PayPal’s Venmo Will be a Payment Option on Amazon Next Year

PayPal’s Venmo Will be a Payment Option on Amazon Next Year

PayPal announced this week it is partnering with online retail giant Amazon. Under the agreement, PayPal’s Venmo will be listed as a payment option for U.S. Amazon shoppers online and in the Amazon mobile app. Venmo’s 80 million users will have the option to pay with their Venmo balance or their Venmo-linked bank account.

Venmo SVP and GM Darrell Esch explained that the new integration enhances the versatility of users’ Venmo accounts. “Over the last year, we have focused on giving our Venmo community more ways to use Venmo in their daily lives, including the ability to pay with QR Codes and providing more shopping features like purchase protections,” he said.

The new payment capability will come at a good time for Venmo users. According to the press release, 65% of Venmo users increased their online purchasing behaviors during the pandemic and 47% are interested in paying with Venmo at checkout.

Amazon will also benefit from providing an additional payment option for its customers. “We understand our customers want options and flexibility in how they make purchases on Amazon,” said Amazon’s Director of Global Payment Acceptance Ben Volk. “We’re excited to team-up with Venmo and give our customers the ability to pay by using their Venmo accounts, providing new ways to pay on Amazon.”

The move likely won’t help Venmo win any new users from Amazon’s 300 million active user base, however. That’s because most Amazon shoppers have already entered their preferred payment method into their Amazon Wallet, which currently allows for credit cards, debit cards, store cards, checking accounts, HSAs, FSAs, and EBT. And because Amazon is an expert at making payments disappear into the background of the user experience, most users don’t think about adding a new payment method unless their is an issue with their current one.

There is no exact date as to when Venmo will be integrated into Amazon’s checkout flow, however PayPal said it “will be available in 2022.”

Venmo has been around since 2009 and is known for its popularity among Millennials as a peer-to-peer payment app. Over the past couple of years, however, the New York-based company has proven that it does more than just help 20-year-olds exchange $15 and pizza emojis. Earlier this year, Venmo launched a check cashing feature that enables users to cash paper checks in the Venmo app. The company also offers debit and credit cards, as well as a crypto offering that allows users to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies.

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Starling, Standard Chartered, and the Greening of Fintech

Starling, Standard Chartered, and the Greening of Fintech

What are the latest signs that fintech is leaning in to support the cause of sustainability?

I’ve always been struck by the lack of optimism in response to the challenge of climate change. One of the Champagne Executive Boardroom sessions at FinovateFall in September discussed the way that financial services companies and fintechs were responding to climate change. And while the beginning of the conversation was predictably focused on constraints (political, social, and cultural), it was heartening to see the second half of the session. That’s because the panelists shifted toward a closer look at the opportunities that many in fintech and financial services firms were beginning to embrace – particularly by empowering customers and members.

With COP26 in the headlines over the past several days, we’ve seen an uptick in this “opportunities-instead-of-constraints” conversation in the fintech community. Here is a look at a few of the more interesting developments of late.

Standard Chartered partners with Starling Bank to help investors go green – Expected to launch next year, Standard Chartered’s Shoal platform will enable customers to financially support the environmental causes they believe in. The shortlist will include projects in areas such as renewable energy, clean water, and community development. Customers will receive both an update on the projects they helped fund as well as a “competitive” rate of return.

SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation arm which is behind Shoal, noted today that the first offering from the platform will be a savings account, and that the platform will be added to the Starling Bank’s Starling Marketplace “in due course.” Courtesy of the partnership between Standard Chartered and Starling Bank, the new platform will be powered by Starling’s BaaS technology and API. This will enable Shoal to emphasize front-end issues like customer acquisition and service, while Starling Bank manages what CEO Anne Boden called “the technical and regulatory demands behind the scenes.”

“Sustainability is one of the high conviction themes for SC Ventures as we explore different business models,” SC Ventures’ Alex Manson said. “With Shoal, we are creating a new venture to address the growing need of all retail clients for sustainable financial and non-financial products, starting with (the) U.K. and expanding to other markets over time.”

It’s also worth pointing out that Starling Bank recently announced a commitment to a one-third reduction in its carbon emissions by 2030. The firm added that it will also offset carbon emissions from its own operations and supply chain annually using March 2021 as a baseline. Starling’s three U.K.-based offices run on renewable energy and, earlier this year, the bank launched the first U.K. Mastercard debit card made from recycled plastic.

“Understanding our carbon emissions enables us to make targeted improvements as we continue to grow,” Starling Bank’s Boden said. “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that we face globally, and Starling is 100% committed to playing its part in the fight against it, not just in the lead up to 2050, but starting right away.”

Starling Bank is also a founding member of the TechZero Charter. TechZero is a climate action group for technology companies that have committed to leveraging their technology and ingenuity to “accelerate progress to net zero.”

Climate management and accounting platform Persefoni secures $101 million in funding – On the other side of the Atlantic, word that SaaS climate technology company Persefoni has raised more than $100 million in equity capital has people wondering if the Series B round represents the biggest fundraising by a climate-tech company to date. Regardless of whether or not Persefoni is leading that charge, the company is clearly at the front lines of innovators using technology to help businesses calculate their carbon footprint in an auditable and compliant fashion.

The round was led by Prelude Ventures and The Rise Fund, and featured first-time participation from Clearvision Ventures, Parkway Ventures, Bain & Co., EDF Pulse Holding, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The Ferrante Group, Alumni Ventures Group, and New Valley Ventures. A number of existing investors also participated in the round. The investment gives the Tempe, Arizona-based company a total equity funding of more than $114 million.

“Carbon and climate disclosures will be the biggest compliance market since the advent of Sarbanes Oxley and GDPR, but with even greater complexity,” Persefoni CEO and co-founder Kentaro Kawamori said. “The market is rife with data and software solutions that create new proprietary methodologies every day, and our customers are exhausted with that approach.” Kawamori added that his company’s extensive work with “industry standards setters and regulators” gives Persefoni an edge over other companies offering solutions in the space. “As disclosure requirements continue to accelerate,” Kawamori said, “every CEO, CFO, and Board Director is looking for a solution they know was purpose-built for the enterprise first – like Persefoni.”

Persefoni also announced that it has entered a strategic corporate partnership with Bain & Co. The “first-of-its-kind” collaboration will have the two firms developing dacarbonization solutions for both the private equity and institutional investing markets. The goal is to enable clients of Bain to “manage their carbon inventory with the same rigor and transparency as their financial metrics,” according to Torsten Lichtenau, global head of Bain & Co.’s Carbon Transition Impact Area.

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Ocrolus and Blend Partner to Automate the Mortgage Process

Ocrolus and Blend Partner to Automate the Mortgage Process

Digital banking platform Blend and financial document automation platform Ocrolus are partnering this week to embed Ocrolus’ Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) document analysis solution into Blend’s digital mortgage application platform.

Blend expects that Ocrolus’ HITL technology will help accelerate digital mortgage applications for potential home loan borrowers. That’s because the document analysis solution will automate the classification of documents and capture data needed for mortgage applications.

“Blend is simplifying and streamlining the lending experience for consumers and bankers alike,” said Blend’s Manager of Business Development Jeff Braddock. “We’re enhancing the Blend platform with Ocrolus’ automated, accurate document classification and data extraction capabilities. Our partnership with Ocrolus enables us to swiftly deliver time-saving innovations to our customers.”

The partnership aligns well with Blend’s goal to automate all aspects of the loan origination process. The California-based company offers a cloud-based platform that powers end-to-end customer journeys for a range of banking-as-a-service lending products and deposit accounts.

Founded in 2012, Blend’s B2B tools also include a loan officer toolkit, a loan officer mobile app, and an income verification tool. The company enables its customers, including Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, and more than 310 other financial services firms, to process an average of more than $5 billion in loans per day.

Ocrolus, which recently won Best of Show for its demo at FinovateFall 2021, provides automated document analysis to automate credit decisions across fintech, mortgage, and banking. The company is headquartered in New York and has raised $127 million since it was founded in 2014.

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Meridian Trust FCU Teams Up with Scienaptic AI to Enhance Credit Decisioning

Meridian Trust FCU Teams Up with Scienaptic AI to Enhance Credit Decisioning

With locations in Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska, Meridian Trust Federal Credit Union has announced a partnership with Scienaptic AI. The collaboration with the AI-powered credit decision platform provider will enable Meridian Trust FCU ($569 million in assets; 31,640 members) to enhance its underwriting capabilities to provide faster lending decisions and boost loan approvals.

“At Meridian Trust, we aim to provide our members and community with the best personal service, the highest quality financial products, and the best overall value for a lifetime,” Meridian Trust FCU Chief Lending Officer Michael Barnhardt Jr. said. “Scienaptic’s AI-driven credit decisioning platform will help ensure that our credit union has access to industry-leading underwriting capabilities to approve more loans for our members and further enhance their financial well-being.”

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in New York City, Scienaptic AI leverages both new data sources and new technologies to enable financial institutions to make more accurate decisions about whether and how much financing to provide to credit applicants. Many banks continue to struggle to systematically manage the growing volume of data required for sound credit decisioning. Moreover, the technology necessary to analyze this data requires complex, quantitative, predictive models (and professionals trained in understanding them). Additionally, many financial institutions lack the kind of scalable infrastructure that can handle the volume of data involved in credit-decisioning – and do so in a timely, compliant fashion.

In response to this challenge, Scienaptic AI offers a platform that enables companies to run multiple champion challengers concurrently; merges credit models and strategies in a single, unified workflow; and supports the rapid deployment of new credit models and strategies. Scienaptic claims that its adaptive AI-based platform and pre-built APIs help deliver 15% to 40% more approvals and 10% to 25% fewer losses compared to traditional underwriting methods based on legacy technology. In addition to credit decisioning, Scienaptic’s technology can be leveraged for fraud prevention, financial forecasting, and collections, as well.

“We are pleased to be working with Meridian Trust to help support and strengthen the financing needs of its members,” Scienaptic President Pankaj Jain said. “Scienaptic’s platform will help Meridian Trust to grow their client base and to support the financial goals of its members by making faster credit decisions while minimizing risk.”

Of late, the Scienaptic AI has forged partnerships with Cooperative Teachers Credit Union, Gesa Credit Union and, earlier this month, Levo Credit Union. All of these credit unions have elected to leverage Scienaptic’s AI-powered credit decisioning platform to, in the words of Levo CU VP of Lending Steven Stofferahn, “enhance credit access for members and improve their financial well-being through smarter, faster credit decisions.”

Scienaptic AI has raised $9 million in funding. The company includes TVS Motor Singapore, Pramod Bhasin, and Salil Punalekar among its investors.

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Assembly Payments and CurrencyFair Consummate Merger; Rebrand as Zai

Assembly Payments and CurrencyFair Consummate Merger; Rebrand as Zai

Announced earlier this year, the merger between cross-border payments marketplace CurrencyFair and payment workflow automation platform Assembly Payments has secured regulatory approval. The merged company has also rebranded as Zai as part of a new focus on providing a wider set of integrated financial services to mid-market businesses and enterprise-level customers within and beyond the Australian market. The CurrencyFair brand will remain intact to serve consumers and small businesses with the kind of fast, affordable foreign exchange the company has offered for nearly a decade.

Paul Byrne, who served as CEO and President of Currencyfair for more than five years, will now serve as CEO and President of the new entity Zai. “Our vision with Zai is to boldly transform the future of financial services,” Byrne said in a statement. “The Australian market is very close to our hearts – both Assembly Payments and CurrencyFair were founded by Australian innovators.”

To underscore this point Byrne added that Zai was first to market with NPP, Australia’s New Payments Platform, and that the company planned to launch its new, real-time digital payments solution, PayTo, in the middle of next year. PayTo will enable merchants and businesses to initiate real-time payments from their customers’ bank accounts.

“Zai will continue our tradition of being customer-centric, solving problems and adding value around our five core capabilities,” Byrne said. These areas – payments, global payment accounts, partner ecosystem, lending and settlement, and services – represent major growth opportunities according to Byrne, in what he described as a “$2 trillion revenue market for payments.” In addition to expanding its presence in Australia, Zai plans to launch in the U.K., the U.S., and Asia in 2022 and to grow its workforce from 170 to 450 by 2025.

“We are already seeing the benefits of expansion as we forecast a second successive year of 60% growth in processing volume to $6.5 billion in 2021,” Byrne said.

Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and launched in 2009, CurrencyFair has been a Finovate alum since 2012. Ahead of the merger with Assembly Payments, the company had securely exchanged the equivalent of €10 billion, enabling its customers to send money to more than 150 countries. The company had raised more than $24 million in funding before acquiring Assembly Payments, picking up an additional $35 million in funding from Standard Chartered afterward.

“By bringing together the complementary strengths of CurrencyFair and Assembly, we are supporting the merged company in offering the full range of payment services,” Standard Chartered group chief executive Bill Winters said earlier this year, “providing retail and corporate clients access to fast, high-volume domestic and cross-border payments.”

UNest Forges Strategic Partnership with Avibra to Bring Insurance Benefits to Families

UNest Forges Strategic Partnership with Avibra to Bring Insurance Benefits to Families

The business of helping parents provide financial education and savings for their children has been one of the more robust areas of innovation in fintech. One such company, UNest, based out of Hollywood, California, announced this week that it has entered a strategic partnership with Avibra to further its mission of bringing financial planning, saving, and investment solutions to parents and their kids.

“Together with Avibra, we are addressing three key areas for families – financial, insurance, and healthcare,” UNest founder and CEO Ksenia Yudina explained. “As the leading app to help parents save for their kid’s future, we have insight into other focus areas for our customers. Alongside pragmatic saving and investment tools, families need insurance coverage and access to healthcare. Avibra shares our customer-centric philosophy and desire to create solutions that empower underserved communities.”

Founded in 2019 and headquartered in New Jersey, Avibra is an app-based advisor offering free and affordable finance, insurance, and financial well-being benefits. These benefits include a la carte solutions such as increased life and AD&D coverage, telehealth and teletherapy services, as well as phone repair and roadside assistance. Courtesy of the newly announced strategic partnership, UNest customers will get access to a $10,000 complimentary AD&D insurance policy – with the option to earn up to $5,000 more in additional coverage. They will also have the ability to choose from Avibra’s a la carte benefits – via the company’s Dollar Benefits Store – at a cost of just $1 per week.

“We are both mission-driven companies and the close alignment in our ethos makes this collaboration a natural fit,” Avibra founder and CEO Yogesh Shetty said. “Similar to UNest, we believe that everyone deserves access to top-quality healthcare and financial solutions. Avibra’s team is focused on improving the lives of hard-working families. Through this partnership, we hope to inspire parents and their kids to be proactive in preparing for each life stage.”

To access Avibra, UNest customers use the UNest Rewards section of the company’s app. Founded in 2020, UNest has developed one of the largest collections of rewards partners offered via a savings and investment app. UNest also offers its customers cash back when they enroll and shop with more than 100 different national brands including Disney+, Old Navy, and Nike.

At the company’s Finovate debut in September, Garrett Gilbertson and Peter Mansfield demonstrated the UNest’s financial planning, saving, and investment app for families. UNest offers tax-advantaged investment accounts for children, giving young people an early opportunity to begin saving for higher education, a first car, a first house, or simply to pave the way for better financial security in adulthood. UNest’s gifting program enables parents to enlist the support of extended family members and friends to contribute to their child’s account.

UNest offers a regular account for $2.99 a month and a family account for $5.98 a month. The Family plan adds the ability to include up to five children in the plan, while retaining all the same features – multiple investment options, unlimited gifts from friends and family, cashback from UNest Rewards, and a savings calculator – as the regular plan. Both plans give parents complete visibility and control over how the money is invested and spent until the child reaches adulthood.

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Veem Teams Up with Visa, Q2 to Bring Digital Money Management and AR/AP Innovations to SMEs

Veem Teams Up with Visa, Q2 to Bring Digital Money Management and AR/AP Innovations to SMEs

From a collaboration with Visa to a partnership with Q2, new Finovate alum Veem, which made its Finovate debut last September at FinovateFall, continues to offer the kind of solutions to help make business payments easy, efficient, and affordable.

In fact, within one month of the company’s first-ever demo on the Finovate stage – a presentation of Veem’s Partner Connect product – the San Francisco, California-based company inked two major deals with some of the most innovative companies in financial services and digital banking.

Veem’s partnership with Visa, announced in the first half of October, will give the company’s 400,000+ customers access to a new SMB Visa card program, as well as digital money movement capabilities courtesy of Visa’s real-time push payments platform, Visa Direct. The agreement will enable Veem customers to generate and issue virtual Visa payment cards that can be used to cover business costs ranging from payments to suppliers to more general business expenses. The virtual card program, along with Veem’s spend management tools, also provides reconciliation and other financial benefits to help customers further digitize and streamline their operations. Access to Visa Direct will give Veem’s U.S. clients the ability to send money directly to both bank accounts and eligible Visa cards in more than 160 currencies.

“Visa is renowned for having broad network acceptance both domestically and internationally,” Veem CEO Marwan Forzley said. “Our collaboration helps Veem expand digital payment options for our customers, as we continue to build the next generation global solution for businesses.”

Veem also last month announced that it was teaming up with digital banking innovator Q2. The partnership is geared toward taking the friction out of the accounts payable/accounts receivable process for SMEs by making Veem’s AP/AR automation platform available to the 450+ financial institutions and 1.5 million businesses on Q2’s digital banking platform.

“This partnership with Veem gives our Financial institutions the ability to deliver Veem’s modern payment services to SMB customers with agility and reliability,” Q2 Innovation Studio Managing Director Johnny Ola said. “Businesses are looking for embedded solutions that act as a one-stop-shop to conduct all their day-to-day transactions. With our integration with Veem, we are excited to give our financial institution customers the option to offer small businesses innovative technology solutions.”

The two collaborations were only part of a very busy autumn for Veem, which was founded n 2014. Also last month, the company appointed Jeff Revoy as Chief Growth Officer and Travis Green as Vice President of Product Management. Revoy brings 20 years of CEO, President, and C-level experience at a number of public and VC-backed firms. Previous to his joining Veem, Revoy was Chief Operating Officer for SpaceIQ, a real estate workplace management software company he founded in 2016 that was acquired by WeWork in the summer of 2019.

In September, Veem secured $31 million in strategic funding in a round led by Truist Ventures. The company said in a statement that the capital will help it develop a robust channel partner program to broaden the company’s geographic footprint. The investment takes the company’s total equity funding to just over $100 million.

“This funding round marks an important milestone for the company, putting us in an ideal position to build out our channel partner program and prepare for Veem’s next stage of global growth,” Forzley said when the investment was announced. “Our channel partner network serves as our vehicle to better commercialize our product offering and further expand upon our market development efforts.”

As Veem’s FinovateFall debut showed, the development of its channel partner program has already borne fruit. At the conference, Veem’s Revoy and Connor Grilo demonstrated a new minimal code integration – Partner Connect – that enables banks to offer their clients an all-in-one, global payments platform designed for small and mid-sized businesses that keeps the bank’s branding at the forefront. The solution is integrated with the major accounting platforms so that, with a couple of clicks, users can reconcile what they are sending out from or receiving in Veem with their accounting software.

“There’s no back and forth, there’s no trying to keep two separate systems,” Revoy said from the Finovate stage. “All of this is automated and designed in a way so that, as a business owner, it can be fast, it can save you time, hopefully it will save you money, and will save you a lot of headaches, because everything is tied together.”

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Prepaid Technologies Raises $96 Million in Growth Financing

Prepaid Technologies Raises $96 Million in Growth Financing

Birmingham, Alabama-based prepaid digital payment solution provider Prepaid Technologies has scored $96 million in funding. The round was led by Edison Partners and StepStone Group, and also featured participation from Stifel Venture Bank and Top Tier Capital Partners.

The company has enjoyed 15,000% straight-line growth in its load value, as well as revenue gains of 9x over the five years since it last raised capital – $5 million in 2016. Prepaid Technologies currently has 1,700+ customers and 450 active partners including banks, payroll processors, payment providers, as well as digital banking platforms, enterprise technology companies, and merchant services providers. The company’s technology enables its customers to access and customize both B2C and B2B payments for payroll, rewards, purchasing, and disbursement.

“We purpose-built our platform to create a turnkey way for companies to configure payments solutions across their enterprise however they operate,” Prepaid Technologies CEO Stephen Faust explained. “Clients access payments through our dashboard technology or integrate solutions into their workflows through our robust API suite. We’re laser-focused on productization and customization that will help to transition more companies to card-based and digital solutions.”

With financial services clients such as CertiPay, Rocket Mortgage, PNC Bank, and Cornerstone – and boasting customers like Delta, Lowe’s, and Samsung more broadly – Prepaid Technologies was founded in 1998. The company acquired Dash, the purchasing card portfolio and expense management solution from Finovate alum Karmic Labs, in 2019. Prepaid Technologies has leveraged this acquisition to launch its MyDashCard app and dashPerks, a cashback rewards program for cardholders.

Prepaid Technologies will use the new capital to fuel market expansion and to continue to develop both its technology payments platform and its customer-focused prepaid solutions. As part of this week’s investment, Edison Partners Managing Partner Chris Sugden will join Prepaid Technologies’ board of directors.

In a statement, Sugden underscored the unique opportunities available to companies like Prepaid Technologies in the current environment. “Loyalty payments and refund programs present an enormous niche opportunity,” Sugden said. “There is both a programmatic vertical opportunity and underserved community opportunity.” He praised the company’s “incredible load volume and data set” as well as the “deep banking and payments expertise” of Prepaid Technologies’ management team.

Digital Currency Group’s Valuation Soars to $10 Billion After $700 Million Stock Sell-Off

Digital Currency Group’s Valuation Soars to $10 Billion After $700 Million Stock Sell-Off

Perhaps the biggest news in crypto today (besides Burger King’s announcement to give away Dogecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin) is that crypto investment firm Digital Currency Group (DCG) sold $700 million in stock, boosting its valuation to $10 billion.

The Wall Street Journal broke the news earlier today, noting that DCG’s sell-off is the second-largest in crypto history and makes DCG one of the highest-valued private companies in the sector.

The private sale was led by SoftBank and saw participation from Google, GIC Capital, and Rabbit Capital, who join previous investors Western Union, Bain Capital Ventures, Mastercard, and OMERS Ventures.

DCG has created its own subsidiaries, including digital currency asset manager Grayscale. The company also leverages M&A as part of its strategy, having snapped up blockchain news and research company CoinDesk and crypto exchange platform Luno. Among the many companies in DCG’s investment portfolio are eToro, Kraken, Ripple, and Veem.

DCG was founded in 2015 by Barry Silbert, who said that the deal will allow some early market players to close out their positions in the company and pocket the profits. The new investors are also expected to boost DCG’s technical and operational abilities and broaden its geographic reach. Silbert, who owns around 40% of DCG, has not sold any of his stock.

Before launching DCG, Silbert founded Finovate alum SecondMarket, a firm that enables private companies and investment funds to execute primary and secondary transactions. The company was acquired by Nasdaq in 2015.

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Moven Teams up with Apex Edge to Bring Bill Negotiation to Financial Wellness

Moven Teams up with Apex Edge to Bring Bill Negotiation to Financial Wellness

Partner-enablement platform ApexEdge will bring new savings opportunities to Moven’s financial wellness platform courtesy of a partnership announced this week.

“We’re excited to help the financial services industry find new ways to help consumers save, while living within their means,” Moven CRO Bryan Clagett said. “Banks and credit unions particularly, can differentiate by offering services that have immediate impact to consumers’ bottom line, while supporting their brand ambitions of acting as a financial advocate.”

ApexEdge uses actionable intelligence to spot and secure savings opportunities for consumers. Via its BillShark bill negotiation service, ApexEdge enables management and negotiation of a wide range of monthly bills including cable television, Internet, wireless, home security. The company says that it has provided more than 350,000 customers with a savings success rate of 85% and an average savings of $295. The partnership with ApexEdge only enhances the value that Moven offers its clients. The technology helps move financial wellness beyond turning data into actionable insights to tangibly saving customers money via cost savings not traditionally available through banks and credit unions.

“It is exciting to play a role in the financial wellness movement that the retail banking industry is embracing,” ApexEdge CEO Steven McKean said. “By partnering with innovative companies like Moven, banks and credit unions have access to the tools and technology to affect real, meaningful positive change in the daily lives of their customers and members.”

Moven’s bank-in-a-box solution enables banks and fintechs to launch a fully functional digital challenger bank in 90 days. The company’s platform uses both proprietary bank and third-party data to give institutions the ability to offer real-time insights for their digital banking customers. The platform’s features – such as Spend Meter, Savings Stash, and Spend by Category – further help customers get a more holistic view of their finances. The technology leverages open APIs and SDKs to provide scalability, optimize speed to market, and ensure an integration and launch that is both customizable and quick.

Moven founder Brett King joined Q2 VP of Strategic Solutions Rahm McDaniel in a demonstration of CorePro, the core processing platform behind Moven’s digital bank-in-a-box, at FinovateSpring 2021 in May. The technology is geared toward enabling community and regional banks, as well as credit unions, to compete with the digital-native offerings from challenger and neobanks.

Winner of Best Embedded Finance Solution at this year’s 2021 Finovate Awards, ApexEdge was founded in 2020. Earlier this fall, the company announced that a new, financial wellness mobile app Upwise, offered by MetLife, would offer Billshark bill negotiation services among its initial suite of capabilities.

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Standard Bank Taps Flutterwave to Enhance Payments in African Nations

Standard Bank Taps Flutterwave to Enhance  Payments in African Nations

Africa-based Standard Bank announced this week it is partnering with payments technology company Flutterwave. The bank is looking to Flutterwave to help improve the digital payment experience for customers in Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Mauritius, Cote D’Ivoire, and Malawi.

By integrating Flutterwave, Standard Bank aims to help commercial customers– from sole proprietors to large companies– grow their business by leveraging digital payments and ecommerce tools. Specifically, Flutterwave will help Standard Bank’s merchant clients to build e-commerce, card issuing, payments, collections, USSD, lending, and buy-now-pay-later capabilities for end consumers.

“Our partnership with Standard Bank demonstrates that fintechs and banks are not competitors but trusted partners with the key focus being the customer,” said Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga GB Agboola. “We plan to grow financial and digital inclusion through this partnership and in the long run, we expect to generate more jobs in the digital economy and enable rapid business growth across the continent.”

Flutterwave was founded in 2016 and has since processed over 140 million transactions worth over $9 billion. The company aims to create a flexible and affordable way for Africans to pay in the digital era. In addition to its payments technology, the company also offers invoicing technology, business loans, and analytics tools.

Standard Bank’s Chief Executive of Africa Regions Yinka Sanni anticipates the benefits of today’s partnership will transcend the bank’s merchant clients. “Coupled with the innovation offered by Flutterwave, we can deliver real impact and growth opportunities to clients across the continent,” he explained. “We believe when our clients grow, Africa grows.”

Earlier this year Flutterwave teamed up with PayPal to connect its African merchant clients with PayPal’s 377 million accountholders, making it easier for them to navigate the complex payments infrastructure in Africa. Flutterwave has raised $235 million and is headquartered in California.

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Visa Invests in Deserve to Boost Access to its Credit Card-as-a-Service Product

Visa Invests in Deserve to Boost Access to its Credit Card-as-a-Service Product

Credit card innovator Deserve is getting a boost this week. That’s because Visa invested an undisclosed amount into the credit card company, which already counts $287 million in total funding.

The two have also formed a strategic partnership with an aim to expand access to Deserve’s credit-card-as-a-service for financial institutions, fintechs, and brands. This comes after the two parties collaborated in Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program to launch a credit card with crypto rewards in partnership with BlockFi.

“Visa’s Crypto team collaborated with BlockFi and Deserve to launch a crypto rewards credit card that would appeal to crypto enthusiasts and introduce crypto to the masses,” said Visa’s Vice President of Crypto AJ Shanley. “The BlockFi Bitcoin rewards credit card has been an immediate success. We are excited about our partnership and new investment in Deserve and are looking forward to continuing to drive the adoption of crypto powered card programs together.”

Founded in 2013, Deserve rebranded from SelfScore in 2017. The company has re-imagined traditional credit cards, thinking outside of the 3.37 inch by 2.125 inch plastic square. Deserve is bringing credit cards into the digital era by transforming the application and onboarding processes, as well as the credit card itself.

The company’s products include a co-branded credit card program to help firms create and launch their own credit card, a credit card-as-a-service offering that provides a turnkey card solution, and a direct-to-consumer digital-first card with a tandem mobile app. As Deserve Co-Founder and CEO Kalpesh Kapadia explains, “We’re transforming credit cards into software that lives on mobile devices not in wallets.”

Part of operating in today’s digital-first world includes helping firms compete with fintechs. Deserve offers commercial customers tools that go beyond traditional credit card rewards. For example, the company delivers additional capabilities to include Buy Now Pay Later, installment loans, and even payroll advance. Deserve’s clients include Sallie Mae, BlockFi, OppFi, Seneca Women, and Notre Dame.

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