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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
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.”
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 Coinbaseintroduced 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.
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.
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.
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 leveragingWorldline’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 deployACI Worldwide’s fraud management solution, ReD Shield.
A partnership between TransferGo and Currencycloud will enable the money transfer company to enter 14 new markets.
YellowDogforges reseller agreement with Annex Pro.
Bankable cozies up with Plaid to allow its bank customers to connect with their users’ bank accounts.
Ohpenappoints former Tesla marketing leader Corinne Aaron as new head of marketing.
Segmint to acquire WAND’s Product and Service Taxonomy division.
CuneXuscelebrates 2019 success with a 40% year-over-year increase in consumer reach.
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 Kasasaannounced a partnership with Carleton today in which Kasasa will integrate Carleton’s insurance and debt protection calculations into its Kasasa Loan.
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.”
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’sTap 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).
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.
With Visa’sTap 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.
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.