by Florin Oprea
Ben Heubl – Nikkei Asian Review
There has been an explosion of “unicorns” — startups with valuations of $1 billion or more — in China since 2015, underpinned by the growth of new technology companies.
FAO: You may find the above data sets very very useful in the coming months/years, as more and more Chinese fin/tech companies are expected to list on overseas markets. ZhongAn’s success in HK, and Qudian’s at NYSE were the triggers of this movement.
Azman Usmani, Mahima Kapoor – Bloomberg (subscription)
There are some restaurants which serve ice-cream, and there are some which don’t. “We want to be the restaurant that serves the ice-cream too.”
Paytm’s new chat offering should be seen as a complimentary service, or as Sharma put it, like “soda to your food.”
That’s how Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma explained the payments app’s decision to integrate an instant messaging service, stepping into the turf of Chinese giant WeChat and Indian rival Hike Messenger.
FAO: So things look pretty simple for this guy. He has to money to do it, as earlier this year, in May (reported here), Paytm raised $1.4B from Japan’s SoftBank.
Leigh Cuen – International Business Times
PayPal no longer has any independent, direct competitors. It works with 25 currencies across more than 200 countries. The payment processor Stripe could be seen as an alternative to Braintree. However, PayPal’s co-founders Peter Thiel, Max Levchin and Elon Musk are all among Stripe’s core investors. Former PayPal executive Keith Rabois also held a senior role at the rival fintech startup Square. Bernstein analyst Lisa Ellis reportedly said PayPal might soon acquire Square altogether.
Giles Turner – Bloomberg (subscription)
Payments providers have long been aware of financial risks from cyber attacks and money laundering, but U.S. authorities have added something new to worry about: Doing business with dubious social media advertisers.
FAO: It’s a small world…need I say more?
The Australian Government’s decision to mandate a comprehensive credit reporting regime should help Australian borrowers get a better deal from lenders and has followed strong leadership from Australia’s fintech industry.
FAO: Australia’s fintech industry is growing fast with the strong support of the government. Check the “state of the industry” in this latest EY report – reported here.
Chuin-Wei Yap – Fox Business
Companies that sell policies on mobile and internet platforms are targeting the largest and most technologically-resistant part of the sector: the life-insurance industry. Chinese technology giants including the financial affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. have been accumulating stakes in Asian life-insurance companies and online insurers over the past year.
FAO: Here’s the catch – in China there are hundreds of millions of uninsured people.
Robert Kapito, the president of BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, is among those who think big technology firms could invade the financial industry’s turf.
Oscar Williams-Grut – Business Insider
Robert Kapito, the cofounder and president of asset management giant BlackRock believes artificial intelligence will never fully replace humans in the investment world.
FAO: Kapito was present at the Barclays New Frontier conference in London last week. Looks like he shares the fears of Barclays’ CEO, Jes Staley, who recently talked about defending the bank’s payments business in front of Amazon and Apple.
Bien Perez – SCMP
Rising demand for highly automated wealth management services from traditional financial institutions has put mainland Chinese start-up Polaris, a specialist provider of robo-advisory systems, on the fast track to steady domestic and international expansion, according to its chief executive, Zheng Yudong.
FAO: It’s the rise of the robos. I think Robert Kapito also knows this very well.
Andy Mukherjee – Bloomberg
DBS’s announced that it now has the world’s largest API platform for banking, with users including McDonald Corp. This may appear at first like marketing gimmickry. Being able to use the bank’s Paylah app to buy a burger is hardly revolutionary.
FAO: But in essence DBS’s strategy is revolutionary. Singapore recently unveiled a roadmap for strengthening its status as an Asian financial hub.
Samantha Hurst – Crowdfund Insider
N26, announced it is launching its services in the UK in early 2018. This news comes after the fintech startup announced plans to launch in the U.S. next year. UK customers may now get early access by signing up directly on the company’s UK homepage.
FAO: They will have a busy year, next year. This announcement comes after the company recently (reported here) said it plans launch in the US by mid-2018.
Online lending startup SoFi, withdrew its application for a bank license last month after a sexual harassment scandal prompted the departure of cofounder Mike Cagney, then CEO. But payments company Square, which hopes to secure the same type of bank license, is moving full speed ahead with its application, CEO Jack Dorsey tells Fast Company.
FAO: Here’s a recent pertinent analysis on Square.
Via Business Wire Anna Patterson, Founder and Managing Partner of Google’s Gradient Ventures, named by Square to Board of Directors.
Bahrain News Agency
The Bahrain Economic Development Board and FinTech Consortium announced the launch of “Bahrain FinTech Bay”, the largest dedicated FinTech hub in the Middle East and Africa.The new hub aims to further the development and acceleration of Fintech firms as well as the interaction between investors, entrepreneurs, government bodies and financial institutions.
Silicon Valley Bank, one of the most high-profile investors in Britain’s tech scene, is embarking on a major recruitment drive in Frankfurt as the Square Mile faces an exodus of banking firms in the wake of Brexit.
DNT: Besides the great financial infrastructure, we know that Frankfurt has a nice weather too…
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News