Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending Feb. 12, 2022

It was a relatively slow news week at least when compared to the frenetic pace of the first few weeks of the year. No blockbuster announcements this week but news was made by Silvergate Bank, the SEC, advocacy groups complaining about high-interest rate loans, Sequoia India making a big bet on web3 and Chase is confident they can outcompete fintechs. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

The road ahead for Meta’s Diem under Silvergate Bank’s ownership from American Banker – Now that Silvergate Bank owns the Diem assets what is it going to do with them? Launch a stablecoin of course. Another great piece from Penny Crosman on what this will mean and how it will come together.

Crypto platforms fear SEC’s new rules on exchanges from The Financial Times – The SEC is proposing new rules on exchanges that could impact the crypto space and they are seeking public comment on these rules.

Advocacy Groups Call on Regulators to Ban High-Interest Rate FinTech Loans from PYMNTS.com – A week ago a bunch of advocacy groups sent a letter to the OCC, FDIC and CFPB complaining about predatory lending and the bank-partnership model. It names what it considers to be the most serious offenders but, as is typical when these people complain about high-cost credit, the letter offers no solutions beyond just banning high-interest loan products.

Sequoia makes a big bet on Web3, leading $450 million investment in Polygon blockchain from CNBC – Sequoia Capital India led a huge investment into layer two protocol Polygon as it bets on a bright future for web3. The vision according to co-founder Sandeep Nailwal is for Polygon to become a decentralized version of AWS.

Why Chase’s Technology Can Compete With (and Outperform) Fintechs from The Financial Brand – Chase is the largest “digital bank” in the country with 58 million active users which brings with it unique advantages. But I would argue that fintechs move much more quickly and are more responsive to their users’ needs (think overdraft fees).

American Express launches its first all-digital consumer checking account from TechCrunch – American Express has launched a pretty decent digital bank account called American Express Rewards Checking that provides rewards points for debit card transactions, has no fees, and pays an interest rate of 0.5%.

SoftBank-backed fintech DriveWealth is adding crypto to take on Coinbase’s ‘unsustainable’ fees from CNBC – DriveWealth has become the world leader in embedded finance for trading stocks and now they are setting their sights on crypto. CEO Bob Cortright hinted at this when I had him on my podcast last month, DriveWealth will offer bitcoin and ethereum trading to partners in April or May.

GoCardless joins unicorn club after sealing $312m funding round from AltFi – GoCardless, the UK-based payments fintech that calls itself “the world’s leading network for direct bank payments” has closed their $312 million Series G which is comfortably more than it had raised in all previous rounds combined.

Betterment gets into crypto with acquisition of Seattle startup Makara from GeekWire – Betterment, one of the largest robo-advisors in the world with $32 billion under management, has acquired Makara, a Seattle startup that creates “thematic baskets” for crypto investors.

DoorDash Starts Financing Arm to Offer Loans to Restaurants from Bloomberg – DoorDash has become the latest non-fintech to create a financing arm with the announcement of DoorDash Capital. DoorDash merchants will be able to apply for financing within the app with the technology being powered by Parafin.

Every Thursday the LendIt Fintech News team and a special guest discuss the news of the week live on LendIt TV, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We have now made the show available in podcast format – just click on the audio player below.

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