Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
EU reaches agreement on crypto regulation proposal
The Council of the European Union (EU) has announced the bloc has reached a “provisional agreement” on a new landmark regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.
The ‘markets in crypto-assets’ (MiCA) proposal will cover “issuers of unbacked crypto-assets, and so-called ‘stablecoins’, as well as the trading venues and the wallets where crypto-assets are held”.
The council says the new regulation will help protect investors and preserve financial stability while also allowing for continued innovation within the crypto sector.
Meta calls time on digital wallet project Novi
Meta is ending the pilot of its digital wallet project Novi and will be closing all accounts on 1 September 2022.
A notice on the Novi website reads: “Both the Novi app and Novi on WhatsApp will no longer be available starting September 1, 2022. When the pilot ends, you will not be able to log in and access your Novi account.
“Please also be aware that starting July 21, 2022, you will no longer be able to add money to your account.”
The firm is requesting users withdraw their Novi balance “as soon as possible” ahead of 1 September. It adds if there are any funds left in accounts after this date, “we’ll attempt to transfer your balance to the bank account or debit card you’ve added to Novi”.
Novi was announced in 2020 by former head David Marcus, who left Meta last December, and was initially designed as a digital wallet to help people send and hold Meta’s proposed Libra (later Diem) digital currency.
NPP Australia rolls out new digital payments solution, PayTo
New Payments Platform (NPP) Australia is launching PayTo, a digital solution that allows merchants and businesses to initiate real-time payments from their customers’ bank accounts.
NPP Australia — an infrastructure company that enables customers of different banks to make and receive real-time payments — says it has been working with the financial services industry to develop the PayTo service.
The firm says PayTo is a “foundational capability” that will enable a broad range of use cases and provide a “springboard for future innovation”.
PayTo has been built to replace traditional direct debits, enhance recurring or subscription payments, improve payroll and accounts payable functions, have in-app and e-commerce utility, support faster employee payment times and enhance QR code payment options.
Revolut partners Stripe to accelerate global expansion
UK-based fintech Revolut has partnered with Stripe to support payments in the UK and Europe and boost its planned expansion into new markets.
Founded in 2015, Revolut launched in the UK with money transfer and exchange services and now offers various financial products including accounts, insurance, trading and invoicing.
With plans to launch soon in Mexico and Brazil, Revolut intends to make use of Stripe’s infrastructure and international presence to enter these two markets and offer local payment options.
David Tirado, vice president of business development at Revolut, says the two companies “share a common vision” and will collaborate “across multiple areas”.
US crypto firm Voyager Digital files for bankruptcy protection
Voyager Digital, a US-based crypto lender, has filed for bankruptcy protection, just days after it suspended all trading, deposits and withdrawals on its platform.
The company says in a statement that it has “filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 protection to implement restructuring” in the US Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York.
“This comprehensive reorganisation is the best way to protect assets on the platform and maximise value for all stakeholders, including customers,” says Stephen Ehrlich, CEO of Voyager.
“The Chapter 11 process provides an efficient and equitable mechanism to maximise recovery.”
The reorganisation plan, subject to change and court approval, would help resume account access and return value to customers, the firm says.