Every week, we’ll be offering a quick rundown of the most relevant news in finance and technology.
Prime Minister David Cameron has high expectations for the future of fintech in the UK. He expressed support for the goals of the Fintech Manifesto published by the independent nonprofit organization Innovate Finance. The manifesto calls for tax cuts benefiting investors and making the UK a global fintech hub by 2020. The publication of this document was well-timed, coinciding with Cameron leading a trade delegation of British fintech leaders to Southeast Asia.
Earthport announced it is partnering with Stripe to provide foreign currency services in select markets. This comes on the heels of the previous news that that Stripe has also partnered with Visa for investment and payments processing. [Earthport is a Ripple Labs partner.]
National Australia Bank created a $50m fintech fund, to be invested over the next three years in startups that can offer the bank technology solutions for improvements to their customer experience. This move matches Westpac’s $50 million investment with a venture capital seed fund in 2014, and follows in a larger trend of innovation investment by Australian banks.
The Federal Reserve appointed the current Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Vice President as Faster Payments Strategy Leader. Appointee Sean Rodriguez brings 30 years of experience to the task force, including several years in the effort to connect closed-loop payment systems. [Ripple Labs’ Ryan Zagone is a member of the Federal Reserve Faster Payments Task Force Steering Committee.]
The National Science Foundation, a U.S. government agency that funds scientific research, awarded $3 million to investigate cryptocurrencies, both in concept and application. Recipients include the University of Maryland, Cornell, Princeton, and UC Berkeley. Perceptions of cryptocurrency continue to fluctuate as the concept comes further into the mainstream and under broader review.