PayPal Users Can Now Checkout with Crypto

PayPal Users Can Now Checkout with Crypto

PayPal launched Checkout with Crypto today. The new development enables users with cryptocurrency holdings to seamlessly transact using crypto at the online point of sale. Starting today, U.S. shoppers can make purchases using crypto at millions of online businesses.

The new Checkout with Crypto payment option will automatically appear in U.S. users’ PayPal wallets at checkout when they have a cryptocurrency balance of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, or Bitcoin Cash that will cover an eligible purchase. Because PayPal makes money when users buy and sell cryptocurrencies on its platform, it is not charging additional transaction fees.

“As the use of digital payments and digital currencies accelerates, the introduction of Checkout with Crypto continues our focus on driving mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, while continuing to offer PayPal customers choice and flexibility in the ways they can pay using the PayPal wallet,” said PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman. “Enabling cryptocurrencies to make purchases at businesses around the world is the next chapter in driving the ubiquity and mass acceptance of digital currencies.”

Essentially, Checkout with Crypto works behind-the-scenes of a transaction to help customers sell cryptocurrency through the PayPal platform. PayPal then uses it to pay a merchant, who receives U.S. dollars in exchange. Because of the embedded nature of the tool, the process happens in one seamless flow at checkout.

There are a few restrictions around Checkout with Crypto. First, the tool is only available to U.S. users. Second, purchases must be eligible. Finally, users can’t split the payment among currency types. In other words, in order to make a purchase in cryptocurrency, they must have a sufficient balance of a single cryptocurrency.

In the coming months, PayPal plans to expand the service to its full list of 29 million online merchant clients across the globe.

This move expands PayPal’s previous cryptocurrency capabilities. In partnership with Paxos, PayPal began enabling users to buying, selling, and holding crypto last October.

Photo by Charles Etoroma on Unsplash

Flutterwave and PayPal Partner to Empower African eCommerce

Flutterwave and PayPal Partner to Empower African eCommerce

Payments ecosystem giant PayPal announced a collaboration with Flutterwave, a leading payments technology company in Africa, this week. Through the collaboration, PayPal will enable its users to pay African merchants using Flutterwave’s platform.

The partnership will not only connect Flutterwave’s African merchant clients with PayPal’s 377 million accountholders, it will also help them work around the fragmented and complex payments infrastructure in Africa. To use the new functionality, online shoppers across the globe simply select the Pay with PayPal option while checking out at an African merchant’s page online.

Flutterwave launched to help businesses and individuals make payments across the continent flexibly and affordably. This comes at a crucial time for Africa. The ecommerce sector on the continent is expanding and is expected to grow from $16.5 billion in 2017 to $29 billion by next year.

“The collaboration reinforces our vision of creating a seamless digital payments system for Africa’s business communities that can now transact with international consumers,” said Flutterwave Founder and CEO Olugbenga Agboola. “By working with PayPal, we can further strengthen our commitment to our customers and service users as we will be enabling them to transact and expand their business operations to reach new markets.”

Flutterwave was founded in 2016 and has since processed over 140 million transactions worth over $9 billion. Today’s news comes just a couple of days after the company closed a $170 million round at a $1 billion valuation.

Photo by Jack Sparrow from Pexels

CFPB 2.0: Prepaid Cards, Earned Wage Access, and Financial Inclusion

CFPB 2.0: Prepaid Cards, Earned Wage Access, and Financial Inclusion

With a Democratic administration only weeks away from taking office, some are wondering about the prospects for a revitalized Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Created during the last Democratic administration – and largely sidelined during the now-ending Trump administration – the CFPB has found itself back in the fintech headlines in recent days.

PayPal Takes On CFPB Over Card Rules

A federal judge brought resolution to a lawsuit PayPal filed against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in December 2019. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon agreed with PayPal that the CFPB had overstepped its authority in its effort to regulate prepaid cards and digital wallets. PayPal had asserted that in forcing them to include “short form” fee disclosures that included categories that were not relevant, the CFPB’s rule was confusing customers. What’s worse, customers were being led to believe, PayPal claimed, that they were exposed to a wide variety of potential fees – which was not the case.

The situation seems almost to be one of mistaken identity. The rules being applied by the CFPB with regard to expenses like ATM balance inquiries make sense for providers of reloadable prepaid cards, but not for PayPal, which does not subject its customers to these fees. That said, it was the CFPB’s rule-making authority itself that was the target of what Reuters described as a judicial “decision studded with exclamation points.”

PayActiv Wins Earned Wages Access Approval

Meanwhile, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s aim seems to be more true in the case of of earned wage access. PayActiv, Finovate alum and innovator in the earned wage access space, announced last week that its program is exempt from Federal lending laws per new regulations established by the CFPB.

The key issue was whether or not PayActiv’s Earned Wages Access (EWA) program, which enables workers to get access to their already-earned wages in advance of scheduled paydays, involves credit. If it did, the program would be subject to the Federal Truth in Lending Act, as well as Regulation Z.

Fortunately, the CFPB ruled that “the accrued cash value of an employee’s earned but unpaid wages is the employee’s own money” and, as such, does not create a debt obligation. PayActiv added that the approval was both the first of its kind from the CFPB and specific to PayActiv’s EWA program. The CFPB added that the company’s initiative was an “innovative mechanism for allowing consumers to bridge the gap between paychecks (and) differs in kind from products the Bureau would generally consider to be credit.”

PayActiv co-founder and CEO Safwan Shah called the approval a “watershed moment” for his company. “We are very proud that the CFPB has recognized this important innovation and validated PayActiv’s pioneering work in creating low or no-cost employer-sponsored access to earned wages. Employers can take comfort in knowing that PayActiv continues to be the leader in responsible EWA for employees.”

Synchrony Gets Nod for Secured/Unsecured Credit Card

The new dual feature credit cards (DFCC) from Synchrony Bank are designed to provide financing opportunities for consumers who do not have strong credit profiles. Cardholders provide a security deposit in order to use the credit cards in their secured mode and, if certain eligibility criteria are met after a minimum of one year, the cardholder becomes eligible to use the card in its unsecured mode. And last week, the CFPB gave the wholly-owned subsidiary of Synchrony Financial the green light to go forward with its DFCC solution.

In large part, the CFPB’s ruling for Synchrony represented a broader embrace of bringing financing to consumers with lower credit scores. The Bureau referred to these efforts as “represent(ing) a potentially significant point of access to credit for certain consumers” and favorably compared Synchrony’s dual feature card to other secured card offerings.

Critically, Synchrony will provide complete transparency with regard to the cost differences between the secured and unsecured features, including the lower rate on the secured card. Cardholders that graduate to the unsecured Synchrony credit card are not eligible to return to the secured card.

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

PayPal Launches P2P Payments Tool in Collaboration with American Express

PayPal Launches P2P Payments Tool in Collaboration with American Express

PayPal, Venmo, and American Express have partnered up this week in a move that will help deal with the awkwardness of group expenses.

The group is launching Amex Send and Split, a tool that enables eligible American Express cardholders to split purchases with and send money to Venmo and PayPal users directly from the Amex app.

The send feature enables cardholders to send money via Amex to their friends on PayPal or Venmo. Users can make transfers in real time using their spend balance within the app or by paying with their Amex credit card balance.

With the split purchases feature, cardholders can select any pending or posted purchases to split with other PayPal or Venmo customers. Customers will receive payment as a statement credit on their Amex card.

The general terms of the money transfer and purchase splitting capabilities aren’t too compelling. Since all parties to the transaction need to be existing PayPal or Venmo users, there is not much incentive for them to conduct their P2P money transfer activities in the Amex app.

The one outstanding benefit to the new co-branded launch, however, is that when users send money and split purchases within the Amex app they can do so using their available credit. While they can also do this within PayPal and Venmo, there may be extra friction involved for the user to add their card details.

Photo by Foodguide App on Unsplash

What PayPal Has In Store for 2021

What PayPal Has In Store for 2021

PayPal, one of the fintech originals, has had its fair share of news headlines in the past year. The fintech has been busy with its acquisition of rewards platform Honey, bringing QR code payment technology back into style, launching a buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) offering, and helping its users embrace cryptocurrency.

So where will PayPal run with these in 2021?

The company recently made its intentions a bit more clear during its third quarter earnings call this week, and TechCrunch tuned in to dig up some analysis about the company’s plans for next year. Here are some of the takeaways.

Digital wallet redesign

PayPal has always been an alternative banking solution, but has lacked some of the tools to help it effectively compete with its traditional FI counterparts. The company plans to redesign its digital wallet by enhancing the direct deposit experience, offering billpay tools, providing check cashing capabilities, and integrating budgeting tools.

Combined, these elements will help PayPal offer a challenger banking experience. All the while, PayPal will benefit from having an established user base. As of the second quarter of this year, the company counted 346 million active accounts. Chime, one of the most popular challenger banks in the U.S., blanches in comparison with eight million active accounts.

The digital wallet redesign is expected to roll out in the first quarter of next year.

Honey integration

Last November, PayPal purchased online shopping rewards platform Honey for $4 billion. Since then, PayPal has left Honey relatively untouched.

This week, however, PayPal has made it clear it plans to integrate Honey into its existing apps to create a more holistic shopping experience. Users can use Honey’s Wish List tool to create a shopping list, sign up for price tracking notifications, and receive deals and rewards that are built into the PayPal checkout experience.

Merchants will receive shopper data based on their interaction with Honey and its tools. The data, which can help merchants drive sales, will be anonymized.

Cryptocurrency plans

PayPal teased its plans to offer support for cryptocurrencies earlier this year and announced a partnership late last month that will help users buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

Starting in the first half of next year, PayPal users in the U.S. will be able to transact using Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum at PayPal’s 28 million merchant clients. The company also plans to roll out the capabilities within its Venmo app and to international markets in that same time frame.


In August, PayPal announced its own BNPL competitive service. Dubbed Pay in 4, the short-term payments installment product allows U.S. customers to pay for their purchase over the course of a six week period. The company has also launched a similar offering in the U.K. and France.

Starting next year, PayPal plans to integrate Pay in 4 into its apps.

Venmo expansion

PayPal-owned Venmo is expanding in a variety of areas. As mentioned above, the P2P payments app is adding support for cryptocurrencies next year.

Additionally, the company is building its business profiles, which it originally launched in July of this year; adding more financial tools; providing better shopping capabilities; and overhauling its checkout experience.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

PayPal Gets in on the Buy Now, Pay Later Game

PayPal Gets in on the Buy Now, Pay Later Game

The buy now, pay later (BNPL) trend has been accelerating since the beginning of this year, and today PayPal announced plans to get in on the action.

The payments giant is releasing Pay in 4, a short-term payments installment product for U.S. customers. When consumers opt to use Pay in 4, merchants receive payment upfront, and the buyer pays for the purchase over the course of a six week period. PayPal takes on the credit risk.

Consumers can use Pay in 4 for transactions between $30 and $600. Purchases do not incur interest and buyers can set up automatic repayments. Additionally, there are no fees for the buyer or the merchant.

“In today’s challenging retail and economic environment, merchants are looking for trusted ways to help drive average order values and conversion, without taking on additional costs. At the same time, consumers are looking for more flexible and responsible ways to pay, especially online,” said Doug Bland, SVP of Global Credit at PayPal. “With Pay in 4, we’re building on our history as the originator in the buy now, pay later space, coupled with PayPal’s trust and ubiquity, to enable a responsible and flexible way for consumers to shop while providing merchants with a tool that helps drive sales, loyalty and customer choice.”

Today’s release is the newest in PayPal’s line of Pay Later tools. The company’s other financing options include PayPal Credit, a line of credit with built-in promotional offers, Easy Payments, a BNPL service available in the U.S. and U.K. PayPal also offers Pay Later tools across the globe in Germany, France, Australia, Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands.

After the BNPL trend began burgeoning earlier this year, PayPal has joined the likes of Affirm, Sezzle, Klarna, and even Goldman Sachs, as well as a handful of others in offering BNPL options to online shoppers. The popularity of these services is attributed to an uptick in unemployment brought on by COVID-19. Not only are consumers making less money, some have maxed out their credit cards and are seeking alternative ways to keep afloat.

Pay in 4 will be available in the 4th quarter of this year.

The QR Code Makes a Comeback in U.S. Mobile Payments

The QR Code Makes a Comeback in U.S. Mobile Payments

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.

Photo by Jordan M. Lomibao on Unsplash

Trust and Identity in the Digital World; PayPal Joins the Crypto-Curious

Trust and Identity in the Digital World; PayPal Joins the Crypto-Curious

IDology on the challenge of faster, safer, easier cybersecurity – When it comes to using digital services, consumers are increasingly concerned about fraud, but still tend to underestimate the severity of cybercrime more broadly. Consumers are also more likely to abandon online account set-up than they have been in recent years. And while they rate security above both ease-of-use and speed when it comes to the onboarding experience, any friction in the security process can be costly.

These are some of the takeaways from the just-released report from real-time identity verification company IDology. The company’s Third Annual Consumer Digital Identity Survey takes a look at consumer attitudes toward cybersecurity, the willingness of consumers to work with companies that have suffered a cyberattack or data breach, and the ability of consumers – and fintech innovators – to balance between security and seamlessness.

“So while consumers overwhelmingly demand security,” the report noted, “there’s only so much friction they are willing to endure to receive it.”

Other insights from the survey, conducted between February 25 and March 7 of this year and including 1,499 online respondents, underscored the fact that consumers increasingly see their mobile devices as both a “component” of their identity as well as a tool for facilitating digital interactions. The report concluded that identity verification “can serve as a strategic differentiator” for organizations competing in the digital environment.

PayPal Letter Confirms Company’s Interest in Crypto – News that PayPal has been developing cryptocurrency capabilities, including reports that PayPal and Venmo would soon enable their users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly, have been a welcome sign for innovators in the digital asset space. PayPal’s initiative was revealed in a letter the company sent to the European Commission in June, which expressed PayPal’s views on a “regulatory framework for blockchain, distributed ledger technology, and crypto-assets”.

Interestingly, PayPal emphasized the capacity of cryptocurrencies to play a positive role in improving financial services for underserved communities. “Of particular interest for us is how these technologies and crypto-assets can be utilized to achieve greater financial inclusion and help reduce/eliminate some of the pain points that exist today in financial services,” the letter read.

Here is the latest news from our Finovate alums.

  • Salt Edge partners with Irish fintech OnlineApplication to help the company improve its mortgage application process.
  • Educational Systems Federal Credit Union to deploy digital banking technology from Finastra.
  • Revolut launches Open Banking features for its customers in France.
  • Open banking platform Tink acquires credit decision solution provider Instantor.
  • Data security specialist ALTR launches Stackable Margins program in bid to broaden its channel community and add new partners.
  • Sitehands reports that its current President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Corrado will become the company’s next Chief Executive Officer.
  • Lendio named one of the 2020 Best Places to Work in New York by Work and Fortune. The company also announced a strategic partnership with
  • Altamaha Bank of Georgia partners with Ondot Systems to bring the company’s card management app to its debit cardholders.
  • Orion Advisor Solutions merges with investment management company Brinker Capital.
  • Fenergo wins the Breadth of Functionality category at the xCelent Awards 2020.
  • Finance and Commerce profiles automated account switching specialist, ClickSWITCH.
  • Stockhead features Identitii in its look at Australian fintechs that are embracing collaboration rather than disruption.
  • Biometric Update looks at Illuma Labs and how credit unions are adopting its voice biometric authentication technology.

PayPal Takes to the Google Cloud

PayPal Takes to the Google Cloud

Google Cloud has unveiled its latest data center and announced that PayPal will be among the first to move key components of its payments infrastructure to Google’s cloud region. The news is the latest example of a partnership between the two technology giants that extends back at least as far as 2017, when PayPal became an authorized payment method for Android Pay (which later became Google Pay).

The new cloud region, Google’s 22nd globally, will be based in Salt Lake City and is designed to provide customers in the western U.S. with better, more reliable cloud services.

“When it comes to processing a financial transaction, security and speed count,” PayPal VP for Employee Technology & Experiences and Data Centers Dan Torunian said. He added that Google Cloud will provide PayPal with the “security, quality, and velocity” it needs, particularly when it comes to managing seasonal payment transaction volume surges and keeping regional expansion costs low.

In fact, PayPal reportedly chose Salt Lake City in part for low-latency access to its own data center, which will make it easier for PayPal to commit additional resources to the cloud over time. The partnership will also allow PayPal to establish a migration pattern that can be used to convert more on-premises infrastructure to the Google Cloud – at the Salt Lake City data center or to any other Google Cloud platform region.

More than 300 million consumers and merchants in 200 markets use PayPal’s payments technology for financial services and commerce. The San Jose, California-headquartered company began the year forging a strategic partnership with UnionPay International that will boost its merchant and consumer business in the Chinese market. PayPal reported adding more than 37 million net new active accounts last year, processing “nearly $200 billion” in total payment volume in the fourth quarter alone.

Tink’s $100 Million Monday; Azimo’s C-Suite Shakeup Promotes Experience and Diversity

Tink’s $100 Million Monday; Azimo’s C-Suite Shakeup Promotes Experience and Diversity

It is hard to imagine having a better start to your week than Plaid had seven days ago when the innovative fintech (and Finovate alum) announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Visa for $5.3 billion.

But the €90 million ($100 million) raised by Swedish open banking platform Tink on Monday is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, the funding, which is the company’s largest to date, is a reminder that investment interest in (and funding for) companies dedicated to developing the infrastructure that connects consumers, banks, and the financial technologies is very much in abundance.

“Our aim is to become the preferred pan-European provider of digital banking services and to offer the technology needed for banks, fintechs, and startups to leverage the opportunities of open banking and enable them to successfully develop financial services in the future,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said in a statement.

Tink demonstrated its platform most recently at FinovateEurope 2019. For more on this year’s Finovate event in Europe kicking off next month, visit our FinovateEurope 2020 page.

Azimo, one of our earliest FinovateEurope alums, announced a pair of big changes at the top to begin the new week.

The London-based money transfer firm, founded in 2012, promoted its COO Richard Ambrose to CEO back in August, as Azimo founder Michael Kent took what TechCrunch referred to as a lateral move to become executive chairman. Today, Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication, reports that the company has appointed Dora Ziambra to the post of Chief Operating Officer. Azimo also promoted its head of finance Tatiana Okhotina to the post of Chief Financial Officer.

“We’re fortunate to have the depth of talent to fill these top roles internally,” Ambrose said in a statement. “We’re lucky too that Azimo will continue to benefit from the experience and leadership of these two outstanding women.”

Here’s our weekly roundup of the latest news from our Finovate alumni:

  • Union Bank to leverage technology from FIS for core banking.
  • Italy-based CREDEM leveraging Worldline’s Payment and Liquidity Hub software CRISTAL to process Target2 payments
  • POS software Vend partners with Klarna to offer retailers more flexible payment options.
  • U.K. food retailer The Co-operative to deploy ACI Worldwide’s fraud management solution, ReD Shield.
  • A partnership between TransferGo and Currencycloud will enable the money transfer company to enter 14 new markets.
  • YellowDog forges reseller agreement with Annex Pro.
  • Bankable cozies up with Plaid to allow its bank customers to connect with their users’ bank accounts.
  • Ohpen appoints former Tesla marketing leader Corinne Aaron as new head of marketing.
  • Segmint to acquire WAND’s Product and Service Taxonomy division.
  • CuneXus celebrates 2019 success with a 40% year-over-year increase in consumer reach.
  • TransUnion expands partnership with Payfone.
  • PayPal reaches $10 billion in charitable donations processed.
  • California approves Sezzle’s lending license.
  • People’s Bank selects NYMBUS’s SmartMarketing and SmartOnboarding solutions.
  • Ayondo ends its European social trading business.

Alumni Features and Profiles

Three Key Lessons We Learned from Plaid – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Visa is acquiring Plaid for a deal that’s worth $5.3 billion. The fact that they were so widely used at such an early stage is a testament to the quality of their code, but there are also a few key lessons to take away from their success.

ITSCREDIT’s Joao Pinto on the Digital Lending Opportunity –  ITSCREDIT is a spinoff from ITSECTOR and is a fairly new player in the digital lending space. In this interview, Pinto talks to us about the digital lending opportunity, how his company fits into the current state of this fintech subsector, and what we can expect to see next.

Kasasa Enhances its Take-Back Loan – Community bank marketing expert Kasasa announced a partnership with Carleton today in which Kasasa will integrate Carleton’s insurance and debt protection calculations into its Kasasa Loan.

Our latest FinovateEurope Sneak Peeks Are Up! Meet Dorsum, CASHOFF, Tensorflight, Trulioo, W.UP, Horizn, Glia, and BLECKWEN.

Plinqit Brings Rewards-Powered Financial Literacy to First Community Bank – One day in the distant future, children will be educated in basic financial literacy as readily as they are taught algebra. Until then, solutions like Plinqit from HT Mobile Apps will be valuable tools for credit unions and community banks looking for novel ways to engage and educate their members and customers.

Credit, Data, and Cryptocurrencies: Graychain Rebrands as Credmark – The company that is bringing credit data clarity to the cryptocurrency industry is entering 2020 with a new name.

Tradeshift Lands $240 Million as it Inches Toward Profitability – The San Francisco-based company will use the investment to boost expansion efforts and gear toward a “direct path to profitability in the near future.”

Fintech, Financial Services, and the Case for 5G – Calling 5G “something banks aren’t even thinking about,” Celent SVP Dan Latimore said, “we believe the effects of 5G are going to be subtle and profound over time.”

Backbase-as-a-Service Helps Banks Leverage the Cloud to Innovate and Scale – The solution makes the company’s broad portfolio of digital banking offerings available to FIs looking to accelerate their ability to develop and offer new technologies to customers.

Also on

Visa to Acquire Plaid in $5.3 Billion Deal – “Today marks an important milestone for our company and for fintech,” company co-founder and CEO Zach Perret wrote on the Plaid blog earlier today. “What started with two founders building in a cramped conference room has become an incredible network that enables millions of consumers to interact with over 2,500 digital finance products.”

Not Another 2020 Trends Prediction Post (Seriously, It’s Not!) – We’re taking a look at the trends you can expect to see on stage next month at FinovateEurope. To keep things simple this year, we assessed the themes at a very high level and broke them down into three categories: the big, the little, and the trends in-between.

Singapore’s Digital Banking License Space Race Accelerates – Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore? The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced last week that has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses

MogoSpend Offers Credit, Cashback, and Help Reducing Your Carbon Footprint – The new digital spending account from Canadian fintech Mogo does more than help Canadians get control of their finances. The solution also offers cardholders generous cashback rewards and a way to make a positive impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.

Getsafe Expands its Insurtech to the U.K. – If your insurance company is offering you drone insurance, you know it’s not your grandmother’s insurance agency. Germany-based insurtech Getsafe does just that– and the company announced today it is expanding its home contents insurance offering (though, sadly, not its drone insurance offering) to users in the U.K.

Raisin’s New Acquisition Gives Company Access to the U.S. Market – European deposit marketplace Raisin announced today it acquired New York-based Choice Financial Solutions. 

French Fintech Lydia Locks in $45 Million – TechCrunch reported this morning that French mobile payment app Lydia has raised $45 million (€40 million) in a round led by Tencent.

Visa’s Tap to Phone Brings Contactless Payments to mPOS – With Visa’s Tap to Phone app arriving pre-installed on the new, enterprise grade smartphone from Samsung, a broad range of merchants will have access to yet another way to accept payments from customers. 

INTL FCStone Acquires International Bank Transfer Firm – Headquartered in Germany, GIROXX offers international bank transfers and currency hedging. INTL FCStone plans to leverage this technology to expand its current client base to small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Solaris Bank to Secure Cryptocurrencies; Brazilian Fintechs Announce New Funding

Join us next month in Berlin, Germany for FinovateEurope 2020. Our three-day fintech conference will begin on February 11 and run through February 13.

The event features both our signature, seven-minute, live technology demonstrations, as well as keynote addresses, roundtables, and case studies on many of the most critical issues in fintech. Check out our conference agenda and stay tuned for more about our speakers and demoing companies.

Here’s our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Austrian mobile payments firm Bluecode raises $13.4 million (€12 million) from European Private Venture Capitalists.
  • German fintech Solaris Bank announces plans to offer custodial services to cryptocurrency investors.
  • Ukraine’s mobile-only bank Monobank to expand to the U.K. in 2020.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • IBM brings its fraud prevention technology to Qatar International Islamic Bank.
  • PYMNTS looks at the opportunities PSD2 may offer Turkish banks.
  • Egypt-based fintech Dayra wins $15,000 grant from Y Combinator’s Startup School, the first MENA-based startup to do so.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Business Recorder interviews Syed Mohsin Ahmed, CEO of Pakistan Microfinance Network.
  • Fintech Singapore lists India’s top fintech influencers for 2020.
  • Makers India highlights five women who are driving fintech innovation in India.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Born2Invest examines the impact of mobile money on Argentina’s banking industry.
  • Brazilian fintech Cora raises $10 million in funding to help provide financial services to SMEs.
  • Rebel, a startup that helps provide credit to middle-class Brazilians, rakes in $10 million in equity funding.


  • With closing of a 70% stake in China’s GoPay, PayPal is the first non-Chinese firm licensed to offer payment services in the country.
  • FIS’ global ecommerce platform, Worldpay, partners with Japanese issuer and acquirer JCB.
  • Who are the top contenders in Singapore’s digital banking race? Fintech Singapore reviews the field.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Micro-investing startup Trove picks up an investment from Nigerian asset management company, ARM.
  • Kontomatik’s Konstantin Rabin looks at South Africa’s position as an “unlikely fintech leader.”
  • Julaya, a startup based in Ivory Coast that specializes in digitizing financial services for small businesses, raises $550,000 in funding..

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

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News


  • Deluxe Acquires Fiserv’s Remittance Solutions Assets

Around the web

  • Bobsguide interviews Currencycloud CTO Ed Addario.
  • Coindesk features how Tradeshift leverages Ethereum to lower cross-border transaction costs.
  • PayPal’s GoPay acquisition is complete

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.