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Weekly Analysis & Opinion Highlights – 28 December 2020

This analysis & opinion piece dives into new regulations for digital currency transactions, the status of checks as a payment method, RegTech, PCI compliance revenue, analyzes the case study of Starling Bank product integration, explores why global investors are fleeing the Chinese tech market, shows what banks should focus on during Covid-19, presents 7 fintech trends for 2021, looks at trends for fintech, payments and InsurTech for 2021, and finds out whether we are we ready for the iPhone NFC Chip.

Enjoy the material!

New requirements for digital currency transactions…new territory…

FinCEN’s New Proposed Rule Rushes The Inevitable (Forbes)

According to Yaya Fanusie, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has in plan new regulations for digital currency transactions, based on the evolution of crypto assets. As main frameworks, FinCEN will require businesses that deal with crypto trading to file a report with Treasury whenever customers transact at a $10,000 threshold with any unhosted wallet. In addition, for transactions with unhosted wallets at or above $3,000, firms must record the name and addresses of the counterparty unhosted wallet owners, but this information, however, does not have to be reported to FinCEN, except under subpoena. Read more

Are checks still a thing? Fintech says so…

The Decline of Checks: How Digital Payment Innovation is Turning Checks into a Dead Technology (Finextra)

Sava Ruljic, Director, Treasury AscendantFX, explains the future of checks for the North American users, and the rapid decline of this old fashion payment method. Checks require higher costs than electronic payments, more time to require fraudulent activities, additional costs are usually associated, are a time consuming process, and have higher risks due to cross-border transactions. However, many businesses believe that electronic payment options do not always provide enough remittance information for efficient transaction reconciliation. Read more

Starling Bank case study: product integration

Starling provides “road map” for future in-app integrations (

Aoife Morgan, writer at, pinpoints the case of Starling Bank’s newest collaboration with iZettle, a product offered by PayPal, as part of its new strategy for deeper integrations. Gareth Towler, a marketplace product analyst at Starling Bank, explains the benefits of integrating iZettle: “With this particular integration, there is more information being shared between the top third parties involved. It’s a lot deeper, which we’ve found to be more effective, so it can generate as much value as possible.” Read more

Investors are fleeing Chinese tech stocks…

Global investors flee from Chinese tech stocks after the government crackdown on Ant and Alibaba (TechCrunch)

Alex Wilhelm, Senior Editor at TechCrunch, and Jonathan Shieber, editor at TechCrunch, present the aftermath of the Alibaba and Ant Group case, which left global investors avoiding Chinese tech stocks. With Alibaba, Tencent, and Meituan losing around $200 billion in value during a handful of trading sessions, other tech companies are seeing their fortunes rise, boosted by newfound interest from the central government in Beijing, especially for the  chip industry. Read more

What should banks focus on during Covid-19?

Banks and bad actors: the race to digitally adapt (FinTech Futures)

Monica Spigner, executive vice president at Teleperformance, shows why the second wave of Covid-19 will force banking leaders to focus on customer experience and fraud. Front-facing digital tools such as AI are now being used to detect, manage, and remove threats posed to customers at the same time as enhancing the customer experience. Banks that implemented AI are now able to know their customers better, and furthermore, with predictive tools, fraudulent activities can be much quicker detected, by scanning for irregular behaviours, anomalies, or unusual activity by pushing proactive alerts. Read more

7 fintech industry voices: 2021 trends

Fintech predictions for 2021: Seven experts have their say (Verdict)

Ellen Daniel, a senior reporter for Verdict, highlights seven opinions from fintech experts on what’s to come in 2021. As main trends, 2021 is expected to be a tough year for fintechs, which will still struggle for profitability, identity controls will increasingly focus on frictionless experiences, financial models will need to be updated for the post-Covid-10 world, AI will take a top spot as a solution, open banking will continue to develop and influence mobile app technology, new partnerships will be seen between fintechs, and the digital corporate bank will become the norm. Read more

Are we ready for the iPhone NFC Chip?

Is It Time For Apple To Allow Others Access To The iPhone NFC Chip? (PYMNTS)

Karen Webster, CEO of Market Platform Dynamics, shows in this analysis the shift in consumer behavior towards digital methods of working, shopping, and banking. As the digital-first puck is heading to using smartphones, like the iPhone, and other connected devices to pay, consumers are not needed to interact with terminals at the physical point of sale or being physically in a store.  Innovations that give consumers touchless payments options are experiencing popularity and have become prominent over the last period. One expected solution is for Apple to open up the NFC chip to others, which would support more apps for physical payments — even ones that consumers could use with the billion iPhones that Apple would like to turn into contactless mobile terminals. Read more

On RegTech: Australia & UK relations…

RegTech: An Opportunity to Boost Australia and UK Trade Relations? (The Fintech Times)

In a new research by RegTech Associates, commissioned by the New South Wales Government and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, the advantages of the UK and Ireland as a market for regulatory technology firms with solutions that help regulated firms meet their obligations are highlighted. As main findings, the paper highlights that the majority of RegTech products in both markets fall into the Financial Crime category, with 27.7% in the UK and 30.4% in Australia respectively. Furthermore, the UK RegTech market is more mature than Australia, and the Australian RegTech products have the second-highest foreign presence in the UK with 9.1% market share, beaten only by the USA. Read more

On PCI compliance revenue…

How processors can increase PCI compliance revenue and reduce attrition by offering a managed compliance and security service (Sysnet)

This paper presents how processors can reduce their reliance on PCI non-compliance fee revenue, while setting the stage to deliver enhanced security capabilities that increase PCI compliance, reduce merchant churn, and dramatically enhance overall recurring revenue. The findings provide answers for why the income from non-compliance fees is a false economy, solutions on how non-compliance fee revenue can be replaced cost-effectively, and what life time value is lost through attrition. Read more

Payments & Fintech in review…

Nine Payment And Fintech Predictions For 2021 (Forbes)

According to Daniel Döderlein, CEO and founder of mobile payments company Settle, there are nine prominent trends expected to take off in 2021, such as: payments going remote, SMEs coming back into fashion, shared work space, neobanks, interest rates going up, crypto getting a jump, then flattening again, PSD2 maturing while PSD3 will be driving the real competition, the behemoths continuing to buy anything that challenges their position, and the m-commerce enablement space catching fire. Read more

On financial inclusion…

Fintech industry accelerates financial inclusion, to push faster digital adoption (Economic Times)

This analysis explores the full potential of India, which has an opportunity to become a $1 trillion-digital payments market. The country witnessed 3,435 crore digital payments in 2019-20. While the government is making efforts to give a big push for digital India, the Reserve Bank is enabling the sector’s growth with regulatory interventions and there will also be a separate division for the fintech companies at the central bank. Read more

The Big Ideas Fintech Will Tackle in 2021 (Andreessen Horowitz)

In a recent analysis conducted by Alex Rampell, Angela Strange, Anish Acharya, Seema Amble, Rex Salisbury, and Matthieu Hafemeister, the a16z fintech team weighs in on the big ideas they think fintech will take on in 2021. As such, engagement over short-lived economic perks is expected, expanding access to new asset classes, a deeper, more expansive fintech community, new channels – and entirely new models – for distribution. Read more

On InsurTech predictions for the upcoming year…

11 insurtech predictions for 2021 (Digital Insurance)

According to Martha Notaras, Managing Partner at Brewer Lane Ventures, insurtech has continued to flourish, with lots of capital supporting the sector in public and private markets, closer integration between incumbents and startups, and promising solutions for long-time needs in SME and cyber. In terms of 2021 predictions for insurtech, the analysis highlights some upcoming trends, such as insurance being embedded in every financial & retail transaction, more automation, partnerships, startups going full stack, focus on coretech. Read more

What will the biggest trends in InsurTech be in 2021? (FinTech Global)

Insurance, like many other industries, has noticed one key trend during 2020 and that was the race for digitalisation. Firms have been updating their systems for the past decade. In this analysis, new trends and predictions are analyzed for the InsurTech industry in 2021, which include a push towards AI, increased levels of remote working, and an ongoing hard market. Read more

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