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Weekly News Highlights – 15 September 2023

Stay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates on tech launches, cybersecurity, new entries, acquisitions, and more. Enjoy reading!

Foro acquires Bridge by Citi (The Paypers)

Foro Holdings has acquired Bridge, a digital platform built by Citi to connect SMBs to a diverse group of lenders for business loans. As part of the transaction, Citi joined Foro’s investors, including TTV Capital, US Bank, and Correlation Ventures in additional capital investment to support the growth of the business. Bridge connects SMBs with more than 75 lenders across the US to provide qualifying businesses with access to capital. Read more

Deloitte enters a strategic alliance with Bitwave (The Paypers)

UK-based fraud and financial crime advisory services company Deloitte has partnered with digital asset finance platform Bitwave. The collaboration joins Bitwave’s advanced software platform, which streamlines data flow from over 70 blockchains and decentralised finance (DeFi) ecosystems into ERP systems such as Oracle NetSuite and Sage Intacct, with Deloitte’s accounting, tax, governance, risk, and controls advisory services. The objective is to deliver increased speed, process efficiency, cost savings, and compliance improvements to businesses utilising digital assets. Read more

Coinbase expands Easy Bank Transfers to the Netherlands (The Paypers)

Coinbase has announced the expansion of its Easy Bank Transfers to the Netherlands, making Open Banking payments available to Dutch customers. Launched in partnership with the European Open Banking payments network, TrueLayer, Easy Bank Transfers allow customers to make deposits to their Coinbase accounts. Connecting directly to users’ bank accounts, these payments auto-populate customers’ financial information, minimising the need for manual data entry. Read more

European Central Bank is set for hawkish pause as the economy turns south (CNBC)

FRANKFURT — The European Central Bank is set to keep rates steady Thursday as economic activity in the euro area decelerates at a faster pace than previously expected. Shoppers in the region are holding back on spending as inflation eats up their disposable income, while the manufacturing sector has been in decline since around mid-2022. Economic theory would suggest that these two factors would drag inflation down. But whether this will prove to be the case is a still open debate inside the walls of the Frankfurt institution. Read more

Dow jumps 300 points for best day since early August as Arm debut revives IPO market hopes: Live updates (CNBC)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied the most in over a month as traders cheered the revival of Wall Street’s IPO market and a decent batch of economic data. The Dow was up for the first day in three, climbing 331.58 points, or 0.96% to 34,907.11. The 30-stock index closed above its 50-day moving average for the first time since Sept. 1. It was also the blue-chip average’s best day since Aug. 7. The S&P 500 gained about 0.84% to 4,505.10, while the Nasdaq Composite moved 0.81% higher to 13,926.05. Read more

ING to sell 85% stake in fintech spin off Cobase to Alpha Group (Finextra)

UK-based Alpha Group is to acquire 85% of Cobase, an ING-nurtured fintech that enables corporates to manage their banking relationships, accounts and transactions in one interface. Cobase was founded in 2017, with €7.5 million in funding from ING Ventures after the concept was successfully proven in an ING Accelerator program. In June 2020, the firm raised an additional €10 million with the support of Nordea and Credit Agricole. Read more

ABN Amro registers digital green bond on blockchain (Finextra)

ABN Amro has become the first Dutch bank to register a digital green bond on a public blockchain. The entire process of preparing, placing and documenting of the bond – which saw Vesteda raise EUR5 million from DekaBank – was digital. Ownership was recorded on the blockchain in the form of tokens that the investor acquired after they had paid for the bond. To ensure custody and security of the investors’ unique keys, ABN Amro used a wallet for accessing the digital bond. The bank also provided the digital custody services. Read more

Chinese banks shun Beijing’s flagship property bailout fund (Finacial Review)

Beijing | A flagship Beijing lending program to revive the country’s debt-stricken property market has done barely any business almost a year after its launch, officials say, highlighting the difficulty for policymakers seeking to boost confidence in the world’s second-largest economy. The People’s Bank of China in November announced a 200 billion yuan ($43.3 billion) facility to provide interest-free loans to six state-owned commercial banks to finance thousands of stalled property projects. Read more

Three central banks currently testing Swift CBDC connector (Payments, Cards & Mobile)

Swift has entered a new phase of its breakthrough work on Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) interoperability, announcing that three central banks are beta testing its solution for interlinking CBDCs. A further 30 financial institutions are experimenting with the solution in a new sandbox to explore further use cases. Swift committed to developing a beta version of its CBDC connector solution after a first iteration of sandbox testing, with participants recognising the solution’s ‘clear potential and value’. Read more

Bank Pocztowy launches first biometric debit card in Poland (NFCW)

Customers of Poland’s Bank Pocztowy are among the first in the country to be able to apply for a biometric debit card that allows them to authenticate contactless payments using their fingerprint. The bank is making the card available in a limited edition, enabling users to save “a two-finger biometric pattern” on the card using a reader supplied by the bank, increase or lower the payment limit on the card and set their own PIN. Read more

Wix and Stripe partner to introduce Tap to Pay on Android (Fintech Global)

Wix, a global software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform has partnered with payment processing platform Stripe to introduce Tap to Pay on Android. The move is part of the organisation’s wider ambition to simplify in-person commerce for US-based merchants. The update will enable Wix merchants to now be able to accept secure, contactless payments directly from their Android devices without the need for additional hardware, following the firm’s recent release of Tap to Pay on Apple’s iPhone products. Read more

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