FinTech Daily News – Edition 159, 28.02.2018
February 28, 2018
FinTech Daily News – Edition 161, 02.03.2018
March 2, 2018

FinTech Daily News – Edition 160, 01.03.2018

FinTech Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition 160, 01.03.2018

Deals, Investments & M&As

Hong Kong Financial Chief Paul Chan Has Made A Difference With His Budget But Can He Match Ambition With Action?

Denise Tsang – SCMP

Hong Kong Snags Fintech Boost


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?

Investment In Hong Kong Fintechs More Than Doubled Last Year, Well Ahead Of Singapore & Australia

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!

Global Tech Firms And Investors Are Reshaping Latin America’s Startup Environment

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).


Ripple’s 40-Year-Old Rival Is Speeding Up Payments Without Using Blockchain

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).

Klarna’s Profits Driven By Growth In Nordics And Germany

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…

People In Sweden Now At Risk of Losing Access To Notes

Hanna Hoikkala & Amanda Billner – Bloomberg (subscription)

People living in the world’s most cashless society may soon lose their access to notes and coins.

PayPal Says It’s Ending Two Mobile In-Store Payment Services

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 Expand Worldwide


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!  


China’s Wild Online Lending Frontier Rests Regulators

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…

Data and Analytics

Splunk’s Data Analytics Gets A Security Boost With $350 Million Acquisition Of Phantom Cyber

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.

Retail banking

Virgin Money Beats Profit Forecasts But Cautions On 2018 Margin

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.

Cap Markets & Other

Equity Crowdfunding In Japan Poised To Grow Fivefold This Year

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 Curbs On $1 Trillion In Money-Market Funds

Bloomberg (subscription)

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…

Accelerators & Hubs

Maybe Cities Don’t Need Tech Hubs to Succeed

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