Wall Street Journal

SoFi to sell insurance: Marketplace lender SoFi, which got its start in 2011 refinancing student loans and has since expanded into mortgages and other financial products, is now gearing up to sell life insurance. The San Francisco-based company obtained a license in its home state in September to sell insurance on behalf of Protective Life Insurance, a Japanese-owned company that had $767 billion of insurance in force at the end of last year. SoFi has since obtained licenses in several other states, according to the Journal.

Simon says: Goldman Sachs is now allowing rivals to sell their own investment products through one of its web applications. Goldman's software, called Simon, connects financial advisers seeking debt securities, such as structured notes, with the banks that issue them. "With the move, Goldman aims to do more than sell just its own products," the Journal said. "It is looking to create an online platform used by others — even competitors — to reach customers. It is a fresh example of investment banks seeking new ways to make money as superlow interest rates and tougher regulation crimp profits." Goldman's debt-trading desks earned $5.6 billion through September, the lowest amount since 2003. "They need to replace lost revenue with other things," one analyst said.

Master performance: Mastercard earned $1.18 billion, or $1.08 a share, in the third quarter, up 21% from the $977 million, or 86 cents, it earned in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 14% to $2.88 billion. Both numbers beat Wall Street forecasts. Transactions rose 18%. Archrival Visa also handily beat estimates during the quarter.

Financial Times

A better way: Antony Jenkins, the former CEO of Barclays, is launching a technology system that allows banks to quickly retrieve their customers' data in order to offer faster, cheaper services. Jenkins' company, 10x Future Technologies, gathers and analyzes customer data, ranging from their existing finances to lifestyle preferences, which banks can then use to offer products and services that better meet customer needs. If banks fail to deliver better services, they risk losing business and even being displaced by fintech companies, Jenkins warned. "People are willing to lend without the bank as an intermediary. This is forming the building blocks of what's to come," he said.

New York Times

Second chance: Contactless credit and debit cards, which failed to catch on in the U.S. several years ago because few merchants accepted them, are likely to make a comeback, "driven by a continuing rollout of chip cards and new payment terminals across the United States, much of which includes contactless technology." Contactless cards are expected to rise to 330 million units, or 55% of all new cards, in three years, up from just 25 million last year, according to ABI Research. That still lags Europe.

Quotable ...

"We're always looking at how to better help great people achieve success with their money, career and relationships, but we don't have anything to announce at the moment," a representative of SoFi commenting on a report it is preparing to sell life insurance.

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