SoFi intends to apply for an industrial loan company (ILC) charter in June, which, if successful, would make it the first new ILC in over 10 years; Chinese mobile payment giant Alipay partnered with First Data to enter the U.S. market; Citi invested in DLT firm Axoni; and The Economist looks at how data has become “the world’s most valuable resource,” and what that means for those regulating it.
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.
Several fintech firms created the Online Lending Policy Institute research group; major U.S. banks are working on digital, phone-based ATM cards; a dozen global banks began using SWIFT’s new cross-border payments service; the U.K.’s FCA granted an electronic money institution designation to a blockchain firm, paving the way for blockchain-based money; PayPal acquired retail store-based bill-pay facilitator TIO Networks; and SVB became the latest bank to agree to an API-based data-sharing partnership.
President Trump’s promise to overhaul Dodd-Frank raised concerns among fintech firms about access to consumer data; SoFi acquired payments and mobile-banking startup Zenbanx; AmEx became the newest member of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger blockchain project; H&R Block will use IBM’s Watson technology to help file an estimated 11 million returns this tax season; and Green Dot acquired RushCard, which was also fined by the CFPB for failures related to frozen accounts in Oct. 2015.
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.