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Why Zelle is more than just a Venmo clone

March 12 · Issue #73 · View online
Tearsheet Weekly Newsletter
Credit scoring the unscoreable
About 45 million Americans are either “credit invisible” or “unscoreable”. Consequently, borrowing and other credit-related activities are hard for them. That’s changing, though, as even the major credit bureaus are experimenting with alternative data and scoring methods.
Ask a VC
Spark’s Andrew Parker isn’t hyped up on blockchain and he still likes the robo advice model. That’s because Parker prefers to invest in financial technologies and companies that find a significant problem to solve.
Financial reform: friend or foe?
Most banks are relieved by the idea of a Dodd-Frank rollback, but the temperature among fintech startups is unclear. Here’s what attendees at last week’s LendIt conference had to say about new regulation
Round 1: Zelle vs. Venmo
Will people use p2p payments provided by their banks?
Zelle, the peer-to-peer payments system owned by major U.S. banks, is rolling out this year, beginning with Bank of America. And when you look at the tech firm’s strategy, it’s clear that it wants to be so much more than just a Venmo competitor.
Challenging the challenger bank
Despite general unhappiness with the traditional financial system, customers are still distrustful of handing their deposits to unknown startups. For digital banks to take off in the U.S., they’ll have to do a much better job motivating customers to make a switch.
AI will change everything
The excitement around artificial intelligence continues to ramp. Baidu’s Andrew Ng and Singularity’s Neil Jacobstein say the hype is real this time. Fintechs are using AI to transform payday lending. State Street sees artificial intelligence as one way to monetize blockchain.
Regulation gets techy
The U.S. government is defending its fintech charter, while the Federal Reserve official warns of digital currency’s risks. Here’s what the SEC needs to do to approve the bitcoin ETF.
  • Kabbage lands $525M in SME loans
  • Customers Bancorp sells BankMobile for $175M
  • Atom Bank raises $102M
  • Toss, South Korea’s Venmo, takes in $48M from PayPal, others
  • Global payments company Currencycloud closes on $25M lead by GV
  • USAA backs digital identity firm, in $19M round
  • Current, an app/credit card allowance management system for parents and kids, lands $3.6M
What we're reading
  • It may be another record year for Chinese fintech, Accenture says (Bloomberg)
  • The U.S. government is defending its fintech charter (Business Insider)
  • Federal Reserve official warns of digital currency’s risks  (Reuters)
  • What the SEC needs to do to approve the bitcoin ETF (MarketWatch)
  • Fintech could gain as financial firms underprepared for cyber security risks (Value Walk)
  • Dwolla unveils same day bank transfer capability (Bankless Times)
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