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Fintech focus: Instagram rolls out in-app shopping via PayPal platform

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

Instagram Inc. rolled out a checkout feature that will be available within posts and stories with shopping stickers and tags, enabling users to buy, track and manage their purchases directly within Instagram. The feature is powered by PayPal Holdings Inc.'s processing platform PayPal for Partners.

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U.S. Worldpay Inc. merchants can now use Amazon Pay at checkout. Worldpay is the first acquirer to team up with Amazon.com Inc. and enable its online checkout service.

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Western Union Co. joined forces with cross-border payments network Thunes to allow Western Union customers to send funds directly into mobile wallets globally.

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Jack Henry & Associates Inc.'s ProfitStars Inc. division added the JHA Payment Solutions' Ensenta mobile consumer and business remote deposit capture services to the Independent Community Bankers of America Preferred Service Provider program. Ensenta helps banks mitigate risks and compliance exposure connected to mobile deposits.

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Under a partnership between ACI Worldwide Inc. and Dallas-based Solutions by Text LLC, the latter's software will be integrated with ACI's UP Bill Payments to provide customers with simple pay-by-text options. The companies expect the move will increase on-time payments and reduce collection costs.

Banking and lending

Fidelity National Financial Inc. and Black Knight Inc. partnered to develop a digital closing experience that supports both hybrid and fully digital closing options for real estate transactions. The solution's integrated eSignature technology allows for documents to be signed in advance of the closing and offers remote online notarization.

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Financial technology provider Urban FT Group Inc. launched Community Access, an agent bank program that delivers financial tools for consumer and commercial customers with a mobile-first digital banking experience.

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Genpact Ltd. and e-commerce technology company Pitney Bowes Inc. have partnered to help Pitney Bowes launch a digital equipment finance platform. Pitney Bowes Bank Inc. is starting an equipment lending business, Wheeler Financial, to help clients purchase new equipment and services with loans, leases and other financial structures.

Cryptocurrency

International Business Machines Corp. has held initial talks with two major banks in the U.S. regarding the issuance of a stablecoin, Bloomberg News reported.

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Germany-based cryptocurrency investment application provider Donut Technologies GmbH raised $1.8 million in a seed funding round to expand its engineering and design teams, develop its product and bolster its partnerships, CoinDesk reported.

Trading and investing

First Data Corp. launched Authorization Optimization, a digital commerce solution that applies intelligent transaction tools to help merchants increase authorization rates for card-on-file transactions by as much as 10%.

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Morningstar Inc. unit Morningstar Investment Management LLC selected State Street Corp.'s Charles River Investment Management Solution to support the expansion of its multi-asset portfolios by centralizing investment functions on an interoperable platform, which will automate compliance, portfolio management and risk analytics, trade lifecycle management, post-trade processing and report generation.

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An agreement between CU Capital Market Solutions LLC and Fidelity Capital Markets will allow the credit union service organization's client credit unions to gain access to Fidelity's institutional trading desk and carry out securities transactions with it directly, Credit Union Journal reported.

Data and information management

Pzena Investment Management LLC signed up for IHS Markit Ltd.'s enterprise data management solution to use the solution as a data hub for securities prices, accounts and other entities.