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Trevor Lawrence To Take Signing Bonus In Crypto; Mobile Wallet Use Soars

Trevor Lawrence Partners with Blockfolio, Will Have Signing Bonus Placed into Cryptocurrency Account

Trevor Lawrence is going to get paid this week—-in crypto. He has partnered with a global cryptocurrency investment app called Blockfolio and will place his NFL signing bonus into an account with the company. Lawrence’s portfolio includes mainstream cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana. According to Spotrac, the signing bonus for this year’s No. 1 NFL pick is an estimated $22.6 million. [USA Today]

How Mobile Wallet Use Exploded from One Year in Lockdown

The effect of the pandemic on North America’s usage of cash for in-store point-of-sale transactions is clearly seen in the data from the FIS

2021 Global Payments Report. In 2019, cash had an almost 15% share of all in-store POS volume, while mobile wallets could muster only a 6% share position. In 2020, mobile wallets received a 60% boost in POS usage, growing to a 9.6% share; and cash volume fell by over 20%, to 11.4%. Going forward, FIS predicts that mobile wallet POS volume will reach 15.5% in 2024 while cash usage will fall to under 10%. [PaymentsSource]

Retailers Sue Federal Reserve Over Handling of Debit Card Fees

Two lobbying associations representing merchants in North Dakota sued the Federal Reserve to win a reduction in the fees they pay to banks each time a consumer swipes a debit card. The two associations said the Fed should vacate its rule that caps those fees at 21 cents for cards from the largest U.S. banks. The fees merchants pay to process both credit and debit cards have soared in recent years to more than $100 billion annually. Debit card fees were capped a decade ago by the so-called Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank overhaul of financial regulations. [Bloomberg]

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With Debit Cards and Investing For Kids, Fintech Startup Greenlight Doubles Valuation to $2.3 Billion

Greenlight, a startup that offers debit cards and investing for kids, has raised a $260 million Series D at a valuation of $2.3 billion, nearly doubling the unicorn valuation it received in a $215 million fundraise just last September. CEO Tim Sheehan says the money will go to accelerating marketing to parents and to hiring 300 more employees to build out new features for the app, which tripled revenue and customers last year. [Forbes]

53% Who Took on a Pandemic Hobby Went into Credit Card Debt as a Result

59% of Americans took on a new hobby during the coronavirus pandemic. The most popular hobby among those who started one during the pandemic: reading (61%), followed by baking or cooking (36%), gardening (30%), meditation (29%) and writing (26%). Nearly half (48%) of consumers who tried out a new hobby during the pandemic — such as coding or photography — have earned money turning it into a side hustle. But 53% incurred credit card debt as a result of their newfound pastime. [Lending Tree]

Visa Emerging from Pandemic ‘Storm’ as Spending Volumes Recover

Visa is emerging from the pandemic, as a surge in online shopping helped the world’s biggest payment processor beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and counter sluggish travel spending. Payment companies are seeing an uptick in volumes from the coronavirus-induced slump as massive government stimulus and speedy vaccine rollouts fuel an economic recovery, unleashing pent-up demand for both goods and services. Visa’s total payment volumes rose 11% on a constant dollar basis from a year earlier. It saw a return to positive growth for credit and card present transactions, while debit and ecommerce also grew. [Reuters]

Satisfaction with Banks Surges as Customers Switch to Digital Only, J.D. Power Reports

Customer satisfaction with the nation’s banks has surged as more consumers have switched to digital-only banking, according to new research from J.D. Power. Even though 24% of customers say they are worse off financially, overall customer satisfaction still increased. Retail bank efforts to increase customer communication, introduce customer relief and community support efforts and deliver strong digital banking services have helped them score high marks for customer satisfaction in a very challenging year. [CUToday]

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Visa Partners with Airbnb for Visa Direct Platform

Airbnb and digital payments company Visa have announced that Airbnb hosts in select markets will be able to access their earnings more quickly through a new partnership. Through Airbnb’s use of Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time push payments platform, hosts will have an option to move money from Airbnb to a bank account associated with an eligible Visa debit card. [Short Term Rentalz]

9 Best Mobile Banking Apps: Functionality and Convenience to Manage Your Money

Mobile banking apps enable you to easily perform many of your banking functions from your phone or tablet. The nine best mobile banking apps and services: Ally, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, BBVA, Wells Fargo, PNC, Discover and TD Bank. [Yahoo Finance]

16% of Mobile Devices in Developing Markets Now Infected with Malware

Mobile users already disadvantaged by an economic and digital divide have suffered the most from digital fraud throughout the pandemic. In emerging markets such as Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and Thailand, 16% of mobile devices that processed a transaction were found to be infected with malware. Globally, only 2.6% of devices are reported to be harboring high-risk apps. [Help Net Security]

A Second Bitcoin Exchange Collapses in Turkey Amid Crackdown on Cryptocurrencies.

A second cryptocurrency exchange has collapsed in Turkey amid a crackdown on the industry. The platform, Vebitcoin, said it has ceased all activities after facing financial strain. Days earlier, Thodex, went offline with its CEO reportedly leaving the country. Local media reports say Thodex founder Faruk Fatih Ozer flew to Albania, taking $2 billion of investors’ funds with him. Turkey has issued an international arrest warrant for Ozer. [CNBC]


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