Innovate Thyself: Leda Glyptis on “Bankers Like Us” and the Real Problem with Digital Transformation

Innovate Thyself: Leda Glyptis on “Bankers Like Us” and the Real Problem with Digital Transformation

What are the biggest obstacles to digital transformation in banking and financial services? For Leda Glyptis, self-described “recovering banker” and author of the new book, Bankers Like Us: Dispatches from an Industry in Transition, the fault lies not in the stars, but in bankers themselves.

Fortunately, Glyptis sees bankers as the solution, as well.

“For years I have been blogging and speaking about how the biggest obstacle to progress inside banks is people. And that the only hope for change are also people,” Glyptis told Fintech Futures as the date of the world premier of her book was announced earlier this month. “What is so often approached as a technology journey often falls down or triumphs around the humans that keep on keeping on, the dreamers, the builders, the plumbers, and the storytellers of banking transformation.”

Leda Glyptis will discuss her experiences and insights as a veteran of the banking business in an afternoon keynote address on Day One of FinovateEurope, March 14 through 15 in London. Titled “The Problem With Digital Transformation is You,” Glyptis will discuss the human and structural obstacles to digital transformation with a focus on the kind of mentality and leadership bankers need to embrace in order to bring about the changes in banking and financial services that consumers increasingly demand.

For Glyptis, there is no reason – and no time – to wait for the rise of a younger, more digitally-native generation to do the work of transforming financial services. The time to act is now, and the ones to act are bankers — with “grit, determination and energy to drive change,” Glyptis insists. “Like us.”

Bankers Like Us will be available for pre-order on Friday, January 20th, and is expected to ship after February 10th. This provides plenty of time to get your copy of the book ahead of Glyptis’ keynote at FinovateEurope in March. At the event, after Glyptis’ afternoon keynote address, we will also host a special Networking Break & Book Signing with the author.

In addition to her work as an author, Glyptis is the Chief Client Officer at 10x Banking, a cloud-native core banking platform provider based in London. She is also a Non-Executive Director at leading U.K. cash deposit platform, Flagstone. Glyptis has a PhD in Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and shares her thoughts on banking and financial services as a columnist – and “resident thought provocateur” – with Fintech Futures. Her latest columns have tackled topics such as the importance of preparation, the role of pain in learning, and the challenge of maintaining the courage of convictions.

Be sure to visit our FinovateEurope 2023 hub to save your spot at our upcoming fintech conference, March 14 through 15 – featuring author Leda Glyptis’ keynote address on the afternoon of Day One.

Photo by Expect Best

FinovateEurope 2023: First Look at Early Demo Additions

FinovateEurope 2023: First Look at Early Demo Additions
In 2022, Finovate brought live demos back to London with dozens of innovative companies showcasing their latest technologies. Building on that momentum for FinovateEurope 2023, we’re excited to announce the first wave of demoers.

This first group covers the map on fintech themes. Learn how these companies can grow your business, and see a sneak peek of topics below.
This wave is just the beginning. The event will feature 35+ fintechs forging the future of fintech. Join us on March 14 and 15 to see them all first-hand. And check the website as the demo roster continues to expand with seed-stage startups, fast-growing scale-ups and established public companies.  

Saying Yes to Your Customers: Reimagining the Customer Experience in Financial Services with Steven Van Belleghem

Saying Yes to Your Customers: Reimagining the Customer Experience in Financial Services with Steven Van Belleghem

It may be a fintech cliche that “every year is the Year of the Customer.” But the obsession over customer experience that is sweeping through financial services is showing no signs of slowing down.

Steven Van Belleghem, author of The Internet of Customer Value, How Web3 and the Metaverse Are Changing the Game in Customer Experience, will deliver a keynote address on Day One of FinovateEurope this year that tackles this topic head-on. An expert in the future of customer centricity, Van Belleghem emphasizes the relationship between enabling technologies, customer-centric thinking, and the human touch in his work. This work includes four international best-selling books, as well as co-founding inspiration agency Nexxworks and social media agency Snackbytes.

Find out more about how to attend FinovateEurope at the O2 in London and catch Steven Van Belleghem’s keynote address live on Tuesday, March 14, at our FinovateEurope hub.

An engaging speaker and colorful writer, Van Belleghem has impressed audiences and readers with his insights into what it truly means to put the customer first – and why it is imperative for companies to do so in order to succeed. In a recent blog post, Van Belleghem explained how “customer culture” has “replaced technology as the holy grail” as a growing number of businesses recognize the value of “really try(ing) to understand what people want and then help them.” He wrote:

“Over the years, software has even become quite good at being creative, but empathy remains that last beacon, something that is typically human. And so a positive culture of being kind, of being human, of saying ‘yes’ to your customers will become a true differentiator. That’s what will bridge the most of that last 10% to get great CX.”

Read his full discussion, which includes Van Belleghem’s explanation of why this last 10% is always the most difficult to achieve, as well as a helpful strategy for keeping even the most promising of enabling technologies in the proper perspective.

Then stop by our FinovateEurope 2023 hub to save your spot at our upcoming fintech conference, March 14 through 15, featuring author Steven Van Belleghem’s keynote address on Day One.

Photo by Image Hunter

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley Showcases Fintech’s Pioneers

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley Showcases Fintech’s Pioneers

To close out 2022, we highlighted our upcoming FinovateEurope Alumni Alley showcase. This event, part of FinovateEurope in London, March 13 through 14, will feature the companies that made their Finovate debuts at our annual European conference. Find out more about Alumni Alley and how you and your company can take advantage of this unique opportunity.

We commemorated the announcement of Alumni Alley with this multi-part look back at some of FinovateEurope’s earliest alums. Click the image to enjoy a little stroll down fintech’s memory lane.

Featuring Cardlytics, D3 Technology (formerly Lodo Software), and AcceptEasy (formerly AcceptEmail)

Featuring Xero, Tilte (formerly known as Striata), and DirectID (formerly miiCard)

Featuring Finantix, BusinessForensics, and StockTwits

Featuring Backbase, Boku, and SecureKey.

Featuring Meniga, Linxo, and eToro

Photo by Peter Spencer | Additional art credits in the original articles

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Relevant Rewards, Data Driven Banking, and Innovations in Digital Billpay

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Relevant Rewards, Data Driven Banking, and Innovations in Digital Billpay

Many of Finovate’s most storied alumni made their Finovate debuts at our European conference, FinovateEurope. Next year at FinovateEurope (March 14 through 15) we will feature the event’s alums in a special showcase called Alumni Alley. For those companies that first demoed their innovations at FinovateEurope, Alumni Alley is a great opportunity to show the world their latest innovations and accomplishments.

Is Alumni Alley for you? Visit our Alumni Alley hub today and find out!

This week, we shine a light on another set of three companies that made their first Finovate appearances at our first FinovateEurope conference in 2011: a digital advertising platform for banks, an innovator in data-driven digital banking, and an e-billing/billpay pioneer.

Cardlytics Delivering Relevant Rewards Before it was Cool

Cardlytics was a young company when it made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in London in 2011. The Atlanta, Georgia-based firm already had gained significant traction for its technology: a transaction marketing platform that helped banks and retailers offer rewards to customers based on their individual buying behavior. During its demo, Cardlytics noted that its technology reached tens of millions of consumers via hundreds of retailers in the U.S. who were leveraging the platform to deliver what have now become table stakes in the loyalty and rewards business: precise targeting and highly relevant offers. Cardlytics returned to the FinovateEurope stage a year later, earning a Best of Show award for its latest loyalty management solution.

From a company with 100 employees and more than $27 million in funding in 2011, Cardlytics has grown into a leading advertising platform for banks and other financial institutions. The company boasts more than 184 million bank customers on its platform and more than $650 million in customer rewards paid. Cardlytics went public in 2018, and currently trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker CDLX. The company has a market capitalization of more than $169 million.

Scott Grimes and Lynne Laube, Cardlytics’ first and second CEOs, demonstrating the company’s technology at FinovateEurope.

“We delivered solid double-digit growth despite the serious challenges present in the economy,” Cardlytics CEO Karim Temsamani said in November when the company shared Q3 financials. “While the economy may be uncertain, I believe there is inherent resiliency in platforms that prove return on ad spend, and I am positive we can grow profitably.” Temsamani joined the company as CEO this summer, taking over from co-founder Lynne Laube who is retiring from the leadership post. Temsamani comes to Cardlytics from Stripe, where he worked as Head of Global Partnerships and, before that, Head of Banking and Financial Products.

Lodo Software, D3 Technology, and the Road from PFM to Data Driven Digital Banking

These days, the idea of fintechs coming from places other than Silicon Valley is increasingly commonplace. But in 2011, there was something more than a little novel about the fintech innovation that was coming out of places like Omaha, Nebraska – courtesy of startups like Lodo Software.

Making its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope 2011, Lodo Software demoed a cross-selling solution that helped banks leverage the data gathered by the PFM component of the platform to personalize offers and marketing campaigns. The product, OurCashFlow, organized and analyzed customer data to ensure that financial institutions are sending the right messages to the right customers at the right time. The platform’s messages and notifications are scheduled within the platform and are delivered to customers via their PFM dashboard.

D3 Technology CEO Mark Vipond demoing the company’s technology at FinovateEurope 2011 in London.

Lodo Software rebranded as D3 Technology in 2014 in a move that CEO Mark Vipond said reflected “the company’s evolution from a personal financial management software provider to the creator of one of the market’s only true omnichannel, data driven digital banking solution.” The company created D3 Banking to help financial institutions deliver a consistent, personalized, banking experience anywhere, at any time, and on any device. Five years later, in the summer of 2019 , fellow Finovate alum NCR announced that it would acquire the company.

“NCR is a great fit for D3 and the timing is right for us to combine forces to create a powerful digital transformation platform for large financial institutions,” Vipond said when the acquisition was announced. “This transaction enables us to capitalize on new market opportunities and bring top-tier capabilities to our mutual and future clients.”

AcceptEasy: A Pioneer in E-Billing and Billpay via Email

Enabling secure and straightforward e-billing and payments via email was the innovation championed by Netherlands-based fintech AcceptEmail at FinovateEurope in 2011. Founded in 2006 and launching its solution less than a year later, AcceptEmail offered a three-click process for customers to pay bills directly from their email accounts without requiring manual data entry and re(entry). The company’s technology brings convenience to the billpay process for consumers and helps billers realize lower DSO (days sales outstanding) due to more customers paying their bills faster as well as less collection activity. The platform also supports credit management (notifications and reminders) as well as smart SEPA Direct Debit notifications.

AcceptEmail (now AcceptEasy) CEO Peter Kwakernaak introducing his company to Finovate audiences at FinovateEurope 2011.

The company was acquired by Serrala in February 2020 for an undisclosed amount and announced a rebrand to AcceptEasy. The rebranding was designed to reflect the fact that the company had evolved beyond email to become a bill service provider that enables payments in all digital channels. “The flexibility and architecture of our technology is perfect for all sorts of transactional messaging,” AcceptEasy CEO Peter Kwakernaak explained. “The payment moment is becoming a personalized and interactive contact moment .. (it) is one of the most important steps in the customer journey.” He added, “Our services make it possible for enterprises to provide consumers and small businesses an optimized brand experience and save costs in the process.

Photo by Nikita Khandelwal

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Innovations in SaaS Accounting, the Evolution of eDoc Delivery, and the Challenge of Digital Identity

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Innovations in SaaS Accounting, the Evolution of eDoc Delivery, and the Challenge of Digital Identity

Alumni Alley is the latest addition to our upcoming FinovateEurope conference in March. This new feature is exclusively for FinovateEurope alums, and will give these companies a unique opportunity to share their latest innovations in a special showcase at the event. Learn more about FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley and see if it’s a fit for you!

This week we continue our commemoration of FinovateEurope’s earliest alums with a look at SaaS accounting platform innovator Xero, digital communications provider Striata, and digital identity pioneer miiCard – now DirectID.

Your Cloud Accounting Platform Hero, Xero

Believe it or not, there was once a debate about whether or not accounting technology truly qualified as fintech. Helping make the case were companies like Xero, a Wellington, New Zealand-based startup, founded in 2006, that was bringing its SaaS accounting solution to small businesses and their accountants around the world. When the company made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in 2011, the five-year old firm had raised $35 million and had 27,000 customers in 50 countries. Today, Xero is a cloud-based accounting powerhouse with more than $680 million in equity capital raised, and more than 3.5 million subscribers to its technology around the world.

Xero’s new CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy

Founded by Rod Drury, who was CEO of Xero until 2018, Xero offers small businesses the tools they need to manage many critical financial operations including accepting payments, billpay, inventory and project tracking, expense claim and invoice management, and more. A partnership with fellow Finovate alum Gusto enables Xero users to calculate pay and deductions, as well as make payroll payments to employees.

Earlier this month, Xero announced that Sukhinder Singh Cassidy had been appointed as the company’s new CEO. Cassidy will take the reins from Steve Vamos, who has served in the position for almost five years. Xero Chair David Thodey praised his new CEO as a “purpose-driven and human-centered leader who is passionate about supporting our customers and is committed to growing and nurturing Xero’s unique and vibrant culture.”

Striata Becomes Tilte: Beyond the Business of eDoc Delivery

The business of edocument delivery has changed significantly over the decade-plus since FinovateEurope 2011. But New York-based customer communications specialist Striata, which made its Finovate debut at our European event that year, has continued to innovate in this space, transforming complex customer communications systems and leveraging multi-factor authentication and encryption key management to ensure both security and compliance.

This helps explain why the company caught the eye of customer communications management (CCM) software and services company Doxim who, in 2020, acquired Striata for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition integrated Striata’s technology into Doxim’s CCM Platform, helping move the solution closer to Doxim’s goal of offering an “integrated SaaS CCM platform” that supports the entire omni-channel customer communications lifecycle.

Striata CEO Michael Wright introducing his company to audiences at FinovateEurope 2011.

“For over 20 years, Striata has been innovating in the CCM space by delivering digital-first solutions across multiple industries, channels, and devices,” Striata CEO Michael Wright said when the acquisition was announced. “As the world evolves into a digital community, a platform approach to scalable and secure yet personalized communications will be critical.”

In October, Striata underwent another transition as the firm’s South Africa team, under the leadership of Wright, launched The new venture is an IT services and consulting company that helps businesses enhance customer engagement via solutions ranging from digital communications and chat commerce to customer journey orchestration and data analysis.

Innovations in Digital Identity: from miiCard to DirectID

The FinovateEurope 2011 demo from Edinburgh-based miiCard (now DirectID) helped introduce many fintech observers to the challenges – and opportunities – in the field of trusted online identity.

Founded in 2010, miiCard appeared on the FinovateEurope stage with an identity-as-a-service solution that enabled users to prove that they “were who they said they were” online in minutes. The verification was as authentic as a physical passport or photo ID, establishing identity to level of assurance 3+, as well as meeting both KYC and AML compliance requirements.

Company founder and CEO James Varga introducing miiCard – now DirectID – at FinovateEurope 2011.

Founded by James Varga, who continues to serve as the company’s CEO, miiCard rebranded to The ID Co. in 2016. The move reflected the growth of the company’s B2B DirectID service, which, launched in 2014, provided an “all-in-one” embedded, integrated verification solution that was especially valuable for financial institutions processing high value transactions online.

“Our mission is to create a layer of trust online, a digital world where you can trust that people really are who they say they are,” Varga said when the rebrand was announced. “Our new company name represents who we are, and better reflects our mission to help solve one of the greatest challenges of our time.”

Four years later and the impact of DirectID on the company’s business was so profound that another rebrand was launched, this time naming the company after what had clearly been demonstrated to be the firm’s most accomplished solution. “The market has changed so much, and data has become such an important part of our offering, that this change in focus was required,” Vargas explained in a blog post.

Since the latest rebrand, DirectID has forged partnerships with a wide range of companies including authentication company Trust Stamp and credit hire organization AX. More recently, DirectID teamed up with U.K. payments company ShieldPay and secured $3 million in new funding.

Photo by Alex Pham

The Future of Instant Payments: Our Conversation with Bernadette Ksepka of FedNow

The Future of Instant Payments: Our Conversation with Bernadette Ksepka of FedNow

What innovations are making their way to the payments space in the U.S.? How will the new FedNow Service impact the current payments infrastructure when it goes online in 2023? What can fintechs do to prepare themselves and get involved with a post-FedNow payments landscape?

This year at FinovateFall, we talked with Bernadette Ksepka, Assistant Vice President and Deputy Head of Product Development with the FedNow Service at the Federal Reserve System. With the launch of the FedNow Service drawing nearer, Ksepka helped put the challenges and opportunities in perspective.

On the promise of the FedNow Service

The Federal Reserve banks are developing an instant payment service for financial institutions of all sizes, across every community in the United States, to be able to offer safe and efficient instant payments to their customers, 24×7, 365 … Recipients of those funds are going to be able to have full access to that funding to be able to better manage their cash flow, to be able to make time-sensitive payments … In the back end, banks are going to be able to settle those transactions instantly instead of (in) hours or days. It will eliminate a lot of the liquidity and credit risk that exists today.

On the impact of FedNow on the payments landscape

The FedNow Service is going to modernize the U.S. payments infrastructure. It is really going to pave the way for a big change in the future of payments. It has been over 40 years since the Federal Reserve introduced a new payments rail, so we are super-excited that the FedNow Service is going to go live in the middle of next year.

On the innovation that FedNow may help unleash

The FedNow platform is use-case agnostic, so the possibilities are really endless. And as we’ve seen demand for instant payments grow, we’ve seen use cases expand and I think there are use cases out there that we are not even thinking about. For example, there’s a lot of energy around early wage access. Imagine an employer that can pay their employees at the end of the shift or at the end of the day instead of every two weeks. That makes that employer that much more competitive, especially in a really tight job market like we have today.

Check out the full interview with the Federal Reserve Systems’ Bernadette Ksepka on FinovateTV.

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Fintech in the City of Bridges, Fraud Fighting Goes Dutch, and Making Stock Trading Social

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Fintech in the City of Bridges, Fraud Fighting Goes Dutch, and Making Stock Trading Social

If your company has ever demoed its technology at FinovateEurope, then we’ve got an opportunity for you!

Alumni Alley is our special showcase exclusively for companies that have demoed on stage at FinovateEurope. Held in London at FinovateEurope, March 14-15, Alumni Alley highlights those FinovateEurope alums who are continuing to innovate in areas ranging from payments and lending to regtech and digital banking.

Visit our FinovateEurope Alumni Alley Showcase hub to learn more about this special conference feature for FinovateEurope alums.

Finantix: From Best of Show Winner to Private Banking Solution

Fintech might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Venice, Italy. But the so-called “City of Bridges” was the original home for Finantix, a fintech that emerged on the scene as a developer of software solutions to support client-facing employees in retail banking, wealth management, and financial advisory.

Demoing its Wealth Apps at FinovateEurope 2011, Finantix showed how its technology helped financial advisors move away from paper as their primary “support tool.” Instead Finantix’s technology leveraged tablets, including the iPad, to combine the simplicity of paper with the rich communication and graphic capabilities of new handheld technologies. The company’s offering enhanced all areas of customer engagement for financial advisors, from prospect coordination and client onboarding to client and portfolio management. FinovateEurope audiences were impressed, awarding the software company with a Best of Show award.

Alessandro Tonchia demonstrating Finantix Wealth Apps at FinovateEurope 2011.

Founded in 1994 and acquired by Motive Partners in 2018, Finantix today is the Private Banking Division of InvestCloud (Motive Partners purchased a majority stake in InvestCloud in 2021). InvestCloud offers a no-code software platform for digital transformation and commerce enablement within the financial industry.

In 2020, Finantix introduced new CEO Christine Ciriani. “I am delighted to take up this leadership position at Finantix,” Ciriani said when the appointment was announced. “With an award-winning product offering, our innovative client-first culture and very strong R&D, sales, and delivery teams, we are well positioned to capitalize on the investments made since Motive Partners acquired an interest in the company.”

BusinessForensics: Acquisition Bolsters Fight Against Financial Crime

Netherlands-based BusinessForensics was founded in 2008 and went live in 2010, just one year before the company demoed its technology at the inaugural FinovateEurope in London. A specialist in financial crime fighting, BusinessForensics offers businesses an integrated enterprise suite to help them manage risk, fraud, and compliance. Working with banks and insurance companies, as well as public organizations and government agencies, BusinessForensics helps companies spot fraudulent transactions with real-time monitoring of mission-critical operations. Fully integrated and customizable forensic case management and reporting give firms the ability to easily handle both exceptions and incidents.

More than a decade later, BusinessForensics’ offering, Client Risk Intelligence, consists of four modules – AML and sanctions surveillance, Know Your Customer/Customer Due Diligence (KYC/CDD), Fraud and Risk Surveillance, and Special Investigations – which combine to provide a 360 degree client risk profile.

BusinessForensics Rob van Eerden demonstrating the company’s technology at the first FinovateEurope in 2011.

BusinessForensics was acquired by Munich, Germany-based regtech cleversoft group in the fall of 2020. “To be able to fulfill the increasing regulatory demands (our customers) are confronted with, we wanted to initiate a cooperation with a larger regulatory compliance software provider and also to ignite further growth outside of the Netherlands,” BusinessForensics CEO Tames Rietdijk said. “With cleversoft we found a complimentary match that will help us reach these goals by leveraging their organizational maturity, their customer base, and provide our solutions in the DACH market.”

From 50k to Six Million: The Story of StockTwits

When StockTwits made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope 2011, the “community powered idea and information service” for investors and traders had just over 50,000 registered users. Today, the 14-year old company has more than six million registered users on what has become one of the largest social networks for investors and traders.

StockTwits was founded by Howard Lindzon and Soren Macbeth as a way to leverage the fast growing social media app known as Twitter to organize conversations between traders and investors about individual stocks. The company used “cashtags” with the ticker symbols of stocks (as in “$AAPL”) as a way to help index online analysis, opinions, and commentary about individual stocks, making it easier for investors and traders on apps like Twitter to source the information.

Ben Weiss, StockTwits VP of Business Development in 2011, demonstrating the company’s platform at FinovateEurope.

Last year, StockTwits secured $30 million in funding, giving the company a valuation of $210 million. This year, StockTwits launched its crypto trading platform and introduced functionality to enable individual investors and traders to buy and sell equities directly from the StockTwits platform.

“With the addition of equities trading to our existing crypto trading product, the StockTwits platform continues toward bringing a full suite of execution capabilities,” StockTwits CEO Rishi Khanna said when the equities trading functionality was unveiled earlier this year.

Photo by Recal Media

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Backbase Rebrands, Boku Booms, and SecureKey Finds Opportunity in Acquisition

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Backbase Rebrands, Boku Booms, and SecureKey Finds Opportunity in Acquisition

This week we began our celebration of FinovateEurope’s earliest alums. In honor of FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley Showcase – a new feature designed to highlight the innovations of FinovateEurope alums – we’re highlighting the companies that introduced their innovations to Finovate’s European audience more than a decade ago – and are still among the top innovators in fintech today.

Visit our FinovateEurope Alumni Alley Showcase hub to learn more about this special opportunity for FinovateEurope alums.

Don’t Call It A Comeback: Backbase’s Big Rebrand

Founded in 2003, Backbase has been demonstrating its fintech innovations on the Finovate stage for more than a decade. Making its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in 2011, the company made its most recent on-stage appearance at FinovateFall in 2021, demoing the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform. In that ten years, the Amsterdam-based company was awarded Best of Show on four occasions, including three from the company’s demos at our conferences in London.

From its origins as a Bank 2.0 innovator, helping banks take advantage of the growing consumer interest in online and mobile banking, to its current incarnation as an Engagement Banking specialist, Backbase has demonstrated a consistent mission of enabling FIs to turn emerging technologies into opportunities for better customer service and engagement. The company’s official rebrand this fall only underscores much of what Backbase has been about all along.

Backbase founder and CEO introducing Backbase’s technology at FinovateEurope 2011.

“Our proven growth model has brought us to where we are today and it’s time to evolve our branding to reflect that growth,” Backbase founder and CEO Jouk Pleiter said. “Backbase is the innovation partner enabling traditional banks and credit unions to take the leap into the platform era, and we’re just getting started.”

Most recently, Backbase announced an expanded relationship with Boston, Massachusetts-based Eastern Bank ($22 billion in assets). The institution deployed Backbase-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Backbase’s Engagement Banking Platform to enable it to offer new digital banking solutions.

Boku Blossoms as Mobile Payments Boom

When Finovate audiences first met Boku at FinovateEurope 2011, the San Francisco-based company had 60 employees and $40 million in equity funding. Today, the direct mobile payments company is a publicly traded entity with more than 300 employees and a market capitalization of more than $390 million. Boku processes more than nine billion in payments every year, and includes some of the largest digital brands – from Google and Spotify to Netflix and Microsoft – as customers of what it bills as the largest mobile payments network in the world.

Boku founder Mark Britto demonstrating the company’s mobile payment technology at FinovateEurope 2011.

Boku was among the fintechs to recognize early on the potential mobile payments had to bring financial services to un- and underbanked consumers that owned mobile phones, but did not own credit cards or traditional bank accounts that would enable them to participate in online commerce. The company launched mobile wallet payments in the Philippines in 2012, brought mobile payments to Sony’s PlayStation Store in 2014 and, in 2020, acquired the Estonia-based carrier billing company Fortumo for $41 million.

This fall, Boku announced that it will supply with its digital wallet and other local payment methods as part of a new, multi-year agreement. Boku CEO Jon Prideaux said that the partnership helped reinforce the company’s “strategic move” into digital wallet payments.

SecureKey: Acquisition As An Enabler of Further, Faster Innovation

More than ten years after SecureKey won Best of Show at FinovateEurope 2011 for its authentication technology that leveraged contactless cards to streamline the online checkout process, the Toronto, Ontario-based company announced that it had agreed to be acquired by NortonLifeLock’s digital security and privacy firm, Avast.

SecureKey CEO Greg Wolfond demoing the company’s technology at FinovateEurope in 2011.

“SecureKey’s vision has been to revolutionize the way consumers and organizations approach identity and the sharing of personal information in the digital age,” SecureKey CEO Greg Wolfond said when the acquisition was announced this spring. “By working closely with governments, financial institutions, and businesses, we have an established track record of trusted and mature identity networks that provide consumers with the secure digital capabilities they deserve.”

SecureKey’s digital identity technology enables more than 200 million secure transactions a year internationally. Prior to the acquisition, SecureKey also had made major inroads in helping organizations and institutions, including governments, embrace modern authentication technologies. The company’s Verified.Me distributed digital identity verification network and Government Sign-In by Verified.Me provide secure and convenient login options to hundreds of government services and applications online. Both authentication services are provided by Interac under an exclusive Canadian licensing agreement.

Photo by Chris Panas

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Pioneering PFM, French Fintech, and an Investor Social Network

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley: Pioneering PFM, French Fintech, and an Investor Social Network

FinovateEurope’s Alumni Alley is a great way for our pioneering alums to show that, more than a decade later, they are still driving fintech innovation. Check out our Finovate Alumni Alley hub for more information on how to get involved.

To celebrate the launch of this new opportunity, we’re going to highlight alums that demoed their technologies at some of the earliest FinovateEurope events. From Best of Show winners to late blooming breakouts, FinovateEurope has spent the past dozen years showcasing the companies that have become many of fintech’s favorites. Over the next few weeks heading into the winter holidays, we will share their stories here.

A Best of Show Winner – Meniga

One of four companies to win Best of Show in our inaugural FinovateEurope in 2011, Meniga introduced itself as a mobile PFM solution provider for retail banks in Europe. Hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland, and founded in 2009, the company partnered with Íslandsbanki to help its technology reach 5% of households within the first year of launch.

Today the company has grown into a digital innovation partner for more than 165 banks around the world and grown its workforce ten-fold. From its start as a white-label PFM innovator, Meniga has added to its finance management offering with Cashflow Assistant and Smart Money Rules solutions, and added a suite of data management solutions for consolidation, enrichment, and discovery to its product mix. The company also now offers Beyond Banking solutions for banks, as well. These products include customer engagement/empowerment solutions like Carbon Insight and solutions for SME customers such as Cashback Rewards and Market Intelligence.

Meniga co-founder Georg Ludviksson introducing Meniga to the FinovateEurope audience in 2011.

Long-time Meniga CEO and co-founder Georg Ludviksson stepped down in August. The company’s new CEO, Simon Shorthose, said in a statement that the company was in a “prime position for growth” due to the “rapid modernization of banking technology and the move to real-time cloud infrastructures.” He added “Meniga’s solutions are at the forefront of helping banks take their digital banking experience to the next level of hyper-personalization.”

A Late Blooming Breakout – Linxo

One of the benefits of FinovateEurope is not just the ability to showcase for companies in Europe in general, but also for the opportunity of countries not always associated with fintech innovation to show what entrepreneurs in their nations are up to.

France is one example of such a country and Linxo – which made its Finovate debut in 2011 and, nine years later, was acquired by Credit Agricole for an undisclosed sum – is one example of just such a company. Co-founded in 2010 by CEO Bruno Van Haetsdaaele and headquartered in France, Linxo demoed its platform that represented the first bank account aggregation service for French financial institutions.

Linxo co-founder and CEO Bruno Van Haetsdaele on stage at FinovateEurope 2011.

“This transaction enables us to accelerate and strengthen our services for the Crédit Agricole Group, while giving us the opportunity to develop our offering in France and internationally for our clients and prospects with Oxlin, our ACPR-authorized payment institution, and to continue the development of Linxo, one of France’s most popular personal financial management apps,” Van Haetsdaele said when the acquisition was announced.

More than three million users in France leverage Linxo’s mobile app to manage their budgets and simplify their finances. Linxo had raised more than $26 million in funding prior to its acquisition.

From Good to Great and Still Going – eToro

Helping investors navigate the financial markets was the goal of many fintechs that demoed their technologies on the Finovate stage in the early years. But one of the innovators in this space to make a big first impression that only has grown bigger over time is eToro.

Another company to win Best of Show in the first FinovateEurope, eToro was an established investing network with more than 1.5 million registered users from 120+ countries in 2011. The company is among the pioneers in social investing, with innovative solutions that helped novice traders and investors learn from successful, veteran traders and investors, and improve their own outcomes in the market.

eToro CEO Yoni Assia demonstrating the eToro network at FinovateEurope in 2011.

Among the more popular companies to demo at FinovateEurope, with six Best of Show trophies won from 2011 through 2017, eToro today is still one of the biggest social investing communities in the world with more than 30 million registered users currently sharing their investment strategies on the platform. The company launched its mobile app in 2012, offered trading in cryptocurrencies in 2017 and, this year, unveiled both fractional share investing with zero commissions and eToro Options for options traders in the U.S.

This month, eToro teamed up with Broadridge Financial Solutions to enable proxy voting for investors on its platform. The ability to cast proxy votes will extend to investors holding fractional shares, as well. The partnership is a victory for advocates of corporate accountability by enabling eToro investors to weigh in on issues ranging from mergers and executive pay to ESG initiatives and goals.

Photo by Peter Spencer

The Early Bird Gets the Demo Discount

The Early Bird Gets the Demo Discount

Demo your latest fintech, finserv, or techfin innovation in front of 1000+ senior decision-makers. Apply by Friday, November 4 and save big on the demo fee. 

For FinovateEurope 2023 (March 14-15, London), we’re selecting ~60 startup, established and public companies to demo over the first day of the event, March 14. And while time on the main stage is at the crux of the demo package, the rest of the demo experience has been carefully curated to give selected companies the best ROI:

  • Influential audience – demo in front of hundreds of high-quality attendees, including FI executives, fintech and tech giants, venture capitalists, industry press and analysts, and entrepreneurs.
  • 7-minutes demos – get the audience’s undivided attention and show them exactly what you can do. All demos are on the main stage, and there are no other sessions competing for attention.
  • Frequent and strategic networking breaks – capitalize on the energy and momentum generated during your demo to connect with attendees and set up meetings through our proprietary networking app.
  • Plug and play stands – generate leads at your dedicated stand (table, monitor, power, and signage included).
  • Demo videos – use your professionally edited video as a unique sales and marketing tool. Plus year over year, demoing companies have told us they receive business from companies seeing their video on
  • Fandom – stay in the news. We follow you for the rest of time and share your product launches, capital raised, awards earned, acquisitions and expansions made to our hundreds of thousands of followers.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the online demo benefits and pricing, submit the (completely confidential) application. As always, applying is completely free. And companies applying by this Friday, November 4 will save $2,000-6,000 on regular pricing when selected to demo.

Not ready to demo yet? Join our Startup Booster Program.

On 15 March, early-stage startups have two hours to network with a room full of investors from across the UK and Europe. And before that, attendees will hear from successful founders, investment insights, tips on how to land your first bank customer, and more. 

On top of this, startups have access to all event content, networking, and meetings for just £600. Learn more.