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Hong Kong Monetary Authority Executive Director Reveals how They’re Protecting Consumers from Emerging Threats

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In a keynote speech that focused on fraud and financial crime at a conference in Asia, Carmen Chu, Executive Director (Enforcement and AML), Hong Kong Monetary Authority, discussed anti-money laundering and financial crime risk issues and the ability of authorities to address these problems.

While speaking at the Fraud and Financial Crime Asia 2021 Conference, Chu noted that there are certain challenges presented by online fraud and related money laundering. Chu discussed how regulatory authorities, working closely with the industry, are currently helping to create an effective response “to deter, detect and disrupt new and emerging threats to businesses and individuals.”

She noted that the respective AML and risk management systems are able “to deliver a more effective return on the huge investment at the institutional, sectoral and national levels.” She added that the required changes include “richer data streams like digital footprints to drive the gains from analytics; technology-enabled information sharing partnerships to deliver more responsive and actionable suspicious activity reporting; and, for regulators, data-driven supervision and industry engagement.”

Chu also mentioned that the past 12 to 18 months have been “a landmark for the banking sector” in Hong Kong. The launch of eight virtual banks and collective efforts across the region’s banking sector have been key when overcoming major challenges “arising from the pandemic – banks had to make changes to meet customer demand within a very short time to launch or expand digital and online financial services.”

Chu also noted that while this is in the interests of customers and “has brought huge benefits, the global AML community, led by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), saw increased levels of online fraud and cybercrime.”

Chu also mentioned that the scale at which the online economy was developing has been “matched only by the increasingly sophisticated attempts of criminal networks to exploit it.”

She added that the scale and speed with which this has happened “are breathtaking; fraudulent websites and spam emails targeting Government-led pandemic relief efforts, for example, often surfaced within hours of the initiatives being launched.”

She continued:

“Hong Kong has not been immune to this global phenomenon. There were over 15,000 deception cases in 2020, almost doubling from about 8,000 cases in the previous year. A similar increase was noted by the HKMA in bank customer complaints related to fraud and financial crime, which rose by about 120% in the first half of 2021 when compared with the same period a year ago.”

Chu further noted:

“It’s not all bad news, however. When we coordinate effectively, when we formulate and implement strategies for the public and private sectors to work closely together and take timely actions, we can make an impact.”

The Anti-Deception Coordination Centre of the Police, which is responsible for leading the action against fraudulent activities, has managed to intercept HKD 6.3 billion “conned from victims of phone and internet scams in its first three years of operation since 2017,” Chu revealed while noting that the Centre “intercepted a staggering HKD 3 billion in a single year in 2020, and none of this success would be possible without the close cooperation of banks, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, in helping disrupt fraud and financial crime and protecting customers from losses.”

She added:

“These numbers must be a matter of concern for everyone in the global AML ecosystem and the wider economies. We all need to reflect on how effective we are being, while staying alert to new tricks and doubling our efforts to slow and reverse the tide. This is not to say that we expect to be able to pre-empt all fraud and financial crime, but that when these crimes unfortunately happen, our responses are quick and targeted.”

Chu also mentioned that the HKMA’s approach has been guided by their commitment to global  standards and related best practices in how AML and financial crime risk management systems have been implemented.

HKMA’s ‘Fintech 2025’ strategy also outlines how innovative tech can help with achieving “effective outcomes.” She further revealed that they’ve been working to realize their vision, “beginning with an AML/CFT RegTech Forum in 2019 to raise industry awareness and explore the role that technology could play in AML work.”

She added that the HKMA regularly releases different papers and reports “to share Regtech use cases including AML, and will be putting all relevant resources in [their centralized ‘Regtech Knowledge Hub.’”

She also noted:

“We must also talk about data – quality data – to drive Regtech adoption. Specifically, the availability of richer data streams, such as digital footprint data, with proper integration, can have a significant impact on system effectiveness.”

She added that other external data and information are also “becoming increasingly important in monitoring customer risk and to this end, [they] have recently shared key observations and best practices from a thematic review to assist banks in identifying and using these resources.”

Chu confirmed that they’ll further these pieces of work later in 2021 when they introduce their first interactive lab session “featuring machine learning in the area of monitoring.”

She pointed out that some of those technologies “featured prominently in the successes we have seen in identifying and disrupting mule account networks linked to COVID-19 and investment scams, which have been shared through our public-private information sharing partnership, the Fraud and Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce – or FMLIT.”

The FMLIT partnership has seen dramatic growth during the past 3 years, “bringing about clear improvements in our collective abilities to identify and disrupt financial crime,” Chu revealed.

She also shared:

“Since its launch in 2017, actions taken by banks through FMLIT have identified over 11,000 bank accounts which were previously unknown to law enforcement agencies, leading to restraint or confiscation of about HK$700 million in crime proceeds mainly from investment scams and other frauds involving financial impacts on customers and/or banks themselves.”

While addressing how effective they have been their AML and financial crime work, she revealed:

“It is essential for regulators to ask ourselves how AML/CFT supervision needs to change in the age of digital innovation. The HKMA’s approach is to build on our strong foundations as a risk-based AML supervisor, while recognizing the need to constantly learn and adapt to the digital age. We are implementing a series of changes to better leverage the latest technology in our supervisory work, while building capacity to allow us to adopt new technologies and techniques as they emerge.”

To review the full speech, check here.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178299-hong-kong-monetary-authority-executive-director-reveals-how-theyre-protecting-consumers-from-emerging-threats/

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Radar Payments Now Offers Stand Alone Product for Tipping

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Radar Payments has launched a standalone service for tipping and gratuity, according to a release. Radar Payments is a payment processing provider supporting financial institutions, including payment service providers (PSPs), banks, acquirers, issuers, and Fintechs.

Banks may use the Tippay as a standalone app available in their business client outlets and to partners. The service is designed to allow banks to reach new customers while generating additional revenues by taking a small fee on every tip registered. Radar believes that as cash payments decline and digital payments rise the service can add value to the payments ecosystem.

Radar Payments adds that it has worked with financial institutions to “co-innovate” to create Tippay.

Workers can visit the bank’s Tippay page and register using their phone number while setting up their password. They can also add their card details if they are not a customer of the bank providing the Tippay service. Users can generate a personal QR code which they can share with people who wish to tip them.

Jane Loginova, CEO of Radar Payments, commented:

“This shift in payment behaviour is a positive development for businesses and financial institutions as it reduces cash handling cost. Simultaneously, it also offers a future of fairer wages for the worker, increased operational efficiency for the business, and a more seamless experience for the customer. Everybody wins – and nobody is shortchanged.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180636-radar-payments-now-offers-stand-alone-product-for-tipping/

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Radar Payments Now Offers Stand Alone Product for Tipping

Published

on

Radar Payments has launched a standalone service for tipping and gratuity, according to a release. Radar Payments is a payment processing provider supporting financial institutions, including payment service providers (PSPs), banks, acquirers, issuers, and Fintechs.

Banks may use the Tippay as a standalone app available in their business client outlets and to partners. The service is designed to allow banks to reach new customers while generating additional revenues by taking a small fee on every tip registered. Radar believes that as cash payments decline and digital payments rise the service can add value to the payments ecosystem.

Radar Payments adds that it has worked with financial institutions to “co-innovate” to create Tippay.

Workers can visit the bank’s Tippay page and register using their phone number while setting up their password. They can also add their card details if they are not a customer of the bank providing the Tippay service. Users can generate a personal QR code which they can share with people who wish to tip them.

Jane Loginova, CEO of Radar Payments, commented:

“This shift in payment behaviour is a positive development for businesses and financial institutions as it reduces cash handling cost. Simultaneously, it also offers a future of fairer wages for the worker, increased operational efficiency for the business, and a more seamless experience for the customer. Everybody wins – and nobody is shortchanged.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180636-radar-payments-now-offers-stand-alone-product-for-tipping/

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Insurtech bolttech Finalizes $210M Series A Round led by Activant Capital Group

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bolttech, one of the fastest-growing global Insurtech unicorns, reveals that it has completed an extension of its $180 million series A round that was led by Activant Capital Group, bringing the series total to $210 million.

As mentioned in a release, this is the largest ever Series A investment round for an Insurtech firm. The company confirmed that it has added new strategic investors, including Singapore-headquartered global investor EDBI and Alma Mundi Insurtech Fund, Spain.

As noted in the announcement:

“With a full suite of digital and data-driven capabilities, bolttech powers connections between insurers, distributors, and customers to make it easier and more efficient to buy and sell insurance and protection products. bolttech has built a global footprint that serves more than 7.7 million customers in 26 markets across 3 continents – North America, Asia, and Europe.”

The release also mentioned that the additional funding should assist bolttech with further enabling its partners and clients with robust technology and digital capabilities. Bringing on these new  investors should also help with strengthening its presence in Southeast Asia, Europe, and its other existing markets, “as the business accelerates its international growth strategy.”

Rob Schimek, bolttech’s Group CEO stated:

“We are thrilled to welcome such high calibre strategic investors. They bring an extensive network and deep expertise in their respective markets which will help propel our growth and support our innovation for our partners and customers around the world. Together with their partnership, we look forward to accelerating our international growth and realising our vision to connect more people around the world with ways to protect the things they value.”

Chu Swee Yeok, CEO and President of EDBI, remarked:

“With an extensive technology-enabled insurance exchange and distribution network, bolttech is poised to lead the digital transformation of Southeast Asia’s insurance sector. EDBI looks forward to partnering Rob and his team to strengthen their innovation hub in Singapore and support the growth of their businesses in the region.”

Javier Santiso, Mundi Ventures’ CEO and General Partner, said that they really value investment partners like bolttech that are willing to streamline and improve the insurance sector with innovative technologies and great products, and “particularly new, game-changing distribution models.” Javier also noted that they “look forward to working with Rob and his world-class team as they build-out their presence and partnerships here in Europe.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180621-insurtech-bolttech-finalizes-210m-series-a-round-led-by-activant-capital-group/

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Social Trading and Digital Investment Platform eToro Appoints Michael Plasznik to Board of Directors

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eToro Group Ltd, a multi-asset investment platform that aims to empower individuals to grow their knowledge and wealth, reveals that it has appointed Michael Ptasznik to its Board of Directors.

As mentioned in a release, Michael will be joining the eToro Board at “the closing of eToro’s merger with Fintech Acquisition Tech V (Nasdaq: FTCV) which is anticipated in Q4 2021.” He will also become “a member of the eToro Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.”

Yoni Assia, Co-founder and CEO of eToro stated:

“We are thrilled to welcome Michael to the eToro Board. He brings with him a wealth of experience including in-depth knowledge of finance, regulation, corporate strategy, and risk management. Michael was part of the team that achieved accelerated growth for Nasdaq as a global technology leader, so it feels very fitting that he will join us as our merger closes and eToro joins the Nasdaq as a publicly traded company. Michael will provide us with invaluable guidance as we embark on the next chapter in eToro’s story and continue our own accelerated growth.”

As a Board Member, Michael will be sharing key insights and expertise from his “decades of experience.”

Recently, Michael had retired as CFO EVP of Nasdaq Inc. where he had been leading corporate strategy, M&A, finance, investor relations, risk management, corporate real estate and ESG. Before his role at Nasdaq, Michael worked as CFO for TMX Group Limited, where he offered financial leadership, including the firm’s successful IPO and various M&A deals.

Previously, Michael also worked in various financial roles at Procter & Gamble Canada Inc. He graduated with an honors BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) and earned his Chartered Director designation from McMasters University.

Michael has reportedly served on several boards, which includes the Canadian Depository for Securities Limited, Candeal, the Accounting Standards Oversight Council of Canada and the Board of Directors of the Children’s Aid Society of York Region.

Michael Ptasznik remarked:

“I’m delighted to be joining the eToro Board. I’ve had a front row seat to the evolution of the exchange industry and I now look forward to advising eToro as they embark on the next stage of their journey as a publicly listed company. I’ve been fortunate to work with incredibly talented, creative and dedicated individuals over the course of the last 30 years and I knew when I met Yoni and the eToro team that it would be a perfect fit. eToro has a hugely innovative and differentiated offering and I’m excited to be part of their expansion in the United States and beyond.”

eToro was launched back in 2007 with the mission of opening international markets so that everyone is able to easily trade and invest in a transparent manner. It has created an investment platform that is “built around social collaboration and investor education and created a community where users can connect, share, and learn.”

On eToro, users are able to look at other investors’ portfolios and stats, and interact with them to “exchange ideas, discuss strategies and benefit from shared knowledge.”

eToro serves as a bridge or connection between the traditional and modern worlds of investing. On eToro, clients are able to take positions in traditional assets like equities, currencies or commodities along with emerging digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180619-social-trading-and-digital-investment-platform-etoro-appoints-michael-plasznik-to-board-of-directors/

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