Is Banco Santander Making Money?

Banco Santander SA (NYSE: SAN) has been making headlines by offering a payment app, currency converter, and digital wallet for Ripple (XRP) lately. That got me to wondering if Santander is a value investment and a smart way to cash in on the cryptocurrency bubble.
This makes Santander an interesting opportunity because it is a major bank with physical assets that is willing to work with cryptocurrency.
Santander’s involvement with Ripple goes beyond the app it is also using that cryptocurrency for cross-border payments in the United Kingdom. Santander’s use of Ripple includes cross-border payments between the United States and the UK in conjunction with American Express (NYSE: AXP).

Beyond Ripple, Santander is participating in the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance with many other companies. The alliance is an effort to build commercial decentralized applications (Dapps) for the Ethereum ecosystem. Such Dapps would presumably work with the Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency and ERC20 utility tokens.

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Major Bank Santander rolls out Ripple App

It is not clear if the Santander App will be integrated with the Amex experiment. Ripple and wire-transfer service MoneyGram International (NASDAQ: MGI) are testing currency transfers, Fortune reported. It is not clear if Santander will be part of that experiment either. News stories have not said if Santander or American Express is planning a Ripple Amex Cards. Such a card would be a logical next step.

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Cryptocurrency Visas Shut Down

“Visa have today instructed us that we must close all WaveCrest issued Visa Prepaid Cards with immediate effect,” an email from WaveCrest states. WaveCrest had a license to issue Visa-branded credit, debit, and prepaid cards which was apparently yanked early in January.

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Is Square Making Money?

Square has the ability to dramatically increase the amount of cash flowing through the till but a hard time maintaining that cash from operations. The danger here is that cash flow is not steady, which makes it hard to generate flow, or keep the money

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Wells Fargo and the Future of Monster Banking

The potential challenges Wells Fargo faces are vast. The greatest of these is falling revenues, which probably reflects the growing implosion of the mortgage market.

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Surprise American Express is Growing Again

There is a reason why simple reason why American Express is still growing again. Basic credit card services are still a great product for which there is tremendous demand.

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Capital One Keeps Growing

Another opportunity for Capital One investors is all the hysteria about banking being doomed.

The truth is that retail banking is doomed but banking has a long future ahead of it and Capital One will be a big part of it. Capital One’s future is bright because of the extensive business it does on line. It might be in a better position to cash in on the growth of online banking and app-based payments.

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Is American Express’s “Turnaround” for Real?

If American Express can integrate its cards with popular cryptocurrencies; such as bitcoin and ethereum, it would expand its reach particularly in the developing world. An intriguing option would be a card that pays reward points in bitcoin or ethereum. A long term revenue generator would be a card that allows for transactions in several different crypocurrencies; such as Litecoin, Bitcoin and ethereum. A company called TenX is already developing such a card in Singapore.

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The Decline of American Express

My take is that American Express is not a good long term investment because its business is not sustainable. There is simply no way that it will be able to keep paying out 32¢ dividends.

American Express is overpriced and headed for a serious fall. Stay away from Amex shares unless you are looking for something to short.

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Costco Defies the Odds

Costco has one thing in common with Amazon, it is a very cash rich company. On February 28, 2017 it reported $4.976 billion in cash from operations, $2.384 billion in in net income and $5.965 billion in cash and short-term investments. This was in spite of a free cash flow of -$23 million and a profit margin of 1.73%.

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