Stay up-to-date on all the latest FinTech news and information from around the world in the BFC FinTech Monitor.
Around the World
#Reports and Studies
- According to KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech H2’21 report, total investments in fintech in 2021 exceeded USD 210 billion.
- Data from Coin Metrics suggests that the number of transactions using smart contracts has grown to over 50,000 per day.
- Ernst & Young’s 2022 Global Regulatory Outlook recommends that financial institutions change their “regulatory perimeter” in light of the rise in popularity of central bank digital currencies and stablecoins.
- The FBI is warning people to be cautious of QR codes as cybercriminals are creating fake codes that lead victims to malicious sites and prompt them to enter login and other important personal data.
- According to research conducted by Juniper Research, insurance companies can save an estimated USD 10 billion by 2024 if they utilize blockchain technology to manage insurance claims.
- Qpisemi (India) is preparing to release a new processor for artificial intelligence (AI) applications that will be 100 times more powerful than a data center GPU.
- Shawbrook Bank (United Kingdom) has deployed its own pricing environment that speeds up the generation of interest rates on consumer loans by 5 times.
- Samsung has introduced a chip for payment cards that includes a fingerprint scanner, which can be used for authentication.
- Apple may soon introduce a feature that allows iPhones to be used a payment terminals.
- The Polish Ministry of Finance has developed an application with which users can download sales receipts from a cash register into their mobile device.
- Mastercard has introduced a virtual card for instant B2B payments.
- Visa has developed Visa Acceptance Cloud, a cloud platform for payments that allows merchants to accept payments without terminals from any mobile device.
#Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans on testing blockchain solutions to settle cross-border securities transactions.
- UNICEF has called unregulated cryptocurrency markets a threat to children.
- Analytics solution provider Ideal has launched the world’s first cryptanalytics interface.
- Google Cloud will establish a digital asset group to explore the potential of blockchain-based platforms.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging El Salvador to abandon bitcoin due to risks that could bring down the region’s economy.
- Cryptocurrency exchange FTX will soon issue Visa debit cards that have funds converted to the desired fiat currency upon payment.
- Google is hiring a former PayPal CEO to promote crypto payments as it prepares to also issue virtual crypto cards.
- YouTube is exploring the possibility of introducing NFT tokens as another source of income for creators.
- Meta (formerly Facebook) has sold the assets of the Diem (formerly Facebook Libra) crypto project.
- Visa cryptocurrency card payments reached USD 2.5 billion in the first quarter of the 2022 fiscal year.
- Online trading platform Robinhood has announced that it is beta testing the sending and receiving of crypto assets between its own wallets and the wallets of other providers.
- India plans to introduce a 30% tax on income from virtual assets.
- Bulgaria is exploring options for deploying a mechanism for cryptocurrency payments.
#Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)
- India plans to launch the digital rupee in March 2023.
- Chinese food delivery platform Meituan will soon accept the digital yuan.
- Bank of America analysts are predicting that the digital dollar will launch before 2030. They also believe that the digital dollar will have no credit or liquidity risks as it will be the responsibility of the US Federal Reserve and not a commercial financial institution.
- The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Swiss National Bank and the Swiss Exchange (SIX) have successfully completed the second phase of the Helvetia project, which seeks to integrate settlements with commercial financial institutions using a wholesale CBDC.
- The South Korean regulator has announced the successful completion of its first digital won trial phase.
- The global open innovation program Visa Everywhere Initiative is inviting fintech startups in Africa, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East to showcase their innovative products and solutions.
- The European Central Bank plans on stress testing European Union (EU) banks for resilience to financial and economic shocks that could be caused by global warming.
- Google plans to expand its range of supported cards and payment instruments in Google Pay. Negotiations with cryptocurrency providers toward this end are already underway.
- PayPal has launched a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) service in Germany that allows users to fully pay for online purchases of up to EUR 1,000 over a period of 30 days after the purchase is made.
- JPMorgan Chase plans on spending USD 12 billion on technology in 2022.
- Revolut has launched a pet insurance product and now allows users to trade stocks in the US.
- Fintech startup Curve will work with Huawei to launch NFC mobile payments.
- Santander has become the first European financial institution to launch Zinia’s BNPL service.
- Beginning on April 1, 2022, Western Union will no longer send transfers to Russia due to low demand.
- Both Visa and Mastercard are concerned that they may lose a significant market share in Russia.
- The Fast Payment System (FPS), which allows for purchases to be made using a smartphone (similarly to Apply Pay and Google Pay), is planned to be launched in Russia.
- Atomyze has become the first company in the Russian register of information system operators engaged in the issuance of digital financial assets.
- Finam has launched Finam Accelerator, a new venture project, to support fintech startups.
- The Central Bank of Russia is proposing a ban on cryptocurrencies, while Russia’s Ministry of Finance is advocating for their regulation. Russian regulators have also developed a three-year strategy for the development of financial technologies in the country as well as drafted amendments that will allow fintech companies, non-financial organizations and non-banking financial organizations to provide payment services.
- Useful longreads:
- According to a joint study by the Fintech Association and App Annie, Russians began more actively using services to manage their personal finances in 2021.
- Innovations from Russian financial institutions:
- Sber has closed its SberCredo small business investment platform. All registered investors were able to withdraw their funds to their bank accounts in full.
- Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is preparing to issue a card for the Ukrainian market that offers cryptocurrency balances and automatic conversion during payment.
- News from Monobank:
- The state system of electronic payments will switch to seamless 24/7 operation beginning August 20, 2022.
- Ukrposhta has bought bank terminals and is preparing to issue a payment card as it works to transform into a commercial bank.
- Oschadbank has launched a service that allows smartphones with an NFC module and an Android version of 8.0 or higher to be used as a POS terminal.
- The Seventh Legal Banking Forum will be held in Kiev at the Premier Palace Hotel on February 16, 2022. Register here.
- Alexander Yuldashev, deputy director general of the Banking Processing Center, discusses the Belarusian fintech market, including the issues of tokenization and remote identification.
- Timur Turlov, chairman of the board of directors of Freedom Finance, has called Kazakhstan’s fintech market one of the most developed in the world.
- President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has proposed opening a Central Asian information technology (IT) school.
- Jusan Bank is working on the creation of Jusan Singularity, an educational hub that will train Java, iOS, Android, Frontend, DevOps developers.
- Crypto mining company Genesis Digital Assets is planning to transfer KZT 300 million to the Kazakhstan Khalkyna Fund in order to support the development of the country.
- Fintech giant Kaspi.kz has submitted a package of documents to the National Bank of Ukraine to obtain permission to acquire BTA Bank.
- Daniil Vartanov, an IT specialists and expert on cryptocurrencies and blockchain, has stated that cryptocurrency mining can benefit Kyrgyzstan as it will monetize excess electricity.
- President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has proposed the development of strategies for cooperation with India in several areas, including the introduction of digital innovations, fintech and blockchain technologies and cybersecurity.
- InfinBANK has developed its own bank card processing system, which will help the bank maintain an independent card policy, establish direct partnerships with Visa and UnionPay systems and automate card issuance business processes.
- Ravnaq-bank, together with OCTO Developer, has implemented the tokenization of Mastercard cards in the RBK-Mobile app.
- Elman Rustamov, chairman of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, has stated that cryptocurrencies do not currently represent a serious threat to Azerbaijan’s financial market.
- Kapital Bank has almost completely digitized non-lending products and services for small- and medium-sized businesses.
- Hovhannes Khachatryan, a candidate for deputy chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia, believes that Armenia should seriously consider the issuance of its own digital currency.
- Ardshinbank customers can now use Apple Pay on iPhones, iPads and Macs.
- VTB Bank (Armenia) has launched the VTB-in service, which allows users abroad to send money transfers from anywhere in the world directly into the VTB accounts of friends and family. The service also allows for transfers from local bank cards to VTB accounts.