Sezzle and Ally Lending Team Up to Offer Long-Term Installments

Cision PR Newswire | September 23, 2020

Sezzle Inc. Installment payments platform, Sezzle, is pleased to announce its business partnership with Ally Lending, the B2B2C lending arm of Ally Bank, the banking subsidiary of Ally Financial. Ally Financial is a leading digital financial services company with US$184.1 billion in assets as of June 30, 2020. Ally Lending enables monthly fixed-rate installment-loan products that extend up to 60 months in length and US$40k per installment plan through a fully digital application process. Ally lending is backed by the number one digital bank in the USA, Ally Bank. Ally's fierce commitment to "Do Right" and "Obsess over the customer" has led to a customer NPS score of 68, demonstrating their commitment to the customer.

Spotlight

Trade-off theory of capital structure state that the mix of capital in a firm is determined by the trade-off between the benefits of debt and the costs of debt. One of the major costs of debt is the cost of financial distress which can be direct or indirect. Consequently, there were some attempts to estimate the bankruptcy or financial distress costs.


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FINTECH

IDT Acquires Sochitel, A Global FinTech and Digital Distribution Business

IDT | January 21, 2022

IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT), a global provider of fintech, cloud communications, and traditional communications services, announced today that it has acquired a majority stake in Sochitel, a global hub and digital distribution platform for mobile top-up, electronic vouchers, and other value transfer services. Headquartered in London and Lagos, Sochitel has a deep footprint across Africa interconnecting Mobile Network Operators, banks, and financial service providers. Sochitel’s fintech platform empowers the continent’s leading banks to deliver digital, value-added services to over 60 million customers across Africa and supplies its services to corporate clients worldwide. IDT and Sochitel will leverage their combined capabilities to expand the reach of IDT’s current digital offerings, including mobile top-up and money transfers into Africa, and to support future offerings including bill payment and e-vouchers. Our combination with Sochitel significantly expands and streamlines our distribution network in key African markets, broadens our mobile top-up platform with new digital services, and provides access to a significant new base of partners and clients as we continue to grow our global value transfer businesses.” Emilio del Rio, Senior Vice President of Prepaid Services at IDT. We are delighted to join the IDT family. Africa is enjoying unprecedented growth while pacing the world in the adoption of digital fintech solutions. Combining our strength and depth in the African market with IDT’s distribution capabilities positions us for significant expansion as we further integrate Africa with the global marketplace.” Jerry Ejikeme, CEO of Sochitel. Africa, with a population of over 1.2 billion and some of the developing world’s most dynamic economies, represents a significant growth opportunity for the mobile financial service sector. According to the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), Sub-Saharan Africa alone is home to half of the world’s mobile money services and generates two-thirds of global mobile money transactions value. Increasing mobile penetration, a scarcity of traditional transaction infrastructure, and the region’s rapidly evolving mobile payments infrastructure are creating tremendous opportunities for financial service providers to unlock significant value. About IDT Corporation: IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT) is a global provider of fintech, cloud communications, and traditional communications services. We make it easy for families to communicate and support each other across international borders. We also enable businesses to transact and communicate with their customers with enhanced intelligence and insight. About Sochitel: Headquartered in London and Lagos, Sochitel has a strong pan-African footprint supplying digital products and services to major banks and Mobile Money Operators in over 20 countries, as well as corporate clients across the world. Its leading FinTech platform enables financial and corporate partners to offer an extensive and growing range of digital products that supports their customers’ daily activities.

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PAYMENTS

AXES CHOOSES BLUEBERRY PAYMENT SOLUTIONS AS OPEN LOOP CASHLESS PROVIDER FOR THE EUROPEAN UNION

AXES.ai | April 23, 2022

AXES.ai ("AXES" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has formed a strategic alliance with Cyprus-based Fintech Blueberry Payment Solutions to offer the AXES European client base an integrated Open Loop cashless eWallet. The Blueberry Payment Solutions eVoucher, eWallet, Card, and IBAN Cloud Account is already integrated with the AXES Butler Closed Loop eWallet, Loyalty, Rewards and Engagement APP, for Merchants and Clients. AXES has the most advanced, secure and complete closed loop cashless platform in the global land-based gaming industry, The Blueberry Payment Solutions platform, technology, licenses, IP and certifications will empower AXES European Clients to instantly transfer funds to their AXES closed loop wallet and to AXES Casino Float Accounts. This powerful partnership will rapidly evolve the fintech performance and possibilities of the land-based gaming industry, and we are very excited to offer the power of the Blueberry Payment Solutions to the AXES client base." Rhyan Bridle, Founder & CTO of Blueberry Payment Solutions. Blueberry Payment Solutions is a perfect fit for AXES, Blueberry Payment Solutions truly understands that a casino eWallet is a personal player to casino relationship based on loyalty, engagement and rewards. We are grateful to Blueberry Payment Solutions for having customized their product offering to align with our strategy to support our European AXES clientele to ensure they have the most powerful engagement strategy in the global land-based casino gaming market. We look forward to evolving our product base with Blueberry Payment Solutions as we integrate multiple forms of payment, funding and financial instruments" Earle G. Hall, President & CEO of AXES.ai. ABOUT Blueberry Payment Solutions Blueberry Payment Solutions is an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) authorized for the distribution of e-Money. Offering an alternative banking platform, Blueberry Payment Solutions, allows the community a safe place to send, receive, hold and invest, with absolute confidence and reliability. The all-encompassing platform empowers merchants, corporations, and end-user clients to perform their day-to-day payments and banking operations. Blueberry Payment Solutions draws on the adroitness of cloud technology to guarantee the highest security and availability of its solution. Currently, in 11 countries, Blueberry Payment Solutions has an offering for both land-based and online merchant services, ensuring the power of personalized banking is not compromised.

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BITCOIN AND CRYPTO

Ledgible Introduces Free Crypto Tax Estimate Tool for Tax Extension Filing

Ledgible | March 09, 2022

Ledgible, the leading professional-first platform for tax and accounting of crypto assets, announced the availability of Ledgible Crypto Platform for tax professionals to assist clients with an estimate of crypto obligations in order to file a IRS tax extension. The crypto tax estimates are for tax planning and extension filing purposes. This year most of the estimated 50 million crypto holders understand the potential tax consequences surrounding crypto presenting a challenge to tax professionals as traditional tax packages cannot accurately account for all crypto transactions. Tools like Ledgible Crypto make it easy for tax professionals to connect their client's exchange accounts and wallets to identify taxable transactions, calculate the correct tax gain/loss, and import the results directly into traditional tax packages, For those who need a bit more time, we are offering the ability to estimate crypto taxes in order to file an extension of taxes due with the IRS." Kell Canty, CEO of Ledgible. The Ledgible Platform supports a wide range of integrations across major blockchains, cryptocurrency exchanges, and wallets. As the bridge between cryptoassets and traditional financial accounting, the Ledgible Crypto Platform is the integrated crypto tax tool for tax professionals. The Platform determines crypto tax liabilities and delivers that data to the tax filing systems used by tax professionals. The platform produces IRS Form 8949 and other reporting formats that are directly importable to filing systems with all major tax and accounting solutions. About Ledgible Ledgible is an AICPA SOC 1 & 2 assured tax reporting and portfolio tracking platform for crypto assets for professionals, enterprises, and consumers. The Ledgible Crypto Platform is the proven crypto asset solution for tax and accounting professionals with leading accounting firms, institutions, and major crypto companies globally. Ledgible Crypto Tax Pro is used by thousands of firms to make tax reporting easy for their professionals and clients.

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FINTECH

Mastercard SpendingPulse: U.S. Retail Sales Grew 8.5%* This Holiday Season

Mastercard | December 27, 2021

It’s been a resurgent season for retailers as consumers stocked their carts with gifts and gadgets. According to Mastercard SpendingPulseTM, holiday retail sales excluding automotive increased 8.5% year-over-year this holiday season, running from November 1 through December 24. Notably, online sales grew 11.0% compared to the same period last year, the preliminary insights show. Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment. Shoppers were eager to secure their gifts ahead of the retail rush, with conversations surrounding supply chain and labor supply issues sending consumers online and to stores in droves,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “Consumers splurged throughout the season, with apparel and department stores experiencing strong growth as shoppers sought to put their best dressed foot forward.” Findings from Mastercard SpendingPulse underscore the strength of the holiday shopper across channels, with consumers returning to stores (+8.1% YOY), and e-commerce continuing to expand, up 11.0% compared to 2020. Additional key findings include: Consumers shopped early: Continuing a key trend from 2020, U.S. consumers shopped earlier than in years past, as retailers offered special promotions early and then again later in the season as shoppers raced to secure “guaranteed by Christmas” shipping offers. Looking at Mastercard’s expanded holiday season, total retail sales were up +8.6%* YOY for the 75 days between October 11 and December 24. Thanksgiving weekend remained key: Black Friday marked the top spending day of the 2021 holiday season yet again. For the Thanksgiving weekend running Friday, November 26 through Sunday, November 28, shoppers drove U.S. retail sales up +14.1% YOY. In-store sales also rebounded, increasing +16.5% YOY while e-commerce sales experienced sustained growth, up +4.9% YOY. Smaller boxes had a big impact: Whether consumers were shopping for themselves or for loved ones, the Jewelry sector experienced some of the strongest YOY and YO2Y growth. E-commerce sales snowballed: This holiday season, e-commerce made up 20.9% of total retail sales, up from 20.6% in 2020 and 14.6% in 2019. The channel continues to experience elevated growth as consumers enjoy the ease of holiday browsing and buying in the comfort of their own homes. About Mastercard SpendingPulse: Mastercard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check. Mastercard SpendingPulse defines “U.S. retail sales” as sales at retailers and food services merchants of all sizes. Sales activity within the services sector (for example, travel services such as airlines and lodging) are not included. Holiday spending insights are preliminary. About Mastercard (NYSE: MA) Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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Spotlight

Trade-off theory of capital structure state that the mix of capital in a firm is determined by the trade-off between the benefits of debt and the costs of debt. One of the major costs of debt is the cost of financial distress which can be direct or indirect. Consequently, there were some attempts to estimate the bankruptcy or financial distress costs.

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