The week in review – March 30


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-109/

 

Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus

As part of the coronavirus response, and to support the economy, a host of financial regulators have issued an interagency statement to “encourage financial institutions to work prudently with borrowers who are or may be unable to meet their contractual payment obligations because of the effects of COVID-19.”

https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/files/bcreg20200322a1.pdf

 

Mexican startup Credijusto raises $100 million, seeks to boost loans amid coronavirus

Mexican fintech startup Credijusto has raised $100 million in debt from Credit Suisse to continue lending to SMB’s; according to the company, the deal was in the works before the coronavirus epidemic intensified.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mexico-startups-exclusive/exclusive-mexican-startup-credijusto-raises-100-million-seeks-to-boost-loans-amid-coronavirus-idUSKBN21A1T1

 

Dubai’s World Investments invests A$433m in Xinja Bank

Emirates’ World Investments is investing A$433 million into Australian neobank Xinja over the next 24 months; Xinja Bank has a full banking licence and has generated about $400 million in deposits across 45,000 accounts.

https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/35505/dubais-world-investments-invests-a433m-in-xinja-bank

 

Russian Prime Minister Introduces Bill to Allow Fintech Sandboxes, Blockchain Included

The Russian government has introduced a new bill that may soon allow the creation of regulatory sandboxes for companies working on new technologies including financial services; the new bill will permit companies to actually test and use the new technology with clients vs. only modeling possible use cases.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/russian-prime-minister-introduces-bill-152007212.html

 

Revolut launches its neobank in the US

UK challenger bank Revolut is launching its consumer banking app in the US; as in other markets, Revolut offers a transaction account, debit card, and multi-currency spending capability along with a two-tier account structure.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/24/revolut-launches-its-neobank-in-the-us/

 

Startup Funding Dwindles Due to Coronavirus Slowdown

Given the impact of the coronavirus, early-stage funding for startups is already coming under stress; according to CB Insights, capital from seed-stage funding has declined by about 22% globally since January and total private-market funding for startups is expected to come in at $67 billion in the first quarter, down from an initial forecast of $77 billion.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/startup-funding-dwindles-due-to-coronavirus-slowdown-11585175702?mod=hp_minor_pos4

 

Cash usage in Britain drops by half

A combination of factors including the countrywide lockdown and an increase in contactless card payments has led to a dramatic decline in cash usage in the the UK; according to ATM operator Link, cash usage trends point to a long-term shift in consumer behavior particularly as banks raise the limit on contactless card transactions.

https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/35517/cash-usage-in-britain-drops-by-half

 

Stripe leads $20M Series A into Fast, which is building a universal checkout service for e-commerce

Stripe has led a $20 million investment in Fast, a startup building platform-agnostic login and checkout services; in essence Fast is building capability for one-click login and one-click payments.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/26/stripe-leads-20m-series-a-into-fast-which-is-building-a-universal-checkout-service-for-e-commerce/

 

Banks Urged to Issue More Small-Dollar Loans in Response to Outbreak

The FDIC, CFPB, and other regulatory agencies are telling banks to issue more short-term, small dollar loans in an effort to help consumers “meet their needs for credit due to temporary cash-flow imbalances, unexpected expenses, or income shortfalls during periods of economic stress or disaster recoveries.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/banks-urged-to-issue-more-small-dollar-loans-in-response-to-outbreak-11585239163

 

Plastiq Secures $75M in Series D Funding

Plastiq, a payments intermediary that allows SMB’s to make payments with credit cards (even where credit cards are not accepted) has raised $75 million in a Series D round; the investment was led by B Capital Group, with participation from previous investors.

http://www.finsmes.com/2020/03/plastiq-secures-75m-in-series-d-funding.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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