Alipay moves into local currency payments in Hong Kong

Alipay announced the launch of 'AlipayHK', a HK-dollar account balance service, in October 2016 allowing users to top up their account in their local currency by showing the in-app QR code and paying cash at convenience stores across the territory. 

Alibaba's financial services unit Ant Financial says the new dollar-denominated AlipayHK app will be accepted initially at more than 2000 stores in Hong Kong from tomorrow.

Over time, the 8000 or so Hong Kong retail outlets that currently accept the yuan-based app will converted. 

Douglas Feagin, SVP of Ant Financial, says: "Introducing local currency mobile payments to Hong Kong is an important step forward in Ant Financial's mission to bring our services to more users in more markets."


Alipay, the mobile payments app from China's Alibaba, is taking its first step to offering non-yuan payment options with the release of a version denominated in Hong Kong dollars.
MAS joins forces with World Bank's IFC to push Asian fintech innovation

Through Afin, IFC and MAS plan to establish a regional network to help financial institutions, fintech firms and regulators address issues of connectivity, local compliance and cross-border compatibility in the region.

The network will also evaluate options to create an industry sandbox to provide a cloud-based testing environment through which banks and fintech players can develop, test and refine digital finance and inclusion tools. Vivek Pathak, director, East Asia and the Pacific, IFC, says: "The initiative builds on IFC’s efforts to deepen access to finance for underserved segments of the population. In today’s world it is feasible to reach these segments of the population at a fraction of the cost and at a speed that was not feasible earlier. "

New business models resulting from digital transformation of financial services and FinTech adoption in the region can create new markets that will lead to a higher level of prosperity. The end desired state is for financial institutions to be able to embrace innovation and collaboration more easily, and for innovations to spread more easily across the region."

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has teamed up with World Bank Group member IFC to encourage fintech innovation in Asia through the establishment of an Asean Financial Innovation Network (Afin)
KPMG Project Nearly 50% Decline in OEM Collision Repair Parts Business by 2030

Good news for insurance is less claims...bad news is likely also less premiums...

According to report, autonomous vehicles and crash avoidance technologies will shrink collision repair volume.

According to a new report from the KPMG U.S. Manufacturing Institute Automotive Center, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will see a substantial, 48 percent, decrease in their collision repair parts business as a result of self-driving cars.  KPMG projects that OEM collision repair revenue, which it pegs at $5.6 billion in 2015, could drop to $2.7 billion by 2030 and dwindle to $1.4 billion by 2040.

The new report, Will autonomous vehicles put the brakes on the collision parts business?, notes that despite accounting for less
The perfect token sale structure Spoiler alert: it doesn’t exist

Good read on ICO

With a new blockchain token sale happening every few days, it’s a good time to examine the different ways that token sales can be structured.
It’s important to remember the differences between (1) how the token and the network actually function, (2) the problem that the application or protocol is trying to solve, and (3) the structure of the token sale. This article focuses only on the third point. I am a lawyer, but this article isn’t about legal issues.
What is a token sale? What is an ICO?
‘ICO’ (Initial Coin Offering) is a misleading term for a token sale. This is
SoFi CEO explains how his fintech company will make banks 'more aligned to the customer'

Mike Cagney gets some airtime with Jim Cramer on CNBC and talks about SoFi's latest foray into wealth management, life insurance, and mortgages. He informs the audience that they can expect more prime dollar marketing following up on this year SBowl commercials, this time for the NBA Finals.

That's why his fintech, commonly known as SoFi, is disrupting the financial services industry, a trend Cagney does not see ending anytime soon.

Meet the 2017 CNBC Disruptor 50 companies
"I think what's going to happen is the banks are going to move towards our model over time. And so we certainly don't have the hoovers to expect that we're going to change all of banking, but we are going to drag them into a different kind of service model and one that's a lot more aligned to the customer," he told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Tuesday.
Online Lending Startup Earnest Said to Look for a Buyer

With securitization efforts being put on hold, the A16z backed startup is now looking for a buyer at ~$100m after struggling to raise new venture equity this year.  The company last raised $75m of equity and $200m of debt in 2015.

Earnest Inc., the financial-technology startup backed by venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz, is looking for a buyer as the market for peer-to-peer lending matures, and it struggles to raise new funds.

The San Francisco-based company, which offers student loan refinancing as well as personal loans, is shopping itself for about $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Earnest last raised $75 million in equity and $200 million in debt in 2015, bringing the total to just over $300 million since it was founded in 2013, according to research firm CB Insights. The most recent equity financing was led by Battery Ventures, and the debt was led by New York Life Insurance Company. Recent efforts to raise more money haven’t been successful so far, one of the people said. Earnest declined to comment.

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