FinTech Daily: Bank of England Trials Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain; The Trump Administrati
Bank of England Trials Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain In Bid To Stay Ahead Of The Pack
The Bank of England has paired up with artificial intelligence and blockchain specialists in a bid to keep up to date with the fast-growing financial technology sector. The central bank is testing an artificial intelligence system with Canadian startup MindBridge AI to allow it to spot abnormalities in financial transactions and "explore the benefit of machine learning technology for analysing the quality of regulatory data input." It has also partnered with San Francisco-based startup Ripple, which opened an office in London last year, to trial a blockchain-based technology that would make cross-border payments and the movement of currencies more immediate. The Bank said that its aim with Ripple is to "show how this kind of synchronisation might lower settlement risk and improve the speed and efficiency of cross-border payments." The partnerships were announced on the same day that the BoE said it was setting up a 'community' for the sector in a bid to keep with changes in the industry. The community includes financial technology specialists like Michael Spencer's Nex and Bitsight, as well as more traditional business including BT and accountants PwC.
The Trump Administration is Buying Into Blockchain Tech
High-level US regulators and officials spoke out in favor of expanding the adoption of blockchain technology across government and the private sector at the DC Blockchain Summit, held this week in the nation’s capital. Representatives from the Trump administration, Congress and executive branch agencies acknowledged the potential of blockchain, and called for further development at the technology’s intersection with public policy. Specifically, they highlighted the technology's potential to streamline bureaucracy, empower consumers and drive economic growth. Notably, Mark Calabria, chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, made an unscheduled presentation to tell the gathering that the administration of the president is encouraged by developments in blockchain technology. He said there's an enthusiasm to see what possible applications exist in government, finance and elsewhere, particularly as the Treasury Department conducts a full review of the financial system.
India's Largest Mobile Wallet Goes Global, Launches App In Canada
India's largest mobile wallet, Paytm, has launched in Canada. Users can now pay their cell phone, cable, internet, water and electricity bills as well as their insurance and property taxes via the Paytm Canada app. This is the Alibaba-backed company's first foray into the international market. However, in 2014, it had set up Paytm Labs, its R&D division, in Toronto and continues to operate a team of 55 data scientists and engineers there. The app was unveiled by Toronto Mayor John Tory and Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma on Thursday. It is now live on Google Play Store and iTunes. The app will send users reminders for bill payment 10 days prior to the estimated due date, and will keep sending multiple reminders until one pays the bill or notifies it to stop. Paytm Canada will debit the money only after the bill is paid, the company said in a blog. Paytm's spokesperson said: “Canada has all the right ingredients — a mature, smartphone-ready population, an environment that greatly promotes innovation in the fintech space and we felt that the bill payments experience can be greatly improved.” Paytm plans to expand its services by adding a full lineup of new use-cases, the blog added. Earlier this month three of Paytm's investors — Reliance Capital, SVB (Saama Capital) and SAP Ventures — sold their combined stake of about 4.3 percent to Alibaba Group and its payments arm Ant Financial, which valued the company at around $5.7-5.9 billion.