Fintechs Merge and Rebrand in Vietnam; Tinkoff Launches New Voice Assistant Oleg

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

  • Cross-border digital payments company PPRO acquires Latin American payments provider allpago.
  • Executives from financial cooperatives in Latin America meet with Denver, Colorado-area credit union leaders as part of immersion program sponsored by the World Council of Credit Unions’ Pasantia Tecnica.
  • Brazilian government and bank and insurance regulators agree to establish a regulatory sandbox to support fintech and insurtech development.

Asia-Pacific

  • Vietnam-based payments firms Vimo Technology and Vietnam MPOS Technology merge to become NextPay.
  • Learn more about Vietnam’s fintech ecosystem in this Fintech Startup Vietnam Map.
  • Indonesian fintech provider Achiko announces plans for direct listing on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • African Development Bank launches £100 million fintech fund focused on growing financial inclusion.
  • Ventureburn takes a look at the Nigerian fintech startup scene.
  • African payment service provider (PSP), DPO Group, introduces Africa’s first B2B prepaid, virtual and physical payment card: the DumaCard.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • “Hi Oleg!” Russia’s Tinkoff launches new voice assistant for its banking app.
  • Fintech Futures features Poland’s Braintri in a discussion of how fintechs are leveraging real-time data to help banks improve the customer experience.
  • Are regulations in Hungary an obstacle to fintech innovation? BNE Intellinews considers the case of Hungarian payments company Barion.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • S&P Global Ratings gives Gulf Cooperation Council countries the edge over their neighbors in the Middle East and Africa when it comes to the fintech adoption rates.
  • PayU acquires Turkish fintech Iyzico for $165 million.
  • Citi launches its MENA 2019 Challenge.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Indian challenger bank, Payzello, goes live.
  • Tez, a digital, non-bank microfinance startup based in Pakistan, took home $100,000 in prize money after winning the FinTech Challenge at the inaugural Visa Everywhere Initiative for Women.
  • Inc42 looks at the how India’s current fintech boom is contributing to financial inclusion.

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Hi Oleg! Russia’s Tinkoff Launches Virtual Assistant

Tinkoff introduced Оleg, a voice assistant created in Russia for finance and lifestyle-related tasks, with the mission to help users navigate within the Tinkoff ecosystem, reports Henry Vilar of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Surprisingly, Oleg is man, aged somewhere “between 25 and 40 years of age,” and seems to have a lot of personality, according to the bank.

According to the bank, Oleg, which can be accessed through the bank’s app, is able to recognize and interpret different user commands, ask follow-up questions, solve problems and speak on a variety of topics.

The AI can complete tasks such as transfer money to accounts at Tinkoff Bank and Sberbank, make restaurant reservations, book beauty salon appointments, buy cinema tickets with a cashback offer, search for discounts on products and services, converse on various topics, manage financial products (debit and credit cards), and more admin tasks, with many more to come.

Oleg will also be able to identify a user’s voice using biometric data and carry out commands that currently require authorisation within the Tinkoff app.

To start a conversation in the mobile app, one has to say “Hi Oleg” or “Listen Oleg” in Russian. You can ask Oleg a question, like “What’s on tonight” or ask him to perform a task, such as transfer funds. Oleg will be able to converse about various things, including himself.

Oleg can also say “Enough” or “Speak with a representative” if they feel Oleg isn’t resolving their problem successfully.

Tinkoff demonstrated Stories for its mobile banking app at FinovateEurope 2018. Headquartered in Moscow, Russia, and founded in 2006, the digital-only, branchless bank serves more than seven million customers, employs more than 20,000 people, and operates nine research and development hubs across Russia.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • CallVU Teams Up with Banca Transilvania to Boost Mobile Banking.
  • Finovate Global: Fintechs Merge and Rebrand in Vietnam; Tinkoff Launches New Voice Assistant Oleg.
  • Hi Oleg! Tinkoff Launches Virtual Assistant.

Around the web

  • Jscrambler introduces self-healing JavaScript to fight code tampering.
  • AlphaPoint sets up shop in Switzerland to access the growing market for tokenization in the country.
  • BlueRush announces that its Best of Show winning IndiVideo platform has topped $100,000 in committed monthly recurring revenue.
  • AiThority interviews founder and CEO of Arkose Labs, Kevin Gosschalk.
  • Global alternative asset manager EJF Capital joins the Artivest platform.
  • INTELid Digital ID blockchain platform integrates ValidSoft’s voice recognition technology.
  • Choosemycompany.com recognizes YSEOP on itsAtWork and HappyIndex.
  • Ayondo’s COO and CFO resign.
  • NDGIT receives Finance IT Innovation Award 2019.
  • Fenergo enters the Taiwanese market through a partnership with TUNG-I Information Services (TUNG-I).

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

Around the web

  • Startup Here Toronto features Sensibill.
  • Paysend announces expanding network and latest funding round.
  • Tinkoff announces the launch of Tinkoff Capital management company.
  • Entrust Datacard completes acquisition of nCipher Security.

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

  • Vymo Partners with Microsoft to Help Sales Teams Leverage AI.
  • Trustly and Collector Bank Bring Instant Payments to Nordic Merchants.
  • Fiserv Teams Up with Allegacy Federal Credit Union.

Around the web

  • Gartner recognizes Jscrambler in its 2019 Market Guide for Online Fraud Detection.
  • Fenergo launches new suite of CLM tools, Digital Client Orchestration, leveraging APIs to integrate front, middle, and back office systems.
  • Ping Identity unveils new cloud-based multi-factor authentication and single sign-on bundle do defend against identity-based cyberattacks.
  • Tinkoff Bank introduces its own branded online travel agency.
  • RightCapital announces technology integrations with advisor technology platform Capitect and independent research firm Morningstar.

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.

Finn AI Powers Chatbots in South Africa; Token Drives Open Banking in MENA

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.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • NF Innova to power “Customer-First” experience for APS Bank.
  • Tinkoff Group of Russia builds supercomputer dubbed the most powerful in financial sector.
  • Raiffeisen Bank Serbia picks Asseco SEE as its strategic vendor.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Khaleeji Commercial Bank of Bahrain partners with Token.io.
  • AI chatbot maker Kasisto and UAE-based digital bank Liv partner to launch new conversational chatbot, Olivia.
  • Smart Dubai gives the nod to blockchain platform developed by Du, formerly known as the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company.

Central and South Asia

  • Indian point-of-sale terminal developer Mswipe raised $30 million in new funding.
  • Fintech startups are among those looking for capital from the new $20 million fund launched by China’s Gobi Partners and Pakistan’s Fatima Ventures.
  • India’s Federal Bank turns to Ripple to power cross-border remittances.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • The Paypers interviews allpago Founder and CEO, Philipp Bock, on ecommerce in Latin America.
  • HSBC Uruguay announces partnership with Spanish biometric authentication firm, FacePhi.
  • Latin American payments processor EBANX initiates local operations in Brazil.

Asia-Pacific

  • Hong Kong-based SME lender Qupital raises $15 million to fuel expansion to mainland China.
  • Krungthai Bank, EVX Holdings, and Shwe Rural and Urban Development Bank agree to launch the first blockchain-powered, cross- border money transfer service between Thailand and Myanmar.
  • UnionBank of the Philippines introduces the first cryptocurrency ATM in the country.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Finn AI Brings Conversational Banking to South Africa’s TymeBank.
  • Korepay helps Nigerian migrant workers in 12 U.S. states send money back home.
  • Xente, a fintech that enables Ugandan merchants to offer pay by installment, announces expansion to Nigeria.

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Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Onfido Raises $50 Million in New Capital.
  • Salt Edge Earns Account Information Service Provider License from FCA.

Around the web

  • Tinkoff Group of Russia builds supercomputer dubbed the most powerful in financial sector.
  • PayPal joins Series A round for Cambridge Blockchain.
  • EVRY partners with ACI Worldwide to enhance its mobile payment service in the Nordics and Europe.
  • ProfitStars wins 2019 FinTech Breakthrough Award for Best Business Lending Platform
  • Capsilon expands executive team, forms new product organization to drive mortgage innovation. Check out Capsilon’s newest tech at FinovateSpring in May.
  • SocietyOne launches new investor trust.
  • Portland Business Journal: Tyfone brings credit unions the digital tools members want.
  • Insuritas partners with Nymeo FCU to launch digital insurance agency.
  • NestReady to power integrated homebuying experience for Resource Financial Services.

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.

Instarem Raises Capital; TurnKey Lender Goes Live in Malaysia

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.

Asia-Pacific

  • TurnKey Lender opens new office in Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
  • Instarem raises $41 million to fund global expansion.
  • Singapore FinTech Association and FinTech Australia ink Memorandum of Understanding.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian online lender OneFi to acquire Nigerian payment solutions company Amplify.
  • Finextra features its list of the top South African fintech startups to look out for in 2019.
  • Born2Invest highlights the fintechs in Africa’s emerging startup industry.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Tinkoff Mobile, a subsidiary of Tinkoff Bank, announces service in six new regions.
  • CEE fintech watchers are keeping an eye on the pending launch of the “first bank for the Russian Internet” VR_Bank.
  • Vienna, Austria-based fintech Bitpanda adds its first stablecoin, Tether, introducing the new asset class on its trading platform.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Egypt’s central bank sets aside $58 million to fund fintech startups in the country.
  • Arabian Business looks at the continued dominance of cash in Saudi Arabia, despite the growth of the country’s fintech sector.
  • ZDNet reviews how new technologies like AI and automation represent challenge and opportunity for countries in the MENA region.

Central and South Asia

  • Wipro launches its AI and machine learning-powered accounts payable, KYC, and other solutions on Amazon Web Services.
  • Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon goes live with Clari5 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Solution to address money laundering threats.
  • Fintech Futures looks at Indian micro lending startup, Spoon, as it prepares to go live.
  • PakWired reviews the likelihood that Pakistan will legalize cryptocurrencies by the end of the year.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Analysts cast a wary eye at new cryptocurrency regulations from the Bank of Mexico.
  • Bob’s Guide features a deep dive into the evolving Brazilian payments market.
  • New Cayman Islands-based fintech consulting firm, Cartan Group, opens for business.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • ACI Worldwide Partners with Solutions by Text.
  • Envestnet to Acquire PIEtech for $500 Million.

Around the web

  • Prepaid Technologies Acquires Dash from Karmic Labs.
  • Switch launches its issuer-branded CardUpdatr app.
  • Kinetica unveils its active analytics platform that makes it easier to deliver smart analytics applications at scale.
  • Forbes interviews co-founder and CEO of Onfido, Husayn Kassai.
  • Tinkoff Mobile, a subsidiary of Tinkoff Bank, announces service in six new regions.
  • DocuSign launches its DocuSign Agreement Cloud to help companies better manage business agreements digitally.
  • Capsilon announces the beta launch of its digital underwriter solution.
  • AlphaPoint adds DiamondBack stablecoin to its crypto exchange.
  • Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon goes live with Clari5 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Solution to address money laundering threats.
  • PYMNTS: Amazon and Worldpay team up on one-click commerce.
  • NetGuardians‘ AI fraud-prevention software available on Microsoft Azure.
  • TurnKey Lender signs partnership agreement with Refinitiv.
  • MX and Personetics partner to bring AI-driven insights to financial institution customers.
  • ICBA and Jack Henry’s ProfitStars expand preferred service provider program with remote deposit capture solutions.
  • Insuritas and Oregon Mutual announce partnership to offer auto and home insurance solutions through meta-agency platform.

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.

PayPal in Argentina; Temenos Backs African Challenger Bank

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.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • PayPal invests $750 million in Argentina-based e-commerce company MercadoLibre.
  • First Data to acquire Brazilian electronic funds transfer (EFT) solution provider Software Express.
  • NCR, Bluefin, and Powertranz team up to support POS card processing for Caribbean quick serve restaurants.
  • BlueRush deploys its Individeo platform with a large Colombian bank courtesy of a partnership with Bee Concept.
  • The Wall Street Journal looks at how global FIs are gaining interest in the Latin American alternative lending market.

Asia-Pacific

  • Experian launches Singapore-based incubator, Experian X Labs.
  • South Korean crypto company Kakao raises $90 million via private coin offering.
  • Thai Stock Exchange to launch a digital asset exchange next year.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Front office and core banking technology from Temenos to drive digital revamp for African challenger bank, Vista Bank.
  • Financial Software and Systems takes 46% stake in South Africa’s Ecentric Payment Systems.
  • South Africa’s second largest retail bank, Capitec, extends its partnership with ACI Worldwide.
  • ThreatMetrix teams up with Blue Turtle Technologies to help market its fraud prevention solution to customers in Africa.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • 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.
  • iSignthis Inks Banking and Payments Deal with Ibanera.
  • Bulgaria-based Software Group scores €18 million loan from Europe Investment Bank.
  • EU Startups features lending platform Inlock its look at 10 Hungarian startups to look out for in 2019.
  • Bulgaria’s Municipal Bank to deploy new core and payments solutions from Oracle.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) launches $10 million fund for fintech startups in the MENA region.
  • Commercial Bank of Qatar joins R3.
  • Credit scoring solution provider Creditinfo opens regional hub in Muscat following new strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Oman.

Central and South Asia

  • ArthaYantra wins Fintech of the Year (India) at The Asset Triple A Digital Awards.
  • Africa’s Naspers plans to spend $1 billion on investments in Indian fintechs.
  • Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures division to launch digital platform for Indian SMEs.

Top image designed by Freepik