FinTech in Focus
Welcome to FinTech in Focus, a compilation of must-read stories about the role technology plays in the delivery of financial products and services. As part of the Center for Financial Markets FinTech program, FinTech in Focus offers a sampling of the week’s top domestic and international headlines and stories about this innovative, fast-growing sector.
As we continue to build-out the service and grow our readership, we will begin to release the weekly headlines over e-mail. Subscribe to FinTech in Focus to receive these updates in your inbox.
Australian Banks Shut Out Bitcoin Companies
Similar to what we heard out of the UK more than a year ago, major Australian banks have closed the accounts of more than a dozen bitcoin companies and exchanges operating in Australia. The moves prompted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to launch a formal investigation into the matter, with Australian Senator Matthew Canavan calling it a coordinated attack on the industry.
U.S. Digital Currency Developments
The New York Department of Financial Services announced last week that it issued the first Bitlicense to Boston-based Circle Internet Financial. Meanwhile, Bank of America’s patent application for a cryptocurrency-based wire transfer system was released publicly last week.
Samsung Pay Launches in the U.S.
Just off the heels of a “successful” launch in South Korea, where $30 million in transactions were recorded in the first month, Samsung has brought Samsung Pay to the U.S. Operations began two weeks after the release of Google’s Android Pay, and coincide with the publication of a survey which found that 87 percent of cybersecurity experts anticipate an increase in mobile payment data breaches within the next year. While frightening, separate research points to a decline large-scale data breaches since 2005. Phew...
Funding Circle Plans Exchange-Listed Fund; EIB Involved
Funding Circle is planning a £150 million, London-listed SME Income Fund which will a focus on lending to U.S. and UK businesses. News of the plan was originally announced in June. The online lending platform has also struck a deal with the European Investment Bank, which is expected to invest nearly £100 million in the fund.
Digital Disruption Costly to Banks in the Payments Space
According to a report from Deloitte, European banks could lose out on €22 billion in revenue due to the technological disruption of retail payment services. Bank revenue from payments is expected to total nearly €130 billion by year-end. The report suggests that banks partner with innovative payment firms, though respondents noted that there is still an opportunity for in-house innovation to occur.
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