BFC FinTech Monitor (9th – 16th 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

  • Forbes has updated its list of the 50 Most Innovative FinTech Startups. In this 6th edition, many newcomers to the list have helped accelerate the growth of digital payments and online shopping, no doubt a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Bloomberg reports that transitioning to a green economy could pose a threat to the largest banks in the European Union (EU) due to rapid and chaotic changes in the energy sector. This could result in many large EU banks facing a similar situation as they did during the 2008 financial crisis.
  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published its Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Toolkit Guide, which provides a fundamental overview of critical DeFi factors.
  • HSBC has opened a portal for API developers, allowing other companies to test and integrate solutions that work with the bank’s APIs.
  • Mastercard has entered into an agreement with FinTech startup FinGo, which developed the world’s first platform for biometric authentication and payments. The agreement is expected to result in FinGo gaining access to Mastercard’s global network of merchants as well as Mastercard Payment Gateway Services.
  • UNICEF is investing up to USD 100,000 to improve financial inclusion by channeling funds to 7 startups in Argentina, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal and Rwanda.
  • In accordance with the Second Payments Directive (PSD2), the European Banking Authority (EBA) has presented revised guidelines for reporting major incidents.
  • In cryptocurrency news: (1) the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may refuse a loan to El Salvador after bitcoin became legal tender within the country; (2) former U.S. President Donald Trump called bitcoin a “scam”; (3) large cryptocurrency investors are actively buying up falling assets; (4) the Basel Committee has recommended that banks be more cautious in relation to cryptocurrencies; and (5) China has identified 4 non-cryptocurrency uses for blockchains.
  • Visa and Goldman Sachs announced a partnership that will help companies move their finances around the world more easily. This will simplify and reduce costs related to money movement processes for businesses.
  • 2 new payment solutions: (1) Facebook Messenger now supports QR codes for payments with Facebook Pay; and (2) Timex now supports contactless payments.
  • PayPal is investing USD 135 million in financial institutions and savings management companies to help underprivileged communities of color overcome obstacles to economic justice.
  • In news related to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs): (1) Hong Kong intends to test the connection of the digital yuan to its internal payment system; (2) the central banks of France and Switzerland are testing CBDC-based cross-border payments; (3) G7 countries have stated that national digital currencies must be sustainable and energy efficient, support innovation, competition and inclusiveness and promote the growth of cross-border payments; and (4) the American Bankers Association has taken a defensive posture against CBDCs.


  • Yandex is planning to introduce its first loan products in 2022, once their deal to acquire Acropolis Bank has closed.
  • Applications are now being accepted for the Visa Everywhere Initiative 2021 competition for FinTech projects.
  • According to a new survey conducted by the Skolkovo-NES Center for Financial Technologies and Digital Economy Research, the main payment card for 42% of Russian bank card holders is connected to the Mir payment system. In other Mir news, Mir recently removed payment limits on smartphone-based payments.
  • VTB has launched the Money Loves Techno podcast, which discusses various FinTech solutions.
  • According to analytical company Chainalysis, Russian residents earned USD 600 million trading bitcoin in 2020.
  • Tinkoff Bank intends to launch mortgage loan products by early autumn 2021.
  • Tochka, a non-bank financial institution for entrepreneurs and enterprises, has introduced a QR code-based payment solution that is 3–4 times cheaper for businesses than other payment solutions.
  • Registration for FINOPOLIS 2021, a forum of innovative financial technologies, is now open. The event will be held in Sochi November 10–12, 2021.


  • Bill No 5628 On the Protection of Personal Data has been registered with Parliament. It updates Ukrainian legislation on personal data protection to be in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union (EU).
  • The first deputy head of the National Bank, Ekaterina Rozhkova, has declared that cryptocurrencies are not monetary nor legal tender like currencies and electronic money are.
  • According to analytical company Chainalysis, Ukraine was the 10th-ranked country in the world in terms of earnings from bitcoin trading.


  • Synder, a FinTech startup with Belarusian roots, raised USD 2 million in a late-seed round of fundraising.
  • The heads of technology and product development for business clients at Alfa-Bank (Sergey Sheko and Svetlana Shapovalova) discuss the digitization process, popular online services for businesses (especially amid the pandemic) and how the bank manages to consistently be ranked among the best in mobile and internet banking for businesses in the CIS and Caucasus.


  • The First Credit Bureau, Kaspi and Halyk have become the first in Kazakhstan to use digital document services in mass.
  • Valentina Drofa, founder and CEO of Drofa Communications Agency, discusses the potential of a digital currency in Kazakhstan, including if Kazakhstan can become a leader in the implementation of a digital currency, the National Bank of Kazakhstan’s plan to launch a digital currency and how a digital currency will affect Kazakhstan’s financial system.
  • Online registration for ASTANA FINANCE DAYS is now open. The event will bring together more than 5,000 participants from over 100 countries.
  • President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev recently spoke about the success of the FinTech company
  • Elena Bakhmutova, chairman of the board of the Association of Financiers of Kazakhstan, discusses her concerns that the creation of the digital tenge (as proposed by the National Bank of Kazakhstan) could lead companies to leave banks en masse.


  • has published information on the history of Alif Capital, which has moved from FinTech startup to market leader in attracting international investors.


  • VEON International Telecommunications Holding is ready to continue cooperation with Uzbekistan in the field of digitalization and the implementation of innovative projects aimed at developing the digital economy.


  • Irina Novikova, head of the Algoritmika Coding Bootcamp, discusses how developers for FinTech companies can be trained in just 3 months.
  • Turkish Birlesik Odeme expects to become a leading FinTech company in Azerbaijan by 2024 by increasing its number of users to 35 million and its volume of transactions to USD 1 billion.
  • The American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan has stated that Azerbaijan lags behind neighboring countries in terms of the number of payment cards in use in the country.


  • Fintech News Switzerland has published information about Armenian FinTechs, including PayX, Qsak, EasyPay and Text And Pay Me.
  • More than 800 people took part in the Reinvent by Renderforest 2021 conference, which focused on digital business transformation.