FACTS | Fintech and the Future of Finance

2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013

2019

11/20 2019

PayPal – acquires shopping and rewards platform Honey for $4B

  • Honey’s 17 million monthly active users
  • PayPal aims to add Honey’s technology to its own product line, expanding its reach to PayPal’s 300 million users.
  • Honey’s overview
    • Originally only a web browser extension, Honey tracks sales, and retailers’ promo codes
    • Works across approximately 30,000 merchant websites
    • 10 million members had saved over $800 million, 2018
    • Honey had raised $49 million from investors

11/05 2019 – CNBC

Robinhood – ‘Infinite leverage’ — some users have been trading with unlimited borrowed money

  • The cheat code was being shared on social media site Reddit
  • One trader claiming he took a $1,000,000 position in stock using only a $4,000 deposit. 
  • Through Robinhood Gold, the start-up’s subscription service, users can borrow money from the company to make trades.

11/01 2019 – The Verge

Digit – help you pay off your student loans

  • link your student loan account to Digit
  • Fact
    • Approximately 45 million people owe $1.5 trillion
    • Student debt owes nearly $50,000

10/23 2019 – Business Insider

American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa have launched a joint buy button

  • online checkout experience
  • Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) standard developed by EMVCo
  • UX
    • Upload multiple cards from any of the card networks
    • Switch which one they use as they like

10/22 2019 – CNBC

Revolut – strikes deal with Mastercard to accelerate expansion into the US

  • Mastercard will issue first debit cards in the U.S.
  • The deal arrives after Revolut’s tie-up with Visa, which is aimed at boosting the fintech firm’s global expansion.

10/21 2019 – Business Insider

Chime – suffers major outage

  • lasted more than 24 hours
  • Customers can easily move to conventional bank

10/21 2019 – Business Insider

AMEX – retooling its rewards for two key business segments

  • its US billed business increased 8% year-over-year (YoY)
  • Rewards spending remained its largest expense by far
    • reached $2.61 billion this quarter, up 9% annually.

10/21 2019 – Modern Retail

Affirm – make buy now, pay later as common as credit cards

  • buy-now & pay-later financing models start to gain more traction among younger customers
  • redesigned mobile app
  • app also now allows customers shop at merchants that don’t have Affirm integrated into their website.

10/17 2019 – Bloomberg

AMEX – Takes Aim at Rival Brex With New Card Offerings for Startups

  • American Express Co. is rolling out a new corporate-card program for startups after newcomers like Brex Inc. have had success in grabbing a slice of the market.

10/17 2019

Venmo – launch its first credit card in 2020

  • issued in partnership with Synchrony
  • also offers a Mastercard-branded debit card
  • Venmo’s monetization
    • NEW: generate revenue from interchange fees
    • its investments made with customer balances
    • like the 1% fee to move Venmo balances instantly to a user’s bank account

10/17 2019 – Quartz

Facebook, WhatsApp -Facebook’s payments strategy isn’t Libra, it’s WhatsApp

  • Conducted tests of WhatsApp Pay in India for 1 million users in the region.
  • For now, Facebook hasn’t taken a cut of transactions.
  • It appears the company could eventually use purchase history to serve targeted ads.
  • WhatsApp Pay has been delayed in India is the government’s concern over data localization, which would require Facebook to store transaction and user data within India.

201910/15【Facebook Libra】VisaやStripe、eBayなどのLibraメンバーが離反、Facebookがいまやるべきことは?https://jp.techcrunch.com/2019/10/15/2019-10-12-leave-the-association/

10/14 2019Business Insider

Facebook, Libra – suffers massive blow as MasterCard, Visa, eBay, and others withdraw from Libra

* MasterCard, Visa, eBay, Mercado Pago, Booking Holdings, and Stripe are exiting Libra* PayPal also dropped out in recent weeks.* On top of that, intense scrutiny from lawmakers

10/10 2019Axios

Chime – raised $200 million in Series D funding

  • The bull case:
    • Chime puts a software layer on top of FDIC-insured accounts
    • Benefits from SaaS-like recurring revenue with low churn (both due to the consistent usage of debit cards).
  • The bear case:
    • The public markets could value Chime like a bank, not like a software business.

09/25 2019

Fidel – raises $18M to let developers build on top of payment data from Visa, Mastercard and Amex

Fidel – an API to let developers build functionality, such as rewards, on top of the major card payment networks
“Card-linking is the optimal choice for any user journey that relies upon real-time payment information, location accuracy and a frictionless customer experience,” he says. This includes loyalty, digital receipts, PFM/expense management and “online-to-offline attribution.”

09/13 2019Business Insider

Square Cash – testing a free stock-trading service that would rival Robinhood

  • Jack Dorsey is squaring up to Robinhood with a free stock-trading service.
  • testing free buying and selling of stocks on its Cash App, according to Bloomberg.
  • Adding the feature would make Cash App a direct rival to Robinhood, the no-fee trading platform valued at $US7.6 billion in July

09/05 2019Business Insider

Chime – SpotMe overdraft protection for consumers- new acquisition scheme

  • used by 500,000 users since its limited roll out
  • saving users over $200 million in overdraft fees
  • available to users who direct deposit at least $500/mo
  • Customers can qualify for up to $100 in overdraft coverage

08/30 2019Quartz

Square, Adyen – A Danish, Joe & The Juice, moved to Adyen from Square for its payment system

07/26 2019

Nubank – raises $400M led by TCV

  • 1.3 million mortgage applications being rejected between 2009 and 2015.
  • Online financial technology companies discriminate, too, but 40% less than loan officers who make decisions face-to-face (National Bureau of Economic Research)

07/04 2019

MoneyLion – raises $100 million at ‘near unicorn’ valuation

07/04 2019Quartz

Square Cash – pulling further ahead of Venmo, boosted by reaching the underbanked

Venmo

  • More than 40 million active accounts
  • 15 million monthly active users as of December
  • More than 80% of its customers have used prepaid cards in the past -> 45% of them said they used these cards less after they began using Cash App.

07/02 2019

Kabbage – secures $200M to fuel its AI-based loans platform for small businesses

  • Atlanta-based startup
  • loans up to $250,000 in a single deal to small and medium businesses
  • 2 million live data connections feeding AI algorithm

06/19 2019Quartz

Fintech algorithms discriminate 40% less than traditional lenders

  • 1.3 million mortgage applications being rejected between 2009 and 2015.
  • Online financial technology companies discriminate, too, but 40% less than loan officers who make decisions face-to-face (National Bureau of Economic Research)

06/13 2019Quartz

Monzo – UK fintech will try its luck in the US

  • more than 2 million users.
  • The company announced today it will roll out its service in the US.
  • Partnering with Ohio-based Sutton Bank at first, but intends to apply for a US bank charter this year.
  • Appeal to digital-savvy customers
    • budgeting tools
    • the ability to split checks

05/29 2019

Chime – raises $200 million, valuing its business at $1.5 billion

05/15 2019Fast Company

AMEX – acquired reservation platform Resy

03/20 2019 – Fast Company

Square – Square takes on Shopify with new micro-merchant tools

  • Square had acquired Weebly for $365 million about a year ago.
  • Square Online Store includes:
    • shipping and in-store pickup
    • tools that have become crucial for small-scale retailers seeking to replicate the convenience and speed that Amazon has normalized.
    • Instagram selling
  • In the fourth quarter of 2018, e-commerce comprised roughly 10% of Square’s gross payment volume, driven by products like invoicing. <> Visa and MasterCard – e-commerce’s share of their volumes is closer to 20%.

03/12 2019

STASH – raises $65M, launches banking and ‘stock-back’ rewards with Green Dot

  • Stock-Back – When users spend money using their Stash accounts, they get “points” — which are either stocks in the companies where they are buying goods, or shares in ETFs approved by Stash.

03/12 2019

AMEX – Snaps Up LoungeBuddy In Its Second Acquisition For 2019

  • been partnering with LoungeBuddy since 2017
  • will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary

03/05 2019CNBC

Chime – now valued at $1.5 billion after new funding round

  • CSeries D funding round led by DST Global that more than triples its former valuation.
  • 3 million users (triple that of last summer)
  • “We think there’s a better way to do this that’s actually aligned with best interests of our members.”

01/17 2019Fast Company

Square –  business owners get a debit card

  • As soon as a customer makes a purchase, merchants with Square debit accounts can use that money to buy supplies or whatever other items they need.
  • there’s no current link between Square Balance and Square Capital
  • Square merchants that shop with one another get a 2.75% discount on their purchases.

03/12 2019

AMEX – acquires Japan-based restaurant booking service Pocket Concierge

  • restaurant booking service similar to OpenTable
  • The service was launched in 2013 to help book quality restaurants

03/12 2019

Affirm – Partnership with Walmart store and website

02/09 2019Business Insider

Chime – added a record-breaking number of accounts in 24 hours following the Wells Fargo outage

  • added 10,000 new bank accounts over the past 24 hours
    • following an outage at Wells Fargo that left some customers unable to use their debit cards or access their online accounts.

2018

11/16 2018Quartz

Square – Q3 earning report

  • Square’s net income gain would have been a $17 million loss without the sale of Eventbrite.
  • Sellers, Dorsey said in the conference call, don’t want to use their personal device (presumably their phones) to accept card payments.
  • Subscription and service revenue is a “lower quality” source of sales

10/19 2018

PayPal, AMEX – expand partnership, will allow use of points for PayPal purchases

  • Cardholders can use their Membership Rewards points when shopping from PayPal merchants
  • Amex mobile app users to send money through PayPal or Venmo directly in the app

10/18 2018Fast Company

Square – its terminal takes on the clunky old-school payment terminal

  • Device is sold for $399, with a $300 processing credit for new Square merchants
  • Old terminals are clunky, hard to update, and come with untransparent deals.
  • It charges a flat rate of 2.6% plus 10¢ for Square Terminal transactions and doesn’t make anyone sign a contract.

10/08 2018

Nubank – now worth $4 billion after Tencent’s $180 million investment

10/04 2018Fast Company

Square – takes on Affirm with point-of-sale installment loans

  • Between $250 and $10,000, online and offline, through its Square Capital division.
  • Substantial numbers of merchants sell expensive items, like furtniture
  • Installment loans
    • locking in a fixed monthly cost, unlike credit cards
    • Reducing cart abandonment and encouraging larger purchases.

09/18 2018Vox

Square – considering offering investment and savings products through its Cash App

  • Square’s net income gain would have been a $17 million loss without the sale of Eventbrite.
  • Sellers, Dorsey said in the conference call, don’t want to use their personal device (presumably their phones) to accept card payments.

08/29 2018Fast Company

Square – its iconic reader gets a Lightning plug

  • The headphone jack’s absence from iPhones was a problem for millions of people who owned a favorite pair of headphones with a 3.5 mm plug
  • That price, or lack thereof, is part of why Square is still investing in its original little reader as well as its larger, chip-and-contactless model, which sells for $49.
  • Swiping a credit card through a magnetic reader may be old technology, but it compares favorably with newer options when rated on pure user experience. 

06/13 2018 CNBC

Adyen – IPO: Everything you need to know about the $8 billion fintech company

  • Founded in 2006 in the Netherlands
  • Nearly 700 employees and 15 offices around the world.
  • Acquired customers such as Netflix, Facebook and Spotify.
  • A point of sales system designed for physical stores
  • Earns revenue through settlement fees and processing fees charged to its merchants on a per transaction

05/16 2018Fast Company

Square Cash – Jack Dorsey says Walmart and McDonald’s are top merchants on its App

  • The core demographic for Cash App: unbanked and underbanked consumers.
  • approximately 35 million U.S. households have no bank account or have obtained financial services outside of the traditional banking system.

05/08 2018 – Fast Company

Square, Caviar – Two integrated together, launches new restaurant Point-Of-Sale

  • a dedicated point-of-sale system and corresponding software for full-service and quick-service restaurants that integrates offline and online sales.
  • Core features
    • table maps
    • Menu
    • Inventory management
  • Square for Restaurants aims to appeal to both mom-and-pop businesses and, over time, to chains. 

05/03 2018Fast Company

Square – Is Weebly acquisition put it on a collision course with Amazon?

  • Weebly – a website-building service akin to Squarespace.
  • By expanding into e-commerce, Square puts itself in Amazon’s crosshairs. 

04/25 2018

Revolut – raises $250M at a valuation of $1.7B

  • each month and signing up between 6,000 and 8,000 new customers / day.
  • nearly 2 million customers in total, of which 250,000 are daily active users

03/27 2018 Fast Company

Square – combines scheduling and payments for sole proprietors

  • Square’s Appointments product has become a popular option for smaller merchants
  • Now, Square is bringing Appointments and payments under one umbrella, while also making the combined product free for sole proprietors

03/23 2018

AMEX, Cake Technologies – quietly acquired UK fintech startup Cake for $13.3M

  • Cake Technologies: make it more convenient to pay your restaurant or bar bill

03/21 2018WSJ

CommonBond – lands $50 Million Series D

03/09 2018 – Quartz

Square – stock is skyrocketing as it embraces bitcoin and breaks into banking

  • Offering Bitcoin attracts new customers
  • Cash payment app had more than 7 million monthly active users in December
  • A “checking-account-like product” backed by the online retailer is reportedly meant to attract customers without bank accounts and younger clientele.

201801/18【Varo】raises $45 million for mobile banking without feeshttps://techcrunch.com/2018/01/18/varo-money-raises-45-million-for-mobile-banking-without-fees/

01/08 2018

AMEX – Acquired Virtual travel assistant Mezi

  • AI-based virtual travel assistant
  • technology is already powering AskAmex
    • Mezi users send requests for flights, hotels and restaurant reservations through the app’s SMS-like interface.

201801/08【アリペイ日本版に注目、何がすごい?中国発キャッシュレス経済:2018急上昇ワードhttps://www.businessinsider.jp/post-159219中国都市部の消費者の98.3%が、過去3カ月の間にモバイル決済を「利用した」・店頭でモバイル決済を利用すると答えた日本人はわずか6%アリペイがキャッシュバックキャンペーンをやっているみたいで、最近では中国人のお客さまの9割がアリペイを希望
【成功した理由】・現金以外の支払い手段がデビットカードの銀聯カードしか普及していなかった・アリペイは中国最大のECサイトタオバオ(淘宝)と繋がる・偽札が流通
【日本での課題】・日本にはクレジットカード、交通系電子マネー、小売り系電子マネーなど、既にさまざまな決済手段がある・Tポイント、楽天ポイントカードなども入り混じる。消費分の一部をポイント還元するサービスが多い
【効果】・当初からアリペイ利用者の客単価は全体の客単価を上回る800~900円で推移 (ローソン)・ついつい買いすぎてしまう。

01/04 2018

MoneyLion – raises $42M to grow its personal finance platform for the middle class

2017

201712/14

Paddle – raises $12.5M (the software sales platform founded by a Thiel Fellow)

  • UK Startup
  • offers software companies a single platform for the entire software sales process
  • Includes trials and licenses, payments, and analytics
  • mission to “transform the way that software is sold,”

12/11 2017

Affirm – raises $200 million at a nearly $2 billion valuation

  • “Larger sellers wanted something that felt more professional, more integrated in their business,”
  • $125,000 + “Larger” sellers contributed 46% of Q2 volume.

10/30 2017Fast Company

Square – Why Square made its own register

  • “Larger sellers wanted something that felt more professional, more integrated in their business,”
  • $125,000 + “Larger” sellers contributed 46% of Q2 volume.
  • Register costs $999, or $49 per month for 24 months. (Twice the Clover’s)
  • Register provides two screens: one facing the customer, and one facing the checkout attendant. 

10/30 2017 Business Insider

Zelle – Venmo ‘ iller’ is rolling out new ads aimed at encouraging more people to ditch cash

  • Ony 15% of customers in the U.S. use peer-to-peer payments- Only 35% use mobile banking, according to an Aite Group study

201710/27【TransferWise】設立6年で黒字化http://jp.techcrunch.com/2017/05/18/20170516fintech-unicorn-transferwise-reaches-profitability-planning-new-financial-services/・月々の売上額は800万ポンド(2017年10月)・月々の送金総額は10億ポンド(2017年10月)・設立からたった6年で損益分岐点に達した・100万人強のユーザー(2017年10月)・イギリスの海外送金市場におけるTransferWiseのシェアは10%程度(2017年10月)

201710/24“Pay with Google” が運用開始、Android Pay以外のカードも利用可能http://jp.techcrunch.com/2017/10/24/20171023pay-with-google-goes-live-allowing-mobile-users-to-pay-with-any-card-on-file-not-just-those-in-android-pay/・Google Play、YouTube、Chrome、Android Payなどのサービスを通じてGoogle Accountに登録したカードならどれでも使用できる。・アプリ開発者や小売業者はわずか数行のコードを書くだけで利用できる

10/17 2017Business Insider, Barron’s

Venmo – users can now pay at over 2 million retailer

  • $8 billion flowed through Venmo’s peer-to-peer platform last quarter.
  • Venmo would work with nearly all of the merchants that already accept PayPal — more than two million retailers.

07/25 2017

Varo – applied for a bank charter

The company has bigger ambitions, and hopes to become a bank itself. As a result, it has applied for a national bank charter through the OCC.In doing so, Varo is joining online lender SoFi in the vanguard of Silicon Valley startups hoping to get licensed so they can offer many of the same products as big financial institutions (like Wells Fargo or Chase)
Both SoFi and Varo Money will face an uphill battle, no new bank charters issued in the last decade.

07/13 2017

Stash – raises $40 million Series C to make investing more approachable

  • Caviar Pickup will offer these restaurants the ability to let customers order carryout service in advance and “skip the line” when they retrieve it at the restaurant.

04/25 2017

CommonBond – now offers direct student loans alongside debt refinancing

  • Caviar Pickup will offer these restaurants the ability to let customers order carryout service in advance and “skip the line” when they retrieve it at the restaurant.

04/14 2017

Simple – closing some customer bank accounts, and users are mad

03/01 2017Fast Company

Square, Caviar – Let customers to pre-order for pick ups

  • known for 
    • its strict qualification requirements for refinancing packages
    • initial focus on the high end of student lending (only for 20 schools, mostly Ivy League)
  • Approaching for Direct lending
    • variable rates that start at 2.87% annual percentage rate of charge / fixed rates that start at 5.50%

2016

11/01 2016Fast Company

AMEX – B-Reel, American Express Team Up For A Concert Concierge Slack Bot

“The way to connect with a concierge is pretty limited to phone calls and emails,”The feature most likely to pull people in is shared ticket purchases.

09/26 2016Fast Company

Square, Caviar – is speeding up chip-card transactions

  • cuts the time of a chip transaction from 5.7 seconds to 4.2 seconds
  • Square expects technologies such as Apple Pay and Android Pay to win in the long term, but for now, it’s obsessed with speeding up chip-card transactions.

07/19 2016

CommonBond – raises $300M and $30M in equity, buys Gradible

  • acquired Gradible – providing a facility for future employers to contribute to student loan payoffs.
  • Publicly traded online lenders have fared poorly, with LendingClub Corp., for example, having lost about 68% of share value over the past 12 months.
  • CommonBond Bucks Negative Trend in Online Lending by WSJ Pro

03/21 2016Fast Company

Square – The Design Challenge Behind Square’s New Reader

  • 2013 – a version that was both thinner and more robust
  • 2014 – a dual-slot redesign that let you both swipe old-school cards and dip the security chips
  • 2015
    • A much larger, 2.6″ square slab
    • Connected to phones via Bluetooth, not the headphone jack
    • Customers interact (rather than handed over)
    • Apple Pay / Google Pay to tap to pay

“The NFC interaction is more about, you control your phone and watch. You’re not going to hand your phone to me. There has to be a way for my space and your space to be mediated.”
“We’re haggling over milliseconds, constantly,”

2015

11/03 2015 Fast Company

AMEX – Helps Make Airbnb A Little More Corporate

  • AMEX will now allow its members to use their rewards points directly in the booking flow on Airbnb.
  • Users can use Amex login to sign up for an Airbnb account–in which case their information will be auto-filled. 

07/15 2015Fast Company

Square – Adds Email Marketing To Its Small-Business Mix

  • Square Feedback
    • turns its digital receipts into customer-service survey\
  • Square Capital
    • advances money to companies so they can afford big purchases without resorting to conventional business loans.
  • Square Marketing
    • lets merchants implement email marketing campaigns and then verify that they’re paying off in increased sales.
    • Direct hook into Square’s marketing emails
    • Service automatically creates subgroups such as “loyal customers,” “casual customers,” and “lapsed customers”
    • Cost
      • pay-as-you-go for 10 cents per message sent
      • $15 per 500 contacts per month for unlimited access.

05/17 2015Business Insider

Square – shutting down Square Order

  • Square Order, the company’s mobile order-ahead app
  • App was not increasing sales for participating merchants
  • lasted less than a year, and was launched partially due to the failure of Square Wallet

03/23 2015Fast Company

Square – Goes After Branded Payments With $Cashtags

Vendors have the incentive to push customers to use Cash instead:

  • Square only takes a 1.5% cut from the business end of the transactions using Square Cash (with or without a $Cashtag), 
  • which is below its traditional 2.75% cut for (i.e. non-Square Cash) credit-card payment service.

02/05 2015WSJ

CommonBond – Signs Partnership, Receives Funding From Nelnet for Student Loans

  • Nelnet = student loan servicer

2014

11/18 2014Fast Company

Square – Now Lets Its Merchants Sell Gift Cards

  • Merchants can use Square Register to order cards from Square, with either a stock image or one they’ve designed and uploaded.
  • Each card costs the merchant $1.50
  • can hold a maximum of $1,000 of funds (a legal requirement, not a limitation imposed by Square)

11/12 2014Fast Company

Square – Will Ship Secure Chip Card Readers In 2015

  • It will sell a new reader for $29
  • Also release a $39 chip-card-reading accessory for merchants that currently use its Square Stand.

08/12 2014Fast Company

Square – Why Jack Dorsey Killed The Square Credit Card

  • Logo-less, completely black monolithic creditcard
  • aim was to simplify and clean this process up, with payments tracked through simple digital receipts, notifications, and so forth.

Why Square didn’t pursue:

  • It canceled because it required another participant, bank like a co-branded card
  • Square takes a 2.75% cut, which majority goes to Visa / MC for security – Creating own credit card may risk breaking relationship with Financial Institution.
  • Too much maintenance.

05/12 2014Fast Company

Square – Square Order Lets You Skip The Coffee Line By Ordering Ahead

  • Square Order
    • lets you place orders for pickup from local restaurants, coffee shops, and the like.

04/29 2014 – Fast Company

Square – Now Lets Customers Order Ahead And Pick Up Their Purchases

  • Square will tack on an 8% processing fee for an order-ahead tool that lets customers pick up purchases. (much higher than its standard 2.75% swipe charge)
  • In comparison, pick-up and delivery services that cater to restaurants, such as Seamless, Eat24, and Grubhub, charge vendors between 10% and 20% of an order
  • Offline Mode will let venders make transactions without accessing the Internet, saving information from a card swipe until a connection is reestablished.

02/20 2014

Simple – acquired for $117M by BBVA

2013

09/25 2013 – Quartz

AMEX – sells half of its business travel unit

  • investor group led by private equity firm Certares
  • AMEX would maintain a 50% ownership stake in the JV

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