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Weekly News Highlights – 23 December 2021

Stay up to date with the latest news from fintech! This week, we bring you updates and developments on partnerships, regulations, investments, crypto and more. Enjoy reading!

Fintech Company Oportun Completes Acquisition of Digit (Finance Magnates)
The Nasdaq-listed financial technology company, Oportun announced the completion of the acquisition of Digit, a prominent neo banking platform that provides different services including automated savings, banking tools and investing. Oportun acquired the neo banking platform for a total of almost $211.1 million, including $112.6 million in cash and nearly $98.5 million in Oportun common stock and/or restricted stock units to be settled in Oportun common stock on the basis of a price of $24.477 per share of the common stock. Read more.

Argentinian Chamber of Fintech Makes Cryptocurrency Regulation Proposal (Bitcoin.com)
The Argentinian Chamber of Fintech, a membership-based organization whose goal is to lead the digitization and modernization of the financial services industry, issued a series of recommendations for the upcoming regulation of virtual assets in the country. The proposed framework asks the government to follow FATF recommendations, and it calls for a clear definition of virtual assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs). Read more.

Rocket Companies to Acquire Truebill, Adding Rapidly Expanding Financial Empowerment FinTech to the Rocket Platform (PR Newswire)
Rocket Companies, (NYSE: RKT) the Detroit-based platform company consisting of tech-driven real estate, mortgage and financial services businesses – including Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Homes and Rocket Auto – announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Truebill, the leading personal finance app that helps consumers manage every aspect of their financial lives, for $1.275 billion in cash. Read more.

US consumer bureau orders fintech firm LendUp to halt new loans, pay penalty (CNA)
The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered LendUp Loans to pay a US$100,000 penalty, stop issuing new loans and halt collecting on certain outstanding ones after repeated deceptive marketing and other fair-lending violations. The Oakland, California-based lender, which offers funding to online consumers who traditionally have been overlooked by banks because they are considered too risky, agreed to the order, the CFPB said. Read more.

Saudi Fintech signs deals with local companies to reduce cost on SMEs (Zawya)
Saudi Fintech, Thiqah, a business services company, and Emdha, an IT firm, have signed 2 initial agreements, to empower small and medium-sized fintech companies in the Kingdom, through reducing the cost of services, according to a tweet. The agreements were signed under the patronage of the Digital Government Authority and Saudi central bank. Read more.

New Jersey’s Manasquan Bank taps Bakkt for crypto services (Fintech Futures)
New Jersey-based mutual community bank Manasquan Bank has selected digital assets firm Bakkt as it looks to provide its retail customers access to cryptocurrency. The partnership will see the bank take part in Bakkt’s “early adopter program”, which is due to launch in Q2 2022. Bakkt adds that Manasquan’s participation “is contingent upon the adoption by the bank’s core financial service provider”. Read more.

Thales, FPC, and Mastercard deliver biometric payment cards in Poland (The PayPers)
Technology company Thales, fintech Fiserv (FPC), and Mastercard have conducted trial on biometric cards in Poland, and Bank Pocztowy is the latest to begin issuing biometric cards. The bank began issuing the cards on 20 December, and says they provide augmented security and support distanced transactions. Thales is responsible for developing the fingerprint-enabled card, as well as packaging and distribution. Read more.

EXCLUSIVE-IMF, 10 countries simulate cyber attack on global financial system (Nasdaq)
Israel led a 10-country simulation of a major cyber attack on the global financial system in an attempt to increase cooperation that could help to minimise any potential damage to financial markets and banks. The simulated cyber attack evolved over 10 days, with sensitive data emerging on the Dark Web along with fake news reports that ultimately caused chaos in global markets and a run on banks. Read more.

Brazil Central Bank Waters Down Tougher Rules on Fintech Firms (Finance Magnates)
Banco Central do Brasil, the central bank of Brazil, is considering putting the brakes on tougher regulations for the rapidly growing fintech industry. Four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The country’s central bank has withdrawn a draft proposal that has been planned to be voted on last month by the National Monetary Council (CMN), the government’s top financial policy-making body. Read more.

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