BFC FinTech Monitor (15th – 28th December)

Stay up-to-date on all the latest FinTech news and information from around the world in the BFC FinTech Monitor. 

Around the World


  • Embedded payment solutions are quickly becoming a must-have in European markets. Payments company OpenPayd reports that 96% of companies are planning to offer them (or are seriously considering offering them) within the next 5 years. Revenue from such devices is predicted to amount to EUR 377.5 billion.
  • The first global report on open banking has been published by CBI, PwC and the Italian Cooperation Center for Technological Innovation and the Digitalization of the Financial Industry. The report presents an overview of open-banking solutions within the European Union (EU) and 12 other countries.


  • DekaBank (Germany) has founded the SWIAT system to unite global financial institutions on a common digital asset platform that is similar to SWIFT. LBBW and Standard Chartered have already shown interest in the system.
  • The IEEE Standards Association is developing a new ‘Identity of Things’ standard. If adopted, this standard will use blockchain solutions to provide decentralized identification for internet-of-things (IoT) devices. The standard is being developed with input from Bosch, Lenovo, Ericsson, Lockheed, IoTeX and Huawei to allow IoT devices to transmit identities safely and securely.

#Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

  • In 2021, the crypto industry attracted more investments than in previous years combined.
  • The trading volume of decentralized cryptoexchanges in 2021 has exceeded USD 1 trillion, an 858% year-on-year increase.
  • Gartner predicts that 20% of large organizations worldwide will use digital currencies for payments, prepaid cards or collateral by 2024.
  • The SWIFT international interbank system will begin tokenized assets in 2022.
  • According to analysts from The Block, the stablecoin market has grown by 388% this year.
  • Gita Gopinat, chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), warns that countries should not ban the use of private digital assets as it will cause them to disappear; rather, it will cause regulators will lose control over them.
  • Despite a complete ban on cryptocurrency mining in China, Chinese miners can still provide up to 20% of the world’s bitcoin hash rate.
  • Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve System of the US, has declared that cryptocurrencies are not an issue for the financial stability of US markets.
  • Australia is planning to bring the digital asset industry out of the shadows by developing a regulatory framework that will legitimize the industry and protect investors.
  • US Senator Cynthia Lummis has drafted a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies in the US. The Senator is purportedly an investor in digital assets herself.
  • About 60 cryptocurrency platforms are partnering with Visa to launch card programs that make it easy to convert and spend digital currencies.
  • Instagram is working to create its own NFT service.
  • JPMorgan Chase is creating a blockchain-based payment platform for Siemens.
  • Online broker Robinhood is working to create a service that will allow customers to send cryptocurrencies as a gift.
  • Users of the Kraken cryptoexchange’s NFT platform will be able to obtain loans secured by NFTs.
  • Renoir’s Double Portrait of Jeanne Baudot will be sold for NFT tokens.
  • SEBA Bank (Switzerland) has launched a regulated digital token that is backed by gold. According to the head of the bank (Guido Buehler), the token will make it easier for investors to hold gold and also provides an economic solution for holding assets.

#Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)

  • According to a recent study by Giesecke + Devrient and the Forum of Monetary and Financial Institutions (OMFIF), most residents in developed countries are not yet ready to switch to a CBDC.
  • HSBC and IBM have tested tokenized settlements using a CBDC as well as instruments for transactions with European bonds and foreign exchanges.


  • Visa has completed its acquisition of Currencycloud, a major fintech company that provides cross-border payment solutions to financial institutions.
  • Payment system UnionPay International has presented its SoftPOS solution for small- and medium-sized businesses, which allows Android smartphones with NFC technology to be used as a contactless payment terminal within the UnionPay network.
  • Banking software developer Temenos will expand its cooperation with Microsoft to better satisfy the demands of financial institutions for cloud-based banking services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.


  • The Central Bank of Russia reportedly wants to ban Russians from investing in cryptocurrencies.
  • According to the First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia (Olga Skorobogatova), the share of non-cash payments in Russia at the end of 2021 is projected to be 73%.
  • On Markswebb’s 2021 list of best mobile banks for individuals, Tinkoff has been overtaken by both Ak Bars and Alfa Bank.
  • Russia has requested data regarding users of Coinbase, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
  • Russian regulators are considering changing tariff-setting rules for residential consumers due to the growth of cryptocurrency mining.
  • Mikhail Berner, head of Visa in Russia, predicts that biometric services will contribute to the development of payment systems over the next few years.
  • RB.RU has prepared a list of the 10 most interesting and promising Russian fintech startups.
  • Sberbank and the Higher School of Economics have identified 50 professions that will be in-demand for the foreseeable future. Among them are agile coach and fintech embedder.
  • Frank Media has published a review of what Russian banks and fintech companies offer in terms of financial management services.
  • Yandex Bank will begin issuing loans as early as next year, first focusing on individuals with limited options for obtaining financial services (e.g. self-employed taxi drivers, couriers).
  • Sberbank plans to pilot a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) service in 2022.
  • Oleg Tinkov is predicting that the market value of Tinkoff Bank will reach USD 1 trillion within 10 years.


  • Taskcombank, in cooperation with fintech company Bitt, is launching a pilot project to test the digital hryvnia. The pilot is based on the Stellar blockchain.
  • Several players have entered the Ukrainian financial market, including crypto-processing company Wirex (UK), fintech giant (Kazakhstan) and neobanks Revolut and Bitsa. Oleg Gorokhovsky, co-founder of monobank, is skeptical about their chance of success in Ukraine, especially
  • The Rozetka marketplace is planning to acquire a bank in Ukraine.
  • Privatbank is launching payment services that use NFC tags and allow users to receive payments via smartphones.
  • monobank is preparing to launch a solution to allow users to easily trade on the stock market.
  • Nikita Izmailov, founder of the specialized fintech fund N1, discusses the main trends of fintech in 2022, including the further digitalization of the banking sector, the introduction of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), the development of blockchain solutions, mobile technologies and gamification.
  • PaySpace Magazine has published the happenings of the UAFIN.TECH 2021 conference.
  • Ivan Svitek, head of Unex Bank, outlines why the goal of fintech is really to make VIP banking a thing of the past. 


  • Within the framework of a private event organized by Fraud Hunting Platform Day partners, Group-IB and Alseda presented a new solution for securing remote banking systems.


  • The National Bank of Kazakhstan plans to fully launch a national payment system in mid-2022. Once launched, the system will help reduce commission rates for instant payments and allow users to conduct transactions at any time of the day.
  • The first fintech accelerator in Kazakhstan has received 272 applications from 11 countries. Of these, 31 project have been selected to be presented for further consideration.
  • The publication Kursiv details what the digital ecosystem of the investment holding Freedom Finance in Kazakhstan will look like.
  • A new pilot project that will launch in the first quarter of 2022 will equate checks from POS terminals as fiscal checks.
  • President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev has stated his belief that the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) has the potential to become a universal platform that connects Central Asian countries.
  • examines how Halyk Bank, the largest bank in Kazakhstan, implemented its large-scale data factory project.
  • First Deputy Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov has instructed that the development of rules for the operation of cryptoexchanges within AIFC be sped up as numerous financial institutions are prepared to pilot a number of related initiatives.


  • Tajik fintech startup Alif has raised USD 8 million in investment funding and qualified for USD 50 million in loans. British company Jefferson Capital Holdings Limited is currently the company’s main investor.


  • According to the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, there are more than 20 million remote banking users in the country.
  • Startup company BILLZ, which creates automated online and offline solutions in retail, is looking for investors on the Kazakhstani platform VentureRocket Eurasia.


  • Dmitry Dubilet, co-founder of monobank (Ukraine) and Fintech Farm, has declared the launch of Leobank in Azerbaijan a success. Following this success, Fintech Farm is now looking to create a neobank in Nigeria.
  • ABB Bank is launching a new digital solution that will allow its customers to apply for loans of up to AZN 20,000 online. Additionally, ABB Tech Academy (which was created at the bank) is now accepting applications within a new program. Specifically, they are accepting applications for the positions of product owner and software engineer.


  • Artak Ananyan, chairman of Ardshinbank, discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic served as the strongest impetus for the bank to undergo a digital transformation.
  • VTB has become the first bank in Armenia to launch a bank chatbot in WhatsApp and Messenger. The chatbots will assist bank customers in performing a number of transactions.
  • Fintech startup Highway, which helps financial institutions digitalize and transform legacy systems, recently attracted USD 2 million in investments.


  • series of videos from the Fintech Moldova Conference, which took place at the end of October 2021 in Chisinau, are now available on the Fintech Moldova channel.