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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.


  • 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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