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.
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).
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Online bank Marcus from Goldman Sachs Group has finally come to mobile devices. The Wall Street financial giant launched its long-awaited app for customers last week. The lack of an app has been an ongoing source of frustration for customers who could only see balance transfers, account information and make payments on loans with their phones and other devices.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is the latest central bank to suggest that the Libra cryptocurrency project will not work. It also questioned the viability of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which have previously received support from central bankers like Mark Carney and Christine Lagarde.
The State of California could soon overhaul the regulatory oversight of financial technology companies. Governor Gavin Newsom released details of his 2020-2021 budget. Inside, the proposal includes a provision to make the California Department of Business Oversight as the regulator of fintech companies. The agency would also regulate debt collectors, credit reporting agencies, and other firms tied to consumer finance.
The browser extension Honey just lost a huge source of opportunity. Just weeks after PayPal purchased the browser extension for $4 billion, Amazon has told customers to uninstall it. The e-commerce raised questions about consumer privacy and said that the extension represented a “security issue.”
ING announced Tuesday the spin-off of Katana Labs – an in-house start-up nurtured at its ING Lab incubator.
ING Ventures, the venture capital arm of ING, will invest £ 1.5 million along with other investors in a £ 3 million funding round that will take the startup forward in its life as an independent fintech. ING Ventures is a € 300 million venture fund that makes minority investments in early-stage companies having a strategic relevance to ING.
Ripple targets SWIFT in Brazil and wants to make inroads into Brazil’s remittances market.
Vanguard ETF commissions and stock commissions don’t exist anymore. The firm has expanded its commission-free online trading for stocks and options to all Vanguard Brokerage clients.
The Motion Code Card has hit Spain. Deutsche Bank launched the innovative credit card this week in a partnership with industry leaders. The card contains an advanced CVC code that alters every four hours. The German Bank has teamed up with Idemia and Mastercard to launch the “Motion Code” card. It will operate under the brand name “Tarjeta Calma.”
TransferWise Now Transfers $5.25 Billion Per Month. The upstart fintech claims it does so saving people and businesses $4.5 million per day.
What’s more, the TransferWise customer community is now 6 million strong. The fund transfer specialist aims to facilitate money transfers to foreign destinations at rates cheaper than banks.
The next agenda for TransferWise is to effect remittances instantly.
ZestMoney, the Loan Startup for India’s Credit-challenged, Raises $20 Million from Goldman Sachs and others
Easy lending to borrowers with sub-prime credit is winding down.
Peer-to-peer lenders, or fintech lender platforms, are back-pedaling on their early promise to provide loans to people with sub-par credit profiles, observes Bloomberg. Burned by loan losses, individual investors have revolted. As a result, the original marketplace-like model of P2P lending has long gone.
Ant Financial has started raising $1 billion for a fund focused on Southeast Asia and India. The fintech arm of Alibaba is looking to expand its presence across the growing region.
Robinhood, the pioneering zero commission stockbroker, has put banking ambitions on the backburner.
Robinhood withdrew its bank charter application to launch a federally insured bank. It had filed an application with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on April 19, 2019.
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has tied-up with fintech PrimaryBid to give retail investors access to share offerings. PrimaryBid’s internet-based investment platform will allow retail investors to digitally access share offerings on the same terms (read: discounts) as institutions.
iCapital Network, which connects advisors and their high net worth investors to leading alternative investment managers, ties up with PIMCO.
iCapital Network said it will develop a customized technology platform for PIMCO, one of the world’s largest fixed-income asset managers. Financial advisors and qualified investors can use this platform to access PIMCO’s alternative investment strategies.
Neon, a Brazilian digital bank, has raised US$94 million from top investors. The challenger bank has ambitious plans in a high-growth market. It will use the funds to triple the number of its new customers by 2020. It already has about two million active accounts.
Fintechs and techs are trying more and more to masquerade as banks. Should banks take the battle into the fintech camp?
Here’s an interesting viewpoint: Incumbent and traditional banks are “no less” fintech than the technology startups.
Chinese Investors Pump In $120 Million Into Nigerian Fintech OPay. Nigerian fintech OPay is an arm of Opera, which is based in Norway and majority-owned by Chinese. Opera founded OPay in 2018, leveraging its success as a browser of choice on the African continent. OPay’s Series B round of $120 million was subscribed by investors that included Meituan-Dianping, GaoRong, Source Code Capital, Softbank Asia, BAI, Redpoint, IDG Capital, Sequoia China, and GSR Ventures.
OPay previously raised $50 million in June.
Five years ago, Neocova Co-Founder and CEO Sultan Meghji worked on an aid mission in Africa to improve financial services in Africa and other emerging markets.
The primary goal was to provide services in parts of Africa, where branch banking was not a valid option.
Brokerage Charles Schwab added a solid 31% more accounts in October compared to September.
Charles Schwab’s move last month to introduce commission-free trading has paid off in spades. Previously, it charged a commission of $4.95 per trade.
Google is partnering with Citigroup and the Stanford Federal Credit Union to offer checking accounts by next year.
Checking accounts. That all-important banking bastion may fall as cashed-up, data-heavy, and user-rich techs muscle into finance. Google’s Cache project will launch the search giant’s thrust deeper into banking with an offer of checking accounts, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Facebook announced Tuesday the launch of Facebook Pay, a new payment system.
Facebook Pay will handle payments across the Facebook ecosystem, namely, Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Payments via Facebook and Messenger will be available this week in the US.
JP Morgan invested an undisclosed amount in a startup that uses AI and NLP to simplify and focus research documents.
Imagine you wanted to find all references to Netflix in a bulky financial research document. JP Morgan may have made that easier for you by investing in fintech startup Limeglass.
Limeglass uses proprietary rich Natural Language Processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and their comprehensive cross-asset and macro taxonomy to smart-tag each paragraph in context.
Its “Research Atomization” solution will find out all references to Netflix in that research document with a simple search.