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.
SoFi becomes one more fintech looking to crossover into mainstream banking after it filed a de novo application with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for a national bank charter. According to American Banker, which cited a SoFi spokesperson, the fintech applied on Wednesday, though a copy of the charter application was not available till Thursday.
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Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE: BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton, has acquired AdvisorEngine Inc. AdvisorEngine is a digital wealth platform and provider of technology and consulting services to more than 1,200 financial advisory firms. These firms manage over $600 billion in assets.
Nikolay Storonsky, chief executive of British challenger bank and fintech unicorn Revolut, says his company has “a real opportunity” to benefit from the pandemic. Speaking to the Financial Times, he revealed plans to use his cash hoard to buy corona-strapped, tech rivals.
Robinhood Markets Inc, the pioneer of app-based, commission-free trading, homed in on two lucrative targets Monday. The fintech raised a $280 million series F funding at a valuation of $8.3 billion. The round was led by existing investor Sequoia Capital, with participation from existing and new investors including NEA, Ribbit Capital, 9Yards Capital, and Unusual Ventures.
Chinese tech, gaming and social media giant Tencent (HKG: 0700) has bought a 5% stake in “buy-now-pay-later” company Afterpay (ASX: APT). Users on Tencent’s instant messaging platform WeChat can make payments, and book hotels and flights. In a media release, fintech Afterpay said it was pleased to welcome Tencent as a “substantial shareholder.”
Interviews at financial services firms are up 39% since January 1, according to data from HackerRank quoted by Crunchbase. Even in the depths of the coronavirus crisis, fintech Stripe managed to raise an additional $600 million, garnering a better valuation to boot. SoFi went shopping to bag Galileo for $1.2 billion earlier this month. The SBA allowed fintechs to make loans under its Paycheck Protection Program. What’s working for fintechs?
FIS, the financial technology company, has established a venture arm. Known as FIS Ventures, the new unit has the mandate to invest across the world in fintech startups. The primary investing focus will be on early to growth-stage firms with a target to deploy $150 million within three years.
Credibly announced Monday that it had facilitated $500 million in relief funding to SMBs after it was approved by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for PPP lending. Credibly moved fast when the second tranche of PPP forgivable loans of $310 billion was released by the government on Monday at 10:30 am EST. It processed more than 10,000 PPP applications aggregating over $500 million in requested funding.
Home-bound Americans stepped up in-app purchases during COVID-19, says a report.
Digital banking apps saw a surge in revenue of 17% over the past two weeks. Digital banking app downloads shot up 60% as more and more U.S. citizens resorted to online banking. The social distancing norms and lockdowns discouraged Americans from visiting banks’ physical branches, according to a study by mobile attribution and marketing analytics firm AppsFlyer.
UK fintechs hope to reach coronavirus loans, introduced by the government as a business relief measure, to struggling businesses quicker than traditional lenders. They have approached the British Business Bank (BBB) for authorisation to lend under the U.K.’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Coronavirus-related market volatility lent a huge boost to the lending activity of crypto lender dYdX. About 70% of the total amount of $ 1.14 billion which it lent over the past 12 months was borrowed during the virus-stricken months of February and March.
Fintechs are disappointed with the limited role they have played in getting Paycheck Protection Program loans into the hands of the smaller businesses. The first tranche of $349 billion in potentially forgivable loans meant for small businesses across the country was fully disbursed within just two weeks. Even though Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had promised fintechs a role in paying out these loans, the Small Business Administration (SBA) only allowed traditional banks to make these loans by the time the money ran out.
SoFi, the fintech that describes itself as the digital personal finance company, launches SoFi Invest in Hong Kong. The SoFi Invest platform will offer brokerage, automated investing and ETFs with the added benefit of commission-free trading. For Hong Kong, the platform will be a simplified mobile experience and also offer financial advice and education.
Moven announced last month plans to focus completely on the enterprise side of its business. It pulled the plug on its consumer banking unit after the coronavirus put paid to financing plans. Moven planned to close customer accounts by April 30. It now transpires that digital banking challenger Varo Money will take over these accounts.
In its largest funding round yet, California-based payment platform Stripe announced that it raised $600 million in an extension of its $250 million series G funding round. The unicorn said it intended to use the new money to expand its workforce, advance its software, make strategic acquisitions and expand across the globe.
Online brokerage Robinhood, which has recently been in the news for repeated system outages, is said to be raising $250 million from investors led by Sequoia Capital. Bloomberg, which broke the news of the funding, quoted sources who requested to remain anonymous. However, Bloomberg said it had received no confirmation from either Robinhood or Sequoia on the deal.
iProov is a three-time winner of Finovate Best of Show. It is bringing a version of its renowned mobile identify verification app to laptops/PCs. According to data, consumers still prefer to use desktops and laptops for larger purchases. In 2019, web usage accounted for more than half of online revenue but only 37% of web traffic.
The new report from the World Bank focuses on new digital technologies, particularly fintech.
The report “payment aspects of financial inclusion in the fintech era,” discusses the opportunities and challenges that come with using fintech to promote financial inclusion. Issued by the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the World Bank, the report connects fintech innovation with financial inclusion.
TransferWise, the London-based fintech, is “building the best way to move money around the world.” It tweeted last week: “Making fast the new normal: 25% of TransferWise’s payments today are instant – but all consumers should benefit from instant payments.”
As healthcare providers and patients reel from the COVID-19 crisis, Wellpay steps up to help.
Fresh from a raising of $3.8 million from lead investors 8vc, Mubadala Capital-Ventures, Montage Ventures, TTCER, and Advisors.fund, healthcare fintech Wellpay has accelerated the launch of its platform.
Non-bank Lenders may not take part in the funding process for small businesses provided by the Small Business Administration.
The $349 billion loan program put in place to help small businesses survive the current economic shut down caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Small Business Administration has been reaching out to banks and lenders to service the PPP loans.
Finastra, a maker of banking software used by 90 of the world’s 100 largest banks, fell victim to a hacking attack in mid-March. The cybercriminals timed their attack when the fintech had its hands full with the COVID-19 pandemic and most of its employees were working from home. By stealing employee passwords they gained access to critical Finastra servers and installed backdoors in them.
It’s the third big one in the fintech space within a space of barely four months. In January, Visa (NYSE: V) acquired Plaid for $5.3 billion, followed by Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) paying $7.1 billion for Credit Karma in February. In the current deal, personal finance company SoFi is buying up Galileo, a Utah-based financial services API and payments platform, for $1.2 billion in cash and stock. Accel, an investor in Galileo, has reportedly romped home with 4X returns.
Kabbage, the aggressive fintech that focuses on small business lending, announced it will collaborate with a technology-enabled bank and authorized lender of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to pay out Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Kabbage did not name the lender but said an announcement from the bank would follow.