CIBC Bank USA Chooses Velocity Solutions’ Akouba Digital Lending Platform

CIBC Bank USA Chooses Velocity Solutions’ Akouba Digital Lending Platform
  • Chicago, Illinois-based CIBC Bank USA has announced a partnership with Finovate newcomer, Velocity Solutions.
  • CIBC will leverage Velocity Solutions’ Akouba Digital Lending Platform to lower costs, better manage risk, and increase per-loan profitability.
  • Velocity Solutions made its Finovate debut in the fall of 2021. The company acquired the Akouba platform in 2018.

CIBC Bank USA has chosen Velocity Solutions’ Akouba Digital Lending Platform to support its small business banking division. The Chicago, Illinois-based commercial bank, founded in 1989 as The PrivateBank and Trust Company, will leverage Akouba’s cloud-based SaaS platform to lower the cost, time, and risk associated with the loan origination process. At the same time, the platform will help boost the profitability of every loan made.

“We’ve made tremendous progress with the platform since we acquired Akouba in June 2018,” Velocity Solutions EVP of Product Management Mike Triggiano said. “We’re continually refining the platform and adding new features and functionality. It’s been a thrill to enhance Akouba’s industry-leading technology over the past two years, and the opportunity to add CIBC Bank USA to our growing list of clients is definitely one of the most exciting milestones in Akouba’s history to date.”

Added to Velocity Solution’s product suite four years ago, Akouba is designed to accelerate loan origination for both retail and commercial lending. The only small business loan origination platform endorsed by the American Bankers Association (ABA), Akouba reduces end-to-end time, streamlines operational processes, and helps increase profits. The platform does all this while giving financial institutions the ability to retain control over the decision, pricing, credit policy, risk metrics, and loan amounts, as well as the borrower experience.

“At CIBC, we are building an innovative, relationship-focused bank,” CIBC Bank USA President of Retail and Digital Banking and Head of U.S. Strategy and Administration Brant Ahrens said. “Akouba gives our small business clients the ability to seek financing on any device at any time in any place that is convenient for them.”

Velocity Solutions made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall in New York last September, where the company demoed its Akouba platform. In the months since, Velocity Solutions has introduced a number of new solutions including VelocityConnector that enables efficient and secure API connections between banking data systems; its VelocityScore feature, which helps indicate the ability of accountholders to repay loans; and its Consumer Liquidity Engine, which makes a range of flexible overdraft options and affordable short-term loans available to bank and credit union customers and members.

Founded in 1995, Velocity Solutions is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Christopher Leonard is CEO.


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Intelligent Identity Security Innovator Sontiq Urges Customer Engagement to Fight Fraud

Intelligent Identity Security Innovator Sontiq Urges Customer Engagement to Fight Fraud
  • Intelligent identity solution provider Sontiq has issued a new report on security in financial services.
  • The report, 2022 Digital Safety and Security Report for Financial Services, underscores the importance of engaging customers and members in the fight against cyberfraud.
  • Sontiq made its Finovate debut in the fall of 2021 and was acquired a few months later by TransUnion for $638 million.

Intelligent identity security firm Sontiq has warned that the growing sophistication of cybercriminals and increased awareness and concern over the challenge to digital security from the public have created both new challenges and new opportunities for financial institutions. In a new report, the 2022 Digital Safety and Security Report for Financial Services, Sontiq highlights the way cybercriminals have leveraged advanced technologies – including automation and AI – to achieve what Sontiq called a “historic level of data compromise” in 2021.

“Consumers are increasingly anxious about cyber threats, but feel unprepared to take action or deal with the fallout,” Sontiq SVP of Enterprise Risk Solutions Al Pascual said. “Notably, they don’t want generic security advice. Financial institutions can combat increased identity risks with personalized, self-service tools that are seamlessly embedded into the digital banking experience.”

Here are some of the key takeaways from Sontiq’s report.

Financial institutions must understand the threat landscape

“What consumers, organizations, and the media often misunderstand,” the report noted, “is that the data breaches with the greatest impact on individuals are often not the high-profile ones that capture headlines.” Sontiq’s research distinguishes between high-profile breaches at institutions like Facebook/Meta and LinkedIn and high-risk breaches at companies like Gallagher and Waste Management. This is because “high-risk” breaches, while involving fewer victims, tend to involve compromises of more valuable personally-identifiable information compared to “high-profile” breaches.

Synthetic identity fraud is a bigger threat than identity theft

A growing number of financial services companies are recognizing the challenge of synthetic identity fraud, with Sontiq observing that 72% of financial services firms believe that synthetic identity fraud is a “much more pressing issue” compared to traditional identity theft.

Why so? And what’s the difference?

Traditional identity theft involves stealing a real person’s PII (personally-identifiable information) and using that data to engage in criminal activity. And make no mistake: traditional identity theft is still an issue, costing $24 billion in losses and victimizing more than 15 million individuals in 2021. Synthetic identity fraud, by comparison, involves a blending of both real and fictitious information. This enables the fraudster to create a completely new, made-up identity that can then be used to fraudulently open accounts, and apply for loans and credit cards. A newer arrival on the cybercrime scene, synthetic identity fraud also comes at a significant cost. The Federal Reserve has estimated that synthetic identity fraud losses have climbed to $20 billion, making it the “fastest growing financial crime.”

Personalized, proactive identity protection gives financial institutions the opportunity to differentiate themselves

In its report, Sontiq makes it clear that consumers are uncertain about who to turn to in the event of a security breach. “Nearly half of Americans,” the report notes, “say they would not know what to do if their identity was stolen.” Because of this, more than half of American fraud victims (54%) have indicated that they believe their financial institution can play a major role in helping them “navigate and resolve their identity fraud issues.” Breach victims across generations – under 35, between 35 and 54, and over 55 – all turned to their financial institutions for assistance in comparable numbers (50%, 48%, and 44% respectively).

This has resulted in a significant growth in the identity theft protection services market. Analysts project that this market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.4% over the next 10 years.

There are a variety of ways that financial institutions can seize this opportunity by deploying better anti-fraud tools and partnering with fintechs and cybersecurity specialists. But key to all of these efforts, according to Sontiq, is customer engagement. Educating financial services consumers on what to do to enhance their own online security – and what to do in the event of a security breach – is critical. Also important is the role of empowerment, and helping consumers understand what they can do to enhance their own defense against fraud.

“Getting consumers to adopt a self-service approach to identity protection also has the potential to help a financial institution better invest resources,” the report noted. “Informed, engaged customers who actively protect their identities become potent allies – finding fraud earlier and reducing overall risk to them and the financial institution.”

Download the free white paper to read the full report.

Sontiq made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2021. At the event, the Nottingham, Maryland-based company demonstrated its BreachIQ solution. BreachIQ identifies and diagnoses a consumer’s security breach history to provide personalized, protective actions the consumer can take to improve financial health and enhance security. The technology effectively leverages AI to turn ID fraud risk into a consumer financial health opportunity.

Launched in 2019, Sontiq was formed when EZShield acquired identity theft protection provider IdentityForce. Last spring, Sontiq announced its acquisition of Breach Clarity, a post-breach fraud specialist and Finovate Best of Show winner. In October 2021, Sontiq itself was acquired by fellow Finovate alum TransUnion for $638 million. In a statement, TransUnion said that Sontiq’s identity security technology compliments its own digital identity assets and solutions.

“TransUnion is committed to empowering consumers to shape their financial futures,” TransUnion President of U.S. Markets and Consumer Interactive Steve Chaouki said. “With Sontiq, we will ensure that consumers and businesses have a comprehensive set of tools to protect the financial profile they have built.”


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Atomic and Bond Team Up to Offer New Fractional Repayments Solution, Repay

Atomic and Bond Team Up to Offer New Fractional Repayments Solution, Repay
  • Atomic and Bond Financial have partnered to launch Atomic’s Repay solution.
  • The new offering enables users to turn large transactions into a series of smaller, recurring payments.
  • Atomic made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall in September 2021.

Payroll connectivity solution provider Atomic and embedded finance company Bond Financial Technologies have expanded their existing partnership with the launch of Atomic’s Repay solution. Repay enables customers to make recurring payments, turning larger transactions such as monthly rent and loans into a series of smaller installments. Repayments come from the customer’s wages instead of from their bank account. This helps customers avoid the expense of taking out short-term loans or missing repayment dates.

Atomic will use Bond’s embedded finance infrastructure to create and open user bank accounts, as well as manage KYC, transaction monitoring, and compliance. When new users sign up for the service, Repay connects the payroll data while Bond opens a demand deposit account. From here, fractional deposit amounts are calculated, which are managed based on the due date, and Repay automatically makes timely payments.

Users have complete transparency into the process. All deposits and distributions are monitored by the technology and any overpayment is refunded to the user “usually in under a week.”

“Repay gives consumers the tools to take control of their personal finances, both income and liabilities, and for customers to proactively tailor products to their user’s financial profile with payroll data,” Atomic co-founder and CEO Jordan Wright said. He underscored the fact that Repay provides “financial vulnerable consumers” with the functional equivalent of a “fractional repayment plan.” Wright added that businesses that offer Repay “now have a novel option to build goodwill with consumers by offering better interest rates while minimizing default and late repayment risks.”

A leading provider of payroll APIs, and a partner to 12 of the largest fintech firms – including neobanks, alternative lenders, and digital brokers, Atomic made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateFall. At the event, the company demonstrated how its payroll connectivity solution accelerates paydays for consumers, increases direct deposit acquisition opportunities for banks and financial institutions, and helps qualify users for financial services that rely on income and/or employment data.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and founded in 2019, Atomic has raised more than $68 million in funding. This total includes $40 million in Series B funding secured this March in a round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock.


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Mortgagetech Roostify Integrates Indecomm’s IncomeGenius; Appoints New COO Nadia Aziz

Mortgagetech Roostify Integrates Indecomm’s IncomeGenius; Appoints New COO Nadia Aziz
  • Roostify announced a partnership with Indecomm that will integrate Indecomm’s IncomeGenius technology into Roostify’s Roostify Beyond platform.
  • The integration will make it easier for Roostify to calculate income for self-employed borrowers.
  • A Finovate alum since 2014, Roostify also announced this week the appointment of Nadia Aziz as its new Chief Operating Officer.

A new partnership with intelligent automation solutions company Indecomm will bring automated income calculation technology to Roostify’s data intelligence solution Roostify Beyond. A Finovate alum since its debut at FinovateSpring 2014, Roostify will integrate Indecomm’s IncomeGenius solution, which will add to its current income calculation capabilities – especially when it comes to income calculations for self-employed borrowers.

“Improving loan assembly and processing costs, and timeframes is an imperative for all lenders in today’s environment,” Roostify co-founder and CEO Rajesh Bhat said. “Roostify Beyond already incorporates income calculation and analysis for the most common employment scenarios. With the integration of IncomeGenius, we can now simplify and automate calculations for self-employed borrowers, an increasingly important use case as the gig economy expands.”

IncomeGenius leverages standardized rules and algorithms to minimize the risks associated with manual data entry. IncomeGenius doubles productivity at loan set-up, reduces time spent on income calculations by 60%, and guarantees 100% compliance with audit requirements, including a complete audit trail. Courtesy of the integration, Roostify Beyond’s Analysis Assistant will send self-employment documentation and data to IncomeGenius, which generates a thorough, self-employment income analysis and GSE worksheet – in accordance with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines. IncomeGenius then returns the information to the Roostify Beyond platform for presentation in the interactive Analysis Assistant dashboard.

Roostify launched its Beyond platform near the end of 2021. The latest iteration of the company’s Roostify Document Intelligence (RDI) Service, Roostify Beyond integrates RDI at the start of the lending process, providing borrowers with instant alerts if they upload documentation that is incorrect or illegible without having to engage with a human representative. Roostify Beyond also has data extraction capabilities that allow lenders to highlight data discrepancies, automatically create tasks, and publish document classification and validated information to the loan origination system (LOS).

“When we launched RDI a couple of months ago, we were excited to use data to propel the industry forward,” Bhat said in December when Roostify Beyond was introduced. “Data empowers lenders to spend less time in systems and more time with customers, and we are truly happy to provide our customers with this experience.”

Founded in 2012, Roostify most recently demonstrated its technology on the Finovate stage in 2018. In the years since, the company has grown into a mortgagetech leader that helps lenders process more than $50 billion in loans each month. The San Francisco, California-based company counts more than 250 financial institutions as clients and has 150+ employees.

This week Roostify introduced its new Chief Operating Officer, Nadia Aziz. With a focus on home lending, Aziz brings more than 20 years of financial services and fintech experience to Roostify’s C-suite. Before joining Roostify, Aziz was General Manager of Opendoor Home Loans, a digital lending platform for residential real estate.

“Roostify’s goal is to provide lenders with the tools and capabilities they need to deliver an exceptional experience for their customers while ensuring they achieve their business objectives by digitizing the loan origination process,” Aziz said in a statement. “I am excited to help Roostify on this mission and expand our impact on the industry by transforming the home lending journey.”


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FIS Launches Guaranteed Payments Solution for Protection Against Chargebacks

FIS Launches Guaranteed Payments Solution for Protection Against Chargebacks
  • FIS is launching its Guaranteed Payments solution this week that boosts merchants’ ecommerce transaction approval rates and guarantees protection against chargebacks.
  • FIS is partnering with ecommerce fraud prevention company Signifyd to reduce merchant chargebacks.
  • “With this solution, customer retention works hand in hand with fraud elimination to unlock incredible revenue growth opportunities,” said Signifyd CEO and Co-founder Raj Ramanand. 

Core banking expert FIS is launching a Guaranteed Payments solution this week. The new tool guarantees merchants increased ecommerce transaction approval rates and eliminates the financial liability of chargebacks resulting from fraudulent purchases.

Guaranteed Payments, which is available across the Signifyd Commerce Network and integrated into FIS’ Worldpay platform, facilitates increased merchant approval rates and provides guaranteed chargeback protection. The new technology combines machine learning and transaction intelligence to analyze aspects of a consumer’s purchase, including email address and payment credentials. Leveraging that information, Guaranteed Payments can instantly distinguish legitimate orders from fraudulent orders. The reduced fraud helps merchants optimize revenue and fulfill orders more quickly.

“Guaranteed Payments brings together two powerful sources of transaction intelligence—the Worldpay data stream produced from processing 40 billion orders annually and the Signifyd Commerce Network of thousands of merchants worldwide,” said FIS Chief Product Officer Vicky Bindra. She adds that the new tool can “combine fraud protection with increased approvals to enhance payment optimization and the overall user experience.”

Preventing chargebacks is at the heart of Signifyd’s technology. The California-based company helps identify fraudulent product orders using machine learning algorithms that sift through big data, including user behavior patterns, to reduce merchant chargebacks on fraudulent charges and save money on shipping goods on declined orders. In the event an order turns out to be fraudulent, Signifyd reimburses the merchant for the chargeback.

“Merchants using Signifyd experience a 5 to 9 percent increase in top line conversion on average,” said Signifyd CEO and Co-founder Raj Ramanand. “With this solution, customer retention works hand in hand with fraud elimination to unlock incredible revenue growth opportunities.”

FIS’ Guaranteed Payments is launching at a time when ecommerce activity and the fraud the comes along with it are at an all-time high. While the ecommerce market is predicted to grow 50% in the next two years, so is the fraud that comes along with it. In the past year, nine out of 10 merchants lost revenue due to payment fraud. False positives are hurting merchants, as well. Even though fraud currently accounts for about 1% of online transactions, merchants routinely reject as much as 9% of orders to avoid fraud, missing out on $443 billion in potential revenue.


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PayPal Adds New Business Credit Card

PayPal Adds New Business Credit Card
  • PayPal launched a small business credit card this week.
  • The PayPal Business Cashback Mastercard is PayPal’s first business credit card.
  • PayPal also offers a range of other tools for small businesses, including working capital tools, business loans, risk management support, and more.

Small businesses in the U.S. have gained yet another credit card option this week with PayPal’s launch of its its first commercial credit card.

The PayPal Business Cashback Mastercard, which is issued by WebBank, has no annual fee and offers cardholders 2% cashback on all purchases. The rewards are not subject to earning caps nor do they expire. Additionally, the card comes with free employee cards, does not charge a foreign transaction fee, and integrates with PayPal’s merchant platform to facilitate access to transactions, balances, available credit, and rewards.

Once a business is approved for the card, it can immediately begin spending via a virtual card that is automatically integrated into their PayPal account. Businesses can view their account and spending details via their PayPal Business account.

“As small business owners continue to recover from the challenges of the past two years, having multiple financing options to address their capital needs is more important than ever,” said PayPal Vice President of Global Merchant Lending Bernardo Martinez. “The PayPal Business Cashback Mastercard provides merchants greater value, more choice, and the increased flexibility they need to manage their business finances, offering among the best value available on no annual fee business credit cards today. This new solution continues PayPal’s commitment to supporting small businesses and offering options to help manage the day-to-day costs of operating their business.”

Founded in 1998, PayPal has long been an ally to small businesses. In addition to the business credit card, the California-based company also offers a working capital solution that has distributed more than $20 billion, as well as payout capabilities, business loans, payment acceptance tools, risk management support, and more. These products have helped PayPal amass 20 million small business customers in the U.S. And this is no small feat, given the fact that there are only 33 million small businesses in the U.S.

The launch of the The PayPal Business Cashback Mastercard comes five years after PayPal launched its credit card for individual users in 2017.

Location Identity Leader Incognia Secures $15.5 Million to Help Fight Identity Fraud

Location Identity Leader Incognia Secures $15.5 Million to Help Fight Identity Fraud
  • Mobile fraud prevention specialist Incognia, which made its Finovate debut in May at FinovateSpring, has raised $15.5 million in Series A funding.
  • The capital will be used to help fuel the company’s growth; Incognia currently has 200 million mobile users in more than 20 countries worldwide.
  • Incognia leverages location and motion sensors to create a unique “location footprint” for trusted users that rivals other authentication methods in accuracy.

In a round led by Point72 Ventures, mobile identity company Incognia has secured $15.5 million in Series A funding to help fight identity fraud. The investment will help fuel the Palo Alto, California-based company’s continued growth, building on the 200 million mobile users in more than 20 countries currently protected by Incognia’s technology.

“Today’s authentication and fraud detection solutions aren’t working for the user, or for businesses, and the market is looking for more innovative technologies,” Incognia founder and CEO André Ferraz said. “Incognia is pushing the frontier of identity assurance and authentication to deliver increased security with minimal user friction.”

Incognia leverages location signals and motion sensors on an individual’s mobile device to help combat identity fraud. The technology creates a privacy-first location identity that is unique to each user and acts like a “location fingerprint” that effectively differentiates trusted users from fraudulent ones. The company says that its solution, which can be deployed in industries ranging from fintech and crypto to gaming and social media, is 10x more accurate than FaceID in terms of uniquely identifying users. Further, Incognia notes that the technology has a false acceptance rate of less than 1 in 17 million.

“We’re emerging as the global location identity leader, effectively combating the increasing fraud on mobile around the world,” Ferraz added. “We’re dedicated to enabling our customers to deliver frictionless mobile experiences without compromising security and privacy.”

Incognia made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2022 in May. At the conference, the company demonstrated how its frictionless fraud prevention solution for mobile apps combats identity fraud without bringing additional friction to the authentication process. The technology’s zero-factor authentication requires no action from the user in order to provide a highly accurate risk assessment with low false acceptance rates.

Founded in 2020, Incognia also recently introduced its new location-based liveness spoofing detection solution module. The offering prevents biometric liveness spoofing during the onboarding process. This particular form of fraud is often used by cybercriminals to create “money mule” accounts for money laundering – as innovative fraudsters have turned to liveness spoofing to get around selfie-based liveness detection algorithms. The challenge of liveness spoofing has become even greater with the availability of cheap – or even free – deepfake video technology. Incognia’s location-based liveness spoofing detection module is designed to prevent these deepfake attacks in real-time.

“As fraudsters advance their techniques to trick liveness detection tools, it is critical that there is a solution on the market that can successfully combat the use of deepfakes at onboarding,” Ferraz said.


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Finovate Newcomer Lokyata Integrates its Credit Decisioning Technology with Infinity Software

Finovate Newcomer Lokyata Integrates its Credit Decisioning Technology with Infinity Software
  • Lokyata, a credit decisioning specialist, announced a partnership with Infinity Software.
  • The integration will make Lokyata’s BankAnalyze solution available to Infinity Software’s financial services customers.
  • Lokyata, founded in 2017, made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring earlier this year.

Just over a month after making its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2022 in San Francisco, California, credit decision solutions provider Lokyata has announced that its real-time, automated credit decisioning tool, BankAnalyze, is now integrated with Infinity Software’s loan management software platform.

Courtesy of the API-enabled integration with Lokyata, Infinity Solutions will give its customers the ability to access key loan decision information. This includes customer-permissioned bank statement analysis such as average monthly net income, minimum balance, average monthly loan payments, and insufficient funds (NSF) notification histories. The integration will also enable lenders to configure both auto-fund and auto-deny rules to bring additional streamlining to the loan decisioning experience.

“At Lokyata, we are always looking to work with innovators in the market and Infinity Software is demonstrating the value of scalable, modern technology in an evolving lending ecosystem,” Lokyata CTO Steve Bireley said. “Increasingly, lenders are looking for ways to responsibly help more consumers gain access to credit, and through tools like BankAnalyze and Infinity Software’s platform, more lenders are successfully meeting that goal.”

With 20 years of experience providing lending solutions and other tools to direct-to-consumer lenders, Infinity Software has helped more than 700 businesses enhance their lending processes. The company uses a configurable loan product engine that gives lenders access to advanced accounting and reporting, as well as a built-in collections suite and access controls. Infinity Software offers a wide range of services to lenders, ranging from website design to optimized loan agreements to automated underwriting waterfalls, as well as a number of additional consumer loan solutions.

“Infinity has worked with hundreds of vendors to meet the needs of lenders in our space,” Infinity Software Director of Products Shannon Lee said. “Lokyata has proven to have a unique product that helps lenders better meet the needs of underserved borrowers and grow their business in a responsible and innovative way.”

Currently headquartered in Washington, D.C., Lokyata made its Finovate debut last month at FinovateSpring 2022. At the conference, Lokyata’s Bireley demoed the company’s BankAnalyze solution. The technology assesses the bank statements from a loan applicant and then provides an automated credit decision recommendation based on a combination of a weighted rules and a Lokyata score created in collaboration with the client. The company believes that using borrower-permissioned data is a major boon to the lending process, creating a more accurate, and up-to-date depiction of the borrower’s credit status. Moreover, Lokyata says that this approach “primes” near and subprime borrowers by making it easier for financial institutions to lend to “near prime” borrowers without taking on excessive risk.

Lokyata’s other products include ExcelRate, a lending and lead decision platform, and FraudBlock, a real-time identity verification and fraud intelligence solution for financial transactions. With $1.5 million in funding, Lokyata has scored more than 6.1 million loans impacting more than 240,000 customers. Founded in 2017, the company has raised $1.5 million in funding. Santosh Thiruthi is co-founder and CEO.


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Array and Alkami Technology Team Up to Help Banks Boost Digital Engagement

Array and Alkami Technology Team Up to Help Banks Boost Digital Engagement
  • Two Finovate alums – Alkami Technology and Array – have teamed up to help financial institutions offer credit and identity solutions to their customers.
  • The partnership makes three of Array’s signature solutions: My Credit Manager, ID Protect, and Offers Engine, available to a wider range of bank and credit union customers and members.
  • Alkami made its Finovate debut in 2009 as iThryv. Array won Best of Show at FinovateFall 2021 and again at FinovateSpring 2022.

A new partnership has been forged between digital banking solution provider Alkami Technology and financial enablement platform Array. The collaboration will bring a range of new solutions to Alkami clients that will help their customers and members better monitor their credit, benefit from anti-fraud identity monitoring, and access actionable, credit-based offers.

“Improving the digital-first banking experience is a top priority for banks and credit unions,” Alkami founder, Chief Strategy Officer, and Product Officer Stephen Bohanon said. “Our partnership with Array enables banks and credit unions to provide added-value products to account holders, which increases engagement and potentially revenue as well.”

Among the solutions that will be made available to Alkami’s bank and credit union partners are Array’s My Credit Manager, ID Protect, and Offers Engine. My Credit Manager keeps users updated on changes to their credit score, enables them to explore different credit scenarios with a credit score simulator, allows them to conduct debt analysis, as well as see how different factors impact their credit score. With ID Protect, users can take advantage of a number of anti-fraud protections including identity and Dark Web monitoring, alerts, insurance, and restoration services in the event of identity theft. Array’s Offers Engine empowers banks and credit unions to better market their products and services to customers and members using targeted, actionable offers that are based on the individual’s actual credit circumstances.

“Today’s success formula for personal service includes a mix of in-branch experiences and digital tools that add value to account holders every time they log in,” Array co-founder and CEO Martin Toha explained. “Alkami and Array are making it easier than ever to help banks and credit unions deploy a consistent roadmap of innovative digital products for account holders.”

A Finovate alum since 2009, when it debuted at FinovateSpring as “iThryv,” Alkami has grown into a leading digital banking solution provider. The Plano, Texas-based fintech serves both retail and business customers with onboarding, engagement, and account servicing. Clients can enhance their use of the Alkami platform with upgrades and leverage both Alkami’s product suite, as well as integrated, third-party solutions to enhance and customize their experience. Alkami is a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ under the ticker “ALKT,” and has a market capitalization of $1.3 billion.

Winning Best of Show honors in its Finovate debut at FinovateFall last September and again in its return to the Finovate stage last month for FinovateSpring, Array is a financial enablement platform that specializes in embeddable and white label solutions. Founded in 2020, the company enables its clients to boost end customer engagement by providing them with innovative credit and identity solutions that enhance the customer experience.

Array raised an undisclosed amount of funding in June 2021 from Operator Partners and the FIS FinTech Accelerator in Partnership with The Venture Center. The company is based in New York City.


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Glia Acquires Finn AI for Undisclosed Sum

Glia Acquires Finn AI for Undisclosed Sum
  • Digital customer service firm Glia agreed to acquire conversational AI technology company Finn AI.
  • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Glia Co-founder and CEO Dan Michaeli said that Finn AI is a strong fit for Glia because of its technology, market approach, and company culture. 

Digital customer service firm Glia is enhancing its offering with its recent acquisition of conversational AI technology company and fellow Finovate alum Finn AI.

Financial terms of the agreement, which will integrate Finn.ai’s conversational AI solutions into Glia’s customer service platform, were not disclosed. Glia Co-founder and CEO Dan Michaeli said that Finn AI is a strong fit for Glia because of its technology, market approach, and company culture. 

“This marks a new chapter for Virtual Assistants: Verticalization with Scale,” Michaeli said. “Generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ bot providers have largely failed to meet the full potential of conversational AI, leading to the emergence of vendors focusing on specific industry verticals. Until now, none of the financial services bot vendors have been able to achieve widespread adoption on their own.”

Finn AI Co-founder and CEO Jake Tyler said that joining forces with Glia will offer Finn AI scale. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., Finn AI aims to transform customer engagement and increase financial literacy with its AI-powered conversational banking technology. Among the company’s clients are ATB Financial, BECU, United Federal Credit Union, EQ Bank, Civista Bank, and Truist Momentum.

According to the press release, Finn AI and Glia have a lot of shared clients, and Finn AI’s technology is already integrated into Glia. Post-acquisition, the company’s leadership team will take on leadership positions within Glia. As for Finn AI’s Canadian headquarters, Glia plans to use the location to establish a “Conversational AI Center of Excellence.”

Glia was founded in 2012 as SaleMove. The company offers digital communication choices, on-screen collaboration, and AI-enabled assistance tools. Glia, which has taken home 10 Finovate Best of Show awards for its live demos, most recently showcased its tools at FinovateSpring 2021. Finn AI also boasts accolades from the Finovate audience, having taken home two Finovate Best of Show awards for its demos at FinovateAsia 2016 and FinovateFall 2017.

Payments Solution Provider SumUp Raises $624 Million at a Valuation of $8.5 Billion

Payments Solution Provider SumUp Raises $624 Million at a Valuation of $8.5 Billion
  • E-commerce payments enabler SumUp raised $624 million (€590 million) in a combination of equity and debt financing this week.
  • The funding round was led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities.
  • This week’s investment gives SumUp a valuation of $8.5 billion (€8 billion).

In a round led by Bain Capital Tech Opportunities – and featuring participation from funds managed by BlackRock, btov Partners, Centerbridge, Crestline, Fin Capital, and Sentinel Dome Partners – e-commerce payments innovator SumUp has secured an investment of $624 million (€590 million). The funding gives the London-based company a valuation of $8.5 billion (€8 billion). SumUp co-founder Marc-Alexander Christ said in a statement that the capital will “enable us to continue to build out our product ecosystem, expand into new markets, (and) pursue value-adding acquisitions.”

The funding was a 50/50 mix of debt and equity and includes SumUp’s first equity infusion since 2017. The company’s total funding stands at $1.6 billion – most of which is debt financing. SumUp secured €750 million in debt funding in 2021.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Christ called the company’s new valuation “true and fair”. This statement comes months after it was reported that SumUp was seeking an investment that would give the company a significantly higher valuation – to the tune of $21 billion (€20 billion). Christ suggested that the current valuation reflects “the price people put on the company in the worst of markets” and that SumUp’s valuation was unlikely to move any lower in the future.

SumUp won Best of Show in its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope 2013 in London. In the years since, the company has grown to serve more than four million businesses with its payment solutions that range from card readers and point of sale solutions to business accounts and invoicing. The company began this year teaming up with Worldpay from FIS to support its global expansion efforts. SumUp will use Worldpay’s global acquiring services, including authorization, clearing and settlement, dispute management and data insights.

Also this year, SumUp announced a referral deal with Latin American and European e-commerce platform PrestaShop. The partnership gave “hundreds of thousands” of merchants on the PrestaShop platform access to SumUp’s product suite of payment solutions and business tools. Nearly 300,000 websites rely on PrestaShop’s technology, and the company sees its collaboration with SumUp as part of its strategy to enable more merchants to launch and scale their businesses.

“By partnering with PrestaShop, we will continue to expand our support for digital transformation of small businesses, by ensuring their products and services are also available online for their customers,” SumUp Head of Sales and Partnerships James Henry said. “Our partnership will enable merchants with a seamless and secure payment experience for all major credit and debit cards, an important tool in enabling small business success in today’s environment.”

Founded in 2012, SumUp is headquartered in London. Daniel Klein is founder and CEO.


Photo by Artem Beliaikin

DigiShares Receives Grant from Polymesh Association to Support Tokenization of Securities

DigiShares Receives Grant from Polymesh Association to Support Tokenization of Securities
  • Two Finovate newcomers – DigiShares and the Polymesh Network – have teamed up to promote the use of tokenization to create and manage securities.
  • The partnership comes in the form of a grant from the Polymesh Ecosystem Development Fund (EDF), a part of the not-for-profit Polymesh Association.
  • DigiShares is headquartered in Denmark and demoed its technology at FinovateSpring 2021; Polymesh is based in Switzerland and demoed its technology a year later at FinovateSpring 2022.

Digishares, a Danish white-label platform for tokenizing real estate, is the first company to receive a grant from the Polymesh Ecosystem Development Fund (EDF). The EDF is a creation of the Polymesh Association, which is a part of Polymath, the company behind the Polymesh Network. The Polymesh Network is an institutional-grade, permissioned blockchain for regulated assets that was featured in Polymath’s Finovate debut last month at FinovateSpring.

With $10 million in funding, the EDF is designed to financially support companies and projects that can bring value to the Polymesh ecosystem. DigiShares received its grant for integrating Polymesh and expanding the Polymesh ecosystem to DigiShares’ network of clients and partners. Additionally, DigiShares will facilitate the migration of its clients’ current ERC-1400 assets from Ethereum to Polymesh. DigiShares has supported ERC-1400 on Ethereum since 2019 and been an early supporter of Polymesh, as well, having joined the company’s partnership ecosystem back in January of 2021. The integration announced this week will allow issuers to DigiShares’ tokenization platform to create and manage security tokens on Polymesh.

“Polymath has been a long and trusted partner of DigiShares and we are proud to soon support the Polymesh blockchain,” DigiShares CEO Claus Skaaning said. “We believe that Polymesh has long term potential to lead the security token space.”

The grant award announcement arrives weeks after the Polymesh Association introduced its Ecosystem Development Fund, which itself follows the listing of Polymesh’s native token POLYX on Huobi, one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the world. The fund is a wager that financially backing businesses that can help promote wider adoption of Polymesh will prove an effective way to incentivize companies to build, integrate, and use the institutional-grade blockchain infrastructure.

“The Ecosystem Development Fund delivers two benefits to service providers,” Polymesh Association Head of Tokenization Graeme Moore said. “Successful applicants not only receive funding but they can also attract clients by adding a Polymesh integration to their roadmap.”

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Aalborg, Denmark, DigiShares made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateSpring 2021. At the event, the company demonstrated its white-label tokenization platform for real estate, which adds both automation and liquidity to the property market. The DigiShares platform digitizes and automates both the financing and the corporate management aspects of real estate projects. The platform also provides a bulletin board marketplace that leverages blockchain technology and peer-to-peer trading without counterparty risk.

Among Finovate’s newest alums, Polymath demonstrated its Polymath Token Studio at FinovateSpring last month in San Francisco. The Token Studio is an interface that enables the user to create, issue, and manage blockchain-based securities. “Thanks to blockchain and tokenization we can reduce the costs of creating, issuing, and managing securities by over 90%,” Moore explained from the Finovate stage in May. “Banks, custodians, transfer agents, broker-dealers and these other service providers can give their clients new and fresh experiences, and we can create new securities and new financial instruments that previously weren’t possible.”

Polymath and the Polymesh Network are based in Zug, Switzerland. Vince Kadar is Polymath CEO.


Photo by rovenimages.com