Latest Reports

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As the financial industry continues to grow and innovative, banks are facing increasing challenges to keep up with the rapid pace of change, especially in the payments segment. Payment hubs could be the answer.
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Since the launch of real-time payments in Japan in 1973, the financial industry has been on a path of rapid modernization as governments and financial sectors around the world move to instant payment systems. In many ways, real-time payments are a natural evolution of the industry, providing better, faster and cheaper payments domestically, and increasingly, cross-border.
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Challenges for the financial industry are growing. Third party non-bank financials threaten the core businesses of traditional banks and institutions. Trade tensions are escalating between the US and China, and even the US and Canada, and threaten to take the global economy on a different path, which may ultimately have a dramatic effect on the business of banks. Further, as interest rates rise, the stark realities of a worsening economic environment may threaten existing loans and products. Finally, the biggest challenge for financial institutions over the next five years: regulations.

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Latest Insight

A tightening regulatory policy towards third party payment has driven China's payment industry into a period of consolidation and M&A. For some, this has been a great opportunity to get into other segments of the market like O2O (online to offline). We saw this in 2015 when Wanda bought 99bill. This time it's Lakala with a help of with a company called ‘Tibet Tourism.’

With an estimated USD 1 trillion worth of capital outflows from Mainland China in 2015, it is clear that a subset of Chinese citizens would rather keep their money outside of China. Following the country’s turbulent stock market and depreciating Yuan, an estimated 100,000+ Mainland Chinese citizens have been venturing out to Hong Kong in order transfer more than the stipulated USD 50,000 outside of China through the means of insurance policies.

In January 2015, UnionPay Smart, a China UnionPay company specialized in business intelligence, customer profiling and online marketing, announced an agreement with Isobar China, a part of global Top-5 advertising conglomerate Dentsu Aegis. Together with Isobar China, UnionPay Smart will build a data management platform (DMP) targeting online advertising.

“I don’t really care about what are the investment projects on the P2P platform or the borrowers’ details. My attention is more on the investment return, since most of the platform provide guaranteed return rate.”

Many commercial partnerships result in a broader pool of knowledge, increased resources and the prospect for rapid market growth. This is certainly the case for India’s largest payment startup Paytm and Alibaba’s cloud computing division Aliyun who have just signed an agreement that should be a tremendous opportunity for both companies.

The global payments market has seen a variety of challenges that have restricted payment systems from either successfully expanding overseas or gaining significant market share. Samsung Pay seems to have maneuvered itself around many of the challenges that overseas expansion brings, and has taken steps to increase its global merchant acceptance in the US and China for South Korean consumers.

A recent announcement from China's central bank, the PBOC, now allows banks to remotely open bank accounts, which was previously not possible - there was at least a bank visit and some paperwork needed. The announcement allows customers to open new accounts via their mobile, which should increase competition significantly between the BAT and traditional banks. 

China's PBOC revokes yet another prepaid card company license

Written by Denis Suslov || January 18 2016

In January 2015, Chang-Go, one of the more successful prepaid card companies operating in China, was ordered by China's Central Bank to stop operations. According to the bank, the company was not giving customers refunds in a full manner, misappropriated reserve deposits and even forged financial documents.

Numerous Chinese media outlets are reporting on the latest moves by China's regulators to stop any new internet finance company registrations in China. The announcement is a bit vague as is expected from regulators, but indicates that no new fintech business license registrations will be allowed for the foreseeable future. 

China’s Banking Regulation Commission (CBRC) has played with fire long enough, standing on the side and watching the story of online peer-to-peer lending unfold, as it started with a tremendous rise from 2013 to 2014 and to quickly turn into a machine of fraud and risk, potentially damaging countless individuals who were naïve enough to trust this system.

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