So far, so good: the first half of February has brought us some pretty exciting news and developments. Last week was no different: some of the world’s most renowned businesses have surprised us with breakthrough decisions, and official bodies in some countries followed in their footsteps. Wanna find out what we are talking about?

Weekly FinTech news digest: 915 February 2021

Dash Financial Technologies to be acquired by ION Group

The leading capital markets technology company hopes to boost its product innovation under new ownership

The US-based options technology provider announced on 9 February that it struck an agreement to be acquired by ION Investment Group from the previous owner, Flexpoint Ford. Dash CEO and co-founder Peter Maragos said that the company believes that this acquisition will allow Dash to benefit from ION’s international network of business relationships. The transaction is yet to be approved by the regulators.

Read more about trading technologies

Consumer digital euro accounts limited to €3000?

The European Central Bank evaluates how to protect commercial banks from losses of deposits

As we reported previously in FinTech Wire, the European Central Bank and European Commission created a joint group to discuss policy, legal and technological issues around the introduction of the digital euro. In a recent interview, ECB’s Fabio Panetta revealed that one of the most significant matters is the potential competitiveness between the digital currency and the offering of commercial banks. Panetta states that ECB is considering establishing a threshold for digital euro holdings of around €3,000,  to prevent consumers from moving the entirety of their deposits from commercial bank accounts.

Read more about regulations and legal requirements in FinTech

Klarna to offer the first consumer banking account…

… and is about to secure a $500 million funding round

A big step for the Buy Now Pay Later startup. Klarna will expand its offering in Germany by launching a consumer banking account, for now available for a limited number of users. However, the option will be gradually rolled out for the rest of Klarna’s German customers. This is a clear sign that the Swedish startup’s ambitions are way bigger than just being a leader in the BNPL space. But there’s more good news for Klarna this week: according to recent speculations, the startup is about to fundraise $500 million, meaning that its valuation will reach a staggering $30 billion. Way to go, Klarna!

Read more about BNPL and other FinTech trends

Ikea acquires a 49% stake in Ikano Bank

From furniture to banking; why not?

Ingka Investments, the Swedish furniture retailer’s parent company is about to acquire the 49% of new shares emitted by Ikano Bank, with the option to acquire the remaining 51%. This move will allow the company to improve its financial and banking offering for instore and online customers, in order to “help make Ikea more affordable, accessible and sustainable”. However, that’s not the first time when Ikea and Ikano Bank paths cross: actually, the two firms originated from the same founding family, and already have a lasting commercial relationship. Ikano Bank was the institution that provided Ikea with financial services in eight countries, so the acquisition is yet another step forward in the collaboration. 

Read more about trends in traditional banking

New ways to spend Bitcoin in the US

Exciting times: BitPay is now available in Apple Pay, Miami citizens can pay fees and taxes in Bitcoin

To paraphrase one of the most widely recognized slogans in the financial world: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Bitcoin”. OK, maybe it’s still not entirely true, but last week’s news show that we’re getting closer, especially in the US. From now, BitPay users in the US can add their cards to Apple Wallet, and therefore using Apple Pay to spend Bitcoin online and in stores has become a reality. More good news came from Miami: the city major announced that residents will now be able to pay city fees and property taxes in Bitcoin. What is more, Miami city employees can receive compensation partially in Bitcoin. Miami will also have the opportunity to invest treasury in Bitcoin, therefore becoming one of the most crypto-forward cities in the world.

Read more news about cryptocurrencies

Come back next week for more FinTech news!

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