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Fintech investment is back (at least this week)

It's been an exciting, if not exhausting, year. If 2015 was a year of dreams, 2016 was delivered with
December 18 · Issue #63 · View online
Tearsheet Weekly Newsletter
It’s been an exciting, if not exhausting, year. If 2015 was a year of dreams, 2016 was delivered with a big dose of reality. Last year, fintech attracted the spotlight in a massive way, both in terms of new capital entering the market and rising expectations. 
But this year we saw just how hard it is to build fintech businesses – getting access to stable capital sources and finding a way to profitably acquire new customers are major challenges ahead. 
But as Cervantes put it, the road is always better than the inn, right?! We look forward to putting 2017 in perspective and tracking the trends and technologies that conspire to form the future of the financial industry.
– Zack Miller, founder, Tradestreaming

Why Bloomberg is doubling down on apps
Bloomberg Media is betting its mobile future on apps, not on the mobile web or social platforms. Apps are the new magazines and newspapers, driving increasing levels of stickiness, usage, and brand loyalty. The global financial media firm’s app is back with an entirely overhauled experience.
Citi's marketing targets customers' passion points
In the wake of the Wells Fargo fiasco, it’s not often these days that customers publicly proclaim their positive experience with banks. This week on the podcast, Citi’s svp of marketing, Julie Booth, describes how her team uses social to surprise and delight Citi card customers. Hint: it all starts with attentive listening.
Fintech funding is back
2016 fintech funding levels weaker than previous year
2016 kicked off with a continuation of the strong venture funding that we saw in 2015. In fact, weekly fintech financings had been a staple of this newsletter. But then, things kind of trailed off. 
Until this week. 
Here are the fintech firms that just raised money:
Valuations on these rounds probably weren’t as rich as they would have been last year, according to this Bloomberg story.
Branch vs. mobile
40% of customers leave a bank when their local branch closes
Mobile interactions incur a cost of about 10 cents, a small fraction of the $4 cost of a teller or call-agent interaction. U.S. banks would save $11 billion annually if customers’ branch and call-center use declined to the Dutch level. But a new report shows that when branches close, many customers defect rather than migrate to mobile. Creating the balance between the branch and mobile banking is trickier than it looks.
Selling innovation to the C-suite
Pitching a digital project isn't very different than trying to raise outside capital
Selling innovation to top management isn’t an easy process. Most of the time senior leadership in the largest financial institutions doesn’t have the patience or will to invest in projects that won’t be delivered during their tenure.
But preparing a strong pitch, creating broad support, and delivering on milestones can help get projects the resources they deserve. Here’s how a senior technology leader at Credit Suisse gets broad buy-in to her projects by building an internal movement behind her technology development.
Blockchain's 2016 year in review
2016 was another year of blockchain hype without a lot to show for it. From hacks to cotton trading over the blockchain, here’s what really happened in blockchain during 2016. Will 2017 be the year that blockchain moves from talk to walk? Hmm.
Inside Region Bank's new digital UX
Regions Bank, the bank arm of Regions Financial Corporation, has UX on its mind lately. Having revamped its online and digital user experiences in Fall 2016, the bank has a clear vision of what the ideal UX should be and do.
Fintech rallying in face of Brexit
Recent political changes have taken their toll on businesses. invstr’s Kerim Derhalli spoke to his international London-based team in an effort to calm tensions after Brexit prevailed. The company’s inclusive approach towards diversity is reflected in its social trading platform.
What we're reading
  • Mobile banking plateaus and banks struggle to close more branches (The Financial Brand)
  • Forget Bitcoin and mobile pay. Cash is still king of the world (Bloomberg)
  • Can fintech fix 401(k)s? (American Banker)
  • PayPal announces Citi, FIS partnerships (PYMNTS)
  • Death of referral marketing for financial advisors? (Michael Kitces)
  • IBM goes all-in on blockchain, launches app-making ecosystem (VentureBeat)
  • Top trends in wealthtech: From APIs to virtual engagement (Finovate)
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  • Have a tip or story you’d like to share? Email us with stories about new venture funding stories, epic descriptions of successful marketing campaigns, or interesting insider views of newly developed apps at
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