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Weekly News Highlights – 1 December 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!

US stock trading app Webull enters Mexico with Flink acquisition (Fintech Futures)

New York-based stock trading app Webull has acquired investment platform Flink, marking its entry into the Mexican market. The deal, including the acquisition of Mexican brokerage house Vifaru Casa de Bolsa, aims to extend Webull’s digital investment platform reach in Mexico, where Flink currently provides investors with access to ETFs and fractional shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange without commissions. Read more

As Temu shakes up global e-commerce, PDD nears overtaking Alibaba (Tech Crunch)

Pinduoduo (PDD), the company behind the rapidly growing shopping app Temu, has surpassed Alibaba in market capitalization, signaling a significant shift in China’s e-commerce landscape. Despite Alibaba’s historical dominance, PDD’s impressive ascent, marked by a doubling in year-over-year revenue, reflects the challenges faced by the 24-year-old incumbent. PDD’s success is attributed to its aggressive marketing and global expansion, particularly in the U.S., where its app, Temu, has become a top performer in the shopping category on both the App Store and Google Play Store. Read more

Stock trading platform Robinhood to launch in UK after two failed attempts (CNBC)

Robinhood, the online investments app, announces its third attempt to launch in the U.K. in early 2024. The platform will offer features such as the ability to choose from 6,000 U.S. stocks, including Tesla, Amazon, and Apple, and 24-hour trading five days a week. Despite two previous failed attempts to enter the U.K. market, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev expresses confidence in the success of this latest endeavor, emphasizing the platform’s increased robustness. The company aims to attract a younger, tech-savvy customer base in the U.K. and plans to offer 24-hour trading as a popular feature. Read more

German N26 exits Brazil amid fierce digital banking competition (Fintech Nexus)

German neobank N26 exits Brazil after a two-year attempt, citing a strategic focus on key European markets. The digital bank faced intense competition in Brazil, particularly from local players like Nubank, which reported over 90 million customers in the region. N26, backed by investors like Peter Thiel and Tencent Holdings, had previously exited the UK and the United States. The decision to withdraw from Brazil is also influenced by challenges faced in the country, including scrutiny from the German financial regulator and the need to refocus on well-established markets. N26’s exit from Brazil follows its strategic shift and previous exits from the UK and the United States. Read more

Australian banks roll out raft of scam protection measures (Finextra)

Australian banks are implementing comprehensive measures to protect customers from scams, with a $100 million investment in a new Confirmation of Payee (CoP) system. The initiative, led by the Australian Banking Association, involves introducing limits and stops on transfers to high-risk cryptocurrency platforms, enhanced warnings and delays for money transfers, and the incorporation of at least one biometric check for opening new accounts. The collaborative action plan aims to significantly enhance customer protection against scams, marking a substantial technical uplift for the Australian banking industry. Read more

NatWest launches board game to educate people about scams (Finextra)

NatWest has launched a board game, ‘All Mod Cons,’ available in select branches, to educate people about prevalent scams. Created in collaboration with the bank’s fraud team, the game is designed for 4-6 players and aims to raise awareness about detecting, avoiding, and reporting various scams. It covers phishing, vishing, smishing, impersonation, romance scams, crypto refund schemes, get-rich-quick schemes, and purchase scams. The initiative aligns with NatWest’s commitment to enhancing public awareness and education on scam prevention. Read more

Commerzbank builds GenAI-powered virtual assistant (Finextra)

Commerzbank collaborates with Microsoft to introduce a virtual assistant in its mobile app using generative AI and avatar technology. The avatar, powered by Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, engages in natural conversations with customers, providing general information and personalized advice. This initiative aligns with Commerzbank’s digital strategy to enhance customer interactions and banking processes through advanced AI technology. Read more

Apple and Goldman Sachs set for breakup – WSJ (Finextra)

Apple and Goldman Sachs are reportedly on the verge of a breakup, with Apple sending a proposal to Goldman Sachs to terminate their credit card and savings account partnership. The potential split could occur within the next 12 to 15 months, according to the Wall Street Journal. While Goldman Sachs has been Apple’s partner since the 2019 launch of the Apple Card, the banking giant has been seeking an exit from consumer markets. The move is part of Goldman’s broader strategy, which includes the sale of digital bank Marcus and a shift away from consumer-focused operations. Read more

Exclusive-Four banks quit initiative assessing climate targets-sources (KFGO)

Four major banks, including Standard Chartered and HSBC, have exited the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) due to concerns about hindering fossil fuel financing and the perceived difficulty of meeting emissions targets. Their departure raises questions about the future of SBTi, a UN-backed initiative that has certified emissions targets for nearly 4,000 global companies. The move underscores concerns about lowering emissions targets and potentially undermining the ambition of climate initiatives. Read more

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