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Digital receipts platform ReceiptHero will join Mastercard’s Lighthouse Development Program in September. The Helsinki, Finland-based company made its Finovate debut earlier this year at our Berlin conference, demonstrating how its digital receipts technology makes accounting easier for banks and PSPs while giving customers greater transparency into their spending.
ReceiptHero is one of 15 companies from the Nordic and Baltic countries to be included in the program’s fall cohort. Participating startups will work with program partners such as Swedbank, SEB, and OP Bank, and receive guidance on topics such as communications and marketing, as well as strategic development. The startups also will explore potential collaboration opportunities with program partners. In the final stage of the program, the companies will have the ability to make digital pitches to investors.
“By joining the latest Lighthouse batch, we hope to work closely with Mastercard and its partnering banks on making digital receipts the new normal,” ReceiptHero CEO Joel Ojala said.
Also participating in the fall program are five companies from Sweden: Gimi, Charge, Youcal, Ponture, and FossID; and five companies from Lithuania: Kevin, ConnectPay, Regvolution, Spell, and Savings Pands. In addition to ReceiptHero, there are another four companies from Finland: Voima Gold, XMLdation, Arctic Security, and InvestSuit.
“In every edition of the Lighthouse Program, we can see that the Nordics and Baltics are genuinely leading in payments innovation,” Head of Digital Development and Fintech Engagement for Mastercard in the Nordics and Baltics Mats Taraldsson said. “This proves the importance of strengthening the ecosystem through open innovation platforms such as Lighthouse.”
Founded in 2018, ReceiptHero teamed up with Verifone last fall, enabling digital receipts to be linked to customers’ payment cards. Verifone has a major presence in the Nordic region, and the partnership allowed ReceiptHero to access not only a larger part of the Finland market, but also to expand to other Baltic countries where Verifone “already has a large footprint,” Ojala said. Later that same month, ReceiptHero announced a collaboration with Nordea, which added the company’s digital receipts to its Nordea Wallet app.
ReceiptHero began 2020 with a pledge to plant one million trees by 2025 by donating $1 to conservation charity One Tree Planted for every new merchant that joins its digital receipt platform.
This week’s announcement that Stripe had hired former General Motors Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara as its own new CFO is a reminder that the hunt for top talent in fintech has never been hotter. As tech titians and financial services giants embrace fintech solutions, the pressure to find the most effective leaders, the most insightful technologists, and other key executives is forcing companies to up their game when it comes to attracting the best of the best.
With that in mind, here are another nine companies who in 2020 have done just that: made a major, C-suite addition to their leadership ranks that should help propel their respective companies to the next level.
Nicolas Weng Kan – Yolt CEO – news. Former Google Compare CEO Kan took the helm of ING’s smart money app, Yolt, as well as Yolt Technology Services (YTS), a provider of open banking services in Europe last month. Yolt won Best Personal Finance App at the Wealth & Finance FinTech Awards earlier this month.
Anna Manz – London Stock Exchange CFO – news. The London Stock Exchange has a new Chief Financial Officer as former Johnson Matthey CFO and executive director Anna Manz succeeds David Warren, who had held the position since 2012. Prior to her time at Johnson Matthey, Manz spent more than 16 years in executive roles with Diageo.
Lucy Hagues – Capital One UK CEO – news. Hagues, who spent three years as Chief Marketing Officer at Capital One UK and is an alum of the firm’s graduate program, replaced outgoing CEO Amy Lenander. Hagues is the first program graduate to reach the CEO’s office.
Nkihil Rathi – Financial Conduct Authority CEO – news. Appointed CEO of the FCA at the age of 40, U.K. head of the London Stock Exchange Rathi is the first member of an ethnic minority to lead the regulatory body.
Steven van Rijswijk – ING CEO – news. ING Chief Risk Officer Steven van Rijswijk is the company’s latest CEO. He took over for outgoing Ralph Hamers who is headed toward a CEO post at UBS. Van Rijswijk’s promotion comes after 25 years of service at the bank.
Brady Harris – Dwolla CEO – news. Former President of payment solution provider Payscape, Harris was tapped by Dwolla founder Ben Milne to lead the company this spring. Milne praised Harris for helping lead Payscape’s merger with Payroc, “creating a full-service payment powerhouse that operates in 46 countries.”
Michael Miebach – Mastercard CEO – news. “Putting products first” might be one way to describe Mastercard’s decision to replace its outgoing CEO Ajay Banga – who is transitioning to the role of executive chairman – with the company’s chief product officer Michael Miebach. A 10-year Mastercard veteran, Mieback is credited for being a “key architect” of the company’s “multi-rail strategy.”
Hironori Kamezawa – MUFG CEO – news. The appointment of Kamezawa as Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group was a bit surprising, insofar as the outgoing CEO has only been in place for a year. But observers speculated that Kamezawa’s leadership will likely mean a broader and more aggressive embrace of fintech by the company.
Asger Hattel – Signicat CEO – news. A new year, a new CEO for the Denmark-based digital identity solution provider as former CEO and Head of Nets Merchant Services Asger Hattel took leadership of Signicat in January. Hattel replaces company co-founder Gunnar Nordseth, who will remain as a shareholder and help support business development.
A report earlier this year from PwC highlighted the “changing competitive landscape” for fintech and banking in Nigeria. For those looking to learn more about both the growing impact of technology in financial services in one of the major countries in Africa, as well as the challenge created by COVID-19, PwC’s review provides an comprehensive overview.
The report also concludes with nine recommendations the analysts believe would encourage continued growth in Nigeria’s fintech ecosystem. These recommendations range from making it easier to invest in fintech companies to encouraging partnerships and “strengthen(ing) the synergy between banks and FinTech players” in a mutually beneficial way.
Financial inclusion is a huge part of both the challenge of – and the opportunity for – fintech in Nigeria. The report notes that more than 30 million adult Nigerians do not have or use either formal or informal financial services products or solutions. This represents more than a third of the country’s adult population. And while the report points out that mobile money operators have been among the businesses to help bring more financial services to the underbanked, there are some fintechs that have taken up the cause of financial inclusion, as well. A trio of these companies are highlighted below:
Bankly is a cash digitization and savings platform that caters to Nigeria’s unbanked. The company provides a digital wallet that is secure, convenient, and accessible, and all users require in order to open an account is a phone number. Bankly leverages more than 2,000 agents across 29 of the country’s 36 states to scale the company’s offering.
In operation for just over a year, Bankly has already picked up recognition from the 2019 Innovating Justice Awards sponsored by the Hague Institute for the Innovation of Law. The company has also participated in the GreenHouse Capital accelerator program. Tomilola Adejana (CEO) and Fredrick Adams are co-founders.
Covr Branchless offers banks, insurance companies, and government agencies a suite of applications that enable them to leverage cloud, GPS, and mobile channels to conduct a wide variety of financial processes. Account opening, instant debit card linking, cash withdrawals, fund transfer, billpay, KYC validation and loan origination are among the operations enabled by Covr’s technology.
Covr is owned by Advancio Interactive, a Nigerian technology company focused on sustainable financial access that was founded by Olufisayo Oludare (Managing Director). Covr won Advancio first place at the Startup Istanbul Challenge in the fall of 2017, only the second Africa-based startup to do so.
FairMoney is a online micro lender that provides instant loans from N1,500 to N500,000 (approximately $4 to $1,300), with average loans of about N12,000 ($33-$35). Using the company’s Android mobile app, prospective borrowers apply for financing by answering a few questions and providing some basic financial information. The app analyzes this information – as well as the borrowers geolocation and other factors – to make a loan offer in a matter of minutes.
But what makes the company especially interesting is the fact that it is working to launch a challenger bank. FairMoney raised $11 million in Series A funding last fall for this purpose and plans to expand its offerings to include current and savings accounts.
Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.
Central and Southern Asia
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) encourages government to incentivize the use of QR code transactions and promotes the adoption of open, interoperable standards.
Amazon to offer car and motorcycle insurance in India courtesy of partnership with Acko General Insurance.
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) facilitates recurring payments with its new UPI AutoPay feature.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Brazil’s Central Bank reverses course to authorize payments system involving WhatsApp.
Payscout teams up with Brazilian fintech Rede Celer to grow its payments business in the country.
Partnership between FacePhi and Naranja X will help bring biometric recognition technology to digital onboarding processes for firms in Argentina.
Finovate: Ant Group’s Double IPO Listing Shuns U.S. Exchanges.
Trulioobrings its GlobalGateway identity verification technology to customers in Vietnam.
Crowdfund Insider takes a look at the impact of COVID-19 on fintech lending platforms in Indonesia.
Telco Orange and bancassurance company NSIA team up to launch Orange Bank Africa to serve underbanked communities in Abidjan and Cote d’Ivoire.
Vodacom partners with Ant Financial Services Group to bring Alipay services to South Africa.
Uganda-based digital cross-border money transfer startup Eversend raises $1 million via an oversubscribed Seeders crowdfunding campaign.
Central and Eastern Europe
Germany’s Scalable Capitallands $460 million valuation with new $58 million funding round.
Russian bank Tinkoffunveils new functionalities for its financial and lifestyle services voice assistant Oleg.
EstateGuru, a P2P lending platform based in Estonia, launches a new payment service in partnership with Lemonway.
Middle East and Northern Africa
Oman’s BankDhofar extends partnership with Diebold Nixdorf to improve the customer experience of its ATM network. Bank Nizwa, also based in Oman, announced an extension of its digital payments partnership with Mastercard.
Turkey-based online payments platform Mobilexpress secures $2 million in Series A funding.
Spotii, an e-commerce technology provider based in the UAE, unveils new deferred payment option.
The round was led by Coatue, and featured participation from both Goldman Sachs and Mastercard. Canaan, B Capital, XYZ Ventures, and angel investors including former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack were also involved in the round.
“The ongoing global pandemic and renewed focus on societal inequities make Bond’s mission of driving financial innovation and inclusion more important now than ever before,” Bond CEO and co-founder Roy Ng said in a statement. “Opportunity starts with access. We look to lead the industry in enabling banks and innovators across industries to level the playing field for consumers and small business.”
Bond offers banks a suite of developer-focused APIs and SDKs that remove friction from many of the critical processes involved in bank-brand partnerships, such as onboarding, technical integration, and product monitoring. Bond’s AI-enabled technology centralizes and streamlines these processes, and uses automation to provide oversight and ensure compliance.
“Today, more than ever, speed to market with a proven, reliable product is a competitive advantage,” explained Sherri Haymond, EVP, Digital Partnerships, Mastercard. “Bond provides an entirely new approach to help its fintech and bank partners deliver for the end user. We look forward to working with them as they move to this next stage.”
In a blog post discussing the announcement, Ng articulated the challenge facing smaller regional banks and community lenders when they try to forge partnerships with technology companies. He blamed a wide variety of factors – from compliance to operational constraints – for making it difficult for these partnerships to even “get off the ground.” This, Ng said, is where Bond comes in. “Rather than have every app and every bank recreate the wheel for each new partnership, Bond now does the hard work in the middle so banks and brands can each concentrate on what they do best,” he said.
For a year that began with Visa’s headline-making acquisition of Plaid, it seems almost poetic that near 2020’s midway mark, Mastercard would make a major fintech bid of its own.
The company has agreed to acquire Finicity, a real-time financial data and analytics provider and long-time Finovate alum, in a deal valued at nearly $1 billion. This figure represents a combination of the $825 million purchase price of the Salt Lake City, Utah fintech, as well as a potential earn-out for Finicity’s existing shareholders – subject to the company meeting certain performance targets.
“Since our founding, Nick Thomas and I have focused on developing industry-leading technology and building an organization that empowers consumers and organizations to better understand, manage, and use their financial data to improve their financial lives,” Finicity co-founder and CEO Steve Smith said. “Enabling people to access and control their data, while ensuring best practices to protect that data, will continue to drive tremendous innovation that increases financial literacy, inclusion, and health. This partnership with Mastercard helps us accelerate this mission globally.”
Mastercard President Michael Miebach cited open banking as one of the reasons for the company’s interest in Finicity. Referring to open banking as both a “growing global trend” and a “strategically important space,” Miebach praised Finicity’s ability to leverage open banking APIs to enable financial data and insights to streamline lending and mortgage processes, account-based payment initiation, and other PFM services. He also credited the company for its focus on the data rights of the consumer.
“(Finicity) shares our commitment to consumer-centric data practices, ensuring consumers have a say in how and where their information should be used,” Miebach said.
Founded in 2000, Finicity provides financial data APIs, credit decisioning tools, and financial wellness solutions that help financial institutions and fintechs better serve their customers. The company’s technology helps power solutions like ExperianBoost and Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. Named a Best Place to Work in Fintech by American Banker for the last three consecutive years, Finicity began 2020 partnering with SaaS-based marketing automation, CRM, and POS solution provider for banks and mortgage companies, Volly.
Mastercardannounced a partnership with Samsung’s security platform, Samsung Knox today in a move that will serve to foster digital inclusion across emerging markets.
“This partnership with Mastercard is our way of making that future available to everyone by helping to close the digital divide, especially in emerging economies and countries,” explained KC Choi, executive vice president of Global Mobile B2B at Samsung.
The two will use Mastercard’s Pay on Demand platform which offers consumers device financing via a pay-as-you-go model. Built by Mastercard Labs, Pay on Demand brings together banks, equipment manufacturers, and telcos to solve issues limiting device financing in underserved markets. The program consists of four components:
A lending marketplace that aggregates lenders who offer affordable device financing
Samsung’s Knox security platform that ensure the safety of consumer data and transactions
Tools that help consumers analyze and build their credit history from usage data
Virtual card numbers that can be used for everyday transactions and to make payments on a device
“At Mastercard, we see a connected world where opportunity and prosperity are possible for everyone, everywhere,” said Jorn Lambert, executive vice president of Digital Solutions at Mastercard. “The Pay on Demand platform enables us to deliver on that vision and foster financial inclusion, giving consumers an opportunity to participate in digital commerce. By combining Samsung’s device management and security expertise with Mastercard’s innovative technology, we are creating an ecosystem that can deliver measurable, positive impact to the communities we serve.”
Pay On Demand will be launched in the Middle East and Africa in early 2020 and will extend to other geographical locations later this year.
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.
Russia has a new tech billionaire. The $500 million raised by financial platform Revolut this week not only establishes the U.K.-based business as the country’s most valuable fintech. It also makes its founder and CEO, Moscow-born Nikolay Storonsky, the latest fintech billionaire to come from the Russian Republic.
The investment was led by Technology Crossover Ventures – a U.S. firm – and takes Revolut’s total capital to $836 million. Revolut now sports a valuation of $5.5 billion.
Storonsky’s net worth figure – on paper, at least – is based on a Forbes report from last February in which he noted that his stake in Revolut was being diluted to 30%.
As part of this big week for U.K. fintechs, SME lender iwoca picked up $109 million funding and expansion into Germany. B-Social, a social payments app based in London, raised $10 million ahead of its transformation into a fully-licensed challenger bank later this year. And Azimopartnered with fellow Finovate alum Ripple to facilitate cross-border payments to the Philippines.
This week on Finovate.com, we featured a profile of Innovate Israel founder and CEO Itai Green and his thoughts on open innovation and collaboration between corporates and startups. We also highlighted Finovate newcomer Sonect, a Swiss company that demonstrated its Best of Show winning virtual cash network at FinovateEurope earlier this month.
Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.
Central and Southern Asia
Indian fintech PhoneParLoan announces new investment from accelerator MOX. The amount of the funding was not disclosed.
Bengaluru-based digital billpay company XPay Life goes live in India.
Envestnet | Yodleeacquires Indian data aggregator FinBit.io.
Latin America and the Caribbean
AlphaCredit, a Mexico City-based fintech, raises $125 million in round led by the SoftBank Innovation Fund.
Mexico issues its first license – to NVIO Pagos Mexico – under its new fintech law.
U.S. Bancorp’s merchant acquirer subsidiary, Elavon, sells its Mexican operations to banking group Santander.
AzimotapsRipple for cross-border payments to the Philippines.
Philippines-based Tonik Financial raises $6 million ahead of the launch of its new digital offering.
Malaysia’s biggest telecom, Axiata Group, is the latest company in the country to announce plans to pursue a digital banking license.
South Africa’s Jumo raises $55 million in combined debt and equity funding.
Nigeria’s The Nation looks at how fintech empowers startups.
Kenyan B2B e-commerce platform Sokowatch locks in $14 million Series A funding.
Central and Eastern Europe
Mastercardexpands its partnership with Rakuten Viber to bring P2P payments to Romania.
A new $500 million funding round for Revolutmakes the company’s founder and CEO Nikolay Storonsky Russia’s latest tech billionaire.
Apple Pay goes live in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Middle East and Northern Africa
Kashat, an Egyptian mobile app that offers short-term loans of up to $95 to the underbanked, goes live in Cairo and Alexandria.
Jordanian SME lending marketplace Liwwa raises $5 million in growth funding.
A new agreement between Tencent Holdings and Network International will expand WeChat Pay’s presence in the UAE.
Mastercardannounced today it has received approval from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to set up a domestic bankcard clearing institution in China. PBOC has given Mastercard, along with its partner NetsUnion Clearing Corp (NUCC), one year to begin clearing activity in China.
This move comes after a long period of restricted payment card operations in China. For the past ten years, foreign payment card companies could only tap into China’s credit card market via partnership with state-run UnionPay.
“China is a vital market for us and we have reiterated our unwavering commitment to helping drive a safer, more inclusive and seamless payments ecosystem for Chinese consumers and businesses,” said Mastercard President and CEO Ajay Banga. “We remain focused on working with the Chinese government and local partners to grow the overall payments infrastructure.”
According to Bloomberg, which estimates the payments market in China to be $27 trillion, the country has 8.2 billion bank cards in circulation 90% of which are debit cards.
Thanks to a recent trade deal with the U.S., China has ended the monopoly of state-run payments and so far has already opened its doors to American Express and PayPal after the payments company took a 70% stake in China-based GoPay.
Courtesy of a new partnership with Mastercard, SoFi members will have access to a new range of products and in-person experiences – including a new fan experience for visitors at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California. SoFi will develop these offerings by leveraging Mastercard’s payments network, which will also serve as the exclusive card network for SoFi’s to-be-released credit card.
“Our mission at SoFi is to help our members achieve financial independence to realize their ambitions,” SoFi CEO Anthony Noto said. “In order to do so, we must build products and services that help our members ‘Get Their Money Right’.”
The partnership between SoFi and Mastercard will bring new member benefits to users of the SoFi Money debit card, which enables users to make transactions from their SoFi Money cash management account, launched last February. Cardholders will now benefit from cashback rewards, complimentary cell phone insurance, discounted airport concierge services, as well as other perks thanks to the Mastercard relationship.
“It is imperative that our partners are leaders in technological innovation, security, and enhanced benefits,” Noto said, “and Mastercard is an industry leader across all of those areas.”
SoFi, in collaboration with Quovo, participated in our developers conference, FinDEVr New York, in 2017. Together, the companies’ presentation “How Quovo and SoFi Perfected Bank Authentication” demonstrated how the integration of Quovo’s Authentication API supports the secure and streamlined authentication of financial accounts.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and founded in 2011, SoFi currently has 900,000+ members who rely on the firm’s growing array of solutions for borrowing, saving, spending, and investing. SoFi has raised $2.5 billion in funding – including a May 2019 investment of $500 million in a round led by Qatar Investment Authority – and has a valuation of more than $4.8 billion.
Mastercard, the world’s second-largest payment processor, has acquired AI and data analytics solutions company RiskRecon. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The payments giant anticipates the purchase will help its clients defend against cyber threats and data breaches. Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence for Mastercard, said that RiskRecon will boost Mastercard’s cyber security solutions. “Through a powerful combination of AI and data-driven advanced technology, RiskRecon offers an exciting opportunity to complement our existing strategy and technology to secure the cyber space,” Bhalla added.
Logistically, RiskRecon will remain in tact. While the Utah-based company is now dedicated to supporting Mastercard solutions, RiskRecon will continue to help other industries such as healthcare and manufacturing protect consumer and payment data, as well as intellectual property.
RiskRecon was founded in 2015 by Eric Blatte and Kelly White, who now serves as the company’s CEO. “By becoming part of their team, we have an opportunity to scale our solution and help companies in new industries and geographies take steps to better manage their cybersecurity risk,” White said.
Prior to today’s acquisition, RiskRecon had raised $40 million in three rounds of funding.