The Week in Review

The Week in Review

Friday May 17, 2019 –

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

No Branch, No Problem. Citigroup Bets Big on Digital Banking

Given its historically low branch and retail banking presence in the US, Citi is making a strong push into digital banking as a customer and deposit acquisition channel.

Brazil’s Itau Unibanco to launch new payments app using QR code

Itau is launching a QR code based merchant payments system called ‘Iti’ providing direct connectivity between consumers and merchants at a nominal fee 1%.

Bitcoin Comes to Whole Foods, Major Retailers in Coup for Digital Currency

Flexa, a payments startup, and Gemini, a digital-currency company, are working on bringing cryptocurrency acceptance at the POS to major merchants like Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom, and Whole Foods.

SoftBank Makes $800 Million Bet on U.K Financier Greensill

SoftBank is investing $800 million at a $3.5 billion valuation in UK based supply chain financing company Greensill.

Just Released: Shifts in Credit Market Participation over Two Decades

According to the New York Fed’s recently released Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for Q1 2019, total household debt grew by $124 billion over the quarter to $13.67 trillion.

India’s largest mobile wallet company Paytm now offers a credit card

American Express has acquired reservation platform Resy

Amex has acquired Resy, the dining reservation platform and service that caters to 4,000 mostly upscale restaurants in 154 US cities and 10 countries.

US bank regulator will vet next Wells Fargo CEO

The OCC plans to vet Wells Fargo’s pick for its next CEO using special legal powers that the regulator typically reserves for overseeing financially troubled lenders.

WireBarley to launch in US with support from Currencycloud

WireBarley, a South Korea based mobile and online remittance company, has partnered with Currencycloud, to assist in launching and expanding its services into the US market.

JPMorgan Chase pledges $125m to fintech-focused financial health initiatives

Chase has pledged $125 million over the next five years to non-profits working around the world to improve the financial health of underserved communities with a focus on fintech solutions targeted at savings, debt reduction, and credit access.

Square Spends $20 to Acquire Each New Cash App User

Square shared some important data points on Cash App at a recent industry conference – Cash App is the number one driver of its subscription and services segment and per-customer acquisition cost is a low $20.

JPMorgan Chase to buy InstaMed

Chase is buying healthcare payments company InstaMed for between $500 – $600 million to broaden and deepen its presence within the healthcare payments sector.