Posted In:


Launder Your Money!


Mar 07, 2020


Posted In:



Mar 07, 2020



All money, it turns out, should be laundered… Your credit card may be dirtier than a New York City subway pole, and your cash may contain more pathogens than a toilet!

Our bills are home to DNA from animals, traces of drugs, fecal matter, and hundreds of bacteria and viruses. US money is still made from a blend of cotton and linen, which has been shown to have higher bacterial growth than the plastic-polymer notes, issued in over 50 other countries.

Pesky microbes can live on most surfaces for about 48 hours, but paper money can reportedly transport a live flu virus for up to 17 days.

Several countries, including China and South Korea, have taken measures to isolate and disinfect hordes of banknotes with ultraviolet light and exposing it to temperatures over 150 degrees celsius. These bills are not being recirculated and China alone is issuing more than $86b of new notes!

Enjoy your weekend of social distancing and trying to avoid, as the cockney dictionary now defines, a dose of the “Miley Cyrus”!

Portfolio News

Congratulations Gabrielle Haddad, named to the Women in Fintech Powerlist 2019 - Innovate Finance has published its annual list of women shaping the future of finance. Congrats to Gabrielle Haddad, COO and Co-Founder of portfolio company Sigma Ratings for the recognition! Read more

MoneyLion and Mastercard discuss partnership and collaboration - Consumers increasingly want (and expect) on-demand access to their money. Portfolio company MoneyLion, with Mastercard, want to facilitate "instant everything" to help members avoid the financial stress of waiting for two to seven days for checks to clear and payments to settle. Read more

Launder Your Money!

Cockneys announce 'Miley Cyrus' as official rhyming slang for coronavirus - In typical cockney slang tradition, one should only use the first half of the term. Used in a sentence, it will be something like, “Oi, wash yer brass bands, we don’t want a dose of that Miley.” Read more

Germ scores for your daily NYC items - Cards ranked the highest with a germ score of 1,206 followed by CitiBike, Cash, and a Park Bench. The lowest was surprisingly the NYC Subway pole with a score of 68. (It is recommended a food establishment have a score of 10 or less). Read more

Fed quarantines US dollars repatriated from Asia - On average, the US Federal Reserve distributes $34b in paper notes every year. The Fed has begun quarantining physical dollars that it repatriates from Asia before recirculating them in the U.S. financial system as a precautionary measure against spreading the virus. Read more

China is sterilizing cash in an attempt to stop the coronavirus spreading - The People’s Bank of China arranged to allocate nearly 600 billion yuan ($86b) of new banknotes. Money removed from high-risk sites such as hospitals and markets would be sealed and specially treated, but it would then be held by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) instead of re-entering circulation, officials said. Read more

Industry News

Robinhood says it’s experiencing a ‘system-wide outage’ as markets rebound in heavy volume Monday - The technical problems come amid the market’s attempt at a rebound on Monday from the worst week for stocks since the financial crisis. Robinhood says in February, it executed over 36m trades and peaked at 2m trades in a single day more than double its average last year. Read more

Ant Financial takes minority stake in Klarna - Details on the deal were not disclosed, but Reuters reported the stake to be less than 1% and a "slight uptick" from the last round, which valued Klarna at $5.5b. Read more

India’s supreme court lifts ban on banks facilitating cryptocurrency trade - The country’s highest court today quashed a 2018 central bank order barring lenders from dealing with crypto exchanges. The supreme court today said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ban on crypto was “unconstitutional.” Read more

'Sharia Fintech': startups race to tap Indonesia growth by aligning with Islam - Winning over conservative Muslims in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country is both a challenge and multi-billion dollar opportunity for fintech firms that are riding its mobile internet boom and aim to sell financial services. Read more

Indian bank meltdown takes out Walmart’s leading payments app - Walmart’s Indian payments service went down late Thursday after India’s central bank seized control of Yes Bank and froze transactions with the troubled domestic lender. Read more

Buffett-backed StoneCo goes to war with Brazilian banks - The StoneCo CEO says his success with payments, similar to Square, was just a ‘Trojan horse’ as the company now prepares to distribute insurance and credit cards to its client base. The company has a market cap of $11b. Read more

‘CoronaCoin’ cryptocurrency lets traders cash in - The coin’s creators have tried marketing it as a “2019-nCoV relief effort,” the website shows, by claiming that around 20% of the supply will be allocated for monthly donations to the Red Cross. There are 7.6b tokens, representing the population of Earth, and with each case/death a token is "burned." Read more

Mortgage rates hit a record low, but current market conditions may deter buyers - With the fed cutting interest rates to try and counteract the economic impacts of coronavirus, mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest levels on record. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is now 3.29%. Read more

The drive to digital payments at MoneyGram - Store locations will likely result in less walk-in business for MoneyGram, which accounts for 78% of revenue. MoneyGram FastSend is a digital service built on Visa Debit rails with a flat $1.99 fee and a limit of $10,000 per transaction. Read more

Select Financings

Aiera - New York based investment workflow and events insights platform raised $7m in Series A financing led by Fin Venture Capital and Macquarie Group. Read more

Airbase - San Francisco based spend management platform raised $23.5m in Series A funding led by Bain Capital Ventures. Read more

Empower Finance - San Francisco based challenger bank raised $20m in Series A funding led by Icon Ventures and Defy Ventures. Read more

Jassby - Boston based family finance app raised $5m in the latest venture round from Moneta Capital and Needham Bank. Read more

Leap Finance - India based startup lender for foreign-bound Indian students raised $5.5m in Seed financing led by Sequoia Capital India. Read more - Seattle based platform to automate and manage cloud expenses raised $3.3m in Seed funding led by Amplify Partners and Pioneer Square Labs. Read more

Thought Machine - London based cloud platform powering banking services raised $83m in Series B funding led by Draper Esprit. Read more


FinTech Collective Newsletter

Curated News with Context

Delivered every Saturday, the weekly newsletter, produced by our team, provides a tightly edited rundown of global fintech news, along with a bit of our original analysis.