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Kid Capitalism: Teen Banking App Step Secures $100 Million in Series C

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Just a few days after Till Financial picked up a $5 million investment for its “kids-focused” spending management app and Greenlight raised a whopping $260 million for its technology that helps parents raise “financially smart kids,” teen banking app Step announced that it had scored $100 million in Series C funding for its financial wellness solution dedicated toward helping young people develop sound financial habits.

“Our mission is to help improve the financial futures of the next generation and we’re thrilled to have such a massive vote of confidence from investors, especially during Financial Literacy Month,” Step CEO and founder CJ MacDonald said. “Thirty-eight percent of teens say they lack the financial resources needed to achieve financial independence and this is a problem Step is well positioned to help solve as we educate millions of households every day.”

The round was led by General Catalyst and featured participation from an exceptionally diverse group of existing investors. This roster included Coatue, Stripe, Charli D’Amelio, The Chainsmokers’ Mantis VC, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s firm WndrCo, actor Jared Leto, Franklin Templeton and NBA All-Star Stephen Curry. The investment takes Step’s total funding to more than $175 million.

In the time since Step launched in September of 2020, the company has amassed more than 1.5 million users of its financial wellness app. Step gives users a free, FDIC insured bank account, a secured spending card, and access to a P2P payments platform that enables users to send and receive money instantly. With 88% of the company’s users saying that Step is their first bank account, the platform claims that it is the only banking platform that enables youth to build a positive credit history before they reach 18 years old.

“For too long, conversations about money –– specifically how to manage it –– have been avoided despite what a critical role they play in shaping the future of the next generation,” actor, musician, and serial tech investor Jared Leto said. “Over twenty years ago, I set out to tackle this problem by starting a company in the space, so I’m excited to see Step addressing the financial literacy crisis head on with game-changing technology built to help young people learn about money in their digitally native environments.”

Step is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and was co-founded by MacDonald and Alexey Kalinichenko. The company’s financial solutions are backed by bank partner Evolve Bank & Trust.

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Source: https://finovate.com/kid-capitalism-teen-banking-app-step-secures-100-million-in-series-c/

AI

Listen: OakNorth CIO shares automation trends in commercial lending

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Commercial banks have been automating aspects of the lending and decisioning process, primarily at the lower end of the commercial lending spectrum, but hesitate to automate for loans more than $1 million. This means commercial banks have kept automations focused on loans of less than $1 million, explains Sean Hunter in this podcast discussion with […]

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Source: https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/corp-bank/listen-oaknorth-cio-shares-automation-trends-in-commercial-lending/

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Fintech

San Marino’s first neo bank leveraged by blockchain

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bkn301

Filling the gap vs the market standard, secondly leading innovation, addressing cross-border customers though tha banking-as-a-service; Enabling new services and integrating new technologies in order to create a high quality customised product; improving financial services and being able to generate new revenue streams, thanks to a broader and international approach to open banking APIs and blockchain.

These are the key strategy points of BKN301, startup FinTech based in the Republic of San Marino launched in march 2021.

Stiven Muccioli

The leader of the project is the sammarinese businessman Stiven Muccioli, who has returned to his home country after 10 years following a successful career as an investor and tech entrepreneur to launch the neo bank which provides embedded financial services and token issuing services with a B2B model.

“I sold my company Ventis at the end of 2020 for a very good deal and decided to come back to my country where I can now bring my experience and skills to drive this new startup FinTech business,” said Muccioli who launched the bank with Federico Zambelli Hosmer and Luca Bertozzi. Hosmer was former CEO of PayPal in Italy and Bertozzi was former CFO of Ventis (Iccrea Banca Group).

In the name BKN301 are hidden two keys of the project: 301 recalls the year in which San

Marino was founded and BKN draws on the word blockchain, which is a critical component of the digital platform.

The oldest republic in the world has several advantages. First of all it’s in the heart of Europe, its citizens use the euro bur it is not a European member state. Another bonus is that it’s granted the right to use its own designs on the national side of the euro coins. Then it has a specific law on the blockchain technology.

“Blockchain is super secure – said Muccioli – because when you send information or a transaction from one point to another point everyone can see it and it is not possible to hack or stall the data – it is super clear and it’s open. It will bring about a huge change in behavior and infrastructure because with blockchain you don’t need third party infrastructure. You don’t need Visa or MasterCard. It’s possible to send cash or money from one point to another point without any other player in the middle. It’s very strong for efficiency and for safe transactions”.

Who will be the customers of BKN301? “We would work with other FinTech companies and telcos – Muccioli answers. – If I am thinking of our customers, the best could be telecommunication operators, banks in other countries and software companies with a huge amount of customers with payment needs. This is because we can help increase the revenue and have more frictionless transactions. The best for us is to have customers, clients and business clients with a lot of customers and a lot of payments.”

The focus is on emerging markets: “Our key message is that we want to grant access to financial services to emerging markets and to people that are not allowed to enter into the financial system right now. Also San Marino is one of these emerging markets because we don’t have payment systems, we don’t have Apple pay, we don’t have Google pay and we need to grant access to these kinds of services and mobile payments and digital finance,” said Muccioli.

The CEO aims to reach a fast growth for BKN301. “We want to double our revenue during this year and in the next couple of years we can improve a lot on transactions and customers and we dream to reach a value of 1 billion in the next three years”.

Also the change of habits due to COVID-19 pandemic could benefit the business: “I think the pandemic could be an opportunity for us due to the change in behaviour of people as they move towards digital payments as cash is not the future for the banking system. I think in the long term, it could be a good thing for the business but in the short-term, it’s not so easy for us because there are not a lot of digital transactions as people spend less money. It’s not a super strong moment for the business but I think in the long term we’ll be fine”.

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Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/san-marinos-first-neo-bank-leveraged-by-blockchain/

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Fintech

7 Common Errors Faced by Mac Users and How to Fix Them

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Most people go for Mac devices because of their smooth and flawless performance. Your device can be free from viruses and other kinds of malware. But there are still some issues that can occur.

When using your Mac device, you may come across some common errors that are not so hard to avoid or fix them. Find the core problem of the error and check why your device is misbehaving. Here are some of the common errors that a Mac user faces.

‘Kernel Panic: You need to restart your Mac’:

It appears as a black or gray rectangle warning on your Mac display. It has a written message which says, “You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button for several seconds or press the Restart button.”

At this time, the open documents most likely won’t contain the recent changes. You can restart your Mac to fix this problem. Restarting your Mac will clear out the memory and some caches and might be enough to prevent the kernel panic from returning.

‘Your disk is almost full’:

Depending upon the version of OS you are using, there are variations on this message. When you see this message, you will be advised to make more space available by deleting files on the startup disk. If you are using the current versions of the macOS, you can use managed storage to optimize storage space.

Firstly dismiss the error message and then save any open documents. Close your apps and restart your Mac. After restarting, you can check for the available free space on the startup disk. Make sure your free space does not fall below 10 to 15 percent to have free space for more content.

‘The application “Program Name” quit unexpectedly’:

It is an application-specific issue, although it can involve other software as well. For example, your Safari app could unexpectedly quit because of the Safari extension that was misbehaving. This error does not affect any running apps normally.

But the downside is that you can lose any unsaved data in any of the documents related to the app that has stopped responding. The most common cause of this error is that the app is out of date. Visit the App Store to check if the latest version of the software is available and install the updates.

“Program Name” is not open anymore:

This message occurs on the screen when you try to interact with an app running, having one open window or two on the desktop. The app is busy with a task or just has become unresponsive. It can happen because the app has crashed or closed down.

To fix the problem, you will need to force quit the app and then re-launch it. If you don’t know how it’s done, find the Force Quit option under the Apple menu. Click on the affected app from the list of software.

Numeric Error Codes:

Error codes that appear with a numerical like Error-36 and Error-43 are mostly meaningless, and your device usually tries to protect you from them. But at times, they can appear on your screen in some poorly written apps and some older versions of Apple’s apps.

For instance, mac error code 43 happens when your Mac cannot locate the file in question and cannot complete the requested action. It can happen when you want to move a file or copy it. To fix the Error-43, you can select the force quit option for the Finder app and then re-launch it.

Unresponsive Application:

Sometimes an application hangs up whenever you open it. It also freezes your Mac, and you are unable to do other things, including quitting the app.

You can force quit the app by selecting it from the Apple icon or do it by choosing the Command-Option-Escape. Make sure to choose the application that is not responding before hitting on the force quit option.

Startup Issues:

When a blank or gray screen appears on your Mac instead of your desktop screen, then you can try booting in Safe Mode. It allows the Mac to boot with the bare minimum of software and drivers required. Your device will run a check on your startup disk and repair any issues that may be causing it.

Make sure that you start up in a safe mood. Press and hold the Shift key, which makes the Apple logo appear, and then the login screen. You can release the button once the login screen appears.

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Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/7-common-errors-faced-by-mac-users-and-how-to-fix-them/

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Crowdfunding

Canadian Digital Banking Platform Relay Secures $19.4 Million

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Relay, a Canada-based digital banking platform for small businesses, announced on Thursday it raised US$19.4 million in funding, which includes US$15 million through its Series A funding round that was led by Bain Capital Ventures and seed round of $4.4 million led by Better Tomorrow Ventures, Garage Capital, Tribe Capital, Panache, and Amaranthine.

Founded in 2018, Relay is looking to fully automate the finance function for small businesses through banking that deeply integrates into the back-office systems business owners rely on. The company’s product increases financial visibility and security while significantly reducing time spent on administration. Relay also noted that it is “building banking that is tailor-made” for employer SMBs, offering more customized functionality and support than a traditional bank. Relay Co-Founder and CEO, Yoseph West, further explained:

“Eighty-two percent of businesses fail due to cash flow issues, and traditional banking doesn’t help — business banking is often confusing, expensive, and siloed from other systems. We’re building a challenger bank that helps businesses succeed by offering powerful tools to increase cash flow visibility and streamline time-consuming financial processes — in addition to being affordable and easy to use.”

Relay is on track to have processed $1 billion worth of transactions by the end of 2021. The company went on to add that the funds will be used to accelerate its mission to increase the success rate of small businesses by automating financial management for business owners.

Relay will use this funding to increase customer acquisition, grow the engineering and product teams, and further integrate its platform into the small business back office.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/05/175335-canadian-digital-banking-platform-relay-secures-19-4-million/

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