Friday July 2, 2021 –
Here are the new and noteworthy stories we have been following this week.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, gets banned by UK regulator
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has banned Binance from operating in the UK saying that Binance Markets Limited, the UK division of Binance, “is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK”; however, Binance said that the FCA notice would have no “direct impact” on the services it provides from its website Binance.com which is not UK-based.
Mox issues dual-purpose debit/credit card
Standard Chartered backed and Honk Kong-based virtual bank Mox has introduced a new feature for its numberless card allowing users to ‘Flip’ between debit and credit spending via its app; Mox was launched last September and currently has about 130,000 customers.
Philippines’ Voyager Innovations Secures US$167 M for PayMaya Expansion Into Financial Services, Digital Banking
Voyager Innovations, a Philippines-based technology company has raised US$167 million to continue building out it financial inclusion focused fintech arm PayMaya Philippines (“PayMaya”); PayMaya is a versatile digital financial services and payments app that serves 38 million Filipino’s.
JPMorgan makes Brazilian retail banking debut with 40% stake in C6 Bank
JPMorgan Chase & Co has taken a 40% stake in Brazilian digital bank C6 Bank, signaling its intent to enter retail banking in Brazil – while the transaction price was not disclosed, C6 was valued at $2.28 billion in December; C6 was established in 2019 and has seven million customers.
Nordic payment groups merge to take on big tech
The main national mobile payment providers in Norway, Denmark, and Finland are merging to strengthen their competitive position vis a vis some of the larger global players; Vipps in Norway, MobilePay in Denmark, and Pivo in Finland will join forces to become one of the largest bank-owned mobile wallet groups in Europe with 11 million customers and more than 700 million annual transactions.
Credit builder Kikoff launches with $42.5m in funding
Kikoff, a credit building platform for millennials and Gen Z, is launching with $42.5 million of funding; Kikoff offers the ‘Kikoff Credit Account’ which provides customers a $500 line of credit (no interest charges or fees) that can be used for purchases at Kikoff’s online store with repayments being reported to the credit bureaus.
Worldline signs a strategic partnership with BNL in merchant acquiring in Italy
Worldline has announced the creation of a JV with BNL banking group in Italy through the acquisition of 80% of Axepta Italy (BNL’s merchant acquiring entity) based on a € 220 million enterprise value; Axepta is a major merchant acquirer with a portfolio of 30,000 merchants and handles 200 million transactions per year.
Tiger Global leads $42M Series B in Nigerian credit-led neobank FairMoney
Nigerian fintech startup FairMoney has raised a $42 million Series B round to diversify its financial products and services offerings beyond credit to “become the financial hub for its users”; FairMoney started as an online lender in Nigeria in 2017 and last year expanded to India.
Delivery app Rappi partners with Visa to launch credit cards in Brazil
South American delivery app Rappi has launched a Visa branded credit card program in Brazil following credit card launches in Mexico, Colombia, and Peru; Rappi’s strategy is to complement its delivery business with financial services to increase activity and user engagement and the company plans to expand financial services to additional markets in the region.
Robinhood IPO filing caps stunning rebound
Robinhood has filed for an IPO and while no disclosures were provided on the amount to be raised, industry analysts estimate about $2 billion; in a rather unusual move Robinhood is reserving up to 35% of the shares for its customers at the IPO price.