Your curated fintech news for the first week of 2017.
The regulatory sandbox topped my list of 2016 fintech developments. This came as no surprise as it sometimes felt that a week wouldn’t go by without a new jurisdiction announcing their own iteration of the program. The new year is off to a similar start with the launch of the Indonesian ver
sion. The news comes in the same week as new regulations targeting peer-to-peer lending businesses were announced.
Titbits from Insurtech
To say that submitting an insurance claim is an arduous and time consuming process is an understatement. US based insurtech startup Lemondade seems to have hacked that process as this story of a claim being approved in 3 seconds attests. Advancements in artificial intelligence have made progress like this possible. The flip-side is the reduction in jobs as some at a Japanese life insurer discovered when their employer switched to IBM’s Watson Explorer to automate and streamline the claims process.
Fintech fund launches in China
A consortium of Chinese state-owned and private companies has launched a $1.4bn fund to explore fintech mergers and acquisitions opportunities. The group is led by Hong Kong-listed Credit China FinTech Holdings and plans on focusing its attention on big data, artificial intelligence, mobile payments, supply chain financing and blockchain.
Real estate and blockchain
Though the discussion around blockchain typically focuses on financial services use cases, the technology holds promise in other fields as well. Real estate is a prime example. Realising the potential, the Republic of Georgia last year began work on a project to allow for the ownership of land to be recorded on a blockchain. The country’s Justice Minister recently reported that the program is set to launch in 2017 as the first of what may be a string of other real estate applications to come.
Banking API launched in Iran
Fintech developments appear to be gaining steam in Iran. At the end of 2016, the central bank announced that it was planning a dedicated fintech regulatory body. Contributing to the momentum, Iranian bank Ayandeh Bank announced the launch of an API. Dubbed “Finnotech”, the project is the first of its kind in the country and is being introduced in the hopes of encouraging developers to build innovative financial solutions by tapping into the bank’s data.
Fintech certificate in Singapore
For those looking to brush-up on all things fintech, Singapore Management University has launched a certificate in fintech & innovation. The inaugural course will be given at the end of February by industry expert Daniel Liebau and is designed with managers at financial institutions in mind.
*As always, feel free to contact me to discuss these and related topics.