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The Front Page of Global Fintech

The 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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All the biggest fintech stories of the last two weeks (TWIF 7/14)

All the biggest fintech stories of the last two weeks (TWIF 7/14)
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Hello Fintech Friends,

📰 After a week away from fintech - we're back! And what a week it's been. Goldman is doing all it can to break up with Apple, SVB is suing the FDIC, instant payments are going live in the US - and causing headaches for banks, Monzo is looking into buying its Nordic rival Lunar, and payment pre innovating furiously, with new launches from PayPal, Checkout, Adyen, and Square.

👨‍⚖️ And just under the wire: Ripple won a landmark case against the SEC in the US this week, with a judge ruling that its XRP digital currency is not a security. This could pave the way for many other digital currencies to be regulated as commodities.

🧵 On top of that.... I come back and we have a new Twitter with 100 million users! You can find me on Threads at @nikmilanovic and find This Week in Fintech at @thisweekinfintech.

⛰️ Calling all our Seattle friends - let’s prove that Seattle is the next fintech hub by enjoying the great weather, great conversations, and new connections on a sunny Ballard rooftop this August. Register here to hang out with fellow fintech founders, builders, and operators and become part of a growing insider community of entrepreneurs. Sponsored by Seattle Bank.

And if you're in Mexico City, we'd love to see you too! Sign up here.

  • When: July 26th at 6:30.
  • Where: Casa Prunes (RSVP required)

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

💬 Quote of the Week  
📖 Read of the Week

Interestingly, one fifth of investors aged 85 or older have nearly all their money in stocks, up from 16% a decade ago. Traditional retirement planning convention advises that investors should rotate from stocks (high volatility) into fixed-income investments (low volatility) as they get closer to retirement. But after decades of stock market outperformance, declining personal savings, and growth in deferred retirements, risk-averse older investors are finding themselves without the nest egg they wanted.

Elsewhere, Jared Franklin wrote a great primer last week on cross-border payments, and FT Partners published their Monthly FinTech Market Update & Analysis.

📊 Stat of the Week

🏦 Financial Services & Banking
🚀 Product Launches

A group of 20 banks in the US came together to launch Underwriting for Racial Justice to make bank lending easier for low-income borrowers, who have historically had a harder time getting loans.

Spain's CaixaBank launched cross-border payment wallets.

CaixaBank launches app to turn phones into POS devices

Citi launched a digital client platform for its commercial bank customers.

Singapore's DBS launched a way for merchants to get paid with Chinese central bank digital currencies.

BBVA launched a new global financial crime prevention unit.

📰 Other News

You know who loves payments innovation? European regulators.

The EU is putting finishing touches on its latest payment regulation, PSD3, to make more payment processors available and improve consumer fraud protection in an era of digital payments. The UK government also published its digital asset law reform recommendations (which received the royal thumbs-up) and the Bank for International Settlements published its Blueprint for the future monetary system.

Yep, central banks are all-in on CBDCs.

Meanwhile, banks in the US are struggling to adapt to the Federal Reserve's upcoming FedNow instant payments system.

Goldman Sachs is having a tough go of it in fintech... after reports came out that it would sell off its GreenSky lending subsidiary at a loss, the bank is looking to get out of its Apple Card partnership, reportedly trying to hand the program off to AmEx.

Nine British banks signed up for new Mastercard AI tool to tackle scams. Mastercard, Virta, and Worldpay also partnered on card payments at EV charging stations.

Fidelity is planning its own bitcoin spot ETF.

Banks in Georgia and Tajikistan have signed partnerships with to enable cross-border currency functionality. The New York Fed and its banking partners are feeling confident that they'll launch a digital dollar - but not as confident as Hong Kong.

Bank of America will pay $100 million in restitution to consumers and $150 million in additional fines for double-charging low balance fees and opening fake accounts for customers.

SVB is suing the FDIC to recoup its $2 billion.

UK bank NatWest plans to close down 143 more branch locations in the next year.

Synch Payments, a mobile payments joint venture of Irish banks, delayed its launch again to next year.

The Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology debuted an open finance coalition.

🤑 North Carolina is all-in on adding bitcoin to the state treasury.

💻 Fintech
🚀 Product Launches

USDC issuer Circle launched its own programmable developer-controlled web3 wallet.

Revolut launched automated investing in the US.

Square launched a new AmEx card that "gives users $1 in free credit-processing services for every $3 a Square Credit Card user spends on the card toward business expenses."

Adyen launched marketing and data tools for small businesses.

Payment facilitator Checkout launched its own identity verification solution.

Stables launched an Asian stablecoin-backed virtual card with Mastercard.

📰 Other News

🌎 Fintechs are all in their Going Global era!

Apple brought its Tap to Pay functionality to the UK, going live with Revolut and NatWest first, while Google enabled Tap to Pay on all Android phones via PayPal, Venmo and Zettle wallets.

Apple's Tap to Pay arrives in the UK with Revolut and Natwest first out of the gate

Meanwhile, Revolut arrived in New Zealand, SoLo Funds brought its unbanked loans to Nigeria, Marqeta expanded to Brazil via its new FitBank partnership, and European crypto payments startup Ramp can now exchange 40 fiat currencies for crypto.

Hiring and payroll platform Gusto crossed $500 million in trailing revenue and partnered with Remote to help support international hires.

The Bank of London – which is.... a clearing startup? – applied for a UK banking license.

Social trading app Shares received an EU stock trading license.

Card issuer-processor Enfuce is partnering with Norwegian crypto exchange NBX to create a Visa bitcoin cashback card.

Vestwell expanded its retirement offerings for small and medium-sized businesses.

African payments provider Flutterwave is getting into tuition finance.

Flowie is working on making French invoices suck less.

The Swiss Green Fintech Network launched.

👎 The Bad News

Boy oh boy is there no shortage of bad news this week... winter is settling in for a number of crypto and fintech companies that grew too quickly.

Alex Mashinsky, the founder of bankrupt crypto lending platform Celsius, was arrested this week for pretty much every charge a crypto firm can have against it: fraud, misrepresentations, unlicensed securities, running a ponzi...

Alex Mashinsky, his hand raised, speaks into a microphone at a panel discussion.
"Either the bank is lying or Celsius is lying," said Alex Mashinsky, aptly.

Meanwhile, crypto custodian Prime Trust owes customers over $80 million that it does not have, due to misplaced keys (!) and will halt operations.

Steven Teixeira, the Chief Compliance Officer of Chinese fintech LianLian Global, was charged with insider trading for stealing information off his girlfriend's computer.

Remote work platform Deel is under fire for allegedly hiring hundreds of employees but classifying them as independent contractors.

Real estate investing platform PeerStreet filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Payoneer will lay off 9% of its team.

The FTC is coming after Walmart for letting scammers use its money transmitting service to steal "hundreds of millions" from consumers.

The SEC ordered Future FinTech Group to pay $1.65 million in fines over accounting lapses.

Brazilian investment platform Sproutfi abandoned the no-commission model and started charging brokerage fees.

China's big tech crackdown looks to be coming to an end, with Ant Group receiving $985 million fine and a green light to continue operating.

Crypto exchange Gemini, founded by the Winklevoss brothers, is dealing with liquidity issues in its Earn product due to loans to Genesis, a subsidiary of Barry Silbert's DCG, which collapsed and did not agree to a restructuring. Now, Gemini is suing and alleging fraud.

Revolut erroneously refunded customer accounts, letting thieves steal $20 million from the neobank.

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