Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending February 13, 2021

The three hot themes in fintech news this past week were crypto, SPACs and buy now pay later, similar to many weeks so far this year. Here are what I consider to be the top 10 most important fintech news stories of the past week.

Tesla buys $1.5 billion in bitcoin, plans to accept it as payment from CNBC – We kicked the week off with the big news from Tesla that they had acquired $1.5 billion of bitcoin in January; bitcoin predictably soared on the news.

Mastercard to Support Some Cryptocurrencies on Its Network from The Wall Street Journal – More good news for crypto investors as Mastercard indicated it will support some cryptocurrencies directly on its network as more people are using cards to buy crypto as well as using cards to spend their crypto.

Bitcoin to Come to America’s Oldest Bank, BNY Mellon from The Wall Street Journal – The nation’s oldest bank gives us a trifecta of big crypto news as it announces that it will “hold, transfer and issue bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on behalf of its asset-management clients.”

Mobile bank MoneyLion to go public via blank-check merger in $2.9 billion deal from Reuters – MoneyLion becomes the latest fintech to jump on the SPAC bandwagon as they announced a $2.9 billion deal with Fusion Acquisition Corp.

OppFi is the latest fintech to go public via SPAC from American Banker – Opploans announced a rebrand to OppFi as they will also go public by merging with FG New America Acquisition Corp., an Illinois-based SPAC. (I will have more on this and the MoneyLion SPAC next week).

Ex-SoFi CEO Starts Blank-Check Company to Raise $250 Million from Bloomberg – Mike Cagney has decided to join the SPAC party as he files paperwork with the SEC for Figure Acquisition Corp. I and intends to raise $250 million.

Klarna’s valuation set to triple to $30bln, says report from Fintech Futures – Privately held Swedish BNPL giant is reportedly looking to raise $500 million at a $25b – $30b valuation. They also announced the launch of bank accounts in Germany.

Inside The Billion-Dollar Plan To Kill Credit Cards from Forbes – Good profile on Max Levchin, CEO and co-founder of Affirm, and the early days of Affirm as well as how it became a BNPL juggernaut.

Survey Reveals a Hidden Customer Exodus in Banking from The Financial Brand – An interesting global survey of 56,000 consumers by Bain & Company shows that banks are losing business to their fintech rivals even as they keep their customers’ core checking account.

LoanDepot raises just $54M in downsized IPO from HousingWire – Mortgage lender loanDepot went public this week in a downsized IPO that raised just $54 million after indicating initially they would raise more than $360 million.

Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of LendIt Fintech, the world’s first and largest digital media and events company focused on fintech.

LendIt Fintech conducts three conferences a year for the leading fintech markets of the USA, Europe, and Latin America. LendIt also provides cutting-edge content all year long via audio, video, and written channels.

Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series.

Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.

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