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Weekly News Highlights – 22 February 2024

Welcome to the latest in fintech news, where cutting-edge technologies and innovative financial solutions converge to reshape the landscape of banking, investing, and payments. Stay tuned as we explore the trends driving the future of finance!

Singapore warns banks to prepare for quantum computing cyber threat (FinExtra)

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued an advisory to financial institutions in the country, urging them to prepare for the cybersecurity risks posed by quantum computing. With the rise of cryptographically relevant quantum computers predicted in the next decade, the MAS emphasized the need for the financial sector to achieve ‘cryptoagility.’ This involves the ability to efficiently migrate from vulnerable cryptographic algorithms to post-quantum cryptography without significant impact on IT systems and infrastructure. The MAS advised firms to monitor quantum computing developments, educate management and third-party vendors, assess IT supply chain risks, and prioritize migration to quantum-resistant encryption for critical assets. Read more

Crypto hedge fund accused of ‘criminal’ mismanagement in dispute over FTX
(Financial Times)

Swiss prosecutor authorities have reportedly raided Tyr Capital Partners in relation to a dispute with an investor over losses following the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. The investor, TGT, claims that the hedge fund ignored an internal risk limit and investor warnings over its exposure to FTX. The action has been brought by TGT, which is attempting to wind up the portfolio and take control of remaining assets, including a $22 million claim against FTX. The hedge fund, led by Edouard Hindi and Olivier Trombert, denies the allegations and is viewed as a relative success story in the crypto hedge fund sector. Read more

Instagram launches its marketplace to connect brands and creators in 8 new countries (Tech Crunch)

Instagram is expanding its marketplace tool to connect brands with creators for paid partnerships or ads in eight new countries: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Japan, India, Brazil, and China (Chinese export brands to connect with creators outside of China). This move follows the platform’s testing phase in the U.S. in 2022. Brands and creators in these new regions will be invited to join the marketplace over the next few weeks. The platform enables marketers to approach creators for paid partnerships or partnership ads, allowing advertisers to boost organic content as ads. The marketplace aims to facilitate collaborations between brands and creators through a machine learning algorithm and manual search filters. The move comes as Instagram’s rivals, including Snap, YouTube, and TikTok, also offer creator marketplace functionality. Read more

Capital One to acquire Discover Financial for $35 billion (Payments Cards and Mobile)

Capital One has announced its acquisition of long-time rival Discover Financial for $35.3 billion. The deal values Discover’s stock at 27% above last week’s closing price. Discover shareholders will receive 1.0192 Capital One shares for each of theirs in an all-stock purchase. Capital One and Discover are both major credit card lenders, with Discover also offering a payment network, making it a competitor to Visa and Mastercard. The deal could reshape the US credit card landscape, representing one of the industry’s largest transactions since the 2008 financial crisis. The transaction is expected to generate expense synergies of $1.5 billion in 2027 and close by late 2024 or early 2025. Read more

OpenPayd and TrueLayer forge strategic partnership to revolutionize instant payments (Fintech Global)

OpenPayd, a global payments and Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, has entered into a strategic partnership with TrueLayer, Europe’s leading open banking payment network. The collaboration aims to leverage TrueLayer’s payments network to enable secure, instant account-to-account (A2A) payments. This will streamline the fund deposit process in real-time, enhancing the user experience and potentially improving conversion rates. OpenPayd offers global payments and BaaS solutions, while TrueLayer focuses on developing innovative payment services using open banking technology. The partnership reflects the growing adoption of open banking, providing clients with efficient pay-by-bank functionality through OpenPayd’s API. Read more

Green Dot, Dayforce unveil BaaS partnership for enhanced employee financial wellness (Fintech Global)

Green Dot Corporation, a leading digital bank and FinTech, has partnered with Dayforce to offer a comprehensive suite of services, including immediate access to earned wages, aiming to support financial wellness and flexibility for employees. Green Dot, known for its banking and payments services, will leverage its BaaS platform to enhance Dayforce’s on-demand pay solution, Dayforce Wallet. This collaboration aims to provide employees with features such as instant access to earned wages, linked prepaid cards, and cash withdrawals at a growing network of fee-free ATMs. On-demand pay is increasingly recognized as an essential benefit for employee engagement and retention. Read more

Montoux Launches the First Generative AI Copilot for Actuaries (Global Fintech Series)

Montoux, a leading provider of AI and actuarial modeling technology, has launched Model Copilot, a generative AI copilot designed specifically for actuaries. Model Copilot is designed to remove 80-90% of the time required to complete common modeling tasks by automating the documentation and governance aspects of actuarial work. By harnessing advanced generative AI, the tool assists actuaries in understanding, documenting, and maintaining models with clarity, accuracy, and efficiency. It aims to enhance productivity, allowing actuaries to focus on strategic decision-making and analytical tasks. Model Copilot generates comprehensive documentation, significantly reduces manual documentation time, ensures consistency and accuracy, and is easy to implement without system migration. Read more

Signzy acquires 8i funded DIFENZ at a valuation of USD 5 mln (ET BFSI)

Signzy has acquired Difenz, a fraud risk management solutions provider, in a cash and equity deal valued at USD 5 million. The acquisition positions Signzy as one of the largest RegTech companies in the country, offering advanced risk and compliance solutions to financial institutions. With this acquisition, Signzy aims to provide AI-led KYC compliance solutions, eliminating redundancy across frameworks. Difenz’s product, known for its plug-and-play capabilities, enables rapid deployment, with one customer going live within just two weeks on their transaction monitoring tool. The deal was made at a valuation of USD 5 million, including cash and equity components. 8i Ventures, which focuses on Indian startups and has previously invested in Slice, M2P, EzeTap, and Freo, had invested around INR 4.5 crores in the seed round of Difenz. Read more

Fintech Start-Up Xalts Buys Contour To Expand Trade Finance Platform (Forbes)

Singapore-based fintech platform Xalts is set to acquire Contour Network, a digital network previously owned by a consortium of eight global banks. Xalts, which was launched 18 months ago to help banks digitize their client interactions, aims to expand the scope of Contour’s network and build it into a rail enabling businesses to access digital solutions. The acquisition is expected to accelerate Xalts’ growth, allowing it to offer its digital processes platform to the 22 banks and 100 businesses already using Contour’s network. The deal’s financial details remain undisclosed. Read more

Central bank draft framework for fintech SROs (India Business Law Journal)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed a framework for self-regulatory organisations (SROs) in the fintech sector to address concerns such as customer protection, data privacy, cybersecurity, grievance handling, internal governance, and financial system integrity. The draft framework aims to establish industry standards, ensure oversight and enforcement, address grievances, and provide dispute resolution in the absence of formal regulations. It outlines the characteristics, functions, and responsibilities of a fintech self-regulatory organisation (SRO-FT) and invites feedback from the public until the end of February 2024. Read more

Redeban Acquires Fintech SoyYo to Enhance Market Leadership (Contxto)

Redeban has acquired fintech company SoyYo to enhance its market leadership and bolster its digital authentication solutions. The strategic move aims to simplify authentication processes for businesses and provide seamless, secure technological processes across various sectors, including retail, fintech, and health. The acquisition is crucial for Redeban to enhance its technological offerings to financial and non-financial entities, promising improvements in secure transactions and digital banking. SoyYo’s integration is expected to introduce new solutions to the market, including advanced authentication services for e-commerce and open data, fraud mitigation and transaction efficiency improvement. Read more

Nukkleus to acquire Mercury Global to bolster cross-border payments (Fintech Global)

Nukkleus, a FinTech company, has announced plans to acquire Mercury Global, a leading cross-border payments firm. The acquisition aims to strengthen Nukkleus’ presence in the cross-border payments sector. The purchase agreement includes an initial equity issue at closing and additional earn-out payments based on achieving specified milestones related to business volume, client growth, employee retention, banking relationships, and technology integration. Nukkleus aims to enhance its cross-border payment capabilities through this acquisition, leveraging Mercury Global’s regulatory standing in the UK and strategic presence in South Africa. Read more

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