BFC FinTech Monitor 10th – 17th March

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 will begin issuing a digital card for small- and medium-sized business clients of FinTech company Payoneer. The digital card will be accepted wherever Mastercard cards are, can be connected to digital wallets, allows for multiple digital cards to be created from the same card account and optimizes cost management processes across various platforms and storefront locations. Mastercard is also partnering with German neobank pockid to offer digital banking products aimed at younger generations.
  • Analysts at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Ficci have estimated that India’s FinTech market will reach USD 150-160 billion in value by 2025.
  • Citi is launching an electronic platform to accelerate the processing of cross-border payments by digitizing all supporting documentation. The new platform will first be made available in South Africa.
  • The world’s first digital marketplace for food and agricultural products, AgriDex, is investing USD 85 million in the L3COS blockchain for the creation of a smart marketplace that will be capable of processing more than 1.5 million concurrent transactions per second.
  • American financial holding JPMorgan Chase has tested blockchain payments in Earth’s orbit in order to explore IoT payments in a completely decentralized environment. JPMorgan Chase is also preparing to launch an investment instrument for shares of cryptocurrency companies as well as a clearing service for cryptocurrencies.
  • British-based FinTech startup Revolut has launched a new service for businesses called Expenses that allows business users more control over their business account. For example, business users will be able to receive real-time notifications about purchases and set spending limits as well as block and freeze company cards.
  • Flutterwave, an African payments company, has raised USD 170 million and is now valued at over USD 1 billion. The FinTech unicorn helps businesses, including Facebook and Uber, create customized payment applications through its APIs.
  • Japanese company Toppan Printing has created an anti-virus plastic card that the company claims can reduce the concentration of viral particles on its surface by 99% or more within 24 hours.
  • Online payment service Stripe has become the most valuable privately-owned company in Silicon Valley after it raised USD 95 billion in investments, exceeded the value of Facebook and Uber before they went public.
  • Vietnamese banks are starting to implement the principles of open banking, with the country’s 2 largest financial institutions developing open API-based FinTech services in 2020 and launching full-fledged customized FinTech platforms in January of this year.


  • FinNext 2021, an annual financial innovations forum, will be held in Moscow on March 25th. This year’s theme will be Speed: Services, Processes, Development. Scheduled speakers include representatives of Sber, VTB, Tinkoff and Beeline. Learn more about the forum and register here.
  • The latest from Russian banks: Alfa-Bank has become the largest player in the e-tip market and has also simplified its process for issuing debit cards; Sberbank Online now supports the transfer of funds abroad; and corporate clients of Raiffeisenbank can now send reports to the bank using the 1C platform.
  • In non-bank financial service news: Yandex has launched a non-cash payment service (Yandex Pay) and is considering buying an entire bank; Qiwi has launched a service for lending to small and medium-sized businesses; and Rostelecom is preparing a new payment application.
  • Industry experts discuss the events of FinTech markets in 2020 as well as what is to be expected from them in 2021.
  • The Mir payment system is changing its rules for converting currencies by cards. The rate will now be fixed on the payment date instead of the settlement date.
  • MoneyGram, the last Western-based money transfer system, has pulled out of the Russian market due to regulatory requirements.
  • The Central Bank of Russia plans to present a prototype platform for the digital ruble by the end of the year, with testing of the currency itself expected to begin in 2022.
  • According to the research of Roskachestvo, the number of programs designed to steal money from bank clients doubled in 2020.
  • Innopolis is hosting the Open Banking Technologies as a Driver of Innovations in FinTech online meeting on March 18th. The meeting will feature a live Q&A session with speakers.


  • British-based FinTech startup Revolut has been expanding its presence in Europe and is still eyeing entrance into the Ukrainian market.
  • The first-ever Top 50 Most Influential Women in FinTech list was announced for Ukraine, with most entrants on the list working for payment companies.
  • Representatives of Chatbots.Studio and Moneyveo share their experiences using chatbots.
  • Raiffeisen Bank Aval has begun issuing online loans for business development (for both investment and working capital purposes). Once approved, the funds are made available within 5 minutes.
  • SME Banking Club details how the financial accounting service Finmap (created by  Ivan Kaunov and Alexander Solovey in early 2019) has been helping small- and medium-sized businesses.


  • Residents of Belarus will soon be able to transfer money via Viber.


  • SME Banking Club recently sat down with representatives of Halyk Bank to discuss the development approach and features of the bank’s Onlinebank for Business initiative, which was launched in the spring of last year in response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Vyacheslav Kim, a shareholder of the FinTech company, recently sold 655,700 thousand shares of the company, valued at a total of USD 40 million.
  • According to a study conducted by PwC in conjunction with the Digital Kazakhstan Association, Kazakhstan’s e-commerce market has exceeded KZT 0.5 trillion.


  • Kyrgyzstan is planning to introduce e-passports that can be used on a smartphone app. This initiative is expected to facilitate greater efficiency in the work of notaries, banks and microcredit organizations.


  • Tajikistan could become a leader in cryptocurrency mining thanks to its huge reserves of inexpensive electricity. Moreover, revenues gained from cryptocurrency mining could be used to cover the costs of the Rogun hydroelectric power station.


  • The International Bank of Azerbaijan has received several awards from Azerbaijan’s Association of Banks for the projects they undertook last year. Most notably, the bank received the Corporate Social ResponsibilityMost Active Support for Financial LiteracyMost active Support for EducationExpansion of Financial Access to Small- and Medium-Sized BusinessesPromotion of Non-Cash Payments and Electronic Innovations in Banking awards.


  • Rusbase has published a wealth of material related to what opportunities Armenia provides for IT projects, where local startups can best grow in Armenia and which accelerators are operating in the country.


  • It is now possible for consumers to schedule branch visits at Moldovan banks online thanks to the development of a scheduling solution from the Earlyone company.