Category Archives: Enterprise

China’s Draft Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on Platform Economy

Paul | Weiss | Nov 18, 2020

Antitrust - China’s Draft Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on Platform EconomyChina’s competition regulator, the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”), issued a consultation draft of the Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on the Sector of Platform Economies (the “Draft Guidelines”) on November 10, 2020. This marks China’s first major step in formulating a comprehensive regime to regulate competition among platform businesses operated on the Internet (the “Platform Economy”) and signals SAMR’s changed regulatory priorities with a focus on anti-competitive behavior in the Platform Economy.

The Draft Guidelines attempt to address perceived shortcomings in applying traditional antitrust analysis to the Platform Economy. SAMR has drawn upon the experience of regulators and academics in this emerging area and attempted to consolidate the lessons learnt in various jurisdictions. The Draft Guidelines set out in detail the considerations that may be taken into account and the defenses that may be available, providing some guidance to platform businesses on how to achieve compliance.

See: 

China Stops Jack Ma’s $35 Billion Ant IPO From Going Ahead

DOJ files antitrust lawesuit challenging Visa’s $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid

While the Draft Guidelines are brief in length, only 23 provisions in total, they are wide‑ranging in their scope. Rather than an exhaustive review of the Draft Guidelines, this note examines selected provisions. If implemented in the current form, many more mergers and acquisitions may be subject to China’s merger control clearance and antitrust investigation and enforcement may become a much more realistic and serious prospect for Internet-based businesses participating in the China market.

The Draft Guidelines represent a comprehensive guide to how SAMR intends to regulate anti-competitive behavior in the Platform Economy and signal SAMR’s determination to make regulation of anti-competitive behavior in the Platform Economy a priority. If implemented in their current form, the Draft Guidelines may significantly increase the number of mergers and acquisitions in the Platform Economy that are subject to merger control review and increase the likelihood of findings of antitrust violations and enforcement, resulting in increased regulatory risks and costs for participants in the Platform Economy in China. This may have far-reaching effects, not only on the operators in the Platform Economy in China and their transaction counterparties, but also indirectly on private equity and venture capital investors who have been active in investing in this sector.

SAMR invites public comment on the Draft Guidelines before November 30, 2020.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - China’s Draft Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on Platform Economy 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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China Says It Remains Open to the World, but Wants to Dictate Terms

The New York Times | Steven Lee Myers and | Nov 24, 2020

xi jingping global politics - China Says It Remains Open to the World, but Wants to Dictate Terms

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, is pursuing a strategy to make the country’s economy more self-sufficient, while making other places more dependent on it than ever.

After Australia dared last spring to call for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, China began quietly blocking one import after another from Australia — coal, wine, barley and cotton — in violation of free-trade norms. Then this month, with no clear explanation, China left $3 million worth of Australian rock lobsters dying in Shanghai customs.

Australia nonetheless joined 14 Asian nations and just signed a new regional free-trade deal brokered by China. The agreement covers nearly a third of the world’s population and output, reinforcing China’s position as the dominant economic and diplomatic power in Asia.

See:  What to expect from Biden-Harris on tech policy, platform regulation, and China

It’s globalization with Communist characteristics: The Chinese government promotes the country’s openness to the world, even as it adopts increasingly aggressive and at times punitive policies that force countries to play by its rules.

With the United States and others wary of its growing dominance in areas like technology, China wants to become less dependent on the world for its own needs, while making the world as dependent as possible on China.

“China wants what other great powers do.  It wants to follow international rules and norms when it is in its interest, and disregard rules and norms when the circumstances suit it.” said Yun Jiang, a researcher and editor of the China Story at the Australian National University.

China’s strategy is born out of strength. The coronavirus has practically disappeared within its borders. The country’s economy is growing strongly. And China’s manufacturing sector has become the world’s largest by a wide margin, leaving other nations heavily dependent on it for everything from medical gear to advanced electronics.

Beijing is also pushing back against President Trump and his administration, taking advantage of the political disarray that has followed his electoral defeat. Beijing’s confidence on the global stage now compounds the challenge China will pose for the incoming administration of Joseph R. Biden Jr.

See:  The new urgency of global tech governance

In a flurry of speeches over the last week, Xi Jinping, China’s ambitious, authoritarian leader, laid out his vision for this new world order, while making clear his terms for global engagement.

“Openness is a prerequisite for national progress, and closure will inevitably lead to backwardness,” Mr. Xi said in remarks that seemed to take a swipe at Mr. Trump’s America-first agenda.

“While making the Chinese economy more resilient and competitive, it also aims to build a new system of open economy with higher standards,” he said. “This will create more opportunities for the world to benefit from China’s high-quality development.”

Mr. Xi’s own economic and political policies this year have been the mirror opposite. China’s plan, Mr. Xi has said, is to lessen dependence on imports, insulating the country from rising external risks, including the threat of a long, pandemic-induced global economic downturn and the severing of Chinese access to American high-tech know-how.

“The world as it exists today cannot be reduced to the rivalry of superpowers” Laurent Bili, the French ambassador to China, said at a conference organized last week by the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing research group.

“The United States is still in electoral chaos, while China is forming the world’s largest trade agreement,” the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing wrote on its official website recently.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - China Says It Remains Open to the World, but Wants to Dictate Terms 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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Pulling “Shadow Banking” Out Of The Shadows: FSB Report On March 2020 Turmoil Signals Increased Regulatory Scrutiny Of Non-Bank Financial Intermediation

Mayer Brown | Paul Forrester | Nov 18, 2020

FSB holistic report on march turmoil - Pulling "Shadow Banking" Out Of The Shadows: FSB Report On March 2020 Turmoil Signals Increased Regulatory Scrutiny Of Non-Bank Financial IntermediationIn its recent report “Holistic Review of the March Market Turmoil” (Report), the Financial Stability Board (FSB) notes that “[t]he March [2020] turmoil has reinforced the need to better understand interconnections and amplification channels in the financial system and to consider the nature of vulnerabilities in non-bank financial intermediation (NBFI) in relation to the liquidity stress and the implications of central bank liquidity support, and draw lessons about overall resilience of the NBFI sector.”1 The Report also notes the need “for further work to increase the resilience of NBFI.”2

The Report also notes that “non-bank financial entities – comprising investment funds, insurance companies, pension funds and other financial intermediaries – have different structures and are subject to distinct regulatory frameworks within and across jurisdictions. Their asset share has increased to almost half of global financial assets, compared to 42% in 2008, due to both inflows and valuation increases. One factor behind this increase has been the growth of investment funds, whose assets have expanded from roughly US$21 trillion in 2008 to US$53 trillion in 2018.”3

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The Report states that “[t]he FSB will coordinate the international regulatory community’s assessment of identified vulnerabilities and the appropriate financial policy response, working closely with standard setting bodies and member authorities. As part of this review, the FSB published a comprehensive NBFI work programme covering the key issues at a high level.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Pulling "Shadow Banking" Out Of The Shadows: FSB Report On March 2020 Turmoil Signals Increased Regulatory Scrutiny Of Non-Bank Financial Intermediation 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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GSMA Report: Global State of Mobile Money Industry Report 2019

GSMA | Nov 25, 2020

GSMA state of industry report mobile money 2019 - GSMA Report:  Global State of Mobile Money Industry Report 2019

GROWING AND GLOBALISING

2019 marked a major milestone for the mobile money industry: the number of registered mobile money accounts surpassed one billion.

Reaching the one billion mark is a tremendous achievement for an industry that is just over a decade old.

The mobile money industry of today has a host of seasoned providers with a broad set of operational capabilities, a full suite of products and a global reach.

With 290 live services in 95 countries and 372 million active accounts, mobile money is entering the mainstream and becoming the path to financial inclusion in most low-income countries.

See:  Task Force Analyzes Role of Fintech in Accelerating SDGs

Mobile money services are available in 96 per cent of countries where less than a third of the population have an account at a formal financial institution.

INCREASING USER TRUST AND RELEVANCE

Overall growth in transaction values has been impressive in the past 12 months.

Total transaction values grew by 20 per cent, reaching $690 billion in 2019, which means the industry is now processing close to $2 billion a day (over $1.9 billion).

This growth and scale is a positive signal for the industry as it demonstrates higher levels of customer trust, greater relevance for users and the capacity of mobile money to digitise an increasing amount of capital.

The industry continues to invest in distribution networks and sustainable agent income.

The mobile money industry has created opportunities for entrepreneurs in emerging markets to become agents.

The number of agent outlets has almost tripled over the last five years, reaching 7.7 million.

A mobile money agent has seven times the reach of ATMs and 20 times the reach of bank branches. In rural and hard-to-reach areas, mobile money agents have had a transformative impact on financial inclusion.

See:  Google and Gates Foundation to help spread digital payments in developing countries

Meanwhile, agents are seeing their monthly incomes rise substantially with commissions that are not taking away from investment in other areas of the mobile money business.

mobile money and UN SDGs - GSMA Report:  Global State of Mobile Money Industry Report 2019

THE CORE TRENDS OF 2019

  • A growing number of providers are becoming commercially sustainable
  • The industry continues to invest in distribution networks and sustainable agent income
  • More providers are shifting to a ‘payments as a platform’ model
  • The digitisation of payments has reached new heights
  • More value is circulating in the mobile money system than exiting
  • The industry is increasingly interoperable and integrated
  • The regulatory landscape is evolving

INCREASING USER TRUST AND RELEVANCE

Overall growth in transaction values has been impressive in the past 12 months.

See:  Bank of Canada Speech: Money and Payments in the Digital Age

Total transaction values grew by 20 per cent, reaching $690 billion in 2019, which means the industry is now processing close to $2 billion a day (over $1.9 billion).

This growth and scale is a positive signal for the industry as it demonstrates higher levels of customer trust, greater relevance for users and the capacity of mobile money to digitise an increasing amount of capital.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - GSMA Report:  Global State of Mobile Money Industry Report 2019 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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Answered: 5 questions about forging a career in fintech

Silicon Public | Lisa Ardill | Nov 24, 2020

Fintech jobs in canada - Answered: 5 questions about forging a career in fintech

Learn how to kickstart your career in fintech and what to expect of the field from people working in it, from software developers to blockchain engineers.

Wondering what it takes to carve out a career in fintech? It’s an industry going from strength to strength with plenty of choice. You can opt to work for a specialised firm, such as Revolut or Stripe, or in-house at wider companies like Accenture or Aon.

And there are plenty of jobs up for grabs in the sector. Recent announcements across the island of Ireland include Transact’s 110 jobs for Limerick, Overstock’s plans for a new tech team in Sligo and Lightyear’s expansion in Belfast.

If you’re hoping to take your own career down a fintech route, read on to learn from others in the industry.

Who can pursue a career in fintech?

As with any field today, it takes a village to make fintech work – and a diverse one, at that. Danny Buckley of EY, for example, started out in law before switching paths.

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He’s now the company’s chief financial officer and variety is still a big part of his job: “The most rewarding part of working in financial services is the variety. There are different sectors, such as aircraft leasing, banking, asset management and insurance; different businesses – for example, I have worked in retail banking, corporate and treasury; and different roles – I have worked in M&A, business partnering, audit, transaction services and capital investment.”

But junior and senior workers alike are needed for the industry. Cleo Byrne was an intern at Fidelity Investments when she spoke to us. She told us about he training she did at the start of her internship and the work she was given researching different technologies and creating proof-of-concept apps.

She reassured readers that you don’t need to know everything when starting your career in fintech: “In this line of work, you are consistently learning and developing your skills as technology is always changing and will continue to throughout your career. I’ve learned that you have to be able to adapt to change.”

Fintech bridges two vast industries, so it needs lots of different skillsets to survive. Byrne is a computer scientist by training, but software engineers are also important at Fidelity. Ares Zhang’s work in this area helped him move from Fidelity in Dalian, China to Galway. In his role, he designs and develops services spanning big data, cloud and micro.

Others working in the field include CIOs, technology managers, AI experts, tax professionals and business-intelligence and development leaders.

What kinds of projects can you expect to work on?

Before you’ve stepped into a particular industry, it can be hard to know what exactly working in it would be like. Someone with fantastic insight here is Amy Neale, Mastercard Labs’ vice-president. Neale started out in computational linguistics and while that may seem an unusual stepping-stone into fintech, she explained that it all comes down to “getting new technologies into people’s hands”.

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The big fintech trends Neale is excited about include open banking, text and voice interfaces and data security. In all of these areas, she said, “it’s not about the technology – it’s about the problems it solves in the world”.

Payments practice lead at Accenture Mark Quigley has been working in the field since he was 18, but the projects he works on still surprise him on a daily basis. He told us that it’s “in the nature of the job to be solving problems”. He added that working in fintech offers an opportunity to “deliver impactful change to people’s lives” across real-time payments, digital wallets, cybersecurity and more.

Another exciting area in fintech is blockchain. This is something that Citi’s Innovation Lab in Dublin is dedicated to, and engineers like Amber Higgins are helping it push forward. A typical day in Higgins’ role, she told us, involves everything from market research to solution design.

Which skills are important?

Fintech obviously requires technical expertise and hard skills such as coding, but softer abilities are important, too. Citi’s Matthew Beckingham draws on both every day, programming mainly in Python and communicating his progress with wider groups.

Akarsh Sanghi, who has led teams at N26 and Zalando’s The Studio, is passionate about diversity in fintech – particularly when it comes to leadership:

“As the fintech landscape is evolving rapidly, we need people with more and more diverse ideas on how to make financial tools universally available to empower people towards their individual progress.”

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According to Sanghi, achieving this requires a “good understanding of how technology is evolving in terms of payments, banking, investing and lending, among others”. Thorough observation skills and knowledge of consumer behaviours and trends are also key.

“The current generation of people coming into the banking system for the first time ever is experiencing services in a completely different way than all prior generations,” he explained. “Having a good understanding of consumers’ needs is a great skill to develop.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Answered: 5 questions about forging a career in fintech 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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Hedge funds, not hipsters, may be powering bitcoin’s second big rally

Financial News  | Will Hadfield and Emily Nicolle | Nov 20, 2020

cryptocurrencies in 2020 - Hedge funds, not hipsters, may be powering bitcoin’s second big rallyThere is now 'a greater urgency by institutional investors to not miss out — to invest some of their assets in bitcoin, because this time looks different'

It may be hedge funds, rather than retail investors, that are driving this autumn’s rally in the price of bitcoin.

And this time round, the institutional investors are buying exchange-traded products as well as the underlying cryptocurrency. A bitcoin ETP managed by Swiss issuer 21Shares is receiving creations — the equivalent of inflows — of as much as $3 million a day. In November last year, it took all month to attract the same amount of new money.

See:  Canada’s first public Bitcoin fund hits $100M mark

Investors in bitcoin ETPs are overwhelmingly institutions, rather than individuals.

“This is purely us targeting institutional investors,” Laurent Kssis, managing director at 21Shares, told Financial News. “Our business is focused solely on institutional investors’ mandate to add crypto to their portfolio strategies and we have not really touched the retail market yet.”

Many institutional investors sat on the sidelines when bitcoin experienced its first dramatic rally in 2017 — the cryptocurrency surged to $19,783 before collapsing to as little as $3,248 in late 2018. Money managers lacked a mandate to invest in cryptocurrencies and nervous compliance departments blocked requests to trade on unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges.

This year’s rally is different. A group of companies have listed bitcoin-tracking ETPs, investment vehicles that mimic exchange-traded funds. ETPs are regulated, unlike bitcoin, so hedge funds with a mandate to get exposure to cryptocurrencies can invest in the products, which are listed on stock exchanges.

The situation is similar in the US, where analysts say family offices and institutional investors have been ploughing into investment vehicles for bitcoin in recent months.

See:  Bitcoin price hits record high for 2020 after PayPal finally adds cryptocurrency

Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, a cross-asset research analyst at JPMorgan, said there is now “a greater urgency by institutional investors to not miss out — to invest some of their assets in bitcoin, because this time looks different”.

“The big difference to 2017 is that there is now greater conviction that bitcoin is a genuine asset class, that bitcoin will never go to zero,” he said. This has been prompted by a perception of bitcoin as a credible alternative asset to gold, backed by corporate sponsorship from the likes of PayPal, MicroStrategy and Square.

“What is happening this year is that gold’s monopoly as an alternative asset is now being questioned,” he said. Instead over the past month, inflows into US-listed vehicles such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust show that “the institutional demand is so strong that even if some hedge funds or other funds that play bitcoin as a momentum trade get out, it’s not enough to stop the [price] ascent”.

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The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s share price value on Wall Street at the start of October was $10.87, according to Nasdaq. As of 20 November, it has almost doubled to $19.94 — and is still climbing.

Bitcoin has become an attractive asset class for US funds that are known for investing in technology stocks, he added, saying that the bank has heard anecdotally that they’re all “familiar faces”.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Hedge funds, not hipsters, may be powering bitcoin’s second big rally 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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Global Fintech Ecosystem Report Launch | Top 20 Ranking

Startup Genome | Nov 24, 2020

Stratup Genome Global Fintech Ecosystem report 2020 - Global Fintech Ecosystem Report Launch | Top 20 Ranking

The Global Fintech Ecosystem Report 2020 by Startup Genome is launching today at FinTech Abu Dhabi, a conference focused on the latest launches, pioneers, brands, and insights that are powering the world of financial technology.

The Global Fintech Ecosystem Report is an extension of Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report and the first installment of the annual sub-sector report series. The Report ranks the global top 20 and runner-up Fintech startup ecosystems on five Success Factors, including Performance, Talent, Funding, Focus and Legacy.

The top five Fintech startup ecosystems globally in 2020 are Silicon Valley, New York City, London, Singapore and Beijing, respectively.

See:

Using ecosystems to reach higher: An interview with the co-CEO of Ping An

View Canadian Fintech markets on FintechCanada.io

Highlights:

  • The top 5 global Fintech ecosystems are Silicon Valley, New York City, London,Singapore and Beijing.
  • Europe and North America no longer dominate the Top 20 Fintech ecosystems with the Asia-Pacific region contributing as many globally leading hubs as North America.
  • Overall, the growth in Fintech funding is slowing down globally. Early-stage funding (pre-seed, seed and Series A) has plateaued almost everywhere. China in particular has seen a drop. The notable exceptions are Europe, and Americas (excluding USA), both of which have seen an increase.
  • Series B+ funding is doing better, with China being the only region down in 2019,but this is due to a whopper year in 2018, led by a $14B funding round for Ant Financial.
  • The increasing share of series B+ rounds in total funding for fintech indicates industry consolidation with more money being poured into winners. This is ultimately necessary as Fintech commercials require large volumes for profitability.
  • European Fintech funding continues its steady climb at all stages and with consistent unicorn growth, not the least reflective of rapid growth in user adoption since pandemic.
  • Digital-only banking clearly is on the rise; including by adding new services such as wealth management as well as broader service bundles.
  • Artificial Intelligence: A natural complement to Fintech, helping the industry develop hyper personalized solutions.
  • From competition to collaboration - incumbents and startup challengers increasingly realize benefit in collaborating, resulting in a much larger number of partnerships between incumbent FIs and Fintechs as well as between non-financial players and Fintechs.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Global Fintech Ecosystem Report Launch | Top 20 Ranking 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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