BFC FinTech Monitor 25th January – 1st February

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

  • Analysts at CB Insights have prepared a report on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the FinTech industry in 2020. The report highlights an overall decrease in financing volume (down 2%) and business activity (down 13%). At the same time, active FinTech growth was seen in a number of countries (e.g. South Africa), especially in startups offering new “buy now, pay later” solutions.
  • According to a study published on the financial management portal SimpleMoneyLife, millennials have a clear preference for investing in bitcoin over gold. At the same time, some experts argue that millennials should be cautious as bitcoin is susceptible to abrupt failure.
  • Mastercard is developing a new generation of contactless payment systems that employ the industry’s first enhanced contactless (ecos) specs to ensure payment security.
  • UK-based FinTech startup TransferWise will be the first to leverage Visa Cloud Connect to accelerate the global adoption of multi-currency debit cards. Currently, Cloud Connect is in its piloting phase; however, it should become widely available by August 2021.
  • American financial holding JPMorgan is launching a neobank in the UK under the Chase brand. The project is currently in the testing phase, with the official launch expected in the next few months. JPMorgan hopes that its experience and credibility, combined with innovative products and services, will attract consumers who are wary of digital banking.
  • Developers of the FinTech startup Charlie are launching an app for the gamification of debt payments. The app works by collecting financial information and calculating total repayment time. The app then using gaming mechanics to encourage users to make more payments.
  • The IFINTEC Finance Technologies Conference and Exhibition, which will be held in Istanbul, has been moved to October 12–13, 2021. The conference will feature events around the topics of modern digital solutions for financial institutions and insurance companies, payment systems and digital transformation.

Russia

Ukraine

  • The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) plans to devote 2021 to actively transitioning to the international ISO 20022 standard. As part of this, NBU plans to push for the modernization of financial infrastructure, increase the country’s overall competitiveness and better integrate the country with world markets.
  • Privatbank has opened a branch in the center of Kiev that has no traditional registers. Instead, there are multitouch bars, digital screens, self-service kiosks and other modern solutions. There are also a coworking space and a digital playroom for children. The bank has also become the only Ukrainian financial institution included in the top 500 financial institutions in the world.
  • A-Bank, in collaboration with Servus Systems Integration, has entered the Ukrainian acquiring market using POS-terminal equipment provided by Verifone. The terminals are each equipped with a 5.5-inch touchscreen and are Android based.

Belarus

  • Viktor Apanasik, executive director of Bank BelVEB, discusses how the future of banking is based in smart ecosystems that independently analyze the needs of consumers, how online business lending works and what financial products entrepreneurs lacked in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kazakhstan

  • Clients of Halyk Bank can now register as individual entrepreneurs and open an account without visiting a branch location.

Tajikistan

  • Tajikistan will establish the Agency for Innovation and Digital Technologies, which will have the main goals of developing information and communication infrastructure throughout the country, the digitization of sectors of the national economy and the implementation of an e-government concept.

Azerbaijan

  • At the FINTEX ONLINE SUMMIT, it was revealed that: (1) Azerbaijan is launching blockchain-based solution to protect the confidentiality of transactions; (2) work is underway to introduce a government cloud (g-cloud); (3) the number of non-cash transactions is growing in the country and (4) financial institutions have been active in issuing virtual cards.
  • AzeriCard and Visa are developing a new mobile platform that will combine the services of all financial institutions served by the processing center and simplify the use of financial services for consumers.
  • Xalq Bank has become the first in Azerbaijan to present a system of internet and mobile banking that serves individuals and businesses on one platform. The app is now available for Android devices, with an iOS version coming soon.

Armenia

  • VTB Bank has launched a new service for the payment of foreign exchange transfers via IntelExpress. Senders using the system will now immediately see the total amount due in the national currency (AMD), which is calculated according to the system’s internal rate. A commission of 1–3% will be charged for each transaction.

Georgia

  • Natia Vacharadze, head of the Small and Medium Business Department at TBC Bank, discusses the bank’s strategy to support entrepreneurs in times of crisis, digital initiatives and the Global Finance Awards.

Moldova

  • Moldova Agroindbank has become the first in Moldova to launch an online registration service. Currently, it is only available for 7 branches in Chisinau; however, the service will continue to expand throughout the country.

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