Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Payments

We dive into how payment solutions are reimagining the banking systems of the future. 

Russia’s Fintech Booms As Smartphone-Savvy Grandmas Go Cashless

Russians are increasingly using mobile wallets to pay for groceries and bills as cashless technologies disrupt the financial services industry, extending their reach across the world’s largest country. The number of purchases made with smartphones has jumped nearly threefold over the past...

Bitcoin Miners’ Use of Coal-Powered Energy Alarming to Some

As Bitcoin gains use in international transactions, and in providing finances to people without access to regular banks, critics are pointing to the environmental costs exacted by the powerful computers used to “mine” buried Bitcoin codes. Bitcoin miners use...

WhatsApp Seeks to Snatch India e-Payment Lead from PayTM, Amazon Pay

WhatsApp’s delayed digital payment system in India is moving closer to a start, as it addresses privacy concerns before becoming the latest entrant in a market projected to hit $1 trillion by 2023. WhatsApp Pay was delayed in April as...

Facebook’s Marcus Defends Libra’s Financial Inclusivity

This week, David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of messaging products, addressed one of the prominent criticisms of the global electronic currency since it was unveiled by the world’s biggest social network last month. When Facebook shared its plans on...

Alipay to Boost Facial-Recognition Payment with Beauty Filter

Paying for groceries in a growing number of stores in China requires neither cash, credit cards, or phone. Just a face to scan. Now, thanks to an Alipay device that plays on our narcissism, the scanned face might look more attractive on...

Kiva Starts Refugee Fund to Raise Larger Amounts for Micro-Lenders

Kiva, the crowdsourced micro-lending platform, is going bigger to help refugees gain access to larger amounts of capital by launching the Kiva Refugee Investment Fund. Since 2016, Kiva has provided local micro-finance institutions, also called field partners, with capital...

European, U.S. Regulators Mobilize to Curb Cryptocurrency

France plans to assemble a G7 task force to study how banks monitor cryptocurrencies like Facebook’s Libra, France’s central governor announced on Friday, Reuters reported. This task force is the latest addition to a growing number of international entities...

Why Did MoneyGram Partner With Ripple – and What Does it Mean for You?

Before the dust had settled on Facebook’s announcement that it planned to introduce a digital coin, MoneyGram rushed in and announced a deal with cryptocurrency firm Ripple, where it will to distribute Ripple’s digital currency XRP across the world and Ripple will...

Morgan Stanley Pushes for Progress in Social Impact Investing

Morgan Stanley doesn’t want to be left behind, as socially responsible investing is gaining momentum in the United States and beyond. Morgan Stanley is offering customers a handful of impact investing options as demand soars for opportunities that...

The Fintech Startup Taunting U.K. Banks Out of the Stone Age

U.K. mobile-first bank Monzo sent a warning shot across the bow of the financial industry in 2016 when it needed just 96 seconds to raise more than $1.2 million through crowdfunding for its prepaid card. With the U.K.’s banking...

Competition Heats up for Trade Finance Digitalization

Financing of international trade is such a complex and cumbersome business that by some estimates there’s a gap of more than $1.5 trillion between demand and supply. A new wave of startups, many using blockchain-based technology are working to fill that gap,...

Bank ‘with a Conscience’ Bets on Socially Responsible Consumers

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Andrei Cherny is not your typical banker. He had written speeches for President Bill Clinton, helped Elizabeth Warren launch the fight for what became the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, advised Bank of...

Meet the Startup Aiming to Outsmart the Big Guys and Insure the Unbanked

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Over the past decade, mobile phone technology has provided access to banking services like credit, payments and wealth management to tens of millions in poor areas of Asia, Latin America and...

With Its New Blockchain Company, Facebook May Succeed In Connecting Billions of Unbanked Users

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. Earlier this month, Facebook quietly set up a company in Switzerland, according to a Reuters report. If the social media’s foray into Blockchain payment succeeds, analysts say it might have a massive...

Rhonda Carnoil: “If you’re using open source, you need to track it.”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Just as journalists once viewed the internet as a place where “information wants to be free,” software developers have embraced open source software as a great democratic...

David Solomon: “How do you balance the scales fairly between businesses and communities?”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. The lack of financial infrastructure in some of the world’s poorest regions — sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South and Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East — is a...

Jeff Stewart on the Emerging Markets: “There’s certainly a tremendous need for greater financial literacy”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. With apologies to London and regrets to Wall Street, one of the most important developments in finance of the past decade is the product of innovation in the Emerging Markets, not...

Mastercard Picks Up New POS Tech With Vyze Acquisition

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. Mastercard acquired Vyze, a technology platform that enables customers to tap into numerous credit options at checkout, to gain a foothold in the growing point-of-sale financing industry. With the purchase, Mastercard becomes a strategic...

Extend Raises $11M to Supply Gig Workers With Virtual Credit Cards

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Extend, the virtual credit-card platform focused on participants of the gig economy, has raised $11 million to expand its service, add clients and make new hires. The Series A funding round announced on April...

China Moves to Ban Crypto Mining Farms

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. China is yet again trying to curb the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies, this time in the form of a proposed ban on mining farms. These facilities full of servers validate transactions in...

Artificial Intelligence Lending Startup Upstart Network Raises $50M, Partners with Banks

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Upstart Network, an artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform founded by ex-Googlers, has raised $50 million in equity funding. Progressive Investment Company, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and First National Bank of Omaha...

Report: Italy’s UniCredit Preparing Bid for Commerzbank

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Foot-dragging to the altar has plagued many a wedding, especially when it’s one of convenience. So while the government-sanctioned courtship of Deutsche Bank and its cross-town rival Commerzbank, Germany’s two biggest lenders, has...

Goldman Sachs, Cerity Partners See Opportunities in Retirement Space

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. April 2 was a big day for investment in the retirement planning and financial services space. Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments led a $30 million Series Bfunding round in Vestwell, a retirement technology...

PayPal Invests in Blockchain Technology with Digital Identity Startup

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. PayPal, the online payment services giant, made its first investment in blockchain technology, joining a Series A funding round in identity software startup Cambridge Blockchain, Inc. Cambridge Blockchainwill use the new funds...

Bill.com Secures $88M for B2B Digital Payments

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. The cloud-based payments platform Bill.com has raised $88 million in a funding round led by Franklin Templeton. That puts the company’s overall valuation at above $1 billion, according to Forbes. Other funders in the round...

Nikhil Kalghatgi on Crypto: “Liquidity has improved, but it’s consolidated onto a handful of players.”

Strategic Investors: Profiles of investors with strategies to consider. Everyone involved in the busy, volatile space of blockchain and crypto can remember where they were when JP Morgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon derided cryptocurrencies as a “fraud” in 2017. And they tend to have the...

MineralTree Closes New Round Amid Growing Demand for AP Automation

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. MineralTree, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based provider of accounts payable and payment automation services, closed a $50 million equity investment to allow the company to add new capabilities to its “invoice-to-pay” system and...

Truepic Offers Banks and Insurers Image Verification Solutions, with a Side of Social Impact

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. At its core, Truepic is a free, consumer-facing app that allows anyone, anywhere to authenticate images. Recently celebrated by Fast Company magazine as the top startup in the social good category, Truepic certainly received a...

FIS Looks to Leverage Scale with Worldpay Inc. Acquisition

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS), a Florida-based fintech giant, announced its purchase of payment processing and technology provider Worldpay Inc. in a statement on Monday as the two companies pursue scale, synergies...

OakNorth’s Valentina Kristensen: “We’re not coming to the United States to replicate what we’re doing in the United Kingdom.”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. U.K.-based digital bank OakNorth Holdings Ltd. received a total of $440 million last month, including a $390 million investment from the Vision Fund of Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and the rest from the...
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