Giving Kids the Gift of Goals; The New Rules of LendingClub

Giving Kids the Gift of Goals; The New Rules of LendingClub

Revolut has added a new feature to its Revolut Junior app for youth aged seven to seventeen that will help parents teach the value of saving to their children. Goals enables both parents and child users to set and track financial savings objectives, and leverages the app’s other main features – Allowances and Tasks – to provide a more comprehensive financial wellness solution that works for kids and their parents.

Available to Revolut’s Premium and Metal customers, the new option can be used by parents to create financial savings goals and monitor their child’s progress as savings accrue. Kids can set their own savings goals as well, which can be supervised via the parent’s app. Goals can be funded directly by parents or by child users via their Allowances or by completing assigned tasks and chores.

“Goals, along with payments, allowances, and tasks, was one of our customers’ top requested and valued features,” Revolut Head of Premium Product Felix Jamestin said in a statement. “(We’re) excited to be building a product that is making saving fun and easy for both kids and parents.”

Revolut launched its Revolut Junior app earlier this year, and now boasts more than 200,000 children signed up for the program. Currently available in the EEA and the U.S., Revolut plans to offer the solution in Singapore, Japan, and Australia “in the near future.”

Alumni News Updates

LendingClub sheds P2P lending en route to bank rebirth: You would be forgiven for thinking the first rule of a company called “LendingClub” is to lend money. But LendingClub’s pivot away from its origins as an innovator in the P2P space 14 years ago continues as it announces that it will shut down its retail P2P platform as of the end of the year. The move comes more than a year after LendingClub shuttered its small business lending arm, and is widely understood to be a path-clearing effort en route to LendingClub incarnation as a bank.

Fenergo, IBM partner to bring AI to customer onboarding: A new integration between IBM Watson, the IBM Cloud, and Fenergo’s client lifestyle management technology will improve the efficiency of the onboarding process for financial institutions. IBM Customer Lifecycle Management with Fenergo combines Fenergo’s leadership in customer journey and digital transformation with IBM’s AI-enabled, AML and KYC solutions to provide better personalization, risk assessment, and regulatory compliance.

Eigen Technologies hires its first CFO: London-based NLP technology innovator Eigen Technologies has selected Spyros Karageorgis as its first Chief Financial Officer. Karageorgis comes to Eigen after tenures as CFO and COO at image recognition company Cortexica Vision Systems, and as CFO at SaaS e-commerce platform Venda. Karageorgis is one of two new members of Eigen’s C-suite: the company also announced new Chief Revenue Officer Tony Ehrens.

Photo by Joslyn Pickens from Pexels

Solaris Bank to Secure Cryptocurrencies; Brazilian Fintechs Announce New Funding

Join us next month in Berlin, Germany for FinovateEurope 2020. Our three-day fintech conference will begin on February 11 and run through February 13.

The event features both our signature, seven-minute, live technology demonstrations, as well as keynote addresses, roundtables, and case studies on many of the most critical issues in fintech. Check out our conference agenda and stay tuned for more about our speakers and demoing companies.

Here’s our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Austrian mobile payments firm Bluecode raises $13.4 million (€12 million) from European Private Venture Capitalists.
  • German fintech Solaris Bank announces plans to offer custodial services to cryptocurrency investors.
  • Ukraine’s mobile-only bank Monobank to expand to the U.K. in 2020.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • IBM brings its fraud prevention technology to Qatar International Islamic Bank.
  • PYMNTS looks at the opportunities PSD2 may offer Turkish banks.
  • Egypt-based fintech Dayra wins $15,000 grant from Y Combinator’s Startup School, the first MENA-based startup to do so.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Business Recorder interviews Syed Mohsin Ahmed, CEO of Pakistan Microfinance Network.
  • Fintech Singapore lists India’s top fintech influencers for 2020.
  • Makers India highlights five women who are driving fintech innovation in India.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Born2Invest examines the impact of mobile money on Argentina’s banking industry.
  • Brazilian fintech Cora raises $10 million in funding to help provide financial services to SMEs.
  • Rebel, a startup that helps provide credit to middle-class Brazilians, rakes in $10 million in equity funding.


  • With closing of a 70% stake in China’s GoPay, PayPal is the first non-Chinese firm licensed to offer payment services in the country.
  • FIS’ global ecommerce platform, Worldpay, partners with Japanese issuer and acquirer JCB.
  • Who are the top contenders in Singapore’s digital banking race? Fintech Singapore reviews the field.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Micro-investing startup Trove picks up an investment from Nigerian asset management company, ARM.
  • Kontomatik’s Konstantin Rabin looks at South Africa’s position as an “unlikely fintech leader.”
  • Julaya, a startup based in Ivory Coast that specializes in digitizing financial services for small businesses, raises $550,000 in funding..

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.

Top image designed by Freepik

FIS Integrates with IBM to Help Clients Counter Fraud

FIS Integrates with IBM to Help Clients Counter Fraud

Financial services vendor FIS has announced that it has integrated IBM’s Safer Payments solution within its peer-to-peer (P2P) services to aid in the prevention of fraud, reports Alex Hamilton of Fintech Futures, Finovate’ sister publication.

With the IBM solution integrated, FIS believes its P2P services will be able to monitor high volumes of transactions and provide “real-time detection and decisioning” using artificial intelligence.

The vendor claims that since it first installed IBM’s solution it has seen a “significant” reduction in attempted and completed fraudulent transactions.

“Criminals are growing ever-more sophisticated in their methods for conducting payments fraud and they are increasingly targeting P2P services due to the growth in this market,” said Jim Johnson, head of Americas payments and wealth at FIS.

“FIS is excited to incorporate IBM Safer Payments to provide the highest level of fraud protection to our U.S. clients and their customers who rely on P2P services for fast, convenient payments.”

According to a 2018 PwC report, 53% of US companies were hit by fraud between 2016 and 2018, while 37% of companies reported losing more than $1 million as a result of it.

“FIS is taking aggressive steps to protect its clients against new and evolving threats in the industry,” said Michael Curry, vice president at IBM RegTech. “IBM Safer Payments uses artificial intelligence designed to deliver insights and to quickly adapt to a changing threat landscape. This technology is yielding successful results for FIS and some of the world’s largest and most complex payment portfolios.”

FIS most recently demoed at FinovateFall 2016. The company debuted its Cardless Cash solution that provides fast, secure options for sending and picking up cash at any ATM. Headquartered in Florida, FIS’ solutions move $9 trillion each year for 20,000 clients in 130 countries.

IBM’s IBM Trusteer demoed its new account fraud solution at FinovateEurope 2018.

Finovate Alumni News


  • FIS Integrates with IBM to Help Clients Counter Fraud.

Around the web

  • Blackhawk Network unveils new line of gift cards.
  • Tinkoff GDRs will be included in MOEX Russia indices next month.
  • Finantix opens new office in Sydney, Australia.

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


  • Glance Powers Visual Customer Engagement for Axos Bank.

Around the web

  • Klarna added 60,000 new merchants in 2019,a group which now totals 190,000+.
  • Australia-based Heritage Bank signs 5-year services agreement with Diebold Nixdorf.
  • FIS integrates IBM’s Safer Payments solution with its P2P services to help prevent fraud.
  • Onfido partners with online currency exchange company b-sharpe to provide a better sign up experience using Onfido’s AI-powered identity verification.

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.

IBM and Bank of America Partner on Public Cloud for Financial Services

IBM and Bank of America Partner on Public Cloud for Financial Services

How serious is IBM about making an impact in fintech? The company, which demonstrated its wealth management technology at FinovateSpring in 2016, launched its first financial services-ready public cloud today and revealed Bank of America as its initial partner. The two companies have been working together on the project for more than a year, and the bank said it plans to host key applications and workloads on the platform to better serve its 66 million banking customers. According to reporting in The Wall Street Journal, Bank of America currently has 80% of its IT workload on a private cloud and has been planning a move to a public cloud since 2012.

The IBM financial services public cloud will help banks and other financial services companies more effectively engage with qualified technology vendors. In its statement, IBM highlighted the fact that the cloud will also help financial services firms meet regulatory, security, and resiliency requirements for working with fintechs. The company added that the solution is the only industry-specific, public cloud platform to provide preventative and compensatory controls for financial services regulatory workloads, multi-architecture support, and proactive and automated security.

Bank of America helped IBM develop the platform’s control requirements which, for example, will help both ISVs and SaaS providers of all sizes focus on their businesses rather than security, infrastructure, and compliance issues once platform controls are established.

Calling the pact, “one of the most important collaborations in the financial services industry cloud space,” Bank of America Chief Operations and Technology Officer Cathy Bessant explained that the bank expects to give as much as it gets from the relationship. “This industry-first platform will allow Bank of America to use the public cloud, putting data security, resiliency, privacy, and customer information safety needs at the forefront of decision-making,” Bessant said. “By setting a standard that addresses the concern of hosting highly-confidential information, we aim to drive the public cloud to a safety level that is unmatched.”

The IBM financial services-ready cloud will run on IBM’s public cloud. IBM’s public cloud leverages open source technologies, including a managed Red Hat OpenShift environment, to support more than 1,000 enterprise clients. The platform leverages more than 16,000 production clusters, provides industry-leading compliance for data encryption, and relies on integration with IBM Security to deliver threat monitoring and management from a centralized security dashboard.

“The financial services-ready public cloud represents an ongoing focus from Bank of America, IBM, and Promontory to help develop a technology ecosystem where regulations can be addressed,” IBM SVP for Global Industries, Clients, Platforms & Blockchain Bridget van Kralingen said. “Together we plan to help our customers address their ongoing compliance requirements, coupled with highly scalable, standardized capabilities that will be built to help serve today’s modern financial services industry.” Promontory is an IBM business unit focused on financial services regulatory compliance consulting that was brought in to ensure an environment that was compliant with relevant regulations.

In addition to its FinovateSpring appearance in 2016, IBM also participated in our developers conference, FinDEVrNewYork 2017. The presentation by CTO Tom Eck discussed how thousands of developers were successfully building and monetizing “cognitive-enabled” financial services apps quickly and at scale.

Founded in 1911, IBM is based in Armonk, New York. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker IBM, and has a market capitalization of $122 billion.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Avaloq Seeks Exit: M&A or IPO?
  • eToro’s Latest Acquisition Boosts its Crypto Presence
  • IBM and Bank of America Partner on Public Cloud for Financial Services

Around the web

  • DefenseStorm names Chief Revenue Officer Steve Soukup as its new President.
  • NICE Actimize introduces its new Federated Learning capability that offers higher fraud detection via Collective Intelligence.
  • Fiserv inks global agreement with German grocery industry leader ALDI.
  • GoCardless to use TransferWise’s API, TransferWise for Business product, and provide TransferWise’s FX rates to its customers.
  • PayKey forms SBI PayKey Asia, a joint venture with SBI Holdings that will support the sales and market launch of PayKey across the region.
  • ThetaRay taps Moran Goldwein as SVP for Human Resources.
  • Infinex to integrate Jemstep’s Advisor Pro to deliver digital advice to Infinex’s client firms.

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.

Privakey, bleu Join IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator’s 2020 Class

Privakey, bleu Join IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator’s 2020 Class

A pair of Finovate alums – Privakey and bleu – have earned spots in the 2020 class of the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator. The program, launched this June, is dedicated to supporting innovative startups in both the fintech and healthtech industries. A total of 15 companies from nine countries were selected for the Accelerator’s incoming class.

Each participating startup will get up to $120,000 in IBM Cloud credits, an in-person workshop in the U.S., technical and business mentorship, and business value design assistance, as well as access to IBM’s network of partners, customers, and stakeholders. Startups will also work with program collaborators such as IBM Alpha Zone, Queen City Fintech, and MEDICI.

The IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator added that it will use IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services powered by LinuxONE to ensure program startups have “the highest level of security, uptime, availability” as they innovate and scale their solutions.

Privakey demonstrated its cloud-based, identity and authentication service at FinovateFall 2017. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Privakey began the year with the release of the latest version of its Privakey CX solution. Last month, the company launched its PSD2 Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) solution.

“Our PSD2 compliant solution is designed to eliminate what merchants fear most about SCA – shopping cart abandonment,” Privakey CEO Charlie Durkin said. “The customer experiences a transaction flow that is intuitive, simple, consistent, and contextual. Privakey eliminates out-of-band codes and other inconvenient authentication methods typically associated with SCA.”

Making its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2015, bleu leverages low energy Bluetooth beacons to facilitate mobile transactions. A small wireless device sends a Bluetooth signal to a customer’s Bleu app when they enter a store. The beacon links the customer with the store and when the customer is ready to pay, they choose their preferred method of payment to automatically complete the transaction.

The Los Angeles, California-based company was founded in 2014. Sesie Bonsi is CEO.

Along with Privakey and bleu, the rest of the cohort is below:

  • Azaad Health (healthtech – Pakistan)
  • BioTrillion (healthtech – U.S.)
  • Cube Wealth (fintech – India)
  • encore (fintech – U.A.E./Pakistan)
  • Fostrum (fintech – Canada)
  • Galen Data (healthtech – U.S.)
  • Home Lending Pal (mortgagetech – U.S.)
  • MotionsCloud (insurtech – German)
  • My Allergy (healthtech – U.K.)
  • px pulse (healthtech – U.S./Pakistan)
  • Verge.Capital (fintech – Ireland)
  • Wayapay (fintech – Kenya)
  • Well Kept Beauty (healthtech – U.S.)

The startups selected for the Class of 2020 were chosen by an expert panel of peers from IBM and Queen City Fintech. The criteria used by the panelists included team, value proposition, mission, problem statement, vision, target market, business and economic model, and technical roadmap.

IBM Launches Hyper Protect Accelerator for Pre-Series A Startups

IBM Launches Hyper Protect Accelerator for Pre-Series A Startups

Early-stage, next generation fintechs are the target of the new accelerator program launched by IBM this week: The IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator Powered by IBM LinxuOne. Selected companies will collaborate with IBM and its partners, IBM Alpha Zone, Queen City Fintech, and MEDICI as they work to turn their startups into “sustainable and scalable companies.”

A total of fifteen early-stage, pre-Series A startups from both fintech and healthtech will be selected for the program. The application window closes at the end of July, and companies are expected to be selected in September. Later that fall, startups will participate in an in-person workshop event where they will have the opportunity to demo their solutions before an audience of IBM partners, customers, and investors.

IBM will provide the companies with a virtual mentorship of monthly one-on-one and quarterly all-hands check-ins for two years after completing the program. The startups will also benefit from a one-year business mentorship, with monthly and quarterly consultations, and the opportunity for the startup to participate in a second in-person demo day.

Companies in the program will be able to access technical workshops from IBM, and take advantage of a 300+ member network of business mentors and technical support. Startups will also have access to up to $10,000 a month in IBM cloud technology credits that can be applied each month to access IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services. Up to $120,000 in credit can be earned by startups by the end of the program.

IBM will leverage its LinuxONE server platform to power IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services and provide the kind of highly secure environment necessary for fintech and healthtech companies that need to protect sensitive data in cloud native apps. The highly scalable platform will also ensure that program participants will enjoy maximum uptime and availability.

IBM has been a Finovate alum since 2016 when it demonstrated its Client Insight for Wealth Management solution. The company has also been a participant in our developers conferences, presenting the Implementation of the Hyperledger Project at IBM with Blockchain as a Service at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016. Most recently, IBM Security demonstrated its IBM Trusteer New Account Fraud solution at FinovateEurope 2018.

Finovate Alumni News


  • When Stockholm Met Silicon Valley: Trustly to Merge with PayWithMyBank.
  • IBM Launches Hyper Protect Accelerator for Pre-Series A Startups.

Around the web

  • Multiple Finovate alums listed on Growjo’s list of 10,000 fastest growing companies.
  • Minna Technologies partners with Visa to enable subscription management through European retail banks.
  • Trust Science partners with Inovatec Systems Corporation to release an automated lending platform.
  • BeSmartee integrates with LoanBeam to streamline the mortgage loan application process.
  • Lendio CEO Brock Blake named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalist.
  • Revolut goes live in Australia as beta offering.

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


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

Around the web

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

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

IBM Debuts Blockchain Network for Cross-Border Payments

IBM Debuts Blockchain Network for Cross-Border Payments


IBM has unveiled a global blockchain network, Blockchain World Wire, that will offer near real-time cross-border payment exchange and international settlement. Blockchain World Wire can transfer funds in 47 currencies to locations in 72 countries, and the company is calling it the first blockchain network of its kind to integrate payment messaging, clearing and settlement in a single unified network.

“We’ve created a new type of payment network designed to accelerate remittances and transform cross-border payments to facilitate the movement of money in countries that need it most,” General Manager of IBM Blockchain Marie Wieck said. “By creating a network where financial institutions support multiple digital assets, we expect to spur innovation and improve financial inclusion worldwide.”

Blockchain World Wire leverages the Stellar protocol to support point-to-point money transfers, cutting out the intermediaries of conventional correspondent banking. World Wire also shortens settlement time by transmitting value via digital assets (i.e., cryptocurrencies or stable coins).

The network currently supports settlement with Stellar Lumens and a U.S. dollar-based stable coin. Six global banks have signed letters of intent to issue their own stable coins on the network, which will add the Euro, the Indonesian Rupiah, the Philippine Peso, the Korean Won, and the Brazilian Real to the mix.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) of the Philippines and Banco Bradesco of Brazil are among the banks that have announced their participation in IBM’s new initiative. Representatives from both institutions highlighted “innovation” and the need to “enhance” or “add value” to the customer experience as key factors in the decision to join the network. Also believed to have signed a letter of intent is South Korea’s Banco Busan.

IBM participated in our developers conference, FinDEVrNewYork 2017, discussing the IBM Cloud for Financial Services. The company’s security division, IBM Trusteer, demonstrated its latest technology to fight new account fraud at FinovateEurope earlier this year. A leader in open source blockchain technology solutions for the enterprise, IBM has a market capitalization of $124 billion, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “IBM.”