JPMorgan Chase Acquires WePay — Business Insider
The first major fintech acquisition deal is catching its fair share of attention. JPMorgan's acquisition of payment company WePay—to the tune of $200 million—is the first major deal of its kind for the financial firm. The deal grants the legacy player access to the payment company's payments-as-a-service APIs and consumer base. WePay will serve as the company's internal fintech incubator.
From the upper echelons of educational institutions like Oxford University to New York University's Stern School of Business, fintech is a growing topic of importance to higher education, and these courses prove it. Keeping up with an ever-changing world of finance means universities are creating courses like “Robo Advisors & Systematic Trading" and “Blockchain for Business: An Introduction to Hyperledger" as a means of preparing students entering fields like investment banking and international finance.
PwC the Accounting Giant, Will Open a Law Firm in the U.S. — New York Times
Washington D.C. is the seat for PriceWaterhouseCoopers' new U.S.-based law firm. The law firm will cater to multinational companies and advise them on foreign law for matters like corporate restructuring or mergers and acquisitions. The office makes it easier for North American clients to access these services from the nation's capital. One interesting distinction regarding the location of the firm is that most jurisdictions restrict non-lawyers from owning or operating firms. But in this case within Washington, it is allowed.
Cryptocurrency is making big waves in the fintech sphere, but how are mainstream financial institutions reading the signs of the times? There is a segment of early adopters, but still, too large a majority of financial incumbents are of the mind that nothing, not even bitcoin, can take the industry by surprise. Comments like Larry Fink's, CEO of BlackRock, are troubling to say the least when referencing Bitcoin as “an index of money laundering" all the while China's economy continues to level up with technology companies leading in consumer payments instead of banks.
Reaching the underbanked in the U.S., particularly women and people of color, is a challenge fintech is uniquely poised to solve. Savings, debt repayment, and alternative lending startups all have a vested interest in serving a creditworthy audience who've typically lacked a traditional FICO score. Startups like Bee, Digit, EarnUp, and LendStreet are already bridging the gap and looking to serve a rising immigrant population faced with the challenge of accessing credit once on U.S. soil.