Weekly News Highlights – 5 May 2023

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

Greenwood acquires fellow neobank Kinly (Finextra)
Greenwood, the digital banking startup for Black and Latino people and business owners, has acquired fellow neobank Kinly, bringing the two largest fintechs focused on the Black community together as one company. The acquisition follows a $45 million funding round secured by Greenwood in November and will add 300,000 new customers to its one million customer count. Since its launch in 2020, Kinly has raised $20 million in funding from key investors like Forerunner Ventures, Point72 Ventures, Anthemis, and Kapor Capital to improve the financial outcomes of Black Americans through financial education, saving and wealth building. Read more

Samsung bans use of generative AI tools like ChatGPT after April internal data leak (Tech Crunch)
A month after internal, sensitive data from Samsung was accidentally leaked to ChatGPT, Samsung is cracking down on usage of the generative AI service. The electronics giant is temporarily restricting the use of generative AI tools on company-owned devices, covering computers, tablets and phones, as well as non-company-owned devices running on internal networks. The ban would cover not just ChatGPT, but services that use the technology like Microsoft’s Bing, as well as competing generative AI services like Bard from Google. The ban was initially reported by Bloomberg. The rule, which took effect on 1 May, would only apply to devices issued by Samsung to its workers — meaning consumers and others that own Samsung phones, laptops and other connected devices would not be impacted. Read more

Apple nets $1 billion in deposits within a week of savings account launch (Finextra)
The risk to bank deposit bases from the arrival of Big Tech players is being brought into stark relief by reports that Apple’s new savings account scopped up $1 billion in consumer cash within four days of launch. The long-trailed Apple Card savings account from Goldman Sachs was launched in Mid-April with a headline-grabbing 4.15% annual percentage yield – more than 10 times the national average, according to FDIC data. According to internal sources cited by Forbes, the consumer technology giant racked up $990 million in deposits in less than a week. In that time, 240,000 accounts signed up for the service. Read more

TAS buys fintech Mitobit (The Payper)
Italy-based digital payments provider TAS has acquired fintech Mitobit via its subsidiary Global Payments, to deliver tailored payment products. Founded in 2014 and based in Italy, Mitobit supplies software solutions for payments, banking, insurance, and fintech sectors. Officials from TAS, sad the deal will allow TAS to provide its customers with ‘complete, integrated solutions and services that enable them to compete in an increasingly dynamic payments market where innovative technology and industry experience are key differentiation factors’. For Mitobit, the two companies’ combined expertise and experience places them in a ‘better’ position to deliver tailored products in an ‘ever-evolving’ industry. Read more

Coinbase opens international exchange (Finextra)
Crypto giant Coinbase has opened a derivatives exchange for institutional investors outside of the US as it seeks to reduce its reliance on its home market in the face of regulatory scrutiny. The firm is taking advantage of its recently secured Class F license from the Bermuda Monetary Authority to operate open the new exchange in the territory. Coinbase International Exchange will enable institutional users based in eligible jurisdictions outside of the US to trade perpetual futures, which accounted for nearly 75% of global crypto trading volume in 2022. Read more

First Republic Bank is seized, sold to JPMorgan in second-largest U.S. bank failure (Fintech Collective
JPMorgan said it will assume all of First Republic’s $92b in deposits—insured and uninsured. It is also buying most of the bank’s assets, including about $173b in loans and $30b in securities. As part of the agreement, the FDIC will share losses with JPMorgan on First Republic’s loans. The agency estimated that its insurance fund would take a hit of $13b in the deal. JPMorgan also said it would receive $50b in financing from the FDIC. Read more

‘Crisis winter’: Renewables and €12bn in energy savings stopped EU return to fossil fuels (Euronews)
Nearly every EU state reduced energy demand last winter. Some cuts were voluntary – others were down to cost. Renewables generated more of the EU’s energy last winter than fossil fuels for the first time ever, according to energy think tank Ember. A 7 per cent decrease in the demand for energy saw fossil fuel generation drop by 12 per cent compared to 2021. Coal power fell by 11 per cent and gas by 13 per cent despite fears that EU countries might turn to coal as the bloc tried to wean itself off Russian gas. Among the 18 EU countries that still use coal power, 15 reduced their coal generation last winter. Poland and Germany – the biggest users of this fossil fuel – made up 70 per cent of the reduction. In Poland, coal reached a new low in the electricity mix, falling below two-thirds of all power generation for the first time ever. Read more

ChatGPT investment fund smashes the UK’s ten most popular funds (Finextra)
A fictional fund generated by ChatGPT is significantly outperforming the average of the UK’s 10 most popular funds, which have collectively lost 0.8% in value over the same time period. The ChatGPT fund has led the real funds for 34 of the 37 market days (87%) of its lifespan so far. The widest gap between them was on the 4th of April, when Chat GPT was up 4.7% and the real funds were down 1.9% – a difference of 6.6%. To create the fund, personal finance comparison site Finder asked ChatGPT to create a portfolio of stocks that followed a range of investing principles taken from leading funds. Despite two warnings that it ‘cannot provide specific investment advice’, this was quickly bypassed by telling it this was just a theoretical exercise. Read more

Mastercard works with Web3 companies to launch crypto credentials (The Payper)
US-based Mastercard has joined forces with several Web3 partners to launch crypto credentials in a bid to improve the reliability of crypto transactions. Mastercard Crypto Credential was created to help developers, companies, and individuals to realise the full potential of powering payments, commerce, and economic value across borders and on-chain. Some of the main partners that worked with Mastercard on this product launch include crypto wallet providers Bit2Me, Lirium, Mercado Bitcoin and Uphold. These entities are also working on an initial project to support transfers between the US and Latin America and the Caribbean corridors. Mastercard is also collaborating with several public blockchain network organisations such as Aptos Labs, Ava Labs, Polygon, and The Solana Foundation. According to Aptos, it is shortlisted to enable the identity and attestation element of sending and receiving funds through Web3. Read more

Microsoft launches Teams Payments app for SMBs (The Payper)
Microsoft has partnered with Stripe, PayPal, and GoDaddy to launch a Microsoft Teams payments app to help SMBs in the US and Canada manage and collect payments. The enterprise’s goal for Microsoft Teams is to bring together communication and collaboration tools in a single place, ranging from chat and meetings to apps and files—and now payments. The launch of the Payments app, which is as of now in public preview in the Teams Store, enables small businesses in North America to collect and manage payments from within Teams, both on desktop and mobile devices, during business conversations. To do so, the company collaborated with GoDaddy, PayPal, and Stripe aiming to help SMBs increase revenue and simplify how customers interact with them. Read more

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