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Weekly News Highlights – 28 October 2021

Stay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates and developments on payments, banking, partnerships, restrictions, blockchain and more. Enjoy reading!

Mastercard and Bakkt Strikes up Crypto Partnership (Fintech News)
Mastercard and Bakkt announced a multifaceted partnership at Money20/20 to enable merchants, banks and fintechs in the U.S. to offer cryptocurrency solutions and services. Bakkt is a digital currency company that specialises in concurrency, rewards, and loyalty points. It will now extend Mastercard’s ecosystem of cryptocurrency partners enabling Crypto-as-a-Service, providing quick access to cryptocurrency capabilities. Read more.

China warns unlicensed online brokerages they are breaking the law (Reuters)
A Chinese central banker warned that online brokerages not licensed in China are acting illegally if they serve Chinese clients via the Internet, sending New York-listed shares of Futu Holdings Ltd (FUTU.O) and UP Fintech Holding sharply lower. Read more.

Fintech giants Stripe and Klarna partner on ‘buy now, pay later’ as competition heats up (CNBC)
Stripe said it has agreed a strategic partnership with Klarna to offer the Swedish firm’s buy now, pay later payment method to its merchants. The deal could be a way for Stripe to capitalize on the fast-growing BNPL trend as rivals like Square and PayPal make big moves in the space. Stripe and Klarna are the world’s biggest private fintech companies, according to CB Insights data, worth $95 billion and $46 billion respectively. Read more.

Justice Department probes Visa’s relationships with fintech companies (Yahoo)
The U.S. Justice Department is probing Visa Inc’s relationships with large fintech companies as part of its antitrust investigation of the card giant. Antitrust investigators are looking into the financial incentives that Visa gave Square Inc, Stripe Inc and Paypal Holdings Inc, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter. Visa, which reported its quarterly results recently, declined to comment. Read more.

Why this Maestro is retiring after 30 years (Mastercard)
In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee flipped the switch on what he had initially described as “a large hypertext database with typed links” in a proposal to his bosses at Switzerland’s famed research laboratory CERN. He later settled on the slightly catchier name the World Wide Web. That same year, Mastercard launched its Maestro debit card brand, the world’s first online point-of-sale debit network that gave cardholders secure access to their money wherever they were. Read more.

Elevandi Appoints Board Of Directors (PR News)
Elevandi, a new Company Limited by Guarantee (GLC) created by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to take over the Singapore FinTech Festival, and bring together the global financial and FinTech communities, has appointed an international board of directors to oversee its mission and work. Sopnendu Mohanty, MAS Chief FinTech Officer, will serve as the Chairman of the Elevandi Board. The directors will bring diverse perspectives and insights on innovations driving the financial sector. Read more.

Kazakh Fintech Giant to Buy Ukrainian Bank (The Diplomat)
London-listed Kaspi.kz is poised to acquire the Ukrainian subsidiary of BTA Bank, a sign that Kazakhstan’s fintech giant plans to expand into new markets. In its financial report for the third quarter of 2021, Kaspi signed a preliminary agreement to buy BTA Bank in Ukraine, essentially a way for the bank to obtain a financial license in the country. Read more.

FirstCash to buy fintech AFF in $1.17 bln deal to enter BNPL market (Reuters)
Pawn store operator FirstCash Inc (FCFS.O) said on Thursday it will acquire financial technology firm American First Finance Inc (AFF) in a $1.17 billion deal, to enter the buy-now-pay-later business. Read more.

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