The war in Ukraine continued to dominate the headlines this week as large financial institutions and fintechs had to adjust to a world of tough sanctions on Russia. We also had earnings from SoFi, a new digital banking report from Cornerstone Advisors and more. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.
Ukraine Invasion Upends the Fintech World from the Observer – While much of fintech has prided itself on its ease of use and global outlook the war in Ukraine has changed the equation for many firms as they respond to sanctions or make their own decisions about the right thing to do.
Visa and Mastercard block Russian banks from their networks after sanctions from CNBC – With Visa and Mastercard controlling 72% of the card market in Russia and 300 million cards in circulation this move is going to have a dramatic impact on how Russians can transact.
Why Russia’s Ukraine invasion is crypto’s moment of truth from Axios – Then, of course, there is crypto. While there is scant evidence that the Russian state is using crypto to avoid sanctions, ordinary Russians are using it more and it has become a significant vehicle for donations to Ukraine.
Home field advantage: SoFi stock pumps on earnings from LendIt Fintech News – SoFi reported earnings this week and it was a solid report showing revenue growth of 74% to $985 million and 1.6 million members added last year. The stock rose sharply on the news but has since dropped well below its pre-earnings level.
The Growing Domination Of Chime, Cash App, And PayPal In Banking from Forbes – Ron Shevlin’s Forbes piece this week delved into a new study from Cornerstone Advisors on who Americans have their primary checking account with and they discovered some really interesting trends. (Ron was the guest on our news show this week where he discussed this study in some depth)
Klarna’s widening losses driven by rapid expansion from The Financial Times – Klarna reported their financial results this week and it wasn’t pretty, at least from an earnings perspective. The BNPL leader reported losses of around US$700 million in 2021 on revenue of around US$1.4 billion, up 38% over 2020. They had an astounding 147 million global active customers in 2021.
Australia’s Zip to buy U.S. buy-now-pay-later rival Sezzle amid softening market from Reuters – Speaking on BNPL there is more consolidation happening. Australian BNPL company Zip Co (formerly QuadPay) announced it is acquiring US-based Sezzle for A$491 million (US$353m) as the company reported significant losses of A$108 million in the July-December period.
Goldman Sachs advances further into embedded finance with GM partnership from American Banker – Goldman Sachs has taken over the General Motors card business from Capital One. The three million GM Rewards cardholders will now be Marcus customers as Goldman adds another big client with its embedded finance strategy.
How Nubank Became One of the World’s Biggest Digital Banks from The Financial Brand – Interesting profile of Brazil’s Nubank, the world’s largest digital bank outside of China, and CEO David Vélez.
Peter Thiel-backed digital bank N26 plans to be IPO-ready by end of 2022 from CNBC – Leading German digital bank N26 indicated it will be ready to do an IPO by the end of this year but it is not likely to become a public company until at least 2024.
Every Thursday the LendIt Fintech 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 – just click on the audio player below.