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Weekly News Highlights – 10 March 2022

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

FATF looks set to expel Russia, announces it is reviewing Moscow’s role; warns of cyber threats to banks (AML)
FATF today said is reviewing Russia’s role at the agency following the invasion of Ukraine, with insiders predicting Moscow will be thrown out of the organisation. In a statement this evening (Fri) FATF said the actions of Russia “run counter to the FATF core principles and represent a gross violation of the commitment upon which FATF Ministers agree to implement and support the FATF Standards.” The task force said it is now reviewing Russia’s role at FATF and “will consider what future steps are necessary to uphold these core values.” Read more.

Finaro announces its acquisition by Shift4 for USD 575 mln (The PayPers)
Cross-border payment provider Finaro has announced that it entered an agreement with fintech Shift4 for its acquisition in a deal worth USD 575 million. The combined offering of both companies creates complimentary synergy of a global payments centre with card-present and card-not-present expertise across a range of verticals. Together, Finaro and Shift4 will be positioned to provide merchants with global omnichannel payments and stand alongside some of the players in the payments industry, including Adyen, Nuvei, and WorldPay. Read more.

PPRO acquires Alpha Fintech to augment its payments infrastructure (The PayPers)
Payments provider PPRO has announced it bought paytech company Alpha Fintech to expand its offering and presence across APAC.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. PPRO officials stated that the acquisition of Alpha strengthens their position as both a global payments technology company and partner to PSPs, banks, and fintechs. Read more.

PORTAGE VENTURES CLOSES $788.5 MILLION CAD FOR THIRD FINTECH FUND (Betakit)
Portage Ventures, the venture capital arm of investment firm Sagard, announced the sixth close of its Portage Ventures III LP. The VC firm said it has raised $788.5 million CAD ($616 million USD) to date, and claims the fund is now one of the largest early-stage FinTech-focused venture funds in the world. With its latest close, Portage claimed that along with its Fund I and Fund II it now has $3.3 billion USD of assets under management as of December 31, 2021. Commitments to the fund came from new and existing capital partners, including family offices, financial institutions, pension funds, and institutional investors worldwide. Read more.

Biden’s crypto order resets the regulatory debate (Protocol)
Sanctions are now touching the crypto business. CoinZoom has stopped signing up Russian customers — not because crypto transactions are officially blocked, but because existing sanctions make funding accounts with wires or credit cards difficult, CEO Todd Crosland told Reuters. Meanwhile, the EU has made clear that its sanctions program includes digital assets too. It’s a reminder that crypto might have been conceived of as a replacement for fiat money, but its path to the mainstream is all about coexisting with it. Read more.

Binance Launches New Fiat-To-Crypto Payments Provider Bifinity (Fintech News)
Binance, a global blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, has announced the launch of Bifinity, a payments technology company and its official fiat-to-crypto payments provider. Bifinity was established in 2021 and has been powering Binance‘s fiat-to-crypto on- and off-ramps, processing millions in transactions globally for Binance.com users and charging low payment processing fees to its merchants. Its payments infrastructure connects businesses, merchants and consumers to the world of crypto and blockchain, including the buying and selling of crypto services and API crypto payments integrations. Read more.

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