Qatar Backs SoFi; Ripple Powers Cross-Border Payments in Brazil

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.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • SoFi announces $500 million investment led by Qatar.
  • Emirates NBD to leverage technology from Amazon Web Services to build an AI-enabled “bank of the future”.
  • New partnership between Turkey’s Isbank and Yandex.Checkout to support transactions in rubles for Russians shopping online in Turkey.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Strands strikes digital banking deal with India’s Tech Mahindra.
  • BankBazaar to offer financing options for customers of furniture and home products marketplace Pepperfry.
  • Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog, a premier think tank of the Indian government, sees a $31 billion Indian fintech market by 2020.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brazilian exchange brokerage, Frente Corretora de Cambio, goes live with cross-border remittance solution powered by Ripple technology.
  • World Finance features Sao Paulo among its Top 5 Emerging Fintech Hubs.
  • IMFBlog looks at how fintech can lower remittance costs in Latin America.

Asia-Pacific

  • The central bank of Indonesia, Bank Indonesia, unveils its Quick Response Indonesia Standard (QRIS), a new QR code system.
  • Mastercard and UOB partner to introduce the UOB Retail Business Metal Card designed for APAC SMEs.
  • B2B cross border payments company TransferMate picks up payment license in Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Ghana’s ARB Apex Bank reups with Temenos.
  • Titan Trust Bank of Nigeria chooses Oracle FSS for its core and digital banking technology.
  • CNBCAfrica profiles South African payments and merchant acquiring solutions provider Crossfin.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Lithuania fintech Paysera goes live in Romania.
  • Polish “credit of fintech-as-a-service” innovator Symmetrical.ai raises $1.5 million (€1.3m) in funding.
  • Billon Solutions and Microsoft announce partnership with the University of Warsaw to develop academic use cases for DLT technology.

Top image designed by Freepik

Strands Strikes Digital Banking Deal with Tech Mahindra

Fresh off its appearance at FinovateSpring, digital money management software developer Strands has announced a new strategic partnership with Tech Mahindra. The IT services and consulting firm will leverage Strands’ AI- and big data-powered technology and financial services expertise to help its clients enhance the customer experience with more contextual and personalized solutions.

“Our white-label digital money management solutions give financial institutions an edge over the competition, speed up internal processes, and help them reap the benefits of a more engaged relationship with their customers,” Strands CEO Erik Brieva said. He added that the strategic partnership would “accelerate the delivery of tangible business value.”

Strands uses big data and advanced machine learning to provide a range of offerings including personal and business financial management, customer-linked offers, insights-driven analysis with its Engager product, and open banking via its API hub. With more than 600 implementations to date, the company seamlessly integrates its technology into bank’s existing systems and, by giving FIs more relevant insights into their customer’s wants and needs, delivers both relationship and smarter banking at the same time.

Tech Mahindra’s Global Head of Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance, Gautam Bhasin put the partnership with Strands in the broader context of the company’s TechMNxt charter. The charter calls on the company to support a partner ecosystem to facilitate the development of solutions based on “next generation” technologies like artificial intelligence.

“Our collaboration with Strands will further enable us to implement this unique digital financial solution to enhance end-customer experience and faster time to market of products and services by banks, as well as increase return of investment for our customers,” Bhasin said.

A multinational Indian IT, integrated engineering solutions, and BPO provider, Tech Mahindra was founded in 1986 and is based in Pune. With $4.9 billion in revenues in 2018, the firm is a subsidiary of the Mahindra Group, and has more than 121,800 workers in 90 countries. The highest ranked non-U.S. company in the Forbes Global Digital 100 roster last year, Tech Mahindra has more than 900 clients around the world. Chander Prakash Gurnani, who won top honors at the CEO World Awards last fall, is CEO and Managing Director.

In collaboration with Mastercard, Strands demonstrated its SME Cash Flow Manager Enhanced by Mastercard Technology earlier this year at FinovateSpring. The solution gives business owners actionable insights to help them save time and money, as well as the ability to monitor Quickbooks data within their digital banking experience. SME Cash Flow Manager enables financial institutions to offer the kind of digital financial management solutions that will lead to greater engagement between FIs and their SME customers.

Founded in 2004, Strands maintains offices in Barcelona, Spain; Miami, Florida; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Kuala Lumpur. The company has raised more than $55 million in funding, and includes Dalbergia, Sequel Venture Partners, Indigo Investment Corporation, and Debaeque among its investors.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Dashlane Raises $110 Million for Password Security.
  • Strands Strikes Digital Banking Deal with Tech Mahindra.

Around the web

  • Paysend to launch crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs.com.
  • Ghana’s ARB Apex Bank reups with Temenos.
  • Exate Technologies joins OpenFin’s fintech ecosystem.
  • Forbes: PayPal’s Latest Milestone: $10 Billion In Small Business Loans.
  • Atlanta Small Business Network looks at how Fiserv delivers fraud prevention across the globe.

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

  • The ID Co. Lands $2 Million.
  • Finastra Inks New Bank Partners for its Blockchain-Based Lending Platform.
  • ClickSWITCH Raises $13 Million in Series B.
  • masterqueue Closes First Round of Funding.

Around the web

  • Fintech Switzerland lists additiv, finhorizon, and clevercircles on list of wealthtechs offering more than just roboadvisory.
  • Forbes on how Tradeshift is fighting modern day slavery.
  • Mint Life names FamZoo on list of apps to teach kids about money.
  • IBS Intelligence features CustomerXPS’ Clari5 in its latest report.

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.

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.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Kazakh Eurasian Bank Upgrades Cash Tech with Fiserv.
  • Token.io Teams Up with Omnio Group to Boost Open Banking.
  • Financeit to Power Mobile POS Financing for ServiceTitan.
  • Expensify Integrates with Southeast Asia Ridesharing Company Grab.

Around the web

  • The Five Minute Founder podcast interviews Jake Tyler, Finn AI CEO.
  • STRANDS and adorsys expand their partnership for digital transformation for global financial services.
  • Signifyd to power fraud protection for Solupay’s NetSuite SuitePayments.
  • Kony ships Kony Quantum for Microsoft Azure and Kony DBX digital banking suite on Kony Quantum for Azure.
  • Connect Financial Software Solutions partners with CuneXus to offer the CuneXus perpetual loan automation platform to its credit union clients.
  • Georg von Brevern joins Ixaris as Chief Legal and Compliance Officer.
  • Telenor to acquire majority stake in the Finnish telecom operator DNA.
  • Crypterium launches Crypterium SX, an AI-based system that ensures all transactions get the best exchange rates available.
  • Omnio Group and Token.io partner to deliver open banking and PSD2 compliance to Omnio’s financial institution customers.
  • Raiffeisen Bank International partners with Feedzai to bring advanced ML to European banking to fight fraud.
  • Jack Henry’s ProfitStars unveils Gladiator Total Protect, a suite of managed IT, network security, and compliance services to enhance banks’ cybersecurity and compliance management.

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

  • UK-based GBG Acquires IDology in $300 Million All-Cash Deal.
  • NetGuardians Teams Up with Swiss Wealthtech Pictet to Fight Fraud.
  • Finastra Brings its Core Banking Technology to Saudi Arabia.

Around the web

  • BBVA unveils first blockchain-supported structured green bond.
  • Strands introduces Engager 2.0, the newest edition of its AI and machine learning powered financial insights generator.
  • Avaloq’s banking suite goes live with the Austrian division of international private banking and asset management group, LGT.
  • IKO, the mobile app co-developed by Braintri for PKO Bank Polski, wins first place in worldwide ranking of mobile apps published by British Retail Banker International for second consecutive year.
  • Baker Hill earns nomination for The Best Tech in Indiana in TechPoint’s 20th annual Mira Awards.
  • CardFlight’s SwipeSimple now enables more than 50,000 merchants across all 50 states of the U.S.

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: Ant Financial’s Big Buy; Neobanks Ready for Takeoff

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

  • Ten African subsidiaries of Societe General to benefit from enhanced payment processing capabilities courtesy of new partnership with HPS.
  • South African challenger bank TymeBank moves toward a formal launch in late February.
  • The IMF blog reviews the prospects for fintech innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Fintech Futures interviews Pavel Novak, CEO of Czech Republic-based P2P lender, Zonky.
  • iSignthis acquires Lithuania-based banking software provider, Baltic Banking Services (BBS).
  • Partnership between Yandex.Checkout and Tinkoff Bank supports direct payments to online stores by way of Tinkoff’s app and online banking offering.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Abu Dhabi Commerical Bank (ADCB) goes live with its PFM app, MoneyBuddy, which uses technology from Strands.
  • Dubai-based neobank Xpence prepares for launch.
  • Saudi Arabia banking regulator opens regulatory sandbox to test fintech solutions.

Central and South Asia

  • State Bank of India to help finance digital invoice discounting marketplace, Invoicemart.
  • The Daily Star considers the “promise of fintech” for Bangladesh.
  • Reliance Realty announces plans for a fintech center in Navi Mumbai, India.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • PYMNTS.com looks at the Mexican government’s efforts to leverage fintechs to help make it easier and less expensive for Mexicans living abroad to send money home.
  • Brazilian SME lender Adianta raises $2.18 million ($8 million reals) in round led by DGF Investimentos.
  • Colombian fintech Open Vector signs memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support development of open banking in South America.

Asia-Pacific

  • Ant Financial to acquire UK currency exchange firm, WorldFirst in $700 million deal.
  • Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB) to debut its digital bank, TMRW, in Thailand.
  • Visa announces plans for an innovation center in South Korea.

Top image designed by Freepik

Strands, Mastercard to Develop Cash Management Platform for SMEs

Strands and Mastercard are working together to provide issuing banks with an integrated platform of digital cash management and commercial payment tools designed for SMEs, reports Antony Peyton of FinTech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

According to the duo, Strands’ business financial management (BFM) will use Mastercard’s digital payment technology to deliver solutions to these businesses to understand their finances, project short-term cash flow and see personalised recommendations for customised solutions.

“SMEs are the backbone of the global economy and represent one of the biggest potential sources of revenue for banks; yet they are typically offered banking solutions designed with the retail customer in mind. Our in-house research shows that 61% of SMEs place cash flow management as one of their top three priorities to help them secure their financial future,” said Erik Brieva, Strands’ CEO.

Strands’ BFM solution helps manage accounts payables, receivables, budgets and provisions and is powered by a layer of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning models.

For example, SME users can predict income, expenses, forecast balances, receive alerts and notifications, and recommend products and/or services.

Going forward, Strands adds that users of this BFM platform will also have access to Mastercard In Control, which can help businesses track the use of commercial credit cards, Mastercard Merchant Match Tool to identify merchants that accept credit cards as a form of payment or Mastercard Easy Savings to provide loyalty rewards at select merchants and retailers.

Strands has done more than 600 bank implementations with over 100 million customers in 36 countries. Clients include Barclays, BBVA, Santander, Commercial Bank of Africa, Deutsche Bank, and Huntington.

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, Strands demonstrated its white-label BFM solution at FinovateAsia 2017. The technology leverages Strands’ API Hub, as well as machine learning, to enable banks to better analyze and understand the preferences and behaviors of their SME clients. Banks can then use these insights to make recommendations to help them improve their businesses.

Strands has raised $55 million in funding, and includes Dalbergia, Debaeque, Sequel Venture Partners, and Indigo Investment Corporation among its investors.