Weekly News Highlights - 29 July 2021

Weekly News Highlights – 26 May

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!

Bahamian pay-with-face vendor PopPay extends to Sand Dollar CBDC (Finextra)
PopID and SunCash announced today that for the first time in history, consumers can now use the PopPay face verification platform to purchase goods and services with a central bank digital currency (CBDC) – digital money issued and backed by a government. Bahamian consumers can now link their SunCash account to PopPay to enable face pay transactions using their Sand Dollars. They can then spend the digital currency at a network of SunCash merchants using just their face for authentication. Various local and global brands are or will be accepting digital Sand Dollars authenticated by PopPay through the SunCash platform. Read more.

Square acquires GoParrot (Finextra)
Square has acquired GoParrot, an all-in-one digital ordering and marketing platform for restaurants. GoParrot enables restaurants to connect more easily and directly with customers through powerful omnichannel software. As a long-time Square partner, GoParrot’s products already integrate with Square’s ecosystem of solutions. Read more.

Swiss fintech ZoodPay acquires Pakistan’s Tez Financial Services (Fintech Futures)
ZoodPay, a Switzerland-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform operating in the Middle East and Asia, has acquired Pakistani consumer lending fintech Tez Financial Services for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2016, Tez offers small loans to unbanked and underserved Pakistanis through its smartphone app and digital platform. Through the acquisition, ZoodPay enters Pakistan as a new player in its burgeoning digital lending and fintech space. “Pakistan is a market brimming with potential given the number of people seeking access to credit facilities,” says Michael Khoi, CEO of ZoodPay. Read more.

Swedish fintech Klarna to cut 10% of workforce (Financial Times)
Klarna is cutting 10 per cent of jobs as Europe’s largest unlisted technology company faces up to the toughest times in its 17 years amid intense scrutiny of its buy now, pay later model. Chief executive Sebastian Siemiatkowski told Klarna’s more than 7,000 employees globally it was the “hardest” announcement the Swedish bank had made. He called 2022 “a tumultuous year” and blamed Russia’s war in Ukraine, a shift in consumer confidence, rises in inflation, a volatile stock market “and a likely recession” for the job cuts. Read more.

CATFP Partners With Fintech Influencer (Finews)
Fintech influencer and investor Spiros Margaris is now sharing his expertise with other investors. Zurich-based financial boutique CAT Financial Products (CATFP) is partnering with fintech influencer Spiros Margaris, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Working with CATFP’s product specialists, Margaris will be involved in selecting around 25 global companies which have an impact on the fintech industry, the statement says. Read more.

Aussie payments regulator sets out QR code guidelines (Fintech Futures)
The Australian Payments Network (AusPayNet) has issued new guidelines around the use of Quick Response (QR) codes as a payment method. The payments industry self-regulatory body says the publication of its voluntary guidelines for QR code payments follows the widespread public use of the technology as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidelines are directed at financial institutions, payment service providers, merchants and other payment industry participants, and are designed to “encourage consistency”, the regulator says. Read more.

Christine Lagarde Defends Massive ECB Interventions, Says Her Son Trades Crypto (Coindesk)
European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde urged patience as the bank looks to pare back its now 8 trillion euro balance sheet in the face of galloping inflation, and asked viewers of a Dutch talk show to imagine the damage to the economy had the central bank not intervened in such a large way during the COVID crisis. “It will come, it will come, in due course, yeah,” responded an at least a modestly uncomfortable Lagarde when presented with the sharp upward-and-to-the-right graph of the central bank’s balance sheet, and asked how she plans to bring it down. “How?” the questioner during an episode of the “College Tour” TV show pressed again. “In due course, it will come,” she assured. Read more.

SEC cracks down on ESG fund to protect investors from greenwashing tactics (TeslaRati)
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is cracking down on ESG funds (Environmental, Social, and Governance) that exaggerate their environmental, social, and governance strategy to attract investors. SEC proposed requiring ESG funds to provide proof of their claims. The agency wants funds to disclose how they select companies and vote at annual meetings. ESG funds would also have to report greenhouse gas emissions related to the portfolio. Read more.

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