What The FinTech #133 - 19 Mar 2023
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What The FinTech Episode 54 - Currenxie
🎙️🌍 New Podcast Alert: Exciting Interview with Sam Coyne from Currenxie!
I'm thrilled to share our latest episode of "What The Fintech," featuring an insightful conversation with Sam Coyne from Currenxie. As a leading fintech company, Currenxie is revolutionizing global payments for businesses, making it simple and seamless to collect, exchange, and send money worldwide.
🚀 Founded in 2014, Currenxie has rapidly gained the trust of thousands of businesses across the globe, helping them transfer billions of dollars annually while saving time and boosting profits.
💡 In this episode, Sam shares the story behind Currenxie, their innovative solutions, and the impact they're making on the global payment landscape:
🔹 Currenxie's Platform APIs allow enterprises and financial providers to collect, exchange, and payout on a global scale with ease. 🔹 Their Global Account offers an all-in-one solution with worldwide virtual accounts, foreign exchange, and bank transfers, accessible via a user-friendly web and mobile app.
Don't miss this fascinating discussion about the future of global payments and Currenxie's role in shaping the industry. Listen now, and get inspired by Sam Coyne's journey and insights! 🎧
Remember to subscribe, like, and share our podcast with fellow fintech enthusiasts, and let us know your thoughts in the comments or on social media.
Stay tuned for more captivating conversations right here on "What The Fintech!" 🔥
Don't miss out on "What The FinTech" live at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Industry Forum Hong Kong - Financial Services on March 22, 2023.
Tune in to our channel and be at the forefront of the latest technology trends in financial services. This is your chance to connect with a dynamic community of industry leaders, cloud experts, and partners.
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What was the FinTech this week in: 📰
1. Checkout.com to power instant money transfers in Australia, Hong Kong SAR and Singapore via Mastercard Send™
Checkout.com to power instant money transfers in Australia, Hong Kong SAR and Singapore via Mastercard Send™
Checkout.com, the global payments solutions provider, and Mastercard today announced that they will make Mastercard Send™ available to more Checkout.com customers in the Asia Pacific region, starting in Australia and Hong Kong SAR later this year. The Send™ service –which powers real-time payments for consumers, gig workers, content creators, and organizations of all sizes, wherever they interact worldwide –is already available in Singapore. This partnership expansion, which builds on the firms' existing collaboration in Europe, will offer near-instantaneous pay-out capabilities for fintechs, banks, insurance companies, gig platforms paying wages, online marketplaces and merchants processing instant refunds or settlements, or governments disbursing tax rebates, subsidies and more. Through Mastercard Send™, Checkout.com customers will also be able to process funding transactions between over 1.5 billion debit, credit, and prepaid Mastercard cards.
1. Coinbase enters Singapore in partnership with Standard Chartered
2. Grab Singapore to launch new safety feature that allows drivers and passengers to record audio on rides
3. Card payments overtake cash usage in Singapore
Coinbase enters Singapore in partnership with Standard Chartered
Coinbase upgraded retail platform, in addition to their new strategic banking partnership with Standard Chartered, aims to provide you with a seamless, safe, and convenient experience when trading digital assets. Effective immediately, customers in Singapore can easily transfer funds to and from their Coinbase account using any local bank in Singapore for free. This means you can easily cash in or cash out of your Coinbase account using bank transfers, giving you more flexibility and control over your assets. The familiar and secure ―2-click‖ experience that Singaporeans are accustomed to using across their apps, making it even easier for you to join their platform.
Grab Singapore to launch new safety feature that allows drivers and passengers to record audio on rides
A new safety feature that allows Grab driver-partners and passengers to record audio during rides will be progressively rolled out to users in Singapore as part of a trial starting Mar 21. Under the Audio Protect feature, both passengers and drivers can record audio on their devices via the Grab app while they are on a ride, as long as both parties’ consent to it. This means that both the passenger and driver-partner need to enable the feature under their Account Safety Settings on the Grab app. The feature will be available on all Grab rides except for GrabShare and GrabHitch. After both parties have enabled Audio Protect, passengers will see "Audio Protect: On" in the app to indicate that recording has commenced once their ride begins. If a passenger picks up a phone call, the recording will be paused. It will resume automatically after the call ends. However, the recording may continue the driver's device. Once Audio Protect is activated, all future rides will be recorded if the passenger or driver-partner has also enabled the feature. The feature can be disabled using the same steps, anytime before a ride starts. If Audio Protect is disabled after a ride has already started, the ride will still be recorded for safety purposes. The feature will then be disabled for any future rides.
Card payments overtake cash usage in Singapore
Card payments (97%) have overtaken cash (82%) to become the most-used payment method in Singapore, according to the latest edition of Visa ‘s Consumer Payment Attitudes Study1. The study revealed that more than 95 per cent of Singapore consumers use credit or debit cards for payment, a consistent trend across generations from Baby Boomers to Gen Z. The widespread use and preference of contactless cards in Singapore is driving this trend and continues to fuel Singapore ‘s shift towards becoming a cashless nation. With more than four in five Singapore consumers (82%) using contactless cards, it has become the preferred payment method for a vast number of categories including convenience store purchases (54%), retail shopping (53%), supermarket purchases (52%), public transport (33%), as well as taxis and ridesharing (28%). Online card payments remain the method of choice for bill payments (35%). Contactless payments penetration for Visa cards in Singapore has now crossed 95 per cent. This means that for every 10 Visa transactions, more than nine are using contactless payments, and this is one of the highest in the world. Consumers who prefer contactless cards have formed entrenched habits around their use. Nearly all (89%) Singapore consumers who use contactless payments use the method at least once a week, with two in five (41%) using it at least four times a week. While it is not the most widely used method, mobile contactless payments (52%) and QR code payments (48%) continue to increase among Singapore consumers. Since the pandemic, mobile contactless payments have seen greater use for public transport, petrol, as well as food and dining. On the other hand, QR code payments are increasingly being used for retail shopping and convenience store purchases. With the abundance of different cashless payment methods available in Singapore, nearly two in three consumers (63%) have tried to go cashless. More than two in five (42%) have succeeded in doing so for at least a week. Among those who have not yet made the attempt, three in five are confident they can survive for at least the next few days, while nearly half (48%) are confident they can survive for the next week. Two in four Singapore consumers (39%) are also carrying less cash in their wallets due to greater reliance on contactless payments.
1. Novatti launches multi-currency platform for Australian bill payments
2. Indian rapid transit system to trial digital rupee for contactless parking payments
3. India’s ID authority cites new ‘security mechanism’ when asked about aadhaar-based payment frauds
4. JIVF selects OpenWay to become a consumer finance leader in Vietnam
5. Wirex lands in Australia
6. ICICI Bank offers Ecosystem Banking for Indian startups
7. CBA using productivity app to spy on staff
8. ShopeePay now available as payment option for Apple Services
9. Nets streamlines process for businesses to accept Visa, Mastercard payments on terminals
Novatti launches multi-currency platform for Australian bill payments
Novatti Group Limited, a leading fintech enabling businesses to pay and be paid, has launched Novatti BillPay, a platform connecting businesses offering BPAY® bills and payees. Novatti BillPay enables businesses with BPAY® bills to accept payments from people overseas who prefer to pay in their currency of choice using digital wallets. Designed for international students, new migrants, and people overseas without access to an Australian bank account, users can choose to pay their Australian bills such as tuition fees, rent, utility bills and council fees using a range of Asian currencies as amended and updated from time to time. Novatti BillPay can offer white-label solutions to BPAY® billers and merchants, diversifying their payment methods. This is particularly beneficial for businesses that have global customers with different payment preferences. Novatti BillPay offers competitive fees and market exchange rates through its simple and secure platform which will improve the speed of payments and enhance customer experience.
Indian rapid transit system to trial digital rupee for contactless parking payments
Passengers using rapid transit services operated by Kochi Metro in the Indian state of Kerala will soon be able to make contactless parking payments with the country‘s central bank digital currency (CBDC) as part of a digital rupee pilot programme launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).The public transportation provider is to roll out support for digital rupee payments acceptance at all its metro station car parks, enabling passengers with a CDBC wallet issued by one of the four banks participating in the RBI pilot to make cash-free contactless parking payments with their smartphone. Kochi Metro is the first metro network in India to begin accepting digital rupee payments and is launching the service with support from IDFC First Bank and digital parking solutions provider Anantham Online.
India’s ID authority cites new ‘security mechanism’ when asked about aadhaar-based payment frauds
The newly introduced AI-based fingerprint authentication mechanism for securing Aadhaar-based transactions by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a measure to prevent cloning of Aadhaar-linked fingerprints, the UIDAI said on March 13, 2023, in a Right to Information (RTI) response to MediaNama. The RTI, filed on February 18, was primarily about financial crimes involving Aadhaar-Enabled Payment System (AePS) and the UIDAI provided no answers to queries specifically related to these much-discussed recurring frauds. In February, MediaNama wrote about a News Minute report on an inter-state gang involved in cloning Aadhaar-linked fingerprints to siphon off money from people ‘s bank accounts using the Aadhaar-Enabled Payment System (AePS). The AePS enables transactions through Aadhaar authentication using just the bank name, Aadhaar number and fingerprint of the individual recorded during enrolment. The NewsMinute report was yet another reminder that the Aadhaar authentication system is not foolproof and it's easy for cybercriminals to clone Aadhaar-linked biometric information of individuals to misuse it. Similar cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana. UIDAI ‘s response to MediaNama‘s RTI: ―This is to inform you against the information sought that UIDAI has rolled out artificial intelligence and machine learning (Al/ML) based security mechanism for fingerprint authentication which uses a combination of both finger minutia and finger image to check the liveness of the fingerprint captured to make Aadhaar authentication transactions even more robust and secure.
JIVF selects OpenWay to become a consumer finance leader in Vietnam
JIVF has selected the Way4 digital payments software platform aiming to develop credit programs in the Vietnamese market. JIVF is placing its trust in its partnership with OpenWay given its leadership and experience globally and in the Asia region and is relying on Way4, OpenWay’ s digital payment software solution. As a modular and highly configurable platform, Way4 allows clients to build highly personalized credit products with flexible implementation: on premise, in the cloud, or as a dedicated SaaS. Way4 payment software is used globally and can be deployed on major cloud platforms: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud (OCI), and others, also in private clouds. The Way4 platform for JIVF is the first OpenWay installation in Oracle Cloud in Southeast Asia. OpenWay offers JIVF various options to help JIVF optimize its operational costs, including managed services and end-to-end technical operations for JIVF. The agile teams of both companies will cooperate closely to create competitive products and co-branded credit programs with personalized rewards, instalments. With the Way4 platform, the JIVF team can quickly launch innovative card products, create new partnership campaigns, and respond to the growing demand for consumer credit.
Wirex lands in Australia
Wirex, a leading crypto payments platform, has partnered with card issuer, Novatti, to directly issue cards to Australians. The announcement has the potential to allow over 20 million people to utilize their innovative multicurrency card every day. Wirex developed the world ‘s first crypto-enabled debit card. Over 5 million customers worldwide can buy, hold, exchange, and sell over 12 traditional and 130 cryptocurrencies, spendable at 80 million locations using Wirex‘s Visa debit card. This includes the TAUD (True AUD) stablecoin, recently listed on the Wirex app as part of Wirex‘s largest release of tokens in one go. The collaboration with Novatti will now enable Wirex to issue cards directly to users in Australia. Customers will benefit from higher card spend limits, ability to earn up to 8% instant rewards, with no FX or maintenance fees, international ATM withdrawals* and fiat-to-fiat exchanges, affordable top-ups, and access to merchant exclusive deals. All users will be required to have full KYC checks with transactions and processes meeting stringent AML requirements.
ICICI Bank offers Ecosystem Banking for Indian startups
ICICI Bank offers a comprehensive bouquet of digital and physical solutions to cater to all banking needs of startups across their various life stages. The Bank provides innovative solutions through its domestic and international network, and branch at GIFT City, the Gujarat-based emerging global financial and IT services hub. The ̳Startup Ecosystem Banking ‘proposition of the Bank offers treasury and transaction banking solutions, lending solutions, digital integrations, handling FDI and regulatory compliances, personal banking services for employees and founders. As part of the ̳Startup Ecosystem Banking ‘the Bank has put in place a dedicated team for startups that serves them through an extensive network of branches. At the GIFT City branch, the Bank offers digital opening of Global Foreign Currency Current Account (GFCCA) for overseas holding companies and subsidiaries of Indian startups. This can be done seamlessly within one working day of submission of required documents, which is significantly lower than the industry practice of at least five days. Ecosystem Banking further helps startups to open Special Non-Resident Rupee (SNRR) account as well as create deposits in both US Dollar and in Indian Rupee. The startups can also avail escrow, custody services and forex solutions for seamless and efficient capital flows. The Bank also offers digital channels namely Corporate Internet Banking (CIB), InstaBIZ mobile application, Trade Online for trade-related transactions, Integrated Payment System platform to facilitate vendor and tax payments, and solutions for e-collections and e-mandates.
CBA using productivity app to spy on staff
Commonwealth Bank of Australia has come under fire for using an app that tracks workers' downtime, ordering 'non-productive' workers to apply for a leave of absence. The Bank is using the 'Navigate' app to track mouse clicks, movements and how often an employee is at their computer Commonwealth Bank team leaders are interrogating suspected cases of absenteeism, half-dayism and long lunchism and ordering not-so-productive workers to apply for leave. A Commonwealth Bank spokesman said the app had been "useful" in seeing exactly what staff were doing during the day.
ShopeePay now available as payment option for Apple Services
Shopee ‘s integrated mobile wallet ShopeePay is now available as a payment method for Apple services in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Customers can use their ShopeePay account to pay for App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV app, iTunes Store purchases, iCloud storage and more. The addition of ShopeePay as an Apple ID payment method offers a new way to pay for Apple services without needing a credit card. Payments can be done through a secure one-tap purchasing from Apple products. Customers can manage their Apple ID payment information on their iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC.
Nets streamlines process for businesses to accept Visa, Mastercard payments on terminals
Merchants can now use their Nets terminals to accept Visa and Mastercard payments from customers without having to go through multiple payment service providers, following new agreements inked between the local company and both credit card networks. In the past, merchants needed to work with multiple parties to get access to local, Mastercard and Visa payment schemes. Shops offering the Nets scheme can already accept overseas wallets and foreign card payments, such as MyDebit card, RuPay card, WeChat Pay app, PromptPay and Alipay+.Nets also has existing arrangements to acquire merchants for American Express, Diners, Discover, JCB and UnionPay. The payment provider said that small businesses with under $1 million in turnover will get competitive merchant discount rates if they add Mastercard and Visa payment options to their Nets scheme. These rates refer to fees paid by merchants for the processing of debit card and credit card payments. Merchants can get ―a unified view of transactions‖ across all their payment options when they Consolidate their schemes with the company. Consumers are increasingly opting to pay digitally, and that Nets’ partnership with Mastercard and Visa is a big step forward for its heartland merchant partners, which can provide more choices to their consumers. Most existing merchants that already accept Nets can add the Mastercard and Visa options without needing to upgrade their terminals.
BLOCKCHAIN - CRYPTO - DIGITAL ASSETS - DE FI
1. Salesforce expands web3 offering beyond NFT Cloud
2. Banks could lose to stablecoins if don’t match corporate demand for DLT, blockchain payments
3. Meta winds down support for NFTs on Instagram and Facebook
4. Crypto firm Proven snares $15.8m in seed funding haul
5. Annual payment value of CBDCs to skyrocket 260,000% in 7 years
6. Central banks of UAE and Indian to collaborate on interoperable CBDCs
7. National Australia Bank completes cross-border stablecoin transactions
Salesforce expands web3 offering beyond NFT Cloud
Yesterday saw the launch of Salesforce Web3, a new offering from the CRM company, which is about more than launching NFT collections. A key feature is Web3 Connect which imports web3 data, such as wallets and NFT collections into customer profiles. As part of the web3 launch, it has rebranded its NFT Cloud offering unveiled mid-last year to NFT Management. It says launching an NFT collection is now a drag-and-drop experience. The pilot program involved 275,000 transactions for brands such as Mattel Hot Wheels and Crown Royal. The rollout includes consultants such as Accenture and Deloitte. Brands tend to have a fragmented view of customers, with some data about in-store activities and others online. Web3 has created yet another channel beyond web2, and the new Salesforce offering helps brands to create seamless loyalty experiences across channels and obtain omnichannel data about customer behavior.
Banks could lose to stablecoins if don’t match corporate demand for DLT, blockchain payments
Late last year, research involving 830 large corporates found that corporate treasurers and CFOs want to use blockchain, particularly for supply chain, trade finance and cross border payments. More than three quarters of companies said that blockchain solutions were medium or high priority for their corporate treasury teams, with China and the USA leading the way. However, the corporate view is that banks are not keeping up. While banks are actively exploring distributed ledger technology for securities settlement, there is less bank impetus for corporate payments. The report authors east & partners and PCM warn that banks would need to move faster or risk new competitors leveraging stablecoins to offer corporates the services they demand. The researchers note that banks no longer rank as major players in personal cross border money transfers, with banks charging almost double their most expensive non-bank competitor. According to EY, Consumer-to-consumer cross border payments are just $800 billion a year compared to a B2B figure of $150.7 trillion, so there is a lot at stake for banks.
Meta winds down support for NFTs on Instagram and Facebook
Meta’s head of commerce and financial technologies Stephane Kasriel posted on Twitter that the company will sunset its NFT and digital collectibles features on Instagram and Facebook. This short-lived product only began testing with select Instagram creators last May, plus some Facebook users in June. By July, Meta expanded NFT support on Instagram for creators in 100 countries. Less than a year later, Meta is moving on from NFTs. A Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch that it is shifting its investments away from NFTs toward products like Meta Pay, as well as features that enable creators to earn money directly on Meta platforms, like its tipping feature called gifts. The company also said it is testing ways for creators to earn ad revenue on Reels. Meta also told TechCrunch that the company will continue keeping an eye on crypto for the long term.
Crypto firm Proven snares $15.8m in seed funding haul
Proven, a developer of zero-knowledge proofs that enables exchanges, stablecoins, asset managers and custodians to prove their solvency, has raised $15.8m in a seed round. Proven enables stablecoins, asset managers and custodians to prove their solvency safely and efficiently to customers, lenders, and regulators on a daily schedule. The company allows these groups to show their assets and liabilities without needing to publicly disclose their balance sheets, or any other sensitive information to the public. While most proof of reserve schemes show only a firm’s assets, proven helps firms show both assets and liabilities without needing to reveal additional details about the firm or its customers. Proven’s “Proof of Solvency” can be run daily, thereby increasing transparency and creating trust among customers, lenders, and regulators.
Annual payment value of CBDCs to skyrocket 260,000% in 7 years
The total value of payments through Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) is expected to reach $213bn annually by 2030, according to a report from Juniper Research. This value is a major jump from the total value of payments in 2023, which is predicted to hit just $100m. This is a growth rate of 260,000%. Juniper Research claims the growth will be driven by governments leveraging CBDCs to bolster financial inclusion and increase control over how digital payments are made. The firm claims CBDCs will improve access to digital payments, particularly in emerging economies, where mobile penetration is higher than banking penetration. Juniper stated that as CBDCs are issued by central banks, they will target domestic payment challenges initially, with cross-border payments will come later as systems become established and links made between CBDCs. There has been a lot of activity around CBDCs in recent weeks. The Bank of Canada recently released a report that claims an offline Central Bank Digital Currency would help to boost financial inclusion. Earlier in the month, The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced a collaboration with the Digital Financial Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) on a research project to explore potential use cases of CBDC in Australia.
Central banks of UAE and Indian to collaborate on interoperable CBDCs
The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to enhance cooperation and jointly enable innovation in financial products and services. Under the MoU, the two central banks will collaborate on various emerging areas of FinTech especially Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and explore interoperability between the CBDCs of CBUAE and RBI. CBUAE and RBI will jointly conduct proof-of-concept (PoC) and pilot(s) of bilateral CBDC bridge to facilitate cross-border CBDC transactions of remittances and trade. The MoU also includes technical collaboration and knowledge sharing on matters related to Fintech and financial products and services, such as emerging trends, regulations, and policies. The MoU is expected to foster joint experimentation about CBDCs and facilitate other digital innovation initiatives between the CBUAE and the RBI. This bilateral engagement of testing cross-border use case of CBDCs is expected to reduce costs, increase efficiency of cross border transactions and further the economic ties between India and UAE.
National Australia Bank completes cross-border stablecoin transactions
The National Australia Bank (NAB) s completed an intra-bank cross-border transaction using its self-issued stablecoins, claiming to be the first financial institution to achieve this on a layer-one public blockchain. It plans to roll out a solution for some corporate and institutional clients by the end of 2023. NAB executed the pilot transaction on the public, permissionless Ethereum blockchain, deploying stablecoin smart contracts for seven major international currencies. The benefit is the time reduction to conduct cross-border transactions. Ethereum is not the most cost effective for small transactions, and many are looking to layer 2 solutions for cost savings. The trial was executed with blockchain tokenization firm Blackfold and custody tech firm Fireblocks, who helped build the smart contracts, securely mint the stablecoin, and manage the direct custody of the digital asset on the public blockchain. NAB has also been recently eyeing a ̳green ‘stablecoin to act as an intermediary between investors looking to use their money for sustainable solutions. Earlier this year, the bank launched a stablecoin for carbon credit settlement and announced plans to use blockchain to record sustainable agriculture practices. Currently, regulators have rather cold feet when it comes to public blockchain. For example, the final Basel banking rules for crypto assets expressed reservations about the use of public blockchain.
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