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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
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.
Finovate alums Hydrogen, Sedicii, Strands, and Wealth Migrateearn finalist spots in the South African Reserve Bank’s Fintech Demo Day.
Carbon CEO Chijioke Dozie offersFive 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 deployEfigence’sEFI4 Digital Banking Platform.
Deloitte Romania and FintechOSpartner to offer banks digital transformation and automation solutions.
Sberbankunveils 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.
Prepaid payments innovator InComm is continuing its shopping spree this week. The Atlanta-based company announced it has agreed to buy Meridian Loyalty, a loyalty and incentives company that creates engagement tools for large corporations. The amount of the acquisition was undisclosed.
The move not only offers InComm access to Missouri-based Meridian Loyalty’s global database of Fortune 500 clients, it also will bolster InComm’s incentives product offerings that include B2C, B2B, and employee programs. Specifically, Meridian Loyalty’s technology will help InComm reach beyond its stored value products and offer holistic, brand-focused services such as travel and merchandise redemptions.
Explaining the purchase, InComm CEO Brooks Smith said that it’s moving the company towards “helping [its] customers maximize the performance of their programs.” Sam Toumayan, President and Owner of Meridian Loyalty, added, “… [O]ur point of view has been rewards-agnostic from day one. We’re incredibly excited to be joining the InComm team and finding innovative ways to drive positive client outcomes.”
InComm offers more than 500,000 points of retail distribution with 1,000+ brand partners in more than 30 countries. The company debutedCorFire Mobile Commerce at FinovateFall 2011. More recently, InComm showed off the Cashtie API at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2014. Last month, the company purchased Hallmark Business Connections, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards that provides employee incentive programs. In March InComm acquired Linq3 Technologies, an Atlanta, Georgia-based digital lottery company.
Prepaid payments company InComm has purchased Hallmark Business Connections, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards that provides employee incentive programs. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Hallmark built Hallmark Business Connections as its business relationships unit. The subsidiary offers physical and digital greeting cards to promote employee engagement to celebrate career milestones, company achievements, workplace excellence, and personal growth. Hallmark Business Connections also sells customer engagement cards such as those for direct marketing, customer care, and member outreach.
Hallmark Business Connections customers, which include Wells Fargo, State Farm, and Zappos, span a range of industries. The company is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, with offices in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota.
“Hallmark Business Connections has built on the iconic Hallmark greeting card brand to empower companies with the means to create personalized incentive programs that recognize employees for dedication to their organization,” said Brooks Smith, CEO of InComm. “By combining this business with InComm’s existing loyalty and incentives solutions, we are able to offer an unprecedented level of technology and expertise that will help companies create the most engaging incentive programs possible.”
This is InComm’s ninth acquisition after buying digital lottery company Linq3 Technologies in March. The purchase helps solidify the Atlanta-based company’s expansion from stored value reward cards into more comprehensive incentives programs.
Prepaid payments innovator InComm is expanding into wearables this week. The Georgia-based company announced its MyVanilla Prepaid Mastercard is compatible with Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay.
This is the first prepaid card to work with Fitbit and Garmin; prior to today’s announcement both were limited to debit and credit cards.
“The payments industry is steadily moving toward a digital ecosystem, and we are ensuring both consumers and our retail partners are ready for this change,” said Michael Parlotto, Vice President of Emerging Technologies at InComm. “Bringing MyVanilla to Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay allows consumers to quickly and confidently use their prepaid cards on the go.”
With the launch, consumers using the MyVanilla general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid card can make payments using Fitbit’s and Garmin’s mobile wallets at locations where Mastercard prepaid payments are accepted. Compatible devices include the Fitbit Charge 3, Fitbit Ionic, and Fitbit Versa; as well as the Garmin D2 Delta, Garmin fenix 5, Garmin Forerunner 645, and Garmin vivoactive 3.
The consumer’s card number is never stored on their wearable device. Rather, the device generates a unique token to process the transaction, ensuring card number secrecy in the event the watch is lost or stolen.
Along with the wearables announcement, InComm unveiled it will bring NFC capabilities to retailers in its payment network. This update will allow InComm prepaid cardholders to reload Vanilla Prepaid cards that are connected to mobile wallets by tapping their NFC-capable phone. “[O]ur launch of tap-to-reload capabilities expands our suite of payment processing tools to include full lifecycle management of the mobile payments ecosystem, from provisioning capabilities to reload processing,” said Parlotto.