Could We See a US Digital Dollar Soon?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Image of a digital dollar

So right away, the answer to my headline is “probably not.” The article I’m linking to says language of digital dollars was removed from the final version of the stimulus package. But I think it’s worthwhile to think about.

The bill establishes a digital dollar, which it defines as ‘a balance expressed as a dollar value consisting of digital ledger entries that are recorded as liabilities in the accounts of any Federal Reserve Bank or … an electronic unit of value, redeemable by an eligible financial institution (as determined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System).’

Now may not be the time to introduce entirely new technologies, especially if they slow the release of the package. But I personally like the idea, although I don’t advocate for a completely cashless society as I’ve mentioned before.

France Fines Apple Over Anti-Competitive Behavior

· Andrew Orr · News

Apple Logo

France’s competition authority is fining Apple, saying the company engaged in anti-competitive behavior in its distribution and sales network.

Intuit Could Buy Credit Karma for $7 Billion

· Andrew Orr · Link

Financial services giant Inuit, which has products like TurboTax and Mint, is close to a deal to buy Credit Karma for US$7 billion.

There is a potentially significant business opportunity for Intuit if it completes a deal. For example, Intuit could try to match all the tax data its TurboTax customers provide with the credit-scoring data that Credit Karma holds.

That could let Intuit serve up better customer prospects to credit card issuers — and eventually let Intuit charge lenders more for access to its hoard of data.

This Company Sells Your Credit Card Data

· Andrew Orr · Link

Yodlee is the biggest financial data broker in the U.S., and it routinely sells your credit card data to investment and research firms.

The Yodlee document describes in detail what type of data its clients gain access to, how the company manages that data across its infrastructure, and the specific measures Yodlee takes to try and anonymize its dataset…Once logged into Yodlee’s server, clients download the data as a large text file, rather than interacting with the data in a dashboard or interface that stays solely within Yodlee’s control, according to the document.

Apple Card Supports OFX to Export Transactions

· Andrew Orr · Quick Tip

Apple Card now supports the ability to export financial transactions to Open Financial Exchange (OFX). This is what apps like Mint support.

UK Payment App Curve Adds Apple Pay Support

· Andrew Orr · Product News

Curve is an app that gives you a prepaid Mastercard that you can load on demand, and it just added support for Apple Pay.

How to Export Apple Card Data to a Spreadsheet

· Andrew Orr · Quick Tip

At first Apple Card was locked down from money management apps, but there’s now a middle ground: Export Apple Card data to a spreadsheet.

The IRS Can Now Create its Own Online Free Tax Filing System

· Andrew Orr · Link

On Monday the IRS announced changes to its deal with the tax filing industry. For years the agency was prohibited from creating its own free tax filing system, like other countries do. In exchange for not competing, the tax industry promised to make free versions of its software if you make below a certain amount of income. But companies like Intuit and H&R Block added code to their web pages to make it harder for their free products to appear on Google. But now it all changes.

“The improved process will make Free File stronger and give taxpayers another reason to consider this valuable software option,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. The agency hopes the changes will make the free option more accessible for taxpayers in the 2020 filing season, he said.

Saudi Aramco Expected to Beat Apple as ‘Most Valuable Company’

· Andrew Orr · Link

Oil giant Saudi Aramco recently had the world’s biggest IPO of US$25.6 billion. At that level it has a market valuation of US$1.7 trillion, beating Apple to become the world’s most valuable company.

Aramco did not say when shares would start trading on the Saudi stock market but two sources said it was scheduled for Dec. 11.

Saudi Arabia relied on domestic and regional investors to sell a 1.5% stake after lukewarm interest from abroad, even at the reduced valuation of $1.7 trillion.

Apple Pay Belarus Begins With BPS-Sberbank

· Andrew Orr · Product News

Apple Pay Belarus begins its rollout starting with BPS-Sberbank, one of the oldest and biggest banks in the Republic of Belarus.