Revolut Seeks Banking License in Russia; Mastercard Pledges Partnerships with Indian Fintechs

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

  • DisruptAfrica profiles TeamApt and its role as the “go to” fintech startup for Nigeria banks.
  • Nairobi, Kenya-based CarePay International raises $44.7 million (€40 million) for expansion into new markets.
  • expressPay goes live with Visa on mobile in Ghana.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Austrian fintech Bitpanda launches gold and silver trading on its platform.
  • Revolut announces plans to pursue banking license in Russia.
  • Nayax introduces its new cashless payment integration, the Bluecode payments solution, in Austria and Germany.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Visa teams up with Bahrain FinTech Bay to drive fintech innovation in the country.
  • Saudi Payments inks memorandum of understanding to introduce QR code-based national payment system in Saudi Arabia.
  • National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) says it is the first MENA-based bank to launch an open banking offering.

Central and Southern Asia

  • PayPal India unveils its OneTouch feature which, integrated with Google Smart Lock, enables users to register their Android device with PayPal and remain logged in for all subsequent PayPall purchases on that device.
  • Mastercard pledges partnerships with Indian fintechs via its India Investment Fund.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Descendants of the Medici banking family launch a digital bank, Medici Bank, in Puerto Rico.
  • Japan’s SoftBank invests $20 million in Mexican payments innovator Clip.
  • Scotiabank’s fintech accelerator, FactoryA, introduces its incoming cohort of startups from Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.

Asia-Pacific

  • Singapore-based YouTrip raises $25.5 million for its multi-currency payments app.
  • Hong Kong Monetary Authority issues another four virtual bank licenses.
  • South Korea unveils new regulations to empower robo-advisory services.

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Temenos in Tunisia; Fenergo Backs Blockchain-based KYC in Bahrain

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.

Asia-Pacific

  • Singapore-based financial supermarket GoBear scoops up $80 million in new funding.
  • Wipro builds prototype for central bank digital currency project in Thailand.
  • Chinese fintech Pintec Technology opens international headquarters in Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Chipper Cash, an African cross-border payment startup, raiseded $2.4 million in funding – including a contribution from football Hall of Famer Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures.
  • Central Bank of Kenya and the Monetary Authority of Singapore to launch the first Afro-Asia Fintech Festival.
  • Remoney wins Innovation in Lending award at the Nigerian Fintech Awards.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Twisto closes $15.7 million capital raise.
  • Estonia tightens regulations on granting virtual currency licenses.
  • Partnership between Wirecard and Orange Money to bring digital payment services to Eastern Europe.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Fenergo supports Bahrain’s blockchain-based KYC.
  • ACI extends partnership with Vocalink into Saudi Arabia to facilitate the adoption of real-time payments through ACI’s UP Real-Time Payments solution.
  • Tunisian bank selects Temenos to drive digital transformation and future growth.

Central and Southern Asia

  • New Indian Express features digital piggy bank, Wizely.
  • Zawya looks at the potential for Islamic banking and finance in Uzbekistan.
  • YourStory profiles year-old fintech startup, Nira.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mastercard partners with Edenred and northern Mexico state of Sonora to trial biometric cards.
  • Brazilian fintech Nubank goes live in Mexico.
  • Bolivia launches interoperable payment solution using QR codes.

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Amazon Pay Fuels P2P in India; Fenergo Makes Friends in Bahrain

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.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazil’s central bank issues open banking guidelines for the country.
  • Crunchbase News looks at VC funding trends in Latin America and their impact on fintech investment.
  • LATAM Tech explores Argentina’s investment in blockchain technology.

Asia-Pacific

  • ACI Worldwide to help Indonesia interbank network ALTO to expand its payment capabilities.
  • China makes moves to ease cross-border ecommerce settlement.
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Central Bank of Canada team up to trial DLT technology for cross border payments.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • ESI Africa reports on the potential for fintech to drive economic growth in Africa.
  • Kenya’s 4G Capital, a financial services solution provider for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) opens offices in Uganda.
  • Fintech News Switzerland profiles the fintech scene in South Africa.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Token helps drive Open Banking with new Sberbank Croatia partnership.
  • Lithuanian fintech Paysera announces plans to raise €2.5 million in a security token offering.
  • Banks in Hungary and Slovakia choose core banking technology from Oracle Financial Services.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Fenergo working with Bahrain’s Electronic Network for Financial Transactions to design and implement a KYC solution that incorporates blockchain technology.
  • Wamda interviews Mohamed Okasha, co-founder of Egypt-based electronic payment gateway, Fawry.
  • Mercury Payment Services, a Dubai-based financial services company, to deploy AML technology from Fiserv.

Central and South Asia

  • TechCrunch: India tops China as destination for fintech investment.
  • Amazon Pay launches P2P payments for Android users in India.
  • Myamar-based financing platform Daung Capital closes Series A round after securing additional funding.

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Indian Fintechs Raise Capital; Expensify Partners with Asian RideShare Startup

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.

Central and South Asia

  • India’s ZestMoney raises $20 million in new funding.
  • Fiserv to streamline and automate cash management processes for Eurasian Bank of Kazakhstan.
  • Indian digital investment advisor Kuvera raises $4.5 million in Series A financing.
  • Telecom operator Tcell and Wallet Factory launch mobile financial app, TezSum, in Tajikistan.
  • Cashfree, an Indian payments company, raised $5.5 million in a round led by Smilegate Investment.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian credit marketplace FinanZero raises $11 million in Series B funding.
  • Tencent Holdings invests in Argentine mobile payments app Uala.
  • Euromoney considers the battle for dominance in Brazil’s emergent fintech space.

Asia-Pacific

  • Expense management specialist Expensify integrates with Southeast Asia-based ride share company Grab.
  • WorldRemit initiates international transfers to UnionPay debit cards in China.
  • Singapore machine learning data analytics firm AIDA picks up investment from Mastercard.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Ghanan fintech KudiGO raises $450,000 in seed funding.
  • The Financial Times looks at the rise of mobile money in Kenya.
  • South African accelerator and incubator Founders Factory Africa (FFA) and Standard Bank welcome five fintech startups to their incoming class.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank partners with Digital Horizon and Gazprombank to support biometric technology company Speech Technology Centre.
  • Billon Solutions wins approval from Polish Financial Supervision Authority to operate as a registered e-money institution.
  • N26 announces plans to open a technology and innovation center in Vienna, Austria.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Vocalink brings real-time payments to Saudi Arabia courtesy of new partnership with Saudi Payments, a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.
  • Investors from the Qatar Investment Authority believed to participate in SoFi’s $500 million funding round.
  • Financial Times looks at financial inclusion and “homegrown fintech” in Iraq.

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African Unicorn Jumia Opens on NYSE; UAE’s Finablr Eyes $200M IPO

Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • UAE-based payments company Finablr prepares for a $200 million IPO.
  • Emirates NBD launches its WhatsApp Business Solution.
  • Awok.com, a mass market ecommerce platform based in the UAE, raised $30 million in Series A funding.

Central and South Asia

  • Indian fintech BharatPe secures $15.5 million in Series A round to help provide UPI QR codes to merchants.
  • TechCrunch: PayU’s $70 million acquisition of Wibmo signals the company’s interest in the Indian market.
  • Entrepreneur India takes a look at what investors like about Indian fintech.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian SME lender Weel raises $30 million courtesy of investment from Franklin Templeton.
  • Mexico’s Banco BASE partners with Volante Technologies for end-to-end payment processing solutions.
  • PaymentsJournal reviews the surge in the number of new unicorns among Latin American fintech startups.

Asia-Pacific

  • TurnKey Lender receives accreditation from the Singapore government’s IMDA, a certification that enables companies to expand into international markets easier.
  • WeLab, a Hong Kong based mobile lender, earns virtual banking license.
  • Fintech Singapore features its list of the top 10 fintech firms in Thailand for 2019.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • The ecommerce marketplace known as the “African Amazon,” Jumia, begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Top African finance app Branch lands $170 million in financing led by Foundation Capital and Visa.
  • Nigeria-based bank agent network Kudi raises $5 million in Series A.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Microblink introduces new document scanning app, BlinkCard.
  • Estonia to bid for developing national ID system, PhilSys, in the Philippines.
  • Fiserv helps Hellenic Bank streamline payments.

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Finn AI Powers Chatbots in South Africa; Token Drives Open Banking in MENA

Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • NF Innova to power “Customer-First” experience for APS Bank.
  • Tinkoff Group of Russia builds supercomputer dubbed the most powerful in financial sector.
  • Raiffeisen Bank Serbia picks Asseco SEE as its strategic vendor.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Khaleeji Commercial Bank of Bahrain partners with Token.io.
  • AI chatbot maker Kasisto and UAE-based digital bank Liv partner to launch new conversational chatbot, Olivia.
  • Smart Dubai gives the nod to blockchain platform developed by Du, formerly known as the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company.

Central and South Asia

  • Indian point-of-sale terminal developer Mswipe raised $30 million in new funding.
  • Fintech startups are among those looking for capital from the new $20 million fund launched by China’s Gobi Partners and Pakistan’s Fatima Ventures.
  • India’s Federal Bank turns to Ripple to power cross-border remittances.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • The Paypers interviews allpago Founder and CEO, Philipp Bock, on ecommerce in Latin America.
  • HSBC Uruguay announces partnership with Spanish biometric authentication firm, FacePhi.
  • Latin American payments processor EBANX initiates local operations in Brazil.

Asia-Pacific

  • Hong Kong-based SME lender Qupital raises $15 million to fuel expansion to mainland China.
  • Krungthai Bank, EVX Holdings, and Shwe Rural and Urban Development Bank agree to launch the first blockchain-powered, cross- border money transfer service between Thailand and Myanmar.
  • UnionBank of the Philippines introduces the first cryptocurrency ATM in the country.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Finn AI Brings Conversational Banking to South Africa’s TymeBank.
  • Korepay helps Nigerian migrant workers in 12 U.S. states send money back home.
  • Xente, a fintech that enables Ugandan merchants to offer pay by installment, announces expansion to Nigeria.

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Virtual Banks Launch in Hong Kong; Can Bitcoin Save Argentina?

Finovate Global 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 payments company Amplify has been acquired by OneFinance (OneFi). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Tech in Africa profiles Kenyan fintech Branch.
  • Compelo features insurtechs and savings platforms in its presentation of African tech startups “looking to go global.”

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Bank 131, Russia’s first new bank in four years, to specialize in serving online businesses.
  • Estonian cryptocurrency exchange Jubiter launches debit card.
  • Business Review looks at opportunities for Romanian entrepreneurs in the fintech market in the CEE region.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Etihad Credit Insurance teams up with First Abu Dhabi Bank to help UAE companies manage trade finance.
  • Egyptian cloud-based payroll service Dopay picks up €1 million line of credit from the Massif Fund.
  • Emirates NBD and Fintech Hive announced launch of API sandbox.

Central and South Asia

  • Pakistan’s first microfinance bank, Khushhali Bank, goes live with Temenos’ T24 core banking system.
  • Google Play to launch gold-backed investment plans in India.
  • Indian core banking system provider Nelito Systems inks deal with Myanmar’s Alliance for Microfinance.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mexico-based lender Credijuto announces $100 million credit facility courtesy of Goldman Sachs.
  • Investor Tim Draper makes the case for Argentina to embrace bitcoin.
  • T13 considers the slow progress of fintech regulation in Chile. In Spanish.

Asia-Pacific

  • ZhongAn earns virtual banking license from Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
  • ING and Bank of Beijing invest $447 million in a new digital bank in China.
  • Standard Chartered partners with Ctrip Finance to launch virtual bank in Hong Kong.

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Instarem Raises Capital; TurnKey Lender Goes Live in Malaysia

Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Asia-Pacific

  • TurnKey Lender opens new office in Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
  • Instarem raises $41 million to fund global expansion.
  • Singapore FinTech Association and FinTech Australia ink Memorandum of Understanding.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian online lender OneFi to acquire Nigerian payment solutions company Amplify.
  • Finextra features its list of the top South African fintech startups to look out for in 2019.
  • Born2Invest highlights the fintechs in Africa’s emerging startup industry.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Tinkoff Mobile, a subsidiary of Tinkoff Bank, announces service in six new regions.
  • CEE fintech watchers are keeping an eye on the pending launch of the “first bank for the Russian Internet” VR_Bank.
  • Vienna, Austria-based fintech Bitpanda adds its first stablecoin, Tether, introducing the new asset class on its trading platform.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Egypt’s central bank sets aside $58 million to fund fintech startups in the country.
  • Arabian Business looks at the continued dominance of cash in Saudi Arabia, despite the growth of the country’s fintech sector.
  • ZDNet reviews how new technologies like AI and automation represent challenge and opportunity for countries in the MENA region.

Central and South Asia

  • Wipro launches its AI and machine learning-powered accounts payable, KYC, and other solutions on Amazon Web Services.
  • Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon goes live with Clari5 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Solution to address money laundering threats.
  • Fintech Futures looks at Indian micro lending startup, Spoon, as it prepares to go live.
  • PakWired reviews the likelihood that Pakistan will legalize cryptocurrencies by the end of the year.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Analysts cast a wary eye at new cryptocurrency regulations from the Bank of Mexico.
  • Bob’s Guide features a deep dive into the evolving Brazilian payments market.
  • New Cayman Islands-based fintech consulting firm, Cartan Group, opens for business.

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PayPal in Argentina; Temenos Backs African Challenger Bank

Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • PayPal invests $750 million in Argentina-based e-commerce company MercadoLibre.
  • First Data to acquire Brazilian electronic funds transfer (EFT) solution provider Software Express.
  • NCR, Bluefin, and Powertranz team up to support POS card processing for Caribbean quick serve restaurants.
  • BlueRush deploys its Individeo platform with a large Colombian bank courtesy of a partnership with Bee Concept.
  • The Wall Street Journal looks at how global FIs are gaining interest in the Latin American alternative lending market.

Asia-Pacific

  • Experian launches Singapore-based incubator, Experian X Labs.
  • South Korean crypto company Kakao raises $90 million via private coin offering.
  • Thai Stock Exchange to launch a digital asset exchange next year.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Front office and core banking technology from Temenos to drive digital revamp for African challenger bank, Vista Bank.
  • Financial Software and Systems takes 46% stake in South Africa’s Ecentric Payment Systems.
  • South Africa’s second largest retail bank, Capitec, extends its partnership with ACI Worldwide.
  • ThreatMetrix teams up with Blue Turtle Technologies to help market its fraud prevention solution to customers in Africa.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Tinkoff Bank reports 2018 highlights including launch of new mortgage app, a joint P2P money transfer offering with Sberbank, and more than 2.7 million new active credit customers.
  • iSignthis Inks Banking and Payments Deal with Ibanera.
  • Bulgaria-based Software Group scores €18 million loan from Europe Investment Bank.
  • EU Startups features lending platform Inlock its look at 10 Hungarian startups to look out for in 2019.
  • Bulgaria’s Municipal Bank to deploy new core and payments solutions from Oracle.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) launches $10 million fund for fintech startups in the MENA region.
  • Commercial Bank of Qatar joins R3.
  • Credit scoring solution provider Creditinfo opens regional hub in Muscat following new strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Oman.

Central and South Asia

  • ArthaYantra wins Fintech of the Year (India) at The Asset Triple A Digital Awards.
  • Africa’s Naspers plans to spend $1 billion on investments in Indian fintechs.
  • Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures division to launch digital platform for Indian SMEs.

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Finovate Global: Vymo Launches in Vietnam; ZagTrader Helps FIs Go Crypto

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.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • ZagTrader and BeQuant team Up to help institutions go crypto.
  • Temenos partners with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi bank.
  • Emirates NBD to work with Intellect Design Arena for a planned digital transformation of its transaction banking platform.

Central and South Asia

  • BankBazaar announces partnership with Ujjivan Small Finance Bank for Personal Loans.
  • Victoria Commercial Bank Kenya goes live with corporate banking technology powered by i-exceed’s Appzillon.
  • Aurora interviews Bernhard Klemen, international partner with venture capital fund Sarmayacar on opportunities for venture financing for Pakistani fintech startups.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • German challenger bank N26 announces plans to expand to Brazil.
  • BBVA Colombia looks at its role in helping promote fintech innovation in Peru. In Spanish.
  • FXCompared profiles Argentina-based PayPal rival, MercadoLibre.

Asia-Pacific

  • Leading Vietnam-based consumer finance firm, FE Credit, chooses Vymo’s AI-powered personal sales assistant.
  • Bambu and CredoLab earn spots on Fintech News Singapore’s 29 Hottest Fintechs in Singapore 2019 roster.
  • Accenture and nCino partner to better serve FIs in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Tymebank goes live with core banking tech from Mambu.
  • Nigerian digital banking solution provider TeamApt raises $5.5 million in funding.
  • South Africa’s Standard Bank to launch private cloud-based distributed ledger platform for payments and settlement.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Russia’s Tinkoff Bank joins the country’s Faster Payments System.
  • Ukraine finishes its pilot project, begun in December, in support of its national digital currency, the e-hryvnia.
  • UK-based Rimilia and Association of Credit for Central and Eastern Europe to promote adoption of AI-based technologies to automate AR in the CEE region.

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