Friday March 6, 2020 –
Here are the new and noteworthy stories we have been following this week.
AmEx Staff Misled Small-Business Owners to Boost Card Sign-Ups
Following the end of the Costco card partnership, American Express sales people reportedly employed questionable tactics to sell Amex small business cards including misrepresenting fees and rewards; however, according to an Amex spokesperson, the company found a very small number of policy violations.
Visa grows instalment payment ecosystem with Splitit
Splitit, a POS installment lending company, has announced a partnership with Visa to help accelerate the distribution of installment payments for merchants; in addition to leveraging the Visa Developer Platform, Splitit will integrate with Visa Installment Solutions, a new capability that helps participating issuers and merchants give Visa cardholders more control on how a purchase is paid.
Thought Machine nabs $83M for a cloud-based platform that powers banking services
Cloud native core bank technology provider Thought Machine has raised a Series B round of $83 million to continue investing in its platform and to grow its customer base; currently Thought Machine’s clients are primarily in Europe and Asia but plans call for US expansion including opening an office later this year.
Robinhood Trading Site Seizes Up, Customers Miss Stock Rally
Online brokerage platform Robinhood suffered an outage that lasted the entire US trading day and prevented customers from making trades; ironically, the system outage occurred on one of the best days in history for the stock market.
Valued at $10B, Nubank launches it’s Nu credit card in Mexico
Brazilian fintech startup Nubank is launching its Nu credit card in Mexico targeted at the unbanked population segment; Nubank intends to use a word of mouth referral strategy to acquire new cardholders, similar to what it has done in Brazil.
Facebook Weighs Libra Revamp to Address Regulatory Concerns
Facebook is considering redesigning the Libra cryptocurrency project so that the network accepts multiple coins, including those issued by central banks, in an effort to woo reluctant global regulators and rebuild momentum for the plan; in effect this would make Libra a payments network.
Chinese payments giant Ant Financial buys a stake in Swedish fintech start-up Klarna
Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba has invested in Swedish POS financing start-up Klarna as part of a global partnership between the two firms; according to Klarna, Ant Financial has bought a minority stake for an undisclosed amount..
Kabbage Launches Kabbage Insights™, Allowing Small Businesses To Take Control of Their Cash Flow With Just a Few Clicks
Kabbage has launched ‘Kabbage Insights’, an automated tool that calculates and predicts cash-flow patterns to help small businesses identify cash surpluses and deficits; the tool allows businesses to connect their real-time financial data to Kabbage Insights and access an analysis of their company’s historical, current and future cash-flow 24/7.
South Korea passes one of the world’s first comprehensive cryptocurrency laws
The South Korean National Assembly has passed new legislation that will provide a framework for the regulation and legalization of cryptocurrencies and crypto exchanges; this would allow for oversight of cryptocurrencies, as well as the development of rules around anti-money laundering and other processes.
Moneytrans partners with Mastercard to include close to 1 million people into the financial system
Mastercard and Moneytrans have partnered to launch a remittance-linked checking account and debit card for migrant workers in Europe; the account branded as ‘Smile’ is being rolled out in Belgium in March to be followed by Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and France by the end of 2020.
Consumer Credit Growth Slowed In January
According to Fed data, consumer credit growth slowed in January increasing at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.5% to $4.2 trillion; revolving credit decreased to $1.09 trillion, while nonrevolving credit increased to $3.1 trillion.