Concerns surrounding consumers' control over their personal financial data will likely come to a head this year as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau probes the issue. "When you start to think about the user experience of consent, and you think about clicking the 'I agree' [box] every time you get to a website, the constant bids to verify consent in many cases become white noise," said Nick Thomas, Mastercard's chief product officer of global open banking.
A fintech that is majority-owned by Walmart plans to acquire early paycheck services firm Even Responsible Finance and ONE Finance, a mobile banking services company, and operate under the ONE brand going forward. "The strategy is to build a financial services super app, a single place for consumers to manage their money," said Omer Ismail, chief executive of the startup and former head of Marcus, Goldman Sachs' consumer banking unit.
Chuck, the payment service established up by 12 small banks aimed at competing with Zelle, is set to go live this week. "We didn't want Zelle because of the pricing and options, and we saw so much more demand for just account-to-account or Venmo transfers that doing our own service made more sense," said Reading Cooperative Bank CEO Julieann Thurlow.
TD Bank Group aims to add more than 2,000 new employees with expertise in cloud systems, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity this year, up from 300 last year. Greg Keeley, head of the bank's platforms and technology teams, said the market for talent in this space currently is "very, very competitive" and accounts for more than 30% of his time.
Swedish fintech Klarna, which has been at the forefront of the buy now, pay later boom, has major expansion plans for the US, including the launch of a credit card. However, its plans may face obstacles amid the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's recently launched investigation into the sector.
Bank of America will give out $1 billion worth of restricted shares to employees, as it opens up its stock rewards program to staffers making less than $100,000 per year. The shares will vest over a four-year period beginning in 2023.
Short sellers betting against companies on the De-SPAC Index that have gone public through a special-purpose acquisition company merger have potentially made $1.2 billion in profits during the first few weeks of 2022, according to analytics firm S3 Partners. Some of the biggest wins have come from fintech SoFi Technologies and electric-vehicle charging company ChargePoint Holdings, which each resulted in paper gains of more than $165 million for shorts, according to S3's data.
Projects relating to central bank digital currencies and enhancing payments systems will be the primary focus of projects backed by the Bank for International Settlements this year, the bank said. This will be the first year projects are undertaken at the London and Nordic centers, and BIS plans to open new centers in the EU and Toronto.
Academics from the Wharton School and other institutes have developed an improved method for calculating and managing the impact of sea level rise on local economies, using municipal bonds as a benchmark for the calculation. In a paper entitled "Sea Level Rise Exposure and Municipal Bond Yields," the academics contend: "The municipal bond market is an ideal setting for assessing investors' expectations of the impact of climate risk on local economies ... because the sources of repayment for municipal bonds are tied to local economic conditions, especially so for the school district bonds that comprise our sample, which are commonly backed by local real estate taxes."
Banks' shift toward digitization is being helped by advancements in ATM technology, which enable them to provide a number of retail banking services and maintain brand presence without the need for a full branch. The ATM market is expanding at a compound annual rate of nearly 5%.
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