BFC FinTech Monitor (February-March 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

  • A new study from Economist Impact has revealed that European banks are increasingly choosing to move their core banking systems to the cloud to counter competition from platform players, neobanks and payment providers. »»»
  • According to KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech Report, 2023 saw 4,547 investment deals in fintech projects, the lowest figure since 2017. In total, these investment deals were worth USD 11.7 billion. The majority of funds were for AI-related projects. »»»


  • BRICS intends to create a payment system based on blockchain and digital technologies. »»»
  • Mastercard has launched the Smart Subscriptions solution, which allows users to manage paid subscriptions more easily. »»»
  • Visa has unveiled its pay-by-palm biometric payment technology. The payment giant has also reached a cooperation agreement with Western Union, who will issue Visa cards. »»» The agreement will also integrate Western Union into the Visa Direct platform, providing greater risk management products. »»»
  • The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has announced that the average annual number of non-cash payments per capita in 2022 increased by 10% in advanced economies and 18% in developing and emerging market countries.
  • McKinsey & Company data suggests that the global market for buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) solutions is nearly USD 9 billion and growing at 67% per year. »»»
  • Mastercard and MTN Group Fintech have signed an agreement that will enable access to secure mobile payments for millions of Africans. »»»
  • PayPal has launched PayPal Complete Payments, a suite of payment processing tools for small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada, the UK and more than 20 European countries. »»»
  • Christina Dorosh has been appointed to head the regional division of Visa that oversees the Caucasus, Central Asia and Southeastern Europe (including Moldova and Ukraine). »»»

#Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Microsoft has introduced the preview version of Microsoft Copilot for Finance, which offers generative-AI solutions for automating new and existing finance department workflows. »»» The company is also preparing to release the first Surface Pro and Surface Laptop computers with AI. »»»
  • Google will launch Magika, an open-source AI-based resource to strengthen cybersecurity. »»»

#Innovations, Neobanks and Open Banking

  • Mastercard will begin implementing open-banking technology in the US. This includes introducing an appropriate program for opening accounts and providing a basic set of open-banking products. »»» Mastercard will also partner with Nexi to provide open-banking payments across Europe. »»»
  • Kidbrooke has introduced a solution for aggregating and enriching financial data that is based on an API designed to simplify access to data sources. »»»
  • Sovos has introduced Sovos Compliance, a new platform that integrates tax compliance solutions and reporting software. The platform provides a holistic accounting system for global compliance. »»»

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

  • A recent report from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) revealed that only 28 banks (of 177) disclosed information to clients about the risks associated with crypto assets. »»»
  • MetaMask is testing an on-chain payment card integrated with the Mastercard global network. »»» MetaMask will also begin cooperating with Revolut to allow users to replenish crypto wallets from their Revolut accounts. »»»
  • A new measure that grants UK law enforcement greater powers to freeze crypto assets suspected of being used in criminal activity (even without a conviction) will go into effect on April 26, 2024. »»»
  • JPMorgan Chase analysts have identified the main catalysts that will impact the growth of the crypto market in the coming months – a reduction in rewards for Bitcoin miners, a major update to the Ethereum network (Dencun) and the possible approval of spot Ether ETFs in May. »»»
  • Andre Dragosh, head of research at ETC Group, believes that a significant influx of capital into exchange-traded Bitcoin products could eventually deprive gold of its status as a primary store of value. »»»
  • Revolut intends to introduce a crypto exchange for “advanced traders” with market analytics and lower commissions. »»» The neobank also launched an eSIM card without roaming charges and an investment service. »»»
  • Telegram plans to decentralize the TON cryptocurrency, through which advertising in the messenger will be monetized. »»»
  • The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) ordered Worldcoin to suspend operations for three months due to complaints that the company allegedly collects data from minors. Worldcoin was launched by the creator of OpenAI, Sam Altman, in July 2023. »»»
  • Only 30% of African financial institutions surveyed by Deloitte see a future in cryptocurrencies. This is down from 63% a year ago. »»»
  • Forbes has included Chainalysis, Fireblocks and Gauntlet on its list of 50 leading fintech companies in 2024. »»»
  • A new marketplace for freelancers, Plebwork, allows users to receive payments for their work in cryptocurrencies. »»»

#Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

  • British regulators are considering the development of rules that will allow cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and CBDCs to coexist. »»»
  • The US Federal Reserve does not believe that a CBDC will have a significant impact on dollar dominance with major geopolitical changes unrelated to the issuance of a CBDC. »»»
  • The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has proposed amendments to the Digital Euro Bill that would make the digital euro legal tender. These amendments include permissionless blockchain support. »»»
  • Kazuo Ueda, governor of the Bank of Japan, has stated that the public is not yet interested in the idea of a digital yen, with just over 3% of respondents even knowing about the existence of the CBDC. »»»


  • The European Union and the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAF) have announced the launch of the Platform for Remittances, Investment and Migrants’ Entrepreneurship Project (PRIME). The project will collect data on remittance flows and is expected to result in the creation of innovative business models for digital remittances as well as the increased usage of fintech solutions. It is also expected to expand access to financial services in remote areas. »»»
  • Innovate Finance has established a council made up of the founders of British fintech unicorns. The main task of the council is to provide recommendations to the government on protecting and maintaining the country’s global position in the international financial technology market. »»»
  • The European Central Bank (ECB) recommends that financial institutions improve their outsourcing of risk management, paying particular attention to the processing of personal data. »»»


  • The N Crypto Conference 2024, which is dedicated to blockchain and cryptocurrencies, will be held in Kyiv on April 19, 2024. »»»
  • The National Bank of Ukraine will conduct open testing of the digital hryvnia this year. »»»
  • Ukraine will join in a project to create an EU digital wallet, which is planned for launch within a few years. »»»
  • Daniil Getmantsev, the head of the Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy, has declared that Parliament is not currently considering the application of preferential tax rates to income received from cryptocurrency transactions. »»»
  • New opportunities for Ukrainian startups include: a second stage of funding from Google, an acceleration program for entering the UK market (within the UK-Ukraine TechBridge platform) and grants of up to EUR 10,000 from Seeds of Bravery, the Ukrainian Startup Fund and the Western NIS Enterprise Fund.
  • Ukrainian crypto startup Arkis attracted USD 2.2 million in investments during a pre-seed funding round. »»»
  • SaaS startup Neofin will collaborate with Mastercard within the Engage Program»»»
  • Privatbank now allows transfers to be made in Polish zlotys and Canadian dollars.
  • Monobank has announced new functionalities to its banking services, including new features for group lending. The neobank is also renaming the monopay payment service to plata. »»»


  • International crypto exchange BigONE intends to further develop the cryptocurrency sector of Kazakhstan. »»»
  • The Kazakhstan FinTech Association opposes amendments to legislation that tighten the issuance of online microloans. »»»
  • The list of financial services that participants of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) can provide to residents of Kazakhstan has been expanded. »»»
  • The Ministry of Digital Development has announced its plan for developing AI solutions through 2029. »»»
  • New biometric identification is possible for businessmen registered in Kazakhstani marketplaces. »»»
  • The third wave of Visa’s She’s Next, Empowered is starting in Kazakhstan. The initiative is aimed at supporting and developing women’s entrepreneurship. »»»
  • Kaspi plans to leave the London Stock Exchange by the end of March. »»»
  • The government of Kazakhstan is negotiating with Apple to open an official representative office in the country. »»»


  • The Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund (RKDF) will allocate about USD 1 million for the construction of the first commercial data processing center in Kyrgyzstan. »»»
  • Kubanychbek Bokontayev, chairman of the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan, has stated that the development and introduction of a unified national QR code standard has made it possible to create a single QR code payment space in the country. »»»
  • Kanykey Zhamangulov, chairman of Interbank Processing Center CJSC, discusses key trends in the development of a payment Kyrgyz system. »»»
  • Twelve companies have applied to participate in a project to create a digital catfish prototype. »»»
  • The National Bank of Kyrgyzstan has canceled the registration of Qiwi Bank as an operator of the Contact and Qiwi-wallet services. »»»
  • FINCA Bank stopped servicing MIR cards on March 01, 2024. »»»


  • Tether is planning to work with Uzbekistan on blockchain development and further digital innovations, including the creation of a CBDC. »»»
  • Residents of Uzbekistan will be able to apply for installments in the Uzum Bank application. »»»
  • The payment service CloudPayments, owned by TCS Group Holding (which includes Tinkoff Bank), will stop operating in Uzbekistan on March 18, 2024. »»»
  • The HUMO payment system will begin issuing a UnionPay-HUMO co-branded card. »»»
  • Davron Maksudov, director of the National Agency for Prospective Projects of Uzbekistan, discusses the current state of cryptocurrency policy and legislation in Uzbekistan. »»»


  • Fintech Summit will be held in Baku May 15–16, 2024. The main focuses of this year’s summit will be new trends in banking and financial ecosystems, innovative solutions, fintech and security. »»»


  • Emirati fintech company Haifinis considering Georgia and Azerbaijan as potential markets. »»»
  • David Kikvidze, chairman of the supervisory board of a local fintech association, has noted that the Georgian fintech market has shown steady growth over the past five years. »»»