Weekly News Highlights - 16 September 2021

Weekly News Highlights – 2 February 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!

ECB contemplates development of basic digital euro app (Finextra)
The European Central Bank is considering a new digital euro app, which would include basic payment functionalities and create a standardised approach to connecting end users to intermediaries. Outlining the approach, ECB board member Fabio Panetta says the underlying objective behind making such an app available is to provide the market with the minimum required development, ensuring that intermediaries – including smaller ones who may not want to bear the investment costs of setting up their own payment interface – keep their roles in digital euro distribution. At the same time, the app would respond to the preferences of certain end users who have called for an independent access channel in which basic functionalities are available, as expressed by consumer’s associations and market surveys. Read more

Several major US banks reportedly team up on new digital wallet project (Fintech Futures
A number of US banking heavyweights are reportedly teaming up to offer a digital consumer e-wallet in order to grab market share from tech titans Apple and PayPal. Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and four other banks are working on the e-wallet that links up with consumers’ debit and credit cards, The Wall Street Journal reports, for use in e-commerce transactions. The e-wallet will be managed by Early Warning Services (EWS), the firm that operates US-based money transfer service Zelle, and is set to be compatible with Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards. The group expect up to 150 million debit and credit cards will be eligible for use. Read more

Corlytics acquires ING RegTech platform SparQ (Finextra)
Corlytics has acquired SparQ, a regulatory monitoring platform spun out of ING, in a €5 million aggregate deal. Developed jointly by ING’s compliance and legal teams, the SparQ tool creates a single repository storing all decisions and assessments related to regulatory change. Corlytics has partnered with ING on SparQ since 2018, providing regulatory information and risk data to 550 users across the bank. ING’s chief compliance officer, Rein Graat, says: “Corlytics became a key partner in 2018 and it is fitting that, after the global roll-out internally, the next stage of SparQ’s journey will be with the company that can bring its development to the next maturity level of being an industry-wide leading platform.” Read more 

Romania rolls out mobile app for paying taxes (The Paypers)
Romanian authorities have launched the app, enabling people to pay their taxes and obtain their criminal records on their phones. To create an account, users will need to activate the facial recognition option. Once activated, they will be able to authenticate directly. This is how those who have an account will be able to connect to the new app. Only a photograph of the ID card and facial recognition will be needed. Government officials also promised new features and functionalities regarding the criminal record, which is necessary for employment. Authorities say that Romanians will be able to quickly and safely pay over 350 types of public services and taxes through the Ghiș mobile application. Both those in the country and Romanians abroad will be able to pay taxes and public services through this app. Nearly nine million taxes have been paid online in Romania in the last 10 years, but 40% of these payments were processed only in 2021. In 70% of localities in Romania, taxes are still paid at the counter. Read more

PayPal to lay off 2000 staff; SoFi and Upstart terminate employees (Finextra)
PayPal is to lay off 2000 staff, seven percent of its workforce, as it adjusts to a weakening economic climate. The job cuts were announced by president and CEO Dan Schulman in a memo shared with the workforce, who said the company had to reshape to address the challenging macro-economic environment. “While we have made substantial progress in right-sizing our cost structure, and focused our resources on our core strategic priorities, we have more work to do,” he wrote. “We must continue to change as our world, our customers, and our competitive landscape evolve. Addressing these changes requires us to make hard decisions.” The staff cuts will take place over the coming weeks, with some departments impacted more than others. Read more 

UK government reveals crypto regulation plans (The Paypers)
The UK government has revealed its plans to fully regulate crypto asset activities as part of the UK’s efforts to become a global crypto hub. The UK expressed its commitment to becoming a global crypto hub In April 2022, but since then, the crypto market has been hit with a series of major scandals, causing a noticeable increase in crypto regulation efforts around the globe. According to the Economic Secretary to the Treasury cited by, the UK government is setting out ambitious plans to fully regulate crypto asset activities, including toughening rules for crypto trading platforms, as well as supporting a new regime for crypto lending. He also added that these new proposals aim to place responsibility on crypto trading venues for defining the detailed content requirements for admission and disclosure documents. The end goal is to make sure that crypto exchanges have fair and well-defined standards. Furthermore, the proposals will focus on strengthening rules for financial intermediaries and custodians. Read more

JPMorgan preps German digital retail bank (Finextra)
JPMorgan Chase is planning to build on the success of its UK digital bank by introducing a similar outpost in Germany, according to Bloomberg. The US giant has been hiring in Berlin ahead of the launch of the retail digital lender, which could come late next year, says Bloomberg, citing sources. Eventually, Berlin is set to be the base for JPMorgan to push into more EU markets. The bank launched its UK outpost in 2021, attracting half a million customers and $10 billion of deposits in its first eight months of operation. Read more

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