Fintech In Asia – 2 New “Regulatory Sandboxes” Announced in Hong Kong, Whilst A Third Gets An Upgrade. Good News For Customers Worldwide?

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As anybody who regularly reads our blog posts and breaking news updates will probably know, we have recently been travelling in Asia, visiting Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, and exploring the countries’ fintech and international money transfer ecosystems.

Fintech in Asia is booming; along with London, New York, and parts of Africa, places like Singapore, and, not to be underestimated, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur are forging ahead with truly disruptive services and products that will change the face of banking forever.

But in this post we are going to look at some news from Hong Kong, courtesy of Open Gov Asia; last week, not one, not two, but three financial regulators announced plans to introduce “sandboxes” to aid the development of disruptive startup fintech firms. Read more

PSD2 Coming, But British Open Banking Regulation Already Ahead of the Game (So Long As It Stays Compliant) Says Payments Expert

This content belongs to The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies

As always, this month’s European Payments Council (EPC) newsletter contains some essential reading.

As anybody who works within the payments or indeed the wider fintech industry surely knows, PSD2, the much-anticipated update to the first set of Payments Services Directives, is nearly here. Read more

International Payments Firm Smart Transfer Claim World First; Customers Can Swap Currencies, For Free, Over Social Media

A Hong Kong based borderless money transfer firm, Smart Transfer, officially launched its P2P mobile payment platform last week, allowing senders to transfer funds using just a recipients’ phone number, email address, or social media account.

The Company claim the service is unique and could even be a world first. “There is a modern global push towards a digital and cashless society, and we want to fully leverage all digital avenues, such as social media and e-mail addresses, to revolutionise local and cross-border payments,” says Francis Lu, the co-founder and CEO of Smart Transfer, who are based out of Hong Kong. Read more

Travelling Malaysia Part II: A Singing Washing Machine & The Fintech Startup Scene

Edmund Ingham, PR and Content Manager at The Money Cloud on how the government is supporting fintech in Malaysia and the startups to watch.

After 10 days in Kuala Lumpur I’ve finally got over the jetlag (it really can take that long) and I’m becoming acclimatised to the tropical heat. Kuala Lumpur has so much to offer every type of traveller, from its hipster cafes, to its bustling centre, to the Batu caves and the giant Buddha that sits beside them.

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Is Santander’s 100% Digital Openbank A Template For The Bank Of The Future?

Santander launched its latest product, the “100% digital” OpenBank last week amidst much fanfare and some bold new features and promises. Currently it is only available in Spain, but is expected to be rolled out internationally soon.

So, after 15 months in the making, and having been re-built from scratch, can this re-launched product of Santander’s be seen as a blueprint for the way the bank accounts of the future will operate? Read more

TerraPay & Yes Bank Partnership Allows Migrants To Make Real-Time Money Transfers To India

India is the world’s largest receiver of remittance inflows; some $62.7 billion was sent in 2016-17 – more than the total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.

Now, thanks to a partnership between mobile payments provider TerraPay and private sector lender Yes Bank, India’s diaspora will be able to make instant cross-border money transactions into the country.

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A Goldman Sachs-backed Digital Payments Startup Just Launched A Fee-Free Money Transfer Service

It seems we may well be heading towards a world where, when sending money internationally, the only thing we need to concern ourselves with is the exchange rate – because transaction fees are rapidly being consigned to history.

Starting from today, Circle, a money transfer service and app that allows its users to ping money to one another using a mobile messaging service, is introducing fee-free person-to-person (P2P) money transfer services for users in the UK, Spain, and the US. Read more

The 5 Best New Services For Sending Money Abroad

Over the past few years, thanks to the rise of a number of disruptive Financial Technology, otherwise known as FinTech businesses, it has become far easier, and cheaper to send money overseas.

Until recently most of us would have used either a wire transfer agency, such as Western Union or Ria Money Transfer, or a high street bank to send money internationally, but there were 3 major drawbacks to this approach. Read more

Zopa Receives £32 Million From New Backers To Build “Next Generation” Bank

Zopa first launched in 2005 as a peer-to-peer lending site. Since then, it has lent over £1.8 billion and helped its lenders earn more than £75m of interest.

The company says it has “built a profitable, scalable and viable business”, but now, subject to regulatory approval, it wants to “launch a next generation bank to complement our existing peer-to-peer products.” Read more

SWIFT Fights Trend Towards Fintech Alternatives With Launch Of GPI Cross-Border Payments Tracker

Whilst the world’s media obsess about Fintech and Blockchain technology, it’s easy to forget that SWIFT, The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication to call it by its full name, still rules the financial messaging roost.

In fact, SWIFT has been the top dog for nearly 40 years – since it was first founded, in 1973 with the support of 239 banks in 15 different countries.

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What are APIs And How Do Fintech Firms Use Them?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. In the banking world, APIs can be used by “third party” developers to access data stored by banks.

A good example would be where a third party developer, say a credit reference agency, could use APIs to access somebody’s credit history, allowing them to make a more informed judgment about whether the applicant constituted a credit risk.

But there are plenty of other ways that an API can be used. For example, an app developer could use an API to offer customers a real-time view of the money they are spending using a bank card, by requesting access to a users’ bank account and downloading the information.

Read more

Japan Introduces Regulatory Sandbox For Fintech Startups

The Japanese government are set to make it easier for the country’s fintech startups to trial new services and technology. Their financial authorities are introducing a pro-innovation sandbox that will offer firms the opportunity to conduct regulator-free trials.

A government agency will review proposals from developers and startup fintech firms. If granted approval, the developers will be given a limited time to run experiments within the sandbox. Read more

Infographic – The Money Cloud Recommends The Best Money Transfer Apps

If you are still using Western Union, Ria or your Bank to send money abroad, where have you been for the last decade! Times have changed, and tech disruption has made the process of sending money overseas a far more straightforward, efficient, and cheaper process, with the added bonus that you can shop around for the best rates and services.

In that spirit, we present 8 of our favourite money transfer apps, which you can download and use on the go with a smartphone, or at your leisure, saving yourself money in the process. Each one has different features to consider, but we’re sure that somewhere in this list you will find the one that’s right for you.

To compare rates from FCA authorised brokers as well as some of the best-regarded money transfer agencies like TransferWise or Azimo, why not try our money transfer comparison engine?