Will COVID-19 Mark the End of European Fintech?

A new study from McKinsey & Company suggests that European fintechs are experiencing an “existential crisis” as venture capital funding plunges “from surplus to scarcity.” The report compares the 11% drop in funding for fintech worldwide in the first half of the year with Europe’s far steeper decline in fintech funding of 30% over the same time period, and puts the blame squarely on the economic and social impact of the coronavirus.

But while the report anticipates a significant contraction in European economies – 11% this year with pre-crisis levels remaining elusive until 2023 – and that fintech is “already feeling the squeeze”, the authors note that there are a variety of advantages fintech has that could enable the industry’s most innovative players to emerge successfully if not stronger on the other side of the crisis. Among the main factors are:

  • The fintech sector has grown over the past six years by more than 25%.
  • Fintechs are native to the digital realm.
  • Fintechs are more efficient than many other businesses: with more efficient cost structures, “organizational agility,” and significant customer loyalty.

“As more incumbents struggle to adapt, the winners will be those that quickly recognize the changed context and that are most capable of responding with clear decisions and bold actions,” the report authors note. “Many organizations, both incumbents and startups, have adapted with surprising quickness and rapid decision making through the COVID-19 crisis. This new sense of possibility and potential should inform future action.”

Read the report.


Speaking of Europe – and on the heels of the big news of Yandex‘s agreement to buy Russian digital bank Tinkoff for $5.5 billion earlier this week – we took a look at our favorite Russian fintechs. Check out our Baker’s Dozen of fintechs from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and more.

To learn more about fintech in Russia, here’s an overview from last December that cites an Ernst & Young study that calls the country’s fintech industry “the third most developed market in the world.” This is based on the relatively high, 80% adoption rate of fintech services in Russia, and occurs despite a relatively low participation in fintech areas like securities investment, as well as savings and financial wellness.

“Basically we went from savings books to payments over mobile phone almost overnight,” said Roman Prokhorov, the head of the association Financial Innovations, who was quoted in the study. “Therefore, our consumers are more receptive to fintech innovations, and this explains the popularity of these services.”


Here is our look at fintech around the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • JPMorgan Chase-based Brazilian fintech FitBank Pagamentos Electronicos plans expansion to the U.S. in the first half of 2021.
  • TechCrunch profiles Jefa, a challenger bank that caters to women in Latin America.
  • IFLR looks at the role regulators in Costa Rica will play in the development of the country’s fintech industry.

Asia-Pacific

  • Vietnamese credit scoring technology provider for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses Kim An Group secures Series A funding.
  • Could Malaysia be the “world pioneer” in Islamic fintech? Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation chairman Datuk Wira Rais Hussin makes the case.
  • The Business Times of Singapore highlights an S&P Global Ratings report on Thai consumers pushing Thai banks to embrace fintech.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Mono, a Nigerian API fintech startup that seeks to be the “Plaid of Africa,” raises $500,000 in pre-seed funding.
  • Lexology reviews the current state of fintech regulation in Kenya.
  • Innovation consultancy Beta-I partners with Angola National Bank to build the nation’s first regulatory sandbox.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • German fintech Vanta teams up with Marqeta to launch its credit card for startups.
  • Open banking platform Raisin partners with German financial solutions broker Procheck24.
  • Samsung, Visa, and Solarisbank AG work together to bring Samsung Pay to Germany.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Commercial Bank of Kuwait teams up with Thales Digital Solutions to drive mobile payments.
  • Could Saudi Arabia top Dubai in terms of fintech funding? Arabian Business looks at the growth of fintech in the Kingdom.
  • PYMNTS profiles Imad Aloyoun, CEO of Jordan-based payments platform Dinarak.

Central and Southern Asia

  • A joint project between U.K.-based Checkout.com and Pakistan’s National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (Nift) will bring new international payment options to the Pakistan.
  • Pakistan’s Silk Bank announces a partnership with MasterCard to boost credit card issuance in the country.
  • Times of India profiles Indian fintech MoneyTap, founded by Anuj Kacker.

The Buy Now Pay Later Revolution Rolls on as Zip Acquires QuadPay

Photo by Chavdar Lungov from Pexels

We talked so much about the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) revolution in ecommerce that we are starting to sound like a broken record (someone please explain that reference to the younger millennials in the room). But the no-interest financing strategy is quickly becoming a must-offer feature for merchants, card issuers, and other players in the ecommerce ecosystem.

This week brings news that Zip Co, a digital retail financing and payments services company based in Australia, has agreed to acquire New York based Buy Now Pay Later company QuadPay in a deal valued at $269 million. One of the biggest BNPL companies in the U.S, QuadPay will enable Zip to expand its reach to five countries (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.S., and the U.K.), a combined annualized revenue of $182 million (AU$250 million) and 3.5 million customers.

Aside from the company’s co-founders, Adam Ezra and Brad Lindenberg, Zip was the largest shareholder in QuadPay. Ezra and Lindenberg will join Zip’s global leadership team post-acquistion with the responsibility of scaling business in the U.S.

Photo by Damon Hall from Pexels

Hungry for good news on the fintech funding front? Gaze no further than Latin America where a new report from KoreFusion highlights growth in smartphone ownership, ecommerce adoption, and dissatisfactioin with banks as just a few of the reasons why Latin America’s fintech boom is ust beginning.

The study, available for free from the San Francisco, California-based consultancy, is based on a study of more than 1,000 fintechs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. In addition to a survey of the fintech landscape – finding a concentration in the payments category with lending and B2B-based fintechs coming in second and third, respectively – the report underscores other areas – such as remittances and foreign exchange – where it believe major opportunities remain.

Read more in KoreFusion’s 2020 Latam Fintech Report.


Here is our look at fintech around the world.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • German regtech 4Stop partners with payment service provider emerchantpay.
  • ACI Worldwide announces that its technology helps power 75% of real-time payments in Hungary.
  • German P2P lender auxmoney raises $177 million (150 million euros) in growth capital.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Edenred UAE introduces mobile banking app, C3Pay.
  • Hakbah, an alternative financial savings app based in Saudi Arabia, forges a partnership with Visa.
  • Switzerland’s Additiv opens new regional headquarters in Dubai.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Google Pay launches its NFC-based contactless payment offering in India.
  • India’s Kotak Mahindra Bank introduces cardless cash withdrawals at ATMs.
  • Singapore-based fintech Atlantis goes live with neobank targeting millennials and GenZ customers in India.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Neon Pagamentos, a neobank based in Brazil, has raised $300 million in a Series C round led by General Atlantic.
  • Brazil’s Central Bank says it will rollout a central bank digital currency by 2023.
  • Nubank, a Brazilian challenger bank and the country’s second-largest credit card issuer, has secured $300 million in new funding.

Asia-Pacific

  • Vietnam-based e-payments provider NextPay announces plans to raise up to $100 million early next year via a private placement.
  • China’s UnionPay goes live with its digital bankcard.
  • Malaysia’s securities commission inks a financial technology cooperation agreement with Indonesia’s financial services regulator Otoritas Jasa Keuangan.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South Africa-based Entersket partners with NuData Security, bringing behavioral analytics to real-time risk scoring.
  • Pan-African challenger bank Union54 announces plans for a 2021 launch.
  • The National Agency for Social & Economic Inclusion (ANIES) of Guinea selects security services company Idemia fo its welfare cash transfer program.

Visa to Incorporate Cryptocurrencies into its Payments Network

It seems as if cryptocurrencies are starting to capture the attention of mainstream financial services providers. This week, Visa has shown to be no exception. The payments giant recently revealed plans to use cryptocurrencies into its traditional payments network.

In a blog post announcement, Visa said it has been working with Coinbase and Fold to “provide a bridge between digital currencies and [its] existing global network of 61 million merchants.” As a result of this collaboration, more than 25 digital currency wallets across the globe have linked up with Visa to enable consumers to spend their digital currency using a Visa debit or prepaid card.

“We believe that digital currencies have the potential to extend the value of digital payments to a greater number of people and places,” Visa said in a statement. “As such, we want to help shape and support the role they play in the future of money. We look forward to sharing more with you on this work in the months that follow.”

Visa is using its crypto partnerships to position itself as the preferred network for digital currency wallets. Not only this, but the company also launched a FastTrack Program that helps fintechs integrate quickly with Visa’s network. One initiative that has resulted from the program is Visa Direct, which helps consumers convert digital currency and push the funds to their Visa credentials in real-time.

This week’s announcement builds on Visa’s long-term plans for leveraging the blockchain and alternative currencies. The company has a dedicated team that has been researching uses for the blockchain for years. Currently, the team is working on facilitating offline digital currency transactions.


Photo by Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash

Visa Backs GoodData in New Strategic Partnership and Investment

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

San Francisco, California-based company GoodData, which demoed its Insights-Platform-as-a-Service technology at FinovateFall, has forged a strategic partnership with Visa. The collaboration includes an investment in the global analytics company (terms not disclosed) and is designed to enable Visa to offer its customers and partners better access to aggregated data and analytics.

GoodData founder and CEO Roman Stanek said that the investment both reinforced the company’s status as a leader in all-in-one data platforms, as well as bolstered GoodData’s mission to enable companies to maximize the way they use data. “Visa’s investment will allow us to increase our focus on interactive self-service analytics, user interfaces, and data visualizations, as well as expand our customer support for managing complex data governance, compliance, cybersecurity, and privacy matters,” Stanek said.

GoodData offers an integrated set of data management, analytics, and insight application development and management components that enhance operational decision-making for financial services companies and insurance agencies. Companies can connect the GoodData platform to multiple data sources in order to build their own standalone or embedded smart business apps.

Visa put the partnership in the context of finding opportunity in the middle of a crisis. “As the world faces pandemic and economic challenges, there’s no better time to invest in areas that will improve the lives of consumers and businesses,” Visa SVP and global head of Data, Security, and Identity products Melissa McSherry said. She added that the insights available via the GoodData platform will not only help Visa’s customers better meet consumer needs, but also will help firms meet them at a time “when those needs are changing fast.”

Before this week’s funding, GoodData had raised more than $115 million, with the company’s last fundraising bringing in $14.4 million in 2018. Earlier this year, GoodData announced that media CMS provider TownNews had partnered with the company to use its data analytics tools to improve revenue and audience engagement. Named one of the Coolest Business Analytics Companies in CRN’s 2020 Big Data 100 roster, GoodData also this month unveiled a new, web-based logical data model (LDM) modeler. This tool complements the company’s just-released, data source management interface to simplify data modeling when starting new data products or extending current enterprise reporting. Critically, the new LDM modeler helps data engineers and data analysts work more effectively together. GoodData co-founder and VP of Product & Marketing called this problem “the greatest challenge facing enterprises building new data products for customers.”

Visa and Fold Offer Co-Branded Card with Crypto Rewards

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

Payments giant Visa has teamed up with Atlanta, Georgia-based Fold to launch a co-branded debit card that offers rewards in the form of bitcoin. The partnership was announced late last week, and is the fruit of Fold’s participation in Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program.

The new debit cards are expected to be available in July. Users will get up to 10% of their cash purchases credited in Bitcoin. What’s unique about Fold’s approach with the new card is that it enables users to earn Bitcoin while spending in dollars. As Fold CEO and co-founder Will Reeves explained, by spending in dollars and accumulating Bitcoin rather than spending it, users avoid the potential tax implications of selling the digital asset.

This new initiative extends Fold’s business beyond enabling shoppers to buy dollar-denominated gift cards from popular brands like Amazon, Uber, and Starbucks with Bitcoin. Made available on an “early access” basis last fall, the Fold app also gives consumers 20% cashback in bitcoin on all purchases, fiat or crypto.

“We’re changing the fact that rewards points are issued in the form of restricted airline miles, arbitrary points, or depreciating fiat, instead of the best performing asset of the last decade: bitcoin,” Reeves wrote on the company blog back in September. “But unlike existing rewards that require users to give up their privacy for points, Fold’s new app rewards users for shopping privately.”

The partnership is a second bite at the bitcoin apple for Visa. A year ago Visa and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase introduced a Visa debit card in the U.K. The contactless card syncs with the user’s Coinbase account and, for a fee of approximately 2.5%, enables users to make purchases in fiat currency and have the responding amount of the cryptocurrency debited from whichever cryptocurrency account the users selects.

Fold was founded in 2014. The company has raised $3.3 million in funding, and includes Craft Ventures, CoinShares, Slow Ventures, Goldcrest Capital, and Fulgur Ventures among its investors.

Conversational AI Innovator Clinc Inks Partnership with Visa

Financial institutions leveraging Visa APIs can now enable voice-first digital banking technology from Clinc. Courtesy of a newly-announced partnership between Visa and the conversational AI innovator, customers of participating banks and credit unions will be able conduct a wide variety of banking operations by communicating directly with their bank accounts using natural, conversational language. No special keywords, phrases, or scripted questions.

“Our goal has always remained the same – to create technology that makes people’s lives easier,” Clinc co-founder and interim co-CEO Lingjia Tang explained. “Partnering with a leader like Visa is a milestone for Clinc, and this API integration is going to offer small and mid-size banks a similar experience that some of the largest banks in the world are using.”

The collaboration will allow digital banking customers to check balances, transactions, and spending history; pay bills and transfer money; as well as perform financial management functions such as creating payment plans, checking rewards programs, and disputing transactions. Customers will also be able to conduct a wide variety of card management operations ranging from turning cards on and off, reporting and reissuing lost or stolen cards, and activating new cards – all using their natural voice in a conversational way.

“This is the kind of capability and cutting-edge AI wouldn’t be otherwise be accessible without Visa, ” Tang added.

Clinc’s partnership with Visa is the latest example of how the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company is helping banks enhance the customer experience. Founded in 2015 and making its Best of Show-winning Finovate debut a year later at FinovateFall, Clinc teamed up with Singapore’s OCBC Bank last year, helping the bank launch its voice-enabled mobile banking assistant. The company has also partnered with Turkish bank Isbank, powering one of the most widely-deployed mobile banking voice assistants, with more than six million users.

Clinc has raised $60 million in funding. The company picked up the lion’s share of that amount last spring in a $52 million Series B round.

Tink’s $100 Million Monday; Azimo’s C-Suite Shakeup Promotes Experience and Diversity

It is hard to imagine having a better start to your week than Plaid had seven days ago when the innovative fintech (and Finovate alum) announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Visa for $5.3 billion.

But the €90 million ($100 million) raised by Swedish open banking platform Tink on Monday is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, the funding, which is the company’s largest to date, is a reminder that investment interest in (and funding for) companies dedicated to developing the infrastructure that connects consumers, banks, and the financial technologies is very much in abundance.

“Our aim is to become the preferred pan-European provider of digital banking services and to offer the technology needed for banks, fintechs, and startups to leverage the opportunities of open banking and enable them to successfully develop financial services in the future,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said in a statement.

Tink demonstrated its platform most recently at FinovateEurope 2019. For more on this year’s Finovate event in Europe kicking off next month, visit our FinovateEurope 2020 page.


Azimo, one of our earliest FinovateEurope alums, announced a pair of big changes at the top to begin the new week.

The London-based money transfer firm, founded in 2012, promoted its COO Richard Ambrose to CEO back in August, as Azimo founder Michael Kent took what TechCrunch referred to as a lateral move to become executive chairman. Today, Fintech Futures, Finovate’s sister publication, reports that the company has appointed Dora Ziambra to the post of Chief Operating Officer. Azimo also promoted its head of finance Tatiana Okhotina to the post of Chief Financial Officer.

“We’re fortunate to have the depth of talent to fill these top roles internally,” Ambrose said in a statement. “We’re lucky too that Azimo will continue to benefit from the experience and leadership of these two outstanding women.”


Here’s our weekly roundup of the latest news from our Finovate alumni:

  • Union Bank to leverage technology from FIS for core banking.
  • Italy-based CREDEM leveraging Worldline’s Payment and Liquidity Hub software CRISTAL to process Target2 payments
  • POS software Vend partners with Klarna to offer retailers more flexible payment options.
  • U.K. food retailer The Co-operative to deploy ACI Worldwide’s fraud management solution, ReD Shield.
  • A partnership between TransferGo and Currencycloud will enable the money transfer company to enter 14 new markets.
  • YellowDog forges reseller agreement with Annex Pro.
  • Bankable cozies up with Plaid to allow its bank customers to connect with their users’ bank accounts.
  • Ohpen appoints former Tesla marketing leader Corinne Aaron as new head of marketing.
  • Segmint to acquire WAND’s Product and Service Taxonomy division.
  • CuneXus celebrates 2019 success with a 40% year-over-year increase in consumer reach.
  • TransUnion expands partnership with Payfone.
  • PayPal reaches $10 billion in charitable donations processed.
  • California approves Sezzle’s lending license.
  • People’s Bank selects NYMBUS’s SmartMarketing and SmartOnboarding solutions.
  • Ayondo ends its European social trading business.

Alumni Features and Profiles

Three Key Lessons We Learned from Plaid – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Visa is acquiring Plaid for a deal that’s worth $5.3 billion. The fact that they were so widely used at such an early stage is a testament to the quality of their code, but there are also a few key lessons to take away from their success.

ITSCREDIT’s Joao Pinto on the Digital Lending Opportunity –  ITSCREDIT is a spinoff from ITSECTOR and is a fairly new player in the digital lending space. In this interview, Pinto talks to us about the digital lending opportunity, how his company fits into the current state of this fintech subsector, and what we can expect to see next.

Kasasa Enhances its Take-Back Loan – Community bank marketing expert Kasasa announced a partnership with Carleton today in which Kasasa will integrate Carleton’s insurance and debt protection calculations into its Kasasa Loan.

Our latest FinovateEurope Sneak Peeks Are Up! Meet Dorsum, CASHOFF, Tensorflight, Trulioo, W.UP, Horizn, Glia, and BLECKWEN.

Plinqit Brings Rewards-Powered Financial Literacy to First Community Bank – One day in the distant future, children will be educated in basic financial literacy as readily as they are taught algebra. Until then, solutions like Plinqit from HT Mobile Apps will be valuable tools for credit unions and community banks looking for novel ways to engage and educate their members and customers.

Credit, Data, and Cryptocurrencies: Graychain Rebrands as Credmark – The company that is bringing credit data clarity to the cryptocurrency industry is entering 2020 with a new name.

Tradeshift Lands $240 Million as it Inches Toward Profitability – The San Francisco-based company will use the investment to boost expansion efforts and gear toward a “direct path to profitability in the near future.”

Fintech, Financial Services, and the Case for 5G – Calling 5G “something banks aren’t even thinking about,” Celent SVP Dan Latimore said, “we believe the effects of 5G are going to be subtle and profound over time.”

Backbase-as-a-Service Helps Banks Leverage the Cloud to Innovate and Scale – The solution makes the company’s broad portfolio of digital banking offerings available to FIs looking to accelerate their ability to develop and offer new technologies to customers.

Also on Finovate.com

Visa to Acquire Plaid in $5.3 Billion Deal – “Today marks an important milestone for our company and for fintech,” company co-founder and CEO Zach Perret wrote on the Plaid blog earlier today. “What started with two founders building in a cramped conference room has become an incredible network that enables millions of consumers to interact with over 2,500 digital finance products.”

Not Another 2020 Trends Prediction Post (Seriously, It’s Not!) – We’re taking a look at the trends you can expect to see on stage next month at FinovateEurope. To keep things simple this year, we assessed the themes at a very high level and broke them down into three categories: the big, the little, and the trends in-between.

Singapore’s Digital Banking License Space Race Accelerates – Is there anyone out there who is NOT trying to secure a digital banking license in Singapore? The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced last week that has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses

MogoSpend Offers Credit, Cashback, and Help Reducing Your Carbon Footprint – The new digital spending account from Canadian fintech Mogo does more than help Canadians get control of their finances. The solution also offers cardholders generous cashback rewards and a way to make a positive impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.

Getsafe Expands its Insurtech to the U.K. – If your insurance company is offering you drone insurance, you know it’s not your grandmother’s insurance agency. Germany-based insurtech Getsafe does just that– and the company announced today it is expanding its home contents insurance offering (though, sadly, not its drone insurance offering) to users in the U.K.

Raisin’s New Acquisition Gives Company Access to the U.S. Market – European deposit marketplace Raisin announced today it acquired New York-based Choice Financial Solutions. 

French Fintech Lydia Locks in $45 Million – TechCrunch reported this morning that French mobile payment app Lydia has raised $45 million (€40 million) in a round led by Tencent.

Visa’s Tap to Phone Brings Contactless Payments to mPOS – With Visa’s Tap to Phone app arriving pre-installed on the new, enterprise grade smartphone from Samsung, a broad range of merchants will have access to yet another way to accept payments from customers. 

INTL FCStone Acquires International Bank Transfer Firm – Headquartered in Germany, GIROXX offers international bank transfers and currency hedging. INTL FCStone plans to leverage this technology to expand its current client base to small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Visa to Acquire Plaid in $5.3 Billion Deal

Updated 1/14/2020: The first big fintech acquisition of the year just crossed the headlines: Visa has agreed to acquire innovative fintech Plaid for a reported $5.3 billion in “total purchase consideration.”

“Today marks an important milestone for our company and for fintech,” company co-founder and CEO Zach Perret wrote on the Plaid blog earlier today. “What started with two founders building in a cramped conference room has become an incredible network that enables millions of consumers to interact with over 2,500 digital finance products.”

Plaid’s technology connects digital consumers with thousands of apps and services ranging from Transferwise and Betterment to Chime, Acorns, and popular payment app, Venmo. The company estimates that one in four individuals with a U.S. bank account have used Plaid to connect with thousands of developers across 11,000+ financial institutions.

Visa said the acquisition will bolster the company’s capacity to serve and reputation with fintech developers – especially when it comes to providing them with enhanced payment functionality and related value-added services. Visa also believes the acquisition will help open new business opportunities both in the U.S. and around the world.

“We are extremely excited about our acquisition of Plaid and how it enhances the growth trajectory of our business,” Visa CEO and chairman Al Kelly said. “Plaid is a leader in the fast growing fintech world with best-in-class capabilities and talent. The acquisition, combined with our many fintech efforts already underway, will position Visa to deliver even more value for developers, financial institutions, and consumers.”

Visa participated in Plaid’s Series C round in 2018, which was led by Index Ventures and Kleiner Perkins. The company raised $250 million in that funding raising effort. Plaid began the year with an acquisition of its own, purchasing account aggregation and data analytics technology provider Quovo in January of 2019. The value of that deal was not disclosed; Bloomberg reported that the sticker price for Quovo could have been as high as $200 million. Quovo, incidentally, is also a FinDEVr alum, participating in our New York developers conference in 2017.

Plaid demonstrated its technology at FinDEVrSiliconValley in 2014, demonstrating how its API for Financial Infrastructure enabled developers to leverage data quickly, efficiently, and securely power fintech applications. Headquartered in San Francisco, California and founded in 2012, Plaid had raised $310 million in funding previous to today’s announcement.

The ripples from the acquisition news are reverberating throughout the fintech community. And while some are worried about the ability of the innovative startup from San Francisco continue to drive change in the industry, others are busy heralding the news as a victory for fintech and incumbent financial services firms, alike.

Indeed, the acquisition of Plaid by Visa has put other fintechs involved in financial data on notice that they too may hear an inquiring knock on their proverbial doors. One observer on Twitter asked “Will $MA pick up Finicity now?” As of this writing, neither company has deigned to comment.

Visa’s Tap to Phone Brings Contactless Payments to mPOS

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo from Pexels

With Visa’s Tap to Phone app arriving pre-installed on the new, enterprise grade smartphone from Samsung, a broad range of merchants will have access to yet another way to accept payments from customers. The solution works with any Android smartphone and enables everyone from microbusiness owners to retail sales professionals to make on-the-spot transactions with customers without relying additional hardware.

Visa’s Tap to Phone technology enables consumers to make payments in seconds by tapping their contactless payment card – or smartphone or smartwatch – against the vendor’s Tap-to-Phone enabled smartphone. And because it is built on an EMV chip transaction, Tap to Phone is able to generate the same dynamic security for transactions as a traditional terminal does, ensuring both parties that the transaction is secure.

Visa notes that its Tap to Phone technology is currently being piloted in more than nine markets, including in Canada, the U.K, Ukraine, Turkey, Costa Rica, and Malaysia. Additional pilots are scheduled for Poland, Australia and a few other countries “over the next several months.”

Samsung has selected its Galaxy XCover Pro enterprise smartphone to be integrated with Visa’s Tap to Phone technology. The company expects the combination to be valuable in a variety of verticals both within and beyond ecommerce, such as logistics and healthcare.

“The Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro is a robust retail POS platform for a true retail digital transformation,” Visa’s Head of Seller Solutions Mary Kay Bowman said. “Its applications for businesses such as healthcare, airlines, and restaurants are a great example of how Visa together with Samsung can democratize access to payment experiences that consumers increasingly expect, no matter where they are.”

Samsung has demonstrated its technology on the Finovate stage, teaming up with Fiserv to provide biometric authentication for the payment giant’s Commercial Center: Security solution at FinovateFall 2018. Visa participated in our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley in 2014, discussing “The Future of Commerce” and introducing its API-less, Visa Checkout integration solution.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Move Your Business to the United States podcast features Aire CEO Aneesh Varma.
  • SumUp partners with donation software company to help charities to go contactless for Christmas.
  • TransferWise partners with Visa to enable real-time transfers to debit cards.

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’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.