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Weekly News Highlights – 1 September 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!

HMRC extends the use of Open Banking (The Paypers
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has extended its use of Open Banking to 24 further tax regimes so far in 2022, according to Global Government Fintech. HMRC estimates that it has saved the public purse about GBP 500,000 (about USD 585,000) in bank charges since the department embedded Open Banking within its own operations almost 18 months ago. On 24 March 2021, the UK department introduced an Open Banking-enabled ‘Pay by bank account’ option (button) for people making online self-assessment tax returns – believed to be the first time any government in the world had embedded Open Banking within its own operations, according to the aforementioned source. Payment of three further tax types via Open Banking – PAYE (Pay-As-You-Earn) payments (tax paid direct from workers’ salaries), corporation tax, and value-added tax (VAT) – was made possible shortly afterwards. Read more

Afterpay closes Money app, ending Westpac partnership (Finextra)
Australian BNPL firm Afterpay is killing off its Money app – and the related partnership with Westpac – as parent Block readies the launch of its Cash App in the country. Launched last year, the ‘money and lifestyle’ app was the fruit of a partnership inked in 2020 with Westpac that lets Afterpay operate on the bank’s new banking-as-a-service platform to offer spending and savings accounts. However, Afterpay has now stopped accepting new customers for the app ahead of a full closure on 10 October. Read more

Qatar Central Bank issues first digital payment licence (Fintech Futures
The Qatar Central Bank has issued the first licence in the country for digital payment services to Ooredoo Money and iPay by Vodafone Qatar. In a tweet, the central bank explained that issuing the licence is “an initial step to include all companies providing digital payment services” under its own supervision. The Qatar Central Bank adds that the step will “contribute to the development of the financial technology sector and enhance financial inclusion” in the country. Qatar has seen an increase in activity in the digital payments sphere of late. Read more

Singapore’s Central Bank Wants to Foster Digital Assets, Restrict Crypto Speculation (Coin Desk)
Singapore’s central bank wants to promote a digital asset ecosystem while restricting crypto speculation, said Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Menon insisted that this stance is not contradictory during his opening remarks at a Green Shoots Seminar on Monday. Green Shoots sessions are used to make announcements and introduce products and policies to the financial services community.
The MAS, along with other regulators in the country, have been cracking down on the local crypto space with renewed vigor after a number of high-profile crypto firms with ties to Singapore – including Three Arrows Capital and Vauld – collapsed earlier this year. Read more

Mono releases Telco API (The Paypers
Nigeria-based Open Banking service provider Mono has released the Mono Telco data API to businesses in Nigeria. Secure access to user-permissioned financial data, as the core of Open Banking, allows businesses to offer individuals innovative financial services, giving them more value using these data and insights. Over two million bank consumers have securely shared their financial transaction information successfully with businesses using Mono Connect in the last two years, the company says. Read more 

Silicon Valley unicorn swoops for FinTech Capdesk (Business Cloud)
FinTech Capdesk has been snapped up by Silicon Valley equity unicorn Carta. Founded in 2015, London-based Capdesk is trusted by over 3,500 of Europe’s fastest-growing companies – including Gousto, VOI, Checkout.com, Plum Guide and Wagestream – to manage their ownership via a single platform. The FinTech oversees more than £90 billion worth of assets and has created an end-to-end equity management system that serves customers at every stage – from seed to IPO. Carta provides equity management to more than 30,000 companies, 5,000 funds and half a million employees. It supports users with cap tables, compensation, valuations, portfolio investments and liquidity. Read more

Germany announces plans to create new financial crime authority (Fintech Global)
Germany is intending to create a new financial crime authority that would seek to bring together several areas under one umbrella, according to Reuters. The news come following the release of a Germany finance ministry paper last week, which said the new financial authority would bundle several fragmented competencies, including sanctions enforcement. There are to date more than 300 supervisory bodies across Germany, with the finance ministry making it clear it would like to reduce this number. The ministry hopes to make it easier to tackle complex international money laundering cases, which have been seen as a weak spot for the country. Read more

Visa tokens overtake physical cards in circulation (Finextra)
Visa has issued its four billionth network token for e-commerce payments, surpassing the number of physical cards it has in circulation worldwide. The Visa Token Service (VTS) replaces 16-digit account numbers with a digital token only the payments giant can unlock. VTS was launched in 2014 but has seen an explosion in usage as e-commerce volumes have grown by more than 50% since the onset of the pandemic. Token count has nearly doubled to four billion in just one year. Read more

Nigerian FinTech to bring 10,000 EVs to Uber in London (Business Cloud)
Moove, the world’s first mobility FinTech and Uber’s largest vehicle supply partner in EMEA, has launched in London as part of its global expansion. The African-born startup has launched in Europe with a 100 per cent EV rent-to-buy model that provides access to brand new, zero-emissions vehicles for a flat weekly fee. Moove has been backed by some of the world’s leading investors, raising over $200 million to date. The company aims to be the largest EV partner on Uber’s platform in London with plans to scale to up to 10,000 vehicles by the end of 2025, creating sustainable earnings opportunities and contributing to the city’s net zero carbon emissions goals. Read more

Polish mobile payments firm to buy Slovakia’s Viamo (Finextra)
The operator of Polish mobile payment system Blik is looking to expand internationally through the acquisition of Slovakian player Viamo. Terms of the deal – which still requires the approval of Slovakia’s central bank – were not disclosed. Operating since 2013, Bilk offers P2P payments and payments to businesses based on QR codes and links. The company is also a payment gateway provider. It has relationships with two banks – Tatra banka and VÚB – although its services can be used by customers of all banks in Slovakia via its own app. Read more

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