The week in review – February 17


Each week TAG FinTech Steering Committee member Ali Raza compiles a list of newsworthy events impacting the payments ecosystem. He has graciously agreed to allow us to report his thoughts going forward. Enjoy!

 

This article is courtesy of Blue Leviathan. The original can be seen at https://www.blueleviathan.com/the-week-in-review-103/

 

Varo Moves Closer to Becoming a Bank

Varo has received regulatory approval from the FDIC to use federal deposit insurance, a critical step for Varo to become a national bank; Varo is the first fintech firm that has received regulatory approval in the U.S. to setup a consumer bank and is expected to commence operations later this year.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/fintech-varo-moves-closer-to-becoming-a-bank-11581361990

 

Starling Bank raises another £60M from existing backers

Starling Bank has raised another £60 million from its existing investor Merian Global Investors and Harry McPike’s JTC bringing the total raised by Starling to £323 million; Starling has opened 1.25 million accounts since it launched in May 2017 and now holds more than £1.25 billion in deposits.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/02/10/starling-bank-raises-another-60m/

 

Visa Sees Data Sales Driving $3.5 Billion in Consulting Revenue

Visa is projecting that revenue from consulting and analytics will grow 20% to $3.5 billion in fiscal 2020 as it leverages cardholder data to help banks and retailers market more effectively; according to Visa’s President Ryan McInerney, Visa’s ‘Travel Predict’ product has been driving a 15% increase in overseas card spend for the banks that use it.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-11/visa-sees-data-sales-driving-3-5-billion-in-consulting-revenue

 

Mastercard Wins Approval to Join China’s $27 Trillion Market

Mastercard has gotten approval to set up a bank card clearing business in China as the country opens up its financial services and payments market; Mastercard will be working with its partner NetsUnion Clearing Corp. to operationalize its business in China.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-11/mastercard-wins-approval-to-enter-china-s-27-trillion-market

 

Household debt jumps the most in 12 years, Federal Reserve report says

According to a report from the NY Fed, total household debt increased by $601 billion in 2019 surpassing $14 trillion for the first time; despite the gain in debt, household debt service as a percentage of disposable personal income is at all-time low (~9.6%) going back to 1980.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/11/household-debt-jumps-the-most-in-12-years-federal-reserve-report-says.html

 

InComm Launches Go Studio™, an Emerging Technologies Incubator

Atlanta-based InComm has launched Go Studio, an innovation hub dedicated to developing emerging technologies for customer-centric products and solutions; in addition to a team of full-time staff members,the Go Studio will work with colleges and universities around the world to provide students with an opportunity to participate in the ideation and implementation of new technology solutions.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/incomm-launches-go-studiotm-an-emerging-technologies-incubator-301002757.html

 

Patents reveal extent of China’s digital currency plans

The People’s Bank of China has filed more than 80 patents related to its plans to launch a digital currency underscoring the seriousness of China’s efforts to digitize the renminbi; the patents include proposals related to the issuance and supply of a central bank digital currency, a system for interbank settlements that uses the currency, and the integration of digital currency wallets into existing retail bank accounts.

https://www.ft.com/content/f10e94cc-4d74-11ea-95a0-43d18ec715f5

 

Nova Credit banks $50M to expand its service sourcing credit reports across borders

Nova Credit, a new company that helps immigrants transport their credit history across borders has raised $50 million in funding led by Kleiner Perkins; currently Nova facilitates links between 11 countries, with the originating requests coming from the U.S.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/02/12/nova-credit-banks-50m-to-expand-its-service-sourcing-credit-reports-across-borders/

 

Fintech startup Ramp aims to disrupt the corporate credit market

Ramp, a corporate credit card startup has raised $25 million in funding and signed up nearly 100 businesses for its launch; Ramp provides 1.5% cashback rewards, high spend limits, and card usage analytics, (and will be generating its income from interchange fees).

https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/35282/fintech-startup-ramp-aims-to-disrupt-the-corporate-credit-market

 

Payments Tech Provider Toast Raises $400 Million at $4.9 Billion Valuation

Toast, a POS and payments processing provider for restaurants has raised $400 million in Series F funding; Toast will use the new funds to reinvest in its technology to better support restaurants and their guests, and also introduce a restaurant funding program.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/payments-tech-provider-toast-raises-400-million-at-4-9-billion-valuation-11581703530

 

Ali Raza
Payments Industry Advisor and member of TAG FinTech's Steering Committee.
He can be reached at ali.raza@blueleviathan.com

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