BFC FinTech Monitor (October 28–November 15)

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

Around the World:

#Research

  • According to a new Dealroom report, FinTech financing in the 3rd quarter of 2021 amounted to EUR 31 billion, with 46% of that amount going to American FinTechs. There are also now 393 FinTech unicorns worldwide.
  • A new report from Canalys indicates that cloud spending globally increased 35% in the 3rd quarter of 2021, reaching USD 49.4 billion. This is mostly due to digital transformation initiatives aimed at maintaining business continuity during pandemic-related disruptions. Additionally, the Economist Intelligence Unit has found that 75% of CIOs believe moving to the cloud will help their organizations better achieve business priorities.
  • Analysts of the Amplitude service have found that the number of active users in the FinTech industry in the first half of 2021 increased 337%.
  • According to British credit management company Know-It, more than 50% of lenders plan to introduce open banking concepts into their business processes by the end of this year.

 

#Innovations

  • Microsoft is partnering with Backbase, the creator of the Engagement Banking Platform, to develop the first fully-integrated cloud-based financial services stack.
  • Visa is partnering with Belvo, an open API platform, to introduce the concept of open finance in Latin America.
  • PayPal is launching a mobile POS system in the UK.
  • Bear Market, an Irish coffee shop, has created contactless payment cups.

 

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

  • Analysts at Juniper Research have concluded that the use of blockchain in cross-border settlements could save financial institutions up to USD 10 billion in 2030.
  • Mastercard has launched a cryptocurrency payment card in partnership with Amber, Bitkub and CoinJar.
  • China is in the process of developing a unified standard for blockchain
  • Twitter plans to create a unit for blockchain, cryptocurrencies and DeFi.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that he invests in cryptocurrencies to diversify his investment portfolio.
  • New research from MarketsandMarkets suggests that the volume of the blockchain market in 2026 could reach as much as USD 67.4 billion, 13 times more than in 2021.
  • Amazon will accept payments through Venmo, which supports cryptocurrencies.
  • Revolut plans to create its own crypto exchange.
  • A report by Deloitte Art & Finance has shown that most art collectors under the age of 35 believe that blockchain technology, big data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will change the way business in the art world is conducted.
  • Elena McWilliams, head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the US, stated that American financial regulators plan to develop regulations for storing cryptocurrencies in financial institutions.
  • Crypto exchange Binance has launched a mining pool for the extraction of Litecoin and Dogecoin.
  • Switzerland will hold a national referendum to find out whether or not it should add bitcoin to its reserves.
  • New York City will become the second city in the US to have its own digital token, with the main goal of attracting investments to the city’s budget.
  • According to Google Trends, China, Hong Kong and Singapore are among the top three countries searching the topic of NFTs.

 

#Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)

  • Fabio Panetta, board member of the European Central Bank, has stated that CBDCs of major regulators in the eurozone are likely to become legal tender in their jurisdictions, also noting that such an achievement “should not be taken for granted”.
  • A joint report from JPMorgan and consulting company Oliver Wyman has concluded that CBDCs will help corporations save USD 120 billion a year.
  • Mastercard CEO Michael Mibach has stated that his company is ready to provide financial institutions with a safe space to test CBDCs as well as be a provider of CBDC-related services.
  • With the volume of digital yuan nearing an estimated USD 10 billion, com, China’s largest marketplace, has started accepting the CBDC for payment.
  • The Central Bank of Singapore is launching a large-scale retail CBDC study
  • The Reserve Bank of India plans on testing the digital rupee in a pilot project this December.

 

#Miscellaneous

  • Amid the preparations for the launch of its CBDC, China urged G-20 countries to create a unified system for regulating the digital economy. In addition, they recommended that other countries jointly establish standards for the protection of personal data, including via improvement to legal frameworks for controlling technology and FinTechs.
  • MasterCard expects significant financial growth over the next 3 years. In particular, the company estimates the potential of the payments market at USD 255 trillion, noting the many untapped opportunities.
  • The new FinTech division of Facebook has been named Novi. According to its head (David Markus), the transition of the social network to the metaverse format poses a challenge to creating a new payment infrastructure.

 

Russia:

  • The State Duma Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption has prepared a bill on the legalization of cryptocurrency mining.
  • The results of a recent Visa payment system survey indicate that less than 1% of Russians understand the methods for safely using bank cards.
  • As authorities prepare to establish a legal basis for the digital ruble, financial institutions are expected to transfer an estimated RUB 9 trillion to the CBDC once it is launched.
  • A study conducted by S+ Consulting shows a difference in how generations want to interact with financial institutions.
  • About 3 million jobs related to AI are expected to be created in Russia by 2025.
  • Tinkoff would like to enter 3 new Asian markets and is considering a number of cryptocurrency projects.
  • Sberbank has launched the first-ever massive digital office.
  • VTB is offering the clients of other banks the chance to test their products and services for free.
  • Apple has started accepting Mir payment system cards in addition to Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards.

 

Ukraine:

  • Novaya Pochta has applied for to register the NovaSpace trademark as part of its plan to expand its range of financial services.
  • The TECH 2021 conference will be held in Kiev on December 8, 2021. Participants include representatives of Ukraine’s financial market, telecommunications companies, FinTech startups and accelerators, among others.
  • Mastercard, in cooperation with iPay.ua and 4ek, is launching the Zhabka payment service in Ukraine for businesses and individuals. The service allows users to accept payments and transfer funds via social networks and instant messengers.
  • PaySpace Magazine has identified the longlists of nominees for its annual PSM Awards.
  • Elena Sosedka, founder of Concord Fintech Solutions, presented her work on an open FinTech ecosystem at the Web Summit IT conference in Lisbon.
  • As part of a New Year’s update to its app, Monobank will allow parents to send money to their children’s cards under the names ‘Tooth Fairy’ and ‘Santa Claus’.
  • Yulia Barabash, managing partner of SBSB Fintech Lawyers, discusses Ukraine’s prospects in payments, DeFi and cryptocurrencies.
  • Focus published a report on the Digital Banking Conference & FinTech Stand-Up, during which participants shared their banking and FinTech experiences in the form of stand-up comedy.
  • Sergey Vinderskikh, co-founder of Treeum, discusses how to turn a media startup into a successful FinTech company.

 

Kazakhstan:

  • The national payment system will begin its testing phase in November–December of this year.
  • Mikhail Lomtadze, general director of the FinTech giant Kaspi.kz, presented innovative new services created in cooperation with government agencies to the President of Kazakhstan.
  • Amyrkhan Chikanaev, director of digital development at Kazakhstan’s Sberbank, expects the country’s financial sector to undergo a major transformation in the next 5 years thanks to the continued development of ecosystems.
  • The rules for currency regulation and information exchanges have been amended to allow participants of the Astana International Financial Center to access Kazakhstan’s financial market.
  • Limits have been set for retail investors when buying cryptocurrency through exchanges registered on the Astana International Financial Center website.
  • Russian energy company Inter RAO wants to supply electricity to Kazakhstan as cryptocurrency miners continue to increase their usage of the country’s electrical supply.

 

Kyrgyzstan:

  • Kyrgyzstan is studying the experience of Kazakhstan’s Astana International Financial Center in creating an innovative financial market. Moreover, the FinTech company Namba One has also signed a USD 1 million investment agreement with MOST Ventures, Astana International Financial Center’s business angel.
  • The Eurasian StrategEast State and IT Forum was held in Bishkek, focusing mainly on the development of IT parks, taxation for the new economy, FinTech solutions, mechanisms for accelerating startups and blockchain as a tool for effective management.

 

Tajikistan:

  • A draft version of the new Law on Technoparks has been completed with the assistance of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as well as international and local experts.

 

Uzbekistan:

  • BFC experts have completed the first independent study of the quality of sales and services in SME and agricultural financing. The results show that, although Uzbek financial institutions are increasingly using digital technologies, the human factor remains a key to serving consumers. The study was conducted at 11 of the largest financial institutions in the country with the assistance of the Central Bank of Uzbekistan.
  • TBC Bank Uzbekistan has been recognized as the best digital bank in the country by the international financial publication The Global Economics.
  • The International Financial and Banking Forum of CIS Member States will be held in Tashkent November 25—26, 2021.
  • Alexander Doroshenko, development director of the Kazakh FinTech service Wooppay, discusses entering the Uzbek market.
  • On November 1, 2021, Apelsin received a banking license from the Central Bank of Uzbekistan. The app, which is now a digital bank, has also launched an online money transfer service that utilizes the Western Union

 

Azerbaijan:

  • FinTech company Global Innovations, together with Visa and the international auditing company BDO, has developed the az payment platform for e-commerce.
  • PASHA Bank plans to maximize its number of digital products and services available for small- and medium-sized businesses as well as corporate clients.
  • Kapital Bank has launched the instant payment service Kliklə ödə (One Click), which can be accessed through the Mushtari Bank app or via the bank’s online banking portal.

 

Armenia:

  • Armenian FinTech startup Cognaize raised USD 2 million in seed money. The company is developing AI solutions for financial institutions, including insurance companies.
  • ACBA Bank unveiled new digital solutions at the DigiTech Forum, including turning a smartphone into a POS terminal, withdrawing funds from an ATM without a card and transferring funds using a QR code.
  • Arman Barseghyan, director of retail banking at Ameriabank, stated that digitalization is not an end in itself at the bank. Rather, the bank is growing the role of humans in technological and digital processes.

 

Moldova:

  • Moldova Agroindbank, the largest commercial bank in Moldova, has launched the Earlyone service, which allows customers to book visiting branches (and not waste time waiting in line). Earlyone also solves other problems by compiling customer service statistics and monitoring current processes.
  • The FinTech Moldova Conference 2021 took place on October 29, 2021, highlighting the topics of new banking services, the digital transformation of businesses and the development of smart city concepts.

 

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