Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Asia-Pacific

  • Chinese fintech solutions provider Pintec files $70 million IPO.
  • Shwe Rural and Urban Development Bank in Myanmar partners with JMR Infotech to better scale its online services.
  • Hong Kong banks team up to launch blockchain-based trade finance platform.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • The Fintech Association of Nigeria celebrates its first anniversary.
  • Disrupt Africa looks at a pair of investments in Nigerian fintechs: CowryWise and Bitcoin Africa.
  • SophiaTX and South Africa’s ArkTree announce new strategic alliance to expand the global reach of blockchain technology

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Hungarian bank MKB, the fourth largest commercial bank in the country, deploys Oracle Flexcube to streamline operations.
  • Open banking platform innovator Token announces that its technology has been implemented by Sberbank in Slovenia.
  • Israel-based cashless payments solution and management platform Nayax opens office in Lithuania.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Jihad Azour, Director of IMF Middle East and Central Asia, delivers a speech at the Arab Economic Forum in Lebanon: Promoting the Inclusive Growth Agenda in the Arab Region.
  • Saudi Arabia grants its first set of fintech licenses to a pair of Saudi crowdfunding platforms, Manafa Capital and Scopeer.
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) notes a strong start in 2018 with the number of active registered companies climbing by 8%.

Central and South Asia

  • Study from JP Morgan looks at the untapped opportunities in the Indian fintech space.
  • FSS introduces FSS eFinclusiv, a financial inclusion solution geared toward serving the underbanked in India.
  • Russia’s National Settlement Depository to connect Kyrgyzstan’s Bank of Asia to SWIFT.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • El Cronista interviews Rafael Hernandez, senior partner of fintech at Village Capital, on business opportunities in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In Spanish.
  • Brazilian online broker Toro Investmentos begins operation this week.
  • Bank of Asia goes live as the first digital bank in the British Virgin Islands.

Top image designed by Freepik

Sberbank in Slovenia Partners with Open Banking Platform Provider Token

By partnering with Token.io, the open banking platform provider based in San Francisco, California, Sberbank in Slovenia is signaling more than just its compliance with PSD2. Instead Slovenia’s seventh largest bank seeks to move beyond PSD2 compliance and toward a full embrace of open banking.

“Our choice to work with Token reflects our commitment to shaping a new era of banking and payments,” Aleš Zajc, Deputy CEO in charge of retail banking for Sberbank in Slovenia, said. Zajc added that the technology would enable the bank to provide customers with a better, safer experience. “With Token’s frictionless authentication programmed into each transaction,” Zajc said, “we will be able to increase payment speed and convenience without ever compromising on security.”

Token enables banks to issue and redeem payment and account data authorizations as programmable smart tokens. Smart tokens are unique to the transactions they represent, and because account information is never transmitted beyond the bank, the technology helps minimize security risks. Not only does this make Token’s technology an ideal deployment for banks looking to meet PSD2 requirements, smart tokens can also serve as the basis for faster, more secure online transactions for customers.

“Token offers the industry’s simplest and most secure transaction-based open banking API, which will provide Sberbank Slovenia quicker data aggregation and direct payments driven by Smart Token technology,” Token CEO and founder Steve Kirsch explained. “Crucially, our cloud-based platform will give Sberbank both flexibility and scalability when creating and handling transactions.”

Token’s news comes one month after the company announced that it would facilitate direct payments for cross border payments platform and fellow Finovate alum, Caxton. Also last month, the company completed the first Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) to complete an end-to-end payment via a public bank API. In May, Token was granted FCA authorization for open banking payment and information services, and partnered with Paymentworld Europe to enable direct payments for the Malta-based electronic money institution.

Founded in 2015, Token demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2017. With $18.5 million in funding, the company includes EQT Ventures, OP Financial Group, Octopus Ventures, and Plug and Play among its investors. Check out our conversation on open banking and PSD2 with Token’s VP of Marketing, Marten Nelson, from earlier this year.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Sberbank in Slovenia Partners with Open Banking Platform Provider Token.
  • Equifax Acquires DataX to Promote Financial Inclusion.

Around the web

  • Wirecard and Mastercard collaborate to make contactless payments using wearable technology more accessible.
  • Roostify expands leadership ranks with new Chief Customer Officer, new VP of Sales, and new General Counsel.
  • VyStar Credit Union ($7.6 billion in assets) to upgrade core banking solution with technology from FIS.
  • Hyperwallet to provide mass payment distribution for content processing platform, Wordapp.com.
  • Premier America Credit Union ($2.5 billion in assets) to deploy core processing technology from Jack Henry & Associates.
  • Santander integrates nCino’s Bank Operating System.
  • Carte Wealth Management to launch advisor engagement platform powered by DigitalReach from BlueRush.
  • TechCrunch reports: Coinbase Reportedly Gets Approval from US regulators to Start Listing Tokenized Securities.
  • Ephesoft releases new Swagger/OpenAPI-web services for Ephesoft Transact.

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.

Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World


As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian card processor Conductor to deploy 3D Secure authentication technology from TAS Group later this fall.
  • Distributed check capture specialist Panini and technology distributor J. Fleischman team up to bring check truncation to Paraguay.
  • Visa introduces loyalty program available to issuing banks in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Asia-Pacific

  • TransferWise opens office in Hong Kong as part of expansion into Asia.
  • AsiaCollect, a credit management services provider based in Singapore, raises $4.5 million in funding.
  • Foreign exchange and international payments company, Frontierpay, opens Asian headquarters in Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South African fintech walletdoc partners with EasyPay to make it easier for consumer to pay monthly subscriptions and utilities.
  • Western Union opens office in Ivory Coast.
  • Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Procurement introduces eGovernment Procurement System.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Albania’s Raiffeisen Bank Shqipëri partners with NF Innova to deploy digital self-service kiosks.
  • Efigence provides UI/UX design, development and implementation for new investment platform from Polish home equities broker, CDM Pekao.
  • Russian SME crowdfunding platform SimplyFi partners with Tochka Bank to offer direct lending to the bank’s business customers.
  • Sberbank introduces support for Google Pay.
  • Western Union partners with Russia’s Post Bank, enabling money transfers via Post Bank’s mobile app.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Kuwait Finance House (KFH) to use VISA’s token service for its mobile wallet.
  • Saudi Arabia-based Maalem Financing to deploy Islamic core banking technology from Path Solutions.
  • Turkish government launches fintech task force to improve fintech ecosystem locally.

Central and South Asia

  • The Economic Times looks at the role of bankers in India’s “coming fintech revolution.”
  • RBS India, the innovation hub of the Royal Bank of Scotland, to launch forum on disability inclusion.
  • PaySend joins Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC), a central Asian fintech hub based in Kazakhstan.

Top image designed by Freepik

Sberbank Now Supports Google Pay

Russia-based financial services organization Sberbank is making online payments easier for its clients with a new collaboration this week. The bank is integrating with Google Pay, making it the first bank in Russia to do so. The move is expected to bring Sberbank’s payment method to top-of-wallet in ecommerce shops that offer Google Pay.

When they’re ready to make a purchase at an online point of sale, Sberbank users simply need to log into Google Pay, select their previously saved payment method, and confirm the transaction. The service is available via native apps, as well as on mobile and web interfaces with major internet browsers.

Sberbank acquiring and bank card division director Svetlana Kirsanova noted that the feature will help users save time when shopping online by offering a more user friendly interface. “In the modern world, the speed and easiness of making purchases are the priority, and that’s why Sberbank is focused on introducing technology that helps to avoid performing additional actions and lets purchases be made in seconds,” Kirsanova added.

At FinovateSpring 2016 Sberbank launched Sberbank Messenger, which is built on top of the bank’s digital ecosystem and enables consumers to chat and seamlessly send money to one another. The service also allows businesses to interact with consumers using both human respondents and chatbots, and enables consumers to purchase goods and services without leaving the chat dialogue.

Established in 1841, the bank has 260,000 employees and serves more than 110 million clients, equivalent to 70% of Russia’s population, through 16,000+ branches.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Fortytwo Data Upgrades Entity Screening Platform.

Around the web

  • Munnypot honored for Best Website DFM/WM and Most Innovative Robo Advice/Guidance Proposition at the Investment Marketing and Innovation Awards 2018.
  • ThreatMetrix announces a new 3D Secure 2.0 offering as part of its summer 2018 release.
  • CREALOGIX takes over remaining 80% of ELAXY Business Solution & Services from Fiducia & GAD.
  • Azimo enables customers in Nordic countries to transfer money to accounts in 10 new countries in Eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Inverse highlights Revolut’s planned U.S. launch.
  • Jack Henry & Associates named a top workplace by The Tennessean for fourth consecutive year

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.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Paysend Seals Deal on $20 Million Financing.
  • ezbob Lands Undisclosed Investment from Honeycomb Investment Trust.
  • New Investment Takes ThetaRay’s Total Capital to More than $60 Million.

Around the web

  • Cryptocurrency trading platform DXE chooses Mobile Verify from Mitek for automated ID verification.
  • Delano.lu profiles developer platform Hydrogen, recognized last month as the 2018 fintech startup of the year by KPMG Luxembourg and Luxembourg House of Financial Technology.
  • Benzinga interviews Unison CEO Thomas Sponholtz in the wake of the company’s $40 million Series B round.
  • Hypepotamus features Cardlytics post-IPO, interviews CEO Scott Grimes.
  • Bluefin and NCR expand POS payment security to provide PCI-Validated Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE).

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.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Mitek Acquires A2iA for $49.7 Million.
  • WeInvest Raises $12.3 Million for its WealthTech Platform.
  • Finovate Alums Take Top Honors at FinTech Breakthrough Awards.
  • PaySend Adds KYC and Risk Management Technology from 4Stop..

Around the web

  • Deutsche Bank Luxembourg to deploy Avaloq Banking Suite.
  • Temenos unveils new digital onboarding and origination platform, Temenos Origination.
  • Revolut announces support for XRP and Bitcoin Cash.
  • Moneyhub integrates with Intelliflo to enable real-time, two-way sharing between financial advisors and clients.
  • Klarna acquires e-commerce shopping cart, Shop.co.
  • Sberbank to test ICO technology issued by Level One.
  • Tinkoff Bank to launch a new Development Hub in Sochi.
  • ID.me teams with LinkedIn to provide one year of LinkedIn Premium for free to U.S. service members and veterans.

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.

Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Africa

  • Block Commodities, Walla, Dala, and FinComEco partner in new initiative to leverage cryptocurrencies to fund loans to African farmers.
  • Standard Chartered opens fully licensed bank in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Nigerian fintech startups to compete for annual mCash Prize for Innovation in Fintech, sponsored by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NBSS).

LATAM

  • Santander unveils new blockchain-based international wire transfer service for Brazilian consumers.
  • Digital bank Wanap goes live in Argentina (in Spanish).
  • El Financiero looks at the potential impact of a Mexico-like fintech law on fintech innovation in Costa Rica (in Spanish).

CEE

  • OTP Bank in Hungary partners with ACI Worldwide to power its digital transformation.
  • Sberbank and SAP team up to complete cloud-based digital transformation project.
  • Efigence powers concept, UX, and design for BGŻOptima Bank’s new portal.

Asia

  • Fintech Malaysia lists its 14 Names You Should Know to “highlight some of the movers and shakers within the fintech space in Malaysia.”
  • Ernest & Young executive predicts sharp rise in number of Vietnamese fintechs and “heightened investor interest.”
  • Research agency BMI says infrastructure, growing affluence, and high mobile and broadband use suggest Malaysia could be world leader in Islamic financial technology.

MENA

  • MENA Research Partners estimates the value of the MENA Fintech market at $2 billion, with an annual growth of $125 million over the next four years.
  • Daily News Egypt discussed Egypt’s commitment to digitize its economy with Visa CEO Alfred Kelly.
  • Emirates NBD integrates blockchain technology into cheques to fight fraud and forgery.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Global: Fintech News from the Periphery

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from the Periphery is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

MENA

  • Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) invests “substantial capital” in U.S. VC firm, 500 Startups.
  • Madfooat.com raises $2.3 million in Series B funding.
  • Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority introduces online payments service via the Saudi Payment Network.

Africa

  • nanopay CEO Laurence Cooke discusses the role of mobile money payment platforms will play in the transformation of Africa’s banking system.
  • South African Reserve Bank establishes division to build proof of concept for distributed ledger technology-based interbank clearing and settlement.
  • South African software company Finteq will collaborate with Zimbabwe’s Zimswitch EFT switch and clearing house to build an automated clearing house.

LATAM

  • Banks in Chile shut down accounts of local cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Brazil’s leading consumer loan marketplace FinanZero raises $3.6 million in Series A funding.
  • Deutsche Welle looks at Spain’s “under the radar” rise as a digital leader.

CEE

  • Romania’s first factoring fintech platform, Instant Factoring, goes live.
  • Sberbank partners with systems integrator I-Teco to develop joint cloud platform, SberCloud.
  • PKO Bank Polski teams up with blockchain company Coinfirm to log and store client transactions and agreements.

Asia

  • China and Singapore complete first all-blockchain commodity trade.
  • Is it time for a fintech revolution in the Philippines?
  • Bank Indonesia announces 15 fintech companies as official payment system providers.

Top image designed by Freepik