Top 10 Fintech News Stories for the Week Ending January 16, 2021

In was another super busy news week with some major financings. a blockbuster IPO and a merger divorce. Here are what I consider to be the top 10 most important fintech news stories of the past week.

Affirm’s IPO Takes Off Like a Rocket Ship from Lend Academy – Affirm had what can only be called a blockbuster IPO this week. It priced at $49, closed the first day (Wednesday) at $97.24 and ended the week at $117 with a valuation north of $28 billion.

Visa Abandons Planned Acquisition of Plaid After DOJ Challenge from The Wall Street Journal – The Visa and Plaid merger, first announced a year ago this week, has been canceled. Probably a good thing for Plaid as they can now explore the oh-so-hot public markets (see above) and they have added 60% more paying customers in the past year. raises $450 million and reaches $15 billion valuation from Techcrunch – The most valuable fintech in Europe is after their monster funding round (the eight biggest rounds of the week totaled over $2 billion).

Walmart to launch fintech startup with partner Ribbit Capital from Banking Dive – While details are almost non-existent this made big news this week because, hey, it’s Walmart getting into fintech.

What banks, fintechs can learn from Simple’s rise and sudden death from American Banker – One of the very first fintechs, Simple, closed down this week with users being folded into BBVA, that purchased the company in 2014.

OCC Chief Brian Brooks Is Stepping Down Thursday from Yahoo Finance – After a busy eight months in the job, probably the most forward thinking OCC head ever, Brian Brooks, stepped down this week.

Get ready for self-driving banks from the Financial Times – As a parting gift the aforementioned Brian Brooks penned this fascinating op-ed in the FT on the future of banking (spoiler alert: he likes DeFi).

Goldman Sachs Inches Closer to Offering Marcus Checking Accounts from Bloomberg – Details are starting to emerge about Goldman Sachs’ new consumer checking account that will debut later this year with Marqeta powering some of the tech.

Analysis: Digital banks gain U.S. customers during pandemic, thanks to early deposits from Reuters – It was a good last year for digital banks like Chime, Varo and Current that collectively added millions of customers.

Anchorage Becomes First OCC-Approved National Crypto Bank from Coindesk – Crypto custodian Anchorage received preliminary approval for a national trust charter from the OCC this week, the first crypto startup to receive this designation.

  • Peter Renton

    Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of Fintech Nexus, the world’s first and largest digital media and events company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series. Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.