Fintech News of the Week – 10.10.2021

FinTech news of the Week, payments

Google Suspends Plex Project

Plex, Google’s solution that plans to offer checking and savings accounts to its users through the banks it has agreed upon, set out with the claim of transforming banking and customer experience, but this adventure ended before it even started. Supported by some banks led by Citibank, Plex was aimed to be available in early 2021, but the solution did not reach this date. During the week, it was learned that the Plex project was stopped. This decision is alleged because of the departure of the executives behind the project from Google. 400,000 people signed up for the waiting list for Plex.

European Commission Sues Apple for NFC Antenna

It is claimed that the European Commission will sue Apple as a result of the investigation carried out due to Apple’s failure to open the NFC antenna to third-party applications. Banks have long been reacting to this situation, which allows the mobile contactless payment feature to be used only by Apple Pay on Apple devices, but the issue has recently entered the radar of regulators. The lawsuit is expected to be filed in 2022 and the commission is expected to ask Apple to expose the NFC antenna to its competitors, under the conditions to be determined.

There is a similar case in Australia on the subject. Germany, on the other hand, passed law from the parliament in 2019 that would require Apple to open its mobile payment infrastructure to its competitors at a reasonable fee.

Apple Pay is on its way to Chile

Apple’s digital payment solution, Apple Pay, is preparing to enter the Chilean market. Apple, which has not yet shared information that it has agreed with any bank in the country, has added a support page for Apple Pay to its website for Chileans. The solution is expected to be available in the country shortly.

Individuals Want to Set Their Own Contactless Limit

The results of the survey conducted by KIS Finance in the UK, where the contactless transaction limit will be increased to 100 pounds on October 15, revealed that 73% of individuals want to set their contactless limit. The two underlying reasons for this request were being able to control spending (47%) and worrying about having their card stolen (34%). In the past weeks, Lloyds and Starling announced that they will make this feature available.

Mobile Contactless Payments in 2023

According to the projection made by Juniper Research, the number of contactless payments made with mobile devices will reach 26 billion in 2021. It is predicted that this number will increase by 92% to 49 billion in 2023. The fastest-growing region in this period is expected to be Latin America with 400%.

Monzo Gives Up From US Banking License

Monzo, who applied for a banking license in the US in April 2020, withdrew his application after hearing that the regulator would not approve his application. It is stated that Monzo’s loss of 130 million pounds in 2020 was effective in this attitude of the regulator. After this development, Monzo will continue to provide services in cooperation with Sutton Bank and will focus on the UK market in its investments.

Singapore Establishes Data Sharing Platform to Fight Money Laundering

Singapore Central Bank MAS aims to combat money laundering and terrorist financing through the digital data-sharing platform COSMIC, which it will develop together with six banks in the country. For the platform, which will be available in 2023, the central bank; works with DBS, OCBC, UOB, SCB, Citibank, and HSBC. Within the scope of the solution, banks will share transaction and customer information.

Interac Acquires SecureKey

Canadian debit card network Interac is acquiring SecureKey, which develops blockchain-based digital identity solutions. SecureKey has an authentication application called Verified.me running on IBM’s Hyperledger platform.

  • Interac acquired another digital identity initiative, 2Keys, in 2019.

MoneyGram Will Accelerate Money Transfers with USDC

MoneyGram, one of the well-established players in international money transfer, which is one of the areas affected by blockchain-based solutions, collaborated with the Stellar Development Foundation for a blockchain-based solution. In this context, MoneyGram will allow its customers to transfer money with USDC, a stablecoin indexed to the dollar. The pilot study is expected to start this year, and the gradual rollout is expected in 2022.

US Bank to Provide Cryptocurrency Custody Service

US Bank, one of the important banks of the USA, will provide crypto money custody services for its corporate customers. Collaboration with NYDIG, which develops financial solutions in the field of bitcoin, will help fund managers to store bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and litecoin.

Financial institutions that plan to provide digital asset custody include BNY Mellon, State Street, and Northern Trust.

CBA Allows Clients to Track Carbon Footprint

CBA, one of the four largest banks in Australia; became one of the banks that allow its customers to track the carbon footprint they cause because of their expenditures. For this feature, which is on its way to becoming one of the new normals in banking, CBA collaborated with the initiative called CoGo. Customers will be able to compensate for their carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits.

Great Interest in Chip’s Crowdfunding

Helping its users to save money with its artificial intelligence and open banking-based solution, Chip once again went on a crowdfunding tour through Crowdcube. While approximately 7 thousand people participated in the tour, which was opened with an investment target of 1 million pounds over a valuation of 87 million pounds, the amount collected has already approached 10 million pounds.

Other Fintech Investments of the Week

  • NatWest has acquired the pocket money application RoosterMoney, which has 130,000 users in the UK.
  • Offering solutions that simplify and modernize the payment operations of institutions, Modern Treasury achieved a $2 billion valuation while receiving an $85 million Series C investment.
  • Social investment platform Commonstock has received a $25 million Series A investment led by Coatue. With its API-based solution, Commonstock allows individuals to share their real portfolio performance with other users.
  • Swedish startup Anyfin, which gives individuals the opportunity to restructure their existing loans, received a 45 million Euro Series B investment. Founded in 2017, the company aims to expand in the German and Northern European markets.
  • Pakistani buy now pay later startup QisstPay received an investment of $15 million. Founded by Jordan Olivas, a former Klarna employee, those who invested in the company included people from fintechs such as Scalapay, Venmo, Sylp, and Splitit.

SEE ALSO: 3 Tips for Retail FX Traders To Maximize Their Profit

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