Stay up-to-date on all the latest FinTech news and information from around the world in the BFC FinTech Monitor.
Around the World
#Reports and Studies
- According to Vantage Market Research, the volume of the global open banking market is expected to jump from USD 10.39 billion in 2021 to USD 37.73 billion by 2028.
- A new ResearchAndMarkets study indicates that global cloud computing revenue could reach as high as USD 519 billion by 2027.
- In a joint report, Deloitte and cloud banking platform Mambu examined what merchants and fintech companies need to create a successful buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) service offerings, finding that a greater emphasis needs placed on value propositions, technologies and data, risk and compliance measures, skills/capabilities and going-to-market solutions.
- A recent study published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded that the widespread use of cryptocurrencies is more typical for countries with unstable currencies and corrupt governments. Countries with well-developed financial systems, on the other hand, tend to have less interest in cryptocurrencies.
- A survey conducted by Singapore-based fintech company Thunes has found that the majority of Zoomers do not have a bank account or credit card but do have a mobile wallet.
#Innovations and Neobanking
- British startup Seon has raised USD 94 million to develop tools capable of preventing Russia from evading sanctions.
- Finastra’s open banking partnership with Microsoft is expected to open up thousands of new credit opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by leveraging (with expressed consent) data stored in Microsoft Dynamics 365 to facilitate loan applications.
- Brazilian neobank Nubank has obtained USD 650 million in credit from Morgan Stanley, Citi, Goldman Sachs and HSBC to boost their growth in Colombia and Mexico, specifically by developing new technologies and products, expanding their client base in both countries and hiring new employees.
- British cross-border fintech startup Leatherback has raised USD 10 million in funding from African investment firm ZedCrest.
- Wagestream, which offers flexible payroll and microloan solutions for low-income persons, has raised USD 175 million in investment funding.
- IDEX Biometrics is partnering with E-Kart to introduce biometric payment cards in Eastern Europe.
#Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
- Crypto industry representatives are calling on the European Union (EU) to abandon the idea of tightening crypto regulations.
- Mastercard, in partnerships with the Nexo platform, has released the first cryptocurrency card. It also filed 15 NFT patents and metaverse trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
- Meta is considering developing its own token for the future metaverse.
- Russians have been banned from keeping more than EUR 10,000 in crypto wallets within the jurisdictions of the EU and Switzerland. This does not apply to Russians having dual citizenship or residency rights.
- The Brazilian parliament is expected to pass a bill regulating the cryptocurrency market.
- Line, the largest Japanese social network, has officially launched its own marketplace (LINE NFT).
- According to data presented by British analytical company CryptoCompare, major crypto exchanges have increased their market share from 89% in August 2021 to 96% in February 2022.
- Singapore bank DBS is exploring the possibility of participating in the metaverse, especially by offering greater access to financial services.
- Open banking provider Volt is partnering with global payment network Mercuryo to offer open banking payments to 2 million customers worldwide.
- The Ministry of Justice of Belarus has established a procedure for collecting cryptocurrencies within the framework of enforcement proceedings.
#Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)
- According to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), increasing the efficiency of payment systems is a key factor for implementing CBDCs in developing countries.
- The European Commission (EC) has received over 12,000 comments on the digital euro since April 5, 2022.
- The executive director of the Central Bank of Japan has stated that the decision to launch a CBDC in Japan will be made by citizens and not the central bank.
- The Bank of Canada is not yet ready to launch a CBDC as the regulator looks to further clarify the role of blockchain in CBDCs. At the same time, the bank is using a quantum computer to analyze the implications of adopting cryptocurrencies and their compatibility with the traditional financial system.
- The former head of China’s regulator has stated that no threats to the SWIFT system or other currencies are foreseen as a result of the digital yuan.
- IMF has expressed concern over the rapid development of financial technologies, especially as fintech startups tend to present numerous problems for both regulators and less technology-advanced traditional financial institutions.
- EC has launched a digital platform for boosting collaborations between fintechs and government agencies.
- Revolut has opened access to its services for refugees from Ukraine. Furthermore, it has suspended a number of account-opening requirements and service fees for refugees.
- The Ministry of Digital Development plans to attract the Stripe payment system and Etsy to the Ukrainian market.
- Crypto exchange Binance, with the support of the Ministry of Digital Development, is developing a payment instrument for Ukrainians who left the country because of the war.
- The first legal crypto-processing firm, Fintech Development LLC, has been launched in Ukraine. The company allows merchants to easily receive payments for goods and services in cryptocurrencies.
- Monobank has closed the accounts of clients who had not left Belarus, Eritrea, North Korea, Russia or Syria prior to February 24, 2022. The bank has also nearly halved its lending and deposit rates.
- TechCrunch discusses how Ukrainian fintech and IT companies are adapting to working in an environment of war.
- Ukrainian bank cardholders can now use the services of Swedish fintech company Klarna, giving them access to more than 400,000 stores worldwide.
- According to independent financial commentator Chris Skinner, the vast majority of Ukrainian fintech companies already have a post-war recovery plan.
- Olena Sosedka, the founder of Concord Fintech Solutions and the head of the Supervisory Board of ConcordBank, discusses how and under what conditions Ukrainian financial institutions are operating as well as how they are providing assistance to Ukraine’s army and war victims.
- ForkLog outlines how cryptocurrencies have become one of the largest and most effective channels for financing the humanitarian and military needs of Ukraine
- The Digital Business Day 2.0 Forum of Digital Technologies will be held in Nur-Sultan on April 26, 2022. During the event, representatives of the public sector and IT community as well as heads of venture funds and business accelerators will discuss the development of innovative technologies and the crypto industry in Kazakhstan.
- More than 300 applications were received to participate in the first fintech accelerator for Kazakhstani financial institutions, with 11 startups making it to the final stage.
- The Ministry of Digital Development plans to create a digital government platform independent of Russia’s Sberbank.
- Licensed crowdfunding platform GoCrowd.io has launched in Kazakhstan.
- Eurasian Bank has opened a credit line for the fintech company Solva, which plans on using the funds to develop digital lending for micro- and small-sized businesses.
- Bank CenterCredit is buying a 100% stake in Kazakhstan’s subsidiary of Russia’s Alfa-Bank. After the transaction has been completed, the subsidiary will be rebranded.
- According to PwC’s Analysis of the Payment Market in the Republic of Kazakhstan study, non-cash payments in Kazakhstan are growing at an average of 14% per quarter.
- Alif Bank is now functioning in accordance with the principles of Islamic banking.
- ASHBURN International, with the support of the National Interbank Processing Center Humo, has launched the TransLink.iQ acquiring ecosystem, which will allow POS-terminals to quickly receive and process transactions made with the cards of national and international payment systems.
- Spot has published materials on the main changes in the banking sector of Uzbekistan over the past five years.
- ANORBANK has launched a remote customer identification service that will allow users to manage deposits, make commission-free transfers, exchange currencies and receive international transfers remotely.
- Choyga.uz, which allows users to receive reviews and non-cash tips, has started working in Uzbekistan.
- The chairman of the Azerbaijani Association of Banks has stated that recent issues with bank cards (e.g. problems at payment terminals and ATMs) are temporary and that there are no serious problems with the country’s card infrastructure.
- For the eighth time in the past ten years, Ameriabank has been recognized as the best bank in Armenia by Global Finance.
- VC.ru has published an article on the business projects currently lacking in Armenia, including serious investments in technology and the development of online financial services.
- The National Bank of Georgia plans to launch the digital lari in pilot mode in 2023. Initially, the use of digital lari will be restricted to within the borders of the country.
- TBC Bank plans on increasing its number of users worldwide to 10 million.
- The first fintech hub in Moldova has started working within the framework of the TEKWILL project. The hub is expected to expand cooperation between the National Bank, the Public Services Agency, the Ministry of Finance and the private sector.
- Speaking at a roundtable discussion with representatives of the Central American Business Association, Moldova’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration noted that fintech and IT are two promising areas for potential cooperation between Moldovan and US businesses.