Weekly News Highlights – 25 August 2022

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

ECB to reign in crypto with regulatory framework (Fintech Global)
The European Central Bank (ECB) has released its intentions to form a crypto regulatory framework that aims to make how banks offer crypto assets more consistent. There is currently no harmonised regulatory framework governing crypto-asset activities and services in the EU, but the ECB said this will change with the finalisation of several regulatory initiatives at European and international level. Within the EU, the Council presidency and European Parliament recently reached a provisional agreement on the markets in crypto-assets (MiCA) proposal, which will bring crypto-assets under a regulatory framework. Read more.

Wirex Adds SEPA Instant and Faster Payments to Its Crypto Platform (Financial Times)
Wirex has introduced Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Instant and Faster Payments to its crypto platform, allowing customers in the UK and EEA to transfer British Pounds and Euros more easily between their Wirex and bank accounts. Wirex has partnered with digital payment infrastructure provider, Modulr, to introduce deposit and withdrawal methods, SEPA and Faster Payments, to its UK and EEA users. In addition to the debit/credit card top-up method already facilitated by the platform, the addition will grant customers more flexibility to choose how they wish to transfer funds in and out of their Wirex account. Read more.

Dollar edges lower as investors wait on Fed’s Powell (Reuters)
The dollar index and the euro both slipped on Thursday in choppy trading as investors waited on a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday for further clues about the ongoing pace of the U.S. central bank’s rate hikes. Investors are tossing up between the likelihood of a 50 or 75 basis point rate increase in September as the Fed battles inflation, but also faces some softening U.S. economic data. Read more.

Google Wallet enters South Africa to tap digital payments growth (Techcrunch)
Google Wallet is now available in South Africa, the first market for this product in Africa, to make it easy for users to save and easily and securely access their payment cards, loyalty cards and boarding passes. Google said that cardholders of partner banks in South Africa that include FirstRand Bank, Discovery Bank, Investec, Standard Bank, ABSA and Nedbank can now add their details on the wallet, and make contactless payments using their Android phones and Wear OS devices. The list of items that can be added to the wallet is expected to grow in the future, as Google moves ahead with plans to replace physical wallets, and keep up with the need for rapid digitization — an aftermath of the COVID pandemic. Read more.

Fintechs partner up on ESG scoring for global trade (Fintech Magazine)
US-based TradeSun and UK-based Coriolis Technologies have partnered to launch an integrated solution for banks to measure and verify environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance across trade transactions. It comes against the backdrop of increased regulatory pressure for banks to disclose more detail on ESG performance. The partnership will allow TradeSun customers to leverage Coriolis’ ESG Tracker, an independent ratings-based platform developed with more than 50 financial institutions to score, monitor and verify their trade finance transactions and activities against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more.

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