Apple boss says Europe and US way behind China on mobile payment

Apple boss Tim Cook said on Saturday that China outdoes the United States and Europe in the development of mobile payment technology because local people are more willing to embrace changes.

"People in the US and Europe get used to credit cards. And merchants in the US are very slow to adopt new terminals that make mobile payment possible. But in China, because of the huge number of small businesses, there is a higher willingness to embrace changes," Cook said at the China Development Forum in Beijing.

According to the Apple boss, this is part of China's booming mobile internet industry and proves that China has a big number of internet-related talents.

"In future, whatever you can dream of, there will be an app for it," Cook added.

Apple announced on Friday that it will set up two more research and development (R&D) centers in Shanghai and Suzhou, after it announced similar plans for Beijing and Shenzhen last year.

PayPal's Venmo Faces Google, Banks

As millennials continue to adopt alternative payment methods, PayPal's competition is mounting a response.Investors of PayPal (PYPL) , the payments company, better watch out for two major disruptions coming their way.PayPal's peer-to-peer (P2P) market share is shaped by its mobile app and social network Venmo. The company is expected to face competition from Alphabet's (GOOG)  Google and a clutch of banks. This is perhaps the first time PayPal is facing such a challenge to its business. The stakes are, undoubtedly, high.

Venmo is critical to PayPal. As much as $5.6 billion worth of payments was handled by Venmo in the fourth quarter, representing 126% year-over-year growth. For full year 2016, Venmo processed $17.6 billion, up 135% year-over-year.

Venmo was part of PayPal's 2014 Braintree purchase. Since then, Venmo has become the preferred P2P method for millennials, mainly due to its social features.

The new update to Google's Gmail is a big step on PayPal's turf. First, you can use the 'attach' button - just like you would to send along a photo, video, or document - to send money.
SoFi's Loan Losses Pile Up as Even Wealthy Borrowers Default

A rise in default rates has surprised investors in a securitized offering.  Should default rates continue to rise, cash flows to investors will be diverted from paying interest income to paying back principal early.

Online lenders across industry cope with weaker performance
SoFi bond investors may end up losing out on interest payments
Social Finance Inc.’s online borrowers are defaulting at higher rates than underwriters for one of its bond deals had expected, the latest sign that an industry that hoped to upend banking is now getting tripped up by bad loans.

Losses on the company’s personal loans were high enough to breach key levels known as “triggers” last month on a bond deal issued in 2015 and backed by the loans, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley. If defaults keep rising, investors in bonds could end up missing out on expected interest payments.
SEC shoots down Winklevii bitcoin ETF

The ETF pioneered by the Winklevoss twins could have increased liquidity for the bitcoin market and made exposure to the currency easier to attain. The price of bitcoin is down $200 as a result of the SEC's decision.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today decided not to mainstream bitcoin, by ruling that it will not permit the public listing of an ETF (exchange traded fund) that would have effectively allowed people to buy and sell the digital currency like stock.

What? The SEC disapproved a request to allow the BATS stock exchange to list the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF, which was founded back in 2013 by the Winklevoss Brothers of Facebook (and The Social Network) fame. It also may dump a giant roadblock in the way of other future publicly-traded bitcoin investment vehicles. For example, the future is now a bit fuzzier for Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Investment Trust, which recently filed for a $500 million IPO (although it's structured differently from Winklevoss, and is already publicly traded on the OTC).
German fintech startup solarisBank raises €26.3 million and lands Deutsche Bank exec as CEO

Berlin based digital financial platform solarisBank has raised £22.9m in Series A funding led by Arvato financial solutions. solarisBank AG is a banking platform with a full banking license, allowing companies to offer their own financial products. Partners can access the solarisBank modules in the field of e-money, instant credit and digital banking as well as services from third-party providers integrated on the platform via API.

A two-year-old German startup that provides tech that lets other companies offer financial services has raised €26.3 million (£22.9 million) to expand its banking platform to Asia and named a former Deutsche Bank exec as its new CEO.

Berlin-based fintech startup solarisBank has raised its chunky "Series A" funding round from Arvato, a financial services company owned by German media giant Bertlesmann, and Japanese internet investment company SBI Group. Existing investors Yabeo Capital, FinLeap, and UniCredit also took part in the round.
Silverfin, a ‘connected accounting platform,’ raises $4.5M Series A led by Index

Ghent, Belgium based accounting platform Silverfin has raised $4.5m in Series A funding led by Index Ventures. Silverfin offers a “connected accounting platform” to help businesses stay on top of their financial data.

Silverfin, a startup out of Ghent, Belgium (of all places) that offers a “connected accounting platform” to help businesses stay on top of their financial data, has picked up $4.5 million in Series A funding.

Index Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors, while the cash injection will be used to expand the team and build out the company’s international presence, starting with the U.K.

Founded in 2013, Silverfin’s platform plugs into popular accounting software and other financial data sources to help finance departments, accountancy firms and consultants, such as external tax specialists, get much better real-time visibility of a company’s financial data.

Or another way to describe it might be “Salesforce for financial data,” since stakeholders can communicate via the platform, too.
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