Fintech Talk: March 17, 2017
- Starling Bank, known as one of the challenger banks in the U.K., is launching a beta version of its current account app. The app will allow you to sign up to a full current account, thanks to the restricted banking license it was issued in July. Upon approval of your account, which involves things like photographing your passport or driving license via the app, you are issued a Starling Bank MasterCard debit card that can be used in the U.K. and abroad. The beta launch comes a day after Starling Bank announced a partnership with currency exchange company TransferWise as part of its’s broader strategy to offer a marketplace of additional financial services within the app.
- The Spanish bank, BBVA, has launched the ninth edition of its “Open Talent” fintech competition and is currently looking for start-ups from across the globe. According to the bank, this year’s programme has grown from one competition to five. It will be hosting multiple competitions, including a global trends competition to find the best fintech idea internationally. The winning start-ups will have the chance to work with senior leaders across the bank, make business connections and win prizes in excess of €200,000.
- Google is also joining the fast growing payments market, by re-adding its P2P payments feature to the Gmail Android app. The feature will allow friends to send funds by attaching a file to an email. Google first began letting US users send and receive money through Gmail on desktop back in 2013, but it’s now bringing the feature to the Android (but not iOS) app. The app is available to US users, who will be able to link their card and then tap on the attachment icon and pick whether to send or request money.
- Samsung's S8 will be employing facial-recognition technology for mobile payments, adding cutting-edge security to help the device stand out from its rivals. The Galaxy S8 , which will be unveiled later in March, will blend fingerprint, iris and facial detection to verify users accessing mobile services including Samsung Pay. Definitely a rising technology to watch!
- The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is looking at using blockchain technology as settlements for bond trading and cross-border payments. In a project being driven by the Singapore Exchange, the central bank plans to test the technology in the bond trading and settlement cycle to make the process more efficient. Fascinating to see how blockchain is being employed by financial institutions in cross border payments, looking forward to the results and outcomes of the project.