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Fintech Investor Rakuten Continues European Banking Operations from Luxembourg Headquarters

Japanese e-commerce conglomerate and fintech investor Rakuten has cemented its interest in growing its European commercial banking operation from its Luxembourg headquarters. Initially focusing on providing payment, deposit and loan services for merchants on the PriceMinister e-commerce platform in France, Rakuten Europe Bank plans to expand these services to provide banking-as-a-service facilities to high growth fintech businesses across the region, according to a release. The company already operates an online banking service on its home turf, providing personal and commercial banking service to some 3.8 million account holders.

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Japanese e-commerce conglomerate and fintech investor Rakuten has cemented its interest in growing its European commercial banking operation from its Luxembourg headquarters. Initially focusing on providing payment, deposit and loan services for merchants on the PriceMinister e-commerce platform in France, Rakuten Europe Bank plans to expand these services to provide banking-as-a-service facilities to high growth fintech businesses across the region, according to a release. The company already operates an online banking service on its home turf, providing personal and commercial banking service to some 3.8 million account holders.

“With Rakuten Europe Bank, we aim to provide banking services in Europe that will parallel the successes of the Rakuten Group’s Fintech businesses in Japan,” indicated Rakuten Head of Fintech Businesses Masayuki Hosaka.
Singapore tries to become a fintech hub

In London, Berlin and San Francisco, many fintech innovators are betting against the big banks. Singapore, typically, is trying to play both sides of that bet. It wants a thriving fintech industry that supports, rather than undermines, incumbent big banks.

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In London, Berlin and San Francisco, many fintech innovators are betting against the big banks. Singapore, typically, is trying to play both sides of that bet. It wants a thriving fintech industry that supports, rather than undermines, incumbent big banks. The MAS has vowed to invest S$225m ($158m) in fintech by the end of 2020. Sopnendu Mohanty, its fintech guru, says he wants to attract fewer “disrupters” than “enablers”. He hopes fintech can help banks by cutting expenses and opening up new sources of revenue, through products that can slot into banks’ front- or back-office systems. The idea is to combine the cost-effective nimbleness of fintech with the trust, solidity and customer base of mainstream banks. Translation: even if you can beat them, join them.
Can London-Brussels FinTech Bridge Save FinTech Startups From Leaving UK?

Almost immediately after the announcement of Brexit, Bitcoin and Blockchain startups started thinking of leaving Britain to other Fintech hubs such as Germany and Belgium. To prevent a shortage of Fintech startups and talents in the country, London is forming a Fintech bridge with Belgium’s financial sector.

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Earlier this week, Belgium’s finance minister and a delegate from the Belgian Fintech sector entered into a strategic partnership with Innovate Finance, a non-profit industry body serving the Fintech community of the UK.

Sources revealed that the Belgian government-owned platform “B-Hive” signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Innovative Finance to ensure that Fintech startups from both countries collaborate with each other for the development and commercialization of innovative financial technologies.
Remedy is a Khosla-backed teledoc with A.I. capabilities for the uninsured

Telemedicine is fast adopting the use of A.I. as an umbrella term in over-the-phone medical help. HealthTap just announced the launch of “Dr. AI,” its own version of a smart search algorithm, and Remedy falls into this same category. But much of what is so-called artificial intelligence really depends on how you label what you consider AI. If it’s a smarter search algorithm able to run through large amounts of medical information and the symptoms you suggest to come up with possible diagnoses, then Remedy has just that.

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There are quite a few telemedicine startups to choose from these days including Doctor on Demand, HealthTap and even some of the older, more established companies like MDLive or American Well but Remedy is a new one we’ve just been turned onto promising high-quality doctors at a lower cost per visit with the use of what it refers to as artificial intelligence to help diagnose what ails you.

Telemedicine is fast adopting the use of A.I. as an umbrella term in over-the-phone medical help. HealthTap just announced the launch of “Dr. AI,” its own version of a smart search algorithm, and Remedy falls into this same category. But much of what is so-called artificial intelligence really depends on how you label what you consider AI.
Beyond Robo-Advisers: How AI Could Rewire Wealth Management

ANZ,  an Australian bank, was among the first to explore the possibility of using AI for wealth management by using Watson to help financial advisors better understand their clients.  BlackRock has built its own AI engine, while Goldman uses AI-based financial research platform Kensho.

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Asked if a computer will ever be able to give better investment advice than a human, Oliver Bussmann does not hesitate.

"I believe it's possible," said Bussmann, who until March was the chief information officer of UBS.

Banks' wealth management departments and other investment firms are starting to adopt artificial intelligence. This is different from the robo-advisers you've probably heard about. Those have simplistic, rules-based models — you give them your age, risk tolerance, goals, and so on and they select a basket of exchange-traded funds for you. The next generation of AI in wealth management uses rules or models crafted by data scientists with Ph.D.s and master's degrees.

Digit bot has saved people $250 million and is now available on Facebook Messenger

The bot calculates small amounts that a user wouldn't notice to add to a savings account. The company will again help users apportion savings from their tax returns this year.

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Since Digit bot was created in 2015, it has helped its users save $250 million, the company says.

To use Digit, connect the bot to your checking account. The bot then takes out money each day and places it into a separate savings account. Milestones are marked with funny GIFs or memes.

Based on your spending habits, an algorithm determines the amount of money Digit can take out without the user noticing it’s gone, what CEO Ethan Bloch referred to as operating “on the fringes of your budget.”

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