Financial technology startups emerged as serious challengers to financial services in 2017

 While cryptocurrencies stole the spotlight in 2017, a clutch of companies were quietly working behind the scenes to slowly bring the financial services establishment to its knees. It may turn out that these startup entrants of the last several years will prove to be the more relevant disruptors. Read More

UK’s digital-only Starling Bank adds Apple Pay support

 Digital-only UK “challenger” bank, Starling Bank, has added support for Apple Pay — meaning its customers can now add their Starling debit card to their Apple Wallet and make contactless payments drawing from funds in their Starling account via their Apple devices. Read More

Brazil’s fintech boom offers new vertical opportunities for investors

 Fintech is booming around the world. Global investments in fintech companies have continued to rise during the last two years. After international financing for fintech startups hit $19 billion in new funding rounds at the end of 2015, the volume cranked up even higher. Fintech investments reached a new high of $15 billion in just six months by the middle of 2016, per a BI Intelligence… Read More

TalkBank lets you chat with your bank

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-10-57-02-am As a fan of banks – I like the lollipops they give out – I’m slightly disturbed by services like TalkBank. This Russian company replaces one-on-one teller interaction with a chatbot that can tell you your balance, offer on the spot advice, and even send you cool deals related to your credit cards. Founded by Mikhail Popov, Alexander Popov, and Vladimir Kozhevnikov the company… Read More

Cross River Bank gets unconventional validation with a $28M VC round

Neon blue piggy bank on black background In a rare move, Battery Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Ribbit Capital, investors in a number of Silicon Valley’s fintech startups, have backed the bank enabling many of their investments to lurch forward. Cross River Bank, the obscure financial institution that seemingly everyone in fintech has heard of but doesn’t really know, originated more than $2.4 billion in loans for… Read More

Zelle p2p payments push to compete with Venmo now has 19 US FI backers

Zelle The US finance industry might finally be getting its ducks in order to compete with the likes of PayPal-owned social payments platform Venmo. Today bank network operator Early Warning announced it has 19 US financial institutions signed up to a forthcoming payments network called Zelle, due to launch in early 2017. Read More

India’s financial giant Paytm nabs $60M at $4.83B valuation

india iphone apple On the heels of large investments made in Flipkart and Snapdeal, another e-commerce juggernaut in India is closing in on an outsized round of funding to tap into India’s fast-growing, smartphone-fuelled economy. Paytm — a catch-all digital commerce platform that lets users create online and mobile digital wallets and use its e-commerce platform to pay for goods, services and… Read More