1. UK - FinTech
“HM Treasury has announced a public consultation concerning the probable implementation of new regulation on Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) providers.
HM Treasury has opened a public consultation into the possibility of BNPL meeting new regulations. Despite the value of transactions using BNPL from main providers more than tripling in 2020, and more than 5 million individuals have utilised the service, the industry has so far remained largely unregulated.
As recommended by The Woolard Review, the Financial Conduct Authority is planning to introduce a new set of regulations to the BNPL sector to help better protect consumers from harm, whilst also ensuring fair treatment by credit firms.
Although any official announcement is yet to be made, any new regulations to the sector are expected to combat how the product is promoted to consumers and presented as a payment option, the transparency of BNPL agreements, the absence of credit assessments, the potential to garner high levels of debt, inconsistencies in the treatment of financially vulnerable consumers, and any concerning impacts on the wider credit market; including little visibility of BNPL debts on an individual’s credit file.”
2. UK - FinTech
“Banking giant Barclays has completed the rollout of regtech startup Clausematch’s services across its entire global workforce.
The rollout is a huge deal for Clausematch, which started working with Barclays back in 2014 as then a six-person startup in the bank’s accelerator program.
Since then the two companies have collaborated over six years to develop a Policy Portal, which includes all Barclays Group policies and standards in a centralised digital reference environment.
Today that can now be accessed by 90,000 Barclays employees around the world.”
3. US – FinTech
“The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has “advanced its core work on virtual assets, beneficial ownership transparency, and illicit finance risks,” according to a public statement.
The FATF has approved for publication an updated version of its Guidance on a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers (also known as VASPs).”
4. International – FinTech
“Spanish giant BBVA is making a push into the Italian retail banking market with the launch of a digital-only service.
BBVA has had a wholesale banking presence in Italy for over three decades but is now targeting consumers with an app-based offering.
Customers will get a card with no printed numbers and a dynamic CVV for added security, as well as 24/7 call centre customer service. Other features include an online debit card account with no fees or commissions, free transfers, free ATM withdrawals from EUR100, and a paycheck advance service.”
5. International – FinTech
“Asian payments infrastructure builder XanPool has raised US$27 million in a Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures and joined by Wise founder Taavet Hinrikus.
XanPool is a payments and liquidity network that describes itself as similar to Mastercard and Visa. However, instead of having a closed network of banks as partners, XanPool's open C2C network is made out of individuals and businesses, whose idle capital is used to settle cross-currency, and cryptocurrency transactions.
By doing this, XanPool says it reduces the counterparty risk and costs associated with these forms of transfers, while also allowing the individual and business liquidity providers to earn fees of up to two per cent a month on their idle capital.
The company already operates in 13 countries in Asia Pacific, with over 500,000 users and 400 business partners.”