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Will Western Union, Visa And Revolut Drive The Next Wave Of M&A Activity In The Payments And Money Transfer Sectors?

Each December for the past few years, this author, along with many others, predicted further consolidation in the cross-border payments market. Competition has been increasing, more Fintechs are gaining scale and investors love the sector. Yet the numbers tell a different story.

According to investment bank FT Partners, since January 2019, there have been approximately 1,400 M&A transactions in Fintech. Just over 300 of these have been in payments but according to research at FXC Intelligence, we can count only five meaningful deals in cross-border payments and a handful more small transactions.

Last week, the CEO of Western Union
WU
, the most valuable stand-alone remittance company, stated in a Financial Times interview that he is on an acquisition hunt. To add further color, in June, Western Union was reported to be in acquisition talks with one of its leading competitors, MoneyGram
MGI

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Internet blackout in Belarus leaves protesters in the dark

MINSK/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Protest groups in Belarus are trying to use limited access to the Telegram messaging service to coordinate anti-government action, but say an internet shutdown they blame on the authorities has been effective in slowing them down.

FILE PHOTO: People gesture during clashes with opposition supporters after polls closed at the presidential election in Minsk, Belarus, August 9, 2020. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko/File Photo

Mobile phone internet has been offline since protesters clashed with police on Sunday, accusing President Alexander Lukashenko of rigging a landslide re-election win. One person died in a second night of protests on Monday.

Limited Wi-Fi internet access is only sporadically available after users install a separate programme, while many social media websites are blocked. Lukashenko has denied the authorities are trying to shut down the internet.

Alexander, 42, a protester in Minsk, said he had not read a news article or social media post in

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Russians tend to insure Chinese, Korean smartphones more often this year – Business & Economy

MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. Russians tend to insure their smartphones by Chinese and Korean producers more often this year, according to a study by Sberbank Insurance, a subsidiary of Sberbank, obtained by TASS. The price of most often insured phones varies from 12,000 ($164) to 14,000 rubles ($191).

This year, Honor became the “most insured” smartphone brand: 35% of the total amount of insurance purchased for this gadget. Most often users insured their Honor 9X model (6.7%).

Korea’s Samsung is the second most popular brand (22%) on the list. The Samsung A10 model is the most dear to their owners: it accounted for 6.6% of purchased insurance contracts.

One fifth (21%) of insurance contracts are concluded for Chinese smartphones under the Xiaomi brand. The most popular model is Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T (6% of purchased insurances), according to the study.

If in 2019, Russian phone owners insured mainly Apple and

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