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Chinese social payments apps enter U.S. market

For all the hype, challenger banks have challenges of their own and consolidation may be on the hori
May 14 · Issue #82 · View online
Tearsheet Weekly Newsletter

For all the hype, challenger banks have challenges of their own and consolidation may be on the horizon. Startup bank Tandem, for example, cut headcount by 30 after funding didn’t materialize. Just goes to show that in spite of all the tech bells and whistles, it’s still damn hard, er, expensive, to acquire new customers.
– Zack Miller, Tearsheet
P.S. Join us at our Money Conference in New York City on June 5. We’ve just added two more speakers from HSBC and American Express, who will join a group of some of the top minds in digital finance. Find out more and sign up here.

SoFi sets stage to become a bank
The fintech who once mocked incumbent banking is now preparing to apply for a license to provide banking services. “Don’t bank. SoFi.
The biggest challenge to secure data access is time: Xero president
Accounting firm Xero has entered a data sharing agreement with Capital One that will allow the bank to feed data to Xero. Xero plans to improve the small business economy by giving business owners on-demand financial snapshots.
Fintech is changing your life and you don't even know it.
Sponsored by Brandeis University. Fintech isn’t a regional, socio-economic or generational phenomenon. It’s global, and it will impact the entire financial ecosystem, from central banks to the unbanked. Get ready, because fintech has only just begun changing your life.
Why a virtual bank is making bank branches part of its US launch
Ireland-based virtual bank, Iam Bank will launch in the U.S. this fall, and its customer relationship-building strategy will be based on the growth of physical branches.
Zions Bank’s Alex Jimenez: ‘Most bank innovation programs are just innovation theater’
In spite of some fancy window dressing, many banks aren’t doing anything really innovative. Zions Bank’s Alex Jimenez is a fintech influencer and joins us on the podcast to talk about financial innovation. Listen here.
Banks are trying to save their online reputations
By scanning Google and Facebook reviews, financial technology company Geezeo recently launched a software platform that evaluates customer sentiment.
Chinese social payments apps enter U.S. market
Alipay has landed in the U.S. just days after WeChat began its North American expansion. Alipay’s deal with First Data may seem like a threat to Apple Pay, but could also help drive mobile payments among U.S. consumers. Tearsheet’s Tanaya Macheel has the story on the Chinese social payment apps’ plans to tackle the US
With job posting, Snapchat hints at reinvesting in payments
Snapcash. Take 2.
Snap tried payments once before, but that it didn’t really worked out. Now, the vanishing picture and video platform is seeking a new payments product manager, suggesting it’s reinvesting in payments.
Inside Vancity credit union’s Toronto community investment bank
Vancity, one of Canada’s largest credit unions, rebranded its community investment bank in Toronto. Tearsheet’s Suman Bhattacharyya has the story of how the bank uses non-traditional means to underwrite loans for organizations and companies with social and environmental goals. Read more
How US community banks appeal to Muslim customers
Analysts say the market is not big enough for major U.S. banks to offer Islamic banking services across the U.S. Despite over $920 billion of assets from Islamic banks worldwide, Islamic banking services are still the domain of community banks in the U.S.
Inside Mastercard’s investing approach
Mastercard’s Jeff Allen joins us on the podcast to discuss corporate venture, Mastercard’s approach to investing, and the highlights of his portfolio. Listen here.
Wells Fargo takes it on the chin
Warren Buffett, Wells Fargo’s largest investor, said the bank mishandled the fake-account scandal by failing to act promptly to fix abuses that tarnished the lender’s reputation and made it harder to attract customers. The troubled bank is doubling cost slashing as its scandal spurs a push into tech.
Talking about security
The SS7 security flaw has been used to rob banks – here’s how telecoms can fix it. This debit card lets you ’turn off’ your card to beat scams. Your password is terrible and everyone wants to fix that. But those solutions, like biometrics, may not be any better.
Deal flow
Citi joins roster of banks investing in Axoni blockchain start-up
Power Financial invests C$50 million in robo-adviser Wealthsimple
What we're reading
  • Now the hard part for bank robos: Getting customers to use them (American Banker)
  • Fintechs fight plan to bar screen scraping and protect European banks (CNBC)
  • Sequoia-backed startup Empower aims to replace your bank’s app (TechCrunch)
  • BNY Mellon advances artificial intelligence tech across operations (Reuters)
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  • Have a tip or story you’d like to share? Email us with money via Snap, fearful examples of more Asian payment competitors, and how your firm invests in the next generation of finserv to zack [at]
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