Onward Innovation! FinovateAsia Returns to Singapore

We’re back! After seven years Finovate has returned to Singapore for our annual fintech event in Asia. Singapore is where we first launched FinovateAsia, and we are thrilled to be back in the Garden City to showcase and celebrate the latest in fintech innovation.

Here at rehearsal day on Sunday, our demoing companies are busy practicing their pitches and testing their technologies. And from all indications, we are in store for a fascinating day of live fintech demos covering everything from AI and cryptocurrencies to regtech and wealth management.

We hope to see you at the show. Until then, here are a few reminders and need-to-knows to help you make the most of your time at FinovateAsia this year.

What

This year, our fintech demos will be held on Tuesday, October 15th, Day Two of FinovateAsia. Check out our roster of demoing companies, and learn more about them via our Sneak Peek series.

On Monday, October 14th, Day One of FinovateAsia, we will feature a variety of keynote addresses, roundtables, and power panels discussing some of the key trends in fintech. Day One also will offer attendees the opportunity for deep dives into topics like emerging Asian markets, digital lending and payments, investech, insurtech, and more.

FinovateAsia will also host a special Summit Day on Wednesday that will focus on two of the most potentially disruptive technologies in our industry today: artificial intelligence and the blockchain. Visit our registration page to add this special day to your FinovateAsia plans.

When

FinovateAsia begins Monday morning, October 14th, at 8:50am with opening remarks from the chair. The conference continues all day until 6:30pm with our reception and networking Happy Hour. FinovateAsia resumes Tuesday morning, October 15th at 9:30am with the chair’s opening remarks, and concludes that evening with our reception, networking, and Best of Show awards ceremony.

We will also have a third Summit Day on Wednesday, October 16th. Opening remarks will begin at 9am, and the day will conclude with closing remarks from the chair at 4pm.

Where

FinovateAsia will take place at the Marina Mandarin Singapore on 6 Raffles Blvd. The venue located in Singapore’s Central Business District, and easy to reach via Mass Transit Railway (MTR), bus, train, and taxi.

We are excited about our return to Singapore for FinovateAsia and are looking forward to seeing you at the event. If you’ve got any questions about the conference, we’ve got the answers. Visit our FinovateAsia contact page and touch base with one of our conference representatives for more information.

FinovateAsia: From Digital Transformation to the Evolution of the Customer

A few days ago, we featured the Power Panels that will take place in Singapore at FinovateAsia next week. Today, we highlight the fintech analysts, executives, and entrepreneurs who will share their insights and experience at this year’s event.

FinovateAsia is just days away! To join us, visit our registration page today and save your seat as Finovate returns to Singapore! For more details, check out our full ,two-day conference agenda (including information about our additional Summit Day on October 16.)

Main Stage Presentations

  • The Digital Shift – How Can Financial Institutions Embrace Innovation & Harness New Technologies In The New Digital World? – featuring Scott Bales of Innovation Labs, Asia
  • Results Of The First ASEAN FinTech Industry Survey – featuring Shan Luo of FinTechSpace
  • Challenger Banks – How Will The Rise Of Virtual Banks & Open Banking Impact Business For Incumbents? – featuring Louise Beaumont

Emerging Asian Markets stream

  • The Exponential Rise of B2B & B2C FinTech In China – What Next For The World’s Most Progressive Fintech Market? – featuring Melissa Guzy of Arbour Ventures

Digital Lending stream

  • How New Players Are Harnessing New Technologies To Disrupt The Digital Lending Landscape In Asia – featuring Zennon Kapron of Kapronasia
  • How To Link The Customer Story To The Money Story In Financial Services – featuring Tom Mouhsian of Forrester

Digital Payments stream

  • How New Technologies & Changing Consumer Behavior Are Driving The Payments Race – featuring Dimitris Litsikakis
  • Ecosystem Disruptions and Payments Imperatives – featuring Daniel Latimore of Celent

InvesTech stream

  • Design Thinking & Organizational Change Through 21st Century Ways Of Working – featuring John Gist of Fidelity
  • The Retirement Journey In Asia: Building A.I. Powered Engagement With Your Customers – featuring Fahd Fachidy of ABAKA
  • Investment For Good Is Good Investment – Finance 2.0 – featuring Helene Yi of GoImpact

InsurTech stream

  • Digital Brokers: Shaping a New Era in Insurance – featuring Vivien Chua of Shenton Insurance Brokers
  • What Makes An Insurtech Start-up An Attractive Investment Proposition And Why? – featuring William Bao Bean of China Accelerator
  • Vertical Urban Mobility – How To Earn With It & How To Insure It – featuring Michael Wieser of Helvetia Fund

Main Stage Presentation

  • Where Are The Vulnerabilities In Financial Services Mobile Apps & How Can The Industry Safeguard Itself Against The Threat From Attackers? – featuring Alissa Knight of Aite Group

FinovateAsia is right around the corner! For more information about our upcoming conference in Singapore, check out our FinovateAsia page for details on how to pick up your ticket, plan your visit, and more!

Voleo Teams Up with Software Development Firm Convergence Concepts

A new partnership between Best of Show winner Voleo and Convergence Concepts will enable the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based social investing platform to enhance its technology and improve the user experience on its iOS, Android, and online applications.

“This partnership will allow Voleo to focus on its core – growth and scalability in both the B2C and B2B partnerships,” said Voleo CEO Thomas Beattie. “We are hearing the feedback from our customers and we are delivering. Later this year there will be more features and developments introduced into the platform, a direct result of customer interaction.”

A major goal of the partnership is to achieve a unified codebase across all three platforms – iOS, Android, and online. This will make it easier for Voleo to introduce new features, as well as improve its ability to test new marketing and user journeys. Voleo anticipates this will help the company scale its current B2C customer base and provide support for more “nimble, robust integrations” with financial services companies, credit unions, and banks on the B2B side.

“Convergence is thrilled to become Voleo’s partner for product engineering and design, and it is a privilege to work with such a professional and experienced management team,” Convergence CEO Matthew Housser said. “We believe that the Voleo platform has huge potential in both the B2C and B2B fintech spaces, and we’re excited to help evolve and scale Voleo’s core platform and unique user experiences.”

Founded in 2015, Voleo demonstrated its social investing platform at FinovateFall 2017, winning Best of Show for its app that leverages the collective wisdom of investors to pursue higher returns in the market. Earlier this year, the company successfully completed the 2019 FIS Fintech Accelerator program in July, along with fellow Finovate alums Neener Analytics, Gremln Social, and Digital Onboarding.

Voleo also participated in Google’s Digital Strategy program over the summer in a bid to increase user acquisition. This spring, Voleo won the 2019 Best Stock Trading App award in the investment category of the FinTech Breakthrough Awards. In March, the company teamed up with Nasdaq to launch their second Student Equity Trading Competition.

Publicly traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker TRAD, Voleo has a market capitalization of $9 million.

StreetShares Partners with Farm Bureau Bank

Lendtech StreetShares, which offers business loans of up to $250,000 to US citizens, announced its partnership with rural US Farm Bureau Bank (FBB) to provide small business lending services to Farm Bureau’s six million members nationwide, reports Ruby Hinchliffe of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

StreetShares’ small business lending-as-a-service (LaaS) platform will provide the bank’s small business customers with “a decision in minutes and funding within 24 hours.”

FBB is a full-service digital bank in the US. Now able to offer fully-digital business loan applications with StreetShares’ technology, the bank says it chose the partner on account of its “flexibility and commitment to providing stellar service to underserved populations”.

“Since StreetShares is veteran-run, and we cater to rural America, we knew our values and mission would align with rural Americans’ small business lending needs,” said FFB’s director of national accounts Bob Baker.

By using a LaaS solution, FBB can offer unsecured lines of credit, making its loans faster and more competitive. The bank does not even have to integrate StreetShare’s platform with its core banking software.

“Since implementing the business lending platform, we have been able to expand our offerings and provide our members an innovative solution that meets their unique needs and helps them better manage and grow their businesses,” said Baker, who describes the entire loan process with StreetShares as “incredibly easy.”

Bank members can now apply from the comfort of their own home or office with instant replies and funding. Baker said the integration positions the bank “for continued growth” and “long-lasting relationships” with customers.

SteetShares’ CEO Mark L. Rockefeller said the bank’s adoption of its LaaS will “provide a better customer experience and expand its business lines.” Rockefeller hopes the partnership will bring small business lending to more qualified entrepreneurs across the country.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Reston, Virginia, StreetShares demonstrated its lending-as-a-service platform at FinovateFall 2019. The company has raised more than $261 million in funding, and includes Rotunda Capital Partners, Fenway Summer Ventures, and Accion among its investors.

Blend Integrates with Mortgage Credit Specialist Avantus

Hot on the heels of the launch of its “one tap” mortgage preappoval solution, mortgagetech innovator Blend is back in the fintech headlines with news of its partnership with Avantus. The integration will enable mortgage borrowers using Blend’s digital lending platform to access Avantus’ Tri-Merge credit reports.

“Blend has helped many Avantus clients create a more streamlined end-to-end lending solution, with impressive results,” Avantus president Louis Capobianco said. “We’re excited to be part of the Blend platform and look forward to working on our shared goal of helping lenders close more loans.”

Headquartered in West Haven, Connecticut, Avantus provides customized mortgage credit reports and related services that enable loan originators, credit unions, banks, and lenders to streamline and accelerate the approval process, as well as keep costs low. With more than 75 years of experience in analyzing consumer data, the company announced a partnership with digital mortgage platform ARIVE earlier this month that will bring its customized credit reports to a broader range of independent mortgage brokers and wholesale lenders.

“We’re pleased to add Avantus to our platform, expanding options for lenders pulling credit within Blend, and further strengthening and optimizing the consumer’s mortgage experience,” Blend’s Head of Business Development Brian Martin said. “Partnering with Avantus will support our mission to continue to deliver a best-in-class lending experience for consumers and lenders.”

Founded in 2012 and based in San Francisco, California, Blend demonstrated its “Data-Driven Mortgage” solution at FinovateSpring 2016. The company is also an alum of our developers conference, presenting its technology at FinDEVrSiliconValley 2016.

Named one of the best places to work by Inc.com, Blend launched a deposit account in April that enabled its customers to improve the digital account opening experience on both mobile and desktop. Mountain America Credit Union, which deployed the product in one month, now has 53% of its applications arrive via a mobile channel that had not been previously available for deposits. The credit union also reported a 45% decrease in account opening times.

Also this spring, Blend announced a partnership with FGMC’s direct-to-consumer division, Goodmortgage, helping the Plano, Texas-based lender develop a “simpler and more sophisticated online mortgage process.”

In July, Blend locked in an investment of $130 million in a round led by Temasek and General Atlantic. The funding took the company’s total to $290 million.

Thought Machine Teams Up with Sweden’s SEB

SEB, the Swedish financial group, has partnered with core banking firm Thought Machine in a project which will see the former deploy a new banking platform in its innovation studio, SEBx, reports Alex Hamilton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

SEBx is implementing Vault, Thought Machine’s flagship cloud-hosted core banking system.

According to Nicholas Moch, group CIO of SEB, the innovation studio has a “clear mandate for exploring tech to create next generation customer offerings.”

“Having the opportunity to build a bank from the ground up within SEBx, we are determined to work with partners that bring new perspectives to a traditional industry, and the team at Thought Machine does that,” Moch said.

SEB launched its innovation studio in July, and describes it as an initiative for testing new technologies, alternative technology platforms and new services. The studio currently employs 16 people.

The bank’s CEO, Johan Torgeby, told Swedish media at the time that SEBx could become a separate company in the future.

Paul Taylor, CEO and founder of Thought Machine, said of the project: “SEB is one of the most innovative banks in Europe, and it is significant that they have decided to deploy Vault as part of their technology exploration.”

SEB’s activities mainly comprise retail and corporate banking, but it also dabbles in life insurance and pensions. Founded in 1972, it operates subsidiaries in Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia.

Thought Machine demonstrated its core banking solution, Vault, at FinovateEurope 2018. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in London, U.K., the company has raised $22 million (£18 million) in funding from investors including Lloyds Banking Group, Backed VC, and IQ Capital.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Blend Integrates with Mortgage Credit Specialist Avantus.

Around the web

  • Recognise Financial Services to deploy nCino’s Bank Operating System.
  • NCR announces plans to acquire Midwest POS Solutions.
  • Courtesy of a new partnership with Personetics, Metro Bank launches its Business Insights solution for business customers.
  • Revolut teams up with Bottomline, enabling real-time payment services to its retail and business customers in the U.K.
  • As part of a new initiative, open banking specialist NDGIT to bring its PSD2 Compliance APIs to Switzerland.
  • 3E Software’s Teslar Software adds Pendleton Community Bank to list of clients.
  • Overbond, FI.SPAN, and Finn.AI among 12 Canadian fintech startups chosen for U.K. trade mission.
  • CardFlight’s SwipeSimple terminal available on PAX A80.

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.

New Partnership Brings NCR’s D3 Digital Banking to NYMBUS

NYMBUS, makers of the SmartCore private cloud-based core processing platform, announced today that it has licensed the D3 Digital Banking platform from fellow Finovate alum NCR. The license will enable the two companies to help financial institutions rapidly deploy branded digital products and solutions for their business and consumer customers.

“Combining NCR’s D3 digital banking platform with NYMBUS’s core banking platform allows us to better serve progressive financial institutions, and corporations with well-known brands seeking to address the needs of digital-savvy customers in high-growth market segments,” NYMBUS President David Mitchell said.

NCR acquired D3 Banking – also a Finovate alum – over the summer for an undisclosed sum. At the time, company president and CEO Michael D. Hayford said the purchase would help NCR grow its digital banking offerings into new markets, especially the enterprise market as a solution provider for big FIs. “D3 has a well-earned reputation for innovation and product excellence,” Hayford said in July. “(The company) delivers one of the most advanced digital platforms for large banks,”

“Financial institutions are introducing digital bank brands to meet the needs of Gen Z and Millennials, address new market segments, and drive deposit growth,” NCR D3 Digital Banking General Manager and former D3 Banking CEO Mark Vipond explained. “Combining our platforms allows financial institutions to rapidly go to market with digital banking offerings, quickly accelerate growth, and meet the needs of their customers.”

D3 Banking demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2015. Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, the company raised more than $33 million in equity funding prior to being purchased. More than three million users have deployed D3 Banking’s technology since the company’s inception in 1997 – including Zions Bancorporation, which announced a partnership with D3 in April.

Based in Duluth, Georgia and founded in 1884, NCR demonstrated its VR Collaboration for ATMs technology at FinovateSpring 2017. The demo used a fully immersive virtual reality experience to show what an ATM looks like from the inside. In addition to its purchase of D3 Banking, NCR has spent 2019 teaming up with fellow Finovate alum Bluefin and Powertranz to support POS card processing for quick service restaurants in the Caribbean. The company alsopartnered iwith Santander U.K. to enhance customer service at the 600-branch bank. The company began the year launching its EMV-integrated Equinox Luxe devices for NCR Connected Payments, providing a secure payment path for retailers.

Fresh of its most recent Finovate appearance last month at FinovateFall where it demonstrated its SmartLaunch financial services platform, NYMBUS was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Miami Beach, Florida. The company has forged a host of partnerships this year, teaming up with Centier Bank in September, Pacific National Bank in May, and both Moxy Bank and Inspire Federal Credit Union in the spring. With $33.4 million in funding, NYMBUS includes Home Credit Group and Vensure Enterprises among its investors.

Expensify Combines Spending Controls and Expense Tracking with New Corporate Card

Expensify is the latest fintech to get into the card game. The San Francisco, California-based expense management solution provider announced today that its free corporate Expensify Card, will give businesses of all sizes a unique combination of spending power and control along with real-time expense management.

For Expensify, the new corporate card is a case of going back to the future. “Expensify started as a corporate card way back in 2008 before we decided to focus on expense,” company founder and CEO David Barrett explained, “so it’s fun to see the product come full circle with a card that naturally extends our existing platform. The card will make life easier for our customers, who no longer have to worry about lost receipts, late fees, or accidental overspending.”

The new offering automatically inputs expense details and produces an audit-protected receipt whenever an employee makes a transaction with the card. Expenses and transactions are shared with administrators in real-time, providing what the company called an “unmatched” degree of card control and significantly less risk of employee overspending.

The new Expensify corporate card also features continuous reconciliation of all approved expenses, spending controls and card limits on unapproved expenses, and no fees, interest, or personal guarantees. The card also offers perks from partners including Amazon Web Services, Stripe, Bill.com, and Stack Overflow.

One of Finovate’s earliest alums – making its Finovate debut in 2009 – Expensify most recently demonstrated its technology at our developers conference, FinDEVrSiliconValley, in 2016. At the event, David Barrett led a presentation titled Bedrock – Expensify’s Open-Sourced Infrastructure Secret Weapon, that discussed how the company’s geo-redundant database technology enabled it to become the fastest growing ERP software in the world.

This summer, Expensify became the first fintech company to win a Cannes Lio aard for Expensify This, a rap-influenced, marketing campaign featuring 2Chainz and Adam Scott. This year, the company partnered with bookkeeping franchise Supporting Strategies, and integrated with Southeast Asia-based ride-sharing firm Grab.

Founded in 2008, Expensify has raised more than $38 million in funding from investors including CIBC, OpenView Venture Partners, PJC, and Redpoint Ventures.

FinovateAsia Power Panels Tackle Key Topics Driving Fintech Innovation in Asia

We are harnessing the collective wisdom of some of the most insightful fintech analysts and observers next week at FinovateAsia in Singapore. Our Power Panels, on October 14 and 15, will investigate key trends that are driving fintech innovation in the Asia Pacific region.

A preview of the upcoming conversation is below. And if you will be in Singapore next week, here’s how to join us for what promises to be a series of fascinating discussions on fintech in Asia.

Off the Record Session with Regulators: What Are Our Priorities & Concerns in Regulating Fintech?

How can we support fintech start-ups and balance risk and innovation – what is “right touch” regulation? Data privacy is on the rise globally – will this impact regulation of the use of data in Asia? How can regtech address compliance and regulatory challenges?

Featuring Scott Bales, Samantha Emery, Pralhad Giri, and Kooi Fei Foong

Power Panel: Mapping Out Your Digital Transformation Journey – Start with the Customer & Work Backward

The battle for customer data and insight – what are the keys to success in the age of hyper personalization? How can financial institutions adopt open innovation to avoid becoming just the infrastructure and losing the customer engagement space?

Featuring Brit Blakeney, Samuel Hall, Dennis Khoo, Ravinder Pal Singh, and Scott Bales

Challenger Bank Power Panel: What Have We Learned On Our Journey to Build a Digital Only Bank

What are the challenges in building a digital only bank in today’s environment? How can companies take advantage of new openness toward challenger bank? Where do digital only challenger banks fit in the financial ecosystem along with traditional banks and financial service providers, as well as fintechs?

Featuring Louise Beaumont, Umang Moondra, Tony Ohlsson, and Jeremy Berger

Power Panel: How Tech Giants, Platform Players and Their Super Apps Are Reaching New Consumers In A Tech-Driven World

Who are the most innovative tech giants and platform players of today? What are these companies doing right to maintain their edge in the market? How do super apps help innovative firms attract and engage new, tech-savvy consumers in an increasingly competitive environment.

Featuring Helen Yi, Samita Malik, Yin Long, Johann Hauswald and Scott Bales

Mentoring Power Panel: What Every Startup Needs to Know about Fundraising, Winning Investors, Marketing, Building Scale, and Overcoming the Hurdles to Form Fruitful Partnerships in Asia

What kind of opportunities do Asian markets present for fintech startups? How important is it for fintechs based outside of Asia to partner with firms inside of the region? What are the biggest challenges that startups face when seeking to partner with financial institutions in Asia?

Featuring Karen Contet Farzam, Dhiritiman Hui, Kuo-Yi Lim, Paul Spronk, and Daniel Ramamoorthy.

In addition to our Power Panels, FinovateAsia will also feature a series of roundtables and debates on the latest topics in Asian fintech.

  • Strategy Roundtable (Emerging Asian Markets Stream): Capturing the Opportunities in Asian Emerging Markets – Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Korea.
  • Strategy Roundtable (Digital Lending Stream): Retail, Small Business, and Commercial Lending in Asia – Where are the Opportunities for Incumbents and Startups? How Will Regulation Change the Game?
  • Strategy Roundtable (Digital Payments Stream): Payments Innovation – Where Is Asia Ahead of the West and Where Is It Lagging? What Will the Asian Retail and Wholesale Payments Ecosystem Look Like in 2025?
  • Strategy Roundtable (Investech Stream): How Can Incumbents Harness New Technologies and Identify and Collaborate with New Players to Embrace Innovation and Transform Investment Management?
  • Investors Debate: Where Is the Smart Money Investing in Asian Fintech? Will the Consumer Focused Fintech Model Evolve into a Business Focused Model? What Do We Know About the Next Generation of Unicorns?
  • Analyst Showcase: What’s Hot and What’s Not in Fintech? What Has Changed in the Last 12 Months?

FinovateAsia kicks off in Singapore on October 14 through 15, with a special Summit Day on the 16th. For more information, and to pick up your ticket and save your spot, visit our registration page today.