BFC FinTech Monitor (15th — 23th 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

  • In digital currency news: (1) a poll conducted by the European Central Bank (ECB) found that privacy and security are the most important issues related to the digital euro; (2) crypto company ConsenSys believes that slowing down the development of a new digital currency poses a risk to ECB; (3) a new study is underway in the United Kingdom to outline the prospects of the digital pound; (4) Norway is now testing its own national digital currency; and (5) Turkey has banned the use of cryptocurrencies for settlements.
  • A number of banks in the United States have begun installing software that allows for the analysis of customer behaviors, staff movements and actions taken at ATMs.
  • The Bank of China intends to access Ant Group data in order to assess and potentially take action against the company and its founder, Jack Ma.
  • JPMorgan Chase is testing a blockchain solution to reduce rejected and bounced cross-border payments, with 12 Taiwanese banks participating in the testing.
  • SME Banking Club has presented the key trends in internet banking for small- and medium-sized businesses in post-Soviet spaces, including opening an online account, remote identification, verifying counterparties, ratings and SWIFT gpi technologies.
  • Facebook is planning a pilot launch of its crypto project this year with the support of the Diem Association, a Swiss non-profit. The new stablecoin will be pegged to the U.S. dollar.
  • British FinTech startup Revolut is planning to enter the Indian market by 2022. To this end, the company is making USD 25 million in investments in the Indian market and has already begun discussions with the Bank of India and several Indian financial institutions.
  • KeyBank, under the Laurel Road brand, is launching a digital bank in the United States aimed at doctors. The new digital bank will offer credit cards with cashback incentives, savings accounts and personal financial management tools.
  • Mastercard is planning to acquire Ekata for USD 850 million. Ekata specializes in offering artificial intelligence (AI)-based user identification solutions.


  • Tinkoff Bank has launched Russia’s first share payment service based on the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) principle, allowing cardholders of any Russian financial institution to make BNPL purchases without interest or commission.
  • It is estimated that the issuance of digital cards will save Russian financial institutions RUB 54 billion.
  • The Central Bank of Russia has presented a strategy for the development of the Russian payment system through 2023. The main goal under the strategy is to create conditions for the provision of convenient and affordable payment services for the population at large, businesses and the state. The regulator also believes that Russia will not become disconnected from international payment systems.
  • Mastercard and a number of Russian financial institutions have launched payments using key fobs with the ISBC Pay function. The device does not need to be charged, and there is no personal data stored on it. The card in the key fob, if necessary, can also be blocked using the associated mobile app.
  • Sberbank has begun introducing pay-by-glance in Magnit retail stores and is also preparing for the release of Sbercoin.


  • Recent trends in Ukraine: (1) Igor Fisun (owner of Ukrkart and shareholder of Oxy Bank) discusses the prospects of Ukrainian FinTechs and (2) representatives of and Raiffeisen Bank Aval outline the future of retail banking.
  • A free webinar on deep and machine learning from will take place on April 28, 2021. Participation is free with advanced registration.


  • BPS-Sberbank is starting to install contactless ATMs, which are activated by bringing a contactless card next to the ATM sensor as opposed to physical inserting the card. The bank is also launching transactional scoring for entrepreneurs that will identify high-credit risk customers based on their transactions.


  • Mobile operator Kcell has demonstrated super apps capable of combining telecommunication, entertainment, e-commerce and FinTech services. Andrey Tikhonov, leader of the New Business Sector of Kcell, discusses how the super apps work as well as their launch details.
  • Halyk Bank has launched training programs to train specialized IT professionals. They will be available at Halyk Academy, which is being opened through the Kazakh-British Technical University. In the future, the bank plans to become a co-developer of one or several tracks of the university curriculum.


  • Alif Bank has won one of the most prestigious awards in Islamic banking and finance – the 2020 World Islamic FinTech Award – for the features of its mobile app, which allows online payments, money transfers and currency exchanges.


  • TUZ Ventures and IT PARK Uzbekistan have published an overview of the startup ecosystem in Uzbekistan.
  • Payment systems Uzcard and HUMO have agreed to a cooperation deal, meaning that the terminals of each will accept both types of cards by the end of the year. The 2 payment systems are also planning several other joint projects.


  • The number of mobile banking payments in Azerbaijan has increased 16%, with the number of mobile banking payment users doubling.


  • Ardshinbank customers now have access to an e-wallet within the bank’s mobile app thanks to the bank’s cooperation with Visa and the Latvian corporation D8.
  • centralized register of bank accounts is planned to be introduced in Armenia to help in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing.


  • The Bank of Georgia, in collaboration with Visa and Adapter, has launched a digitalization program for women entrepreneurs in Georgia. The program is expected to help women entrepreneurs increase sales and boost branch awareness through social media outlets.