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.

Asia-Pacific

  • Chinese fintech solutions provider Pintec files $70 million IPO.
  • Shwe Rural and Urban Development Bank in Myanmar partners with JMR Infotech to better scale its online services.
  • Hong Kong banks team up to launch blockchain-based trade finance platform.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • The Fintech Association of Nigeria celebrates its first anniversary.
  • Disrupt Africa looks at a pair of investments in Nigerian fintechs: CowryWise and Bitcoin Africa.
  • SophiaTX and South Africa’s ArkTree announce new strategic alliance to expand the global reach of blockchain technology

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Hungarian bank MKB, the fourth largest commercial bank in the country, deploys Oracle Flexcube to streamline operations.
  • Open banking platform innovator Token announces that its technology has been implemented by Sberbank in Slovenia.
  • Israel-based cashless payments solution and management platform Nayax opens office in Lithuania.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Jihad Azour, Director of IMF Middle East and Central Asia, delivers a speech at the Arab Economic Forum in Lebanon: Promoting the Inclusive Growth Agenda in the Arab Region.
  • Saudi Arabia grants its first set of fintech licenses to a pair of Saudi crowdfunding platforms, Manafa Capital and Scopeer.
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) notes a strong start in 2018 with the number of active registered companies climbing by 8%.

Central and South Asia

  • Study from JP Morgan looks at the untapped opportunities in the Indian fintech space.
  • FSS introduces FSS eFinclusiv, a financial inclusion solution geared toward serving the underbanked in India.
  • Russia’s National Settlement Depository to connect Kyrgyzstan’s Bank of Asia to SWIFT.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • El Cronista interviews Rafael Hernandez, senior partner of fintech at Village Capital, on business opportunities in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In Spanish.
  • Brazilian online broker Toro Investmentos begins operation this week.
  • Bank of Asia goes live as the first digital bank in the British Virgin Islands.

Top image designed by Freepik

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.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian card processor Conductor to deploy 3D Secure authentication technology from TAS Group later this fall.
  • Distributed check capture specialist Panini and technology distributor J. Fleischman team up to bring check truncation to Paraguay.
  • Visa introduces loyalty program available to issuing banks in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Asia-Pacific

  • TransferWise opens office in Hong Kong as part of expansion into Asia.
  • AsiaCollect, a credit management services provider based in Singapore, raises $4.5 million in funding.
  • Foreign exchange and international payments company, Frontierpay, opens Asian headquarters in Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South African fintech walletdoc partners with EasyPay to make it easier for consumer to pay monthly subscriptions and utilities.
  • Western Union opens office in Ivory Coast.
  • Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Procurement introduces eGovernment Procurement System.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Albania’s Raiffeisen Bank Shqipëri partners with NF Innova to deploy digital self-service kiosks.
  • Efigence provides UI/UX design, development and implementation for new investment platform from Polish home equities broker, CDM Pekao.
  • Russian SME crowdfunding platform SimplyFi partners with Tochka Bank to offer direct lending to the bank’s business customers.
  • Sberbank introduces support for Google Pay.
  • Western Union partners with Russia’s Post Bank, enabling money transfers via Post Bank’s mobile app.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Kuwait Finance House (KFH) to use VISA’s token service for its mobile wallet.
  • Saudi Arabia-based Maalem Financing to deploy Islamic core banking technology from Path Solutions.
  • Turkish government launches fintech task force to improve fintech ecosystem locally.

Central and South Asia

  • The Economic Times looks at the role of bankers in India’s “coming fintech revolution.”
  • RBS India, the innovation hub of the Royal Bank of Scotland, to launch forum on disability inclusion.
  • PaySend joins Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC), a central Asian fintech hub based in Kazakhstan.

Top image designed by Freepik

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.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • UAE’s Foloosi introduces cashless transactions via digital wallet.
  • Revenue management specialist SunTec partners with UAE’s Mashreq Bank.
  • Jumhouria Bank of Libya to deploy reconciliation management technology from SmartStream Technologies.

Latin America

  • Fintech Futures takes a look at Mexico’s preparation for implementation of its new fintech law.
  • TyN Magazine profiles Argentine P2P lender, TuTasa. In Spanish.
  • Bermuda’s government to amend banking laws to support new class of banks to work with local fintech and blockchain startups.

Asia

  • Bloomberg investigates the challenges Singapore is facing in trying to meet its fintech aspirations at a time of stiff competition for engineering talent.
  • Will China step up regulations on its P2P lending industry?
  • Lattice80 and SuperCharger team up to develop bridge between fintechs in Singapore and fintechs in Hong Kong.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 picks up $1.2 million in pre-seed funding; announces launch of Kobo Wealth Investment Network, a crowd investing vehicle financing program.
  • Creamer Media’s Engineering News looks at how policymaking in South Africa will affect fintech innovation in the country.
  • Nuadox features its seven African fintech startups to follow in 2018.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Silicon Republic features expense-tracking tool BudgetBakers, PFM solution Spendee, and financial services provider for the underserved Twisto in its list of 10 Outstanding Start-ups from Prague to Watch.
  • Blockchain innovator Billon is the first Polish company to be featured in the FinTech 50.
  • Bank of Lithuania introduces regtech solution to make it easier for companies to remotely apply for e-money and payment institution licenses.

Top image designed by Freepik

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.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Raiffeisen Bank Romania unveils eight fintech finalists for its Elevator Lab Challenge.
  • Alfa-Bank Belarus migrates to WAY4 platform from digital payments solutions provider OpenWay.
  • 150Sec.com takes a look at the graduating cohort of 19 fintech startups emerging from Latvia and Estonia accelerator programs.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) signs MoU with Astana Financial Services Authority.
  • Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) announces closing $100 million fundraising round for its Al Waha Fund of Funds.
  • Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) introduces its regulatory framework for spot crypto asset activities.

Latin America

  • BlueRush teams up with Kunder to forge partnership with Chilean pension fund leader, AFPHabitat.
  • Integrated Biometrics announces its 10-print fingerprint scanners have become the standard for financial service organizations in Mexico.
  • Argentine fintech Increase earns Best of the World award for its positive social and environmental impact.

Asia

  • MatchMove powers the first contactless prepaid Mastercard in South Asia
  • Singapore’s PayNow service to be extended to corporate customers with launch of PayNow Corporate later this summer.
  • Cambodia announces plans to build $70 million data center to support development of the country’s digital economy.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • IT News Africa’s 5 Most Innovative Startups in Kenya list features P2P micro lending marketplace Pezesha; SaaS mobile commerce platform, Sky.Garden; and FX and payment platform, BitPesa.
  • EcoFin Hebdo looks at the rise of insurtech in Africa. In French.
  • Online sports betting in Nigeria sees boost as popularity of digital payments agrows.

Top image designed by Freepik

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.

Asia

  • Flywire and UnionPay International partner to provide Chinese customers with better rates on cross-border payments.
  • Leading southeast Asian digital cross border money transfer firm InstaReM goes live in Europe with new London office.
  • South Korean payments app Toss raises $40 million in funding.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) teams up with Startupbootcamp as part of an effort to boost Dubai’s status as a regional fintech hub.
  • AME Info asks if Saudi women and UAE crypto can alleviate Bahrain’s debt crisis.
  • VentureBurn features Egyptian savings startup Money Fellows.

Africa

  • Elizabeth Rossiello, CEO and founder of Nairobi, Kenya-based BitPesa, talks about leveraging cryptocurrencies to improve global payments in Africa.
  • South Africa’s ITWeb features features Richard Marsden, co-founder of Johannesburg-based FinChatBot on the rise of chatbot technology in the insurance industry.
  • Branch International reports N1 billion ($2.78 million) in loans facilitated to users in Nigeria.

Latin America

  • Brazil’s Nubank reaches milestone of 1.5 million digital account openings in six months.
  • Latin American Regional Conference sponsored by Swift sees collaboration as fundamental for growth of financial services in Latin America.
  • Brazilian insurtech startup Kakau partners with insurance companies American Life and Generali.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Kontomatik appoints CEO Piotr Warsicki as its new CEO.
  • Poland’s Alior Bank partners with solarisBank, Raisin, and Mastercard to launch pan-EU digital bank later this year.
  • The largest bank in the Czech Republic, Česká spořitelna introduces voice biometrics courtesy of partnership with Nuance Communications.

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.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Revolut announces recruitment initiative in Kraków, Poland to hire 100 new workers in a single day employment in its offices in Eastern Europe.
  • Forbes features Tinkoff Bank in look at Russia’s efforts to develop its digital economy.
  • Polish financial group Aforti Holdings to launch non-bank lender for SMEs and startups in Romania.

Asia

  • Banks in South Korea to introduce blockchain based identity verification for mobile and online logins. The technology is reportedly built on a private blockchain system developed by Samsung SDS.
  • Daon Partners with Tradelink to Bring Biometrics to Dah Sing Bank.
  • Bank of Thailand is developing and testing blockchain apps in its regulatory sandbox.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Financial technology services firm, One Global, discusses plans for expansion into Egyptian market.
  • ADGM Reglab reports record number of fintech applications for its third cohort.
  • Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange turns to Equifax for advice on development of new technologies to improve operational efficiency.

Africa

  • TransferTo, Orange Money Botswana, and EcoCash partner to support digital money transfers between Zimbabwe and Botswana.
  • IMF review of South Africa suggests “increased focus on the role fintech …” could access to credit for SMEs and promotion broader financial inclusion.
  • Nigerian startup, Piggybank.ng, raises $1.1 million to further develop its online savings platform.

Latin America

  • Diario Financiero interviews Ángel Sierra, executive director of La Asociación Fintech Chile, on digital innovation (video in Spanish).
  • TransferWise initiates service in Argentina.
  • PayU goes live in Colombia with its PayU te fía (PayU You Trust) solution that enables borrowers to extend repayment terms (in Spanish).

Top image designed by Freepik

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.

LATAM

  • Integrated touch sensors at sign-in kiosk and video wall enhance experience for customers of Chile’s half bank, half cafe Santander WorkCafes.
  • Brazilian online lender Banco Agibank sets price for its upcoming IPO; targets valuation of $2.7 billion.
  • Forbes looks at the increase in the number of Brazilians opening crypto trading accounts.

CEE

  • Blockchain company Billon picks up €1 million in funding from Polish National Center for Research and Development.
  • Polish cryptocurrency exchange BitBay to move to Malta.
  • Lithuania’s central bank hosts hackathon to mint world’s first digital collector coin.

Asia

  • White paper from APAC research firm Solidiance predicts Vietnam’s fintech market will grow by nearly $8 billion by 2020.
  • Myanmar Ministries of Agriculture and Planning and Finance partner with Singapore-based fintech to develop official livestock registry that would be used to help farmer use livestock as collateral for loans.
  • Korean fintech Qarasoft launches AI-based financial forecasting app, Kosho.

MENA

  • Oman’s Bank Sohar to deploy core banking platform from Infosys Finacle.
  • Jordanian P2P lending platform liwwa surpasses $11 million in loans issued milestone.
  • Entrepreneur.con features ten startups to emerge from Cairo, Egypt’s Flat6labs accelerator including fintechs like 7aweshly and Tombeely.
  • Abu Dhabi Global Market and Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission announce cooperation agreement to support innovation in financial services.

Africa

  • First Bank and WorldRemit team up to bring digital money transfers to Nigeria.
  • African Development Bank partners with The Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft, and Facebook to initiate Coding for Employment Program.
  • Money transfer platform OROBO introduces remittance and bill pay service to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Sierra-Leone courtesy of partnership with OpenWay.
  • Disrupt Africa looks at what investors are seeking in Africa’s fintech sector.

Top image designed by Freepik

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.

Africa

  • Lidya Scores $6.9 Million in Series A Investment.
  • Kenya finance ministry publishes draft of initial regulations its digital lending industry.
  • Fintech Futures profiles Cameroon-based crypto wallet and exchange app, Interstellar.

LATAM

  • Argentine lending platform Moni raises $3 million in funding.
  • Brazil’s central bank launches new fintech sandbox, Laboratório de Inovações Financeiras e Technológicas (LIFT).
  • MarkitSERV extends network of derivatives clearinghouses to include Mexico’s Asigna.

CEE

  • Czech Republic’s Worldcore announces completion of its cryptocurrency exchange.
  • Is fintech an “opportunity or threat” to emerging Europe?
  • Czech utility conmpany, Pražská Plynárenská, to accept payments in bitcoin.

Asia

  • Ant Financial inks deal with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, its third deal with an established Chinese bank in a week.
  • Malaysian fintech Jirnexu raises $11 million in Series B led by Japan’s SBI Group.
  • Philippine government points to northern Philippines as a future blockchain, cryptocurrency, and fintech hub.

MENA

  • Emirates NBD teams up with Diebold Nixdorf to introduce digital kiosk, Emirates NBD EasyHub.
  • ADGM and KPMG Lower Gulf announce FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge.
  • Emirates NBD introduces its NBD Accelerator Auto Loans program.

Top image designed by Freepik

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.

MENA

  • Dubai’s mobile-only, millennial-focused digital bank Liv celebrates acquiring more than 10,000 new customers every month in its first year of operation.
  • Islamic banking technology provider Path Solutions recognized as vendor of choice for Sharia-based core banking platforms by IBS Intelligence.
  • Dubai-based insurtech startup Aqeed raises $18 million in fuding one month after launch.

Africa

  • Africa-based digital payments solution company Cellulant has raised $47.5 million in Series C funding.
  • Hypepotamous profiles South African authentication specialist Entersekt.
  • Wala, which leverages blockchain technology to power its mobile money solution, goes live for Android users in Uganda, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

LATAM

  • Kyriba announces plans to boost investment in Latin America and help CFOs and treasurers modernize cash, risk, payments, and working capital optimization.
  • Morgan Stanley to buy $14 million  (50 million reais) in bonds from Brazilian online lender Geru Tecnologia e Servicos.
  • Forbes.com looks at the future of financial technology in Mexico

CEE

  • Polish Credit Office, the largest credit bureau in Central and Eastern Europe, to use blockchain technology from Billon to store and access credit histories of more than one million businesses and 24 million people.
  • Mirror, mirror, on the wall, which CEE country has the most fintech companies of all? According to Unicredit, Bulgaria wins the top spot with 70 registered and working firms.
  • Revolut hires former Lead Marketing Manager of Uber Romania, Irina Scarlat, as its new Country Manager for Revolt Romania.

Asia

  • EY Asean markets managing partner Liew Nam Soon discusses the growth of Vietnam’s fintech industry.
  • Singapore Business Review looks at how blockchain technology could revive Thailand’s trade finance sector.
  • Hong Kong’s fintech unicorn WeLab plans to be among the first companies to apply for a virtual banking license from Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Top image designed by Freepik

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.

Asia

  • Singapore unveils new fintech fast track initiative to speed the patent-application-to-grant process for fintechs.
  • Myanmar’s Myawaddy Bank chooses technology from Infosys Finacle to drive its digital transformation.
  • Sri Lanka’s central bank announces plans to establish a fintech regulatory sandbox.

MENA

  • ADGM proposes regulatory framework for digital assets.
  • Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) inks MoU to foster innovation in financial services; plans collaboration with Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Labs.
  • Saudi SAMA to develop fintech ecosystem in partnership with Deloitte.

Africa

  • Open Banking Nigeria enters strategic partnership with Open Vector to develop API standards.
  • Beta launch of its Bonga social network platform shows East African telecom giant Safaricom moving beyond its M-Pesa mobile money solution.
  • How We Made It In Africa: African Business Insight spotlights funding trends among African fintech and agribusiness.

LATAM

  • Brazil’s Central Bank issues fintech rules including authorization for P2P lending.
  • Ethereum World News looks at the growing availability of Bitcoin ATMs in Argentina.
  • Bankless Times checks in on the progress of – and provides a prognosis for – Peru’s first mobile money wallet, BIM.
  • BBVA’s Propel Venture Partners invests in Brazilian neo-bank, Neon.

CEE

  • Erste Bank Hungary readies for immediate payments and open banking era with ACI Worldwide.
  • The Bank of Russia looks to blockchain technology for as an alternative to its financial message transferal service, SPFS (“Russia’s SWIFT”).
  • EVO Payments to provide payment acceptance services for merchant customers of leading Czech bank, MONETA.

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