Finovate Global Canada: Paytech M&A, Mobile Top-Ups, and New Rules for Crypto Exchanges

Canada Inks New Guidelines for Crypto Exchanges

In the wake of the FTX scandal and the so-called “crypto winter,” the Canadian Securities Administration (CSA) has issued a set of new regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges. The new guidelines involve both commitments to investor protection as well as a registration mandate. The mandate requires “crypto asset trading platforms” (CTPs) operating in Canada to provide a pre-registration commitment to Canada’s security regulators within 30 days – and begin a full registration process. Announced this week, CTPs in Canada will have until late March to comply. Those institutions that do not comply will not be allowed to legally serve Canadian clients. The regulations also institute a significant crackdown on the trading of stablecoins. Defined as “securities and/or derivatives” by the CSA in 2022, these digital assets can no longer be purchased or stored on cryptocurrency exchanges without written permission from the CSA.

“Recent insolvencies involving several crypto asset trading platforms highlight the tremendous risks associated with trading crypto assets, particularly when conducted on unregistered platforms based outside of Canada,” CSA Chair and Chair and CEO of the Alberta Securities Commission Stan Magidson said.

The new rules will undoubtedly make life tougher for cryptocurrency exchanges in the near-term. Nevertheless, the new regulations may provide more room for these businesses to operate than it may seem at first glance. From the multi-part registration process to the ability to secure permission to offer stablecoins, it seems clear that Canadian regulators are taking a relatively cautious approach to correcting the course of cryptocurrencies in the Great White North.

Ding and Western Union Bring Mobile Top-Up to Canadian Customers

The international mobile top-up platform Ding has teamed up with one of the leaders in the money transfer business. Ding has reached an agreement with Western Union that will enable customers in Canada to send international top-up payments to the mobile phones of more than five billion prepaid customers worldwide.

“We are thrilled to be teaming with one of the largest money transfer operations in the world,” Ding Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Rockett said. “The launch of Ding Checkout with Western Union will give consumers access to a complimentary service which they can use to support their friends and families around the globe. We are excited to unveil our capabilities as a digital value transfer platform and drive growth in both new and existing customers for Western Union.”

The partnership between Ding and Western Union will launch in Canada first. The partnership will give Western Union customers access to Ding’s network of more than 600 mobile operators across 140+ countries, covering 95% of the world’s population. The collaboration also gives Western Union customers a new way to add minutes and data quickly to their mobile plans.

Nuvei Completes $1.3 Billion Acquisition of Paya

At the beginning of the year, Canadian paytech Nuvei announced that it had agreed to acquire U.S. integrated payments and commerce solutions provider Paya for $1.3 billion. This week, Nuvei reported that the transaction has been completed.

“This is an important milestone for Nuvei as we continue to build a preeminent payment technology provider with strong positions in global eCommerce, Integrated Payments, and B2B,” Nuvei Chair and CEO Philip Fayer said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to officially welcome our new colleagues form Paya to the Nuvei family. We have been working diligently on our integration planning, and we are ready to begin the next step on this exciting journey as a single, unified team.”

Paya processed $50 billion in annual payment volume in 2022, with much of that amount coming from companies in verticals such as healthcare, non-profit, government, utilities, and other B2B end markets. Nuvei paid $9.75 per share for the NASDAQ-listed company, which went public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) FinTech Acquisition Corp III in 2020.

Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Nuvei was founded in 2003. The company also made headlines this year in forging new partnerships with enterprise digital commerce platform VTEX, Colombian payment processor Redeban, and online business marketplace platform Le Panier Bleu.

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Swiss software firm Netcetera acquired Slovenian mobile app and digital identity development company Kamino.
  • Saldo Bank launched in Lithuania.
  • Germany-based business financial management (BFM) company finway secured $10 million (€9.2 million) in Series A funding.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Remittance processor Remitly went live with its outbound remittance solution in the UAE.
  • Morocco-based fintech Gwala raised pre-seed funding to support its on-demand payment solution for employees and employers. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
  • Saudi Arabia-based fintech Hala acquired UAE payments company – previously known as PointCheckout.

Central and Southern Asia

  • India-based banking-as-a-service platform Decentro launched in Singapore this week.
  • Pakistani digital lending platform AdalFi announced a $7.5 million investment led by UAE-based COTU Ventures, Chimera Ventures, Pakistan-based Fatima Gobi Ventures, and Zayn Capital.
  • Indian payments solution provider PayU launched its 3D Secure 2.0 SDK.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mexican mobile banking app Tudi selected ThetaRay as its AML/transaction monitoring partner.
  • Brazil-based fintech Celcoin announced its $16.3 million acquisition of open finance company Finansystech.
  • Refresh Miami interviewed Juan Pablo Jiménez, Chief Sales Officer of Ecuador’s first unicorn, Kushki.


Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South African mobility fintech company, Planet42, raised $100 million in combined equity, debt, and a credit facility.
  • WorldStage profiled Nigeria-based Islamic fintech startup HalalVest.
  • Kenya-based micro-lender Power Financial Wellness secured $3 million in seed funding.

Photo by Andre Furtado