British company Intelligent Environments wants to secure your banking information with emojis; online small business lender, Bond Street, secures new funding; and more top stories from this week in FinTech.

UK Firm Launches Emoji Alternative to Pin Codes

Intelligent Environments has taken a creative approach toward bank account security. The British company has successfully developed and launched an emoji alternative to the more common four-digit pin code traditionally used in online banking. BBC reports:

“Intelligent Environments says its Emoji Passcode service is more secure because there are more potential combinations of the 44 emojis than there are of the numbers 0-9. It claims some digital banks have already expressed interest in the idea.”

Bond Street, an Online Small Business Lender, Announces $110 Million in Funding

The non-bank small business lending industry continues heat up, as Bond Street raises $110 million in funding. The new round of financing was led by Venture capital firm Spark Capital and investment bank Jefferies. Forbes reports:

“The company is pursuing a number of partnerships, such as with bank partners who may want to use its algorithms, as well as technology companies that have data on small businesses, retailers whose supply chains touch a lot of small businesses and other types of firms with large small business communities. Bond Street also expects, at some point, to launch a line of credit product, in addition to its term loans.”

Report: FinTech's Future Is in Asia & Africa, Europe Is ‘at the Bottom of the Heap’

Analysis of the biennial Payment Innovations Report 2015 has described an increasingly successful FinTech sector in Asian and African countries. It is believed that countries in these areas are likely to take the lead in digital payment startups. From the report:

“Of payments innovations from the developed world, virtual card payments are the most likely to find widespread success in emerging economies. It is about time that developed countries accept that they can learn from developing markets. Asia and Africa are in the lead in the payments innovation stakes and Europe is at the bottom of the heap.”

Report: FinTech's Future Is in Asia & Africa, Europe Is ‘at the Bottom of the Heap’

New FinTech Startup Launches on Fleet Street, London

Startup, The Currency Account promises to remove the anomalies attached to foreign exchange for consumers and businesses. This past week, the company launched an online currency exchange service designed to provide a fast and efficient way to arrange delivery of travel cash and make international payments. Bdaily reports:

“With The Currency Account service being available to individuals and businesses there is a real alternative to the use of Banks for everyday currency transactions. As the name implies, the customer has a “currency account” — one account — that can store multiple currencies and convert one from another and remit funds overseas or withdraw currency for travel purposes.”

BitPay Shifts Focus from Payments and Merchants to Large Banks

Bitcoin payment processor BitPay announced that the company plans to shift its focus from merchant payment platforms and services to working with large financial institutions and banks. From CT:

“BitPay plans to implement the payment infrastructure that was initially developed to secure BitPay’s accounting system to settle credit card and bank settlements by simplifying and securing the process of transferring money from one account to another using the Bitcoin blockchain.”

BitPay Shifts Focus from Payments and Merchants to Large Banks

The Next Fintech Sandbox

New digital currency protocols have the potential to include the two billion people worldwide into the global economy who don’t have credit cards or bank accounts. This is a massive group of people that is just waiting for the arrival of innovative FinTech startups to service their needs. From TechCrunch:

“Most fintech services are designed for online consumers, but companies are beginning to create products that rely on technology available to a broader market — including MFI customers. According to the International Telecommunications Union, an estimated 95.5 percent of the world’s population has access to a cell phone. The reach of SMS, then, far exceeds that of the Internet, to which approximately 40 percent of the world has access.”

Goldman Sachs to Compete With LendingClub

In the coming year, Goldman Sachs plans to start offering loans to the average Joe at home. The multinational investment banking firm will compete directly with FinTech startups like LendingClub by offering loans to consumers and small businesses online. USA Today reports:

“The move comes as Wall Street grapples with technologies that compete with traditional banking businesses, including payments, loans and even wealth management. The burgeoning industry, known as fintech, threatens to grab $4.7 trillion in revenue and $470 billion in profits from traditional Wall Street firms, Goldman Sachs recently predicted.”

‘Dope’ Is the World's 1st Movie to Accept Bitcoin for Tickets, Along With 900 Cinemas Across US

The highly anticipated comedy “Dope” will be the world’s first movie to accept bitcoin for its ticket sales through a partnership between — which supports over 900 cinemas in the U.S. CT reports:

“The integration of GoCoin’s payment gateway will enable users to purchase movie tickets with bitcoin at almost one sixth of the nation’s cinemas. The integration of bitcoin on is ‘an integral part of the movie Dope,’ which presents bitcoin as a new-world currency and an alternative to cash.”

‘Dope’ Is the World's 1st Movie to Accept Bitcoin for Tickets, Along With 900 Cinemas Across US

Google and Ingenico Team Up to Help Europeans Boost Cross-Border eCommerce

Ingenico Payment Services and Google are coming together in a joint program known as Export Accelerator, in an effort to assist European merchants with growing relationships and sales beyond their own borders. From PYMTS:

“As might be expected, Google will help online businesses generate search and research leads to aid growth of online traffic. Ingenico will help translate this traffic into sales by utilizing payment technologies, ranging from local transactions to data analysis and risk management.”

8 Ways Financial Technology Will Evolve in 2016

There is no doubt that financial technology will continue to shake up the world. Although we are only halfway through 2015, some are already looking at the impact FinTech will make in 2016 and beyond. From Inc.:

“With more global and online transactions, consumers and small business owners need to tap into a wider range of ways to be paid and to pay others. It's no longer about currency exchange, direct deposit, and PayPal, because new FinTech solutions are changing the payment game.”