BFC FinTech Monitor (April 2024)

Stay up-to-date on all the latest FinTech news and information from around the world in the BFC FinTech Monitor.

Around the World

#Reports and Studies

  • According to Statista, the total volume of transactions in neobanks is expected to grow 13.2%, from USD 6.37 trillion in 2024 to USD 10.44 trillion by 2028. »»»


  • Tencent has made it easier to register a WeChat account and link a card to Weixin Pay for tourists traveling in China. »»»
  • Mastercard has launched Scam Protect, a set of AI-based solutions that help detect and prevent fraud. »»» Mastercard is also collaborating with Onafriq to provide payment solutions to users and SMEs in Africa. »»»
  • Qiwi will begin focusing more on business development opportunities in Kazakhstan and the UAE as well as investing in other fast-growing fintech projects in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and the EU. »»»

#Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • A new McKinsey report highlights how generative AI is expected to significantly affect risk management in the next five years by helping banks automate tasks, speed up processes and increase overall efficiency. »»»

#Innovations, Neobanks and Open Banking

  • Visa has launched open banking in the USA using the technology of Swedish vendor Tink. »»»
  • Canada intends to adopt a law on open banking by the end of the year. »»»
  • American company Sentry Enterprises has unveiled Radiance bank cards, the world’s first cards with flexible OLED displays. »»»
  • Mastercard has launched a mobile app that allows users to add virtual cards more easily to digital wallets. »»»
  • Standard Chartered has opened the API marketplace for companies to test potential applications in sandbox mode. »»»

#Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

  • The European Parliament has finally approved the Anti-Money Laundering Regulation (AMLR), which provides for increased controls over operations using crypto assets. In particular, providers of similar services must now apply the same AML rules as banks for transactions worth more than EUR 1,000. »»»
  • Payment company Block has completed the development of a chip for bitcoin mining. »»»
  • Tether, the USDT stablecoin issuer, reported a record profit of more than USD 4.5 billion in the first quarter of 2024. »»» The company also announced that they will block the wallets of organizations and private individuals that have been sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury. »»»
  • Payment service Stripe has resumed cryptocurrency payments after a six-year hiatus. »»»
  • Visa has launched the Visa Onchain Analytics Dashboard project, an analytical project on stablecoins. »»»
  • Analytical company Elliptic has announced that it succeeded in using AI to detect money laundering using bitcoin. »»»
  • Worldcoin, an initiative created by ChatGPT developer Sam Altman, has announced a new World Chain blockchain initiative designed for scaling along with the wider Ethereum network. »»»
  • The first wave of wholesale tests of DLT calculations in the EU will start on May 13, 2024. »»»
  • SlowMist analytics company has reported that North Korean hacker group Lazarus uses LinkedIn to steal cryptocurrencies. »»»
  • Ex-employees of Revolut have launched the X10 hybrid crypto exchange on the StarkEx Layer 2 engine. »»»
  • Telegram has begun paying cryptocurrencies to channel owners. »»»
  • US presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. has promised to transfer the country’s budget to the blockchain so that every American can monitor every transaction around the clock. »»»
  • Kaiko service analysts have revealed that the South Korean won (KRW) has become the most traded fiat currency in the world. »»»
  • Germany’s largest bank, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW), began offering cryptocurrency services earlier this year. »»»
  • Thai authorities have blocked the work of unlicensed crypto exchanges. »»»

#Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

  • The World Economic Forum has issued a report on wholesale CBDCs. Among the key scenarios identified for their use are interbank payments (both domestic and cross-border) and the settlement of securities. »»»
  • FinTech Futures observer Cameron Emanuel-Burns believes that Asia is the leader in terms of introducing CBDCs. This includes Hong Kong leading PwC’s global index of wholesale CBDCs and Singapore ranking third in PwC’s wholesale and retail CBDC index. »»»
  • The European Central Bank (ECB) has presented new information on the development of an offline version of the digital euro, including the plan for a single technology provider to be chosen as well as the need for it to be integrated with the applications of payment service providers. »»»
  • Israel’s regulator has stated that CBDCs can stimulate competition between banks. »»»
  • The Reserve Bank of South Africa plans to continue studying retail and wholesale CBDCs over the next two years. »»»


  • American and European officials have started an “informal dialogue” on consumer protection issues amid the development of AI in lending and buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services. »»»
  • Sanzhar Zhamalov has been appointed as the new CEO of Mastercard in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. »»»
  • The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) supports the implementation of unified accounting books. It is expected that this will help avoid problems with technical standards, management and the use of third-party messaging systems. »»»


  • The National Bank of Ukraine is advising financial organizations to use AI when lending to improve risk control and identification. »»»
  • The Binance Academy Educational Blockchain Center and the International Blockchain Center Laboratory have announced a partnership with the State University of Information and Communication Technologies of Ukraine. »»»
  • According to Mastercard, 62% of Ukrainians paid for purchases last year using a contactless digital card, an 11% rise over two years ago. »»»
  • NovaPay POS terminals are now available throughout Ukraine, except temporarily-occupied territories. »»»
  • Privatbank is considering entering the markets of several European countries. »»» The bank’s clients will also be able to receive cashback from international transfers made through the RIA system. »»»
  • A delegation of 14 companies and startups will represent Ukraine at VivaTech 2024, one of the largest technological conferences in Europe. »»»
  • Maxim Lyashko, former managing partner of Energame, is now the head of the board of directors of the KUNA cryptoexchange. »»»
  • Monobank co-founder Oleg Gorokhovsky has announced the launch of the Expirenza 2.0 app, which allows users to leave reviews, book tables online, pay bills and leave tips in more than 1,700 establishments in Ukraine. »»»


  • A single system for QR codes for all banks will be ready in Kazakhstan in 2025. »»»
  • The National Bank of Kazakhstan has issued a report on the possibilities of using AI in the financial sector. The report noted that more than 30% of market participants are already implementing AI. »»»
  • Financial giant has increased its net profit in the first quarter by 28%. »»» The company is also collaborating with Alipay+ to allow for the payment of purchases made in China using QR codes. »»»
  • A detailed overview of the fintech ecosystem of Kazakhstan has been published on the Hackernoon portal. »»»
  • Alexander Stelmakh, the director of Visa’s digital solutions in Ukraine, the CIS countries and Southeastern Europe, believes traditional banks in Kazakhstan have shown a serious level of readiness for digitization. »»»
  • Timur Suleimenov, head of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, believes that the advantages of the digital tenge will be felt more in transactions with state money and less by consumers directly. »»»
  • Farkhod Makhmudov, general director of the payment system OSON, discusses exiting the market in Kazakhstan. »»»


  • Cryptocurrency exchange Binance offers Kyrgyz users free access to basic knowledge about blockchain and cryptocurrencies as part of its online Cryptoschool project. »»»
  • An inter-agency group tasked with analyzing the regulatory impact and addressing legal and regulatory issues related to the digital som has completed its work. »»» Additionally, the Committee on the Payment System of the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic has decided to create a special regulatory regime for testing the issuance of electronic money. »»»
  • Users of the MegaPay mobile app can now purchase obligatory medical insurance policies. »»»
  • Halyk Bank Kyrgyzstan joined the Visor International DMCC international investment group. »»»
  • FINCA Bank will stop accepting transfers from Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank on May 5, 2024. »»»


  • Kristina Dorosh, Visa’s senior vice president and regional manager for Central Asia and Azerbaijan, has announced the company’s ambitious plans for development in Tajikistan, including in the field of non-cash payments. »»»
  • Tajikistan fintech startup Alif has published a 5-minute video in honor of its 10th anniversary. »»»


  • The international forum Digital Uzbekistan will be held in Tashkent June 12–13, 2024. »»»
  • According to the Presidential Decree on Combating the Shadow Economy, the Central Bank of Uzbekistan and the Tax Committee can now communicate with regard to p2p transfers. »»»
  • The International Digital Technology Center for foreign companies will open as an IT park. »»»
  • HUMO director Shukhrat Kurbanov has announced a number of initiatives to further develop the payment system, including a wireless payment project, launching in new markets (e.g. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan), the new Humo Bonus Program, a new mechanism for accessing cards via the Internet and the automatic payment of credit. »»»
  • A KPMG Caucasus and Central Asia study expects a two-fold increase in the volume of monetary payments and transfers in Uzbekistan by 2027 as well as a quadrupling of POS credit volumes. »»»
  • New legislative amendments have entered into force that provide criminal and administrative liability for the illegal purchase or sale of crypto assets and mining. »»»
  • International IT company Andersen has developed an API for the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, commercial banks and other financial market participants. »»»
  • JAPAN DXT has become the third licensed crypto depository in Uzbekistan. »»»
  • The first wave of the WeRise business accelerator, organized by the Fintech Association of Uzbekistan, has ended. »»»
  • E-COM BUSINESS FEST, an electronic commerce festival, will take place in Tashkent May 25–26, 2024. »»»


  • Talekh Kyazymov, chairman of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, has stated that the country is interested in pursuing insurance solutions. »»»


  • The Central Bank of Armenia intends to license companies providing crypto-asset services. »»»


  • Georgiy Kintsurashvili, head of the digital banking ecosystem of the Bank of Georgia, discusses how the bank uses big data analytics and AI. »»»
  • TCP Bank Group has received permission to purchase the Ukrainian payment service Fondy. »»»


  • More than 100,000 transactions have been registered in the MIA Instant Payments system since its launch in March 2024. »»»
  • Fintech Moldova has become an official partner of Fintech Week London, which kicks off in London on June 13, 2024. »»»