BFC FinTech Monitor (September 2023)

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

  • The G20 has released a new report on expanding access to financial services. The report notes that, due to the introduction of digital payment systems, India reached the target coverage level of 80% in just 6 years—41 years earlier than expected.


  • Visa and Mastercard are planning to increase the fees they charge retailers for card payments.
  • Revolut has launched a new solution (RevTags) that allows business clients to make instant payment transactions.
  • Swift and Wise have announced a collaboration to enhance cross-border payments.
  • Visa, in partnership with Currencycloud, is launching Visa Cross-Border Solutions, a package designed to provide cross-border money movement services to fintech companies, financial institutions and others.
  • Mastercard is launching an alternative ID solution (ALT ID) to enhance the security of online payments by providing alternative identifiers for actual card numbers on e-commerce platforms.
  • Hyundai, in collaboration with Parkopedia, has launched Hyundai Pay, which allows payments for parking to be made through the car’s touch screen.
  • Finastra has launched a compliance-as-a-service solution to help financial institutions combat fraud.

#Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Meta is developing an AI model more powerful than Llama 2. Its training is planned to begin in 2024.
  • Banking software developer Temenos has created a new AI solution that uses generative AI for the automatic classification of client operations.
  • Chinese tech giant Ant Group has begun testing applications based on an AI model geared towards finance.

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

  • There are 88,000 crypto millionaires and 22 crypto billionaires globally.
  • Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko has stated that US attempts to create “flawless” rules for regulating the crypto industry only hinder the development of innovations.
  • Transactions using network tokens are soon expected to account for 85% of global e-commerce transactions.
  • Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, in collaboration with experts, has published a document on privacy pool systems, which allow users to prove non-involvement with illicit funds using zero-knowledge-proof technology.
  • Several US and UK agencies have prepared a report on the malicious program Infamous Chisel, which is being used to attack cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets.
  • A consortium of leading DeFi companies (including Centrifuge, Circle and Coinbase) is creating the Tokenized Asset Coalition with the goal of promoting and enhancing standards for asset tokenization.
  • Binance Charity Foundation, the charity organization of crypto exchange Binance, has conducted a survey to track the dynamics of donations. According to the survey, cash, checks and credit cards are still the preferred method of donation for 43% of participants, while 32% preferred to donate in cryptocurrency.
  • 24% of asset management companies have adopted a cryptocurrency trading strategy, and another 13% intend to do so within the next 2 years.
  • G20 leaders have called for the early implementation of a cross-border system for crypto assets to exchange information between countries by 2027.
  • PayPal is launching a service to convert cryptocurrencies to dollars.
  • American financial holding JPMorgan Chase is considering using a digital deposit token on the blockchain to expedite cross-border payments and settlements.
  • Citigroup is preparing to launch a digital token and a private blockchain system.
  • Visa is launching support for payments in USDC stablecoins, which are processed on the Solana blockchain.
  • The Ministry of Education of El Salvador intends to include the study of Bitcoin in the curriculum of public schools by 2024.
  • 99% of Nigerians know about Web3 and cryptocurrency, more than residents of Western countries.

#Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

  • According to the European Central Bank (ECB), the launch of PayPal’s own stablecoin is an argument for the creation of a digital Euro; however, proponents of this idea still face significant skepticism.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published a detailed document on CBDCs covering research, architecture development and broad implementation.
  • Regulators from Hong Kong and Kazakhstan have started beta testing the Swift CBDC connector, which would allow for the use of CBDCs for cross-border payments.
  • SWIFT has prepared a report on how the payment system can connect to the blockchain and address the interoperability issue between different networks.


  • The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) is recommending the adoption of strict regulatory measures amid concern about the growing risk of cybercrime amid the spread of cryptocurrencies and the development of AI.
  • The Red Cross will collaborate with fintech company Inpay to save on commissions for cross-border payments.


  • Ukraine has become the 5th country in the world in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.
  • The application process for the 2023 PaySpace Magazine awards has begun.
  • Etsy is testing its payment system (Etsy Payments) in Ukraine.
  • PrivatBank is offering free card delivery to branches and Nova Poshta postal machines through the end of the year. The financial institution is also preparing to launch an option for delivering cards abroad.


  • Aynur Zhanturina, a partner of Fintech Consult in Kazakhstan, discusses local fintech trends.
  • Kazakhstan and Mastercard have signed an agreement on digital economy development.
  • The National Payment Corporation has been established in Kazakhstan. It will be responsible for the development of payment systems, interbank payments and transfers as well as the digital tenge and open banking concepts.
  • The tenth episode of the Hub Talks podcast was dedicated to fintech development in Kazakhstan.
  • Over 4,000 students are studying blockchain engineering and blockchain compliance as part of an educational program developed by the research lab Blockchain Center and Binance Academy.
  • An investment round of USD 3 million for startup ProsperPay has just concluded. ProsperPay offers an innovative solution that allows employees to get advances on their salaries without unnecessary paperwork and accounting.


  • Revenue from Kyrgyzstan’s mining tax in July amounted to KGS 10.4 million soms (USD 118,000).


  • Tajik fintech startup Alif has launched the Alif Pay payment service in the UAE.


  • According to a report by Asian Development Bank (ADB), startups in Uzbekistan are experiencing a lack of funding.
  • The head of the Crypto-Assets Regulation Sector of the National Agency for Prospective Projects has revealed that approximately half a million Uzbek citizens have, in one way or another, used crypto assets.
  • The Central Bank of Uzbekistan has restricted the operation of the Russian payment service QIWI’s subsidiary.
  • Nika Kurdiani, chairman of the Supervisory Board of Payme and TBC Bank Uzbekistan, discusses the situation with international payments in Uzbekistan.
  • Boston Consulting Group is planning to create a unified service center for financial institutions in Uzbekistan.
  • Vladimir Dobrynin, founder of Humans Group, believes that the world of payment services will undergo a revolution in the next 5 years.


  • The Seventh International Banking Forum will take place in Baku November 1–2, 2023. Register here.
  • The Central Bank of Azerbaijan, in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is developing a fintech strategy for 2024–2028.
  • The new Law on Payment Services and Payment Systems will allow fintech companies and other financial market participants to issue payment cards and electronic money as well as carry out money transfers.


  • The National Bank of Georgia will cooperate with the Innovation Center of the Bank for International Settlements (BISIH) on the implementation of the digital lari.
  • Oliver Hughes, the former head of Tinkoff, has taken over the International Operations Division of TBC Bank.


  • Fintech startup Fagura will start operating in Romania as a crowdfunding service provider after having received authority to do so from Romania’s Financial Supervision Authority.