​Happy Friday!!!
Here is the Uncle Sean Update for 4/14/23:
 April is Financial Literacy Month!!!  As a reminder, there are plenty of free resources if you need them for your customers, constituents, or any advocate programs you may be hosting:The Federal Reserve – Federal Reserve Education.org equipping educators, educating students, and empowering consumersFDIC – Money Smart financial education program to help people of all ages enhance their financial skills and create positive banking relationshipsNCUA – Financial Literacy & Education Resource Center offering a host of resources and outreach programsOCC – Financial Literacy Resource Directory providing ample resources, issues, and events that are useful to bankers, organizations, and consumers of all agesCFPB – Consumer Tools and Educator Tools to help you advocate for the people you serveUS Treasury – Financial Literacy and Education Commission showcasing news and resources as well as a national education website – MyMoney.gov“Wealth does not create financial literacy, rather it is financial literacy that creates wealth and ultimately financial independence.” – Uncle Sean 😊 WHEW!  There was a slew of economic data this week pointing towards softening inflation – let’s take  quick look (spoiler alert – economic data is cooling by design):The BLS March CPI data came in at 0.1% (lower than estimate of 0.2%, and down from 0.4% actual in Feb).  YoY came in at 5% (lower than estimate of 5.1%, and down from 6% in Feb).  YoY CPI has declined in each of the last 9 months. Core CPI came in exactly as expected at 0.4% for March (versus 0.5% in Feb) and YoY of 5.6% (versus 5.5% in Feb).March PPI data also came in slightly cooler for March at -0.5% and 2.7% YoY down from 4.9% in Feb (and massively down from March 2022 which was 11.7%). Walmart is suing Capital One, their co-branded credit card issuer, to end the co-branded partnership early citing unfulfilled contractual terms.Warning – some Uncle Sean speculation here…  One (snicker – see what I did there) can’t help but wonder if this is a preemptive strategy for Walmart’s newly acquired fintech named ONE to take over card-issuing….  Afterall, ONE is led by former Goldman Sachs executives.  Hmmm…. TransPecos Banks, SSB (FDIC 1178) has partnered with Episode Six to bring card issuing and processing products to the banks customers – a/k/a bank driven BaaS sponsorship initiative via Cards-as-a-Service.  Very nice!!! 👍 Visa announced Visa+ to support interoperability between P2P apps – specifically PayPal and Venmo via partnerships with DailyPay, i2C, TabaPay, and Western Union.You can check out more on Visa+ here.Meanwhile, CFPB Director Chopra wants certain payment firms to be labeled as “systemically important” – notably Cash App, PayPal, and Venmo in relation to how many consumers use the apps to store funds outside of the banking system. Plaid continues to evolve and has announced Instant Payouts on Plaid Transfer.  By incorporating Real-Time Payments (RTP®) on Plaid Transfer, Plaid can now offer their customers a multi-rail 24/7/365 payment option consisting of TCH RTP (based on eligibility), same-day ACH, or standard ACH. Square (owned by Block) integrated spring product release showcasing nearly 100 new features and dozens of integrated tools designed to “help sellers diversify revenue streams and automate operations.”  Payments Dive also has a good overview. And so it begins…???  Twitter partners with eToro to give users the option to buy and sell stocks and other assets from eToro.To be clear, Twitter users can already view real-time index funds and some companies (umm – Tesla, of course) via the existing “cashtags” feature.  The new partnership with eToro allows cashtags to be expanded to cover more instruments and asset classes.  You will now be able to click on a link to take you direct to eToro to buy and sell on their platform.“Clicking a link to eToro” is not what Uncle Sean would call embedded finance, but it is an expected expansion of Twitter towards financial services nonetheless… FinFit and Salary Finance U.S. announce merger and will operate under the FinFit brand serving “over 500,000 U.S. employers and over 10 million U.S. employees.” Bluevine and Wise launched an international bill pay solution for Bluevine’s US SMB customers. KeyBank (FDIC 17534) selected Qolo to power KeyBank’s integrated API-based payment solutions and virtual accounts. Notable FinTech funding for the week:Elevate (modern employee benefit platform) raised $28M in growth funding.Clear Street (“modern infrastructure” for capital markets) raised $270M in Series B2 at a $2B valuation.Brassica Technologies (infrastructure API for alternative investment ecosystem) raised $8M in Seed funding and announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Brassica Trust Company has been granted a Trust Charter by the Wyoming State Banking Board.Altruist (custodian and software provider for investment advisory industry) raised $112M in Series D round.Martini.ai (AI-powered corporate credit analysis) raised $6M Seed Round.Tradier (retail brokerage and trading platform) raised $24.6M in Series B funding.This is for my Ag Banker friends – Carbon Robotics (AgTech firm producing AI-powered robotics) raised $30M in Series C funding round.  Check out their LaserWeeder™ – that is awesome!!!!Uncle Sean loves AgTech!!!! ❤️ 
Random Uncle Sean stuff:Queue up The Beatles – Taxman…  Well, I hope everyone has their taxes done (I don’t so my weekend is gonna suck – LOL)….  Just as a reminder – Tax Day is April 18th and is also the deadline for 1Q23 estimated tax payments….     Normally taxes are due on April 15th, but we get a reprieve this year since the 15th falls on a Saturday and the District of Columbia has an Emancipation Day holiday on Monday, April 17.In “celebration” of income taxes (grrrrr), here are some Dad Jokes:Pretty sure they call it the 1040 because for every $50 you earn, you get to keep $10 and they get $40….Did you hear the one about the fun IRS agent?  Me neither… 😊George Washington never told a lie, but he also never filed a 1040!!!I heard that IRS auditors use their personality for birth control…  LOL (yeah – probably going to get in a little trouble over that one)😲Recent legislation resulted in a 3.14% tax on booty taken by buccaneers…  Also referred to as the pi-rate tax…Okay – this one isn’t really tax related (other than married filing joint)….  Aunt Patty is so nice – she told me, “wisdom has clearly been chasing you, but you’re a really fast runner!”  Thanks???  LOL!!!!! 😝 
Have a GREAT weekend 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.