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Fintech focus: BlockFi launches crypto deposit account; Visa, PayActiv team up

S&P Global Market Intelligence rounds up financial technology companies' recent product launches, partnership announcements and fundraising activity, as well as regulatory developments in the fintech space. Please send tips to Rachel.Stone@spglobal.com. For more fintech news, click here.

Payments

Pursuant to a partnership between Visa Inc. and PayActiv, Inc., the latter's partner businesses will be able to offer real-time deposit capabilities of earned funds to their employees by utilizing Visa Direct's real-time push payments platform. The funds will be made available to a Visa debit or reloadable prepaid card, including the new PayActiv Visa Prepaid Card.

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NetCents Technology Inc. completed the expansion of its merchant reach and gateway integrations, allowing merchants to accept cryptocurrency payments in 36 fiat currencies and over 55 countries, including China, Japan, Australia, Caribbean, South America, European Union, England, and India.

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Cetera Financial Group Inc. is rolling out a fee-for-service offering by adding AdvicePay Inc.'s payment processing service to its platform. The service will also enable Cetera Financial's advisers to accept credit cards, debit cards, and automated clearing house payments for their financial advice without opening an investment account.

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Atlanta-based fintech solutions provider BAMFi closed $30 million of second lien debt financing from Solar Capital Partners LLC and its affiliates. The financing will be used for the continued growth of BAMFi's financial technology solutions enabling clients to scale and grow.

Banking and lending

An agreement between Discover Financial Services, a direct banking and payment services company, and ZestFinance Inc., a provider of artificial intelligence software for underwriting, will allow Discover Financial to use the Zest Automated Machine Learning platform to improve credit underwriting by taking advantage of interpretable machine learning approaches to make more accurate lending decisions.

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First State Community Bank selected Jack Henry & Associates Inc. unit ProfitStars Inc.'s Commercial Lending Center Suite to enhance borrower experience and support its commercial lending growth. The platform's all-digital loan origination, automated decision-making and portfolio management workflow will enable the bank to reduce paper and streamline processes.

Insurance and healthcare

Pursuant to an agreement between Refinitiv, a financial markets data and infrastructure provider, and StoneCastle Cash Management LLC, an administrator of insured cash solutions, StoneCastle's insured cash programs will be fully integrated with Refinitiv's BETA platform. This will enable financial intermediaries and wealth advisers using the platform to connect their end clients with cash solutions to address their short-term transactional cash and longer-term strategic cash needs.

Marketing and analytics

Mastercard Inc. and FactSet Research Systems Inc. announced the launch of new industry and retail sales insights on the Open:FactSet Marketplace. The Open:FactSet Marketplace will feature Mastercard SpendingPulse, which provides insights into overall retail spending trends across all payment types, including cash and check.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency lending startup BlockFi Inc. introduced BlockFi Interest Account, a cryptocurrency deposit account that offers users an annual interest rate of 6%, paid monthly in cryptocurrency, and then compounded to produce an annual percentage yield of 6.2%, CoinDesk reported.

Trading and investing

An agreement between Nasdaq Inc. and Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres SA will allow the latter to implement the former's market surveillance technology to monitor cross-market and cross-asset trading activity across eight West African countries.

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Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. rolled out MyRepChat, a text capture program for mobile and desktop use, allowing its advisers to text with clients, manage, schedule and track messages, send out-of-office responses, and integrate messaging with their customer relationship management system, among other things.

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Following Tagomi Systems Inc.'s latest funding round, the digital asset brokerage's total funding reached $28 million, which will be used to grow operations to support and scale with client demand.