LendingFront, Veridium, Voca.ai Join Mastercard’s Start Path

LendingFront, Veridium, and Voca.ai are three of the seven companies recently selected to participate in Mastercard’s startup engagement program, Start Path. The accelerator program works with startups from a variety of fields ranging from banking and biometrics to data intelligence and security. Participating companies will access Mastercard’s worldwide ecosystem and leverage their new relationship with Mastercard and its customers to expand into new markets.

“After searching around its presence in 210 geographies and beyond,” a statement from Mastercard Start Path read, “Mastercard and seven startups are descending upon Dublin this week to ignite their collaboration.”

Start Path begins with a kick-off event that helps the program administrators get to know the companies, define goals and introduce startups to Mastercard’s partners, as well as future channels and customers. The majority of the program consists of a six-month virtual engagement that companies participate in from their home location.

Upon successful completion of the Start Path program, companies that have produced what the program referred to as “tangible value” for Mastercard’s partners will be eligible for potential strategic investment.

“The diverse technologies comprising the latest Start Path wave is a snapshot of the nearly 10,000 startups and fintechs connected to Start Path since its founding in 2014,” the program announcement noted. “It also shows how, through Mastercard Labs, we partner successfully to explore new technologies, accelerate new concepts and deliver transformative growth and change to the commerce landscape.”

The full roster of companies also includes Fligoo, mfarmPay, Monsoon CreditTech, and Segasec.

LendingFront demonstrated its Small Business Platform at FinovateFall 2016. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in New York City, the company offers an automated lending platform that consolidates processes typically conducted by disparate systems. The technology features application workflow for loan processing, a data engine, decision engine, offer screens, documentation and booking functionality, as well as servicing. LendingFront raised $4 million in Series A funding at the beginning of the year.

Massachusetts-based identity and access management solution provider Veridium demonstrated its VeridiumID with 4Fingers Touchless ID technology at FinovateEurope 2017. Earlier this month, the company unveiled its InMotion solution that leverages user behavior analytics to help secure online identities and prevent cyberfraud. Also this spring, Veridium partnered with Blue Turtle Technologies to drive adoption of biometric technology in Africa.

Best of Show winner Voca.ai demonstrated its intelligent virtual agent for call centers at FinovateEurope 2019 in February. It was the second Best of Show win for the company, which made its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia last fall. Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Herzliya, Israel, the company’s technology provides a flexible, natural-sounding, automated human voice system that improves customer satisfaction, and helps businesses convert and qualify more leads.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • LendingFront, Veridium, Voca.ai Join Mastercard’s Start Path.

Around the web

  • Kinetica releases active analytics platform to simplify architecture and deliver analytical applications at scale
  • Tango Card partners with StatementGames to deliver e-gift cards as a redemption option for StatementGames players.
  • Larky wins big at Finastra’s Innovation Challenge

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.

Mastercard to Acquire Digital Commerce Fraud Fighter Ethoca

Terms were not disclosed, but the announcement today that Mastercard has agreed to acquire real-time anti-fraud solution provider Ethoca is another sign of how seriously financial services firms are taking cybersecurity.

The deal, which is expected to close in Q2 of this year, will allow Mastercard to leverage Ethoca’s network of more than 5,000 merchants and 4,000 financial institutions to fight digital commerce fraud in general and the challenge of chargebacks in specific.

Ethoca’s technology enables merchants to get real-time data when potentially fraudulent transactions are spotted. This empowers merchants to analyze transactions and confirm, stop delivery, and/or reverse transactions before the chargeback process begins.

Calling Mastercard “a natural home,” Ethoca CEO Andre Edelbrock looked forward to extending the reach of the company’s anti-fraud solutions. “For more than a decade, we’ve connected e-commerce businesses with banks to make the payments system simpler and more secure,” Edelbrock said. “We are excited to have the opportunity to bring our service to more places and people, ultimately contributing to the best possible online payment experience.”

In a statement, Mastercard said that it plans to scale Ethoca’s capabilities and combine them with its own cybersecurity protocols, data insights, and AI-powered solutions to help fight e-commerce fraud. The press release noted a report from Juniper Research that indicated that retailers anticipate losing $130 billion over the next five years due to online fraud.

“Ethoca is a strong addition to our multilayered cyber strategy, helping customers take immediate action against fraud and eliminate chargebacks before they can occur,” Mastercard president of cyber and intelligence solutions Ajay Bhalla said. “In turn, consumers are provided with a better checkout experience every time they shop at a participating site.”

Ethoca demonstrated its Ethoca Alerts solution at FinovateEurope 2016. Founded in 2005, and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the company partnered with French payment system Cartes Bancaires in December. In October, Ethoca teamed up with American Express to help merchants better communicate with AMEX Customer Care during service calls.

With investors including Pivot Investment Partners, Spectrum Equity, and Difference Capital, Ethoca had raised $45 million in funding prior to today’s acquisition announcement.

Mastercard demonstrated its Cash Pick-Up solution at FinovateFall 2017. Last year, the company teamed up with Vipera to present mobile payment solution, SME-Pay, at FinovateEurope 2018.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Fiserv Helps NationalLink Maximize Smart Safe Technology.
  • Mastercard to Acquire Digital Commerce Fraud Fighter Ethoca.

Around the web

  • Carsharing firm HyreCar leverages identity verification technology from Mitek for its mobile onboarding app.
  • PayPal invests $750 million in Argentina’s e-commerce company, MercadoLibre.
  • Tinkoff Bank reports 2018 highlights including launch of new mortgage app, a joint P2P money transfer offering with Sberbank, and more than 2.7 million new active credit customers.
  • Best of Show winner Voleo chosen to participate in Netherlands-based fintech research program.
  • ThreatMetrix teams up with Blue Turtle Technologies to help market its fraud prevention solution to customers in Africa.
  • ArthaYantra wins Fintech of the Year (India) at The Asset Triple A Digital Awards.
  • Stash launches Stock-Back, a rewards program to bridge banking and investing.
  • Jack Henry to collaborate with the Zelle Network to launch JHA PayCenter.
  • InComm expands into lottery industry with Linq3 Technologies acquisition.

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.

What’s in a Name? New Mastercard Logo Embraces Icon Era

Who knew 2019 would be known as “The Year #Priceless Went Nameless”?

Consumers have been conditioned to recognize corporate icons like McDonald’s “Golden Arches” and Nike’s “Swoosh.” Now, with its decision to remove its name from its red and yellow brand mark, Mastercard is the latest major global brand to let a wordless logo do all the talking.

“Reinvention in the digital age calls for modern simplicity,” said Mastercard Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Raja Rajamannar in a press release explaining the change. “And with more than 80% of people spontaneously recognizing the Mastercard Symbol without the word ‘mastercard,’ we felt ready to take this step in our brand evolution. We are proud of our rich brand heritage and are excited to see the iconic circles standing on their own.”

The new logo – a pair of interlocking red and yellow circles – will be referred to as the Mastercard Symbol, and will be featured across cards, acceptance marks at online and off-line retail locations, as well as at major sponsorship properties.

The move is the second logo change for the company in recent years. The firm transitioned from “MasterCard” to “mastercard” in 2016, and added design changes that made the logo easier to display both horizontally and vertically. This latest logo redesign was developed by the same firm, Pentagram, that the company turned to in 2016.

“We live in a time where, increasingly, we communicate not through words but through icons and symbols,” Pentagram partner Michael Bierut said. “Now, by allowing (the Mastercard) symbol to shine on its own, Mastercard enters an elite cadre of brands that are represented not by name, but by symbol: an apple, a target, a swoosh.”

Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Purchase, New York, Mastercard most recently demonstrated its technology on the Finovate stage last year at FinovateEurope 2018. At the conference, the company partnered with Italian fintech Vipera to introduce a mobile payment solution, SME-Pay, geared toward small business owners.

The year before, at FinovateFall 2017, Mastercard demonstrated its Mastercard Cash Pick-Up solution. This technology enables disbursers ranging from P2P providers to NGOs and government agencies to deliver cash to consumers via enabled ATMs without the use of a card.

Mastercard trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “MA” and has a market capitalization of $198 billion. The company connects consumers, FIs, businesses, and governments in more than 210 countries and territories, and reported revenue of more than $12 billion in 2017.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • What’s in a Name? New Mastercard Logo Embraces Icon Age.
  • LendingFront Locks in $4 Million in Series A.

Around the web

  • Ledger introduces its Bluetooth-enabled hardware wallet, Ledger Nano X.
  • Matthijs Aler appointed as the new CEO of Ohpen.
  • PaySend launches new money transfer service, PaySendLink.
  • QNB Group to deploy digital cash management solution from iGTB.
  • Klarna teams up with Stripe and Poq to enhance Missguided’s U.K. app.
  • Oliver Weber takes the helm as the new VP of Digital Banking, Switzerland, for Crealogix.
  • Infosys Finacle announces partnership with Qatar National Bank.
  • Benedigo and Adelaide Bank deploys regtech reporting solution from Wolters Kluwer.

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.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Mastercard partners with Kenya-based PSP, DGO Group, to enable 40,000+ African merchants to accept Mastercard payments.
  • Forbes looks at the founding role of women in Africa’s fintech industry.
  • QuartzAfrica’s review of 2018 begins with a discussion of partnerships between Nigerian fintechs and “global payment giants.”

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Estonian fintech startup CostPocket wins Rockstart pitch competition at the Digital Freedom Festival.
  • Trulioo announces its ID verification services are now available in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  • Russia-based Oz Forensics wins Fintech Startup of the Year award at India FinTech Awards 2018.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • ACI Worldwide helps the National Bank of Kuwait launch Swift’s global payments innovation (gpi).
  • Albawaba asks “What UAE Startups Should Expect in 2019?”
  • Daily Sabah calls 2018: “The Year of Million-Dollar Startups in Turkey.”

Central and South Asia

  • InstaReM introduces new feature to enhance ability to make multi-currency payments to multiple beneficiaries.
  • Pakistan’s CareemPay is the latest fintech to challenge the country’s payment industry.
  • Indian government announces new initiatives to support fintech innovation.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Forbes profiles “corporate credit cards for startups” specialist Brex and the potential of the company to expand to Brazil by 2021.
  • Mexico’s El Empresario considers the potential for the country’s fintech sector in 2019. In Spanish.
  • iProUP’s Mundo Fintech looks at the fintech industry in Argentina i the wake of the financial crisis. In Spanish.

Asia-Pacific

  • Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing launches in-app financial services including credit, financing solutions.
  • PaySend inks payments partnership with Vietcombank.
  • TechCrunch features Chinese online consumer lending platform, 360 Finance.

Top image designed by Freepik

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.

Asia-Pacific

  • Singapore-based InstaReM announces new multi-currency feature to make overseas payments easier for SMEs.
  • Myanmar’s biggest privately-owned bank, Kanbawza (KBZ) Bank picks Finastra’s treasury management solution, Fusion Treasury.
  • Government ministries in South Korea partner for joint blockchain project to improve marine logistics and shipping.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) invests $2.9 million three companies from Burundi, Malawi, and Uganda to support financial inclusion.
  • Nigerian Stock Exchange extends partnership with Nasdaq to continue using its matching engine technology.
  • Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority releases its “FinTech Sandbox Guidance Note” with an initial focus on robo advisors and blockchain technology.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Intelligent CIO looks at the merger of Polish fintechs, Braintri and iCompass.
  • Mastercard partners with Polish Payment Standard to provide contactless payments.
  • New report from Deloitte and ID Finance analyzes the growth of Russia’s private fintech sector.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Iraq’s Hammurabi Commercial Bank to deploy ICS Banks Universal Banking Software Suite.
  • Ripple and UAE Exchange team up to launch blockchain-powered cross-border remittance payment services in Asia in early 2019.
  • Egypt’s Commercial International Bank introduces nation’s first fintech-focused venture capital fund.
  • Clinc Brings Conversational AI to Turkey’s Isbank.

Central and South Asia

  • Obopay teams up with Federal Bank and Mastercard to offer new pre-payment card in India.
  • Indian digital payments firm ePayLater teams up with Cashfree to bring its credit-based payment option to merchants.
  • YourStory features Pune-based fintech startup, Phi Commerce.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian lender Creditoo announces $1.2 million in new funding.
  • IDB, Finnovista report notes that four out of ten Peruvian fintechs has a female founder.
  • Costa Rica unveils new virtual currency, Ecolones, to encourage recycling.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • What Happens When a Lending Platform Goes Under?
  • Australian Challenger Bank Tyro Partners with Alipay.

Around the web

  • Coinbase leverages an electromagnetic signal blocking tent to secure assets from cybercriminals.
  • Klarna to provide pay later service for U.K. retailer, The Fragrance Shop.
  • Finastra to support fintech collaboration in the Middle East by joining Bahrain FinTech Bay.
  • AlphaPoint powers San Francisco-area, XRP-based cryptocurrency exchange, DCEX.
  • Check Point rumored to be developing a mini-firewall for IoT.
  • Bloomberg reports: Google and Mastercard Cut a Secret Ad Deal to Track Retail Sales.
  • Personal Capital launches “Retirement Paycheck” service to simplify retirement income.
  • Salesforce selects InvestGlass for EMEA fintech accelerator.
  • Black Enterprise profiles DarcMatter co-founder, Natasha Bansgopaul.

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

  • Feedzai Brings Automated Machine Learning to the Fraud Fight.
  • DriveWealth and Bambu Join Forces on Roboadvisory Tool.

Around the web

  • Your Legacy Federal Credit Union to deploy core account processing technology from Fiserv.
  • CYBG (Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank) partners with The ID Co. to integrate DirectID into CYBG’s B mobile banking app.
  • Coinbase unveils crypto plugin to make it easier for e-commerce merchants to accept cryptocurrency payments.
  • Bloomberg: Quantopian makes $50 million allocation to one of its quants.
  • OurCrowd named Most Active Venture Investor in Israel by PitchBook.
  • Jack Henry & Associates and Mastercard deliver Priceless Surprises campaign to 1.8 million cardholders.

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.