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South Korea reports 20m subscriptions to open banking service

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South Korea’s financial regulator has reported that 20 million people are using its open banking services.

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70% of South Koreans are using open banking services

Open banking services launched in the country back in December 2019. So far, 72 companies currently offer open banking related services in South Korea, including commercial banks and fintech firms.

South Korea first piloted the system in October 2019. Participation from local lenders saw Woori Bank, NH Nonghyup, KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank and KEB Hana Bank take part.

After the conclusion of the pilot phase, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) reported 5.5 million accounts registered.

“Through the open banking system, local lenders have taken a leap forward as an advanced banking platform,” says Sohn Byung-doo, vice chairman of the FSC.

Byung-doo spoke at an open banking seminar held by the regulator. He delivered “congratulatory remarks” amid “vibrant discussions” on how to further the programme.

“The ease of access to payments networks has enabled fintechs and Big Techs to come up with more innovative financial services in more efficient ways,” he adds.

“For consumers, the increased convenience of being able to use a variety of financial services in a single app and not having to switch between different platforms offers them more choice.”

The FSC is planning to expand open banking from the last quarter of 2020.

Seven second-tier banks are to be activated for open banking next, including Korea Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives and Korea Post.

The FSC is also looking into allowing card issuers access sometime in 2021.

Related: South Korean fintech sandbox lands $110, and creates 380 jobs

Source: https://www.fintechfutures.com/2020/07/south-korea-reports-20m-subscriptions-to-open-banking-service/

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Payments

Central bankers split on CBDC future

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The debate over the value of CBDCs continues to simmer, with central bankers on either side of the pond weighing in with very different opinions.

More than half of the world’s central banks are actively exploring CBDCs, while some, most notably China’s, are well on the way to a full launch.

In a speech this week, Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe gave one of the strongest hints yet that the UK is on its way towards some form of Britcoin.

“We may not be there yet, but it looks probable in this country that if we want to retain public money capable of general use, and available to all citizens, the state will need to issue, public digital money,” Cunliffe told his audience.

In contrast, Boston Federal Reserve president Eric Rosengren has offered up his own, less enthusiastic, views on the subject of a digital dollar.

“It is important to understand what problems a central bank digital currency is being designed to solve, and whether other technologies could more cheaply or efficiently address those problems,” said Rosengren at a virtual event this week.

Rosengren highlighted familiar potential upsides to CBDCs, including more financial inclusion and cheaper cross-border payments, but also stressed the risks to financial stability.

Despite the misgivings, Rosengren’s Boston Fed is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a “hypothetical” digital currency platform.

Meanwhile in the UK, the Bank of England and UK Treasury recently launched a fintech taskforce to coordinate exploratory work on a potential CBDC.

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/38049/central-bankers-split-on-cbdc-future?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Payments

Wise looks to next generation of IT staff with coding school kood / Jõhvi

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Money transfer platform Wise is collaborating on a cloud-based edcuational initiative to help solve an IT skills shortage in its home country of Estonia.

Estonia, home to over 1,100 startups and 7 unicorns is currently short of thousands of IT specialists, and women occupy only 1/5 of jobs in the sector.

The new coding school, kood / Jõhvi, is aiming to bridge the gap, paving the way for hundreds of new IT specialists to enter the Estonian job market every year. The two-year study programme is built on a cloud-based platform where each student moves at their own pace, solving the tasks set by the system. There are no teachers or traditional classes in Jõhvi school and the studies are free of charge.

Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, says: “As a self-learner myself who dropped out of a traditional university CS degree, this innovative, practical school would have been ideal for my studies.”

Wise has collaborated with the programme to set up a fintech study track and will be involved in the school’s day-to-day life by organising events such as hackathons, company visits and talks.

Estonia is home to Wise’s biggest office with over 1000 employees. The company says it will look to rectruit kood / Jõhvi students as full-time employees after graduation.

To apply, future students need to complete an online test which evaluates their logical thinking and problem solving skills. The school will then invite 600 candidates for a 3-week intense test period. The first 200 students will start their two-year studies at kood / Jõhvi in September 2021.

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/38047/wise-looks-to-next-generation-of-it-staff-with-coding-school-kood–jhvi?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Payments

MFS Africa invests in Cameroon’s Maviance

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Pan-African digital payments hub MFS Africa has made a $3 million investment in Cameroon-based fintech Maviance.

Maviance operates a digital financial services platform, called Smobilpay, designed to help Cameroon’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as their customers, ditch cash.

The platform serves over 500,000 unique customers a month, and has connected key service providers, payment providers, financial institutions and mobile money operators.

The new funding will be used to increase Maviance’s footprint in Cameroon and to expand into other countries in the central African economic region.

Jerry Cheambe, founder, Maviance, says:: “The opportunities within central Africa are huge, and the demand has been massively accelerated in the last 12 months with the advent of Covid-19 as businesses of all sizes adopt digital financial services.

“Moreover, the shift in the mindset of regulators towards progressive regulations as well as regulatory alignment, enable us to deliver seamless services across multiple geographies and customer segments.”

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/38046/mfs-africa-invests-in-cameroons-maviance?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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MovoCash launches on-demand mobile banking app

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MovoCash, Inc., a California-based Fintech company, announced today the launch of a first-of-its-kind ON-DEMAND Mobile Banking (“ODMB”) app with End-to-End CONTACTLESS Payments in partnership with Mastercard® and Coastal Community Bank.

MOVO’s patented ecosystem technology, called HyperBIN®, is built to use digital tokens to manage the convergence of traditional banking solutions with mobile payments, blockchain, distributed ledger, cryptographic and AI technologies.

“Our patented ‘Digital Cash’ Brand Network is what every consumer will expect from this day forward,” said Eric Solis, CEO; Founder of MovoCash, Inc. “ODMB will fundamentally shift the way people act and think about digital transactions.”

HyperBIN® delivers real-time bank accounts and debit cards. This includes instant delivery, issuance, activation, secure and settled banking, merchant payment and P2P transactions redeemable at 45 million merchants and over one million ATMs worldwide.

MOVO’s ecosystem solution delivers differentiated experiences focused on a comprehensive set of banking and payment features. CASH Cards® are ON-DEMAND minting of ultra-secure, customizable, single and/or multi-use payment cards, delivering complete control of who gets access to your money and how much. MOVO Pay® (P2P2P®) allows users to send digital cash to anyone using an email or mobile number for instant spending.

“Coastal Community Bank was looking for an innovative digital bank that will take fintech to the next level,” said Eric Sprink, President and CEO of Coastal Community Bank. “We’re thrilled to partner with MovoCash, a digital leader that brings a unique solution with top-notch fraud protection and compliance security to the market. MOVO is changing the payments game, we are excited to join them on this journey.”

The MOVO® Digital Debit Mastercard® is issued by Coastal Community Bank pursuant to license by Mastercard International. MOVO accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. Fees apply. 

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/87632/movocash-launches-on-demand-mobile-banking-app?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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