BFC FinTech Monitor 17th – 24th 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

  • Anonymous sources have revealed that Google is planning to simplify online shopping by issuing its own debit card, which will most likely to be connected to a user’s Google account.
  • According to a World Bank report, remittances to low- and middle-income countries from labor migrants are expected to fall by nearly 20% due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • A paper on the Libra project has outlined Facebook’s plan to service national cryptocurrencies.
  • French-based consulting company Capgemini has published its World FinTech Report 2020, which elucidates the opinion of a number of experts that financial institutions will not be able to retain customers if they do not begin working with FinTech startups.
  • Visa has introduced an updated version of its Visa Secure online payment program, which makes identity authentication simpler and more secure. The updated version is currently available in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa.
  • Westpac, one of Australia’s largest financial institutions, has introduced Wendy, a virtual assistance capable of reading and reacting appropriately to customers’ emotions.
  • In the United Kingdom, representatives of the financial and mobile industry have teamed up with the National Cyber Security Center to combat scams attempting to exploit the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Finextra reports that there has been a downturn in the use of robo-advisors as users have clearly expressed a preference for live consultants during this crisis period.
  • Forrester analysts have noted that funding for FinTech startups has declined in the first quarter of 2020. The decline began at the end of last year and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.


  • The director of the corporate accelerator GenerationS has prepared an overview of Russian FinTech market trends, the highlights of which include: (1) startups typically act as contractors, (2) Big Data solutions are becoming very popular and (3) the COVID-19 crisis has forever-changed the market, although possibly for the better. 
  • Analysts at the international consulting company Boston Consulting Group (BCG) have determined that Russian financial institutions were better prepared for the COVID-19 crisis in terms of digital transformation than their foreign counterparts.
  • Several crowdfunding platforms, including StartTrack and JetLend, have been suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Russia’s State Duma is planning to expedite the adoption a law on remote biometric identification, which would enable consumers to apply for and receive loans using casts of their faces.


  • PaySpace Magazine has published an article by the chair of the All-Ukrainian Association of Financial Companies, in which she outlines why the Ukrainian financial services market is not yet ready for remote video identification.
  • The Ukrainian Association of FinTech and Innovation Companies (UAFIC) is creating a national platform for dealing with consumer complaints regarding financial services. Once implemented, FinCarga will allow consumers to resolve disputes quickly, free of charge and without having to go through the state regulator or the courts. Funding for the creation of the platform is being provided from the Financial Sector Transformation Project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).


  • PLUS magazine has published an interview with Valery Mikhalevich, deputy chair of Inkass.Expert, discussing how the payment industry of Belarus has changed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • According to the National Bank of Belarus, the volume of non-cash transactions has increased to over BYN 12 billion in the first quarter of 2020.


  • Spot has listed which financial institutions in Uzbekistan allow consumers to open a card account online for home delivery.
  • Spot hosted an online discussion with HUMO payment system director Shukhrat Kurbanov, Kapitalbank retail business deputy chair Sergei Gimadiev and CLICK general director Ulugbek Rustamov, during which the three discuss how the COVID-19 crisis has changed Uzbekistan’s financial services market.


  • Jýsan Bank customers in Kazakhstan can now open an account online using the bank’s mobile application.
  • The National Bank of Kazakhstan is piloting an identity exchange service that allows financial institutions to conduct remote customer identification and provide them with a range of services such as opening accounts, requesting payment cards and applying for loans.


  • PayX CEO and Co-Founder Beniamin Tadevosyan gave an interview to PLUS magazine on the status of the payment industry of Armenia amid the COVID-19 crisis.
  • IDBank has increased the limit for contactless payments with Visa cards to AMD 20,000 (USD 41).


  • Mastercard lottery campaigns in Azerbaijan have increased the use of card and contactless payments in the country.


  • In an interview with PLUS magazine, the owner and founder of Boxwood explains the main changes in Georgia’s payment industry, the most notable being a decrease in remittances, a decline in the use of cash and the development of online purchasing and online trading platforms.
  • Georgian TBC Bank has received a license to operate in Uzbekistan and plans to enter the market in the near future as the neo-bank Space.