Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending August 13, 2022

No summer doldrums for fintech news as this was a very busy news week. We had Plaid teaming up with Wise, problems at Marcus, another crypto platform in trouble, Figure has a new “banking in a box” product, the CFPB fines Digit and more. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

Plaid deal lets Wise customers use fintech apps bank-free from American Banker – Wise customers will now be able to bypass traditional banks completely in this tie-up with Plaid, allowing them to connect another fintech account to Wise. It is not without risk (no FDIC insurance) but it is another way for consumers to move beyond traditional payments rails.

Inside Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon’s struggles to right his Marcus consumer banking unit from Business Insider – This may be the most in-depth article ever written about the travails at Marcus and is well worth a read. We all know about the executive departures but I learned many new things including the in-fighting at the top of Marcus today, reasons for the slow rollout of products and the frustrations of Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

U.S. Sanctions Crypto Platform Tornado Cash, Says It Laundered Billions from The Wall Street Journal – The biggest crypto story of the week involves the mixer platform Tornado Cash. The U.S. government placed sanctions on the DeFi platform but learned about the challenges of having no central entity. Then we learned that a suspected Tornado developer was arrested in Amsterdam.

Figure Teams With Visa to Improve Banking in a Box Platform from PYMNTS.com – This story did not get as much notice as it should have this week. Mike Cagney’s Figure continues to develop products at breakneck speed and now they have an entire blockchain-based banking-as-a-service platform with Visa DPS (Debit Processing Service) being a core part of the offering.

CFPB fines fintech Digit $2.7M over ‘faulty’ savings algorithm from BankingDive – Digit provides a savings tool for consumers which helps them avoid overdraft fees. They were acquired by Oportun last year. But we learned this week Digit has been fined by the CFPB for not living up to its promises of overdraft protection. Digit had received 70,000 overdraft reimbursement requests since 2017.

Coinbase Under SEC Scrutiny Over Its Crypto-Staking Programs from Bloomberg – Coinbase reported earnings this week (it was an ugly report) but what caught the most attention was the disclosure that the SEC is investigating Coinbase again. The company has received investigative subpoenas regarding its staking programs, listing process, stablecoin products and more.

Why Marqeta’s Founder And CEO Is Stepping Down from Forbes – Marqeta also reported earnings this week (it was a stellar report) but the big news was the CEO and Co-Founder Jason Gardner is stepping down and will assume an executive chairman role. A new CEO search has begun.

Upstart earnings disappoint from Fintech Nexus – Still on earnings, Upstart reported this week and while we knew the results would be bad it was even worse than expected. You don’t very often hear about a CEO saying their results were “disappointing and unacceptable” but that is what Dave Girouard said on the earnings call.

What ‘crypto winter?’ Schwab launches ETF giving investors significant cryptocurrency exposure from CNBC – While a quick glance at this headline might make you think that Schwab has delivered a crypto breakthrough, that is not really the case. What they have done is create a new ETF, The Schwab Crypto Thematic ETF, with a basket of crypto stocks including Coinbase, Robinhood, MicroStrategy, Silvergate and more.

Founderpath secures $145M in debt and equity to help B2B SaaS startup founders avoid dilution from TechCrunch – Debt financing is hot right now as founders eschew equity in this tepid fundraising environment. Founderpath provides revenue-based financing for SaaS companies and they just closed a $10 million equity round led by Singh Capital Partners and $135 million in debt financing led by Coromandel Capital.

Every Thursday afternoon, the Fintech Nexus News team and a special guest discuss the news of the week live on LendIt TV, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We have now made the show available in podcast format – click on the audio player below.