The first week of the year is in the books and already there has been big news in fintech.
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The structure of capital markets precedes the innovations that come from it. High frequency trading, passive ETF investing, SPACs, and crypto assets all telegraphed their value proposition before becoming large and meaningful in scale. We are now seeing a new market shape emerge, one that starts with community and builds up into financial instruments that are cultural and social. This analysis looks at the most recent developments in the overlap between decentralized social and cultural work and related financial features.
In this conversation, we delve deep into next generation finance and banking with CJ MacDonald, the Founder and CEO of Step – an incredibly successful neobank on a mission to improve the financial future of the next generation.
More specifically, we discuss traditional vs. digital banking, how personal experiences influence entrepreneurial the spirit, immersive market research, banking-as-a-service, the importance of financial literacy amongst Millenials and Gen-Z, the power of influencers who actually believe in a brand, aspirational brands vs. plastic Wells Fargo stage coaches, and lastly the proliferation of crypto in the minds of the next generation.
This week, we look at:
TikTok has become a platform with billions of views for investing and stock recommendations to teens. This emotional and persuasive labor can be traced from Jim Cramer to Roaring Kitty.
78% of Millennials (vs. 31% of Boomers) plan to use more digital tools in wealth management and 81% of them think that technology has made investing more efficient (vs. 61% Boomers)
This generational change has implications for investing technology, digital wallets, and the role of people in the financial advice process
If you are in finance and only looking at banks, you are missing out on the real change agents. Here's some cross-industry action that we will unpack this week.
Amazon selected Goldman Sachs to be the lender of choice for small business loans. TikTok maker ByteDance is working with a Singaporean business family to get a financial license. And small business bank Starling is integrating Slack, energy switching service Bionic, and health insurance provider Equipsme into their marketplace. And we might as well talk about the Plaid Exchange launch, and end on the computational economy of Ethereum.
TikTok has been falling short, and banks need to step up. Here's how they can learn from financial influencers and help customers.
Square upgrades Cash App into a payment processing powerhouse, completing the loop between the consumer and merchant side of the house. Goldman Sachs acquires GreenSky, adding a lending business at the point of intent. This analysis connects these symptoms into a framework explaining the increasing integration between commerce and finance, and the increasing role that demand generation plays. That in turn explains how the attention and creator economies interconnect with financial services.
In this conversation, we talk with Maximilian Rofagha, who serves as the CEO and Founder of Finimize, about how to do personal finance right and how to do it bottoms up for the world.
Additionally, we explore Max’s journey to becoming an entrepreneur, the nuances of the e-commerce business, the building of and drivers behind community and creating business activities around it, the influences of FinTok and crypto assets on financial community, and the drivers of value back into said communities fulfilling the feedback loop.
Today, we talk through a few recent events that are indicative of what’s important in fintech right now.
Varo raised $241 million in preparation to start operating under its own banking license later this year. Is a banking license an asset or a liability if you’re a digital bank?
Marqeta is reportedly now valued at $4.3 billion, as banking-as-a-service continues its mature.
And LA-based fintech Stackin’ raised $13 million to scale its messaging-based offering designed to help Gen Z find the right fintech. What should we make of this?