The hottest Fintech news of the week

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The hottest Fintech news of the week

Welcome back to The Interchange, where we take a look at the hottest Fintech news of the past week. Our team was at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 a dedicated fintech stage for the first time and dozens of Battlefield 200 companies in the fintech space. Christine even moderated a pitch session at fintech! Mary Ann's family matter made it difficult for her to make it, and after months leading the programming for the fintech stage, she was truly heartbroken. But all was a resoning success, with the room so packed for the fireside chats and panels that people had to stand in the back to catch them. There were about 13,000 people at the event, up significantly from last year.

One-on-one chats with Robinhood co-founder and CEO Vlad Tenev, CEO of Plaid, and COO Céline Dufetel on the fintech stage included Islandhood cofounder and CEO Vlad Tenev, Plaid founder Zach Perret, Checkout.com president and COO Céline Dufetel. The panel also included a panel of bankers discussing a post-Silicon Valley Bank world. SVB is, in fact, still alive and kicking.

Here are the stories that summarize the highlights of those chats and panels.

With MakersHub, construction firms don't have to worry about identifying accounts payable data, making it much easier to manage accounts on a construction site.

Bundl enables employees to choose their own company benefits.

This week, I wrote about Truemed, a company that wants to put food in front of medicine.

Calley Means and Justin Mares, who co-founded the payment integration firm, created the payment tool last year to make it easy for consumers to pay for healthy food, exercise and supplements using their tax-free health savings accounts or flexible spending account dollars. And with regulatory compliance.

Most patients require a letter of medical necessity to use HSA or FSA dollars on items outside of medical procedures or medication. With telemedicine laws, Truemed retrieves certain data points and then seamlessly and asynchronously provides that letter without a doctor's visit.

About $140 billion is sitting in these accounts, mostly going unused, and the IRS has increased the amount you can contribute to health savings accounts to $4,150 for an individual and $8,300 for a family. This will enable people to more easily put these dollars to work.

The company has already constructed $3 billion of gross merchandise from businesses, including CrossFit, Magic Mind and Kos. It also received $3.5 million in SAFEs from investors, including functional medicine pioneer Mark Hyman and founders of Thrive Market, Eight Sleep and Levels.

I separately spoke to Kevin Robertson, executive managing director and chief revenue officer of HSA Bank, Webster Bank, about how HSA and FSA benefits are being used as a retention tool for tech companies.

Employers are increasingly matching pre-tax employee HSA and FSA contributions, Robertson said. In Canada, there is a growing interest in doing more of what is called a lifestyle spending account.

While LSAs aren't pre-tax dollars, he notes, these particular accounts provide a more personalized benefit experience. An employer can designate these accounts to be utilized for pet care, spa treatments, and even fitness reimbursement.

Despite a tight labor market, more companies are enhancing their core benefit offerings to show themselves as an attractive place to work, Robertson said. Mercury said last week its Mercury Raise platform has transitioned from a seasonal, cohort-based program into a constantly-available platform, which features new tools, programs, and networks. Three years ago, Mercury Raise, a program, was introduced to help founders raise their seed or Series A rounds, said TechCrunch. Mercury News will keep you updated with TechCrunch's latest coverage on Mercury.

Arc has announced a new bank account called Platinum, with the CEO telling TechCrunch over email that s the first and only operating account built on a bank partner. Over the last 6 months, we built this partnership in stealth, after receiving feedback from thousands of founders and boards that have been forced to choose between the security of the world's largest banks and the user experience & yield available only via B2B Fintechs. Brex introduced what it described as a proactive assistant that gives every employee their own EA. Finance teams can also see increased productivity in the company. Block's stock has been a sluggish lately. Does a management shakeup give you the needed jolt?

Solid faked revenue numbers, a special committee appointed to investigate, reveal sources who allege they were unaware of the irregularities.

Varo is aiming to decrease Venmo, Cash App volume with new P2P feature.

Tap to Pay is Apple's first international expansion in Brazil, as international expansion continues to grow.

Treasury Prime has announced integration with Astra to bring real-time payment capabilities to customers.

As seen elsewhere, it is a clear case that we are going to see more and more people monetizing cryptocurrencies.

Flex secures $20 million equity and $100 million debt fundraise to create a one-stop-shop financial hub for SMBs.