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Israeli Digital Bank Floats Securities Trading, Taps ViewTrade

One Zero Digital Bank, an Israeli private digital bank, has expanded the capability of its signature app beyond banking services and now includes securities trading. Additionally, the bank tapped ViewTrade, a technology and brokerage services provider, to power the new function.

ViewTrade, in a statement noted that its partnership with One Zero, will enable it to provide application programming interface and Financial Information Exchange (FIX) connection support to the digital bank. Through the new securities trading platform, Israeli investors will be able to access US markets at competitive prices.

“One Zero customers can now trade in a wide variety of equities and exchange-traded funds listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, using either foreign currency or shekel accounts,” ViewTrade explained in the statement.
Exploring the Latest Developments in Peer-to-Peer Payment Platforms

The Development of P2P Payment Platforms
P2P payment networks have become quite popular because of how quick, easy, and affordable they are. These services eliminate the need for cash or physical checks by enabling users to transfer and receive money straight from their bank accounts or digital wallets. The adoption of P2P payment networks has been hastened by the growth of mobile devices and digital wallets.

Integration without hiccups and user experience
The most recent improvements to P2P payment platforms put an emphasis on improving user experience and seamless platform integration. Now that P2P payment programs are readily available on smartphones, tablets, and even wearable technology, users can start transactions whenever and wherever they want. Users can transfer money with ease while chatting with friends or family thanks to integration with well-known messaging apps and social networking platforms.
Biometric Authentication: Revolutionizing Secure Payments

n order to confirm a person's identification, biometric authentication uses distinctive physical or behavioral attributes like voice recognition, iris scans, fingerprints, and facial recognition. Because each person possesses these qualities uniquely, biometrics is the best approach for safe authentication in money transactions.

Improving Security and Preventing Fraud
Compared to conventional methods like PINs or passwords, biometric authentication gives a higher level of security. Due to the near impossibility of copying or stealing biometric features, there is a lower chance of identity theft or unauthorized access to sensitive payment information. This greatly improves transaction security and aids in preventing fraud.

Effortless and Practical User Experience
Using biometric authentication offers a seamless and practical user experience while streamlining the payment process.
The government of Liechtenstein plans to accept Bitcoin as payment for state services
Liechtenstein is planning to add bitcoin (BTC) as a payment option for government services, German news outlet Handelsblatt reported on Sunday.
Any crypto received as payment will likely be immediately exchanged for Swiss francs, Liechtenstein's national currency, Prime Minister Daniel Risch told the newspaper.
The European Union is now finalizing its landmark licensing regime known as the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation – something that could draw to the region crypto firms seeking regulatory clarity. Although Liechtenstein is not a member of the bloc, it is part of the greater European Economic Area (EEA), to which the framework's relevance can be extended.
Risch, who is also the country's finance minister, did not specify a timeline for adding the payment option, according to the report.
Although crypto is too volatile to entrust portions of the country's multi-billion dollar annual savings, that could change.
Barbados challenger Sagicor Bank launches on Mbanq’s BaaS platform

Using Mbanq’s platform, Sagicor Bank customers will be able to open deposit and savings accounts in a “couple of minutes”, access virtual and physical cards, loans and mortgages and make payments domestically and internationally.

Through its “branchless” digital financial services, Sagicor Bank aims to offer customers a low cost and more efficient alternative to traditional banks.

“Mbanq’s technology enables Sagicor Bank Barbados to bring cost-efficient, cutting-edge digital financial services to the people and businesses of Barbados,” says George Thomas, CEO of Sagicor Bank Barbados.

Thomas adds that Mbanq’s technology allows the bank to deliver a “superior” customer experience and makes it “the only bank in Barbados to offer virtual debit cards and cardless transactions via our automated banking machines”.

US-based Mbanq is a provider of BaaS and Credit-Union-as-a-Service solutions.
Open finance specialist Fabrick acquires UK paytech Judopay
Established in 2012, Judopay currently handles over 60 million transactions a year worth over €2 billion via its mobile-centric payments platform solution. It works with the likes of KFC, PaybyPhone, BUPA, Sigma Sports, and Autocab, and has been a partner for Apple (in launching Apple Pay in-app payments in the UK) and Mastercard (to enhance Click2Pay and Pay by Bank App). It also got picked by the UK government to help it drive adoption of digital payments in the public sector

Judopay says its “100% cloud-based technology stack has been completely re-engineered over the past four years”. It claims that its “new infrastructure-as-code, micro-services stack offers merchants of all sizes a highly performant, resilient platform with limitless global capacity”.

Judopay will continue operating under its own brand.
Bank of America launches new accelerator programme for fintech start-ups

The six-month Breakthrough Lab programme provides mentorship, digital expertise, networking opportunities with industry experts and access to potential investors to Black, Hispanic-Latino, Native American and other entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities in order to help scale-up their early-stage technology-related businesses.

Pre-seed stage companies with ideas related to fintech or tech-enabled ideas promoting inclusion in areas such as healthtech, wealthtech, edtech and housing can apply.

Successful applicants will receive 94 hours of live instruction spanning a diverse range of business management topics and tech support and will gain exposure to investors and providers of capital.

The programme, which aims to boost the number of small fintech businesses and broaden financial inclusion, begins in September and ends in March next year.
The Latest Developments in P2P Payment Platforms
Global Reach Expansion
The global reach of P2P payment services has significantly increased. Many platforms, including PayPal, Venmo, and TransferWise, now handle international transactions, making it simple for consumers to send and receive money internationally.

In comparison to conventional banking systems, these platforms frequently provide competitive exchange rates, cheaper costs, and speedier transfer timeframes. The smooth cross-border transactions made possible by P2P payment networks have been a benefit for people, independent contractors, and companies doing business internationally.
Syncing with Messaging Applications
P2P payment services are integrating with well-known messaging apps in an effort to meet the growing demand for frictionless transactions. Users may send and receive money directly from the chat app thanks to this integration, which eliminates the need to transfer between separate programs.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority kickstarts e-HKD retail CBDC pilot
A total of 16 firms have been chosen from across the financial, payments and technology sectors to take part in the first round of pilots this year.

The pilots will take “deep dives”, HKMA says, into potential use cases in six categories: full-fledged payments; programmable payments; offline payments; tokenised deposits; settlement of Web3 transactions; and settlement of tokenised assets.

HKMA chief executive Eddie Yue says that while no decision on a retail CBDC has yet been made, the e-HKD pilot “serves as a tremendous opportunity for the HKMA to collaborate with the industry in exploring innovative use cases and maximising our readiness for a potential e-HKD”.

The e-HKD pilot programme forms part of Rail 2 under the HKMA’s three-rail approach to the possible implementation of a retail CBDC.
Pros and Cons of AI in Sentiment Trading: Revolutionizing Investment Strategies
The Pros of AI in Sentiment Trading
Data Processing and Analysis
AI algorithms excel in processing and analyzing vast amounts of structured and unstructured data. In sentiment trading, AI can rapidly scan news articles, social media feeds, and financial reports to identify and analyze market sentiment indicators. This capability allows for real-time decision-making based on sentiment-driven insights.

Pattern Recognition and Predictive Modeling
AI algorithms can identify patterns and correlations in complex data sets that may not be evident to human traders. By leveraging machine learning techniques, AI models can analyze historical data and identify trends, leading to more accurate predictions of market sentiment and potential price movements.

Speed and Efficiency
AI-based sentiment trading systems can operate at lightning-fast speeds, enabling traders to capitalize on sentiment-driven market opportunities in real-time.
Australian government set to regulate BNPL industry
The Australian government has announced that it will be regulating the buy now, pay later (BNPL) industry, treating BNPL as credit products.

The decision was announced by Australian financial services minister Stephen Jones in a speech at the Responsible Borrowing and Lending Summit held this week in Sydney, Australia.

Jones says the government arrived at the conclusion following an extensive consultation on options to regulate BNPL, which kicked off late last year.

The review raised “significant” concerns in the BNPL industry, including “unacceptable levels” of unaffordable lending, largely concentrated among low‑income borrowers, including those on social security. Additionally, it highlighted concerns about the quality of dispute resolution and hardship processes, excessive fees, poor disclosure practices, problematic marketing practices, and unsolicited credit increases.
The European Central Bank is developing the implementation of a digital euro

The European Central Bank is developing the implementation of a digital euro, while banknotes will remain in circulation as long as they are in demand, stated Fabio Panetta, a member of the ECB Executive Board.

To ensure the compatibility of the digital euro with other CBDC variants, the ECB is actively collaborating with central banks from other countries.

Panetta emphasized that the ECB will not engage in the distribution of CBDC, and citizens will not have accounts in central banks. However, it is planned to set a limit of €3000 on digital euro accounts.

Currently, the ECB is developing a phased implementation of the digital euro in the Eurozone, starting with online payments for goods and transfers of funds between users within the Eurozone.
Mastercard announced as headline partner of Open Banking Expo Canada 2023

This marks the first year that Mastercard is headline partner of Open Banking Expo’s flagship Canadian event.

This year’s Canada Expo will bring together more than 500 open banking, open finance and open payments executives from the financial services and fintech ecosystem at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Mastercard, which has global expertise in consumer protections, data privacy, global fraud identification, and secure connectivity and is managing open banking solutions in a number of markets, will bring a holistic approach to the open banking discussion, helping to solve fintechs’ and banks’ need for great digital enablement with secured commercial scale.

Attendees and speakers will gather to debate how a “made-in-Canada” open banking roadmap is taking shape and answer the questions that remain, following a slower-than-desired start to implementation.
BNP Paribas and NatWest go live on United Fintech’s CobaltFX

Going live with CobaltFX will allow the banks to manage credit exposures for their respective financial institutions and tackle onerous manual processes as well as broaden market access and control.

CobaltFX founder Andrew Coyne says: “The problem CobaltFX is solving is essentially simplifying and streamlining many of the manual processes tied to allocation of credit which creates challenges for financial institutions.

“Correcting the supply of credit and at the same time deepening the availability of liquidity, CobaltFX’s Dynamic Credit technology ensures that for less credit deployed, there is more liquidity, administrative simplification and, essentially, superior market access control.”

CobaltFX was acquired by United Fintech in late 2022 and subsequently relaunched earlier this year.

United Fintech founder and CEO Christian Frahm says financial institutions are increasingly looking to cut back their reliance on third-party vendors.
Lunar to provide access to its Nordic payment infrastructure to partners
Lunar says “strong demand” from both national and international payment players led to the decision to open up its Nordic payment infrastructure. The challenger holds clearing permits in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, and can offer access to cross-border payments and clearing in the Nordics to third parties.

As part of its first partnership, Lunar will offer its infrastructure to Trustly through a single API integration, enabling Trustly to offer instant payments in local currency. Lunar and Trustly will initially roll out the integration in Denmark, with the intention to extend the partnership to cover the entire Nordic region.

Sandra Sennerlöv, VP of banking relations and partnerships at Trustly, says the collaboration with Lunar enhances its account-to-account payment offering in Denmark.

“Lunar’s API-based offering fits well with our payments platform and our payment solution allowing consumers a seamless way to pay merchants.
Can Fintech startups Bring the End of Traditional Remittance Services?
Traditional remittance services have a reputation for exorbitant fees,lengthy transaction periods, and limited accessibility. The use of middlemen, such as banks and money transfer companies, frequently results in high costs and poor exchange rates.
Furthermore, the lengthy processing delays and time-consuming documentation make the experience inconvenient for both senders and recipients. Because of these constraints, there is a growing desire for alternative alternatives that provide faster, more inexpensive, and user-friendly remittance options.
Startups in Fintech and Digital Platforms
To deliver seamless and effective remittance services fintech entrepreneurs are embracing digital platforms. These firms provide users with an easy way to send and receive money across borders by employing mobile apps and web platforms.The remittance procedure is streamlined by digital platforms which eliminate the need for physical branches and paperwork

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Mastercard and Bankiom to launch virtual prepaid cards across the GCC

With the partnership, Mastercard aims to drive digitalisation in the payments landscape throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

Amnah Ajmal, executive vice president market development, EEMEA, Mastercard, says the GCC has “one of the world’s highest rates of internet penetration” at 98% of the region’s population.

“Our partnership will help us leverage our innovative payment solutions to drive digital and financial inclusion across the region,” Ajmal adds.

Founded in 2019 and launched in March 2022, Bankiom offers a mobile banking app along with a prepaid card for customers to make online purchases. It also offers features such as budget planning, money transfers and spend tracking.

Currently, Bankiom says it has more than 30,000 verified users and claims to be growing at 20% per week, with a target to hit one million customers within three years.
Revolut Expands Super App with Robo Advisor Launch in US

Robo-advisors are algorithms and computer programmes deployed to provide automated, low-cost and personalized investment advice and portfolio management. These digital platforms have continued to disrupt the investment management industry, changing how individuals and institutions approach investing.

In its announcement, Revolut noted that its robo-advisor offers users personalized investment portfolio management for a fee lower than what traditional finance companies offer. In particular, the offering comes with an annual fee of 0.25% and a monthly minimum of $0.25.

The fintech company explained that the robo-advisor works by investing customers’ funds in one of five diversified portfolios based on their risk tolerance determined through responses gathered from them since onboarding. The software programme then automatically continues to monitor and manage the customer portfolio based on the risk tolerance which is rebalanced every month.
Turkish fintech Papara acquires Spanish neobank Rebellion Pay
Papara calls the acquisition a “crucial step” in its European expansion strategy. Following the announcement, the Turkish fintech adds it will absorb Rebellion’s team, hire new talent and create a new brand identity.

Founded in 2017, Rebellion offers customers in Spain a mobile account with a personal IBAN, fee-free money transfers, Mastercard debit cards, cashback and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments. It claims its app currently has more than 250,000 users.

“Rebellion has gained immense popularity as a financial application on mobile app stores in Spain, providing innovative financial solutions to the tech-savvy Y and Z generation,” Papara says.

It adds that with the acquisition, it is aiming to “compete on a global scale”, with Spain serving as the “first milestone” in its growth plans.

Papara was founded in 2016 and is based in Istanbul, Turkey. It offers financial services including bill payments, money transfers, cards.