Adapt or Get Left Behind - Issue 455 February 15th, 2024

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In this edition of FinTech Weekly, we delve into a series of developments that, at first glance, might seem like separate threads of innovation and regulation. However, upon closer examination, they reveal a coherent narrative about the transformative power of technology in the financial sector. From the push by AI giants for streamlined safety protocols in the UK to the nuanced advancements in blockchain technology, these stories are not just updates; they're indicators of a sector in dynamic evolution.

The intersection of finance and technology has always been a space of rapid change, but what we're witnessing now is something more profound: a recalibration of how financial services operate, innovate, and serve on a global scale. This recalibration is not just about adopting new technologies; it's about rethinking the very ethos of financial interaction, regulatory frameworks, and customer engagement in the digital age.

This newsletter doesn't just report; it seeks to understand and convey the significance behind each development. Whether it's exploring the potential of generative AI in banking or highlighting the strategic moves by financial institutions towards embracing digital assets, each piece is a puzzle part of a larger picture. A picture that shows a sector increasingly defined by its agility, its capacity to innovate, and its commitment to leveraging technology for broader accessibility and efficiency.

As you explore these curated insights, we invite you to reflect on the broader implications of these developments. How do they shape the future of finance? What do they tell us about the changing landscape of global economic activity? And, most importantly, how can they inform your strategies and decisions in this rapidly evolving sector?

This and much more in this number of FinTech Weekly: discover top fintech news and events and stay ahead of the competition.

Top Stories

Podcasts and Videos



    Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Solana Foundation, focusing on the advancement of distributed ledger technology (DLT). While specific actions were not detailed, the collaboration aims to explore developmental opportunities under ADGM’s DLT Foundations Regulations. This partnership is set to bolster the international financial center’s projects, with a particular emphasis on blockchain technology. ADGM Registration Authority CEO Hamad Al Mazrouei highlighted the initiative's focus on pioneering technology and enhancing blockchain knowledge through the lens of regulation and compliance for sustainable development.


    Banks are exploring generative AI's potential, particularly in small-business lending, to streamline the loan application process. These AI models, capable of analyzing extensive data sets and generating outcomes, could revolutionize how small businesses apply for loans. By automating tasks such as data validation and loan approval, a generative AI assistant could significantly reduce the workload for loan officers. Bankwell Bank in New Canaan, Connecticut, under the innovation leadership of Ryan Hildebrand, has started experimenting with this technology. Collaborating with the startup Cascading AI, they aim to enhance efficiency and innovation in small-business lending, showcasing the practical applications of generative AI in the banking sector.

    The anticipation surrounding the integration of generative AI technologies like ChatGPT into the financial services sector is high, with predictions of transformative impacts across various industries. Despite the buzz, the deployment of ChatGPT-like services on financial platforms remains in its infancy. Leading financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citi, and Visa have all embarked on generative AI projects, with Visa even establishing a $100M fund dedicated to generative AI ventures. Yet, as of February 2024, only a few financial services firms have successfully implemented a live generative AI assistant to enhance their customer experience, indicating that widespread adoption is still on the horizon.


    Apple, in collaboration with the University of California, Santa Barbara, has unveiled the MGIE model, a revolutionary tool that simplifies photo editing. By using plain language descriptions, users can perform tasks such as cropping, resizing, flipping, and applying filters to images without the need for traditional photo editing software. The MGIE model, short for MLLM-Guided Image Editing, is versatile enough to handle both straightforward and intricate edits, including altering specific objects within a photo for shape or brightness adjustments. This innovation utilizes multimodal language models in two ways: understanding user prompts and visualizing the desired edits, thereby transforming how photo modifications are approached.


    Last week, the European tech sector saw over 70 funding deals surpassing €745 million, with fintech claiming more than one-third of this investment. The week also witnessed approximately eight exits, mergers, acquisitions, and related rumors. Among these investments, notable deals placed Spain and Estonia at the forefront in terms of total capital raised, highlighting their emerging significance in the tech and fintech landscapes across Europe.

    Researchers from Huawei's Noah's Ark Lab in Paris have introduced a pre-print study proposing a new framework for "embodied artificial intelligence" (E-AI), which they believe represents a crucial advancement towards achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI). AGI, often termed "human-level AI" or "strong AI," aims for an AI system that can undertake any intellectual task with the appropriate resources. Despite the lack of a universally accepted definition for AGI, entities like OpenAI have dedicated their mission to developing such technologies, indicating the significance and ambition behind this pursuit.