by Florin Oprea
Denise Tsang – SCMP
The pace of fintech development in Hong Kong trails regional rival Singapore and neighbor Shenzhen. That may be about to change. More than HK$500 million will be pumped into the financial services industry in Hong Kong in the next five years with fintech a beneficiary, financial secretary Paul Chan said during his budget speech.
FAO: Also mentioned and discussed yesterday. Hong Kong has the money, the potential and (now) the will to grow. It’s a tough environment, and it’s a challenge to compete with Singapore, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, but as we like to affirm: competition will lead to progress. The society will be the one that benefits from all these investments. I have another question: where can you place the entire Western hemisphere in this big picture of investments?
Alun John – SCMP
Investment in Hong Kong fintech firms more than doubled last year compared to 2016, as government support and their wider acceptance made companies in the sector more attractive to investors.
FAO: The trend is your friend, Hong Kong!
Julie Ruvolo – TechCrunch
International investment in Latin American startups has more than doubled since 2013, with 25 new investors entering the region in 2017 alone, including SoftBank, Didi Chuxing and TPG’s US$1B global impact fund, The Rise Fund.
FAO: I am sure you are aware of the growing number of fintech deals in Latam. Use our FREE ARCHIVE to find some of the most interesting deals. Here are some hints, from Brazil for example: Creditas (more here, in Lending section), Nubank (more here, in Payments section) or GuiaBolso (here, in Deals section).
John Detrixhe – Quartz
Swift is pretty much the opposite of a hip, fintech company: the banking cooperative’s services went live some 40 years ago and are part of the global payment system that some crypto entrepreneurs and investors are seeking to disrupt. A looming rival is Ripple, which has signed up more than 100 members and is testing its blockchain-inspired technology with financial institutions around the world.
FAO: PR war on the loose? This headline reminds me of what Jim Cunha, SVP of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, had to say last October, read it here, in this Blockchain Daily News edition (Vendors section).
Richard Milne – Financial Times (subscription)
The Swedish group posted a 27% increase in revenues to SKr4.53bn ($546m) while net profit more than tripled to SKr346m. Klarna processed about €18bn in online transactions last year, an increase of 42%.
FAO: Nice looking financials from Klarna, but nothing surprising considering the spreading of the “cashless society” movement in Sweden and other Northern Europe countries, read below…
Hanna Hoikkala & Amanda Billner – Bloomberg (subscription)
People living in the world’s most cashless society may soon lose their access to notes and coins.
Julie Verhage – Bloomberg (subscription)
PayPal is ending two mobile in-store payment services it launched several years ago to much fanfare. The company emailed customers telling them the checkout services — one using a phone number and PIN and the other using special payment codes in stores — will no longer be available as of March 31 in participating stores.
FAO: Focusing on new projects, new opportunities, and new threats? Speaking of threats, read below…
China’s mobile payment apps are expanding their reaches in the global market as Internet giants such as Alibaba and Tencent seek to promote their e-payment tools overseas.
Tencent’s Wechat Pay has been used in 20 countries and regions including Japan and the Republic of Korea, while Alipay offers payment options for shopping, transport and sightseeing in 38 countries and regions.
DNT: China mobile payment apps expansion worldwide is truly outstanding… The Chinese are already “living the future”…And there’s more, mobile payment it’s a very effective way to collect data…
FAO: Now scroll back to the first headline today, and read my comments again!
Henny Sender – Nikkei Asian Review
Ant Financial and its great rival, Tencent Holdings-invested WeBank, will be three years old in 2018. But in less than two years, they have become the largest providers of online consumer lending. Alipay, part of Ant Financial, alone has 100 million daily active users.
FAO: And they are already spreading all over Asia, and taking on new markets in Europe…
Jonathan Shieber – TechCrunch
Splunk is giving itself a security upgrade with its $350 million cash and stock acquisition of the security automation technology developer, Phantom Cyber.
Nicholas Megaw – Financial Times (subscription)
Virgin Money increased its underlying profit before tax by 28.1% over the full year, to £273.3m, ahead of consensus forecasts of £260m. On a statutory basis, pre-tax profit increased 35% to £262.6m.
Nikkei Asian Review
Businesses are expected to raise around 3 billion yen ($27.9 million) via equity crowdfunding in 2018, more than five times the 590 million yen of last year, according to three leading platform operators.
China plans to expand its unprecedented crackdown on financial risk to money-market funds by capping how much investors can redeem in a day.
FAO: The biggest threat to the business of China’s fin(tech) giants is their own government…
Noah Smith – Bloomberg (subscription)
There’s a standard playbook for reviving cities by turning them into technology clusters. But not every town can become the next Silicon Valley, or Robot City, or biotech mecca.
Minneapolis has shown that there is another way.
FAO: If you want me as a speaker at your event send me an email here.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News