This Week in Fintech (9/17)

This Week in Fintech (9/17)

Hello Fintech Friends,

We’re beyond excited to announce that Christine Chang is joining us to run our new Latin America fintech newsletter. She joins Osborne (Asia), Katie, Michael (Europe), Cristina, and Ben in helping us build out the world’s best fintech news overview and community.

Are you a good dinner guest? Join our October New York Dinner, co-hosted with New York Fintech Week. (We’re already seeing some interesting topic suggestions.)

Thanks to everyone who made it out to our Miami meetup last night!

Please enjoy another week of fintech and banking news below.


💬 Quote of the Week

“The fundamental problem to solve in consumer finance, for people, is “What is the most optimal way to pay?” The answer to this I refer to as “the ideal experience.” Each product has its own problem and its own specific ‘ideal.’”
  • Joel Silverberg, People-first product development (Source)

📖 Read of the Week

The Afghan humanitarian crisis has been compounded by the lack of hard currency in the country. The country doesn’t own the printers for its own money, but rather outsources printing to companies in Poland and France. The country’s central bank reserves are also held overseas in US dollar-denominated accounts, subject to sanctions. This is notable in a time of international experimentation with central bank digital currencies. Even during contentious government transitions, digital currencies could shield citizens from the fallout from monetary shortages.

📊 Stat of the Week

Source: The world’s biggest VCs are now vying for stakes in Nigeria’s tech sector


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🏦 Financial Services & Banking

🚀 Product Launches

Bank of America launched Balance Connect, a new feature that helps users avoid overdraft fees... for $12.

Dutch bank ABN Amro is partnering with subscription service Subaio to provide the relatives of deceased customers with an overview of the customer’s recurring payments, including subscriptions, loans and insurance.

📰 Other News

Bitcoin can now be purchased in the UK using the Post Office app.

MVB bank is working with NYDIG to incorporate bitcoin into its banking-as-a-service tools. A service called DefiChain will tokenize Nasdaq stocks for trading.

Citibank, BNY Mellon and Verizon are partnering to create a real-time bill payment service for retail customers.

Arvest, the operator of a group of community banks in the US, plans to switch to Thought Machine's cloud-native core banking platform, Vault.

Kenya’s Ecobank partnered with KenTrade to create a new payment gateway.

Capital One is testing out a new buy-now-pay-later service, less than a year after banning cardholdes from paying for other buy-now-pay-later services with its credit cards.

India and Singapore will link their payments systems to enable immediate, low-cost cross-border transactions.


💻 Fintech

🚀 Product Launches

Nigerian payments platform Chipper Cash announced that it is launching virtual cards.

Debt collection platform TrueAccord launched Retain, a product to improve debt servicing communications.

Neobank Monzo is now offering buy-now-pay-later.

Ecommpay, a payment service provider and direct bank card acquirer, added a new feature called Timeline for travel payments.

Open banking provider TrueLayer launched an instant payouts feature.

Allied Payment Network launched a bitcoin wallet on Finastra’s app store.

TechAdvance launched Bloc, a suite of APIs to make it easier to build fintech applications.

Quolum launched an expense card for managing SaaS subscriptions.

📰 Other News

A US judge ruled that Apple must allow other forms of in-app purchases and payments to developers in its app store. This could be a boon for fintech developers building third-party in-app payment systems.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government is reportedly planning to break up Alipay, the massive financial services provider, into separate lending and payments apps. This is the latest regulatory blow for the fintech, following the halting of its 2020 IPO and proposed nationalization of its services.

Square is starting to connect the dots between consumers and merchants in its network, enabling users to make in-store payments from Cash App.

Robinhood is traveling college campuses around the US to sign up younger users for its platform.

Nubank partnered with lender Creditas to enable loans to its bank customers.

A team of blockchain developers unveiled plans for pingNpay, a global micropayment network built on crypto. (Meanwhile, McDonald’s now accepts bitcoin in El Salvador.)

One Inc and Mastercard partnered to enable real-time insurance payments. NexPay partnered with open banking platform Salt Edge on its authentication process. CRB Monitor and PayQwick partnered on cannabis payments.

Jumo and telco MTN partnered to launch a small business mobile money and credit solution in the Ivory Coast. Flutterwave and Currencycloud partnered on business multi-currency accounts.

Payments platform 2C2P partnered with Asian buy-now-pay-later provider Atome to enable acceptance of the loans in Asia.

Starling Bank, Klarna and PrimaryBid partnered to help people who had left the workforce re-enter fintech.

Affirm shares rose 20% into quarterly earnings on the back of a new Amazon partnership.

Revolut is using bitcoin to pay for its WeWork membership.


🇪🇺 Europe

  • British fintechs Revolut and Monzo piled into the hot BNPL space recently with their own offerings.
  • Two ex-Ripple exec’s have launched pingNpay, a global micropayment network based on blockchain technology, initially rolling out in the UK.
  • PayPal is increasing its transaction fees between the UK and Europe to 1.29% from 0.5%. This is a similar move post-Brexit to what Visa and Mastercard plan.

🌏 Asia

  • CoinSwitch Kuber, an Indian crypto exchange, is expected to raise funds from a16z (its first in India) and others at a valuation of $2 billion.
  • India and Singapore will link their instant bank transfer payment systems UPI and PayNow to enable instant cross border remittance.
  • Chinese regulators are formalising a plan to split Alipay to have a separate app for loans.
  • Xendit, an Indonesian payments startup, raised $150 million at a unicorn valuation.

📜 Policy

In collaboration with Ben White.

  • The House Fintech Task Force scheduled hearings on open banking and the "Future of Banking."
  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler testified before the Senate Banking Committee on securities markets and crypto regulation, calling payment for order flow a "conflict of interest" and calling for crypto tokens that qualify securities to register.
  • The Federal Reserve published a paper on community bank-fintech partnerships.
  • National Credit Union Administration chairman Rodney Hood announced a new Office of Innovation and Access to push for credit unions to work better with fintechs.
  • Acting CFTC Chair Rostin Benham was tapped by President Biden to assume the chair role on a permanent basis.
  • FinRegLab, a D.C. think tank focused on AI and fintech issues, published a new report, “The Use of Machine Learning for Credit Underwriting: Market & Data Science Context.”
  • The Financial Technology Association published a fact sheet on open banking.
  • Fidelity reportedly lobbied the SEC for thed ability to offer a bitcoin ETF.
  • The UK Government released a consultation proposing dramatic changes to their data privacy law post-Brexit.
  • The State Bank of Pakistan issued an Electronic Money Issuer license to Finja, making it the first fintech to receive such approval.
  • Germany’s finance ministry is under scrutiny over its handling of financial crime.
  • Australian fintechs spoke out around “de-banking” practices, where banks withdraw their business services from competitors.

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