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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The stablecoins wanna know how you'd rate them (TWIF 2/3)

The stablecoins wanna know how you'd rate them (TWIF 2/3)
Sal, Cape Verde

Hello Fintech Friends,

Our fintech events are back with a bang!

🔥 In New York, we're hosting our first happy hour of 2023 on Feb 8th at The Glass Ceiling, sponsored by video dating app FilterOff.

🏋️ Also in New York, we’re partnering with our good friends at Founder League to host our first Fintech Fitness Friday at Rumble Boxing on Feb 24th.

🍹 On Feb 17th, we’re coming back to Kenya for our annual Nairobi Fintech Happy Hour, organized by fintech celebrity Wiza Jalakasi and in partnership with our great sponsors, Turaco, Kwara, Paystack, Asimilia, Honeycoin, & Power.

💸 I loved this week’s writeup from our guest superstar Jenny Johnston on real-time payments, comparing RTP and FedNow head-to-head and discussing why real-time payments are cool.

🥵 PSA: On the content side, we’re looking into spacing our content out more and consolidating across issues to give your inboxes a rest. For this week, we'll combine Saturday & Sunday's newsletters into one Sunday edition.

👍👎 Have feedback for us? Let us know!

Please enjoy another week of fintech and banking news below.


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💬 Quote of the Week
📖 Read of the Week

Credit ratings provider Moody is working on building the first scoring system for crypto stablecoins. This is an incontrovertibly necessary feature for the institutional adoption of stablecoins. I’m glad to see a ratings agency well-equipped for this role, with financial sector credibility, taking on the job (and I’m sure other ratings agencies will follow).

It does bring up the interesting question of how ratings and weights will be determined. There are obviously positive criteria – like 1:1 cash backing, market depth and liquidity, audit practices, etc. – that will be uncontroversial. But what about criteria like jurisdictional acceptance? Or the level of KYC, AML, and OFAC restrictions? It seems likely that different stablecoins may end up being tailored to different institutions and use-cases, based on their relative merits.


🏦 Financial Services & Banking
🚀 Product Launches

American Express incorporated Kabbage’s tech and launched its own financial management tools for small businesses.

Bangladesh’s central bank launched a national QR code payment system.

📰 Other News

In the US, the presidential administration plans to announce new efforts to cut down credit card late fees, as well as the fees charged by Google and Apple in their app stores. The CFPB expects to propose a similar ruling on Wednesday to ban "excessive" fees that credit cards charge for late payments (which they estimate cost consumers $12 billion a year).

Meanwhile, consumer credit delinquencies are rising and banks are bracing for more loan defaults by increasing their loss reserves. Crypto banks are in their own world of pain, borrowing billions to plug shortfalls.

The UK government completed the first draft of the first regulatory framework that will bring cryptocurrencies into the same regulatory regime as financial services. There will undoubtedly be some strong opinions to follow in all directions. In the US, what does the SEC’s insider trading lawsuit against a former OpenSea PM mean for the future of crypto regulation?

The UK is planning to roll out more shared bank branch retail hubs, while Barclays is moving to semi-permanent banking pods.

The NYSE’s trading chaos last week at opening was caused by the failure a data center to turn off a backup system.

JP Morgan asset management is coming back to China.

The Indian Central Bank ordered SBM Bank India - a big partner to fintech services in the country - to stop all outward remittance transactions.

The Saudi Central Bank is working with fintechs on designing its own stablecoin.

The European Investment Bank priced a £50 million bond using private and public blockchains operated by HSBC.

The Central Bank of Ireland warned of significant deficiencies in the risk practices and controls of the country’s e-money sector.

Central banks around the world are running to safe assets, driving up the price of gold by 18% in the last year.

Morgan Stanley was fined over messaging breaches. Commerzbank is suing auditor EY over its €200 million Wirecard loss.


💻 Fintech
🚀 Product Launches

Embedded banking provider Unit* launched white-label user interfaces to make it easier to launch lending products.

Cash App launched a new feature to help consumers with their savings.

Worldline launched digital payments for Indian small businesses.

Ingenico and SplitIt partnered to launch white-label buy-now-pay-later.

Stack launched a real-time transaction risk-scoring API.

Irish fintech Unbanx launched an open banking tool for points-based rewards.

M&G in the UK rolled out a roboadvisor.

📰 Other News

Celsius’ bankruptcy probe does not make things look good for the beleaguered crypto lender. From the report: “A former Celsius employee alleged in July that the company devolved into a Ponzi scheme when Ethereum and Bitcoin prices started climbing in 2021 and the company didn't have the cash to pay its investors the CEL they were due.”

PayPal is working with e-commerce service provider Bold Commerce to build brands their own customized headless checkout.

The California DMV is putting car titles on the Tezos blockchain to streamline transfers.

You may not like it, but Elon is moving ahead with payments at Twitter.

Middle Eastern KYC solution Uqudo was used to help run elections in Oman.

Roboadvisor Sidepocket plans to launch this month. Wealthtech Nucoro in the UK is restructuring its business.

Indian payments giant PhonePe plans to launch more fintech products.

Centrifuge continues to bring more and more real-world assets onto the blockchain, with $252 million in transactions facilitated.

The Dutch central bank fined Coinbase €3.33 million for unlicensed crypto offerings.

UK money transmitter service Atlantic Money is reporting its competitor Wise to regulators for unfair competition.

British crypto startup Mode is shutting down. Charitable giving startup GoodBox exited bankruptcy.

PayPal, SoFi, FIS, and Upstart are the latest fintechs to lay off employees.


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