The fintech-related industry speeds along at such an intense pace. We break down the latest in fintech and innovation with articles from the main media sources we follow.

New sales record on 11:11 Shopping Festival

During this year’s 11:11 (November 11, 2018), Alibaba Group Holding generated USD 30.8 billion of gross merchandise volume, an increase of 27% on a year-on-year. Singles’ Day, also called “Double 11”, is the world’s biggest online sales event, surpassing the sales of US shopping holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

In total, over 1 billion parcels were generated by the Alibaba ecosystem within the 24 hours. The first 100 million parcels were delivered in an average of 2.6 days.

Payment players vs. technology eCommerce disruptors

A recent Innovation in Retail Banking report released by EFMA and Infosys Finacle, indicates the way new technologies are still driving transformation.

In a nutshell, the non-traditional players that keep bankers up at night are the large payment players. An interesting finding is related to big tech firms (Google, Alibaba, Facebook and Apple) being considered equally a threat as neo-banks. More details below:


MIR cards go international with Ingenico

Sberbank, a state-owned Russian banking and financial services company, has partnered with Ingenico to enable international online merchants to accept the national MIR Card Payment System. The move is set to provide competition to Visa and Mastercard in Europe.

Since the introduction of the domestic card scheme in 2015, nearly 45 million MIR cards have already been issued, with more than half issued by Sberbank. During the first 8 months of 2018, 58 million online transactions were performed via the Russian national scheme.

UnionPay International enters Ukrainian market

Chinese payment system UnionPay International, the world’s biggest payment system both in terms of cards issued and volume of operations, has revealed plans to enter the Ukrainian market, according to the National Bank of Ukraine.

The company now controls roughly 40% of the world’s payment card market, although most of their cards have been issued on mainland China. The company has, however, issued over 100 million cards outside China. Together with Visa and Mastercard, UnionPay accounts for 90% of all payment cards issued worldwide.

Blockchain-powered payments

The Bank of Canada, Bank of England (BoE) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have jointly revealed the potential and their increased interest in blockchain-powered payments. The three players have already published a report which assesses alternative models which could enhance cross-border payments and settlements. The report examines existing challenges and considers alternative models.

In other news, Visa is preparing its blockchain-based digital identity system for cross-border payments for launch during the first 3 months of 2019.