BFC FinTech Monitor 28th September – 5th October

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

  • Revenues in the payments industry are likely to grow more slowly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They could reach as much as USD 1.8 trillion in 2024 (up from USD 1.5 trillion in 2019) and are expected to grow by at least 1.1% per year in the worst-case scenario.
  • Barclays, Citi, HSBC and National Australia Bank have invested USD 20 million in BioCatch, a startup that analyzes user behavior on the internet using artificial intelligence. The company is expected to develop anti-fraud solutions.
  • The European Central Bank has applied for the registration of a digital euro trademark. The final decision on the launch of the pan-European digital currency will be made in mid-2021.
  • JPMorgan Chase has introduced a new online center to protect businesses from financial fraud. The center will provide companies with a range of tools, including those that block cards, identify suspicious transactions and provide real-time notifications about atypically large transactions.
  • Amazon is launching a new biometric technology that allows shoppers to pay for purchases in stores by scanning their palm. The new technology will be made available in select stores soon.
  • The Australian government has allocated nearly USD 574 million for the development of blockchain projects, including two aimed at reducing business costs and a USD 256.6 million project aimed at creating a digital identification system.
  • According to analysts at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), existing guidelines for the taxation of cryptocurrencies have serious gaps. At the same time, Deutsche Bank experts believe that digital currencies launched by central banks have the potential to destroy the monopoly of the US dollar in financial markets.
  • Ant Technology Group (a FinTech division of the Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group) has launched Ant Bank. The neobank allows users to open an account in 3 minutes and provides numerous e-commerce financing services.
  • National Australia Bank has moved mobile banking to the cloud. This is expected to provide safe and continuous operations as well as easy scalability and reduced operational risks and costs.


  • The Skolkovo fund has rated Tinkoff, VTB, Sberbank, Raiffeisenbank and Alfa-Bank among the top Russian banks in terms of digitalization. This is based on the results of the first half of this year.
  • Visa is ready to compete with the Central Bank of Russia in the payments market by offering customers of banks participating in the payment system transfers by phone number.
  • Tinkoff Bank has developed a smart cashback service capable of anticipating customer desires. The architecture of the technology, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to calculate various models of purchase probability for a specific brand, store or product and decide whether to give cashback.
  • VTB has launched a recruitment technology from Skillaz. According to Andrey Krylov, CEO and founder of Skillaz, this could lead to a cardinal improvement in the quality of candidate assessment and a decrease in staff turnover in the next 3-5 years.
  • Alfa-Bank has opened the first regional phygital office in Novosibirsk. The office combines aspects of a physical branch with digital solutions to create unique customer (and employee) experiences.
  • The 7th iteration of the Digital Evolution in Finance will be held in Moscow October 15-16. It will feature leading developers and suppliers of IT solutions for financial institutions. Register here


  • The National Bank of Ukraine, with the support of the EU, has launched a twinning project with regulators from Lithuania and Poland. They are working to implement a system of instant payments as well as improve strategic planning and the management of processes in the bank.
  • The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and Microsoft are considering cooperation to accelerate innovative development and digital transformation in the country.
  • The Banking Sector: Era of Changes online conference will be held in Kiev on November 6. The main topics will be banking compliance and financial monitoring, information security and challenges to law enforcement. Click here for details.
  • PaySpace has reveals what is hindering the launch of PayPal in Ukraine and at what stage negotiations with the payment system are at now.
  • Vladimir Lozovoy, CEO and founder of Artellence, has prepared useful material on how Big Data and machine learning improve the efficiency of debt collection systems as well as how alternative data and machine learning are used to develop credit scoring.


  • The founder of Tap2Pay, a FinTech startup with Belarusian roots, discusses how a small company can enter international markets, including where and how to look for corporate clients and partners and what to check before developing a product.
  • Alfa-Bank cardholders can now make international transfers to other cards in US dollars, euros and Russian rubles with a commission rate of 1.5% + 3 Belarusian rubles.


  • Under an initiative of the Financial Services Regulatory Committee of the Astana International Financial Center, International Investor Week has begun online. The event features Kazakhstani and foreign experts discussing issues related to stock markets, consumer and investor protection, FinTechs, green and Islamic finance and securities market instruments.
  • Halyk Bank has launched a digital solution for entrepreneurs with no equivalent in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The new solution allows consumers to open an account online in 5-10 minutes and get approved for a loan online in 30-40 minutes.
  • Saule Yntykbaeva, head of the financial literacy department of the Agency for Regulation and Development of Financial Markets, discusses security issues within payment systems and at financial institutions.
  • Beeline Kazakhstan is no longer just a mobile operator as the company is expanding its operations into FinTech, mobile finance and internet-of-things solutions.


  • The number of bank card holders in Tajikistan now exceeds 2.6 million, nearly 23% more than last year. At the same time, most card holders only use their cards to withdraw cash from ATMs.


  • A system for assessing the quality of banking services will soon appear in Uzbekistan. It will be based on periodic surveys of banking customers, and the results will be published on the Central Bank of Uzbekistan’s website.
  • The portal has named the best mobile apps of financial institutions in the country. The top 5 are: Apelsin (Capitalbank), Joyda (Sanoat Qurilish Bank), Milliy (NBU), Ipak Yo’li Mobile (Ipak Yuli) and Xalq Mobile (Halyk Bank).


  • The Central Bank of Azerbaijan has launched a system of realtime payments, allowing settlements between individuals, legal entities and government agencies to be settled instantly through simplified bank account identifiers.
  • Visa has announced the expansion of its project activities in Azerbaijan following the news that online and contactless payments made through Visa are growing in the country.
  • The number of POS-terminals and ATMs in Azerbaijan increased in August.


  • According to Grigor Hovhannisyan (chairman of the board of Araratbank), Armenia’s banking system has not been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as much as expected.