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Didi considering US$6B investment from SoftBank, the biggest tech funding in China

By Yon Heong Tung for e27.com

Existing investors Tencent and Apple are said to be mulling whether to participate on a pro-rata basis to avoid dilution of shares (more…)

Banks, China, Deals, Global trends, Hotnews

March 28, 2017

Moven strikes gold with TD Bank licensing extension

By Finextra

Digital-only neobank Moven has announced a five-year extension of its money management app tech licensing deal with Canada’s TD Bank, in a move which is expected to fund the business to the tune of more than $20m over the next two years alone. (more…)

Banks, Mobile-first banks

March 28, 2017

How banks use investment funds to spread CRA risk

By Allison Prang for American Banker,

Banks of all sizes — from Bank of America to the $1 billion-asset Howard Bank near Baltimore — are investing in small-business loan funds to promote economic development while sharing risk. (more…)

Banks, Deals, Government activities, Hotnews

March 28, 2017

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Banks and Tech Firms Battle Over Something Akin to Gold: Your Data

By Nathaniel Popper for CNBC,

The big banks and Silicon Valley are waging an escalating battle over your personal financial data, including the amount you spent on dinner last week and how much you are paying for your mortgage. (more…)

Banks, Hotnews, Security

March 24, 2017

Solarisbank raises $28 million with sights set on Asian market

By BI Inteligence,

While the US and European fintech markets seem to have stalled, Asia continues to show robust growth. (more…)

Banks, Deals, Hotnews

March 22, 2017

Goldman building robo-adviser to tap mass affluent client segment

GOLDMAN Sachs Group, known for advising the world’s richest and most powerful, is building a so-called robo-adviser geared to mass affluent customers, according to a job listing posted Monday on the bank’s website. (more…)

Banks, Global trends, Hotnews

March 22, 2017

Deutsche Bank opens New York innovation lab

By Finextra,

Deutsche Bank has opened an innovation lab in New York, its fourth globally after Silicon Valley, Berlin and London. (more…)

Banks, Global trends

March 22, 2017

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State Bank of Vietnam establishes fintech steering committee

Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) signed Decision No.328/QĐ-NHNN to establish SBV Steering Committee on Financial Technology (Steering Committee on Fintech). (more…)

Banks, Government activities

March 21, 2017

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How Banks Can Partner With Lending Startups: The Construct

Kotak Bank is looking for digital lending partners globally. Startups from any country can apply.

(more…)

Banks, Fintech news

March 21, 2017

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Tandem rocked by £29 million funding halt

Digital challenger bank Tandem has been rocked by news that Sanpower, the Chinese conglomerate which owns House of Fraser, has been forced to cancel a £29 million cash injection intended to help the startup meet regulatory capital requirements. (more…)

Banks, Government activities, Mobile-first banks

March 21, 2017

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Yes Bank taps Silicon Valley’s Payjo for chat-based mobile assistant

Disruptive technologies lead to better customer experiences – from Internet to touch screens. (more…)

Banks, Hotnews

March 21, 2017

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Icici unveils mobile app for rural Indians

By Finextra

Icici has unveiled a mobile app specifically designed for India’s huge rural population, providing a host of banking services as well as useful information such as crop prices. (more…)

Banks, India

March 21, 2017

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PayThink Blockchain payments can help banks play innovation catch up

By Artem Tymoshenko for Payments Source

One area that has lagged in innovation is the financial services industry.  (more…)

Analytics, Banks, Blockchain, Payment processors/providers/gateways

March 3, 2017

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Banks are sold on blockchain, concerned about collaboration

By Penny Corpsman for AmericanBanker

Several ideas are emerging about the adoption of blockchain in the financial services industry that are quite different than what anyone would have predicted two or three years ago.  (more…)

Banks, Blockchain, Fintech news

March 3, 2017

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Ally Bank rolls out debit card controls mobile app

By Finextra

Ally Bank, the direct banking subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc. (ALLY), today announced the launch of a new service that will allow debit card customers to set control preferences to match their desired usage profile and change them instantly when needed, all with a touch on a smartphone app. (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Marketing Report

March 3, 2017

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Blockchain Breakthrough: 47 Japanese Banks Complete Money Transfer Pilot Using Ripple

By CryptoCoins News

Blockchain is moving into production, claims Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse after a consortium of 47 Japanese banks completed a pilot implementation of Ripple’s technology. (more…)

Banks, Blockchain, Fintech news

March 3, 2017

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The role venture capitalists can play in pairing banks and fintech

By Brian Patrick EhaAmerican Banker

Nigel Morris thinks a lot about language.

A common language — a lingua franca, as Morris calls it — is what allows the former co-founder of Capital One to collaborate effectively with his partners and employees at QED Investors, the Alexandria, Va.-based venture capital firm he founded in 2007. (more…)

About, Banks, Fintech news, Interviews

February 28, 2017

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How can Financial Providers Respond to the Needs of a Changing Customer?

by 

Financial service providers should rethink how they service their customers, in light of changing consumer behaviours and expectations. To track consumer patterns, Accenture Financial Services  Global Distribution & Marketing Consumer Study found that providers who can deliver a compelling new digital service model, as well as retain traditional values around trust and service, will edge out competitors. (more…)

Analytics, Banks, Fintech news

February 28, 2017

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How banks are embracing the digital revolution

By Finextra

Modern-day banks want to become digital banking leaders. Customers, competition and compliance are without doubt the three ‘C’s’ fueling this development. The demand for digital innovation is growing rapidly, whilst competition in the financial markets is fierce. Couple these with the stringent regulations being placed on financial firms and it’s clear why so many financial firms are moving to the cloud and digital technology. Indeed, it is one of the safest, most cost-effective and efficient way of managing communications. (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Global trends, Mobile-first banks

February 28, 2017

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R3: ‘Corda Is Not A Blockchain And We Didn’t Say It Was’ As Critics Take Aim

By CryptoCoins News

In a recent blog, “When is a blockchain not a blockchain” R3 noted that its Corda product is a distributed ledger and not a blockchain, and that it was never stated as such. The blog was in response to public comments claiming that R3 has only recently recognized that blockchain technology will not address wholesale financial industry needs. (more…)

Banks, Blockchain, Fintech news, Global trends

February 28, 2017

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Messenger Powers Chatbot Payments For ATB Financial

Today’s eCommerce world keeps getting faster and faster. (more…)

Banks, Bots, Fintech news, Mobile payments/banking

February 24, 2017

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Starling releases Open API, talks up marketplace model

By Finextra

UK challenger bank Starling is to release its API to third party developers as it undertakes its first hackathon and prepares for the forthcoming launch of its banking-as-a-service marketplace platform. (more…)

Banks, Fintech news, Open Source/ API

February 23, 2017

Meet The App That’s Empowering The Women Of Myanmar To The Bank

By Casey Hynes for Forbes

Financial inclusion is a topic of growing importance in countries such as Myanmar, where advances in tech are rapidly changing the dynamics in how people access financial products. As I wrote in 2016, fintech companies are capitalizing on Myanmar’s rapid development and increasing smartphone and internet penetration by offering digital financial products.

Although many people in Myanmar are skeptical of traditional banking institutions, fintech startups hope to win their confidence through low-cost, user-friendly products. One such organization is Wave Money, a joint venture between Telenor, Yoma Bank and Myanmar First Investments. (Disclosure: I performed contract editorial work for Telenor Group in 2014 and 2015.)

In a new partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Wave Money is targeting women consumers specifically in an attempt to increase financial literacy and inclusion in Myanmar. The company is developing a financial gaming application that will be accessible via users’ mobile phones.

Boosting confidence 

The app’s content will be delivered through a gamified system that teaches consumers about savings, interest and insurance. Ultimately, the goal is to help women become confident enough to engage with formal banking systems and navigate financial products they may have shied away from in the past. Wave Money, UNCDF and Australia’s DFAT aim to reach 260,000 women, 30,000 of whom already use mobile money accounts.

“The partnership between Wave Money and UNCDF will be instrumental in identifying how we can most effectively serve those currently underserved and excluded,” said Brad Jones, Wave Money’s CEO, via email. “We believe that through this application, people in Myanmar will be able to improve their understanding of financial concepts, which will further enhance financial inclusion in Myanmar.”

Wave Money CEO Brad Jones poses in front of the company logo in Yangon in August 2016. (Photo credit: ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Less than 10% of women in Myanmar between the ages of 18 and 34 currently have bank accounts, and only 29% have access to formal financial services. In a press release announcing the partnership, the partnering parties attributed the low numbers to “the lack of information that reaches women, and poor guidance available to them on where and how to use financial services that meets their respective needs.”

A digital gateway

But with smartphone penetration growing rapidly in Myanmar, digital platforms offer a gateway for reaching greater numbers of women and provide them with the means to participate more fully in the economy. In 2016, the GSMA reported that 33% of women own mobile phones in Myanmar, and about 1.4 million use smartphones. According to Jones, Wave Money will use UNCDF resources and data in developing the gamified app to ensure that it meets the needs of the women it aims to reach.

The Wave Money-UNCDF-DFAT partnership stems from UNCDF’s SHIFT Challenge program. The Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) department emphasizes empowerment through access to financial services and specifically focuses on women in underserved markets. Wave Money submitted a proposal for its gamification platform to the Challenge, and will receive funding from SHIFT, DFAT and the UNCDF’s Expanding Financial Access (EFA) program, the latter being the primary sponsor.

The EFA’s goals for Myanmar include increasing the number of adults who use more than one financial product from 6 to 15% and boosting overall inclusion from 30 to 40% by 2020. The program also aims to reach 830,000 “low income beneficiaries,” such as small-scale farmers, young consumers, and women entrepreneurs.

Winning over skeptics

As the first company to receive a mobile financial services license from Myanmar’s Central Bank, Wave Money sees an opportunity to “enable and empower people with the freedom to manage their money the way they most prefer in an easy and reliable way,” according to Jones. The hope is that consistent, transparent products will win over consumers who are skeptical of financial systems.

“The main objective of our digital gamification on financial literacy is to increase the understanding and perceptions of formal financial services and increase their interest and trust,” Jones said. “In this way, we believe that this will help improve these relationships.”

First appeared at Forbes

Banks, Cashless, Fintech news, Myanmar

February 23, 2017

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Barcelona’s ID Finance raises $50 million in debt funding to expand fintech to developing countries

By VentureBeat

ID Finance, a fintech startup the relocated from Russia to Barcelona, has raised $50 million in debt from a consortium of banks as it seeks to expand across Latin America. (more…)

AI / Machine Learning / Big Data, Banks, Deals

February 20, 2017

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DBS launches hackathon to identify top coding talent

By Finextra

Singapore’s DBS is to run a coding challenge and hackathon to identify fresh talent and fill 100 new developer jobs.  (more…)

Banks, Fintech news

February 20, 2017

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Japan’s Largest Bank is Testing Digitized Checks on a Blockchain in Singapore

By CryptoCoins News

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan’s largest bank, has chosen blockchain technology as the core infrastructure toward testing the digitization of checks using Singapore’s Fintech-friendly regulatory sandbox installed by the country’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore. (more…)

Banks, Blockchain, Fintech news, Singapore

February 20, 2017

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More than 750 startups apply to join YES Bank’s inaugural accelerator programme

By Finextra

The first cohort of YES FINTECH has received phenomenal response from the global community of Fintechs, with 753 applicants around the world.  (more…)

Accelerators/Incubators/Labs, Banks, Fintech news, India

February 18, 2017

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Blockchain Tracker: Blockchain Technology’s Impact On Global Transactions

From PayPal to Venmo, Google Wallet, Amazon Payments and more, there are a myriad of ways money is processed during transactions around the world. One of the most trusted and reliable ways may be through bank account transfers. As such, there’s a need to simplify all of these complex finance routes, and blockchain technology seems to be the anchor for this. (more…)

Banks, Blockchain, Interviews

February 18, 2017

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A Banking Revolution For Small Business – UK’s Nesta Challenges Fin Tech To Step Up To The Plate

By Forbes

Small business banking in the United Kingdom is about to undergo a radical shake-up, driven in part by pressure from the competition regulator. (more…)

About, Banks, Fintech news, Government activities, SME

February 18, 2017