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 joint report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and QED Investors forecasts a sixfold growth (from USD 245 billion to USD 1.5 trillion) in fintech industry revenue by 2030.
- Google is preparing to introduce PaLM 2, a new AI language model that will serve as a competitor to GPT-4.
- Mastercard has developed a digital account opening tool based on open banking. The Open Banking for Account Opening service verifies that the account belongs to the user and prepopulates the account and routing information to minimize errors.
- Meta is launching a new AI model that links together multiple streams of data, including text, audio, visual data, temperature and motion.
- Ahrvo Labs has launched a platform that allows users to instantly use any authenticated account for cross-border transactions.
- The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has proposed a smart ID concept that includes a user profile model called “digital clone”. The model does not depend on specific applications and allows users to maintain control over their personal data.
- Intellect Global Consumer Banking has launched the eMACH.ai open finance platform powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The self-proclaimed “world’s largest platform of its kind” has an integrated marketplace available in the UK and the EU.
#Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Decentralized Finance (DeFi):
- According to a recent KuCoin study, most crypto users are positive about the integration of AI with blockchain technologies.
- Visa has deployed two smart contracts on the Ethereum Goerli testnet to simplify the payment process using account abstraction.
- Coinbase has announced the opening of an international platform for trading bitcoin futures.
- According to analytics company CertiK, losses from cryptocurrency hacks and fraud in April 2023 amounted to USD 103.6 million.
- German fintech startup Unstoppable Finance intends to launch the first fully-regulated DeFi bank and stablecoin in the EU.
- European Banking Authority (EBA) President Jose Manuel Campa is suggesting that central banks veto large stablecoins if they pose a threat to monetary policies.
- Binance has added the ability to lend against NFTs.
- The UK Parliamentary Committee on the Treasury has taken the position that cryptocurrencies should be regulated in a manner similar to gambling given the significant risks they pose to consumers.
- The Vienna division of Raiffeisen Bank has announced a partnership with the crypto exchange Bitpanda. The partnership makes Raiffeisen Bank the first traditional financial institution in the EU to offer cryptocurrency transactions.
- The cryptocurrency savings of PayPal users has reached USD $1 billion.
- Mastercard has launched the service Crypto Credential to increase trust in blockchain networks among consumers and businesses. Crypto Credential provides a set of common standards and infrastructure to help validate trusted interactions between consumers and businesses using blockchain networks.
- The Central Bank of Argentina intends to ban the use of cryptocurrencies for transactions through payment applications.
- Ripple has acquired Swiss Metaco for USD 250 million. The move allows Ripple to expand its enterprise services and provide customers with the technology to store, issue and settle for any type of tokenized asset
- Fintech startup Stripe has introduced a built-in function for US users to exchange fiat money for cryptocurrencies.
- Bank Societe Generale is planning the launch of CoinVertible, a euro stablecoin based on Ethereum.
- Daniel Risch, the Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, has announced that Liechtensteiners will be able to use bitcoin to pay for public services in the near future.
- Rating company TransUnion will provide credit scoring for public blockchain applications.
#Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)
- The European Central Bank (ECB) has turned to digital ID experts to help develop digital euro regulations.
- The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has state that, while the consequences of retail CBDCs are still unclear, wholesale CBDCs are not likely fraught with any special surprises.
- ECB is planning to launch the digital euro in the next 3–4 years, although traditional banknotes will remain in circulation as long as there is demand for them.
- Fintech startup Fluency has unveiled a solution that offers the compatibility of token-based and account-based CBDC systems and also supports offline CBDC payments.
- Visa has presented a CBDC project for Brazil that is focused on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The project’s concept aims to simplify SME access to global financing opportunities.
- Norwegian financial services provider Reltime has launched a service for the exchange of fiat money and CBDCs.
- Samsung Electronics and the South Korean regulator have agreed to cooperate in the field of autonomous CBDC research.
- The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to issue loans to farmers using digital naira.
- OpenAI intends to release a ChatGPT app for iOS. The company has also introduced a feature to turn off chat history and also announced the new ChatGPT Business subscription service for professionals and companies that need more control over their data.
- Mastercard is teaming up with the Web3 industry on a networking project that will help build the infrastructure for international trade in NFTs and other digital goods.
- The city of Nanjing, China has launched a platform for the development of the metaverse.
- Microsoft is partnering with Stripe, PayPal and GoDaddy to bring the Payments payment app to Microsoft Teams. The move should help US and Canadian SMEs better manage their payments.
- WhatsApp will partner with Stripe to bring in-app business payments to users in Singapore.
- The Apple Card savings account, launched in partnership with Goldman Sachs, has raised over USD 1 billion within a week of its launch.
- Zoom is integrating an AI assistant into its own productivity platform.
- Africa Fintech Network (AFN) will receive a USD 525,000 grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to create an African fintech hub that will monitor activities in the fintech industry on the African continent.
- iFAST Global Bank (iGB) has launched cross-border neobank Digital Personal Banking (DPB) and integrated it into the fintech ecosystem of iFAST Corp. DPB allows users to store, spend and send money in six currencies (British pounds, US dollars, euros, Hong Kong dollars, Chinese dollars and Chinese yuan) while also earning interest when using them.
- JP Morgan will partner with fintech startup Sharegain to develop a solution for lending against securities.
- Ukraine is planning to partially adopt the European Union (EU)’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework for cryptoassets in order to bring its cryptocurrency legislation in line with EU regulations.
- Investments in Ukrainian startups fell to USD 218 million in 2022.
- The National Bank of Ukraine has approved the Terms of Reference for assessing the sustainability of financial institutions and the banking system of Ukraine as a whole in 2023.
- A new EUR 12 million grant fund will be launched in Ukraine to support startups.
- The founders of Monobank have indefinitely postponed the launch of neobank Stereo in Poland.
- Ten countries have expressed interest in adopting the Ukrainian experience in creating the Diya app.
- Mikhail Fedorov, Minister of Digital Transformation, has stated this his department is planning to integrate an AI assistant into the Diya app with the help of OpenAI.
- Mastercard has selected five members of the Start Path Ukraine program to receive USD 10,000 in grants as well as access to resources, mentorships and the opportunity to get expert advice.
- The alleged organizers of the MetaGo cryptocurrency pyramid, which caused damages in excess of USD 280,000, have been identified.
- According to the director of the Institute of Geopolitical Studies, Kazakhstan is becoming a profitable destination for investors from Qatar.
- Kazakhstan’s share in the global bitcoin hashrate has decreased from 18% to 4%.
- Kaspi.kz is preparing to list itself in the US.
- The head of QIWI discusses the most promising partnership models between fintech companies and banks.
- The Finsend.io money transfer service has launched in Kazakhstan.
- There are two upcoming fintech events in Kazakhstan in June: (1) the Central Eurasian Venture Forum for Investors and Startups and (2) the Astana Finance Days 2023.
- The Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Kyrgyzstan is calling on the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan to promote the development of fintech startups, including through a framework of special regimes.
- The director of the High-Tech Park of Kyrgyzstan discusses about the main challenges and opportunities for financial technologies in the country.
- Fintech, and the technology sector of Uzbekistan as a whole, is becoming very attractive for foreign investors.
- The President Tech Award, which has USD 1 million in total prize funds, will be held in Uzbekistan and hopes to bring more young people into the field of IT technologies and also inspire them to create innovative solutions and developments that can compete in the global market.
- The Mastercard payment system is preparing to open its first official representative office in Uzbekistan.
- The Central Bank of Uzbekistan has approved a regulation on control over the activities of payment system operators and organizations.
- The director of Freedom Pay expects that Uzbekistan’s e-commerce market will expand due to increased user confidence.
- Georgia’s TBC Bank Group has bought out the remaining stake in Payme for USD 55.7 million and is now its sole owner.
- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in partnership with the Fintech Association of Uzbekistan, will train future IT consultants free of charge to support women entrepreneurship.
- Xalq banki and Mastercard have signed a memorandum of cooperation.
- A list of banks in Uzbekistan that issue cards with NFC capabilities has been published.
- The head of digital transformation at Davr Bank speaks about what to expect from the bank in the near future.
- TBC Bank Uzbekistan has reported its first profits.
- Free card-to-card money transfers are now available for premium Click app subscribers.
- Fintech startup depozit.uz has raised USD 100,000 from the UzVC venture fund.
- The Central Bank of Azerbaijan has approved the Cybersecurity Strategy for Financial Markets for 2023–2026, which was developed with the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
- The Director General of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan has stated that there are no companies in the country that are officially engaged in cryptocurrency transactions.
- LIFE PAY experts have prepared material on the state of the fintech market in Armenia and several other former Soviet countries.
- Armbusinessbank IT consultant Vadim Gerassimenko discusses why continuous improvement is vital for modern financial institutions.
- The National Bank of Georgia has approved new rules for connecting open banking.
- Tether Limited, the creator of the USDT stablecoin, and Georgia Business and Technology University (BTU) have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote education in the field of cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the country.
- Terabank and Visa have announced the launch of the Visa B2B Connect international payment service in Georgia.
- Video recordings of all sessions of the DTFI23: Digital Transformation for Financial Institutions 2023 conference have been posted on the Fintech Moldova channel.