We bring you the most recent news we found this week. The latest updates will offer you interesting insights and highlights from the global fintech ecosystem, and a variety of topics to explore, ranging from insurance, crypto assets, wealth management, collaborations & partnerships, banking, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory frameworks and more. We invite you to dive into the pieces and gain an up to date view.
Bitcoin “Mixers” faces $60 million penalty
Earlier this week, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Larry Dean Harmon, operator of the bitcoin “mixers” Helix and Coin Ninja, with a $60 million penalty for allegedly violating AML laws. The enforcement action comes 7 years after FinCEN first issued regulatory requirements for exchangers and administrators trading with virtual currency to register their businesses as money-services and also follow the AML compliance rules. FinCEN claims that Harmon openly marketed Helix as a service which failed to conduct the proper client information check, trading more than $311 million worth of transactions in virtual currencies. Read more
CapitalBox acquired the Dutch part of Spotcal Global
CapitalBox, a fintech SME lender, acquired the Dutch division of Spotcap Global, a company offering digital business lending technology to financial institutions. The new purchase is part of CapitalBox’s new plans on further expanding its market presence in Europe. With the acquisition, CapitalBox will be able to gain access to the market knowledge, network, talent and expertise owned by Spotcap Netherlands. Read more
Insurity acquires Bill It Now Cloud Provider
Insurity, a provider of cloud-based core system solutions and data analytics for insurers, brokers, and MGAs, acquired Bill It Now, a provider of a cloud-based billing-as-a-service solution for an undisclosed sum. With the new purchase, Insurity plans to further enhance its services and provide qualitative billing and payment processing offerings within its cloud-based core system solution. Read more
JP Morgan announced that its digital asset, the JPM coin, has been commercially used earlier this week by a large technology client to send payments around the world. With the new breakthrough, JP Morgan launched Onyx, a new business to house its blockchain and digital currency efforts. As new plans, the company is also looking into creating new, separate payment rails for central banks interested in having their own currencies. Read more
Visa’s plans to acquire fintech Plaid are on hold
Visa’s decision to acquire fintech startup Plaid for $5.3bn is currently under scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department, due to the fact that the transaction might be in violation with the antitrust law. Earlier this week, the government filed a petition with a U.S. district court in Massachusetts, in which consulting firm Bain & Co is required to present documents in which Visa’s strategies around pricing and competition models are discussed. Read more
UBS Group, a Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company, has launched UBS Next, a $200M (€170M) portfolio aimed at investments in the fintech sector and also for the broader tech landscape. The aim of UBS Next is to facilitate support for early-stage fintechs and other tech companies looking to launch on the market. Read more
Razer Fintech collaborates with FWD Singapore
Razer Fintech, a virtual credit services provider for gamers, is collaborating with FWD Singapore (FWD), an online insurance company, in order to provide better insurance coverage for its Singaporean clients. In a previous partnership with Visa, Razer is planning to launch the Razer Card by the end of the year via an exclusive beta testing programme. As a further incentive, FWD stated that it will offer S$100,000 complimentary term life insurance coverage to each of those who qualify to be Razer Premium Card holders. Read more
ZestMoney partners with Apple
ZestMoney, an Indian consumer lending fintech company which uses AI to offer instant, no-cost equated monthly installment (EMI) plans and credit limits to users, has partnered up with Apple in order to provide its customers more affordable payment options. For the Apple product enthusiasts across India, the new collaboration means access to buying the gadgets and being able to adopt a Buy Now, Pay Later strategy. Read more
SoFi gains preliminary approval for a national bank charter status
SoFi, a finance company that offers a range of lending and wealth management services, has received preliminary approval from the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which will allow the firm to classify for the national bank charter. SoFi also announced that they are introducing their first credit card, which will offer the account users to pay down debt or invest in the future with every purchase. Read more
Barclays offers a virtual accelerator for black-founded tech firms
Barclays, a British investment bank and financial services company, is advancing its newest programme, a 12-week virtual accelerator, aimed at helping early-stage tech businesses founded by black entrepreneurs. The programme offers participants the possibility to take masterclasses focused on core business skills, product development and sales strategies, operations and leadership skills. After the training, founders will have the chance to showcase their business ideas to potential investors and clients. Read more
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