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:
- A new study by Juniper Research indicates that the value of the embedded finance market is expected to exceed USD 138 billion by 2026, mostly due to the increased availability of APIs from financial service providers.
- The Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), in conjunction with the World Bank Group and the World Economic Forum, will conduct the Second Global COVID-19 FinTech Market Impact & Industry Resilience Survey in order to further investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on FinTech companies.
- Visa has acquired the UK-based Currencycloud platform, which enables financial institutions and FinTech companies to provide innovative cross-border payment solutions in over 180 countries.
- FinTech startup Zwipe and international card processing company ICPS are working together to create biometric payment cards (specifically, cards with fingerprint sensors) for financial institutions in Africa and Asia.
- Revolut has launched its Stays hotel booking service, which allows Revolut clients to receive cashback rewards when booking a hotel stay through the mobile app.
- A new Biometrics Institute survey of industry professionals indicates that the development of the biometrics industry over the next 5 years is expected to have a strong focus on digital identity.
- EY is partnering with software provider Fadata to provide insurers with innovative products that can reach the market faster and are distributed through digital channels.
- In crypto news: (1) Amazon is expected to start accepting cryptocurrencies before the end of the year; (2) Bloomberg has published a wealth of material on crypto deposits; (3) the European Commission (EC) has proposed a ban on anonymous cryptocurrency wallets; (4) the government of the United States will create a working group on stablecoins; (5) PayPal has increased its limit on the purchase of cryptocurrencies to USD 100,000 per week; (6) Turkey is drafting a bill to regulate crypto assets; (7) Mastercard is working to simplify the conversion of cryptocurrencies into fiat money; (8) Robinhood is preparing to launch a crypto wallet; and (9) an increasing number of institutional investors are showing interest in digital assets.
- FinTech startup Everest will partner with Oracle Financial Service to enable its customers to use APIs for the purpose of implementing Everest’s identity verification and biometric identification services.
- In central bank digital currency (CBDC) news: (1) Atlantic Council analysts report that 40% of countries are currently exploring the prospects of a national digital currency; (2) the United Arab Emirates (UAE) plans to start experimenting with an internal digital currency; (3) the Chinese regulator has published a concept for the digital yuan; and (4) the Spanish payment infrastructure operator Iberpay (in collaboration with 16 Spanish financial institutions) has successfully completed trials of various design options for the digital euro.
- Mastercard has begun discussions around the closure of its Maestro brand.
- American startup Capchase is planning to launch a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) platform for large business expenses.
- A number of large Russian financial institutions (including Sberbank, VTB and Rosselkhozbank) have connected Mir cards to Apple Pay.
- The Central Bank of Russia is recommending that Russian exchanges not allow certain activities related to cryptocurrencies, particularly trade, payment and other transactions that are dependent on cryptocurrency rates.
- The X5 Retail Group is examining the possibility of launching its own payment service in partnership with Alfa-Bank.
- Many large Russian financial institutions are critical of the Central Bank of Russia’s newest approach to regulating banking ecosystems, calling proposed changes “harmful”.
- Yandex has closed a deal to purchase Akropol Bank. This will allow the technology giant to develop financial services and products.
- Markswebb specialists share their experiences of how financial institutions can motivate customers to move away from withdrawing cash and toward digital transactions.
- 3 useful long reads: (1) the commercial director of QIWI group, Alexander Agakov, explains how FinTech helps niche markets; (2) Banking Review magazine explains how children’s banking is developing and (3) Sergey Penkin, a financial analyst at JSC MC April Capital, explains why central banks around the world are creating their own digital currencies.
- FinTech company Kaspi.kz has bought the Ukrainian payment system Portmone.
- A new money transfer service is now available in Ukraine. The service, provided by Visa Alias, allows money transfers via a phone number and is supported by Forward Bank, Privatbank, TASKOMBANK and A-Bank.
- PaySpace has published a report on the TechFin Expert Summit-2021, which took in Kiev on July 22, 2021.
- FinTech startup Zerion has raised USD 8.2 million from the European venture capital fund Mosaic Ventures and private investors to develop a decentralized finance platform that allows users to find and use financial products without having to go through an intermediary.
- The development of neobanking and the transformation of microfinance institutions into digital banks is now the main topics of the MFO Summit 2021. Find out more about the event here, here and here as well as check out this enlightening video discussion for more information.
- Andrei Podderegin, director of the Department of Payment Systems and Innovative Development of the National Bank of Ukraine, discusses what mistakes are important to avoid when introducing legislation on payment services.
- Mir payment cards will be accepted in Belarus starting in 2022 thanks to intersystem integration with BELKART.
- Following restrictive measures against bitcoin miners in China, Kazakhstan has become a top-3 global leader in bitcoin mining.
- The first digital Islamic card Tayyab has been issued in Kazakhstan. The cards do not use customer balances to generate income, nor is interest charged on them.
- The FinTech Hub of the Astana International Financial Center signed a memorandum of cooperation to develop an innovation ecosystem and financial market in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
- Kursiv explores how the evolution of digital maps is taking place in Kazakhstan.
- Residents of Kazakhstan will soon be able to open a bank account for cryptocurrencies as crypto exchanges registered in the country begin cooperation with financial institutions.
- During an online meeting with the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan, Samatbek Ibraev, a sitting member of Parliament, lambasted the regulator for “sabotaging” his bill on the development of FinTech in the country, stating that the regulator is holding back the economic progress of the country.
- For the first time, Apple has paid VAT from its e-service revenue in Tajikistan. This first payment amounted to TJS 238,000.
- TBC Bank, the first digital bank in Uzbekistan, has launched a campaign under which users can transfer up to UZS 3 million without commission.
- UZCARD has provided data on the volume of payment service transactions in Uzbekistan in the first quarter of 2021.
- SME Banking Club explores how MARTA, the first contactless payment acceptance solution in Uzbekistan that allows smartphones to become POS terminals, works.
- PASHA Bank has launched a mobile app (PASHA Business) for legal entities and individual entrepreneurs that allows business accounts to be managed 24/7.