Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Kazakh Eurasian Bank Upgrades Cash Tech with Fiserv.
  • Token.io Teams Up with Omnio Group to Boost Open Banking.
  • Financeit to Power Mobile POS Financing for ServiceTitan.
  • Expensify Integrates with Southeast Asia Ridesharing Company Grab.

Around the web

  • The Five Minute Founder podcast interviews Jake Tyler, Finn AI CEO.
  • STRANDS and adorsys expand their partnership for digital transformation for global financial services.
  • Signifyd to power fraud protection for Solupay’s NetSuite SuitePayments.
  • Kony ships Kony Quantum for Microsoft Azure and Kony DBX digital banking suite on Kony Quantum for Azure.
  • Connect Financial Software Solutions partners with CuneXus to offer the CuneXus perpetual loan automation platform to its credit union clients.
  • Georg von Brevern joins Ixaris as Chief Legal and Compliance Officer.
  • Telenor to acquire majority stake in the Finnish telecom operator DNA.
  • Crypterium launches Crypterium SX, an AI-based system that ensures all transactions get the best exchange rates available.
  • Omnio Group and Token.io partner to deliver open banking and PSD2 compliance to Omnio’s financial institution customers.
  • Raiffeisen Bank International partners with Feedzai to bring advanced ML to European banking to fight fraud.
  • Jack Henry’s ProfitStars unveils Gladiator Total Protect, a suite of managed IT, network security, and compliance services to enhance banks’ cybersecurity and compliance management.

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.

Finn AI Powers Chatbots in South Africa; Token Drives Open Banking in MENA

Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • NF Innova to power “Customer-First” experience for APS Bank.
  • Tinkoff Group of Russia builds supercomputer dubbed the most powerful in financial sector.
  • Raiffeisen Bank Serbia picks Asseco SEE as its strategic vendor.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Khaleeji Commercial Bank of Bahrain partners with Token.io.
  • AI chatbot maker Kasisto and UAE-based digital bank Liv partner to launch new conversational chatbot, Olivia.
  • Smart Dubai gives the nod to blockchain platform developed by Du, formerly known as the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company.

Central and South Asia

  • Indian point-of-sale terminal developer Mswipe raised $30 million in new funding.
  • Fintech startups are among those looking for capital from the new $20 million fund launched by China’s Gobi Partners and Pakistan’s Fatima Ventures.
  • India’s Federal Bank turns to Ripple to power cross-border remittances.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • The Paypers interviews allpago Founder and CEO, Philipp Bock, on ecommerce in Latin America.
  • HSBC Uruguay announces partnership with Spanish biometric authentication firm, FacePhi.
  • Latin American payments processor EBANX initiates local operations in Brazil.

Asia-Pacific

  • Hong Kong-based SME lender Qupital raises $15 million to fuel expansion to mainland China.
  • Krungthai Bank, EVX Holdings, and Shwe Rural and Urban Development Bank agree to launch the first blockchain-powered, cross- border money transfer service between Thailand and Myanmar.
  • UnionBank of the Philippines introduces the first cryptocurrency ATM in the country.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Finn AI Brings Conversational Banking to South Africa’s TymeBank.
  • Korepay helps Nigerian migrant workers in 12 U.S. states send money back home.
  • Xente, a fintech that enables Ugandan merchants to offer pay by installment, announces expansion to Nigeria.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Gusto Teams with Trainual to Automate Job Role Training.
  • Finovate Global: Finn AI Powers Chatbots in South Africa; Token Drives Open Banking in MENA.

Around the web

  • Green Dot helps Walmart customers move more than $2 billion through the program’s virtual Vault savings program.
  • Top Image Systems shareholders approve acquisition by Kofax.
  • BuyerQuest joins the Tradeshift platform as an app partner.
  • American Banker highlights how PayNearMe helps marginalized cash users partake in ecommerce.
  • Trustly grows to 300 employees.
  • Silicon Canals features SumUp, Aire, Revolut, and Zopa in its list of top fintech companies to work for in London.
  • Ripple, IBM, SWIFT and nearly 100 other organizations launch the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA).
  • Forrester Research recognizes bpm’online as a “strong performer” in digital process automation for wide deployments in Q1 of this year.

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.

Finn AI Brings Conversational Banking to South Africa’s TymeBank

Conversational banking technology innovator, Finn AI, will bring the benefits of AI-powered financial assistance to South Africa’s TymeBank. The partnership, announced this week, will help South Africa’s first digital bank develop Max, a virtual assistant dedicated to improving financial literacy.

“Emerging markets are frontrunners in the digital banking race,” Finn AI CEO Jake Tyler said. “TymeBank is one example of a new challenger bank that is changing the face of banking.”

A digital, mobile-first financial institution, TymeBank has no branches and charges lower fees than its brick and mortar rivals. Customers can set up accounts with TymeBank at any one of nearly 700 automated kiosks at Pick n Pay and Boxer supermarkets. More than 100,000 South Africans have opened accounts with the bank since it opened for business in February.

Coenraad Jonker, TymeBank CEO, called the partnership with Finn AI “absolutely instrumental” to the neobank’s early success. “By partnering with Finn AI, TymeBank can offer highly personalized services to our customers,” Jonker said. “We’re working closely on integrating their technology in new ways, such as using AI to simplify account creation.”

With Max, TymeBank seeks to meet consumer expectations for more customized, self-service, digital engagement. The conversational assistant will help bank customers improve their financial lives through better understanding of their credit scores, and provides goal-based savings strategies to help users meet their financial objectives. Max will be available from within the bank’s TymeCoach app.

“We broke the banking mold because it didn’t fit our market – so we built our own,” Jonker said. “It’s customer-centric, intelligent, and it’s helping South Africans enhance their financial well-being.”

Finn demonstrated its virtual banking assistant at FinovateFall 2017, winning Best of Show honors for the second time. Earlier this year, the company announced a partnership with IDaaS specialist, Auth0, that will help banks more readily adopt conversational AI technology. Finn.ai also teamed up with fellow Finovate alum Fidor Bank to help the innovative digital banking group deploy its AI-powered chatbot.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Finn AI has raised $13.7 million in funding. The company’s investors include Flying Fish Partners, Yaletown Partners, and angel investor John Livingston.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Finn AI Brings Conversational Banking to South Africa’s TymeBank.

Around the web

  • Salt Edge unveils new version of API with a consent management system and UX enhancements.
  • MOXY bank selects NYMBUSSmartCore platform.
  • InComm and WH Smith launch in-store and online hubs for game cards in the U.K.
  • STOblock interviews Bitbond Founder and CEO Radoslav Albrecht.
  • India’s Federal Bank turns to Ripple to power cross-border remittances.
  • Khaleeji Commercial Bank of Bahrain partners with Token.io.
  • Finastra hires Sharon Doherty as its new Chief People Officer.
  • Equifax collaborates with Wolters Kluwer to offer Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) solution.
  • Raiffeisen Bank Serbia picks Asseco SEE as its strategic vendor.
  • NF Innova to power “Customer-First” experience for APS Bank.

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.

Yes, Banks Can Compete with Apple’s New Credit Card

What’s in your wallet? Or rather, what’s in banks’ clients’ wallets? Some sexy competition appeared on the market yesterday, as Apple announced the pending launch of its own credit card in collaboration with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard.

The card is touted more for its mobile and digital qualities than its shiny titanium finish. Despite the shine, however, many of the card’s features and offerings aren’t new. And that’s good news for banks. While traditional financial institutions aren’t as sexy as tech companies such as Apple, they are generally viewed as more trustworthy. And with that kind of foundation, all banks need to do is piece together the features into their own credit card offering and market it properly.

Fortunately, there are plenty of fintech firms out there to help. Here are some of the features Apple is promoting and a list of corresponding fintechs that can help banks take the same approach.

Physical card security

Apple boasts a titanium card with the customer’s name etched on the front– no credit card number, no cvv code, no expiration date. All of that information is tucked away inside the app. Physical card innovator Dynamics takes a similar (though admittedly less visually appealing) approach. The Pennsylvania-based company offers a computer-in-a-card that hides part of the card number, the cvv code, and expiration date on the physical card until the consumer enters their PIN into the card. As an added bonus, Dynamics also offers in-card loyalty and rewards features, as well as a card that hosts multiple numbers, allowing customers to toggle between debit and credit cards.

Chat functionality

As a company that is known for simplifying technology, Apple is taking a similar approach with its customer service. “Have a question? Just text,” is the message the company features on its card website. Fortunately, there are plenty of fintechs that help banks simplify their customer experience. Two such companies are Finn.ai and Clinc, both of which leverage AI to save banks money on customer service representatives, while simplifying and expediting access to answers via a chat interface.

PFM

One way to win over customers is to convince them you’ll help them organize their finances and ultimately save them money. That’s why Apple is offering in-app PFM capabilities. And while the technology hasn’t changed much since it debuted before the fintech craze, the colorful user interface is beautiful enough to convince anyone to want to look at their spending behavior.

Banks have seemingly endless options to compete with this feature. And while most financial institutions currently offer some sort of PFM capabilities, it’s worth looking at it from a superficial point of view. Utah-based MX and Sweden-based Tink both offer visually-pleasing interfaces that are arguably more beautiful than Apple’s and are backed by powerful PFM engines.

Mobile app security

Apple’s iPhone holds the hardware for both fingerprint and facial recognition technology, and since the company is reinforcing its focus on security, it is leveraging biometrics for account access. With the right software, banks can leverage fingerprint and facial recognition technology as well. Jumio, IDology, and Mitek all offer technology banks can implement for fast account access, as well as account onboarding.

Fast onboarding

With access to consumer data, Apple has an advantage of being able to quickly onboard new consumers using existing consumer information. There are multiple fintechs that help banks onboard consumers quickly, as well, including Digital Onboarding, Q2’s Gro Solutions, and Fenergo. Digital Onboarding motivates customers to open new accounts using incentives and gamification. Gro Solutions touts the ability for customers to open and fund accounts in under four minutes. And Fenergo takes a holistic approach to onboarding, providing banks a lifetime view of the client to help perform data refreshes, ongoing due diligence, and upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

Rewards

Credit card rewards programs may seem like a feature of the past, but rewards are certainly still relevant. With its new card’s rewards program, Apple once again seeks to simplify things by offering consumers daily rewards. Two fintechs, Cardlytics and Cartera Commerce, offer tried and true loyalty and rewards programs. These offerings not only boost consumer loyalty, they also offer banks further insight and analysis into consumer spending.

Apple’s new credit card is shipping this summer. Fortunately for banks, fintechs are here to help them compete.

Best of Show Winner Finn AI Partners with IDaaS Firm Auth0

Conversational AI innovator – and multiple-time Finovate Best of Show winner – Finn AI announced a new partnership this week. The Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based company is working with Identity-as-a-Service specialist Auth0 to speed the process through which banks are able to deploy its conversational AI technology.

As the company noted in a statement, many FIs have out of date or little authentication infrastructure to speak of. This is an additional hurdle for banks and credit unions looking to provide their customers with the latest in financial technologies – such as the virtual assistant solutions offered by innovators like Finn AI.

To help its clients modernize their authentication infrastructures, Finn AI is recommending Auth0. The IDaaS company provides a universal identity platform that enables a single sign-on across multiple applications, and a single source of truth for all digital identities. Auth0 authenticates and secures more than 2.5 billion logins each month, and supports customers in more than 70 countries.

“Finn AI customers who are looking to implement or upgrade their authentication technology will benefit from a seamless integration between both platforms,” Finn AI Director of Engineering Robin Monks explained. He added that the company’s experience with AuthO’s technology internally was a major influence in the decision to form the partnership. “As thought leaders, they align perfectly with the high quality and standard of work we produce at Finn AI,” Monks said.

Auth0 VP of Sales for the Americas, Ghazi Masood called the partnership an option for FIs “that need a better, faster, and more secure way” to engage with their customers. He also highlighted Auth0’s participation in what he saw as a significant trend in fintech. “The adoption of conversational AI within the consumer banking sector is growing at an astronomical rate and we are excited to partner with Finn AI in the application of such innovative technology,” Masood said.

Finn Ai demonstrated its Virtual Banking Assistant at FinovateFall 2017, winning Best of Show honors for a second time. Founded in 2014, the company announced earlier this month that fellow Finovate alum Fidor Bank was launching a chatbot powered by Finn AI. Last fall, the company closed an $11 million Series A round led by Yaletown Partners and Flying Fish Partners.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • ZagTrader and BeQuant Team Up to Help Institutions Go Crypto.
  • Best of Show Winner Finn AI Partners with IDaaS Firm AuthO.

Around the web

  • Accenture and nCino partner to better serve FIs in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions.
  • Insuritas teams up with Iowa’s Peoples Bank ($332 million in assets) to launch bank-owned digital insurance agency.
  • NCR selects former FIS executive Douglas Brown as its new General Manager for Digital Banking in its Banking Business unit.
  • Payoneer launches expansion of its Capital Advance working capital offering for online merchants.
  • Fenergo introduces James Follette as new Global Head of Commercial and Retail Banking.

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

  • Thoma Bravo to Acquire Ellie Mae in $3.7 Billion Deal.
  • Welcome to Day Four of FinovateEurope.

Around the web

  • ACH Alert unveils its latest Payment Data Xchange (PDX) service module within its flagship Fraud Prevention HQ platform.
  • Fidor Bank launches chatbot powered by Best of Show winner, Finn AI.
  • Paysend to offer money transfers to bank accounts in 34 European countries.
  • Zopa introduces new chairman Gordon McCallum, who will take over from co-founder Giles Andrew.
  • Kentucky-based Forcht Bank partners with Fiserv to upgrade its credit card program.
  • Finastra appoints Siobhan Byron as SVP and Head of Technology Enabled Managed Services (TEMS).
  • Aire inks reseller agreement with Experian.

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.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Fintech digital crowdsourcing platform, Fintech Galaxy, honors leaders of MENA’s fintech industry at its FinX – Excellence in Fintech awards.
  • Entrepreneur magazine looks at how recent investment trends are impacting the growth of fintech in the MENA region.
  • ADGM announces partnership with Bahrain’s central bank to encourage innovation in financial services in both the UAE and Bahrain.

Central and South Asia

  • Bangladeshi sales automation and credit assessment firm ShopUp picks up $1.62 million in seed round led by Omidyar Network.
  • Kazakhstan’s Bank CentreCredit buys 111 ATMs with integrated security and monitoring technology from BS/2.
  • TechCrunch interviews ZestMoney CEO Lizzie Chapman on the building a fintech startup in India.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Decision Report features Finn AI in a look at how chatbots are revolutionizing the financial sector. In Portuguese.
  • Banco Ficensa of Honduras goes live with new core banking technology from e-IBS.
  • Brazil’s Banco Bradesco partners with Japan’s MUFG Bank to develop Ripple-based cross-border payments service.

Asia-Pacific

  • Singapore’s Grab raises $50 million in new funding from Thailand-based Kasikornbank; unveils co-branded mobile wallet, GrabPay by KBank.
  • Courtesy of a joint venture with China’s LianLian, American Express becomes the first foreign card scheme to gain direct access to China’s payment card market.
  • Ondot Systems announces new end-to-end digital card services platform for Asian banks.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Kenyan fintech startup Pezesha unveils financial education academy to help educate would-be borrowers.
  • Rand Merchant Investment Holding (RMI) via AlphaCode, awards R16 million to eight South African fintech startups.
  • Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo urges the nation’s banks to make reforms in order to “cope” with what he called “a quick convergence between technology and financial products.”

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Tinkoff Mobile extends service to seven additional areas of Russia including Smolensk and the Republic of Mordovia.
  • Czech Republic’s Moneta embraces cloud-based banking with test of automatic application deployment in the AWS environment.
  • Russian microfinance company MFC Zaymer joins automated P2P platform, Robo.cash.

Top image designed by Freepik