Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending July 24, 2021

Another acquisition by Visa, another fintech SPAC starts trading and Square Banking highlight another busy news week in fintech. We also saw the release of a new bitcoin rewards card and bad news for one of the leading crypto lenders while across the pond Starling demonstrated that you can be profitable as a digital bank. Here are what I consider to be the top 10 most important fintech news stories of the past week.

Visa acquires Currencycloud, which makes APIs for remittances and currency transfers, in a $963M deal from TechCrunch – Visa announced their second big acquisition in Europe in as many months as the payments leader looks to ramp up its cross border remittances capability.

Fintech OppFi goes public as CEO looks to alleviate America’s emergency savings drought from CNBC – OppFi closed their SPAC transaction and started trading this week on the New York Stock Exchange as the year of going public continues for fintech.

Billionaire Jack Dorsey’s Square Launches A Small Business Checking Account from Forbes – Ron Shevlin gives us his take on the new Square checking account that was launched this week called Square Banking and while he is generally positive on the move, he thinks they may struggle to dominate small business banking.

The new Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card pays 1.5% back in bitcoin with no annual fee, and anyone can apply from Business Insider – There has been a lot of movement in bitcoin rewards cards this year but those that have been announced are only in limited release. Upgrade beats the rest of the industry to the punch with a card available to everyone, pitching it as an onramp to crypto.

BlockFi’s interest product draws scrutiny from Alabama, Texas regulators from The Block – It has been a bad week for BlockFi. It started with a cease and desist from the New Jersey attorney general and then Alabama and Texas jumped into the fray. The issue is that these states believe BlockFi’s core product, the interest account, is a security.

Starling Banks’s 2021 results see 600% jump in revenues and 8 months of profitability from AltFi – Starling Bank released results through March 31 and they continue to do well. They are the only digital bank in the UK that seems to have turned the corner on profitability.

i80 Group has quietly committed $1B in credit to the fintech and proptech worlds from TechCrunch – The debt capital space for startups continues to evolve with one of the largest players now being i80 having funded more than $1 billion funded now.

Blockchain start-ups raised a record $4.4 billion in the second quarter despite the slump in crypto prices from CNBC – More analysis from CB Insights shows it was a good funding quarter for blockchain focused startups.

India considering phased roll out of central bank digital currency from TechCrunch – The deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India said this week that the country has studied the risks and will be moving forward with their plan to roll out their CBDC in phases.

How Tech Won the Pandemic and Now May Never Lose from The New York Times – Tech-centric companies from many industries, including fintech, have grown rapidly during the past 18 months, setting themselves up for a dominant future.

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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