Weekly News Highlights – 10 February 2022

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

Apple Confirms Plans for iPhone Contactless Payments for Merchants (PYMNTS)
Apple has confirmed rumors from last month that the company is indeed launching new contactless payment capabilities for merchants that turn iPhones into payment terminals without the need for additional hardware. The new function offers millions of U.S. merchants of all sizes to accept all types of payments — Apple Pay, contactless debit and credit cards, and digital wallets — by tapping their iPhone. Read more.

Franklin Templeton and F10 Launches Early-Stage Fintech Incubator in Singapore (Fintech News)
Asset manager Franklin Templeton has partnered with fintech startup accelerator F10 for a two-year joint incubation programme in Singapore which will kick-off in July 2022. The “FT Singapore Fintech Incubator” will be supporting early-stage fintech startups in Singapore and the region. The startups admitted into the programme will receive seed funding from Franklin Templeton and are expected to be housed at 80RR fintech hub in the heart of Singapore’s business district. Franklin Templeton and F10 are focused on artificial intelligence/machine learning, capital markets technology, cybersecurity, blockchain, P2P lending, digital distribution and wealth management technology, insurtech, regtech, data science and predictive behaviour analytics, among many others. Read more.

Facebook pummeling pulls down fintech earnings (Lendlt Fintech)
The beginning of February ’22 will be remembered for one thing: Facebook — and the tech market it has come to represent — had a terrible quarter. The supergiant with a new name dropped more than 24% in a single trading session after missing earnings estimates, the most significant one-day drop for a firm in U.S. history. What’s more, Meta only missed earnings by $.17 a share and beat revenue for the first quarter by $700 million. Still, a lack of added users, a money sink of more than $10 billion in the new metaverse section of the company, sent the shares careening downward. Fintech was pulled into the red too. Last week, tech like PayPal, Robinhood, and even Lending Club followed the same trend: fewer subscribers, close but not surprising earnings, ’22 predictions that spooked investors, and revenue that no one cares about if the stock doesn’t pay out. Read more.

Europe’s Most Valuable Fintech Unicorn Klarna Faces Risk of Rising Rates (Yahoo)
Klarna Bank AB is Europe’s most valuable fintech unicorn, a payment pioneer in a booming sector that’s being wooed by London for its potential stock listing. It also has a funding model that’s going to be threatened by the rapidly emerging reality of higher interest rates. The Swedish “buy now, pay later” company gives out effectively interest-free loans so online shoppers can stagger payments, while it depends on merchant fees and late payment penalties for revenue. It was valued at almost $46 billion after a funding round led by Softbank Group Corp. last year. Read more.

Portland fintech lands first bank partnership with online institution (Bizjournals)
Portland fintech startup Bumped launched its first bank partnership with Ogden, Utah-based online bank TAB Bank. It’s the first of what is expected to be several partnerships this year as the startup pushes into the market. The Bumped platform allows consumers to receive fractional shares of public company stock. TAB is using the platform to offer stock ownership as a benefit to its checking account and debit card customers using its TAB Flow and TAB Flow+ accounts. Read more.

Advocacy Groups Call on Regulators to Ban High-Interest Rate FinTech Loans (PYMNTS)
A coalition of advocacy groups wants U.S. regulators to look more into banks partnering with FinTechs to charge predatory interest rates that would be otherwise illegal in the lenders’ home states, Bloomberg reported Friday (Feb. 4). In a letter, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the NAACP and several other groups said that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and other agencies should crack down on banks doing “high-cost predatory lending” in their work with financial technology firms. Read more.

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