Fintech

Asian Banks Urge Regulators to Allow More Fintechs

Asian Banks Urge Regulators to Allow More Fintechs

The Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association recently called on regulators to allow more technologies, especially those that would make KYC “know your customer” checks easier and cheaper. Mark Austen, the CEO of the industry group said that fintech solutions bring a lot of potential for the industry, but they have not been embraced as quickly as needed by regulators around the world. Austen also pointed out that compliance and costs have become an onerous task for most banks and brokerages, and it is possible for these institutions to cut costs and improve compliance by automation. Source: CNBC

Grab to Develop Tech Start-ups with New Innovation Arm

Grab to Develop Tech Start-ups with New Innovation Arm

Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab launched last Tuesday its innovation arm called Grab Ventures which will be developing technology start-ups in sectors such as transport, food services, logistics and financial services. Grab Ventures Head Chris Yeo said that the company is aiming to be the “everyday app” in Southeast Asia, which is why it is seeking any tech that will help it become a complete online-to-offline (O2O) mobile platform. Yeo adds that their accelerator program, which includes government partners such as the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore and Enterprise Singapore, is ready to provide expertise, technical resources and networks […]

21 Fintechs Set to Bring Fresh Investments Into CEZA

21 Fintechs Set to Bring Fresh Investments Into CEZA

CEZA Administrator Raul L. Lambino revealed this week that 21 fintech firms are expected to invest around Php 2 billion in the freeport within the next two years. The Secretary said that the startups, which are mainly engaged in blockchain and cryptocurrency operations, will be committing 1 million each for infrastructure, aside from application fees, license fees, probity checks and integration fees. Lambino said that the 54,000 hectare CSEZFP is being poised to be a new Asian hub which will combine the best of nature and of cutting-edge technology for the world’s leaders in the burgeoning global currency of the […]

Kenya Moves Against Fintech Predatory Lending

Kenya Moves Against Fintech Predatory Lending

Kenya’s director general of budget, fiscal and economic affairs at the treasury revealed last Thursday that the government is moving to regulate predatory lending brought about by the country’s boom in lending startups. A number of fintech lenders are said to be using mobile money technology to extend credit to both banked and unbanked customers. The system, which can grant Kenyans loans in a matter of minutes, often leave borrowers burdened with high interest rates. This led the finance ministry to publish a draft bill on financial regulation to ensure that digital lenders treat retail customers fairly. A final version […]

Oil Downturn Prompts Islamic Finance to Fintechs

Oil Downturn Prompts Islamic Finance to Fintechs

A new survey by the Bahrain-based General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) showed that Islamic bankers and insurers are shifting towards profitability and new financial products, perhaps due to the adverse impact of low oil prices in recent years. CIBAFI says that the Islamic financial industry, which has remained unchanged since 1975, is now undergoing an enormous shift, with banks now forming technology departments and venturing with fintech firms. Around 45% of respondents consisting of 103 financial managers said that they are planning to increase or launch digital branches in coming years, with more than 70% considering […]

EU Banking Watchdog Launches Roadmap for Fintech Regulation

EU Banking Watchdog Launches Roadmap for Fintech Regulation

Andrea Enria, head of the European Banking Authority, recently said that they will be evaluating services provided by fintech firms to ensure that these are regulated in a consistent way across the bloc. In a speech at Copenhagen Business School, Enria said that firms must be able to participate in the internal market for financial services on equal footing while maintaining a high standard of consumer protection. The EBA head also said that they will be reviewing regulatory sandboxes set up by national regulators to allow fintechs to try their apps on users. Source: Reuters

PLDT Fintech Arm Seeks to Cater to Unbanked Filipinos

PLDT Fintech Arm Seeks to Cater to Unbanked Filipinos

PLDT recently announced that its fintech arm will be offering financial services to unbanked Filipinos through a grassroots-based financial inclusion program called KasamaKA. Aside from services such as insurance, investment and savings, the program will also offer lending through a digital lending platform called Lendr. The company says that this should help wean Filipinos off their dependency on usurious informal lenders. Managing director Lito Villanueva said that FINTQ and Voyager Innovations will be intensively promoting the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and is aiming to include around 30 million Filipinos into the mainstream […]

Regulatory Sandbox for Startups

Startups are disruptive by nature, and policymakers all over the world are scrambling to keep up with their relentless development. This failure to catch up with emerging technologies has resulted in some dramatic deadlocks, such as the much-publicized rift between Uber and the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).1 After flouting driver accreditation rules, Uber was meted out a one month suspension and had to cough up a hefty Php190M fine to lift said suspension. The dispute was met with public outrage from Uber’s inconvenienced users,2 illustrating just how important startups have become in today’s world. Uber is just […]

Australia and UAE Sign Another Fintech Agreement

Australia and UAE Sign Another Fintech Agreement

Dubai’s Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and Australia’s Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) have recently entered into another agreement which aims to provide both regulators a better understanding of fintech innovations in each other’s jurisdictions. In addition to sharing of information and fostering support for fintech firms on both sides, the DFSA will also set up a number of initiatives including FinTech Hive accelerator program and the Dubai Future Accelerator where tech companies will be pairing with government organizations. The UAE had already partnered with ASIC back in July in an agreement that seeks to provide support to fintechs looking to […]

Dutch and Polish Banks May be Blocking Fintech Services

Dutch and Polish Banks May be Blocking Fintech Services

Brussels, Belgium – The European Commission is carrying out an investigation on Dutch and Polish banking associations for allegedly blocking access of financial technology services to customer account data. Last Monday, representatives from both associations confirmed that they were targeted by dawn raids by the Commission, who said that it would focus on finding out if banks and similar industry associations had abused their dominance. However, banking bodies from UK, Germany, and France said that they were not raided. Most fintech companies offer cryptocurrency-related services and mobile payment apps and have been snagging market share from traditional financial operators. Most […]