Daily Tearsheet: Crypto-based rewards?, WTF is BNPL for Business, PayZen’s ‘Care Now, Pay Later’, and Tearsheet’s 2022 Bankchain Awards winners

  • Crypto rewards are finding their way onto credit cards and into bank accounts. Is the market ready?
  • Also, here are the winners of our inaugural Bankchain Awards.

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Daily Tearsheet: Crypto-based rewards?, WTF is BNPL for Business, PayZen’s ‘Care Now, Pay Later’, and Tearsheet’s 2022 Bankchain Awards winners

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Is the market ready for crypto-based rewards?

Loyalty programs are an influential customer retention tactic brands have up their sleeves. Today, as digital currencies take up an increasing amount of space in our minds, on newspapers, and at dinner tables, loyalty programs are witnessing another revamp as crypto-based rewards begin entering the market.

Customers now get rewards in digital currencies, be it Bitcoin, Ethereum, or some stablecoin. BlockFi and Gemini both announced they’re working on developing a crypto rewards credit card, through which customers can earn rewards in crypto for transacting in dollars.

The brand side is also catching on, too. Consumers using Cash App to pay for their food at Shake Shack can now earn rewards in Bitcoin, for example.

In this quickly developing space, we ask: What incremental value are crypto rewards bringing to the industry? How are they changing traditional rewards programs? How savvy does the market need to be for them to become mainstream?

Read more

Announcing the winners of Tearsheet's 2022 Bankchain Awards

As blockchain moves from the early adopters' crowd and into the mainstream, financial institutions take up different strategies to incorporate cryptocurrency into their services, from trading to stablecoins to custody.

Tearsheet's inaugural Bankchain Awards is the industry’s top awards program, recognizing and celebrating the best products, services, and partnerships between blockchain firms and the traditional banking system.

Awards included Best Crypto Rewards Offering, Best Marketing Campaign, Best Crypto Platform, and more. We take a look at this year's winners are a who's who of important technology firms helping bridge the old world of TradFi with the new DeFi paradigm. 

Read more

WTF is BNPL for Business?

The payments landscape is rapidly evolving. The past decade saw a heap of new players joining the space, indefinitely redefining how payments are done.

The term BNPL – Buy Now, Pay Later – lives at the intersection of technology and finance today. It has made a significant impact in the consumer world – totaling an estimated $226 billion in transactions in 2021. Still, BNPL is still quite early in its evolution – and it doesn’t stop with consumers. The B2B market still presents BNPL with a massive untapped opportunity in the payments space.

For SMBs, who typically have limited working capital, funds for necessary purchases can all too often be out of reach at the moment of need. For both sides of B2B, BNPL can be a game-changer. 

That’s why we joined forces with Fundbox to create the WTF Guide to BNPL for Business, where we answer some important questions.

Read more (Sponsored by Fundbox)

The latest briefing

Payments Briefing: PayZen wants to combat rising medical debt with ‘Care Now, Pay Later’ solution

The BNPL space is becoming increasingly overcrowded, with a slew of new entrants across banking, payments, and tech over the last few years. This is making it increasingly challenging for BNPL providers to differentiate their offerings, and is pushing them to innovate towards newer categories like travel, education, housing, and healthcare.

As US healthcare costs continue to mount, two major BNPL providers, Afterpay and Sezzle, recently signed healthcare-related deals that will allow consumers to pay some of their medical bills in four interest-free installments.

Afterpay and Sezzle are not the only firms to recognize the opportunity in using BNPL to tackle healthcare affordability and reach new customers. PayZen is a San Francisco-based startup that offers a ‘Care Now, Pay Later’ solution, which allows patients to pay their out-of-pocket medical bills over time in flexible installments.

Read more (exclusive to Outlier members)

Just look at the charts

1. The state of the financial industry 2022

Source: Oliver Wyman

2. Will open banking evolve toward open finance?

SourceAntonio Grasso

Today's stories

Circle asks the Fed to ward off issuing a digital dollar
Circle is arguing the U.S. Federal Reserve should pass on launching a digital dollar, arguing that could strangle private-sector efforts such as Circle’s to manage their own dollar-based tokens (CoinDesk)

Stripe is launching the Stripe App Marketplace
Ecommerce technology company Stripe launched the Stripe App Marketplace, a digital store that will help businesses tap the technology from third parties to enhance their own offerings (Finovate)

London fintech Paddle snaps up US firm ProfitWell 
Paddle struck a $200 million deal to buy US firm ProfitWell in its first acquisition since being founded in 2012 -- Paddle bagged the funding round led by private equity powerhouse KKR, which it would channel into expanding its payment services for SaaS firms -- this acquisition will add subscription-metrics software to its suite of services (City A.M.)

Andreessen Horowitz “goes big” and places an unprecedented bet on crypto
The venture capital giant has raised $4.5 billion to invest in blockchain technology via the largest cryptocurrency fund to date -- it hailed a golden era for Web3 technology, as it believes the future of the internet will be powered by blockchain-based platforms and tools (Financial Times)

Bolt lays off staff as public markets hammer tech stocks
Payments startup Bolt Financial is eliminating about 250 employees, equivalent to about one-third of Bolt’s workforce. The job cuts at Bolt were sudden, as the company had held annual reviews for employees earlier this month that resulted in some people getting a pay increase (Bloomberg)

Adam Neumann's “pivot to crypto to reinvent yourself” moment
Controversial WeWork founder Adam Neumann recently launched a startup, Flowcarbon, to sell tokenized carbon credits on the blockchain. His team includes his spouse/co-founder, Rebekah, who started the company alongside its CEO Dana Gibber and two others (TechCrunch)

The burning question: how are unicorns going to fund their businesses?
Unicorns’ hard times point to increased M&A activity as investors are handing tech startups a reality check -- initial public offerings have dried up, the boom in blank-check companies has imploded and venture capitalists are holding back their investments (Reuters)

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