​Happy Friday!!!
We will be pausing the Uncle Sean update next week in observance of Thanksgiving Holiday – so this week becomes the official Happy Turkey Day edition!!!! 🦃🍗 🤠  Here is the Uncle Sean Update for 11/17/23:
Some quick economic updates that seemed to move treasury yields down this week as the economy continues to cool down:The BLS October CPI Report came in flat on a month over month basis and declined annually to 3.2% (expectation was 3.3% and Sept was 3.7%).  Core CPI also continued to slow ever so slightly to 4.0% (expectation of 4.1% and Sept was 4.1%).CNBC has a good summary as always (Uncle Sean loves the simple graph) showing consistent declines in Core CPI albeit still way hotter than the Fed’s 2% target.October PPI also came in light at negative 0.5% (estimate was 0.1% increase; last month was 0.4%) with YoY demand at 1.3% (Sept YoY was 2.2%). 
Warning – Uncle Sean goes “off the rails” with some unsolicited commentary here, so feel free to scroll down if you like 😊…👀 This caught my attention, but not for the reasons you might think (more on that below)….  HMBradley announced this week that they will shut down retail operations and focus on B2B sales of their technology. Banking Dive has a good summary of HMBradley and the history of how they ended up here, including the rapid growth that caused their previous sponsor bank (Hatch Bank) to pump the brakes on new accounts which was (of course) extremely disruptive for HMBradley.  To me, this was the beginning of the enlightening period for many fintech companies – understanding the reality of being exposed to vendor concentration risk of having only one BaaS sponsor bank that could (and did) control the addition of new accounts for the fintech. As far as the shift to B2B, we have seen many instances of this over the last 18 months (fintech companies shifting from B2C to B2B or even B2B2C) as fintech companies pivot from bank competitor to bank vendor, so that part isn’t too surprising to me.  HOWEVER (for my banker friends)…..  Here comes the plot twist as this next part has largely been overlooked – the BaaS Sponsor Bank response:Often times in a fintech wind down, we see recommendations to account holders to take their business to other comparable fintech platforms.  For HMBradley, they repeatedly recommend customers go to mybankingdirect.com (which even has a “welcome HMBradley customers” message for easy signup).What is interesting here is that My Banking Direct is the Direct Digital Bank (my friends over at DCI refer to this as a “digital branch”) division of Flagstar Bank, which is HMBradley’s current BaaS Sponsor Bank. It looks like My Banking Direct was launched earlier this year – about the same time that HMBradley was considering their wind down of retail ops.  This may have just been a coincidence, or it may have been intentional strategy from Flagstar – I don’t know for sure.  But If you have seen any of my presentations over the last couple of years on BaaS / embedded finance, you know that I consistently emphasize having an exit / deconversion strategy. This concept of a BaaS Sponsor Bank creating a Direct Digital Bank as an exit strategy to directly and efficiently onboard end users from a fintech FBO account to on-core DDA accounts of the bank is something new (to me anyway).  VERY COOL!!!! 🤠🚀 
Congratulations to ZSuite Tech as they celebrate a milestone achievement of signing its 75th bank customer!!! 
Grasshopper Bank (FDIC 59113) partners with Capchase to provide subscription/revenue-based financing for SaaS companies. 
Customers Bank (FDIC 34444; NYSE: CUBI) selects Funding Circle to expand the banks digital small business lending capabilities through Funding Circle’s embedded Lending as a Service (LaaS) platform
Acorns and Dwayne Johnson (yep – THE ROCK!!! 💪🏽) announced the launch of the Mighty Oak Debit Card, a heavy metal Tungsten card with Real-Time Round-Ups®, auto-investing, 3% APY interest checking, and 5% APY on Emergency Fund savings with no minimums.That’s some pretty slick features!  Here’s a freebie – Acorns is one of those fintech examples of BaaS Sponsor Bank diversification strategy using multiple sponsor banks segmented by product. 😉  But if you are a customer of our FedFis FinTech Analytics© database, you already knew that (contact Bobby Button for more info)!!!  I am NOT above a shameless plug from time to time – LOL!!! 😊 
Payroll company ADP announced a partnership with Convera to integrate Convera’s payment services into ADP’s payroll software. 
Socure (smoking hot digital identity space) launched Sigma Synthetic Fraud v4 using “advanced machine learning and diverse, third-party and network feedback data to uncover patterns linked to insidious synthetic identity fraud.” 
Plinqit has partnered with Bankjoy so that Fi’s that use Bankjoy’s digital banking solution can embed Plinqit’s financial wellness and savings platform directly into their online and mobile banking interface. 
Interesting Personnel moves this week:The Clearing House (TCH) has hired Keith Melton from the Federal Reserve as TCH’s new Senior Vice President and RTP® Strategic Program Manager.Q2 (NYSE: QTWO) announced several executive hires including:Himagiri Mukkamala as Chief Development Officer; H. Beth Anne Bygum, MSLM, CBCP as Chief Information Security Officer; and Blair S. Williams, Ph.D. as Chief Risk Officer.PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) also announced several executive appointments:Isabel Cruz as Chief People Officer; Michelle Gill as EVP, General Manager of the newly formed Small Business and Financial Services Group; and Diego Scotti as EVP, General Manager of a newly formed Consumer Group and Global Marketing & Communications organization. 
Notable FinTech funding for the week:Era (PFM App) raised $3.1M in Seed round.Imprint (provider of co-branded cards for brands) raised $75M in Series B funding round.Apiture (digital banking platform) raised $10M insider fundraising round.Refine Intelligence (AML platform that can “greenflag” legitimate customer behavior) launched this week with $13M in Seed funding.Every.io (full-stack back office platform for businesses) raised $9.5M in Seed funding.CFX Labs (cross-border payment solution) raised $9.5M in Seed funding round. 
Random Uncle Sean stuff:
Ahh Thanksgiving… 🦃  So many happy memories growing up…  Football, family, feasts, and the sincere thankfulness and joy of just being together…. 💗  While there is a tremendous amount of love and nostalgia – this isn’t quite the whole story…  Our dear Mom and Grandmother (rest their souls) were absolutely the most wonderful of people – just maybe not the worlds best when it came to cooking turkey…  To say it was a “tad on the dry side” would be quite the literary injustice…  Pretty sure that for the first 20 years or so of my life, the way our family cooked Thanksgiving Turkey was to throw that thing in the oven and bake the holy spirit out of it for umpteen hours!!!! 😯  There literally wasn’t enough gravy to take the dry smack out of that cremated bird – you’d have to drink the juice straight from the olive jar to choke it down!!! 😅 LOL!!!!  Yessir – there was certainly a reason we only ate it once per year…  But you had to eat it because they had been up since 3 AM cooking every last bit of moisture out of that thing. 😬  And you dare not say anything other than “this is lovely, delish” and “thank you” out of fear of literally everyone at the table giving you “that look.”  LOL!!!!Ahh, but kudo’s to my brother Dave Mayo who finally took the reins and began a different method (after years of secretively discussing in private how bad our family turkey sucked – even though we would never utter such words in public – well, until now 😊).  Enter the new Mayo family era of smoked turkey on a good ole fashioned offset Texas smoker pit – and our Thanksgiving culinary lives were forever changed!!!  Davey has been perfecting this method for over three decades now; and I have also put a slight spin on the same recipe / process for my own bird, but I am sworn to secrecy as to not reveal the full ingredients and exact process involved.  I can tell you though, that our smoked bird is the juiciest, most tender, and flavorful turkey I have ever eaten.  Davey puts just a slight hint of Cajun spin into his (I haven’t quite been able to perfect mine like his just yet even though he has showed me each step in detail).  Literally everyone who has tried either of our smoked birds absolutely falls in love with it.  As my late Uncle Larry would say, “OOOH WEEE – that right there tastes like good credit!!!!”  😊💗 Happy Turkey Day everyone!!!! 🤠🍗And here we go – a few quick Dad / Bad jokes:I’m not certain about an inner child, but I do have an inner idiot that tends to surface every now and then!!!!  😂🤣I grilled a chicken for two hours; and it still wouldn’t tell me why it crossed the road… 🙄The fastest way to get back on your feet is to miss a couple of car payments.Does condensed milk come from really small cows??? 😊And lastly – It is true, you can use coffee filters as toilet paper….  But that coffee is gonna taste pretty rough… 😝😯 
Have a GREAT weekend, a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving Holiday, and please stay safe!!!
Uncle Sean
Sometimes known as Sean Mayo – contact me directly for scope and pricing of custom reports / analysis projects at smayo@fedfis.com | 214-604-6961 – or you can contact FedFis Sales Team at 512-960-0911 | info@fedfis.com #FedFisHasTheData FedFis
FedFis, LLC disclaimer – The views and opinions of Uncle Sean are of his own and may not necessarily represent the views, endorsements, and/or opinions of FedFis, LLC – we all know he’s a little bit different; but that’s why we love him.