Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending Jan. 22, 2022

It was a busy news week in fintech with the Fed launching a review of CBDCs, Chime moving closer to an IPO, SoFi moving closer to becoming a bank, Plaid making an acquisition and community banks will soon start offering crypto trading. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

Fed Launches Review of Possible Central Bank Digital Currency from The Wall Street Journal – The Federal Reserve released a discussion paper this week on the benefits and risks of issuing a U.S. digital currency, requesting comments from the public over the next 120 days. This is a first step in what will likely be a long journey towards a CBDC.

Chime lines up Goldman Sachs for blockbuster IPO – sources from Reuters – This country’s largest digital bank has started talking with investment bankers and, according to Reuters, has lined up Goldman Sachs to lead the effort, which could value the company at $40 billion.

SoFi stock soars after clearing final regulatory hurdle to become a bank from CNBC – SoFi received the ok this week from the OCC and the Federal Reserve which was great news for this fintech leader. The deal to acquire California community bank, Golden Pacific Bank, is expected to close next month.

Plaid buys Cognito as it moves beyond merely connecting accounts from TechCrunch – It feels a long time ago that Plaid was planning to be acquired by Visa (it was two years ago) and now the company is making its own acquisition. Plaid is acquiring identity verification fintech Cognito for $250 million.

Small banks set to go live with bitcoin trading from American Banker – It is interesting, but not surprising, that small banks are leading the way when it comes to offering crypto trading directly to their customers. And NYDIG is providing the technology to do that.

Bank-Fintech Partnerships Are Under-Performing: What’s Going Wrong? from Forbes – Totally agree with Ron Shevlin that banks need to do a better job with fintech partnerships. But I also have to wonder if we are a little early to judge? Seems like so much happened in ’20 & ’21 that will start paying dividends in ’23 & ’24. Still, this is a good read with interesting research.

Crypto.com confirms hackers stole more than $34 million from LendIt Fintech News – This was such a curious story this week. We heard last weekend that Crypto.com (of Matt Damon fame) was hacked although initially, the company said no money was lost. We have since discovered that 4,836 ETH and 444 BTC were stolen with a value of around $34 million at the time.

Facebook owner Meta dives into NFT digital collectibles craze from The Financial Times – Meta is planning to allow users of Facebook and Instagram to create and sell NFTs as well as allow users to display them on their social media profiles.

What JPMorgan is doing with that $12 billion tech spend from Tearsheet – JPMorgan reported earnings last week and revealed they will spend $12 billion dollars on technology this year. Half of this is to maintain existing systems and half is to drive innovation across the bank.

Truist joins industry’s pivot away from overdraft fees from American Banker – Another top 10 bank has announced plans to move away from overdraft fees. Truist is revamping its checking account offering with plans to eliminate overdraft and other fees, which will result in $300 million in decreased revenue from fees.

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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