WEEK STARTING 27 JAN
Swedish BNPL 'Klarna' launched in Australia in partnership with CBA. From what I can see, the only differentiating feature is the 'Ghost Card' - which allows you to preload $X amount of funds onto a virtual card, to use at participating retailers (e.g. Coles, Apple). So, as close to a credit card you can possibly get, without actually being one. Interestingly, the app had a 'Login with CBA' button which saved me having to enter any personal details (would Zip do this with WBC?). This is a good example of a feature that we will see with Open Banking, especially when switching (e.g. 'Login to X app with your Bank'). Link
CBA also invested another $200m into Klarna, taking the total investment to $300m (~5.5% stake). Link
Analysis: Open banking and neobanks to continue their slow burn in 2020. Link
Some BNPLs are going to cap late fees. Link
Deepfakes are coming to audio. Sounds fake. Link
Apple redesigned their Maps app (US only). Link. Best feature: 'Share ETA' - which allows someone to follow your journey to a specific location to know how long you'll actually be. I know of many a friend who could use this....
Stat: Americans, on average, spent ~$170 per month on streaming services in 2019. Mental. Full article from NYT here
Interesting read: Not everyone has an internal monologue. Link
FINTECH PODCAST OF THE WEEK
'Shape the System' - a business and economics podcast that chats with interesting people (namely Australian Fintech / startup founders) and encourages them to tell stories that inspire more people. It's hosted by long-time reader and founder of uno home loans, Vincent Turner.
Answers at the end of the email
(a) Though it has 3 initials in its name, which US telecom giant gets only one for its stock symbol--"T"?
(b) Which word, originally meaning "one who kept legal records for the crown", now means "a public officer who investigates deaths"?
(c) Which sea is divided into the Yucatan, Cayman, Colombian, Venezuelan & Grenada basins?