Free Finovate Webinar: What’s Hot and What’s Not in Global Fintech

Global fintech: what’s hot and what’s not

Thursday, February 22, 2018, 2pm (GMT)

Pssst…can’t attend? Register and we’ll send you a recording!


The fintech revolution continues to gather pace globally and there is heated debate about the challenges and opportunities fintech could bring. The critical question of whether fintech start-ups threaten traditional providers of financial services or will become trusted partners remains unanswered.

For Europe 2018 is set to be a pivotal year. Major developments including the unfolding of Brexit; the onset of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); open banking and the implementation of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) will all have a huge role to play in reshaping the future of financial services in Europe. Globally the fintech train is unstoppable with game changing developments in artificial intelligence; robotics; identity verification; internet of things; RegTech; InsurTech; challenger banking; Blockchain and crypto capitalism. With so much happening it is hard to know where to really pay attention.

In the run up to Finovate Europe, our panel of experts, chaired by the inimitable Ruth Wandhofer, will share their views on what’s hot and what’s not in global fintech in 2018.



Moderator: Ruth Wandhöfer, Global Head of Regulatory & Market Strategy, Citi

Ruth is highly recognized in the European payment industry as one of the foremost authorities on the PSD and she is the Chair of the European Expert Group on the transposition of the Payment Services Directive, a joint initiative of the three European Credit Sector Associations.She is also a member of the Plenary of the European Payments Council as well as a member of the SEPA schemes working group, driving the continued evolution of SEPA.


Zilvinas Bareisis, Senior Analyst, Payments and Banking, Celent

Zilvinas Bareisis researches and advises clients on consumer payments. He has a keen interest in payments innovation, and how the “perfect storm” of competitive (e.g. Fintech), regulatory (e.g. EMV, PSD2), and technology (e.g. digital, blockchain, Internet of Things) developments shapes consumer payments today and tomorrow. Zilvinas has over 20 years of experience advising senior executives at the leading financial institutions and their technology and service providers. He joined Celent in April 2010 from Oliver Wyman.

Michelle Evans, Head of Digital Consumer Research, Euromonitor International

Michelle Evans is the Head of Digital Consumer Research at Euromonitor International. In her role, she oversees the firm’s research on the digital consumer, providing actionable insights and in-depth analyses into how technological advances are reshaping the way consumers browse and buy goods and services globally. She regularly writes and speaks about Euromonitor’s research with her specialty spanning mobile payments, digital commerce, e-commerce, m-commerce, digital marketing and social media. Recognized as a thought leader in digital commerce, she was named a Power Women in Fintech by Innotribe in 2015, a Woman on Top in Tech by Asian Entrepreneur in 2016 and a Woman to Watch by Remodista in 2018. She has shared her expertise across industry events, including Money 20/20, Trustech, Forum E-Commerce Brasil, Mobile Shopping and CONNECT Mobile CX Summit in the capacity as a speaker, chairperson or juror. Leveraging her master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, she has a reoccurring column in Forbes and is regularly quoted in publications globally.

Kieran Hines, Head of Industries, Ovum IT

Kieran Hines is Head of Industries at Ovum, providing research to support clients across a range of sectors including financial services, retail, government, education, healthcare and utilities. He specializes in retail banking, primarily digital channels, and regularly produces research and advises customers on the issues driving change in this sector. Kieran also examines the payments area, with a special emphasis on digital commerce and merchant payment strategy, He leads research into payments technology, strategy and infrastructure. Before joining Ovum, Kieran spent 11 years at Datamonitor Financial where he led research into consumer payments and private wealth management.

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DAVO’s New Sales Apps Bring Savings Technology to Small Businesses

Small business tools company DAVO launched two new apps to help small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with their cash management needs. DAVO Sweep & Save and DAVO Savings Club are the two new apps available to SMBs today.

Both apps are automated savings tools that use fractional daily funding technology, which connects to a merchant’s Point of Sale (POS) platform or accounting software to set aside cash to save for a future use. This automated savings technology is a similar concept to the consumer-facing apps Dyme and Digit, which move money from a user’s checking account into a separate savings account. Check out our overview of those platforms from last year.

DAVO Sweep & Save returns the saved amount to the merchant on a monthly basis to go toward expenses such as rent, business loans, or equipment leases, while DAVO Savings Club sets aside the cash on an annual basis. DAVO notes that the annual funds are intended for “an ongoing cookie jar or Christmas Club like savings.” With both Sweep & Save and Savings Club, merchants opt to either set aside a fixed dollar amount or percentage of daily sales to go toward the savings. “For example,” DAVO co-founder David Joseph explained, “using DAVO Savings Club a merchant can put aside $20 a day and at the end of a year have over $7,000 to use as they see fit. They won’t feel the $20/day but they will love having $7000.”

In a press release, Joseph said, “SMBs are passionate about their businesses and are very good at generating revenue but very often they are far less skilled at cash management. DAVO was originally started to solve the challenges of sales tax for SMBs, but has evolved into a powerful cash management tool.”

Founded in 2011, DAVO demoed its flagship product at FinovateFall 2015. During the demo, the company’s CEO Owen Brown showed how DAVO Sales Tax automatically and passively collects, files, and pays sales tax on a merchant’s behalf. Similar to the two savings apps launched today, the Sales Tax app integrates with a merchant’s POS and backend accounting platforms to set aside the sales tax collected each day. Last October, DAVO made the Sales Tax app available in the Square Marketplace. The company has raised $4 million. And with 1,800 clients, DAVO has grown its customer base by more than 12X since 2015.

Larky Deepens Partnership with Core Processing Solutions Provider Sharetec

Core processing solutions provider Sharetec announced today that it is expanding its relationship with mobile engagement and loyalty program specialist Larky. Sharetec plans to use Larky’s technology with credit unions that use Sharetec’s core system to increase engagement through better membership perks, and boost revenues with more effective cross-selling strategies.

“With our location-based platform, members receive mobile notifications when they are near a specific location where there is a special offer or the credit union wants to promote a specific product or service,” Larky CEO Gregg Hammerman said. “This encourages local purchasing at the most convenient time for the member while increasing cross-selling opportunities for the credit union.”

Larky’s relationship builds on the collaboration the two companies announced last April. The company’s merchant-funded loyalty platform gives CU members instant savings and discounts at local retailers while simultaneously extending the CU’s brand. Larky provides a CU-branded iOS and Android mobile app and sends smartphone alerts to users when they are physically close to a merchant where a qualifying reward is available. Customers save as much as $1,000 in qualifying discounts, and institutions can earn additional interchange revenue from more frequent use of their credit or debit cards.

GBS Credit Union VP Dan Miller said, “The challenge to reach members is significantly lessened with the Larky platform as this tool engages and alerts members to relevant cost-saving information.” Miller added that by making it easier for credit unions to market their financial products and services to members – especially mobile-oriented members – also “strengthen(s) the credit union’s cross-selling success.”

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Larky demonstrated its new Android app, as well as new white-label mobile and web solution at FinovateFall 2014. Larky’s platform has been deployed most recently with First Alliance CU in Rochester, Minnesota, and with United Teletech Financial FCU in Tinton Fall, New Jersey. In December, Larky’s Hammerman and VISA’s Head of Community and Regional Accounts Doug Leighton sat for an interview with Filene to discuss credit unions and digitization.

With $2.4 million in funding, Larky includes North Coast Technology Investors, Michigan Angel Fund, Ann Arbor SPARK, and the First Step Fund among its investors. The company was founded in 2012.

Fintech News from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

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As Finovate prepares for its first conference in the Middle East, here’s a round up of recent fintech news and need-to-knows from the MENA region. Learn more about how to join us in Dubai in February for FinovateMiddleEast.

  • NCR overhauls self-service network for Oman’s BankDhofar.
  • U.A.E.-based Noor Bank launches redesigned credit and debit cards inspired by modern art and Islamic heritage, as well as a new rewards program.
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank gets green light to begin “arranging and advising activities” in the Saudi Arabian securities market.

Thought Leadership – Growth, Wealth, Modernization Drive Fintech Innovation in the MENA region.

  • Is there a future for cryptocurrencies in Turkey? The country’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek weighs in.
  • Al Rajhi Bank Jordan signs cooperation agreement with Middle East Payment Services
  • Emirates NBD adds Evans Munyuki as Chief Digital Officer and Miguel Rio Tinto as Chief Information Officer to help drive digital transformation.

Thought Leadership – Top Barriers to Fintech Growth in the Middle East – What will it take to bring the benefits of fintech innovation to the people of MENA? Randstad takes a look at some of the key factors, from regulations to technical talent.

  • Forbes Middle East publishes its roster of the top 20 fintech startups in the Middle East.
  • U.A.E tops Arab markets when it comes to Islamic fintech.
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) wins Best Overall Bank in Customer Experience in the U.A.E. at 2017 Retail Banking Customer Experience Benchmarking Index awards for the 7th consecutive year.

20 Finovate Alums Earn Spots on One World Identity’s Top 100 Influencers List

When you think about it, what’s cooler than being named to a Who’s Who list in the world of digital identities?

One World Identity, an independent identity research and strategy company that specializes in cybersecurity, digital commerce, and risk management, published its roster of the Top 100 Influencers in Identity this week. This year, 20 Finovate alums made the cut. The individual influencers – as well as the companies they work for- are listed below.

As with last year’s roster, this year’s list was compiled by taking nominations submitted via Twitter, LinkedIn, and at The staff and advisory council for One World Identity whittled down the initial list of more than 1,000 nominees to a final 100.

One World Identity began as a project from a group of Google employees back in 2015. The company was officially launched the following year as a way to help spur innovation and collaboration in the field of digital identities. Travis Jarae is founder and CEO.

Cardlytics Becomes the First Fintech to Go Public in 2018

Cardlytics, which originally filed plans to go public on January 12, has made its IPO official today. On the NASDAQ this morning, the data-driven marketing company issued 5.4 million shares under the ticker symbol CDLX. The offering is expected to close on February 13, 2018, subject to closing conditions.

To celebrate this momentous event in the company’s 10-year history, Cardlytics CEO and Co-Founder Scott Grimes and COO and Co-Founder Lynne Laube, rang the opening bell on NASDAQ this morning. Grimes said, “We believe becoming a publicly-listed company on the NASDAQ will help Cardlytics continue to strengthen our partnerships with banks, drive meaningful consumer engagement, and help brands make their marketing more relevant and measurable through our Purchase Intelligence platform.”

In an analysis on Seeking Alpha, Gary Alexander noted that the market cap of $273 million places Cardlytics “on the small extreme of the IPO spectrum.” However, he added that because Cardlytics is the first fintech– and even the first technology company– to go public this year, “it’s bound to get attention for signaling appetite in the IPO markets.”

Atlanta-based Cardlytics, which launched in the heart of the Great Recession, has raised a total of $203 million and counts ITC Holding Co., Kinetic Ventures, Canaan Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, and TTV Capital among its investors. In the nine months ending in September 2017, the company logged losses of $16 million on sales of $91 million.

Cardlytics leverages algorithms and machine learning to normalize raw purchase data and make it useful for marketers. The company offers solutions for both marketers and banks, including:

  • Insights: helps marketers make better business decisions across marketing, store operations, and real estate planning by viewing into customers’ actual purchase behavior.
  • Measure: leverages sales data to help marketers measure and optimize their marketing strategies
  • Purchase Intelligence: allows marketers to advertise within a native banking environment to capture new clients with the use of loyalty and rewards

At FinovateFall 2013, Cardlytics demoed its geolocation application, a solution that sends bank customers ads and offers based on their location. Last month, the company appointed Sathish Gaddipati as Chief Technology Officer. Most recently, Cardlytics earned a spot on the Tech Tribune’s list of the 10 Best Tech Startups in Atlanta.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Cardlytics Becomes the First Fintech to Go Public in 2018.

Around the web

  • The Banker’s Tech Talk interviews FinanceIT CEO Michael Garrity.
  • Tinkoff Bank launches development hub.
  • Icon Solutions announces strategic GDPR partnership with Digital Control Room.
  • Larky expands partnership with Sharetec.
  • Zebpay adds support for Ripple’s XRP.
  • Pindrop helping PSCU block $1 million in fraud in one month.

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.

The Spirit of Innovation: Fintech is Booming in UAE

As populations in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region grow at increasing rates, developing a financial infrastructure capable of serving those who live in the Middle East and North Africa – from the underbanked to the ultra high net worth individual – is a massive challenge. We speak to HE Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MoF about how the UAE Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) innovation strategy reflects its support to the National Innovation Strategy of the UAE and what this means for the fintech environment in the MENA of the future.

Finovate: What are the main features of the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) innovation strategy over the next 12 months?

HE Younis Haji Al Khoori: The UAE Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) innovation strategy reflects its support to the National Innovation Strategy of the UAE, which acts as an umbrella for the UAE Government’s efforts in innovation.

Through this strategy, MoF aspires to showcase its innovation projects that are in support of the innovation ecosystem in the UAE. This is currently being achieved through the introduction of high-calibre projects like the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund, which is aimed at supporting innovators by granting them access to affordable financing solutions.

In addition, MoF’s innovation strategy focuses on fostering a culture of innovation within the Ministry, and offers its employees comprehensive skills-building and training programmes that are specific to innovation, and empowers them to apply related tools and business practices professionally.

Finovate: How do you define innovation?

HE Younis Haji Al Khoori: Innovation is a broad term with numerous applications. From my perspective it relates to businesses improving competitiveness by developing new and creative processes, products and services to meet and overcome the challenges they face.

The UAE Government aspires to become one of the world’s most innovative countries by 2021. For that, the Ministry of Finance has adopted innovation as a methodology integral to the way every one of our divisions operates and to how every service we deliver works. This spirit has also driven the launch of various initiatives, programs and incubators that support the spread of innovation-culture throughout the country and support its future growth.

Finovate: What’s on the agenda to increase innovation within government and finance?

HE Younis Haji Al Khoori: The UAE Ministry of Finance has announced a 2 billion dirham fund, The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund. This fund offers affordable financing solutions to innovators at different levels of their development through a government backed guarantee. MoF is collaborating with Emirates Development Bank to operate the fund and partners within the banking sector to provide the required financing to innovators.

Recently, the Ministry has announced the Fund’s very first success story where an applicant achieved a complete disbursement in virtue of his highlighting an interesting aspect of social innovation in his business.

The fund also offers the opportunity for international value to be brought into applicant businesses through the network of high profile SME owners from around the world working as members of the fund Advisory and Decision Committee. The Ministry is also currently working on broadening the scope of our contribution to the innovation ecosystem through a number of initiatives that will be announced soon.

Finovate: How are emerging technologies going to disrupt the financial services sector?

HE Younis Haji Al Khoori: The advent of fintech, especially with regards to Blockchain and Cryptocurrency spells significant change for the financial services sector which will need to evolve to keep up with the rapid changes we are living through. It is speculated that there will be more changes in the industry over the next decade than there have been in the past 100 years, however I believe the core principles which have seen the financial services sector continue to perform through other periods of change will continue to serve us well through periods of significant upheaval. Embracing a culture of innovation, as well as continuing to acquire smart and informed talent will ensure the sector is prepared regardless of the technological advances that occur elsewhere.

Finovate: How do you see the fintech sector developing in the UAE and beyond?

HE Younis Haji Al Khoori: 2017 has seen fintech enter the popular consciousness in a big way, the meteoric rise of Bitcoin and other emergent digital currency, developments in mobile payment technology, and the introduction of Blockchain have ignited the public interest and pushed the sector’s growth. It is easy to say that the fintech revolution is transforming the financial services sector, and will continue to do so by forming a globally connected world.

The UAE can consolidate its position at the leading edge of this new frontier by attracting the most promising enterprises to develop in our cities, continuing to develop cutting edge business infrastructure and providing accessible and generous funding through funds and incubators. We aspire to become a leading light in the accelerating fintech sector.

NCR Overhauls Self Service Network for Oman’s BankDhofar; Expands ATM Access in India

Two headlines from NCR Corporation reflect the breadth of the company’s work with financial institutions and underbanked populations around the world.

First up is news that NCR has been selected by leading Oman bank, BankDhofar, to overhaul its current self-service banking network. The bank will also deploy NCR’s SelfServ 80 Series ATMs, upgrading BankDhofar’s current line-up of older NCR ATMs.

“BankDhofar is well known for being innovative and constantly striving to be ‘the best bank for its customers by making banking easy and always available,” AGM and Chief Information Officer, Dr. Tariq Taha said. Taha said the ATM upgrade will enable the bank to purse new growth opportunities as well as provide a “next-generation customer experience.”

The new ATMs have a widescreen display that enables multi-touch function and comes equipped with a cash dispenser that provides up to a 60-note bunch (approximately OMR 3,000) per transaction. Customers will also be able to deposit up to 4,000 notes and 400 checks. “We are proud to be the first in the country to offer this revolutionary technology that delivers intuitive and striking interfaces to access banking transactions and services on-the-go,” Taha said.

NCR also announced a special deployment of its ATMs in remote areas of India in an effort to better reach the underbanked. The company said the deployment of the small-footprint, SelfServ Select Edition Cash and SE Recycle ATMs will enable FIs to provide cash more readily to an economy that is more than 19% unbanked and conducts more than 50% of its retail transactions in cash.

“Financial inclusion is emerging as a new paradigm of economic growth that plays a major role in driving away poverty from the country by reaching and serving the underserved,” VP and GM for NCR Financial Services, Jose Resendiz said. “The new ATMs will allow financial institutions to modernize their ATM network, improve customer experience and extend their reach to serve areas where cash demand is strong.”

NCR’s global presence has been manifest in recent months. In January, the company’s technology was used to help Union Bank of the Philippines launch a prototype branch with an interactive teller. Back in the U.S., the same interactive teller technology was deployed at Tucson FCU in December. Winner of four GOOD DESIGN awards, NCR teamed up with Samsung to launch an all-in-one POS commerce station, NCR Silver Quantum in November and, in October, the company introduced its cloud-based NCR Mobile Payment solution.

Headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, NCR demonstrated a fully-immersive, virtual reality ATM experience featuring real-time remote collaboration at FinovateSpring 2017. The company trades on the NYSE under the ticker “NCR” and has a market capitalization of $4 billion. Bill Nuti is Chairman, President, and CEO.

TSYS Tech Backs J.P. Morgan’s Commercial Virtual Card Issuance

Global payments provider TSYS announced this week that J.P. Morgan will leverage the fintech’s Virtual Payment Precept (VPP) to broaden its virtual card solution.

TSYS’ VPP is a commercial card solution that enables issuers to generate secure, virtual, single-use account information in real-time, offering a more flexible and faster card issuance program that gives more control over account and transaction parameters. J.P. Morgan will use VPP to issue cards on both Visa and Mastercard networks.

“Virtual cards are a vital component of our clients’ payments strategy and business operations and this will continue to power our clients’ and suppliers’ growth,” said Naney Pandit, Head of Commercial Card Product at J.P. Morgan.

VPP technology allows businesses to set limits on what each account can be used for. And virtual cards replace static account numbers on physical cards that are vulnerable of being compromised. These two factors help reduce risk and improve operational efficiency.

TSYS demoed its Spend Controls feature at FinovateEurope 2013 in London. Last December, the company extended its agreement with Capital One to continue providing processing services for the bank’s North American clients. That same month, TSYS closed its acquisition of payment technology company Cayan for $1.05 billion.

TSYS was founded in 1983 and has 11,500 employees across offices in 13 countries. In 2016, the company processed 25.5 billion transactions, generating $4.2 billion in revenue. TSYS is a publicly traded company (NYSE: TSS).