The Week in Review

The Week in Review

Friday October 30, 2020 –

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

UBS Plans to Invest $200 Million in Fintech Startups

UBS is setting up its own venture capital fund, UBS Next to invest in early-stage fintech startups and other technology companies; the bank will make investments of between $5 million and $20 million to either help fund development of financial technology tools, or take minority stakes in fintech companies.

Visa to Acquire YellowPepper

Visa has announced the acquisition of YellowPepper, a fintech and payments provider operating in Latin America and Caribbean; according to Visa, the acquisition will accelerate the adoption of Visa’s “network of networks” strategy.

JPMorgan creates new unit for blockchain projects, says the technology is close to making money

Chase has revealed that its digital currency JPM Coin is being used commercially for the first time by a large technology client to send payments around the world; Chase also announced that it is setting up a new business unit called Onyx to house its blockchain and digital currency initiatives.

Brazil’s Caixa mulls U.S. IPO of its digital bank

Brazil’s Caixa Economica Federal is planning a US IPO of its digital bank, Caixa Tem; the digital bank has about 70 million customers, mostly low-income and receiving social benefit payments.

Mastercard, Visa Revenue Hurt by Distancing, Border Restrictions

Mastercard and Visa reported double-digit declines in their revenue as the pandemic (especially decline in cross-border spending) continued to weigh on results; Mastercard Q3 revenue came in at $3.84 billion, down 14%, while Visa reported $5.1 billion, down 17%.

This is Goldman’s bet to break into a $32 billion industry serving the world’s biggest corporations

Goldman Sachs has released software that allows clients to embed banking services into their own products as part of a push to break into the global cash management industry; according to Goldman, its banking-as a-service, will allow it to “to acquire clients of our clients”.

Green Dot invests in Gig Wage

Green Dot has led a $7.5 million Series A investment in Gig Wage; additionally the bank is partnering with the startup to bring banking and financial tools to gig workers via its banking-as-a-service platform.

SoFi gets green light to become a national bank

SoFi has received conditional approval from the OCC for a national bank charter which will allow SoFi to accept deposits and make loans without the need of a sponsor bank; SoFi is now waiting for formal approval from the FDIC and the Fed.

Alliance Data Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Bread®

Alliance Data is acquiring POS installment credit provider Bread for $450 million; Alliance Data will make Bread’s POS lending technology available to its retail clients in turn allowing them to offer installment payments and other ‘buy now pay later’ options to their customers.

Ant IPO Sets Off $3 Trillion Scramble Among Small Investors

Ant’s impending $34 billion IPO has garnered record breaking interest from small investors; according to company reports, individual investors in mainland China had placed the equivalent of more than $2.8 trillion of orders for their share of the IPO.

Brazilian payments firm Conductor raises $150 million, eyes U.S. listing

Brazilian payments firm Conductor has raised $150 million in a private funding round to expand its business in Latin America ahead of a possible US IPO; Conductor is a card issuing and banking-as-a-service software platform provider handling 30 million active accounts.

Jiko raises $40 million to build T-Bills-based retail bank

Jiko, a fintech startup offering an account where all customer deposits are turned into Treasury bills, has raised $40 million in Series A funding; Jiko is preparing to emerge from beta and publicly launch its app-based account.