Weekly News Highlights – 20 January 2023

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

BNP Paribas partners Libeo for e-invoicing (Finextra)
BNP Paribas is preparing for upcoming rule changes that will make electronic invoices mandatory in France by integrating technology from vendor Libeo into its services for corporate customers. From July 1 2024, e-invoices will be mandatory for most business transactions in France. The lender is responding by integrating the Libeo invoice management tool, meaning its business customers will be able to receive, manage and pay invoices electronically. In addition, they will benefit from instant payments through the integration of BNP Paribas’ dedicated API in Libeo. Marc Espagnon, head, payments and cash management, BNP Paribas, says: “Together, we are joining forces to enable business owners to remain efficient and competitive in their activities.” Read more

Enfuce and Orka Ventures launch consumer lending product in Europe (Fintech Futures)
Nordic-Czech fintech holding company Orka Ventures has partnered with card issuer and processor Enfuce to launch Orka Card, a new consumer lending card and mobile app. Orka Ventures, which has previously focused on providing web-based consumer loans, will leverage Enfuce’s processing and compliance capabilities to roll the new product out across European markets. The firms say Orka Card will enable customers to integrate all their existing bank accounts into one card and app. It will also incorporate Orka Ventures’ “pay now, finance later” programme, allowing customers to refinance a transaction that originally took place on another debit or credit card. Through the partnership, the two firms will launch Orka Card in Finland, Sweden and Norway, with plans to rename its separate brands and offer products under the Orka Card brand name across Europe to over 500,000 customers. Ondřej Šmakal, CEO of Orka Ventures, says the firm chose to partner with Enfuce for its technical expertise. Read more

EU finance ministers take stock of digital euro; UK scepticism grows (Finextra)
The Eurogroup, a body comprising the finance ministers of EU countries, has waded into the debate about the digital euro, insisting that the new currency be seen as a complement to cash with full legal tender status and a high degree of privacy. The Eurogroup considers that the introduction of a digital euro as well as its main features and design choices requires political decisions that should be discussed and taken at the political level. Taking stock of progress, the group maintains that a digital euro should complement, and not replace cash, should be safe and resilient, ensure a high level of privacy, be easy and convenient to use and widely accessible to the public, including in terms of costs for end-users. Ministers also called for considering the environmental implications of the digital euro design. Privacy is emphasised as a key dimension in the design, while at the same time complying with other policy objectives such as preventing money laundering, illicit financing, tax evasion, and ensuring sanctions compliance. Read more

Reserve Bank of India governor wants to ban cryptocurrencies (The Paypers)
The governor of the Reserve Bank of India has reinforced his stance on banning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. The governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also compared cryptocurrency trading to gambling and emphasised crypto’s potential to undermine the bank’s authority and lead to the dollarisation of the Indian economy, which would be against the country’s sovereign interest. He also claimed that cryptocurrencies have no underlying value even though some people refer to them as assets or financial products. Moreover, he touched on the market prices of cryptocurrencies and concluded that they are solely based on speculation. Read more

Goldman Sachs fintech unit makes $1.2bn loss in nine months (Finextra)
Goldman Sachs’ newly-created “Platform Solutions” unit, which houses the firm’s fintech, credit card and transaction banking operations, made a pre-tax loss of $1.2 billion in the first nine months of 2022. The division, which was created as part of a major reorganisation at the bank last year, also reported a $1.05 billion loss for 2021 and $783 million for 2020. While it was widely known that the fintech and consumer businesses were loss-making, this is the first time that Goldman has provided details on the cost of its move into the sector. The October reorganisation marked a retreat from the consumer market, with the digital unit Marcus hived off from the rest of the operations and folded into an asset and wealth management division. Read more

Genesis Is Preparing to File for Bankruptcy as Crypto Contagion Continues (PYMNT)
Cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global Capital reportedly could file for bankruptcy this week. Bloomberg reported Wednesday (Jan. 18) that the unit of Digital Currency Group (DCG) has been negotiating with creditor groups amidst a liquidity crunch. The plans could change, as the talks are continuing, the report said, citing unnamed sources. Genesis did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment. It was reported Jan. 5 that Genesis was considering filing for bankruptcy and had laid off 30% of its staff across departments. On Thursday (Jan. 12) both Genesis and Gemini Trust Company were charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with offering unregistered securities. The complaint centered on the Gemini Earn program through which the two companies drew hundreds of thousands of investors who weren’t provided necessary information and raised billions of dollars’ worth of crypto assets, the SEC said at the time. Genesis’ troubles are part of an ongoing avalanche of crypto-universe problems stemming from the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX. Read more

DORA has entered into force (The Paypers)
The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA), published in the Official Journal of the European Union, has come into force on 16 January 2023 and it applies starting with the 17th. In mid-December the European Union (EU) enacted new legislation aiming at harmonizing, and tightening, IT security rules in the financial sector: Regulation (EU) 2022/2554 on digital operational resilience for the financial sector (Digital Operational Resilience Act, or DORA). Taking the form of a regulation, DORA creates a harmonised regulatory framework strengthening the information and communication technology (ICT) security of financial entities. The objective of the legislation is to achieve a high common level of digital operational resilience across all EU member states. DORA lays down uniform requirements concerning the security of network and information systems supporting the business processes of financial entities. In particular, it imposes requirements relating to: ICT risk management; ICT-related incident management, classification, and reporting; digital operational resilience testing; information and intelligence sharing in relation to cyber threats and vulnerabilities; and measures for the management of ICT third-party risk, including requirements in relation to contractual arrangements. Read more

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