Today in FinTech: Ola Buys Digital Bank; Alt Finance Needs Stronger ID Security

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In today’s FinTech news, ride-hail firm Ola acquires challenger bank Avail Finance, while Relay Payments launches a payments solution for the fleet industry. Plus, a recent survey shows financial advisors are slow to recommend digital assets for clients’ portfolios. 

India’s Ola to Acquire Neo Bank Avail

Indian ride-hailing platform Ola is planning to acquire the challenger bank Avail Finance, which was founded by Ankush Aggarwal, the brother Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal. The deal will help Ola subsidiary Ola Financial Services boost its loan business and extend offerings to the country’s underserved blue-collar workforce.

Planning for Long Haul, Trucking Companies Embrace Driver-Friendly Payments

Relay Payments, a provider of digital payment solutions for the transportation, logistics and supply chain industries, recently rolled out RelayGo, an all-in-one fleet expense card and mobile app. Ryan Droege, CEO of Relay Payments, told PYMNTS that the trucking industry has been long overdue for a change from outdated processes. 

BNPL and Other Alt Payments Need Stronger Authentication

As digital becomes the go-to for banking and payments, new solutions like buy now pay later (BNPL) are grabbing the attention of consumers eager to explore alternatives in the financial services space. New solutions, however, also lead to new avenues for fraud, making stronger authentication measures more important than ever before. 

Survey Finds Financial Advisers Reluctant to Recommend Crypto to Clients

Financial advisors are still conflicted about the investment strength of cryptocurrencies and are slow to allocate a portion of their clients’ portfolios to the digital asset space. Although the percentage is growing, a recent poll shows that 85% are avoiding the recommendation.

Yellen Points to Possible Benefits of Crypto

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made a surprise declaration that she is less skeptical about cryptocurrencies and pointed to the growing role digital tokens are playing as far as people’s investment decisions. While there are still concerns, the Treasury will work with other agencies on crypto regulations, as outlined in President Biden’s recent executive order. 

Tailored Payments Solutions Unlock Growth for Underserved Self-Employed Segment in Africa

Africa has more entrepreneurs than any other continent, but most find that traditional financial institutions can’t meet their needs, Lungisa Matshoba, co-founder and chief technology officer of African payments and software company Yoco, told PYMNTS. Yoco is looking to change that and become the central financial platform used by those who are self-employed in Africa.