Every week we compile a list of important news updates and events covering fintech, banking, and payments across the globe.

The Apple Card is now available to everyone in the US with 3 percent cash back for Uber

Along with Goldman Sachs, Apple launched the Apple Card on August 20 which includes cashback, colour-coded transaction statements and spending insights, among other features. The physical card is made from titanium, with a white finish, and does not hold anything other than the owner’s name so as to prevent theft.

We explore the Apple Card’s features in our article here: The Apple Card: The Newest Player on the Block

JP Morgan is shutting down its Chase Pay app in stores

JP Morgan Chase & Co. will be shutting down its Chase Pay app starting early 2020, but customers will still be able to use Chase Pay on retailer websites and apps that accept the same. This is the bank’s third reversal on digital offerings.

Micro-lender Tala raises $110M for Indian push

Tala, a California-based outfit that uses customers’ mobile phone data to build credit profiles and make lending decisions, has raised $110 million for a push into the Indian market. The Series D funding round was led by RPS Ventures, with participation from GGV Capital, IVP, Revolution Growth, Lowercase Capital, Data Collective VC, ThomVest Ventures and PayPal Ventures. Tala has also raised $100 million in debt.

MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) opens applications for 5 new digital bank licences

Interested non-bank players have until December 31 to submit their applications, with MAS expected to announce the successful applicants in mid-2020. These applicants will then be expected to commence business by mid-2021 and must have a track record of at least three years in an existing business within the technology or e-commerce fields.

Temenos boosts US position through Kony acquisition

Temenos has strengthened its hand in the US by agreeing to buy digital banking SaaS outfit Kony for $559 million and an earn-out of $21 million. Kony is the #1 US digital banking SaaS company, and its banking clients have been able to transform the banking experience with some achieving over 20% increase in mobile deposits, 64% increase in mobile credit card payments and significantly reducing abandonment rate from 20% to 3%.

N26 finally launches in the US

Following a successful recent beta phase, German challenger bank N26 has officially launched in the US. Along with open registration in the US, N26 is launching MoneyBeam, a feature that allows customers to make instant payments to other N26 users. The bank also aims to open services in Brazil next year and the founder, Valentin Stalf, has revealed that he wants the bank to list on the stock exchange in three to five years’ time.

Barclays ends partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase

Barclays, the London-based global bank, is no longer working with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, with the latter now working with UK-based ClearBank. Coinbase and Barclays had been partners since March 2018, as Coinbase expanded into Europe.

Indian digital payment firm BharatPe raises $50M

New Delhi-based firm, BharatPe, has raised $50 million to help offline merchants in India accept digital payments. Ashneer Grover, the company’s CEO and co-founder, says the new round values the start-up at $225 million. The Series B round was led by Ribbit Capital and Steadview Capital, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Beenext Capital and Insight Partners.

Funding Circle hits $10bn lending milestone

Funding Circle, the listed peer-to-peer lender, has reached a cumulative global lending milestone of over $10 billion. The cumulative total of $10 billion is more than double the $5 billion that the company was reporting just 19 months ago, reports AltFi.

Facebook taps ex-Coinbase exec to lobby for Libra

Washington D.C.-based FS Vector, has been retained by Facebook to work on “issues related to blockchain policy.” John Collins, former head of policy at the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, will serve as Facebook’s lobbyist for Libra. The hiring comes at a time that Facebook’s launch of Libra continues to get pushback from lawmakers. The cryptocurrency has a potential release date of 2020, and Facebook said it would be issued and regulated by the Geneva-based “Libra Association.”

Read more about Facebook’s ambitious cryptocurrency offering, Libra, here.

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