Friday March 27, 2020 –
Here are the new and noteworthy stories we have been following this week.
Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus
As part of the coronovirus response, and to support the economy, a host of financial regulators have issued an interagency statement to “encourage financial institutions to work prudently with borrowers who are or may be unable to meet their contractual payment obligations because of the effects of COVID-19.”
Mexican startup Credijusto raises $100 million, seeks to boost loans amid coronavirus
Mexican fintech startup Credijusto has raised $100 million in debt from Credit Suisse to continue lending to SMB’s; according to the company, the deal was in the works before the coronavirus epidemic intensified.
Dubai’s World Investments invests A$433m in Xinja Bank
Emirates’ World Investments is investing A$433 million into Australian neobank Xinja over the next 24 months; Xinja Bank has a full banking licence and has generated about $400 million in deposits across 45,000 accounts.
Russian Prime Minister Introduces Bill to Allow Fintech Sandboxes, Blockchain Included
The Russian government has introduced a new bill that may soon allow the creation of regulatory sandboxes for companies working on new technologies including financial services; the new bill will permit companies to actually test and use the new technology with clients vs. only modeling possible use cases.
Revolut launches its neobank in the US
UK challenger bank Revolut is launching its consumer banking app in the US; as in other markets, Revolut offers a transaction account, debit card, and multi-currency spending capability along with a two-tier account structure.
Startup Funding Dwindles Due to Coronavirus Slowdown
Given the impact of the coronavirus, early-stage funding for startups is already coming under stress; according to CB Insights, capital from seed-stage funding has declined by about 22% globally since January and total private-market funding for startups is expected to come in at $67 billion in the first quarter, down from an initial forecast of $77 billion.
Cash usage in Britain drops by half
A combination of factors including the countrywide lockdown and an increase in contactless card payments has led to a dramatic decline in cash usage in the the UK; according to ATM operator Link, cash usage trends point to a long-term shift in consumer behavior particularly as banks raise the limit on contactless card transactions.
Stripe leads $20M Series A into Fast, which is building a universal checkout service for e-commerce
Stripe has led a $20 million investment in Fast, a startup building platform-agnostic login and checkout services; in essence Fast is building capability for one-click login and one-click payments.
Banks Urged to Issue More Small-Dollar Loans in Response to Outbreak
The FDIC, CFPB, and other regulatory agencies are telling banks to issue more short-term, small dollar loans in an effort to help consumers “meet their needs for credit due to temporary cash-flow imbalances, unexpected expenses, or income shortfalls during periods of economic stress or disaster recoveries.”
Plastiq Secures $75M in Series D Funding
Plastiq, a payments intermediary that allows SMB’s to make payments with credit cards (even where credit cards are not accepted) has raised $75 million in a Series D round; the investment was led by B Capital Group, with participation from previous investors.