In Ireland, Banking Federation Promotes FinTech Foresight

Visa and Plaid

International efforts to spur FinTech development and collaboration have made inroads in Ireland, with a new FinTech focused group formed to tackle innovation across financial services. Elsewhere in India, a new framework target FinTech development through a sandbox approach.

The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland said it had established a FinTech Foresight Group — further evidence of collaborations between traditional financial institutions and tech upstarts.

That group, according to the release, has been formed to help harness “new technical developments from the startup ecosystem” and help shape FinTech policy.

The federation has 100 members firms and associates across its roster, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions. The Foresight Group will report to the Minister of State for Financial Services Michael D’Arcy and will look toward promoting collaboration between financial firms and governmental bodies internationally through a series of workshops. That series will focus on global technology trends across financial services and how FinTechs and banks can work together across those efforts.

D’Arcy said that “by bringing these stakeholders together, we can aspire to increase the collaboration necessary to drive the development of FinTech. Having an open conversation is also very important, allowing us to discuss where we see developments, trends, and opportunities in FinTech in the coming years, ensuring that we have continued success in this area.”

Sandbox In India

Separately, the Reserve Bank of India has published the final version of its guidelines for FinTechs under the document known as the “Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox,” according to Crowdfund Insider. The earlier draft had been published in April of this year and had requested feedback from financial service stakeholders.

With the publication of the latest guidelines, the RBI said it had received a total of 381 comments form 69 participants spanning FinTech, banks and payment aggregators, among others. One area that may not be included in the sandbox is crypto, according to the site. As has been reported, India has been looking into banning cryptocurrency but embracing blockchain.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das has said that such efforts can promote financial stability.

“It is indeed imperative that banks capitalize on these technological advances and the associated business models. Regulators on their part also need to provide enabling frameworks for these endeavors by banks as well as the non-traditional players,” said Das in a speech, adding that “the public policy approach here needs to be more comprehensive and holistic, taking into account issues such as financial regulation, competition policy, and data privacy regulation. Coordination among various authorities — such as financial regulators, competition authorities and data protection supervisors — becomes critical at this juncture.”

Facebook Eyes Indonesia eCommerce

In terms of individual company news, as noted in this space, Facebook has been in talks with several FinTech firms based in Indonesia to bring mobile transaction services to the country through the WhatsApp chat app. Reuters reported that the company, which had tried to make a similar push into India, is looking to tap into Indonesia’s fast-growing eCommerce economy. Indonesia has more than 100 million WhatsApp users and eCommerce activity is expected to top $100 billion there by 2025. Among the reported partners are Go Jek, DANA and OVO. WhatsApp has also reportedly been in talks with Bank Mandiri, which operates as a state-owned bank that has its own digital wallet.