Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Conversational AI Fintech Clinc Raises $52 Million in Series B.
  • Kabbage and Azlo Launch Mission Street Capital to Help Fund SMEs.

Around the web

  • Mastercard unveils its Mastercard Innovation Engine, an API-based platform to enable easier deployment of digital customer experiences.
  • Sezzle teams up with Bank of America Merchant Services, who will serve as the fintech’s digital card processor.
  • Plaid earns recognition as one of the Best Workplaces from Inc.com.

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.

Temenos in Tunisia; Fenergo Backs Blockchain-based KYC in Bahrain

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 financial supermarket GoBear scoops up $80 million in new funding.
  • Wipro builds prototype for central bank digital currency project in Thailand.
  • Chinese fintech Pintec Technology opens international headquarters in Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Chipper Cash, an African cross-border payment startup, raiseded $2.4 million in funding – including a contribution from football Hall of Famer Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures.
  • Central Bank of Kenya and the Monetary Authority of Singapore to launch the first Afro-Asia Fintech Festival.
  • Remoney wins Innovation in Lending award at the Nigerian Fintech Awards.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Twisto closes $15.7 million capital raise.
  • Estonia tightens regulations on granting virtual currency licenses.
  • Partnership between Wirecard and Orange Money to bring digital payment services to Eastern Europe.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Fenergo supports Bahrain’s blockchain-based KYC.
  • ACI extends partnership with Vocalink into Saudi Arabia to facilitate the adoption of real-time payments through ACI’s UP Real-Time Payments solution.
  • Tunisian bank selects Temenos to drive digital transformation and future growth.

Central and Southern Asia

  • New Indian Express features digital piggy bank, Wizely.
  • Zawya looks at the potential for Islamic banking and finance in Uzbekistan.
  • YourStory profiles year-old fintech startup, Nira.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mastercard partners with Edenred and northern Mexico state of Sonora to trial biometric cards.
  • Brazilian fintech Nubank goes live in Mexico.
  • Bolivia launches interoperable payment solution using QR codes.

Top image designed by Freepik

Indian Fintechs Raise Capital; Expensify Partners with Asian RideShare Startup

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.

Central and South Asia

  • India’s ZestMoney raises $20 million in new funding.
  • Fiserv to streamline and automate cash management processes for Eurasian Bank of Kazakhstan.
  • Indian digital investment advisor Kuvera raises $4.5 million in Series A financing.
  • Telecom operator Tcell and Wallet Factory launch mobile financial app, TezSum, in Tajikistan.
  • Cashfree, an Indian payments company, raised $5.5 million in a round led by Smilegate Investment.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian credit marketplace FinanZero raises $11 million in Series B funding.
  • Tencent Holdings invests in Argentine mobile payments app Uala.
  • Euromoney considers the battle for dominance in Brazil’s emergent fintech space.

Asia-Pacific

  • Expense management specialist Expensify integrates with Southeast Asia-based ride share company Grab.
  • WorldRemit initiates international transfers to UnionPay debit cards in China.
  • Singapore machine learning data analytics firm AIDA picks up investment from Mastercard.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Ghanan fintech KudiGO raises $450,000 in seed funding.
  • The Financial Times looks at the rise of mobile money in Kenya.
  • South African accelerator and incubator Founders Factory Africa (FFA) and Standard Bank welcome five fintech startups to their incoming class.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank partners with Digital Horizon and Gazprombank to support biometric technology company Speech Technology Centre.
  • Billon Solutions wins approval from Polish Financial Supervision Authority to operate as a registered e-money institution.
  • N26 announces plans to open a technology and innovation center in Vienna, Austria.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Vocalink brings real-time payments to Saudi Arabia courtesy of new partnership with Saudi Payments, a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.
  • Investors from the Qatar Investment Authority believed to participate in SoFi’s $500 million funding round.
  • Financial Times looks at financial inclusion and “homegrown fintech” in Iraq.

Top image designed by Freepik

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Strands and Mastercard

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Register today and save your spot.

Strands and Mastercard’s SME Cash Flow Manager is a tailor-made digitalization tool for SME banking using cutting-edge business financial management solutions.

Features

  • Deliver actionable insights and help business owners save time and money
  • Monitor Quickbooks data within digital banking experience
  • Place Mastercard solutions within customer’s digital user journey

Why it’s great
Strands and Mastercard’s joint cash flow solution allows a financial institution to deliver a suite of SME digital finance tools that empower the bank to become the business owner’s trusted advisor.

Presenters

Jay Singer, SVP, Global Small Business Segment, Mastercard
Singer has 20+ years of leadership experience in the payments industry across marketing, portfolio management, and product development. He currently leads Mastercard’s Global Small Businesses Segment.
LinkedIn

Cesar Richardson, General Manager, Strands Americas
Richardson helps banks re-build digital experiences that increase customer engagement, boost online conversion, and unlock the value of consumers’ behavioral data.
LinkedIn

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Equifax Buys PayNet for Commercial Lending Data.

Around the web

  • Ron Shevlin looks at the effects PayActiv’s technology has on the paycheck industry.
  • Thrive Global interviews Lynne Laube, COO and co-founder of Cardlytics.

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.

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