FinovateSpring Sneak Peak: Kasasa

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 11, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. Register today and save your spot.

The Kasasa Loan from Kasasa is the only loan that lets borrowers pay ahead to reduce debt and take that extra money back if they need it.


  • Lets consumers borrow money with unprecedented flexibility
  • Features a transparent, mobile application
  • Allows financial institutions to offer an unmatched loan product

Why it’s great
The Kasasa Loan take-back functionality eliminates consumers’ fear of parting with extra money to pay down debt faster and reinforces positive financial decisions.


Gabriel Krajicek, Chief Executive Officer 
CEO of Kasasa since 2005, Krajicek has provided more than 800 community financial institutions with disruptive innovations, championing them in their fight for market dominance.


Chris Cohen, Director of Product Management (not pictured)
With more than ten years of industry experience, Cohen leads product innovation projects, using his background in mergers and acquisitions to inform what drives institutions.

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek:

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 11, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. Register today and save your spot. is a build-once, deploy-anywhere platform for conversational applications that leverages machine learning (ML) to build and deploy Alexa Skills, Google Actions, Facebook Messenger bots, as well as phone and texting solutions in a few minutes.


  • Scales up automated service and reduces costs
  • Works across channels and devices for chat and voice
  • Leverages ML and crowdsourcing to automatically grow your conversational applications

Why it’s great
Build your overall voice and chat strategy in as little as five minutes.


Rachel Batish, CRO and Founder
Batish is the co-founder and CRO of She is responsible for the company’s sales and marketing strategies and is actively involved in the product’s roadmap.

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Exagens

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 11, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. Register today and save your spot.

Exagens’ white-labeled Personal Banker is the industry’s only autonomous AI banking assistant proven to dramatically increase engagement, conversions, and digital sales to retail and SMB clients.


  • Combines social and data science to proactively curate empathetic, contextually integrated journeys
  • Offers seamless integration in 90 days without APIs, and day 1 results
  • Provides new, automated, real-time self-optimization

Why it’s great
Proven results! 11x year-over-year increased sales with 55,000 additional retail and SMB accounts with $400 million in deposits in under 12 months at leading financial institutions.


Michael Stojda, President and CEO
Stojda’s passion is building products and businesses which delight customers. His 25+ years of experience includes product management, customer support, start-ups, turnarounds, and taking a U.S. company public.


Jorge Campos, CXO and Co-Founder
Campos guides Exagens’ solution and customer journey design. His 20+ year global fintech product portfolio features a history of delivering results-driven innovation and superior customer experience.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Kabbage Confirms: Orchard Acquisition Adds to Data Science Capabilities.

Around the web

  • Five payment originators from EU and Asia to take advantage of Ripple’s xVIA API to transfer money via RippleNet.
  • Klarna announces its integration with Magento Commerce as a Core Bundled Extension.
  • Avaloq acquires 10% stake in Swiss cryptocurrency firm Metaco.
  • Banesco USA picks nCino’s Bank Operating System to enhance its commercial lending process.
  • Symphony Software Foundation rebrands as FINOS, expands charter, adds new corporate members.
  • Kashoo receives a 5 Star Rating From FitSmallBusiness.
  • Jumio achieves record-breaking sales in Q1 2018, a 400% increase YoY.
  • Lending Club responds to the FCC’s complaint.
  • Alight Solutions leverages Personal Capital’s digital wealth management tools to launch WealthSpark.
  • Apple Bank selects Continuity for Compliance Change Management.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Payworks Teams Up with Ghana-based Payment Platform Hubtel

Payworks is working with Ghana’s Hubtel to enable merchants in the African nation to accept payments via their Hubtel POS app and EMV credit card reader. The two companies have been collaborating since the beginning of the year, integrating Payworks Pulse payment gateway technology to make Hubtel the first fully integrated solution available in the country.

“Hubtel’s aim is to enhance our merchants’ business by offering a platform where payments, customer engagement and loyalty can be handled through the same application,” Hubtel CEO Alex Adjei Bram said. “By partnering with Payworks, we’ve been able to offer a payment solution which has consolidated the retail experience, enabling businesses to interact with customers at their preferred touchpoints.”

Payworks Pulse enables developers to quickly and easily integrate Pulse SDKs and APIs to add card reading functionality to their POS applications. EMV certified, PCI compliant, and P2PE ready, the technology supports remote card reader updating, enabling a faster time to market. Pulse is built to scale; POS solutions can be deployed worldwide without changing the integration thanks to Pulse’s pre-certification with leading processors and acquirers in the U.S., Europe, and Africa. With Hubtel, Payworks certified with local acquirer Zenith Bank so that merchants can accept the local debit scheme gh-link, as well as Visa and Mastercard schemes.

“Supporting the Hubtel team in providing an integrated solution which meets the needs of their local merchants has been an exciting project and we look forward to our continued work in the future,” Payworks CEO and co-founder Christian Deger said. He underscored the value of providing “acquirer-agnostic technology” as a way to best tailor solutions to the specific needs of clients and “bring advanced payment technology to more Point of Sale solutions around the world.”

Payworks demonstrated its mobile POS SaaS platform at FinovateEurope 2014. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Munich, Germany, the company has raised $19 million in funding, most recently picking up a $14.5 million investment in a round led by CommerzVentures and Visa. The company extended its partnership with Verifone back in December, and announced support for Alipay last summer.

Interested in fintech in Africa? Check out our Finovate Global post every Sunday for news on developments in financial technology around the world. And be sure to join us in South Africa this fall as Finovate makes its debut in Capetown in November.

Deserve Raises $50 Million in Debt Financing


In rebranding his company from SelfScore to Deserve, CEO Kalpesh Kapadia explained “we believe that access is everything and everyone deserves a chance to build a positive credit history. So we are making our products available to all students, U.S., and international, and to all those who seek to build and/or maintain a good credit history.”

And now Deserve is $50 million closer to serving this broader population of potential customers. The Accel-backed fintech has just secured a $50 million debt facility from Keystone National Group to drive growth in account receivables and help “jumpstart” first-time credit owners’ financial journeys.

“Since launching the Deserve brand in October of 2017 and addressing the needs of young people who are new to credit, we’ve seen a huge response from young adults and college students across the nation,” Kapadia said. He added that the new credit facility from Keystone National Group will help his company “bring deserving consumers to the credit system who are often overlooked by the traditional approach and allow them to pave their path of financial independence.”

Making their Finovate debut as SelfScore at FinovateFall 2014, the consumer analytics company leverages machine learning and alternative data to offer a solution that the company says provides a better measure of creditworthiness than FICO scores. As Deserve, the company’s “credit scoring as a service” platform uses online profiles, phone and sensor data, psychometric questions and what the company calls “360 degree feedback” from the user’s network to give users insights and contextual information to businesses.

Deserve uses this technology in part to help millennials and Generation Z consumers establish and build credit, and earn rewards. Deserve offers consumers three Mastercard-branded credit card options:

  • Deserve Edu: Geared toward college students, Deserve Edu provides 1% cash back, a $5,000 credit limit, a 20.24% variable APR, and no annual fee.
  • Deserve Pro:  Designed for applicants with established credit histories, Deserve Pro offers 3% cash back on travel and entertainment, 2% cash back on restaurants, and 1% cash back on purchases. Deserve Pro Mastercard also provides a credit limit up to $10,000 and a variable APR as low as 17.49%. The card is available to L1 and H1B visa holders, and has no annual fee.
  • Deserve Classic: Designed for applicants looking to build credit, Deserve Classic has a credit limit of $1,500, a variable APR of 24.99%, and a $39 annual fee.

The debt financing announcement from Deserve is the latest big headline from the company since it rebranded as Deserve last fall and announced $12 million in new funding. With total equity financing of $27 million, the company includes Aspect Ventures, Pelion Ventures, Mission Holdings, Alumni Venture Group, GDP Venture, and Accel among its investors. Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, Deserve was founded as SelfScore in 2013.

Finovate Alumni News


  • SecuredTouch Receives $8 Million Strategic Investment from Arvato Financial Solutions.
  • Unison Sees 1,000% YoY Growth in Originations.

Around the web

  • IdentityMind Global partners with Etherparty Smart Contracts to provide KYC and AML compliance support. See IdentityMind Global at FinovateSpring next month.
  • Intesa Sanpaolo Private Banking Suisse to deploy Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) solution from Avaloq.
  • Finastra goes live with its blockchain-based syndicated lending market solution, Fusion LenderComm.
  • Forbes interviews Andrea Gellert, CMO of OnDeck.
  • Ebay And PayPal finalize new payments agreement.
  • Listrak and Persado announce strategic integration.
  • Q2 and StoneCastle partner with MoneyLion to offer deposit accounts and debit cards.
  • EverTrust Bank hires Insuritas to launch digitally powered insurance agency.
  • Backbase powering SSF Bank’s new mobile banking application.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

HooYu Brings KYC, Enhanced Customer Onboarding to Gold-as-Currency Enabler Glint

Even in an age of cryptocurrencies, the appeal of of gold as an investment remains strong. This makes it all the more interesting to learn today that a fintech company has partnered with identity confirmation specialist HooYu to make it easier and safer for investors to buy and sell the yellow metal.

Specifically, HooYu has partnered with U.K.-based fintech Glint to provide customer identity verification during the account opening process. Glint offers a mobile app that enables users to load money into their account and convert it to gold. Users can then use their Glint Mastercard to make purchases using gold as their currency. Glint will use HooYu’s technology during the account opening process to meet AML and KYC requirements and ensure customers are who they say they are.

“It was important to us to design the account opening process to make it as easy as possible to open,” Glint co-founder Ben Davies explained, “we also needed a solution that would enable us to approve the customers who had pre-registered in a simple way.” HooYu has helped us get to launch and create a great digital journey that makes for easy and convenient account opening, whilst also complying with Anti Money Laundering regulations and preventing fraud.”

HooYu’s identity verification process is straightforward to use. The company sends the person to be verified an email or text message requesting identity information. The person uploads their information – online credentials, an official identity document, a selfie – and the HooYu Identity Engine analyzes the information submitted, cross-checking hundreds of data points to confirm the person’s identity. The platform is unique in the way it combines both modern identity technologies like digital footprint analysis and facial biometrics with more traditional protocols like database checks and PEPS and sanctions screening.

HooYu’s verification process takes only a few minutes. The company sends an email as soon as the verification is complete, and provides an ID report that can be reviewed on the HooYu dashboard. HooYu only shares or stores information that the user authorizes to provide to the requester. And once the verification process is finished, HooYu deletes all document images and social data from its platform.

Founded in 2016, HooYu demonstrated its verification technology at FinovateEurope 2018. Earlier this month, the company announced that it was working with Atos to improve its customer onboarding and due diligence for financial services clients. Atos also added the company to its global fintech partner program as a provider of global identity verification technology. Last month, HooYu teamed up with HouseSitMatch to verify the identity of house- and petsitters. And in December, the company partnered with Countingup to enhance the challenger bank’s account opening process.

Modo Payments Wins Top Prize at ETA TRANSACT Payments Pitch-Off

Payments interoperability innovator Modo took home top honors at the Payments Pitch-Off sponsored by fellow Finovate alum Worldpay. The Texas-based company, which demonstrated its Digital Payments Hub at FinovateFall 2016, made their winning case before a judging panel of venture capitalist and payments industry executives, besting nine other participants.

“We couldn’t smile big enough to truly express our excitement,” Modo tweeted, announcing the news. “But trust us we are so excited to win the #ETATRANSACT PitchOff.”

At the event, Modo showed how a merchant could use Modo’s technology to add and remove PSPs into their systems with the “simple click of a button.” Modo provides a cloud-based payments utility that enables interoperability between banks, networks, payments processors, and their partners. Its one-to-many interface takes the friction out of payments by delivering any source of value (traditional or non-traditional) to any destination and back again without requiring any changes to the client’s infrastructure. Modo’s partners include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Alliance Data, and Verifone, as well as fellow Finovate alums FIS and Klarna.

“The Payments Pitch-Off at TRANSACT gives innovative startups the keynote stage to show off their products and services to the industry’s preeminent leaders at the world’s largest payments industry event,” ETA CEO Jason Oxman said. The Payments Pitch-off is part of the TRANSACT conference held by the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA). As the pitch-off winner, Modo picked up a $30,000 cash prize. A $5,000 cash prize for the “audience favorite” was awarded to Menusifu’s Restaurant Go app, a contactless payment solution for diners.

Fellow Finovate alum Sezzle also participated in the competition. Additionally, the event featured its 2018 Star Awards which honored individuals who had “made a significant difference in the payments industry through innovation, business practices, or contributions to the association.” These included representatives from Finovate alums including TSYS, Mastercard, and FIS. interviewed company CEO Bruce Parker about payments in the cloud last month. Modo ended 2017 by adding former CEO of Klarna North America Brian Billingsley as Chief Revenue Officer. The company participated in our developers conference, FinDEVr New York, in 2016, discussing how its Digital Payments Hub can be used to design and manage the complete digital payment transaction lifecycle. Later that year, Modo demonstrated the four components of its technology: Payments System Connectors, Payments Transactions, Credentials Vault, and Digital Experiences at FinovateFall 2016.

Founded in 2010, Modo has raised more than $11 million in funding. The company’s investors include Tim Keith, CEO of Central Texas Partners; John Beletic, partner at Oak Investment Partners; and Jay Kassing, owner of fintech company Marquis.

First to Faster: TransferWise Joins U.K. Payment Scheme

In gaining direct access to the U.K.’s Faster Payment scheme, Transferwise is the first non-bank to take advantage of a settlement directive from the Bank of England. The new policy, designed to add both competition and innovation to the country’s payment system, will give non-bank payment service providers (PSPs) direct access to the payment systems that settle in central bank money.

Accessible systems will include Faster Payments, Bacs, Chaps, Link, and Visa. The BoE’s new digital cheque imaging system, once activated, will also be available to non-bank PSPs. In addition to reducing processing costs, the move by TransferWise will enable it to leverage its new borderless accounts further by offering instant transfers to GBP. TransferWise customers paying with debit and credit cards will also benefit from TransferWise’s direct connection to RTGS (Real-Time Gross Settlement) and the Faster Payments scheme.

“Today is game changing for TransferWise and millions of our customers around the world. The Bank of England is giving tech companies the same rights to process payments as the retail banks – enabling us to cut out the middlemen and offer people a faster, cheaper service,” TransferWise CEO and co-founder Kristo Käärmann said. “I truly believe that money should move around the world as quickly and as cheaply as email, and this is a vital step on that journey.”

The company said the initiative will help provide a level playing field with banks and encouraged central banks around the world to pursue similar policies. Previous to gaining a settlement account in RTGS, TransferWise was relegated to using the traditional banking rails to access the fastest available system. Käärman told Reuters that his company has been seeking this kind of access for five years.

Ranked by The Financial Times on its FT 1,000 list of Europe’s fastest growing companies earlier this month, TransferWise demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2013. Earlier this year, the company partnered with Wirecard to launch a debit card to accompany its new digital borderless account offering, and teamed up with Seedrs to power payroll for the crowdfunding platform.

TransferWise has raised more than $396 million in funding, and includes Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Seedcamp, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), IA Ventures, Valar Ventures, Bailie Gifford, and Old Mutual Global Investors among its equity holders. The company facilitates the transfer of more than $2 billion worldwide every month and claims savings of $80 million a month for consumers compared to transfers made using traditional banks.