Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending Dec. 18, 2021

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We lead off this week with a big M&A deal with MoneyLion making its first major acquisition. Big funding rounds for crypto companies, a new small-dollar loan offering with a twist and an important op-ed by a former SEC Chairman. Here are what I consider to be the top ten fintech news stories of the past week.

MoneyLion to Buy Even Financial in Deal Worth up to $440M from PYMNTS.com – In the latest example of industry consolidation, MoneyLion will be acquiring embedded finance startup Even Financial for a mostly stock deal that could be worth up to $440 million.

Institutional Bitcoin Broker NYDIG Valued at $7B in Whopping $1B Funding Round from CoinDesk – The money keeps flowing into crypto with NYDIG securing the largest funding round in the industry’s history with big names such as Morgan Stanley, New York Life, MassMutual, FIS, Fiserv and Affirm all investing in the round led by Westcap.

Crypto company Anchorage raises $350 million at $3 billion valuation from TechCrunch – Crypto infrastructure company Anchorage closed the second biggest round of the week with more marquis investors such as KKR, Goldman Sachs, Andreessen Horowitz, Apollo, BlackRock and more.

Fintech, CDFI offer small-dollar loan with new twist from American Banker – The National Asian American Coalition, a CDFI in California, is partnering with Asenso Finance to offer a small-dollar lending product with a difference. To qualify for a loan borrowers must complete a financial literacy program and in return will receive the best interest rates I have ever seen for a small dollar program.

America’s Future Depends on the Blockchain from The Wall Street Journal – Opinion piece by the former Chairman of the SEC, Jat Clayton, arguing that U.S. regulators need to move quickly on crypto regulation if we are to maintain our leadership of the global financial system.

Astra Teams With Cross River to Intro Card-to-Card Instant Payment API from PYMNTS.com – This is an interesting new product allowing any bank or fintech to embed card-to-card transfers within their own application without the need for any other infrastructure.

Coinbase investor and NBA star Kevin Durant deepens ties to crypto exchange with new promotion deal from Business Insider – The new public face of Coinbase will be NBA star Kevin Durant. He first invested in the crypto exchange back in 2017 via his company Thirty Five Ventures and now he has signed a multiyear deal and will appear in ads starting this week.

Customers Bank recasts itself as a partner to crypto, fintech companies from American Banker – Customers Bank is looking to get deeper into banking-as-a-service business and will also provide support for crypto companies as they look to evolve from their community banking roots into a modern fintech-forward bank.

The Top 5 Trends In Fintech And Banking For 2022 from Forbes – Ron Shevlin shares the trends he is watching for 2022. While it omitted some of the trends I am following (more on that shortly) it is a solid list and provides some good context for fintechs and banks planning their 2022 roadmaps.

Chime Users Can Now Make Deposits at Walgreens For Free from Bloomberg – One of the missing links for fintech companies is dealing with cash. Even as we are moving away from cash this is still an issue preventing fintechs from being the primary account for all users. Chime users can now deposit cash at 8,500 Walgreens locations.

Every Thursday the LendIt Fintech News team and a special guest discuss the news of the week live on LendIt TV, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We have now made the show available in podcast format – just click on the audio player below.

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