As the first week of 2017 comes to a close, Innovate Finance rounds up what happened this week in FinTech.
IFGS Story of the Week: Bitcoin jumps above $1,000 for first time in three years
Bitcoin jumped over $1000 for the first time in three years. It outperformed all central-bank-issued currencies with a 125 percent climb in 2016.
Digital currencies such as Bitcoin will be a key topic addressed at this year’s global summit – as we explore their varied applications, their presence in emerging markets and the barriers to greater adoption.
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Top FinTech News
Imran Gulamhuseinwala, Global Lead for FinTech at EY, earned an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list Innovate Finance spoke with Imran about the honour and his work at EY, which is one of its earliest members and an influential player in the UK’s financial technology ecosystem.
House of Fraser invests £35m in neobank Tandem House of Fraser is planning to invest as much as £35 million in digital challenger bank Tandem as part of a tie-up that will see the upstart lender offer services to shoppers at the department store chain.
Wells Fargo hires payments expert, FinTech entrepreneur to innovation group Wells Fargo’s innovation group has appointed Peggy Mangot for the newly created position of senior vice president of its design and delivery leadership team.
Monese raises $10m to expand mobile banking service for immigrants into Europe Monese, a London-based digital banking service targeting immigrants that have trouble opening accounts with traditional high street players, has raised $10 million to help it expand into mainland Europe.
Currency trading firm FxPro shelves float as FCA crackdown looms The online trading platform has shelved its IPO indefinitely amid FCA plans to curb spread-betting risks.
The University of Strathclyde has launched a Masters of Science (MSc) programme in FinTech It claims this is the first course of its kind in the UK. The MSc will educate students on the financial, programming and analytical skills needed to accelerate a firm’s digital transformation.
Funding Circle secures additional financing from UK government The government-owned British Business Bank has pledged to lend through the platform, which connects investors directly to small businesses in search of funding.
Accenture and Blue Prism sign bank to robotic process automation software Accenture says that by combining its cross-industry expertise with Blue Prism’s RPA software robots, it can help large organisations build the next generation of the “digital workforce.”
Warning for banks on cyber threats The chairman of the UK’s National Cyber Management Centre (NCMC) has warned that “a major bank will fail as a result of a cyber attack in 2017” leading to “a loss of confidence and a run on that bank.”
Policy and Regulation
OCC To Consider FinTech Charter Applications Thomas J. Curry announced that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) would move forward with considering applications from financial technology (FinTech) companies to become special purpose national banks.
New 12-sided pound coin to enter circulation in March The new style was announced in the 2014 budget and has been billed by the Royal Mint as “the most secure coin in the world.”
Watchdog questions Mastercard takeover of VocaLink MasterCard’s £700m acquisition of UK-based payment provider VocaLink has hit a snag after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) voiced concerns over the deal.
Indonesia has released new regulations for P2P lending platforms Following the release of the e-commerce roadmap in November, Indonesia ended 2016 by coming out with a new set of rules for the FinTech sector, specifically regulating peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms. The policies had long been anticipated by players, who had been working closely with the Indonesian financial services authority (OJK) to devise rules governing lenders and borrowers.
US regulator cites FinTech as risk to banking system Emerging financial technology poses a threat to US banks that are unable to compete with this developing field, according to an official report from the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
Mexico’s largest bank acquires fintech payments startup Openpay BBVA Bancomer, the largest financial institution in Mexico, has acquired Openpay, a payments FinTech startup based in Mexico that enables real-time payments for individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises
FinTech Boom: China going cashless, consumers ditching banks China, the largest FinTech sector according to the International Trade Administration (ITA), is going cashless. Consumers are moving away from traditional banking systems to more efficient and user-friendly financial technologies.
UAE Tech Duo’s ‘Bridg’ Offers bluetooth route to smarter mobile payments Moussa Beidas and Nadim Jarudi, co-founders of Bridg, have created an app that allows smartphone-to-smartphone payments using bluetooth, and only requires one of the devices to be online.
China launches mega $1.44b Asia FinTech M&A Fund of Funds Affirming its dominance in the Asian FinTech sector, China has launched a mega $1.44 billion Asia FinTech Merger and Acquisition Fund of Funds (Asia FinTech FoF) to focus on investment opportunities in the region.
France’s digital minister: There’s ‘increased interest’ in France from British FinTech startups after Brexit The tech world overwhelmingly supported remaining in the EU. One poll found that 87% of respondents who work in tech wanted to remain.
FinTech funding thrives in Canada despite U.S. slowdown Sector data has found that FinTech funding in Canada reached an all-time high last year in twenty years despite slow funding in the U.S. FinTech market.
Indonesia’s new regulations could boost FinTech development Indonesia’s regulator, the Financial Services Authority, published its long-awaited regulations for the marketplace lending industry on Tuesday, according to the Jakarta Post and Finextra.
FinTech in Nigeria set to grow Nigeria is set to become Africa’s FinTech hub after experiencing a boost in mobile money operations last year that has helped catapult the country to the forefront of media attention as it demonstrates its advancements in the sector. This is especially true of Nigerian FinTech company Interswitch – the country’s first unicorn.
India’s SBI to launch digital-only bank The State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lending institution is to experiment with branchless banking after announcing plans to launch a digital-only bank later this year.