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Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and Fintech News Headlines Update on April 16, 2022

Tencent’s PayMaya launches crypto services in the Philippines

Philippines-based fintech company PayMaya launched a new feature that allows users to buy, trade, cash in, and spend cryptocurrencies using their accounts within the app for free. The new feature aims to provide a full-suite crypto experience for its users. It will work within the PayMaya app and will not require separate registration to crypto exchanges, creating a wallet, or going through KYC processes. For now, the app supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Cardano (ADA), Chainlink (LINK), Uniswap (UNI), Solana (SOL), Quant (QNT), Polkadot (DOT), Polygon (MATIC), and Tether (USDT). The number of supported assets will grow progressively. PayMaya also added that the app would offer information about crypto assets so its users can easily learn how to use and invest in crypto.

Coinbase suspends India buy orders after launch

Crypto giant Coinbase has suspended support for payments via India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) on its app, making the exchange unable to receive purchase orders on the country’s most popular online transaction facility less than four days after launching its trading service there. Users in India, which is the world’s second biggest internet market, who want to buy tokens via Coinbase are being informed that the UPI system is “currently unavailable.

CLabs to Work With eCurrency to Integrate CBDCs With DeFi

CLabs, the developer of Celo ecosystem, said on Friday that it will be working with eCurrency, the technology provider that enables central banks to issue digital currencies (CBDC). Through the partnership, central banks will be able to use the Celo blockchain to allow end users access to decentralized finance (DeFi) products. The Celo blockchain allows native and non-native digital assets (cryptographic and CBDCs) to circulate freely across devices, carriers and countries. The blockchain uses phone numbers for public keys and issues a native stable-value token. ECurrency on the other hand, enables central banks to mint and issue CBDC instruments to financial intermediaries in compliance with existing legal frameworks and uses digital symmetric cryptography technology for central banks to issue and distribute CBDCs.

Meta to start testing money-making tools for its metaverse

Facebook owner Meta Platforms is beginning to test commerce tools for selling digital assets within its virtual reality social platform Horizon Worlds, a key piece of its plan to build out the metaverse. The tools will be available initially to selected users of the company accessible via VR headsets and enabling them to sell virtual fashion accessories or offer paid access to sections of a digital world to other users. Meta is also testing out a “creator bonus” programme for select Horizon Worlds users – an expansive VR social platform in US, through which it would pay participants for hitting targets like adopting new tools or features the company launches.

Airwallex Introduces Global Expenses Platform That Pairs with Its Multi-Currency Card

Global fintech platform Airwallex announced the launch of its global expenses platform that ties together with its virtual and physical multi-currency cards for corporates and employees. The new solution streamlines the expenses process through offering a single integrated platform to manage spending. Businesses will be able to upload receipts for approval, reconcile expenses faster syncing data into business accounting software in real-time and gain real-time visibility over card transactions. Its platform will launch in Australia, EMEA, Hong Kong, the U.S, and subsequently, in Singapore and the Netherlands later this year.

OneDegree Partners with Munich Re to Launch a Digital Asset Insurance Product

Hong Kong insurer OneDegree announced a three-year strategic partnership with Munich Re to launch OneInfinity, a digital asset insurance product. OneInfinity is an insurance and technology product offering designed specifically for digital asset trading platforms, custodians, asset managers and technology providers. Under this partnership, Munich Re will provide reinsurance capacity and support OneDegree’s technical underwriting. The partners also commit to building modelling capabilities based on OneDegree’s unique centralised finance (CeFi) and decentralised finance (DeFi) incident database to support future product innovation.

ADDX to Offer Private Market Plays to Wealth Managers

Temasek-backed digital securities exchange ADDX has launched a new service to allow wealth managers to trade private investments via fractionalization. The exchange will use blockchain and smart contracts to fractionalize its securities to a minimum investment of $10,000 from the $250,000 to $5 million amount usually needed when accessing private market plays directly from the issuer. The new product, ADDX Advantage, will be available to wealth managers, corporate treasuries and family offices with plans to expand it to brokerages, private banks, external asset managers and multi-family offices. Brokerage CGS-CIMB and StashAway, have already stepped up as partners for the product.

FOMO Pay unveils first cryptocurrency payment solution for retailers in Singapore

Retailers in Singapore can now accept digital payment tokens (DPT), through a new cryptocurrency payment solution introduced by Singapore-based Major Payment Institution FOMO Pay. The new payment method targeted at retailers is the first such to be developed by a Digital Payment Token (DPT) licensee in Singapore. FOMO Pay begun implementing its new solution with luxury retailers in compliance with regulations. Retailers will now be able to accept a range of different cryptocurrencies as payments, including but not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT, and USDC. Merchants adopting the crypto payment solution will be charged lower transaction fees and settlements in fiat currency will also not expose them to forex fluctuations when converting their payment from crypto.

WeChat Pay launches digital Yuan as payment option

In the Chinese e-pay stage WeChat Pay has uncovered a computerized yuan interoperability arrangement that will permit clients of the help to make payments in the national bank-gave token. WeChat Pay has completely sent off full “support for computerized CNY” in all of the current and new pilot regions. The arrangement will permit clients to make computerized yuan wallets in their names by means of the WeChat Pay-run WeBank administration – permitting them to make and get installments in the advanced fiat utilizing either the PBoC’s own application or WeChat Pay. The move is a significant lift for the token. WeChat is worked by the tech goliath Tencent, and WeChat Pay, along with its adversary Alipay (run by Alibaba), are assessed to represent 15% of China’s whole installments market.

China banks allow mortgage payment holiday in Covid-hit Shanghai

China’s largest banks are allowing residents in Shanghai to delay their mortgage payments as part of the nation’s broader efforts to support the financial hub in its Covid fight. Lenders including Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and Bank of Communications are offering Shanghai clients a payment holiday on their mortgage loans for as long as 3 months. China Construction Bank allowed clients to delay their payment on both mortgage and consumer loans for up to 28 days while Bank of China said any records of overdue payment due to the pandemic will be removed. Shanghai is the epicentre of China’s worst outbreak since the early days of the pandemic in Wuhan and authorities have doubled down on their Covid Zero pillars of mass testing and lockdowns to try to stamp out infections. It’s swiftly turned into a logistical nightmare as the city’s 25 million residents – sealed off in their homes for more than a week already – struggle to get basic groceries delivered and officials seek to censor growing public discontent. Shanghai recorded more than 26,000 new Covid infections for Sunday, an all-time high, as China’s largest documented outbreak continued to spread despite extended lockdowns.

India’s KredX, ICICI Bank to Launch Cash Back Commercial Card for B2B Payments

KredX, India’s supply chain financing fintech, partnered with ICICI Bank, to begin offering commercial card for B2B payments. The ICICI Bank-KredX Commercial Card is a first-of-its-kind cash back card that allows businesses to collect instant financial rewards for B2B payments without any fees. The commercial card provides a dashboard for payment transactions as well as a management interface. These tools are designed to make businesses more efficient, and the cash back offering supplements the efforts of businesses for B2B payments. There’s also an embedded discount option in which customers can run early payments for their vendors for additional discounts on invoices payables.

WhatsApp wins approval to expand Indian payments service to 100 million users

Meta Platforms Inc’s WhatsApp has won regulatory approval to more double the number of users of its payments service in India to 100 million, said two sources familiar with the matter on Wednesday. WhatsApp has told the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) several times it wants to operate “without a cap”, but privately the NPCI is of the view that allowing all its users to access the payments service – integrated with the app and allowing contacts to send each other funds – could strain the country’s financial infrastructure, said one of the sources. The NPCI gave WhatsApp approval to launch the payments service in 2020 after the company spent years trying to comply with Indian regulations, including data storage norms that require all payments-related data to be stored locally.

Philippine fintech Voyager raises $210m to claim unicorn status

Philippine fintech company Voyager reached unicorn status after raising $210 million to fund expansion from payments into banking and cryptocurrency trading. The company, whose Paymaya app serves 47 million users, will use the fresh capital to launch Maya Bank, a new digital bank that targets consumers and small enterprises. The company will continue to expand Paymaya’s products and services, such as cryptocurrency, micro-investments and insurance.

Digitising SMEs expected to add US$ 30 billion to Vietnam’s GDP

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) could surge by US$30 billion if the country successfully digitally transforms its small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Firms engaging in digital transformation have reported higher productivity and profits two-fold compared to their peers. Statistics showed that US$3.1 trillion will be added to Asia-Pacific’s GDP by 2024 if digital transformation for SMEs is accelerated. The process is forecast to help raise Vietnam’s GDP by US$30 billion. The country is currently home to about 785,000 SMEs, which make up more than 98% of the total number of businesses. They create jobs for 70% of the country’s labourers and contribute about 50% of GDP. 2021 witnessed uncertainties due to new variants of the coronavirus, which forced 24% of SMEs to suspend operations and the number of newly-established firms to slip by 15%. Therefore, digital transformation is viewed as key for SMEs to address bottlenecks and adapt to the pandemic.

Superapp to boost SME digital transformation

Enstack is an easy-to-use mobile app that allows small and medium businesses to set the pace of their digital transformation and provides access to services previously inaccessible to small businesses. The app allows SMEs to take their first leap towards digitization and manage orders, track inventory, get paid, ship packages and record daily business transactions on their mobile phones. The app’s innovative Single Sign-up process solves a major pain point for most small businesses — access to services usually reserved for larger companies. By submitting just an ID, a selfie and proof of billing once during sign up, merchants become verified users and could offer value-added services such as digital payments and same-day delivery at discounted rates. Another user favorite, the Chat Store, also enables merchants to automatically accept orders via their linked Facebook Messenger accounts so they never miss a sale.

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