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VC for payment compliance: Deutsche Bourse’s new financial technology venture fund is looking to make as many as five new investments of up to $20 million each this year, with attention to startups that use blockchain and artificial intelligence to aid compliance with new payment rules in Europe such as PSD2, a digital commerce-driven directive that’s also drawing attention from IBM and other providers of open development tools. Finextra reports Deutsche’s venture fund, DB1, is focusing on how AI, machine learning and cloud delivered technology can improve security and compliance for a range of activities including payments, trades and other banking transactions. Last year, DB1 considered more than 250 startups and other ventures, investing in a handful of companies in the API, virtual gaming and B-to-B software industries.
A quick trade for Dash: Fresh off of its collaboration with the online marketplace Wall of Coins, Dash has begun trading on Bitfinex, the largest digital asset exchange by U.S. dollars. Dash has grown nearly 300% in 2017, and has become the world’s third most valuable cryptocurrency, peaking at nearly $60 per coin. Other virtual currencies have done well so far in 2017. Bitcoin’s price was up 22% as of Friday, reaching a level comparable to precious metals, and Ethereum is up nearly 60%.
Reach them where they live: Mobile payments technology is starting to show signs of life, but thus far has mostly lagged industry expectations. A new trend may change that. The amount of time people spend using mobile devices is growing quickly, and has now passed five hours per day as of the fourth quarter of 2016, according to TechCrunch. That’s a 20% increase over the fourth quarter of 2015, when mobile usage passed television for the first time. Users spend 19% of their mobile time on Facebook, the highest category of usage, confirming the payments industry’s interest in engaging parts of the social network. Users also spend 15% of their mobile time on entertainment and 11% on gaming. Users spend 5% of their mobile time on shopping.
A threat to health care credit cards in Canada: LendingArch is offering what amounts to installment payments for Canadian health care expenses, hoping to take a bite of the credit card market for consumer-direct health care payments. LendingArch will offer point of sale lending at clinics in Canada to cover the portion of health care expense that’s not covered by national systems or health insurance. In an email release, LendingArch said the product is designed to offer personalized credit and repayment plans of 12 months to three years for individual consumers, with online or onsite preapprovals before treatment or procedures. The company hopes to undercut the credit card market for health care services in the expanding out-of-pocket health care market in Canada.