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Weekly News Highlights – 10 December 2020

For this week’s news piece, we explore a new partnership for crypto institutional-grade custody solutions, check Revolut’s profitability, understand what Capital One has against Buy Now, Pay Later transactions, dive into the Chinese RegTech, tackle the ins & outs of Ethereum 2.0, and discover Solarisbank’s plans for 2021, and find out the latest on PayPal’s new QR code payments, 7-Eleven and E-Wallet offerings, RegTech, JP Morgan Asset Management’s most recent acquisition, and look into the status of ING’s preliminary trials with digital assets.

Enjoy the reading!

New partnership for institutional-grade crypto custody solutions …

Standard Chartered partners with Northern Trust for a Cryptocurrency Custodian for Institutional Investors

SC Ventures, the innovation and ventures unit of Standard Chartered, and Northern Trust, a leading provider of asset servicing, are partnering together in order to launch a new crypto product, Zodia Custody, an institutional-grade custody solution for cryptocurrencies. Zodia, expected to begin its operations in London in 2021, aims to allow institutions to invest in the emerging cryptocurrency assets that are transforming how financial markets operate, including transaction and settlement activities. Read more

Revolut breaks even in November 2020 …

Revolut’s figures show break even in November 

Revolut announced that for November 2020, the company broke even, and is experiencing growth compared to the pre-Covid period. After last month’s announcement by rival Starling Bank of their new £800,000 profit, Revolut has – for the second time – broken even, pushing it closer to profitability. The fintech first broke even in December 2018, but its aggressive growth plans lead the company on shaky grounds in terms of profitability. Read more

Capital One against Buy now, Pay later transactions?

Capital One blocks BNPL services 

Capital One, an American bank holding company specializing in credit cards, auto loans, banking, and savings accounts, is among the first banks to not allow its customers to use buy now, pay later (BNPL) transactions on its credit cards. The main reason behind this decision is that many BNPL types of services leave consumers falling into debt without realising the risks beforehand. Read more

Fintech Stripe goes for the Asian market…

Stripe is looking to expand to Asia

Stripe, an US digital payments company, is looking to expand its services across Asia, after driving 40% growth in staff across the region this year. Its most current pilot project, which allows interbank transfers for businesses in Indonesia, is aimed to further put Stripe on the map in the Asian market. Read more

China regulators raise concerns about fintech giants…

China regulator puts country’s fintech giants on notice

China’s top banking regulator raised some concerns earlier this week regarding the power of the country’s large financial technology companies and hinted at “timely and targeted measures to prevent new systemic risks.” The move appears to be a nod toward more regulations in China’s up and rising fintech sector, which saw regulators constantly concerned about the metropoly established by the Chinese technology giants. Read more

ETH 2.0… 

The world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency is getting a major upgrade – here’s what you need to know 

With the most recent announcement of Ethereum launching ETH 2.0, the world’s second-largest virtual currency by market value, is up about 350% since the start of the year. Last week, the cryptocurrency momentarily passed $600 for the first time since June 2018 before slumping sharply, and touched that level again this week. Ether investors are currently looking out for a long-delayed upgrade for ETH 2.0 network, expected to be faster and more secure than its predecessor. Read more

German fintech Solarisbank’s plans for 2021… 

Berlin fintech Solarisbank targets European expansion in 2021 

Solarisbank, a digital banking platform, has announced its plans for next year, consisting of new entrances on various European markets. The startup uses a “banking-as-a-service” model, which allows its partners, such as Samsung Electronics, to offer branded accounts and financial products to their customers. Solarisbank managed to successfully complete its migration of core systems, digital products and databases onto the AWS cloud. Read more

PayPal’s new QR code payments… 

PayPal announces QR code payments in iZettle’s point of sale app

With their newly launched QR code payments in iZettle’s point of sale app, PayPal allows now for small businesses across the UK to accept safe and secure touch-free payments from customers. In order to support the small firms during the period of Covid-19, PayPal made this service available for iZettle merchants at a reduced transaction rate of 1% from now until May 31st 2021. Read more

7-Eleven & E-Wallets… 

7-Eleven dives into the E-Wallet services

The 7-Eleven E-Wallet new mobile app offers customers the possibility to pay in a contactless, convenient way at the US stores participating in this programme. 7‑Eleven Wallet customers can securely load funds to use upon checkout using cash, debit and credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay and prepaid 7‑Eleven gift cards. The upside of the E-Wallet is that any loading and transaction fees are for free and a;so there are no interest fees, such as credit cards charge. Read more


$10.4bn were paid in fines over the last year by firms breaking money laundering, data privacy, MiFID and KYC rules

Regulators issued over the last year 198 fines for businesses failing to comply with money laundering, data privacy, MiFID and KYC frameworks. In addition to the financial institutions, individuals across China, the UK and the US were also penalized for compliance failures. Part of notable cases, Goldman Sachs suffered a $6.8bn penalty for its involvement in the 1MBD scandal, Westpack paid a $910m fine for breaking Australia’s money laundering laws over 23 million times. Read more

JP Morgan Asset Management newest acquisition… 

JP Morgan Asset Management acquires fintech 55ip

JP Morgan Asset Management announced its plans to acquire 55ip, a fintech that focuses on providing financial advisors with services related to tax efficient investment strategies. 55ip will bring into the new collaboration tactics on tax-efficient funds and other investment vehicles, and strategies such as low-cost index replications using ETFs and active tax and risk management techniques. Read more

ING does preliminary trials with digital assets… 

ING and crypto custody offerings

As part of the Singapore FinTech Festival, ING announced in a discussion panel earlier this week about its preliminary trials with digital assets. Herve Fracois, ING blockchain lead, brought up the custody and post-trade infrastructure for crypto assets Pyctor, a collaborative product between ING, ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Citibank, Invesco, Societe Generale, State Street, UBS and others. Pyctor will be used as a tool that offers banks the right means to handle crypto assets. ING also pinpointed their interest and involvement in AML regulations, being one founding members of the TRP (Travel Rule Protocol). Read more

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