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Will mobile-based remittances feed a $10 trillion market for bitcoin?

For many, bitcoin — a digital currency based on a decentralized ledger system called a blockchain (it’s complicated) — is the future of money. It has been the top-performing currency in six of the past seven years, and a single coin is, as of August 9th at 7:20pm PT, worth $3,366.05, or almost 1,346,420 times its initial market valuation of

Fintech startups are disrupting Mexican financial services by banking the unbanked

Financial technology, or fintech, startups offering digital payment, remittances and lending services, could capture 30% of Mexico’s banking market within 10 years, according to Finnovista, a fintech accelerator. Six in 10 Mexicans are unbanked. Financial exclusion is a problem but “also an opportunity,” Francisco Meré, the director of Bankaool, one of the first online-only banks

Grab to expand from ride-hailing to financial services

Singapore-based ride hailing service Grab is gearing up for a new round of fundraising to back a move into the financial services market, Reuters reports. Just over a quarter of Southeast Asian adults have bank accounts. Grab, which operates in seven Southeast Asian countries, already offers its drivers micro-loans and support in opening bank accounts. It

Amazon partners with Indian government on digital payments

Amazon’s digital wallet service, Amazon Pay, will allow users to make small transactions to pay for utility bills, insurance payments, education fees and local transit. Last year, Amazon invested $10.5 million in its distribution reach in Asia, with a big focus on the Indian market. The e-commerce giant’s big move in digital payments in partnership with

A decent exit for early investors in India’s ItzCash

ItzCash targets India’s middle and lower classes, particularly small businesses and traders that run cash-based businesses. That was attractive to U.S.-based insurance software firm Ebix, which invested $123 million in ItzCash in exchange for an 80 percent stake; the deal values ItzCash at about $150 million. Indian conglomerate Essel Group will retain 20 percent while early

Blockchain startups make it cheaper to send money across borders

First came mobile phones and digital money. Now comes blockchain and digital-only currencies to further cut costs of cross-border remittances. A new crop of startups are taking aim at the $429 billion remittance market dominated by Western Union and MoneyGram, and in particular their high fees — an average of 7.45 percent per transaction (to be fair,

Can “mobility-as-a-service” end traffic jams by 2030?

A convergence of automation, digitization and the shared economy could make traffic jams a thing of the past…er…present. Poor mobility isn’t just agonizing. It affects health (emissions and accidents), stunts economic growth (lost time for workers and products) and contributes to inequality. “Does everyone have the opportunity to move around, or only those who can