Citizens Financial launched a new digital bank for U.S. customers; IBM contracted with Delaware to develop a blockchain-based corporate filing system; the former deputy director of the CFPB launched a new consulting firm for fintech regulatory issues; a16z’s new crypto venture fund made its first investment; Uber will begin allowing users to pay for rides using Venmo; and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s plan to transform the global bank into the “Amazon of banking” is profiled.
In the News
EU report calls for more focus on competition in fintech regulation. The report from the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs says competition issues have been ignored in fintech regulatory developments since the financial crisis, and that there is an opportunity for a more consistent policy stance on competitive issues in areas such as access to data and transparency.
Citizens Financial Group launches digital bank. The new nationwide direct-to-consumer digital bank, called Citizens Access, will offer FDIC-insured online savings and certificate of deposit accounts with no fees. According to the banking group, customers can set up accounts online in under five minutes and the new bank will be marketed outside the current branch footprint.
Hey, maybe don’t send money to strangers. The Wall Street Journal highlights the downside of user-friendly money transfer services like Venmo and Zelle: the difficulty of getting your cash back if you accidentally send it to the wrong person. For the recipient of an accidental transfer, the WSJ notes, “it’s the equivalent of finding cash on the sidewalk — except it comes with a moral quandary.”
IBM signs contract with Delaware to build DLT corporate filing system. The technology giant landed a $738,000 deal with the state to “design . . . what could become Delaware’s future blockchain-based corporate filing system.” Delaware is home to over one million corporate entities, and has been an early proponent of blockchain systems to improve the efficiency of recordkeeping and filings.
Former CFPB leader launches fintech regulatory consulting firm. Raj Date, the first Deputy Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and John Beccia, the former General Counsel of payments firm Circle, founded FS Vector to consult “cryptocurrency and digital banking companies” on regulatory strategy and compliance.
a16z crypto fund makes first investment. Andreessen Horowitz’s new $300 million fund, a16z, set up to focus on investments in blockchain and cryptocurrency startups, invested $45 million in blockchain firm Oasis Labs. Oasis “markets itself as a combination of Ethereum and Amazon Web Service . . . and its main business [is] data security.”
Uber riders will soon be able to pay with Venmo. While Uber already allowed customers to pay for rides using PayPal accounts, the ride sharing firm is adding the same option for PayPal-owned, digital payments app Venmo. The in-app feature will launch in the U.S. within the coming weeks, making the process of splitting Uber fares “a little more familiar and eas[ier] to manage,” The Verge reports.
Google could face record EU antitrust fine. The punishment, expected from the EU’s competition chief Margrethe Vester this month, may include a fine in the billions of dollars and is centered on Google’s policy of allegedly pressuring hardware manufacturers to pre-install its tech. The forthcoming fine will be the second levied by EU antitrust authorities against the tech company in as many years.
How JP Morgan is transforming itself into the “Amazon of banking.” Institutional Investor profiles CEO Jamie Dimon’s plan to transform JP Morgan for a new digital banking era. Under Dimon’s tenure, JP Morgan has invested more than $20 billion into new products for digital banking, robo-advisors, trading, and cybersecurity, often through fintech partnerships and acquisitions.
Metro Bank unveils developer portal. Developed in collaboration with Apigee, a Google-owned API management company, the portal will allow third parties to build services for customers using the U.K. challenger bank’s APIs. Developers will be able to access the bank’s PSD2 API documentation, sample customer data and sandbox through a self-service portal.