Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending Jan. 29, 2022

We learned more about Walmart’s fintech plans this week, Apple has decided to take on Square for merchant payments, Facebook has given up on Diem, UBS is acquiring Wealthfront and Experian is letting consumers create their own credit report. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

Walmart-Backed Fintech Startup Is Acquiring Two Firms and a New Name from The Wall Street Journal – We learned more about the Walmart-Ribbit fintech initiative this week with the announcement of two acquisitions: Even, an earned wage access platform, and ONE Finance, a neobank. And the new company will now be called ONE.

Apple to Rival Square by Turning iPhones Into Payment Terminals from Bloomberg – Apple is going to go head to head with Block with an upcoming iPhone update allowing any phone to be used as a payment terminal, no other hardware needed.

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Venture to Wind Down, Sell Assets from The Wall Street Journal – Facebook’s ill-conceived foray into digital currencies appears to be over with the Diem Association winding down and selling its assets to Silvergate Bank for $200 million.

UBS steps up U.S. push with $1.4 bln Wealthfront purchase from Reuters – The Swiss asset management giant UBS, with $3.2 trillion under management, is acquiring robo-advisor pioneer Wealthfront, with $27 billion in AUM, for $1.4 billion in an all-cash deal.

Experian to Allow Consumers to Create Their Own Credit Reports from The Wall Street Journal – Experian is providing an opportunity for the millions of consumers with no credit report to create their own from scratch using recurring everyday expenses. No credit lines are needed.

Plaid launches new privacy platform after $58M privacy settlement from LendIt Fintech News – Plaid has launched a new platform, called Plaid Portal, where anyone can create an account, link their bank account and see how many places they have shared their login info.

Crypto Lending Firms Celsius Network, Gemini Face SEC Scrutiny from Bloomberg – The SEC is stepping up its inquiry into those crypto platforms that pay interest on tokens with Celsius, Gemini and Voyager all now being scrutinized.

Esusu becomes unicorn with SoftBank Vision Fund 2-led $130M funding from TechCrunch – The latest fintech unicorn is Esusu, a fintech that helps immigrants and minorities build credit by reporting rent payments. They closed a $130 million Series B led by SoftBank that values the company at $1 billion.

LendingClub beats Q4 earnings and delivers profits from LendIt Fintech News – Earnings season has begun for fintech and LendingClub is one of the first to report. Revenue and profits were strong but the company was punished because it gave weaker 2022 guidance than expected.

Robinhood Loses $423 Million in the 4th Quarter, Shares Drop in After Hours Trading from Crowdfund Insider – Robinhood had a not so good quarter with a large loss, much bigger than expected, and gave guidance on a weaker than expected revenue numbers for Q1.

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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