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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
Current, a challenger bank focused on underbanked consumers, locked in a partnership with InComm, a prepaid solutions company.
By teaming up with InComm, Current will allow its 1.4 million accountholders to deposit cash to their Current account at select physical retail locations.
The new solution is powered by InComm’s Vanilla Direct platform, which will leverage a barcode on the Current app. While visiting one of 60,000 participating retail chains, including 7-Eleven, Dollar General, and Family Dollar, accountholders can give the cashier their cash deposits. The cashier, in turn, scans the barcode on the customer’s Current app, and the cash is delivered to their account.
“Our VanillaDirect mobile barcode solution is perfectly aligned with Current’s vision of bringing financial services to its customers, and in this instance providing their customers with a simple and convenient experience for making cash deposits in an extensive network of retail locations across the United States,” said Tim Richardson, Senior Vice President at InComm.
Traditionally, users at online-only banks deposit cash via ATMs. This solution, however, may not be appealing to underbanked users. Additionally, it would require Current to form ATM network partnerships.
Remember when the mobile payments game was first getting started? The industry was rallying around NFC as the technology of choice for mobile payments. BLE was a close second, and QR codes were generally the last choice.
That was in 2012 and now it appears that 2020 is throwing us yet another curve ball– QR Codes are back in style in the U.S. That’s because PayPal has partnered with InComm to launch its PayPal and Venmo QR codes technology at pharmacy chain CVS.
This move will implement low-touch mobile payments at CVS’ 8,200 brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S., offering shoppers a secure payment experience without needing to touch a keypad or sign a receipt.
PayPal users can pay using stored debit or credit cards, bank accounts, their PayPal balance, or PayPal Credit. Venmo users can also pay using their stored debit or credit cards and bank account, but will additionally be able to tap into their Venmo balance or Venmo Rewards.
“In the midst of COVID-19, we have seen an incredible acceleration of digital payments and touch-free payments,” said PayPal EVP and CPO Mark Britto. “Companies of all types and sizes are looking for ways to maintain the safety of their customers and employees, especially through touch-free experiences like curbside pickup and enhanced online shopping. QR codes complement these and provide retailers an additional payment method that furthers this touch-free mission and continues the growth of digital payments for all partners in the ecosystem. The essential nature of pharmacies makes CVS Pharmacy the perfect initial partner for PayPal and Venmo QR Codes – and we’re proud to help their customers stay safe while purchasing what they need.”
This week’s deal also marks a multi-year agreement between PayPal and InComm. The partnership enables InComm to distribute PayPal QR Code technology to its network of retailers, allowing them to integrate the QR code payment technology into their POS terminals.
PayPal has been touting its touch-free payment technology amidst the COVID-19 pandemic (see below). And given the payment giant’s previous traction and existing user base, the company will certainly come out on top as a winner in the post-pandemic economy.
Elsewhere across the globe, QR code payments have already seen success. Ant Group’s Alipay uses QR codes for in-store payments and had over a 50% adoption rate at the end of 2018.
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.
How’s $7 billion for good karma? One of Finovate’s earliest alumsCredit Karma is reportedly the target of what would be Intuit’s biggest acquisition to date. According to The Wall Street Journal, the cash and stock deal could be announced as early as Monday.
Credit Karma will continue to function as an independent company with founder and CEO Kenneth Lin at the helm. The acquisition gives Intuit, maker of online tax filing service TurboTax, another contact point with the online personal finance world. Credit Karma provides its members with access to their credit scores and borrowing histories, helps them monitor their accounts for security breaches and, perhaps most relevantly, has offered a free online tax preparation service since 2017.
If the deal holds up, Intuit will be paying a significant premium for Credit Karma. The personal financial wellness company was last valued at $4 billion, based on a 2018 private market transaction.
The victory may have been especially sweet for Sonect, whose Best of Show award-winning demo was also the company’s Finovate debut. The Switzerland-based start-up offers what it calls “the world’s first social cash network” that enables consumers to access cash without having to visit a bank branch or ATM. Sonect offers merchants the ability to grow their business via increased traffic and gives financial institutions a way to extend their ATM networks without the cost of additional hardware.
The Best of Show win was also a first for Horizn. The company, which made its Finovate debut three years ago at FinovateEurope, offers a platform that helps employees and customers maximize the opportunities of digitized financial services. Horizn uses simulator microlearning, as well as gamification and advanced analytics, to promote digital adoption across channels.
And last but not least, a special tip of the hat to Dorsum, Glia, iProov, and W.UP, all of whom won Best of Show honors at FinovateEurope for a second year in a row.
Here’s a round up of recent news from our Finovate alumni.
Larkyenters reseller agreement with Access Softek.
Bison Bank in Lisbon, Portugal selects PSD2-ready software from ndigit.
OurCrowdexpands focus on growing early stage tech companies.
Finovate Alum Features and Profiles
eToro’s Evolution – Social trading and investment platform eToro has never been one to stand still for very long. The company’s development cycle is fast enough to make even the most sprightly fintech jealous.
Lending Club Snaps Up Radius Bank for $185 Million – When Lending Club was founded in 2007, the startup aimed to serve as a place to help borrowers avoid dealing with banks. In a somewhat ironic move today, that same startup is becoming a bank itself.
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.