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.
Central and Southern Asia
Indian online lending marketplace Namaste Creditbecomes neobank for micro, small, and medium sized businesses (MSMEs).
Forbes profiles social entrepreneur and co-founder of Pakistan’s Tez Financial Services, Nauren Hyat.
India-based digital-only neobank YeLo picks up seed funding from Matrix Partners India, Omidyar Network India, Flourish, and Better Capital.
Latin America and the Caribbean
In one of the largest seed rounds in Mexico to date, a company called minu that provides Mexican workers with instant, 24/7 access to earned wages Mexican workers, has raised $6.5 million.
Wayra Peru, the open innovation hub of Telefonica, and Peruvian investment group, The Board, to invest in Colombian fintech, IMIX.
Ecuadorian-Colombian digital payments platform Kushki Pagos acquires Chilean fintech QVO.
Financial Services Authority for Indonesia (OJK) introduces online registry to spur fintech development.
Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) adjusts credit risk management guidelines to accommodate use of big data analysis.
Indonesian digital credit platform, Kredivo, secures $20 million line of credit.
Chipper Cash, a San Francisco, California-based cross-border payment startup with offices in Ghana and Kenya, begins operations in Nigeria.
South Africa’s AlphaCode invests $1.5 million in a trio of local fintechs: Bright On Capital, Zande Africa, and Livestock Wealth.
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.
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.
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 Tinkofflaunches 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.
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 demonstratedStories 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.