Mambu Strikes First Deal in Brazil; Twisto Sets Sights on Poland

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Indian financial services marketplace MyMoneyMantra raises $15 million in funding.
  • Razorpay, a payments solutions provider based in India, reports a 40% increase in the number of digital transactions in the country during the second quarter of 2019.
  • Credit Suisse and NASSCOM agree to promote the growth of Indian fintech startups.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mambu forges partnership with its first Brazilian customer, Acesso.
  • MercadoLibre announces plan to allow users of its e-wallet in Mexico to earn interest on funds saved on the app.
  • Bloomberg looks at Goldman Sachs’ Special Situations Group and its pursuit of investment opportunities among Latin American fintechs.


  • China Merchant Bank to deploy regulatory reporting technology from Wolters Kluwer.
  • Philippines Union Bank picks Refinitiv to power its electronic trading business.
  • Samsung partners with a cohort of South Korean banks on a blockchain-based digital identity project.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Central Bank of Kenya reaches fintech cooperation agreement with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
  • Standard Bank leverages mobile teller technology from Infosys Finacle.
  • Kenyan payment solutions provider WAPI Pay pledges to support faster adoption of Wechat Pay and Alipay across Africa.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Czech Republic’s Twisto announces plans to expand to Poland this fall, with expansion to Romania to follow.
  • Revolut makes Apple Pay available to its customers in Hungary.
  • Austrian insurtech Bsurance and fintech Cashpresso team up to provide automatic buyer protection Cashpresso customers.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Nasdaq and Iraq Stock Exchange ink new market technology agreement.
  • Emirates NBD’s Liv leverages gamification to raise money for charity.
  • Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority issues guidelines for robo advisors operating in ADGM.

Top image designed by Freepik

Visa Acquires Germany’s POS Payment Gateway Payworks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ondot Unveils New Cloud Service to Help Smaller Banks, Credit Unions Compete

The new cloud service announced by Ondot this week will make it easier for the company’s 4,000 bank and credit union customers to secure faster upgrades, deploy new functionalities, and access the latest innovations designed to enhance the mobile and digital card experience. Leveraging the cloud will also help FIs lower costs associated with operations, maintenance, compliance, and monitoring.

Ondot Head of Product Prasanna Narayan pointed to the challenges that regional banks and credit unions in particular face when it comes to integrating physical data into their data centers. Making Ondot’s card controls and other solutions available via a cloud-based service, Narayan explained, can help these smaller financial institutions keep pace with their bigger rivals. “This option allows mid-sized and smaller issuers to more quickly and easily launch these services and compete with larger national banks on digital customer experience,” he said.

Enhanced security is as much a part of the new cloud service as the enhanced customer experience. Narayan highlighted Ondot’s depth of understanding the security and compliance needs of financial institutions given its eight years of experience working with banks and credit unions. A scalable and reliable AWS, and robust disaster recovery and redundancy provide consistent uptime for clients using the service.

Santa Clara, California-based Ondot demonstrated its digital card mobile app at FinovateSpring 2018. The solution supports a range of digital payment card services from new customer acquisition to instant card activation and new card provisioning. The company won a Finovate Best of Show award at our first conference in Dubai, UAE, last year, FinovateMiddleEast, where it demoed its card controls technology.

2018 was a big year for the company. Back in November, Ondot introduced a new, end-to-end digital card services platform for banks in the Asia-Pacific region. Last summer, the company announced a partnership with PSCU, the premier payments credit union service organization, that will enable credit unions to integrate Ondot’s card alerts and controls technology into their mobile and online account management apps – or have them delivered directly via PSCU’s digital platform.

Founded in 2011, Ondot has raised $51 million in funding. Vaduvur Bharghavan is co-founder and CEO.

Urban FT Acquires Remote Deposit Capture Innovator CFC Technology Group

Fintech solution provider Urban FT has bought Minneapolis, Minnesota-based remote deposit capture (RDC) specialist CFC Technology Group.

The purchase, the Urban FT said in a statement today, will further support its position as a leading digital banking and payments provider – particularly for the community banks and credit unions that represent a sizable portion of its customer base. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“Urban FT is focused on tilting the playing field for community-based financial institutions,” said company CEO Richard Steggall, “which is representative in our growth as revolutionary pioneers, empowering institutions that choose to give a damn about the people and the communities they serve.” Steggall added that the acquisition marked Urban FT’s expansion into merchant-based banking territory, and bolstered its “ability to provide end-to-end digital payment solutions.”

Since inception in 1998, CFC Technology has worked with more than 800 institutions and thousands of merchant customers. A specialist in remote deposit capture, mobile banking, and business continuity solutions, CFC Technology is a frequent partner of community banks and credit unions, providing services in more than 25 states.

Headquartered in New York City, Urban FT demonstrated its Urban FT Workshop, a real-time, multi-tier mobile app management platform for the financial services industry, at FinovateFall 2016. Founded in 2012, the company now has more than $3 billion in annualized processing volume and 700+ clients.

Earlier this year, the Urban FT launched its agent bank program Community Access. The program provides financial and mobile banking tools for the retail and commercial customers of community banks. Last fall, the company’s co-founder Mark Kilpatrick was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30.

Urban FT has raised $3 million in funding. CFC Technology represents the company’s latest acquisition, having purchased fellow Finovate alum Wipit in 2015 and iParse in 2017. Urban FT inked an agreement last year in which Digiliti Money – a subsidiary of Digiliti Money Group (formerly Cachet Financial Solutions) – would merge into Urban FT’s affiliate, FinTech Imaging Solutions.

Temenos Acquires Explainable AI Platform Logical Glue

Explainable AI – which enables human analysts who aren’t data scientists to understand how artificial intelligence-based solutions reach their conclusions – is at the center of the prize that is Temenos’ acquisition of explainable AI innovator Logical Glue. Temenos announced today that it will integrate the Logical Glue XAI platform into its cloud-native, cloud-agnostic banking solution, and will be available with all Temenos products.

Many view Explainable AI as a critical component in making artificial intelligence work in heavily-regulated industries like banking and finance. Temenos CEO Max Chuard called the technology “a game changer” for customers, adding: “It will give them greater transparency and explainability of AI automated decisions and recommendations helping them harness AI technology to create seamless customer journeys and automate manual processes while meeting the growing regulatory demands.”

Logical Glue provides a purpose-built, Machine Learning as a Service platform that does the work of data scientists at speed and scale. The company’s technology, demonstrated live at FinovateEurope 2016, enables users to leverage raw data to build highly accurate predictive models, see how those models can be applied to real-world business challenges, and then apply those models to the new data in real-time.

“With our patented, cutting-edge XAI platform and our highly experienced machine learning experts, we are helping financial institutions harness the explosive power of XAI and helping them master AI decision-making,” said Logical Glue co-founder and Chief Science Officer Hani Hagras.

Founded in 2012, Logical Glue is headquartered in London, U.K. In May, Logical Glue announced a partnership with managing digital agent Azur to help the company improve its risk analysis. Two years ago, Logical Glue secured an investment from U.K. entrepreneur Tom Singh, founder of fashion retailer New Look. “Logical Glue provides a straightforward and accessible machine learning platform for lenders and insurance providers,” Singh said in a statement when the investment was announced. “(The technology delivers) faster and more accurate decisions that will underpin increased productivity and profitability.”

Temenos demonstrated its Connect Mobile Banking solution at FinovateEurope 2015. The company is also an alum of our developers conference, presenting its B2B Financial Apps Marketplace at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2015. Based in Geneva, Switzerland and founded in 1993, Temenos notes that more than 3,000 firms around the world – including 41 of the top 50 banks – are daily users of its banking, payments, fund, and wealth management solutions.

DefenseStorm Locks in $15 Million in Funding

Cloud-based cybersecurity innovator DefenseStorm closed a $15 million equity funding round this week. The Series A was led by Georgian Partners, a growth equity firm with an emphasis on companies that leverage applied and conversational artificial intelligence. In addition to the new capital, which takes DefenseStorm’s total funding to more than $29 million, the company will collaborate with the Georgian Impact team to accelerate the adoption of these technologies.

“DefenseStorm is growing rapidly, and our primary goal is not only to ensure that we take care of both our current and potential customers, but also that we invest in our employees and the innovation they continue to bring to the table,” DefenseStorm CEO Harold Brewer said. “We are thrilled to have the support of the Georgian Impact team and look forward to a lasting partnership benefitting the entire cybersecurity community.”

As part of the investment, Georgian Partners Managing Partner Justin LaFayette will join DefenseStorm’s board of directors. Chief Technology Officer for Georgian Partners Mads Mihailescu praised DefenseStorm’s “deep domain expertise” and noted that the partnership has “already identified a number of opportunities to further accelerate new product capabilities.”

DefenseStorm demonstrated its PatternScout anomaly detection engine at FinovateSpring 2017. The technology uses advanced machine learning to identify suspicious behavior patterns, and provides automated alerts to enable administrators to stop cyberattacks before they spread.

The company is also an alum of our developers conference, having presented a discussion on best practices for fintechs in securing the cloud, Cloud Security Fundamentals, at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016.

Named a Top 40 Innovative Technology Company by the Technology Association of Georgia at the beginning of the year, DefenseStorm announced a partnership with Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union in April. Per the agreement, DefenseStorm provided the Charleston, South Carolina-area credit union with a strategic technology platform to enable it to proactively manage cyberexposure and risk. Other recent partnerships announced by DefenseStorm include a collaboration with Alogent and a preferred partner pact with NAFCU.

LoanScorecard Partners with Nations Direct Mortgage to Power Pricing and Scenario Tool

Non-agency automated underwriting systems (AUS) provider LoanScorecard announced its latest partnership this week. The company is teaming up with Nations Direct Mortgage (NDM) to power its loan pricing and scenario solution, DirectQual.

Calling broker education on non-qualified mortgage products a major challenge for wholesale lenders like Nations Direct Mortgage, LoanScorecard Executive Director Ben Wu highlighted why NDM’s new tool will be part of the solution. “DirectQual allows brokers who work with or are considering working with NDM to not only see products and pricing, but also determine borrower eligibility – so they can accelerate the Non-QM origination process and provide a better borrower experience,” Wu said.

Driven by LoanScorecard’s Portfolio Underwriter technology, DirectQual will enable brokers to import loan scenarios and assess eligibility for Nations Direct Mortgage’s Non-QM loan programs. The solution both simplifies the process and makes it easier for brokers to match the right program with the right borrower.

Director of Lending for NDM Martin Warren called the technology “a tremendous tool for our brokers to simplify the pre-qual process and get results for their Non-QM borrowers – consistently and quickly.” He listed broader engagement with more brokers, better broker education on Non-QM products, and the ability to deliver quick pre-qualifications among the bigger benefits of the platform.

A wholesale mortgage lender founded in 2007, Nations Direct Mortgage originates and purchases residential mortgage loans, including FHA, Conventional, VA, USDA, and Jumbo products. The Santa Ana, California-based company also offers three Non-QM loan products: Income Direct, Credit Direct, and Investor Direct.

LoanScorecard demonstrated its Portfolio Underwriter technology at FinovateFall 2018. Portfolio Underwriter is an agency-agnostic, underwriting engine that gives capital market investors, banks, and credit unions the ability to quickly analyze loan information based on their own unique offerings and specifications. The solution makes it easier to deploy capital most effectively, is more efficient and consistent than manual underwriting, and helps ensure that mortgage operations comply with fair lending regulations.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Irvine, California, the company has been on a strong partner-making pace of late. Last month, LoanScorecard announced it would power the new automated underwriting system Acorn from Sprouts Mortgage. In May, the company integrated Calyx Software’s Path LOS into its SimpleCECL solution to make it easier for FIs to conduct loan level current expected credit loss (CECL) analysis.

Webinar: How Next-Generation Data Protection Accelerates Financial Institutions’ Innovation Cycles

Register for the upcoming #FinovateWebinar with ALTR, Wednesday, 14 August, 11am CT / 12pm ET / 5pm BST

Account holders should be able to trust their bank or credit union to protect their valuable financial data. However, the human presence within complex networks inherently creates privacy and governance vulnerabilities, particularly in the visibility, control, and protection over how, when, and where data is made available to the people who use it every day.
Though modern cybersecurity is inherently multi-layered, the deepest layer must include modern data security governance that protects against privileged access and human error.

Join us for this webinar to hear Lou Senko, CIO of Q2, and Doug Wick, VP of Product and Marketing for ALTR, explore how a large, publicly traded financial experience (FinX) company is using innovative solutions to provide the ultimate failsafe to its customers, as well as:

•    Best practices for keeping sensitive financial data safe
•    How to gain transparent visibility and control over your data
•    How blockchain technology can support the restoration of digital trust

Register now >>

Launchfire’s Lemonade Takes Off as Standalone SaaS Brand

Lemonade, the training platform developed by Finovate Best of Show winner Launchfire, is going live as a standalone SaaS brand, the company announced today. In a statement, Launchfire noted that offering the solution as its own SaaS offering was a “key strategic goal” to help ensure the product had a “strong identity” and “clear value proposition” for its brand.

“It was time to create some separation between our two business offerings,” Launchfire CEO John Findlay said. “Both Lemonade and our Promotions Agency have seen significant growth in the past few years, and we wanted to create some space to let each shine on their own.”

Launchfire demonstrated Lemonade, its game-based employee and customer engagement solution for financial institutions, at FinovateEurope 2019, winning Best of Show. Lemonade leverages microlearning, product simulations, and roleplay scenarios to help institutions educate and train workers faster. The solution also provides in-depth analytics to enable managers to track progress and measure how effectively the current training process is going.

“For 20 years, we’ve educated consumers using game-based promotions,” Launchfire CTO Alexandre Lemaire said. “In hindsight, it was a natural transition to combine proven game tactics with learning science to derive this powerful learning platform, and the result is fantastic. We’re pushing learning outcomes, metrics, and engagement to entirely new levels,” Lemaire said.

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Launchfire won gold at the 2019 Hermes Creative Awards of the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals in May. Back in December, the company was honored with a gold award at the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Technology Awards for “excellence in gaming or simulation technology.”

Flybits Secures $35 Million in Series C Led by Point72 Ventures

In a round led by Point72 Ventures, contextual data intelligence specialist Flybits has raised $35 million in new funding. The fresh capital takes the company’s total equity financing to $50 million, and will help drive its growth in EMEA, Latin America, and the U.S.

The Series C round featured participation from Mastercard, Citi Ventures, and Reinventure, which was backed by Westpac Banking Corporation of Australia. Existing investors Portag3 Ventures, TD Bank Group and Information Venture Partners contributed to the round, as well.

The financing will also enable Flybits to commercialize its portfolio of AI and machine learning patents, as well as make enhancements to UX and design. Flybits also plans to launch a marketplace to make it easier for financial institutions, fintechs, and financial data providers to collaborate on new products and services.

“Banks are looking for ways to maximize their use of data and better engage with customers, but are having a hard time executing and scaling this on their own or by leveraging passive PFM (personal financial management) services,” Flybits founder and CEO Dr. Hossein Rahnama explained. “Flybits enables banks to use real-time data and contextual intelligence to shift to those new models and go to market with them faster without over reliance on their IT department.”

Point72 Ventures Partner Tripp Shriner shared Rahnama’s view on this new challenge for banks and other FIs, whom Shriner said “are struggling to communicate with their customers about their products and services in the digital environment.” He praised Flybits for developing a “superior end-to-end solution for personalization of the digital customer experience.”

Today’s investment comes just a few months after Flybits announced that it was a key enabler of the Mastercard Contextual Engagement Solution. The technology is the first product built using the Mastercard Innovation Engine and helps drive contextually-relevant and personalized digital engagement. Last fall, Flybits announced it would work with TD Bank Group to provide enhanced, “micro-personalized” mobile experiences to the bank customers.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Flybits demonstrated its contextual recommendation engine at FinovateSpring in May. The technology leverages behavioral data and combinations of data sets to provide a deeper understanding of individual customer behavior and preferences based on collective experiences.

Revolut and TrueLayer Team Up to Ease Access to Open Banking Data

TrueLayer, provider of financial APIs, has integrated with Revolut to enable the secure access of financial data via open banking, reports Henry Vilar of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Money management app, Emma, will be one of the first companies to use the new integration. Emma’s customers will now be able to use their Revolut account information to track their spending in real time.

Account information will only be accessible when a customer chooses to use a new product and actively agrees to share their information.

Francesco Simoneschi, CEO and co-founder of TrueLayer, said: “We’re increasingly seeing how open banking is uniting successful companies so that they can offer more and more great services to consumers.”

Edoardo Moreni, CEO and co-founder of Emma, added: “Our users can now have access to all their balances, see the exact conversion in pound and manage their money like never before.”

TrueLayer’s partnership is its latest milestone in 2019, with the recent announcement of a $35 million funding round led by Tencent and Temasek.

It recently expanded across Europe to Germany, France, Italy and Spain, the launch of payment initiation capabilities and partnerships with companies including Zopa, ClearScore, Plum, CreditLadder, Canopy, and ANNA Money.

Revolut demonstrated its platform at FinovateEurope 2015. Founded in 2013 and based in London, U.K., the company has raised more than $336 million in funding. Future Fifty, DST Global, and Draper Esprit are among the firm’s investors.

Fiserv to Enhance Risk Management for Pan-American Life

Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG), a provider of insurance and financial services throughout the Americas, has selected Fiserv technology to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of its anti-money laundering (AML) compliance and risk management program in multiple countries, reports Henry Vilar of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

PALIG sought a provider with insurance industry expertise, a global footprint, and flexibility to help streamline AML compliance and fraud and risk management processes. The company selected Fiserv to provide a solution that accommodates country-specific regulations and reporting requirements.

The firm hopes this will improve efficiency for PALIG by enabling it to execute and monitor risk management processes in multiple countries through a single platform.

PALIG is initially deploying the Fiserv solution for use in Panama, the Cayman Islands, Colombia and Costa Rica, with plans to expand to more of the 22 countries where it has operations.

“Effective risk management is an important part of how we do business,” said Steven A. Friedman, executive vice president, chief investment officer, corporate development and strategy, Pan-American Life Insurance Group. “Working with Fiserv will optimize our ability to manage risk in an increasingly complex world so we can continue earning our customers’ trust.”

AML Risk Manager from Fiserv incorporates advanced capabilities that address four areas of an AML risk management program: know your customer (KYC) monitoring, detection and alerts, case management, and reporting.

Fiserv was founded in 1984, and is based in Brookfield Wisconsin. The company partnered with Samsung SDS last year at FinovateSpring to demo the Fiserv Commercial Center: Security & Samsung SDS Nexsign. Earlier this year, Fiserv announced plans to merge with First Data.

ClickSWITCH to Power Digital Direct Deposit Switch for Current

ClickSWITCH, which made its Finovate debut earlier this year at FinovateSpring, has unveiled its partnership with Current, a digital bank launched in 2016. Current has used the ClickSWITCH API to build and design a customized UX that makes it easy for members to switch direct deposits to their checking accounts.

“We are excited to be providing direct deposit technology to Current’s banking solution,” Founder and CEO of ClickSWITCH Cale Johnston said. “Current is on the leading edge of an industry that is evolving at a rapid pace. They are adding new users at a very impressive rate, and we believe our solution will increase user adoption for their growing platform.”

ClickSWITCH offers banks and other financial institutions a turn-key solution that automates the switch of direct deposits and recurring payments for account holders. The company’s automated account holder acquisition technology makes onboarding easier and faster, enabling FIs to improve customer acquisition and account activation rates, ease the funding of new accounts, and increase the number of primary account holders.

Current bills itself as “a bank built for modern life.” The institution, launched in 2016, provides an iOS/Android banking app, and a Visa debit card with no minimum balance or overdraft fees. With more than 400,000 active accounts, Current offers a variety of innovative options for customers such as its Teen Checking Accounts and Early Direct Deposits. Current founder and CEO Stuart Sopp highlighted the bank’s Early Direct Deposit program, which allows customers to access their paychecks up to two days in advance, as a major beneficiary of ClickSWITCH’s technology.

“For more Americans, changing where their paychecks are deposited is the best measure of truly switching banks,” Sopp said. “By partnering with ClickSWITCH, we’re able to make that process far more seamless and offer a better customer experience for our account holders – which is always our top priority at Current.”

Founded in 2014, ClickSWITCH is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company demonstrated its automated direct deposit switch technology at FinovateSpring 2019. ClickSWITCH has raised $17.1 million in funding and counts Point72 Ventures and Commerce Ventures among its investors.

Earlier this year, the company partnered with fellow Finovate alum Digital Onboarding to enable Old Point National Bank to update and switch direct deposits and recurring payments more efficiently. Last spring, ClickSWITCH worked with virtual branch app provider Mobilearth to add a new direct deposit switching feature to Mobilearth’s roving teller dashboard.

Standard Bank Leverages Mobile Teller Tech from Infosys Finacle

Standard Bank has cut customer waiting and transaction times since adopting the Infosys Finacle Mobile Teller Solution at branches across Africa, reports Jane Connolly of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

Since going live with the enterprise level, tablet-based solution at 107 branches in five countries – Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Eswatini – the bank has seen transaction turnaround times reduced by over 40%.

Features such as designated workflows for tellers, relationship managers and agents, offline operation capability, an inbuilt analytics engine and an interactive user interface have improved capacity. Tellers can now offer personalised services on the go and service multiple customer requests from a single window.

Other benefits have included a 50% reduction in paper use, 14% lower branch network costs and staff training time slashed from one week to about two hours.

“Ensuring world class customer experience is a key priority for Standard Bank and ensuring this at non-digital touch points such as branches was a challenge,” said Klaas Kruger, chief information officer of African Regions at Standard Bank.

“The implementation of ‘Moby’, Finacle’s Mobile Teller Solution as we call it, has been a significant step in our journey towards customer centric digitalization and process optimization. ‘Moby’, in combination with our existing Finacle Omnichannel Hub, has been a game changer in helping us provide the best banking experience in Africa.”

The solution is in the implementation stage for Ghana and Tanzania and will be further phased in across the bank’s African Regions countries.

A division of EdgeVerge Systems, a subsidiary of Infosys, Finacle demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2017. The company was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Bangalore, India.

Settle Launches Mobile App in Croatia; Sr. Pago Partners with American Express

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • RISQ Teams Up with Aion Digital to Boost SME Lending in MENA.
  • ACI Worldwide teams up with Egyptian Banks Company, which will leverage ACI’s UP Retail Payments solution.
  • The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) has begun issuing digital banking licenses.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Bangalore-based neobank for workers NiYO raises $35 million in new funding.
  • WebMoney Transfer goes live with its WMY wallet in Uzbekistan.
  • India’s Recko, a company that provides AI-powered digital transaction reconciliation, picks up $1 million in seed capital.
  • Swiss payments technology company BPC opens offices in Pakistan.
  • Nikkei Asian Review highlights Vymo and its entrance to the Japanese market.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Jumio to power digital identity for Brazil-based BTG Pactual.
  • Mexico’s Sr.Pago announces partnership with American Express.
  • Mastercard Brazil partners with Airfox and banQi to bring lower-cost banking options to Brazilian customers.


  • Bank of Thailand implements SimCorp Dimension to manage its reserve management and monetary policy operations.
  • Vietnam’s central bank warns against fraud in the P2P lending market.
  • Regulators in the Philippines introduce new rules governing crowdfunding.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Temenos to power digital transformation for Rwanda’s Bank of Kigali. The company will also replace core and front office legacy systems for South African microfinancier Barko
  • Ghana to launch universal QR code payment method later this year.
  • Mobile payments startup OPay raises $50 million in funding in round led by Sequoia China, IDG Capital, and Source Code Capital.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Settle launches its mobile payments app in Croatia.
  • Czech-based fintech developer Turing Technology closes second round of funding.
  • Slovenia’s Telekom Slovenije introduces its mobile wallet.

Top image designed by Freepik

Kyndi Raises $20 Million

Kyndi has boosted its total funding to $28.5 million this week after closing a $20 million Series B round led by Intel Capital. Also participating in the round were UL Ventures, PivotNorth, Pinnacle Peak, and all existing investors.

Kyndi founder and CEO Ryan Welsh said that the round accelerates the company’s growth. “The extra capital allows us to grow our engineering and sales teams. It also allows us to expand our footprint in Washington, D.C., for our government customers,” he said.

Since the company’s last round of funding in 2017, Kyndi has quadrupled in size, revenue, and number of customers, built its executive team, and released its Explainable AI product, which Welsh demoed at FinovateSpring 2018. Explainable AI helps organizations analyze massive amounts of data by unifying probabilistic and logical methods. Additionally, the tool helps minimize human bias that often occurs when information is manually extracted from raw data.

“Enterprises are turning to AI to take advantage of new opportunities and to solve pressing business problems, and we expect AI’s use in business will continue to grow as the technology matures,” said Nick Washburn, Senior Managing Director of Intel Capital. “Solutions like Kyndi’s, which remove some of the mystery of AI technology, will continue to gain importance, and we look forward to helping them accelerate AI adoption and address the need for explainability.” Intel Capital’s Investment Director Sunil M. Sanghavi will join Kyndi’s board of directors.

Digital Onboarding to Boost Customer Engagement for Manatee Community FCU

Manatee County, Florida’s only chartered credit union is teaming up with FinovateFall alum Digital Onboarding to improve new customer engagement. Manatee Community FCU, founded in 1958 and headquartered in Bradenton, Florida, will leverage Digital Onboarding’s fully-automated new account activation technology to boost membership and improve the overall banking experience for new and existing customers.

“Building member engagement is challenging, especially when members live outside of the primary branch service area,” Digital Onboarding CEO Ted Brown explained. “With the Digital Onboarding platform, Manatee Community Federal Credit Union can deliver an exceptional banking experience to all of its members. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the credit union on this important growth initiative.”

Digital Onboarding enables banks and credit unions to move beyond traditional marketing techniques involving phone calls, emails, direct mail, and print brochures when it comes to attracting and engaging new potential customers. Guided journeys help new customers quickly navigate the onboarding and activation process, and institutions can add features such as gamified incentives to customize the process further. The platform can be used to generate automated, intelligent email and text campaigns to keep customers engaged and aware of new service and product offerings. FIs running the platform benefit from summary analytics and reports that provide transparency into the account activation process, enabling community banks and credit unions to optimize their strategies to secure the best responses.

“At Manatee Community Federal Credit Union, we recently expanded our charter to serve members in Sarasota County, various employment groups, and associations,” Manatee Community FCU CEO Sherod Halliburton said. “(We) want to ensure that we deliver a best-in-class banking experience, no matter where our members reside.” He added that his team reviewed a variety of different digital platforms before choosing Digital Onboarding’s solution, which he called “the best option in the market.”

Boston, Massachusetts-based Digital Onboarding demonstrated its platform at FinovateFall 2018. Last month, the company announced that it would join the Venture Center FinTech Accelerator sponsored by Fidelity Information Services. This spring, we featured Digital Onboarding in a profile on how banks can compete with Apple’s new credit card.

Best of Show Winner Banzai Teams Up with GreenPath to Boost Financial Literacy

Promoting financial wellness among some of the economy’s most vulnerable participants is the goal of the new partnership between financial counseling and debt management nonprofit GreenPath and Finovate Best of Show winner Banzai. The collaboration, announced in June, will combine Banzai’s experience-based, personal finance learning solutions with GreenPath’s empathetic, nonjudgemental, one-on-one approach to debt counseling and helping consumer gain financial wellness.

“Lenders love GreenPath because they know they help people make positive, sustainable behavior changes that lead to improved credit and financial health,” Banzai’s Bryce Peterson wrote in a blog post discussing the news. “We are partnering with GreenPath so financial institutions can relieve the pressures experienced by many of their customers,” he said.

The two companies will also work together to present their respective platforms to potential financial institution customers.

A nonprofit organization founded in 1961, GreenPath has 500 employees in 40 locations who help individuals improve their financial awareness and skills, enabling them to make better financial decisions. The company leverages its relationship with creditors to help clients refinance their outstanding debts and secure lower, easier-to-afford, interest rates. Loan denial and delinquency services, CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) support, financial education workshops, and employer programs are among the services GreenPath offers financial institutions. The company currently facilitates debt management programs for 45,000 customers, and repaid more than $200 million on behalf of its clients last year alone.

Banzai demonstrated its turnkey, CRA eligible solution, combining educational content, interactive online simulations and topical resources at FinovateFall 2018. Winning Best of Show for its experience-based learning programs, Banzai has 750 bank and credit union partners, and 45,000 teachers using its technology.

Later this month, Banzai will unveil a pair of new products: Financial Wellness Center and the Coach. These solutions, in the words of company co-founder and CTO Kendall Buchanan, “(are) designed to encourage potential customers to share their goals … think deeply about their finances, and find answers to their stickiest financial questions.”

Founded in 2007, Banzai is headquartered in Provo, Utah. Joe Davy is Chairman and CEO.

YSEOP Garners $9.3 Million in New Funding Round

Natural language generation (NLG) technology company YSEOP is boosting its capital by $9.3 million this week, bringing its total investment to $12.6 million. The funds come from existing investor NextStage, an investment platform that shares YSEOP’s Parisian roots.

While previous investments have allowed YSEOP to roll out its NLG platform and enter into the pharmaceutical market, the company plans to use today’s round to accelerate its expansion into the U.S. In fact, by 2022, YSEOP expects to generate almost half of its revenue in the U.S.

“We are proud of NextStage’s confidence in YSEOP and the continuation of our shared adventure. The understanding NextStage shows of the challenges at play on the artificial intelligence and natural language market, as well as their knowledge of the U.S. market, confirm that they are the right partner to support us in our entrepreneurial journey,” said Emmanuel Walckenaer, YSEOP CEO. “Artificial Intelligence is a technology that transforms the approach to markets for companies and their organizations. We intend to continue honing and deepening our expertise in this field on behalf of our key accounts in order to realize the market potential of transforming data into natural language.”

YSEOP, which demoed Augmented Analytics earlier this year at FinovateSpring, leverages AI to deliver analysis using a human-like dialogue. The company’s tools can be used for a range of use cases, including wealth management, automated news briefs, report writing, and adding narrative to visual analytics.

DemystData Signs Two Year Agreement with Kyckr

Data-as-a-service firm DemystData ahas partnered with compliance and risk management specialist Kyckr to enhance its offerings for financial services clients.

Under the two-year agreement, DemystData will integrate Kyckr’s API into its platform. The move will allow DemystData customers to use Demyst’s platform to access Kyckr’s network of real-time registry information, allowing them to test the information in a secure sandbox environment.

“Partnering with DemystData brings together deep expertise in the data and automation space, helping us deliver the most up-to-date, legally accurate information to financial institutions globally,” Kyckr CEO Ian Henderson said. “The agreement is in alignment with our strategy to enhance collaborations with strategic partners as an accelerated method of growing our exposure to new clients and revenue.”

Founded in 2007, Kyckr provides APIs and cloud based, automated decision engines for Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance, due diligence, and customer onboarding. Kyckr’s company intelligence database offers access to 200 official registries, 120 countries, and 170+ million legal entities. The company showcased at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016, our developers conference.

“Know-Your-Customer verification is becoming increasingly critical and we are excited to be embedding our unique registry network onto the DemystData platform, and we look forward to working with our new partner and customers,” Henderson added.

Today’s deal also stipulates that DemystData promote Kyckr’s API to its client base, bringing awareness to Kyckr’s company intelligence tools to a fresh group of potential clients.

DemystData offers a data marketplace that helps banks and businesses protect themselves against fraud using email and address verification, criminal history information, and data on negative online sentiment. The company also offers property information for risk underwriting, as well as commercial marketing segmentation. At FinovateAsia 2012, DemystData debuted Credit-in-a-Box, a suite of tools that help banks leverage big data to make better lending decisions.