1.UK – FinTech
Why are we waiting? A Revolut executive express impatience about the wait for a banking licence…
“Global financial super app Revolut—with 18 million customers, operating in 36 countries and rolling out to five new countries—still does not have a banking licence in the UK.
Revolut’s CEO and co-founder Nik Storonsky today criticised the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for its slow progress towards granting them a banking licence, telling City A.M, that the FCA is “slower compared to other regulators”.
Revolut filed for its banking licence in the UK in January 2021 and is still waiting.
“We applied for 48 licences across the globe and we received 44, and three of the licences that we haven’t received are actually in the UK,” Storonsky told City A.M.
He called for “stricter timelines”, more people or “more efficient people” to speed the process along.
Revolut stressed, however, that it takes its regulatory and compliance obligations extremely seriously, stating that its relationships with UK regulators are some of the most long-standing and productive.
The FCA said in a statement that it does not comment on individual cases, but reviews banking applications to “ensure they meet the standards [it] expect[s]”.
The regulatory body also said it brought in 200 new employees in the first three months of this year.”
2. UK – FinTech
“The UK government has decided to remove account information service providers (AISPs) from anti-money laundering regulation.
Last year, the Treasury launched a consultation on amendments to money laundering regulations in which it proposed excluding AISPs from the regulated sector after assessing that they posed a low risk because they do not come into direct contact with customers' funds.
Respondents to the consultation have backed the move, with 65% of 29 responses supportive of the removal. Among the observations made were that AISPs are unlikely to influence any kind of activity that could give rise to money laundering and that there is no evidence that criminals are using AISPs for the purpose.”
3. International – FinTech
“PayPal announced today a new buy now – pay later (BNPL) offering “PayPal Monthly.” The expanded credit offering arrives just after Apple announced Apple Pay Later, a BNPL that allows users to easily pay for a purchase with 4 payments during a 6 week period without any fees or interest charges.
PayPal Monthly allows consumers to pay over a longer period of time choosing a 6 to 24-month period, with the first payment due one month after purchase. An individual may use the service with purchases from $199 to $10,000.
Similar to Apple Pay Later, the option is provided at the point of sale within the PayPal payment process including an application and approval at checkout . PayPal says it offer up to three different plans of varying lengths with an APR ranging from 0%-29.99%.”
4. International – FinTech
“As the NFT space shows no signs of cooling down anytime soon, Estonian firm NFTPort has raised $26m in a Series A funding round.
The company offers an infrastructure platform aimed at NFT developers, which it claims is used by 30,000 developer teams including companies such as Nifty Gateway and Protocol Labs.
NFTs were recently found to be the most popular category for blockchain start-ups, with $2.4bn raised in the first three months of 2022, representing more than a quarter (26 per cent) of total blockchain funding according to research from CB Insights.
NFTPort said it will use the capital to scale its core product and to bring a decentralized NFT infrastructure protocol to market, as well as to develop its existing infrastructure.
The round included several notable backers including former Coinbase chief technology officer (CTO) Balaji Srinivasan and Polygon co-founder Jaynti Kanani.
The investment round was co-led by Taavet+Sten, the investment vehicle of Estonian entrepreneurs Taavet Hinrikus and Sten Tamkivi, and Atomico, as well as Filecoin creator Protocol Labs, Sparkle Ventures, IDEO CoLab Ventures, former Twilio CTO, Ott Kaukver, and Polkadot co-founder Jutta Steiner.
Sten is set to join NFTPort’s team as a co-founder, as well as Rain Johanson, former CTO of Bolt, who joins the company as CTO and co-founder.”
5. International - FinTech
“Famed Microsoft founder Bill Gates has dismissed NFTs, claiming the digital asset class is “100 percent based on greater fool theory”.
The greater fool theory suggests that you can often make money by purchasing overvalued assets, as those assets can later be resold at a greater price if there is a “greater fool” available.
If no “fool” is available, these assets will eventually tank in value according to the theory.
Gates said he would rather invest in physical assets like farms and factories, or in “a company where they make products”, he told an audience at a physical event hosted by TechCrunch.”