The Week in Digital Wealth (3/25/24)

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This past week the partnerships and collaborations continued focusing on users as technology foundations continued improving in the digital wealth sector.  Market glitches occurred and fines were levied elsewhere, while regulatory interventions continued on multiple fronts.  High level items of interest included the following:

  • Webull improved its offerings;
  • BlackRock showed its hands (Aladdin anyone?);
  • Zoom now has a compliance product;
  • BofA now has a fully integrated solution for customers;

As always, this is your week in digital wealth!


WealthTech, RegTech, Regulatory, and Treasury

Webull

Premier brokerage platform Webull revealed that futures and commodities trading are now a part of its offerings. Additionally, Webull reserved futures trading for institutional investors only.

Nasdaq, Inc.

Following a market glitch that affected pre-trade activities for more than two hours on March 18, Nasdaq revealed the resolution of the technical issue.

While Nasdaq did not provide comprehensive details on what caused the issue, it alluded to a situation with its matching engine.

CFTC/Oppenheimer/U.S. Bank

The regulatory fight over improper communications continued with the CFTC settling with Oppenheimer and U.S. Bank.

According to a March 19 Wall Street Journal report, the regulator fined U.S. Bank $6 million and Oppenheimer $1 million after both firms (allegedly) admitted to employee wrongdoing per use of outside communications channels.

ViewTrade

Retail customers will soon have a plus with the launch of NextGen, a niche-focused trading solution by ViewTrade.

The product offering enables financial firms to offer flexible service experiences.

Crypto, Blockchain, and Digital Assets

BlackRock/BNY Mellon

BlackRock launched BUIDL, its tokenization asset fund, on the Ethereum blockchain.

The investment behemoth registered the BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) (last year).

Additionally, BNY Mellon will serve as the custodian of assets. The minimum investment amount is $5 million, much higher than the $100,000 filed with the SEC.

Google/Ethereum Name Service (ENS)

Search engine giant Google has added support for the ENS project. Wallet balances are (now) shown for ENS domains in search results. Additionally, the search engine automatically resolves the wallet addresses of ENS domain names.

European Union (E.U.)

As part of anti-money laundering (AML) and other compliance measures, the European Union voted to ban crypto payments to hosted wallets from anonymous self-custody wallets. Additionally, efforts to anonymize crypto transactions are (now) prohibited within the 27 member states.

FinTech, Personal Finance, and Apps

Chime

The go-to American FinTech Chime revealed a free filing feature, allowing users to file State and Federal taxes without cost. Additionally, the streamlined process allows for full refunds.

Zoom/Theta Lake

The video communications industry got a plus with Zoom unveiling a compliance feature. Zoom Compliance Manager improves communications processes for organizations with added value and more. Theta Lake, a Santa Barbara, California FinTech, powers the solution. 

FIS/Stratyfy

Florida-based FIS partnered with Stratyfy, a decisioning FinTech. The collaboration improves SecurLOCK, the FIS card solution. 

Additionally, the cooperation improves payment processes via AI-driven processes. Stratyfy is an FIS Fintech Accelerator alumnus. 

Thredd/B4B Payments

Thredd, the boutique payments processor, announced its (American) market entry via its partnership with B4B Payments. Also, the cooperation will leverage the processing of B4B Visa and STAR Network-branded cards.

Banking, Payments, and Infrastructure

Frich Money/MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU)

Younger customers were in focus with the launch of a pilot program developed by Frich Money, a social-focused FinTech in partnership with MSUFCU.

MSUFCU selected New York-based Frich Money to join other firms in the Michigan State University Research Foundation’s Conquer Finance and Insurance Accelerator.

MSUFCU powers the program, which (aims) to attract Gen Z customers for credit unions whose average customer age is over 50.

Regional Federal Credit Union/Sharetec

Indiana-based regional Federal Credit Union revealed the selection of niche-focused Sharetec as its software vendor. The collaboration extends digital services at Regional, including payments, banking, and remote operations.

Bank of America (BofA)

Customers within the BofA ecosystem were pleasantly surprised with (the combination of) all its digital experiences into one via a single app. The banking giant unified its five products (MyMerrill, Benefits OnLine, Bank of America, Private Bank, and Merrill Edge).

Galileo Financial Technology

BNPL ecosystem Galileo Financial Technology expanded its offering to include post-purchase options for financial institutions.

Additionally, the new feature enables installment payments, improving flexibility.

REtech, InsurtTech and Investing

Duck Creek Technologies

Insurance companies now have enhanced options with the launch of a payment offering by Duck Creek, a specialty InsurTech.

Duck Creek Payments is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that connects insurers to global payment options.

Akur8/Guidewire

Insurance pricing-focused Akur8 partnered with Guidewire to launch the Akur8 Accelerator for AI-Powered Pricing. 

The solution improves pricing efficiency, is available for Guidewire PolicyCenter users, and is (also) integrated via the Guidewire Marketplace.

LogicGate

LogicGate, a cloud-based Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) solution provider, revealed the launch of dual enterprise-focused products. Cyber Risk Suite and Operational Risk Suites give enterprises a top-notch edge that sets standards.

Buddy/Stripe

Embedded insurance-focused InsurTech Buddy announced its partnership with Stripe, enabling multipayment channel e-commerce capabilities. 

Additionally, Buddy became a Stripe partner, offering advanced technology capabilities for insurance commerce.