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Weekly news highlights 10 July 2020

Recapping this last week’s news in FinTech, we see some new developments which have taken place. On the Dutch front, due to increase criminal activities such as drug and human trafficking happening every year, around €16 billion of criminal money is laundered. Thus, five Dutch banks – ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank, Triodos Bank and de Volksbank –  have joined together the coalition to create a transaction monitoring utility in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. 

One of the week’s highlights in terms of deals lies between Deutsche Bank and Google. Deutsche Bank announced that it will be forming an alliance with Google to reimagine the scope of its financial services. Google will bring on the table the Cloud technology to further explore potential innovations for the financial bank. This collaboration can mean a rapid advancement for Deutsche Bank’s digital transformation, adding extra value for customers.

Online lender SoFi has applied for a national bank charter with the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). If SoFi can manage to obtain the license, it would mean that it’s possible to make loans and hold customer deposits without a FDIC-insured banking partner. SoFi started life as a student loan financing outfit but in recent years has been expanding aggressively.

Mobile money gateway MFS Africa has acquired B2B digital payments player, Beyonic, a digital payments services provider for enterprises which operates in Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda. The terms of the acquisition remain undisclosed, and still awaits approval from the Fair Competition Commission in Tanzania.

In the e-commerce sector, major card issuers are following the trend of Click to Pay, which has become an industry standard across the globe. Since launching Click to Pay a year ago, leaders such as  American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Discover claim to have signed up more than 10,000 merchants in the US. The group is pushing it out to 14 new countries, with more planned afterwards. The new markets include the UK, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Australia.

July has seen promising decisions for Australia as well in terms of open banking. Australian consumers can now choose to share their banking data with third party providers following the launch of Open Banking under the Consumer Data Right Act. Overseen by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), consumer data relating to credit and debit cards, deposit accounts and transaction accounts are now available to be shared.

Ant Group, the world’s most valuable tech “unicorn” had been looking to sell shares in Hong Kong and mainland China simultaneously. The fintech arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, plans a Hong Kong float as soon as this year and targets a valuation of more than $200 billion (€177 billion).

When it comes to the tumultuous fraud allegation news regarding German payments company Wirecard, Pine Labs has held initial discussions to buy out the Asian business of Wirecard. Mastercard-backed Pine Labs has had partnerships with Wirecard for its India business, as per sources. Apart from its payment deployment business in India, Pine Labs also has a strong presence in the merchant payment space in Malaysia and Singapore.

DocuSign announced it has acquired Liveoak Technologies today for approximately $38 million, giving the company an online notarization option. Furthermore, DocuSign has made an announcement for its newest product, DocuSign Notary, meant to ease the notary requirement by allowing it to happen online along with the eSignature. 

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