Digital payments alone could become a $100 trillion industry, according to PwC. And that’s just one component of the global Fintech industry. This channel tackles the lenders and buyers, the obstacles and achievements, and the trends and trend makers leading the ongoing technological evolution in global finance.
Neobank YAP has launched the U.A.E’s first digital banking platform. Applicants on a waiting list, numbering over 25,000, can hope to get a bank account, a YAP Mastercard Debit Card, and an app that provides spending analytics. It also offers means to transfer money and pay bills, and real-time notifications of purchases, withdrawals, and transfers.
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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at the opening of the National People’s Congress today that Chinese regulators will further tighten supervision of the country’s financial holding companies and its fast-growing fintechs. He also warned that the government will deepen its efforts to discourage monopolies and the use of capital as an anti-competitive tool.
Square Inc (NYSE: SQ), the payments giant, announced today its acquisition of a majority interest in TIDAL, the audio and video streaming platform led by Jay-Z, for $297 million in cash and stock. Existing artist shareholders will be the remaining stakeholders, the announcement said, and Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter would be named to Square’s board of directors.
Tata Power DDL, a power distribution utility in Delhi, India, Australian technology company Power Ledger and the India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) are collaborating on a project to enable the peer-to-peer (P2P) trading of solar energy using the blockchain.
Beam Dental, a dental insurer, uses AI in its operations (and toothbrushes) to assess people’s dental health and issue quotes in just 30 seconds. Beam’s app-connected brushes incentivize users to brush regularly and improve dental hygiene. In turn, they qualify for rebates on their dental insurance.
Chinese financial technology companies (fintechs) such as micro lenders, consumer finance firms and digital banks have only two years to shore up their capital in line with regulatory requirements. Guo Shuqing, head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), said these entities would be treated on the same footing as other financial institutions in this regard.
Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) now has its own operational banking arm. Subsidiary and industrial bank Square Financial Services became operational after it completed the charter approval process with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Utah Department of Financial Institutions.
In a deep-pocketed bid to grab a share of India’s digital payments market, Indian behemoth Reliance (NSE: RELIANCE), fintech Infibeam Avenues (NSE: INFIBEAM), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) have come together to form a “New Umbrella Entity” (NUE). The NUE will bid to set up a payments network to compete with the UPI payments system operated by the National Payments Council of India (NPCI).
Atom Bank, which is based in Durham, U.K., plans to raise £40 million from its existing shareholders in a move to achieve profitability within a year. The digital bank also plans to make an IPO during the financial year 2022/23.
Klarna reported strong results for the year 2020, including record gross merchandise volume and total net operating income.
Bloomberg reports that Klarna Bank AB, the Swedish fintech startup that was valued at $10.65 billion in September, may raise another $1 billion. But this time its valuation could be as much as $31 billion – nearly thrice its valuation from just six months ago.
Tyme has partnered with JG Summit to Launch Digital Bank for the Philippines. Digital banking network Tyme announced Tuesday its raise of $110 million from new investors Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners, and the Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings of the Philippines. South African focus Tyme said its primary…
Bahamians can now have the Bahamas Sand Dollar, the country’s CBDC, loaded onto a prepaid card issued by Island Pay in partnership with Mastercard (NYSE: MA). They can also use the card at any outlet in the Bahamas that accepts Mastercard and pay for their purchases by instantly converting their Sand Dollars to the traditional Bahamian dollars. The Sand Dollar and Bahamian Dollars are convertible on a 1:1 basis.
Fintech Brex, which is backed by Kleiner Perkins Growth, YC Continuity Fund, Greenoaks Capital, Ribbit Capital, IVP, DST Global, as well as investors like Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, has filed for a bank charter.
Stripe, the payments processing company that Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison founded in 2010, has tripled its valuation in the space of the last 10 months. A Forbes report said transactions in the secondary market of the private fintech giant’s shares now value it at $115 billion, more than 3X the $36 billion valuation it garnered in an April 2020 funding raise.
The ubiquitous and ultra-useful Google Maps has now some new features that allow payments using the app itself. On Wednesday, Vishal Dutta Product Manager, Google Maps, and Fausto Araujo Product Manager, Google Pay, announced in a blog that consumers can now go contactless with parking meter and transit fare payments.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) is making a further push into digital and consumer-facing banking through its Marcus unit. On Tuesday the Wall Street giant unveiled Marcus Invest, a robo-adviser that will need a customer to deposit a minimum of $1,000 and pay an annual fee of 0.35%.
Mastercard (NYSE: MA) and Razorpay, India’s youngest unicorn, announced a partnership aiming to help onboard the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups on the digital highway. The pandemic has unleashed a huge demand for secure, easy, and contactless payments. The two companies want to empower merchants, consumers, acquirers, and fintech companies to expand the adoption of digital payments in India.
Paypal (NASDAQ: PYPL) will expand into new lines of business in financial services, CEO Dan Schulman said at the company’s Investor Day. The fintech giant, known the world over for its ubiquitous check out button, now has ambitions to scale up and become a financial super app. The grand plan includes offering new services such as stock trading, high-yield savings accounts, bill-payment capabilities, and check-cashing.
Indian B2B lender and financial services company BharatPe announced today its raise of $108 million in a Series D equity round at a valuation of $900 million. The amount comprised a primary raising of $90 million and a secondary exit for certain angel investors and employees of $18 million. Existing investor Coatue Management led the round. Ribbit Capital, Insight Partners, Steadview Capital, Beenext, Amplo, and Sequoia Capital, other existing investors, also chipped in.
Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) says social media platforms are now “our digital Mainstreet.” Brands, and their merchants, need to have a presence on these platforms and ensure a smooth shopping and checkout experience. Shopify merchants on Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Instagram can now offer the Shop Pay payment option to their customers, the company said in a blog.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves recommends that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) should throw its hat into the digital assets ring and build trading of cryptos into its Apple Wallet. The analyst said Apple could generate substantial revenues given the experience with cryptos at PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) and Square Inc (NYSE: SQ).
NCR (NYSE: NCR) is a global leader in ATM Software and the world’s #1 POS software provider for the retail and hospitality industries. It announced today the acquisition of Terafina for an undisclosed amount. The transaction is in accordance with NCR’s strategy to acquire early-stage software companies to enhance its own product capabilities.
Asian Development Bank is in discussions with authorities of the GIFT City, Gujarat, to invest Rs 1,000 Crores (approximately $137 million) in a new fintech hub at the city’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). The amount, an initial investment, would equip fintech firms with skill development tools, new technology, and resource mobilization.
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) had a superlative fourth quarter fueled by the ongoing shift to digital payments following the pandemic. Its total payment volume (TPV), or the value of transactions made across the platform, rose to $277 billion, up 39% from $199.4 billion in the year-earlier period. PayPal beat analysts’ estimates of TPV of $268 billion. Active accounts surged to 377 million after the platform added 16 million in the fourth quarter.