Experian adds subscription data in the U.K.; Fed seeks digital dollar use case

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Keeping score

Experian is allowing consumers in the U.K. to use local (council) taxes, Netflix and Spotify subscription payments as data for credit scores, adding sourcing in a way that could expand the pool of potential borrowers.

The credit reporting firm is using an open banking connection to link a free service called Experian Boost to credit providers, reports Finextra. The move comes as fintechs and other alternative lenders turn to non-credit payments as a way to vet consumers for loans.

That trend has been building for several years, but the coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic crisis have shifted credit applications to digital channels, which often produce records for recurring payments such as utilities and subscriptions.

New on the block

Ripple has set up an office in Dubai that's expected to serve as a base to expand its blockchain services in the region, but it also comes as the firm is threatening to leave the U.S.

Ripple is focused on an addressable market of more than 2,400 fintech companies headquartered in the Dubai International Finance Center, reports Coindesk. DIFC has its own regulatory structure, set up to attract international technology companies.

The uncertain regulatory status of the XRP token has caused Ripple to threaten to move out of its San Francisco headquarters. The SEC has leaned toward XRP being regulated as a security, which Ripple is opposed to, though the SEC has not made a formal ruling.

More pressure

Indian regulators are investigating Google, alleging it's using its app store to promote Google Pay in violation of local antitrust laws.

Google is allegedly advertising Google Pay during the setup of an Android phone, TechCrunch reports. The Competition Commission of India is investigating if phone vendors have an opportunity to avoid that promotion.

Indian regulators have been pressuring Google Pay for months, while Google has sparred with local digital payments giant Paytm. India recently set a 30% market share cap for third-party digital wallets on its UPI rail, a move seen as a way to curtail Google's influence.

Digital currency lab

The United States Federal Reserve is expanding research on central bank digital currencies, with a focus on how a "digital dollar" could impact commercial banking.

The Federal Reserve is determining how direct disbursements of funds as part of a coronavirus stimulus package would work and fit with, reports Cointelegraph.

Different versions of a future stimulus package have included proposals for a government-issued digital currency, or a digital dollar, though there's still lots of details that are uncertain, such as the role of private banks and fintechs.

From the web

China proposes antitrust law ahead of Singles’ Day shopping spree
TECHCRUNCH | Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Debates over anti-competitive practices amongst China’s internet firms resurface every year in the lead up to Singles’ Day, a time when online retailers exhaust their resources and deploy sometimes sneaky tactics to attract vendors and shoppers.

The race to be China’s top fintech platform: Ant vs Tencent
TECHCRUNCH | Monday, November 9, 2020
As Ant Group seizes the world’s attention with its record initial public offering, which was abruptly called off by Beijing, investors and analysts are revisiting the fintech interests of Tencent, Ant’s arch rival in China.

Epic will honor V-Bucks trapped on Apple platforms
THE VERGE | Monday, November 9, 2020
With everything else going on, you may have momentarily forgotten Epic Games and Apple’s on-going legal battle over the Fortnite creator’s alternative payment system that got it booted off the App Store.

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