WEEK STARTING 10 FEB
Flexigroup ($FXL) launched virtual BNPL debit card 'Bundll'. Similar to Klarna's ghost card, Bundll provides with you a spending limit (up to $1000) onto a virtual card that can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard. You then pay off the amount owing in four instalments (interestingly, it only performs a soft credit check). Link
Aside: Given there is such a low barrier to entry for buy now pay later providers, I wonder if neobanks will start to offer virtual BNPL debit cards within their apps (especially considering they already host a suite of features such as spending categorisation, budgeting tools, savings accounts etc). I looked at Up's roadmap (here) and their 'Add Virtual Cards' section is 'Planned' - so I wonder if this means they'll be offering a virtual BNPL debit card through Mastercard (their current scheme partner). They could also pre-approve / increase / decrease a limit based off of a user's activity with Up. The roadmap also says they're 'exploring credit' options - so offering BNPL fits in nicely with their overall mission to 'super power banking'. It is also a good competitive advantage for Adelaide / Bendigo bank (Up uses their banking license), as CBA partnered with Klarna & WBC with Zip.
Mastercard also partnered with LayBuy, another BNPL provider, to power an in-store BNPL offering. Link
The Government will allow Fintechs to participate in the regulatory sandbox program for longer periods of time. More time to build, test & iterate = better products in the market. Good news. Link
SocietyOne is looking to IPO. Link
Spotify bought 'The Ringer' podcast network, as it pushes to become the sole platform for podcasts. Link
German neobank, N26, is leaving the UK as their EU Banking license no longer applies due to Brexit. N26 will now have to reapply for a UK banking license. First of many. Link
Tesla launched solar roof tiles. Hopefully they don't self drive. Link
Someone used neural networks to upscale an 1895 film to 4K. Link
A lot of VCs just lost a lot of money because Nigeria banned motorbike ride sharing. Link
Answers at the end of the email
(a) Can you name 2 body parts that can switch their vowels to other vowels, in order to make their plurals?
(b) What flightless bird can hold its breath the longest?
(c) What is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five oceans?