This Week in Fintech (2/25)

This Week in Fintech (2/25)

Hello Fintech Friends,

I arrived in Cape Town last night after a week of meetings with fintech founders and investors in Kampala and Nairobi.

It will take some time to crystallize some thoughts from the week, but there is one central theme: the energy, creativity, collaboration, and enthusiasm from the fintech communities in each of these cities is unmatched. Talent is pouring into this space and products are scaling at a rapid pace across borders. It’s going to be an exciting few years.

If you attended Wednesday’s Nairobi Fintech Meetup, our host Wiza Jalakasi just created a photo album here, and you can sign up for the next one here!

🚨Our latest Signals subscriber edition from team member Sophie Vo is out!🚨

This week: It's all fun and games until The Fed raises rates. Here’s a preview:

The modern fintech landscape was born in a prolonged era of low interest rates, and for the most part it’s all that fintechs have ever known. This year the Fed is expected to raise rates as high as 2% (its steepest hike since 2005), and fintechs who pioneered – and built their businesses on – new models for delivering financial services will need to adapt to a world where capital is harder to come by.

Buckle up, we’re diving into how interest rate hikes are going to impact business for neobanks and fintech lenders.

Please enjoy another week of fintech and banking news below.


💬 Quote of the Week


📖 Read of the Week

This week, Sultan Meghji, the former chief innovation officer at the FDIC, published an absolutely scathing critique of the agency and US federal financial regulators, saying “The federal bureaucracy is both hesitant and hostile to technological change. America’s global financial leadership is in jeopardy.” These criticisms are common from outside the regulatory space, where founders and fintech leaders vent frustrations about regulators’ opacity and risk aversion, but to hear them from a former insider is surprising.

Per Meghji, the primary issues at the FDIC are (1) aversion to change, (2) lack of expertise in the areas they regulate, and (3) no continuing education. This reaffirms my belief (discussed in this Fintech Nerd Collective piece) that the best thing the fintech industry can do is proactively reach out to regulators and work with them to better understand the space.

📊 Stat of the Week

Less than 5.6% of fintech CEOs are women, globally. (Source)

Of the $89.28 billion in total fintech funding we saw in 2021, $20.23 billion came from incumbent FIs and established fintech companies; Incumbent banking providers invested $7.37 billion in fintechs in 2021. - Peter Wannemacher


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💼 Open Role Spotlight

Come find your place on the team at the most inspiring fintech startups! Browse open roles on This Week in Fintech’s job board.


🏦 Financial Services & Banking

🚀 Product Launches

Malaysia’s Kenanga Bank launched its own roboadvisor to take on local rivals StashAway and Wahed.

📰 Other News

Central bank stablecoins are the new high-APY savings accounts. Kenya is making progress towards a central bank digital currency - inspiring Uganda to follow suit. Sweden’s Riksbank exited phase 2 technical tests and Taiwan plans to debut its CBDC in September. (But the IMF is pushing back on Nigeria’s stablecoin…)

Meanwhile, Ukraine legalized crypto as a form of payment as the threat of invasion looms.

And banks seem to be keen on consortia these days: the latest is an initiative led by iCapital to develop a blockchain-based standard for alternative investments, including BlackRock, BNY Mellon, Morgan Stanley, State Street, and UBS. (Last week we covered Mastercard’s real-time payments consortium and a multi-bank carbon consortium.)

Bank of America says oracle Chainlink is driving defi TVL growth. Mitsubishi UFJ shut down its blockchain-based payments network.


💻 Fintech

🚀 Product Launches

Farm lending platform ProducePay announced Quick-Pay+, a service to get growers 96% of the price of a shipment in 24 hours.

Ramp launched a travel solution with partners like Lyft and WeWork.

American Express and Delta Airlines partnered to launch buy-now-pay-later for flights.

Australia’s Tiik launched a consumer crypto savings product. Zopa launched a hybrid savings and earning account.

GoDaddy launched QR codes as a replacement for point-of-sale terminals.

IBF Net launched Shariah-compliant digital assets using NFTs.

📰 Other News

Many of the largest crypto platforms - Blockfi, Coinbase, ZeroHash * - came together to create a platform for monitoring KYC / AML in compliance with the travel rule. Meanwhile, the FBI is setting up a crypto task force.

Flutterwave became enabled for Twitter tipping and backed ThePeer, which allows fintechs to share data and make wallet-to-wallet payments.

Corporate spend startup Airbase is teaming up with AmEx to offer its services to cardholders.

Vivid Labs and Shopify are partnering to allow merchants to sell NFTs from their stores.

Embedded investing platform Atomic is partnering with Upside to help students build wealth.

Mercado Pago is bridging out into payment initiation in Brazil. Icelanding neobank indó received its banking license.

Charitable giving app Toucan went on Dragon’s Den. China’s JD Finance closed its service for college students amid a continued government regulatory crackdown. Australian buy-now-pay-later provider Zip is entering into loss territory as stimulus checks in the US expire.


Sponsored Content

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🌎 Fintech Around the World

Pakistan’s financial system for all but the illicit

With $700m raised in 2021, African startups are turning to debt

📚 Deeper Reads

Goldfinch Finance * - Let's Get Real

Finding Product-Market-Fit for Underwriting

The Black Banking Experience Is Digital, but Banking Leaders Must Understand Why

Quick cash, easy sales: iBuyers are grabbing more of the real estate market

Kaszek sees 'giant opportunity' for digital banking services in LatAm

Account-to-Account Transfers – The MVP of Fintech

NFTs and DeFi are revolutionizing real-estate investing and homeownership

Missing dog Zoey reunited with owners after 12 years


Come meet us in-person at www.fintechhappyhour.com.