Indian Fintechs Get Funded; Finastra, Avaloq Bring New Leadership to APAC

Join us in October 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.

For information on how to participate in FinovateAsia as a demoing company, partner, or sponsor, send us an e-mail and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • A partnership between R3 and Dubai’s platform-as-a-service company Wethaq will help digitize Islamic capital markets.
  • Working capital solution provider Demica goes live with supply chain finance technology from Saudi British Bank.
  • National Bank of Bahrain unveils new bulk cash deposit machines with secured with a biometric scan.

Central and Southern Asia

  • BharatPe, a digital payments company based in New Delhi, raises $50 million in new funding.
  • Tech Mahindra teams up with Adjoint to launch blockchain-based enterprise financial management and insurance services.
  • Bangalore-based fintech CRED announces $120 million funding round.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mexican online lender Credijusto announces $42 million investment from Goldman Sachs and Point72 Ventures.
  • Brazilian online personal loan platform REBEL raises $42.2 million via financial loan securitization.
  • Forbes interviews Nubank founder and CEO David Vélez.

Asia-Pacific

  • Finastra taps Wissam Khoury as new head of its Asia Pacific (APAC) team.
  • Flywire partners with Vietnam Prosperity Bank to simplify international tuition payments  for Vietnamese students.
  • Avaloq appoints Imad Abou Haidar as its new Head of Asia.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South Africa’s Nomanini inks $4 million deal with Standard Bank.
  • Brink News looks at the “game-changing” potential of fintech in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • SME financing solution provider Nvoicia takes top honors at Seedstars Ghana competition.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Tremend Software Consulting announces strategic partnership with Mastercard Romania.
  • CIO of AXA Poland Oliver Schemberg talks about the “people-led strategy” behind the success of its digital transformation.
  • SumUp opens new office in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazil’s Nubank announces debit options for its digital savings account.
  • Infocorp spinoff Bankingly raises $5.25 million in Series A funding in round led by Elevar Equity.
  • Vocalink to modernize Peru’s electronic payments infrastructure courtesy of new deal with the company’s automated clearinghouse, Cámara de Compensación Electrónica (CCE).

Asia-Pacific

  • UNPay expands QR code payments.
  • Indonesian lending and payments firm, Pohon Dana, picks up investment from Mayapada Group.
  • PaySend launches transfers to bank accounts and Napas cards in Vietnam.
  • Fenergo wins Fintech Exporter of the Year award from Asia Matters.
  • Juvo expands across Asia with regional headquarters in Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Experian purchases South African credit information and analytics firm Compuscan for $263 million.
  • Ecobank partners with MFS Africa to offer cross-platform digital payments to customers.
  • Emergent Technology acquires Ghana-based Interpay Africa.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank offers clients new strategies for investment life insurance.
  • Finastra opens new offices in Romania.
  • Backbase powers omni-channel digital services for Poland’s BGŻ BNP Paribas bank.
  • International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) to deploy technology from FICO to fight money laundering.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • UAE and Saudi Arabia launch blockchain-powered, cross-border payments proof of concept.
  • Temenos announces partnership with Tunisia’s Banque de l’Habitat.
  • Token brings open banking to MENA region.

Central and South Asia

  • James Finance, Ocrolus, Hydrogen, and iProov shortlisted for India FinTech Awards 2018.
  • Currencies Direct taps Ripple’s xCurrent for real-time remittances to India.
  • Fintech News Singapore features BankBazaar in its round up of 10 Hot Fintech Startups from India to Watch Closely.

Top image designed by Freepik

Brazil’s Nubank Announces Debit Options for its Digital Savings Account

A jigsaw is being filled as Brazil-based challenger Nubank has unveiled debit and withdrawal options for its digital savings account, NuConta, reports Antony Peyton of FinTech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

According to the bank, these functions were most requested by its customers. This news may not be a big deal to some, but it’s another sign that Nubank is moving along fairly well and trying to shake up the old order.

In October, Tencent invested $180 million in the bank – taking the challenger’s valuation to a healthy $4 billion. While in June, Nubank said it got 1.5 million customers signed up for NuConta.

NuConta is the challenger bank’s bid to reach the nation’s sizable underbanked population, estimated at around 60 million Brazilians.

In this debit/withdrawal matter, it explains that it has started testing Nubank Debit. With it, it has also launched a new withdrawal option so customers can use the debit function to withdraw money directly from their NuConta at ATMs.

At first, it will test this only with some customers who already own the Nubank and NuConta card and, from 2019, it will be expanded for all.

David Vélez, CEO of Nubank, said: “The release of the debit function is another piece of the jigsaw that was missing to help people find a way out of the current banking system and its revolving doors of complexity and bureaucracy.”

The “revolving doors” bit was his word play on the official launch at the Pinacoteca Museum in São Paulo.

The bank turned a revolving door into a museum piece to cleverly show how it was the “first barrier that Brazilians had to face in order to gain access to a banking service”.

Founded in 2013, Nubank also has funding support from DST Global Investment Partners, Founders Fund, QED, and Goldman Sachs. The company is an alum of our developers conference, FinDEVr, having presented Our Money, Our Rulebook at FinDEVr New York 2016.

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

  • MoneyTap, DLT-based payment app developed by SBI and Ripple goes live in Japan.
  • Indonesia’s biggest telecommunications company, Telkomsel, picks Kinetica to support its accelerated analytics, location-based visualization and AI.
  • Ayondo expands B2B offering in Asia with a new white label deal.
  • First Circle, a lending platform for SMEs based in the Philippines, has raised $26 million in new funding.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Daon Inks Deal with South Africa’s Capitec Bank.
  • Commercial Bank of Ethiopia deploys UP Retail Payments from ACI Worldwide.
  • Ivory Coast subsidiary of Togo-based Banque Atlantique goes live with Temenos’ T24 core banking system.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank customers can now add “cash postcards” – automated images with sound – to their money transfers.
  • Payfone partners with Orange to fight identity fraud in four new global markets, including Poland and Romania.
  • Ukraine’s Akhmetov Bank leverages Corezoid’s cloud-based operating system.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Daon partners with Akbank, making the Turkish bank the first in the country to deploy facial recognition technology for mobile banking authentication.
  • Alcazar Capital Limited (ACL) to launch $100 million global fintech fund in collaboration with Fintech Consortium’s InQvest Partners.
  • Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange launches Sahmi, a new integrated digital platform for individual investors.

Central and South Asia

  • Bank of Punjab, based in Lahore, Pakistan, implements core banking technology from Oracle.
  • Entrepreneur.com considers the effect Indian fintechs have made on financial inclusion in India.
  • VC Circle looks at the rise in investment in insurtech innovators like India’s PolicyBazaar.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian challenger bank Nubank raises $180 million in funding.
  • UniBank Panama to implement biometric authentication technology from Ipsidy.
  • COK Sodality Co-operative Credit Union (COKCU) of Jamaica to modernize its core processing technology courtesy of a new partnership with Smart Solution.

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

  • Flywire and UnionPay International partner to provide Chinese customers with better rates on cross-border payments.
  • Leading southeast Asian digital cross border money transfer firm InstaReM goes live in Europe with new London office.
  • South Korean payments app Toss raises $40 million in funding.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) teams up with Startupbootcamp as part of an effort to boost Dubai’s status as a regional fintech hub.
  • AME Info asks if Saudi women and UAE crypto can alleviate Bahrain’s debt crisis.
  • VentureBurn features Egyptian savings startup Money Fellows.

Africa

  • Elizabeth Rossiello, CEO and founder of Nairobi, Kenya-based BitPesa, talks about leveraging cryptocurrencies to improve global payments in Africa.
  • South Africa’s ITWeb features features Richard Marsden, co-founder of Johannesburg-based FinChatBot on the rise of chatbot technology in the insurance industry.
  • Branch International reports N1 billion ($2.78 million) in loans facilitated to users in Nigeria.

Latin America

  • Brazil’s Nubank reaches milestone of 1.5 million digital account openings in six months.
  • Latin American Regional Conference sponsored by Swift sees collaboration as fundamental for growth of financial services in Latin America.
  • Brazilian insurtech startup Kakau partners with insurance companies American Life and Generali.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Kontomatik appoints CEO Piotr Warsicki as its new CEO.
  • Poland’s Alior Bank partners with solarisBank, Raisin, and Mastercard to launch pan-EU digital bank later this year.
  • The largest bank in the Czech Republic, Česká spořitelna introduces voice biometrics courtesy of partnership with Nuance Communications.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Baker Hill Brings its Cloud-Based Loan Origination Solution to First Bank.

Around the web

  • Online banking innovator Dollar Bank to upgrade its digital offerings with technology from Fiserv.
  • Brazil’s Nubank reaches milestone of 1.5 million digital account openings in six months.
  • Aire, Onfido, Trunomi, TransferWise, YoYo Wallet and Revolut earn finalist spots in TechCrunch Europas Awards.
  • Emailage announces expansion across APAC and plans to double the size of its Phoenix, Arizona office.

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.

CEE

  • Lithuania to allow entrepreneurs to register and manage startups remotely as Virtual Limited Liability companies (VLLC) using blockchain technology.
  • Latvia considers tax on cryptocurrency transactions.
  • Trend News Agency takes a look at the regulatory challenges to the fintech industry in Azerbaijan.

Asia

  • Indonesia’s first invoicing platform Paper.id makes the case for modernizing financial management in developing countries.
  • Myanmar Citizens Bank and Construction and Housing Development Bank to deploy core banking technology from Temenos.
  • Filipino tech entrepreneur Gary Viray shares his thoughts on 4 things fintech startups can learn from the mobile payments boom in Cambodia.

MENA

  • DIFC FinTech Hive expands accelerator program to include insurance, Islamic finance, and regtech services.
  • Travelex and UAE Exchange to be combined under single holding company, Finablr, in advance of potential IPO.
  • Gulf International opens Shariah-compliant, digital-0nly bank in Bahrain.

Africa

  • Vio Digital, a South African startup that leverages blockchain technology for worldwide P2P money transfers, to go live in May.
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Digital Financial Services Lab (DFS Lab) has announced investment in four African startups: Cherehani Africa, NALA, Nobuntu, and a digital lender from Kenya still in stealth.
  • Report on fintech funding in East Africa shows Kenya receiving 99% of financing with neighbors Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania making up 1% combined.

LATAM

  • Nubank Adds Facial Biometrics to Fight Fraud.
  • Argentine fintech supermarket iKiwi expands in Latin America.
  • Chile and U.K. to increase financial and professional sector trade links in areas including fintech, asset management, and green fintech.

Top image designed by Freepik

 

Nubank Adds Facial Biometrics to Fight Fraud

Less than a month after picking up an investment of $150 million, Brazilian fintech Nubank is leveraging facial biometrics to help combat credit card fraud.

The company provides a mobile-centric credit card and offers other payment services via its app. Nubank will enhance the security of its app using technology from fellow Brazilian innovator Acesso Digital to compare facial images of card applicant images with those available from a shared database used by Brazil’s biggest banks, retailers, and fintechs. The solution, AcessoBio, will be added to the data analytics technology already used by Nubank. The company said that the addition of a facial biometrics layer to the card application process will reduce both false rejections and identity fraud.

“From the customer’s point of view, the process of requesting the card remains simple, fast and transparent,”Nubank fraud prevention lead Guilhereme Wunsch said.

AcessoBio is the largest privately-run biometric database in Brazil, recording the biometrics of a million Brazilians a month. The company’s goal is to record the biometric data of the country’s entire financially-active population within the next three years. With customers in retail, healthcare, e-commerce, and telephony, as well as financial services, Acesso Digital was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Sao Paulo.

“AcessoBio optimizes the security and experience of customers in a simple and efficient way, while protecting the names of Brazilians at the same time,” Acesso Digital CEO and founder Diego Martins said.

Founded in 2013, Nubank is one of Brazil’s most well-funded fintechs, with support from DST Global Investment Partners, Founders Fund, QED, Goldman Sachs, and others. More than 13 million Brazilians have applied for Nubank’s credit cards and digital accounts. Recognized as a member of KPMG/H2 Ventures Fintech 100 in 2017, the company announced the upcoming launch of NuConta last fall. NuConta is a digital account it will offer in addition to its credit card business in a bid to reach the nation’s sizable underbanked population, estimated at as many as 60 million Brazilians.

As part of our FinDEVr New York 2016 developers conference, Nubank co-founder and CTO Edward Wible and Lead Software Engineer Lucas Cavalcanti presented Our Money, Our Rulebook. The presentation detailed how the company leveraged data science modeling to build an in-house accounting system with real-time customer visibility, guaranteed conservation of money, and customer account histories.

Finovate Global: Fintech News from the Periphery

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from the Periphery is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Africa

  • TechCrunch profiles Africa-focused microlender, Branch, which recently picked up an investment of $70 million.
  • IT News Africa takes a look at the demand for “senior leaders” in Africa’s growing fintech industry.
  • International money transfer firm PaySend partners with Access Bank Nigeria

CEE

  • Polish Financial Supervision Authority signs MoU with Hong Kong Monetary Authority to encourage fintech collaboration.
  • U.K.-based cross border payments company Ebury opens first office in Bucharest, Hungary. (In Hungarian.)
  • Crowdfundinsider notes the surge in number of registered fintechs in Lithuania courtesy of report from Invest Lithunia.

Asia

  • ayondo celebrates being the first fintech to list in Singapore.
  • Sri Lanka’s largest bank, Bank of Ceylon, to deploy anti-money laundering solution from CustomerXP.
  • Central Bank of Malaysia establishes open API implementation group to develop standards for financial sector.

MENA

  • World Finance Magazine awards Temenos Best Islamic Banking & Finance Software Solution at 2018 Islamic Finance Awards.
  • RAKBANK, also known as The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, launches contactless cash withdrawal facility for its more than 170 NFC-enabled ATMs.
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) signs MoU with Middle East Venture Partners to support development of the area’s capital technology ecosystem.

LATAM

  • Nubank Challenges Brazil’s Big Banks in Wake of $150 Million Funding Round.
  • Mexico enacts legislation to regulate its fintech sector.
  • Colombian roboadvisor Ualet wins honors as Latin America’s Most Innovative Startup at industry event sponsored by Finnovista.

Top image designed by Freepik

Nubank Challenges Brazil’s Big Banks in Wake of $150 Million Funding Round

The startup that made headlines recently for its antitrust complaint against some of its country’s largest banks is the same fintech that raked in a major investment from a group of investors earlier this month.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nubank has charged Brazil’s big banks with hindering competition in financial services, specifically in the credit card space where Nubank has been making inroads . And now Brazil’s antitrust watchdog, Cade, is on the case. According to Reuters, the five biggest Brazilian banks hold 85 percent of assets in the country’s highly concentrated banking system.

The investigation into Nubank’s complaint is the second time this month that the company has made fintech headlines. Only a few weeks ago Nubank announced receiving $150 million in new funding in a round led by DST Global Investment Partners. Nubank founder and CEO David Velez noted at the time the company had been “cash flow positive since 2017” and that the funding would “serve to further strengthen our balance sheet to support the accelerated growth we have seen since launch.”

“In a little less than four years, more than 13 million Brazilians have applied to become a Nubank customer, a reflection of how ready consumers were to welcome new alternatives to the significantly concentrated Brazilian banking market,” he added. “We look forward to expanding our reach and product offering to many millions more in the years ahead.”

The Series E also featured participation from current investors Founders Fund, Redpoint Ventures, Ribbit Capital LP, and QED. New investors Dragoneer Investment Group and Thrive Capital Partners joined the round, as well.

In addition to its equity capital of $330 million, Nubank received a $137 million (R$455 million) line of credit from Goldman Sachs last year. The company, which won regulatory approval to operate as a bank in January, was named to the KPMG/H2 Ventures’ Fintech 100 in 2017, and also unveiled its new digital account offering to go along with its credit card business.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nubank participated in our developers conference, FinDEVr New York 2016. At the event, Nubank co-founder and CTO Edward Wible and Lead Software Engineer Lucas Cavalcanti presented Our Money, Our Rulebook, a discussion of how the company built an accounting system in house based on data science modeling, real time customer visibility, guaranteed conservation of money, and customer account histories.