Illustrating the rapid growth and strength of the fintech industry is SoFi’s recent acquisition of Zenbanx— a startup offering banking, debit, and transfers services to consumers. Ryan Lawler (@ryanlawler) of TechCrunch reports. It shows “how strategically important SoFi believes banking will be to the future of its business,” Lawler says. “The hope is that SoFi will be able [...] to get people signed up for banking services, something most new banking startups struggle with.” Congrats SoFi.
If a transaction happens and no one's around to see it, did it actually happen? That may summarize why Millennials have flocked to social payments app Venmo. In this short video from the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, PayPal CEO Daniel Schulman expands on the success of Venmo and gives his utopian vision for the future of banking: “Managing and moving money is a right for all citizens and not really a privilege for the affluent.”
Retailers aren’t willing to invest in payment infrastructure, and consumers aren’t willing to change—for now. Tanaya Macheel (@TMacheel) of Tradestreaming reports on retail’s hesitancy in adopting new mobile payment options. “Legacy retail giants are still focused more on cutting costs than improving the customer experience,” Macheel begins. But there is hope! “Retailers may be looking into the future as opposed to implementing for today,” Morgan McAlenney of The Integer Group begins.” “A lot of these technologies of the last few years are transition technologies.”
Value is in the eye of the beholder. For fintech, that value is in data. Unfortunately, some financial institutions are about to turn a blind eye to both fintech and the consumer. Zach Perret CEO and co-founder at Plaid writes in his op-ed piece in Forbes. Drawing from a report published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Perret writes, “this is a concern because limiting financial data access would stall the technological advances consumers have seen and benefited from.”
Did you catch the big win this past Sunday? It wasn't the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, though. SoFi won big by purchasing an option for an overtime spot (Falcons fans may have missed it). Mike Shields (@digitalshields) of The Wall Street Journal reports on SoFi’s big bet that paid off. “The ad option cost less than half of the roughly $5 million that Fox was charging for 30 seconds of commercial time during the game’s four quarters,” Shields says. This is a great recovery from SoFi’s fumble last year. Their 2016 Super Bowl spot was panned as being “mean spirited.”