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Weekly News Highlights – 8 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!

German wealthtech Trade Republic lands full EU banking licence from the ECB (Fintech Futures)

German stock trading and savings platform Trade Republic has secured a full EU banking licence from the European Central Bank (ECB). The Berlin-based firm, which describes itself as “Europe’s largest savings platform”, can now offer essential banking services such as deposits and lending as it looks to expand its product offering for customers across the continent. Founded in 2015 by Christian Hecker, Thomas Pischke and Marco Cancellieri, Trade Republic’s app enables users to trade and invest in bonds, derivatives and crypto and provides access to fractional stock and ETF savings plans. Read more

Indian BNPL fintech ZestMoney is reportedly closing down (Fintech Futures)

Indian buy now, pay later (BNPL) start-up ZestMoney is reportedly set to close down by the end of December. According to several news reports, ZestMoney’s new leadership team informed its nearly 150-strong workforce this week of the decision to completely wind down, after efforts to find a buyer or raise additional capital proved unsuccessful. In May this year, ZestMoney’s co-founders Lizzie Chapman, Ashish Anantharaman and Priya Sharma left the firm after payments giant PhonePe called off a proposed acquisition, with ZestMoney’s vice president of finance and financial operations Mohit Chhajer, chief banking officer Mandar Satpute, and SVP of growth Abhishek Sharma taking over the reins. Read more

IDB Invest and IFC team up to launch the Amazon Finance Network (Fintech Futures)

IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, and IFC, a World Bank Group member, have come together to launch the Amazon Finance Network. The duo announced the project at the ongoing COP28 conference taking place in Dubai, UAE. The Amazon Finance Network aims to bring together financial institutions from around the world to help support sustainable growth across the Amazon region through increased investment, access to capital, and knowledge sharing on “innovative” financial solutions. Read more

Adyen to act as Klarna’s acquiring bank (Altfi)

Financial technology platform Adyen is assuming the role of global acquiring bank for Klarna’s consumer offerings. The extender partnership will roll out in Europe, North America and Asia next year first, with Adyen helping Klarna as a payments provider “make more seamless payments” for its 150 million customers worldwide. Using Adyen’s technology, payments are set to be easier for Klarna customers in a global context. “Klarna has, in many ways, revolutionised the digital shopping experience,” Adyen co-founder and co-CEO Pieter van der Does said. Read more

N26 moves into stocks and ETFs via Upvest partnership (Altfi)

N26 has launched a new investing feature through a partnership with fintech infrastructure provider Upvest. More specifically, N26 – which is Germany’s largest digital bank – will launch stock trading and access to a range of ETFs. Upvest will provide all necessary licences for securities, brokerage, and custody, as well as that will be fully integrated within the N26 app. “We have chosen to deliver our investment offer in collaboration with a trusted and reliable partner. Upvest provides us with a secure, scalable, and compliant platform, enabling N26 to focus on building a world-class user experience at a market-leading price point,” Valentin Stalf, CEO and co-founder of N26 said. Read more

CommBank and Vodafone share real-time intelligence on SMS scams (Finextra)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is collaborating with Vodafone to share SMS scam intelligence in near real-time, allowing the telco to identify and disrupt scammers while the bank makes proactive blocks on fraudulent payments. The pilot project comes as the latest statistics published by Australia’s National Anti-Scam Centre in November 2023 show text messages as the most popular delivery method used by fraudsters so far this year, with more than $24.5m being lost to this type of crime during the period. Read more

BofE to review AI risk to financial stability (Finextra)

The Bank of England is launching a review of artificial intelligence and machine learning amid concerns that its use could pose financial stability risks. AI has been used in financial services for at least a decade, but adoption has recently accelerated thanks to breakthroughs in the use of Large Language Models. In its half-yearly Financial Stability Review, the BofE says AI and ML could deliver significant benefits to the UK financial services sector, by driving greater operational efficiency, improving risk management, and providing new products and services. Read more

SocGen lists stablecoin on BitStamp (Finextra)

The digital asset unit of French lender Societe Generale has listed its newly-minted Euro-based stablecoin on crypto exchange BitStamp. With the listing, investors in the cryptoasset ecosystem as well as traditional financial markets participants will be able to operate transactions based on the EUR CoinVertible (EURCV) asset. The bank says the stablecoin will help meet demand for a robust settlement and store-of-value asset for on-chain transactions and for cash pooling and cash management activities, alongside enhanced collateral management. Read more

HSBC trials quantum protection for AI-powered FX trading (Finextra)

HSBC has piloted the use of quantum key encryption to protect client FX trading data from the threat of increasingly powerful cyber attacks. For the trial, HSBC armed its AI Markets trading terminal with quantum protection, using Quantum Key Distribution to safeguard a €30 million trading scenario from Euros to US dollars. HSBC global head of FX and emerging markets rates and commodities, Richard Bibbey says: “In the world of foreign exchange trading, currency dynamics are evolving faster than ever. Read more

Following UK expansion, Robinhood brings crypto trading to EU (Tech Crunch)

Robinhood’s long-awaited international expansion is at full throttle. The consumer trading and investment app tailored to the younger generations is launching its crypto app to all eligible users in the European Union, the company said Thursday. The announcement comes on the heels of its foray into the U.K. just a week ago. While it’s taking crypto trading to EU customers, it’s only making its brokerage service available in the U.K. for now. Read more

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