Friday May 21, 2021 –
Here are the new and noteworthy stories we have been following this week.
Wells Fargo launches Banking Inclusion Initiative to accelerate unbanked households’ access to affordable transactional accounts
Wells Fargo has announced the launch of the Banking Inclusion Initiative’ – a 10-year commitment to help unbanked individuals gain access to affordable digital banking with a focus on Black and African American, Hispanic, and Native American/Alaska Native families; the commitment will be organized around three core areas: affordable access, education, and the launch of a National Unbanked Advisory Task Force.
Pine Labs hits $3 billion valuation on $285 million funding round
Asia and Middle East focused merchant services company Pine Labs has completed a first close of $285 million funding at a valuation of $3 billion; Pine Labs valuation has increased 3X from $1 billion in ealy-2020 to $2 billion by the end of last year.
Fidelity’s Pitch to America’s Teens: No-Fee Brokerage Accounts
Fidelity has launched the Fidelity® Youth Account targeting 13- to 17-year-olds whose parents or guardians also invest with the firm; the account will offer savings and investing features along with a debit card. (Fidelity will not charge account fees or commissions for online trading, and the savings account and the debit card will also not have any fees or account minimums.)
Pipe Closes $250M in Funding
Pipe, a Miami-based trading platform for recurring revenues raised $250 million in funding at a $2 billion valuation; Pipe which enables entrepreneurs to convert recurring revenue streams to upfront capital will use the funds to grow its platform globally, and expand its offering across multiple recurring revenue business verticals.
DailyPay Raises $500 Million Of Capital, Powering Its Mission To Transform The Financial System
DailyPay has raised $175 million in a Series D equity round and $325 million of credit capital; DailyPay intends to invest the funds in new market opportunities for its technology platform and also extend its position in on-demand pay among large employers.
Arab Financial Services and Discover Sign Network Alliance Agreement
Arab Financial Services (AFS) and Discover have signed a strategic network alliance agreement that will initially provide Discover, Diners Club International and network alliance cardholders the ability to use their card at AFS merchants across the Kingdom of Bahrain; the agreement will also provide an option to AFS banks to issue credit cards that will have access to the Discover Global Network for international purchases and cash access outside of Bahrain.
FCA warns UK fintechs against comparing themselves to banks
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is concerned that some fintech companies are ‘misleading’ their customers about the risks of e-money accounts; accordingly, the FCA has ordered more than 300 companies to write to their customers within six weeks to remind them of the risks of storing their cash in accounts that are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Deutsche Bank signs global partnership with payments technology provider Silverflow
Deutsche Bank and Silverflow have announced a global partnership to support the bank’s payments strategy with two new payment services which are expected to launch in Autumn 2021; leveraging this partnership, Deutsche Bank will initially enable PSPs across Europe and the US to accept debit and credit card payments through Silverflow’s cloud-based card acquiring service.
Powell advances Fed work on possible ‘digital dollar’
The Fed is moving forward with examining the role of a digital dollar and will issue a paper this summer “to stimulate broad conversation” and seek input on issues related to payments, financial inclusion and privacy, among other topics; according to Fed Chair jay Powell, the forthcoming discussion paper would mark the “beginning of what will be a thoughtful and deliberative process”.
Cagney’s Figure Valued at $3.2 Billion in Latest Funding Round
Figure Technologies the blockchain-based startup has raised $200 million at a valuation of $3.2 billion; the funding will help Figure source deals for its lending operations, seek a national bank charter from the OCC and build out Figure Pay, which offers services for individuals and helps merchants facilitate payments.