The week in review – January 20


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-99/

 

Visa to Buy Plaid for $5.3 Billion in Bid to Reach Startups

Visa has acquired Plaid for $5.3 billion as it extends its reach beyond card payments to take control of the underlying data and infrastructure supporting fintech apps and their connectivity into the banking space.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-13/visa-to-buy-plaid-for-5-3-billion-in-bid-to-reach-startups

 

SunTrust successor Truist rolls out new purple brand design and logo

The new banking entity formed by the merger of SunTrust and BB&T unveiled its new logo and corporate identity; the purple color is a combination of SunTrust’s blue and BB&T’s burgundy, and the logo, made from two T letters lying on their side, reflects the two Ts in the Truist name.

https://www.ajc.com/news/breaking-news/suntrust-successor-truist-rolls-out-new-purple-brand-design-and-logo/RFCwoM7tciFrK92rZQSOCJ/

 

JP Morgan earnings crush analysts’ estimates as bond trading revenue surges by nearly 90%

Chase generated stellar Q4 financial results with profits of $8.52 billion up 21% on revenues of $29.2 billion up 9%; retail bank revenues increased by 3% to $14 billion, helped by strong credit card and auto loan performance.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/14/jp-morgan-chase-jpm-earnings-q4-2019.html

 

Felix Capital closes $300M fund to double down on DTC, break into fintech and make late-stage deals

London-based Felix Capital has raised a $300 million fund to continue investing in creative and consumer startups and platform plays, and to also enter the fintech sector; historically Felix Capital has focused on early-stage deals but will now also look at later-stage growth investing.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/15/felix-capital-closes-300m-fund-to-double-down-on-dtc-break-into-fintech-and-make-late-stage-deals/

 

Brazilian fintech Ebanx launches digital wallets for consumers

Brazilian payments startup EBANX is testing a digital wallet expanding its product portfolio beyond services to e-commerce platforms; 10,000 consumers have been issued the digital wallet allowing them to make digital payments.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ebanx-strategy/brazilian-fintech-ebanx-launches-digital-wallets-for-consumers-idUSKBN1ZE0RU

 

Raisin preps US launch with Choice Financial Solutions acquisition

German fintech Raisin is acquiring Choice Financial Solutions as it prepares for a US launch; initially Raisin plans to offer Choices’ software to US FI’s to enable them to offer flexible deposit accounts and then later Raisin will provide accounts directly to consumers via its US platform.

https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/35079/raisin-preps-us-launch-with-choice-financial-solutions-acquisition

 

PBOC moves closer to the launch of DC/EP, its own digital currency

According to senior officials from the People’s Bank of China, testing of the central bank’s “digital currency and electronic payment” (DC/EP) has largely been completed; open areas include application scenarios, scaling, and improvements to functionality.

https://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202001/16/WS5e1fc531a3101282172715b0.html

 

Former Regulator Known as ‘Crypto Dad’ to Launch Digital-Dollar Think Tank

J. Christopher Giancarlo, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is creating the nonprofit Digital Dollar Foundation to study converting the dollar into a fully electronic currency based on blockchain technology.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/former-regulator-known-as-crypto-dad-to-launch-digital-dollar-think-tank-11579179604

 

Citi Launches $150M Social Impact Fund To Invest In ‘Double Bottom Line’ Businesses

Citi announced the launch of the Citi Impact Fund, a $150 million investment vehicle aimed at investing in “double bottom line” businesses – companies which generate financial returns and a positive social impact; Citi will fund the investment vehicle with its own capital.

https://news.crunchbase.com/news/citi-launches-150m-social-impact-fund-to-invest-in-double-bottom-line-businesses/

 

Approval of Sezzle’s California Lending License

POS lender Sezzle has been granted a lending license in California by the State of California Department of Business Oversight (DBO); the DBO lending license approval allows for Sezzle to directly originate POS loans vs. the retailer.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/approval-of-sezzles-california-lending-license-300988959.html

 

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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