Helping Secure Digital Identities; Managing Financial Crime Risk

Two of the biggest themes in fintech – digital identity and the rise of fintech in Central and Eastern Europe – meet in the latest announcement from biometric authentication specialist and Finovate Best of Show winner iProov. The company’s facial recognition technology now makes it easier for users of SK ID Solutions’ Smart-ID Service in countries like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to renew their accounts without having to visit a physical bank branch.

“This is a major development for all digital identity providers,” iProov CEO Andrew Bud said. “Estonia has proved, for the first time, that a remote, automated, biometric ID verification service can deliver the highest possible levels of security.”

Recognized as equal to a handwritten signature throughout Europe, Smart-IDs enable users to authenticate themselves and provide permissions online using a smartphone app. iProov’s facial recognition technology adds a three-second scan to compare the image of the user to the image on their presented ID document to help defend against fraud and identity theft.

Smart-ID also leverages NFC-based ReadID document verification technology from InnoValor.

Financial crime risk management innovator Featurespace will be helping Enfuce combat fraud and money laundering courtesy of a newly announced partnership. Enfuce, a financial services firm based in Finland, will use Featurespace’s ARIC Risk Hub to enhance its ability to protect its customers from fraud and financial crime.

“Our clients deserve industry-leading services that allow them to freely and fully concentrate on the success of their core business, without worrying about ever-evolving fraud,” Enfuce co-founder and chair Monika Liikamaa said.

ARIC Risk Hub offers real-time transaction monitoring for fraud and financial crime, enabling institutions to identify and act against anomalous and potentially dangerous behavior as it occurs. The technology also reduces the number of false positives by as much as 70%, keeping anti-fraud processes efficient. Featurespace introduced its fraud-fighting technology to Finovate audiences at FinovateEurope 2016.


Here is a round up of recent news from our Finovate alumni.

  • Sezzle unveils new logo along with its first annual report.
  • Flybits expands its executive team in New York, Toronto, the U.K., and Dubai.
  • ID R&D updates voice biometric solution IDVoice.
  • M1 Finance surpasses $1 billion in assets on its platform.
  • Armor Bank selects Teslar Software’s automated workflow and portfolio management tools.
  • Mastercard partners with myPOS to boost adoption of card payment solutions among European SMEs.
  • Black Hills FCU selects nCino’s Bank Operating System.
  • Bazaarvoice launches partnership program with Yotpo as the piloting partner.
  • Keysafe inks partnership with Salt Edge to access tenants’ bank data without the need to acquire its own PSD2 license.
  • Lending Club appoints Annie Armstrong as Chief Risk Officer.
  • Assaray Trade and Investment Bank selects Temenos Infinity and Transact to power its digital transformation.
  • Long John Silver’s chooses Blackhawk Network for gift card program.
  • Trustly and Fly Norwegian team up to let travelers pay directly from their bank accounts.
  • Pindrop launches Deep Voice 3, the new version of its voice recognition technology.
  • Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga steps down, replaced by Chief Product Officer Michael Miebach.
  • Venmo to launch debit card for teens.
  • Almost 600 banks select Fiserv’s Turnkey Service for Zelle.
  • Finastra to offer ClickSWITCH’s account switching technolkogy to its clients.
  • Simmons Bank partners with Jack Henry to leverage its Banno platform to build a digital presence.
  • Currencycloud and Currensea team up.
  • Yseop and Automation Anywhere join forces to scale intelligent automation.
  • Lighter Capital appoints Kevin Fink at CTO and Patricia Elliott as CSO.
  • InComm launches Roblox gift cards in France and Germany.

Finovate Alum Features and Profiles

Revolut’s $500 Million Round Boosts Valuation to $5.5 Billion – Global financial platform Revolut has secured its place as the U.K.’s most valuable fintech.

Dealing with Deepfakes in Fintech – The fintech industry is ripe with security firms, such as iProov, that use AI to combat both video and audio deepfakes with anti-spoofing technologies.

Envestnet | Yodlee Acquires Indian Data Aggregator FinBit.io – Envestnet | Yodlee has acquired another asset in its strategy to further grow and develop its data aggregation and analytics business.

Meet Sonect: Cash Network Builder, Finovate Newcomer, Best of Show Winner – What’s better than having a large pizza with all your favorite toppings delivered to your front door? How about a side order of cash, saving you a trip to the ATM or bank branch?

Azimo Taps Ripple for 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.

Lendio Lands $55 Million to Match Small Businesses with Lenders – The investment more than doubles the company’s previous funding, bringing its total to $108.5 million.

SheerID Expands Identity Marketing Platform – The move enables brands to identify and acquire new customers across the globe.

Currencycloud Raises $80 Million in New Funding

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

B2B cross border payments innovator Currencycloud has locked in $80 million in new funding.

Visa, the International Finance Corporation, BNP Paribas, SBI Group, and Siam Commercial Bank participated in the Series E. Existing investors Sapphire Ventures, Notion Capital, GV, Accomplice, and Anthemis were also involved in the round.

“Currencycloud is re-imagining how money flows around the global economy and embedding it into (the) platforms of the future,” company CEO Mike Laven said. “Transfer of value is fast becoming the newest layer in the modern technology stack, and Currencycloud is positioned to provide the infrastructure to make this happen.” He added that the funding makes Currencycloud “the go-to provider for the next wave of fintech innovation.”

This week’s investment takes Currencycloud’s total capital to more than $140 million. In its statement, the company said that it plans to use the new funds to grow its portfolio of payment methods and further develop its partner ecosystem.”

A global payments platform, Currencycloud offers 85 different APIs across four modules – collect, convert, manage, and pay – that support the entire B2B cross-border payments workflow. The London-based company, founded in 2012, demonstrated its Global Collections offering at FinovateSpring in 2018. Global Collections makes it easier for firms to collect payments from overseas customers by setting up local, virtual bank accounts in their names. This helps keep payment costs low and ensures that payments arrive promptly and in-full with as little, cross-border hassle as possible.

Earlier this month, Currencycloud announced a partnership with TransferGo that will help it launch in 14 new markets in the first quarter of this year. Named to the 2020 Fintech Power 50 in December, Currencycloud previewed its multi-currency accounts solution, Currencycloud Spark, last fall. The technology enables firms to offer their business customers multi-currency accounts that allow them to collect, store, convert, and make payments in 35+ currencies.

Currencycloud has processed more than $50 billion in cross-border payments processed since its inception. The company includes fellow Finovate alums Revolut, Klarna, and Dwolla among its partners.

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

  • Deluxe Acquires Fiserv’s Remittance Solutions Assets

Around the web

  • Bobsguide interviews Currencycloud CTO Ed Addario.
  • Coindesk features how Tradeshift leverages Ethereum to lower cross-border transaction costs.
  • PayPal’s GoPay acquisition is complete

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.

The Winning Ten: Finovate Alums Earn Spots on the 2020 Fintech Power 50

The newly-released Fintech Power 50 for 2020 features ten Finovate alums. The roster is produced every December and bills itself as “meant to be controversial and provoke debate” while at the same time providing “inspiration to the rest of the industry.”

“Throughout its first year the Fintech Power 50 has seen consistent success for our members and we are very proud of the opportunities that being a member of the Power 50 has offered the companies involved,” Fintech Power 50 Managing Director and co-founder Jason Williams said. “We look forward to continuing the traction we have made this year with the 2020 cohort, with a more ambitious and exciting programme.”

The Finovate alums to make the cut are:

The Fintech Power 50 aims to help fintechs reach a broader audience around the world. Over the course of 2020, the program will offer media partnerships and networking, business development and branding support, and investment and talent acquisition. This year marks the third edition of the program; coincidentally, the 2019 Power 50 featured ten Finovate alums, as well.

“We’re incredibly excited at this announcement, which is clear recognition of Keepabl’s value to customers, and to trusted advisers alike, and our potential to keep disrupting compliance-as-a-service,” wrote Keepabl CEO Robert Baugh in an email.

CREALOGIX CEO David Joyce added that he was “looking forward to exchanging ideas with the renowned digital leaders in this unique group.” He praised the way the roster reflected “the breadth, diversity, and creativity of the global fintech scene.”

The Fintech Power 50 2020 also features ten fintech thought leaders whose names will be familiar to Finovate veterans. Nine of the ten – David Birch, Ghela Boskovich, Theo Lau, Brett King, Jim Marous, Devie Mohan, David Parker, and Ruth Wandhofer – have made major contributions to our Finovate conferences since we expanded our format in 2017. We’ll have to get Mr. Lawrence Wintermeyer, co-founder of Global Digital Finance and the tenth thought leader on this year’s Fintech Power 50, to a Finovate stage sooner than later!

See the full Fintech Power 50 2020 list.

Currencycloud Spark Powers Multi-Currency Accounts

International payments innovator Currencycloud revealed a new solution this week that will help banks and fintechs go global. The new tool, Currencycloud Spark, will enable financial services companies to offer multi-currency accounts to their business customers. Using the multi-currency accounts, businesses can collect, store, convert, and pay in more than 35 currencies. Currencycloud will offer competitive foreign exchange rates and complete visibility of the entire payments process.

In a blog post, Currencycloud CEO Mike Laven explained the impetus behind the new launch. “Financial institutions have long struggled to help business customers compete on a global scale, relying on a patchwork of banking providers to carry out international transactions, as there was no credible alternative,” he said. “Currencycloud Spark levels the playing field and allows any financial institution to compete in an increasingly inter-connected world.”

Currencycloud Spark is in beta with select customers and will be generally available in the first half of 2020.

The new offering competes with Transferwise, which launched its Borderless Accounts in early 2018. And while it technically does not offer a multicurrency account, Revolut has a competitive offering that allows cardholders to spend in more than 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate and make exchanges in more than 30 fiat currencies. Less well-known in this space is Spain-based Neo, which launched in 2017 to serve small businesses.

At its most recent Finovate appearance, Currencycloud debuted Global Collections, a tool that issues clients with local accounts to speed up payments in the U.S. and Eurozone. The company, which offers an API integration and white label access, has four flagship products: Collect, Convert, Pay, and Manage which help companies manage their cash flow and monetize their foreign exchange offerings.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Currencycloud’s Currencycloud Spark Powers Multi-Currency Accounts.
  • The Tightly-Knit Mortgagetech Sector Gets Even Tighter as Ellie Mae Acquires Capsilon.

Around the web

  • Tradeshift teams with Genpact to help clients enhance accounts payable and procurement processes.
  • OurCrowd to join the Millennium Alternative Investment Networkto increase VC opportunities in the U.S.
  • Finextra talks to Nutmeg about expanding the human side of its roboadvisory.
  • Dwolla unveils The Integration Partner Program for more seamless technical integrations between Dwolla, its partners, and their clients.
  • Finantix appoints Christine Ciriani as Chief Commercial Officer.
  • NCR teams with Brightwell to supply ATMs and managed services for Brightwell’s largest cruise line clients.

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.

Currencycloud and Bottomline Join Forces

International payments platform Currencycloud and business payment automation company Bottomline Technologies announced they have teamed up to provide Hargenant Group with a cross-border payments solution.

Bottomline’s payments platform leveraged Currencycloud’s open APIs to give Hargenant, a company that specializes in accounting and payroll for the entertainment industry, the tools it needs to pay suppliers and employees abroad.

Greg Barrow, founder and chairman of Hargenant Global said that the company chose the solution to create efficiencies. “We needed to pay film crews around the world, sometimes on irregular schedules and in various currencies,” he said. “This SaaS-based international payments service helps our team do this from one easy-to-use, controlled payment platform.”

Currencycloud, which debuted its Payment Engine at its most recent Finovate appearance, offers a modular approach to cross-border payments that allows companies to collect, convert, pay, and manage international payment solutions. The company can make domestic and international payments in 38 currencies to 180+ countries and counts Klarna, Azimo, and Travelex among its clients.

This summer, Currencycloud landed a $12.2 million (£10 million) grant as a part of the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) program. The new investment boosted Currencycloud’s total investment to more than $80 million.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Zopa’s New Launch Gives Consumers the Best Rate.

Around the web

  • Tieto and EVRY announce operating structure for TietoEVRY after $1.5 billion acquisition.
  • Taulia launches AI-powered cash forecasting solution.
  • Tradeshift to power digital transformation for Abreon.
  • Q2 named a winner in the 2020 CSO50 Awards for Q2 TrustView.
  • Washington credit union iQ to leverage Alkami to create a personalized user experience.
  • Stratifyd named among Chralotte’s best places to work.
  • ProfitStars brings mobile remote deposit to ICBA member banks.

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

  • HackerOne Cracks into $36.4 Million in Funding.
  • Arival Bank Nets $2.3 Million in Equity Crowdfunding Campaign.
  • Winners Circle: Finovate Honors Fintech’s Finest with New Awards Series.

Around the web

  • Cinchy voted “Top Pick” for TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019 and selected as a CIX Top 20 company for 2019. Check out Cinchy’s upcoming demo at FinovateFall later this month!
  • ThetaRay unveils new office in Mexico City.
  • Epcor partners with data-driven solution provider Segmint to help FIs better leverage payment data.
  • Dwolla teams up with Currencycloud to make international payments easier for businesses.
  • Luxoft to collaborate with Fenergo as part of the company’s Global Platinum Partner program.
  • Meniga helps Grupo Crédito Agrícola launch its new banking app, moey!.
  • Nomis Solutions expands presence in the Midwest with the opening of a Center of Excellence in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • WePay launches same-day deposits to Chase bank accounts for free.
  • Blackhawk Network appoints Harel Kodesh as chief technology officer.
  • Lendio Southwest Michigan franchise opens to offer funding to local businesses.

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.

CurrencyCloud’s Grant Boosts Total Funding Over $80 Million

Just over a month after announcing a $40 million Series E funding round, international payments platform Currencycloud received another windfall. The company landed a $12.2 million (£10 million) grant as a part of the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) program. This week’s funds bring Currencycloud’s total investment to more than $80 million.

Part of the BCR’s Capability and Innovation Fund Pool C, the award aims to include lending, international payments, and local payments services to SMEs in the U.K. The goal fits well with Currencycloud’s API offerings that help businesses accept, pay, and convert foreign currencies. The company’s tools also help businesses manage balances, send notifications, set permissions, and compile reports.

Currencycloud CEO Mike Laven said that the company plans to use the funds to “accelerate product development for SME’s, particularly in the area of collections.” He added, “We will also work on distribution partnerships that enhance our ability to deliver to SMEs. Our current U.K. eco-system of over 150 FX brokers, money transfer firms, payment service firms and banks service 1,000’s of U.K. SMEs with payment services today. Our intent is to widen access to affordable FX and international payments for U.K. SMEs, targeting 40,000 SMEs using our platform by 2024.”

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in London, Currencycloud counts fellow Finovate alums AzimoKlarnaRevolut, and Fidor as clients. The company can make domestic and international payments in 38 currencies to 180+ countries. Currencycloud most recently appeared at FinovateFall 2016 where it debuted its Payment Engine

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • CurrencyCloud’s Grant Boosts Total Funding Over $80 Million.

Around the web

  • Barclays ends partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
  • The ID Co illustrates 12-month plan to expand DirectID’s global data coverage.

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.