More regulatory actions could benefit banks, and fintech companies do not face just this problem. In 2022, investments in fintech decreased because of a crisis in the stock market and high inflation, which eroded people's checks. Even so, fintech has proven resilient: as it expands into new markets each year, it also offers people easy and intuitive ways to cope with economic downturns. This and much more in this number of FinTech Weekly: follow us on Twitter to stay on top of fintech news and conferences.
The Fed wants to update bank-merger guidelines to make banks more competitive. The guidelines have not been reviewed since 1995, but as fintech arises, too strict guidelines could prevent them from flourishing and play at the same level of their main competitors. Of course, this may also be a threat in terms of fees and freedom of choice for the final customer.
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A brutal Q3 in 2022 for fintech companies resulted in massive stock market drops and regulatory issues for companies that acquired many branches. Wall Street is watching fintechs closely, worrying about consumers’ reduced income that could worsen market volatility.
Blockchain Cryptocurrency Regulation
The Hydrogen Technology Corporation, a fintech company that offers business owners intuitive solutions to embed financial services via API, is in the list of those fintech blockchain companies scrutinized by the SEC for alleged illegal activity. The accusation is related to Hydrogen’s airdrops: by distributing Hydro tokens for free, the company could have manipulated trading volume by mimicking a strong market activity.
Banking Business Cryptocurrency Web 3.0
Existing banking ecosystems can't keep up with the growth of cryptocurrencies. This might be the reason behind the last successful funding round of Juno, the Web3 banking startup that allows people to convert their paychecks into cryptocurrencies, and spend cryptos and fiat thanks to the associated Mastercard debit card. Juno, which has already acquired over 75,000 customers in the United States, expands its offer with a tokenized loyalty program.
Another successful fintech company is the London-based Toqio. The company, which offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model that allows its customers to embed banking services, has just secured €20 million in its last Series A funding round.
Combined, Web3 and fintech offer countless opportunities for customers and business owners. Among the advantages of this innovative combination we can list improved security, optimized customer journey, more payment services and investment opportunities.
With higher inflation, paycheck-to-paycheck consumers find it even harder to pay off debts. Credit card debts alone are reaching pre-pandemic levels, constantly lowering people’s credit scores. Fintech firms are addressing the issue by offering easily accessible financial products.
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In the meantime, fintech-related investments are underperforming compared to 2021 fintech funding rounds. A natural consequence of a weak market and higher interest rates. Despite this, APAC and African fintechs are performing well. But as Yorick Naeff (Bux) affirmed, with these hard conditions, companies “should focus more on the path to profitability” to gather more investments.
According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report: Fintech Edition shared by Startup Genome, the top five fintech ecosystems in 2021 are Singapore, Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, New York City and London. An interesting data concerns Africa: African fintech experienced a 10x growth in fintech funding from 2020 to 2021.