Why do FinTech apps outperform traditional banks? What acquisition did Marble Financial just finalize and why is it a big deal? How did MoneyGram achieve their all-time record? What are the newest developments that were announced this week by the American FinTech Council? What can we say about Coinbase Nasdaq’s debut? What is AdvisorPeak and how can it revolutionize the world of independent advisors? To find out more about these and more fintech stories about startups and crypto that made the top headlines in the past week, let’s look at our FinTech highlights.
MarbleFinancial Finalizes Its Acquisition Of The Canadian FinTech Startup
Marble Financial has announced it has finalized the acquisition of the Canadian fintech Inverite Verification. The financial platform of Marble, MyMarble, will incorporate the AI features of Inverite.
The Canadian startup currently offers access to a number of channels to financial institutions and a Risk Score model.
“The amalgamation of customer data provides an opportunity for Marble to offer and deliver more efficient processing and approvals of credit solutions in-house or through our partner network of lenders and mortgage brokers, as an example,” said Karim Nanji, chief executive officer at Marble. “This is a very important part of our strategy of helping the underbanked come back into the mainstream.”
Naji believes that the integration that will take place will transform Marble’s insights and recommendations and result in a more cost-effective and fast system.
“Ultimately, the consolidation of the consumer’s financial data creates an opportunity for us and our partners to access this information to provide new services and more robust solutions in the areas of personal finance, money management including savings, investment, tax, and insurance,” Nanji said.
FinTech Startups Outperform Banks
According to the report from the mobile analytics platform App Annie, the mobile fintech apps are outperforming traditional banks by far, as the pandemic pushes consumers to start using mobile financial services.
In 2020, the downloads of finance apps went up by 15% and the mobile fintech applications outperformed banks by a factor of up to 10.8x
Finance apps were downloaded 4.6 billion times in 2020, with consumers spending 16.3 billion hours on them.
The report analyzed 57 billion ad impressions across 81 million clicks, 12 million app installs, and 20 million first-time events in 188 apps for the full 2020 calendar year
“Covid-19 and the ensuing financial uncertainty resulted in users spending massive amounts of time on finance apps throughout 2020, and more readily activating in-app, with rates up a third to 25.1%,” says Mark Ellis, CEO, and co-founder of Liftoff. “With many exploring new financial interests, marketers may want to consider tactics that offer resources to nascent users, encouraging retention and increasing confidence in in-app actions.”
MoneyGram With An All-Time Record For Transactions In Its Direct-to-Consumer Digital Business
Yesterday, MoneyGram delivered its outstanding business results for March through a press release. According to the data, the company achieved its 15th consecutive month of triple-digit transaction growth with 131% year-over-year cross-border transaction growth for March
MoneyGram is one of the leaders in digital P2P payments. The growth can be attributed to the continuous demand for the company’s app that has shown steady growth and customer retention since the beginning of 2020.
“It’s thrilling to see MoneyGram hit this growth milestone in our direct-to-consumer digital business,” said Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer. “Our investments in digital and our commitment to building direct relationships with consumers have enabled the company to capture market share. The growth in monthly active MGO app users is outpacing the competition, and we remain focused on scaling our digital business by fostering a customer-centric culture, elevating our digital experience, and executing our purpose-driven strategy to mobilize the movement of money.”
Holmes concluded: “Our innovation is winning with consumers and driving significant momentum in our business. Our growing digital channel has established the foundation for MoneyGram’s long-term, sustainable growth, and profitability.”
American FinTech Council Grows To More Than 75 Members
Yesterday, the American FinTech Council (AFC) announced growth in memberships, as well as two new membership groups, the Regulatory Technology Committee, and Legal Advisory Committee.
“We are thrilled to welcome these new members and leadership groups to the AFC team and look forward to working with them to promote policies that create an open and efficient marketplace that benefits everyone,” said Garry Reeder, newly appointed CEO of the AFC. “Our members are constantly working to better serve consumers and communities around the country. Expanding access to quality financial products and services is essential to forwarding our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are excited to have these two groups help lead that effort.”
The Regulatory Technology Committee is composed of some of the leading U.S. Regtech and artificial intelligence companies, and infrastructure providers such as Bond Financial Technologies, Inc., Hummingbird RegTech, Fintel Connect, Oculus, and Sila.
“Fintech will continue its explosive growth and become a much larger share of the financial services industry,” said Shamir Karkal, Co-Founder and CEO of Sila. “It is critically important that we come together as an industry and be part of the process of policy development, especially as the U.S. looks to rebuild in the post-pandemic world. Sila supports the AFC’s efforts to highlight and foster responsible innovation and we look forward to partnering with the association.”
The AFC Legal Advisory Committee will include leading national law firms and regulatory thought leaders such as Buckley LLP, Chapman and Cutler LLP, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Jenner & Block LLP, McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, and Shearman & Sterling LLP.
“Nutter is pleased to join AFC’s Legal Advisory Committee,” said Tom Curry, former U.S. Comptroller of the Currency and Partner at Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP. “We look forward to assisting the AFC in its efforts to promote responsible innovation that protects consumers and expands access to safe and fair financial products and services.”
FinTech Startups: AdvisorPeak Launches First Digital Asset Trading Solution For Independent Advisors
On Wednesday, AdvisorPeak became the first wealth tech solution for independent advisors to deliver trade management solutions for digital assets.
Now, almost 1000 advisors using AdvisorPeak can custody, trade, and rebalance digital assets on behalf of their clients. This is enabled through a partnership that AdvisorPeak has with Prime Trust.
“The demand for digital assets is widespread and growing. Unfortunately for many advisors, their legacy systems are inadequate at handling the nuances of digital currencies – especially fractional shares,” said Damon Deru, chief executive officer at AdvisorPeak. “We’re really excited to continue to deliver on our industry-wide promise of bringing innovative and game-changing solutions and partnerships to the wealth management community. By unlocking custodial access to the crypto universe, our advisors can now hold digital assets in a variety of account types from personal and institutional custodial accounts, to tax-advantaged accounts such as IRAs, to various forms of asset protection trusts – all of which can be traded and rebalanced at the household level.”
“As Wall Street continues to embrace digital assets and cryptocurrency adoption rates accelerate in an online world, investment advisors recognize they need to leverage new technology to provide their customers access to these new markets. Prime Trust allows traditional investment advisors to innovate and meet the market demand,” said Tom Pageler, CEO of Prime Trust. “We’re excited to collaborate with AdvisorPeak and integrate with their enterprise-class portfolio management tools to open up digital asset trading to the wealth management industry.”
FinTech Startups: Cathie Wood’s Ark Funds Buy $246 Million Worth Of Conibase Shares
Cathie Wood’s Ark funds bought $246 million worth of Coinbase (COIN.O) shares as the latter debuted on Nasdaq on Wednesday.
At the same time, Ark has sold some of their Tesla stock. The shares that they sold are worth approximately $178 million, however, Tesla stock remains the biggest position on the major funds.
“What’s interesting is their unwinding of some Tesla shares after their ludicrous call on Tesla,” said Karim Moussalem, head of cash equity sales at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe in London. “Selling some shares after that is a bit odd.”
Investing in Coinbase gives Ark a large exposure to cryptocurrencies and the majority of the $246 million purchase was located in Ark’s flagship ARK Innovation fund that gained $168 million worth of Coinbase stock. The rest of the amount was placed in Ark’s next-generation and fintech innovation funds.
“Coinbase listing is a key milestone that arguably has created a lot of interest and hype, so it will be interesting to see how the entire cryptocurrency industry evolves over the coming months,” said Steen Jakobsen, chief investment officer at Saxo Bank.
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FinTech Startups: Coinbase Shares Jump On Thursday, A Day After Their Nasdaq Debut
Coinbase Global Inc (COIN.O) shares jumped 11% in early trading on Thursday, after the cryptocurrency exchange went public on Nasdaq on Wednesday, valued at approximately $100 billion.
Coinbase debut was done through a direct listing, thus, no shares were sold ahead of the opening.
“Obviously, the excitement is there because this really just strengthens the idea that, right now, you can invest not into cryptocurrencies per se, but in companies that are already in business in the cryptocurrency market,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank. “At some point, there will be a normalization in the transaction levels (in cryptocurrencies) and that’s exactly what traditional investors are looking to understand – are these levels normal? Probably not.”
Founded in 2012, Coinbase currently has 56 million users globally and approximately $223 billion assets on its platform, which adds up to about 11.3% of the crypto-asset market share.
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