Happy Friday FinTech Fanatic,
You probably couldn't have missed it, as it was widely covered yesterday. Still, it's worth mentioning in this introduction: after a rather disappointing 2022, things seem to be turning around for the Swedish FinTech unicorn Klarna, according to their H1 2023 Results.
After a devastating 2022, having seen losses triple in the first half of last year, an eventual overall loss of $1bn, a slashed valuation and a series of job cuts, the FinTech recuperates with a profitable month in the first half of 2023.
It also saw its second-quarter losses slashed by 76 per cent compared to the same period last year, dropping from €320m to €76m.
Klarna, once branded a ‘buy now, pay later’ giant, has now pivoted to seand saw revenue increase by 17 per cent year-over-year in Q2.
CEO and cofounder Sebastian Siemiatkowski is optimistic about the impact AI could have on the business and says Klarna will evolve into a digital assistant “that looks out for consumers’ best interests, saving them time, money and helping them worry less”.
The company has taken the lead in AI-adoption as one of the first early leaders deploying ChatGPT Enterprise, which brings the power of AI to all Klarna employees.
Visa, Mastercard Prepare to Raise Credit-Card Fees
Something completely different, but with a potential decent impact on merchants, is the news Visa and Mastercard prepare to raise credit card fees, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Such a move could cost merchants an extra half a billion dollars a year. The hikes are set to come in October and April, with many of the rises targeting online transactions, says the Journal, citing sources and documents.
Mastercard has disputed the WSJ report, claiming that "it is not correct".
"We were clear on two points before the story was filed - there are no changes to Mastercard interchange rates and the one 'change' referenced is an existing service we provide to acquirers, who can activate it as needed to drive a safer and more streamlined checkout experience for consumers," according to a spokesman.
Interchange fees have been a topic of discussion for some time now, what do you think: will 'they' increase the interchange fee and what is the impact on the payments scene?
Feel free to share your opinion on the matter in the comments below👇
Onwards to the other FinTech news!
Check out “Fintech Spotlight 2023: A focus on profitability,” by Plaid. Click here to download this year's guide for actionable strategies to enhance profits.
Brazil turns to international accounts to send money abroad. A growing number of fintechs and banks are offering Brazilians international digital accounts in foreign currencies (USD or EUR) opened from Brazil that allow individuals and companies to send money abroad more conveniently and cheaply than through traditional bank transfers. Read full article here
Key trends in Q2 2023 for payment processors: Insights following earnings season. FXC Intelligence looks at how trends in the payment processing industry are unfolding from the latest results and earnings calls. Link here
African startups raise $2.7bn in VC funding, according to a recent report released by Disrupt Africa. The total funding for fintechs since 2015 amounts to $3.6bn, almost three times more than any other sector in Africa. In terms of regional trends, four countries - Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa - dominate the market.
Peruvian fintech Yape expands to Bolivia. The company has launched operations in the neighboring country with a goal of reaching 2.5 million customers within its first year. Read more
Zilch hits 3.5m customer milestone. Zilch reveals it has passed the threshold of 3.5 million registered customers - the equivalent of over 3,000 people signing up to benefit from Zilch every day, for three years since its launch.
Moneyfarm sees AUM leap to £3.5bn, customers hit 125,000. Moneyfarm saw both its client numbers and assets hit new highs in the first six months of 2023, thanks in part to growing numbers of female investors. Read more
Atlantic Money launches fixed fee international transfers for businesses. The startup is now offering its service to businesses for the first time – shortly after its inaugural year of operation.
Once valued at $500m, Till Payments is in trouble. The latest in a string of local payment companies teetering on the brink. Its board, however, is confident that existing shareholders will step up to keep Till afloat as its fast-growing revenues turn into profit.
Heru introduces new AI-Powered tax services. By using Artificial Intelligence, Heru has not only expanded its services but also made them more affordable.
Lending marketplace Freedom Finance becomes Aro in rebrand. The firm's new CEO, Emma Steeley, announced the dramatic rebranding yesterday and emphasized that this signifies a "new chapter" for the company.
DIGITAL BANKING NEWS
Neobank Up is set to launch 'Up High', a new tier of banking for a monthly fee, offering more services. Pricing and features for Up High are yet to be worked out, though Up has shared some early direction with customers. It might include tools to automate consumers' finances, offer room to run small businesses, and include exclusive benefits.
Open banking reaches 11 million+ payments milestone. The firm has reached a significant milestone, surpassing 11.4 million payments in July 2023 reflecting a 9.3% increase in total payments over the prior month.
Fed warned Goldman Sachs over risk and compliance oversight at fintech unit. Sources say that the warning from the Federal Reserve has led the transaction banking division (TxB) at Goldman to halt onboarding high-risk FinTech clients.
First Digital Bank Launched in Turkey. Anglo-Turkish Fintech venture Colendi is launching ColendiBank. The bank aims to expand its platform to serve 50 million customers regionally.
US Bank and Elavon, its wholly-owned subsidiary, have launched a new point-of-sale (POS) solution to help small business owners avoid making a “large upfront investment” when purchasing a new payments system. Link here
MoonPay creates new venture division to fund early-stage start-ups. MoonPay Ventures aims to focus on early-stage companies looking to build Web3 experiences and drive “industry-wide value” through increased adoption of the technology.
OnBuy and YouLend offer sellers fast, flexible finance. Through this partnership, business customers can apply for financing from GBP 3,000 to GBP 1,000,000, depending on eligibility, through their existing OnBuy seller account.
Airwallex and Public combine to lower FX costs for UK investors. The partnership aims to minimise conversion costs for UK investors when purchasing U.S.-based equities on the Public app.
LHV Bank partners Raisin to enter personal savings market. The move marks LHV Bank's first step into the personal savings market ahead of the planned launch of its direct-to-consumer savings offering in 2024.
Credit fintech Uplinq scores Visa partnership. Under this agreement, Visa will partner with Uplinq by introducing them to key financial institutions to deliver Uplinq’s breakthrough API technology.
SEPAY merges with Buckaroo. This merger will give customers access to payment solutions where they can buy, lease or rent payment terminals for processing in-store payments. Read more
Serasa Experian acquires FlexPag. The acquisition is designed to add a new feature to Serasa's mobile app, called "My Accounts," which will serve as a one-stop place for managing various utility bills.
Rho acquires fundraising and banking platform Capital in undisclosed deal. The transaction is set to help and attract start-up customers to Rho’s platform. Read more
Ivy raises $20M to take open-banking payments international. The funds will be used to expand its banking deals into more geographies, and to continue picking up more merchant customers in those markets to build out its business.
Want your message in front of 100.000+ fintech fanatics, founders, investors, and operators?