Future of FinTech | Edition 51 – Jan 2023
Summary of FinTech news from January 3 to 9, 2023
Hola, FinTech amigos!
Need help getting over the Monday blues? We're back again with our weekly brew of FinTech affairs to bring warmth to your week. ☕
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The year 2022 has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, with several macro and market conditions playing a role in setting the tone for what will become the new normal. For the green finance sector, this emphasised the push for addressing climate change and supporting sustainable development, resulting in the emergence of various trends currently mobilising the transformation towards an inclusive, low-carbon and enabling economy. Unearth the last year's developments in the State of Green Finance in our yearly FinTech Roundup of 2022.
Serving a fresh platter of FinTech to satisfy your weekly cravings in Edition #51 of the Future of FinTech newsletter!
Here's the TL;DR
1️⃣ Opening the edition with a bang, the Saudi Central Bank rolled out an open banking innovation lab to accelerate the development and adoption of open banking in the Kingdom.
2️⃣ The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey ran its first test transaction on the digital Turkish Lira CBDC network. The central bank plans to extend its network and test DLT integration with instant payment systems.
3️⃣ Rolling the pin on partnerships, subscription management platform Little Birdie teamed up with Bud to help users tackle the rising costs of subscriptions with the help of open banking.
4️⃣ On the other hand, Axis bank joined hands with OPEN to launch a fully digital current account to serve SMEs, freelancers and more.
5️⃣ Stepping up on social efforts, Enfuce partnered with Visa and Welcome.Place to distribute prepaid Visa cards to Ukrainian refugees who arrived in France in 2022.
6️⃣ Oman Air partnered with HSBC Oman to process multi-currency payments using a centralised treasury hub for increasing efficiency and security.
7️⃣, 8️⃣ Taiwan's Next Bank teamed up with Temenos to simplify financial management using Temenos’ core banking solution. Yes Bank joined the trend by collaborating with BaaS provider Falcon to provide its customers with embedded finance solutions.
9️⃣ Societe Generale Group celebrated the announcement of a merger between its retail banking networks Societe Generale and Crédit du Nord Group as it debuts its French retail banking arm – SG.
🔟 Lastly, stepping into the Web3 world, Mastercard unveiled its Web3 spotlight program, The Mastercard Artist Accelerator, to develop & launch emerging musical artists in the digital economy.
For the longer read, let's get going –
The Open Finance space was filled with activities of launches and collaborations last week.
Hopping on the partnership spree – AGL Energy teamed up with Microsoft to launch a cloud-based data platform that complies with Australian Consumer Data Rights (CDR) legislation and gives personalised service to AGL customers.
Actualising the potential of open finance, the Pensions Dashboards Programme has released data standards for creating a pension dashboard that allows UK citizens to easily access their pension information through a single digital interface.
The Digital Finance space was high on funding as banks welcomed various investors.
Diving right into it –
Jupiter raised $12.5M in venture debt with plans to launch diversified investment and credit-focused products to expand its suite of products in India.
Clal Insurance invested $30M in Esh Bank, Israel's second licenced digital bank, at a valuation of $600M in exchange for a 4.99% stake, with the bank planning to use funds to develop the product.
BNC Technologies Ventures bought a 5.8% stake in Bank Aladin for $77M through a private placement of shares. The bank will use the funds to meet the regulatory capital requirements.
The new year marked a new milestone for Zopa Bank as it crossed the $3.2B milestone in deposits, with 150,000 customers opening accounts collectively to grow their savings.
The Embedded Finance sphere sang the tunes of partnerships as resulting synergies brightened the week –
Ubuy partnered with Tamara to enable BNPL services for customers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The service enables customers to purchase over 100M unique products on the Ubuy platform and pay for them in instalments at a later date.
Diving further into BNPL waters, ToYou teamed up with Tabby to allow credit services to its users with the launch of ToYou Pay Later.
RATNAAFIN Capital joined hands with Singapore-based actyv.ai to enable seamless embedded credit and BNPL offerings in the B2B ecosystem.
Coming to launches, Blackberry unveiled Blackberry IVY to offer an integrated artificial intelligence solution for digital cockpits with an in-vehicle digital wallet. The technology is co-developed with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
On the acquisitions front, Duck Creek Technologies announced plans to acquire Imburse Payments to add digital payment capabilities to its solutions for property & casualty and general insurers.
The last week in FinTech Infrastructure was all about collaborations. Let’s dive right into it –
Santander Bank partnered with Global Payments to deliver new digital B2B products by leveraging Global Payments’ Issuer Solutions and launched a new commercial banking card.
Diving in AI waters, mano.bank partnered with iDenfy to add an AI-powered four-step identity verification solution in its onboarding process that will allow fully automated identity checks.
Lastly, The Department of Trade and Industry joined hands with JustPayto to accelerate digitalisation and provide digital payment services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The Green Finance world saw itself turn greener with hopeful launches in the past week –
Mizuho unveiled a new financing framework to assess the credibility and transparency of clients' transition plans and provide emissions reduction targets for fossil fuel mining sectors.
American insurtech Chubb rolled out a new global climate business unit to focus on providing insurance products and services to enterprises engaged in technologies that will reduce carbon dependency.
Reaching new milestones, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s green and sustainable bonds issuance reached $8.5B after completing 15 deals. Saudi Arabia is the lead issuer and accounts for more than 50% of the total volumes.
The DeFi world made some striking headlines last week.
Starting with partnerships, crypto bank Juno selected Zero Hash as its new crypto custodian, advising clients to self-custody or sell their digital assets amid reports of its former custodian Wyre's turmoil.
Bringing transparency into the picture, Cake published a Merkle-tree proof of its reserves that will allow its users to verify their assets deposited and wallet ownership to facilitate transparency in the industry.
Some other happenings in the FinTech universe 🪐
Here are a few more top-ups to keep your cravings satisfied –
Australian SME lender Grapple raised $35M in debt to continue scaling and maintain its current growth trajectory.
KreditBee bagged a whopping $120M in a series D funding round led by Advent International to expand its lending products.
Visa launched an open call for startups across the Asia Pacific to apply for the Visa Accelerator Programme 2023.
The Reserve Bank of India put a hold on licencing for the New Umbrella Entity (NUE) network as the six companies who applied for the licence have fallen short of the regulator's expectations.
And that's a wrap 👋
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Weekly FinTech Brew!
If you're hungry for more FinTech insights, check out some of our other work at WhiteSight.
Our latest publications include our annual FinTech roundups of 2022, with a lot more left to come –
If you're someone who likes to read think pieces, you will likely love our monthly blog, Fintersections, where our team members analyse the convergence of FinTech with the world.
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