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BFC FinTech Monitor 4th – 11th August

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:

  • Mastercard, in cooperation with FinTech payment company Paynetics AD and Bulgarian mobile operator Vivacom, has issued the first digital-first card in Central and Eastern Europe. The card can be managed through a mobile wallet, which also stores the card’s number and CVC code.
  • A CB Insights analyst has noted that, while FinTech startups in most regions of the world attracted more investments in Q2 2020 than in Q1 2020, the Asian FinTech market is still struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Facebook is creating a new division called F2 (Facebook Financial) to handle payment projects such as Facebook Pay and electronic payments made via WhatsApp in Brazil and India.
  • According to an Open Up 2020 study, personal finance apps have grown in popularity since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Research conducted by JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts indicates a generational difference in investment preferences, with younger generations preferring to invest in bitcoin and technology stocks and older generations preferring to invest in gold.
  • Malaysian company Grab, an Asian competitor to Uber, has announced the launch of several new financial services, including a micro-investment service, a buy-now-pay-later service and a third-party lending platform.
  • 6 more banks are partnering with Google Digital Banking in the United States. Google will provide these banks with co-branding services as well as support each bank’s customers with tools to manage their Google Pay funds.

Russia:

  • Yandex is preparing to create its own financial ecosystem. To this end, it has applied for 17 trademark registrations in the banking, investment and insurance sectors.
  • Markswebb analysts have presented the 2020 Business Mobile Banking Rankings. Leading banks on this year’s list were DeloBank, Tinkoff Bank and Alfa-Bank.
  • Otkritie Bank has introduced OpenKey, the first banking virtual keyboard for smartphones. It allows users to perform bank card operations in any app through the keyboard (as opposed to forcing users to switch to the mobile bank app).
  • As QIWI turns 13 years old, vc.ru has published materials outlining the payment service’s journey throughout its history.
  • Sberbank is preparing to issue the cryptocurrency Sbercoin. Experts believe that the new cryptocurrency will be useful for corporate clients.

Ukraine:

  • Privatbank has launched the first biometric POS terminals in Ukraine, which work in combination with the updated Privat24 app and an activated FacePay24 payment account.
  • The National Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) are working together to increase financial inclusion in Ukraine. This cooperation includes the introduction of new financial products for citizens and small businesses, expanded access to accounts and loan products, more accessible financial services and better protection of consumer rights.
  • hotline.finance experts discuss the latest trends in the digitization of insurance in Ukraine in this PaySpace article.
  • Ukrainian bank cards from any bank can now be replenished at the cash desk of stores in Kiev and Odessa that use the Citrus network. The service is expected to be expanded to include more regions of the country and other networks in the near future.

Kazakhstan:

  • Anton Musin, the first deputy chairman of Halyk Bank, discusses digital trends in Kazakhstan’s banking system, including open banking, the creation of payment systems and the development of distribution systems for state financial assistance.
  • Visa has launched a small business platform that will help entrepreneurs expand their e-commerce business, take advantage of Visa.Concierge and find new clients.
  • Freedom Holding Corp. has agreed to buy out Bank Kassa Nova, which is part of Forte Bank. The deal is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.
  • The volume of non-cash transactions in the first 6 months of this year reached KZT 12.4 trillion. The bulk of these transactions occurred in the Almaty, Nur-Sultan and Turkestan regions.

Uzbekistan:

  • The Central Bank has launched an educational portal for financial literacy. The portal, finlit.uz, features articles, study materials, loan and deposit calculators and more.
  • CLICK became the first payment company in Uzbekistan to start issuing branded plastic cards. At this point, the cards are only available to residents of Tashkent.

Armenia:

  • Russia’s Fora-Bank now allows customers of Armenia’s IDBank to receive instant mobile transfers. Other Armenian banks are expected to partner with Fora-Bank on this initiative in the near future.
  • Sona Manucharyan, head of human resources at IDBank, discusses how IDBank managed to reorganize its workflows and even launch new projects amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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