Hello Fintech Friends,
We just released Signals 1.3 for Q1, where we break down the fintech and financial services product launches over Q1 2021.
Thank you to everyone who came out to yesterday’s NYC fintech happy hour! We’re excited to announce that we’ll be hosting more in the following cities this summer:
🏙️ Chicago, July 15th (sign up here)
🌲 Seattle, July 22nd (sign up here)
🌴 Los Angeles, August 5th (sign up here)
🏛️ Washington DC, August 12th (sign up here)
And, of course, we’ll be back in:
Please enjoy another week of fintech and banking news below.
(If you have more photos from the happy hour, please send them my way.)
💬 Quote of the Week
“Whatever the starting point in consumer fintech, the endpoint is the superapp.”
Marc Rubinstein, Net Interest (Source)
📖 Read of the Week
This week, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously for California to establish a public banking system to reduce racial and income inequalities in access to banking services. I have been noisyaboutthis for a while, but the movement to provide basic banking as a utility, like electricity and water, has been gaining more prominent advocates recently. More cities like Philadelphia are forming their own advocacy groups.
There are many ways for banks and fintechs to compete with each other, but the provision of basic services should not be one. For more, read TruthOut’s great piece this week, Public Banking Can Improve the Lives of US Workers While Helping Save the Planet.
📊 Stat of the Week
From document automation to investment prediction and chatbot deployment, the quality of your data determines the success of your Machine Learning deployment. iMerit has 150 full-time domain experts who annotate and enrich financial data to create high quality training data sets. See what we have learnt from 10 million data points and nine years of providing end-to-end solutions to Fortune 500 companies.
💼 Open Role Spotlight
Argent gives you one-tap access to the future of money as the most simple and secure crypto wallet and is hiring a Senior iOS Engineer.
🏦 Financial Services & Banking
🚀 Product Launches
American Express is moving beyond cards into the territory of Brex and Ramp with its own business checking accounts and lines of credit.
Citi released the Custom Cash Card, which gives up to 5% cashback on up to $500 of spend ($25) in the user’s top category.
ABN Amro launched a service for quicker payouts for gig workers.
Huntington Bank released Standby Cash to give customers access to up to $1,000 in short-term cash.
📰 Other News
Amazon may be replacing JP Morgan as its co-brand credit card provider.
The EU froze 10 banks out of the bond market due to anti-competitive price-rigging.
🚀 Product Launches
Banking-as-a-service provider Unit launched Unit Go, which will let companies open live bank accounts and issue cards in minutes.
French payments app and digital wallet Lydia is partnering with Cashbee to launch savings accounts.
Verizon launched Family Money, a payment card and financial app for children ages 8 to 17.
Facebook’s Messenger added QR codes for peer-to-peer payments in the US. PayPal released a rewards card in Australia. Japanese superapp Line launched a mobile-only bank in Indonesia, in partnership with PT Bank KEB Hana.
Digit is adding checking and savings accounts.
Modern Treasury released Ledgers, an immutable double-entry product ledger to record financial transactions.
Blockfi launched a platform for institutional investors.
PartyRound built GPT-3 for tech Twitter.
📰 Other News
The Commonwealth is alive with fintech. Vodacom announced that it will offer short-term cash loans in South Africa. Laybuy, a New Zealand in-store buy-now-pay-later provider, came to the UK. BankiFi, a UK small business neobank, came to Australia.
Credijusto, a Mexican lending platform, acquired Banco Finterra, a Mexican bank.
UK open banking platform Bud signed a deal with Nordic spend eco-tracking service Enfuce to bring carbon tracking to the UK. German banking-as-a-service platform SolarisBank migrated its customers to its own in-house core system.
Walmart and PayNearMe partnered to enable customers to make cash bill payments at Walmart stores.
Zip and Trust Payments are partnering on buy-now-pay-later.
Adyen was granted a license to open a Federal Foreign Branch in California by the OCC.
Many employees took Stripe up on its one-time cash offer to move out of San Francisco and New York.
Payitoff released its APIs.
Timex made a contactless payment watch.
In collaboration with Ben White.
The European Central Bank handed down a mandate informing European banks that they must fill board seats with women - at penalty of having new board appointments blocked.
Lina Khan was sworn in as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, signaling a new era for antitrust in Washington.
The House Financial Services Committee launched a new Digital Assets Working Group.
The Bank of International Settlements opened an office of innovation in London, making it the fourth alongside Singapore, Switzerland, and Hong Kong.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its Spring 2021 rulemaking agenda, including Section 1033 of Dodd-Frank on the financial data access.
A European Central Bank board member took banks to task over their failure to tackle climate change.
The FDIC launched a techsprint focused on reaching more unbanked people.
Lawmakers in eleven states have proposed fintech sandboxes.
The Federal Reserve is taking action to support money market funds under pressure from negative interest rates.
Apply to join the Grand Central Tech year-long residency program for early-stage startup teams and entrepreneurs in NYC. This no equity, no strings attached program has been home to 127 of NYC’s best startups, who have raised over $1.9B from top investors. Learn more & apply.