The Week in Review

The Week in Review

Friday June 5, 2020 –

Here are the new and noteworthy stories we have been following this week.

Visa sees recovery in U.S. payments volume in May

According to a Visa regulatory filing, US payments volume fell at a much slower pace in May from the previous month, indicating that consumer spending was picking up; payments volume in May declined 5% year-over-year, a 13 percentage point improvement over April.

Mastercard brings Fintech Express to Europe

Mastercard has brought its Fintech Express program to Europe, providing easy access to a set of rules, resources and digital-first services to help startups add payments to their suite of products; Fintech Express is part of Mastercard Accelerate that helps firms access the Mastercard ecosystem.

Lili Raises $10M in Seed Funding

Lili, a NYC-based banking app designed for freelance workers, raised $10 million in seed funding led by Group 11, with participation from Foundation Capital, AltaIR Capital, Primary Venture Partners and Torch Capital; Lili provides banking services with real-time expense tracking, tax tools, and a Visa Business debit card.

Varo Raises $241 Million Series D as it Moves Closer to Being the First Fintech to Become a National Bank

Varo announced the close of a $241 million Series D funding round, co-led by new investor Gallatin Point Capital and existing investor The Rise Fund, and other new investors, HarbourVest Partners and Progressive Insurance; Varo is expected to receive its national bank charter this summer.

PNC starts using OakNorth Covid-19 credit framework

PNC and OakNorth have signed a commercial agreement whereby PNC will use Oaknorth’s “COVID Vulnerability Rating” (CVR) Framework which enables commercial lenders to re-underwrite loans; PNC is deploying the OakNorth CVR Framework across its C&I and CRE portfolio.

Cards and contactless now used for more than half of payments in UK

According to UK Finance, more than half of all payments made in Britain last year were card-based; cards accounted for 51% of payments with cash representing less than 25% of payments, and direct debits, standing orders, and faster payments making up the rest.

Americans saved a record chunk of their incomes in April

A combination of government stimulus and decline in consumer spending (driven by the Covid-19 lockdown) has led to a spike in the savings rate in the US; in April, the personal savings rate pushed past 30%, the highest ever.

Facebook and PayPal have each made an investment in Gojek; while the size of the investment was not disclosed, regulatory filings indicate that Facebook holds a 2.4% stake in Gojek’s GoPay fintech arm, while PayPal owns 0.6% of GoPay.

YC-backed Tajir raises $1.8M to help mom-and-pop stores source inventory in Pakistan

Pakistan-based startup Tajir, a B2B sales, inventory, and payments platform targeted at small businesses raised $1.8 million from a group of VC firms and angel investors; Tajir is the first Pakistani startup to be backed by Y Combinator.

U.S. consumer credit plummets in April as credit-card use tumbles by record amount

According to the Fed, consumer credit declined in April at an annual rate of 19.5% to $4.13T; revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 65% to $1.02T, while nonrevolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 4% to $3.11T.