BFC FinTech Monitor (March-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

  • Visa’s Biannual Threats Report highlights that fraudsters are employing more sophisticated methods, particularly AI and social engineering, to coerce investments into fictitious cryptocurrency platforms. »»»
  • A RISE Research study shows that the venture capital market in Central Asia and the Caucasus has expanded significantly, growing five and a half times in the past five years. Moreover, the study reveals that Kazakhstan has become the regional leader in market development and venture transaction volumes. »»»


  • Visa is set to introduce a subscription manager feature that will help users manage their subscriptions more easily by displaying stored card details and allowing them to view and pause automatic payments. »»»
  • Revolut has launched a point-of-sale (POS) application that transforms an iPad into a POS terminal. »»»
  • Mastercard has begun collaborating with Chinese payment system Alipay to improve its cross-border payment solutions. »»»
  • Network International is partnering with Souhoola to offer a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) service to merchants in Egypt. »»»
  • Mastercard and Nigerian startup Mono have teamed up to facilitate payments directly to bank accounts, eliminating the need for cards or USSD codes. »»»
  • Trustly and MoneyGram are promoting cardless payment adoption in Europe by introducing a service that lets MoneyGram users make payments without manually entering card information. »»»

#Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Visa has launched new AI-based products aimed at risk management and fraud prevention as part of its Visa Protect package. »»»
  • Microsoft has released the large GPT-4 Turbo language model for free use. »»»
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank is collaborating with Microsoft to develop new AI-based banking solutions. »»»
  • The AI token market is booming, potentially due to the anticipation of OpenAI’s upcoming Sora AI model, which converts text to video. »»»
  • TransUnion has introduced a cloud-based, AI-driven data and analytics platform for banks. »»»
  • According to Gartner analysts, over 30% of the growth in API demand by 2026 will be driven by AI and the use of large language models. »»»

#Innovations, Neobanks and Open Banking

  • Applications are now open for the Visa Everywhere Initiative, an international innovation competition in which startups present their solutions in payments and commerce. »»»
  • The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), in collaboration with three central banks, has completed testing the Gaia Project, which explores the use of natural language processing, optical character recognition and machine learning to extract climate-related data from corporate reports. »»»

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

  • Crypto Koryo analysts have reported a 38% increase in venture investments in crypto projects since the start of the year compared to the last quarter of 2023. »»»
  • Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse predicts that the total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market will exceed USD 5 trillion this year. »»»
  • CoinLedger analysts believe that the average investment portfolio of crypto users will grow to USD 2,804 this year. »»»
  • Goldman Sachs maintains that cryptocurrencies hold no real value due to the inability to estimate their value accurately. »»»
  • The US Treasury Department is seeking expanded authority to regulate foreign cryptoexchanges. »»»
  • The 1inch Network, in collaboration with Mastercard and Baanx, has introduced a Web3 debit card. »»»
  • American PayPal users will soon be able to use the PYUSD stablecoin for international payments. »»»
  • Ripple Labs Inc. has received the 2024 ‘Best Cross-Border Payment Platform’ and ‘Best DeFi Infrastructure Platform’ FinTech Breakthrough Awards»»»
  • The European Parliament has passed legislation banning cryptocurrency transactions with unverified wallets. »»»
  • HSBC has started tokenizing gold for ordinary investors in Hong Kong. »»»
  • Vitalik Buterin emphasizes that the next five years are crucial for the mass adoption and development of Ethereum. »»»
  • US authorities have charged the KuCoin cryptoexchange and its founders Chun Gang and Ke Tan with violations of anti-money laundering laws. »»»
  • The CommEX cryptoexchange has announced the suspension of its operations. »»»

#Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

  • BIS is collaborating with regulators from France, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland, the UK and the US to explore asset tokenization with private banks within monetary systems. »»»
  • Swift has presented positive results from the second phase of simulation tests on integrating CBDC systems from different jurisdictions, noting that liquidity preservation was not prioritized by participants in these tests. »»» Swift plans to launch a platform for connecting to the existing CBDC financial system within the next two years. »»»
  • The Universal Digital Payments Network (UDPN), established in 2023 in Davos, has launched a digital currency sandbox for businesses and regulators that encompasses retail and wholesale CBDCs, tokenized deposits and systems for tokenizing securities and bonds. »»»
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) supports a two-tier CBDC system to enhance financial inclusion and service quality in Pacific island countries. »»»
  • Idemia Secure Transactions and Qualcomm are collaborating to provide offline CBDC payments on smartphones. »»»
  • The Swedish Central Bank’s fourth-stage findings on the digital krona highlight the viability of offline payments, although they require high security standards. »»»


  • Sturgeon Capital and SBI Ventures Asset Pte. Ltd. plan to develop fintech initiatives in Central Asia. »»»


  • The XXIV Payments & Security EMA Conference: 25 Years Together! is scheduled to take place April 24, 2024 in Kyiv. »»»
  • Ukrainian students and teachers will have free access to technologies from AI startup Dataisland. Moreover, Dataisland and the Binance cryptoexchange will also provide scholarships to some of these users. »»»
  • Ukraine aims to enhance cryptocurrency regulations to secure EUR 50 billion from the Ukraine Facility Program»»» This, along with measures under an updated IMF loan program, will also help align Ukraine’s local virtual asset market with EU legislation. »»»
  • Ukrainian startups are eligible to receive up to EUR 60,000 from the European Innovation Council within the Seeds of Bravery Program»»»
  • Monobank co-founder Oleg Gorokhovsky discusses the bank’s use of AI. »»» The bank has also recently updated its application design and added new functions. »»»
  • Privatbank has expanded its payment card delivery to 11 European countries (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) »»» and introduced a “Terminal” service, enabling retail outlets to accept non-cash payments during power outages. »»»
  • NovaPay is set to introduce credit lines for small- and medium-sized businesses in June 2024. »»»
  • Ukrainian AI startup Mantis Analytics has secured USD 50,000 in investments. »»»


  • RISE Research, the National Payment Corporation and Mastercard are conducting a fintech market study in Kazakhstan. »»»
  • The State Revenue Committee (SRC) of Kazakhstan will soon have the authority to publish a list of cryptocurrencies and their values, using the CoinMarketCap rating, on its website. »»»
  • The Digital Banker has released an article discussing the development of digital banking in Kazakhstan. »»»
  • Mikhail Lomtadze, the head and co-founder of, discussed Kazakhstan’s investment potential, reforms and innovations at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference in San Francisco. »»»
  • The Financial Services Regulatory Committee of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) is inviting digital asset service providers to test new digital asset products and services. »»»
  • PROFIT has published an article providing details about the upcoming PROFIT Retail & Finance Day 2024 conference. »»»


  • Aibek Isaev, a founder of FinBook, discusses the state of fintech product development in Kyrgyzstan. »»»


  • Commercial Bank International has invested in the Tajik startup, which incorporates AI in its lending processes. »»»
  • Stanford University has released a study on the development of artificial intelligence in Tajikistan. »»»


  • Uzbekistan’s Uzum ecosystem has secured USD 114 million in funding, reaching a valuation of USD 1.16 billion and becoming the country’s first unicorn. »»»
  • The Fintech Association of Uzbekistan and Microcreditbank will collaborate to provide microloans to startups through the WeRise accelerator and WEFINTECH program. »»»
  • An international business forum hosted by IT company Andersen is scheduled to take place April 16, 2024 in Tashkent. »»»
  • Ruslan Adilbaev discusses his company’s acquisition of Uzagroexportbank (now rebranded as AVO Bank) as well as the bank’s fintech solutions and investment strategies. »»»
  • The Fintech Association of Uzbekistan is currently accepting applications for the WeRise startup accelerator. »»»
  • Oliver Hughes, head of international operations at TBC Bank and former head of Tinkoff, recently gave an interview to the Weekly Business channel. »»»
  • Bitget cryptoexchange plans to expand its operations in Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Russia by focusing on the large number of crypto investors and traders in these regions. »»»
  • The National Agency for Prospective Projects of Uzbekistan (NAPP) has mandated an increase in monthly fees for cryptocurrency market participants. »»»
  • The Fintech, Banks and Retail International PLUS-Forum will be held June 12–13, 2024 in Tashkent. »»»


  • The New Trends in the Banking and Financial Ecosystem: Innovative Solutions, Fintech and Security fintech summit is scheduled to take place May 15–16, 2024 in Baku. »»»
  • Konstantin Tserazov, economist and former senior vice president of Otkritie Bank, shares his insights on the fintech market in Azerbaijan. »»»


  • Brett King, founder of the world’s first mobile bank Moven and an Australian futurist and writer, emphasized the need for Armenia to develop strategies to attract fintech companies. »»»
  • EasyPay was recognized as the fastest growing and most socially responsible fintech company in Armenia in 2024 at The Global Economics Awards. »»»


  • TBC Bank Group is reportedly planning to acquire Ukrainian payment service Fondy. »»»


  • The Fintech for SMEs conference will take place in Chisinau on May 17, 2024. »»»
  • The National Bank of Moldova has introduced the MIA Plati Instant system, enabling commission-free transfers between different banks’ cards in Moldova. »»»
  • featured an article on the Digital Transformation for Financial Institutions 2024 (DTFI24) conference. »»»