In today’s top news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Dutch payments group Adyen introduced new financial products, while Swedish company Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) Klarna launched a business unit focused on open banking.
Additionally, European Union lawmakers have proposed new anti-money laundering rules, the Royal Bank of Canada has agreed to buy London-based Brewin Dolphin for $2 billion, and the EU is set to to use the political tailwind to update its competition laws.
Adyen will expand into integrated financial products
Adyen, a Dutch payments group, launched its new suite of integrated financial products on Wednesday March 30.
The products will enable marketplaces and platforms to create tailored financial experiences for their users, including small business owners and individual traders. The company’s integrated products will also allow platforms to access new revenue streams and increase user loyalty.
Klarna Unveils Open Banking Unit “Klarna Kosma”
Swedish-based BNPL Klarna rolled out its Klarna Kosma sub-brand and business unit on Thursday, March 31, with an effort focused on open banking.
The company said Kosma will help financial institutions, FinTechs and merchants build apps and services through access to 15,000 banks in 24 countries using an application programming interface (API ) unique.
With the AML proposal, the ECB gives the digital euro a head start on Bitcoin payments
European Union lawmakers have proposed an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime that would require the identification and screening of any cryptocurrency or stablecoin transaction, regardless of size.
On Wednesday, March 30, the European Central Bank (ECB) also unveiled a proposal that would exempt users of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) from anti-money laundering (AML) checks for small transactions.
EU competition chief hints at more reforms on the horizon
Following last week’s agreement on the Digital Markets Act and the soon-to-be-approved Digital Services Act, the European Union appears poised to use the political tailwind to continue modernizing its competition laws.
The latest addition to the rules subject to change in the wake of the ‘Great Digital Regulation’ is Regulation 1/2003. EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager suggested the regulation is “the centerpiece of our antitrust enforcement framework”.
Royal Bank of Canada buys wealth manager Brewin Dolphin
On Thursday (March 31), Royal Bank of Canada announced it had agreed to buy London-based wealth management firm Brewin Dolphin for C$2.6 billion ($2 billion).
Brewin Dolphin had nearly three dozen locations and £59bn ($77.4bn) under management at the end of last year.
H&M stock continues to fall as sales growth slows
Retailer H&M saw its stock fall 12% on Thursday after sales slowed in March as the Russian-Ukrainian war prompted consumers to rethink their purchases. The company’s net sales for the first four weeks of March rose 6% after jumping 18% in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, ending Feb. 28.
Egyptian fintech app Khanza lands $38 million in Series A
Khazna, a FinTech app aimed at helping unbanked and underbanked Egyptian residents, raised $38 million in equity funding in a Series A funding round led by Quona Capital.
The company was founded in 2019 and offers digitized cash transactions, focusing on people in Egypt without access to traditional financial services. The Company’s products include general credit, payday advances, BNPL and bill payments.
UK lawyer launches class action lawsuit over visa and mastercard fees
In the UK, a commercial lawyer is filing a class action lawsuit on behalf of customers challenging multilateral interchange fees (MIFs) charged by Visa and Mastercard.
Harcus Parker will take the company card application to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), the UK’s judicial body specializing in competition cases, according to a press release emailed to PYMNTS on Thursday, March 31.
The law firm is seeking compensation on behalf of UK businesses that have been charged to MIFs for accepting payments using UK company credit cards and overseas visitor credit and debit cards.
European lawmakers to vote on tougher requirements for crypto transactions
European lawmakers are set to vote on the so-called Travel Rule, which is a proposed “regulation on information accompanying the transfer of funds and certain crypto assets.”
If approved, this new law will increase the requirements for information that crypto asset providers will need to collect and share for each transaction. According to the European Commission’s first proposal, crypto businesses, such as exchanges, should obtain, retain and submit information about those involved in a transfer for the purpose of combating money laundering.
QNB unveils new payment services in Qatar
QNB Group, based in Doha, Qatar, one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East and Africa, has announced its latest digital banking products and services.
QNB has a partnership with Ripple, which it uses for its cross-border payments strategy. Through RippleNet, a connection to financial institutions with an application programming interface (API), QNB said it will improve cross-border payments and rapidly expand its remittance service to multiple countries.
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