Railsr Taps Featurespace for Fraud Prevention

Railsr Taps Featurespace for Fraud Prevention

Embedded finance platform Railsr is teaming up with fraud prevention company Featurespace this week to bolster fraud prevention efforts for Railsr as a company, as well as for its clients.

Railsr will leverage Featurespace’s ARIC Risk Hub, combined with its own fraud teams, to provide its clients with a compliance tool to stay on top of regulations. The fraud tools will be available to Railsr clients with a single integration, making it easier for them to focus on growth while remaining compliant.

“As the market accelerates towards embedded finance, consumers expect a frictionless payment experience that is built into the transaction process. With Featurespace’s AI and ML capabilities, Railsr can provide an enhanced level of customer experience, making consumers’ lives simpler and safer,” said Railsr Global Head of Product for Fincrime and Operations Stuart Hartley.

The ARIC Risk Hub will enable Railsr customers to view and manage their fraud analytics, as well as offer them a single place to access Featurespace’s fraud and AML (FRAML) solutions.

“The Railsr platform is a natural fit for Featurespace,” said Featurespace Chief Commercial Officer Matt Mills. “As embedded finance increasingly becomes expected by consumers, making sure they are protected from fraud and financial crime must be expected in equal measure. Railsr have recognized this early and added a critical layer of self-learning technology to ensure their customers get only the best experience.”

Railsr anticipates the new fraud tools will be available within the next year.

Today’s news comes amid a string of high-profile partnerships for Featurespace last month, including with BBVA, Diebold Nixdorf, and Global Processing Services. Featurespace has more than 30 major bank clients including four of the five largest banks in the U.K. Among Featurespace’s customers are HSBC, TSYS, Worldpay, RBS NatWest Group, Danske Bank, ClearBank, and more.

Founded in 2005 by a university professor and his PhD student, Featurespace has raised $108 million, including its most recent investment of $37 million received in 2020.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

ACI Worldwide Appoints Thomas Warsop Interim CEO

ACI Worldwide Appoints Thomas Warsop Interim CEO

Real-time payments software company ACI Worldwide has appointed Thomas Warsop as its Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Warsop was formerly the non-executive Chair of the ACI Worldwide Board of Directors. He replaces Odilon Almeida, who was the company’s CEO from March 2020 until now. Almeda was named CEO after Philip Heasley – who had served as CEO and President for 15 years – retired. Independent board director Adalio Sanchez will assume the role of non-executive Board chair.

“As ACI advances its vision to lead the real-time payments revolution, the Board is determined that now is the right time to transition to a new leader focused on accelerating our technology transformation and delivering operational excellence across our business,” ACI Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Chair Mary Harman said.

A member of the company’s board of directors since the summer of 2015, Warsop became non-executive chairman seven years later in June of 2022. In addition to his tenure on the ACI board, Warsop brings his experience as Group President at Fiserv to his new position. Warsop has led a number of private equity firms previous to joining the ACI board including One Call Care Management, York Risk Services Group, and The Warranty Group. He also held executive roles at Electronic Data Systems, ranging from President of the firm’s Business Process Outsourcing unit in the Asia Pacific to Vice President of Global Financial Services.

“ACI is uniquely positioned to support banks, merchants, and billers around the world,” Warsop said in a statement. “We have market-leading software platforms in use at many of the world’s leading financial institutions and are poised not just to benefit from, but to drive, the rapidly approaching real-time payments revolution.”

ACI Worldwide’s C-suite news comes less than a week after the company announced third quarter results. The report included a 35% year over year increase in new ARR bookings, as well as “notable booking success across all segments, providing visibility into future revenue growth,” then-CEO and president Almeida said. At the same time, the company the impact of inflationary pressures on both interchange revenue and foreign exchanges rates. Adjusted EBITDA for Q3 was down year over year, but the company did iterate its full-year guidance.

Challenges notwithstanding, ACI Worldwide has continued to forge partnerships with institutions around the world, helping them enhance their payment operations. The company teamed up with Sweden’s Westpay in September, who will deploy ACI Secure eCommerce to bring new capabilities to its in-store payment solutions. Also that month, ACI Worldwide announced a partnership with loan management software provider GOLDPoint Systems. ACI will help the Provo, Utah-based company to digitize its billpay operations via its ACI Speedpay solution, which is used by thousands of billers in the U.S.

Founded in 1975 in Omaha, Nebraska, ACI Worldwide is currently headquartered in Miami, Florida. The company is a leading force driving innovation in real-time electronic payments for banks, processors, billers, networks, and more. ACI Worldwide serves 19 of the top 20 banks worldwide, enables more than 80,000 merchants, and provides electronic billpay technology for thousands of organizations. Processing more than 225 billion consumer transactions a year, the company serves more than 6,000 customers in 95 countries around the world.

A publicly traded fintech on the NASDAQ under the ticker “ACIW,” ACI Worldwide has a market capitalization of $2.4 billion. The company has been a Finovate alum since 2011, demoing its business banking solution in partnership with mShift at FinovateFall. ACI Worldwide returned to the Finovate stage five years later to lead a presentation on its latest innovations in ecommerce payment technology at our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley in 2016.

Photo by Pixabay

Bluefin Payment Systems Acquires TECS Payment Systems

Bluefin Payment Systems Acquires TECS Payment Systems

Payment and data security company Bluefin Payment Systems announced it will acquire TECS Payment Systems, an omnichannel payment solutions provider.

Once the deal is finalized, Bluefin and TECS will serve a combined 34,000 merchants and close to 300 global partners in 55 countries. And for both Atlanta, Georgia-based Bluefin and Austria-based TECS, the acquisition will expand their geographical footprint.

“We are delighted to welcome TECS’ employees, customers and partners to Bluefin,” said Bluefin CEO John M. Perry. “This combination brings together two companies that focus relentlessly on meeting merchant needs for next-generation payment processing and management as well as the secure exchange of PHI and PII data with PCI-validated encryption and tokenization.”

Bluefin will leverage the purchase to offer its customers omnichannel payments and smartPOS capabilities, which will be integrated into the company’s existing payments and data security suite. TECS clients will benefit from added data security solutions, as well as additional resources for its TECS product and solution suite.

Founded in 2007, Bluefin offers encrypted and tokenized payments for point-of-sale transactions. Additionally, the company’s data security platform, ShieldConex, tokenizes payments, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and Protected Health Information (PHI) entered online. Last month, the company appointed a new CRO to fuel its growth. And, earlier this fall, Bluefin partnered with commercial hardware manufacturer Sunmi.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

SKU Data Network Company Banyan Secures $43 Million in Series A Funding

SKU Data Network Company Banyan Secures $43 Million in Series A Funding
  • SKU data network company Banyan raised $43 million in Series A funding.
  • The round consisted of $28 million in equity and $15 million in venture debt, and gives the company a total of $53 million in equity funding.
  • Banyan made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2021 in New York, and returned to the Finovate stage this year for FinovateSpring in San Francisco.

In a round led by Fin Capital and M13, SKU data network company Banyan has raised $43 million in funding. The Series A round includes $28 million in equity and $15 million in venture debt, taking the total equity capital raised by Banyan to $53 million. In addition to Fin Capital and M13, the round featured participation from FIS Impact Ventures, Bridge Bank, Interplay, and TTV Capital.

The financing will be used to help accelerate Banyan’s technology and infrastructure growth. Banyan enables retailers and financial institutions to leverage enriched, item-level data capabilities to boost consumer engagement and financial wellness, as well as improve business expense management. The company offers the world’s largest SKU data network, which helps “unlock a new world of valuable information in the form of item-level receipt data,” according to Banyan founder and CEO Jehan Luth. Luth added that the funding was “evidence of market validation for Banyan as the first to deliver the next level of Precise Commerce applications to merchants and financial services.”

Banyan’s network is used by both Fortune 150 corporations as well as convenience stores. The company’s solution suite enables dramatic reductions in the time spent on expense reports by integrating item-level purchase data into banking and expense management apps. Banyan’s technology also provides shopping and loyalty offers that help merchants and their partners better target the offering of incentives, keying on the specific item, category, and aisle-level categories they want to reward. Fin Capital founder and managing partner Logan Allin said that Banyan’s solutions help businesses “re-imagine the experiences they can bring to consumers.”

Banyan demonstrated its Enrich solution at FinovateSpring earlier this year. At the conference, Banyan showed how its technology enables banks, fintechs, and their retail partners to use item level data to drive both everyday spending and top of wallet behavior. Relying on both API calls for individual transactions and batch calls for unlimited records, Banyan’s at-scale network lets retailers share receipt data with banks and fintechs to make financial apps more impactful for the digitally-oriented financial services customer.

Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Holmdel, New Jersey, Banyan has processed more than $400 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV), more than 10.3 billion in bank and fintech partner transactions, and more than 10.4 billion in purchase receipts from network retailers. The company also has more than four million UPCs catalogued in its network.

Earlier this year, Banyan introduced new Chief Marketing Officer Andrea Gilman, formerly SVP with Mastercard. This spring, Banyan announced a rebrand – including a new logo and a website refresh – to reflect what Luth called the company’s “defined path to disrupt and change the retail landscape while bringing new benefits to consumers.”

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Coinbase Partners with Google Cloud; Earns Regulatory Approval in Singapore

Coinbase Partners with Google Cloud; Earns Regulatory Approval in Singapore

Enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies has settled down from its peak a year ago. But innovation in the space continues undaunted. Today we learned that one of the pioneering companies in digital assets, Coinbase, has forged a strategic partnership with Google Cloud. The partnership calls for Coinbase to use Google Cloud as its strategic cloud provider for developing advanced exchange and data services. Google Cloud’s platform will enable Coinbase to process blockchain data at scale, and boost the international reach of its services courtesy of Google Cloud’s fiber optic network. Coinbase will also benefit from Google Cloud’s secure infrastructure and the company’s data and analytics capabilities.

“We are excited Google Cloud has selected Coinbase to help bring Web3 to a new set of users and provide powerful solutions to developers,” Coinbase CEO and co-founder Brian Armstrong said. “With more than 100 million verified users and 14,500 institutional clients, Coinbase has spent more than a decade building industry-leading products on top of blockchain technology. We could not ask for a better partner to help execute our vision of building a trusted bridge into the Web3 ecosystem.”

The partnership also means that Google Cloud will enable select customers to pay for its cloud services with designated cryptocurrencies. The functionality will be powered by Coinbase Commerce, which provides a decentralized way for merchants around the world to accept cryptocurrency payments. Further, Web3 developers will be able to access Google’s BigQuery crypto public datasets – powered by Coinbase Cloud Nodes – across leading blockchains. This will enable developers to operate Web3-based systems without requiring expensive and unwieldy infrastructure.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said the partnership would help make it easier and faster for developers to build Web3. Kurian highlighted the “scalability, reliability, security, and data services available via Google Cloud” which he said would enable developers to “focus on innovation in the Web3 space.” Google also announced that it will use Coinbase Prime for institutional crypto services such as secure custody and reporting.

Coinbase’s partnership news with Google Cloud comes as the cryptocurrency innovator announces that it has secured regulatory approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The company received its In-Principle Approval (IPA) as a Major Payments Institution license holder, which will enable Coinbase to offer regulated Digital Payment Token products and services in Singapore. It’s worth noting that Coinbase is no stranger to the country. The company introduced the island nation as its technology hub last year. And over the past three years, Coinbase’s venture capital arm, Coinbase Ventures, has invested in more than 15 Singapore-based Web3 startups.

“Today’s announcement underlines our commitment to Singapore as a regional hub that allows us to unlock new capabilities for Singapore-based institutional and corporate clients in the future,” Coinbase’s Nana Murugesan wrote on the company blog this week. “Gaining this in-principle approval from MAS is an important step, as we plan to launch our full suite of retail, institutional, and ecosystem products.”

Coinbase made its Finovate debut in 2014 at FinovateSpring in San Francisco, California. Founded in 2012, the company now enables more than 100 million people and businesses to buy, sell, and manage cryptocurrencies. Coinbase has a quarterly trading volume of $217 billion, and $96 billion in assets on its platform. With partners in more than 100 countries, and 4,900+ employees, Coinbase is a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker COIN and has a market capitalization of $16 billion.

Photo by Pixabay

ABN AMRO Pilots e-ID with Payment Capability

ABN AMRO Pilots e-ID with Payment Capability
  • Dutch bank ABN AMRO has partnered with bicycle rental company Swapfiets to offer Swapfiet clients access to ID & pay.
  • With ID & pay, customers can sign up and pay for a service in seconds while securely storing their ID in a single app.
  • ID & pay works across multiple merchants and service providers. ABN AMRO likens it to “to having a Google login combined with PayPal.”

ABN AMRO is flexing its payment innovation muscle this week in a new partnership. The Dutch bank is teaming up with bicycle-as-a-service company Swapfiets to launch a new functionality that combines payment and identity authentication.

Swapfiets is leveraging ABN AMRO’s ID & pay, a tool that allows customers to sign up and pay for their Swapfiets membership using an electronic ID. When new and existing Swapfiets clients want to pay for their monthly bicycle rental membership, ID & pay allows customers to sign up and pay in seconds and enables users to securely store their e-ID in a single app.

“ID & pay originated from a need we identified among our business clients. A need to offer their customers a much simpler onboarding and payment process,” said ABN AMRO Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer Edwin van Bommel. “This app beats every other onboarding process in the market as an easy-to-use way for customers to provide ID and pay for products and services.”

What’s unique about ID & pay is that, once users sign up initially, they can use their verified identity and payment credentials to pay at other merchants and services that also use ID & pay. ABN AMRO likens the functionality to having a Google login combined with PayPal, but with credentials held within ABN AMRO’s secure, in-app environment.

“We hope this collaboration will make even more people enthusiastic about cycle memberships and our underlying idea of owning less and using more,” said Swapfiets CEO Marc de Vries.

This isn’t ABN AMRO’s first foray into the subscription management space. In 2020, the bank partnered with Subaio to integrate Subaio’s white label subscription management feature into Grip, ABN AMRO’s PFM app that enables users to see all of their recurring payments in one place.

ABN AMRO demoed alongside Fincite at FinovateEurope 2019, where the pair showcased how Fincite’s Automated Advice Engine offers clients and advisors investment recommendations based on ABN AMRO investment strategies. 

Finovate, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Fintech Innovation in Latin America

Finovate, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Fintech Innovation in Latin America

This week’s Finovate Alumni Profile is a salute to Hispanic Heritage Month, an opportunity every year to recognize the achievements of Americans whose ancestors came from Central and South America, as well as Spain, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

Here are some of the Latino and Hispanic fintech leaders who have demonstrated their company’s innovations on the Finovate stage since our return to live events in the fall of 2021. We’re also taking this opportunity to highlight recent Finovate alums that are headquartered in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Able (FinovateFall 2022) empowers commercial lenders to quickly collect data from borrowers, streamline the loan process, and book loans faster. The company was founded in 2020 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Co-founder Diego Represas led the company’s demo at its Finovate debut earlier this month at FinovateFall.

Incognia (FinovateSpring 2022) is a privacy-first, location identity company that offers frictionless mobile authentication to banks and fintechs to help them lower fraud losses. Founded by CEO Andre Ferraz, Incognia is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. The company’s appearance at FinovateSpring in May of this year was Incognia’s Finovate debut.

Rillavoice (FinovateSpring 2022) offers conversation intelligence software that leverages AI to record, transcribe, and analyze conversations between bank branch associates and customers. The technology helps make bank managers more productive and enables reps to improve conversion rates by 30%. The New York City-based company was founded in 2019. CEO Sebastian Jimenez led the company’s FinovateSpring 2022 demo – Rillavoice’s first time on the Finovate stage.

Nufi (FinovateFall 2021) calls itself “the Legos of fintech.” The firm empowers companies to build financial products quickly while remaining compliant with relevant regulations. Specializing in markets in Latin America, the company’s Finovate debut in the fall of 2021 was led by Chief Operating Officer Ilich Nuñez. Nufi is headquartered in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and was founded in 2020.

With its Tap on Phone technology, Symbiotic (FinovateFall 2021) allows anyone with a cellphone to accept contactless card payments. Founded in 2020 and headquartered in San Pedro, San Jose, Costa Rica, Symbiotic is the first company to secure the PCI-CPoC certification of the Tap on Pone technology on the American continent. CEO and founder Javier Chacón led Symbiotic’s FinovateFall 2021 demo of the technology.

Snap Compliance (FinovateFall 2021) is a regtech company that provides holistic compliance and risk management solutions. A one-stop shop for compliance management, Snap Compliance offers a pay per consumption subscription model that adapts to the customer’s risk models with multiple integration options – including no integration at all. The Costa Rica-based company was founded in 2019, and FinovateFall 2021 was its first live demo on the Finovate stage. Snap Compliance founder and CEO Alex Siles, along with Head of Expansion & Product Development Katherine Morales, led the company’s presentation.

Masterzon (FinovateFall 2021) offers a platform that transforms commercial documents into negotiable securities. The technology operates in real time efficiently and transparently, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Co-founded by Elio Rojas in 2016, Masterzon is based in San José, Costa Rica. FinovateFall 2021 marked the company’s Finovate debut.

Fintech software developer IMPESA (FinovateFall 2021) includes some of the largest banks in Central America and the Caribbean among its B2B corporate customers. In its Finovate debut, IMPESA demonstrated its P2P payments app that offers customers card controls and gives banks new revenue opportunities. Mario Hernández, CEO and co-founder, co-led the company’s FinovateFall 2021 on stage demo. IMPESA is headquartered in San José, Costa Rica, and was founded in 2013.

Infocorp (FinovateFall 2021) was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay. The company’s smart omnichannel platform and best of breed digital channels give banks fast and flexible solutions to enhance the customer experience. At the company’s FinovateFall demo in 2021, CEO Ana Inés Echavarren and Product Manager Gonzalo Laguna demonstrated Infocorp’s App of the Future, a user-centric, mobile native banking app.

Photo by Emma Bauso

Nordigen to Provide Open Banking Data for Teenit

Nordigen to Provide Open Banking Data for Teenit
  • Nordigen has been selected by Teenit, an Amsterdam-based PFM tool, to provide open banking services.
  • Nordigen will enable Teenit to securely connect to customers’ bank accounts to source transaction and account balance information.
  • “Open banking goes hand-in-hand with personal financial management tools as access to customer information enables PFMs to stay up-to-date with their suggestions and analytics,” said Nordigen CEO and Co-Founder Rolands Mesters.

Personal financial management (PFM) tool Teenit has selected Nordigen for open banking. The Amsterdam-based PFM company will offer its users an aggregate view of their finances, complete with insights and analysis on their spending and saving habits.

By integrating with Nordigen’s freemium offering, Teenit can securely connect to customers’ bank accounts to source real-time data on their transactions and savings account balances. With open connectivity to its users’ financial data, Teenit can better fulfill its mission of educating teenagers on money management.

“We wanted to serve education to young customers, no matter what bank they choose,” said Teenit CEO Tatiana Pastukhova. “The integration with Nordigen enables us to fulfill our purpose easily. With parents’ authorization, we are able to connect directly to young customer bank accounts anywhere in Europe, visualize for them their money flows in a teenager-friendly manner and analyze them to further personalize the offered educational content.”

Latvia-based Nordigen was founded in 2016. The company’s freemium model offers access to account information, such as the account holder’s name, bank account numbers, transactions, and account balances for free via bank APIs. Nordigen’s paid products include enriched, transaction-level information that helps make sense of raw transaction and account data.

“Financial literacy and education is incredibly important for all demographics, and starting to build a foundation of knowledge from a young age will be very beneficial for Teenit’s user base,” said Nordigen CEO and Co-Founder Rolands Mesters. “Open banking goes hand-in-hand with personal financial management tools as access to customer information enables PFMs to stay up-to-date with their suggestions and analytics.”

Nordigen was acquired by GoCardless earlier this year to deepen the bank payment company’s expertise in the open banking arena and enable it to become a banking-as-a-service provider.

Photo by Ivan Samkov

Best of Show: Catching Up with the Favorites of FinovateFall

Best of Show: Catching Up with the Favorites of FinovateFall

These nine fintechs wowed our FinovateFall audiences last year with their innovations in embedded finance, payments, wealth management, and more. To whet your appetite for FinovateFall next month, September 12 through 14, here’s a look at what our FinovateFall 2021 Best of Show companies have been up to since taking home Finovate’s top prize last fall.

FinovateFall 2022 is only two weeks away. Register by September 2nd and take advantage of big early-bird savings!


Won Best of Show for its API-based and embedded personalized consumer credit, identity, and financial wellness solutions. Headquartered in New York City. Founded in 2020.

Forged partnerships with fellow Finovate alums Jack Henry Associates and Alkami Technology. Won a second Best of Show award at FinovateSpring 2022.


Won Best of Show for its small business digital invoicing and online payment acceptance solutions. Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. Founded in 2017.

Raised $50 million in funding. Named a finalist in the Best SMB/SME Banking Solution category in the 2022 Finovate awards.


Won Best of Show for its technology designed to help financial institutions provide wealth management services. Awarded Best of Show at FinovateAsia 2017 in Hong Kong and at FinovateAfrica 2018 in Cape Town. Founded in 2016. Headquartered in Singapore.

Launched docuseries, Behind the Robo. Named a major player in the robo-advisory market by The Business Research Company. Worked with Standard Chartered Bank Kenya to help them launch their new money market fund offering.


Won Best of Show for its engagement banking platform that offers a unique way to engage customers and responsibly expand revenues. Awarded Best of Show at FinovateSpring 2021. Founded in 2014. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

Awarded Best of Show at FinovateEurope 2022. Partnered with fellow Finovate alum Mastercard to deliver sustainable banking products for financial institutions. Named to The Fintech 250.


Won Best of Show for its platform that helps banks accelerate digital banking knowledge, fluency, and adoption. Awarded Best of Show at FinovateFall Digital 2020 and FinovateEurope 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Founded in 2011.

Partnered with fellow Finovate alum ebankIT to support financial institutions undergoing digital transformation. Powered the new digital learning platform launched by Pacific Western Bank. Awarded Best of Show at FinovateSpring 2022.


Won Best of Show for its Mobile Native app that brings hyper-personalized experiences for every user in one single bank app. Founded in 1994. Headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Partnered with TESOBE to help banks in Latin America leverage open banking to build better, more customer-centric apps and services.

Long Game

Won Best of Show for its gamified finance app that helps banks acquire new customers and increase engagement with their Millennial and Gen Z customers. Headquartered in San Francisco, California. Founded in 2015.

Acquired by Truist Financial.


Won Best of Show for its intelligent automation technology that transforms documents into data analytics, helping lenders make timely, high quality credit decisions. Founded in 2014. Headquartered in New York City.

Raised $80 million at a valuation of $500 million. Partnered with fellow Finovate alum Blend to bring automation to the mortgage process.


Won Best of Show for its Customer Link solution that turns customer data into smarter action and provides a 360 degree view of your customers. Founded in 1845. Headquartered in New York City.

In partnership with Microsoft, teamed up with Finovate alum FintechOS to build a digital banking solution.

Who will take home the trophies this year at FinovateFall 2022? Join us in New York next month as we showcase upwards of 60 innovative fintech companies – all vying for the title of Best of Show.

Photo by Wendy Wei

Finovate Global Hong Kong: Chekk Brings Digital Identity Tech to Bain Capital – and Raises Capital of its Own

Finovate Global Hong Kong: Chekk Brings Digital Identity Tech to Bain Capital – and Raises Capital of its Own

It’s been nearly five years since Hong Kong-based Chekk made its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia. The company, co-founded by CEO Pascal Nizri, is a B2B2C digital identity ecosystem that shifts ownership of personal data from businesses to individuals as part of its strategy to provide better, more seamless identity verification services.

“We all know how reluctant Internet users have become to share personal data online,” Chekk co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Benjamin Petit said from the Finovate stage during his company’s demo. “On the other side regulators are forcing banks and financial service providers to collect an increasing amount of data for compliance reasons. And this done during lengthy and painful KYCs that are costly for banks.”

Via a mobile app, Chekk empowers individuals to own their own personal data and control how much of their data they share. At the same time, businesses get access to a secure online or API-based platform that enables them to make data requests and conduct other customer interactions – from onboarding due diligence and ID verification to secure messaging for chats and statements – seamlessly.

Chekk’s SaaS solutions help the company’s retail, private, and corporate customers manage a range of digital identity and data portability challenges and operations. These include multi-language AML checks, including Arabic, Russian, and Chinese, as well as identity verification for more than 200 countries, biometric digital signatures, tools to create and maintain digital forms, a secure encrypted data wallet, and global connectivity to more than 400 million business data sources.

Bain Capital is the latest financial institution to choose Chekk as its partner when it comes to digital identity verification. With $155 billion in assets, the Boston-based alternative investment firm announced in July that it will leverage Chekk’s technology to provide KYB verification for businesses, merchants, and third parties, as well as KYC for individual customers.

The Bain partnership news comes in the wake of Chekk’s announcement of a significant investment (described as “multi-million dollar”) in a round led by HSBC Alternatives, a wing of HSBC Asset Management. The funding builds on previous funding from investors such as SOSV and LeFonds, a pair of venture capital firms, as well as individual investor David Gurle, founder of Symphony Communications Services.

“Thanks to its founders’ hands-on experience, Chekk is building a suite of services that extends well beyond compliance-driven KYC/KYB and puts commercial relationships at the core of its value proposition,” HSBC Asset Management Head of Venture and Growth Investments Remi Bourrette said. “This resonates with our fintech fund’s themes of improving access to financial services while managing the risks arising from criminal activities.

Have we arrived at a reckoning for Hong Kong-based fintech? While the clamp down on Big Tech in China has gotten most of the attention from international technology analysts and observers, the impact on fintech developments in Hong Kong have been relatively overlooked. A recent survey conducted by Google and financial consultancy Quinlan & Associates suggests that the fintech industry in Hong Kong could be in for challenging times.

Specifically, the survey revealed that 60% of the 120+ C-suite executives from early- and late-stage private fintechs contacted felt that Hong Kong was “relatively uncompetitive compared to other fintech hubs.” Among the reasons cited were the city’s regulatory environment, which was viewed as “costly, complex, and time-consuming,” as well as a “talent gap” that had been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. This talent gap extends beyond technical and product innovation roles to include sales and marketing talent, as well.

Hong Kong has been responsive to these challenges, according to a report from South China Morning Post. The city’s central bank, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, unveiled a four-year plan in June – the Greater Bay Fintech Talent Initiative – that included a pledge to “groom all-round fintech talent” and to provide greater funding assistance for fintech projects. The initiative will feature the support of 20 financial institutions including HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Hong Kong’s stock exchange. Tech giant Ant Group will also participate in the initiative — the only tech-based company to take part.

“While nurturing local fintech talent has been one of Ant Group’s key missions for years,” Ant Group EVP for strategy development and government affairs Jennifer Tan said, “it’s the group’s honor to join partners from various aspects in cultivating tech talent through the Greater Bay Fintech Talent Initiative.”

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Azerbaijan-based fintech SmilePay announced partnerships with a pair of major food retailers.
  • German neobank Vivid secured an investment license from the Dutch Financial Supervisory Authority AFM.
  • Hungarian National Bank turned to Grape Solutions to provide IT services per a new 60-month framework agreement.

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean


Photo by Arnie Chou

Card Transaction Data Provider Facteus Earns Plaudits for Pulse

Card Transaction Data Provider Facteus Earns Plaudits for Pulse

A year ago, an Oregon-based fintech called Facteus made its debut at FinovateFall 2021.

“Finovate was started with the idea of showcasing new and exciting innovation in financial services,” Facteus VP Steve Shaw said as he began his company’s demo. “And we’ve seen a lot of great ideas in technology over the past couple of days.”

“But what’s that one thing that ties all of this innovation together and really makes it work?” he asked. “It’s the data behind all this innovation. If you don’t have access to the right data, a lot of this innovation is just for show.”

Founded in 2010, Facteus leverages a massive debit and credit card transaction data set to offer hedge funds, researchers, marketing professionals and others unique insights into the consumer economy. With more than eight years of historical data and 42 billion transactions processed – representing $1.3 trillion in consumer spending – Facteus provides insights into consumer segments, such as youth and the underbanked, whose financial behavior is often overlooked or underappreciated by other data sets.

At FinovateFall 2021, Facteus demoed its MIMIC synthetic data engine, which leverages machine learning to create an artificial copy of sensitive data, removing personally identifiable information (PII). The synthetic copy can be used for analytics, machine learning and AI, segmentation activities, and other data operations, but cannot be reverse engineered back to the original transaction or organization.

“Data is really the fuel for all the innovation we are seeing,” Shaw said. “We truly believe that and we have examples to show that synthetic data is really the key to unlocking the value of your sensitive data.”

Facteus began this year teaming up with 1010data to provide enhanced transaction data insights and analytics to companies in the investment, retail, and consumer brands businesses. As part of the strategic agreement, Facteus acquired 101data’s Equity Intelligence business, enhancing its ability to provide transaction data insights and analysis to the investment services industry. In return, 1010data gained access to Facteus’ U.S. Consumer Payments data panels to help its retail and consumer brand clients.

“Facteus data provides deep insights into the drivers behind consumer spending behavior and business trends not available in other transactional data panels,” Facetus CEO Chris Marsh said. “(Facteus offers) enhanced company analysis and investment strategies for 1010data clients and the investment services industry as a whole.”

By spring, Facteus was in the fintech headlines again, this time announcing an investment of $10 million from Curql Fund, the investment arm for more than 75 credit unions in the U.S. The company said it would use the funding to support the growth of its analytics and insights platform Quantamatics, as well as fuel continued innovation on its platform and expand into new industry verticals. The company’s investment from Curql Fund also gives Facteus access to the significant data assets of Curql Collective owners, representing tens of millions of new consumer debit and credit cards.

In May, the Beaverton-based company launched Pulse, a new consumer transaction data solution it called the most comprehensive in the alternative data industry. With Pulse, Facteus is able to capture up to 5% of all U.S. consumer spending, more than 500 tickers and 1,000+ private companies, and deliver accurate company KPI forecasts with the industry’s lowest forecast errors. A month later, Facteus’ Pulse earned its first official vote of confidence: topping the latest rankings in predictive accuracy in the KPIs of more than 65 public consumer companies.

“This accomplishment is a testament to our commitment to directly acquiring transaction datasets to build the most holistic and stable view of consumer spending across income cohorts and demographics,” Facteus Head of Product and Strategy Lorn Davis said.

Photo by Amina Filkins

Jack Henry Acquires Payrailz for an Undisclosed Amount

Jack Henry Acquires Payrailz for an Undisclosed Amount
  • Jack Henry Acquired payments-as-a-service startup Payrailz.
  • Jack Henry anticipates the acquisition will enhance its payments-as-a-service strategy and offer its 8,000 clients the ability to enable embedded finance.
  • Financial details were not disclosed.

Core banking provider Jack Henry & Associates has agreed to acquire digital payments startup Payrailz. Financial details of the acquisition, which is expected to close at the end of this month, have not been disclosed.

Jack Henry anticipates the acquisition will support banks and credit unions by enhancing its payments-as-a-service (PaaS) strategy and offering its 8,000 clients the ability to enable embedded finance. Jack Henry currently has a virtual payments hub that consolidates money transfer tools which support numerous payment channels and types. Payrailz’s technology complements this hub by adding consumer and commercial bill pay; real-time person-to-person (P2P), account-to-account (A2A), business-to-customer (B2C) payments; and more.

“We are excited about the opportunity to add these next-generation solutions to our payments capabilities,” said Jack Henry President and COO Greg Adelson. “Our company is engaged in technology modernization that is supporting banks and credit unions with innovative solutions that enable them to respond to business opportunities and challenges, and to improve the financial health of their accountholders. Considering the importance of modern digital and payments strategies to financial institutions, we plan to acquire Payrailz as a strategic addition to our payments ecosystem, which enables our clients to simplify the complexity of payments, modernize their existing payment channels, and remain at the center of their account holders’ payment experiences.”

Payrailz consumer and commercial digital payment solutions help banks compete with third party players with its PaaS offering. The company was founded in 2016 and had since raised $24 million. Earlier this year, Payrailz integrated with Q2’s digital banking platform to enable Q2 clients to provide P2P payment services.

Founded in 1976, Jack Henry most recently presented at FinovateFall 2015 where the company showcased the Banno solution after acquiring Banno in 2014. Among Jack Henry’s other fintech acquisitions are Geezeo, iPay Technologies, and Stackfolio.

Photo by Albin Berlin