Singapore’s Digital Bank License Space Race Accelerates

https://finovate.com/singapores-digital-bank-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 (MAS) announced last week that it has received 21 applications for digital bank licenses. A decision is expected in June, and the fortunate five who receive licenses will be able to launch their businesses by the middle of next year. Applicants have included a wide range of companies, from e-commerce and telecommunications firms, to fintechs, PSPs, and crowdfunding platforms.

Specifically, MAS is making available two different types of license: a digital full bank license and a digital wholesale bank license. There are two digital full bank licenses available, which would enable non-banks to accept deposits from retail customers. There are seven applicants for these licenses, which come with initial, temporary restrictions on deposits and capitalization.

The digital wholesale bank license will permit firms to lend to SMEs. Fourteen companies have applied for the three digital wholesale bank licenses MAS is making available. These new businesses would be required to meet the same regulations as existing wholesale banks, including capitalization of $74 million (S$100 million). Among the more well-known firms competing for these digital wholesale bank licenses are rideshare startup Grab and Ant Financial.

Also in the running for a digital wholesale bank license is Finovate alum and Best of Show winner Arival Bank. The firm announced its application earlier this week, noting that securing the license “will add tremendous value in Arival’s quest to becoming a borderless fintech bank.” The company plans to leverage its ArivalOS digital banking technology, as well as its banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform to serve the freelancers, micro businesses, and startups that it believes remain underserved within the broader SME market worldwide.


In other international news on the Finovate blog this week, we talked with João Pinto of Portugal’s ITSCREDIT ahead of the company’s Finovate appearance next month in Berlin. We also featured German insurtech Getsafe’s expansion to the U.K., looked at European deposit marketplace Raisin’s acquisition of U.S. fintech Choice Financial Solutions, and profiled French mobile payments app Lydia as it locks in $45 million in new funding.

Here is our weekly look at fintech around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Business Maverick looks at PayU’s decision to merge its consumer lending business, LazyPay, with Indian digital credit platform, PaySense.
  • EpiFi, a Bengalaru, India-based digital banking startup founded by a pair of former Google executives, raises $13.2 million in funding.
  • Entrepreneur India features B2B digital ledger mobile app, KhataBook.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Resuelve tu Deuda, a Mexican fintech that specializes in helping consumer repair their credit, raises $24 million in funding.
  • Nasdaq.com lists online payments, banking, billpay, proptech, and lending in its feature, 5 Opportunities for Fintech Disruption in Latin America.
  • Brazilian neobank Nubank announces its first acquisition, purchasing local consulting company Plataformatec largely to access the firm’s crew of engineering and developer talent.

Asia-Pacific

  • Digital-only neobank Tonik secures banking license in Philippines ahead of planned launch.
  • Arival Bank is the latest fintech to throw its hat into the Singapore digital banking license ring.
  • CredoLab earns listing from Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority OJK) as an official provider of financial services in the country – the first fintech in Indonesia to be granted this recognition.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • EverSend founder Stone Atwine talks about trends in the African fintech industry with CNBC Africa.
  • Kenyan fintech Alternative Circle earns recognition as “One to Watch” in the first global fintex index ranking 2020 by Findexable.
  • What can we expect from South African fintech in 2020? Ventureburn examines the country’s prospects.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Euromoney takes a look at the complicated relationship between banks and fintechs in the CEE region.
  • The Paypers interviews Valeri Valtchev of the Bulgarian Fintech Association on the evolution of Bulgaria as a fintech hub.
  • Latvian fintech Jeff App locks in €150,000 to help improve financial inclusion for borrowers in Southeast Asia.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Salaam African Bank in Djibouti selects core banking technology from Oracle FSS.
  • A partnership between crypto exchange Huobi and Dubai-based real estate firm fäm Properties will enable investors to pay in a digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ether, and XRP.
  • Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) introduces its Instant Credit Card service via its mobile app.

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.

Top image designed by Freepik

https://finovate.com/singapores-digital-bank-license-space-race-accelerates/

Kasasa Enhances its Take-Back Loan

https://finovate.com/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, a move that will allow it to tailor loan limits.

Headquartered in Indiana, Carleton provides financial calculation software, loan origination compliance support, and document generation software. Through the partnership, Kasasa will enable its clients to add debt protection and credit insurance products to their Kasasa Loan offering.

Kasasa will use Carleton’s CarletonCalcs, which will allow it to tailor limits to each client based on their institutional, state, and federal compliance requirements. “By integrating CarletonCalcs throughout the Kasasa service platform, Carleton will ensure compliant loan computations and precise amortization schedules through Kasasa’s dashboard and mobile app,” said Carleton President and COO Matt Ruszkowski.

“We wanted to ensure the Kasasa Loan added a high level of configurability and compliance support to meet our client’s needs, in addition to providing consumers the greatest flexibility when choosing their loans,” said Chris Cohen, EVP, Product Management for Kasasa.

Kasasa debuted its Kasasa Loan in 2017 and showcased it at FinovateSpring 2018. The concept works similar to a regular loan agreement in which the borrower repays according to a regular payment schedule. However, it is unique because every month the consumer has the option to overpay on their loan repayment and at any time in the future if they need to access cash quickly, they have the option to “take-back” any portion of the overpayment.

Kasasa is an Austin-based company with 450 employees. The company counts 900 community financial institutions as clients.

https://finovate.com/kasasa-enhances-its-take-back-loan/

MogoSpend Offers Credit, Cashback, and Help Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

https://finovate.com/mogospend-offers-credit-cashback-and-help-reducing-your-carbon-footprint/

Photo by Min An from Pexels

The new digital spending account from Canadian fintech Mogo does more than help Canadians get control of their finances. The solution – which also comes with a Mogo Visa Platinum Prepaid Card – also offers cardholders generous cashback rewards and a way to make a positive impact on the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.

“With MogoSpend,” company founder and CEO David Feller explained, “our goal was to create a product that gives consumers even more control than a debit card and with cashback rewards that rival the best credit cards in Canada, without charging monthly or annual fees, and importantly, we wanted to make this a card that also help make a positive impact on the planet.”

Feller noted that 57 percent of Canadians carry credit card debt, which he connected with the problem of overspending. This, according to Feller, leads to overconsumption which he said was “directly linked to climate change.” He added, “Being more mindful around spending can help us achieve important life goals like buying a home and retirement, and many of us are becoming increasingly aware that being a mindful consumer is key to a healthy planet.”

MogoSpend is accessible via Mogo’s iOS and Android app, and can be set up in less than three minutes. The free service has no monthly or annual fees, works like a checking account, and enables users to instantly transfer funds from their bank account to their MogoSpend account. MogoSpend gives 1.5% cashback on domestic purchases and 3% on international currency purchases. Users can see how much cashback they have earned on the app in real time, and those funds are credited to the users account on a monthly basis, rather than at year’s end.

The only payment card in Canada to offer a carbon offset program, MogoSpend will offset one pound of CO2 for every dollar MogoSpend users spend using the card. The program comes courtesy of a partnership between Mogo and Canadian sustainability and carbon-management solution provider, Offsetters.

Mogo will make the new offering available to members on its waiting list “in the next few months.” Those interested can join the waiting list by downloading the free Mogo app and opening an account.

https://finovate.com/mogospend-offers-credit-cashback-and-help-reducing-your-carbon-footprint/

Getsafe Expands its Insurtech to the U.K.

https://finovate.com/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.

Starting today, U.K. users will have access to Getsafe’s “neo-insurance” offering via its mobile app. The launch is made partially possible via a partnership with Hiscox, which will serve as the carrier for Getsafe’s U.K. contents product. The fintech’s other insurance partners include Munich Re and AXA.

Getsafe’s selection of the U.K. as its next launch site is a strategic one since U.K. residents are already comfortable with mobile-based services and payments. In fact, the U.K. is one of the leading regions of the globe for challenger banks.

The company has already proven itself as the fastest growing insurance agency for millennials in Germany. “Over the last two years, we have shown that our product meets a core need for the young, tech-savvy generation,” said CEO and founder Christian Wiens. “With our insurance delivered through your smartphone, we are developing a product that fits perfectly with the living and communication habits of this generation.”

Getsafe states that today’s move into the U.K. is “just the beginning.” The company plans to expand its offerings to all of Europe in the next few years.

Getsafe has raised $17 million and was founded in 2015. In addition to its contents and drone insurance products, the company offers ad-hoc insurance for travel, liability, bike theft, legal protection, routine care, dental care, and dental replacement. Getsafe also has plans to launch a digital life insurance company in Germany, its flagship market.

https://finovate.com/getsafe-expands-its-insurtech-to-the-u-k/

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Dorsum

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-dorsum-3/

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Dorsum’s Wealth Management Communication HUB is a secure, real-time customer engagement channel that connects advisors to their clients.

Features

  • Automated AI-driven notification system to free up human resources
  • Real-time client engagement to keep the personal touch
  • GDPR compliant digital document transfer and approval

Why It’s Great
The Wealth Management Communication HUB allow advisors to reach the mass affluent and private segment with digital banking products without losing the personal touch.

Presenters

Imre Rokob, Director of Bus. Dev.
Rokob is responsible for the company’s expansion to new international markets. He is an experienced PMP certified project leader with strong IT and financial knowledge.
LinkedIn

Gregory Csorba, Sr. Innovation Expert
Csorba joined Dorsum’s Banking Innovation team in 2017, where he currently works as a Sr. Innovation Expert, specializing in automated and AI driven technologies.
LinkedIn

Ákos Szalay, Sr. Innovation Consultant
As Senior Innovation Consultant, running under the nickname “Mr. Simplicity” at Dorsum, Ákos’ main vision is creating simple and easy-to-use solutions for complicated business workflows.
LinkedIn

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-dorsum-3/

Plinqit Brings Rewards-Powered Financial Literacy to First Community Bank

https://finovate.com/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, that reward users for learning how to be better savers and consumers, will be valuable tools for credit unions and community banks looking for novel ways to engage and educate their members and customers.

“There is a true need for improved financial literacy with 41 percent of Americans reporting that their lack of understanding of finances is holding them back from making financial progress,” HT Mobile Apps CEO and founder Kathleen Craig said. “And Plinqit has a proven track record – more than 60 percent of users that reach their savings goal continue to save by setting new goals.”

This helps explain why First Community Bank has decided to partner with HT Mobile Apps. The Arkansas-based bank, with $1.5 billion in assets and 26 branches in Arkansas and Missouri, will offer the Plinqit savings app and financial literacy solution to its customers.

“We are proud to do everything in our power to strengthen our local economy, and one of the best ways we can deliver on our promise is by helping people learn about finances so they can begin saving,” First Community Bank CEO and chairman Dale Cole said. “Plinqit is a unique tool that satisfies our customers’ digital needs and encourages smart financial decisions.”

Plinqit’s Build Skills feature enables users to earn money by watching contextual videos or successfully completing lessons and quizzes on key personal finance concepts. For example, a bank customer opening their banking app to make a credit card payment may see a Build Skills notification that notes their heavy credit card spending. The app may then suggest exploring credit management or debt consolidation options by way of an educational video. The different videos and quizzes have a value – 50 cents, for example, or $1 – which, once the video or quiz is completed, is deposited into the user’s Plinqit account.

To get started, users link their Plinqit account to their bank or credit union checking account, and then set up as many as five savings goals in the Plinqit app. Plinqit helps users determine how much to set aside on a regular basis in order to meet the different savings goals on schedule. Users earn money by reaching savings goals, referring others to the platform, and, as noted above, by engaging the video and other personal finance content. The app is free to use; all that is required is ownership of a U.S. checking account.

HT Mobile Apps demonstrated Plinqit at FinovateFall last year. The Michigan-based company provides banks and credit unions with a variety of customer engagement and retention solutions including Banker Jr., Member Jr., and 2019 acquisition, Hip Pocket. The partnership news with First Community Banks comes in the wake of a year that saw the company’s app record higher user engagement of 55 percent on average compared to the average finance app engagement rate of 36.3 percent. The company also announced that it inked partnerships with more than a dozen banks and credit unions in 2019. HT Mobile Apps’ platform now serves clients in 20+ states with assets ranging from $26 million to more than $40 billion.

https://finovate.com/plinqit-brings-rewards-powered-financial-literacy-to-first-community-bank/

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Tensorflight

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-tensorflight/

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Tensorflight automates the process of property inspections using AI on existing satellite and street view imagery to give insurance industries the same data in a fraction of cost and time.

Features

Our software provides instant property data on construction type, number of stories, total floor area, roof pitch and geometry, solar panels and more with global coverage!

Why It’s Great
Tensorflight offers a unique solution with instant risk-related information about a building with global coverage, analyzed by our AI algorithms.

Presenter

Jakub Dryjas, Head of Growth
Dryjas has been running growth at Tensorflight for over two years. He is an experienced Business Developer and Consultant with a solid legal background and international experience.
LinkedIn

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-tensorflight/

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: CASHOFF

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-cashoff-2/

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

CASHOFF’s Cashback 2.0 solution is based upon your customers spending behaviours and their favourite brands and targeted to each individual customer. Giving customers up to 50% Cashback each purchase.

Features

  • Repays banking loans or makes charity donations
  • Funding by Brands, means lower bank loyalty costs
  • Increasing banking loyalty, engagement and cross selling opportunities

Why It’s Great
Cashback 2.0 uses AI and Machine Learning to tailor offers to each individual customer. Customers are allowed up to 50% cashback for each purchase. Increasing customer engagement is highly targeted.

Presenters

Darren Hughes, CEO
Hughes is passionate about developing new products and solutions for the financial services industry with more than 20 years experience in financial services business leadership.
LinkedIn

Billy Leung, Director
Leung started his first business at the age of 8 and explored 40+ countries across 6 continents. He was a speaker at Finovate, Slush and a number of Fintech conferences in the US, Europe and Asia.
LinkedIn

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-cashoff-2/

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Trulioo

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-trulioo/

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Trulioo helps organizations instantly verify 5 billion people and 330 million businesses online through a single API. Hundreds of businesses around the world use Trulioo to digitally verify customers.

Features

  • Gives regulated entities certainty about their business customers
  • And gives them confidence in meeting Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements

Why It’s Great
Through GlobalGateway Business Verification, companies can instantly verify business entity information, perform watchlist checks, and identify and verify the beneficial owners of the businesses.

Presenters

Baraa Safaa, Project Manager
Safaa leads development for GlobalGateway Business Verification, identifying business pain points and translating them into product features that help regulated entities with AML compliance.
LinkedIn

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-trulioo/

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: W.UP

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-w-up-2/

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

W.UP is an AI-powered banking personalisation platform that allows banks to understand and cater to customer needs in real time.

Features

  • New concept of financial well-being
  • Contextual offers to help achieve sustainable spending
  • Customer-bank relationship evolving and engagement boosted through personalisation

Why It’s Great
We help banks unleash the power of real-time data to understand and serve their customers better.

Presenters

Tamas Braun, Sales Director
Braun has worked in the retail banking technology industry for the past 15 years. Most recently, he worked at technology vendors such as IND and Misys before joining W.UP.
LinkedIn

József Nyíri, VP of Bus. Dev.
Nyíri is a hands-on innovator and growth leader with more than two decades of fintech experience. He is a visionary and speaker on digital transformation of the banking industry.
LinkedIn

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-w-up-2/

ITSCREDIT’s João Pinto on the Digital Lending Opportunity

https://finovate.com/itscredits-joao-pinto-on-the-digital-lending-opportunity/

ITSCREDIT CEO João Pinto

We recently spoke with ITSCREDIT CEO João Pinto. Founded in 2018, ITSCREDIT is a spinoff from ITSECTOR and is a fairly new player in the digital lending space. The Portugal-based company focuses on placing the consumer in control of the lending experience by making the entire process digital.

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.


Finovate: There is a wide range of borrowers out there– some who may not be comfortable on digital channels and others who are digital natives. How does ITSCREDIT adapt to this variety?

João Pinto: The main focus of ITSCREDIT is to evolve the lending process so that different types of customers can perform all lending origination actions using online channels. Our aim is that the customers can perform all origination operations online with minimum data input. We do this by retrieving necessary application information from various systems (personal data, financial data, and so on). Our approach to digital lending is to provide processes that are intuitive, attractive, simple, and fast in an online environment to revamp many of the bureaucracies often associated with traveling to the banks’ physical branches.

The customer can access the ITSCREDIT platform via online channels, such as mobile and internet. ITSCREDIT provides interfaces for other channels, as well, such as branch, contact center, and backoffice, which all have access to the client and their application process. This means that the client can start an application in any channel and get information or advice and can continue the process in any other channel. This way, more traditional users that are not as comfortable using digital channels can use traditional channels either in an isolated way, or– more interestingly– in a combined way. The multi-channel approach offers them full control of their application.

Finovate: How does ITSCREDIT underwrite credit risk and how does that approach differ from incumbent players?

Pinto: The ITSCREDIT platform contains four main modules: Flowcredit (Loan Origination), Calculators, Risk Analysis, Scoring, and Collections. Each can operate in isolation or can be combined in any way. Also, the platform is open so that implementations can use as much data as is available in order to have a more complete view of customers and their financials. We believe this is a huge strength of the platform. It allows banks to garner richer information for the risk analysis from both individuals and corporations (through Risk Analysis and Scoring modules), and also makes data available from credit applications processes (through Flowcredit).

In many situations our clients have, in the past, invested heavily in building their credit application analysis. The Flowcredit module easily integrates with such systems and then adds additional information and rules to make underwriting even more accurate and tailored to suit the financial institution needs.

Finovate: Tell us about the role that open banking plays in ITSCREDIT.

Pinto: As we mentioned previously, one of our strengths is that the ITSCREDIT platform is open so that implementations can use as much data as is available in order to have a more complete view of customers and their financials. In this scenario, open banking is a key element. It not only makes much more data available from different players, but also makes integrations much easier.

On the other hand, our platform is based on a services architecture, so that it exposes services that can be consumed by third party entities. For example, the use of calculators and loan origination components can easily be used in different commerce sites and therefore originate completely new lines of business for the institutions. For example, a travel agent can have a payment method on their website for their clients based on a personal loan.

Finovate: Looking broadly at the credit and lending industry as a whole, what changes do you anticipate 2020 will bring?

Pinto: In the past years we have seen financial institutions start to approach digital lending for their clients. This journey is still in its early stages, with few institutions providing such functionalities for a few products. We are sure, though, that in 2020 we’ll see more institutions adopting full digital lending with simpler models more adequate to their clients needs. The launch of PSD2 in Europe and other Open Banking initiatives around the world make it much easier to obtain personal and financial data from credit applicants and therefore make the loan origination simpler and faster.

The other area that we foresee a great expansion is through a space we refer to as dPOS (digital Point-of-Sale). A dPOS enables merchants to provide payment methods for their ecommerce platforms with digital lending, providing lower rates on credit cards for end customers and a lower cost and even extra income for merchants.

Finovate: What’s next on the horizon for ITSCREDIT?

Pinto: ITSCREDIT is a spin-off that will be 2 years old in May. We already have 13 clients on three continents: North America, Europe, and Africa. Our journey on the commercial side is to present the advantages of our solutions to more institutions and get more implementations.

In terms of product evolutions, we are enhancing the digital lending capabilities and models and launching new versions in 2020 for brokers and merchants.

Overall, our big aim is to position ourselves as a world-class player for credit solutions, providing innovative and modern solutions for our customers to help them differentiate from their competitors and become more efficient with higher loan volumes.


You can watch ITSCREDIT demo its latest technology on stage at FinovateEurope next month. Register now to save your seat!

If you’re interested in demoing on the FinovateEurope stage this year, reach out to heather@finovate.com or take a look at our event page for more details.

https://finovate.com/itscredits-joao-pinto-on-the-digital-lending-opportunity/

Three Key Lessons We Learned from Plaid

https://finovate.com/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. Finovate’s own David Penn covered the story for us on Monday, and virtually everyone in the fintech space is talking about it.

What you might not know, though, is that Plaid was on stage at one of our events way back in 2014. At that point they were already well on their way – they were close to signing their 1,000th customer, and they had already signed companies from spaces like lending, payments, expenses and accounting, asset management, and PFM. In the years following their time on stage, we’ve seen countless demoing companies come across our stage who relied on Plaid to underpin their offerings from a wide variety of areas.

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:

  1. A valuable tool can be worth more than what you build with it. The old saying goes something like “in the gold rush, it’s better to sell pickaxes than mine for gold.” That’s precisely what Plaid did, putting together a product that was attractive to a wide variety of fintech companies to capitalize on the massive wave of fintech startups that came through the last decade. Whether those startups survived or not, Plaid became a part of all of them, guaranteeing their own payday and removing the uncertainty that so many fintech startups faced.
  2. Simplicity is an asset. Plaid’s API is simple to understand,  install, and build on, which has made it attractive to developers from across fintech. This simplicity also means that the tech is highly versatile, floating easily from one field to another.
  3. Connections are vital. At the time that Plaid was gaining momentum, the API world was a very competitive one, with a lot of providers fighting to get adopted. The technology itself was very important, obviously, but so was the work they did in coming to events like FinDEVr to make sure that developers knew what their code could do. The ability to evangelize for your product is crucial to success, and building momentum frequently has to be done through face-to-face connections with influencers in the industry.

There are many more lessons to be drawn from Plaid’s example, but for innovators in the space, those three lessons seem the most important to me. Plaid’s connections, simplicity, and business strategy put them in a position to succeed and become the latest fintech royalty. Congratulations to them on their success, and the challenge is laid out for the rest of the industry to follow in their footsteps.

https://finovate.com/three-key-lessons-we-learned-from-plaid/

Not Another 2020 Trends Prediction Post (Seriously, It’s Not!)

https://finovate.com/not-another-2020-trends-prediction-post-seriously-its-not/

If you’re like me, you’re already experiencing 2020 fatigue. If you’ve read at least 10 posts depicting the top trends for 2020 in every fintech sub sector, you’re not alone.

Fortunately for you, this isn’t another 2020 predictions post.

Instead, 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.

The big trends

As you can see in the word cloud above, the big topics for FinovateEurope 2020 are AI, digital identity, and customer experience. The only surprise here is that AI isn’t bigger. Since AI is an enabling technology it often pulses throughout multiple sectors across fintech. Customer experience, for example, is a topic that relies heavily on AI.

Digital identity is another trend developing throughout the fintech industry and has been rising in discussions around identity verification. However, digital identity isn’t quite as sexy as AI, so companies aren’t as quick to boast about their digital identity capabilities.

The little trends

The three smallest trends on this year’s list include blockchain, compliance, and PFM. Though its potential to disrupt traditional banking hasn’t lessened, blockchain has regressed slightly into the shadows of fintech. This may be the result of compliance complications that the blockchain brings. Other challenges to wider blockchain adoption may result from a lack of understanding of the subject or stem from the lack of ability for legacy systems to adapt.

PFM appears as a small topic because while many fintechs help users with their personal finances, they are hesitant to describe their technology as PFM. However, just because PFM is older than Twitter doesn’t make it any less relevant.

Speaking of relevance, compliance is pertinent to every subsector in fintech. However, the topic appears small in the word cloud because it is a bit of a status quo. In other words, every bank and fintech has some level of compliance measures in place.

The trends in between

Data analytics, fraud prevention, wealthtech, chatbots, lending, credit, regtech, and small business tools are all trends caught in the middle this year.

None of the topics is new and the only one I’m surprised to see on this list is fraud prevention since it is thought of more as a requirement than something firms are looking to add to their technology. However, recent evolutions in cybercriminal techniques, high-profile hacks, as well as advancements in enabling technologies adapted to the security space have made fraud prevention an even hotter topic than it once was.

If you want to not only read about the newest fintech trend transformations but also see them demoed live on stage, register for FinovateEurope. This year’s event is taking place in Berlin, Germany on 11 through 13 February.

Interested in demoing your company’s new technology on stage? There’s still room in our demo lineup. Check out more information on what it takes to demo at FinovateEurope or contact heather@finovate.com for details.

https://finovate.com/not-another-2020-trends-prediction-post-seriously-its-not/

French Fintech Lydia Locks in $45 Million

https://finovate.com/french-fintech-lydia-locks-in-45-million/

Photo by slon_dot_pics from Pexels

TechCrunch reported this morning that French mobile payment app Lydia has raised $45 million (€40 million) in a round led by Tencent. With existing investors CNP Assurances, XAnge, and New Alpha also participating in the Series B, Lydia adds significantly to the more than $16 million (€13 million) the company raised in 2018. The funding will help propel the firm toward its self-described goal of being the “PayPal of the new mobile generation.”

Lydia is used to make P2P payments, link and share accounts, as well as access a marketplace of additional financial offerings such as lending products and insurance. Available as a free app with other premium services available, Lydia can also set up recurring payments and enable users to pay with their smartphone via Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or QR code. Company co-founder and CEO Cyril Chiche pointed to the growing numbers of French consumers who are using the app for a variety of money management functions, highlighting the fact that 25% of French consumers between the ages of 18 and 30 have a Lydia account. Chiche added that the technology has three million users across Europe.

Lydia, which was founded in 2013, will use the funding to fuel its continued expansion in Europe. Lydia is particularly keen on opportunities to reach millennial Europeans in markets like the U.K., Ireland, Spain, and Portugal – where its app was deployed in the second half of 2017.

Compared to other countries in Europe, the fintech industry in France is often overlooked. This is not wholly without foundation. According to the recent report on European fintech by Dealroom, the share of fintech related VC spending in France in recent years was 12% compared to 20% in Europe overall, 21% in Germany, and 30% in the U.K. Born2Invest noted in December that French fintech startups had raised $700 million in 2019, and suggested that this year would likely see “a lot of talk about assuretech” also known as insurech, where technologies like digitization and automation are able to make dramatic differences in data management.

Lydia was featured in Silicon Canals last spring in its look at “10 exciting French fintech startups to work for in 2019.” For more on the French fintech industry, check out this infographic from BlackFin Tech which depicts the five main ecosystems in French fintech – regtech, assurtech, financial services, banking/PFM, and payment services – as well as some of the major players.

https://finovate.com/french-fintech-lydia-locks-in-45-million/

Raisin’s New Acquisition Gives Company Access to the U.S. Market

https://finovate.com/raisins-new-acquisition-gives-company-access-to-the-u-s-market/

European deposit marketplace Raisin announced today it acquired New York-based Choice Financial Solutions. Terms of the acquisition, which marks Raisin’s fourth purchase in the past year, were undisclosed.

Raisin will license Choice FS’ technology to banks in the U.S., a move that will bring the company one step closer to its U.S. launch. Last year, Raisin teased the geographical expansion with the appointment of Paul Knodel as U.S. CEO.

Raisin U.S. CEO Paul Knodel

“Joining forces with Choice Financial Solutions lets Raisin begin offering cutting-edge services to banks and customers before we even launch our U.S. platform,” said Knodel. “As a leading innovator in the deposits space, Raisin sees Choice FS as a perfect fit for our mission in the U.S. deposits market. The enthusiastic market feedback we have already received affirms how ripe the savings space is for just this type of personalization.”

Choice FS has a decade-long track record of providing banks with technology to help their clients save for long-and-short-term goals. The company’s secret sauce is customization– something modern consumers have become accustomed to in today’s era of BigTech solutions. Choice FS allows banks to customize terms, distributions, amounts, and withdrawals to maximize return on savings accounts, creating a highly-personalized savings experience with an intuitive user interface. Company founder and CEO Daniel Smith refers to this personalization as “the missing piece” for banks and depositors.

Raisin was founded in 2012 and has since brokered $20.6 billion (€18.5 billion) for 200,000 customers in 28+ European countries and 90 partner banks. The company provides a free marketplace where consumers can browse European deposit products, ETF portfolios, and, in Germany, pension products.

https://finovate.com/raisins-new-acquisition-gives-company-access-to-the-u-s-market/

Backbase-as-a-Service Helps Banks Leverage the Cloud to Innovate and Scale

https://finovate.com/backbase-as-a-service-helps-banks-leverage-the-cloud-to-innovate-and-scale/

Photo by Donald Tong from Pexels

Backbase announced today the availability of its new managed cloud platform, Backbase-as-a-Service. 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.

In their statement, the company depicted banks as challenged by not one, but two types of technologically-driven competitors: digitally-native neobanks and big tech-first companies that are beginning to develop financial products (“TechFin”). The problem of legacy, non-digital infrastructure, according to Backbase, is a key hurdle for most banks when it comes to “keeping pace” with the new digital services these rivals are able to offer. Backbase-as-a-Service enables FIs to develop their digital solutions faster, and to bring them to market without having to overcome their outdated infrastructure – or bear the high cost of replacing it with another on-premise system.

Backbase CEO Jouk Pleiter called the cloud “an exceptional tool” to help financial institutions transition to becoming digital first. “We believe the move to cloud is an unstoppable one, and one which every financial institution needs to embrace,” he said. “Our clients want the freedom to innovate and maintain their competitive edge, so launching Backbase-as-a-Service is the logical step or us.”

The technology will enable banks to take advantage of innovations in account aggregation, security and identity verification, personalization, and smart banking. Developers benefit from the option to use shared or dedicated Backbase environments, as well as multiple sandbox environments to support the development and testing of new integrations and products. BaaS provides 99.9% uptime, database backups and multi-zone redundancy, as well as end-to-end encryption for all communications. The solution meets regulatory requirements, including the ability to audit across environments.

A multiple-time Finovate Best of Show winner, Backbase most recently demonstrated its digital banking platform at FinovateEurope 2018. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and founded in 2003, the company inked a deal with Payveris late last year to provide FIs with an integrated digital payments and money movement solution. With more than 100 FIs using its technology, Backbase includes Barclays, Citi, KeyBank, Navy Federal Credit Union, and Societe Generale among its customers.

https://finovate.com/backbase-as-a-service-helps-banks-leverage-the-cloud-to-innovate-and-scale/

Tradeshift Lands $240 Million as it Inches Toward Profitability

https://finovate.com/tradeshift-lands-240-million-as-it-inches-toward-profitability/

Supply chain payments company Tradeshift just unveiled details about a $240 million funding round today. The investment– a combination of debt and equity– comes from new and existing investors. Tradeshift’s total funding is now $672 million.

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.” The funding will also be used to grow Tradeshift’s network finance program that provides liquidity to companies in 100+ countries.

And it appears that Tradeshift is already on the right track. Last year the company tallied record expansion; growing its revenue more than 60% and closing more than 300 enterprise deals. What’s more, 40% of the total transaction volume across its platform occurred in the last 12 months.

“It’s clear that the investor community has a strong focus on growth combined with profitability and they like our plan,” said Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng. “As a network business, growth is always going to be a key part of our story. But it’s also important that we manage that growth responsibly.”

Tradeshift’s business commerce platform connects more than 1.5 million companies across 190 countries. To date, the company has processed more than half a trillion dollars in transaction value. After Tradeshift’s most recent funding round of $250 million last spring, the company’s valuation was boosted to $1.1 billion.

As for 2020 plans, Lanng said that the company’s focus “will be about doubling down in areas where we’re seeing the greatest momentum while continuing to ensure we have the necessary balance in place to fully capitalize on the enormous opportunities in front of us.”

https://finovate.com/tradeshift-lands-240-million-as-it-inches-toward-profitability/

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Horizn

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-horizn-3/

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Horizn’s award-winning platform equips frontline employees & customers directly with the knowledge needed to improve customer experience and dramatically increase digital adoption across all channels.

Features

  • Get employees & customers fluent on latest digital innovation
  • Improve customer experience & drive digital adoption
  • Combine simulation microlearning methodology with gamification/analytics

Why It’s Great
Using Horizn, banks increased digital adoption by 25% and brought call center times down by 45 seconds. Using the in-branch demo with non-digital customers, up to 20% converted to digital banking.

Presenter

Steve Frook, VP Sales
Frook works closely with financial institutions to significantly increase adoption and awareness of new and existing innovations.
LinkedIn

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-horizn-3/

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: Glia

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-glia/

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Glia is a digital customer service platform that connects financial institutions to their customers using Chat, Voice, Video, CoBrowsing and AI.

  • Seamlessly move between modes of communication
  • Receive improved sales results and customer satisfaction via richer customer interactions
  • Deliver the best experience for customers and agents

Features

Why it’s great
By employing a digital-first approach to customer conversations, financial institutions improve customer satisfaction, reduce customer effort, and gain operational efficiencies.

Presenter

Dan Michaeli, CEO & Co-Founder
Michaeli is the driving force behind Glia’s vision to combine the human touch with technology to create the best customer experiences.
LinkedIn

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-glia/

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: BLECKWEN

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-bleckwen/

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on February 11-13, 2020 in Berlin. Register today and save your spot.

Bleckwen: Real-time Machine Learning solution for financial crime detection. In partnership with banks, we combine Behavioral Analytics with AI to provide an effective response against fraud.

Features

  • Reduce false positives, customer friction and costs of financial crime detection
  • Reduce time to manage alerts with our white box approach
  • Comply with increasing regulatory requirements

Why It’s Great
Bleckwen’s real-time, dynamic Behavioural Analytics & Explainable AI-engine is well placed to detect the surging fraud threats in payments in today’s open banking world.

Presenters

David Christie, CEO
Christie has a global view of the challenges of managing Fraud from multi-jurisdictional, technology and business process perspectives with 20 years in financial services.
LinkedIn

David McLaren, VP Sales EMEA
McLaren is an Enterprise Sales and Financial Crime specialist with experience in new business sales, SaaS and managed services with extensive engagements working with Financial Institutions and Corporates.
LinkedIn

https://finovate.com/finovateeurope-sneak-peek-bleckwen/