Weekly Global News Wrap: Americans miss BNPL payments; Wells Fargo fined $250m

And Mastercard bets on crypto with acquisition of CipherTrace.

From Reuters
A third of US consumers who used “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) services have fallen behind on one or more payments, according to a study published by a finance company, Credit Karma and Qualtrics.

The study surveyed 1,044 adult consumers in the US last August to measure their interest in BNPL. About 44% of the surveyed adults have used the service, higher than an earlier survey by Credit Karma for Reuters in December 2020.

On the upside, the number of missed payments is lower than those from an earlier survey by Reuters and Credit Karma last December. In the earlier study, 38% of respondents missed their BNPL payments.

Wells Fargo was hit with a $250m fine from a banking regulator for engaging in “unsafe or unsound practices” while executing its mortgage loss mitigation program.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said that the bank also violated the terms of a 2018 consent order that was critical of its risk management systems.

“Wells Fargo has not met the requirements of the OCC’s 2018 action against the bank. This is unacceptable,” Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu said in a statement. “In addition to the $250m civil money penalty that we are assessing against Wells Fargo, today’s action puts limits on the bank’s future activities until existing problems in mortgage servicing are adequately addressed.”

Mastercard has entered into an agreement to acquire blockchain analytics start-up CipherTrace for an undisclosed amount, a sign of how major companies are warming to cryptocurrencies.

The payments giant said that it has entered into an agreement to buy CipherTrace for an undisclosed amount. 

“Digital assets have the potential to reimagine commerce, from everyday acts like paying and getting paid to transforming economies, making them more inclusive and efficient,” Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard, said in a statement. “With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe.”

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