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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
If digital transformation is sweeping financial services – and this trend has been accelerated by the global public health crisis, as we are often told – then what’s up with the huge and enduring demand for cash?
“I certainly would have expected, if you’d asked me prior to COVID: would COVID put a big dent in cash? I would have said “absolutely” because not only are people not going out, it has a dirty connotation to it,” Fiserv Senior Vice President David Keenan said during the Q&A portion of his recent webinar presentation, Looking Under the Hood of Today’s Payments Ecosystem.
“And yet if you look at the data,” he added, “that’s not what’s happening.”
This was one of many fascinating takeaways from Keenan’s research on payment trends in the COVID-19 era. That research was presented this week in a webinar that also looked at the rise of digital enablement in financial services and the inevitable transition to real-time payments. Keenan’s presentation is now available for viewing on an on-demand basis.
Toward the end of his discussion, which explained how and why companies need to be able to provide “the right options at the right time to create a winning payment experience,” we asked the Fiserv SVP why he began his presentation, which featured insights on digital enablement and real-time payments, with a discussion on the importance and endurance of cash.
Keenan said the decision to start with cash was deliberate – and given the program’s theme of “safe, fast, convenient payments” it is perhaps easy to understand why. For all of cash’s drawbacks – including the fact that paper money increasingly is seen as “dirty” in an ever-more touchless world – Keenan showed research from the Federal Reserve indicating that cash remains a preferred payment method in the U.S. – only trailing debit. Moreover, for about 85% of those surveyed, cash usage over the past 12 months had remained the same, or increased.
But perhaps most interestingly, this data also revealed that cash’s most passionate champions are under the age of 25. And this preference for paper money does not take away from GenZ’s appreciation of debit, which is on par with 25-to-34 year old, 35-to-44 year old, and 45-to-54 year old cohorts. Nor was credit usage impacted by GenZ’s preference for cash; GenZ credit usage was comparable with both 25-to-34 year old and 35-to-44 year old age groups. The main difference between GenZ and other cohorts was in the use of electronic payments, where its usage was typically half that of other groups surveyed.
A further note on the enduring preference for cash: while cash usage patterns have returned to trend after a brief, coronavirus-induced drop in March, the amounts of cash being used – which began increasing in March – have remained elevated.
Keenan speculated that what might blunt these accelerating cash trends could be a major response to the coronavirus – such as a vaccine. He said, “as long as we’re living in this one-step-at-a-time, back-to-the-new-normal, we believe cash is going to be an important part (of payments).”
Financial services firm Fiserv made its 32nd acquisition today. The Wisconsin-based company purchased Bypass Mobile, a company that specializes in software and POS systems. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition is expected to help Fiserv support its clients in creating a seamless customer experience across physical and digital channels. By integrating with Fiserv’s universal commerce platform, Bypass will offer businesses a single point of contact. As a result, businesses will benefit from increased operational efficiency, enhanced security, and a more complete picture of customer interaction.
“Adding Bypass to our portfolio will make it easier for our clients to realize their digital transformation strategy, delivering interactions their customers are demanding,” said Fiserv Senior Group President of Global Business Solutions Devin McGranahan. “With this combination, we will improve the omni-commerce experience for businesses and their customers, making it easier and more efficient to pay for goods and services.”
Specifically, Bypass will enable secure Fiserv clients to accept payments in a secure environment across multiple devices. “In combination with Fiserv, we will help businesses accept payments efficiently while continuing to meet customer expectations by providing a variety of payment options,” explained Bypass CEO Brandon Lloyd.
Fiserv was founded in 1984. While the company’s most recent purchase was Merchant Pro Express earlier this month, its most notorious one in recent memory was the acquisition of First Data in January of last year. That deal closed for $22 billion.
Two of the biggest themes in fintech – digital identity and the rise of fintech in Central and Eastern Europe – meet in the latest announcement from biometric authentication specialist and Finovate Best of Show winner iProov. The company’s facial recognition technology now makes it easier for users of SK ID Solutions’ Smart-ID Service in countries like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to renew their accounts without having to visit a physical bank branch.
“This is a major development for all digital identity providers,” iProov CEO Andrew Bud said. “Estonia has proved, for the first time, that a remote, automated, biometric ID verification service can deliver the highest possible levels of security.”
Recognized as equal to a handwritten signature throughout Europe, Smart-IDs enable users to authenticate themselves and provide permissions online using a smartphone app. iProov’s facial recognition technology adds a three-second scan to compare the image of the user to the image on their presented ID document to help defend against fraud and identity theft.
Smart-ID also leverages NFC-based ReadID document verification technology from InnoValor.
Financial crime risk management innovator Featurespace will be helping Enfuce combat fraud and money laundering courtesy of a newly announced partnership. Enfuce, a financial services firm based in Finland, will use Featurespace’s ARIC Risk Hub to enhance its ability to protect its customers from fraud and financial crime.
“Our clients deserve industry-leading services that allow them to freely and fully concentrate on the success of their core business, without worrying about ever-evolving fraud,” Enfuce co-founder and chair Monika Liikamaa said.
ARIC Risk Hub offers real-time transaction monitoring for fraud and financial crime, enabling institutions to identify and act against anomalous and potentially dangerous behavior as it occurs. The technology also reduces the number of false positives by as much as 70%, keeping anti-fraud processes efficient. Featurespace introduced its fraud-fighting technology to Finovate audiences at FinovateEurope 2016.
Here is a round up of recent news from our Finovate alumni.
Sezzleunveils new logo along with its first annual report.
Flybitsexpands its executive team in New York, Toronto, the U.K., and Dubai.
Yseop and Automation Anywhere join forces to scale intelligent automation.
Lighter Capitalappoints Kevin Fink at CTO and Patricia Elliott as CSO.
InCommlaunches Roblox gift cards in France and Germany.
Finovate Alum Features and Profiles
Revolut’s $500 Million Round Boosts Valuation to $5.5 Billion – Global financial platform Revolut has secured its place as the U.K.’s most valuable fintech.
Dealing with Deepfakes in Fintech – The fintech industry is ripe with security firms, such as iProov, that use AI to combat both video and audio deepfakes with anti-spoofing technologies.
Envestnet | Yodlee Acquires Indian Data Aggregator FinBit.io – Envestnet | Yodlee has acquired another asset in its strategy to further grow and develop its data aggregation and analytics business.
Meet Sonect: Cash Network Builder, Finovate Newcomer, Best of Show Winner – What’s better than having a large pizza with all your favorite toppings delivered to your front door? How about a side order of cash, saving you a trip to the ATM or bank branch?
Azimo Taps Ripple for Cross-Border Payments to the Philippines – Fueling these payment transfers is Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) solution that uses XRP to source liquidity and complete money transfers within three seconds.
Lendio Lands $55 Million to Match Small Businesses with Lenders – The investment more than doubles the company’s previous funding, bringing its total to $108.5 million.
SheerID Expands Identity Marketing Platform – The move enables brands to identify and acquire new customers across the globe.
With FinovateEurope kicking off this week in Berlin, Germany, we thought it would be fun to check in with FinovateEurope Best of Show winner and Central and Eastern European fintech innovator Dorsum.
How are the social and technological changes in Europe influencing the way fintechs and financial services companies build, pilot, and market their solutions? We reached out to Dorsum’s Senior Innovation Expert, Greg Csorba, to find out how the company is meeting these challenges and more.
Finovate: As a European fintech, what is the most exciting thing about fintech inEurope right now, and how is Dorsum taking advantage of this opportunity?
Greg Csorba: In the next 10 to 15 years a significant amount of wealth will pass from the Baby Boomer generation to the Y (Millennial) and Z generations. This will, among other things, change the service model expected of investment service providers. This multigenerational wealth transfer will present a real challenge for every player in the market to adapt to the digital expectations of the new generation, which could bring significant business benefits in the coming years.
Finovate: Dorsum won Best of Show at FinovateEurope last year. What does that accomplishment mean for the company on the eve of your return to FinovateEurope?
Csorba: We were very honored to have won the award last year at FinovateEurope. It confirms that our solutions represent what the industry demands. Every year we are working on understanding our clients better to create new, innovative products, answering their needs. This mindset lead us to create the subject of this year’s show as well, our Wealth Management Communication HUB. We do hope that it will win over the audience as well.
Finovate: For those unfamiliar with Dorsum, can you tell us a little bit about the company and the work it does?
Csorba: Dorsum is an investment software provider company, based in Hungary with two other subsidiaries in Romania and Bulgaria. Since our foundation in 1996, we became a leading software company in the CEE region. Our investment software family offers versatile solutions to players in the capital and wealth management markets. We are especially proud of our innovation team who always keeps one step ahead of the market for the company to continue creating industry-leading solutions.
Finovate: What are some of the key enabling technologies used by your platform? Do machine learning, AI, and other new technologies play a major role in powering your offerings?
Csorba: Yes, we always looking at new technologies and new ways to empower our customers. AI and machine learning are used in our Botboarding chatbot engine, our client-facing investment app My Wealth, and the new Communication HUB. As for the future, we are looking into innovative ways of using and applying information from Big Data databases, which has yet to make a notable change in the lives of wealth managers and investors. For example, we are excited to work on a project aiming to profile users based on their everyday interactions with other digital services – which could reflect their attitude towards risk taking and provide personalized product recommendations.
Finovate: Dorsum is known for its work in the Central and Eastern European markets. How is the company’s growth in this region going and are there any significant plans for expansion beyond the CEE?
Csorba: This year one of our greatest achievements was to win BNP Paribas and their Polish subsidiary as one of our customers and we are working on new deals to continue this growth in the future. In 2020 we are mainly focusing on the CEE market as our main target group. To this end, it’s important for us to have a constant presence in the most prestigious Europe-wide conferences such as Finovate.
Finovate: Dorsum uses a hybrid model combining traditional and digital advisory processes. Why do you think this is a winning strategy for you and your clients?
Csorba: We see that new digital technologies in wealth management and the private banking industry are always welcome, but clients still need and rely on the advice of their advisor. This type of advice however can be managed in innovative ways on digital platforms. This is why we created a hybrid advisory model where digital meets the personal touch. Clients can manage their portfolio on their own, but if they need, they can learn from an AI-driven chatbot or reach their personal advisor through an app and real-time chat.
Finovate: What does Dorsum have in store for 2020? Can you give us a little preview of what you’ll be presenting at FinovateEurope next week?
Csorba: We are presenting new communication features for our wealth management applications, referred to collectively as the Wealth Management Communication HUB. The HUB connects advisors and clients through notification sending and real-time chat. This GDPR- compliant, secure communication module is superior to non-binding e-mail chains, and includes automated notification sending, paperless document underwriting and even an integrated educational chatbot. The HUB represents our hybrid advisory vision, as it allows banks to reach the mass affluent and well as the private banking segments with digital products, saving time and money through efficiency.
Fiservpartners with Hong Kong digtal bank pioneer ZA Bank.
As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. 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.
Hong Kong’s first digital bank will use payment technology from Fiserv. The firm, ZA Bank, will use the company’s VisionPLUS global payment software, which supports the entire card payment lifecycle from origination and issuance to settlement and customer service. ZA Bank will leverage Fiserv’s suite of APIs to ensure fast and seamless app development and integration.
“We are pleased to partner with Fiserv as we embark on a journey to shift the lifestyle of future banking users,” ZA Bank CEO Rockson Hsu said. “With our companies’ combined knowledge and expertise in banking and technology, we are well-placed to respond fast to the ever-changing market with an agile product development approach.”
Licensed in March of last year, ZA Bank launched as a pilot in December with 2,000 retail customers. The pilot enabled the challenger bank to test services such as remote onboarding, time deposit, and facial recognition. ZA Bank offers 6% interest on three-month deposits of up to $25,000 (HK$200,000). Established by ZhongAn Technologies International Group, ZA Bank emphasizes a “community-driven approach” that seeks to match innovative technologies with the changing lifestyles of its customers.
“Ultimately, we want to offer superb user experiences via a robust and secure platform,” Hsu said. “I am confident that with the support of Fiserv, ZA Bank will be well-positioned to deliver relevant, convenient, and excellent service to our users.”
A long-time Finovate alum, Fiserv demonstrated its technology on the Finovate stage most recently at FinovateSpring 2018. The Brookfield, Wisconsin-based company, founded in 1984, acquired fellow Finovate alum First Data last year, and began 2020 with news of a pair of new credit union partnerships.
Speaking for Fiserv on the ZA Bank partnership, company EVP and head of Asia Pacific Ivo Distelbrink, put the collaboration in the broader context of financial innovation taking place in the region. Distelbrink called the launch of ZA Bank “an important milestone” for financial services in Hong Kong, and praised the firm as a “modern banking option aligned to the changing way people want to move and manage money.”
It’s a new year and a new decade, but Fiserv – which topped fintech headlines in 2019 with its massive, $22 billion merger acquisition of First Data – has hit the ground running in 2020. The Brookfield, Wisconsin-based payments giant announced this week that it is teaming up with Verve and Superior Choice, two Wisconsin-area credit unions with a combined membership of more than 95,000 members and more than $1 billion in assets.
The collaboration means that half of all the credit unions in Wisconsin with more than $1 billion in assets use Fiserv technology for core account processing. The company’s core account processing solution, DNA, enables FIs to deliver personalized services with more relevant product offerings by leveraging a unified, global view of member relationships. Both Verve and Superior Choice will also take advantage of additional integrated solutions from Fiserv such as enterprise content management, item processing, wire transfer, and financial accounting.
“Our aim is to make every experience at every credit union we work with matter – and that aligns directly with Verve’s strategic vision,” Fiserv EVP and senior group president Byron Vielehr said. “The strong retail and commercial functionality of DNA helps growth-minded credit unions meet member needs for new services and allows their employees to interact and deliver meaningful experiences in a frictionless way.”
Fiserv most recently demonstrated its technology on the Finovate stage in 2018, collaborating with Samsung and its biometric authentication technology. Its 2019 acquisition of First Data (also a Finovate alum), which was completed in July, made Fiserv one of the biggest payments and financial technology providers in the world. When the deal was announced, the company pledged to invest “an incremental $500 million” over the next five years to build on its leadership position in the industry, as well as leverage First Data’s distribution network to expand more meaningfully outside the United States.
Verve was founded in 1937 as Wisconsin Axle Credit Union. The company merged with two other credit unions in 2014 to form Verve, which today has more than $1.2 billion in assets, more than 66,000 members, and 21 locations. With 29,000+ members and more than $488 million in assets, Superior Choice Credit Union was founded in 1932.
In addition to the partnership news with Verve and Superior Choice, Fiserv also announced today that Landmark Credit Union ($4.3 billion in assets and 350,000+ members) was expanding its relationship with the global payments company by choosing to deploy Fiserv’s DNA as its new core account processing platform.
Business technology company Deluxeannounced today it will acquire Remittance Solutions assets from Fiserv. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The Minnesota-based company will use the new tools, which include lockbox processing, to enhance its TreasuryManagement portfolio.
As part of the agreement, Deluxe will take over Fiserv’s lockbox businesses in five locations and Fiserv will become a reseller of Deluxe lockbox processing.
Deluxe has been busy in the payments arena this year. The company hasa signed more than 25 new payments deals so far this year. “This deal allows Deluxe to extend its expertise and reach with the addition of a reseller arrangement through the banking sales channel of Fiserv,” said Barry McCarthy, Deluxe President and CEO.
“Deluxe is a provider of choice in the remittance processing industry, with impressive scale, geographic reach and resources,” said Todd Horvath, President of Bank Solutions at Fiserv. “Together, we will drive enhanced value for current and future clients and create more opportunities for our people.”
Founded in 1915, Deluxe has a two-tiered approach serving small businesses and financial institutions. The company offers its 4.8 million small business customers products such as incorporation services, logo design, website development and hosting, email marketing, social media, search engine optimization and payroll services, and customized checks and forms. On the bank side, Deluxe serves its 4,600 financial institution clients with data analytics, customer acquisition and treasury management solutions, fraud prevention and profitability tools, and checks.
As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. 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.
Fresh off a successful return to Singapore for FinovateAsia, we are happy to announce that FinovateMiddleEast will be back in Dubai later this month, November 20 and 21. For more information about our upcoming fintech conference in the UAE, visit our FinovateMiddleEast page today.
Middle East and Northern Africa
Saudi Arabia’s Riyad Bank invests $26.7 million in new fintech startup investment program.
BankDhofar signs partnership agreement with Oman-based fintech TelyPay.
Central Bank of UAE considers new fintech office to help drive innovation in financial services.
Central and Southern Asia
A new B2B fintech program for Indian fintechs, FT Slingshot, launched at Hong Kong FinTech Week.
Mumbai, India’s financial capital, is seeking to establish itself as the countr’s fintech hub, as well.
Eight Indian fintechs, including Paytm and OlaMoney, earn spots in the KPMG and H2 Ventures Fintech 100 list.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Mexican cryptoexchange Bitrus introduces new e-wallet geared toward unbanked population.
Creditas, a Brazilian digital consumer lending platform, opens new offices in Valencia, Spain.
Born2Invest looks at the growth of the fintech sector in Argentina.
Tandem Bank, a challenger bank based in the U.K., announces plans for an expansion to Hong Kong.
Vietnam’s TPBank forges agreement with Ripple’s RippleNet.
International visitors to China have access to a new prepaid card service run by Alipay and supported by Bank of Shanghai.
South African fintech iKhokha offers a blunt assessment of the country’s struggle to attract the talent necessary to grow its fintech industry.
The U.K. announces plans to deepen fintech partnership with Nigeria and other Africa nations.
Andrew Takyi-Appiah, CEO of Ghana-based Zeepay, talks about the business of remittances and its recent partnership with Moneygram.
Personalized advice, more automation, and “unmatched connectivity” are among the attractions of the new billpay service unveiled by Fiserv today. The new solution, CheckFree Next, enters a competitive billpay space with the backing of Fiserv’s extensive biller network, which includes direct connections with more than 600 billers. With nearly 4,0000 FIs currently using Fiserv’s electronic billpay technology – representing 29 million active billpay users – Fiserv expects its latest offering will provide customers with innovations in billpay not experienced with other solutions.
“Electronic bill payment has become an intrinsic part of many people’s daily lives, however, features that were once cutting edge are now status quo,” Fiserv Enterprise Payment Solutions division president Tom Allanson said. “Knowing that people have higher expectations that never before, we stepped back and challenged ourselves to make paying bills at a financial institution as easy and smart as the best digital experiences people have every day.”
CheckFree Next, which has already been piloted by a pair of “top 10 U.S. financial institutions,” automates a range of basic tasks, and leverages a new Bill Discovery feature that automatically identifies and connects customer billers to their accounts and then establishes the biller as a payee once a match is made. Both payment and data entry are automated to help save bill payers time and reduce the potential for manual errors, and customers can set up billpay reminders and alerts to help them keep better track of upcoming expenses and recent payments. CheckFree Next also features a Withdraw Now capability that gives bill payers control over exactly when a bill payment will be debited from their account.
Fiserv also announced upcoming features to the technology, including real-time money movement, to be added in 2020. This functionality will eventually enable bill payers to make real-time payments – via enhanced notifications – that are reflected instantly in their accounts. These and other features, such as Bill Discovery, will be made available as premium add-ons to Fiserv’s other CheckFree solutions such as CheckFree RXP and CheckFree Builder.
Fiserv demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2018, partnering with Samsung SDS to present its Commercial Center: Security digital banking experience. The company made a huge splash at the beginning of the year with news that it was merging with fellow Finovate alum First Data in a deal valued at $22 billion. Fiserv has been on a busy partner-making pace ever since. In October alone, the company has forged deals with North Carolina-based Uwharrie Bank, Portuguese bank NOVO BANCO, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s DUCA Financial Services Credit Union.
Founded in 1984, Fiserv is headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The NASDAQ listed company (FISV) has a market capitalization of $70 billion. Jeff Yabuki is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.