BITCOIN AND CRYPTO

SoFi Launches No-Fee Cryptocurrency Purchases for Direct Deposit Members

SoFi | March 25, 2022

SoFi_Launches_No
SoFi Technologies, Inc. (“SoFi”), the digital personal finance company, today announced members will now be able to invest part of every direct deposit into cryptocurrency¹ with zero fees². This feature builds on SoFi’s robust offerings for Checking and Savings³ accounts, which already includes no account or overdraft fees, up to two-day early paycheck⁴ and an industry-leading 1.00% annual percentage yield (APY).⁵ Members will be able to set a recurring purchase⁶ for the cryptocurrency of their choice with each paycheck for no purchase fee, investing either by dollar amount or percentage of their deposit, into one of 30 coins. This feature is currently live to all members with both a SoFi Invest®⁷ crypto account and SoFi Checking and Savings account.

Crypto investing is rising rapidly. In the last year alone, SoFi doubled the number of investors setting up automatic, recurring crypto purchases, By adding the ability for members to automate crypto purchases right from their paycheck, we’re making it easier than ever for our members to customize how they manage their spending, saving, and investing all in one place to help them get their money right.”

Anthony Noto, CEO of SoFi.

Alongside no-fee crypto purchasing, SoFi has launched a new online educational center to explain the ins and outs of cryptocurrency to investors. The new center is an ongoing resource to both crypto newbies and seasoned veterans alike throughout their investing journey.

This product is the latest expansion of SoFi’s offerings to make it simpler to get started with cryptocurrency investing, including its offering to redeem SoFi Credit Card⁸ points directly into cryptocurrency. These features were created to allow SoFi members to invest when and how they want, all in the same app they can manage their credit card, bank accounts and investments.

About SoFi
SoFi helps people achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions. Our products for borrowing, saving, spending, investing and protecting give our over three and a half million members fast access to tools to get their money right. SoFi membership comes with the key essentials for getting ahead, including career advisors and connection to a thriving community of ambitious people. SoFi is also the naming rights partner of SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams.

Spotlight

Accelerate your blockchain strategy. Let’s go beyond the technology to deliver the business results you’re looking for. First, you may have noticed that almost every jurisdiction in the world takes strict measures to regulate the banking industry. This combined with the conservative nature of process in the banking sector has contributed to the sectors immunity to technological disruption.


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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Morningstar Launches Analytics Lab, a Data Science Platform for Finance Professionals

Morningstar | May 30, 2022

Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced the launch of Analytics Lab, a new capability for data scientists and analysts in its investment analysis platform, Morningstar Direct, following the launch of the interactive research functionality last year. Analytics Lab lets users programmatically investigate Morningstar data and research more deeply to discover new opportunities for investing success. Analytics Lab gives users access to the development platform behind the prebuilt Morningstar research and data sets, enabling users to create custom notebooks in a hosted environment, combining the powers of Morningstar data with Python programming language. Investors need to extract meaningful insights from immense amounts of data every day. Analytics Lab opens the door to Morningstar's core data and research, enabling users to discover new opportunities for investing success much more efficiently in a flexible environment, Our data, analytics, and communication capabilities create a platform that's completely new to the Morningstar universe which will empower our clients like never before." Frannie Besztery, head of Morningstar Direct. For those familiar with Python, the module evolves from a prebuilt analysis tool to a fully customizable and personalized platform. Users can now explore and discover Morningstar data with flexibility and leverage previously created Data Sets, Lists and Search Criteria, and Performance Reports from Morningstar Direct. As a result, Analytics Lab allows users with coding and analytical skills to automate their workflows faster than ever before and share these results with other Morningstar Direct users at their firm. Analytics Lab incudes features to simplify the often-lengthy process of finding data and developing code including drag-and-drop capabilities to automatically insert code, robust Python documentation, sample queries, and tutorial notebooks help new users find and navigate Morningstar's data. Coding skills aren't a prerequisite to benefit from Analytics Lab's technological power. Morningstar's library of prebuilt research and data sets, couples multi-faceted data sets with automated analysis, allowing clients to quickly visualize meaningful insights and turn research into action. For example, the firm diversity data set can analyze the presence of diversity within an asset management firm's ownership, board, employee workforce, company policies, and hired service providers. Since the initial launch last year, Morningstar released 13 data sets, on various industry trends and will be launching data sets about U.S. fund fee trends, active and passive fund analysis, ESG topics, and more. About Morningstar, Inc. Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The Company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers and owners, retirement plan providers and sponsors, and institutional investors in the debt and private capital markets. Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment offerings, including managed investment products, publicly listed companies, private capital markets, debt securities, and real-time global market data. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with approximately $265 billion in assets under advisement and management as of March 31, 2022. The Company has operations in 29 countries.

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BITCOIN AND CRYPTO

Online Fundraising Platform, Classy, Launches Crypto Giving Powered by Coinbase Commerce

Classy | June 20, 2022

Today, Classy, an online fundraising platform that provides easy and intuitive technology for nonprofits, announces the launch of Crypto Giving. Through an integration with Coinbase Commerce, nonprofit organizations on Classy's platform can receive donations for multiple types of cryptocurrency, as easily as they can accept donations through credit cards, ACH, PayPal or Venmo. Classy's Crypto Giving product allows nonprofits to tap into a new cohort of philanthropic supporters looking to make a difference by donating their cryptocurrency. Crypto Giving makes it easy for them to donate and equally as easy for a nonprofit to accept the donation. Unlike other cryptocurrency offerings for the nonprofit sector, Classy's offering is built directly into the core giving platform, meaning the option to give in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, lives right on the organization's donation page and is available across multiple campaign types. And because Crypto Giving is built directly into Classy Pay, Classy's nonprofit payment processing tool, transaction reporting happens directly in-product, alongside all other donations. This offering for Classy's customers comes at a time when cryptocurrency donations have seen an uptick in mainstream activity, such as $60M in cryptocurrency donated as a result of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. While the world of cryptocurrency is evolving quickly, Crypto Giving positions nonprofits to tap into this network of donors as it becomes increasingly ubiquitous. The addition of cryptocurrency to our portfolio of payment options is representative of Classy's continued efforts to develop the most impactful and purposeful fundraising technology, No other nonprofit fundraising solution has this type of functionality, across multiple campaigns, built natively into their platform. Nonprofits can now tap into new networks of donors and drive higher conversion rates, all with an easy back-end experience that provides almost immediate data." Christopher Himes, CEO of Classy. At launch, cryptocurrency donors will also be given the option to help offset the environmental impact of their donation by making a one-off individual environmental offset donation via Offset Alliance. Offset Alliance is a certified B Corp that helps make it simple to take measurable and meaningful climate action. Crypto donations have become an increasingly popular and effective way for nonprofits to raise funds. Accepting crypto as an additional donation option allows nonprofits to reach a wider base of donors, and offers consumers more flexibility when donating to causes they care about. We're thrilled that Coinbase Commerce is powering Classy's Crypto Giving solution and we're excited to see more donors drive positive impact through crypto." Coinbase Commerce Product Manager Roy Zhang. About Classy Classy, an affiliate of GoFundMe, is a Public Benefit Corporation and giving platform that enables nonprofits to connect supporters with the causes they care about. Classy's platform provides powerful and intuitive fundraising tools to convert and retain donors. Since 2011, Classy has helped nonprofits mobilize and empower the world for good by helping them raise nearly $4 billion. Classy also hosts the Collaborative conference and the Classy Awards to spotlight the innovative work nonprofits are implementing around the globe.

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FUNDING

USQ Expands Investment Platform with PREDEX Acquisition

USQ, Chatham Financial | August 02, 2022

Union Square Capital Partners, LLC, announced today it acquired the management of PREDEX, a real estate-focused interval fund. PREDEX (Ticker: PRDEX) has $163 million in AUM as of July 27, 2022, bringing total assets of USQ interval funds to approximately $400 million. “True diversification matters, and most investors have been reminded of that over the first half of this year,” said Thomas Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Union Square Capital Partners. Since both funds were launched, they have consistently demonstrated that non-correlation to the broader markets while still delivering strong risk-adjusted returns is possible, both having a three-year correlation of just -0.02 to the S&P 500 Index as of June 30, 2022. During the same period, the USQ Core Real Estate Fund (Ticker: USQIX) delivered an annualized return of 10.46%, while PRDEX delivered an annualized return of 12.09%. USQ’s first fund, USQIX, has a primary investment objective to generate a return comprised of both current income and long-term capital appreciation with moderate volatility and low correlation to the broader markets. USQ implements this strategy by investing in the core private equity real estate funds that comprise the NCREIF Fund Index — Open-end Diversified Core Equity (“NFI-ODCE”). PREDEX likewise serves as a gateway to private core real estate but implements a slightly different approach that allows for a portion of assets to be held in funds outside of the NFI-ODCE Index. “We are excited to join the USQ team and feel they are a perfect partner to support growing the PREDEX fund,” said J. Grayson Sanders, founder of PREDEX. “We are excited to join the USQ team and feel they are a perfect partner to support growing the PREDEX fund,” said J. Grayson Sanders, founder of PREDEX. The expansion of the USQ strategies is aligned with long-term plans for the firm. “This acquisition highlights our commitment to growing our asset management business through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions,” said Matt Henry, Managing Partner and Founder of USQ and Chief Executive Officer of Chatham Financial. The performance quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. The investment return and principal value of the Fund will fluctuate; an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Performance data current to the most recent month end may be obtained by calling 1-833-877-3863 for USQIX or 1-877-940-7202 for PRDEX. Fund returns reflect actual fee waivers and reimbursement of expenses for the time periods represented. Had fees and expenses not been waived and reimbursed, returns would have been lower. See each fund’s prospectus for more information on current fees and expenses. About USQ USQ, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chatham Financial Corp., is an investment management firm providing access to inventive strategies for real asset investing. The USQ platform leverages in-depth knowledge of real estate financing complexities to offer modern investing approaches spanning the needs from registered investment advisors to institutional investors. Union Square Capital Partners, LLC brings low-cost, institutional private real estate to wealth managers. About Chatham Financial Chatham Financial is the largest independent financial risk management advisory and technology firm. A leader in debt and derivative solutions, Chatham provides clients with access to in-depth knowledge, innovative tools, and an incomparable team of over 600 employees to help mitigate risks associated with interest rate, foreign currency, and commodity exposures. Founded in 1991, Chatham serves more than 3,000 companies across a wide range of industries — handling over $750 billion in transaction volume annually and helping businesses maximize their value in the capital markets, every day. To learn more, visit chathamfinancial.com.

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PAYMENTS

Payveris Introduces Loan Payments® for Financial Institutions to Offer Customers Integrated Real-Time Payment Methods & Channels

Payveris | June 18, 2022

Modern money movement leader Payveris, a division of Paymentus, today launched Loan Payments®, a cutting-edge loan and debt repayment service with the widest array of real-time payment methods and channels available on the market. Loan Payments® is designed to help financial institutions meet rising consumer demand for payment methods and channels that are speedy, convenient and secure — all while reducing operational overhead, fostering better customer engagement and loyalty. An Aite-Novarica Group survey from 2021 found that 89% of consumers want more real-time payment options from their digital banking experience. As consumers enjoy more payment choices, speed and convenience in just about every other aspect of their financial lives, they expect the same from their loan payment servicers — and aren't satisfied by the status quo from financial institutions. In fact, a recent J.D Power study found that non-bank loan servicers saw a 17% increase in customer satisfaction, while banks only saw a 4% increase. When financial institutions make it complicated to accept and receive payments through coupon books or legacy loan payment systems, borrowers are less likely to consider them for their next loan, Providing choice, speed and autonomy is no longer a bonus, but a baseline expectation for consumers. Financial institutions must seriously rethink their loan payment experience and meet customers where they are, and Loan Payments® can help them get there. Whether that's an auto loan, a personal loan, or a mortgage, the days of consumers using a coupon book have passed." Payveris Chief Innovation Officer Marcell King. With Loan Payments®, financial institutions can deliver a true omni-channel experience that matches what consumers have come to expect from shopping or paying bills. Payment methods supported by Loan Payments® include cash, debit card and e-check/ACH. Loan Payments® also empowers consumers to choose their preferred payment channel, whether it's online, mobile, text, PayPal app, Amazon Alexa, Walmart, or directly at their bank or credit union. In addition to more convenience and flexibility, Loan Payments® gives financial institutions' customers more control over how they automate and schedule payments, and the ability to spread their payments across multiple methods at once. WSECU, a Payveris customer since 2020, is one of the first financial institutions with plans to roll out Loan Payments®. "Our first priority is to improve the loan payment experience for members, making it easier and providing them more options, Payveris is helping us do that, and that alone is a big win. But there is also more we gain, including the operational efficiencies that come from no longer managing disparate processes. Now, everything is centralized into one payment processing system, regardless of which option best meets the needs of an individual member." Melissa Wolff, Vice President, Operations Support and Payment Services at WSECU. Financial institutions also stand to gain another avenue in which they can drive customer engagement and loyalty. Loan Payments® was first developed by Payveris' parent company Paymentus, recognized by Aite-Novarica as the "Best in Class" industry leader for Biller Direct EPPP solutions. The solution is powered by the Instant Payment Network®, the only integrated ecosystem of real-time digital bill presentment, payment, and money movement capabilities in the market. The Instant Payment Network® is currently trusted by numerous Fortune 500 companies, with more than 10 million consumers relying on it to make payments. About Payveris Payveris, a division of Paymentus, is the creator of the MoveMoney℠ Platform, an Open API, cloud-based platform that enables more than 265+ financial institutions to control, simplify, and extend more engaging intelligent digital payment and money movement capabilities to their users through any application or device while significantly reducing operating costs and future-proofing their IT investment.

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Spotlight

Accelerate your blockchain strategy. Let’s go beyond the technology to deliver the business results you’re looking for. First, you may have noticed that almost every jurisdiction in the world takes strict measures to regulate the banking industry. This combined with the conservative nature of process in the banking sector has contributed to the sectors immunity to technological disruption.

Resources