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Weekly News Highlights – 13 January 2022

Stay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates and developments on partnerships, regulations, investments, crypto and more. Enjoy reading!

Checkout.com becomes UK’s most valuable fintech at $40bn (The Guardian)
A London-based online payments company has become Britain’s most valuable private fintech business after its latest fundraising valued it at $40bn (£29bn), handing its surf-loving founder a paper fortune of about $20bn. Checkout.com, which simplifies payment processes for businesses, achieved the valuation after a $1bn investment that puts the stake of its 40-year-old chief executive, Guillaume Pousaz, at about $20bn. Read more.

BUX Launches Crypto Trading Services on Zero-Commission Platform (Finance Magnets)
The Dutch online brokerage, BUX announced on Monday that it has enabled cryptocurrency investment for the clients of its flagship platform, BUX Zero. The company has already been offering crypto trading under a separate platform called BUX Crypto since April 2020. Now, both BUX Crypto and BUX Zero are offering digital currency trading. BUX Zero will allow investors access to more than 20 cryptocurrency markets that include Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. And, the new service will be initially available only to clients in four countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Ireland. Read more.

Payments Giant Block to Build Open-Source Bitcoin Mining System (Coindesk)
Block, formerly known as payments company Square, is going ahead with its plan to build an open-source bitcoin mining system, according to a Tweet from Thomas Templeton, Block’s general manager for hardware. He also tweeted the company is open to making new ASICs (specialized bitcoin mining computers), and has started evaluating various IP blocks, open-source miner firmware, and other system software offerings. Read more.
Visa joins forces with TBR LAB to accelerate fintech Ecosystem growth (Loop)
Caribbean startup accelerator TBR LAB is partnering with Visa to enable the proliferation of high-growth technology business ventures by driving the development and implementation of digital payment solutions in the English-speaking Caribbean. “Startups and fintechs will benefit from easier access to the financial systems, as well as the scalability, reliability, interoperability and security insights Visa’s experience as a global payment network brings to the region’s financial technology ecosystem,” TechBeach said in a release announcing the partnership. Read more.

Fintech Partnership between FNWB and Splash Financial (Globenewswire)
First Northwest Bancorp (FNWB) announced a new fintech partnership with Splash Financial, a leading digital lending platform that helps borrowers easily shop and compare financial products. Through its subsidiary, First Fed Bank, FNWB will work collaboratively with Splash to develop and deploy consumer loan products and solutions throughout the country. Read more.

India’s central bank is setting up a fintech department to keep up with crypto (QZ)
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has created a new department to identify challenges and opportunities in financial technology, particularly around cryptocurrency. The new fintech department has been operational since Jan. 4, the central bank said. Indian tax authorities are already going after cryptocurrency exchanges for alleged tax evasion, despite a lack of clarity on crypto taxation, while stakeholders have also been raising concerns about the lack of regulations for the country’s crypto industry for more than a year. Read more.

MoneyGram Launches Partnership with Japanese Fintech Smiles to Enable International Money Transfers (Yahoo)
MoneyGram International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGI), a global leader in the evolution of digital P2P payments, today announced a strategic partnership with Digital Wallet Corporation, a global fintech company and the owner of Smiles Mobile Remittance (Smiles), a leading mobile money transfer service and digital wallet in Japan. Consumers in Japan can now use the Smiles mobile app – powered by MoneyGram’s global payment rails and near real-time capabilities – to send money to more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Read more.

Core banking solution provider Topaz acquires majority stake in Cobiscorp (Fintech Futures)
Brazilian fintech Stefanini Group – through its core banking subsidiary Topaz – has acquired a majority stake in US core banking software provider Cobiscorp. The move forms part of the group’s expansion plans in Latin America, following the acquisition of Brazilian software firm CRK in July 2021. The acquisition will see Topaz incorporate Cobiscorp’s COBIS banking software and core banking solutions, online fraud prevention and risk reduction solutions, digital channels infrastructure, currency exchange functionality and its newer SaaS-based cloud software service offering. Read more.

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