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Fintech A.M.: 10-11-17

Digital banking: innovation is pushing forward the different players

Yesterday disruptive banking made a move forward, as digital financial services provider Revolut announced its application for a banking license in Lithuania. When approved, the challenger bank will be able to operate across all the European Economic Area, providing deposit and credit services as full-fledged bank. This announcement, following N26’s decision to invest the British and American markets as well as the significant funding of digital bank Monzo, illustrates the morphing the industry is going through.

A first on the lending scene, Australian alternative funding fintech Prospa reached a milestone, as they have now generated more than USD 500 million in SME loans. We see the importance of such innovative solutions growing, getting progressively out of their alternative status to become more of a complementary solution.

Yet, incumbents are not staying still, as we saw BNP Paribas introduce the mobile payment app WeChat Pay in the French market with an ambition to develop it further on European markets and UK banks integrate the iPhone X Face ID feature to their payments and mobile banking services.

Security still the centre of attention

Cyberattacks stroke the industry, with messaging system SWIFT bank having been hacked again, this time in Nepal. NIC Asia Bank was the target, and counted a USD 4.4 million loss in fraudulent transfers to Britain, Japan or China. Most of the stolen funds has been recovered thanks to an international cooperation. Cybersecurity in the banking industry gains more and more importance, proportionally to the rise of threats. The Bank of England reacted by launching a cybersecurity challenge in order to drag talent into strategic defence against cyberthreats.

A security vulnerability reaching cryptocurrencies as well, as Ethereum digital wallet Parity announced a flaw in its system eventually putting at risk the entire content of its users. ICO funds have been immobilized along the $150 million frozen Ethereum. Bitcoin is not spared either, as scams are haunting the cryptocurrency’s environment; Canada has been witnessing a $300,000 Bitcoin ATM rip-off, as the US government continues its fight against the hype.

By Jean Leguy, Research Analyst at Holland FinTech]]>

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