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BFC FinTech Monitor 29th May – 5th June

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:

  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has a released a report outlining how the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to impact financial institutions and includes measures that financial institutions should undertake to support consumers, governments and themselves.
  • PLUS magazine explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the payment industry, as detailed through the eyes of experts from 10 European and Central Asian countries.
  • recent report from the International Association of Private Equity Investments in Developing Countries has shown that venture capital investment in emerging markets has more than doubled since 2014.
  • Canada has legalized the activities of cryptocurrency companies, now considering them as money transfer companies.
  • FinTech Week Lithuania will be held online between June 15 and June 18 according to the following program of events.
  • Western Union is planning to acquire payment company MoneyGram.
  • PayPal is making a second round of investments in Swedish open banking platform Tink and has plans to integrate Tink with its own account aggregator as well as use it to expand operations in the European Economic Area.
  • UniCredit now allows users to see all information from their current accounts, including from other financial institutions, in a single mobile app. The ability is currently only available in Italy, but will expand to Austria and Germany in October and other PSD2 countries following that.
  • British neobank Starling Bank has attracted more than USD 120 million in investments for the purpose of supporting businesses that have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The launch of a digital payment system in Nepal has been tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of the coming fiscal year.

Russia:

  • The first deputy chair of Russia’s Central Bank expects that the share of non-cash payments in retail will reach 68-70% by the end of the year.
  • Aliya Yusupova, head of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Financial Innovations Association, discusses why Russia’s plan to criminalize digital asset and digital currency operations is not a good idea.
  • Russian banks are planning to offer consumers anonymous digital cards as a way to safeguard their personal information.
  • PLUS magazine is hosting the Payment Business: 2020 Emergencies online forum on June 17. The forum will follow this program.
  • Russia’s Federal Assembly failed to pass the Biometrics Bill on its second reading amid concerns about personal data leakage risks. Russia’s Central Bank remains a strong proponent of the Bill, especially given the current COVID-19 situation.
  • The Register of Investment Platform Operators now has its first company listed. Other companies have until July 1 to register or risk not being able to operate legally within Russia.

Ukraine:

  • Ukraine’s National Bank has approved unified approaches to the formation and use of QR codes for payment settlements. This is expected to result in faster payment settlements as well as reduced operational risks.
  • AIN.UA has published materials describing how Ukrainian neobanks can meet new regulations on financial monitoring. Of particular note in this context is that the physical presence of consumers is no longer required for id verification.

Belarus:

  • Belarus-Polish FinTech startup SPOKO, which is specialized in money transfers, has entered the global market and now allows users to send funds to and from more than 28 countries.

Uzbekistan:

  • Users of Apelsin’s Kapitalbank mobile app can now create a virtual VISA currency card by supplying a USD 5 insurance deposit, which they receive back when closing the card.

Kazakhstan:

  • Kazakhstan’s National Bank, in collaboration with the Agency for Regulation and the Development of the Financial Market, have drafted a concept for the development of financial technologies and innovations. The draft includes 3 main directions: “Digital Regulation”, “Digital Infrastructure” and “Living Environment”.
  • Co-founder of the international FinTech company IDF Eurasia discusses how financial technologies are helping the world cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Armenia:

  • Ardshinbank’s mobile app can now be activated without having to visit a branch location.

Georgia:

  • Optio.ai, which provides users with an artificial intelligence-based personal financial assistant to help them better manage their money, has been included in a list of most-intriguing Georgian startups.

Azerbaijan:

  • The International Bank of Azerbaijan is creating an innovation center to help startups in the country access foreign knowledge and informational resources. Initially, the center will focus on helping FinTech startups.

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