Weekly News Highlights – 6 October 2022

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

Fed introduces card-not-present debit rule (Finextra)
The US Federal Reserve has finalised new rules ensuring that merchants can choose between multiple networks for routing card-not-present transactions. Thanks to a rule first drafted in 2011, debit card issuers must give merchants the opportunity to choose between at least two unaffiliated networks when routing transactions. However, at the time the market did not have the systems in place to support multiple networks for card-not-present transactions. While the technology has evolved to address this, some issuers are still not supporting more than one network, an issue that has become more pronounced with the growth of online payments. Read more

Mastercard debuts crypto anti-fraud tool (The Paypers)
Mastercard has debuted a new piece of software called Crypto Secure, that helps banks identify and cut off transactions from fraud-prone crypto exchanges. The system uses artificial intelligence algorithms to determine the risk of crime associated with crypto exchanges on the Mastercard payment network. It relies on data from the blockchain, a public record of crypto transactions, as well as other sources.The service is powered by CipherTrace, a blockchain security startup Mastercard acquired last year. Based in the US, CipherTrace helps businesses and government agencies investigate illicit transactions involving cryptocurrencies. The company rivals Chainalysis and Elliptic, which is based in the UK. Read more

Japan to Invest in Metaverse and NFT Expansion (Coin Desk)
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a policy speech on Monday that the country’s plans for investing in digital transformation include non-fungible tokens (NFT) and metaverse services. The country has steadily been promoting investment in digital technology, including through tax incentives for companies that embrace a digital future. In his speech to Japan’s parliament, Kishida said the country will continue to focus on “supporting the social implementation of digital technology” and will “promote efforts to expand the use of Web3 services that utilize the metaverse and NFTs.” Japan’s federal foray into Web3 follows a trend of officials taking strides to implement Web3-related services in the country – rather than following the typical bureaucratic route that policies must often travel through. Kishida’s administration recently established a Web3 policy office under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which is focused on creating policies for the country’s gradual blockchain expansion. Read more

Sygnum Partners With T&B Media to Raise US$300M to Fund Its Metaverse Platform (Fintech Switzerland)
Sygnum, a digital asset technology group with a Swiss banking licence and a Singapore capital markets services licence, is partnering Thai media group T&B Media Global to raise over US$300 million to fund its new interconnected metaverse platform. The raise uses a unique structure hybridising equity and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) like metaverse land NFTs into a financial instrument. T&B Media Global’s new platform, Translucia, enables partners to build interconnected metaverses with real estate developer Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC) joining as first corporate partner. MQDC will develop a metaverse within Translucia consisting of a virtual city that connects digital buildings with its real-world property projects and experiences. Read more

Russia seeking legislative option for crypto international trade (The Paypers)
A representative of Russia’s Ministry of Finance has stated the country is seeking a non-restrictive policy for using Bitcoin and crypto in international trade. The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation plans to let any industry in the country to accept Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for international trade without restriction, per a report from local media outlet TASS. Ivan Chebeskov, director of the ministry, explained in a recent interview that they are going to allow international settlements in cryptocurrencies for any industries without restrictions. However, though the ministry intends to offer a non-restrictive flow for the acceptance of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, there seems to be a difference of opinion coming from the Bank of Russia. Read more

ABN AMRO, Swapfiets to launch e-ID with payment capability (The Paypers)
ABN AMRO has teamed up with bicycle-as-a-service company Swapfiets to launch functionality that combines payment and identity authentication. Swapfiets is leveraging ABN AMRO’s ID & pay, a tool that allows customers to sign up and pay for their Swapfiets membership using an electronic ID. When new and existing Swapfiets clients want to pay for their monthly bicycle rental membership, ID & pay allows customers to sign up and pay in seconds and enables users to securely store their e-ID in a single app. Once users sign up on ID & pay, they can use their verified identity and payment credentials to pay at other merchants and services that also use ID & pay. ABN AMRO likens the functionality to having a Google login combined with PayPal, but with credentials held within ABN AMRO’s secure, in-app environment. Read more

bolttech Completes Acquisition of Indonesian Insurance Broker Axle Asia (Fintech Singapore)
Singapore-based insurtech firm bolttech announced it has completed the acquisition of a majority shareholding in Axle Asia, an established insurance broker in Indonesia. Axle Asia will become a subsidiary of bolttech and be subsequently rebranded. Srinath Narasimhan, General Manager for bolttech in Indonesia, will oversee the growth of bolttech in Indonesia with the addition of Axle Asia. bolttech said the addition of Axle Asia will accelerate the deployment of its insurance exchange capabilities and complement its existing presence as a device protection provider in Indonesia.With a global footprint of 30 markets across three continents, North America, Asia, and Europe, bolttech has more than 800 distribution partners and 200 insurers in its network, and is licensed in 36 international jurisdictions. Read more

SWIFT and Capgemini Successfully Interlink CBDCs for Cross-Border Payments (Fintech Switzerland
SWIFT and Capgemini have achieved CBDC-to-CBDC transactions between different distributed ledger technology networks based on Quorum and Corda technologies, as well as fiat-to-CBDC flows between these networks and a real-time gross settlement system. The experiment showed that the blockchain networks could be interlinked for cross-border payments through a single gateway, and that SWIFT’s new transaction management capabilities could orchestrate all inter-network communication. 14 central and commercial banks, including Banque de France, Deutsche Bundesbank, HSBC, Intesa Sanpaolo, NatWest, SMBC, Standard Chartered, UBS and Wells Fargo, are now collaborating in a testing environment to accelerate the path to full scale deployment. Read more

MoneyGram Announces Strategic Partnership and Minority Investment in UAE-Based Fintech Startup Jingle Pay (CISION)
MoneyGram International, Inc., a global leader in the evolution of digital P2P payments, and Jingle Pay, a financial super-app based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), today announced a partnership to enable convenient and fast global money transfers through the Jingle Pay app. Consumers in the UAE can use the Jingle Pay app – powered by MoneyGram’s global payment rails and near real-time capabilities – to send money to over 200 countries and territories around the world. MoneyGram has also announced the completion of a minority investment in Jingle Pay, giving MoneyGram an approximate 12% equity stake in Jingle Pay. Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chairman and CEO, has joined the Jingle Pay Board of Directors as Chairman to help guide Jingle Pay’s strategic path forward. Read more

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