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Fintech for sustainability: turning awareness into action




Contributor: Kelvin Tan, co-founder and Chief Investment Officer (CIO), GTR Ventures

Sustainable financial assets under management currently exceed US$30tn worldwide, boasting an impressive 500% growth over the last ten years, according to Bloomberg. The lending sector took an arguably long time to adjust its practices to incentivise sustainability, but it now appears to be on track. A Linklaters report points out that sustainability-linked loan volumes have risen tremendously over the past few years, reaching US$43.2bn in 2018. These loans, which tie pricing to the borrower’s sustainability performance, do not set criteria on how proceeds should be used. This sets them apart from green loans or bonds, which can only be used for green projects. Sustainability-linked loan volumes are expected to reach US$81bn in 2019.

But sustainability is a broad term, and there is little standardised criteria to assess performance. Additionally, rating the sustainability of a loan associated to a supply chain requires collecting enormous amounts of data at a granular level. This is where technology can shine. In recent years, many solutions have emerged to improve the traceability of products throughout their supply chains: track-and-trace software to collect product data from QR or barcodes scanned at different stages of the production process; sensors added to factories and warehouses to monitor and adjust conservation conditions; and increasingly, tools to measure water and power usage, greenhouse gas emissions and waste disposal practices.

Fintechs as the keystone of sustainability-driven financing

To reach a tipping point in corporate sustainability, green targets must be met with financial incentives based on accurate data — and fintech is the bridge between these elements. In 2017, the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) published a report to catalyse fintech for sustainability. At the time, Amine Bel Hadj Soulami, Chair of the BEI’s Fintech Taskforce, noted: “In recent years, considerable progress has been made in the areas of both financial technology (‘fintech’) and sustainability. However, up to now, these two areas have rarely come together.” The report listed 10 recommendations to help design collaboration between multinationals, financial institutions and start-ups in order to harness fintech to help solve sustainability challenges in the real economy. These mainly focused on ensuring that relevant stakeholders be involved in innovation rounds, plain language be used and solutions be designed with practical implementability in mind.

The same year, the Swiss Finance and Technology Association launched the Sustainable Fintech Initiative, an organisation aiming to initiate a shift towards innovation in the financial sector that supports the advancement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and climate goals. The initiative works by bringing together a community of experts, lobbying for policy-making that fosters the development of sustainable fintech, and supporting innovation through hackathons and other events.

Collaboration picks up pace

If 2017 was the year of awakening around the role fintech has to play in the path to sustainable trade and supply chains, 2019 is the year awareness has turned into action, with collaborations between fintechs, large corporates and financial institutions becoming commonplace. In September, the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership announced Trado, a consortium of international banks, corporates, fintech startups, an NGO and a research institution, all behind a new model for blockchain-enabled sustainable supply chain finance. The proposed structure aims to use technologies like blockchain and smart contract to monitor sustainability and social standards, in turns rewarding well-performing corporates with preferential access to trade finance. It was piloted in Malawi, with the production and shipment of tea by smallholder farmers to Unilever, with financing from BNP Paribas. Fintechs Halotrade and Provenance were instrumental in gathering sustainability data and converting it into working capital finance discounts.

In another development this year, Arviem, an IoT company focusing on real-time cargo tracking and monitoring, as well as carbon footprint reporting, launched “IoT-enabled working capital solutions” in March 2019, leveraging the information collected through sensor devices to make goods in transit financeable. And in November, it announced a partnership with Erste Group on a new inventory financing solution that the European banking group will offer to its corporate customers. While the partnership makes no mention of Arviem’s carbon footprint reporting solution, this capability will make it that much easier to link financing to borrowers’ sustainability targets, when the day comes.

And in the consumer space, consumers in Finland will soon be able to see the true carbon footprint of their purchases upon payment, thanks to an app developed by payment services provider Enfuce. The app does not require any input from buyers, instead combining data from credit cards and banks with data from retailers to calculate a purchase’s impact on the environment. Enfuce is working with Amazon and Mastercard, amongst others, on the project, which should be available by March.

In Asia, Singapore leads the way

Singapore, home of the Asia Sustainable Finance Initiative — an organisation gathering industry, academic, and science-based resources to support financial institutions in implementing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) best practices — has been extremely active in encouraging developments in this area.

Over S$6bn of green bonds have been issued in the country so far, and in 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) expanded its green bond programme to include social and sustainability bonds. At the Singapore Fintech Festival in November this year, the MAS also announced the granting of US$2bn of funding to asset managers committed to deepening green finance activities in Singapore, as part of a US$100mn placement in the Bank for International Settlements’ Green Bond Investment Pool.

In fact, sustainable finance was top of the agenda at the Fintech Festival, with sessions covering ways insurers should include climate change in their forecasts, and ideas for how fintechs can help measure climate risks, assist funders on sustainable investment decisions and come up with sustainable financing tools.

One of these Singapore-based fintechs is HeveaConnect, which focuses on sustainably-produced rubber. The company is creating sustainability standards to secure procurement of natural rubbers and ensure farmers’ livelihood, taking targeted steps to digitalise the industry and working with NGOs on the ground to modify smallholder farmers’ behaviours through training programmes. Further in the production process, HeveaConnect has also placed IoT devices inside factories to automatically monitor things like greenhouse gas emissions and water recycling.

But there are many others, particularly in the agricultural sector. For example, one of the winners of the Grow Asia Hackathon held in July 2019 is Chektek, an SaaS solution with a mobile-first strategy that focuses on helping farmers measure and improve workplace safety, health, environment and sustainability practices.

GTR Ventures and our role in sustainable fintech

As you can see, initiatives involving fintech partnerships to foster sustainable supply chains are increasing in number and in scope, and each one of them confirms what a pivotal role fintech can play in achieving sustainable development goals. Of course, these developments are recent, and it will take some time to be able to measure results. But the momentum is there, and so is climate urgency — so this is an ethical transformation there should be no going back from.

Venture capital funds like GTR Ventures will be instrumental in enabling fintechs to have the most meaningful impact possible towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Through our laser-focused early-stage investments in digital trade finance startups, we support the sustainable growth of the sector and steer the direction of our investment recipients towards an ever-more environmentally conscious strategy. Visit for more information.

Contributor: Kelvin Tan, Global Trade Review


Artificial Intelligence

The future of e-commerce: Trends, tips, traps to avoid




Amazon is approaching its 30th anniversary, set to mark the milestone in 2024. The World Wide Web hits 35 the same year. E-commerce, the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet, has grown up — and it has gotten big. Worldwide e-commerce sales for the retail sector alone exceeded $4 trillion in 2020, according to eMarketer. The research firm expects the figure to hit $5 trillion in 2022. Global B2B e-commerce sales, meanwhile, hovered around $6.6 trillion in 2020, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan.

As the value of e-commerce has risen, so has the complexity of online transactions. E-commerce today means more than simply processing electronic payments and enabling internet sales. It’s also more than knowing your customer, crucial as that is. E-commerce sales in 2021 depend upon the robust performance of just about every aspect of modern enterprises, from operations and supply chain to delivery services and customer loyalty programs.

Organizations must harness all the power of integrated back-office systems in tandem with intelligent customer insight systems to deliver personalized, seamless digital transactions that — in the lingo of the age — delight the customer. Personalized, seamless transactions must happen whether the customer is an individual consumer buying his or her first product, or a global business ordering for the 100th time under a multiyear procurement contract. Buyers demand as much — whether they’re ordering from their computer or their smartphone, via Alexa or through another connected machine.

“E-commerce transactions are becoming ubiquitous, and expectations are going up. People have expectations that it’s always going to be as easy as using Uber to get a ride,” said Mike Welsh, chief creative officer at Mobiquity, a digital consulting agency.

Amid rising customer expectations, however, many organizations are falling short on their e-commerce operations. A Gartner report on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on digital commerce predicted that “through 2020, 50% of large organizations will have failed to unify engagement channels, resulting in a disjointed and siloed customer experience that lacks context.”

The bar is high, said Lisa Woodley, vice president of customer experience at NTT Data Services. “E-commerce [covers] every stage, from acquisition to loyalty and advocacy. It’s your customers telling their friends, ‘I had a great experience; go do business with this company.’”

In this look at the future of e-commerce, we examine the evolution of buying and selling over the internet — from the early corporate websites that functioned as online brochures to today’s powerful, concierge selling sites that can be accessed through multiple channels. We offer expert analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on digital transactions, delve into the challenges enterprises face in meeting customer expectations in 2021, and provide detailed advice on overcoming those challenges.

From ‘product-centric’ to ‘solution-centric,’ e-commerce evolves

A combination of factors is driving the evolution of e-commerce. At the core is the internet.

Companies once mostly competed on the so-called four P’s of marketing: place, price, product and promotion. But the web’s search function and the internet’s reach neutralize one or more of these differentiating factors. Shopping online, a customer can easily get the same or similar product at the same or lower price with comparable shipping times and costs.

As a result, other factors are emerging as key differentiators, with personalization being the catch-all term for the new elements that drive buying habits in the digital realm.

“The concept of e-commerce is shifting from online sale transactions [and a] static webpage to a personalized and interactive experience,” said Eleftheria Kouri, a research analyst with the tech market advisory firm ABI Research.

“Customers have access to a wider range of capabilities when visiting an online store, including product virtual try-on and gaming and interactive storytelling concepts that increase engagement and educate the consumer about products [and] brands.”

Penny Gillespie, vice president at Gartner and a fellow in its customer experience/digital commerce team, said that in the e-commerce marketplace of 2021, companies must figure out how to deliver the product and the solution to a customer’s problem. To do that, they must understand the online customer’s intent.

For example, a retailer serving a customer searching for a black dress should be capable of using digital tools, as well as general and personal data, to understand that the shopper doesn’t simply need a dress but rather needs an outfit for an event. In fact, the color of the dress may in this case be irrelevant — with black dress being nearly synonymous with cocktail dress.

“Understanding intent is part of personalizing an experience,” Gillespie explained. A retailer that understands this concept can ensure the products in the search results actually match that customer’s needs, guaranteeing the sale of a dress and other relevant items (e.g., accessories) — and ensuring repeat business.

Customer intent is relevant in B2B transactions as well. Here, it could mean understanding a customer’s unique procurement process by, for example, automatically displaying any special prices specified by an existing procurement contract, facilitating any approval requirements, and anticipating needs based on past ordering histories.

“It’s a work in progress, with some sellers being much better at it than others,” Gillespie said.

In both the B2C and B2B spaces, online selling has gone from being reactive to being proactive and participatory, said Gillespie: “It’s a move from being product-centric to solution-centric.” She used the sale of an exercise bike online as an example.

“It’s not just selling an exercise bike online, but rather delivering it to the buyer’s house, setting it up and then helping them maximize its value through use,” she said. “The bike is a product; when it’s in my house and working, it is the solution.”

COVID-19 pushes companies and customers into the digital realm

The evolution of e-commerce from static webpages to interactive customer “solution” sites was enabled by sophisticated technology, but it took a global health crisis to make the future of e-commerce the new normal. The shift to online-everything in 2020 due to pandemic-induced social restrictions and quarantine orders pushed physical transactions into the digital realm.

According to findings from consulting firm McKinsey & Company, e-commerce as a percentage of overall retail sales in the U.S. grew 3.3 times more in 2020 than the average annual rate in five years before COVID-19. E-commerce sales as a share of overall retail sales grew 4.6% in 2020 vs. an average of 1.4% growth in previous years.

“Consumers are demanding more digital access than ever before,” said Nicole West, vice president of digital strategy and product at Chipotle Mexican Grill.

In November, the restaurant chain opened its first “digital-only restaurant,” the Chipotle Digital Kitchen, in Highland Falls, N.Y. The location offers pickup and delivery only, a prototype the company said will allow Chipotle to enter more urban areas that don’t support its full-size restaurant concept. The new restaurant requires customers to order in advance via, its app or through third-party delivery partner platforms.

Providing an exceptional digital experience has become a priority for the 28-year-old chain, West said. She added that Chipotle is “relentless when it comes to UX and making it fast, easy and convenient” to place digital orders.

She cited the company’s 2020 rollout of Unlimited Customization. A feature in the Chipotle app and on the company’s website, it allows customers to customize orders, just as they do when ordering in person at a restaurant. Earlier in 2020, the company launched ordering on Facebook Messenger and a Group Ordering feature, which allows multiple people to participate in the ordering process simultaneously on the Chipotle app and And it’s now testing Chipotle Carside at 29 restaurants in California, an in-app feature that lets customers have their Chipotle orders delivered to their parked cars.

Chipotle’s digitalization efforts have shown real-world business value. Digital sales for Chipotle have grown 177% year over year, West said, and they accounted for 49% of sales in the last quarter of 2020. More than 19 million people joined the company’s customer rewards program via digital sales, West added, noting that the company’s digital pickup orders are currently its most lucrative transaction type.

E-commerce trends

The appetite for digital access is unlikely to abate. The McKinsey report cited above noted that approximately three-quarters of people who used digital channels for the first time during the pandemic said they plan to continue using them when normalcy returns.

There is no denying that the COVID-19 crisis and the at-home new norm have reshaped consumer behavior and boosted e-commerce/online shopping, which is expected to continue growing after the end of the pandemic, ABI Research’s Kouri said.

The technology powering these e-commerce trends also continues to evolve rapidly, Kouri noted, citing technological advancements in smartphones — such as high-resolution cameras and displays — enhanced connectivity, mobile-friendly websites and the rise of social media shopping.

Amazon, of course, has continued to make online shopping easier with innovations such as its Add to Cart and Buy Now buttons. The Home Depot and Lowe’s are often lauded for their use of instructional videos that give customers confidence to make purchases, as well as for apps that help customers navigate their stores. And the use of various technologies to let customers see how their items will look on them or in their homes before they buy is becoming standard practice.

From the customer’s perspective, Gartner’s Gillespie noted, the benchmark for all digital transactions is “the last great experience they had.” Keeping up with that moving target will require a panoply of technology and continuous technology innovation.

E-commerce technologies

Although the internet was the enabling technology for e-commerce, it is far from the only technology needed to deliver the experience that customers expect now and moving forward. Some of these broad technology capabilities include the following:

  • Customer-facing capabilities. Sites must be easy to navigate and user-friendly as well as quick and responsive. Sites should have the features that matter most to the target audience and be able to interact with other sites — social media sites for young consumers, for example, or company procurement systems for corporate customers.
  • Data-related technologies. Organizations must be capable of collecting and using their own data as well as data from outside sources. This allows the organization to anticipate a customer’s needs even when it has little or no data on that specific customer; the company can use its other data sources to compile an understanding of what that one customer needs based on its interactions with similar customers.
  • Automation technologies such as RPA. Robotic process automation can speed and streamline processes that service the customer by minimizing errors in data collection, enabling self-service by providing access to back-end systems.
  • Customer journey orchestration engine software. This class of tools help organizations analyze real-time data of individual customers to predict future interactions with that customer, using predictive models, decision trees, matrix rules and machine learning.
  • Augmented reality. AR lets customers bring products into real lifelike situations and virtually try on or fit items before purchasing. “The introduction of digital tools, such as augmented reality, in e-commerce platforms or apps not only assists brands to differentiate from the competition but transfers static websites/2D images to interactive and personalized experiences,” Kouri said.
  • Artificial intelligence. Organizations can use AI to offer personalized online experiences. A cosmetics brand, for instance, could use AI algorithms to provide skin analysis and recommend suitable products.
  • Back-end systems. Companies need modern infrastructure and current IT architecture that can support all these other capabilities. Typically, this means moving from legacy systems to cloud computing and SaaS applications to quickly enable scale and speed when needed; leveraging microservices to increase agility and flexibility; and breaking down silos through integration and the use of APIs. “There’s actually a lot more on the back end needed to reach our goal of making the front-end experience as seamless as possible,” Woodley said.

Specific tools, such as geofencing platforms that provide location-based services to help organizations and customers pinpoint their locations, and payment systems also have an important role in an e-commerce strategy, as do the technologies and processes companies use to optimize their warehouse and supply chain management.

“Building competitive e-commerce experiences requires the synergy of numerous technologies and tools, from AR to AI and secure payment systems,” summed up Kouri.

E-commerce challenges

Bringing all these parts together to work consistently and flawlessly is, not surprisingly, a significant challenge.

“Personalization is not a one-size-fits-all approach. You really need to consider your business model, value proposition and customers before you create your strategy. Once those pieces are solidified, you can then begin to seek out the right tools and technologies needed to be successful,” said Britt Mills, senior director of customer experience at Mobiquity.

Organizations also need the data experts, technologists, marketing team, logistics workers, supply chain personnel and other executives and supporting staff who can competently contribute to that vision.

“Stores can rush to market with a new technology to enable customer safety and convenience, but they shouldn’t do so at the customer’s expense,” Mills said. Training employees to use the new technology is essential. “If your associates can’t support this new expected experience, your customers won’t be satisfied. It doesn’t matter how great the technology is.”

In addition, companies must have a strategy for dealing with emerging data use laws that put more control over personal information into the hands of individuals. And they must be able to mitigate against escalating cybersecurity risks.

These capabilities and safeguards are hard to achieve. Experts have acknowledged that the difficulty of developing and implementing know-your-customer processes — from collecting the necessary data to analyzing it to turning it into action items — has been oversimplified and glossed over in many conversations.

It’s not shocking, then, to learn that most organizations are struggling to develop the capabilities required to deliver seamless, personalized service, especially as the number of engagement and delivery channels have increased.

Research from Verint, a provider of customer engagement management products, found that 82% of the nearly 2,300 business leaders it surveyed said the challenges of managing customer engagement will increase in 2021, but only 50% said they’re well prepared to support customer engagement priorities moving forward. The vast majority of those surveyed pointed to nearly every aspect of customer engagement as challenging for their organizations, indicating the following problems:

  • understanding and acting on rapidly changing customer behaviors (94% cited);
  • managing the growth in volume of customer interactions (88%);
  • achieving a unified view of customer engagement and overcoming data silos (79%);
  • using customer feedback to improve experiences (78%); and
  • building enduring customer relationships (77%).

Customer journey mapping

How do traditional organizations become as competitive in the digital sphere as they were in the brick-and-mortar heyday? It starts with mastering customer journey mapping, according to Peter Charness, vice president of retail strategy for UST, a digital technology and transformation IT services and solutions firm.

“[Organizations] need to ensure the digital journey is well aligned to a shopper’s needs, using a high degree of personalization and creating relevant interactions and conversations,” Charness said. He laid out six areas where organizations need to benchmark their capability:

  • Interest generation. Determine how successful your organization is at getting potential customers to its website or store.
  • Research and decision influence. Examine whether it’s easy for the user to find products of interest and “gather the information and confidence they need to move that product into a shopping cart,” Charness said.
  • Decision confidence. From browsing to buying, companies should make it easy for the shopper to say yes to a purchase. “Organizations should have this part of the conversation with their shoppers and build their confidence to press ‘buy,’”Charness noted.
  • Delivery/collection. “Speed of delivery (with ease of return implied) comes next, and the cost to deliver or collect a product becomes one of the most relevant associations any retailer will have to profitability and customer satisfaction,” Charness said. Assess your supply chain and fulfillment capabilities, and benchmark them to competitors and best-in-class companies.
  • Post-sales service, resales and loyalty. “Your conversation with your customer doesn’t end with the shipment,” Charness Consider what else you can say to or advise your customer on to keep the relationship alive and productive.
  • Personalization everywhere. “Put yourself in your shopper’s shoes, and play back the conversations you’ve had during the entire shopper journey,” Charness said. “Was it always relevant, interesting and useful? Or did you communicate with mass marketing techniques, treating everyone the same?” Develop a strategy for using AI and machine learning across “the end-to-end interaction chain” with customers to enhance personalized service.

The future of e-commerce

Many businesses have been on their e-commerce journey for years, adapting business processes to the customer predilection for digital transactions. However, few were well prepared for the rapid and wholesale shift to digital transactions driven by the pandemic. A record-breaking 11,100-plus stores closed in the U.S. last year, and 40 major retailers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to CoStar Group, a collector of retail real estate data. More stores are expected to shutter in the upcoming years, with some analysts predicting 100,000 stores — mostly apparel retailers — could close by 2025.

Yet, despite their struggles and challenges, many organizations are on their way to success. The awareness that challenges must be faced and addressed indicates that organizations understand that data-driven, personalized and secure customer transactions are the future.

How these transactions happen — whether online, via a mobile device, through some combination of digital and physical channels or by some augmented reality lens not yet imagined — will depend on circumstances and customer preferences, but they will increasingly involve digital technologies.

Indeed, Gartner has advocated replacing the term e-commerce with digital commerce to better reflect the convergence of all the digital systems that go into transactions today.

As customers increasingly decide that the frictionless experiences they have when buying online from leading digital vendors are the norm, the semantic distinction between e-commerce or digital commerce or any other kind of buying and selling transaction will disappear.

“When it’s all said and done,” Gillespie said, “we’ll just call it commerce.”

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Brazil based Fintech Ebanx Appoints Company Co-Founder João Del Valle as New CEO




João Del Valle, Co-founder at Ebanx, is the new Chief Executive of the firm.

After working as COO for several years, preceded by nearly seven years as company CTO, Del Valle has now taken over the executive leadership of the Fintech firm, which was being led by Co-founder Alphonse Voigt for nearly a decade (since it was established in Curitiba, Brazil).

With this senior management change, Voigt will be serving  as the Head of the Board of Directors, as Executive Chairperson, and Wagner Ruiz, also a company Co-founder, is now the Chief Risk Officer, leaving the CFO role to the newly appointed Alexandre Dinkelmann, the former executive in the Brazil-based BTG Pactual and TOTVS.

As COO, Del Valle led key initiatives for the Fintech firm’s business expansion, like the ensemble of the international commercial team, the deployment of 50 new integrations and payment methods within the firm’s B2B solutions portfolio (last year), and the Push LatAm, a project that aims to establish EBANX business operations in various other Latin American (LatAm) countries, including in Central America and the Caribbean.

Del Valle stated:

“EBANX has a unique story and it will be a privilege to lead this next chapter. Our vision of being the best payment provider in Latin America is growing stronger, and always fueling the urge to innovate. The path we want for EBANX is very clear for the three of us, co-founders: focus on the mission of providing access in Latin America, through technology, speed, consistency and quality of execution.” 

Voigt has been EBANX‘s Chief Executive since the launch of the firm which, during his time as CEO, surpassed the market value of $1 billion, notably becoming the first unicorn in Brazil’s southern region.

Now, as Executive Chairperson, Voigt will be in charge of the firm’s strategic expansion efforts.

Voigt remarked:

“The big dream got even bigger and from now on I take on this new position, helping to envision the next decade of EBANX. And João, our new CEO, is an example of dedication, focus and result orientation. He has a unique capacity to keep the company growing exponentially while projecting our future.”

Alexandre Dinkelmann, who has now been appointed CFO, will continue the work of Wagner Ruiz, who will now be tasked with the firm’s risk management, strategic partnerships and regulatory issues – which are all key in driving the growth of EBANX.

Ruiz added:

“Alexandre’s arrival brings us even more robustness, capacity and talent to maintain the pace of growth and adapt our financial sector to the new moment that EBANX will experience.”

Dickelmann brings his extensive experience working as CFO at TOTVS and Even Incorporadora, along with his previous experience at BTG Pactual and also his role as a Co-founder of the Onyo platform.

The new EBANX senior management team aims to consolidate the company as a key payments service provider in Latin America.

EBANX will further expand its operations that have provided access to over 70 million Latin American consumers to the biggest global brands, like Uber, Spotify, AliExpress and SHEIN.

Del Valle also mentioned:

“These changes arrive in line with our goals for the next decade. Our success depends on the success of customers in the region and this is our focus. We remain even stronger and more structured to establish the leadership of Latin America in the global market and the leadership of EBANX in the world of payments and technology.” 

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China: WeiyangX Fintech Review




Insurtech Firm Waterdrop Starts Trading on New York Stock Exchange 

On May 7th, Waterdrop Inc., China’s leading insurance and healthcare service technology platform, went public on New York Stock Exchange. Founded in 2016, Waterdrop has built an online insurance marketplace (“Shuidibao”) and a medical crowdfunding platform (“Shuidichou”).

In the future, Waterdrop intends to increase investment in data analysis & technical infrastructure and expand to healthcare and pharmaceutical service, building an ecosystem of “insurance + healthcare”.

Waterdrop has been awarded as the Top 10 in the “Global Fintech Venture Competition (2018)” organized by WeiyangX. (Source: WeiyangX)

China Regulates App’s Collection of Personal Information

Over the past years, apps have played an important role in providing convenience to Chinese people and promoting social and economic development. However, some apps collected users’ personal information which may not be needed, claiming it is compulsory for authorization.

On May 1st, China put into effect a new regulation to supervise the commonly used apps (e.g. navigation, car booking, online shopping, ticket booking, food delivery), making sure the apps would not refuse to offer services to users who do not agree to submit unnecessary personal information. The regulation was jointly initiated and released by Cyber Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Market Regulation (Source: Cyber Administration of China)

Data Analysis Service Provider DeepInv Secures a New Round of Financing

As reported on April 30th, data analysis service provider DeepInv has secured an angel-plus round of financing from Z Capital. DeepInv provides Fintech services for professional investment institutions. Through its SaaS and AI ability, DeepInv help professional investors make an in-time qualitative and quantitative analysis of market change, improving the effectiveness of traditional investment decisions. Previously, DeepInv has received angel investment from ZhenFund and PurpleSky. (Source: iyiou)

Cross-border Fintech Service Platform Tuotuo Digital Receives First Round of Investment

On May 6th, cross-border fintech service platform Tuotuo Digital received a 10-million-yuan level of investment from Sky Saga Capital. Established in May 2020, Tuotuo Digital is committed to providing services of cross-border payment, supply-chain financing, cross-border risk-control for the key players in cross-border eCommerce business (buyer, seller, platform, and financial institution).

In the future, Tuotuo Digital plans to make further investment in R&D of cross-border payment and rick-control. (Source: 36Kr)

The above is a weekly synopsis of the biggest stories on Fintech in China provided by WeiyangX, part of Tsinghua University, in partnership with Crowdfund Insider.

WeiyangX is the most influential website focusing on Fintech in China. The site covers the latest news, industry data analysis, business practices, and in-depth cases in Fintech. WeiyangX is incubated by Fintech Lab. Founded by Tsinghua University’s People’s Bank of China (PBC) School of Finance in 2012, the Fintech Lab is the first and leading research entity dedicated to leading best practices, promoting interdisciplinary innovation, and encouraging entrepreneurship in the field of fintech through scientific research and innovative project incubation. Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa

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Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending May 8, 2021




This week was primarily about crypto with so many big stories focusing on digital currencies. Square is quickly becoming a crypto trading platform as that becomes the biggest part of their business and stablecoins were in the news at PayPal and Visa. Here are what I consider to be the top 10 most important fintech news stories of the past week.

Federal Reserve Opens Consultation on Access to the Payments System from Crowdfund Insider – With many fintechs obtaining bank charters today the Federal Reserve has proposed new guidelines on how they can gain access to the Fed payments system. This is a big deal.

The Paycheck Protection Program is out of money from The New York Times – Even though the Paycheck Protection Program is not due to end until May 31 the program ran out of funding this week.

Cash App Is King at Square from The Wall Street Journal – Square released their first quarter earnings this week with some astounding growth numbers courtesy of bitcoin trading in their Cash App.

PayPal has held exploratory talks about launching a stablecoin: sources from The Block – PayPal is exploring creating its own stablecoin as it apparently has been in contact with some of the industry’s stablecoin protocol developers.

Fintech Wealthsimple raises about $610 million in funding round from FinLedger –  It was a relatively quiet week as far as big fundraising announcements were concerned with Canadian fintech Wealthsimple leading the way by announcing a $610 million round.

Galaxy Digital to Buy BitGo in Crypto Sector’s First $1 Billion Deal from The Wall Street Journal – The first billion dollar deal in the crypto space has been consummated with Galaxy Digital, a leading crypto-focused financial-services firm, acquiring BitGo, a leading institutional digital asset platform.

Robinhood Slams Buffett And Munger For ‘Insulting A New Generation’ Of Investors from Forbes – Arguably the most successful investors in history, Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway, have directly criticized Robinhood for taking advantage of new investors’ “gambling instincts”. Robinhood hit back.

Chime has agreed to stop using the word ‘bank’ after a California regulator pushed back from TechCrunch – After an investigation from the California financial regulator Chime will no longer use the word “bank” in its promotions as it is not a bank (yet).

Tala and Visa Partnership Seeks To Ignite Stablecoin Use In Emerging Markets from – Tala, one of the leaders in providing access to unbanked populations throughout the developing world, is teaming up with Visa to bring stablecoins into digital wallets which could be used for cross border payments.

Bitcoin is coming to hundreds of U.S. banks this year, says crypto custody firm NYDIG from CNBC – In another sign that crypto is going mainstream, according to NYDIG banks are asking for crypto custody services driven by customer demand.

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