MoneyGram’s board unanimously approved Ant Financial’s latest bid, topping rival bidder Euronet for the coveted U.S. money transfer firm; robo-advisor Wealthfront launched a secured lending product for its investment account holders; PayPal signed a new deal with Google’s Android Pay, expanding its digital wallet services to physical stores; and the NY Times writes on Canada’s attempt to keep its top AI scientists and startups from being lured away to Silicon Valley.
The WSJ writes that Goldman Sachs has made $1B from selling data gained after its purchase of credit bureau TransUnion; China’s Ant Financial plans to expand its DLT initiatives to increase the transparency of and access to its financial services; the ECB said DLT is not mature enough to be part of Europe’s market infrastructure; China may pass restrictive data rules for foreign businesses; and digital savings firm Digit decided to charge for its service.
The battle for MoneyGram has sparked a lobbying war in Washington, D.C., that promises to test the new administration’s willingness to accept Chinese investment in American companies; JPMorgan reportedly invested $600 million in fintech last year; over 200,000 retail stores in Japan will begin accepting bitcoin this summer; former LendingClub CEO Renaud Laplanche raised $60 million for his new venture; and online lender Elevate Credit IPO’d on the NYSE.
The OCC released new guidance on how “fintech charter” applicants will be evaluated; the NYDFS appears to want greater authority over fintech firms; SWIFT announced new technology-enabled compliance offerings; the SEC denied the Winklevoss twins’ application to create a bitcoin ETF; Dubai selected IBM to help it build the world’s first “blockchain-powered government;” 40 blockchain firms formed a defensive patent coalition; and Euronet topped Ant Financial’s $880M bid for MoneyGram.
The SEC has a March 11 deadline to decide on a potential rule change that could allow for a bitcoin ETF; the EU’s securities regulator said it would be “premature” to create new DLT regulations; Citibank partnered with IBM to launch a public sector-focused fintech initiative; Ant Financial is reportedly raising $3 billion to help finance new acquisitions and global expansion efforts; and Scotiabank partnered with a Toronto-based AI startup in a pilot project to identify high-risk credit card customers.
FINRA published a new DLT white paper and requested public comment on DLT-related policy issues; several fintech firms launched the Consumer Financial Data Rights group, aiming to protect consumers’ access to their own financial data; China’s Ant Financial announced its intent to buy U.S.-based money transmitter MoneyGram; JPMorgan and Intuit formed a data-sharing partnership; and the Wall Street Journal profiled Chinese messaging app WeChat in its battle for mobile-internet market share in China.