Image for post
Image for post
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

By now you might be familiar with the term “Buy Now, Pay Later” (commonly referred to as “BNPL”). Let’s explore some of the reasons for this trend.

So what is BNPL exactly?

“Buy Now, Pay Later” schemes are loan financing products which are somewhat similar to credit cards. Through partnerships with specific retailers, you can buy goods and services through installments (with APRs similar to mainstream credit cards / lines). These typically range from four bi-weekly payments to installments spread over 60 months.

It’s a fairly streamlined process: you don’t need to pull any physical “plastic”, enter your number, etc… Besides the convenience factor, most providers will only perform a “soft credit check” every time you make a purchase. Some retailers also run special offers such as 0% interest options if you pay the full balance within a relatively short period of time. This type of loan can be potentially interesting for consumers who either lack a conventional credit history or are not particularly interested in managing credit cards. …


Picture of green hummimgbird
Picture of green hummimgbird
Image by Domenic Hoffmann from Pixabay

Another week, another global fintech roundup.

Green fintech in Switzerland

On November 3, the Swiss government launched the Green Fintech Network to identify and suggest new initiatives for startups that combine sustainable finance and technology.

Feel free to consult the official announcement here.

LinkAja secures $100M series B

Grab, the powerful Southeast Asian fintech and mobility group, led a $100 million Series B funding round for Indonesian e-wallet LinkAja.

This is notable since “cash is still king” in the country.

“Cash is still king in Indonesia, and there are millions of Indonesians who remain invisible to traditional banking systems,” stated Neneng Goenadi, managing director of Grab Indonesia. “We chose to invest in LinkAja because we believe that together we can help accelerate our shared goal of improving financial inclusion in Indonesia. The strategic collaboration between LinkAja and our ecosystem which includes partners like OVO and Tokopedia will allow us to bring cashless services to all Indonesians in a way that is trusted, convenient and accessible.” …


Picture of person touching glass
Picture of person touching glass
Image by Sergey Gricanov from Pixabay

New fintech roundup: amid a worsening COVID-19 crisis and the US presidential election, the biggest headline this week was evidently Ant Group’s IPO being suspended.

Shanghai Stock Exchange suspends Ant Group’s mega IPO

The Shanghai Stock Exchange postponed on Tuesday the highly anticipated Ant Group IPO because of “major issues” which could cause the company “not to meet the listing conditions or disclosure”.

There could be tensions between Jack Ma (Ed note: Ant Group is an affiliate company of Alibaba) and the Chinese government which is set to announce stricter rules for fintech companies. Recent comments from Ma are said to have angered the Chinese government and contributed to the IPO being halted. …


Picture of exotic bird
Picture of exotic bird
Image by Katrina_S from Pixabay

Another day, another fintech roundup by yours truly.

VISA agrees to acquire YellowPepper

On Tuesday, Visa Inc announced it has signed an agreement to acquire YellowPepper, a fintech company with proprietary technology and partnerships supporting financial institutions and startups in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The YellowPepper platform offers a set of APIs that enables issuers, processors and governments to “quickly and securely access multiple payment rails for many payment flows through one single connection”.

Financials around the acquisition were not disclosed.

DriveWealth secures $56.7 million Series C

DriveWealth, a US-based company that develops global digital trading technologies, announced a $56.7 million Series C on Tuesday.

DriveWealth’s framework allows its partners to deliver “embedded investment experiences”. …


Plant with money bills on it being watered
Plant with money bills on it being watered
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Without further ado, here’s my latest fintech roundup.

Lufax’ US IPO

Lufax was founded in 2011 and initially focused on peer-to-peer lending. Over time the company has diversified, now also working with funds, insurance companies and financial license holders, becoming a large internet finance company in China. It is backed by Ping An Group.

The Shanghai-based firm is now seeking a $2.36 billion IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Yes, despite the current Sino-American “trade war”, the US is still an attractive place to go public for Chinese companies.

Lunar closes Series C round

Founded in 2015, Lunar is a Denmark-based neo-bank that offers a wide range of B2C and small business products. It has approximately 205,000 users across Scandinavia (97.5% …


Picture of ant on a leaf
Picture of ant on a leaf
Image by Perez Vöcking from Pixabay

Here we go again. Another week, another fintech roundup.

Ant Group will go with dual listing IPO according to sources

On Monday, Reuters reported that Ant Group (which owns China’s largest digital payment platform Alipay) will kick start its upcoming IPO in both Hong Kong and on Shanghai’s STAR Market.

It’s important to note that the information is not yet public; but has been confirmed by credible sources.

This should reassure potential investors waiting for the gigantic listing (which coud well break records).

A quarter of personal finance managers in the UK and the Netherlands do not use open banking

A recent report from open banking provider Yolt Technology Services (YTS) revealed that about a quarter of personal finance management (PFM) software in the UK and the Netherlands still utilize manual entry from users to access their accounts or spending data (think screen scraping) rather than modern open banking frameworks. …


Image of baby lion
Image of baby lion
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

This is a quick (non-exhaustive) fintech news round-up for the past week.

Stripe agrees to buy Nigeria-based Paystack

The omnipotent San Francisco Bay Area-based Fintech platform Stripe has agreed to buy Nigeria’s Paystack for a reported US $200 million.

Similar to Stripe, Paystack offers payments service through API technologies. It has currently 60,000+ customers. This could be a tremendous opportunity for the American company to gain a foothold on the African continent.

My frequent collaborator Michael Spencer delved deeper into this development in a recent blog post.

Wealthsimple raises another CAD $114M

Wealthsimple, a well-known Toronto-based fintech startup specialized in digital investing and stock trading secured another CAD $114 million (roughly US $86 million) in funding. …


It won’t be easy…

Picture of man waiting for subway train
Picture of man waiting for subway train
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many experts are in favor of strict social distancing initiatives until a proper vaccine can be widely administered.

As national and regional governments are contemplating to gradually re-open their respective economies, the complexity of creating social distancing policies when it comes to passenger transportation is strikingly evident. Passenger transport often translates into packing a large number of individuals into tight, closed quarters… Yet transit authorities, airlines and cruise ship operators have a few ideas to make this happen.

Face covering

Covering one’s face is a well-know method used to stop the spread of viruses and contagious diseases. There are various types of face coverings such as surgical masks, N95 respirators; as well as non-medical “cloth masks” which can as simple as a scarf or bandana wrapped around a person’s nose and mouth. …


Image of bee robot
Image of bee robot
Image by marian anbu juwan from Pixabay

Now that CES 2020 is over, let’s rewind a bit and discuss some of the most interesting robots presented at the humongous tech event.

Samsung’s Bot Chef

Samsung’s Bot Chef, which the South Korean conglomerate refers to as a “cobot” (collaborative robot). Bot Chef cannot prepare meals from scratch, but it can assist you with basic tasks. Bot Chef can download and display recipes on a nearby screen, open flames, dice and push ingredients; and more…

“Samsung Bot Chef at CES 2020” by Samsung U.S. Newsroom, YouTube.

MarsCat

The makers of MarsCat claims that the device is “the world’s first fully autonomous robot cat”. The concept is simple: instead of giving your robot pet commands via voice or touch for it to complete tasks, once MarsCat is activated, it’ll act like a regular cat, doing “its own thing” and when it wants. …


Image of time travel vortex
Image of time travel vortex
Image by Genty from Pixabay

As 2019 is winding down, here are some of my predictions for the upcoming year. 3, 2, 1… let’s go.

Facial recognition will receive more scrutiny

Facial recognition has faced scrutiny this year, and it is likely that global observers will continue to have privacy concerns over such frameworks.

Earlier this month, it was reported that all mobile phone users in China registering new SIM cards must submit to facial recognition scans. The new law requires telecom companies to deploy “artificial intelligence and other technical methods” to check the identities of people registering SIM cards. All retail stores in the country had until December 1st to start implementing the new regulation. …

About

Phil Siarri

Founder of Nuadox | Tech & Innovation Commentator | Digital Strategist | MTL | More about me> psiarri.xyz

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