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Weekly news highlights 7 August 2020

Google announced further expansion in the US banking services, with new partnerships with more than half a dozen banks, such as Bank Mobile, BBVA USA, BMO Harris, Coastal Community Bank, First Independence Bank and SEFCU, who will be joining older partners Citi and SFCU. Google will provide the consumer-facing front-end to the digital banking services it makes available, while the accounts themselves will be held by the FDIC-backed partner institutions.

WhatsApp is expected to enter India’s payments market after becoming compliant with the country’s data-localization standards, which will give WhatsApp Pay the approval to access the 400-million-strong user-base of the messenger app. However, WhatsApp spent significant resources, time and effort in the past seven months to comply with the country’s banking regulator’s guidelines. 

TransferWise was granted permission to offer investment services in the UK and expects by next year to be able to offer its first investment product, one that will enable customers to invest money stored in their multi-currency accounts into affordable funds by established providers. TransferWise is the latest financial technology startup to branch out, by also offering clients investment services. 

Affirm, an innovative fintech that offers transparent loans and credit with no late fees or hidden costs, could be the next FinTech to launch its IPO and could reach a $10bn (€8.46bn) valuation. According to the Wall Street Journal, the lending company is reportedly in talks with Goldman Sachs on a listing. 

Metro Bank acquired P2P lender RateSetter, a leading UK based peer-to-peer lender. Metro Bank said that it has agreed to acquire RateSetter for initial consideration of £2.5 million (€2.77m), with additional consideration of up to £0.5 million (€0.55m) payable 12 months after completion subject to certain criteria and further consideration of up to £9 million (€9.97m) payable on the third anniversary of the completion of the transaction. Metro Bank will use its deposit base to fund all new unsecured personal loans originated via the RateSetter platform and held on Metro Bank’s balance sheet.

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