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BFC FinTech Monitor 11th – 18th September

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:

  • SWIFT has presented a new strategy for the development of instant international payments that will enable instant and seamless transactions between more than 4 billion accounts served by institutions that use the SWIFT network. This is made possible thanks to API and cloud technologies.
  • Large financial institutions lost approximately USD 635 billion in market capitalization due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has, in turn, pushed many to consider artificial intelligence (AI) and other automated solutions.
  • According to McKinsey analysts, the FinTech industry is experiencing an “existential crisis” due to funding cuts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has forced many European Union (EU) FinTechs to realign their strategies.
  • The European Central Bank is preparing to announce a decision on the issuance of the digital euro. The bank’s chairman noted the importance of not ignoring digital currencies but also of considering relevant risks.
  • The United States is simplifying its procedures for issuing licenses to cryptocurrency and FinTech companies, requiring them to pass only one test to obtain a license.
  • Now valued at USD 10.6 billion, Swedish payment service Klarna Bank has become the largest FinTech startup in Europe and the 4th-largest in the world. The startup is known primarily for its buy-now-pay-later model, which is aimed at interest-free, installment-based financing of retail purchases.
  • Finextra has released an article discussing how machine learning in the cloud can help fight payment fraud. But the implementation of such solutions has many requirements, including network security and isolation, authentication control and data encryption.

Russia:

  • Oksana Kuchura, managing partner of UFG Wealth Management, has written a column for Forbes in which she shatters myths about FinTechs, including the myths that FinTech startups are unreliable and that only millennials use their services.
  • The Russian Government has put forth its vision for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in financial regulation.
  • Microsoft, EY and Startupbootcamp have announced a new recruitment program for the launch of Russian startups on the Global Pilots market. Mature B2B companies operating in the retail and FinTech spaces are eligible to become participants.
  • A subsidiary of Sberbank is preparing to present a smart set-top box that has a built-in image recognition system capable of isolating an image, searching the market for a similar product and issuing a purchase offer for it through a smart TV.

Ukraine:

  • The Ministry of Digital Transformation is developing a new draft law on the protection of personal data. The new draft law will be largely based on the experience of leading countries in the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • A pilot version of the FinScarga platform has been launched in Ukraine, allowing users to easily file complaints against financial institutions. Of the complaints received through the system thus far, most are related to purportedly illegal debt recovery measures.

Belarus:

  • Belarus has become just the second country in the world in which a special version of the Mi Smart Band 4 NFC fitness bracelet from Xiaomi is available. Using the bracelet, users can make contactless payments after connecting it to a Mastercard.

Kazakhstan:

  • Since its inception, the Astana International Financial Center has attracted USD 444 million in investments into FinTech, construction, agricultural and manufacturing companies. As of September 9, 2020, 545 companies from 42 countries are registered with the center.
  • Halyk Bank has introduced a new mobile application that allows users to turn a smartphone into a POS terminal capable of accepting contactless payments.

Tajikistan:

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised Tajik authorities to liquidate its problematic financial institutions and provide more effective financial support to its Deposit Insurance Fund.
  • More than two thirds of payment terminals in Tajikistan do not accept coins despite the number of coins in circulation increasing significantly in recent years. Additionally, many terminals charge fees for services and do not issue receipts.

Uzbekistan:

  • Uzbekistan adopted a new law regulating the issuance and circulation of electronic money at the end of April 2020. The magazine Spot has identified where and how to use electronic money in the country under the new legislation.

Azerbaijan:

  • The FINTEX-2020 virtual summit will be held October 8-9, 2020 in Azerbaijan. The theme of the event will be “new trends in the banking and payment ecosystem: innovative solutions, FinTech and security”.
  • The number of POS terminals in Azerbaijan has decreased following 4 financial institutions losing their licenses.
  • In an interview Trend, businessman Fuad Allahverdiyev discusses why there is still no neobank in Azerbaijan and what the future of the country’s financial sector holds.

Armenia:

  • ACBA-Credit Agricole has launched a new digital platform (ACBA Digital) for individuals and legal entities. The new platform is available via mobile and web versions.

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