Digital is Global, E-Currency for the Eurozone, Open Banking in Switzerland

FinovateFall: Digital AND Global

What’s to like about FinovateFall Digital, our all-digital fintech conference starting Monday, September 14th and continuing through Friday, the 18th? A CEO from one of our demoing companies pointed out that one of the special things about this fall’s conference is that because the FinovateFall is all-digital, it enables people all over the world to participate as virtual attendees.

With this in mind, we wanted to use this week’s Finovate Global to highlight those companies from outside the United States that will be demonstrating their latest fintech innovations as part of our annual autumn event. Here’s hoping they bring a few friends from across the border – or from over the sea – to digitally join us!


Cinchy – Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Provides a real-time data collaboration platform to solve data integration, access, governance, and solution-delivery challenges. Finovate Best of Show Winner. Founded in 2014.

DQ Labs – Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Offers a unified suite of modules that enables companies to unlock the value in their data to gain new insights. Founded in 2019.

Horizn – Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Helps banks and financial institutions dramatically increase digital adoption. Finovate Best of Show winner. Founded in 2012.

Mostly AI – Vienna, Wien, Austria. Enables companies to unlock privacy-sensitive data assets while protecting privacy. Founded in 2017.

Payever – Hamburg, Germany. Offers a Commerce Operating System to help entrepreneurs start, run, and grow their businesses. Founded in 2013.

Scientia Consulting – London, U.K. Leading fintech consulting and development firm in Europe. Founded in 2010.

Join us next week for Finovate’s latest all-digital fintech conference. Visit our registration page today and save your spot at our live and On Demand event.

Digital Currency Comeback?

Back in January Finovate Global took a look at the growing case for national digital currencies. We highlighted initiatives in countries as different as India and Japan, and underscored observations from Christine Lagarde (former head of the IMF and current president of the European Central Bank) in her address, “The Case for New Digital Currency”.

Now Ms. Lagarde is back in the news hinting at a near-term resolution to the question of a digital euro. In a speech this week at the Bundesbank’s conference on digital banking and payments, Lagarde argued that Europe must be wary of falling behind when it comes to the development of digital payment options, and that consideration of a national digital currency needs to be a part of that conversation.

“The Eurosystem has so far not made a decision on whether to introduce a digital euro,” Lagarde said. “But, like many other central banks around the world, we are exploring the benefits, risks, and operation challenges of doing so.” Lagarde added a taskforce on development of a digital euro is expected to release its findings “in the coming weeks.”

Open Banking All Over the World

We recently investigated the prospects for open banking in Australia. This week we share an overview of the state of open banking in Switzerland courtesy of Fintech Zoom’s Jung Min-Seo.

“Europe may moderately declare to be the cradle of open banking,” Min-Seo wrote, “however in contrast to within the E.U. the place members are obliged to implement PSD2, a directive meant to opening up cost transactions to non-banks and promote competitors, Switzerland has no such regulation in place.”

Read the rest: A Brief 2020 Overview of Open Banking in Switzerland


Here is our look at fintech around the world.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • The Fintech Times profiles Demet Zübeyiroğlu, chair of the Financial Innovation and Technologies Association, a nonprofit based in Turkey
  • Israeli fintech startup Salaryo secures $5.8 million in funding from investors including Dubai-based private equity fund Ken Investments.
  • Jordanian fintech Whyise raises $675,000.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Trulioo expands to Pakistan.
  • TechWire Asia looks at how Amazon is leveraging its relationship with India to grow its fintech offerings.
  • Proving that cash is still alive in India, RapiPay, a subsidiary of Capital India Finance, will install 500,000 micro ATMs in the country over the next two years.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Caribbean-based fintech WiPay teams up with Mastercard to expand digital payments in the region.
  • Austria’s Paysafecard announces expansion into Mexico.
  • Mexican fintech Ubank, which offers an automated savings solution, plans to expand to the United States.

Asia-Pacific

  • Revolut goes live in Japan.
  • Onfido brings ID verification to migrant worker e-marketplace, MyCash Money, which serves workers in Malaysia and Singapore.
  • Backbase partners with Vietnam’s Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) to speed the institution’s digital transformation.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian fintechs Opay and PalmPay, along with South African e-payment firm, Yoco, are the only three Africa fintechs to earn spots on CB Insights’ 2020 Fintech Top 250.
  • Ozow, a digital payments company based in South Africa, launches its new payments platform.
  • Nigeria’s Sparkle announces plans for digital distribution of insurance solutions.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis praises Ukraine as the country with the greatest rate of cryptocurrency adoption in a new report.
  • Hungarian biometric payment startup PeasyPay announces plans to expand to Spain and the U.K.
  • Balkan Insight reviews the fintech ecosystem in Croatia.

Photo by Candid Shots from Pexels

Trulioo Adds Document Verification, Facial Recognition to EmbedID

Advanced biometric technologies like facial recognition have their critics. The city of Boston, Massachusetts, just a few weeks ago, became the second community in the world to ban the use of facial recognition technology over concerns of bias against ethnic minorities. And the use of facial recognition in places like China has heightened concerns over the potential privacy-violating aspects of the technology.

Nevertheless, the fact that companies continue to innovate in the biometric authentication space suggests that these issues are more likely to be seen as contemporary challenges rather than permanent obstacles. This is all the more so in a world that is coming more – rather than less – connected, and digital.

Trulioo, a leading global identity verification provider, is one the companies that is helping small businesses take advantage of these technologies. The company announced today that its low-code developer tool, EmbedID, will now feature both facial recognition and document verification functionality. This will enable SMEs to verify new users during the account opening process more efficiently and accurately, and assure that KYC and AML requirements are met.

“Taking a multi-layered approach to identity verification offers businesses the strongest defense against increasingly sophisticated bad actors,” Director of Growth at Trulioo Rutherford Wilson explained. “Adding document verification gives another layer of protection to help reduce risk, especially when combined with reliable identity verification.” Wilson credited the combination of these features for providing businesses with the “increased confidence in knowing the user is tied to a real identity and that they are who they claim to be online.”

Small businesses can use the technology by copying a snippet of code and pasting it on their website. This will automatically generate a stylized registration form that is prewired to Trulioo’s GlobalGateway to provide instant verification of personal identification information. Via the connection to GlobalGateway, small businesses can verify the authenticity of government-issued ID documents and leverage facial recognition technology – equipped with liveness detection – to establish that the individual opening the account is the same person in the photo on the ID document.

“In an age of ongoing digital transformation, it’s essential for SMBs to be able to access the same identity verification solutions used by large organizations to protect their business and scale their company,” Wilson added. He cited cost as the main barrier for most small businesses when it comes to accessing “bank-grade” technology and security. This leaves them more vulnerable to fraudsters than their larger rivals, and makes it more difficult for them to compete.

“We designed EmbedID to help level the playing field to allow for accelerated innovation, customer acquisition, and competition in the marketplace,” Wilson said.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Trulioo has been a Finovate alum since 2014 and most recently demonstrated its technology at our European conference in February. Named to CNBC’s 2020 Disruptor 50 roster in June, Trulioo was featured in our look at Canadian fintech innovators on Canada Day earlier this month.

Finovate Alums Earn Spots in CNBC’s 2020 Disruptor 50

Six companies that have demonstrated their fintech innovations on the Finovate stage have been recognized this year by CNBC as part of their Disruptor 50 roster for 2020.

This year’s list, the eighth in the series, is marked by the high number of billion-dollar companies, or “unicorns.” Fully 36 of the firms in the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 have reached or surpassed the $1 billion valuation mark. Combined, the 50 companies have raised more than $74 billion in VC funding and achieved an implied market valuation of almost $277 billion.

The companies making the cut range in industry from cybersecurity and healthcare IT to education and, of course, fintech. In fact, the top-ranked company in the 2020 Disruptor 50 is none other than Stripe, the $36 billion payments platform founded in 2010. Stripe earned a #13 ranking in last year’s Disruptor 50 roster, and likely owes its first place appearance this year to a major $600 million funding raising – the company’s largest to date – and the economic and social consequences of the global health crisis.

“With many people throughout the world under lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19,” CNBC’s capsule on the company noted, “the move to shopping online has never been greater. That’s good news for digital payments platform Stripe.”

Stripe was not the only fintech to earn high marks from the 2020 Disruptor 50’s methodology. In addition to the half dozen Finovate alums below, some of the other fintechs on this year’s roster include:

  • Virtual bank WeLab (Hong Kong)
  • Digital mortgage company Better.com (New York City)
  • “Buy now pay later” e-commerce company Affirm (San Francisco, California)
  • Challenger bank Chime (San Francisco, California)
  • Banking app Dave (Los Angeles, California)
  • Microfinancier TALA (Santa Monica, California)
  • Trading and investing platform Robinhood (Menlo Park, California)

Also earning spots in this year’s list were a pair of insurtech companies, Lemonade and Root Insurance, as well as cybersecurity and biometric authentication firms SentinelOne and CLEAR, respectively.

Here’s a look at the Finovate alums that made this year’s list.

#5 Klarna

  • Founded: 2005
  • Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden
  • CEO: Sebastian Siemiakowski
  • Valuation: $5.5 billion
  • Previous ranking: #8 in 2016

#8 SoFi

  • Founded: 2011
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • CEO: Antony Noto
  • Valuation: $4.8 billion
  • Previous ranking: #26 in 2019

#24 Kabbage

  • Founded: 2009
  • Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia
  • CEO: Rob Frohwein
  • Valuation: $1.1 billion
  • Previous ranking: #14 in 2019

#27 Trulioo

  • Founded: 2011
  • Headquarters: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • CEO: Steve Munford
  • Valuation: N.A.
  • Previous ranking: #37 in 2017

#28 Ripple

  • Founded: 2012
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • CEO: Brad Garlinghouse
  • Valuation: $10 billion
  • Previous ranking: First appearance

#33 Marqeta

  • Founded: 2010
  • Headquarters: Oakland, California
  • CEO: Jason Gardner
  • Valuation: $4.3 billion
  • Previous ranking: First appearance

Photo by Malte Luk from Pexels

Intuit’s $7 Billion Bid for Credit Karma; FinovateEurope Salutes its Best of Show

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

How’s $7 billion for good karma? One of Finovate’s earliest alums Credit Karma is reportedly the target of what would be Intuit’s biggest acquisition to date. According to The Wall Street Journal, the cash and stock deal could be announced as early as Monday.

Credit Karma will continue to function as an independent company with founder and CEO Kenneth Lin at the helm. The acquisition gives Intuit, maker of online tax filing service TurboTax, another contact point with the online personal finance world. Credit Karma provides its members with access to their credit scores and borrowing histories, helps them monitor their accounts for security breaches and, perhaps most relevantly, has offered a free online tax preparation service since 2017.

If the deal holds up, Intuit will be paying a significant premium for Credit Karma. The personal financial wellness company was last valued at $4 billion, based on a 2018 private market transaction.


With another Finovate conference in the books, our Finovate Best of Show ranks has a new set of members. Congratulations to Dorsum, Glia, Horizn, iProov, Sonect, and W.UP for taking home top honors earlier this month at FinovateEurope!

The victory may have been especially sweet for Sonect, whose Best of Show award-winning demo was also the company’s Finovate debut. The Switzerland-based start-up offers what it calls “the world’s first social cash network” that enables consumers to access cash without having to visit a bank branch or ATM. Sonect offers merchants the ability to grow their business via increased traffic and gives financial institutions a way to extend their ATM networks without the cost of additional hardware.

The Best of Show win was also a first for Horizn. The company, which made its Finovate debut three years ago at FinovateEurope, offers a platform that helps employees and customers maximize the opportunities of digitized financial services. Horizn uses simulator microlearning, as well as gamification and advanced analytics, to promote digital adoption across channels.

And last but not least, a special tip of the hat to Dorsum, Glia, iProov, and W.UP, all of whom won Best of Show honors at FinovateEurope for a second year in a row.


Here’s a round up of recent news from our Finovate alumni.

  • Larky enters reseller agreement with Access Softek.
  • Bison Bank in Lisbon, Portugal selects PSD2-ready software from ndigit.
  • Techround interviews Tradeshift co-founder Mikkel Hippe Brun.
  • Bremer Bank leverages Backbase’s digital-first banking platform to fuel digital transformation.
  • Paysend’s multi-currency global account launches in Europe.
  • Kinetica launches Kinetica Cloud.
  • Futurex taps ISARA to bring quantum-safe cryptography and crypto-agility into its Key Management Enterprise Server (KMES) Series 3.
  • With new FCA license, Meniga seeks to expand product offering.
  • StrategyCorps and Digital Onboarding partner to help banks grow checking account relationships.
  • Baker Hill renews partnership with Washington Trust Bank to streamline loan origination and portfolio risk management.
  • Aire launches Credit Insight Suite to improve access to credit.
  • Coinbase becomes Visa principal to offer more feature for Coinbase Card customers.
  • InComm partners with Eezi to launch Poundland’s gift card program.
  • Enveil secures $10 million in Series A funding for secure data collaboration.
  • Trulioo adds image capture SDK to Trulioo GlobalGateway.
  • Amaiz taps ValidSoft for voice authentication.
  • OurCrowd expands focus on growing early stage tech companies.

Finovate Alum Features and Profiles

eToro’s Evolution – Social trading and investment platform eToro has never been one to stand still for very long. The company’s development cycle is fast enough to make even the most sprightly fintech jealous.

Lending Club Snaps Up Radius Bank for $185 Million – When Lending Club was founded in 2007, the startup aimed to serve as a place to help borrowers avoid dealing with banks. In a somewhat ironic move today, that same startup is becoming a bank itself.

Breach Clarity’s New Offering Provides Consumers Personalized Protection – Fraud detection and prevention company Breach Clarity announced this week it has developed a new platform to help financial service providers offer personalized protection for their customers.

New SumUp Card Empowers SMEs as Business Payment Makers and Takers – The company that has helped bring fintech innovation to e-commerce with its mobile point-of-sale (mPOS), card reading solutions now offers merchants a card of their own.

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Trulioo

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateFall on September 14-16, 2020. Register today and save your spot.

Trulioo helps organizations instantly verify 5 billion people and 330 million businesses online through a single API. Hundreds of businesses around the world use Trulioo to digitally verify customers.

Features

  • Gives regulated entities certainty about their business customers
  • And gives them confidence in meeting Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements

Why It’s Great
Through GlobalGateway Business Verification, companies can instantly verify business entity information, perform watchlist checks, and identify and verify the beneficial owners of the businesses.

Presenters

Baraa Safaa, Project Manager
Safaa leads development for GlobalGateway Business Verification, identifying business pain points and translating them into product features that help regulated entities with AML compliance.
LinkedIn

Investors Flock to Mexican Neobanks; Ant Financial, Ali Baba Ink Pact with ICBC

The challenger bank revolution is alive and well in Mexico. This week, three upstart financial institutions in the Latin American country were the recipients of a combined $20+ million in funding. The investments are a testament to the way local entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunity to provide banking services to a growing number of previously underbanked people in Mexico.

For some observers, Mexican banks have long been ripe for disruption. A 2017 feature in The Financial Times cited a Gallup poll in which more than three in four customers in Mexico were “indifferent to, or unhappy with their bank.” The same article noted that challenger banks and other fintechs could take as much as 30% of the Mexican banking market in the next ten years due to inefficiencies in the current banking system. Incumbents have also been criticized for a lack of outreach to the underbanked, to younger potential customers, and to the digitally savvy.

Check out Thiago Paiva’s in-depth look at the Mexican neobank market – and how some incumbents are fighting back – published at TechCrunch this fall. Paiva is product manager at Oyster, a challenger bank for Latin American SMEs.

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

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Trulioo goes live with its GlobalGateway in Nigeria and Ghana.
  • Disrupt-Africa looks at the expansion and fundraising plans of South African payments startup Airbuy.
  • Kenyan insurtech firm Turaco closes $2.1 million seed funding round.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Wefox, an insurtech based in Berlin, Germany, locks in $110 million extension to its Series B round.
  • Based in Latvia and founded in Russia, Robocash announces plans to raise $5 million in funding over the next six month to support expansion to SE Asia.
  • An AML startup founded by former workers at TransferWise and Skype, Estonia’s Salv has raised $2 million in seed funding.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • National Bank of Fujairah, based in the UAE, readies for the launch of its new SME banking platform.
  • Oman’s Bank Muscat introduces $100 million fintech investment program.
  • UAE fintech FlexxPay locks in an investment from Wamda.

Central and Southern Asia

  • ZestMoney, an Indian fintech specializing in providing credit assessment and financing for the underbanked, raises $14 million as part of an extended Series B round featuring participation by Goldman Sachs.
  • Delhi, India-based SME lender LivFin secures in $5 million in growth funding.
  • What can Central Asian companies learn from Southeast Asia when it comes to building a fintech industry?

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mexican neobank Albo adds $17 million to its Series A, taking the round’s total to more than $26 million.
  • Flink, a Mexico-based challenger bank, receives seed funding from Spanish fintech Latina.
  • Challenger bank Fondeadora reels in $2.5 million in funding.

Asia-Pacific

  • Ant Financial and Alibaba ink strategic payments partnership with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
  • Hong Kong’s WeLab picks up $156 million to fund its digital bank launch in 2020.
  • ZA Bank pilots internet-only banking services in Hong Kong, the first FI to do so in the city.

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

On Finovate.com

  • Capture-as-a-Service Specialist Ephesoft Partners with Malaysia’s Alliance Bank
  • Tinkoff Launches Super App, Integrating Finance, Leisure, and Lifestyle

Around the web

  • Trulioo brings its identity verification service to Nigeria and Ghana.
  • ID.me introduces new solution to help businesses to comply with California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
  • Greece’s Pancreta Bank partners with Finastra to enhance regulatory compliance.
  • ThetaRay taps Edward Sander as its new Chief Product Officer.

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

  • How Revolut and Mastercard Are Helping Fintech Do Good
  • Keepabl Partners with ClauseMatch to Boost GDPR Compliance
  • More Than $1 Billion Raised by 21 Finovate Alums in Q3 2019

Around the web

  • Gartner names Exagens a 2019 “Cool Vendor.”
  • Trulioo appoints Zac Cohen as chief operating officer.
  • Trustly reaches 100 live gaming brands with its Pay N Play player registration and verification product.
  • Tradeshift moves Bucharest team to larger office in Tower Center, announces plans to hire more staff next year.
  • Globitex taps Salt Edge for strong customer authentication.
  • After Belfast launch earlier this year, Signifyd recruits 63 people with plans to recruit 150 more over the next three to five years.
  • Revolut and Mastercard team up with Save The Children to support Universal Children’s Day.
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune names Jack Henry & Associates a top place to work in San Diego for the fourth year in a row.
  • CredoLab, Neener Analytics, and Vymo win finalist spots in the India FinTech Forum’s IFTA 2019 awards.
  • Chetu ranked as the number two of 50 top software development firms in the U.S.
  • Payments company VoPay teams up with Plaid to offer a new credit card alternative to consumers in North America.

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.

Trulioo Accepts Another $53 Million in Funding

Canadian identity innovator Trulioo announced today it brought in $53 million (CAD $70 million). The round was led by Goldman Sachs Growth Equity and saw participation from Citi Ventures, Santander InnoVentures and American Express Ventures. Trulioo’s total funding how stands at $73 million (CAD $96.6 million).

The Trulioo team will use the funds to build its presence in new markets, as well as boost its workforce from 130 to 200 people who staff the company’s Vancouver, San Francisco, and Dublin offices.

Trulioo’s team is 130 employees strong

“Today, families, businesses and entire economies are being powered by the global shift towards a truly digital economy, which is exciting but also opens up new forms of risk,” said Stephen Ufford, Trulioo CEO and founder. “We’re committed to leveraging technology to help our customers fight financial crime, money laundering and election fraud. I’d like to thank our investors for their trust in the work we are doing and for enabling us to push forward our solutions that transcend boundaries and channels, and which facilitate trusted transactions from anywhere, instantly.”

Trulioo’s API allows organizations to instantly verify identities of more than five billion consumers (more than two thirds of the global population) and more than 250 million businesses across 195 countries. The company’s GlobalGateway database offers an online electronic identity verification (eIDV) service that helps businesses comply with AML and KYC rules, as well as a range of international electronic identity verification requirements.

Trulioo, which will demo its technology at FinovateFall next week in New York, provides electronic identification technology that has the potential to positively impact people in developing nations who may not have much of an online record to prove their identity. This underrepresented group can now potentially open a bank account, apply for a loan, or conduct other financial activity that was previously out of reach.

Earlier this year, Trulioo’s Head of Growth, Anatoly Kvitnitsky,demonstrated GlobalGateway’s instant onboarding with EmbedID at FinovateSpring. EmbedID enables businesses to query Trulioo’s GlobalGateway API and instantly verify customers in multiple markets by embedding a snippet of code to their website.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Trulioo Accepts Another $53 Million in Funding.
  • Braintri Rebrands as Neontri En Route to U.S. Debut.

Around the web

  • SpyCloud launches new automated tools to support checking and maintaining password security in Microsoft Active Directory.
  • Marketing Technology Insights interviews Arkose Labs VP of Marketing Vanita Pandey.
  • P2Binvestor wins Best Small Business Solution at the 2019 Best of FinXTech Awards.
  • Hired names Akamai a top 10 employer in Boston.
  • INETCO launches INETCO Insight 7, a payment fraud detection platform.
  • Ephesoft and Infor partner to demonstrate new cloud-based document capture solution.

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.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Trulioo

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

Trulioo presents EmbedID, a fast and simple way for startups and developers to verify customers across borders while supporting AML/KYC compliance requirements.

Features

  • Integrate and test Trulioo’s identity verification API in minutes
  • Fully customize onboarding fields and forms
  • Verify customers in real time

Why it’s great
With only a snippet of code embedded into any website, Trulioo’s EmbedID enables organizations to verify over 5 billion identities worldwide.

Presenters

Anatoly Kvitnitsky
Kvitnitsky has a wealth of experience working in fintech and identity markets, and is committed to helping solve identity challenges that organizations face in scaling their products for global use.
LinkedIn

Marat Asadurian
A software engineering manager at Trulioo, Asadurian enjoys building new products as well as new teams. In his current role, he is managing a team that generates new business lines for GlobalGateway.
LinkedIn

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Namaste Credit Becomes Challenger Bank.
  • Chatbots.Studio Partners with Yozobi. Check them out at FinovateFall later this month!
  • Credit Sesame Raises $43 Million in Advance of IPO.

Around the web

  • Salt Edge marks 400+ integrations with open banking APIs.
  • Payfone teams up with Digital Matrix Systems to help companies fight fraud.
  • Fenergo appoints Louise O’Connell to the newly created role of Chief Customer Officer.
  • StrategyCorps brings on former Geezeo executive, Bryan Clagett.

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.