Grab acquires robo-advisory firm Bento

Singapore ride-hailing app Grab is to move into the robo-advisory space with the acquisition of WealthTech startup Bento.Bento will be rebranded as GrabInvest with products launched on the Grab app in the first half of the year in Singapore. GrabInvest will offer wealth management and investment products to users, driver-partners and merchant-partners under the firm’s financial services arm. Philip Chew, head of investments and new businesses, Grab Financial Group, says: “Now, from within Grab’s everyday app, we will build on our fintech capabilities to transform what is currently an underserved…

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Pay.UK seeks industry feedback on ISO 20022 recommendations

Pay.UK is to embark on a round of industry consultation over its approach to delivery of the global message standard ISO 20022 as part of the country’s New Payment Architecture.The messaging protocol, which is being adopted globally by real-time payment networks, provides the capability to transfer extended, rich data alongside payment transactions. Pay.UK has been deliberating the best way to introduce the new standard to the UK for some time. With multiple options available, the payments body is thought to favour a stripped-down approach, delivering a tightly-controlled core message that…

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Envoy scores $13m to scale up blockchain trade finance platform

Blockchain-based supply chain and trade finance startup Envoy Group is looking to expand beyond Latin America after securing a $13 million investment from Alcedo Digital Ventures.Built on R3’s Corda platform, Envoy is promising to accelerates the $17 trillion annual global trade flows in to the digital age by reducing inefficiencies and injecting liquidity. The platform is designed to integrate seamlessly with legacy data systems and all third party blockchains, enabling buyers and sellers to manage global trade logistics and to find new funding sources supported as result of trust. This…

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Mastercard invests in online and offline identity startup Trust Stamp

Mastercard has made a strategic investment in AI-generated identity authentication company Trust Stamp.Trust Stamp is a graduate of the 2018 Mastercard Start Path accelerator programme. The two companies introduced their first collaboration with a secure non-PII authentication network for both online and offline environments at the June 2019 ID4Africa conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. Trust Stamp’s technology maps biometric identity data which is translated into a proprietary hash, which can then be used to analyse and attach trust or preference to business interactions. Trust Stamp CEO, Gareth N. Genner says…

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Nationwide trials contactless posters for charity donations

Nationwide Building Society is trialling a “smart window poster” that people can tap with their contactless cards to make donations to a homeless charity.When a person taps their card against the poster, which is next to a Nationwide cash machine in Bath, £3 is donated to local homeless charity Julian House. People can tap multiple times. Nationwide says the plan is to make it easier for people to donate money and to instil confidence in people who feel uncomfortable giving cash directly to the homeless. The trial raised about £100…

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One in five people could have access to central bank digital currencies within three years

Central banks collectively representing a fifth of the world’s population say they are likely to issue a general purpose digital currency in the next three years, according to a survey from the Bank for International Settlements.Following up on a survey from last year, BIS quizzed 66 central banks, covering 75% of the world’s population and 90% of its economic output, about their intentions regarding CBDCs. Some 80% of respondents (up from 70% a year ago) say they are engaged in some form of CBDC work, with half looking at both…

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Regulation and anti-competitive behaviour hitting Australian fintech

Australian fintechs have called on the Government and regulatory bodies to bring in new laws to crack down on incumbent banks, who are accused of engaging in anti-competitive practices to inhibit competition in financial services provision. The Select Committee of Financial and Regulatory Technology, established in September, is undertaking a review of Australia’s innovation sectors, for which it has received 123 submissions. Among them were multiple submissions from fintechs accusing incumbents of anti-competitive behaviour, which is stifling competition. Investment app, Raiz, for example, has pointed to the “regulatory environment and…

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Canada’s first P2P consumer lender preps launch

Canadian regulators have given the greenlight for the country’s first peer-to-peer lending platform for consumer loans.The Canadian Securities Administrator has given goPeer permission to operate in Ontario and Québec, enabling the startup to take on traditional banks in the lending market. GoPeer aims to cut out banks and other intermediaries, connecting credit-worthy Canadian borrowers with eligible investors. Borrowers complete a five minute application online and get a decision back within 24 hours. They can then borrow up to $25,000 with an APR from 7.5%. Investors can lend as little as…

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Canada updates debit rules to enable public transit payments

Payments Canada is bringing in a rule designed to enable broader point-of-sale debit card acceptance, paving the way for people to use their plastic for, among other things, public transit fares.Current debit acceptance rules require merchants to have consistent online connectivity to accept payments, making the method impractical for some high-volume, time-sensitive transactions, such as paying bus fares. The new Rule E5 is designed to address this, offering flexibility through delayed authorisation, which removes the requirement for immediate online connectivity. This means a merchant can opt to provide a service…

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Boerse Stuttgart crypto trading app attracts 81,000 active users in first year

Uncomplicated and secure trading in cryptocurrencies on the smartphone: this is possible with BISON, Boerse Stuttgart Group’s crypto app.One year since its launch, BISON now has around 81,000 active users. “We are very satisfied with the level of take-up for BISON. Our approach has been to make trading in cryptocurrencies as simple as possible, and the response has been excellent. Over the past twelve months, we have received a great deal of valuable feedback from users that we incorporate into the further development of BISON,” said Dr Ulli Spankowski, CEO…

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