Kiffmeister’s FinTech Daily Digest (05/18/2020)

A special shout out to the Milken Institute’s @jackson_mueller not just for his excellent bi-weekly FinTech in Focus from which I’m always picking up new FinTech news, but for drawing readers to my tabulation of central banks that are kicking digital currency tires!

DTCC experiments with asset tokenisation and DLT
DTCC has unveiled two new projects to experiment with asset digitalisation, distributed ledger technology and asset tokenisation for post-trade settlement in the public and private markets. Project Ion is an extension of DTCC’s ongoing efforts to modernise its core clearing and settlement processes. Project Whitney is a prototype focused on exploring the potential for asset tokenisation and digital infrastructure to support private market securities, from issuance through secondary markets.

Kabbage rebounds after accessing US loan programme
Kabbage said it had processed more than $3.5bn in Paycheck Protection Program loans, six weeks after shutting its lending operation in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis. The turnround follows a lobbying push by Kabbage and other fintech lenders for approval to help disburse $660bn of government funding earmarked for US small businesses.

App Users Say Plaid Collects Bank Logins Without Consent
Data aggregator Plaid, whose software is used by apps including Venmo, Coinbase, Square, and Stripe, accesses user bank accounts and collects detailed financial information without consent, a new class suit filed in federal court claims. Plaid’s software is used by more than 2,000 apps to link consumer financial accounts, and about 1 in 4 people in the U.S. have an account linked via Plaid, the suit says.

The Evolution of the Fintech Narrative: Analyzing Opportunities in Capital Markets
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association published a report covering FinTech and opportunities in capital markets. On RegTech, the report states that market participants “are focused on adding fintech applications to existing compliance systems. Additionally, market participants indicate the need for standardization before moving into optimization, a longer-term strategy.

The State Of Fintech Q1’20 Report: Investment & Sector Trends To Watch
According to CB Insights, VC-backed FinTech funding was $6.1 billion across 404 deals, marking the worst Q1 for funding since 2017 and worst for deals since 2016. Seed and Series A rounds have been hit the hardest, with FinTech startups raising $1.1 billion (a 9-quarter low) across 228 deals (a 13-quarter low).

Quarterly InsurTech Briefing Q1 2020
According to Willis Towers Watson, COVID-19 “has had an enormous impact on global markets and global InsurTech investments… [W]e are reporting a 54% drop in total funding for this quarter when compared with the record highs of last quarter.”

Kenya’s CMA says it may be time to transform capital markets
Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority says it “may also be the right time to start thinking about completely transforming capital markets transactions into e-mobile where clients are on-boarded, trade and receive cash through their mobile handsets.”

Visa gives Kenya’s Safaricom ‘missing link’ for global payments
Visa and Safaricom have agreed a deal which will connect the Kenyan telecom operator’s M-Pesa financial services platform with Visa’s global network of merchants and cards.

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