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BFC FinTech Monitor 10th – 17th April

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:

  • PayPal, Intuit and Square have been approved to offer emergency loans to small businesses in the United States as a way to help them survive the COVID-19 crisis.
  • FinTech Futures has released information about which core banking systems are being selected for use by financial institutions in various countries around the world.
  • The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure and the World Bank have released a report indicating that, although FinTech promotes financial inclusion, more concerted efforts (both globally and at the level of individual countries) are necessary to overcome existing risks and barriers.
  • American FinTech startup Fold has announced that it will issue a card featuring bitcoin cashback. The card service was developed as part of Visa’s FinTech Fast-Track Program.
  • An application for testing China’s national cryptocurrency has been created. So far, only organizations approved by the Chinese Central Bank have been granted access to it.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States has issued a warning of increased cyberfraud triggered by the COVID-19 crisis.

Russia:

  • Visa has announced that it will increase the transactional limit for contactless payments that do not require PIN code verification in a number of countries, including RussiaUkraine and Uzbekistan.
  • Visa, Mastercard and Russia’s Mir payment system have reduced the interbank commission for purchases in online stores to 0.7% through September 30. This follows a decision by Russia’s Central Bank to limit the rate financial institutions can charge for purchases from online stores to no more than 1% of the total purchase price.
  • The Sberbank online web portal has been updated for the first time in 7 years to incorporate a number of new features, including transaction history searches, additional functions and services for payment providers and partner marketplaces.
  • Maxim Chernushchenko, founder and CEO of Cashwagon, has shared his predictions for the future of FinTech in the coming decade. Most notably, he believes: data will no longer be a competitive tool for startups; FinTech will become a part of non-financial products; basic financial services will come to look like simple opensource protocols; and companies will transform their core businesses into universal platforms.
  • Leading Russian financial institutions detail which banking operations and services can be completed online and via telephone.
  • Expert Online has published an article outlining how China’s WeChat grew from messenger app into an entire ecosystem.

Ukraine:

  • The Ukrainian Startup Fund and the Ukrainian Association of FinTech and Innovation Companies have signed a memorandum of cooperation. Under the memorandum, the two will exchange information on best practices, facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills and conduct joint projects, meetings and other events.
  • Alena Degrik, co-founder and CEO of LeoGaming, discusses the current crisis facing Ukrainian FinTechs and how it could become a main growth point within the country.
  • Monobank, Ukraine’s first neobank, has increased credit limits for 75,000 of its customers, adding a total of UAH 1.5 billion (USD 55.43 million) in available credit.
  • Anastasia Shevchenko, director general of Lugera Ukraine and FinTech Solutions, discusses how neobanks are developing and impacting the overall development of financial services.

Belarus:

  • Belarusian startup Open Business has developed a product intersecting FinTech and marketing technologies. Specifically, the product allows for the collection and analysis of business data such as sales point turnover, traffic and customer loyalty.

Uzbekistan:

  • The Central Bank of Uzbekistan has transferred all pension and government salary payments into a cashless form as a way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Kazakhstan:

  • Starting on May 1st, financial institutions will reduce fees related to accepting non-cash payments for economic sectors designated as socially significant.
  • Halyk Bank now allows customers to open an account remotely and receive a card via a delivery service.
  • Online lenders have come under scrutiny by some members of Parliament for allegedly issuing loans that violate current legislation (e.g. loans at 700% per annum interest rate).

Armenia:

  • The largest electronic money issuer in Armenia, IDRAM LLC, is partnering with Mobile Payments LLC and Russia’s Sovcombank to establish a new company in Russia that will develop FinTech solutions.
  • IDBank has launched an instant online lending service that is available to customers and non-customers alike.

Azerbaijan:

  • Trend has published an interview with Erdem Chakar, head of Mastercard in Azerbaijan, in which he discusses Mastercard’s projects in Azerbaijan as well as the overall advantages of the digital economy.

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