Mamak Bank

Nouveau Banks
  • Airlines parlayed their frequent flyer miles into a lucrative rewards token minting business.
  • On a similar vein, Starbucks has developed their old rewards punch cards into one of the top mobile payment apps in the US, surpassing Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • Along the way, Starbucks' holdings of prepayments for coffee, gift cards have exceeded the deposits of some banks.
  • These are examples of businesses that grew their financial products to such a degree they become bank-like, no digital banking license required. (Hint: digital banks can thrive on models other than being replicas of brick-and-mortar banks.)
  • Regulators are possibily giving these nouveau banks some leeway as they do not pose systemic risks to other sectors or vulnerable parties. If Starbucks gets in a bind, only its well-heeled gift card and rewards holders are disadvantaged.
  • As Starbucks payment app become more popular, it can be extended to become frequent flyer miles like: i.e. sell its rewards to other businesses. Example, ride the train and get points for coffee.
  • Post title: If a coffee chain can become a bank, MY's many mamak teh tarik (milk tea outlets), can, plausibly, collectively arrive at their own payment and rewards system.

Twitter Banks
Influencer @jason asked for suggestions for the best online banks. Here are some of the responses (not all are banks):
  • Mercury - Banking built for startups
  • Up - Metaverse bank
  • Ramp - Blazing fast bill payments
  • Willow - Splits bills into 4 payments
  • Novo - Simple business banking
  • Alliant - Bank anywhere, anytime