BFC FinTech Monitor (22th May – 8th June)

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

  • Walletmor has introduced a payment implant for contactless payments. The device is approximately 0.5 millimeters in thickness and uses NFC technology. The implant costs EUR 199.
  • European FinTechs without a banking license will soon be able to issue physical and virtual payment cards, in part thanks to an agreement between payment provider Enfuce and Visa.
  • HSBC has launched a free app that informs companies, including non-HSBC client companies, about possible fraud.
  • The European Central Bank has released their annual report on the international role of the euro, in which economists Massimo Ferrari and Arnaud Mehl express concerns over the growth of artificial currencies fueled by foreign tech giants.
  • The European Union (EU) plans to create a single digital wallet for member countries. The digital wallet will store documents, payment information and passwords as well as allow for secure access to private and government services based on a single online identifier.
  • News related to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs): (1) the European Central Bank has stated that refusing to create a CBDC could deprive states of financial independence; (2) the developer of the digital yuan believes that the Chinese CBDC will be able to work using the Ethereum blockchain environment; and (3) Chinese authorities are planning to distribute USD 6.2 million worth of their CBDC to Beijing residents.
  • In cryptocurrency news: (1) Google has lifted its ban on advertising cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges in the United States, where authorities intend to track cryptocurrency transactions and exchange data on cryptocurrency investors with other countries; (2) the Chinese regulator has clarified its position on digital assets; (3) a cryptocurrency mining option has been added to the Norton 360 antivirus program; (4) the founder of the cryptobank Galaxy Digital has stated his belief that bitcoin will never become a payment instrument; and (5) the President of El Salvador was criticized for wanting to legalize bitcoin.
  • Important upcoming events: (1) the FinTech World Forum; the Banking Technology Forum: Customer Experience SummitCX Asia Week 2021 and FinovateAsia.

Russia

Ukraine

  • Ukraine may soon become the epicenter of cryptocurrencies. Toward this end, the government of Ukraine is working on the new Law on Virtual Assets, and several mining farms are being built next to 2 nuclear power plants.
  • Revolut has launched money transfer operations to Ukraine. The commission for a transfer is between EUR 3 and EUR 5, and funds are credited to a recipient’s account within 3–5 business days.
  • The Ukrainian FinTech Hub has posted an interview with Elena Sosedka, the chair of Concordbank’s supervisory board and the founder of Concord FinTech Solutions. In the interview, she discusses how to create a neobank, including how much time and investment is needed for this.
  • The Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Committee for the Development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have entered into a cooperation agreement with the charitable organization Luminate. The main goal of the agreement is to develop AI domestically as well as create a unified state policy on AI.
  • Moneyveo and IBOX Bank intend to create a joint financial product and will give a presentation to this end later this summer.
  • Privatbank has launched money transfers using phone numbers through their mobile app. They have also installed biometric terminals that allow users to pay for purchases in Jysk stores.
  • A couple of nice long reads: (1) What the Future of the Cryptocurrency Industry Will Be and (2) How the Internet of Things Is Enriching the World of Finance.

Belarus

  • IBA will launch T-Pay in Brest. T-Pay is a public transport fare payment system that allows for payment to be made via an app or a telegram bot. The new feature will launch in July 2021. The company has implemented similar projects in Moldova and will soon start working in Azerbaijan.

Kazakhstan

  • The number of non-cash transactions in Kazakhstan increased 96.6% compared to last year.
  • Damir Kakiyev, managing director of the Mass Business Block of Alfa Bank Kazakhstan discusses how much the bank spends on digitalization, why the bank’s mobile app has become so popular and what it is like to work with micro- and small-sized businesses in the midst of a pandemic.
  • Sergey Golovan, the director of digital financial services at Beeline Kazakhstan, joined the Power of FinTech podcast to discuss how mobile operators are using FinTech, how mobile operators work with data and how much mobile operators earn from financial technology.

Tajikistan

  • The city of Dushanbe has launched a new feature to the DC Wallet mobile app that allows users to make free-of-charge international transfers to UZCARD cards anytime, anywhere. 

Uzbekistan

  • The Banks and Retail: Digital Transformation and Interaction international forum was held in Tashkent, bringing together more than 300 representatives of the banking and payments industry and retail, consulting, technology and telecommunications companies. A summary report of the event is available here.
  • Funds can now be added to HUMO cards within 5 minutes using the CONTACT payment system.

Azerbaijan

  • The chief IT officer of Pasha Bank has announced an increase in technology investments, with a focus on solutions that create value (e.g. faster, more convenient services) for customers and the organization.
  • Legal entities and individual entrepreneurs can now apply to use business banking products without visiting a branch location by using the ASAN İmza solution.
  • According to the head of an expert group on payment systems and digital banking of the Association of Banks of Azerbaijan, the creation of convenient and secure mobile banking is one of the priority directions for financial institutions of Azerbaijan.
  • The non-bank credit institution Azpul will soon start issuing loans using biometric technologies thanks to an agreement signed with the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan.

Moldova

  • Dyninno Group continues to develop its operations in Moldova, offering FinTech solutions to both individual clients and businesses.

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