Morning Brief 5.5.20: Revolut's bank debuts in Lithuania

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Banking hub

Revolut's expansion beyond its core European digital payments business has moved into banking, as its licensed bank opens in Lithuania.

The fintech's customers can upgrade e-money accounts to bank deposit accounts through the Revolut app, reports Finextra. The company plans to offer consumer lending in the next few months, including loans and credit cards.

The Lithuanain license will be passported to other European nations during that time. Revolut first obtained its license in 2018, partly as its response to Brexit.

Building blocks

Mastercard and Alipay are part of a blockchain consortium that's building authentication, vetting, payments and tracking tools for food and other materials that flow between China and Australia.

The APAC Provenance Council is operating the blockchain, which also includes companies from outside the payments industry. Alipay and Mastercard will support real-time processing, reports CoinTelegraph.

VeChain will provide the blockchain technology that powers the supply network. One of the desired benefits is increased liquidity by enabling firms to hold funds longer before making payments.

Gifting portal

A new e-commerce platform is offering discounted gift cards for nonprofits to boost usage during the coronavirus pandemic.

Called GiftCardAid, the service allows nonprofits to secure gift cards from Walmart, Target, Amazon and other large retailers, then sell the cards as part of fundraising efforts.

Digital gift cards have gained attention during the outbreak as a way for people to support small businesses that closed during lockdowns or as a way to expedite non-cash donations.

Checking the rankings

Uber Eats is closing some markets and transferring services in others, choosing to focus on where it is already near the top of the delivery app rankings.

That means it's halting operations in the Czech Republic, Egypt, Honduras, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and Ukraine, while transferring its UAE business to its local Careem unit, reports TechCrunch.

The move is not related to the coronavirus, but part of an existing strategy to limit investment in low-performing areas, given delivery apps do not have a solid profitability record, TechCrunch says.

Uber earlier this year sold its UberEats business in India to Zomato as part of the same initiative.

From the web

Remittances to Mexico surge to record high in March
REUTERS | Mon May 4, 2020
Mexico received $4.02 billion in remittances from abroad in March, a 36% increase from the $2.96 billion in March 2019, the Bank of Mexico figures showed. It compares with $2.69 billion in February. Most of the money sent to Mexico comes from the United States, which is home to millions of people of Mexican origin.

Nearly 50 million Americans just had their credit card limits cut
CBS | Mon May 4, 2020
About 1 in 4 credit card holders — or almost 50 million Americans — had their credit limits cut or their card accounts closed in the past 30 days, according to a consumer survey by Lending Tree's Compare Cards website.

Robinhood raises $280 million in push for global expansion
FORTUNE | Mon May 4, 2020
The popular stock-picking app Robinhood announced on Monday it raised a Series F funding round that will see the company valued at $8.3 billion.

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