Friday March 20, 2020 –
Here are the new and noteworthy stories we have been following this week.
Yapeal receives Switzerland’s first FinTech license
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) has awarded digital bank Yapeal the first FinTech license in Switzerland allowing it to move forward with a public launch; the bank is building a community-style customer base known as “Yapsters” who will be among the first to try out its services based around their own needs.
RBC rolls out digital ID verification for account opening
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is using AI and NFC technology to let clients digitally verify their identities when their open accounts in a branch; later this year, the bank plans to let people open accounts remotely by verifying themselves with a live selfie against government-issued ID.
ICE’s Bakkt raises $300 million for consumer market push
IntercontinentalExchange’s digital asset unit Bakkt has raised $300 million in Series B funding to finance a push into the retail sector; according to industry sources, Bakkt is currently working on integration with the Starbucks app to provide ‘Bakkt Cash’ as a payment option
One, A New Digital Bank Aimed At The Middle Class, Raises $17M Series A
One, a new digital bank targeting the middle class, has raised $17 million in a Series A financing; One aims to unify saving, spending and borrowing into one account and is currently available in private beta ahead of its public launch later this year.
Gojek boosts war chest with another $1.2bn
Indonesian ride-hailing and payments operator Gojek has secured an additional $1.2 billion in funding believed to be part of its ongoing Series F raise; the company had earlier raised $1 billion from existing investors including Google and Tencent Holdings and since then has added Mitsubishi Motors and Visa as new investors.
Square Gets Green Light to Open a Bank
Square has received conditional approval for an Industrial Loan Company (ILC) charter; the bank, Square Financial Services, Inc., is expected to launch in 2021 and will offer small-business loans to Square merchants.
DeeMoney Partners with Ripple to Power Faster and Cheaper Cross-Border Money Transfers
DeeMoney, a Thai fintech company specializing in digital cross-border money transfers has announced that its platform is now handling inbound remittances into Thailand with same-day deposits into all Thai banks; in Phase 2, DeeMoney will be working with Ripple on outbound transfers.
College Credit Startup Boro Raises $12M
Boro, a startup focused on student lending has raised $12 million in a Series A round led by Chinese fintech company LexinFintech; Boro provides loans to students who need to pay for textbooks, apartment deposits and other college-related living expenses and is currently available at more than 200 colleges across 31 states.
How a gift certificate is helping small businesses crushed by the coronavirus
Atlanta-based digital small business lender Kabbage has launched a platform that allows consumers to buy gift certificates to support local small businesses during the coronavirus crisis; the gift certificates, which range in value from $15 to $500, can be redeemed at any time with small businesses receiving the revenue within one business day of purchase.
Fiserv to Enhance Omni-commerce Experience with Acquisition of Bypass Mobile
Fiserv is acquiring Bypass Mobile, an independent software vendor and provider of enterprise point-of-sale systems; the acquisition of Bypass will advance Fiserv’s omni-commerce capabilities and help its merchants deliver better customer experiences specifically in the verticals that Bypass operates in: sports and entertainment venues, food service management, and national restaurant chains.
Mastercard and bunq expand Green Card in Europe
Mastercard is expanding its partnership with Dutch challenger bank, bunq to bring its Green Card to 30 European countries; under the terms of the agreement, Mastercard will use its international network to bring the Green Card – a metal Mastercard that offers sustainability incentives for every 100 euros spent – to 30 European countries.
Wells Fargo asks Fed to lift cap on growth in wake of virus crisis
Wells Fargo has requested the Federal Reserve to remove an asset cap introduced in the wake of its fake accounts scandal, saying it would allow the bank to extend support to businesses and customers hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic; there has been no comment from the Fed on this matter.