The Front Page of Global Fintech

The largest fintech community in the world. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest in news opinions, and all things financial technology.

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The Front Page of Global Fintech

The largest fintech community in the world. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest in news opinions, and all things financial technology.

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See you in 2024, Fintech Friends! (TWIF 12/22)

See you in 2024, Fintech Friends! (TWIF 12/22)
Mountain Buffet

Hello Fintech Friends,

2023 is coming to a close, and what a year it has been.

It's hard to believe that so much happened in just the last 12 months - Apple launched a savings account, FedNow went live in the US, Better went public, a spate of regional banks including Signature, SVB, and First Republic ran into liquidity issues and were acquired, Stripe still raised $6.5 billion in the face of a much cooler funding environment, Visa acquired Pismo (and most of Prosa), Marqeta acquired Power*, Robinhood acquired X1, and a long list of fintech companies went through layoffs.

It's hard to predict what 2024 will bring, but as you'll see – in a series of tweets and one whitepaper below – the narrative is changing. The fintech companies that buckled down and readjusted for scarcity are starting not just to deliver, but to overdeliver.

Adversity breeds excellence – will 2024 be the year of fintech excellence?

We'll be right there with you to find out,

Nik & the TWIF Team

🎧 The TWIF Podcast: Soups Ranjan of Sardine
“Sardine is all about fraud prevention to help consumers and businesses not lose money. Because as money movement and Commerce has increasingly moved online, you know, fraud, and scam has increasingly moved online as well.” - Soups Ranjan
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👉 Join today.

Please enjoy another week of fintech and banking news below.

To give everyone some downtime for the holidays, this will be my last newsletter of the year, combining the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday reads into one super-issue.

👍👎 Have feedback for us? Let us know!


📺
Sponsored Content

A message from our partners at Visa,

Visa is expanding its Fintech Fast Track program beyond card issuance to offer fintechs access to Visa’s real-time money movement platform, Visa Direct. In today’s evolving landscape, fintech builders need ways to differentiate their offerings – and embedding payment capabilities has proven to be a successful strategy.

With the expansion of Fast Track to include Visa Direct, fintechs can now launch programs through their financial institutions to enable transfers to eligible cards, bank accounts, and wallets around the world, often in real time. Visa Direct supports multiple use cases and provides a single point of access to over 8.5 billion endpoints, including 3+ billion cards, 3+ billion accounts and 2.5+ billion digital wallets.

Learn more about Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program and how it can help differentiate your fintech offerings.

Want to sponsor a newsletter? See our sponsorship information here.


💼 Fintech Job of the Week
Back-end Developer Node.js + Amazon at Radar Chile SpA. - Remote (work from home)
Trabajo remoto Full time: 💻 Habilidades Técnicas3 o + años de experiencia en NodeJS y AWS.2 años de experiencia en diseño e imp

Looking for your next adventure in fintech? Come check out our job board and join our Talent Collective.

💬 Quote of the Week
📖 Read of the Week

Simon Taylor of Fintech Brainfood has put out a great State of Fintech 2023 report that I encourage everyone to read.

It teaches us what we always learn in tech: by the time a perspective becomes the narrative, it's probably wrong. This was the year of the 'fintech bad' narrative, but as you can see below, there are a lot of emerging datapoints that defy the narrative.

 


🏦 Financial Services & Banking
🚀 Product Launches

Civil rights group UnidosUS is partnering with Wells Fargo to launch transaction accounts that offer low or no fees, no overdraft charges, and other accessible features to underbanked Latino consumers.

Spain's CaixaBank added voice over to POS terminals to improve banking accessibilitty for the visually impaired.

The UK's TSB bank launched a new customer rewards and discounts portal.

Eastern Bank in Bangladesh is launching a biometric metal card for premium customers on the IDEX card operating system, because why not?

📰 Other News

Visa is letting members of its FinTech Fast Track program join its Visa Direct platform in order to give them access to real-time money movement capabilities.

UK banks want to (compliantly) offer crypto: the UK Government received 19 applications from financial market infrastructure providers, banks and fintechs to join its Digital Securities Sandbox. UK regulators also plan to allow banks to provide non-sweeping variable recurring payments via open banking account linking in 2024.

The Bank of Ireland, the country's central bank, was reprimanded for sharing inaccurate data from 3,284 customers’ profiles to credit reporting agencies.

Apple, Visa and Mastercard face a class action lawsuit that alleges they conspired to suppress competition in the market for point-of-sale payment card services.


💻 Fintech
🚀 Product Launches

Remote payroll provider Deel launched a compliance hub, including a newsfeed that tracks regulatory changes across 150 countries.

Screenshot of a story about a new work policy in Chile, along with compliance reommendations.

Dutch neobank bunq unveiled its own generative AI banking assistant, named Finn.

Nigerian banking app Bloc launched a business banking platform and Bahrain-based Beyon launched expense management for corporates.

Public announced a High-Yield Cash Account with a 5.1% APY on savings.

📰 Other News

Crypto-as-a-service: Coinbase and its asset management arm are working on Project Diamond, a smart contract platform to allow banks and financial institutions to trade and create new digital assets.

Neobank Dave says its AI chatbot achieves an 89% resolution rate.

Fintehc Paysera opened a new banking service in the country of Georgia, while Swiss payment service provider wallee expanded into Lithuania.

Neobank Revolut is on-pace for $1.9 billion in revenue this year, nearly double last year's $1 billion in revenue.

🤝 Partnership Corner

Physical BNPL! Walmart is partnering with Affirm to bring buy-now-pay-later as a payment option to checkout kiosks in over 4,5000 US stores.

Affirm is now available at Walmart

TD Bank struck a US and Canada data access deal with Plaid, while business accounting platform Xero partnered with open banking provider Flinks to enable US and Canadian businesses to connect their data.

👎 The Bad News

US courts approved an additional $2.7 billion penalty against Binance brought by the CFTC.

Hosted checkout provider Bolt laid off another 29% of its workforce.

SMB neobank Mercury is suing its banking-as-a-service provider Synapse, claiming the latter is holding $30 million in customer funds that are 'missing.'

Revolut suspended crypto buying for its UK business customers.

The SEC has charged the CEO of Nigerian agri-fintech platforms Tingo Group and Agri-Fintech Holdings with "massive fraud," inflating their financial statements.

Kenyan fintech firm Pezesha filed a petition to liquidate Marketforce, a B2B e-commerce platform, citing unpaid debts.

Nigerian mobile money provider OPay faces scrutiny over a weak KYC system and red flags.


💸 Venture Financing
  1. Tamara, a buy now, pay later platform for consumers in Saudi Arabia and the wider GCC, raised $340 million at a $1 billion valuation.
  2. Vestwell, an infrastructure provider for employers to power workplace savings programs, raised $125 million.
  3. Tabby, the Saudi buy-now-pay-later platform, added $50 million to its $200 million Series D and secured $700 million in debt financing.
  4. Salt Labs, a loyalty and earned assets provider for employers and employees, raised $8 million.
  5. Fiat Republic, a banking-as-a-service startup working to simplify the process of crypto platforms connecting with bank transfer networks, raised a $7 million seed extension.
  6. Prevu, which offers rebates on home purchases to buyers, raised a $6 million Series A.
  7. Hakbah, a Saudi-based savings platform, raised a $5.1 million Series A.
  8. Claim, a social network that lets users earn and trade rewards with friends (pictured below), raised $4 million.
  9. Spare, an open banking services provider in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain, raised $3 million.
  10. Felix Pago, which provides instant cross-border money transfers via WhatsApp, raised $2.8 million.
  11. Crescenta, a Spanish digital fund manager for private equity investment, added €2 million to its pre-seed.
  12. BlueMatrix, a content creation and distribution platform for investment research providers, raised funding from private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
  13. Vitt, a UK cash management provider, raised an undisclosed amount of additional equity and debt and launched its treasury management product.
Claim UI

💵 Debt Financing
  • SellersFi, which provides financial tools and working capital to e-commerce merchants, secured up to $300 million in a credit facility from Citi and Fasanara Capital.
  • Ampla*, a financing and banking provider to consumer brands, secured a $275 million credit facility from Citi and Waterfall Asset Management.


📺
Sponsored Content

Aku is a fully licensed neo-bank revolutionizing the way informal offline merchants make and receive payments. Join us on our journey to digitize African retail payments. www.aku.africa


☯️ Exits
🤝 M&A - Fintech
  • Spring EQ, a provider of home equity financing solutions, was acquired by private equity firm Cerberus.

🏦 M&A - Bank and FinServ
  • Blackstone and Canada Pension Plan won a stake in a $17 billion portfolio of commercial-property loans from the failed Signature Bank.
  • Management consulting firm Aon will buy privately-held wealth management and retirement plan provider NFP in a deal valued at about $13.4 billion.
  • Indian financial services provider Edelweiss is selling equity in its alternative asset management unit to raise ₹15-20 billion by selling a 10-20% stake.
  • Private equity firm J.C. Flowers invested $125m in Baltimore's Capital Funding Bancorp.
  • KKR bought a $7.2 billion recreational vehicle loan portfolio from BMO Financial.
  • US asset manager AssetMark's Chinese owner is exploring a stake sale.

🌎 Fintech Around the World

Saudi Arabia unveils fintech program to boost financial innovation

India’s assault on unsecured loans hits Paytm and other fintech companies

📚 Deeper Reads & Features

Robinhood is on a quest to dive deeper into crypto

Over 50 mortgage lenders switch to Argyle’s VOI/E platform

Will Bunq's Ali Niknam bring his AI-powered bank to the US?

Inflation gives millions new access to investments for the wealthy, says SEC

Buy Now, Pay Later popularity soared in 2023

Taking stock of AI-powered digital lending

TSA’s 2024 canine calendar spotlights NY pup from LaGuardia Airport 🐶