by Florin Oprea
Nikkei Asian Review (subscription)
Japanese financial services group Orix bought a 6.4 billion yen ($59.8 million) stake in Wecash, a Chinese startup that uses big data and artificial intelligence to rate consumer credit.
FAO: Total funds raised by Wecash reach almost $107m in four rounds since 2014.
Tech Wire Asia
Revolut began its life as a no-fee foreign exchange bank card with a linked application on mobile, but has rapidly expanded to offer worldwide medical insurance, ATM cash withdrawals, unlimited transnational currency exchange and cryptic currency trading – the latter currently limited to LiteCoin, Bitcoin, and Ether.
FAO: Will the London-based firm stir up a revolution in US, Singapore and Australia, the markets said to be approached? We shall see. Pretty challenging but that’s the only rational direction, since other regions of Asia are already conquered or under siege of Chinese (fin)tech giants.
John Detrixhe – Quartz
Swedes—on pace to become effectively “cashless” in five years—are giving up notes and coins faster than just about anyone else. The phenomena has roots in the country’s laws, technology, and culture. And a string of robberies also prompted questions about whether cash was worth the risk.
FAO: Check our edition yesterday – you can read even more about the phenomenon that is currently developing in the Nordics. Will Sweden become the first “cashless society” in the world? The entire region was, throughout its history, a source of innovation, and this only strengthens its position.
Katherine Denham – City A.M.
DNT: Have you ever felt uncomfortable when you entered in a financial institution, let’s say a bank? I bet you did. So, how can this be changed? Katherine Denham tells us how Funding Circle tries to build a new image.
Winnie Tang – Ejinsight
Based on average wages, RegTech could reduce labor costs by as much as 50%, representing US$1.2 billion annually for a single large bank. AI automation of KYC checks alone could reduce staff time required by 90%, generating time savings of 5.4 million hours annually by 2022 for the banking industry in the US.
FAO: Ahem, are you a bank employee and still making 5 years plans in the same organization? I hope you are aware you are living in 2018 and the majority of global banks are looking into fintech to cut their costs. Guess what kind of costs are they considering?
Philip Stafford – Financial Times
Elizabeth Pfeuti – Financial News (subscription)
Large technology companies are expected to force change at exchanges and clearing houses, but a report warns them not to ignore the fintech startups targeting the sector.
Fintech Decoded, a report by consultant McKinsey & Co and trade body the World Federation of Exchanges, found that 41% of those working in market infrastructure thought giant tech firms such as Apple, Amazon and Google would be responsible for updating their sector.
FAO: WFE announcement here via MondoVisione. Of course, it’s not just banks that need to live in their times, but market structure firms too. Oh, if you want a glimpse of how the future can possibly look in a decentralized world of exchanges, better study the speech of Sean Neville, president of Circle. The company recently bought cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex (reported here in Blockchain Daily News) and has big plans!
Alana Matos – Forbes
DNT: Fintech can be a woman’s world too. Forbes gives us the portrait and the vision of Mariel Arraiza, Managing Director of the company Eloan, a financial-services startup, and Banco Popular’s fintech arm.
Michael King – The Globe And Mail
In the world of startups, the period when entrepreneurs are spending cash to build out a new product or service but have no revenues is known as “the valley of death.” Currently, Canada’s fintech industry is in the valley of death and is looking for mentoring, strategic advice and customers. The sector has been growing rapidly, investing in innovative products, but has yet to get traction.
Adam Levy – Motley Fool
Square released some interesting details about Cash App with its Q4 earnings results. The headline is that it now has 7 million monthly active users. For reference, PayPal’s Venmo — Cash App’s chief competitor — had about 10 million users last August, according to an estimate from Verto Analytics. Beyond that, CFO Sarah Friar told analysts that one-third of transactions on the app are already monetized.
Susie Gharib – Fortune
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman says the decision to split from eBay was “kind of a no brainer for us.” He tells that the payment processor would be “financially better off” as an independent company.
Liz Moyer – CNBC
Nasdaq is suing its relatively new exchange rival IEX Group, claiming it infringed on several patents for electronic trading technology that took millions of dollars to develop.
FAO: Not our first area of focus, but it’s trading tech, and this is big nevertheless!
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News