Fintech Roundup: Paypal Buys Modest, The Clearing House Weighs in on Payments Providers


Every week, we’ll be offering a quick rundown of the most relevant news in finance and technology.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) ruled that token-based services for commodities trading are money transmitters and subject to regulations for dealers of precious metals, precious stones, or jewels. This is the latest in a series of FinCEN decisions affecting businesses that offer “digital proof of custody,” which may impose stricter regulation on many US-based bitcoin services.

BitGold, a Canadian service that facilitates payments and transfers with physical gold, announced that its gold-settlement technology (Aurum) has integrated via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network with nine of the top US financial institutions. This integration combines  ACH service with immediate clearing, allowing for secure real-time gold transactions.

Trade group and banking association The Clearing House published a whitepaper urging greater measures of consumer protection from alternate payment service providers. The paper estimates the peer-to-peer payments market will reach $17 billion by 2019; representing a sizeable potential risk in privacy and data security under current regulations.

JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley are working together to fund SPReD, the Securities Product Reference Data initiative. The project will allow these competitors to consolidate and centralize their reference data on financial instruments. Creating consistent data can cut costs for all involved, provide accurate pricing for trades, and help ensure compliance.

Paypal continued its run of acquisitions by buying Modest, an e-commerce startup out of Chicago. Founded by Harper Reed, former CTO of Obama for America, Modest joins Xoom and Paydiant as smaller parts of the digital payments pie being swallowed up by Paypal during and after its split from eBay.

In a recent blog post, staff at the Bank of England posited that Twitter data could be used to predict a bank run.

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