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Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum

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Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance | Tania Zielgar | Jun 17, 2020

Global Benchmarking and Covid 19 Survey Banner - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic ForumNCFA Intro:  NCFA is please to provide continued support as a National industry partner of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance research initiatives in Canada.  It's absolutely essential that data and research be collected and anlayzed to help identify trends, inform policy and understand the state of industry during these times of global risk and innovative change.  We strongly advise all fintech firms, research partners and anyone who is able to help this important survey collection initiative by completing the survey and sharing it widely among your network.

Overview of the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey

For the past several years, the CCAF has produced comprehensive industry-focused research on the evolution of alternative finance; documenting and analysing the development of Crowdfunding, P2P/Marketplace Lending and other FinTech markets from across 190 countries.

This year’s benchmarking survey will also include the recently launched The Global Covid-19 Fintech Market Rapid Assessment Study, in partnership with the World Bank Group and the World Economic Forum. The empirical data collected will be used to understand Covid-19’s impact on the FinTech markets, how the global FinTech industry has responded and some of the immediate regulatory and policy implications. This research program has resulted in 20 reports, which are disseminated freely to inform policy and raise public awareness of alternative finance. This research has provided unique detail and insight into the changing FinTech landscape, creating a valuable evidence-base for policymakers, regulators, and industry stakeholders to utilize when evaluating the FinTech ecosystem within their local context or from a globally comparative perspective.

The Fintech landscape is changing rapidly as a result of Covid-19. This report, and the historical data on this industry more broadly, provide signposts as to the general development trajectories of firms when faced with this pandemic, and where strengths and weakness may lie.

The survey will hence include two key components:
1.    Time-series data required to continue the CCAF long-standing tradition of benchmarking and scoping the industry (referring to your 2019 activities), and
2.    Covid-19 focused time-sensitive data on a) market performance, b) regulatory needs & policy asks, and c) operational changes & implications.

The long-term impact of Covid-19 is yet to be known. By coupling longitudinal data with this research initiative, we can begin to test the resiliency of this market and provide clear, evidence-based assessments on how the sector will continue to develop.

As with all our reports, the Global Covid-19 Fintech Market Rapid Assessment (anticipated publication Q3) and the Annual Global Alternative Finance Industry Report (Q4) will be made available to the public and actively disseminated to provide key insights to regulators, policymakers and key industry stakeholders.  

Cambridge global benchmarking survey taxonomy - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum

Thanks in advance for your contribution to the study:  Take the Survey Now

https://jbs.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7PRyNSA3B5IKIrX

The Covid-19 pandemic presents both serious challenges and potential opportunities for the global FinTech industry to grow and scale, with the long-term effects yet unknown. By coupling the CCAF’s longitudinal data with this exciting research initiative, we can begin to test the resiliency of this market and provide clear, evidence-based assessments on how the sector will continue to develop.

This Study will provide a global assessment of the FinTech ecosystem’s responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, with particular attention to the industry’s response to challenges and their regulatory and policy concerns.  This survey will result in a jointly published report between the CCAF, World Bank and World Economic Forum, and will be made available online.  You can find further information on the Study in the accompanying press-release.

The survey will close on July 31st. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the CCAF research team directly:  Tania Ziegler (t.ziegler@jbs.cam.ac.uk).

Take the survey now --> here

 

Other links you may like:

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance Publishes First Global Report on Alternative Finance: Over $300 Billion in Volume in 2018

Cambridge: Global Regulator Survey Results – Regulation of Alternative Finance is Key to Make Sector Safe to Scale for the Masses

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum 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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Here are the UK’s 5 leading open banking providers

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AltFi | Aisling Finn  | Jun 10, 2020

UK digital bank Tink founders - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic ForumOpen banking has long been pedalled as the future of fintech, but which companies are the leading providers of the service in the UK?

Open banking has become one of the most popular adaptations for both fintechs and big finance alike.

Open banking was first introduced as a concept when the EU decided the banking industry needed greater competition and wanted to expand the opportunities offered to fintechs.

Since the introduction of the EU's Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in January 2018, open banking has revolutionised the way millions of people manage their finances and use their data.

Following the introduction of PSD2, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ordered the biggest banks in the UK to share their APIs with other banks and third-party providers which helped the fintechs on this list to thrive.

The ability to access all your accounts and integrate non-banking financial services too has proved increasingly popular over the last few years, with the likes of fintech giants Monzo, Revolut and Starling all offering some form of the technology.

Open banking’s main goal is to increase the transparency of the banking industry, so without further ado, and full transparency, here are the UK’s leading open banking providers.

See:  Plaid celebrates 12 months in Europe with an eye towards Open Finance

Bud  

Who started it?

Bud was founded in 2015 by Ed Maslaveckas and George Dunning, initially beginning its life as a financial wellbeing platform.

The platform recently appointed hedgefund heavyweight, Lord Stanley Fink, the former CEO of the hedge fund firm the Man Group, as the Chair of its board of directors.

How is it funded?

Bud counts Goldman Sachs, 9 Yards Capital, HSBC and Investec as investors and also won a slice of the UK government’s £2m rental recognition prize back in 2018.

In February 2019, the fintech bagged $20m from HSBC and Goldman Sachs to help it double in size and expand into new markets.

Who are the customers?

One of Bud’s primary customers is HSBC, who also happens to have invested a significant amount in the fintech.

In December 2019, Bud extended its partnership with HSBC and signed a three-year global deal with the bank to give access to Bud’s open banking, API and data.

Last October, Bud shifted away from larger firms to focus more on transactional data for smaller firms and introduced a developer portal for SMEs to access Bud’s sandbox environment.

See:  Open banking review faces ‘worrying’ delay as pandemic drives Canadians to fintech

Plaid

Who started it?

Plaid was founded in 2012 by Zach Perret, who recently spoke at the AltFi Digital Summit 2020, and William Hockey, who has since left his role as chief technology officer and now sits on Plaid’s board of directors.

The San Francisco-based startup recently celebrated its first anniversary of being in Europe following its surprise launch of financial management app Emma.

How is it funded?

In January 2020, it was revealed that Visa would shell out $5.3bn for the Silicon Valley startup, although the deal is yet to be completed.

Prior to the sale, Plaid had previously received several strategic investments from Visa and Mastercard.

Who are the customers?

Plaid connects to over 15,000 financial institutions across the US, Canada and Europe and 80 per cent of the biggest fintechs rely upon Plaid’s API infrastructure to operate.

The open banking powerhouse has helped the likes of financial management app Emma, Venmo, trading platform Robinhood, Monzo and TransferWise.

See:  Is this the new face of Generation Z banking?

Tink

Who started it?

Tink was founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 2012 by Daniel Kjellén and Fredrik Hedberg and is now offered in 17 markets across Europe and Latin America.

How is it funded?

In January 2020, it was revealed that Tink had just closed its largest funding round to date, totalling €90m.

The Swedish fintech has raised over €200m to date and has secured several strategic investments from PayPal, including most recently when PayPal injected an undisclosed amount to help the fintech conquer Europe.

Who are the customers?

Tink recently revealed a strategic investment from payment giant PayPal that would see it’s technology available to some customers across all countries in the European Economic Area (EEA)

Tink integrates with more than 2,500 financial institutions, reaches over 250m customers and processes more than 10bn transactions a year.

See:  Explore Canadian Fintechs in Canada on FintechCanada.io

Yapily

Who started it?

Yapily was founded by former Goldman Sachs investment banker, Stefano Vaccino in 2017.

Vaccino was fascinated by the social impact of open banking and the ability it holds to bring financial wellbeing and knowledge to the masses.

How is it funded?

To date, Yapily has raised $18.4m, including a $13m Series A round primarily led by investment firm Lakestar, which has invested in the likes of Spotify, Skype and Revolut.

The firm also completed a $5.4m seed round in May 2019 which was led by HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, which has invested in fellow fintechs SumUp and Penta, and LocalGlobe, an investor in the likes of Tide, Cleo, Robinhood and Transferwise.

Who are the customers?

Yapily counts Intuit QuickBooks and GoCardless as customers, as well as several other fintechs and firms and has recently been selected as an open banking provider for IBM.

The fintech currently has 80 per cent account coverage across Europe and 99 per cent coverage here in the UK, with the hopes to expand even further across Europe in the coming months.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum 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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Full Court WordPress: Coil Deal Boosts Functional Blockchain — And XRP

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Forbes | Cory Johnson | May 19, 2020

XRP wordpress - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic ForumXRP-powered Coil could put crypto transactions into the hands of tens of millions with WordPress deal. But will it take?

The excitement over how much blockchain could do has always been outmatched by what little blockchain does do. But that may finally be changing.

Today, the San Francisco-based blockchain startup Coil announced a new integration with WordPress, the dominant publishing engine on the Web. It means that website creators could get blockchain-metered payments, whether the content is free or behind a paywall.

Better still, users, currently accustomed to giving up their private information to unknown cookies, will have that personal information protected. They could even enjoy WordPress-powered sites advertising free.

See:  How the Pandemic Is Pushing Blockchain Forward

This is a big deal because, well, WordPress is big. According to an W3techs survey in April, over a third of the Web is published using WordPress software. Among those sites using content management systems, WordPress has 63.3% market share — number two Joomla has just 4.1%. WordPress version 5.4 has been downloaded 27 million times and counting. So yeah — it’s a huge opportunity.

Coil’s technology notes when a user visits a Coil-enabled site and apportions a payment to that site, paid out in cash or crypto currency — specifically in XRP.

That this could be the biggest use of XRP outside of the global payments company Ripple is no coincidence. Coil’s founder and CEO, Stefan Thomas, was Ripple’s chief technology officer until mid-2018  — Ripple being the biggest user of XRP to this point. Coil was backed by Ripple in 2018, which participated in a reported $4 million dollar seed round and then, in September 2019, tossed in a massive investment of one billion XRP tokens (and to be clear, I’m hopelessly conflicted reporting this story as I once worked at Ripple. To be equally clear, as of this writing I don’t own any XRP.)

To facilitate paying website owners, Coil is also announcing a new crypto wallet partnership with San Francisco-based Uphold, which boasts of trading in sixty currencies and having deals with banks in thirty-five countries

“Publishers and individual creators are seeking new revenue streams,” Thomas said in a release. “At the same time, consumers are suffering from site-by-site subscription fatigue and the invasive privacy issues associated with ads. With the introduction of the Web Monetization plugin and more payout options for publishers and creators around the globe, our goal is to provide more choice and less friction for everyone.”

That might be the goal, but one more payment option is surely more friction, at least at the start. And to be sure, this isn’t a deal with every site using WordPress. Indeed, it doesn’t appear to be a deal with any site using WordPress. This is more of a hunting licence, allowing Coil to try to convince content creators to hitch their wagon to Coil, if not XRP.

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

“I’m all for writers getting paid,” says Lou Kerner, longtime analyst and founder of Crypto Mondays. “Is this a good use case for blockchain? Sure. The problem is the revenues generated from this are de minimis. Not many people, at the end of the day, care about privacy. Facebook and Google remain the winners.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum 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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XTM Announces More Contracts for Today Card Program Including Topper’s Pizza Franchise Company

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XTM Inc. | Release | May 19, 2020

XTM Inc home - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic ForumTORONTO, May 19, 2020 /CNW/ - XTM, Inc. ("XTM" or the "Company") (CSE:PAID) (FSE:7XT), a Toronto-based Fintech company in the challenger banking space, providing mobile banking and payment solutions around the world is pleased to report that the company signed an additional 80 food delivery stores including Topper's Pizza Franchise  Company.

Further to its release on May 13, 2020, XTM continues to sign up a record number of restaurant delivery locations to its Today™ Card and Mobile Wallet program seeking to pay employees, drivers and contractors same day and eliminate cash.  XTM has signed 80 more delivery locations including popular pizza chain Topper's Pizza Franchise Company with more than 36 locations across Ontario.

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

XTM designed its backend to allow for easy point of sale (POS) integration, completely automating the process of delivering same day cashless payouts from syndicated restaurant chains to one-off locations.  XTM is onboarding stores for same day cashless payouts in days, not weeks.

Further to the Company's release on May 12, 2020 regarding record store and business on-boardings and Gross Dollar Value (GDV) loaded to cards, another key performance metric for challenger and neobanks like XTM is number of users.  The Company now has  85K users and with neobanks garnering valuations in excess of $1,000 per user, XTM believes it has the right recipe for success and shareholder value.

"Our technology roadmap includes further expediting onboarding making it as seamless as possible for all companies of all sizes to launch same day pay," commented Marilyn Schaffer, CEO.

"The increasing demand for our solution along with all the recent data demonstrating a paradigm shift away from cash further emphasizes that businesses and their workers are hungry for a cashless solution."

See:  How payments can adjust to the coronavirus pandemic—and help the world adapt

"Our goal is to deliver amazingly delicious pizza with safety in mind for our customers and our drivers," said Andrea Roberts, Senior Director, Operations, Topper's Pizza Franchise Company. "XTM's Today Program made the transition easy, efficient and  frictionless for our business."

About XTM – www.xtminc.com 

XTM is a Toronto-based fintech innovator in the challenger banking space, helping business and their workers expedite earnings payouts and reduce or eliminate banking fees and cash.   With a global card issuing  and payment platform XTM is providing free technology to business to automate and expedite worker payouts.  XTM integrates businesses to a payment ecosystem that is coupled with a free worker mobile app and a Mastercard debit card with banking features. XTM drives enterprise value and delivers a positive user experience.

View release:  here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum 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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No going back: New imperatives for European banking

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McKinsey & Company | By Matthieu L, Debasish P, Ildiko R, Hiro S, and Marcus S | May 18, 2020

New imperative for european banking - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum

Now is the time for Europe’s banking leaders to reimagine how their institutions operate and their role in society.

COVID-19 remains an unresolved health challenge that has resulted in tragic loss of life. The economic contraction emerging in its wake will likely be the deepest since World War II and the road to recovery will be long and challenging.

Over the past few months, banking leaders have displayed resolve and resilience, moving swiftly to protect the health of employees and customers, ensure the continuity of basic banking services, and build up capital, liquidity, and cost buffers to strengthen their institutions. In the coming months, banks will start to return to something resembling normal service, reopening offices and branches. But so much has changed over the past few weeks: customers’ financial needs, the way they engage, how employees work, and even society’s expectations of banks.

See:  Dealing with a crisis: FinTech versus Bank

The industry will likely face a prolonged period of economic pressure and banks’ actions in the coming months will set their performance trajectory for the years ahead. Banks have shown during the lockdown what is possible in terms of speed and innovation. There is no going back. Now is the time for banking executives to reimagine how their institutions operate. Bold vision and disciplined execution on a set of key imperatives will ultimately differentiate the leaders from the laggards as this crisis abates.

The crisis will put banks under prolonged

It is too early to predict the full impact of the pandemic. The outcome will depend on the length of lockdowns, the drop in demand, and the shape of the recovery. The scale of government support will also be critical—in the last month, some European governments have rolled out packages worth up to 30 percent of GDP and this level of intervention might continue.

All companies must think through possible scenarios to plan their next steps. Based on a recent survey of nine scenarios developed by the McKinsey Global Institute, more than a third of European executives expect a muted recovery. This is the basis of the analysis that follows, but we must keep in mind that other scenarios, both more optimistic and pessimistic, are also plausible.

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

The muted-recovery scenario translates into a drop in GDP of 11 percent across the Eurozone in 2020, and recovery in late 2023. 1 For banks, this would lead to sharp drops in revenue, a squeeze on capital and a hit on return on equity.

No going back - 6 imperatives to win

The crisis has upended the world in which banks operate in terms of customer behavior, ways of working, and government actions.

McKinsey’s European customer survey shows how customer behavior and needs have changed over the past month: digital engagement levels have climbed up to 20 percent, the use of cash has halved, 30 to 40 percent of customers have expressed a greater need for advice, while 20 to 40 percent want products to help them through the crisis. 4 Pension shortfalls are a particular challenge with those close to retirement facing a very immediate problem. Banks will need to reflect on the propositions and channels through which they can best meet these evolving needs.

See:  Open banking review faces ‘worrying’ delay as pandemic drives Canadians to fintech

  1. Innovate new products and propositions. COVID-19 has triggered a range of new financial needs that are waiting to be addressed.
  2. Lock in the shift to digital sales and service, and reshape physical distribution. In just a couple of months, customers’ adoption of digital banking has leapt forward by a couple of years.
  3. Create a structurally leaner and scalable cost base. To offset the effect of spiking risk costs and sluggish income, and to free up resources for building digital capabilities, banks need to aim for a cost improvement of 25 to 35 percent (or 20 to 30 percent net increase after reinvestments) over the next two to three years.
  4. Reset the organization and technology for speed. During the lockdown, many bank teams turned agile overnight and delivered the impossible—such as enabling thousands of employees to work from home, or deploying new digital journeys in record time.
  5. Double down on risk and capital management. Credit losses will be the defining differentiator of performance over the next year. Early detection and proactive intervention are critical to manage non-performing loans.
  6. Rebalance the business mix and seek targeted M&A deals. Industry landscapes are often redrawn after crises.

See:  COVID-19: A Test Of The Stakeholder Approach

The role of banks in society: A time for purpose-driven choices

Crises often prompt self-reflection and change and this may be a perfect time to reset what has been, at times, a challenging relationship with society. Banks have already been involved in economic support measures, but some may want to be even more proactive, as in Switzerland for example, where banks supported the government-initiated COVID-19 small-business loan program.  This could also be a time for banks to rethink their culture. Moving from a control-based culture to one based on strong values supported by smart controls might prove far more effective in steering European banks towards recovery in the volatile future.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum 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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Visa’s digital dollar concept opens a door to central bank currencies

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American Banker | John Adams | May 18, 2020

CBDC in 2020 - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic ForumThe coronavirus recovery is accelerating government involvement in payments, providing Visa a chance to turn a developing currency concept into a route for federal transactions.

The U.S. Patent office on Friday published a Visa patent application to create a technology gateway that could allow central bank currencies for any nation to be digitized. Visa filed the application in November, predating the coronavirus crisis that has generated more interest in digital money.

The application details a centralized computing system that receives information and denomination of a traditional currency, which is then converted to a digital form and recorded on a distributed ledger. This could work with any traditional currency, placing Visa in the middle of the process.

See:  Visa’s Fast Track Program Propels Growth of the Fintech Industry Worldwide

The coronavirus recovery is accelerating government involvement in payments, providing Visa a chance to turn a developing currency concept into a route for federal transactions.

The U.S. Patent office on Friday published a Visa patent application to create a technology gateway that could allow central bank currencies for any nation to be digitized. Visa filed the application in November, predating the coronavirus crisis that has generated more interest in digital money.

The application details a centralized computing system that receives information and denomination of a traditional currency, which is then converted to a digital form and recorded on a distributed ledger. This could work with any traditional currency, placing Visa in the middle of the process.

It’s also a way for Visa to respond to changes in money movement that could potentially compete with the card network. Visa was initially part of Facebook’s Libra project, but left the initiative along with several other high-profile payment companies when regulators and politicians pressured Libra — mostly over Facebook’s role and the potential to circumvent government monetary policy.

“Widespread adoption of digital currencies would be bad for Visa’s traditional retail payments franchise,” said Eric Grover, a principal at Intrepid Ventures, adding this may be a case of Visa hedging against central bank or Libra-style digital currencies. “A digital currency supported by Visa and issued by banks could fit nicely with Visa’s business model of delivering payment products through license banks, albeit with thinner transaction economics.”

The European Union has considered a “digital euro” to spur coronavirus recovery, and dozens of other countries are working on similar projects, giving Visa plenty of opportunities to partner with governments.

See:  Cryptocurrency Payments Processor CoinPayments Appoints Jason Butcher as New CEO

In this way Visa’s patent, which does not propose a cryptocurrency, is also a nod toward working with governments that may be anxious about how blockchain and cryptocurrency could impact traditional monetary policy, particularly in a time of quantitative easing and potential effects on currency values.

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Blockonomi | | May 18 ,2020

visa digital currency patent - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic ForumExploring Visa’s Digital Currency Patent Application: Toward a New Era of Finance?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published the patent application in question, which is simply titled "DIGITAL FIAT CURRENCY."

Visa is one of the most successful and consequential payments companies in the world. Where the powerhouse enterprise places its efforts is thus no small matter.

That’s why a newly published patent application for a blockchain-powered “digital fiat currency” system by the payments giant is not only legitimizing for blockchain tech in general but also indicates what may be coming to the mainstream payments arena amid increasing hyperdigitalization.

See:

Indeed, Visa’s patent mentioned the reigning smart contract platform Ethereum and the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain nearly a dozen times each. Will the future of finance be built on top public blockchains, then?

That’s the grand question for now, and Visa’s new patent application is an interesting new wrinkle accordingly. To be sure, Visa may have simply kept its options open with a defensive application. Yet if the firm ever does proceed with a system like the one planned in the filing, the implications will be manifold and major. Let’s dive deeper to better understand the stakes.

How the Digital Currency Would Work

Per the application, Visa’s envisioned digital currency entails a central operator, i.e. Visa or beyond, facilitating token issuances atop a blockchain. To this end, the document repeatedly identifies Ethereum as potential infrastructure of choice.

On the Decentralization Spectrum

Public blockchains like Ethereum can be used in many ways. They can give rise to totally decentralized projects like Augur and Uniswap, or they can help power centralized third-party enterprises like the Tether (USDT) stablecoin operation.

See:   Could Bitcoin on DeFi displace banks? Yes

Obviously then, Visa’s digital currency system — at least as initially outlined — would be near the “completely centralized” end of the decentralization spectrum. With that said, though, what would be interesting to see is if and how Visa’s digital currency would permeate into more decentralized areas of the cryptoeconomy, e.g. like USDT trading on Uniswap.

Visa could employ a smart contract whitelisting system to mitigate its tokens running amok in DeFi, though the company wouldn’t necessarily have to.

News Comes as Stablecoins Are Booming

There’s no indication just yet that Visa’s digital currency will actually come to fruition. But the mere prospect of its arrival comes at a time when both centralized and decentralized fiat-pegged stablecoins have been becoming increasingly popular.

For instance, this month the combined market capitalization of all active stablecoins reached $10 billion USD for the first time ever. The new milestone shows that demand for fiat-pegged or value-stable tokens is already strong and on the rise.

If a major firm like Visa jumped into the rising sector in a big way, then stablecoins in general will have officially hit the prime time. The possibility is closer than ever.

The CBDC Specter

As outlined, Visa’s envisioned digital currency system leaves the door open for central banking institutions to work with the payments company on actualizing central bank digital currency (CBDC) issuances.

See:  China’s digital currency app looks like Alipay and WeChat Pay

What’s interesting here is that in Visa central banks would certainly find a reliable and promising partner. In many cases, these banks would naturally be more comfortable using an Ethereum-powered Visa system rather than building their own Ethereum solutions themselves.

As such, Visa would be ideal for central banks wanting to issue CBDCs for retail rather than wholesale use, as the company’s consumer base is vast.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum 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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Cryptocurrency Payments Processor CoinPayments Appoints Jason Butcher as New CEO

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Crowdfund Insider | | May 14, 2020

Jason butcher - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic ForumCryptocurrency payments processor CoinPayments announced on Wednesday it has appointed Jason Butcher as its new CEO. CoinPayment reported that Butcher has been its Chief Operating Officer since 2017, and previously as an advisor starting in 2015, helped boost CoinPayments’ monthly transactions to more than $100 million.

According to CoinPayments, Butcher brings nearly three decades of experience building businesses globally in diverse industries and markets. He founded HODLTech and DIGISURE in 2018, Parallel Payments in 2011, and is actively involved in a number of global FinTech, Crowdfunding, and Blockchain technology projects. He also serves as an advisor with the Blockchain Association of Canada and is the Fintech advisor for the National Crowdfunding and Fintech Association.

“Crypto-payment accessibility allows businesses to be more agile with customers and partners by offering improved security and faster transactions without red tape. Our aim is to further enable more businesses globally with custom tools and services, as well as a superior customer service experience.”

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CoinPayments further reported it is planning to do the following under Butcher’s leadership in 2020:

  • A continued focus on delivering easy-to-use solutions and exceptional customer service to merchants
  • New advisors including world-renowned payments and cryptocurrency executives
  • Global partnerships that will deliver the CoinPayments platform directly to thousands of new merchants

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum 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

Latest news - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic ForumFF Logo 400 v3 - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forumcommunity social impact - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum
FFCON20 DIGITAL vertical  - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum

NCFA COVID 19 letter to government to support Fintechs and SMEs - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum

NCFA Newsletter subscribe600 - Cambridge launches the Global Alternative Finance Industry Benchmark & Covid-19 Rapid Assessment Survey in Partnership with World Bank Group and World Economic Forum

 

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