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Weekly News Highlights – 1 April 2021


Stay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates and developments on SEC’s fresh inquiries on SPACs, mergers and acquisitions of insurtech companies, partnerships and supports, Visa’s acceptance of crypto purchases, new legislative proposition for Open Banking, potential losses for banking, and the opportunity that arise with the P2P payment via Whatsapp in Brazil. Enjoy the reading!

SEC opens probe into SPACs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched inquiries into special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), starting with Wall Street banks. Companies are required to transparently disclose deal fees, and volumes of transactions among other information. Highlighting risks relative to traditional IPOs, the SEC pointed out that SPAC sponsors typically buy equity in the company at more favorable terms than the public will get. Read more

Indonesian insurtech firm Qoala acquires Thailand’s FairDee

Qoala, an Indonesian insurtech firm, announced the acquisition of Thailand’s FairDee to further expand its reach in Southeast Asia. FairDee has been operating in Thailand since 2019, helping independent brokers go online through its platform. Qoala’s acquisition of FairDee marks the former’s expansion into the country, adding to its existing markets of Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Read more

Visa moves to allow payment settlements using cryptocurrency

Visa will allow the use of the cryptocurrency USD Coin to settle transactions on its payment network. The company is piloting transaction settlement in stablecoins on the Ethereum blockchain, and plans to offer the option to more partners later this year. The settlement process requires Visa’s business partners to settle transactions in fiat currency that the company accepts, meaning part of a partner’s crypto treasury reserves would have to be converted at an additional cost of a conversion rate. Read more

HUBUC partners with Currency Cloud to support global news

HUBUC, a banking-as-a-service platform, has partnered with fintech CurrencyCloud to support HUBUC’s business customers with cross-border payments, employee-to-employer payments, digital multi-currency accounts and wholesale foreign exchange rates. Through this partnership, HUBUC’s business clients can access Currencycloud’s foreign exchange rates and international payments across Europe. They will also be able to use Currencycloud’s infrastructure to access virtual accounts for their customers, with the ability to collect, convert, pay, and manage multiple currencies simultaneously. Read more 

Tide proposes Open Banking data fees to incentivise banks

Tide, a business banking platform, is targeting the UK’s banks activities and their method of conduct when it comes to Open Banking practices. The company proposes removing the block on charging to access data imposed by EU legislation and thus creating a new market for paid-for premium data access services for large financial institutions. Read more

Banks could face up losses stemming from the liquidation of Archegos Capital Management

According to JPMorgan, banks could face up to $10 billion in losses rooting from the liquidation of Archegos Capital Management. The hedge fund used borrowed money to make large bets on some stocks, until Wall Street banks forced the firm to sell over $20 billion worth of its shares after failing to meet a margin call. Read more

Finch Capital acquires Wirecard Turkey

Finch Capital, an early-stage fintech VC, announced that it is acquiring Wirecard Turkey. After facing an accounting scandal and failing to make payments last year, Wirecard went into insolvency. Since then, various parts of its business have been bought, including one of its largest assets, Wirecard Solutions, which was acquired by the UK’s Railsbank. Read more

Ripple acquires 40% stake in Tranglo

Ripple, a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network, has agreed to acquire a 40% stake in Tranglo, a cross-border money and prepaid credit transaction hub, for the purpose of expanding its RippleNet On-Demand Liquidity service. By introducing On-Demand Liquidity to new markets, the two companies aim to provide accessible and equitable financial services to the masses. Read more

WhatsApp payment service gets go-ahead for Brazil relaunch

Brazil’s Central Bank has given WhatsApp the greenlight to relaunch P2P payments in the country. Since the initial suspension, the Central Bank has introduced its own PIX instant payments platform, which lets citizens, companies and government entities make instant payments 24/7/365 through mobile phones, online banking and ATMs. Read more 

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