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FinTech news digest

Weekly FinTech news digest: 19—25 January 2021

This week has brought a lot of updates on the matters that we covered previously in the past issues. If you follow our social media or blog regularly, then you’ll probably up to date, but if not, no problem, we’ll give you some context! We’ll hear from again from ByteDance, Visa, and even the European Central Bank: these guys were busy bees lately! 

Payments feature already available in Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok

That was fast. ByteDance doesn’t like to waste its time!

As we reported previously in FinTech Wire #10, ByteDance, the owner of TikTok and its Chinese version—Douyin, is serious about entering the e-payments market. Back in 2020, the company acquired payments and insurance licenses and applied for a “TikTok Payments” trademark, which sparked rumours about the release of such a service. Well, we didn’t have to wait long to see it happening. “Douyin Pay” feature was launched already for the 600 million daily users of the app, however, TikTokers still have to wait for this option to become available in other regions.

Read more about challenges and opportunities in PayTech

Bitpanda debit card backed by Visa is coming soon

Bitpanda’s clients can already make pre-orders for the company’s first physical product

Bitpanda, Europe’s leading platform for trading digital assets and metals, will very soon release its first debit card called Bitpanda Card, facilitated by Visa. How will it work? The card will be linked to every single asset the users have in their portfolio, meaning that they be able to pay online or in physical stores with any digital asset available in the Bitpanda app. Contactless payments via Google Pay or Samsung Pay will also be possible. What is more, there will be no card fees or monthly fees. A true gamechanger? We’ll see!

Read more about the most popular payments methods in ecommerce

European Central Bank’s and European Commission’s joint working group to discuss digital euro

The bodies will discuss ‘policy, legal, and technical pitfalls’ before introducing the currency

In the previous issue, we informed about the public consultations regarding the introduction of digital euro thorough the Euro zone that closed on 12 January. And this time we learned that the ECB and European Commission teamed up to discuss the matter further. The aim of this working group is to assess the possibility of releasing the digital euro in addition to the cash and payment options offered by the private sector, taking into account the possible technical, legal, and policy issues. We also learned that the ECB will decide whether it’s a good idea to kick off the project in mid-2021. Time to get excited? Well, we better wait a few months.

Read more about Chinese efforts to release a digital currency

PPRO joins the club of FinTech unicorns

A successful investment round brings the company’s valuation to $1bn

A UK-based payments infrastructure provider PPRO made it to the presitgious group of FinTech unicorns valued over $1bn following an investment of US$180m. The company operates since 2006 and has a long history of collaboration with leading payments platforms: Citi, PayPal, or Mollie. PPRO’s platforms takes care of the entire transaction process, from processing, acquiring, collecting, reconciling, to settling payments. The platform’s transaction volume reached an impressive 100% year-on-year increase in 2020. Well done, PPRO!

Read more about what startups need to do in order to succeed 

Cash handling centers in France are slowly becoming a history

The Bank of France will close more than a third of such facilities

The French use less and less notes and coins, partially due to Covid-19 pandemic, and partially due to rapid digitalisation of payments. People shop online of choose contactless payments in physical locations. Even before Covid-19, the use of cash was declining: between 2012 and 2019, it fell around 20%. As a result, the Bank of France announced that by 2022 it will close 14 of its 37 centers that stock currency and deal with replacing damaged notes and coins. 

Read more about digitalisation in finance

More updates coming next week!

Do you want to stay up to date with the most exciting FinTech news? Follow Code & Pepper on social media and don’t forget to check out new articles from the FinTech Wire series on our blog! Next issue is coming next week with the latest news, so see you soon!