Digital Banking News
- WeLab – a virtual bank in Hong Kong licensed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) announced that it received a total of 10,000 applications within 10 days of launching its services to the public. WeLab Bank is a 100% digital bank, with no monthly fee charges, offering services such as time deposits and interest-bearing deposit accounts. It has also partnered with Mastercard to launch the WeLab Debit Card in July this year and will extend the 8% cash rebate on card spends till September this year.
Central Bank Digital Currency of China
- China’s Ministry of Commerce announced that it conducting a pilot run of the digital currency introduced by the country’s central bank. According to the ministry the regions where the pilot program is introduced are Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and Yangtze River Delta region. The ministry added that “the digital yuan is already under trial in four cities: Xiongan New Area in North China’s Hebei province, Shenzhen in South China’s Guangdong province, Suzhou in East China’s Jiangsu province, and Chengdu in Southwest China’s Sichuan province. It will also be tested during the 2022 Winter Olympics games in Beijing, and be expanded to other regions as appropriate, the ministry added.”
Acquisition in Fintech
- American Express, a global payments company is set to acquire a substantial stake in Kabbage, a technology company providing cash flow solution to SMEs. With this acquisition American express aims to provide solutions to SMEs from a broad range of offerings such as payment, flexible lines of credit, online bill payment, cash flow visualization tools, etc.
Singapore in Focus
- The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on August 13th announced that it will commit S$250 million over a span of three years to enhance technology and drive innovation under the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI 2.0). Some of the grants covered under this scheme which will receive more funding are – Proof-of-concept grant will receive double funding from S$200,000 to S$400,000, Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) Grant will receive funding from up from S$1 million to S$1.5 million. FTSI aims to “invigorate the culture of innovation in Singapore, catalyse the implementation of innovative solutions, and deepen the cybersecurity capabilities in the financial sector.”
- DBS and Amazon Web Services have recently partnered to train employees of the bank in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) across the bank’s business. With AWS DeepRacer League, around 3000 DBS staff are set to learn gain basic knowledge and application AI and ML through online tutorials and where employees will use this knowledge test car models.
- TSB Bank, a retail and business bank in United Kingdom has recently partnered with eForests, a not-for-profit organisation to help offset the carbon footprint of the house move for the customer. The bank has pledged to plant a tree for every TSB mortgage provided for a house move by the customer. With this initiative the bank plans to plant 1500 trees every month.