Japan’s Digital Yen; Visa, Plaid, and the Opportunity for African Fintechs


With FinovateEurope less than a month away, Finovate Research has been busily putting together a variety of features looking at different issues surrounding fintech in Europe. These insights will be published in an upcoming special supplement; stay tuned for our celebration of and reflection on PSD2’s second birthday, our look at venture capital’s impact on the surging challenger bank movement, and more.

This week on the Finovate blog we covered the $115 million raised by French challenger bank Qonto, looked at the new banking license U.K. challenger bank Vive Bank just scored from the Bank of England, and reported on Nigeria-based mobile money operator Paga’s acquisition of U.S.-based Apposit.

Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian SME payments solution provider C6 reaches one million customer milestone.
  • EBANX launches 10,000-consumer trial of its digital wallet, Ebanx Go.
  • BNP Paribas to foster fintech innovation at new Sao Paulo startup hub, La Fabrique.


  • Japan may be the next country to issue a digital version of its currency.
  • Finastra to power core banking for Asia digital-only bank, Tonik.
  • Fintech News Malaysia features the top 20 fintechs in the country in 2020.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • African payments startup Flutterwave locks in $35 million in new funding; announces partnerships with Visa and WorldPay.
  • What does Visa’s acquisition of Plaid mean for African fintech startups? Tech Cabal examines the opportunities for two of Nigeria’s top fintechs.
  • International Adviser looks at how broader financial literacy may be key to a “fintech revolution” in South Africa.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • German challenger bank N26 announces 40% customer increase with five million customers now using the institution’s products and services.
  • Poland’s Autenti, which enables digital agreement signing and provides e-document workflow, seals the deal on $4.48 million in new funding.
  • Members of Sberbank’s loyalty program can now share reward points with other members.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Dubai-based robo advisory platform Sarwa picks up $8.4 million in Series A funding.
  • MoneyGram partners with Suez Canal Bank enabling its MoneyGram customers worldwide to send funds directly to bank accounts in Egypt.
  • Startupbootcamp FinTech Dubai introduces its 2020 cohort. Three of the 10 startups selected are from the MENA region.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Cardholders in India will now be required to opt in to access contactless payments.
  • Pakistan-based ride-hailing and logistics company Bykea launches Bykea Cash to enable mobile wallet top-up and utility billpay.
  • Revenue-based financing platform GetVantage goes live in India.

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Top image designed by Freepik