Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending September 11, 2021

On this 20th anniversary of 9/11 we want to remember all those who lost loved ones on that terrible day. As a New York-based company in the finance space, we know many people whose lives were changed forever on that day and we are thinking of them today.

On to fintech news and it was a surprisingly busy week for just four days. We had a huge funding round for Varo, Stripe continued to move their IPO plans forward, Amazon encroaching more into fintech, PayPal makes another acquisition and the Coinbase CEO criticises the SEC. Here are what I consider to be the top news stories in fintech this past week.

Varo Bank closes on $510M Series E from LendIt Fintech News – The first digital bank to receive a bank charter closed a sizable Series E, with a reported 60 investors, and a valuation of $2.5 billion. I also enjoyed Penny Crosman’s piece in American Banker.

Stripe Is Discussing Public Listing for 2022 with Bankers from Bloomberg – The most valuable private fintech company keeps inching closer to an IPO in 2022 now as talks with bankers continue.

Amazon is working on a new point-of-sale system to lure merchants from Shopify, Square, and PayPal from Business Insider – Amazon’s new POS system, dubbed Project Santos, will be designed to handle both online and in-store transactions putting it in direct competition with Square, PayPal and Shopify.

PayPal to Buy Japan’s Paidy for $2.7 Billion from The Wall Street Journal – The BNPL craze continues with PayPal buying leading Japanese fintech Paidy (founded by a Canadian) with six million users.

Coinbase reveals SEC plan to sue over lending product from Banking Dive – The Coinbase CEO had some harsh words for the SEC when he discovered they were intending to sue the company over their new lending product (even though many other companies have similar products and have not been sued).

Walgreens Wades into Consumer Banking Melee with ‘Scarlet’ Account from The Financial Brand – The new Walgreens digital bank account is out, called Scarlet, and it is actually a pretty big deal given their focus on the underserved. Now millions of people in banking deserts will be able to pop into their local Walgreens to open an account.

Synchrony’s new ‘Pay in 4’ loan borrows from buy now/pay later upstarts from American Banker – Synchrony has a huge credit card portfolio, in the tens of millions, and they are jumping on the BNPL bandwagon with an Afterpay-type product offering.

Affirm stock skyrockets after company reports 71% revenue growth and strong guidance from CNBC – Affirm reported their fiscal Q4 earnings this week and it was a strong report with $262m in revenue vs $225m expected and growth to 7.1 million customers.

Addi raises $75M to advance ‘buy now, pay later’ in LatAm, nearly triples valuation from TechCrunch – One of Latin America’s leading BNPL platforms has tripled their revenue (and their valuation) in just the last few months.

Lisa Jacobs named as Funding Circle’s new CEO as operating profit hits £35m from AltFi – One of pioneers of the fintech industry, Samir Desai, is stepping down from his role as CEO at Funding Circle with Lisa Jacobs, head of their UK business, taking over in January.

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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