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.

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Virtual Banks Launch in Hong Kong; Can Bitcoin Save Argentina?

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.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian payments company Amplify has been acquired by OneFinance (OneFi). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Tech in Africa profiles Kenyan fintech Branch.
  • Compelo features insurtechs and savings platforms in its presentation of African tech startups “looking to go global.”

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Bank 131, Russia’s first new bank in four years, to specialize in serving online businesses.
  • Estonian cryptocurrency exchange Jubiter launches debit card.
  • Business Review looks at opportunities for Romanian entrepreneurs in the fintech market in the CEE region.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Etihad Credit Insurance teams up with First Abu Dhabi Bank to help UAE companies manage trade finance.
  • Egyptian cloud-based payroll service Dopay picks up €1 million line of credit from the Massif Fund.
  • Emirates NBD and Fintech Hive announced launch of API sandbox.

Central and South Asia

  • Pakistan’s first microfinance bank, Khushhali Bank, goes live with Temenos’ T24 core banking system.
  • Google Play to launch gold-backed investment plans in India.
  • Indian core banking system provider Nelito Systems inks deal with Myanmar’s Alliance for Microfinance.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mexico-based lender Credijuto announces $100 million credit facility courtesy of Goldman Sachs.
  • Investor Tim Draper makes the case for Argentina to embrace bitcoin.
  • T13 considers the slow progress of fintech regulation in Chile. In Spanish.

Asia-Pacific

  • ZhongAn earns virtual banking license from Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
  • ING and Bank of Beijing invest $447 million in a new digital bank in China.
  • Standard Chartered partners with Ctrip Finance to launch virtual bank in Hong Kong.

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Instarem Raises Capital; TurnKey Lender Goes Live in Malaysia

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.

Asia-Pacific

  • TurnKey Lender opens new office in Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
  • Instarem raises $41 million to fund global expansion.
  • Singapore FinTech Association and FinTech Australia ink Memorandum of Understanding.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian online lender OneFi to acquire Nigerian payment solutions company Amplify.
  • Finextra features its list of the top South African fintech startups to look out for in 2019.
  • Born2Invest highlights the fintechs in Africa’s emerging startup industry.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Tinkoff Mobile, a subsidiary of Tinkoff Bank, announces service in six new regions.
  • CEE fintech watchers are keeping an eye on the pending launch of the “first bank for the Russian Internet” VR_Bank.
  • Vienna, Austria-based fintech Bitpanda adds its first stablecoin, Tether, introducing the new asset class on its trading platform.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Egypt’s central bank sets aside $58 million to fund fintech startups in the country.
  • Arabian Business looks at the continued dominance of cash in Saudi Arabia, despite the growth of the country’s fintech sector.
  • ZDNet reviews how new technologies like AI and automation represent challenge and opportunity for countries in the MENA region.

Central and South Asia

  • Wipro launches its AI and machine learning-powered accounts payable, KYC, and other solutions on Amazon Web Services.
  • Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon goes live with Clari5 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Solution to address money laundering threats.
  • Fintech Futures looks at Indian micro lending startup, Spoon, as it prepares to go live.
  • PakWired reviews the likelihood that Pakistan will legalize cryptocurrencies by the end of the year.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Analysts cast a wary eye at new cryptocurrency regulations from the Bank of Mexico.
  • Bob’s Guide features a deep dive into the evolving Brazilian payments market.
  • New Cayman Islands-based fintech consulting firm, Cartan Group, opens for business.

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PayPal in Argentina; Temenos Backs African Challenger Bank

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.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • PayPal invests $750 million in Argentina-based e-commerce company MercadoLibre.
  • First Data to acquire Brazilian electronic funds transfer (EFT) solution provider Software Express.
  • NCR, Bluefin, and Powertranz team up to support POS card processing for Caribbean quick serve restaurants.
  • BlueRush deploys its Individeo platform with a large Colombian bank courtesy of a partnership with Bee Concept.
  • The Wall Street Journal looks at how global FIs are gaining interest in the Latin American alternative lending market.

Asia-Pacific

  • Experian launches Singapore-based incubator, Experian X Labs.
  • South Korean crypto company Kakao raises $90 million via private coin offering.
  • Thai Stock Exchange to launch a digital asset exchange next year.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Front office and core banking technology from Temenos to drive digital revamp for African challenger bank, Vista Bank.
  • Financial Software and Systems takes 46% stake in South Africa’s Ecentric Payment Systems.
  • South Africa’s second largest retail bank, Capitec, extends its partnership with ACI Worldwide.
  • ThreatMetrix teams up with Blue Turtle Technologies to help market its fraud prevention solution to customers in Africa.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Tinkoff Bank reports 2018 highlights including launch of new mortgage app, a joint P2P money transfer offering with Sberbank, and more than 2.7 million new active credit customers.
  • iSignthis Inks Banking and Payments Deal with Ibanera.
  • Bulgaria-based Software Group scores €18 million loan from Europe Investment Bank.
  • EU Startups features lending platform Inlock its look at 10 Hungarian startups to look out for in 2019.
  • Bulgaria’s Municipal Bank to deploy new core and payments solutions from Oracle.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) launches $10 million fund for fintech startups in the MENA region.
  • Commercial Bank of Qatar joins R3.
  • Credit scoring solution provider Creditinfo opens regional hub in Muscat following new strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Oman.

Central and South Asia

  • ArthaYantra wins Fintech of the Year (India) at The Asset Triple A Digital Awards.
  • Africa’s Naspers plans to spend $1 billion on investments in Indian fintechs.
  • Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures division to launch digital platform for Indian SMEs.

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Finovate Global: Vymo Launches in Vietnam; ZagTrader Helps FIs Go Crypto

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

  • ZagTrader and BeQuant team Up to help institutions go crypto.
  • Temenos partners with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi bank.
  • Emirates NBD to work with Intellect Design Arena for a planned digital transformation of its transaction banking platform.

Central and South Asia

  • BankBazaar announces partnership with Ujjivan Small Finance Bank for Personal Loans.
  • Victoria Commercial Bank Kenya goes live with corporate banking technology powered by i-exceed’s Appzillon.
  • Aurora interviews Bernhard Klemen, international partner with venture capital fund Sarmayacar on opportunities for venture financing for Pakistani fintech startups.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • German challenger bank N26 announces plans to expand to Brazil.
  • BBVA Colombia looks at its role in helping promote fintech innovation in Peru. In Spanish.
  • FXCompared profiles Argentina-based PayPal rival, MercadoLibre.

Asia-Pacific

  • Leading Vietnam-based consumer finance firm, FE Credit, chooses Vymo’s AI-powered personal sales assistant.
  • Bambu and CredoLab earn spots on Fintech News Singapore’s 29 Hottest Fintechs in Singapore 2019 roster.
  • Accenture and nCino partner to better serve FIs in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Tymebank goes live with core banking tech from Mambu.
  • Nigerian digital banking solution provider TeamApt raises $5.5 million in funding.
  • South Africa’s Standard Bank to launch private cloud-based distributed ledger platform for payments and settlement.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Russia’s Tinkoff Bank joins the country’s Faster Payments System.
  • Ukraine finishes its pilot project, begun in December, in support of its national digital currency, the e-hryvnia.
  • UK-based Rimilia and Association of Credit for Central and Eastern Europe to promote adoption of AI-based technologies to automate AR in the CEE region.

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Finovate Global: Braintri Wins App Prize; Featurespace in Singapore

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.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Austrian division of private banking and asset management group, LGT, partners with Avaloq.
  • Bank of Lithuania announces updates to its position on virtual assets and ICOs.
  • IKO, the mobile app co-developed by Braintri for PKO Bank Polski, wins first place in worldwide ranking of mobile apps published by British Retail Banker International for second consecutive year.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Finastra brings its core banking technology to Saudi Arabia.
  • Cryptocurrency brokerage based in Kuwait, YallaBit, raises $925,000 in Series A.
  • Arabian Gazette highlights Bahrain’s Manama, Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh, as well as both Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE in its look at Four Arabian Gulf Cities Where Fintech is Thriving.

Central and South Asia

  • Temenos acquires Bangalore-based big data and analytics firm, hTrunk.
  • National Bank of Pakistan introduces its first contactless debit card.
  • Anirban Mukherjee appointed CEO of PayU India.
  • QR code-based payment app BharatPe raises $17 million in round led by Sequoia Capital India.
  • Pan Asia Bank and TerraPay partner to provide instant cross-border payment access to bank accounts in Sri Lanka.
  • Halyk Bank teams up with Fiserv to centralize its cash management process.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Digital challenger bank C6 goes live in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Mexico looks at the possibility of forming a digital payments system, run by the central bank, to help make financial services more accessible for the underbanked.
  • PYMNTS.com features Argentine digital challenger bank, Wilobank.

Asia-Pacific

  • Ping An’s fintech subsidiary OneConnect sets up shop in Indonesia.
  • Hong Kong Exchange acquires minority stake in Shenzhen-based fintech.
  • Featurespace goes live in Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South African digital lender Payabill announces equity stake investment from Johannesburg-based business challenger bank, Sasfin.
  • Kenyan Capital Markets Authority Chief Executive Paul Muthaura speaks about the need for a “conducive environment” for fintech innovation in the country.
  • Nigerian Lagos state government to launch e-procurement platform within the next three weeks.

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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

  • Digicro receives $300,000 in funding to help fuel its entry to the mobile microfinance market in Cambodia.
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore considers strengthening oversight of bank outsourcing.
  • Fintech News Malaysia looks at the challenges of transitioning toward a cashless society.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Quadient announces partnership with South Africa’s Beehive Online Solutions.
  • TechNext looks at the lessons Nigeria can learn from the success of Kenya’s M-Akiba investment mobile app.
  • All Africa reports on the increased use of mobile money in Tanzania.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank launches its first IT Demo Day in partnership with 500 Startups.
  • Romania’s Oney Bank partners with Wirecard to bring additional functionality to its mobile app.
  • Sberbank and its subsidiary Sberbank Technology unveil open source-based communications platform for developers, engineers, and architects.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Oman-based bank Sohar International integrates biometric authentication into its mobile banking app.
  • Emirates NBD introduces The LaunchPad to help startups connect with angel and early-stage investors.
  • Morocco-based CFG Bank chooses Kony to help drive its digital transformation.

Central and South Asia

  • India’s Federal Bank goes live with its open banking platform.
  • Finca Impact Finance Tajikistan launches search for a new core banking system.
  • Inc.42 features 5 Trends in Fintech You Will See in 2019 in India.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazil’s largest bank, Itau Unibanco, leverages AI-powered cameras to suspicious behaviors in branches.
  • Scotiabank and The Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudious Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) unveil new accelerator, Factory A, in Mexico City.
  • Argentina’s Banco Columbia implements Visa Loyalty Solutions en route to its digital transformation.

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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.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mexican fintech Albo raises $7.4 million in Series A round led by Mountain Nazca.
  • Mobile digital wallet BPP Pay goes live in Brazil.
  • The Inter-American Development Bank and Finnovista publish their Fintech in Latin America 2018: Growth and Consolidation report.

Asia-Pacific

  • R3 and SBI Holdings launch joint venture to boost use of Corda in Japan and East Asia more broadly.
  • Mizuho inks memorandum of understanding for business cooperation with Zhongguancun Development Group (ZDG) in quest for Chinese fintech startups.
  • Phillippine “fintech city” Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) unveils new regulations for trading cryptocurrency assets.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Standard Chartered begins the second phase of its digital-only, retail bank rollout in four African markets.
  • The Standard reflects on Kenya’s progress in promoting financial inclusion via financial technology.
  • Modern Ghana considers Five Ways Fintech Will Change E-Commerce.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Fintech Futures takes a look at the growth of Lithuania’s fintech sector.
  • ACI Worldwide to drive real-time payments for 17 banks in Hungary.
  • Belarus turns to the example of Lithuania as the country considers how to regulate fintech.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Sharia’h compliant insurance solution provider Solidarity Bahrain opts for core insurance system from TCS Bancs.
  • Al Bawaba looks at how Egyptian banks are moving toward digitization and embracing fintech.
  • Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and United Arab Emirates Central Bank announce plans for a blockchain-based digital currency to improve financial settlements between the two countries.

Central and South Asia

  • Indian alternative credit scoring startup CreditVidya raises $3 million in funding.
  • A partnership between 11 banks in India has led to the country’s first blockchain-linked funding for SMEs.
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launches Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions to improve response to complaints regarding digital transactions.

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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.

Central and South Asia

  • India-based investment app Groww picks up $6.2 million in BBVA-led Series A funding.
  • Uzbekistan’s Digital Trust Fund inks deal with tokenization and securitization service provider BANKEX to bring blockchain technology to government agencies.
  • Entrepreneur.com India interviews Razorpay CTO and co-founder Shashank Kumar.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Jamaica Stock Exchange announces successful digital asset trading pilot with Canadian fintech Blockstation.
  • Bolsa de Valores de Panamá goes live with new trading system from Nasdaq.
  • Private equity firm Advent buys $1.42 billion majority stake in Prisma Medios de Pago, an Argentina-based payments firm.
  • Mexican challenger bank Albo raises $7.4 million Series A.

Asia-Pacific

  • IBM announces $250 million partnership with the Bank of the Philippine Islands.
  • UNPay founder Zhang Zhenghua named as 2018 Golden Shell Award’s inaugural “Payment Industry Pioneer.”
  • Hong Kong’s Atom cryptocurrency exchange, AAX, prepares for Hong Kong launch in the first half of this year.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Absa to deploy AI to help customers in South Africa switch bank accounts.
  • Nigeria’s Nairametrics lists its Fintech companies to watch out for in 2019.
  • The first online insurance distribution solution in Mozambique, Askari Fintech, opens for business.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Bankart wins final approval from Slovenian Central Bank to go live with Net’s instant payment solution.
  • CryptoNews looks at the rise in interest in fintech and blockchain technology in Lithuania.
  • Czech fintech Twisto to launch operations in Romania.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • New partnership helps Moven grow in MENA.
  • Iraq’s Al Mustashar Islamic Bank goes live with ICS Financial Systems’ core banking system, ICS Banks Islamic.
  • Entrepreneur.com talks with Padmini Gupta, co-founder and CEO of UAE-based fintech Rise about democratizing access to financial services.

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.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) inks memorandum of understanding (MoU) with U.K.’s Innovate Finance.
  • Emirates NBD leverages technology from Tata Consultancy Services to upgrade its payment system.
  • Al Monitor looks at the “fast-changing landscape” of fintech in Iran.

Central and South Asia

  • Alipay drives Pakistan’s first blockchain-based cross-border remittance service.
  • India’s Reliance Jio prepares to enter the PoS devices market.
  • ZestMoney receives venture debt funding from Alteria Capital.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Cosan SA to launch “the Alipay of Brazil,” processing payments and money transfers via smartphone.
  • Latin American PSP allpago expands payment service to Chile.
  • Forbes.com features a glowing review of new legislation in Mexico to regulate fintech.

Asia-Pacific

  • Loanstreet to offer first online platform for motorcycle insurance in Malaysia.
  • Vietnamese payment app, Momo, picks up Series C investment in round led by Warburg Pincus.
  • SBI Holdings and Germany’s Wefox partner to launch new insurtech venture, SBI Wefox Asia, in Japan.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • London Stock Exchange Group honors African fintech 4G Capital.
  • Business Insider’s Pulse reviews the top lending platforms in Nigeria.
  • South Africa’s Personal Finance shares a few predictions on fintech in South Africa for 2019.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Take a look at our feature on the rise of fintech in CEE: Finding Fintech’s Future in Emerging Europe.
  • Sberbank partners with Russian supermarket chain Azbuka Vkusa to enable payment by fingerprint.
  • Allianz Bank Bulgaria partners with Software Group to launch a new digital transformation project.

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