BFC FinTech Monitor (January 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 report has found that UK businesses save an average of 150 hours per year in financial data management and invoice processing thanks to open banking. »»»
  • Liminal is projecting that the authentication market will grow from USD 18 billion in 2024 to USD 38.9 billion in 2028. »»»
  • According to Juniper Research, biometric POS terminals are expected to process 46 billion retail transactions worldwide in 2024, double the amount processed in 2023. »»»

#Payments #Reports and Studies

  • X (formerly Twitter) plans to introduce payment features by mid-year. »»»
  • Bloomberg reports that Visa’s net profit for the first fiscal quarter rose 8% to USD 4.94 billion, primarily due to increased credit card usage spurred by economic growth in the U.S. »»»
  • Razorpay, an Indian fintech startup, introduced an instant refund feature for POS transactions that reduces the usual 5-6 business day turnaround time to 3 seconds. »»»
  • Mastercard and aim to streamline B2B payments by accelerating the use of virtual cards and supporting the Pay-by-Booking model. »»» Mastercard is also collaborating with digital platform 4thWave to facilitate B2B payments in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe (EEMEA) region. »»»
  • Chinese fintech giant Ant Group plans to acquire Dutch-based payment company Multisafepay as part of its expansion into Western markets. »»»

#Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Google Research and Google DeepMind have developed a method for supplementing a large language model (LLM) with other language models. »»» Google has also renamed the Bard chatbot ‘Gemini’ and released a separate mobile app for Android to replace Google Assistant. »»»
  • Apple has released MGIE, a new open-source AI model. »»»
  • The European Commission (EC) has proposed creating an AI factory and other similar initiatives to aid European startups and MSMEs in developing reliable AI. »»»
  • Banking software developer Temenos has launched an AI-based service to optimize the process of modernizing financial products. »»»
  • Mastercard has introduced a new AI fraud detection tool capable of scanning a trillion data points to determine the authenticity of a transaction. »»» The payment giant has also begun developing a small business AI tool that offers personalized recommendations and mentoring to small business owners. »»»
  • Regtech platform Model Office has launched a new version of its ChatGPT-based chatbot to support companies involved in asset, risk and compliance management. »»»

#Innovations, Neobanks and Open Banking

  • HSBC plans to launch the Zing app, which could become a competitor to Wise and Revolut. »»»
  • Taiwan has progressed to the third phase of open banking development, which encompasses deposits, credit cards, payments and mobile banking. »»»
  • Revolut has simplified international money transfers via mobile wallets, facilitating transfers based only on basic identification data (i.e. name and phone number/email). »»» Revolut has also been included on the European Central Bank (ECB)’s list of banks subject to monitoring »»» and is facing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit related to storing the biometric data of U.S. users. »»»

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

  • Ripple predicts major changes in crypto market structures in 2024. »»»
  • Crypto wallet users can now sell digital assets and withdraw funds to Visa cards through a partnership with Transak. »»»
  • Vast Bank, the first U.S. crypto bank, has ceased its cryptocurrency operations. »»»
  • Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), views cryptocurrency as purely an investment tool. »»»
  • EU cryptocurrency firms now fall under money laundering and terrorist financing regulations. »»»
  • TRM Labs reports that North Korea-linked groups are responsible for approximately 33% of all cryptocurrency stolen in 2023 via hacks. »»»
  • According to Bloomberg, Binance is struggling to return to the British market as it is unable to find a local partner company. »»»
  • Argentina will not require citizens to pay taxes on undeclared crypto assets over USD 100,000. »»»
  • Minnesota Republican Tom Emmer has backed former U.S. President Donald Trump’s opposition to the digital dollar. »»»
  •  A new report from Chainalysis highlights that stablecoins dominated illicit transaction volumes in 2022–2023. »»»

#Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

  • ECB shared a draft set of rules for digital euro payments. »»» The regulator has also opened applications for vendors to supply components and related services for a potential CBDC. »»»
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is exploring offline solutions for the large-scale adoption of the digital rupee. »»»
  • The Chinese CBDC will support the new HarmonyOS operating system. »»»
  • The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates has conducted the first cross-border digital dirham transfer using the mBridge platform. »»»
  • The Bank of England and HM Treasury have stated that, if a digital pound is introduced, primary legislation will ensure user privacy and control. »»»
  • ECB has published a document outlining a bank run scenario with CBDC usage. »»»
  • Egypt plans to introduce a CBDC by 2030. »»»
  • Several U.S. states have proposed bills that would prohibit the classification of a CBDC as money. »»»


  • FIS has launched the Fintech Hangout 2024 initiative, which is aimed at connecting participants in the FIS Fintech Accelerator program with fintech startups, investors, financial institutions and experts. »»»
  • ECB, with the participation of more than 100 banks, will conduct thematic stress tests on resistance to cyber threats. »»»
  • China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has established a working group to develop metaverse standards. »»»
  • Mastercard has introduced a biometric authentication service in line with FIDO standards. The service allows multi-factor authentication to be replaced with  biometric systems already built into users’ smartphones and laptops. »»»
  • The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) announced six new projects for this year, including on cybersecurity, combating financial crime, a CBDC and green finance. »»»
  • The Computer and Communications Industry Association of the United States (CCIA) opposes the proposals of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to regulate the financial activities of technology giants. »»»
  • FintechOS solutions will be available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. »»»


  • The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has updated its strategy in order to better expand financial inclusion as well as more effectively manage non-cash and cash transfer limits through self-service terminals. »»»
  • Digital Transformation Minister Mikhail Fedorov has signed an agreement with the President of the World Economic Forum to establish a government technology center in Kyiv. »»»
  • Ukrainian fintech experts highlight industry trends expected to dominate the country this year. »»»
  • Monobank reports that it has lost UAH 4.25 billion since Russia’s invasion. »»» The neobank has also announced its launch of Base, a Patreon-like monetization tool. »»»
  • Ukrainian-British fintech startup Carmoola has raised USD 19.7 million in investments. »»»
  • Privatbank has launched the free delivery of cards throughout Ukraine and six EU countries. »»» The bank also now allows the opening of multiple cards under the єВідніння program. »»»
  • Diya app’s source code will be made public for review by foreign developers. »»»
  • Digital finance platform Trustee Plus is partnering with Binance Pay. »»»


  • The Anti-Corruption Agency and the National Bank of Kazakhstan have been tasked with scaling projects on the use of the digital tenge. »»»
  • raised nearly USD 1 billion in a U.S. initial public offering (IPO). »»»
  • Kazakhstan will launch a digital investment platform this year. »»»
  • President Tokayev has ordered an independent IT audit of the Finance Ministry’s systems. »»»
  • Digital Business, in cooperation with Visa and the National Payment Corporation, have published a guide on what to know before opening a fintech company in Kazakhstan. »»»
  • Kazakhstan is creating a high-performance supercomputer for working with big data. »»»
  • E-commerce training centers will be opened in all regions of Kazakhstan. »»»
  • AI will be integrated into the online platform of public services. »»»


  • The Digital Code is expected to be adopted in 2024 and drive a digital breakthrough in Kyrgyzstan. »»»
  • The Second International PLUS Forum: Digital Kyrgyzstan will take place in Bishkek on February 28, 2024. »»»
  • Fintech Farm, a British company with Ukrainian roots, plans to launch a neobank in Kyrgyzstan in the second quarter. »»»
  • The Oh! Money service has become the first fintech in Kyrgyzstan to offer Visa cards compatible with Google Pay and Garmin Pay. »»»
  • Kyrgyzstan plans to use AI for tax calculations. »»»
  • The Cabinet of Ministers has approved biometric identification methods. »»»


  • Wildberries, the largest Russian online retailer, is considering expansion into Tajikistan, Turkmenistan as well as the UAE and other Gulf states. »»»
  • The MegaFon Life app was one of the most downloaded in 2023. »»»
  • Freedom plans to open a subsidiary bank in Tajikistan. »»»


  • Markswebb will conduct a study on digital customer experiences in Uzbek mobile banks. The results of the study are expected to be presented in April 2024. »»»
  • The National Agency for Promising Projects intends to file a lawsuit to collect fines from the Binance crypto exchange. »»»
  • ENTERPRISE UZBEKISTAN, a digital tech center, has been established in Uzbekistan. »»»
  • The National Agency for Prospective Projects has made changes to the procedure for licensing cryptocurrency service providers. »»» New legislation has also introduced criminal and administrative liabilities for illegal activities related to cryptocurrencies. »»»
  • The Fintech Association of Uzbekistan, with support from USAID, is organizing free trainings for women under the WE FINTECH Program»»»
  • National payment systems processed more than UZS 224 trillion in 2023. »»»
  • Spanish bank Santander plans to enter the Uzbek market. »»»
  • Dutch venture fund DOMiNO Ventures plans to invest in five Uzbek technology startups this year. »»»


  • Fintech Summit 2024 will be held in Baku May 14–15, 2024. This year, the event will focus on innovative solutions in fintech and security. »»»
  • Visa has introduced new innovative payment technologies in Azerbaijan, including those utilizing tokenization, digital wallet, embedded finance and contactless travel payment solutions. »»»
  • Ruslan Talibov, chairperson of the Association of Financial Technologies (AzFina), discusses how embedded finance has become a key trend in Azerbaijan’s fintech market. »»»


  • TalkBank, Digital Asia and PLUS Consulting have published a technological rating of Armenian banks. »»»


  • The Digital Transformation for Financial Institutions conference will be held in Chisinau on March 29, 2024. »»»