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Hi Five! The five fintech stories we’re following this week

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Hi Five! The five fintech stories we’re following this week

And the bank shall dwell with the startup

The future of finance isn’t “either-or” with fintechs – it’s “and”. Tradestreaming’s Josh Liggett met up with an exec from Spotcap, which has found a way to partner with banks for its online lending product; 25% of Spotcap’s loan book is in piggyback loans with banks.

This is not an isolated trend. In order to innovate, banks actively collaborate with startups to push the boundaries of innovation. More and more banks are opening venture funds, accelerators or hosting startups competitions inviting young companies to use the bank’s data.

“To help engineer more fundamental improvements to the banking industry, [startups] must now be invited inside,” explains the Santander Group in a recently published white paper about the future of fintech, titled Fintech 2.0.

Payments shakeup

This has been quite a week for mergers, partnerships and product launches in the payments space. Just a week after launching an upgraded payment solution, Masterpass, MasterCard announced that it was acquiring payment technology company VocaLink. The credit card giant entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 92.4 percent of VocaLink Holdings Limited for about $920 million.

This week also saw PayPal and Visa enter into a strategic partnership, which is big news for consumers. Not only can Visa debit customers now move money instantly on PayPal and Venmo accounts, but they can also pay using their PayPal wallet at all physical retail locations where Visa contactless transactions are accepted.

Meanwhile, Omise, a company with a payment gateway system that allows any retailer to take credit card payments online, announced it raised $17.5 Million to expand its solutions to Southeast Asia.

Here a bot. There a bot. Everywhere a bot-bot?

Following a question about the group’s stance towards roboadvisors, and noting the fast growth of other firms’ automated advice, Morgan Stanley’s CFO Jonathan Pruzan stated that the firm’s strategy for digital includes more than just roboadvisors.

According to Pruzen, the group’s vision for digital focuses primarily on three areas: analytics to enable advisers and clients to make better decisions, automation so advisers can spend more time with clients, and new ways for clients to interact with the firm.

In other robo news, the niche roboadvisor market hit a snag this week when SheCapital, a roboadvisor aimed at women, ceased operations. We’ll see how the other robos targeting women, Ellevest and DailyFM, work out

Student loan solutions on the rise

This week, student loan refinancing and consolidation company CommonBond announced that it had raised $300 million dollars in new funding, acquired a student loan management platform, Gradible, and is launching an employer-based student loan repayment platform. This new platform will enable employers to contribute towards paying down their employees’ student debt.

Surprisingly, Amazon is also entering the student loan business in a partnership with Wells Fargo, offering cheaper rates for loans to Amazon customers who pay for a “Prime Student” subscription.

Tradestreaming kicked off its first major conference, Money 2016

It was also a busy week for Tradestreaming as we’ve kicked off our first major conference, Money 2016. You’re going to want to join us for this epic event on November 14 in NYC. If you’re interested in getting involved (as a sponsor or speaker), please reach out. Otherwise, keep tracking and register for the event here.

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