最有看点的互联网金融门户

最有看点的互联网金融门户
传统金融的互联网化全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务投融资监管与政策

[未央翻译]Fintech国际资讯周报|2017年第17周

FCA发布本年度商业计划书 重点关注金融科技与监管科技

近日,英国金融行为管理局发布了最新的《2017-2018年度商业计划》。该计划对未来一年金融科技(FinTech)和监管科技(RegTech)需要优先解决的诸多事项进行了解释。

首先,FCA提出想要更多地与地区性以及苏格兰的金融科技中心合作。其次在风险展望部分,FCA谈到了金融科技复杂价值链可能对消费者保护和市场诚信产生的风险。有关监管和控制日益复杂的第三方关系链的问题也在FCA的优先事项中得到了反映。此外,由于金融市场的高风险性,现有企业的科技弹性也将继续成为重点关注的领域。 FCA指出,金融科技公司可能不完全了解监管的范围及其对业务模式的影响。最后,FCA的跨部门优先事项还包括监管科技(RegTech)。FCA认为,监管科技将有助于更高效的监管与合规。FCA希望鼓励监管科技的创新和运用,以期在提升企业遵守监管程度的同时降低成本。

央行数字货币是大势所趋?美联储称不考虑发行FedCoin

用区块链发行数字法币已经不是什么新概念了--事实上,包括英国和中国在内的很多国家的金融管理机构都开始考虑其可行性。

至于如何将这一概念用在美国市场,美联储波士顿分部财政和金融服务高级副总裁吉姆·库尼亚(Jim Cunha)认为,这项技术在银行业有更好的发展机会。

Cunha表示,电子转账是不能撤销的。美联储永远不可能撤回交易。银行就指望这一点了。这也是你在进行房屋抵押时,你的律师必须先等到银行回复说汇款已经到账。因为当他们签署契约时要证明房子是属于你的。

这位美联储官员还提到了另一些问题,包括区块链对货币信任和风险模式的影响。由于分布式账本通常会去除中间人,银行就必须采用一种完全不同的法律架构。

独辟蹊径: 看Facebook"广告+支付"的另类发展模式

美国当地时间4月18日,Facebook年度开发者盛会F8正式在加利福尼亚圣何塞McEnery会议中心举行。按照Facebook此前发布的议程,本次F8大会为期两天,涉及主题不仅涵盖了Instagram、Messenger、Oculus、WhatsApp等Facebook旗下的应用程序,还关注了人工智能、虚拟现实、增强现实等前沿科技。

作为本次会议的重头戏,Facebook首先推出了三款AR软件,其中包括一款AR平台Camera Effects,两款AR工具AR Studio和Frame Studio。同时,Facebook还推出了VR社交平台Facebook Spaces, 但该平台目前还只有测试版本。目前看来,开发更为先进的支付系统是Facebook实现进一步发展的首要任务。但需要注意的是,Facebook并不需要建立类似阿里巴巴及其支付宝那样完善的内部支付体系,因为它毕竟还是一家社交平台,支付业务收入也仅仅占总收入的7.53%。它需要做的仅仅是开发出一套能够保障用户在点击产品页面后,能够快捷、顺利地完成支付的程序,这就是Facebook开展支付业务的真正方向。

人工智能、机器人和大数据成伦敦地区风投新热点

伦敦科技周创办人对风险资本流动的分析显示,今年第一季度伦敦科技公司共吸引风投资金3.95亿英镑,比2016年第四季度的2.45亿英镑高出不少。

该分析还显示,人工智能、机器人和大数据是目前该地区投资增长最快的三个领域。伦敦的人工智能和机器学习公司尤其受投资者欢迎,2016年吸引投资额达8575万英镑,比2011年的300万英镑高20多倍。

该分析显示,伦敦的人工智能公司在过去五年间吸引了2.07亿英镑的风险投资。伦敦的fintech公司在过去五年中吸引了超过20亿英镑的风投,比SaaS、移动和电子商务等任何一个垂直领域都多。其中,2017年第一季度累计吸收投资1.77亿英镑,表现可谓强劲。几笔重要交易包括Monzo(2200万英镑)、Funding Circle(8200万英镑)和Currencycloud(2000万英镑)。

未来6年区块链市场将增长2000% 中印两国获益最多

Allied Market Research发布的《分布式账本市场的类型和终端用户:2017--2023全球机会分析与产业预测》显示,全球区块链市场2016年的估值为2.28亿美元,预计在2017年至2013年间将会增长到54.3亿美元,年复合增长率高达57.6%。

该报告援引了区域内主要公司的表现,预计北美地区将在整个发展周期内保持其统治地位,总收入也会在全球市场占主导地位,2016年有40%多的收入来自北美,其次才是欧洲。

尽管占据主导地位,但是亚洲国家的年复合增长率将会获得改善,并在给定的时期提供稳定的回报。

如今,互联网技术得到广泛普及, 先进的支付技术逐步兴起和并得到广泛使用, 这些均有望提升中国、日本、韩国和印度的经济增长。

机器人与人工智能的市场潜力到底有多大?

机器人和人工智能(AI)领域的最新技术进步正在对制造业、卫生保健、国防和运输等一系列行业产生影响。

机器人与人工智能正在解决包括劳动力老龄化、劳动力成本上升和质量改善需求在内的诸多问题。使用这些技术可以提高生产的效率与质量,而无需处理疲劳或操作不当导致的相关的认知和身体问题。 在德国、韩国、中国、日本和美国这样的地方采用机器人技术,预计将在2025年之前将生产力提高30%。

几乎每个行业都可以找到方法运用这些创新技术来提高产量或降低成本。 这就是为什么分析师预计,到2020年,机器人和人工智能市场将超过1500亿美元。正如计算机和互联网几乎成为每个行业无处不在的工具,人工智能和机器人未来也将变得随处可见。 从这一发展中获益最大的是处于开发或实施这些技术的前沿行业和国家的公司。

南非:是否监管股权众筹,答案六月底揭晓

南非金融服务委员会(South Africa's Financial Services Board)一名发言人本周表示,FSB已拟定于6月30日最终宣布是否针对股权众筹设立具体监管条例。

据悉,此前FSB就众筹起草过一份调查报告。但FSB 内部协调官Thandolwethu Masango表示,FSB并不会公开此份报告。因为这份调查的主要目的是协助FSB了解其他司法机构如何监管众筹活动,以及何类法规可适用于监管南非众筹活动。

此前,非洲众筹协会(African Crowdfunding Association,ACA)一直呼吁FSB针对众筹推出相应监管架构。ACA主席Kevin Allen也对FSB此次有关监管框架的消息表示出了关心和欢迎。与此同时,以捐赠为主的众筹平台Thundafund准备在FSB政策出台之前着手上线股权众筹业务。该平台负责人Schofield表示,平台目前正在与一位投资者洽谈,但Schofield也称其同样在考虑利用众筹募集研发平台所需资金。

电信巨头AT&T申请数字货币支付专利,要把比特币等与汽车整合在一起?

美国专利与商标办公室(USPTO)公布了这项专利申请--"具有系统报告生成功能的车辆系统及其使用方法"。然而,这个标题看似平淡无奇的文件是一种将加密货币支付整合到车辆中的概念,专利申请方是AT&T子公司AT&T Mobility。

值得注意的是,这个专利申请不同于基于区块链的加密货币和其他电子货币的迭代产品--而像Beenz和e-gold之类,其中有一些是经不起时间考验的。

这个专利是AT&T申请的第二个与区块链技术相关的专利。去年十月份,UASPTO公布了AT&T为一种利用了区块链技术的家庭用户服务器申请的专利。

CommonBond上线全新借贷产品 实现高等教育用户群全覆盖

近日,美国助学金贷款平台CommonBond宣布,公司将针对全美的本科生和研究生推出全新的借贷产品。CommonBond此前的用户群体主要以美国名校的MBA 学生和毕业生为主,平台的目标就是为他们提供比联邦学生贷款利率更低的贷款。而随着此次新产品的推出,CommonBond将成为美国首家覆盖各阶段学生用户群的助学贷款平台。

据了解,新上线的学生贷款的年度可变利率大约为2.87%,固定利率大约维持在5.50%,同时,平台为借款人提供了多种还款方式。

CommonBond推出的类似门户网站的贷款利率比较功能也成为了该平台的一大亮点。学生用户可以登录CommonBond网站,随时查看各类助学金平台的利率变动情况。

迄今为止,这家总部位于纽约的助学贷款平台已经发放了超过10亿美元的学生贷款,贷款范围也从最初的20所扩展到2000所高校。

韩国央行:高成本限制加密货币的使用,可能使其与政府法定货币共生

这份论文由韩国银行与汉城弘益大学的研究人员联合起草,旨在寻求确认那些能够推动区块链加密货币的使用超越政府发行的法定货币的因素。

根据论文的作者所说,万一数字货币获得更广泛的使用,那么政府发行的货币与区块链加密货币可能会存在一种共生关系。也就是说,他们推测,当其中一种货币的使用成本上升时,另一种可能会降低,从而增加了自己的吸引力。不过,他们认为成本问题可以保持这两类货币之间关系的平衡。

这次研究也顺应了中央银行的广泛趋势,很多国家的央行正在调查部署数字货币,既包括机构自己部署的,又有其他团体或组织的。

柬埔寨央行计划开发该国首个区块链公共支付系统

柬埔寨国家银行(The National Bank of Cambodia)正在与日本区块链初创公司Soramitsu合作开发一个区块链支付系统。值得一提的是,该初创公司下属于Linux基金会的开源式超级账本项目。

根据柬埔寨央行和Soramitsu签署的这份共同开发协议,双方将合作研究和进一步开发一个开源式超级账本Iroha,这是由这家日本公司最初开发的区块链项目。Iroha在C++环境中创建可重复使用的组件,使网页及移动端的开发商和程序员能够为超级账本项目做出贡献。去年11月超级账本开始对Iroha进行孵化。

作为该国的中央银行和金融监管机构,柬埔寨国家银行特别关注"用于支付的新型基础设备"。《日本经济新闻》(Nikkei)的一份报告证实,这项计划终将为柬埔寨公民提供安全且廉价的汇款方式。

Swift正式选用超级账本Fabric技术,节约30%跨境支付成本

全球安全金融信息服务提供商Swift已经正式选择在自己最突出的区块链项目中使用超级账本Fabric数据库。

该项目设计用来简化银行的往来账从而推动国际交易,这次项目试验的参与者包括巴黎银行、纽约梅隆银行和富国银行,以及其他三个全球金融机构。如果这个区块链概念验证(PoC)获得成功,Swift全球支付创新倡议(GPI)主管Wim Raymaekers表示这可以节约高达30%与跨境支付相关的和解成本。

其他参与这个PoC的银行包括澳大利亚和新西兰银行集团(ANZ),新加坡开发银行(DBS)和加拿大皇家银行,这些银行都正在与Swift的GPI合作。在这次实施的测试阶段,其他20家机构也将加入这些银行合作伙伴。

德国数字银行N26将为自由职业者提供企业账户服务

德国数字银行N26近日表示,银行将面向自由职业者以及个体经营者提供企业账户业务。

据报道,目前N26的账户办理业务已经覆盖到全欧所有国家。用户在N26移动银行开户只需8分钟,开设和持有账户都是免费的,只需要从客户端下载N26的App、注册账户并输入详细的资料(姓名、电子邮件等),然后通过与银行客服视频通话,出示护照或者居民身份证件就能够取得N26的电子账户了。之后,N26的万事达卡将会送到指定地址。此外,用户使用该银行卡进行消费还将会获得0.1%的现金返还。

目前,N26向用户提供一系列低价高值的服务,比如实时信用分数、费用支出、Cash26(零售商现金服务)、MoneyBeam(通过社交信息软件或电子邮件进行快速转账)等等。

保险创企Lemonade获行业巨头安联保险战略性投资

上周五(4月21日),Allianz SE宣布近期已与Lemonade Insurance Company达成"战略性投资",不过相关投资细节并未对外公布。

Lemonade Insurance Company总部位于纽约,主要利用人工智能与行为经济学,为业主和租户提供相关保险服务。

在公司官网上,Lemonade更是打出了"办理保险仅需90秒,完成理赔只要3分钟"的诱人广告。而据媒体报道,今年1月曾经有Lemonade客户报称丢失了一件夹克,Lemonade聊天机器人对此进行了大量反欺诈运算,评估索赔,然后同意索赔,给顾客的银行发送了电子批示,顾客仅仅在三秒钟内就获得了赔偿。这样看来,这家保险科技创企的业务效率果然是让人刮目相看。

英国央行寻求创业公司参与隐私分布式账本项目

英国央行行长马克.卡尼(Mark Carney)在4月12日的一次演讲上告诉与会者,该央行希望扩大其在数字货币方面的研究,而这一领域,全球各大央行都在积极探索着。

这一消息,也标志着英国央行扩大其在区块链和分布式账本上的研究工作的最新信号。在过去的一年半中,该央行对于新技术应用的探索非常地积极。

本月早些时候,来自英国央行的官员透露,央行新版本的即时支付结算系统(RTGS)将兼容区块链。据悉,英国央行从去年九月份开始商议,经过近半年的等待后才最终敲定这一决定。

最近几个月,英国央行也开始尝试加入区块链联盟进行协同工作,今年二月份时,这家央行加入了由Linux基金会引导的超级账本(Hyperledger )联盟。

BBVA区块链方案实现资金实时到账,费用减少80%

西班牙对外银行(BBVA)是西班牙第二大银行,他们近期成功执行了一次区块链资金转账试验。这个新的解决方案旨在减少跨境资金转账的时间,从原先的4天减少到了几秒钟。

银行领域的区块链试验已经越来越多。银行和金融机构通过研发区块链解决方案来满足他们的运作需求。其中大部分项目都已经完成,目前正处于试验阶段,以确保其发挥预期的作用。

BBVA的区块链解决方案基于瑞波(Ripple)协议,这一协议在银行和金融服务公司之中很受欢迎。在试验中,BBVA把50欧元从西班牙转到了墨西哥,费用比传统的SWIFT转账要少81%。

据悉,该银行不久就会向企业客户推出这一新的区块链解决方案。有了这个基于瑞波的解决方案,用BBVA系统进行跨境交易以及向海外供应商付款时,他们不仅能享受即时到账,而且成本也压缩到了最低。另外,瑞波平台的资金转账追踪功能令整个过程变得更加方便了。

电商巨头亚马逊正式获得印度支付牌照

日前,世界电子商务巨头亚马逊宣布获得印度储备银行(RBI)颁发的预付费支付工具(PPI)牌照,意味着公司旗下的支付程序Amazon Pay将正式进军印度支付市场。获得支付牌照将极大的帮助亚马逊改善印度用户的支付体验,从而提高在印度电商市场的竞争力。

亚马逊支付事业部在印度地区的负责人是前花旗银行执行行长Sriram Jagannathan,他于近日介绍采访时表示,Amazon Pay将通过简化用户身份验证流程,降低操作难度等方式改善支付平台,提高用户体验,以在印度大规模的推行数字支付方式。

马耳他政府计划出台国家级区块链战略

4月20日,马耳他总理约瑟夫·穆斯卡特(Joseph Muscat) 在每周例行发言中表示,马耳他内阁已经批准了"促进区块链发展的国家战略"的首份草案,尽管该政策的细节可能还有待披露。草案中提到,马斯喀特计划在不久的将来发布公众意见征询策略。

穆斯卡特总理表示,马耳他政府可能会将区块链技术应用于土地登记流程-这一概念在其他政府已经开始实施。穆斯卡特也表示,马耳他的卫生行业也可能采用区块链技术。

二月下旬在布鲁塞尔举行的一次会议上,穆斯卡特总理吁欧盟领导人接受加密货币,并对这项技术提供宽松的监管政策。据马耳他20号的报道称,穆斯卡特在发言中再次提到这一点,他说欧盟不应该对加密货币回避,而要对此项技术采取尽早和积极的态度。

法国巴黎银行集团开发区块链基金分销平台

近日,法国银行业巨头法国巴黎银行(BNP Paribas)的一家子公司对外表示,该公司正在开发用于当前发展中的基金分销平台的区块链。

法国巴黎银行证券服务公司正在就平台开发与安盛投资管理公司(investment manager AXA)展开合作,目标在于研发更加简化的基金销售方面的客户登录机制。该银行表示,这个被称作"Fund Link"的平台,预计会在不久的将来向潜在客户开放。这次消息的发布距离该子公司创立创新实验室,用于测试区块链应用已经过去了一年多的时间。法国巴黎银行对区块链技术的应用表示出了极大的热忱,包括其在国际支付和债券发行方面的使用。虽然法国巴黎银行并未公布向客户开放的准确时间,但表示平台会在今年投入运营。

蚂蚁金服收购新加坡支付公司helloPay

4月19日,阿里巴巴旗下蚂蚁金服宣布收购东南亚电商网站Lazada旗下在线支付平台helloPay,加速布局东南亚移动支付市场。

从19日开始,helloPay将正式命名为"Alipay"(即支付宝),其在各国的业务将并分别以Alipay Singapore、Alipay Malaysia、Alipay Philippines和Alipay Indonesia各分支的形式存在。helloPay的团队将加入蚂蚁金服设立在新加坡的办公室。合并后的新团队将负责helloPay业务的运营,目前helloPay现有的功能和服务不受影响。改名后的helloPay和支付宝app保持两个独立的app,并继续为Lazada平台的买卖双方提供第三方支付服务。此外,蚂蚁金服没有透露收购helloPay交易的具体财务条款。

本月初,蚂蚁金融服务集团宣布将与印度尼西亚Emtek集团(Elang Mahkota Teknologi)成立一家合资公司,共同开发移动支付产品,为当地用户提供数字金融服务。

UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Outlines Fintech and Regtech Priorities for Year Ahead

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently issued its Business Plan 2017/18 that deals with its FinTech and RegTech priorities for the year ahead.

The FCA wants to engage more with regional and Scottish FinTech hubs. In its risk outlook, the FCA talks about more complex value chains that utilise FinTech posing a risk to consumer protection and market integrity. The issues associated with the oversight and controls of increasingly complex chains of third party relationships are reflected in the FCA's priorities. In addition, the FCA fears that greater reliance on technology poses increased operational risk, and risks to market integrity. The FCA believes that FinTech business models shift risk from financial firms to consumers without consumers fully understanding the implications or having adequate safeguards. (Source: ALTFI)

US Dollars on the Blockchain? Fed VP Says Not Yet at MIT Event

The idea that blockchains could be used to launch a digital fiat currency isn't new - in fact, it's already been considered by monetary authorities in countries like England and China.

But as far as applying the concept to the US market, Jim Cunha, senior vice president of treasury and financial services at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, believes there are better opportunities for the technology in banking.

Cunha went on to say that while blockchain tech offers potential for efficiency, there are too many technical and legal problems to overcome first, one of those being how to deal with issues of finality, which he referred to as the "holy grail" of financial services. (Source: COIN DESK)

Why Facebook's Payments Strategy Isn't About Payments

Named after Facebook's infamous dusk-to-dawn, eight-hour Hackathons, F8 is an annual confab intended to give developers a look at new tools that will help them reach and engage the 1.9 billion and 1.2 billion unique people who now visit Facebook every month and every day, respectively.

Over those two days, it seems a near certainty that those developers will hear more about the things that Mark Zuckerberg laid out in his F8 keynote last year: how to make video more plentiful and engaging, how to use AI to make user experiences more meaningful and personalized, how to use AR/VR to create new user experiences and what Facebook is doing to give the 4 billion people in the world who don't have internet access today the chance to get it inexpensively. (Source: PYMNTS)

VC investment in London 'driven by AI, robotics and big data'

Artificial intelligence, robotics and big data are among the fastest growing areas for investment, according to analysis of VC capital flows carried out by the founders of London Tech Week.

The findings show that London's AI and machine learning firms have become especially attractive for investors, drawing in 20 times more investment in 2016 (£85.75m) than the amount raised in 2011 (£3m).

According to the research, London-based AI firms have attracted more than £207m in VC funding in the past five years. This, the research adds, was boosted by deals closed by Google DeepMind and Magic Pony.

Additionally, VC investment into London firms developing robotics and drone technologies has also increased. (Source: TECHCITY NEWS)

China, India To Gain More From 2000% Blockchain Market Growth In 6 Years

According to Blockchain Distributed Ledger Market by Type and End User: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast 2017-2023 published by US-based Allied Market Research, the global blockchain market - which as at 2016 accounts for $228 million - is expected to reach $5.43 billion between 2017 and 2023 at a CAGR expansion of 57.6%.

Citing the presence of key companies in the region, the report says North America is expected to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period - it dominated the global market in terms of revenue accounting as at 2016 with more than 40% share of the market followed by Europe.

The increase in Internet transitions, upsurge in use of Internet, and rise in adoption of advanced technologies for payments are expected to boost growth in China, Japan, South Korea, and India. (Source: 8btc)

Assessing the Potential of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Recent technological advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are disrupting a range of industries from manufacturing, to health care, defense, and transportation.

Just as computers and the internet became ubiquitous tools for virtually every industry, it is expected that AI and robotics will become equally as commonplace. The companies that stand to benefit the most from this development involve companies in a range of industries and countries that are at the forefront of developing or implementing these technologies. Such companies include those developing industrial manufacturing robots, medical device companies developing surgical robots, defense corporations producing drones. (Source: NASDAQ)

South Africa's FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30

South Africa's Financial Services Board (FSB) has set a date of 30 June by which it plans to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding, an FSB spokesman said this week.

This follows the completion of a research report by the FSB on crowdfunding. FSB internal communications coordinator Thandolwethu Masango told Ventureburn however that the report on the FSB's research would not be made public.

"The research was meant to assist the FSB to get insight into how other jurisdictions are supervising crowdfunding activities and which piece of legislation would be applicable in governing the said activities in South Africa," said Masango. (Source: VENTURE BURN)

AT&T Explores Cryptocurrency Car Payments in New Patent Filing

Digital currency payments in motor vehicles may not be far off, if the ideas in a new patent application from telecom giant AT&T enter real-world use.

Yesterday, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released the application, dubbed "Vehicle System with System Report Generation and Methods for Use Therewith". Within this innocuously titled document, however, is a concept for integrating cryptocurrency payments into vehicles, attributed to AT&T Mobility, a subsidiary of the firm.

Notably, the application distinguishes between blockchain-based cryptocurrencies and other iterations of electronic money - though, in the case of Beenz and e-gold, some them are currencies that did not stand the test of time. (Source: COIN DESK)

Fintech student lender launches new loan products

CommonBond, one of the largest online lenders in the US, has launched new loans products, and now claims to be the first firm in the country to offer a full suite of student loans solutions.

CommonBond will now lend to undergraduates and graduates, where previously its in-school funding options were only available to MBA students. The newly launched in-school loans carry variable rates starting at 2.87 per cent APR and fixed rates starting at 5.50 per cent APR, and come with a range of repayment options. There's a social twist too: for every loan funded by the platform, CommonBond also funds the education of a child in need, via a partnership with Pencils of Promise. (Source: ALTFI)

Bank of Korea: Costs Could Limit Cryptocurrency Use

South Korea's central bank has published a new working paper on cryptocurrencies. Drafted by researchers from the Bank of Korea and Seoul's Hongik University, the paper seeks to identify factors that could drive the use of a blockchain-based currency over a government-issued one.

According to the authors, there is likely to be a symbiotic relationship between both economies should digital currencies become more widely used. The research fits into a broader trend among central banks, which are investigating the deployment of digital currencies, both by the institutions themselves as well as other groups or organizations. (Source: COIN DESK)

Cambodia's Central Bank Taps Blockchain for Public Payment System

The National Bank of Cambodia is working toward a blockchain payment system for its citizens in partnership with Japanese industry startup Soramitsu. The startup is notably affiliated with the Linux Foundation's open-source Hyperledger project.

The central bank and Soramitsu have entered a co-development agreement to study and contribute toward the open-source development of Hyperledger Iroha, a blockchain project originally developed by the Japanese company. Iroha creates reusable components in C++, enabling web, mobile developers and programmers to contribute to the Hyperledger project. (Source: CRYPTOCOINS NEWS)

Swift Selects Hyperledger Tech For Cross-Border Blockchain Test

Swift has officially selected Hyperledger's Fabric codebase for use in its most prominent blockchain project.

Designed to simplify the nostro-vostro accounts banks held to facilitate international transactions, the trial includes participation from BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon and Wells Fargo, as well as three other global financial institutions.

If the blockchain proof-of concept (PoC) is successful, Swift's head of the global payments innovation (GPI) initiative, Wim Raymaekers, went so far as to say it could save as much as 30% of the reconciliation costs associated with cross-border payments. (Source: COIN DESK)

N26 Now Offers Business Bank Accounts for Freelancers

N26, Europe's first mobile bank, is now offering business bank accounts for freelancers and the self-employed. Its Business accounts are available in all European countries where the bank already operates. The account comes with a Mastercard Business card that will give a cashback amount on all transactions of 0.1 percent.

The company explained in a press release that new customers can sign up online for the product within eight minutes. N26 Business comes with the all of the perks associated with a mobile account, including real-time push notifications for all transactions on the account and MoneyBeam, the instant money transfer tool. All account and card functions can be monitored and controlled from the N26 mobile app. (Source: PYMNTS)

Allianz makes strategic investment in Lemonade Insurance Company

Allianz SE announced on Friday that it has recently made a "strategic investment" in Lemonade Insurance Company, a New York-licensed renters and homeowners insurer powered by artificial intelligence and behavioural economics.

But Allianz chief digital officer Solmaz Altin and Lemonade CEO and co-founder Daniel Schreiber did discuss the partnership in the statement. Altin said that Allianz looked broadly at the insurtech space and was "thrilled to see Lemonade's big ambitions." Lemonade is looking to improve the insurance value chain, he pointed out, predicting that "greater efficiency and transparency will change the way people think about insurance… for the better." Schreiber said that Allianz is committed to innovation and he was "impressed by how open they were to rethinking, reinventing and learning from others. (Source: CANADIAN UNDERWRITER)

Bank of England Seeks Startups for DLT Privacy Projects

The UK's central bank is seeking startups to take part in distributed ledger projects focused on data privacy.

In a speech from 12th April and published yesterday, Bank of England governor Mark Carney told attendees of a conference on FinTech that the central bank wants to expand work it began in earnest last year. The applications being researched by the bank include digital currency - an area being explored by a number of central banks worldwide.

Recent months have also seen the central bank expand its collaborative work on blockchain. In February, the central bank became a member of the Linux Foundation-backed Hyperledger blockchain project. (Source: COIN DESK)

BBVA's Blockchain Fund Transfer Solution Reduces Transaction Fees by 80 Percent

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA), the second largest Spanish bank recently conducted a successful trial of its blockchain solution for fund transfers. The new solution is found to cut down the time taken for international fund transfer to few seconds from four days.

The number of blockchain trials conducted by the banking sector is increasing every day. The banking and financial institutions have been working on developing blockchain-based solutions to suit their operational needs for a while now.

BBVA's blockchain solution is built on the Ripple protocol, which is quite popular among banks and finserv companies. As a part of the trial, the bank transferred about EUR 50 from Spain to Mexico at 81 percent lesser fee than conventional SWIFT based transfer method. (Source: Newsbtc)

Amazon Acquires Indian Mobile Payment License

In another attempt to secure a firm grasp on the Indian market, Amazon has turned towards mobile wallets for its next venture. The e-commerce behemoth has obtained a license from the Indian Reserve Bank (RBI) for the operation of a prepaid payment instruments (PPI).

India's large population presents the country as a prime emerging market for most industries, especially technology. One of the many markets with this great potential is financial technologies. The high rate of cellphone usage combined with the increase in average income means that people in India will be looking for an easy way to manage their money. (Source: CROWDFUND INSIDER)

Malta's Government is developing a National Blockchain Strategy

Malta's government is reportedly on the cusp of embracing blockchain through the adoption of a national strategy focused on the tech.

Malta Today reports that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, during a speech this week, said that Malta's Cabinet had approved the first draft of a "national strategy to promote blockchain", though what the particulars of that policy may be remains to be seen. Muscat, the paper said, is planning to release the strategy for public comment in the near future.

He did, however, suggest that Malta might look to apply the tech to its land registry process - a concept other governments have begun embracing. Muscat also indicated that Malta's health industry may also utilize blockchain. (Source: COIN DESK)

BNP Paribas Taps Blockchain for Fund Distribution Platform

A subsidiary of French banking giant BNP Paribas revealed today that it is utilizing blockchain tech for a fund-distribution platform currently in development.

BNP Paribas Securities Services is working with investment manager AXA on the platform, with the stated goal of developing a more streamlined mechanism, in terms of client onboarding, for funds sales. Fund Link, as the platform is called, is expected to open to prospective customers "in the near future", the bank said. The unveiling comes more than a year after the subsidiary launched an innovation lab aimed, in part, at testing blockchain applications. (Source: COIN DESK)

Ant Financial Buys helloPay For Southeast Asia Push

Ant Financial, the payment unit of Alibaba, has inked a deal to acquire helloPay Group, the Singapore payment company.

According to a report in Reuters, the move is part of Ant Financial's push to boost Alipay, its payment platform in Southeast Asia. helloPay is the payment unit of eCommerce firm Lazada Group, which is majority-owned by Alibaba. Last year Alibaba spent $1 billion for helloPay, noted the report. helloPay will be rebranded Alipay in certain markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, Ant said in a statement covered by Reuters. Reuters noted the rebranded service will stay independent of Alipay's app. (Source: PYMNTS)


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