The Week in Review

The Week in Review

Friday July 24, 2020 –

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

EBay says its will ‘move pretty quickly’ on payments transition as PayPal agreement expires

eBay is rolling out its new payment system as its operating agreement with PayPal comes to an end; according to eBay, it currently has 42,000 sellers using the new payments platform and has processed more than $4.7 billion in volume through this “managed payments” initiative.

Tide strikes strategic partnership with Mastercard as principal issuer

UK business banking challenger bank Tide has become a principal member of Mastercard; as a principal member, Tide will be able to issue Mastercard branded cards (without the need of a sponsor bank) and also settle funds directly with Mastercard.

Bank of the West Launches the 1% for the Planet Account

Bank of the West has teamed up with 1% for the Planet to launch its first checking account designed for climate action; the Bank will donate 1% of net revenues generated from the account to support environmental non-profit organizations focused on creating a healthier planet.

Robinhood cancels UK launch of its investment app

Robinhood has delayed its UK launch indefinitely as it grapples with the aftermath of one of its US customers committing suicide; the company said that it would be closing its UK waitlist and taking down the UK website.

WhatsApp to pilot projects to deliver credit, insurance and pension to users in India

WhatsApp plans to offer credit, insurance, and pension products to low income consumer segments and those in rural areas in India and also help digitize local SMB’s; WhatsApp has been working with various banks  – including ICICI, Kotak Mahindra, and HDFC  –  for the past year.

Brex Bolsters Cash Offering With FDIC Insurance, Adds Chief Legal Officer

Brex has rolled out Brex Cash, an FDIC insured cash management account in partnership with UMB; according to Brex, its fully digital application allows businesses to get approved and receive a corporate card and a Brex Cash account in under 10 minutes.

Affirm, Shopify partner for new interest-free, zero-fee online shopping option

Affirm is partnering with Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify on an installment lending program for its customers; Shopify is rolling out “Shop Pay Installments” later this year that will give approved Shop Pay customers the Affirm lending / payment option at checkout.

Kabbage partnered with Green Dot on business checking accounts

Kabbage has launched Kabbage Checking a fee free digital checking account for SMB’s; the checking account is supported by Green Dot Bank.

FSS adds instant lending capability to Prepaid Card Management System

FSS, a global payments technology company has announced a set of enhancements for its prepaid card management system; prepaid card issuers will be able to issue instant, open-loop virtual co-branded merchant wallets along with functionality to support POS installment lending programs.

Fintech in Brief: FDIC Proposes Financial Technology Standard Setting and Certification System

The FDIC has issued an RFI on a proposed voluntary public/private standard setting and certification system to promote the efficient and effective adoption of innovative technologies at FDIC-supervised financial institutions; the RFI is the latest product of FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams’ FDiTech Initiative.

Argentine banks combine to create P2P money transfer venture Pay Digital

A group of Argentinean banks have joined forces to establish a joint venture company Pay Digital to develop a P2P money transfer app, Dimo; the new app will reportedly be launched in September or October of this year.

Fintech Powerhouse Nubank Buys U.S. Software Firm Cognitect

Brazilian digital bank Nubank  has purchased a US technology firm Cognitect; Nubank has been working with Cognitect since 2014 and uses Cognitect’s programming and database tools.

Banks May Provide Safekeeping of Cryptocurrency, OCC Says

The OCC has provided guidance clarifying the role of banks and savings institutions in providing cryptocurrency safekeeping; according to a letter from the OCC, national banks and federal savings associations are authorized to provide cryptocurrency custody services, including holding unique encoded keys associated with digital currencies.

American Express Reports Second-Quarter Revenue of $7.7 Billion and Earnings per Share of $0.29

Amex reported second-quarter net income of $257 million vs. net income of $1.8 billion a year ago; results were severely impacted by COVID-19 as reflected in the softening of spend metrics as well as a credit reserve build of $1.6 billion.