Hello Fintech Friends,
One of the most frequent pieces of feedback (complaint?) I get is that this newsletter is too long and… you know, it’s not wrong. Fintech is doing too much right now. It needs to calm down. Please.
On the topic of doing too much, I would like to thank our amazing presenters who walked 250+ attendees through the evolution of fintech around the world last Friday! Please find recordings, presentations, and transcripts below:
Please find another week of fintech and banking news below.
Quote of the week
“Home ownership is the main way American families accumulate wealth. But today’s hot market prevents a lot of Black families from getting on the American Dream escalator.”
John Gittelsohn, Katia Dmitrieva, Michael Sasso (source)
Read of the week
In his piece, Why the Bank of England should give everyone a free account, former Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis (yes, him) makes a compelling case for the UK’s central bank to enact financial policy directly through free consumer accounts (something I’ve advocated for in the US). Imagine if stimulus distributions could be credited directly to user checking accounts, or if the bank could use incentives to rein in inflation. Governments could directly and instantly promote the financial health of their constituents, in a way that is hard to imagine today.
Financial Services & Banking
Belgian bank KBC is moving to a digital-first customer engagement strategy with a new NLP customer assistant. Lloyds Bank announced it will close 56 branches. US Bank joined Akoya (a Plaid competitor’s) data-sharing network.
Google (disclosure: where I work) launched the new Google Pay app, with new personal financial management features, peer-to-peer payments, and merchant experiences.
Deel partnered with Coinbase to enable employee payroll in cryptocurrencies.
NBCUniversal launched the One Platform Commerce in partnership with PayPal in order to enable consumer transactions through their TVs.
Nav announced its embedded finance platform to enable small business lending in third-party platforms.
PayPal struck a new partnership with Even that will allow US workers to access their wages early. The firm also removed the waitlist for its new crypto functionality. Payments firm Adyen partnered with Affirm to provide buy-now-pay-later loans at physical checkouts.
The mobile wallet wars are intensifying, as Alipay announced that US merchants can can now use an online payment gateway to accept payments through Ant Financial wallets. Meanwhile, Chinese regulators continue to clamp down on domestic fintechs.
Marqeta partnered with Uber to issue physical and virtual cards for the ridesharing company - after scrapping its Uber Money team, it appears the company is getting back into financial services. Sezzle partnered with Wix to enable buy-now-pay-later loans on Wix’s online storefronts.
Monzo won over more customers from account switching than any other neobank in the UK in 2020. Neobank Bella is gearing up to release its text-based banking interface and build a consumer finance community. Atom Bank integrated Codat’s business accounting API to speed up SMB lending decisions.
Sumup, a UK payments company, won a digital money license from the Irish Central Bank.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority issued a warning that hyped neobank Lanistar may be fraudulent. PricewaterhouseCooper spun out its fintech consultancy practice due to perceived conflicts of interest.
The relaunched Google Pay (source)