Showing posts with label fintech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fintech. Show all posts

November 24, 2017

Dubai and Australia team up to seal finTech deal

By Samburaj Das - November 24, 2017 (

The securities and financial regulators of Australia and Dubai respectively have entered a mutually beneficial agreement to cooperate on and promote financial technologies (FinTech) in each other’s markets.

Inking the terms yesterday, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) will jointly work on a collaborative framework toward FinTech innovation.  Notably, the regulatory framework will lower the burden for industry startups and businesses to enter each other’s markets, aided by the authorities for regulatory compliance. ‘It provides Australian fintech businesses wishing to operate in the DIFC with a simple pathway for engaging with DFSA, and vice versa,’ reads an excerpt from the ASIC’s announcement.

DFSA chief executive Ian Johnston added:

"[The] agreement underscores our commitment to maintaining strong channels of communication with our regulatory peers and creates a regulatory framework that supports the latest developments in FinTech innovation".

The terms of the agreement also mandate the two authorities to share information on innovative FinTech developments in each other’s markets. A particular area of focus, the ASIC revealed, is regulatory technology (RegTech) with trials expected to occur between the regulators.

“Regtech is becoming more and more important – this is a new frontier in our bilateral cooperation that will benefit both regulators and businesses,” ASIC Commissioner John Price said upon signing the agreement.

The DFSA regulates the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a sprawling financial free-zone district that allows foreign companies to hold 100% ownership in Dubai, without the need of a local partner. Earlier this year, the authority outlined its approach to embrace the FinTech sector stating it will not regulate industry startups and companies unless needed. To that end, the authority lowered its scrutiny of the sector with a special new FinTech license that allows the testing of innovative products and services between a 6 to 12-month period.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

European Insurance Sector adopting Blockchain to protect data

By Jon Buck - November 11, 2017 (

It seems that Blockchain technology is becoming ubiquitous among financial and technology spaces these days. With a huge adoption curve, the new technology space is quickly finding use cases in a number of industries.

The latest addition to the Blockchain revolution is insurance, as a group of fourteen European insurance providers have partnered together with Deloitte and other firms to provide a simple system for insurers to comply with the Hamon Law, with requires insurers to provide simple transfers for clients who wish to change companies during the first year.

Data protection is paramount

The system will allow for highly secure information storage for customer data. The newest regulations from the EU, called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will take effect in 2018, and could impose massive fines on companies that aren’t particularly protective of consumer data. The Blockchain technology platform will do what other technologies cannot in data protection.

The platform specifically relies on the Proof of Process technology in order to secure user data through a shared data repository. The system will limit data release to the absolute minimum for processing transactions. With increasing need for security, Blockchain is bringing substantial change for the insurance sector.

Adam Perlow Founder and CEO of Zen Protocol, said:

“If the insurer sets some money in a smart contract, and the contract pays out based on the occurrence of an event as determined by an objective actuary/oracle, then there is no need for novel incentive schemes, the insurer simply cannot avoid the payout. In the long run, as one insurance company uses smart contracts to gain the public trust, others will be forced to follow suit.”

November 16, 2017

American Express launches Blockchain-based Business Payments using Ripple technology

BY Polina Chernykh - November 16, 2017 (

The partnership will allow businesses in the United States send instant transactions to Santander customers in Britain via the blokchain technology.

American Express has partnered with Santander UK and fintech firm Ripple to enable blockchain-powered international B2B payments. The solution is anticipated to speed up cross-border transactions between the UK and the US using the blockchain technology.

American Express’ customers will now be able to conduct payments on the FX International Payments (FXIP) platform that will route transfers via the Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network, RippleNet. According to companies, the service, which is already used by customers, will be expanded globally in the future.

”American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies into innovative products and services that differentiate and enhance the customer experience,” said Marc Gordon, chief information officer at American Express. “This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.”

Unlike traditional payment systems, blockchain-based platform will reduce the cost of international transfers and simplify settlement process, while maintaining advanced security of payments.

“We’ve already seen evidence that blockchain technology is playing a transformational role in the way customers are served,” said Greg Keeley, Executive Vice President of Global Corporate Payments at American Express. “Not only does this partnership with Ripple help decrease the time it takes for international transactions to be processed, it can make our transactions more effective for our customers.”

Initially, the project will connect American Express’ customers in the US to UK Santander bank accounts, enabling instant, traceable cross-border non-card transactions.

“We’re taking a huge step forward with American Express and Santander in solving the problems corporate customers experience with global payments,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. “Transfers that used to take days will be completed in real-time, allowing money to move as fast as business today. It is just the beginning, and we look forward to growing this partnership to help other American Express FXIP customers.”

Santander was among the six major banks that partnered with Ripple last year to establish the first interbank group for the development of the blockchain network for global transfers.

Ripple leverages the power of the blockchain technology to enable frictionless payments all over the world. By using Ripple’s network, financial organizations can process their customers’ payments instantly and cost-effectively.

American Express is committed to transform business processes by using the blockchain technology. Earlier this year, the bank joined Hyperledger, the Linux Foundation-led cross-industry initiative aimed at creating an enterprise-grade, open-source distributed ledger technology. In 2014, the bank’s CEO, Kenneth I. Chenault, shared his view on the blockchain, saying it would play an important role in the industry.

November 13, 2017

The World’s Largest FinTech Event kicks off in Singapore

By Samburaj Das - November 13, 2017 (

The second edition of the Singapore FinTech Festival began on Monday, a week-long event comprising of over 25,000 participants from over 100 countries.

Lasting a week, this year’s Singapore FinTech festival is organized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank and financial regulator, in partnership with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), an organization that represents the retail and investment banking community of Singapore.  Last year’s inaugural event saw over 13,000 participants from 60 countries.

“We are pleased that the Singapore FinTech Festival has grown this year, to become the world’s largest FinTech Festival,” stated MAS FinTech chief Sopnendu Mohanty. “It is a synergistic platform for the global FinTech community to spark new ideas and gain valuable insights. There will be many opportunities for financial institutions and FinTech companies to come together and collaborate on value-adding partnerships.”

For Singapore, a country synonymous with being ahead of the curve in adopting technologies, the event is noteworthy for being organized by the country’s central bank, an institution that has led the effort to establish Singapore as a global FinTech hub.

The global blockchain community will, in particular, be paying keen attention to the MAS’ technical report of Phase 2 of Project Ubin, the central bank’s initiative to develop and deploy a digital Singaporean dollar. Earlier this year, Phase 1 has already seen the central bank “place a tokenized form of the Singapore dollar (SGD)” on a private Ethereum blockchain.

The event’s highlight will feature a three-day FinTech conference, starting Tuesday, featuring over 160 leaders from central banks, regulatory agencies, financial institutions and FinTech companies. The conference will also feature a talk by Netherlands’ Queen Maxima who, in her capacity as UN Secretary-General’s special advocate for inclusive finance, will speak about using technology toward a financially inclusive future. The second day of the FinTech conference will feature an opening address from Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister.

On Thursday, the event will showcase 20 market-ready FinTech solutions shortlisted from nearly 600 global submissions as a part of its Global FinTech Hackcelerator program. The ready-to-deploy solutions will focus on select key areas, namely customer-facing solutions, regulatory technology and financial inclusion.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

October 11, 2017

Japan’s 3 megabanks unite on a blockchain for P2P money transfer ‘field trial’

By Samburaj Das - October 11,2017 (

Japanese IT giant Fujitsu will conduct a joint field trial of person-to-person money transfers between individuals from Japan’s three ‘megabanks’.

Japan is lagging behind the likes of China and South Korea in digital payments – a measly 19% of Japanese society has gone cashless, compared to over 50% of in both China and Korea. Such is the disparity that the Japanese government, this year, established a FinTech growth strategy that aims to double the adoption rate of digital payments to 40% over the next decade.

A new real-world cashless money-transfer trial between all three of Japan’s so-called ‘megabanks’ is certain to provide a boost for that initiative.

In an announcement yesterday, Japanese technology firm Fujitsu revealed it is working with Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MUFG- Japan’s largest bank), to conduct a joint field trial of a person-to-person money transfer service powered by blockchain technology.

Fujitsu is currently developing a cloud-based blockchain platform that will enable money transfers between individuals on a platform that will jointly be used by the three banks. The firm is also working on a smartphone application where users will be able to send and receive money as well as engage in deposits and withdrawals. Both solutions will plug in to the individual’s actual bank account with the three banks.
Image credit: Fujitsu

Fujitsu explained:

"Through this field trial, Fujitsu will work to develop a service platform that is highly convenient for users in an increasingly monetarily diverse, cashless society… Against this backdrop, Fujitsu will commence field trials with three major Japanese banks that possess broad customer bases to evaluate the creation of new services in the field of person-to-person money transfers".

Fujitsu plans to finish development of the blockchain platform in December this year before a planned real-world field trial from January to March 2018.

Fujitsu, Japan’s largest IT services firm, has already seen operational success in same-day settlements of securities transactions powered by blockchain technology, in a partnership with Mizuho.

In a separate endeavor, the Japanese Bankers Association (JBA) – an industry body working on behalf of all 252 banks operating in the country – is also developing a common blockchain platform for money transfer trials as  possible upgrade for the current nationwide payments clearing platform Zengin.

Tokyo image from Shutterstock.