Visa’s Minority Stake in Interswitch Creates Africa’s Latest Fintech Unicorn

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.

FinovateMiddleEast returns to Dubai next week, November 20 and 21. Learn about our Day One and Day Two agendas, our demoing companies, and then visit our FinovateMiddleEast registration page and pick up your ticket today.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Yes Bank launches India’s largest banking developer platform.
  • Pakistan-based digital lending platform Finja closes $3 million convertible note funding round.
  • India’s National Stock Exchange launches an open trading API sandbox.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mastercard partners with Mexico’s weex wallet to offer physical debit cards.
  • Colombian fintech Simetrik inks agreement to serve as payment gateway for Mercado Pago transactions.
  • Brazilian lender Banco Inter unveils new e-commerce app.

Asia-Pacific

  • MoneyGram and Wing partner to launch new mobile wallet in Cambodia.
  • Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) agree to locate the BIS Innovation Hub Centre in Singapore.
  • New Hong Kong license in hand, Tencent announces plans to build a blockchain-based digital bank.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Visa acquires minority stake in Nigerian digital payments company Interswitch Group, an investment that takes the African firm’s valuation to $1 billion.
  • South African P2P insurance provider Pineapple wins $1.5 million (R22.5 million) in taking home top prize in the Connecticut Innovations VentureClash 2019 competition.
  • Kenya institutes data protection law to support investment in its technology sector.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Billon, a Polish-British blockchain company, joins initiative with Raiffeisen Bank International to digitize the euro.
  • Trusted identities innovator OneSpan partners with Poland’s Bank Millennium.
  • Visa teams up with Georgian challenger bank Space.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • A new interest-free, credit service, Postpay, goes live in Dubai.
  • Executive Magazine looks at the fintech industry in Lebanon and the role of regulation in stimulating growth.
  • Tunisia announces the digitization of its national currency, the dinar, making the first country to convert a portion of its money supply to digital form.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • New Experian Credit Solution Brings Enhanced Predictive Performance
  • Finovate Global: Visa’s Minority Stake in Interswitch Creates Africa’s Latest Fintech Unicorn

Around the web

  • Avaloq completes acquisition of Derivative Partners.
  • TransferWise to offer $150,000 in prize money to Singaporean bank customers to help them defray the cost of hidden fees charged by their banks.
  • DefenseStorm completes (SOC)2 Type II Audit examination for its security data 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.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Sezzle announces its availability via Visa’s CyberSource payment management platform.
  • Klarna to open its latest House of Klarna pop-up store in Manchester next month.
  • German online lender Kreditech looks to expand operations in India in the wake of $22 million equity fundraising.

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

Around the web

  • Ephesoft forges partnership with RPA leader Automation Anywhere.
  • Visa launches its Visa Partner Portal to give fintechs greater access to its payments technologies and solutions.
  • Feedzai announces availability of its AI-powered Case Manager solution.
  • Collaboration between Q2 and Socure brings digital identity verification and fraud protection to Q2 Open’s CorePro cloud-based core processor.

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

  • Xignite to Power WealthSimple’s New Stock Trading App.
  • Kony Secures $37 Million in Financing from BMO.
  • Sezzle Raises $30 Million in IPO.
  • Vymo Reels in $18 Million for its Intelligent Sales Assistant.

Around the web

  • Deal sealed: Fiserv completes acquisition of First Data.
  • Visa announces strategic partnership with SME banking service Open.
  • eToro enables retail customers to invest in drone technology via its latest portfolio.
  • iGTB to enhance trade finance operations for two Raiffeisen banks, Niederosterreich-Wien and Landesbank Steiermark.
  • CREALOGIX to power new consumer digital investment platform from MeDirect Group.
  • JP Morgan Chase ends loan origination partnership with OnDeck.
  • ThetaRay brings on Idan Keret as Chief Customer Success Officer.
  • GreenDot offers customers 3% cash back on online and in-app purchases and a savings account paying 3% APY.
  • Fintech Finance interviews Olga Feldmeier, Smart Valor CEO.
  • Redrock Biometrics secures a perfect score in Level 1 Presentation Attack Detection confirmation testing by iBeta.
  • SpyCloud expands into Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

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.

Visa Acquires Germany’s POS Payment Gateway Payworks

Visa will create a fully white-labelled omnichannel payment management platform for merchants and acquirers after acquiring Payworks, reports Jane Connolly of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The news follows a 2018 strategic partnership and investment Visa made in Payworks, a Munich-based provider of next-generation payment gateway software for point of sale (POS).

Visa will integrate its CyberSource digital payment management platform with Payworks’ cloud-based software for in-store payment processing, allowing merchants and acquirers to accept face-to-face transactions across multiple POS terminal types.

The platform will provide a unified payment experience for in-store, in-app and online purchases.

“For the past two years, we have partnered closely with Payworks to deliver cutting-edge integrated commerce solutions for CyberSource’s clients worldwide,” said Carleigh Jaques, SVP, global head of digital merchant products at Visa. “As these solutions become mainstream, aligning more closely with Payworks and combining our businesses is a natural extension of our relationship.”

Christian Deger, CEO and co-founder of Payworks, added: “Integrated commerce is an accelerating opportunity for Payworks and its clients. By combining our POS technology with CyberSource’s digital commerce capabilities, we can bring our joint solution to merchants and acquirers across the globe at an accelerated pace. We are excited about joining the Visa family and integrating our capabilities to deliver innovative, differentiated integrated-commerce solutions.”

Research has shown that creating an omnichannel fulfilment strategy is among the top priorities for 94% of retailers.

Payworks demonstrated its platform at FinovateEurope 2014. Headquartered in Munich and founded in 2012, the company began this year with the launch of the first Android-based smart terminal, which was added to its portfolio of pre-certified payment terminals on its Pulse gateway.

This April, the company extended its partnership with worldwide POS software provider Lightspeed. In May, Payworks inked a deal with Hubtel to give merchants in Ghana and Kenya broader access to Payworks’ all-in-one, Android-based smart terminals.

Visa and PayPal’s New Deal

Just one day shy of Canada day, Visa and PayPal inked a deal to enable Canadian consumers to instantly access funds via Instant Transfer, a tool PayPal launched in the U.S. earlier this year.

While the U.S. service is powered via a partnership with JPMorgan Chase, PayPal’s Instant Transfer in Canada is powered by Visa’s push payments system, Visa Direct. The Canadian rollout of the new tool uses Visa debit card rails to move money from a customer’s PayPal account to their bank account in real time.

President of PayPal Canada Paul Parisi said that the company is focused on creating efficiencies for customers. “Instant Transfer is just one more way we are giving control and flexibility to our customers, allowing them to send and spend their money on their own terms,” he added.

The launch of Instant Transfer is expected to offer gig economy workers faster access to their earnings, which often are paid via PayPal or Venmo. The tool will also help PayPal compete with Zelle, a bank-owned P2P money transfer tool (and PayPal competitor) which relies on ACH to move funds, a process which often takes three days to complete.

PayPal charges the same for its Instant Transfer service as it does for its debit card transfer. Users pay one percent of the transaction up to $10.

PayPal was founded in 1998 and has a market capitalization of $138 billion. The company showcased its Instant Account Creation feature at FinovateFall 2012. 

Visa demoed at FinovateSpring 2010 and also showcased at our developers conference in 2014. The company has 39 APIs that offer developers tools for commercial payments, data and analytics, identity an security, offers and benefits, payments, and more.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • AIFC and Fidor Solutions to Boost Fintechs in Kazakhstan.
  • Visa and PayPal’s New Deal.

Around the web

  • Apex Clearing partners with Apex Crypto to launch cryptocurrency platform that helps financial advisors introduce digital currency trading into their clients’ portfolios.
  • Revolut taps banking veteran Richard Davies as Chief Operating Officer.
  • Klarna and BigCommerce expand partnership to also include Klarna’s European core markets.
  • eToro’s cryptocurrency wallet adds support for 120 ERC-20 standard tokens.

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

  • Tink Secures Strategic Investment from PayPal.
  • InComm Buys Hallmark Cards Subsidiary.

Around the web

  • ACI Worldwide makes strategic investment in Indian digital payments company Mindgate Solutions.
  • Currencycloud and VISA forge partnership to fuel innovation in cross-border and travel payments.
  • Trulioo partners with Refinitiv to improve access to digital identity solutions.
  • German open digital identity scheme yes.com to integrate into Signicat’s Digital Identity Platform.
  • Splitit appoints former Intuit and PayPal Exec to lead North American operations.

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.

FIS Links Up with Visa

Financial services provider FIS and Visa formed an alliance today. Through the partnership, FIS’ commercial bank clients will have access to Visa’s B2B Connect, a tool that offers a fast and transparent way to process high-value corporate, cross-border payments.

“The combination of FIS’ global customer base and leadership in commercial payments and Visa’s extensive experience as a payment processing network, creates a strong partnership for adding value to the multinational commercial value chain,” said Raja Gopalakrishnan, International Head of Banking and Payments for FIS Global Financial Solutions.

Launched earlier this year, Visa B2B Connect is a suite of APIs that leverages the blockchain to offer banks a business-to-business payment solution. The distributed ledger-based tool facilitates faster transaction times for cross-border and cross-currency payments, reducing transaction times from weeks to one-to-two days.

“Innovation in cross-border B2B payments is long overdue. Visa’s core strategy is to help clients and partners drastically improve their customers’ friction-filled experiences,” said Kevin Phalen, global head of Visa Business Solutions. “We are excited to continue building momentum for Visa B2B Connect and to bring speed, efficiency and transparency to our financial institution clients through our partners, like FIS, who help make transacting on our platform more accessible and seamless.”

FIS most recently demoed at FinovateFall 2016. The company debuted its Cardless Cash solution that provides fast, secure options for sending and picking up cash at any ATM. Headquartered in Florida, FIS’ solutions move $9 trillion each year for 20,000 clients in 130 countries.

Visa demoed at FinovateSpring 2010 and also showcased at our developers conference in 2014. The company has 39 APIs that offer developers tools for commercial payments, data and analytics, identity an security, offers and benefits, payments, and more.