2020 was definitely an eventful year with many unexpected turns. During this turbulent time, we had the unquestionable pleasure of sharing with our readers every memorable event from the world of digital finance in our weekly FinTech Wire. Now the year is slowly coming to an end, but it doesn’t mean that there is any less to talk about. So what has this week brought for FinTech geeks?

Weekly FinTech news digest: 8—14 December 2020

As you could read last week, December started with a blast: we enjoyed some revolutionary announcements and updates. This week is no different, as some of the news described below caused quite a stir all around the world, from France to Colombia. As always, we heard from industry leaders, this time the UK’s Starling Bank (already a regular in FinTech Wire!) and the good old PayPal. Moreover, some significant updates from national regulators and institutions popped up, and we sense that not everyone will be happy with the recent rumors from France (ça va, crypto enthusiasts?). But enough with the foreword, let’s go deeper!

Synctera launched in the US in the FinTech-as-a-service model

Synctera’s platform connects community banks with FinTechs

After successfully raising $12.4 million in seed funding, a new FinTech-as-a-service company Synctera led by CEO Peter Hazlehurst, former head of Uber Money, launched on December 8 in the US. The startup provides a marketplace platform for both FinTechs and legacy banks, enabling them for smoother collaboration and finding the right business to partner with. Therefore, banks can benefit from FinTech’s innovations in UX or customer experience, and startups can receive access to banking infrastructure, as well as the necessary guidance in terms of compliance and best practices.

Read more about customer experience innovations in FinTech

France plans to regulate the crypto sector

Among the proposed measures are new KYC rules and regulated crypto-to-crypto transactions

Industry sources such as the national crypto association ADAN and executives of companies Coinhouse Group and Digital Service Group revealed that the French Finance Ministry is set to impose new, stricter regulations on the country’s crypto firms. One of the major measures is the introduction of full KYC processes for all crypto transactions, and mandatory registration for all crypto-to-crypto exchanges. The plans are linked to the recent terrorist attacks in France that were funded using cryptocurrencies. 

Read more about the KYC process in digital finance

The UK establishes a global FinTech partnership programme

British FinTech seeks ways to thrive globally in a post-Brexit world

The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) launched the Leading Edge programme that aims to streamline collaboration between international organizations and British FinTechs. The organization will help global organizations that seek to benefit from the adoption of UK-grown solutions in areas like RegTech, AI and RPA to establish partnerships with leading British firms. The target markets include Singapore, Australia and the US, and three Singaporean banks: DBS, OCBC, UOB are said to have already signed deals with DIT.  

Read more about a case study of collaboration with a leading British FinTech

New addition to Starling’s marketplace aimed for SMEs

SMEs using Starling’s platform will be able to access granular transaction data thanks to the new integration

Starling Bank’s business marketplace reaches a significant milestone by integrating with a 30th third-party provider: PayPal’s iZettle. This new integration enhances Starling’s banking platform with additional features useful for small and medium businesses, making it easier to access sales data and analytics, and what’s more, streamlining the bookkeeping processes. This new extension to the platform is announced as yet another feature in the Starling Bank app that supports SMEs.

Read more about other Starling Bank’s successes

A BNPL feature available in PayPal’s digital wallet

PayPal will now allow its customers to divide purchases into three smaller payments

Talking about PayPal… The company has introduced a new Buy Now Pay Later feature called Pay in 3 into its digital wallet. Its 24 million users worldwide will be able to split their bigger transactions into—you’ve guessed it—three equal installments. The feature is available at checkout at most retailers that offer PayPal as a payment option. After making the purchase, the customer is informed via a message about the upcoming payments.

Read more about the most popular payment methods in eCommerce

Azimo partners with dLocal in order to bring cross-border payments to Colombia

Cross-border payments to almost every Colombian bank are now possible thanks to the partnership

Simple same-day transfers from Europe and Australia to a number of Colombian bank accounts has become a reality. The digital transfers startup Azimo continues its international expansion focusing on LATAM, and it managed to complete the first step this month by partnering with dLocal, the cross-border payments platform. With this move, Azimo not only could enable fast transfers to Colombia, but also has agreed on a further cooperation with dLocal on other Latin American markets. 

Read more about cross-border payments in the UK

FinTech Wire will be back in 2021!

That was the last issue of our news review in 2020! It was a year full of surprises that we all will remember for a long time, to sum it up diplomatically. Now it’s time for a Christmas break, for us, our readers, and the whole FinTech community that makes this series possible. We will be back with FinTech Wire in the very first week of 2021, so stay tuned if you’re wondering what the new year will bring.