Hydrogen on the Rise of Payments as a Service in Fintech

The latest report from fintech enablement platform Hydrogen, which made its Finovate debut in 2018, takes a look at how the global public health crisis has accelerated the rise of payments-as-a-service. But it’s not just COVID-19; enabling technologies like blockchain and AI are helping play a major role in making PaaS a key space for both fintech disruptors and payment incumbents.

“While cash is still the leading form of payment at the point of sale, accounting for about 77% of all payments worldwide,” the report noted in its Executive Summary, “non-cash payment options such as e-wallets are gaining popularity, and the number of people using mobile payment apps in-store is forecasted to surpass one billion for the first time in 2020.”

Hydrogen’s report provides an overview of the PaaS market, how fintechs are driving innovation in the space, critical payment trends that will be accelerated by PaaS, and what industry experts and analysts are saying about the challenges they’ve overcome when innovating in the payments space and what they expect to see in payments over the balance of 2020 and beyond.

Access Hydrogen’s report on the rise of Payments-as-a-Service.

“Payments enablement platforms will be the bridge between the legacy cash infrastructure of yesterday, and the digital systems of tomorrow,” the report observed. Putting companies like Hydrogen at the center of this effort, the report anticipated that “this will create more competition, thus lowering costs for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) and merchants, that can be passed onto consumers.”

Hydrogen helps developers build complex fintech applications quickly and with a single integrated platform. The company’s solution offers a suite of REST APIs to support custom app development and a no code environment to enable developers to configure white label apps without any coding required. Founded in 2017 by Michael and Matthew Kane, Hydrogen is headquartered in New York City.

Earlier this month, Hydrogen announced that it was teaming up with fellow Finovate alum IDology to help businesses run KYC checks on their end users. In April, the company announced that it was integrating with Amazon Web Services’ Key Management Service, having made a similar move with Azure’s KMS a few weeks before. Other partnerships forged by Hydrgen this year include collaborations with Tink, Salt Edge, and Zillow.

MassChallenge’s 2020 Fintech Accelerator Class Features Finovate Alums

Six Finovate alums innovating in fields ranging from life event planning to small business lending are among the 34 startups that will participate in the upcoming 2020 MassChallenge FinTech program. In addition to mentorship from and collaboration with leading enterprise partners, startups will get access to free office space and the opportunity to compete for equity-free cash prizes as part of their six-month engagement.

Calling this year’s cohort part of the “exciting future of fintech,” MassChallenge Fintech Managing Director Devon Sherman said the incoming class “represents a revolutionary approach to financial services” and added that his team was “blown away by the vision of these entrepreneurs.”

Making the cut among Finovate alums are:

See the full roster of incoming startups to the 2020 cohort.

“Thanks for including Hydrogen in MassChallenge 2020,” the company wrote on Twitter. “It is a great honor. We look forward to working with all of the enterprise partners and startups in the program.”

“LendingFront is proud to be participating in the 2020 MassChallenge Fintech program,” the company tweeted. “We will be working with the City of Boston and several New England financial institutions to use our technology to improve how small businesses get access to capital.”

And from InterGen Data, one of our newest alums, company CEO Robert Kirk expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity as well. “I believe that by working with our enterprise partner, we will be able to redefine the client experience, improve the lives of their clients, and deliver on the promise of how artificial intelligence and machine learning can vastly improve their financial journey,” Kirk said.

The MassChallenge accelerator program is supported by a public-private partnership including founding partners Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Putnam Investments, Fidelity Investments, Citizens Bank, John Hancock, and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP), as well as numerous challenge partners.

The program runs from January to June, and focuses on one-on-one “outcome-driven” partnerships between program participants and program partners. Together, the startup and the partnering company work to develop solutions for specific challenges while helping the startup coming scale its business.

Now in its second year, MassChallenge’s fintech program produced a 2019 cohort in which 70% of participants launched a pilot or proof of concept within a year. “Our inaugural year achieved promising results in driving international partnerships between fintech startups and our enterprise partners,” Sherman said. He added that he was excited “to build on that success in 2020.”

Founded in 2010, and offering an accelerator in healthtech as well, MassChallenge has worked with more than 2,000 startups, who have raised collectively more than $5 billion in funding and generated more than $2.7 billion in revenue. MassChallenge is U.S.-based, with offices in Boston, Rhode Island, and Texas, as well as Israel and Mexico.

Hydrogen Wins Spot in Mastercard Start Path’s Incoming Cohort

Development platform Hydrogen is one of seven companies selected to participate in the Mastercard Start Path accelerator program. The six-month virtual program for later-stage startups is designed to help these firms scale, land strategic investments, and forge key relationships with some of the world’s largest banks and FIs.

“We are proud to be part of Mastercard Start Path,” Hydrogen shared from its Twitter account earlier today. “We’re excited to partner with them as we continue to build the future of commerce.”

Hydrogen offers a set of fintech and blockchain APIs that enable a range of financial services including banking, investing, savings, and insurance. The company provides developers with a toolkit of configurable APIs, an integration library and standardized data model, as well as business logic and modular interface components, giving them the resources they need to build end-to-end apps and solutions.

The Mastercard Start Path program begins with a global pitch day and three-day, international program kick off. During the six-month program that follows, participants will receive support from a dedicated sponsor who serves as a “sounding board and relationship broker” to help startups develop a “unique and relevant” pipeline. Mastercard does not take equity in companies that participate in the program. Instead, it reserves the option to participate in the startup’s next funding round “if and when a strategic fit is identified.”

Jen Langione, Senior Specialist with Mastercard’s Global Communications team, wrote about the importance of innovation and creating value in determining which companies would make the cut. “Innovation is at the heart of Mastercard’s 50-year history,” Langione wrote, “and the cutting-edge technologies being pioneered by the latest group of Start Path companies align to the innovative, value-driven approach Mastercard takes to the solutions it creates and services it offers.”

Joining Hydrogen in the upcoming cohort are:

  • BharatPe
  • Cyberwrite
  • Eurkea AI
  • Kasha
  • mmuze
  • Ziosk

In its statement, Mastercard noted that it received applications from companies operating in more than 210 countries. The program accepts 40 startups per year, and has worked with more than 200 startups since the program’s inception in 2014.

Hydrogen’s Mike and Matt Kane demonstrated the company’s technology at FinovateEurope 2018. At the event, the two co-founders showed how to use the app development platform to build a European savings platform in five minutes. The platform leveraged the blockchain for security and a proprietary AI to offer an interactive digital assistant.

Last month, Hydrogen announced that it won a finalist spot in the South African Reserve Bank’s Fintech Demo Day – along with three other Finovate alums. In September, the company made its app building platform available to Oracle Cloud customers by way of the Oracle Cloud Marketplace. Named to the Wealthtech 100 this spring, Hydrogen was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in New York City.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • DriveWealth Helps Indian Investors Access U.S. Stocks via New Partnership
  • Hydrogen Wins Spot in MasterCard Start Path’s Incoming Cohort

Around the web

  • Finicity announces that its Verification of Assets (VoA) solution is now live within Ellie Mae’s Encompass Consumer Connect.
  • Jack Henry’s Payment Solutions group launches an enhancement to its consumer billpay solution, iPay CardPay.
  • Diebold Nixdorf joins Utimaco’s U-Trust Partner Program.

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.

PayPal Goes to China; Dubai Named Top Ten Global Financial Center

Join us next week as our annual Asia-Pacific fintech conference returns to Singapore! FinovateAsia is one of the best ways for fintech startups and innovative industry veterans from the region and around the world to showcase their latest technologies before an audience of C-level decision-makers, venture capitalists, all-star analysts, and more.

FinovateAsia runs from October 14 through October 15, with an additional Summit Day on October 16. Visit our registration page and pick up your ticket today.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Finovate alums Hydrogen, Sedicii, Strands, and Wealth Migrate earn finalist spots in the South African Reserve Bank’s Fintech Demo Day.
  • Carbon CEO Chijioke Dozie offers Five Lessons Global Banks Can Learn from African Fintechs.
  • Business Tech highlights 12 of the hottest fintechs in South Africa according to the country’s biggest banks.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Alior Bank’s Alior Kantor to deploy Efigence’s EFI4 Digital Banking Platform.
  • Deloitte Romania and FintechOS partner to offer banks digital transformation and automation solutions.
  • Sberbank unveils new “Apply for Mortgage” feature on its Sberbank Online mobile app.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Dubai earns top ten ranking in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).
  • Boubyan Bank of Kuwait and Zain Telecom team up to launch a digital Islamic bank.
  • Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) authorizes financial technology experimental permits enabling three companies to build an equity crowdfunding platform.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Khatabook, an Indian fintech that helps SMEs track and record businesses transactions, raises $25 million.
  • Varanium Capital launches $28 million venture fund focused on Indian fintech.
  • Indian fintechs await regulatory guidelines for deployment of Video KYC technology.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • OurCrowd to open its 13th global office in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Colombian small business lender Sempli raises $8 million in Series A funding.
  • EBANX will process payments for Uber in Brazil and other countries in Latin America.

Asia-Pacific

  • PayPal’s Move into China is a Big Deal.
  • Fintech in Asia: From Payments and Lending to the Challenge of Financial Inclusion.
  • InComm partners with Mizuho Bank to expand J-Coin Pay in Japan.

Top image designed by Freepik

Hydrogen Brings its App Building Platform to the Oracle Cloud Marketplace

Financial and blockchain API provider Hydrogen is the latest technology to achieve “Powered by Oracle Cloud” status, making the app building platform available to Oracle Cloud customers via the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.

“Hydrogen’s participation in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace further extends our commitment to the Oracle community and enables customers to easily reap the benefits of our APIs,” Hydrogen co-founder and CEO Mike Kane said. “We look forward to leveraging the power of the Oracle Cloud to help us achieve our business goals.”

Described as the global financial operating system by its founders, Hydrogen offers a wealth of fintech and blockchain APIs – known as atom and molecule respectively – to power a wide range of financial services from banking and investing to savings, financial wellness, and insurance.

The Oracle Cloud provides enterprise-quality services at all levels of the technology stack including both platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). And by joining the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, the Hydrogen platform will be readily accessible by Oracle Cloud customers. The marketplace has an intuitive user interface to make it easy for developers to browse and discover not only applications and services, but also solution ratings and reviews from users to help customers find the optimal resource for their needs. The Marketplace recently has unveiled its automated application installation tools to enable customers to deploy provider business apps from a centralized, cloud-based UI.

“Hydrogen’s commitment to innovation with the Oracle Cloud and quality execution helps our mutual customers receive cloud-enabled fintech solutions ready to meet critical business needs,” Oracle VP for Worldwide ISV Cloud Business Development David Hicks said.

At FinovateEurope 2018, Hydrogen made its Finovate debut, demonstrating how its technology enables developers to build sophisticated financial apps – such as a European savings platform with UI/UX, onboarding, simulations, backend connectivity, and business intelligence – in a matter of minutes.

Hydrogen has seen its share of plaudits this year. The company was named to the Wealthtech 100 in April, the same month it was listed in Fast Company’s “World Changing Ideas” compilation in the Developing World Technology category. Hydrogen joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) in May and, the following month, was named a finalist in WealthManagement.com’s 2019 Industry Awards in the Blockchain/Cryptocurrency category.

More recently, the company earned recognition from Bank Director’s FinxTech Awards, winning a finalist spot in the Best of FinXTech Connect category. Hydrogen was named a finalist in the Financial Inclusion category of the Finnosummit Challenge and was shortlisted for three awards – Top Emerging Tech Company, Best Use of Blockchain, and Innovator of the Year – at Finovate’s inaugural awards series (check out more information on the Finovate Awards, or FinovateFall, which will take place the same week in New York this month).

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in New York City, Hydrogen includes Canadian bank and wealth manager TD Bank, global insurer Principal, and investment manager CI Investments among its clients.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Hydrogen Brings its App Building Platform to the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.
  • Vymo Fuels Insight for VP Bank’s FE Credit.

Around the web

  • Blackhawk Network to acquire Edge Loyalty Systems.
  • Trustly to provide Alibaba.com’s European customers with online banking payments via Ingenico.
  • TechCrunch: Revolut ramps up customer support with plans to hire 400 people in Porto.
  •  Xero integrates with enterprise solution GreatSoft.
  • BehavioSec joins the NICE X-Sight Marketplace.
  • Merck Sharp & Dohme FCU deploys trio of biometric authentication solutions from Fiserv.
  • New partnership brings nCino’s Bank Operating System to Allied Irish Banks.
  • Entrust Datacard partners with JPMorgan Chase to pilot email security project.

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

  • The ID Co. Unveils its Income Verification Solution.
  • Finicity Partners with Pulte Mortgage to Accelerate Asset Verification.

Around the web

  • CBANC hires Mike Snavely as Chief Commercial Officer.
  • Congrats to 3rd Eyes, ArthaYantra, aixigo, BaseVenture, Capitalise, Entersekt, eToro, Finantix, Fincite, Finhorizon, ForwardLane, Hydrogen, Scalable Capital, Sentifi, Tradeit, Trizic, WealthWizards, WealthForge, and Xignite on being recognized in the Wealthtech 100.
    • Xero’s new invoicing experience available for all Xero customers and partners over the next two weeks
    • Nordigen opens new office in Spain to expand operations.
    • Yseop’s AI solution for Société Générale wins award for most innovative initiative of the year at this year’s Digital Finance Awards. Come see Yseop at FinovateSpring next month.
    • Contovista and NDGIT expand partnership, enabling Contovista to be implemented via the German NDGIT API marketplace.

    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.

    Latin America and the Caribbean

    • Brazil’s Nubank announces debit options for its digital savings account.
    • Infocorp spinoff Bankingly raises $5.25 million in Series A funding in round led by Elevar Equity.
    • Vocalink to modernize Peru’s electronic payments infrastructure courtesy of new deal with the company’s automated clearinghouse, Cámara de Compensación Electrónica (CCE).

    Asia-Pacific

    • UNPay expands QR code payments.
    • Indonesian lending and payments firm, Pohon Dana, picks up investment from Mayapada Group.
    • PaySend launches transfers to bank accounts and Napas cards in Vietnam.
    • Fenergo wins Fintech Exporter of the Year award from Asia Matters.
    • Juvo expands across Asia with regional headquarters in Singapore.

    Sub-Saharan Africa

    • Experian purchases South African credit information and analytics firm Compuscan for $263 million.
    • Ecobank partners with MFS Africa to offer cross-platform digital payments to customers.
    • Emergent Technology acquires Ghana-based Interpay Africa.

    Central and Eastern Europe

    • Sberbank offers clients new strategies for investment life insurance.
    • Finastra opens new offices in Romania.
    • Backbase powers omni-channel digital services for Poland’s BGŻ BNP Paribas bank.
    • International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) to deploy technology from FICO to fight money laundering.

    Middle East and Northern Africa

    • UAE and Saudi Arabia launch blockchain-powered, cross-border payments proof of concept.
    • Temenos announces partnership with Tunisia’s Banque de l’Habitat.
    • Token brings open banking to MENA region.

    Central and South Asia

    • James Finance, Ocrolus, Hydrogen, and iProov shortlisted for India FinTech Awards 2018.
    • Currencies Direct taps Ripple’s xCurrent for real-time remittances to India.
    • Fintech News Singapore features BankBazaar in its round up of 10 Hot Fintech Startups from India to Watch Closely.

    Top image designed by Freepik

    Finovate Alumni News

    On Finovate.com

    • EVRY Wins $75 Million Contract.
    • Best of Show Winner Voleo to Help Drive Social Trading in Europe.
    • FI.SPAN Raises $4 Million for U.K. and Australia Expansion.

    Around the web

    • Sberbank offers clients new strategies for investment life insurance.
    • PaySend launches transfers to bank accounts and Napas cards in Vietnam.
    • Anorak earns a spot in FinSMEs’ Top 10 U.K. Insurtech Startups to Watch in 2019 roster.
    • Intuit relaunches its redesigned ProAdvisor program in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
    • DataSine and FinovateFall Best of Show winner Golden join the Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator’s latest cohort.
    • API platform provider for banking and insurance NDGIT announces strategic partnership with Synpulse.
    • James Finance, Ocrolus, Hydrogen, and iProov shortlisted for India FinTech Awards 2018.
    • PYMNTS highlights WePay Co-founder Rich Aberman in its latest podcast.
    • Jack Henry & Associates introduces a voice-driven consumer billpay solution.

    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

    Around the web

    • Finicity CEO Steve Smith honored as a 2018 HousingWire Vanguard.
    • Ohpen launches the Ohpen API Portal (OAP) in beta.
    • PYMNTS talks with Entersekt SVP of Product Niel Bester about consumer trust.
    • Kony teams with PSECU to deliver digital banking technology.
    • Hudson River Financial FCU selects Digital Onboarding to enhance new member experience with updated onboarding

    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.

    Central and South Asia

    • Visa takes minority stake in Indian payment gateway BillDesk.
    • Swift India partners with MonetaGo to pilot blockchain-based banking.
    • India FinTech Forum (IFF) announced the 20 companies recognized at its India FinTech Awards (IFTA), including Finovate alums Hydrogen, iProov, Ocrolus, and James Finance.

    Latin America and the Caribbean

    • Elevar Equity leads $5.25 million investment round for Uruguayan fintech, Bankingly.
    • Banco Original, a Sao Paulo, Brazil-based FI, to deploy FICO Origination Manager and FICO Application Fraud Manager.
    • First Data launches Clover Mini and Clover Flex in Argentina.

    Asia-Pacific

    • Finastra gives Singapore banks top marks in its inaugural Open Banking Readiness Index.
    • FinLab accelerator introduces its smart business transformation program for Thailand small businesses.
    • SmartPesa brings its softPOS contactless card acceptance via NFC phone running Android – to Singapore and South East Asia.

    Sub-Saharan Africa

    • South African financial services company, Discovery, to launch “behavioral bank.”
    • Nigeria’s central bank proposes fintech licensing regime to help manage cyber risk, capital adequacy, and operational oversight issues.
    • A “hands-off” attitude toward regulation is credited for helping boost Uganda’s emergent fintech sector.

    Central and Eastern Europe

    • Poland’s Braintri merges with iCompass.
    • The Polish Financial Supervision Authority names the Heart as one of operators for its regulatory sandbox for companies developing fintech solutions.
    • Ingenico Group teams up with Russia’s Sberbank to enable MOIR card payments for online purchases.

    Middle East and Northern Africa

    • Study from Mena Research Partners calls for major gains in fintech funding in the MENA region over the next ten years.
    • Egypt Innovate features ten Egyptian startups “following the world’s fintech trend.”
    • The Tehran Times looks at the “challenges and opportunities” of fintech innovation in Iran.

    Top image designed by Freepik