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Qatar Boosts FinTech Focus

U.S. Bank, Qatar boost FinTech

With new rules and guidance, the Qatar Financial Center has expanded its FinTech focus. Elsewhere, in FinTech/FI pacts, U.S. Bank has made agreements with seven leading data and Fintech firms for customer-permissioned data sharing.

In the continued drive for collaboration between the FI and FinTech, between governments and financial services providers, efforts this past week focused on the Middle East and support for new initiatives.

As reported by Crowdfund Insider, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has expanded the number FinTech-related activities that will be awarded licenses. The additional support will come from the QFC platform.

In a release the QFC said that “under new rules and guidance, the activity of non-regulated Professional Services firms has been widened to FinTech Services Providers which includes … providing cybersecurity solutions, application programming interfaces (API), cloud computing, developing blockchain-based technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and companies which provide a platform for facilitating real-time transaction capability of internet connected devices.”  The QFC aims to establish Qatar as an international FinTech hub, according to reports. The QFC has entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with B Hove, which is a platform in Europe focused on financial services innovation, as of October 2018.

In separate remarks, Henk Jan Hoogendoorn, managing director of Financial Sector Office, QFC Authority said: “FinTech has seen significant growth over the past few years and its applications are now prevalent in various sectors and industries, such as e-commerce, trade, banking and investment management. Moreover, today’s FinTech also includes a variety of technology which facilitates financial services, such as money transfers and robotics and artificial intelligence.”

US Bank

Separately, in the states, U.S. Bank said it has struck pacts with seven leading data aggregator and FinTech companies to speed and streamline connections with customers who want to share data with third-party applications.

As noted this past week, the agreements come as U.S. Bank builds up its new U.S. Bank Developer Portal.

The portal contains APIs that, as reported, “enable developers to quickly build innovative services that securely connect to select U.S. Bank account information, as directed by the customer.”  The seven firms include DecisionLogic, which focuses on advanced bank verification that lets lenders qualify borrowers.  Other firms include eMoney Advisor, a financial planning firm, and FileThis, which retrieves and organizes bills and others.  The company said in a release that the Developer Portal APIs comply with Financial Data Exchange (FDX) mandates.

In other company news, Form3 said it has created an International Payments Business geared toward offering financial institutions access to low-cost payments and FX services tied to its API technology. The company said that Form3 and Ebury are offering access to respective banks and FinTechs through the Form3 platform.

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