Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending December 5, 2020

Here are what I consider to be the top 10 most important fintech news stories of the past week.

Stripe to Offer Banking Services in Deal With Goldman Sachs, Citigroup from The Wall Street Journal – Goldman Sachs keep spreading their wings, this time in small business banking, inking a deal with Stripe that could be groundbreaking given Stripe’s reach.

Helping big banks out-Affirm Affirm and out-Chime Chime gives Amount a $681 million valuation from TechCrunch – Banking as a service is becoming more popular, with Goldman Sachs leading the $81 million Series C into Amount.

Visa Is Doing What Big American Companies Do to ‘Protect This Business’ from The New York Times – It is not often that the NY Times Editorial Board weighs in on fintech but they have a lot to say about about Visa’s planned acquisition of Plaid, coming out in support of the Department of Justice.

Affirm to Acquire PayBright for $340 Million CAD from BetaKit – The leading buy-now-pay-later player in the US, Affirm, is now making sure it will dominate the market north of the border with this US$264 million acquisition.

Argentine Fintech Ualá Takes Mobile Payments to Small Businesses from Bloomberg – One of the fastest growing fintechs in the world is Ualá, the Argentina-based fintech, that is now moving into SMB payments (see the Ualá CEO speak at LendIt Fintech LatAm next week).

Podcast 276: Mike Cagney of Figure from Lend Academy – I rarely, if ever, include one of my podcasts in the biggest news stories of the week but this episode blew me away. Everyone in fintech needs to understand what Mike Cagney is doing.

A fintech’s novel bank charter application draws industry’s ire from American Banker – Staying with Figure, when you are doing things in new ways, as Figure is doing, you are going to ruffle a lot of feathers. Not surprisingly, many banking groups do not like Figure’s approach to a bank charter.

Teen banking app Step reaches for the stars to raise $50 million from Reuters – I am a big fan of anything that helps kids learn about money management. Step is targeting the teen market, has already attracted 500,000 users, and has some A-list celebrity backers in this large funding round.

LendUp Launching Ahead, a New Digital Banking Brand from Lend Academy – LendUp is about to launch a digital banking offering targeting the non-prime consumer that will incorporate financial literacy in a new way.

A New Visa Credit Card Offers Bitcoin Rewards Instead of Miles or Cash from Bloomberg – For crypto enthusiasts an interesting new credit card from Visa and BlockFi. Earn 1.5% cash back, paid in bitcoin. Congrats to Zac Prince and the team for getting this deal done.

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