Affirm and Zip to Power BNPL for Google Pay

Affirm and Zip to Power BNPL for Google Pay
  • Google Pay is partnering with both Affirm and Zip to offer BNPL at checkout.
  • The BNPL option will launch with select merchants in the first quarter of next year in a pilot phase.
  • Google’s move into BNPL follows Apple’s launch of Apple Pay Later and Amazon’s integration with Affirm, both of which began this fall.

As buy now, pay later (BNPL) rises high on analysts’ lists of hot trends for 2024, today’s news of Google adopting the technology may make the BNPL trend climb to the top next year.

Affirm and Zip announced separately (Affirm’s and Zip’s) that their BNPL technology will be available to U.S. consumers transacting online using Google Pay at select merchants. The integration will roll out in a pilot phase in the first quarter of next year and will roll out to more merchants after that.

During the pilot phase, shoppers at select merchants will see a promotional banner at the top of the Google Pay online checkout page promoting Zip’s and Affirm’s BNPL options. If the user chooses BNPL as their payment method and are approved, they can spread out their payments in installments for purchases over $35.

“With Zip available in the Google Pay checkout experience, we are bridging a gap and providing a flexible credit product for the many consumers overlooked by traditional credit products,” said Zip Co-founder and U.S. CEO Larry Diamond. “By offering Zip payment solutions through Google Pay, we’re empowering consumers with more choices while providing merchants with a powerful tool to increase conversion rates and build lasting customer relationships. It’s a win-win scenario where convenience meets commerce, fostering a more dynamic and responsive shopping experience.”

Zip’s Pay-In-4 BNPL tool is limited to four installments spread across six weeks, while Affirm offers consumers repayment terms that range from four interest-free payments every two weeks to monthly installments.

“By integrating Affirm into Google Pay, we are making it easier for consumers to take advantage of Affirm’s flexible and transparent payment options and for merchants to drive growth,” said Affirm Director of Strategic Partnerships Jamie Cunningham. “This is an exciting step forward in our distribution strategy, as roughly half of shoppers are using digital wallets more frequently than they did before the pandemic and mobile commerce is growing faster than overall e-commerce.”

Google’s use of two vendors in this area is unusual. It is possible that it plans to test which offering is most popular among users during the pilot phase and then limit its partnership to one BNPL player for the official launch. However, it’s more likely that Google aims to expand its customer base by targeting users familiar with either Zip or Affirm, enhancing its reach across different customer segments.

Also worth noting is how closely Google is following its competition. Apple Pay rolled out its own BNPL tool, Apple Pay Later, in October and Amazon entered the BNPL space last month in partnership with Affirm. With Google Pay joining the ranks and making BNPL more accessible for consumers, the use of BNPL is likely to skyrocket in 2024, especially as consumers recover from holiday spending while fighting cost of living increases.

Photo by Matthew Kwong on Unsplash

Google Moves to Stop Predatory Lending Practices

Google Moves to Stop Predatory Lending Practices
  • Google is updating its Personal Loans policy for apps in the Google Play store.
  • The update prohibits lending apps from accessing borrower’s personal information and bans unlicensed lending apps from the Google Play Store.
  • The new rules go into effect May 31.

Google updated the Personal Loans policy for its Google Play store this week, adding a restriction to protect end users from predatory loan practices.

The update restricts lending apps from accessing sensitive user data– including photos, videos, call logs, precise location, and external data. The move comes as a response to recent unethical, predatory practices. According to TechCrunch, there have been reports of debt collectors associated with lending apps on the Google Play store that have inappropriately leveraged user data in an attempt to collect on borrowers in default.

Specifically, debt collectors in both India and Kenya have allegedly called a borrower’s friends and family to inform them of the user’s debt and have even manipulated images from the borrower’s camera roll in an attempt to intimidate them. TechCrunch reports that these moves have, in “a number” of cases, caused borrowers to take their own lives.

The update, which will be implemented on May 31, states, “Apps that provide personal loans, or have the primary purpose of facilitating access to personal loans (i.e., lead generators or facilitators), are prohibited from accessing sensitive data, such as photos and contacts.”

Google’s update this week also bans unlicensed lending apps from the Android app store. These illegitimate apps are likely some of the primary offenders in predatory practices towards borrowers.

Photo by Anete Lusina

Google Pay Steps Up Embedded Finance, Banking Tools

Google Pay Steps Up Embedded Finance, Banking Tools

After reviving Google Pay in November of last year, Google made an announcement today that is sure to turn some heads in the fintech space. The two most relevant elements in today’s news release are new shopping options and spending insights.

To offer new shopping options, Google has partnered with Safeway and Target to help users browse weekly deals on groceries at Safeway and Target locations from within the Google Pay app. The app will enable shoppers to save their favorite items to purchase at a later date. Soon, users will be able to turn on push notifications to see deals from 500 Safeway stores and nationwide Target stores when they are nearby (if they have location services enabled).

The additional embedded shopping tools bring added stickiness to the app. However, Google will need to offer shopping experiences at more than just two stores to truly capture users’ attention.

Google Pay’s new spending insights tool comes a bit closer to what consumers may expect to see at their traditional bank. Via the Insights tab, users can see their account balance, view upcoming bill reminders, analyze weekly spend summaries, and receive alerts when large transactions are made. Under the Insights umbrella, Google also made it easy for users to view transactions by merchant or by category.

While the new spending insights may prove to be useful to shoppers, without more robust budgeting, planning, and forecasting tools Google Pay is unlikely to win consumers over from their traditional bank.

In today’s release, Google also added two more cities in which travelers can pay for transit. Via an integration with Token Transit, users in the San Francisco Bay area and Chicago can purchase and use mobile transit tickets through the Google Pay app. The two new cities join the list of 80 cities and towns across the U.S. that already offer travelers transit purchasing capabilities via Google Pay.

Regardless of the shortcomings of today’s new features, both banks and fintechs should be wary of Google Pay’s next moves. The app’s embedded finance capabilities, including grocery shopping and added transit ticket purchasing, are a signal of what is to come. Similarly, if Google Pay continues to add more personal financial management tools, such as budgeting and retirement planning, consumers may want to spend more time within the Google Pay environment and less time in their traditional banks’ app.

Google Teams with 11 Banks to Launch Plex Bank Accounts

Google Teams with 11 Banks to Launch Plex Bank Accounts

The word Plex may have been a meaningless word yesterday but starting today you can expect to see it pulse throughout news headlines.

That’s because Google is making updates to its Google Pay app and has announced that it has partnered with 11 banks and credit unions to offer a new mobile-first bank account integrated into Google Pay. The tech giant will begin offering these bank accounts, called Plex Accounts, starting next year.

Among those on the list of partner banks and credit unions are:

  • Citi
  • Stanford FCU
  • Seattle Bank
  • The Harbor Bank of Maryland
  • State Employees FCU
  • BankMobile
  • Bank of Montreal
  • First Independence Bank
  • BBVA
  • GreenDot
  • Coastal Community Bank

Plex accounts will offer both checking and savings accounts, will not charge monthly fees, won’t charge for overdrafts, and will not have minimum balance requirements.

Users can download Google Pay to join the waitlist or apply for a Plex account through Citi or Stanford Federal Credit Union, which are pioneering the new accounts.

Google is also revamping its Google Pay app to centralize around relationships. Users can pay and view past transactions in a stream-like interface that is organized around conversations and activity.

Customers can also use Google Pay to find offers and loyalty info on businesses they frequent. In fact, Google has forged merchant partnerships with Burger King, Etsy, REI Co-op, Sweetgreen, Target, and Warby Parker to help users view and activate rewards.

Capitalizing on the embedded finance trend, Google has made multiple purchasing experiences available from within Google Pay. Users can order food at 100,000+ restaurants, buy gas at over 30,000 gas stations, and pay for parking in more than 400 cities– all from within the app.

Google Pay aims to be a hub for three things: paying, saving, and insights. When users connect their bank accounts, Google will provide periodic spending summaries and show trends and insights over time. This will look different from a traditional budgeting interface. Instead of pie charts, the spending insights will focus on bite-sized pieces of information such as how much the user spent over the weekend, or how much they spent at a particular location.

This type of Big Tech bank is something that the fintech community has been talking about for a long time. Will Google’s Plex accounts challenge the challenger banks? I guess we’ll find out in 2021!

Photo by Kai Wenzel on Unsplash

Google, 21st Century Branch Banking, and the Power of the Platform

Google, 21st Century Branch Banking, and the Power of the Platform

This year, FinovateFall Digital brought representatives from some of technology’s biggest players to our all-digital stage. One of these individuals was Paul Rohan, Solutions Consultant with Google Cloud.

Rohan’s presentation on the future of banking showed a connection between the evolution of branch banking and the necessary changes banking will need to undergo in order to thrive in the 21st century. He also discussed the changing nature of competition in financial services brought on by trends like open banking.

Check out our interview with Rohan ahead of his FinovateFall Digital presentation last month.

On the current state of open banking and PSD2

This is a major change in mindset because you start to realize that you could have the very best banking product with superb features and brilliant pricing. But if it’s not a part of these connected digital experiences across multiple brands that customers are increasingly demanding, it could fail. And you could have a middle of the road, not the best financial product, with not the best prices and not the best features. But, boy, if it pops up with the right context, with the right personalization, and the right customization – in these connected digital experiences – it could be a tremendous success.

On open banking as 21st century branch banking

Why did unit banks fall away and then branch banking become the norm? Because it didn’t matter how superb the staff were in the one branch you had, or how wonderful the customer experience was once they came into the branch, or how fast the decision-making was because everyone in your bank was in that one location. But if your one branch was in the wrong town, or beside the wrong industries, as things changed, it didn’t matter how wonderful the user experience was … In essence, (branch banking) started to allow customers to begin their customer journey with the bank where they were living their lives or where they did business.

On the difference between pursuing an app strategy versus a platform strategy as a financial services provider.

The sociology is quite different. In a traditional enterprise that’s quite reliant on doing everything themselves, and there’s always a human desire to innovate and serve your customers, if you do something clever to serve your customers, there is a big round of applause: “This is exactly what we should be doing.”

Companies that are immersed in the connected experiences of digital ecosystems (are) all about trying to make your partners clever. Enable them to be clever because they’ll do the customization, they’ll do the personalization. So there’s a huge amount of thought that goes into taking friction and difficulty out of your partner’s ability to deal with you, and to extend your brand and your proposition into segments you don’t want to serve yourself directly or you couldn’t serve yourself directly.

Watch the rest of the conversation. And for more from our FinovateFall Digital speakers, check out our Finovate TV YouTube playlist.

Six More Banks to Launch Digital Bank Accounts with Google

Six More Banks to Launch Digital Bank Accounts with Google

Step aside, challenger banks. Google and a band of eight traditional FIs are coming for you.

News broke this morning that six financial institutions have joined Citi and Stanford Federal Credit Union in offering checking and savings accounts through Google Pay. The new banks include BankMobile, BBVA USA, BMO Harris, The Coastal Community Bank, First Independence Bank, and SEFCU.

These new accounts will leverage Google Pay’s existing infrastructure, which will serve as the front end of a fully digital banking experience.

BBVA announced today that its accounts will launch in 2021 as co-branded, FDIC-insured accounts. The bank will provide the account, while Google will provide the front-end, user experience, and financial insights. The collaboration will be facilitated by the BBVA Open Platform, the bank’s open banking initiative.

“BBVA has focused for decades on how it could use digital to advance the financial industry and, in so doing, create more and better opportunities for customers to manage their financial health,” BBVA USA President and CEO Javier Rodríguez Soler said. “Collaborations with companies like Google represent the future of banking. Consumers end up the true winners when finance and big tech work together for their benefit.”

Aside from the list of bank partners, there are not many details available about the new, hybrid accounts. Tech rumor site 9 to 5 Google speculates, however, that Google with leverage the partnerships to issue its own branded debit card.

Photo by David Armstrong on Unsplash

Finovate Alumni News


  • BondIT Raises $4 Million in New Funding, Adding to Series B.
  • Mortgagetech Magnates Ellie Mae and Blend Team Up.

Around the web

  • Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka & Finance to deploy core account processing platform and front-end teller systems from Fiserv.
  • PayPal expands its relationship with Google Pay, enabling PayPal as a payment option across the Google ecosystem.
  • Revolut announces plans to open office in Edinburgh, Scotland later this year.
  • Prosper increases borrower lending cap to $40,000, matching Lending Club’s cap.
  • OurCrowd signs MOU with Intesa Sanpaolo to promote access to capital.
  • IDG Connect interviews CurrencyCloud CTO Ed Addario.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alums Earn Spots on insideBIGDATA IMPACT 50 List

Finovate Alums Earn Spots on insideBIGDATA IMPACT 50 List

It is no surprise to see companies like NVIDIA, Intel, Dell EMC, and SAS at the top of the quarterly insideBIGDATA IMPACT 50 roster. But what caught our eye was the handful of Finovate alums that won recognition on insideBIGDATA’s review of companies that are “making waves in the technology areas of big data, data science, machine learning, AI, and deep learning.”

“Our in-box is filled each day with new announcements, commentaries, and insights about what’s driving the success of our industry so we’re in a unique position (to) publish our quarterly IMPACT 50 List of the most important movers and shakers in our industry,” Daniel D. Gutierrez, managing editor and resident data scientist of insideBIGDATA wrote in an article accompanying the announcement.

What does it take to make the list? Gutierrez explained that the roster consists of companies that “exhibit technology leadership, strength of offering, proven innovation, positivity of message, quality perception in the enterprise, intensity and frequency of social media buzz, high profile of members of the C-suite, and in the case of public companies: positive financial indicators and stock price, and so much more!”

Our five honored Finovate alums are below. To see the full list of 50 “DataTech” companies, visit insideBIGDATA.

#9 Google (Europe 2018, Fall 2011): Appearing first on the Finovate stage with its Google Advisor solution and as recently as this spring in partnership with KBC Bank Ireland, Google is in the top ten of insideBIGDATA’s Impact 50 list. Google needs little introduction as one of the companies that has done the most to bring the benefits of data to technology consumers via solutions like Search, Maps, Google Play, and its Chrome browser. Founded in 1998, Google is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

#14 Kinetica (Europe 2018, Fall 2017):  Founded in 2009 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, Kinetica enables financial institutions to conduct on-demand risk calculations using the most up-to-date data with “sub-second speed.” High frequency trading firms and traditional asset managers alike can leverage Kinetica’s technology to measure risk, identify customer behavioral patterns, and locate up-sell opportunities. With $63 million in funding, Kinetica includes fellow insideBIGDATA Impact 50 members Dell EMC, NVIDIA, and Google Cloud Platform among its partners.

#15 MapD (Spring 2017, Fall 2016): Developer of the world’s fastest open source SQL engine, MapD harnesses GPUs to deliver extreme speed at scale. Based in San Francisco, MapD provides users with powerful data visualizations made possible by the technology’s ability to query and render billions of rows of data in milliseconds. MapD’s technology originated from research conducted at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Todd Mostak is CEO of the company, which was founded in 2013.

#40 Narrative Science (Fall 2013, Spring 2013): Specialists in Advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP), Narrative Science builds solutions that enable financial institutions to analyze, understand, communicate, and act upon their data quickly and efficiently. The company’s technology can turn ordinary numeric and symbolic data and visualizations into “intelligent narratives” that express insights and context in language that is indistinguishable from that of a human author. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and founded in 2010, Narrative Science has raised more than $43 million in funding. Stuart Frankel is CEO.

#46 TIBCO (Asia 2013, Asia 2012): Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California, TIBCO is a leader in integration, API management, and analytics. The company’s TIBCO Connected Intelligence Cloud gives enterprise users access to a unified suite of services including the company’s low-code development platform, TIBCO Cloud Live Apps. The company was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in September 2014 in a deal valued at $4.3 billion. TIBCO made headlines earlier this year with the appointment of a new CTO and COO.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Nordic Capital Fund Acquires Majority Share of Trustly.

Around the web

  • Coinbase granted e-money license by U.K’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); joins Faster Payments Scheme courtesy of partnership with Barclays Bank.
  • ACI Worldwide announces contract extension with DBS.
  • Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade for Vietnam (Vietcombank) picks trade finance platform from Finastra.
  • nCino and Enforce partner to accelerate cloud adoption for financial institutions.
  • Tradeshift partners with Canon Business Process Services.
  • Pindrop partners with Aeriandi to detect fraudulent calls through cloud platforms.
  • GMO’s Trade adds Trustly as payment option.
  • Kabbage teams with New Media to advertise to more than five million small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) that do business in New Media’s markets.
  • OnDeck appoints Kenneth Brause as CFO.
  • Sandia Area Credit Union hires Insuritas to launch member-owned, digitally-powered insurance agency.
  • Oregon Community CU selects Alkami Technology’s digital banking platform to provide its more than 150,000 members with a modern digital banking offering.
  • Bankjoy selected to compete in Google Demo Day in March.
  • TSYS implements new payment solution, Advanced AuthControl, with Walmart and Sam’s Club locations around the U.S.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Opentech ranked third in the Mastercard’s worldwide Directory of Digital Wallet providers. Come see Opentech’s live demo at FinovateEurope next week.
  • Yoyo named Best Mobile Payment Solution at MPE Awards. Come see Yoyo’s demo at FinovateEurope next week in London.
  • CapitaWorld launches smart loan disintermediation ecosystem for micro, small, and medium (MSM) enterprises.
  • Unison launches 5% down payment program in conjunction with an 80% LTV mortgage.
  • Sberbank adds Google Pay and Samsung Pay services for the customers using its business cards.
  • Railsbank partners with Carta Worldwide.
  • Lendio Franchise Announced in Clemson Region.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Market Earlybird Helps Market Professionals Identify Trading Opportunities First.
  • Additiv Lands $25.5 Million Investment
  • Algomi Acquires AllianceBernstein’s ALFA’s Fixed Income Liquidity and Analytics Tool

Around the web

  • Kony partners with KMC controls to bridge mobile apps and IoT
  • Clover now enables Android Pay’s Smart Tap
  • TickSmith releases a Python API for the new generation of financial data scientists
  • wins Trailblazer Award at 1st Annual K(NO)W Nodes Awards Show
  • Finextra: Google and PayPal partner for mobile shopping by fingerprint
  • ProfitStars introduces Automated Website Governance Solution
  • FinovateAsia Best of Show winner earns spot in Payments Canada’s pitch competition, Dragon’s Den.
  • OutSystems adds Tom Schodort and Bill Macaitis to its board of directors.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Fintech Trending: Look Who’s Chasing Venmo, Student Loan Servicing Falls Short

Fintech Trending: Look Who’s Chasing Venmo, Student Loan Servicing Falls Short


A look at the trending topics of the past two weeks, co-authored by Finovate’s research analysts David Penn and Julie Schicktanz.


Venmo competition heats up
We’ve lately noticed more P2P payment app competitors trickle in. They have Braintree-owned Venmo’s (FD2016; F2013) millennial-focused social components stamped all over them:

  1. Founded by former N26 employees, Cookies launched this week to offer Germany-based users a free P2P payment solution. The simple UI has a messaging platform for senders and recipients to engage with, and it allows people to include emojis with their payments (Cookies calls them paymojis). Some paymojis have special powers, for example, a lightning bolt that allows users to send the money faster. Unlike Venmo (more like Square Cash), users do not maintain a balance on Cookies; instead, Cookies connects directly to a user’s bank account.
  2. Tilt originally began as a crowdfunding platform but launched P2P payments functionality this week. While the user interface is very Venmo-esque with emojis, gifs and a social feed, Tilt has a few differences. Aside from being based on a crowdfunding model where users pool money for weekend road trips and pizza nights, Tilt lists fundraising campaigns in its social feed and is available outside the U.S. Tilt has already launched in the U.K., Canada, and Australia.
  3. Our last Fintech Trending post described the growth of P2P payment service clearXchange, which scored Fiserv (F2016) as a distribution partner and added MasterCard Send debit cardholders to its client base. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that clearXchange is rebranding to Zelle in October to step up its competition with Venmo. While there is no word yet on UI and UX specifics such as emojis with special powers, gifs, and social feeds, there have been a few questions about the name Zelle, which Urban Dictionary defines as “a girl who is attractive and intelligent.”

New mobile payments methods are everywhere (and that’s not a good thing)

Last week, CVS joined a group of other retailers, banks, technology providers and payment services companies to launch its own mobile wallet. With the launch, the pharmacy intends to streamline the use of its rewards points with point-of-sale (POS) payments, but what it may actually be doing is adding yet another wet log to the slow-burning, mobile POS-payments fire.

The issue lies in part with low consumer interest and adoption; it’s still faster to swipe (or insert) your credit card than to take out and unlock your phone, open an app, and try to convince the cashier it is a legitimate way to pay. Also at fault is the large, fragmented number of suppliers. We’ve lost count, but here’s a partial list:

  • Apple Pay
  • Android Pay
  • Cake Pay
  • CVS Pay
  • Walmart Pay
  • MasterPass
  • Samsung Pay
  • Wells Fargo Wallet
  • Chase Pay
  • Starbucks
  • Capital One Wallet

Other news in the payments space

  • UnionPay’s mobile payments launched in Canada. The China-based payments network is the third largest in the world (following Visa and Mastercard). The launch enables Canadian cardholders to use UnionPay’s QuickPass EMV cards or app to pay at participating merchants.
  • Visa (FD2014; F2010) is in discussions with Nigerian banks to roll out mVisa, its QR code-based mobile payments service, by the end of this year. Consumers will be able to use their smartphone or feature phone to pay for goods with merchants, send domestic P2P payments, and access cash.
  • Apple expands carrier billing to Taiwan and Switzerland. The Taiwanese carrier is EasTone and while there’s no word yet on the carrier in Switzerland, it is expected to be Swisscom. This expands Apple’s carrier-billing partnerships, already operating in Germany and Russia, to four countries.

A big deal in ATMs gets a second look

Diebold (F2014) finalized its merger with German ATM maker Wincor Nixdorf last week, a deal that combined two of the largest three ATM companies. The deal closed for $1.8 billion and makes Diebold Nixdorf the world’s largest ATM company, claiming a third of the worldwide market.

Days after unveiling the newly formed entity, the ATM giant is facing an “in-depth merger investigation” from the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority. The agency said that it is concerned the deal will reduce the number of companies supplying ATMs in the U.K. The companies have until April 26, 2017, to “offer undertaking to address competition concerns.”

This further highlights the opportunity for disruption in the ATM space, a realm where companies such as Liqpay (F2013) have showed off solutions that allow cardholders to use their smartphones for a contact-less way to withdraw cash from ATMs.


Making Sense of Student Loan Debt—notwithstanding Bernie Sanders’ promises of free college tuition for all, the challenge of student loan debt isn’t going away anytime soon. Unfortunately, a recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) suggests that loan servicers are a part of the problem, at least when it comes to income-driven repayment plans.

As reported in, much of the problem is bureaucratic, with “delays and rejections” that can expose student borrowers to greater interest, penalties, or even lost eligibility. “Student Loan servicers continue to fall short when it comes to helping borrowers address $1.3 trillion in student debt,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “It’s time servicers focus more effectively on processing applications for income-driven repayment plans properly.”

And the CPFB is focused on more than just the student loan servicers. Wells Fargo was slapped with a $3.6 million fine this week for “illegal fees … and [depriving] others of critical information needed to effectively manage their student loan accounts,” according to Cordray. Wells Fargo said that it has already made changes to the processes criticized by the CPFB in its consent order.

It’s impossible to read about student loan debt in the headlines and not think of Student Loan Genius (F2016), which made its Finovate debut this spring. The company empowers employers to help millennial workers in particular pay off their student loan debts faster. This not only helps reduce what is often an onerous debt load (especially relative to the income of the average recent college graduate), but also enables young workers to start saving better.


Make Room for Dev—Google (FD2016 ; F2011) is the latest major technology company dedicating major square footage to support collaboration between “local and international developers and startups.” Writing in the Google Developers Blog, Global Lead Roy Glasberg revealed that more than 14,000 square feet at 301 Howard Street would be the home of a variety of dev-friendly events ranging from Google Developer Group meetings to Tech Talks. The new facility will also host Google’s equity-free, three-month accelerator for emerging market startups, LaunchPad Accelerator.

Earlier this summer, IBM (F2016) announced the opening of its developer space, Bluemix Garage, in New York City. The New York garage, IBM’s sixth, will be hosted by developer networking and education organization, Galvanize. In the U.K., Allied London announced a new fintech co-work space called “The Vault” that will occupy 20,000 square feet in Manchester’s business neighborhood. Meanwhile in Germany, ING-DiBa announced its sponsorship of the latest fintech hub in Frankfurt.

Meanwhile in Asia, PayPal (FD2014; F2012) announced this week the opening of an innovation lab in Singapore, its first such lab outside the U.S. The lab joins PayPal’s other Indo-Asia Pacific innovation lab in Chennai, India, and will be focused on improving productivity among SMEs in the food and beverage industry. We also learned this week that the Monetary Authority of Singapore is setting up a fintech innovation lab, Looking Glass @ MAS1 in that country.

  • “Google Developers to open a startup space in San Francisco” – Google Developers Blog
  • “IBM Opens Bluemix Garage in New York City” – Finovate
  • Allied London unveils fintech startup “Vault” in Manchester – Manchester Evening News
  • ING-DiBa backs new Frankfurt fintech hub – Finextra
  • PayPal opens Innovation Lab in Singapore for next generation fintech – Deal Street Asia
  • Singapore’s MAS gets in on the fintech innovation lab game – Tech in Asia
  • Fintech Groups Will Unite into Global Hubs – Fortune

Life in the blockchain

Swiss-based UBS announced a year ago its work on a virtual currency—Utility Settlement Coin—to facilitate faster transaction settlement. This week, UBS announced it has joined forces with Deutsche Bank, Santander, BNY Mellon, and ICAP to convince central banks to agree to a commercial launch by 2018. Competition for this digital currency include Citigroup’s Citicoin, Goldman Sachs’ SETLcoin, and a similar, yet-unnamed, offering from JPMorgan.