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Essential Fintech Reading: April 23-29

Personal Capital Rejects Chase Proposal That Would Limit Aggregators

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has expressed concern as customers have allowed outside parties, including aggregators, to access their accounts. While he sympathizes with Dimon's concerns over data security, Personal Capital chief marketing officer Mark Goines tells Samantha Sharf of Forbes that not using all available data "borders on malpractice because it means not analyzing a person's full financial picture." Dimon has proposed switching to a system where banks would "push select information to third parties with customer permission, rather than the current set up where third parties pull data from banks as they see fit." Goines rejects this proposal as well. Sharf notes that Chase and Wells Fargo shut off Mint and other aggregators' access to data feeds for a few days last fall. Both banks told the Wall Street Journal that the blackouts were a result of security and traffic management decisions "rather than attempts to be anti-competitive."

Affirm Acquires PFM Service Sweep

Shortly after raising $100 million in venture capital, Affirm has announced the acquisition of Sweep and its personal financial management app service. Sweep was founded in 2014 by former Pandora executives Jackson Gates and Asi Behar. Since users will not be using Affirm's loan products on a daily basis the company wanted to expand into services that could provide daily engagement, reports TechCrunch.

Eyeprint Authentication Debuts

Both Wells Fargo and Canadian direct bank Tangerine have announced that they will begin using a new biometric technology known as eyeprint authentication. Business Insider notes that the technology creates a digital map of a person's eye by analyzing unique details such as blood vessels; a user logs in by holding their smartphone camera up to their eye to establish a match to the stored blueprint. Wells Fargo participated in a $6 million funding round for the company that has created the technology, EyeVerify, and intends to integrate the technology so commercial customers can authenticate mobile banking accounts. Tangerine has included the technology in the latest version of its iOS app.

Small Business Lenders Form New Lobbying Group

Bloomberg reports that small business lenders including On Deck Capital, Kabbage and PayPal have formed a new group to highlight their differences from payday lenders and consumer peer-to-peer companies. The Online Small Business Lending Task Force aims to promote "the importance of online lending as a source of capital" and "prevent hasty or overly restrictive regulations" according to Scott Talbott, the group's lobbyist. Regulators have recently taken a greater interest in fintech, with Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry recently announcing his intention to establish a framework for regulating new financial services technologies.

Goldman Sachs Launches Online Banking Service

After functioning as a traditional investment bank with account opening minimums around $10 million, Goldman Sachs has taken a radical departure in introducing GS Bank, an online service with no minimum deposit, no transaction fees and a 1.05 percent interest rate. GS Bank is connected to Goldman's acquisition of GE Capital Bank, the online retail bank previously run by General Electric's capital arm. TechCrunch notes that yields from online banks are usually much higher than traditional banks due to the cost savings that come from not having to support branches.