FinTech in Focus
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U.S. JOBS Act Update
Friday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved final rules implementing Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. Around the same time, FundPass unveiled its Wisdom project, a debt/equity crowdfunding product for portals and broker-dealers interested in raising capital for issuers online, and Elite Crowfunding launched its new online equity-based crowdfunding platform. Separately, the SEC’s Division of Risk Analysis released a report covering the U.S. market for unregistered securities offerings, and SEC Chair Mary Joe White provided an update on the booming $1.3 trillion private placement fundraising market.
Speaking of Crowdfunding…
In the UK, Seedrs released a newcomers guide to online investing, providing tips for nascent investors entering the equity crowdfunding space. It comes as venture capital and private equity companies are advocating for an investment minimum in the UK’s $2 billion crowdfunding market to protect inexperienced investors. Meanwhile, across the pond, Canada’s first commercial real estate crowdfunding deal closed, while Fundrise co-founder Dan Miller announced his departure from the company.
U.S. Mobile Payment Transactions 2016: $27.05 billion
Mobile payments in the U.S. are expected to grow 210 percent in 2016 from $8.7 billion to $27 billion according to a new report from eMarketer. At the same time, the mobile payments marketplace is becoming even more crowded, with Chase Pay and G Pay forthcoming, Western Union’s launch of its WU Connect service, Amazon.com’s Pay with Amazon button in mobile applications, and PayPal’s upcoming integration with Venmo. Meanwhile, MasterCard is basically looking to make anything into a payment device. That could be a lucrative strategy with 47 percent of 18-to-30-year-olds stating they wish their bank would launch a wearable application, according to an Intelligent Environments study.
Roughly 20 percent of Money 20/20 attendees believe that the blockchain distributed ledger technology will have the greatest impact on financial services in the coming years compared to big data, alternate forms of payments and lending, the Internet of things, and artificial intelligence. Recent moves attest to this. R3, the blockchain consortium, is now up to 25 financial companies after Mizuho Bank (Japan), UniCredit (Italy) and Nordea (Sweden) came aboard. Meanwhile, Microsoft unveiled its Ethereum blockchain-as-a-service, and Nasdaq unveiled Linq—a blockchain-enabled platform that will manage shares of private companies. As the finance industry continues to look at private blockchains, Digital Asset Holdings announced it had acquired Blockstack, the third blockchain startup acquisition this year for Blythe Masters’ company.
Digital Investments and Bank Chiefs’ Tech Experience
According to a recent report by Genpact, of the roughly $600 billion spent globally on digital projects on an annual basis, roughly $400 billion targets technologies that miss expectations or generate a far-from-ideal return on investment. Roughly 35 percent of executives surveyed cited legacy systems, change management, and limited budgets as the top challenges they face. This comes as an Accenture report finds that only 3 percent of bank CEOs have any professional experience with technology.
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