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Please enjoy another week of fintech and banking news below.
💬 Quote of the Week
📖 Read of the Week
This week, trade policy expert Sam Lowe takes readers through an entertaining thought experiment on protectionism, work permits, and data blocks to ask, Does the Metaverse Need a Free Trade Agreement?
📊 Stat of the Week
Mobile money accounted for over $1 trillion in transactions in 2021. (Source)
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🏦 Financial Services & Banking
🚀 Product Launches
Visa (Visa?) launched a program to help digital artists grow their businesses through NFTs.
IBM launched a real-time ML tool for transaction processing.
📰 Other News
First they laugh at you… The US government this week introduced the Electronic Currency and Secure Hardware (ECASH) Act, which if enacted, would be the US’ first step towards a central bank digital currency. The Bank of England and MIT are partnering on a CBDC project. And the EU is laying the groundwork for a stablecoin.
Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, PNC Bank, Truist, US Bank, and Wells Fargo are backing EWS’ new identity system, which will let consumers KYC themselves with their bank logins. Meanwhile, they’re split on whether to offer Zelle at the checkout.
Visa inked a partnership with Collison to provide discount covid-19 testing to cardholders, with Air Canada to buy-now-pay-later flight tickets, and with itself to let you pay with your face in the Middle East.
Amazon renewed its Chase card deal after flirting with moving the program to American Express.
Greece’s Piraeus Bank is working on a neobank.
The SEC in the US last week proposed a new set of rules for SPACs, mandating additional investor protections and tighter controls on SPAC vehicles. SPACs have been notorious in the last year for showing inflated forward-looking projections to investors.
The Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology opened in the UK.
How do they even come up with these numbers… Citi says the “metaverse economy” will be worth $13 trillion by 2030.
🚀 Product Launches
Banking API provider Codebase launched a white-label buy-now-pay-later product.
Investing app Public launched Pulse, an investor relations tool.
OpenSea launched credit card payments for NFTs via MoonPay.
Climate fintech CarbonPay launched a corporate prepaid card.
Open banking platform Salt Edge launched a product to let banks verify third party providers’ credentials.
Wefunder launched a community-funded round website to showcase startups that raised community rounds.
Payroll advance firm GoDo partnered with card issuing platform HighNote to launch a wage access card.
Incubator Nymbus Labs launched a series of new fintech concepts.
📰 Other News
One-click hosted checkout startup Fast shut down.
Metamask integrated with Apple Pay.
Klarna is getting into open banking, with a sub-brand that allows fintechs to build their own apps connected to 15,000 banks in 24 countries.
MakerDAO and Huntingdon Valley Bank are partnering on loan originations.
Apple is reportedly partnering with Strike on bitcoin lightning payments.
Payroll manager Papaya Global partnered with Mesh Payments on expense management.
European investment firm flatexDEGIRO partnered with Whitebox to offer roboadvisor services.
Germany’s Solarisbank started a women’s network to close the fintech gender gap.
Paysend and Afrimoney are enabling transfers to Sierra Leone and the Gambia.
Robinhood extended trading hours by 4 hours a day and saw a 25% pop in its stock. Zopa hit profitability following its move from p2p lending into banking, and ahead of its move into buy-now-pay-later.