ThetaRay Opens Mexico City Office; Dubai’s Foloosi Turns to KSA for Expansion

Join us in October as our annual Asia-Pacific fintech conference returns to Singapore! FinovateAsia is one of the best ways for fintech startups and innovative industry veterans from the region and around the world to showcase their latest technologies before an audience of C-level decision-makers, venture capitalists, all-star analysts, and more.

For information on how to participate in FinovateAsia as a demoing company, partner, or sponsor, send us an e-mail and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Konfio, a Mexican financial services and credit assessment platform for SMEs, picks up $100 million secured credit facility from Goldman Sachs.
  • ThetaRay unveils new office in Mexico City.
  • Crunchbase news investigates the forces behind the “digital banking boom in Latin America.”

Asia-Pacific

  • Clinc’s Conversational AI gives voice to new app from Singapore’s OCBC Bank.
  • South Korea’s Shinhan Financial Group opens accelerator lab in Indonesia.
  • iSunOne teams up with Malaysia Productivity Council to build the world’s first Islamic, blockchain-based financial system.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian digital-only retail bank Kuda raises $1.6 million in pre-seed funding.
  • Apis Partners acquires majority stake in Tutuka, a payment processing technology company based in South Africa.
  • Techpoint Africa looks at the growth of Nigerian fintech QuickCheck, which helps promote access to credit.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Romania’s Tremend Software Consulting partners with Mastercard Romania to help support digitization of payments.
  • Croatian startup Worig offers a credit rating system for long-term renters in Croatia and throughout the EU.
  • German WEG Bank gains cryptocurrency trading and custody license in Estonia.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Dubai-based Foloosi announces plans to make Saudi Arabia the first part of its expansion across the GCC region.
  • Emirates NBD introduces voice banking via Amazon Alexa.
  • Wamda looks at how UAE-based ride-hailing app Careem is moving increasingly into the payments space.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Indian fintech OkCredit raises $67 million in round led by Lightspeed and Tiger Global.
  • Entrepreneur.com examines how Indian fintechs have leveraged the omnichannel approach to extend their platforms.
  • City of London Mayor to be accompanied by delegation of British fintech companies during upcoming, five-day trade mission to India.

Top image designed by Freepik

Clinc’s Conversational AI Gives Voice to New App from Singapore’s OCBC Bank

FinovateAsia isn’t the only big deal coming to Singapore this fall. Courtesy of a partnership with conversational AI innovator Clinc, Singapore’s OCBC Bank will offer its customers a new voice-enabled mobile banking assistant – the first of its kind in Singapore.

The solution is called the OCBC Banking Assistant and was developed via OCBC’s Innovation Lab, where it was trained both to handle specific banking use cases as well as the intricacies of local Singaporean vernacular and context.

“We are always open to forging new partnerships that allow us to reimagine banking for our digital customers,” OCBC Bank’s Head of Digital Business for Singapore & Malaysia Aditya Gupta said. “We choose to work with Clinc because of their superior conversational AI platform and their next-generation natural language processing capabilities.”

Gupta called the collaboration “the next step towards making our customers’ mobile-first interactions more seamless and natural.”

The new mobile app will enable OCBC Bank customers to pay bills, transfer funds between accounts, check spending history and transactions, locate the nearest ATM, and receive spending advice – all just by using their voice. Clinc’s natural language technology means that users do not need to memorize special keywords or specific phrases in order to access many of the most commonly-used banking services.

The deployment also marks the first time that Clinc’s billpay competency is being used in its entirety, a point highlighted by company CEO Jason Mars.

“This is the first full production roll out of its kind,” Mars said, calling the launch “a milestone” for his company, OCBC Bank, and the financial industry writ large. “It’s not a chatbot or virtual assistant-type experience that people are familiar with,” he said. “Rather, it’s Clinc’s signature voice-first, human-like AI experience used to create a mobile bank assistant that enables OCBC Bank customers to get spending insights, account and transaction details, and pay bills, all by using unscripted, everyday, messy language.”

OCBC Bank – which stands for Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation – is a multinational banking and financial services entity, founded in 1932 and based in Singapore. With more than $340 billion (S$467.5 billion) in assets, OCBC Bank is the second biggest bank in Southeast Asia by assets and one of the larger banks in the APAC region.

The partnership with OCBC Bank is the latest collaboration that Clinc has been involved in. In June, the company reported that it was bringing its conversational AI technology to the healthcare industry, courtesy of a partnership with digital workforce solution provider Olive. And in January, Clinc announced that it was working with Ford to bring voice recognition to the automaker’s vehicles.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Clinc demonstrated its conversational AI-based solution at FinovateFall 2016, winning Best of Show. Named Frost & Sullivan’s 2019 Technology Leader for Artificial Intelligence, Clinc announced a major investment this spring, pulling in $52 million in new funding in a round led by Insight Partners.

Meniga Helps Grupo Credito Agricola Launch Banking App

Rekyvik-founded software company Meniga has announced its partnership with Portuguese national financial group Grupo Crédito Agrícola to launch its new banking app, moey!reports Ruby Hinchliffe of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The free app will give Crédito Agrícola customers “a better understanding of their spending and finances”, as well as providing “seamless payments through services like Apple Pay and MB WAY”, said inovação e digital director Ricardo Madeira.

The financial advice app, which will also integrate with Android Wallet and Group expenses, inflicts no costs for account opening or maintenance.

“Through the moey! app’s intuitive interface and features, users will enjoy a seamless mobile experience which will significantly improve their everyday banking and personal finances,” said Madeira.

moey! will rely on Meniga’s technology as an engine, and will offer various services including an activity feed for personalised messages and targeted rewards, insights and expense reports which can be filtered, as well as budget and financial planning advice which will automatically generate your budgets and manage them for you.

Meniga’s CEO and co-founder Georg Ludviksson is “very proud” to be working with one of Portugal’s “most reputable banking groups.”

He said the bank’s team has “unrivaled insight” about the needs of its local banking customers, feeling confident that the new app “will excite users right across the region”.

The century-old Portuguese bank has more than one million clients and is one of the larger, more financially stable groups in the country.

Founded in 2009, Meniga demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2018, winning Best of Show for its white-label, digital banking solutions that help banks boost customer engagement.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Clinc’s Conversational AI Gives Voice to New App from Singapore’s OCBC Bank.
  • Finovate Global: ThetaRay Opens Mexico City Office; Dubai’s Foloosi Turns to KSA for Expansion.

Around the web

  • Meniga to enable consumers to donate cashback from their Meniga Rewards app to help combat climate change.
  • Mambu forges partnership with Swiss online lender bob Finance.
  • We Write Code joins Dwolla’s Partnership Ecosystem.

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.

Luxoft and Fenergo Team Up

Digital transformation strategist Luxoft and client lifecycle management specialist Fenergo are joining forces. The agreement, announced earlier this week, makes Luxoft the latest to join Fenergo’s 300-member, worldwide partnership ecosystem.

Luxoft will act as a consulting partner to provide expertise, practical experience, and advice to Fenergo’s clients when its comes to initiatives such as data migration, IT architecture, and change readiness. Other such partners on Fenergo’s platform include Accenture, Capgemini, and Genpact. Fenergo CEO Marc Murphy described Luxoft as an “ideal partner” that will help the company “scale… business at a greater pace.”

Luxoft not only gains a way to fulfill its clients’ needs for digital transformation, the company also stands to gain new clients of its own by becoming a member of Fenergo’s ecosystem. “Our partnership with Fenergo aligns with our strength and success in financial services, and presents new opportunities to grow our business, expand our partner ecosystem, and deliver exceptional value to our clients,” said Dmitry Loschinin, executive vice president of DXC Technology, and president and CEO of Luxoft.

Luxoft was acquired by DXC Technologies (NYSE: DXC) which holds a market capitalization of $8.5 billion. At FinovateFall 2014, Luxoft debuted Horizon, a data visualization framework for banking executives.

Founded in 2009, Ireland-based Fenergo debuted its Deal Manager at FinovateEurope 2012. We featured Fenergo’s onboarding technology in our post Yes, Banks Can Compete with Apple’s New Credit Card earlier this year.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Plinqit

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

Plinqit is the first savings app of its kind that pays users for engaging with content through its patent-pending Build Skills™.

Features

  • Higher engagement (55%) vs. other apps
  • More than 100 accounts opened within days of launching
  • The only savings app that pays customers for engaging with financial education

Why it’s great
Unlike any other savings app on the market, Plinqit’s patent-pending Build Skills™ pays users for engaging with content, creating higher user engagement for financial institutions.

Presenters

Kathleen Craig, Founder and CEO
Founder and CEO of Plinqit by HT Mobile Apps (HTMA), Craig has over a decade of banking experience. HTMA serves banks in 19 states from $26 million to $20+ billion in assets.
LinkedIn.

Bryan Freeman, Marketing Director at HT Mobile Apps
A former bank marketer, Freeman’s focus is growing Plinqit user adoption and managing existing financial institution relationships who sponsor the product.
LinkedIn.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: ebankIT

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

Digital Concierge from ebankIT is designed to be a true customer ally. Combining financial products and 3rd party services, Concierge provides customer journeys, delighting client needs at a swipe of a finger.

Features

  • Open Banking with 100+ APIs already integrated with top core banking systems
  • Personalized customer journeys to enhance loyalty and engagement
  • Digital banking transformation

Why it’s great
ebankIT’s Digital Concierge generates new and effective customer journeys adjusted to clients’ preferences, enhancing their digital experience. Your client at the heart of your business.

Presenters

Pete Atkinson, VP of Global Sales
Atkinson has spent much of his career operating at the convergent point of technology and consumers.
LinkedIn.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Finscend

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

Finscend’s Banking Dispute Platform (BDP) was conceived and designed by financial industry veterans who have a first-hand professional understanding of the challenges of dispute resolution.

Features

  • Provides seamless integration throughout the banking ecosystem
  • Works in tandem with Visa and Mastercard schemes
  • Reduces chargeback costs by an estimated 25% and increases cardholder satisfaction

Why it’s great
Powered by an AI-driven engine, BDP streamlines the entire dispute process by offering real-time reporting, batch processing, fraud monitoring, and an enterprise user account area

Presenters

Aaron Lazor, CEO and Co-Founder
A former banking executive, Lazor holds a degree in economics from the University of Illinois.
LinkedIn

Moshe Teren, CTO and Co-Founder
Teren holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and an MSM/MBA from Boston University.
LinkedIn

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: TelosTouch

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

The TelosTouch Guided Collaboration platform enables financial institutions to reveal client needs in real-time and deliver personalized and tangible advice at scale.

Features

  • Real-time connectivity to increase client-advisor engagement
  • Behavioral intelligence to segment and group clients with similar needs
  • Scalable capabilities to multiply and showcase evidence-based advice and impact to create and protect wealth

Why it’s great
TelosTouch connects advisors with timely client insights to drive engagement, capacity, and business opportunities.

Presenters

Jad Chehlawi, Founder and CEO
A wealth management domain expert, Chehlawi built and exited a fast growth financial services firm. He is a Harvard Business School and McGill alum.
LinkedIn

Arsene Toumani, Co-Founder and CTO
Toumani built an enterprise collaboration platform and mentored and led agile teams. He has delivered highly scalable and secure SaaS applications and has created apps for Fortune 500 companies.
LinkedIn

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Flybits

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

Flybits enables financial institutions to deliver hyper-personalized customer experiences, leveraging contextual intelligence and AI.

Features

  • Target the consumer journey beyond traditional financial touchpoints
  • Leverage real time insights on consumer experiences
  • Trigger new use cases based on prior experience insights

Why it’s great
Flybits helps financial institutions become leaders in engaging consumers by providing a robust feedback loop to deploy, learn, and innovate on digital consumer journeys.

Presenters

Jason Davies, VP of Enterprise Innovation
Davies has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, digital payments, and fintech.
LinkedIn.

Katrina Shiu, Product Manager
Shiu is passionate about helping financial institutions build consumer experiences into their digital strategies in order to drive business results.
LinkedIn.