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Fintech A.M.: 17/11/2017

American Express’s new payment bridge was the highlight of yesterday, which we expect to make a lot of noise in the industry. Regulations are on everyone’s lips in Europe. Naturally a day cannot pass by without featuring some new cryptocurrency affairs.

Nifty cross-border payments 

Cross-border payments structures continue to improve, opening a world of possibles. We saw yesterday the cross-border mobile payments network TransferTo partner up with the banking software provider Fern Software, and receive a grant from the United Nation’s program Capital Development’s Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformation (Shift) Challenge Fund. The funds will be used to improve the economic power of women in Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar. TransferTo CEO Peter De Caluwe stated “our goal is to enable access to digital financial services, especially for women who represent over 50% of the population in these markets, yet lack access to traditional banking.”

In an exciting step forward for payments, American express introduced yesterday a blockchain-enabled B2B cross-border payment. Based on Ripple’s technology and linked with Santander UK’s customer base, the new transactional bridge linking American businesses to their British peers provides an instant, secure, and cost-effective payment method expected to grow exponentially.

Upcoming European regulations continue to spark controversy

According to TelAware, 58% of senior managers in financial firms believe MiFIDII will improve business efficiency and customer experience. The same enthusiasm is apparently not held by the industry regarding PSD2, as the lack of clarity and scarce information from parties in charge cripple adaption and progress. Last week, lawyers, bank managers and fintech start-ups gave their stances on the new directive at Baker McKenzie’s office in Amsterdam. They agreed on progress towards open banking with or without the ECB’s regulatory support, as international competition will eventually have to go around the conundrum. 

Crypto, crypto, crypto…

Finally, the cryptocurrency world remains in its constant turbulence, as we saw the Indian Supreme Court incite the central bank, market regulator, tax department and al. to release legal framework regulating cryptocurrencies. The pressure comes from the fear of tax evasion and other fraud stemming from an absence of surveillance. 

A fear that is not confined to India, as CME’s bitcoin futures contracts continue to divide opinions. According to a known electronic brokerage firm, the project is not devoid of danger,  should be thought through and isolated from other contracts.

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

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