, Central Asia is positioned to become the next major FinTech development center, especially as the development of FinTech is widely regarded as necessary for the region to overcome problems such as poor economic diversity, high levels of bureaucracy and a general lack of access to finance for much of the population.
  • A survey of 3,000 U.S. consumers with at least one credit or debit card found that a quarter of them are prepared to entrust financial servicing to tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Google.
  • American FinTech startup Karat has introduced a business credit card for online content creators.

Russia:

  • Russian Standard, SKB-Bank, Tinkoff and other Quick Payment System participants have begun testing a pull-transfer service between client accounts and various financial institutions. The Quick Payment System also now allows companies to complete transfers to citizens by using their phone numbers. So far, this service has been utilized mostly by microfinance institutions to transfer microloans to consumers.
  • Prime cafe customers can now use a biometric payment option at select locations. The new service, powered by Sberbank and Visa, allows users to register biometric data with Sberbank, associate it with a Visa payment card and then pay at Prime cafes with nothing more than a glance.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the usage of contactless payments (up 40%) and mobile payments (up 30%) in Russia.

Ukraine:

  • The Wotan asset management app is planning to launch in Ukraine this autumn. The app allows users to invest in bonds and investment funds automatically.
  • Oschadbank has introduced a B2B platform for small- and medium-sized businesses that allows them to more easily accept payments for goods and services. To be included on the platform, a business need only submit an application on the bank’s website or contact a local branch representative.

Belarus:

  • Belarusbank and Cardsmobile have launched Wallet Pay, a payment system that operates similarly to Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. Wallet Pay, however, currently has usage restrictions regarding card type, financial institution and mobile device operating system.

Kazakhstan:

  • Kursiv magazine has published material on the development of the digital tenge. In particular, the magazine outlined a number of advantages and noted that the National Bank of Kazakhstan is still studying the issue and has yet to take any sort of fundamental position on it.
  • Scammers have intensified their efforts to access the personal data of Kazakhstani citizens recently, including by calling consumers and pretending to be an employee of a well-known financial institution.
  • Sberbank and the Smart Satu platform have developed a new B2B payment tool for small businesses that allows them to use Visa QR technology to complete orders and send and receive payments.
  • The Prime Minister’s office has published a report from the Astana Finance Days online conference that outlines a number developments in Kazakhstan, including those related to Islamic banking, FinTech, the venture capital ecosystem and educational technologies.

Azerbaijan:

  • According to Visa, more than 27% of transactions in Azerbaijan are now completed in a contactless format. In response, Visa has announced its plans to continue to support the development of this trend.

Uzbekistan:

  • Russian payment system Mir now allows cross-border transfers into and from Uzbekistan, offering lower tariffs and no need for double conversions to complete transactions. Additionally, Yandex.Money users can now send funds directly to Uzcard cards.

Armenia:

  • IDBank has launched a new online platform to support its business customers. The platform allows businesses to sell products online, thereby minimizing cash-based transactions.

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