Fintech Digest

The EU Agreed on New Rules for Online Lending

Here's everything you need to know about FinTech’s previous week: EU authorities agreed on new rules for online lending, Voice payment cards for the visually impaired were presented at an international conference, iPod creator Tony Fadell has created a hardware crypto wallet with a bank card size, The world's first ATM with gold was launched in India, PayPal is preparing to launch its cryptocurrency service in Europe, and Walmart launches its own BNPL service.

TOP NEWS | 05.12-11.12

  • The EU agreed on new rules for online lending
  • A new way of paying with your voice is introduced in Europe
  • iPod creator Tony Fadell has created a hardware crypto wallet with a bank card size
  • The world's first ATM with gold was launched in India
  • World Bank expects remittances to grow by 5% this year
  • The European tech industry lost $400 billion in 2022
  • «Wolf of Wall Street» advised investors to avoid cryptocurrencies
  • PayPal is preparing to launch its cryptocurrency service in the EU
  • Walmart launches its own BNPL service
  • Amazon turns its app into TikTok 
  • EU tightens crypto regulation 

The EU Agreed on New Rules for Online Lending

The European Council and the European Parliament have reached a preliminary agreement on updated consumer credit rules to protect consumers better. The updated legislation will replace the current 2008 directive.

The new guidelines will address, among other things, quick access to credit information, an understanding of the total cost of the loan, and an enhanced evaluation of the consumer's creditworthiness.

To keep up with the digitalisation trend, the new credit rules will now also apply to certain risky loans that are excluded from the scope of the current directive. These include loans up to €200, loans offered through crowdfunding platforms, and BNPL products.

A New Way of Paying With Your Voice Is Introduced in Europe

French technology company Thales in partnership with fintech Handsome has launched an innovative payment card for visually impaired people that can protect them from fraud.

To use the solution, users need to install an application linked to the card on their mobile phones. Then, each time a payment is made, the mobile application will announce the transaction amount, after which the user can confirm the transaction with a secret code.

First introduced in September, the technology has already been certified by Visa and Mastercard and will soon be launched by several banks.

Crypto Wallet Now Fits in Your Jeans Pocket

Tony Fadell, creator of the iPod, has created a hardware crypto wallet the size of a credit card. The device called Ledger Stax resembles a small smartphone. It is about the size of a bank card. The crypto wallet has a black and white E-ink display, which is comparable to that of electronic reading devices.

The crypto wallet can store or exchange various tokens, including bitcoin, ether, Cardano, Solana, and NFT.

The retail price of the device is $279, with official sales starting in the first quarter of 2023.

Ledger says that its offline wallets are less sensitive to hacking or failures. As of today, none of the company's devices have been hacked.

The World’s First ATM With Gold Was Launched in India

An ATM was launched in India, which allows Indians buy gold with a debit or credit card. 

This is the first ATM of this type in the world, and it is located in the city of Hyderabad in southern India. The ATM can store up to 5 kg of gold and offers coins in 8 variants weighing from 0.5 g to 100 g of pure 24-carat gold (999 proof).

The device was presented by the Indian company Goldsikka, which sells bullion. The price of gold in the ATM is displayed in real-time according to changes in quotations on the London Stock Exchange.

World Bank Expects Remittances To Grow by 5% This Year

The volume of remittances to low- and middle-income countries will increase by 5% this year and amount to about $626 billion, the World Bank forecasts.

It is noted that the growth rate has slowed significantly after rising by 10.2% in 2021.

Remittance flows to developing regions in 2022 were affected by several factors. First, the opening of host economies amid the decline of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to migrants' employment and their ability to support their families back home. On the other hand, rising prices harmed migrants' actual incomes.

The Loss of European Technology Industry Is Too High

The market value of the European technology industry fell by $400 billion — from $3.1 trillion in 2021 to $2.7 trillion this year. 

The reasons for the losses were high-interest rates, a shrinking talent pool, and a full-scale war in Ukraine.

Venture capital funding in 41 European countries fell to $85 billion against $100 billion raised in 2021.

The number of new unicorns (companies with a market capitalization of more than $1 billion) has also decreased: 31 appeared in 2022, while last year, there were 105.

«Wolf of Wall Street» Advised Investors To Avoid Cryptocurrencies

Former stockbroker known as the «Wolf of Wall Street» Jordan Belfort advised to «stay away» from all cryptocurrencies except Bitcoin and Ethereum.

At the same time, Bitcoin and Ethereum should be «a tiny part of the total investment portfolio», Belfort said.

As for those who have already bought other crypto coins, Belfort advises them not to rush to sell these assets because now is «the worst time to do it».

PayPal Is Preparing To Launch Its Cryptocurrency Service in the EU

PayPal is launching its cryptocurrency service in Luxembourg, which could be the first step towards rolling out the service across the European Union.

Once launched, customers can buy, sell and store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash in their PayPal accounts via the website or mobile app. In addition, you can buy a cryptocurrency for 1 euro.

It should be noted that PayPal debuted its crypto service in the United States two years ago, and it was rolled out in the United Kingdom last year.

Walmart Launches Its Own BNPL Service

The largest American retailer Walmart is going to launch BNPL lending through its fintech venture ONE in 2023.

Payment in installments will complement the range of financial services already offered by ONE, including current and savings accounts and debit cards.

Walmart itself offers to check cashing and money transfers directly in its stores.

Amazon Turns Its App Into TikTok

Amazon is going to introduce the users of its app a new TikTok-inspired feature. The users will get a continuous feed of photos and videos with goods that customers can buy immediately in the application. In the coming months, the functionality will work for users in the United States.

With the launch of the new functionality, the company delves deeper into social shopping and joins Facebook, Google, and other tech giants that are using the popularity of short video formats like TikTok to promote their e-commerce business.

The company also noted that the new functionality has features of a social network, so over time, users may be able to share content directly in the Amazon application.

EU Tightens Crypto Regulation

The European Commission plans to oblige virtual asset providers to transfer information about user accounts to national fiscal services.

The initiative is being implemented under the eighth directive on administrative cooperation, which is currently being developed. It will apply to stablecoins, crypto derivatives, and NFTs.

The European Commission is studying the possibility of extending the requirements to virtual asset providers based outside the EU.

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