Leading marketplace lending platform, Prosper, has launched Credit Card Optimizer; the Credit Card Optimizer is an enhancement to the firm’s Prosper Daily app which was introduced in March 2016 as an aggregator for financial accounts; the Credit Card Optimizer will provide users with their credit card balances and payment notifications; also seeks to provide advice on credit card usage and includes features for managing credit cards by interest bearing balances. Source
Bitcoin Software Addition 'SegWit' Could Make Digital Currency Faster The Bitcoin community is ready to roll out an enhancement to the digital currency's code base; SegWit (which stands for "Segregated Witness") separates the encrypting of the transaction information from the currency miner's validation signature; currency miners need extensive computing resources and time to prove that a transaction is true and valid, therefore this step has traditionally slowed down the recording of transactions; done with testing, the new SegWit feature could be released as soon as November 15th; it is considered officially adopted once 95% of the Bitcoin software community deploys the code; this could take as little as a month or two, or significantly longer.
Envestnet is an analytics company, Backbase a digital banking platform; their partnership is building upon an existing relationship and will feature a collaboration on the Open Banking Marketplace; the partnership will focus on Backbase customers being offered the suite of tools offered by Envestnet | Yodlee like know-your-customer, cash management, budgeting and a simple overview of multiple accounts from different financial institutions; according to Jouk Pleiter, CEO and Co-Founder of Backbase, “With companies like Envestnet | Yodlee on our Open Banking Marketplace, banks are able to give banking clients the user experience they deserve.” Source
Propel, the $150 million fintech venture capital company set up by Spanish bank BBVA is investing $14.1 million into InsurTech startup, Hixme; the investment was announced at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas; Propel’s sole backer is BBVA - its $150 million of funding makes it one of the biggest fintech-focused funds in the world; the company's hope is to invest in next-generation fintech companies. Jay Reinemann, managing partner at Proper Ventures, says: "Insurance has been one of the latest hot areas, it's been that way for at least a year. Source
The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, a leading research/academic group (that has spoken at LendIt events), has announced a new study focused on the global use of blockchain technology; the first targeted research will address crypto-currency protections versus recent cases of data/currency theft; upcoming surveys will touch on blockchain protocol variations, currency mining, cross-border transactions and emerging regulation. Source
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a report on financial innovation; the report entitled “Project Catalyst Report: Promoting Consumer Friendly Innovation” is an effort from the CFPB to expand its knowledge and inform consumers on the benefits of financial innovation. One specific approaches reflected upon is the CFPB's "Trial Disclosure Waiver Policy" to test and revise disclosure statements in a controlled environment, and no-action letters. Source
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP has released a report based on survey results from 75 executives and investors at banks, fintech companies and private equity firms; Lend Academy provides a summary of the report in their article; report focuses on the interest from regional and community banks in partnering with fintech companies; high interest from these banks since the partnerships can help them provide their services at a lower cost and also expand geographically; survey results find that the majority of regional and community banks are already engaged in partnerships with fintech firms. Source