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Weekly News Highlights – 13 May 2021

 

This week’s news article brings you the latest trends from fintech. We look at data sharing deals between US Bank and Plaid, expanded relationship between PayPal and Google Cloud, cryptocurrency exchange, remittances, US stable coin, new regulations for debt-based crowdfunding from Saudi Arabia, NFTs and anti-money laundering. Happy reading!

US Bank and Plaid ink data sharing deal (Finextra)

US Bank has teamed up with Plaid, a fintech company that acts as an intermediary link between your bank account and financial apps, to enable the lender’s millions of customers to connect their accounts to third party apps. The integration gives US Bank customers an API-based, credential-less open finance experience that lets them share their account data with thousands of fintechs. Read more

PayPal expands Google Cloud relationship (Finextra)

PayPal is expanding its partnership with Google Cloud, which will provide the payments giant with both infrastructure and analytics capabilities to help it process transactional data at massive scale. Google Cloud says it enabled PayPal to add capacity to its infrastructure in just hours, a process that would have otherwise taken months to complete. Read more

Google Pay US users can now send money to users in India and Singapore (Techcrunch)

Google announced that Google Pay users in the U.S can now send money to Google Pay users in India and Singapore. From within the Google Pay app, users also get to choose which payments provider — Wise or Western Union — they wish to use and how long it would take for the recipient to receive the money. Read more

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitex launches Ethereum (TechCircle)

Bitex, a cryptocurrency Bitcoin exchange platform, launched its own utility token – Bitex Coin (BTX) – to trade on the exchange and make payments at a lower fee. With a limited supply of 1 billion tokens to be issued by Global Cryptocurrency Exchange, 20% will be available for public sale through an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO). Read more

Visa invests in Remitly (Finextra)

Visa invested in Remitly, a cross-border payment provider, to help the digital remittance outfit expand its network in emerging markets. The two firms are also extending an earlier partnership to integrate the Visa Direct real-time push payments platform to enable Remitly customers in the US send funds to eligible debit cards in countries around the world. At that time, payments using their joint services could be sent to 43 countries. Read more

Diem to launch US stablecoin (FSTech)

The Diem Association, a permissioned blockchain-based payment backed by Facebook, a bank for innovative businesses in fintech and cryptocurrency, has abandoned plans to secure a payment license from Switzerland’s FINMA watchdog. Diem has announced a new partnership with Silvergate Capital to launch a US dollar stablecoin as it scales back its global ambitions to focus on the United States. Diem also revealed that the move is part of a strategic shift to the US, which means its primary operations will be moved from Switzerland to the United States. Read more

Adyen launches Planet, enabling climate action at checkout (Adyen.com)

Adyen, a payments platform, announced the launch of Planet. Planet allows Adyen’s merchants to offer their shoppers the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint of their purchases at the end of the checkout process. Read more

New frameworks and regulations to ‘revolutionize’ the Saudi FinTech landscape (Arab News)

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) issued new regulations for debt-based crowdfunding. The framework provided more opportunities for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country to access capital and source funding to expand. Read more

eBay becomes first e-commerce company to sell NFTs (FSTech)

eBay has become the first e-commerce platform to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs.) The company has introduced the sale of the digital tokens for online collectibles, including trading cards, images, or video clips. eBay also added that users can expect to see programmes, policies and tools in future that will let them buy and sell NFTs across a broader range of categories. Read more

German regulator sends supervisor to N26 in money laundering push (Financial Times)

Germany’s financial regulator has ordered N26, a digital bank, to strengthen its controls against money laundering and appointed a special supervisor to monitor one of Europe’s most highly-valued fintechs. Explaining its decision, BaFin (The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority) said that N26 needed to “rectify deficiencies both in IT monitoring and in customer due diligence” and to “ensure that it has the adequate personnel, technical and organisational resources to comply with its obligations under anti-money laundering law. Read more

Microsoft is shutting down its Azure Blockchain Service (Zdnet.com)

Microsoft is shutting down its Azure Blockchain Service on September 10, 2021. Existing deployments will be supported until that date, but as of May 10 this year, no new deployments or member creation is being supported. Read more

SoftBank-backed mortgage lender Better going public via $7.7 billion SPAC (CNBC)

Better, a digital mortgage lender, will make its market debut by merging with Aurora Acquisition Corp., valuing the company at $7.7 billion. The deal includes a $1.5 billion private investment in public equity (PIPE) arrangement led by SoftBank. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Read more

Hong Kong Monetary Authority to expand tests of China’s Digital Yuan (Financemagnates.com)

After the successful completion of an initial pilot program to test the use of the digital yuan across borders, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is seeking to expand testing of the digital asset. he initial tests were conducted between multiple parties, including merchants and a bank chosen by mainland Chinese authorities. Read more

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