FFCON21 Breaking Barriers May 11-13, 2021

Category Archives: FinTech and Alternative Finance

Has COVID-19 made cryptocurrency more attractive for digital payment and investment?

Toronto.com | Veronica Appia | Feb 25, 2021

bitcoin payments - Has COVID-19 made cryptocurrency more attractive for digital payment and investment?

As countries continue to devalue their currency amid COVID-19, cryptocurrency is becoming more appealing to investors. - Pexels photo

Experts weigh in on Bitcoin, crypto resiliency

In an economy deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, citizens and businesses have been experiencing financial hardship for months and governments have been using stimulus money to create supports and aid in economic recovery.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $100 billion to be spent over three years, beginning this year, in an effort to bolster the current state of the economy.

But giving away stimulus money in such large amounts devalues a country's currency, said Henry M. Kim, an associate professor of operations management and information systems and co-director of the BlockchainLab at Schulich School of Business.

See:  Privacy laws might prove to be a blessing in disguise for crypto

This, in turn, creates a case for certain types of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, to become more attractive.

"Bitcoin doesn’t act like money. What’s winning out is the notion that Bitcoin is digital gold," Kim said. "And Bitcoin, as volatile as it is, is not a currency that central banks are devaluing."

For this reason, he said, Bitcoin is great to speculate on at the moment.

Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and announced plans to start accepting Bitcoin as payment for certain Tesla products, causing Bitcoin prices to surge. One Bitcoin is currently worth just under $50,000 U.S.

"I think it makes Bitcoin seem attractive, even more than it was before, and seem much more long-lasting," Kim said.

See:  Future of Crypto Market Infrastructure: The Role of Custodians and Exchanges

 

Jason Butcher, CEO at CoinPayments, a platform that allows merchants to accept cryptocurrency payments, said crypto payments are becoming increasingly more appealing to those with speculative interest and those who perform transactions.

"Those looking for cryptocurrencies as a means to acquire (and sell) goods and services are really the driving force behind this new and flourishing crypto economy," Butcher said. "Crypto payments provide a secure, quick and low-cost way to send and spend value online. It is cheaper and more seamless than traditional providers, and that is why people are starting to notice."

See:  Visa’s digital dollar concept opens a door to central bank currencies

His merchants use crypto payments for a wide variety of products, including electronics, groceries, luxury items, vacations and more.

Kim said while there is not a lot of people who can currently buy with crypto, as many merchants have not made the switch yet, some businesses and municipalities are starting to get more innovative.

"As of about a year ago, Richmond Hill and Innisfil actually began to accept property tax in Bitcoins," he added.

Regarding the effect COVID-19 has had on cryptocurrency's appeal, Kim said that looking back to SARS 2003 can provide some insight.

"In China (at the time of SARS) people were very afraid to pay for things in cash and hand out things that give up possible germs. That, in part, (paved the way) for the development of WePay and Alipay in China," he said. "There was a whole bunch of other factors, but certainly SARS then was a factor and if you think about it, those are not exactly digital currencies, but they are similar."

Butcher agreed.

"Today, people are looking at more efficient and effective ways of sending value around the world while limiting the possibility of spreading infection through the use of physical currency or devices," he said "So, it’s pretty clear that the opportunity to view cryptocurrencies as a possible solution has helped."

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Has COVID-19 made cryptocurrency more attractive for digital payment and investment? The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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CB Insights report features over 50 sectors Blockchain is transforming (beyond just banking)

CB Insights | March 3, 2021

Energy management blockchain - CB Insights report features over 50 sectors Blockchain is transforming (beyond just banking)

The future of blockchain is near and banking isn't the only industry affected.

What began as the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain technology — essentially a virtual ledger capable of recording and verifying a high volume of digital transactions — is now spreading across a wave of industries.

Blockchain has gone far beyond its beginnings in banking and cryptocurrency: Annual funding to blockchain companies, despite falling from 2018’s record high, more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2017. Annual spending on blockchain solutions will reach nearly $16B by 2023, according to CB Insights’ Market Sizing Tool. Industries from insurance to gaming to cannabis are seeing blockchain applications.

See:  Tokenizing Assets and Unlocking Value on the Blockchain

Bitcoin’s popularity helped demonstrate blockchain’s application in finance, but entrepreneurs have come to believe the tech could transform many more industries. Ultimately, the use cases for a transparent, verifiable register of transaction data are practically endless — especially since blockchains operate through a decentralized platform requiring no central supervision, making them resistant to fraud.

Energy Management

Energy management is another industry that has historically been highly centralized. In the US and UK, to transact in energy one must go through an established power holding company like Duke Energy or National Grid, or deal with a reseller that buys from a big electricity company.

As with other industries, distributed ledgers could minimize (or eliminate) the need for intermediaries. Companies like LO3 Energy are rethinking the traditional energy-exchange process.

See:  Podcast: How blockchain could revolutionize green finance in Asia

LO3 Energy’s Pando product, which runs on the open-source blockchain platform Energy Web Chain, enables utility companies’ customers to transact in “decentralized energy generation schemes,” effectively allowing people to generate, buy, and sell energy to their neighbors.

Other companies have used blockchain as a path toward providing access to renewable energy, too. For example, 2 major Spanish power companies — Acciona Energy and Iberdrola — are using blockchain to certify that energy is clean by tracking its origins.

Charity

For those making charitable donations, blockchain provides the ability to precisely track where your donations are going, when they arrived, and whose hands they ended up in.

From there, blockchain can deliver the accountability and transparency to address the perennial complaints around charitable donations — including the organizational inefficiency (or even financial misconduct) that can prevent money from reaching those it was meant for.

Bitcoin-based charities like the BitGive Foundation use a secure and transparent distributed ledger to give donors greater visibility into fund receipt and use.

See:  What to expect from social fundraising world in 2020

The company has also launched GiveTrack, a blockchain-based multidimensional donation platform that provides the ability to transfer, track, and provide a permanent record of charitable financial transactions across the globe. By leveraging GiveTrack, charities can drive stronger trust with donors.

Gift Cards and Loyalty Programs

Blockchains can help retailers offering gift cards and loyalty programs to make those systems cheaper and more secure. With fewer middlemen needed to process the issuing of cards and sales transactions, the process of acquiring and using blockchain-reliant gift cards is more efficient and cost-effective.  Similarly, increased levels of fraud prevention enabled by blockchain’s unique verification capability can also save costs and help prohibit illegitimate users from obtaining stolen accounts.

One example of a company working in this space is Loyyal, which is innovating to make loyalty incentives more easily exchangeable across different sectors (think multi-branded “Airline/Retailer/Consumer” rewards) by using blockchain to support and verify their value.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - CB Insights report features over 50 sectors Blockchain is transforming (beyond just banking) The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2020 FINTECH DRAFT PITCHING AND DEMO COMPANY WINNERS!



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NBA Top Shot: What you should know about the new NBA craze in digital investing in collectibles

CBS Sports |  | March 2, 2021

Something rather typical happened for an atypical reason on Feb. 25: A community within NBA Twitter was mad online. No, these weren't Denver Nuggets fans up in arms over their close loss to the lowly Washington Wizards, despite a 34-6-6 performance from Jamal Murray. Nor were they frustrated Los Angeles Clippers fans complaining about their team's stars being unable to do much against a Memphis Grizzlies squad that only just returned to a .500 record. They weren't even fans preemptively whining over their favorite superstar getting snubbed from this year's All Star Game.

No, this was a relatively new group of people, sitting on the intersection of hoops fandom, memorabilia collection and digital investing, while looking to get into what's been described as the next big thing for those who belong to any of those three crowds: NBA Top Shot. Before getting into what tilted some of that base last week, let's first get into what Top Shot is, exactly.

See:  The Outer Space Men are Landing at Liquid Avatar

NBA Top Shot is an online company launched by Vancouver-based blockchain company Dapper Labs, and backed by the NBA, that allows users to procure a collection of digital basketball highlights, and then show off that collection to others. To get these NBA highlights, which are referred to as "moments," actual money must be spent in some way, either through purchasing digital packs containing a random assortment of these moments, or through spending money in the marketplace.

These moments range in designated rarity, and are artificially scarce based on where they land in the rarity scale.

In Top Shot's own words, it is providing "next level NBA collectibles." In other words, this whole experience can be generously compared to card collecting, just in a digital format. It's what initially drew many to the process, including Alex Xu, a member of the founding team at 0x.org, a not-for-profit that helps developers build their own decentralized cryptocurrency exchange.

"Growing up I collected Pokémon cards and I'll never forget the thrill of opening a pack, hoping for a holographic Charizard," Xu told CBS Sports. "When I heard of NBA Top Shot in January, I bought a pack and the nostalgia immediately hit. As an NBA fan, owning specific moments from my favorite players was a concept that was so cool. I've been collecting moments ever since."

He went on to explain that its comparison to investing in cryptocurrency piqued his interest even more -- especially since this was something he could get into earlier in the product cycle than, say, Bitcoin -- and further research helped notice that things like Top Shot could become a huge market.

See:  3 Ways Digital Assets Will Reshape The World

"Then I paid some attention to Top Shot's user base grow insanely fast all while on a glitchy beta platform," he continued. "Coupling that with the clear support of the NBA, I was at least sold that the idea had a legitimate chance to scale."

The growth is something of a selling point for the company as it's still in its beta stage. When Brian Windhorst of ESPN wrote on Top Shot on Feb. 16, the numbers were as follows: "Top Shot has gained traction with more than 50,000 users having bought in and spent more than $65 million in the process, according to crypto tracker CryptoSlam."

That same tracker now lists over 88,000 buyers and over $278 million in sales, as of March 2.

Continue to the full article --> here


Daily Hive | Sam Chan | March 1, 2021

$2B Vancouver crypto company becomes Wall Street of digital collectibles

In partnership with the NBA and NBPA, Dapper Labs (parent company of NBA Top Shot) captures specific digital NBA moments to sell online in digital “packs” to anyone who wishes to have them.  Each moment is limited in nature and lives on Dapper’s own blockchain named Flow. As you purchase a moment either through a pack or Top Shot’s Marketplace (more on that later), it becomes yours and your (user)name is attached to that moment and etched onto the blockchain ledger forever.

I know what you’re thinking — what a waste of money, I can just YouTube that LeBron dunk.  You’re right, you can. But there’s a huge difference between Googling an image of Mona Lisa and owning the Mona Lisa, or an authentic digital version released by Leonardo da Vinci.

See:  LabCFTC Releases Primer on Digital Assets

One37pm does a terrific job of explaining the concept of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs, the technology that makes Top Shot moments scarce), so I would advise you to read up there if you’re not sold.top shot alex xu - NBA Top Shot:  What you should know about the new NBA craze in digital investing in collectibles

Now, back to the marketplace which has become a phenomenon on its own. At its core, it’s no different than eBay or Facebook marketplace where someone can post an asset they own for the price that they wish to sell it for.  If another user decides that price is worth paying, the asset (in this case, the moment) gets transferred to them

and that’s also etched on the blockchain.

Here’s where it starts getting crazy.

Let’s use this no look LeBron James 3-Pointer as an example. At the time of writing, it’s going rate is about US$1,450 per moment. There are only 12,000 of these moments, period. But imagine, thousands of people picked up this “common” moment in a $9 common pack (or paid $3 for the moment)

To put this into context, let me compare it to something else that’s had the whole world talking in the last month: GameSpot shares.

See:  GameStop Testimony: When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide

If you had purchased $GME at the lowest point in the last 52 weeks, that would have been $2.57 per share. And if you somehow had hindsight goggles and sold at its absolute peak, you would have sold at $483 per share, meaning a 188x profit, an absurdly crazy return.

However, by that same math — if you pulled a LeBron James in a common pack for $3, at a $1450 sale, that’s a 483x return, or more than 2.5x my absurd $GME example. And the value of LeBron James’s moment is still rising!

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - NBA Top Shot:  What you should know about the new NBA craze in digital investing in collectibles The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Fintech start-up Hardbacon secures $1.1 million thanks to equity crowdfunding

Wealth Professional  | James Burton | March 2, 2021

Hardbacon equity crowdfunding success - Fintech start-up Hardbacon secures $1.1 million thanks to equity crowdfunding

Finance app Hardbacon receives boost to growth plan as it prepares to go public

A Montreal-based fintech company has secured more than $1.1 million through the Frontfundr equity crowdfunding portal as it positions itself to go public.

See:  Fintech Fridays EP51: Bacon and Eggs

Hardbacon brought in $1,136,400 from more than 800 investors, smashing its $500,000 fundraising goal. The company, which markets a personal finance app, has thus completed one of the largest rounds of equity crowdfunding in Canada, with this laterst round bringing its total financing to more than $2.2 million since its inception.

A B2C app for self-directed investors, it generates revenue from Hardbacon Premium subscriptions as well as from lead generation and sales of its two white label solutions for financial institutions: a portfolio analysis module and a financial planning module. Its partners include National Bank Direct Brokerage and Desjardins Online Brokerage, and it also has an advisor feature.

The funding will be used to accelerate the fintech’s growth and fuel its ambition to reach the summit of the lead generation market in the financial services industry.

CEO Julien Brault told WP: “Raising a round of over $1 million with a goal of $500,000 is a huge vote of confidence from our user base and the Canadian public. It put us in a very good position to execute our growth plan as well as go public.  This round, which is among the largest fundraising round in FrontFundr's history, proves once more that equity crowdfunding is a valid financing option for tech companies in Canada. I’m pretty excited about closing such an historic round and it will give us the fuel we need to hire the right people to execute on our growth plan.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech start-up Hardbacon secures $1.1 million thanks to equity crowdfunding The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Edelman Canadian Trust Report: Trust declines in all sectors including 8% in technology

Edelman | Feb 17, 2021

Trust declines across all sectors - Edelman Canadian Trust Report:  Trust declines in all sectors including 8% in technology

Canada is facing a crisis in leadership

This year, after months of unprecedented disaster and turbulence – including the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, the global outcry over systemic racism and political instability – the findings reveal widespread misinformation and mistrust of societal leaders in Canada.

See: Future Market Dynamics Part 3 – data sharing, trust and a world of choice

In fact, 50% of respondents worry that business leaders are purposely trying to mislead them, and 46% believe the same about government leaders – this is a wake-up call for leaders, who need to take action to build trust amongst their stakeholders, or risk falling behind.

Spring trust bubble bursts with no institution remaining in the trusted category

In the Spring, business, government and NGOs all saw a spike in trust, moving them into the trusted category among the Canadian general population. Since then, the trust bubble has burst, with all institutions giving back most (if not all) of the gains they saw and returning to the neutral zone. Government saw the biggest increase in the Spring with a 20-point increase; however, despite declining 11 points in the past six months, government remains the most trusted institution in Canada.

Societal leaders are not trusted to do what is right

Amid urgent problems and a year of crisis, leadership is failing. Government leaders, CEOs and religious leaders are not trusted to do what is right. Instead, we’re seeing Canadians look to experts and those that are local – like people in their community – to help tackle the issues that matter most to them. In fact, 50% of respondents worry that business leaders are purposely trying to mislead them, and 46% believe the same about government leaders – this is a wake-up call for leaders, who need to take action to build trust amongst their stakeholders.

Trust in most information sources at record lows

Not one information source – traditional media (55%), search engines (47%), owned (32%) or social media (22%) – is trusted in Canada and the latter three are distrusted. All four information sources have witnessed a decline in trust compared to last year.

 

Download the 37 page PDF report --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Edelman Canadian Trust Report:  Trust declines in all sectors including 8% in technology The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2020 FINTECH DRAFT PITCHING AND DEMO COMPANY WINNERS!



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How Verifiable Digital Identity Will Protect Your Post-Pandemic Privacy

Be[in]crypto | David Lucatch | March 2, 2021

digital identity a basic human right - How Verifiable Digital Identity Will Protect Your Post-Pandemic Privacy

In Brief

  • COVID-19 has changed the very fabric of our world and how we live our daily lives.
  • The use cases of user-controlled digital credentials are nearly limitless.
  • We must continue to support regulation like GDPR in the EU, CCPA in California, PEPIDA in Canada, and others.

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has changed the very fabric of our world and how we live our daily lives. 

For example, consumer online spending with US retailers increased 44% in 2020, compared to 2019, according to the latest Digital Commerce 360 analysis.

International tourist arrivals declined by 74% (roughly one billion fewer trips) in 2020, compared to the previous year, making it “the worst year in tourism history.” Plus, 29% of polled working professionals said they would quit their jobs if they couldn’t continue working remotely, as the world begins to reopen.

All of these changes will impact the way that business is done moving forward. They will push organizations to closely consider the vulnerabilities of their current online and on-premise privacy and data management policies and procedures.

See:  Digital transformation: 9 emerging roles you need on your team

The internet has always been susceptible to fraudulent activities. Think for a moment back to the iconic New Yorker cartoon, which first appeared in July 1993 when the internet was in its mainstream infancy.

The “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog” pictorial demonstrates that from its initial inception, there have been myriad online opportunists leveraging the internet to misrepresent who they are.

While the pandemic has largely kept the world at home for almost a year now, we have seen online shopping and virtual banking transactions consequently skyrocket making the inherent vulnerability for the digital consumer much more obvious.

The “trusted triangle” concept

While the internet does not provide its own secure trust layer, there are still some solutions available to proactively protect one’s digital identity.

The idea of “identity” is based around the concept of a mutual, trusted relationship between parties through which each person has a basic understanding of who the other person is. One such solution involves using a “trusted triangle” process, similar to the conducting of an e-commerce transaction.

When e-commerce transactions are conducted online (whether for retail, healthcare, travel, education, or entertainment purposes), a trust triangle is formed, with the issuer, the holder, and the verifier serving as the three corners.

See:  PwC Report: Canadian Digital Trust Insights 2021: Cybersecurity comes of age

All parties involved want to be certain that the individuals within the ecosystem have gone through a verification process. In retail transactions, for example, the verifier must confirm the cardholder, the validity of the card being used, and the legitimacy of the issuing organization before the retailer should accept the payment.

However, in these types of transactions, does the verifier or issuer really know that the cardholder is who they purport themselves to be? Or are they just someone with the right information at the time of the transaction?

Proving you are who you say you are

Using verifiable credentials, individuals, or holders, use a digital wallet that can carry multiple types of verifiable identity credentials in a user-managed and controlled device or cloud-based platform.

Individuals are then able to securely store, control, and share their most valuable information through that self-sovereign wallet. This includes access credentials like passwords, proof of educational degrees, certificate completion, membership cards, government credentials, and healthcare credentials.

See:  Privacy laws might prove to be a blessing in disguise for crypto

Within this digital ecosystem, verifiers — employers, schools, airlines, and others —  will be able to request a verifiable, reputable presentation of credentials to determine acceptance. Thus, they will ensure that individuals are who they say they are and possess the necessary credentials to enter or participate.

I believe ownership, management, and control of one’s personal online identity is a basic human right. Just as a person has the right to control the use of their name and who has access to medical information, individuals should have the right to own and be the sole beneficiary of their valuable digital data.

If a digital wallet is controlled by the service provider who issued the wallet, then the user is neither sovereign nor completely private while making transactions.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - How Verifiable Digital Identity Will Protect Your Post-Pandemic Privacy The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2020 FINTECH DRAFT PITCHING AND DEMO COMPANY WINNERS!



FFCON20 Pitching and Demo Winners - How Verifiable Digital Identity Will Protect Your Post-Pandemic Privacy



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Wait and see approach for Fintechs as Payments Canada chooses Interac as Canada’s real-time payments provider

Betakit | | March 2, 2021

payments and transfers - Wait and see approach for Fintechs as Payments Canada chooses Interac as Canada’s real-time payments provider

Source: Pixabay

Payments Canada has selected its second solution provider for the country’s upcoming real-time payments system.   Interac Corp. has been selected as the exchange solution provider for the Real-Time Rail (RTR). Expected to launch in 2022, RTR consists of two components: a clearing and settlement component and an exchange component. Mastercard-owned Vocalink was selected last year to operate the settlement component.

A real-time payment system designed to modernize Canada’s core payments infrastructure, RTR will allow for payments to be sent and received within seconds. The system will be operated by Payments Canada and regulated by the Bank of Canada. The idea behind RTR is to create a payment system that is fast, secure, and flexible, to allow for innovation.

See:  Revolut to roll out QR code payments for business customers in 25 countries

Interac might be considered a natural choice for Payments Canada to work with when it comes to building the exchange. Interac is set to use the already-existing technology behind its Interac e-Transfer service to build the exchange component of Canada’s RTR. Interac e-Transfer is currently used by millions of Canadians daily and connects to almost 300 financial institutions in the country.

“The Real-Time Rail will be the foundation for faster, data-rich payments and act as a platform for innovation,” said Black. “Participants in the payment system will be able to connect and develop new and exciting ways for Canadians to pay for goods and services, transfer money and better compete nationally and internationally.”

While Canada has been working to modernize its payments infrastructure in recent years, the country has long lagged behind other similar markets when it comes to payments innovation; more than 54 other countries around the world already use a similar type of RTR system. The RTR project began in 2015 with consultations involving more than 100 organizations within the payments ecosystem.

See:

Among those organizations are Canadian FinTech startups, who have faced many barriers trying to bring competitive products to market, including receiving banking licenses and pulling customers away from the Big Banks.

How the choice to work with Interac will affect Canadian FinTechs is unclear. Currently, FinTech startups cannot directly access e-transfer rails, which is the peer-to-peer (P2P) method in Canada. Historically, Interac’s system has been more easily accessible for traditional incumbents like the Big Five banks.

A member of the Canadian FinTech community told BetaKit that

if Interac chooses to adopt a fair policy and payments framework that includes FinTechs instead of upholding the status quo, it could be a positive step for startups. “If Interac opens up, it could work, but their track record is not encouraging,” the source said.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Wait and see approach for Fintechs as Payments Canada chooses Interac as Canada’s real-time payments provider The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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