Azimo Partners with Siam Commercial Bank

Foreign exchange platform Azimo announced today that it will facilitate payments on behalf of Thailand’s largest commercial bank, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB).

SCB clients will benefit from Azimo’s digital money transfer program that uses RippleNet, a blockchain-based money transfer service. Using RippleNet, Azimo will be able to instantly deliver payments from Europe to SCB client accounts.

The partnership leverages a program called PromptPay, which offers Thailand residents a PromptPay ID to serve as a proxy for their bank account number. PromptPay was launched in 2017 as part of the Bank of Thailand’s E-Payment initiative.

According to Azimo CEO Richard Ambrose, “Transfers can be set up in minutes from a smartphone. The fees are low and the rates are great, so our customers will be spared the extortionate charges levied by many competitors.”

Azimo counts more than one million customers of its digital money transfer platform, which allows users to send money from 25 countries to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Last year, the company increased its transfer volume by 60% year-over-year. Today’s move with SCB should boost that growth even further; Thailand is one of the top destinations for remittances. The country receives $6.7 billion from around the globe each year.

Headquartered in London, U.K., Azimo was founded in 2012. The FinovateEurope alum brought in $21.7 million (€20 million) in debt financing last month, bringing its total combined debt and equity funding to $88 million.

Russia Gets a New Tech Billionaire as U.K. Fintechs Get Funded

Russia has a new tech billionaire. The $500 million raised by financial platform Revolut this week not only establishes the U.K.-based business as the country’s most valuable fintech. It also makes its founder and CEO, Moscow-born Nikolay Storonsky, the latest fintech billionaire to come from the Russian Republic.

The investment was led by Technology Crossover Ventures – a U.S. firm – and takes Revolut’s total capital to $836 million. Revolut now sports a valuation of $5.5 billion.

Storonsky’s net worth figure – on paper, at least – is based on a Forbes report from last February in which he noted that his stake in Revolut was being diluted to 30%.

As part of this big week for U.K. fintechs, SME lender iwoca picked up $109 million funding and expansion into Germany. B-Social, a social payments app based in London, raised $10 million ahead of its transformation into a fully-licensed challenger bank later this year. And Azimo partnered with fellow Finovate alum Ripple to facilitate cross-border payments to the Philippines.

This week on Finovate.com, we featured a profile of Innovate Israel founder and CEO Itai Green and his thoughts on open innovation and collaboration between corporates and startups. We also highlighted Finovate newcomer Sonect, a Swiss company that demonstrated its Best of Show winning virtual cash network at FinovateEurope earlier this month.


Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Indian fintech PhoneParLoan announces new investment from accelerator MOX. The amount of the funding was not disclosed.
  • Bengaluru-based digital billpay company XPay Life goes live in India.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee acquires Indian data aggregator FinBit.io.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • AlphaCredit, a Mexico City-based fintech, raises $125 million in round led by the SoftBank Innovation Fund.
  • Mexico issues its first license – to NVIO Pagos Mexico – under its new fintech law.
  • U.S. Bancorp’s merchant acquirer subsidiary, Elavon, sells its Mexican operations to banking group Santander.

Asia-Pacific

  • Azimo taps Ripple for cross-border payments to the Philippines.
  • Philippines-based Tonik Financial raises $6 million ahead of the launch of its new digital offering.
  • Malaysia’s biggest telecom, Axiata Group, is the latest company in the country to announce plans to pursue a digital banking license.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South Africa’s Jumo raises $55 million in combined debt and equity funding.
  • Nigeria’s The Nation looks at how fintech empowers startups.
  • Kenyan B2B e-commerce platform Sokowatch locks in $14 million Series A funding.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Mastercard expands its partnership with Rakuten Viber to bring P2P payments to Romania.
  • A new $500 million funding round for Revolut makes the company’s founder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky Russia’s latest tech billionaire.
  • Apple Pay goes live in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Kashat, an Egyptian mobile app that offers short-term loans of up to $95 to the underbanked, goes live in Cairo and Alexandria.
  • Jordanian SME lending marketplace Liwwa raises $5 million in growth funding.
  • A new agreement between Tencent Holdings and Network International will expand WeChat Pay’s presence in the UAE.

Top image designed by Freepik

Azimo Taps Ripple for Cross-Border Payments to the Philippines

Digital money transfer service Azimo announced today that it has partnered with fellow Finovate alum and blockchain payment solutions company Ripple to power cross-border payments to the Philippines.

Fueling these payment transfers is Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) solution that uses XRP to source liquidity and complete money transfers within three seconds. This time reduction results in a 40% to 60% cost savings over the traditional method that requires businesses to hold cash in pre-funded accounts. ODL has proven especially useful for international payments in emerging markets. The technology is currently available in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, Europe, and the Philippines, with plans to expand across APAC, EMEA, and LATAM.

Azimo, which plans to expand its use of ODL to more markets in 2020, opted to start with the Philippines because it is one of the top remittance destinations. In 2018, the region received $34 billion in remittance payments.

Ripple’s ODL

“We’ve been interested for a long time in the potential of digital assets like XRP to make cross-border payments better for customers,” said Azimo CEO Richard Ambrose. ”Ripple’s ODL solution has significantly reduced the cost and delivery time for cross-border transfers, and our customers are seeing the benefits. As more banks and financial institutions use ODL, we believe it has the potential to replace current methods of foreign exchange trading and to reduce settlement time to close to zero.”

Founded in 2012, Azimo has amassed one million customers. The company facilitates money transfers from 25 countries to more than 200 regions across the globe.

Ripple has 300+ customers in more than 45 countries and six continents. The company’s flagship global blockchain network, RippleNet, facilitates faster and cheaper payments in 40+ currencies.

Tink’s $100 Million Monday; Azimo’s C-Suite Shakeup Promotes Experience and Diversity

It is hard to imagine having a better start to your week than Plaid had seven days ago when the innovative fintech (and Finovate alum) announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Visa for $5.3 billion.

But the €90 million ($100 million) raised by Swedish open banking platform Tink on Monday is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, the funding, which is the company’s largest to date, is a reminder that investment interest in (and funding for) companies dedicated to developing the infrastructure that connects consumers, banks, and the financial technologies is very much in abundance.

“Our aim is to become the preferred pan-European provider of digital banking services and to offer the technology needed for banks, fintechs, and startups to leverage the opportunities of open banking and enable them to successfully develop financial services in the future,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said in a statement.

Tink demonstrated its platform most recently at FinovateEurope 2019. For more on this year’s Finovate event in Europe kicking off next month, visit our FinovateEurope 2020 page.


Azimo, one of our earliest FinovateEurope alums, announced a pair of big changes at the top to begin the new week.

The London-based money transfer firm, founded in 2012, promoted its COO Richard Ambrose to CEO back in August, as Azimo founder Michael Kent took what TechCrunch referred to as a lateral move to become executive chairman. Today, Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication, reports that the company has appointed Dora Ziambra to the post of Chief Operating Officer. Azimo also promoted its head of finance Tatiana Okhotina to the post of Chief Financial Officer.

“We’re fortunate to have the depth of talent to fill these top roles internally,” Ambrose said in a statement. “We’re lucky too that Azimo will continue to benefit from the experience and leadership of these two outstanding women.”


Here’s our weekly roundup of the latest news from our Finovate alumni:

  • Union Bank to leverage technology from FIS for core banking.
  • Italy-based CREDEM leveraging Worldline’s Payment and Liquidity Hub software CRISTAL to process Target2 payments
  • POS software Vend partners with Klarna to offer retailers more flexible payment options.
  • U.K. food retailer The Co-operative to deploy ACI Worldwide’s fraud management solution, ReD Shield.
  • A partnership between TransferGo and Currencycloud will enable the money transfer company to enter 14 new markets.
  • YellowDog forges reseller agreement with Annex Pro.
  • Bankable cozies up with Plaid to allow its bank customers to connect with their users’ bank accounts.
  • Ohpen appoints former Tesla marketing leader Corinne Aaron as new head of marketing.
  • Segmint to acquire WAND’s Product and Service Taxonomy division.
  • CuneXus celebrates 2019 success with a 40% year-over-year increase in consumer reach.
  • TransUnion expands partnership with Payfone.
  • PayPal reaches $10 billion in charitable donations processed.
  • California approves Sezzle’s lending license.
  • People’s Bank selects NYMBUS’s SmartMarketing and SmartOnboarding solutions.
  • Ayondo ends its European social trading business.

Alumni Features and Profiles

Three Key Lessons We Learned from Plaid – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Visa is acquiring Plaid for a deal that’s worth $5.3 billion. The fact that they were so widely used at such an early stage is a testament to the quality of their code, but there are also a few key lessons to take away from their success.

ITSCREDIT’s Joao Pinto on the Digital Lending Opportunity –  ITSCREDIT is a spinoff from ITSECTOR and is a fairly new player in the digital lending space. In this interview, Pinto talks to us about the digital lending opportunity, how his company fits into the current state of this fintech subsector, and what we can expect to see next.

Kasasa Enhances its Take-Back Loan – Community bank marketing expert Kasasa announced a partnership with Carleton today in which Kasasa will integrate Carleton’s insurance and debt protection calculations into its Kasasa Loan.

Our latest FinovateEurope Sneak Peeks Are Up! Meet Dorsum, CASHOFF, Tensorflight, Trulioo, W.UP, Horizn, Glia, and BLECKWEN.

Plinqit Brings Rewards-Powered Financial Literacy to First Community Bank – One day in the distant future, children will be educated in basic financial literacy as readily as they are taught algebra. Until then, solutions like Plinqit from HT Mobile Apps will be valuable tools for credit unions and community banks looking for novel ways to engage and educate their members and customers.

Credit, Data, and Cryptocurrencies: Graychain Rebrands as Credmark – The company that is bringing credit data clarity to the cryptocurrency industry is entering 2020 with a new name.

Tradeshift Lands $240 Million as it Inches Toward Profitability – The San Francisco-based company will use the investment to boost expansion efforts and gear toward a “direct path to profitability in the near future.”

Fintech, Financial Services, and the Case for 5G – Calling 5G “something banks aren’t even thinking about,” Celent SVP Dan Latimore said, “we believe the effects of 5G are going to be subtle and profound over time.”

Backbase-as-a-Service Helps Banks Leverage the Cloud to Innovate and Scale – The solution makes the company’s broad portfolio of digital banking offerings available to FIs looking to accelerate their ability to develop and offer new technologies to customers.

Also on Finovate.com

Visa to Acquire Plaid in $5.3 Billion Deal – “Today marks an important milestone for our company and for fintech,” company co-founder and CEO Zach Perret wrote on the Plaid blog earlier today. “What started with two founders building in a cramped conference room has become an incredible network that enables millions of consumers to interact with over 2,500 digital finance products.”

Not Another 2020 Trends Prediction Post (Seriously, It’s Not!) – We’re taking a look at the trends you can expect to see on stage next month at FinovateEurope. To keep things simple this year, we assessed the themes at a very high level and broke them down into three categories: the big, the little, and the trends in-between.

Singapore’s Digital Banking License Space Race Accelerates – Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore? The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced last week that has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses

MogoSpend Offers Credit, Cashback, and Help Reducing Your Carbon Footprint – The new digital spending account from Canadian fintech Mogo does more than help Canadians get control of their finances. The solution also offers cardholders generous cashback rewards and a way to make a positive impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.

Getsafe Expands its Insurtech to the U.K. – If your insurance company is offering you drone insurance, you know it’s not your grandmother’s insurance agency. Germany-based insurtech Getsafe does just that– and the company announced today it is expanding its home contents insurance offering (though, sadly, not its drone insurance offering) to users in the U.K.

Raisin’s New Acquisition Gives Company Access to the U.S. Market – European deposit marketplace Raisin announced today it acquired New York-based Choice Financial Solutions. 

French Fintech Lydia Locks in $45 Million – TechCrunch reported this morning that French mobile payment app Lydia has raised $45 million (€40 million) in a round led by Tencent.

Visa’s Tap to Phone Brings Contactless Payments to mPOS – With Visa’s Tap to Phone app arriving pre-installed on the new, enterprise grade smartphone from Samsung, a broad range of merchants will have access to yet another way to accept payments from customers. 

INTL FCStone Acquires International Bank Transfer Firm – Headquartered in Germany, GIROXX offers international bank transfers and currency hedging. INTL FCStone plans to leverage this technology to expand its current client base to small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Trends at FinovateFall: The Big, the Small, and the Surprises
  • DefenseStorm Launches New Fraud Monitoring Solution
  • From Start-up to Scale-up: Token Introduces New CEO Todd Clyde
  • Temenos Buys Kony to Boost its Front Office Technology for Banks

Around the web

  • PayActiv partners with Fiserv to streamline access to earned wages.
  • ABN Amro teams up with open banking solution provider Tink to bring multi-banking functionality to the bank’s Grip app.
  • Avaloq appoints Imad Abou Haidar as its new Head of Asia.
  • BeSmartee launches its new Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) Command Center for loan originators.
  • Marqeta to create 175 new jobs in 2019, growing its workforce beyond 400 people.
  • SparkPost unveils new SparkPost Recipient Validation service, a sender reputation protection service that helps eliminate harmful bounces.
  • Azimo’s Richard Ambrose moves from COO to CEO, replacing Michael Kent.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Kabbage Pulls in $700 Million in Debt Funding.
  • Fiserv Helps Hellenic Bank Streamline Payments.

Around the web

  • Eurobits Technologies and Trustly partner to help form European Third Party Suppliers Association (ETPPA), a non-profit that strengthensThird Party Suppliers (TPP) around PSD2.
  • Flywire adds machine learning capabilities to its payment platform.
  • Altfi: SocietyOne plans to triple peer-to-peer market share despite Australian ‘challenges.’
  • OnDeck offers same day funding for small business.
  • Cardtronics integrates FIS’ Cardless Cash into ATMs.
  • Identitii partners with Trace Financial Limited to enable the conversion from MT to MX message formats without data truncation or loss of payment message information.
  • Azimo earns license from Dutch Central Bank.
  • InComm named 2018 Vendor of the Year by 7-Eleven.
  • Varo Money chooses NICE Actimize as its AML technology vendor.
  • Capsilon partners with Home Point Financial to launch its new underwriting solution, Capsilon Digital Underwriter.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Five Degrees Teams Up with ieDigital to Launch Digital Banking Portfolio.
  • Sezzle’s $100 Million Line of Credit to Fuel Delayed Payment Tool.

Around the web

  • LoanScorecard unveils SimpleCECL, its solution for loan-level analyses for Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL).
  • Onfido wins 7th place in Deloitte’s 11 fastest growing tech companies in the U.K. roster.
  • OutSystems earns recognition in two categories of the 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers Choice reviews: Mobile App Development Platforms and Enterprise High-Productivity Application Platform as a Service (HPaPaaS).
  • Payment Ninja introduces new invoice management feature of its platform.
  • Diebold Nixdorf inks Memorandum of Understanding with Europol to boost cybersecurity knowledge sharing.
  • Entersekt announces plans to expand to Nordic region.
  • RightCapital partners with Commonwealth.
  • Onfido, Azimo, TransferWise, and Kantox earn spots on Deloitte U.K.’s Fast 50.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Anorak Raises $6.5 Million in Series A.

Around the web

  • British lender CYBG signs payments partnership with Worldpay.
  • Azimo begins money transfer service to China.
  • AlphaPoint announces TrueUSD integration to Exchange Technology Network.
  • InComm partners with Xsolla to enable online game account funding with cash.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • DoubleNet Pay Acquired by Benefits Provider Purchasing Power.

Around the web

  • Moxtra partners with Virtusa to help banks with client engagement.
  • Daon announces partnership with Avtex to improve contact center experience.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee launches risk insight for pre-qualification.
  • Benzinga features Kabbage growth stats.
  • CNBC: Coinbase and Circle form joint venture to boost adoption of dollar-backed digital coins
  • City A.M. reports Azimo and CurrencyCloud to open offices in Amsterdam.
  • Temenos announces new Hybrid Pooling cash management solution for corporate banking.
  • ClearBank selects Featurespace for real-time fraud and AML detection.
  • Insuritas partners with Northwest Bank to launch bank-owned digital insurance agency platform.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Zenmonics Lands Funding from FIS
  • USAA Taps StreetShares for Small Business Lending

Around the web

  • Studio Bank Selects Baker Hill’s Statement Spreading Solution as Building Block for Future Growth.
  • TechCrunch: Coinbase adds ZRX to Coinbase Pro.
  • Payfone Partners with Orange to Fight Identity Fraud in Four New Global Markets.
  • Earnix and DataRobot Announce a Strategic Alliance.
  • Azimo launches new service to serve SMBs.
  • Jack Henry & Associates named a Top Workplace by The Charlotte Observer for fourth consecutive year.
  • WorkFusion launches RPA Express Pro to complement its AI automation platform and scale 40,000 users of its free RPA product.
  • Geezeo CTO featured on Amazon Web Services video series This is My Architecture.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World

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

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • BanQu launches partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev to revolutionize supply chain transparency in Zambia.
  • WorldRemit unveils new digital money transfer service for Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  • Forbes looks at the presence of fintech specialists – including representatives from Azimo and Standard Chartered – during UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent visit to South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Entrepreneur.com features Fintech OS in a discussion on fintech innovation in Romania.
  • Fortytwo Data opens its first international office in Kiev, Ukraine.
  • Hungary to go live with instant payments in July of 2019.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Finastra joins Bahrain FinTech Bay to promote fintech innovation in the Middle East.
  • FinTech Hive, the biggest accelerator in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia introduces its incoming startup cohort – 50% of which is fintech.
  • Sarwa, a wealth tech innovator based in the UAE, raises $1.3 million in pre-Series A funding.
  • United Bank of Egypt leverages technology from Finastra to upgrade its core banking infrastructure.

Central and South Asia

  • India-based IT consultancy Wipro inks agreement with Alight Solutions.
  • Legendary investor Warren Buffett reportedly casts his gaze on India’s fintech market.
  • Tech in Asia features the 20 top-funded fintech companies in India.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • NICE provides its Desktop Automation solution to Latin American CRM and BPO solution provider, Liq.
  • Fintech Futures publishes a look at neobanks in Latin America.
  • LATAM Tech features Christine Chang of Startupbootcamp on the fintech startup scene in Latin America.

Asia-Pacific

  • Fiserv to power Philippine Veterans Bank’s digital transformation.
  • Bangkok Bank invites fintech startups to apply to its 12-week, InnoHub accelerator program.
  • Standard Chartered appoints Deniz Güven as CEO for its virtual bank in Hong Kong.
  • Visionet Data International and SmartPesa bring mPOS payment service, Mobey, to Indonesia.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World

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

Asia-Pacific

  • InComm launches Google Play gift cards in Thailand as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Bank of Thailand announces plans to develop a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
  • Indonesia’s KoinWorks, an online P2P lending marketplace, locks in $16.5 million in funding.
  • Singapore-based crypto payments startup, Terra, raises $32 million in funding.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Azimo forges strategic partnership with African payments business, Interswitch Group.
  • Nigerian payment startup Paystack picks up $8 million Series A investment in round led by Stripe.
  • South Africa-based bitcoin wallet Luno tops two million customer milestone.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank becomes Founding Partner of World Economic Forum Centre for Cybersecurity.
  • A pair of fintech entrepreneurs from Latvia have bought Colorado National Bank for $8.97 million.
  • Bank of Russia’s Corporate University hosts workshop on functioning of regulatory sandbox.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Modo teams up with Etihad Airways to build loyalty solution for airline industry.
  • Emirates NBD launches DirectRemit service to the U.K.
  • Forbes Middle East profiles the fintech industry in Lebanon.

Central and South Asia

  • India-based startup PaySpoon to provide mobile-first credit options for consumers.
  • ZestMoney, a digital lending startup based in Begaluru, has raised $13.4 million in Series A funding.
  • Entrepreneur India explains why new entrepreneurs should “consider fintech as a sweet spot.”

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Compass Plus migrates Brazilian prepaid card issuer, BPP, to its platform.
  • PYMNTS.com looks at partnerships between fintechs and traditional FIs in Mexico.
  • Wirecard Brazil introduces new financial features for its entrepreneur customers.

Top image designed by Freepik