AIFC and Fidor Solutions to Boost Fintechs in Kazakhstan

Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) and Fidor Solutions have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to drive fintech innovation in Kazakhstan and economic development in Central Asia, reports Jane Connolly of Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication.

As a result of the MoU, the two organizations plan to foster fintech collaboration by developing initiatives to support a cashless economy in Kazakhstan and provide joint fintech education programs with key regional universities.

The understanding also includes support in developing the AIFC fintech marketplace and providing mentorship and partnership for accelerator programs.

Created by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2015, the AIFC drives innovative financial and technology initiatives with accelerator and incubator programs. It also attracts partnerships and investments from fintechs and venture capital firms.

Dubai-based Fidor Solutions – sister company to Fidor Bank – offers technology and advisory services to financial institutions with a focus on open digital banking.

“AIFC has great ambitions for its fintech innovation programme that go beyond borders,” said Kairat Kelimbetov, governor of AIFC. “We are proud to be growing our fintech network by signing an MoU with Fidor, a European fintech that has successfully developed internationally. Their contribution will be valuable to all our members and partners.”

“Fidor share similar core values to AIFC, such as openness and knowledge sharing,” added Gé Drossaert, board member and group CCO of Fidor. “The collaboration between our organizations will pave the way for fintech success in the region with a direct impact on the digital economy and financial access.”

The MoU was signed during the launch of the Fintech Summit of the Astana Finance Days in Nur-Sultan.

Fidor Solutions provides digital solutions for Fidor Bank, which demoed at FinovateEurope 2011. In 2016, the challenger bank was acquired by France’s Groupe BPCE for $158 million. Last year, however, Fidor requested a split from the 200-year-old bank and earlier this year the company’s founder and CEO, Matthias Kröner, stepped down citing “different views on future strategy.”

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Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian online accounting services specialist Accounteer announces plans to open new office in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • First Bank of Nigeria awards more than $14,000 in cash prizes to winners of its hackathon competition.
  • Absa Group of South Africa adds new functionality to its mobile app.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Tinkoff Bank launches Tinkoff Junior mobile app for children and teenagers.
  • Sberbank unveils its new Payment Schedules solution, enabling users to configure the interface of Sberbank Business Online into an event feed format.
  • Top ten Ukrainian bank, First Ukrainian International Bank (FUIB) to offer banking services via messaging apps Viber and Telegram – with Facebook Messenger to be added by the end of the year.
  • Emerging Europe features Lithuania as “China’s fintech gateway to Europe.”
  • Polish vendor finance specialist LeaseLink joins loan syndication platform, Mintos.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • The UAE’s Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, a digitally-enabled trade bank, is announced, with operations to begin in early 2019.
  • TradeArabia looks at how fintech can help enhance trade in the Middle East.
  • Bahrain Fintech Bay launches Global Islamic & Sustainable Fintech Center (GISFC).

Central and South Asia

  • Bengaluru-based ClearTax India raises $54.6 million ($4 billion INR) in new funding.
  • Tez Financial Services, Pakistan’s first fully digital non-bank microfinance company, announces picking up $1.1 million in seed funding in a round led by Omidyar Network.
  • India’s Utkarsh Small Finance Bank (USFB) goes live with UP Retail Payments from ACI Worldwide.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • PayStand expands operations to Mexico, forms regional partnership with StartupGDL.
  • Fidor and GFT extend partnership to the Americas markets.
  • Argentine fintech Ualá picks up $34 million investment from Goldman Sachs.

Asia-Pacific

  • Hong Kong-based mobile current account solution for the underbanked, Neat, raises $3 million in funding.
  • Accenture partners with Siam Commercial Bank’s fintech subsidiary, Digital Ventures, to co-launch blockchain trade solution. See Siam Commercial Bank at FinovateAsia in Hong Kong next week.
  • Indonesia’s OnlinePajak, a tax app provider, announced a $25 million investment in a round led by Warburg Pincus.
  • Fintech Futures takes a look at the “fintech battle” between China and the West.

Top image designed by Freepik

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Fidor’s New Partnership Takes Aim at Financial Inclusion

Digital banking services company Fidor has partnered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to expand digital banking services in Africa and Latin America.

The IFC and Germany-based Fidor have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to identify financial institutions and partners to launch and enhance digital bank partnerships in developing regions. The IFC works with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide and is a part of the World Banking Group. Last year, the organization delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries to help end poverty. Under today’s agreement, the effort will leverage the Fidor Operating System (fOS), an API that delivers digital banking services at a low cost, and will take advantage of Fidor’s expertise in launching a bank.

In the press release, Matthias Kröner, Founder and CEO of Fidor, said: “Fidor’s business model is deeply rooted in providing fair banking in the most efficient fashion possible which aligns with financial inclusion agendas. Having access to financial services can improve people’s everyday lives in emerging markets.” Kröner added that the financial inclusion agenda not only helps individuals, but the benefits also extend to economic and social development. This is why, he stated, “The MOU with IFC aims to roll out digital banks throughout emerging countries and give access to financial services in order to boost financial inclusion.”

This partnership fits well within Fidor’s core competency. The financial services firm co-innovates with other organizations, offering its APIs and expertise to help them launch their own digital banks. Fidor’s technologies cover a wide range of digital banking elements, including compliance, risk management, go-to-market strategy, and customer service. These capabilities are key for the World Banking Group to meet its goal of enabling 1 billion more people to have access to a transaction account by 2020.

Fidor has demoed at FinovateEurope 2011 and presented at FinDEVr New York 2016. In 2016, the company was acquired by France’s Groupe BPCE. Last summer, the company’s U.K. challenger bank announced that Nutmeg was one of two inaugural partners for Finance Bay, the bank’s new marketplace that aims to offer clients access to alternative investment opportunities.

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