How is 2021 going so far? Maybe it’s hard to tell after a few weeks, but one thing is true: the FinTech world won’t stop surprising us with innovations, rumours, and even scandals. So what news made headlines of the top industry media last week? Read on!

Weekly FinTech news digest: 5—11 January 2021

In the previous issue, we touched on the topic of consequences of Brexit for British FinTech. After the UK and EU split up without an agreement on financial services, it’s natural to expect this kind of news pop up in the next weeks, or even months—like in today’s issue. What is more, it’s not the only news related to politics: we’ll hear also from the outgoing U.S. president. What else? Business as usual: international expansions, new products, and investment rounds! 

An agriculture banking platform to launch in the UK

Oxbury Bank secured £15 million funding from Wheatsheaf Group

Oxbury, a British specialist agricultural bank, is rumoured to launch its banking platform with the goal of serving farmers in the UK. According to the company, the industry knowledge and deep understanding of the sector allows them for offering specialized financing services that respond directly to the needs of British farmers. The launch is linked to the recent financing of £15 million that Oxbury received from the Duke of Westminister’s Wheatsheaf Group.

Read more about banking technology development

Alipay and WeChat Pay banned in the U.S.

The outgoing President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning the Chinese payment apps

 A few days before leaving the office, and amid the turmoil that engulfed the Capitol on 6 January, president Trump found the time to sign an executive order banning the use of Chinese payment apps, including Alipay (Ant Group) and WeChat Pay (Tencent). National security is cited to be the main reason behind this decision, as the apps allegedly have the capabilities to capture data on the devices they are installed on, and could be used to target U.S. federal employees.

Read more about challenges and opportunities in PayTech

German neobank N26 with license to operate in Brasil

The neobank plans to compete with the domestic leader Nubank

N26 dreams big: and the next dream to come true is entering the Brazilian market. The German neobank had this goal at least since 2019, but it finally seems achievable, as the Brazilian Central Bank granted N26 with the license to carry out credit operations in the Latin American country. But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns for the neobank. The competition is strong on the Brazilian market, and N26 will face the challenge of competing with the domestic leader Nubank: the world’s largest neobank by customers and valuation, although it operates solely in Brazil and Mexico.

Read more about neobanks in Africa

The UK starts the consultative process regarding cryptoassets and stablecoins

After leaving the UE, the country shapes its regulatory landscape independently

Having left the European Union’s financial regulatory regime without agreeing on the so-called mutual recognition, the United Kingdom faces the challenge of establishing its own regulations. The government issued a document inviting a wide range of stakeholders to take part in the first stage consultative process with the goal of regulating the use of cryptoassets and stablecoins in the UK. The document can be accessed here.

Read more about post-Brexit trading in the previous issue of FinTech Wire

The online lender SoFi goes public

The startup agreed on a deal with a SPAC backed by Chamath Palihapitiya’s venture capital

It was long anticipated: Social Finance (SoFi for friends) is closing a deal to go public by merging with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp V, a blank-check company led by Chamath Palihapitiya. The deal values SoFi at around $8 billion, just the company raised $370 million in private funding. However, the news are still not official and sources caution that the talks could still collapse.

Read more about SoFi efforts to receive banking license

More news from FinTech Wire coming next week!

Will SoFi finally close its deal? Will the UK come up with its own financial regulations? We will surely find out over the course of the next months to come. Follow Code & Pepper on social media if you don’t want to miss a thing!