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Fintech A.M.: 08/12/17

Progresses in open banking

Starling Bank, a challenger digital bank, showed some movement this week. Yesterday, it scored the approval of the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority to offer customers financial products. The online-only bank already acquired its banking licence form the Bank of England last year. This news comes as the challenger partners with fintech Form3, to provide real-time payments in the UK.

This is not the only interesting partnership in the fintech scene. Yesterday, we saw PSP Worldpay and online bank Klarna buddy up, enabling Worldpay’s clients to benefit from Klarna’s invoice and credit-based payments services.

Bitcoin reaches USD 15,000

This week, the Slovenian crypto-mining marketplace NiceHash saw its security breached. The entirety of bitcoins stored on its main wallet were stolen, representing tens of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin.

Yet this news regarding the cryptocurrency is not the biggest today. Bitcoin reached and crossed the USD 15,000 milestone at 11.00 UTC, before slightly decreasing and settling around USD 14,500. This drastic increase happens days before CBOE Global Markets and CME Group’s launch of their futures contract dealing in the cryptocurrency. Analysts forecast an imminent new sharp increase to USD 16,194, without excluding the possibility of a decrease to USD 11,000. The industry is in any case perplexed in the face of this obscure and fascinating phenomenon marking financial history.

This launch of futures contracts is going to be closely watched by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Andrew Busch, the commission’s chief market intelligence officer, told CNBC on Wednesday: “Our role as a derivatives regulator is to make sure the futures contract is not manipulated. We’re going to do that for sure.”

Fraud increases, stakeholders react

A report from LexisNexis assesses the rise of fraud costs for merchants. From USD 2,40 last year, it is now at USD 2,77 for every dollar of fraud losses, while fraud is increasing overall increases.

To counter this issue, US-based e-commerce fraud prevention company NS8 has raised USD 7.5 million in a seed funding round. E-commerce merchants using payments platforms such as Magento or Shopify can benefit from the company’s services.

Another player in the field, Tidal Commerce, has launched a prevention tool for merchants. The tool, Atlas App, provides fraud prevention and merchant identity verification.

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

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