Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World

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

  • Brazil’s Nubank announces debit options for its digital savings account.
  • Infocorp spinoff Bankingly raises $5.25 million in Series A funding in round led by Elevar Equity.
  • Vocalink to modernize Peru’s electronic payments infrastructure courtesy of new deal with the company’s automated clearinghouse, Cámara de Compensación Electrónica (CCE).


  • UNPay expands QR code payments.
  • Indonesian lending and payments firm, Pohon Dana, picks up investment from Mayapada Group.
  • PaySend launches transfers to bank accounts and Napas cards in Vietnam.
  • Fenergo wins Fintech Exporter of the Year award from Asia Matters.
  • Juvo expands across Asia with regional headquarters in Singapore.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Experian purchases South African credit information and analytics firm Compuscan for $263 million.
  • Ecobank partners with MFS Africa to offer cross-platform digital payments to customers.
  • Emergent Technology acquires Ghana-based Interpay Africa.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Sberbank offers clients new strategies for investment life insurance.
  • Finastra opens new offices in Romania.
  • Backbase powers omni-channel digital services for Poland’s BGŻ BNP Paribas bank.
  • International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) to deploy technology from FICO to fight money laundering.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • UAE and Saudi Arabia launch blockchain-powered, cross-border payments proof of concept.
  • Temenos announces partnership with Tunisia’s Banque de l’Habitat.
  • Token brings open banking to MENA region.

Central and South Asia

  • James Finance, Ocrolus, Hydrogen, and iProov shortlisted for India FinTech Awards 2018.
  • Currencies Direct taps Ripple’s xCurrent for real-time remittances to India.
  • Fintech News Singapore features BankBazaar in its round up of 10 Hot Fintech Startups from India to Watch Closely.

Top image designed by Freepik

UNPay Expands QR Code Payments

Electronic payment technology provider UNPay made a move that banks on QR code technology in Asia. The Singapore-based fintech announced it is supporting the Singapore government’s effort to promote more cashless payments with a slew of efforts to promote the use of QR code payments among retailers.

UNPay is initiating the effort by providing its merchant clients with Chinese QR code payment capabilities and will include Chinese QR code payment providers by the second half of 2019. To support the influx of Chinese tourists in Singapore, a group which spent $3.08 billion on tourism expenditures last year, UNPay has acquired more merchant clients in the hospitality and food and beverage sectors and will supply them with popular QR code payment methods such as Alipay and WeChat Pay. As a second step in its QR Code expansion, UNPay will acquire foreign e-wallets to provide even more payment options for tourists around the world.

Zhang Zhenghua, UNPay CEO and founder said, “Through our active acquisition of merchants, we hope to drive the use of QR code payment in Singapore, keeping in line with the rollout of SGQR code in September. We are confident that with our expertise and technology, we will be able to bring greater benefits to our merchants via our integrated payment platform, while providing a more seamless and convenient way for consumers to pay.”

UNPay Country Manager Ernest Lo and HR Director Jenny Zhao demo UN Smart Cashier at FinovateAsia 2018

UNPay, which demoed its UN Smart Cashier at FinovateAsia earlier this year, connects to more than 500 online payment methods covering more than 200 countries and regions. The company’s solutions span industries including travel, education, e-commerce, and digital entertainment.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Yandex.Money Moves Mobile Wallet Forward with Moven Enterprise.

Around the web

  • Jumio won gold award for Security Software Enterprise Product of the Year at the 2018 Best in Biz Awards
  • FamZoo redesigns card to make it more teen friendly.
  • Coindesk reports: Coinbase Quietly Opened Its OTC Crypto Trading Desk This Month.

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.

FinovateAsia Sneak Peek: UNPay

FinovateAsiaA look at the companies demoing live at FinovateAsia on October 29 and 30, 2018 in Hong Kong. Register today and save your spot.

UNPay’s UN Smart Cashier integrates functions of a retail cashier and dynamic advertisements on one platform. It can optimize sales processes and aggregate e-marketing services.


  • Leverages facial recognition by scanning the customer and showing gender-appropriate ads
  • Uses Face ID-associated accounts for payments and loyalty points
  • Processes a myriad of payment modes

Why it’s great
Enables businesses to showcase gender-appropriate advertisements to maximize sales. It also links to associated accounts for payments and loyalty points for enhanced convenience.


Yulong Hu, Co-Founder
Hu is a serial entrepreneur in entertainment, electronic commerce, and payment industries and is the founder of the first domestic electronic coupon platform, “LuckyMoney.”

Ernest Lo, Singapore Country Manager
Lo is a veteran in e-payments and holds a MSc in Telecommunications from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Agreement Express Signs Deal with Independent Financial Partners.
  • MX to Power Ent Credit Union’s Money Insight Tool.
  • Check out a sneak peek of these upcoming FinovateAsia demoing companies:

Around the web

  • Jumio wins gold in Access Compliance and Risk Management Innovations in 2018 Golden Bridge Awards
  • Allied Bakeries selects Top Image Systems’ eFLOW AP for SAP for centralized, automated invoice processing.
  • SMART VALOR joins Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA).

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.