Will COVID-19 Mark the End of European Fintech?

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.


  • 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.

A Baker’s Dozen of Our Favorite Russian Fintechs

A Baker’s Dozen of Our Favorite Russian Fintechs

News this week that Russia’s Yandex had agreed to acquire the country’s biggest online bank Tinkoff was a reminder of how vibrant fintech is not just in Europe, or even just in Central and Eastern Europe, but in Russia, as well.

As our Senior Research Analyst Julie Muhn noted in her coverage of the news, “This is a pretty big deal, not necessarily because of the size of the transaction, but because of the players involved. Yandex is essentially the Google of Russia– it is a tech giant in the region. And Tinkoff Bank is the world’s largest digital bank in terms of customers, boasting more than 10 million clients.”

With this in mind, we want to send out a shout-out to the many fintech companies based in Russia that have demonstrated their technologies live on the Finovate stage over the years. Here’s a look at our Russia-based alums going back to our first European conference in 2012.

PayReverse – FinovateAsia 2018. Founded in 2017. Headquartered in Moscow. Offers a white label cashback service.

Ak Bars Digital Technologies – FinovateFall 2018. Founded in 2016. Headquartered in Kazan. Offers a payments via face recognition technology, Face2Pay.

Tinkoff – FinovateFall 2018. Founded in 2006. Headquartered in Moscow. Offers a digital ecosystem of financial and lifestyle products and services.

JuicyScore – FinovateMiddleEast 2018. Founded in 2016. Headquartered in Moscow. Offers a digital risk-management-as-a-service solution for the financial industry.

SMART Valley – FinovateEurope 2018. Founded in 2017. Headquartered in Moscow. Offers a distributed innovation platform that enables key players to collaborate effectively.

Speechpro – FinovateSpring 2017. Founded in 1990. Headquartered in St. Petersburg. Offers a voice biometric technology, VoiceKey.FRAUD for use in contact centers. Finovate Best of Show winner. U.S.-based subsidiary of Russia’s STC Group.

Sberbank – FinovateSpring 2016. Founded in 1841. Headquartered in Moscow. Offers banking and financial services as the core bank of an international financial group. One of the largest banks in Russia and Europe.

C24 – FinovateEurope 2015. Founded in 2013. Headquartered in Moscow. Offers a multi-channel platform that enables users to connect and aggregate their accounts with different banks. Became Paysend.

LifePay – FinovateEurope 2015. Founded in 2012. Headquartered in Moscow. Offers payment services as one of the largest mPOS EMV chip and pin companies in Russia.

My Wishboard – FinovateEurope 2014. Founded in 2013. Headquartered in Moscow. Offers a social crowdfunding platform to help users fund their goals along with the help of friends, family, and subscribers.

SoftWear Finance – FinovateEurope 2014. Founded in 2012. Headquartered in St. Petersburg. Offers a platform that enables banks to provide their customers with the best possible user experience regardless of platform or device.

Yandex.Money – FinovateSpring 2013. Founded in 2002. Headquartered in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Offers a fast, reliable way for online businesses to collect payments for Russians and customers in Russian-speaking countries. The solution, since sold to Sberbank, originally was launched by Yandex, the leading IT company and search engine in Europe.

LifePAD – FinovateAsia 2013. Founded in 2012. Headquartered in Moscow. Offers a “personal online bank manager” in a table, providing customer service 24/7.

Yandex.Money Moves Mobile Wallet Forward with Moven Enterprise

Yandex.Money Moves Mobile Wallet Forward with Moven Enterprise

Moven Enterprise announced this week that it has partnered with mobile wallet company Yandex.Money to power smart banking technology for the Russia-based company.

Yandex.Money will leverage Moven Enterprise’s open APIs to embed new features and functionality into its mobile app, pushing new product offers that extend beyond the company’s flagship mobile wallet. The partnership will give Yandex.Money’s mobile wallet offering a boost by giving its 46 million mobile wallet customers access to real-time personalized financial management tools.

“Yandex.Money is no longer just an electronic wallet, as we offer options familiar to banking clients such as money transfers, card issuance, cashback, payment for various goods and services,” Ivan Glazachev, Yandex.Money CEO explained. “We also offer users the opportunity to choose the app design theme, make investments, and now effectively control their funds.” The new features will also encourage users to adopt existing mobile wallet offerings.

Moven CEO, Marek Forysiak, said, “Moven is excited to bring our AI-driven, smart banking solutions into Yandex’s existing app by leveraging our open APIs to create a customized user experience. Their robust initiative adds a new level of sophistication and capabilities including personalized advice and financial wellness capabilities to help their customers spend, save and live smarter.”

Launched at FinovateFall 2016, Moven Enterprise takes a software-as-a-service approach by allowing banks and financial services companies to white-label its financial management technology. Moven Enterprise offers tools to help banks engage with their existing customers, acquire new customers, and drive revenue through their mobile channel.

At FinovateAsia 2017, Moven Enterprise demonstrated a new credit offering, chatbot functionality, and an expansion of its wish list feature that leverages behavioral gamification. Last month, the company announced it will bring its digital banking platform to banks in Latin America, APAC, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

A joint venture between Yandex and Sberbank, Yandex.Money is the largest online payment service in Russia. At FinovateSpring 2013 Yandex.Money launched Twym, an application that allows users to instantly transfer money in Rubles via Twitter.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • 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.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

On FinDEVr.com

  • Check out our latest FinDEVr Previews featuring ISARA and eSignLive by VASCO.

Around the web

  • TransferWise introduces multi-currency bank accounts for businesses.
  • Langley FCU to deploy Episys core system from Jack Henry & Associates’ Symitar division.
  • Great Southern Bank selects cloud banking technology from nCino.
  • getAbstract and CREALOGIX enter into a digital learning partnership.
  • InComm partners with Sony to deliver gift cards in Hong Kong.
  • NIIT Technologies partners with AI company Arago.
  • AutoGravity receives the 2017 North American Frost & Sullivan Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award.
  • Fiserv launches SecureNow to integrate cybersecurity protection for digital banking.
  • Finextra: ABN Amro selects Fenergo to support KYC.
  • Yandex.Money brings Android Pay to Russia.
  • Misys FusionBanking Essence to power online and mobile banking offering for Crnogorska Komercijalna Banka (CKB).
  • Trustly to power online bank payments at leading online fashion retailer Boozt.com

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

  • Lendio Brings the Franchising Model to Small Business Lending.
  • Excited to see Symphony Software Foundation at FinDEVr NY March 21 & 22. Check out our interview with Executive Director, Gabriele Columbro.
  • Scotiabank and AlphaPoint Wrap Up Blockchain Trial.

On FinDEVr.com

  • RSVP for FinDEVr’s International Debut.
  • PwC Brings Blockchain PoC to London’s Specialty Insurers.
  • Shwayhat Steps Up: Greenkey Technologies Announces New CEO.

Around the web

  • Vantiv to provide payment processing for Tyndall FCU ($1.3 billion in assets). See Vantiv at FinDEVr New York this month.
  • Scalable Capital recognized as only European startup on CNBC Upstart 25 roster.
  • Wealthify lowers minimum investment to £1.
  • Mambu goes live in the Americas with new offices in Miami and new regional managing director.
  • Trustly processes more than €3 billion in payments in 2016, announces UK expansion.
  • Fiserv Expands Contact and Servicing Center into Florida.
  • Yandex Money brings bankers onboard.
  • D+H Mortgagebot named HW Tech100 winner.

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

  • A Deep Dive into the Upcoming FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016

Around the web

  • Idaho Central CU to deploy Alkami ORB platform.
  • Thomson Reuters unveils blockchain dev platform, BlockOne ID.
  • Banking Technology looks at Misys and its plans for a November IPO.
  • Revolut partners with Bank of Lithuania to promote cross-border payments.
  • Hyperwallet introduces its Tax Compliance Services initiative.
  • Cloud Lending Solutions appoints new chief revenue officer and chief financial officer.
  • Yandex.Money to offer mobile money-transfers and support-group chats for crowdfunding via Apple’s iMessage.

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.

Fintech Favorites



  • TD Bank began rolling out its Flybits (F15) powered digital concierge TD for Me (press release). Check out its FinovateSpring ’16 demo. A first in Canadian banking, TD for Me enhances the popular TD app to include a “digital concierge” feature that curates content and services to create personalized, contextual experiences for customers based on their location and interests. Powered by Canadian start-up Flybits‘ secure cloud-based mobile intelligence product, TD for Me provides customers with useful TD-related content, like special nearby offers, helpful tips and details on local events, with more content and capabilities to be added in future updates.


  • In more TD Bank news, Financeit (F12) teamed with Concentra to purchase TD Bank’s indirect home-financing dealer-network and 45,000-loan portfolio for C$340 million. It’s a huge win for Financeit which assumes originations for 800 dealers previously working through TD Bank (check out its demo at FinovateFall).
  • Standard Chartered, Siam Commercial Bank and Banco Santander participated in Ripple’s (F13) $55 million Series B round announced today. In addition to those three, five more banks signed long-term contracts to integrate Ripple into their own banking platforms: Westpac, National Australia Bank, Mizuho Financial Group, MBO Financial Group, and Shanghai Huarui Bank


  • Mitek (F11) released an SDK for mobile check-capture to make it easier for third-party developers to deploy (press release). Check out their latest Finovate demo last May. Our new SDK is a self-contained set of screens, workflows, and APIs that comprise a complete multi-check capture experience allowing developers to quickly deploy their commercial mobile banking app offerings,” said Michael Diamond, general manager, payments solutions, Mitek. “Previously, our partners and banks were on their own to develop the app-level functionality around our core MiSnap multi-check capture engine. With this SDK, we’ve done the heavy lifting for them.
  • Yandex (F13) introduces AI capabilities to browser to warn users when it’s unsafe to bank or pay online
  • Technologists! Don’t miss the upcoming FinDEVr in Santa Clara, October 18-19 (register now)

Yandex.Money Releases Apple Watch Payments App

Yandex.Money Releases Apple Watch Payments App

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 8.24.19 AM

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 8.42.48 AMIn a move that expands payment methods for its users, digital payments company Yandex.Money launched an app for the Apple Watch this week. The app allows users to top up their mobile money accounts, make transfers, receive payment alerts via push notifications, and view their Yandex account balance.

The Yandex.Money mobile app, available to users in Russia, was released on iOS in 2011. It can be used to pay for thousands of goods and services, including those linked to a bank payment account. The company also offers apps for Android, Windows 10, and Windows phones.

Demand for mobile payments seems to be increasing; in fact, AC&M Consulting reports that more than 12 million users in Russia complete payments through mobile devices. However, as the Wall Street Journal depicts, the market is becoming increasingly diluted. On top of Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay, banks and merchants have started offering their own payment solutions, such as MasterCard’s Masterpass which launched yesterday for in-store payments; the Wells Fargo Wallet, which launches Monday; Chase Pay, and more.


At FinovateSpring 2013 Yandex launched Twym, an application that allows Yandex.Money users to instantly transfer money in Rubles via Twitter. Money can be sent via a Tweet that includes @twymru, the recipient’s Twitter username, and the payment amount.

Yandex.Money powers the largest online payment service in Russia. In April, the company launched NFC payment capability for Android phones that conducts the transaction via a virtual MasterCard.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • CREALOGIX Wins Best Web Development at Systems in the City Awards 2016
  • Yandex.Money Releases Apple Watch Payments App
  • Neustar Taps Former Walmart Executive Venkat Achanta as First Chief Data & Analytics Officer
  • Kabbage Revamps App to Enable Mobile On-Boarding for Loan Applications

Around the web

  • NIIT Technologies announced financial results for the quarter ended in June 30, 2016, with a revenue increase of 4.5% over the same period last year.
  • Micronotes Releases Retain To Predict and Prevent Customer Attrition
  • Luxoft partners with Deloitte to launch project overview dashboard.
  • FIS teams up with Payment Alliance International (PAI) to take FIS Cardless Cash nationwide.
  • Inc’s look at global payment options features Braintree, PayStand, and CSIglobalVCard.
  • Klarna adds online fashion startup Lyst to its client roster.

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– May 24, 2013

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgMainStreet features “stock tip truth-o-meter” and FinovateSpring 2013 Best of Show winner TipRanks.
  • GMC Software Technology enters partnership with PostConnect to deploy Inspire technology.
  • AppScout takes a look at Flint’s mobile app for iPad and iPhone.
  • Yandex.Money integrates with Еuropean payment provider Skrill.
  • Banking Business Review reports: Handpoint introduces Chip and PIN MPOS systems.
  • Newfination visits the Personal Capital offices, interviews Head Of Advisory Services, Kyle Ryan.
  • American Banker mentions how Lendio and Lighter Capital are changing the face of small business lending.
  • Internet Retailer reports: ThreatMetrix helps EMerchantPay reduce its clients’ chargeback rates.
  • Klarna named “most innovative company” at annual Media Momentum Awards arranged by GP Bullhound.
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.

Yandex.Money Debuts Twym (Tweet Your Money), a New Way to Send Money

This is a part of our live coverage of FinovateSpring 2013.


Next up this morning, Yandex.Money showcased Twym, a solution that gives users a new way to send money:

“Twym is designed to facilitate instant transfers in rubles between Twitter users who have Yandex.Money accounts. To send money, users send a tweet that includes @twymru, the recipient’s username on Twitter, and the amount they want to transfer. 

If the recipient has already activated Twym, they receive the rubles immediately. If not, they will be prompted to activate Twym and receive the money after they have done so. If someone retweets a money tweet, another transfer will be made from their Yandex.Money account to the same recipient – a useful feature for fundraising campaigns.”

Product Launch: March 2013
HQ: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Founded: July 2002
Metrics: 13M+ registered wallets (users), 9,000+ wallets opened daily, 120,000+ transactions carried out daily, 20,000+ merchants connected
Twitter: @yamoneynews
Presenting Kristina Stoyanova (Head of User Experience) and Jane Zavalishina (President)