Top 6 Fintech News from April You Need to Know - DirectPayNet
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Top 6 Fintech News from April You Need to Know


Let’s round up what happened in April 2024 in fintech with five major and five under-the-radar news pieces. Here’s what happened last month.

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MAJOR: TabaPay’s Acquisition of Synapse Assets Expands Embedded Finance Capabilities for Merchants

Payment processor TabaPay recently acquired the assets of Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform Synapse Financial Technologies in a deal that significantly expands TabaPay’s ability to provide embedded financial services to its merchant clients. By adding Synapse’s brokerage, lending, debit, and credit card issuing platforms to its existing payment processing capabilities, TabaPay can now offer merchants a comprehensive suite of fintech solutions through a single integration.

This means merchants can now offer their customers services like:

  • Branded credit and debit cards
  • Consumer and business lending solutions
  • Investment and wealth management products
  • Crypto wallets and custody services

Merchants will be able to rapidly deploy these financial offerings by leveraging TabaPay’s robust BaaS infrastructure, which now includes access to an ecosystem of 15 banking partners and 16 payment networks. The combined platform also brings together the expertise of TabaPay and Synapse’s teams to help merchants innovate and scale new embedded finance products.

For merchants looking to deepen customer relationships and grow revenue streams beyond their core business, embedded finance has emerged as an attractive opportunity. The TabaPay-Synapse deal makes it simpler than ever for merchants to capitalize on this trend. Rather than having to piece together multiple fintech integrations, merchants can now access a full stack of payment and digital banking capabilities through TabaPay’s unified API.

The acquisition marks an important step in TabaPay’s evolution from a payment processor to an end-to-end enabler of financial services. With Synapse’s assets under its belt, TabaPay is well-positioned to help its merchant clients unlock new growth opportunities in the rapidly expanding embedded finance market.

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UNDER-THE-RADAR: QuickBooks Solopreneur: Simplifying Financial Management for One-Person Businesses

Intuit, the company behind popular financial tools like TurboTax and QuickBooks, recently unveiled QuickBooks Solopreneur, a new product designed specifically to simplify financial and tax management for one-person businesses. With the rise of the gig economy and more people embracing solopreneurship, this tailored solution aims to help individuals stay on top of their finances and grow their businesses with confidence.

Key features of QuickBooks Solopreneur include:

  1. Financial Insights: QuickBooks Solopreneur provides users with valuable financial insights to help them make informed decisions. By automatically categorizing transactions and generating reports, solopreneurs can quickly understand their income, expenses, and overall financial health.
  2. Trackable Goals: Users can create personalized goals, such as saving for taxes or investing in new equipment, and monitor their progress over time. This feature helps solopreneurs stay motivated and accountable, ensuring they stay on track to achieve their business objectives.
  3. Automated Transaction Categorization: One of the most time-consuming aspects of financial management is categorizing transactions. QuickBooks Solopreneur simplifies this process by automatically categorizing transactions based on their type, such as income, expenses, or taxes.
  4. Tax Readiness: QuickBooks Solopreneur helps users stay tax-ready by organizing their financial data and providing insights into potential deductions. By keeping accurate records and categorizing transactions throughout the year, solopreneurs can avoid last-minute scrambles and feel confident when it’s time to file their taxes.
  5. Mobile Accessibility: QuickBooks Solopreneur is designed with mobility in mind, allowing users to manage their finances on the go. With the QuickBooks mobile app, solopreneurs can snap photos of receipts, track mileage, and categorize transactions from their smartphones.

MAJOR: Stripe Gives Merchants Flexibility by Unbundling Payments and Expanding Embedded Finance

In a significant strategy shift, payments giant Stripe has announced that it is decoupling its payment processing service from its broader suite of financial offerings. This move gives merchants much more flexibility in how they use Stripe’s platform. Previously, merchants had to use Stripe’s payment solutions in order to access its other products and services. Now, they can pick and choose the specific tools they need without being locked into Stripe’s payment processing.

This unbundling is a response to the evolving needs of Stripe’s customers, particularly larger enterprises that often have existing payment solutions in place. By allowing these companies to use Stripe’s innovative financial products independent of its core payments offering, Stripe aims to expand its customer base and drive adoption of its newer services.

Alongside this major change, Stripe also unveiled several powerful new features at its recent Sessions conference:

Embedded Finance Enhancements

  • Stripe Treasury API for easily embedding financial services
  • Stripe Capital expansions for providing financing to customers
  • Stripe Issuing upgrades for creating and managing payment cards

AI-Powered Tools

  • Improved fraud detection leveraging machine learning
  • Optimized checkout flows and payment routing using AI
  • Personalized product recommendations and dynamic pricing

These embedded finance and AI additions underscore Stripe’s continued push to be more than just a payment processor. By offering a comprehensive suite of financial products and intelligent tools, the company aims to help its merchants boost conversion rates, reduce costs, and ultimately grow their businesses.

Stripe still won’t support high-risk businesses. Does that apply to you?

UNDER-THE-RADAR: AI Voice Cloning Prompts Banks to Rethink Authentication Methods

The rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) technology have led to the development of sophisticated voice cloning capabilities that can potentially defeat traditional voice recognition systems used by banks for customer authentication. A recent survey revealed that a staggering 91% of banks are now reconsidering their use of voice verification in light of this growing threat.

The Rise of AI-Based Attacks

As AI technology continues to evolve, fraudsters are increasingly leveraging these tools to carry out attacks on financial institutions. Voice cloning, in particular, has emerged as a significant concern. By using AI algorithms to analyze and replicate an individual’s voice, attackers can create convincing audio deepfakes that can fool voice recognition systems.

The Need for New Verification Methods

To combat these AI-based threats, banks are exploring alternative verification methods that go beyond traditional voice recognition. Behavioral biometrics, which analyze unique patterns in a user’s behavior, such as typing speed, mouse movements, and navigation habits, are gaining traction as a more secure authentication approach.

Collaboration and Information Sharing

In addition to adopting new verification methods, experts emphasize the importance of collaboration and information sharing among financial institutions to combat these evolving threats. By pooling resources and sharing intelligence on emerging fraud patterns, banks can stay ahead of the curve and develop more effective countermeasures.

Industry groups like the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) play a crucial role in facilitating this collaboration. Through initiatives like the Cyber Resilience Coordination Mechanism (CRCM), FS-ISAC enables banks to share real-time threat intelligence and best practices for mitigating AI-based attacks.

MAJOR: Walmart’s Fintech Startup One Launches In-Store BNPL, Heating Up Competition with Affirm

Walmart’s majority-owned fintech startup, One, has made a significant move into the buy now, pay later (BNPL) space by launching its own BNPL service for in-store purchases at Walmart locations. This development puts One in direct competition with Affirm, which has been Walmart’s exclusive BNPL partner since 2019.

One’s BNPL loans are now available for big-ticket items like electronics, jewelry, power tools, and automotive accessories at over 4,600 Walmart stores across the U.S. The loans start at around $100 and can go up to several thousand dollars, with annual interest rates ranging from 10% to 36%. This move expands the financing options available to Walmart shoppers and demonstrates the continued growth of BNPL for in-store retail purchases.

One’s ambition to become a financial superapp that serves as a one-stop shop for saving, spending, and borrowing money is becoming increasingly clear. The fintech startup has been attracting attention and posing a threat to the traditional financial landscape since its inception in 2021.

As BNPL continues to gain popularity among consumers for both everyday items and larger purchases, the competition between One and Affirm for Walmart’s partnership is likely to intensify. From January through March of this year alone, BNPL drove $19.2 billion in online spending, representing a 12% year-over-year increase.

Connect with BNPL services for your checkout.

UNDER-THE-RADAR: ACH Network Sees Strong Growth in Q1 2024, Driven by Same Day ACH and B2B Transactions

The ACH Network experienced robust growth in the first quarter of 2024, with Same Day ACH and business-to-business (B2B) transactions leading the way. According to the latest data from Nacha, the ACH Network handled 8.2 billion payments valued at $20.1 trillion in Q1 2024, representing a 7.1% increase in volume and a 10.3% increase in value compared to the same period in 2023.

Same Day ACH, which allows for faster processing and settlement of ACH transactions, saw particularly strong growth. Same Day ACH volume increased by 47% year-over-year, while its value rose by 27.2%. This growth underscores the increasing demand for faster payment options, as businesses and consumers alike seek more efficient ways to move money.

B2B transactions also played a significant role in the ACH Network’s growth. B2B volume grew by 14.4% in Q1 2024, while its value increased by 18.3%. This growth reflects the continued adoption of electronic payments for business transactions, as companies look to streamline their payment processes and reduce costs associated with paper checks.

The strong performance of Same Day ACH and B2B transactions highlights the importance of these services for businesses. Same Day ACH enables faster access to funds, improving cash flow management and reducing payment delays. For B2B transactions, ACH offers a secure, cost-effective alternative to paper checks, reducing processing costs and minimizing the risk of fraud.

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About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.