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:
- Starting this August, the online merchants of some partner platforms in the U.S. will be able to add Facebook Pay as a payment option. This new feature will first appear on Shopify.
- Mastercard will test quantum computing against Mastercard Enhanced Contactless specifications as part of an effort to future-proof contactless solutions. To do so, Mastercard will cooperate with U.S. FinTech startup Fime.
- Apple and Goldman Sachs are preparing to launch a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) service via Apple Pay. Such payments can be managed using an iPhone digital wallet.
- SWIFT is launching a service that will allow financial institutions to verify a beneficiary’s account details before actually sending a payment.
- Revolut raised USD 800 million in a recent round of financing, making it the second-largest unicorn in Europe.
- Google plans to acquire the Japanese non-cash payment provider Pring, which will allow the tech giant to independently offer financial services in Japan without the involvement of local companies.
- Booking.com is preparing to create an in-house FinTech division to make it easier for customers and partners to access its global marketplace. This is expected to help improve the overall economy of the marketplace and create new potential revenue channels.
- In crypto news: (1) half of young British investors prefer cryptocurrencies, even as the country works to tighten control over cryptocurrency advertising; (2) JPMorgan Chase criticized El Salvador’s decision to legalize bitcoin; (3) holders of Visa cryptocurrency cards spent more than USD 1 billion in six months; (4) analysts at The Block recorded a surge in investor interest in crypto and blockchain startups; (5) the Bank of China believes that private cryptocurrencies threaten the stability of the global financial system; and (6) the chairman of the Bank of France has recommended that the European Union (EU) create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.
- Google plans to release custom virtual debit cards linked to Google Pay as well as allow users to open a bank account linked to its Google Plex system.
- In central bank digital currency (CBDC) news: (1) the Governing Council of the European Central Bank has decided to conduct research within the framework of the digital euro project; (2) a concept for the digital dollar may be presented this autumn; (3) the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced the development of a national digital currency; and (4) Ghana’s financial regulator will test a CBDC in September of this year.
- The Central Bank of Russia has developed a standard for open banking interfaces (open APIs), with many Russian financial institutions already having begun exchanging customer data through secure channels built according to this standard.
- Russian financial institutions are opening new branches again, but with a twist. Branches are being opened with a barrier-free environment and identification measures that utilize a smartphone.
- According to Markswebb’s Chatbot Rank 2021 study, many users still do not trust chatbots, and most companies do not know how to use them properly. Neobanks and telecommunications companies have been the most active in implementing them.
- Clients of Raiffeisenbank can now instantly receive a reissued debit card through a card machine.
- Bloomchain has prepared a wealth of material on FinTech specialist companies that have moved from Russia, including Arival Bank, Osome and Finom.
- Specialists of the National Bank of Ukraine are focused on three possible options for using the digital hryvnia: for retail non-cash payments, as a virtual asset payment solution and for international transactions.
- Visa and Bisbank are launching the Visa B2B Connect payment service in Ukraine, which will allow corporate and business clients of Bisbank to send and receive international payments from third-party legal entities quickly, safely and at a lower cost.
- Ukrposhta clients can now send money transfers from its website by using national payment system (Prostir) cards. The fee for such transfers is 0.3% of the transfer amount plus UAH 5.
- The Mir payment system has launched cross-border transfers to cards using the Belarusian payment system BELKART.
- The online hypermarket 21vek.by has presented a new financial service that selects payment options in installments based on each client’s personal data. To use the service, clients must agree to the processing and analysis of their personal data.
- The FinTech Without Borders. Digital Eurasia forum will be held in Almaty on September 23, 2021. The forum will feature topics such as FinTech as a driver for the development of financial products and services, central bank digital currencies, financial marketplaces, cross-border money transfers and the cryptocurrency industry.
- Google Pay plans to enter Kazakhstan this autumn.
- Kazakhstani startup S1LKPAY, which specializes in instant P2P transfers (including cross-border transfers), has attracted USD 1.2 million in investments. The company plans to position itself as a sort of Airbnb for payment cards. To access the service, users need only a smartphone.
- White Rock Management will open a mining data center in Kazakhstan that has a capacity of over 100 MW.
- Invest Day, a business platform for startups and investors from Kazakhstan and foreign countries, is now accepting applications.
- The Neo Fiscal Driver service from MegaKassa has been integrated into the 1C: Retail for Kyrgyzstan mobile accounting platform.
- Farrukh Ziyaev, head of the UZCARD payment system, discusses the company’s strategy, competition and solving the problem of staff shortages.
- Erdem Chakar, a representative of MasterCard in Azerbaijan, discusses the company’s program to develop non-cash payments in the country through 2025, including the concept of “cashless cities”, reducing card issuance costs and improving the infrastructure and security of digital payments.
- IDBank has introduced a virtual Visa card that is free to use via the bank’s app and/or website. It operates as a normal payment card but with the advantage of an interest-free repayment period of 45 days for online purchases.
- FinTech Moldova has published its Fintech Ecosystem Survey to identify the needs and priorities of the financial technology ecosystem participants in Moldova.