Welcome back to Payments, our bi-weekly newsletter about all things payments — from blockchain to BNPL to B2B. It’s inspired by our payments coverage as well as the top stories from around the payments space. Subscribe here.
It’s been a wild year for crypto. Bloomberg reports that venture capital funds have pumped a record $30 billion into the crypto industry in 2021. That’s more money invested in a single year than all previous years combined in the roughly 13-year history of cryptocurrencies. It’s also nearly four times the previous high of around $8 billion in 2018.
This is partly due to a number of record-breaking funding rounds that have been secured by crypto firms this year, thanks to growing investor confidence. In July, crypto exchange FTX received a $900 million injection, taking its total valuation to $18 billion. And just this month, Bitcoin servicing firm NYDIG raised $1 billion in a growth equity round that values it at over $7 billion, and is being termed as the largest funding round in crypto history.
And last but not least, growing interest in the metaverse has created a new wave of investment opportunities for crypto enthusiasts, and is likely to drive further investment in the space.
All of the above begs the question: how big does the crypto industry need to become for us to concede that it has entered the mainstream? Some food for thought as we head into the new year.
Our top stories
Payments predictions: Trends to watch in 2022
For this three-part series on payments predictions for the coming year, Tearsheet asked over 20 experts to share insights on upcoming payments trends in 2022. Part 1 covers embedded finance, cross-border payments and on-demand pay, while part 2 looks at the digitization of B2B payments, the growth of stablecoins, and the virtual card boom. Finally, part 3 explores digital wallets, P2P payments, and cybersecurity.
As competition grows, Klarna wants to reach customers earlier in their shopping journey
Klarna has launched a new browser extension, which offers virtual cards, saved collections, and automatic couponing. As competition in the space grows, payments firms' customer acquisition strategy is shifting to meet users earlier in their shopping journey.
How Intuit builds embedded finance around customer benefits
When we give examples of embedded finance, we typically mention Intuit. What the software company has done -- marrying the tracking and forecasting of money together with the actual movement of money, banking, lending -- points to the power of embedded finance. Rania Succar, the firm's head of QuickBooks' money offerings, joins us on the podcast to describe how Intuit builds embedded finance offerings around a deep understanding of customer pain points -- and the benefits they'll bring.
Navigating cryptocurrency: Understanding the market and demand
Consumers are clearly interested in holding cryptocurrency, and evidence shows they’re particularly interested in holding it with their trusted financial institution. Providing cryptocurrency solutions can be a valuable tool for attracting consumers and gives financial institutions the tools to grow noninterest income. (Sponsored by Fiserv)
The U.S. remittance industry is getting bigger – so where are the big banks?
In 2020, the U.S. recorded 27 million foreign-born workers, who made up 17% of the total workforce. These workers remit around $165 billion overseas every year.
Yet, among the financial institutions servicing those transactions, an important group is missing: big American banks.
So who’s powering this market? Traditional remittance companies and fintechs.
U.S. banks have missed out on over $10 billion by neglecting remittance programs and allowing fintechs to scoop up this consumer segment, according to Danny Ayala.
Ayala spent 18 years in Wells Fargo’s consumer banking division, where he led the Global Remittances Services business. This year, he jumped ship into the fintech space, joining Welcome Tech as the managing director of financial services.
Tearsheet's Subboh Jaffery spoke to Danny about how fintechs are grabbing hold of this market segment thanks to technology developments and increased demand for better services.
Read more (Outlier member exclusive)
What we’re reading
|Will ‘Chuck’ give smaller banks an edge in P2P versus Venmo, Cash App and Zelle? (The Financial Brand)|
Analysts give their top predictions for crypto in 2022 (CNBC)
Checkout platform Bolt eyes $14 billion valuation (PYMNTS)
Innovation in payments creates opportunities for traditional banks (PaymentsJournal)
JPMorgan develops blockchain system for Siemens’ payments (FT)
With new $6 million carbon commit, Stripe adds new technologies to its Climate platform (Finextra)
Bottomline Technologies sold to private equity firm (NH Business Review)
Astra teams up with Cross River to intro card-to-card instant payment API (PYMNTS)
H&R Block sues over Square’s 'Block' rebrand (CNBC)
Papaya raises $50 million to give you a way to pay bills via its mobile app (TechCrunch)
GigLabs’ app enables Shopify merchants to mint and sell NFTs (Business Wire)
Equifax unveils new product to streamline B2B transactions (Finledger)
Nike acquires NFT collectibles studio RTFKT (TechCrunch)
Global fintech players Stripe and Nium target travel payments for growth (Skift)
Crypto payments are coming to WhatsApp (CoinDesk)
Resolve raises $25 million amid growing demand for B2B BNPL (PYMNTS)
|Stay ahead of the game with Outlier -- Tearsheet’s exclusive daily newsletter -- and join the leading financial services and fintech innovators reading us every day.|