FinTech for Whom?

The Federal Reserve moves on faster payments. Articles this week show the progress and the practicalities. Meanwhile, a secondary market starts to develop for marketplace lenders while two of our 2016 trends, regulation and the blockchain, heat up.

Fed provides payments progress report

Following the release of its Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payments System, the Federal Reserve announced Tuesday that the two committees tasked with bettering America’s payments system have listed 36 criteria for a faster payments, Finextra reports. “When implemented, the strategies will contribute to public confidence and the global competitiveness of the U.S. payments system,” says Esther George, CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Has the race to faster payments come off the rails? provides another view in its most recent Faster Payments tracker. In its February cover story, it examines whether it’s practical for banks to use a FinTech option as the primary means for an integrated real-time payments system. The short version: it’s risky.

J.P. Morgan acquires nearly $1 billion worth of Lending Club loans

The portfolio, which is reportedly worth more than $900 million and has loans made to consumers with an average FICO score of about 700, was sold for a premium to the outstanding balance on the loans, reports Expect a secondary market in alternative loans to continue to develop infrastructure and deals throughout the year.

EU set to regulate cryptocurrencies on security fears

It’s about to get harder to use prepaid cards and virtual currencies in the UK. The new regulations have emerged out of fear that such systems would be used for terrorist organizations, according to Info Security Magazine.

Deloitte: blockchain will become a reality in 2016

In what is becoming the blockchain roundup of the week, Deloitte reports that 2015 was a key year for declining skepticism and increased understanding of blockchain’s potential, and Deloitte’s survey results point toward a continuation and acceleration in this trend. Still don’t know what blockchain is? Steven Norton breaks it down in the Wall Street Journal, and American Banker outlines Bank of America’s blockchain patent efforts, which raises questions about the legality of what was once an open-source code for all.To subscribe to FinTech Articles of the Week, go here.