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Adapt to digital disruptions in FinTech with UNSW Online

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University of New South Wales (UNSW) is equipping finance and IT professionals with the capabilities to adapt to digital disruptions and seize growing opportunities within the financial services landscape with its 100% online Master of Financial Technology.

According to a new update to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Blockchain Spending Guide, organisations are forecast to spend nearly US$6.6 billion (A$8.5 billion) on blockchain solutions this year, an increase of more than 50% compared to 2020.

Adjunct Lecturer at UNSW Business School, Sachin Devalia, said the increasing uptake of blockchain solutions is providing many organisations with significant opportunities to innovate and diversify their financial services, while consequently increasing the demand for professionals who have a comprehensive understanding of decentralised finance.

“Decentralised finance (DeFi) is the future of finance. The permissionless and open-source nature of DeFi allows for rapid prototyping and innovation, and we are currently witnessing the emergence of an alternate financial system,” he said.

“There is currently over $US50bn in value locked in DeFi applications but we’re still very early. This new paradigm offers an opportunity to completely reinvent finance as we know it,” Devalia said.

In addition to DeFi impacting the future of finance, the annual Global Payments Report from FIS has predicted the Australian economy will be 98% cashless by 2024. With global trends in digital commerce accelerating during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers around the world have begun to prefer digital payment methods and are leading countries like Australia towards a predominantly cashless future. Also increasing the need for skilled professionals within the payments sector.

UNSW Senior Lecturer at the School of Banking and Finance, Dr Thomas Ruf, said the course he leads within the Master of Financial Technology program will equip students with the knowledge and the analytical skills to be successful in understanding and developing financial innovations in this space.

“In the Tech Disruptions in Payments and Transfers course that I teach, students develop a solid understanding of existing payment systems that underpin all commerce in this world, and dive into emerging technologies at all levels that build on or aim to replace incumbent solutions,” Dr Ruf said.

“We discuss major trends including digital wallets, entirely new finance ecosystems, the move towards mobile solutions, and point of sale innovations; as well as evaluate payment innovations by discussing existing inefficiencies, roadblocks to market acceptance, desirable characteristics and the underlying business models.

“Students are given multiple opportunities throughout the program to apply theory in practice so that they can and graduate with the confidence and skills to seize opportunities and build innovative products that will influence the future of finance,” Dr Ruf said.

The 100% online Master of Financial Technology offered by UNSW is designed for ambitious finance and IT professionals who are looking to build upon their technical programming skills and develop key capabilities to build innovative products and seize opportunities in the growing FinTech sector.

Dr Thomas Ruf said payment systems are the backbone of the economy, and without them, no commercial transaction can take place. It’s obvious that we are in the midst of a tidal shift from cash to digital payment methods and mobile-centric solutions, and the pandemic has only served to accelerate this transition.

“It is entirely unclear at this point what the payment landscape of the future will look like, but no matter what emerges from these years of disruption, it will have far-reaching consequences well beyond the gadget you will be using to pay for your coffee in the morning,” Dr Ruf said.

“What used to be a boring space where big banks dominated, we now have hundreds or thousands of new entrants competing for acceptance in the payments market place. From small niche players to entire eco-systems, everything is up for grabs and it has the potential to affect other parts of our lives too,” Dr Ruf said.

Delivered by UNSW’s highly regarded School of Banking and Finance, the program has been co-designed with industry to provide students with the sought-after competencies and skills to become a leader at the forefront of financial technology.

The online program is designed to seamlessly fit in with full-time work commitments and allow students to graduate in as little as two years.

Study intakes are offered every two months, with the Master of Financial Technology currently open for enrolments into its upcoming study period commencing in July 2021.

Learn more about how you can develop the in-demand skills to respond to the technological revolution in finance with UNSW Online here.

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Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/adapt-to-digital-disruptions-in-fintech-with-unsw-online/

Big Data

Can fintech innovation really move economies forward?

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We are now living in the thick of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), and with it has come an explosion of financial technology (fintech) innovation. Characterized by the avalanche of data produced daily, IR 4.0 brings about the complete disruption of many industries and their business models.

The banking industry has undeniably experienced many shake-ups. Technology has brought about the digitization of money, opening up numerous possibilities for fintech innovation, capturing value-added data insights while we’re at it. In and around Asia, fintech – the usage of technology to improve financial services – is booming.

Technology-led financial services are set to bring in US$11 billion in revenue in Southeast Asia (SEA). By 2025, it will account for 11% of total financial services in SEA, itself considered the fastest-growing region worldwide.

Asian fintech companies such as China’s Ant Finance and Indonesia’s OVO are already dominating the fintech landscape and despite setbacks like Ant’s failed blockbuster IPO, are showing no signs of slowing down.

As consumers are used to the digital experience offered by companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, they expect the same level of customer experience from their financial services providers. Fintech provides a very appealing alternative to traditional banks, as they provide customer-centric solutions that incumbent banks cannot provide.

At the recent Fintech and Blockchain session, Revolut’s COO, Richard Davies, the COO of global fintech super app Revolut that has been spreading its wings in APAC, stated that fintech is already poised to bring major economic benefits globally. According to Davies, there are a few key reasons why fintech is appealing to consumers.

  1. Price

Davies noted that 27% of consumers opt for fintech services because it is significantly cheaper compared to incumbent banks. An example is cross-border payments. Often, fintech offers lower foreign exchange rates, and does not come with any hidden fees.

  1. Efficiency

For the tech-savvy consumer, fintech services are more efficient compared to those offered by traditional banks. Fintech apps, for example, often come with user-friendly interfaces that would seamlessly guide a consumer through the process that they are undertaking.

20% of consumers opt for fintech services because of the ease of setting up, with 12% of consumers siding with it because of better user experience.

  1. Fintech product innovation

Because fintech companies do not need to contend with legacy staff and systems, they can afford to innovate relevant products quickly and cheaply.

Also, fintech companies often have a dedicated focus on fixing specific problems, and can, therefore, come up with tailor-made solutions for their customers. This is rarely possible for legacy banks as there is little room for agility –solutions are usually provided in a one-size-fits-all form.

Davies believes that we have already reached an inflection point for the mass adoption of fintech. This couldn’t be truer for Asia, whose fintech landscape is already vibrant and highly competitive. Regulators in the region are supportive of fintech, as can be seen in countries such as Singapore and Thailand.

Both countries have agreed to open up regulatory sandboxes that allow fintechs to test their solutions prior to bringing them into the market. Further, Singapore and Malaysia are also giving out virtual banking licenses that can make the operation of neobanks easier.

Ultimately, traditional banks need not fear technology. The willingness to adapt and collaborate with others will enable technology to serve all parties – banks, fintechs, and consumers- in the financing sector well.

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Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/can-fintech-innovation-really-move-economies-forward/

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Fintech

Infrastructure fintechs close notable funding rounds this week 

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This week, investors looked to infrastructure fintechs for new funding opportunities, with interest once again on a Latin American fintech. Here are Bank Automation News’ highlights.  10X Technologies  London-based 10x Future Technologies, a cloud-native systems provider for banks, announced Wednesday its oversubscribed $187 million Series C financing round, co-led by funds managed by BlackRock and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and supported by existing investors JPMorgan Chase, […]

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Source: https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/infrastructure/infrastructure-fintechs-close-notable-funding-rounds-this-week/

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Crowdfunding

QR Codes in Latin American Digital Banking: 2021 and Beyond

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With the growing knowledge and adoption of digital banking, many consumers are still learning about the capabilities of contactless payments due to new perceptions of value, security, and availability, creating an ongoing challenge for merchants. Consumers are seeking out simplicity and instantaneous opportunities more than ever before in this growing digital age and look to familiar tools like QR codes that fit this bill and provide better solutions to everyday payments.   

Recently, our team announced the implementation of a payment method in the Brazilian Market to bring instant payments to life using QR codes. This solution allows non-credit cardholders and fraud-wary consumers to use QR codes without sharing additional information online to pay for goods and services around Brazil. QR code capabilities like this expand the opportunity to complete instant payments at any date or time to pay for goods and services to millions of people.

But how impactful are QR codes to digital payments? Which regions are impacted the most by QR codes? What options do QR codes provide digital payment consumers? Let’s answers these questions and address the future of what consumers should expect moving forward. 

QR codes in today’s digital banking

With consumer preferences continuing to shift toward touch-free interactions, it’s critical that businesses can connect physical and digital commerce. By providing consumers opportunities to pay digitally via a QR code and popular digital wallets, businesses are more convenient and offer more choices for all modes of commerce, especially as in-person shopping, dining and entertainment experiences resume. 

According to Harvard Business Review, cash only accounted for 30% of transactions as early as 2017. Statista reported that US-based businesses processed more than $170 billion in cashless transactions in 2018 alone. Consumers are becoming more comfortable with innovative payment technology as years progress and the standard credit card continues to be the preferred method of payment over cash in the U.S. 

With the pandemic still garnering much of the attention in 2021 and impacting how people shop, contactless shopping is more relevant and popular than ever. Digital merchants offering cashless options make purchasing more convenient and safer for all. As the pandemic continues to impact small businesses all over the world, QR technology is playing a crucial role when it comes to adapting and moving forward into a new generation.

Regional adoption of QR codes

New forms of digital payments have grown rapidly across Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years, with a particular acceleration during the pandemic. That includes digital wallets and QR code-based transactions. For 2021, that adoption is poised for further growth. 

A large part of the acceleration comes from merchants – who had previously dictated payment terms – turning to new, digital alternatives for their clients. For example, merchants that introduce QR codes for a seamless checkout solution are attempting to improve the customer experience, increase average order value (AOV), while also creating some money-saving automation for the merchant. 

Both small merchants and large banks are getting into the QR race for different consumer markets.

Recently, the Peruvian Central Bank allowed nine digital payment provider companies to operate with QR Code payments in the country. These agreements, transactions, and breakthrough decisions in digital banking have transformed the traditional methods of payments in uncharacteristic regions like Peru that is still a traditional cash-dependent society.

According to a recent Mastercard survey, 66% of respondents in Latin America and the Caribbean and 63% in the Middle East and Africa expect to use payment technologies such as QR codes in the next year. The adoption of new payment technologies such as QR codes, cryptocurrencies, and biometrics is on the rise. 

It’s not just Latin American and Caribbean companies. In Asia-Pacific, More than 90% of respondents across the region indicated that they would consider using at least one “emerging payment method” in the next year, while 84 percent of consumers said they have access to a wider range of digital payment options than they did a year ago, according to the same survey.

Looking toward a post-pandemic society, digital currencies, biometrics, contactless, and QR codes are becoming more mainstream as consumer’s comfortability and understanding of them increases and the use of cash decreases. Trends like QR codes are introducing a gradual shift toward a digital economy and a shift that may eventually lead us toward a global cashless society.

Options for consumers

QR codes have been around for decades, but the pandemic showcased a shift to a remote lifestyle that needs technology to keep society progressing. Businesses can now connect with their customers while maintaining health and safety protocols with the help of payment merchants. QR codes have accelerated cashless and paperless opportunities, allowing for flexibility, security, and growth when Latin America and the world needed them most.

For today’s world of digital banking, QR platforms most commonly allow customers to make payments to all banks in a certain region through codes, a great technological advantage that allows simplistic and instant payments. Their machine-readable optical labels contain information about items and consumer goods with locator data, identifiers, and trackers that direct seamless transactions to a website or application. 

More banking and payments brands are actively advocating contactless payments and many new merchants are joining the party. Incorporating contactless payment options like QR codes encourages the adoption of new technology among millions of users, especially as these merchants partner with retailers and other B2C companies that may bring more customers on board.

New wallet providers and established players in digital payments alike are using QR code technology and other features to generate loyalty, which are proven tactics to win over progressive consumers and ultimately broaden mobile wallets’ user base. 

As businesses continue to return to in-person operations, QR codes have presented both consumers and merchants with added convenience and reassurance for reliable digital payment options. It is not likely to be disregarded when social distancing eases and may even provide more ways to elevate the consumer experience in the future. 


Gustavo Ruiz is CEO of SafetyPay. Formerly head of LATAM for SafetyPay, Ruiz brings extensive experience in Payments, Banking and Travel industries. Prior to SafetyPay Ruiz was VP and General Manager for American Express, Membership Travel in LATAM. He also successfully led American Express Bank in Mexico. Ruiz holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Agronomy from Colorado State University and a Diploma in Foreign Trade from the Universidad de las Americas. Ruiz’s strategic vision and knowledge of international markets is helping SafetyPay achieve aggressive performance goals including increasing market share and enhanced bottom-line results.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/176678-qr-codes-in-latin-american-digital-banking-2021-and-beyond/

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Fintech

Nutmeg Acquired, OCR Labs Raises Capital, and Mortgagetech on the Rise in Mexico

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The fact that venture capital has been pouring into Latin America of late has been hard to ignore. This week’s news that Kredi, a Mexican company that hopes to become the “Rocket Mortgage” of Latin America, had raised $3.1 million in funding was a reminder that fintech funding in the region is as diverse as is it abundant.

With many investment dollars in Latin America flowing toward everything from digital banking to cryptocurrencies, the fundraising success of a company like Kredi, which seeks to make it easier for the average, middle-class Mexican family to own a home, suggests a healthy fintech market is continuing to develop in the country. Mortgage-related fintechs are not as common in Mexico as fintechs involved in SME financing, digital banking, cross-border fund transfer, and even financial inclusion. Adding a mortgagetech like Kredi to the country’s ranks of funded fintechs could open the door for other entrepreneurs to innovate in the space.

Founded by Javier Aldape, Fernando Nader, Hernán Belden, and Juan Carlos Mercado, Kredi provides Mexican homebuyers with a marketplace where they can find the financing product that suits their needs best. The company sees itself as part of the trend toward greater digitization in financial services in general, as well as a way to help overcome the inefficiencies and expense of mortgage financing in Mexico in specific.


Finovate alums in a number of countries made the news this week. In the U.K., digital wealth management company Nutmeg agreed to be acquired by JPMorgan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a “source close to the transaction” said that Nutmeg was valued at more than $972 million. On the other side of the world, OCR Labs, an identity verification specialist based in Australia, announced that it has secured an investment of $15 million in a round led by Turkish firm Oyak Group. OCR Labs is an alum of both our developers conference, FinDEVr, and our fintech conference FinovateAsia, where it took home a Best of Show award for a demonstration of its technology.

Another Finovate Best of Show winner from outside of the United States made fintech headlines this week. Conversational AI specialist Finn AI, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, announced a set of new additions to its platform to give banks and credit unions greater flexibility in their embrace of chatbot technology. Salt Edge, a Finovate alum that specializes in open banking APIs that also hails from Canada, announced this week that it would help Cyprus based electronic money institution (EMI) OROPAY become PSD2 compliant.


Also too: Be sure to check out our latest guest post from Adam Goulston of Scize Group. Goulston looks at recent fintech trends in Asia and projects what those trends mean for fintech in the region going forward.


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean

Asia-Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia


Photo by Los Muertos Crew from Pexels

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://finovate.com/nutmeg-acquired-ocr-labs-raises-capital-and-mortgagetech-on-the-rise-in-mexico/

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