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Wealthfront to open client portfolios to crypto investments

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Today, Wealthfront announced new features for its investment portfolios that will enable clients to invest in a wider range of carefully vetted ETFs and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) options.

The company is also exploring options to enable clients to add crypto to their Wealthfront portfolio. The expanded portfolio features further enhance Wealthfront’s investment portfolios, which will continue to allow clients to add the magic of Wealthfront’s automated investment services, like rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting, as well as access to the company’s fiduciary advice and financial planning tools at no additional cost.

Wealthfront’s New Investment Offering

These updates further position Wealthfront as a leading investment platform for young investors who want flexibility with their investments and reassurance they are putting their money in the right place to build long-term wealth.

“This launch opens up an enormous opportunity for Wealthfront,” said Dan Carroll, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Wealthfront. “Our current clients alone have over $50 billion in assets linked to Wealthfront sitting in outside brokerages. Adding the ability for them to invest with Wealthfront based on their values and beliefs and apply the benefit of our automation, will enable them to simplify their investment activities and pursue their goals by trusting the management of those assets to us.”

Despite recent headlines touting meme stocks and phenomena like $GME, Wealthfront has found that many young investors want a buy-and-hold investment strategy to build wealth for the long term, while preserving flexibility to try out different investments along the way. Most importantly, the majority of young investors want good advice that validates their decisions or shows them better options. As an SEC-registered investment adviser, Wealthfront is an attractive partner because it is legally obligated to provide advice and information that’s in its clients’ best interest, setting Wealthfront apart from other financial apps that do not have this obligation. Not only will clients get Wealthfront’s automation, they will be investing their money with a company that has their best interests at heart and can help them build meaningful wealth, rather than riding the rollercoaster of day trading.

Wealthfront’s client-centric approach to investing, along with its new investment options, has attracted the support of big names like NFL linebacker, financial literacy advocate and UPenn adjunct professor, Brandon Copeland. Copeland has been working with Wealthfront throughout the month of April to help people get over the initial inertia and fear associated with investing and financial planning.

“Wealthfront provides a high level of advice and care and is a leader in delivering access to investment opportunities to young and new investors,” said Copeland. “I’m happy to help spread the word about a service that can help people build wealth and invest in accordance with their beliefs and values.”

In addition to investing in a classic Wealthfront recommended portfolio, starting today clients can build their own portfolio from a list of ETFs carefully vetted by Wealthfront’s research team. Two particularly exciting options for clients are Wealthfront’s expanded SRI options and the ability to add Wealthfront’s US Direct Indexing strategy on its own. Wealthfront plans to continue to build tools that allow clients to further customize their investment portfolios, including the addition of more ETFs and crypto. To open a Wealthfront account, download the app on the App Store or Google Play or visit www.wealthfront.com.

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/87358/wealthfront-to-open-client-portfolios-to-crypto-investments?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Central bankers split on CBDC future

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The debate over the value of CBDCs continues to simmer, with central bankers on either side of the pond weighing in with very different opinions.

More than half of the world’s central banks are actively exploring CBDCs, while some, most notably China’s, are well on the way to a full launch.

In a speech this week, Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe gave one of the strongest hints yet that the UK is on its way towards some form of Britcoin.

“We may not be there yet, but it looks probable in this country that if we want to retain public money capable of general use, and available to all citizens, the state will need to issue, public digital money,” Cunliffe told his audience.

In contrast, Boston Federal Reserve president Eric Rosengren has offered up his own, less enthusiastic, views on the subject of a digital dollar.

“It is important to understand what problems a central bank digital currency is being designed to solve, and whether other technologies could more cheaply or efficiently address those problems,” said Rosengren at a virtual event this week.

Rosengren highlighted familiar potential upsides to CBDCs, including more financial inclusion and cheaper cross-border payments, but also stressed the risks to financial stability.

Despite the misgivings, Rosengren’s Boston Fed is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a “hypothetical” digital currency platform.

Meanwhile in the UK, the Bank of England and UK Treasury recently launched a fintech taskforce to coordinate exploratory work on a potential CBDC.

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/38049/central-bankers-split-on-cbdc-future?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Wise looks to next generation of IT staff with coding school kood / Jõhvi

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Money transfer platform Wise is collaborating on a cloud-based edcuational initiative to help solve an IT skills shortage in its home country of Estonia.

Estonia, home to over 1,100 startups and 7 unicorns is currently short of thousands of IT specialists, and women occupy only 1/5 of jobs in the sector.

The new coding school, kood / Jõhvi, is aiming to bridge the gap, paving the way for hundreds of new IT specialists to enter the Estonian job market every year. The two-year study programme is built on a cloud-based platform where each student moves at their own pace, solving the tasks set by the system. There are no teachers or traditional classes in Jõhvi school and the studies are free of charge.

Wise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, says: “As a self-learner myself who dropped out of a traditional university CS degree, this innovative, practical school would have been ideal for my studies.”

Wise has collaborated with the programme to set up a fintech study track and will be involved in the school’s day-to-day life by organising events such as hackathons, company visits and talks.

Estonia is home to Wise’s biggest office with over 1000 employees. The company says it will look to rectruit kood / Jõhvi students as full-time employees after graduation.

To apply, future students need to complete an online test which evaluates their logical thinking and problem solving skills. The school will then invite 600 candidates for a 3-week intense test period. The first 200 students will start their two-year studies at kood / Jõhvi in September 2021.

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/38047/wise-looks-to-next-generation-of-it-staff-with-coding-school-kood–jhvi?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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MFS Africa invests in Cameroon’s Maviance

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Pan-African digital payments hub MFS Africa has made a $3 million investment in Cameroon-based fintech Maviance.

Maviance operates a digital financial services platform, called Smobilpay, designed to help Cameroon’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as their customers, ditch cash.

The platform serves over 500,000 unique customers a month, and has connected key service providers, payment providers, financial institutions and mobile money operators.

The new funding will be used to increase Maviance’s footprint in Cameroon and to expand into other countries in the central African economic region.

Jerry Cheambe, founder, Maviance, says:: “The opportunities within central Africa are huge, and the demand has been massively accelerated in the last 12 months with the advent of Covid-19 as businesses of all sizes adopt digital financial services.

“Moreover, the shift in the mindset of regulators towards progressive regulations as well as regulatory alignment, enable us to deliver seamless services across multiple geographies and customer segments.”

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/38046/mfs-africa-invests-in-cameroons-maviance?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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MovoCash launches on-demand mobile banking app

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MovoCash, Inc., a California-based Fintech company, announced today the launch of a first-of-its-kind ON-DEMAND Mobile Banking (“ODMB”) app with End-to-End CONTACTLESS Payments in partnership with Mastercard® and Coastal Community Bank.

MOVO’s patented ecosystem technology, called HyperBIN®, is built to use digital tokens to manage the convergence of traditional banking solutions with mobile payments, blockchain, distributed ledger, cryptographic and AI technologies.

“Our patented ‘Digital Cash’ Brand Network is what every consumer will expect from this day forward,” said Eric Solis, CEO; Founder of MovoCash, Inc. “ODMB will fundamentally shift the way people act and think about digital transactions.”

HyperBIN® delivers real-time bank accounts and debit cards. This includes instant delivery, issuance, activation, secure and settled banking, merchant payment and P2P transactions redeemable at 45 million merchants and over one million ATMs worldwide.

MOVO’s ecosystem solution delivers differentiated experiences focused on a comprehensive set of banking and payment features. CASH Cards® are ON-DEMAND minting of ultra-secure, customizable, single and/or multi-use payment cards, delivering complete control of who gets access to your money and how much. MOVO Pay® (P2P2P®) allows users to send digital cash to anyone using an email or mobile number for instant spending.

“Coastal Community Bank was looking for an innovative digital bank that will take fintech to the next level,” said Eric Sprink, President and CEO of Coastal Community Bank. “We’re thrilled to partner with MovoCash, a digital leader that brings a unique solution with top-notch fraud protection and compliance security to the market. MOVO is changing the payments game, we are excited to join them on this journey.”

The MOVO® Digital Debit Mastercard® is issued by Coastal Community Bank pursuant to license by Mastercard International. MOVO accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. Fees apply. 

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Source: https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/87632/movocash-launches-on-demand-mobile-banking-app?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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