BFC FinTech Monitor 16th – 23th October

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

  • The Bahamas has become the first country in the world to implement a central bank digital currency at the state level. Their digital currency (the sand dollar) is pegged to the Bahamian dollar, which is, in turn, pegged to the United States dollar. To use the digital currency, one only needs an e-wallet approved by the central bank.
  • Moody’s analysts believe that the growing popularity of digital services is dangerous for banks. According to their research, classic European and American banks still maintain a competitive edge thanks to their wide range of consumer products; however, they will likely face a lot of pressure from tech giants, neobanks and small FinTech startups in the near future.
  • Gartner has named 9 main technology trends for 2021 – the internet of behaviors (IoB) (devices and sensors attached to or implanted in human bodies to collect information), total experience (combining the experience of customers, employees and users with a multichannel environment), privacy-enhancing computation, distributed clouds, anywhere operations, cybersecurity mesh, intelligent composable business (decision-making based on big data technology), hyperautomation and AI engineering based on DataOps, ModelOps and DevOps.
  • Although the COVID-19 pandemic has become a serious test for the financial industry, it has also accelerated the pace of development within the industry, particularly in post-Soviet countries and Southeastern Europe. Most notably, the pandemic has become an incentive for the development of mobile and non-cash payments, optimizing business processes and increasing efficiency.
  • MINDSMITH and Clifford Chance have released the Blockchain Revolution in Banks and Financial Institutions report, which concludes that the format of interactions with blockchain is changing. In particular, the report highlights how the competition between the United States and China in the space is spurring banks to begin to develop their own cybersecurity solutions and compete at a greater level with tech giants.
  • Mastercard is planning to issue biometric cards in the near future. In fact, a pilot project in Asia (in partnership with Singapore-based FinTech startups MatchMove and Idemia) has already been launched. It will allow cardholders to confirm transactions with a fingerprint, with the biometric data stored on the cards themselves and not in a centralized database.
  • PayPal users will soon be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum at commission-free rates. Moreover, starting in 2021, users will be able to use the digital assets to make purchases at 26 million retail outlets worldwide.


  • There have recently been several publications released about the development of the digital ruble: (1) Tatyana Zharkova, general director of the Association for Financial Technologies, explains why the digital ruble is necessary; (2) Izvestia analyzes the pros and cons of the digital ruble; (3) Viktor Dostov, head of the Association of Electronic Money and Money Transfers, discusses how the emergence of the digital ruble will change the FinTech market in Russia; and (4) Bloomchain details other expert opinions on the subject.
  • Tinkoff Bank and Yandex have terminated merger negotiations as the two sides failed to agree on terms. Instead, the neobank has decided to partner with Burger King to launch the first fast food card in Russia.
  • Russian Post will now develop FinTech solutions under the leadership of Alena Bocharova, who was previously responsible for the development of digital products at Alfa-Bank and retail products at Promsvyazbank.
  • The Moscow Exchange has launched the financial marketplace Finuslugi, which allows users to choose lucrative deposit offers and open deposits online at any partner bank. In the future, OSAGO, federal loan bonds, loans and other products from banks and insurance companies will also be available.
  • Ak Bars Bank has presented a new solution for entrepreneurs: entering the online bank using a PayControl key. This means that users no longer have to ask for one-time SMS passwords.


  • The National Bank of Ukraine has presented a strategy for the development of FinTech until 2025. At the same time, experts are uncertain about the regulator’s plan to attract state investments in FinTech products and create the conditions necessary for the emergence of venture capital companies in Ukraine. It is also unclear to them how the simplified mechanism of access to capital for citizens will be implemented.
  • With consumers in Ukraine more frequently choosing banks based on smartphone compatibility, it is likely that there will be an emergence of new neobanks in the country in the near future.
  • There are 23 nominees for this year’s annual PaySpace Magazine FinTech award. View the full list of nominees and register for participation here.


  • MTBank has launched 3 contactless payment services at once: Mi Smart Band 4 NFC fitness bracelet, Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay digital services.


  • The IPO of one of the largest FinTech companies in Kazakhstan,, was the largest high-tech listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2020.
  • The National Bank has launched a remote biometric identification service within the Digital Kazakhstan state program. The service is available to banks, insurance companies, professional securities market participants and payment and microfinance organizations.
  • Kazakhstan is planning to ban the issuance of microloans online without biometric verification. This is due to numerous cases of fraud in which attackers arrange loans for other persons by taking possession of their personal data.


  • Cryptocurrency mining has been legalized in Kyrgyzstan along with a special tax regime for it. The tax base for cryptocurrency mining will be the amounts charged for electricity as well as VAT and sales taxes. The total rate is expected to be 15%.
  • The National Bank of Kyrgyzstan has lifted all restrictions on SWIFT operations in connection as authorities have announced that the socio-political situation in the country has improved.


  • The new owerdraft karty card is set to appear in Turkmenistan and is expected to improve the financial capabilities of citizens when buying everyday goods.


  • Beginning November 1, 2020, the Uzcard interbank payment system will again cancel commissions from banks for online deposits.
  • The Spot online edition details how the new PulPul payment application works, including features such a splitting restaurant bills, viewing payment histories and sending funds to phonebook contacts.


  • The Central Bank of Azerbaijan has launched the digital identification system BankID based on a blockchain from IBM. BankID will allow citizens and organizations to remotely open bank accounts, order bank cards and receive loans.


  • The Central Bank of Armenia and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFD) hosted the sixth meeting of a group of experts on financial inclusion policies. At the meeting, the experts discussed the implementation of the know-your-customer (KYC) policies, electronic identification and the operation of regional payment systems.


  • TBC Bank, one of the largest banks in Georgia, is reminding consumers that most of its services are currently available online, including its newest service packages.