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Daily Tearsheet: Mastercard’s sonic album, the evolution from open banking to open finance, and the future of neobanks

  • On Tearsheet today, we continue our exploration of sonic branding in financial services -- we look at Mastercard's new album.
  • Also, we look at what's new in open finance and whether neobanks can weather a recession.
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Daily Tearsheet: Mastercard’s sonic album, the evolution from open banking to open finance, and the future of neobanks

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Mastercard drops an album – but why?

Last month, Mastercard released an album containing ten songs – each integrating its sonic brand, which it published back in 2019. The album is called Priceless and was first made available on Spotify.

As consumers rely more on contactless payments and voice technology, harnessing a sonic brand could be more important than ever.  Mastercard’s decision to create an album could be a way to further zero in on the brand image Mastercard wants to emit – one that’s young, hip, and technology-forward.

But whether or not this sound has been effective in reflecting the personality Mastercard wants to portray remains questionable.

Read more

‘Open finance can lift all boats while creating more efficient commerce’: Fiserv’s Sunil Sachdev

The following was produced by Tearsheet Studios. We worked with payments provider Fiserv to create a podcast series about open finance and the work of empowering fintechs, brands, and FIs to collaborate and innovate together.

In the first conversation of the series, Tearsheet’s Editor-in-chief Zack Miller speaks with Sunil Sachdev, SVP and head of fintech at Fiserv, about where we are on the open finance journey, the technologies under the hood that are helping to enable the evolution, the potential hurdles to look out for, and what’s next.

Watch / listen / read more(sponsored by Fiserv)

Can neobanks make it through a recession?

2021 marked a big year for neobanks, with firms like Nubank, Revolut, and Chime getting major boosts to their valuations.

Out of the hundreds of neobanks existing today, only 5% are actually earning a profit – most are earning less than $30 per customer per year, according to a May report from Simon-Kucher & Partners. 

Meanwhile, neobanks are still appearing in the news, but for less fun reasons. Chime, for example, has delayed its IPO plans because of declining fintech stock, and Varo has been hitting some bugs in its business model. Revolut, finally, has been losing a stream of executives.

And this new scenario leaves neobanks in a rocky situation – can they maintain consumer interest and usership amidst a point of financial uncertainty and the threat of a recession?

Read more (exclusive for Outlier members)

Just look at the charts

1. Acquisitions by BNPL companies since 2008

Source: David Jimenez Maireles

2. Revolut has stuck to its aggressive expansion strategy

SourceSanjeev Kumar

Today’s stories

Coinbase is the hardest hit, with a 20% drop after the SEC probe
Crypto exchange Coinbase is plunging alongside sharp declines for cryptocurrencies following a Monday night report that the SEC is investigating the company for allowing Americans to trade in tokens that should have been registered as securities. (CoinDesk)

Activist Elliott Management now holds a stake in PayPal
Activist investor Elliott Management has reportedly taken an undisclosed stake in PayPal — the payments firm traded as much as 10% higher in extended trading, slightly improving the 75% slump that shares of the California-based fintech have suffered over the past year. Elliott has been one of the more prolific activist investors, including campaigns at big names like AT&T, Twitter, and most recently Pinterest. (PYMNTS)

Former a16z co-founder launches startup to back early-stage US fintechs
Rex Salisbury, former investor at venture capital firm a16z, has announced his startup Cambrian’s inaugural $20 million fund “to back the next generation of fintech founders” at the angel, pre-seed and seed levels with checks up to $500,000. With Salisbury serving as a solo GP, Cambrian plans to back 30 companies — with plans to back US-based companies with US-oriented go-to-markets. (TechCrunch)

Balance raises $56 million to bring global trade online with B2B eCommerce checkout
Balance, which has developed a B2B marketplace and e-commerce payments platform, has raised $56 million in a Series B funding round. The round was led by Forerunner with support from Salesforce Ventures, Hubspot Ventures, Lyra Ventures, and Gramercy Ventures — along with the participation of other notable leaders in the B2B e-commerce sector. (Calcalist)

Stay ahead of the game with Outlier — Tearsheet’s exclusive members-only content program and join the leading financial services and fintech innovators reading us every day.

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