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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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Apple & Goldman 💔, an OCC scandal, and the Fintech Formal (TWIF 12/1)

Apple & Goldman 💔, an OCC scandal, and the Fintech Formal (TWIF 12/1)
New York Fashion Show, Slim Aarons, 1955

Hello Fintech Friends,

We've only got a little more than 100 tickets left for next Friday's Fintech Formal in New York, fintech's one and only annual black tie charity gala. Will we see you there?

🎟️ @ fintechformal.com/rsvp

@twif.tok

FINTECH’S FAVORITE EVENT IS BACK ❄️ Tickets & sponsorship inquiries at www.fintechformal.com

♬ Cool Kids (our sped up version) - Echosmith

Thank you to our great Fintech Formal sponsors:

It was not a slow week in fintech! This week, it emerged that Apple and Goldman may be breaking up over the latter's loss of billions on sponsoring the Apple Card program. And.... how about those back-to-back FDIC and OCC scandals? More below.

This week, our podcaster Helen Femi Williams was joined by Merusha Naidu, Global Head of Partnerships at Paymentology and Rey Saeidi, Digital Partnerships at Visa, on the newly rebranded TWIF Podcast, sponsored by Brex:

🎧 The TWIF Podcast: Merusha Naidu of Paymentology & Rey Saeidi of Visa
“Financial inclusion needs to be the cornerstone of every single financial institution, whether it’s a FinTech or a bank. And so from that moment on, I was just like, challenge accepted.” - Merusha Naidu

Our premium content editor Sophie Vo broke down the recent $4.3 billion Binance settlement:

Signals: Binance’s $4.3B settlement
Binance’s settle highlights the need for better regulation, and the role that decentralization plays in a compliant crypto schema.

And we featured more great Africa fintech coverage from our new Africa editor, John Haule:

This Week In Fintech - Africa (11/27)
Hi Fintech friends 👋 Here are the highlights of what happened in African Fintech this week; * 2 Fintech deals worth $10 million were announced including one acquisition * Fintechs dominate the Top 10 most funded African startups in 2023 * 2 Venture Capital firms launched funds to back African…

Please enjoy another week of fintech and banking news below. (👍👎 Have feedback for us? Let us know!)


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💼 Fintech Job of the Week
💬 Quote of the Week

🏦 Financial Services & Banking
🚀 Product Launches

Commonwealth Bank of Australia partnered with payment orchestration platform Paydock to provide merchants with a single access method to an unlimited number of payment methods and providers.

Australian banks also rolled out a new anti-fraud 'confirmation of payee' system.

Germany's Commerzbank is working with Microsoft to insert an AI avatar assistant into its mobile app.

Swift introduced full transparency and end-to-end tracking for real-time cross-border transfers destined for the EU.

Lloyds Bank in the UK launched in-app passport scanning to onboard new customers and partnered with PrimaryBid to give retail investors with access to public company capital raises in both equity and debt.

📰 Other News

Apple has proposed breaking up with its banking parnter for the Apple Card program, Goldman Sachs, within the next 12 to 15 months. Goldman may offload the program to American Express. This comes weeks after the bank wound down its GM card partnership.

In a wild story that is still developing, it was revealed that the OCC's Head of Fintech, Prashant Bhardwaj, who was announced over the summer, falsified his entire resume, was arrested for a DUI after being hired (for a leadership role that paid over $300,000), and was quietly let go by the regulator without any public comment or notice. This comes as the FDIC appoints a special committee to review numerous recent allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, putting pressure on the FDIC Chair to resign.

Chinese lenders are beginning to feel the strain of the collapsing real estate market, and the police are arresting multiple employees of shadow lenders as they continue to drive enterprises into default on their loan obligations.

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority moved to clamp down on greenwashing with new sustainability disclosure requirements and investment labels.

Japan's Osaka Digital Exchange plans to begin listing digital tokenized securities. Meanwhile, Fidelity has thrown its hat into the Ethereum ETF ring, alongside BlackRock and Ark, and the UK gave the green light for investment funds to tokenize themselves.

South Korea is working on a central bank digital currency pilot that will involve 100,000 people.

The CFPB ordered Bank of America to pay a $12 million fine for reporting fake mortgage information on behalf of applicants, claiming that they declined to provide their race and ethnicity.

UBS' Chairman Colm Kelleher warned that a bubble is beginning to form in private credit.

Thousands of UK HSBC customers were unable to access online and mobile banking services, preventing them from authorizing card purchases on Black Friday.

Fidelity was hit by a "cybersecurity incident" that forced it to block access to systems, leading to business disruptions.

Electronic Money Institution Contis was fined €840,000 by the Bank of Lithuania over anti-money laundering violations.

Barclays will cut 900 jobs in the UK, Lloyds will close branches, and Metro Bank will cut 20% of staff.


💻 Fintech
🚀 Product Launches

Xero, the small business accounting platform, launched auto sales tax capability to provide reliable sales tax calculations, comprehensive reporting, and automated filing options for small business owners and their advisors, powered by Avalara.

Sales Tax Software | Auto Sales Tax | Xero US

Canadian small business banking platform Vault* launched a Transfer Approval feature to provide business owners complete flexibility in managing their accounts payables process, with enhanced control and visibility into payments.

Fintechs are building for banks: ID verification platform Socure launched a banking-as-a-service tool to ensure sponsor banks have access to critical insights and controls required for fintech partnerships.

Effectiveness testing platform Cable announced the launch of its Transaction Assurance solution, which ensures transactions are not only monitored but also tested for regulatory breaches or control failures.

Regtech provider Symphony partnered with Google to launch an AI-enabled service to ensure banks' voice calls are compliant.

Greenwood, the neobank for Black and Latino consumers and businesses, launched Greenwood Invest, a stock investing and trading app that allows customers to invest in stocks and ETFs.

An AI-enabled loan comparison site, FundOnion, launched in the UK to help small businesses find funding.

Findity launched an expense management API.

📰 Other News

SoFi is exiting the crypto space entirely, as regulators step up their pressure on crypto, and offloading its crypto customers to Blockchain.com.

Dozens of fintech leaders signed a letter to Canada's finance minister calling for a clear roadmap for the delivery of a long-awaited open banking framework.

Buy-now-pay-later giant Klarna received approval to offer credit and payments products in the UK and investment app Robinhood launched in the UK.

UK open banking payments firm Volt launched in Australia, using the country’s PayTo platform.

Neobank N26 expects to be profitable in 2024.

Do Kwon, the disgraced founder of the Terra stablecoin, will be extradited from Montenegro to South Korea or the USA.

🤝 Partnership Corner

Circle partnered with Japanese megabank SBI Holdings to use its USDC stablecoin in Japanese banking.

Biz2X partnered with Mastercard to help improve access to capital for small businesses in the U.S. with better underwriting data.

👎 The Bad News

Fintech partner bank Blue Ridge Bank is offloading about 50 (!) of its banking-as-a-service fintech customers, and exploring a capital raise, due to higher regulatory capital requirements, as it looks to get back into the OCC's good graces.

Over $1 billion of Tether deposits at a subsidiary of investment bank Britannia Financial are possibly in limbo, as the bank engages in a legal dispute with British Virgin Islands-registered Arbitral International, which alleges that Britannia failed to pay the full price for a Bahamas brokerage it bought from Arbitral in June 2021.


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