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
- Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank (ECB), predicts that the launch of the digital euro will take approximately 4 years and will contribute to the development of the current EU banking system.
- PayPal intends to employ machine learning solutions to combat scammers, having already released a set of tools under their Advanced Fraud Protection program to protect corporate customers.
- Following a fine of USD 2.8 billion for monopolistic practices, Chinese authorities hope that Alibaba’s case will serve as a deterrent to other tech companies interested in similar activities.
- Facebook is testing QR code-based P2P payments. Currently, the service is only available to users in the U.S. and requires the use of a PayPal account or a Visa, Mastercard or supported prepaid card.
- TrueLayer, a U.K.-based open banking platform, has raised USD 70 million for the implementation of its open finance concept. The company is known mostly for its previous introduction of a payment product that allows businesses to bypass card schemes in favor of faster payment systems for deposits and transfers between accounts.
- Within the first quarter of this year, 27 unicorns appeared in the European market, with the majority being FinTechs. FinTech is considered one of the fastest-growing industries, alongside cybersecurity, e-commerce and SaaS.
- In crypto news: (1) cryptocurrency market capitalization exceeded USD 2 trillion for the first time in history; (2) investments in crypto funds and products reached USD 4.5 billion in the first quarter of the year; (3) Signal messenger released a beta version that supports the MobileCoin (MOB) cryptocurrency; and (4) British FinTech startup Revolut has added 11 new cryptocurrencies.
- Social network Clubhouse, in collaboration with FinTech startup Stripe, has launched a new payment service. Although currently in a testing mode, the feature will eventually allow authors to receive money directly on the network, with the sender charged a small fee for processing the transfer.
- German supermarket chain Lidl has launched the mobile payment service Lidl Pay in Germany.
- The government of Russia is preparing a concept for regulating digital ecosystems in Russia as a way to increase their competitiveness.
- The Central Bank of Russia plans to issue and store digital rubles within the regulator’s e-wallets. Users can then access the currency via financial institutions. This is an important development as approximately half of Russians are purportedly not opposed to using the digital currency.
- Ozon is planning to obtain a banking license, and Wildberries is planning to create their own FinTech product in partnership with banks.
- Other news from Russian banks: (1) a designer of state programs for business, (2) access to internet banking via QR code, (3) predictions of the appearance of 6G technology from Sber, (4) a wireless smart terminal from VTB-Kassa, (5) a messenger chat for businesses from Promsvyazbank, (6) an agent office for issuing online guarantees to small businesses from Raiffeisenbank and (7) confirmation of payments using a selfie from Tinkoff.
- Event announcements: (1) the combined Payment Business and Banking Self-Service, Retail and Cashflow forums will be held April 26–27, 2021 and (2) the Future FinTech and Banking conference will be held April 28–30, 2021.
- The world’s first platform for detecting insurance fraud based on the ClaimShare blockchain has been launched in Ukraine.
- The international Digital Credit Technologies conference will be held online on May 25, 2021. The main topics of the conference include credit risks, digital business transformation, innovative scoring methods and technologies and combating fraud in online lending.
- Privatbank has become the first in Ukraine to launch SWIFT transfers in a mobile app, allowing users to send funds in more than 120 currencies.
- Visa and FinTech company Moneyveo have signed a strategic partnership agreement for the joint development of cashless payment instruments.
- Representatives of banks, FinTech startups and other payment service providers discuss the prospects of introducing open banking in Ukraine.
- Maksim Masyuk of FUIB and SME Banking Club discusses how to increase internet banking traffic among businesses, and Elena Sosedka (founder of Concord FinTech Solutions and head of the FinTech company NEO.PRO Margarita Pobilets) discusses the Ukrainian launch of digital banking as a necessity for entrepreneurial development.
- Myfin.by reveals how the cryptocurrency market in Belarus is regulated, specifically detailing how the country’s Decree No. 8 on the Development of the Digital Economy allows for the sale, exchange and mining of any cryptocurrencies without a requirement for paying taxes on any income received from these activities.
- Czech neobank Octobank is preparing to enter Belarus, with the startup already having posted openings for the positions of director of human resources and head of marketing.
- Interfax has joined Workfusion, ID Finance and Aventus IT on the list of Top 10 Belarusian FinTech Companies Making the World More Convenient.
- The National Bank of Kazakhstan has formed a regulatory framework for an instant payment system. Its launch is tentatively scheduled for the 4th quarter of this year.
- Freedom Finance has developed an algorithm to analyze a potential borrower and make a loan decision within 4 seconds using only the IIN and phone number of the potential borrower.
- The publication Kursiv reveals why non-financial companies are registered in the Astana International Financial Center, and investment manager Andrey Movchan discusses the specifics of working with the Center.
- According to SME Banking Club, Alfa-Bank is now on the list of Top 20 Best Mobile Banks for Business Clients in the CIS and Caucasus.
- Simon Hardy (general director of the British company Findexable) and Bekzhan Mutanov (deputy chair of the FinTech hub of the Astana International Financial Center are continuing discussions around the development of FinTech in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
- The MegaPay app now allows users to repay loans and replenish current and card accounts from Halyk Bank Kyrgyzstan in just a few clicks and without having to pay a fee for the service.
- Spitamen Bank has started a pilot using artificial intelligence to issue microcredits. Currently, the algorithm (developed by tajrupt.ai) is only being applied at two branches. The process takes no more than 10 minutes and does not require an income statement.
- The Asia-Plus Information Agency and MDO Dushanbe City LLC have launched a round-the-clock online money transfer service from Russia to Tajikistan.
- Nikoloz Kurdiani, chair of the supervisory board of the Uzbek branch of TBC Bank, discusses the launch of a completely mobile bank in Uzbekistan, including how to do this from scratch and how to attract many customers all at once.
- According to the general director of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, the regulator is in negotiations to bring both Apple Pay and Google Pay to the Azerbaijani market within the year.
- A state program aimed at expanding digital payments in the country is proposing the Law on Payment Services and Payment Systems to expand the digital payment ecosystem and encourage non-banking players to become more active participants in the payment services market.
- Anar Kerimov, chair of the Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering Working Group of the Association of Banks of Azerbaijan, discusses how the compliance sector is being developed in the country and what the prospects for compliance-implementing companies are.
- Ardshinbank and Visa have become the first in Armenia to launch a ring for contactless payments – the Visa Payment Ring. This is a device has a built-in NFC module to which a card is bound. Payments are then made by holding the ring above a terminal that accepts NFC contactless payments.
- Cases of fraud against bank card holders have become more frequent in Armenia. According to representatives of Viber, more than 1,200 accounts have been blocked in the country since the beginning of the year due to this issue.
- Giorgi Shagidze, chair of Moldova Agroindbank, has stated that one of the bank’s main goals is to digitize its products and services. This includes implementing the most advanced modern and progressive digital technologies that satisfy the needs of a large groups of different client groups.