F|T: The FinTech Times – Feds make new open banking promises to positive reception 

Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland
Plus: Kraken in SEC's sights as Binance founder Changpeng Zhao steps down, pleads guilty.

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Federal Fall Economic Statement promises to expand Payments Canada eligibility, introduce open banking legislation in 2024

The Government of Canada’s Fall Economic Statement, delivered this week by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, includes promises to implement a consumer-driven banking framework next year and expand Payments Canada eligibility.

Canadian FinTech CEOs Michael Katchen of Wealthsimple and Andrew Graham of Borrowell both took to LinkedIn to express their pleasure following today’s announcement. “Open banking will dramatically improve financial services for consumers through innovation, convenience and competition,” wrote Katchen. “It will reduce costs for Canadians without compromising on privacy or security.”


Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao Steps Down, Pleads Guilty

The chief executive of Binance, the largest global cryptocurrency exchange, stepped down and pleaded guilty to violating U.S. anti-money-laundering requirements, in a deal that might preserve the company’s ability to continue operating, according to court documents.

Changpeng Zhao appeared in Seattle federal court Tuesday and entered his plea, according to court records. Prosecutors accused Binance, which Zhao owns, of facilitating transactions with sanctioned groups.


Wealthsimple rolls out private equity offering for retail investors

Toronto FinTech startup Wealthsimple has launched a new private equity offering.

The move is its third alternative investing option for retail investors, alongside its venture capital and private credit offerings. Through these options, Wealthsimple aims to give qualified retail investors access to asset classes typically available only to institutional investors and the ultra-wealthy.



How to get hybrid work right for the long term

Did you know 89% of workers and decision-makers are onside for hybrid work?

As more knowledge workers and even customer-facing staff adapt to the new way of working, leaders are concerned about sustaining productivity and avoiding burnout.

This shift to hybrid work is not only straining the capacity of IT teams and budgets but also introducing new security risks that can’t be ignored.

What can you do to solve the challenges and take advantage of the rewards of hybrid work over the long term?

Download the article featuring a conversation with a hybrid work expert discussing best practices to ensure that businesses in 2023 are getting hybrid work right for the long term.

Read the article

A Bank Watchdog Crowned Its First Chief Fintech Officer. His Work History Was A Web Of Lies.

In March, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency—the powerful American federal banking regulator—tapped Prashant Kumar Bhardwaj as the first person to lead its mission to police fintech firms and the banks that power them.

On the surface, Bhardwaj seemed to be well qualified to be the OCC’s new deputy comptroller and chief financial technology officer.

There’s just one problem: His resume was full of lies.


FinTech startup Peloton Technologies closes $2 million in seed financing

Victoria-based FinTech startup Peloton Technologies has secured $2 million CAD in seed funding just three weeks after acquiring KIS Payments.

The funding round comes only a few weeks after Peloton closed its acquisition of Nanaimo, BC-based payment processing startup KIS Payments for an undisclosed amount.


Klarna Wins Regulatory Approval to Offer Credit, Payments in UK

Klarna Bank AB won approval to offer credit and payment products in the UK, though the new authorization excludes the company’s popular buy-now-pay-later loans.

The firm, which has a full European banking license, had rolled out term loans and card products in the UK in recent years. The firm said it has long argued that its buy-now-pay-later offerings should also be regulated.


Kraken Accused by SEC of Operating Unregistered Platform, Improperly Mixing Customer Funds

Kraken has joined Coinbase and Binance as targets of Securities and Exchange Commission accusations that the companies are operating without properly registering as securities businesses in the U.S.

Unique to Monday’s lawsuit are claims that Kraken created a “significant risk” by commingling up to $33 billion in customer crypto with its own corporate assets, the regulator said, quoting Kraken’s independent auditor.


PointClickCare’s Mike Wessinger on how Canada’s tech sector stacks up globally

Mike Wessinger, the co-founder of PointClickCare and current board chair, is the first to admit he may not be a household name beyond industry circles.

In his exclusive interview with Aly Gillani, Head of Canadian Tech Investment Banking at RBC Capital Markets, Mike delves into his advice for cultivating a thriving tech ecosystem that stretches beyond Silicon Valley and how to build tech unicorns in Canada (while still staying humble, of course).


Co.Labs hires Broad Street Bulls, Rhino Ventures alum Jonathan Lipoth as executive director

After over a year of searching, Saskatoon-based technology hub Co.Labs has found its next executive director in Jonathan Lipoth.

Lipoth is a Saskatchewan native who has spent years working in early-stage Canadian tech on the venture capital (VC) side with Regina-based Broad Street Bulls and Vancouver’s Rhino Ventures.


Cash register closed: Till Payments changes hands for meagre sum

It’s game over for fintech Till Payments and its bigwig backers.

Street Talk understands Canadian payments processor Nuvei is set to buy the struggling payments processor – once one of Australia’s hottest start-ups, valued at $500 million – for $47 million.


Federal government commits $4.8M to Knowledge Hub, NACO through WES

The federal government has made $4.8 million in new commitments to two initiatives under its Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES).

The National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) announced it received $1 million from the WES to launch the National Women’s Initiative, while WEKH, a national network consisting of ten regional hubs and a digital platform that connects women entrepreneurs, received an additional commitment of up to $3.8 million.


Do Kwon’s Extradition Approved by Montenegro Court

A court in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, has approved the extradition of Terra founder Do Kwon to either South Korea or the United States, according to an update posted on the judiciary’s website.

Kwon, who faces multiple counts of fraud charged by U.S. federal prosecutors, in addition to existing civil charges in the U.S. and an ongoing investigation in South Korea related to last year’s terraUSD collapse, was arrested in the country in March after being caught in Podgorica’s airport with falsified documents.


FreshBooks president and CEO depart as company lays off six percent of employees

Toronto-based accounting software company FreshBooks has restructured its leadership team and cut six percent of its staff, announcing that president Mark Girvan and CEO Don Epperson are being replaced by two of its existing leaders, Mara Reiffan and Wayne Jackson, as interim co-CEOs.

FreshBooks is laying off employees and closing down its operations in Raleigh, North Carolina, about eight months after BetaKit reported that FreshBooks laid off 10 percent of its employees, or 80 members of its 800-person team.


Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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