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April 19, 2022

On the wires

Thunes Takes Majority Stake in AML and Compliance Platform Tookitaki


Thunes , a Singapore-based global payments company, today announced that it has taken a majority stake in the anti-money laundering (AML) and compliance technology firm, Tookitaki Holding Pte Ltd (‘Tookitaki’) by making an investment of over $20 million. The alliance of both firms empowers the banking and financial services industry to fight money laundering and offer safe and secure payments to customers.”

March 21, 2022

On the web

Big Tech and Fintechs Extend Grip on Financial Services – FSB

Finextra Research

“The Financial Stability Board says that the Covid pandemic has enabled Big Tech firms like Google, Amazon and Apple and fintechs to widen their footprint in financial services, with significant implications for incumbents and consumers. The FSB report acknowledges that Big Tech and fintech firms’ expansion into financial services can bring benefits such as improved cost efficiencies and wider financial inclusion for previously underserved groups. However, it also cautions over the potential for market dominance.”

June 28, 2021

On the web

UK Financial Watchdog Cracks Down on Cryptocurrency Exchange Binance

the Guardian

“Britain’s financial regulator has ordered Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, to stop all regulated activity and issued a warning to consumers about the platform, which is coming under growing scrutiny globally. In a notice dated 25 June, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Binance Markets Ltd, Binance’s UK entity, “must not, without the prior written consent of the FCA, carry out any regulated activities … with immediate effect”.”

October 29, 2020

On the web

COVID-19 spurred a rise in FinTech. Now regulators are catching up.


“COVID-19 has accelerated the digitization of everything from education to the workplace to grocery shopping . The financial services industry is no exception to this, with financial technology (fintech) playing a critical role in reducing coronavirus risks associated with exchanging cash , helping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and supporting financial inclusion in developing markets during the pandemic and beyond. However, unlike grocery shopping, financial services tend to be a highly regulated sector where the pace of innovation and change at times outstrips the ability of regulators to keep up. Consequently, FinTech providers often assert the challenges of regulatory uncertainty , with regulators racing to both understand and adapt to new technology-enabled financial services. COVID-19 is changing that, according to the new “ Global FinTech Regulatory Rapid Assessment Study ” conducted by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School and the World Bank. The study demonstrates that COVID-19 has moved FinTech up the regulatory agenda, with financial regulators responding with both sector-wide and FinTech-specific measures to harness opportunities and mitigate risks introduced by technology-enabled financial innovation.”

July 29, 2019

On the web

Japanese Online Retailer Rakuten Seeks U.S. Bank Charter

WSJ (Paywall)

“Japanese online merchant Rakuten Inc. wants to open a bank in Utah to offer loans, credit cards and other financial services to customers of its existing U.S. cashback-shopping business, the company said Friday. “We’re going to focus on that customer base we already have,” said Lee Carter, the new head of banking development at Rakuten and a former UBS Group AG executive. “That’s really the community that we want to extend additional financial services to.” Rakuten in 2014 acquired Ebates Inc. in a $1 billion all-cash deal and says it now has 13 million regular clients in the U.S. But Rakuten’s foray into the U.S. banking system could face political headwinds, given its foreign ownership and technology focus.”

July 26, 2019

On the web

IRS Sending Warning Letters to More Than 10,000 Cryptocurrency Holders

WSJ (Paywall)

“The Internal Revenue Service has begun sending letters to more than 10,000 cryptocurrency holders, warning about penalties for failing to report income and pay tax on transactions involving virtual currencies. The agency expects its mailing to be completed by the end of August. It is sending three variations of one letter, depending on the information it has about the recipient. “Taxpayers should take these letters very seriously. The IRS is expanding efforts involving virtual currency, including increased use of data analytics,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.”

July 25, 2019

On the web

Betterment Faces Questions From Regulator After Launching Checking and Savings Accounts


“Regulators have asked online wealth advisor Betterment to clarify some details surrounding its new checking and savings accounts just hours after they were launched. The digital wealth-management start-up unveiled new accounts that offer as much as a 2.69% annual yield. But Betterment was asked to provide more specifics to one of its regulators almost immediately after it went public Tuesday, according to two people familiar with the conversation.   While the content of questions from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, is unclear, Betterment had been in contact with the agency, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission, in the month ahead of Tuesday’s launch, one person said. As of Wednesday, the company had not changed any product details, or how it was labeled.”

October 26, 2018

Top Post

State regulators renew legal fight over federal charter for fintechs


“State bank regulators on Thursday sued a federal agency that they say is overstepping its bounds by offering national bank charters to financial technology startups. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees national banks, this summer finalized plans to put forward a limited charter for fintech companies, allowing those firms to operate across state lines without having to comply with each state’s rules.”

September 12, 2018

Top Post

September 7, 2018

On the web

August 22, 2018

On the web

Facebook: the new Credit Reporting Agency?

Credit Slips

Iif Facebook is selling information about a consumer’s general reputation—trustworthiness—to third parties that might reasonably be expected to use it for credit, insurance, or employment, it’s a CRA, and that means it’s subject to a host of regulatory requirements as well as civil liability, including statutory damages for willful noncompliance.”

August 10, 2018

On the web

Bank of Uganda, telecom operators ask govt to rescind mobile money tax


“The Bank of Uganda and mobile phone operators have asked the government to scrap mobile money tax, saying mobile money revenue has dipped by more than UGX 600 billion since the introduction of the tax, The Observer reported. This reduction, they say, has affected revenue collection from Mobile Money transactions. Bank of Uganda director of statistics Charles Abuka said that placing a charge on mobile money withdrawals would increase revenue but the tax is inefficient, uncertain and complex.”

July 24, 2018

On the web

UK Payments Regulator To Probe Card Acquiring Market


“The PSR says the review will explore whether the supply of card-acquiring services is competitive and works in the interests of merchants, and ultimately consumers. In particular, it will address concerns that acquirers are holding on to the savings they made from EU-imposed IFR interchange fee caps, which could indicate that some merchants – especially smaller merchants – are suffering “significant harm” because competition in the supply of card-acquiring services is not working well.”

July 9, 2018

On the web

Payments Processor Square Inc. Withdraws Banking License Application: Statement


“San Francisco-based payments processor Square Inc. (SQ.N) said on Thursday it had withdrawn its regulatory application to open a deposit-taking bank, but that the company plans to refile its paperwork at a later date. The fintech firm last year applied with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) for a special “industrial loan company (ILC)” license that, if granted, allows nontraditional financial firms to collect government-insured deposits.”

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