The Top 3 FinTech Trends to Watch in 2020

While many people think of FinTech as just an app on your phone, the reality is that it is more than just payments. In fact, it is a revolution in how our financial system works touching everything from the cash registers at your local supermarket to even the future of money.

Even though it feels like the revolution just started, the reality is that technology and the financial service have gone hand in hand for nearly 70 years. Just think of everything from check readers to credit card processing machines.

However, things have started to speed up in the last few years and here are the top three FinTech trends to watch in 2020. This includes everything from automation such as job scheduling software to the possible end of cash.

1. Automated Processes

While the terminator might not come strolling into your local bank branch, the reality is that most banks and insurance companies are automating as many processes as they can find. As Andrew Yang pointed out this might not be good for long-term employment prospects in finance, but it is certainly good for the bottom line at these companies.

Granted, automation is nothing new, but what is gaining steam is something called Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This technology allows developers to organize automated processes to work seamlessly with their human counterparts. 

What this means for banks and insurance companies is that they can seamlessly integrate their automated processes with those which are still done by humans. The result is reduced processed times and increased efficiency.

But what is truly exciting – at least from a technology point of view – is how these bots are increasingly able to take on more of the work that was traditionally done by humans. This includes completing forms, filing digital documents, and supporting data queries for compliance departments.

2. Crypto is the New King

For those who have been following Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, they know that it is not only a small part of the global monetary system, but it is also extremely volatile. However, this is set to change next year as companies like Facebook and even some governments release their own cryptocurrencies.

While Facebook’s Libra will initially be used as a payment option on the company’s platforms, company representatives have noted that their goal is to have it become a “stablecoin” supported by a reserve of physical assets.

A big part of the challenge will be reducing the cost and process time needed to transmit a cryptocurrency as this is seen by many as an impediment in the broader acceptance of this new payment platform.

While in the case of Facebook is the question as to whether users will trust the company with its money after several high-profile revelations about the company’s sloppy handling of users’ personal information.

Even without Facebook taking the lead, there is strong evidence to support the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies. So, if cash was king, then cryptocurrencies may be the new king.

3. Meet Your AI Banker

There is no doubting that the technologies which underpin Artificial Intelligence (AI) are rapidly developing. Granted we might not be at the point at which machines become conscious – assuming they’d let us know – the combination of more powerful tools and refined decision trees are making AI-powered customer support a reality.

This can be seen in what is called “conversational banking” which is when a customer interacts with a chatbot to solve a banking issue. According to research by Accenture, nearly 64 percent of consumers would rather type a simple message than call a support number – this is a trend which is expected to only grow going forward.

As such, chatbots which can learn from previous interactions with customers are set to provide an eerily human-like experience by providing fast, courteous, and correct support to customers when they need it. Compare this to calling 800 numbers and dealing with voice-operated menus and it is no surprise that AI-power bankers are tipped to rule the world.

Technology and finance have gone hand-in-hand for years as everything from ticker tape machines to wire transfers had its start in the tech lab of a company or a startup. What has changed in recent years is the pace of innovation as technology has begun to transform the customer experience in financial services.

Front and center in this revolution is FinTech and of the most exciting trends to watch in 2020, are automated processes through RPA, the continued rise of cryptocurrencies, and last, but not least, AI.

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What is the California Consumer Privacy Act and How Should You Prepare?

Akshatha Kamath, Content Marketing at MoEngage, breaks down new privacy legislation which could impact financial institutions across the states.

Stronger privacy protection and greater data transparency online are growing global trends. The Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the Facebook data of at least 87 million people were misappropriated, and other instances like this have brought attention to how businesses collect, use, and sell consumer data. Concern over the use and misuse of this data is widespread. 

In many global jurisdictions, the response has been privacy legislation which forces businesses to comply with sometimes onerous regulations regarding consumer data and privacy. One of these pieces of legislation is the California Consumer Privacy Act. In its second section it lays out how pervasive privacy concerns have become and how “it is almost impossible to apply for a job, raise a child, drive a car, or make an appointment without sharing personal information.”

All of this data can be great for marketers, but businesses need to comply with privacy laws in order to avoid fines and stay up to date with consumer demand for privacy and data transparency online.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (AB-375)

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) is by far the strongest privacy legislation enacted in the United States at this time. Businesses must be in compliance by January 1, 2020 (the starting date on which the state can bring enforcement actions involving noncompliance).

For marketers there are three major things to be aware of. First is that wherever personal information is collected businesses must disclose what information they collect and how they will use it. Secondly, businesses have to provide consumers with the ability to “opt out” of having their information sold to third parties. Thirdly, businesses must allow consumers to view and delete the information that has been collected about them.

Is My Company Affected by the CCPA?

If your business (or for-profit entity) is located in California and meets any of the following criteria, it has privacy requirements that need to be met under the law. The criteria are:

  • Your business’ annual revenue is over $25 million
  • Your business receives information of over 50,000 consumers, households, or devices annually
  • At least half of your business’ annual revenue comes from selling personal information

The law doesn’t differentiate between brick-and-mortar and online companies. This means that even a company with no physical presence or employees in California could still do business there and therefore has obligations under the law. So your business doesn’t even need to be located in California for the California Consumer Privacy Act to apply to you. Like the GDPR, CCPA will affect businesses outside the law’s jurisdiction.

Consumer’s Rights Under the CCPA

Consumers have new rights under the CCPA that companies need to be aware of. These rights fall into three broad categories:

  1. The Right to Knowledge – Under the CCPA, businesses must allow consumers to obtain, twice per annum at zero cost, all the information that the business has about them, how that information was collected, and who else has been given said information.
  2. The Right to be Forgotten – The CCPA stipulates that consumers must be able to request the deletion of all of their personal information from a company. If the information has been shared with third parties then those parties must also delete said information.
  3. The Right to Control who has Access to their Information -Businesses must allow consumers to be able to opt out of the resale of their information. Consumers under the age of 16 must affirmatively opt in to allow the resale of their data. Consumers under the age of 13 must have written permission from a parent or guardian in order to allow the resale of their data.

What Marketers Need to Do

First of all, marketers need to review their current procedures and understand their policies and procedures regarding the collection, storage and use of subscribers’ data and mailing preferences. They need to know how a user’s preferences about their data can be stored and how documentation would be provided if a user requests it.

Second of all, marketers need to think in the long term about how they set up their systems. For example, even though GDPR only applies to EU visitors, many companies have opted to implement the same higher standards across their entire platform in order to proactively prepare for similar legislations. In the same vein, marketers who prepare for the CCPA will have a leg up if privacy bills that are making their way through the legislature pass in New York, Mississippi, and Massachusetts.

Penalties for Non-Compliance of the CCPA

If, because of a business’ negligence, a consumer’s information is improperly disclosed, the CCPA makes it easier for consumers to sue (even if there is no evidence that the data breach caused the consumer harm!).

What could be very costly for businesses is the potential for class-action lawsuits due to a data breach. Companies could be on the hook for between $100 and $750 per incident (or even more if the actual damages exceed $750).


The California Consumer Privacy Act will go into effect on January 1, 2020. Marketers should prepare in advance to make changes to comply with the regulations. At the same time, CCPA presents marketers with an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between consumers and your business. Educate consumers on the data you are collecting and how you make use of it. Be sure to tell them their rights under the CCPA and how you are compliant. This can build trust with consumers and help you use the CCPA to your advantage.

Starbucks, Alibaba launch voice ordering and delivery

Starbucks, Alibaba launch voice ordering and delivery

Starbucks is taking another step toward evolving the digital experience for customers in China by launching voice ordering and delivery capabilities within Alibaba’s smart speaker, Tmall Genie, according to a company press release. Customers may now order by using their voice for delivery within 30 minutes. The platform uses Alibaba’s on-demand food delivery platform,

“The Starbucks feature through Alibaba’s Tmall Genie ushers in a new era of digital customer engagement for Starbucks, leveraging ground-breaking digital technology to create an unprecedented experience that elevates our connection with customers to new heights,” Molly Liu, vice president and general manager digital ventures, Starbucks China, said in the release. “We are focused on ensuring that Starbucks voice ordering is truly personal, and we look forward to offering our customers more convenient moments and new opportunities to engage with Starbucks on a single integrated platform as they move throughout the day.”

The launch of the service marks the 1-year anniversary of Starbucks and Alibaba’s partnership which advances the New Retail infrastructure and digital power in China — one of the fastest-growing markets in the world for coffee consumption. The announcement also builds on several significant collaborations between the two companies that enable a seamless Starbucks Experience for Chinese customers, such as establishing back-of-house kitchens, Star Kitchens, within Alibaba’s Freshippo supermarkets in China.

Through Alibaba’s Tmall Genie, customers place an order using their voice and can track their order in real-time within the 30-minute delivery timeframe.

Starbucks Rewards members also can earn Stars and receive membership updates, including benefits, on the Tmall Genie. Soon, members will be able to receive personalized recommendations when using voice commands to place orders that are tailored to previous order preferences and popular items from Starbucks seasonal menu. As another added benefit, Starbucks fans in China can also listen to the latest Starbucks in-store playlists through Alibaba’s music streaming app, Xiami Music, according to the release.

Powered by Alibaba’s speech AI and voice print payment technology, Tmall Genie orders come with splash-proof lids for hot and cold beverages, tamper-proof packaging seals and individual hot and cold delivery containers. An exclusive Starbucks-themed Tmall Genie is available through the Starbucks virtual store in China, which unifies Starbucks offerings within Alibaba’s mobile apps, including Taobao, Alipay and Tmall, according to the release.

Topics: Mobile Payments, Region: APAC, Restaurants

Companies: Alibaba, Starbucks

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Challenging Complexity: How to Simplify Your Marketing Message in 3 Easy Steps

By Emma Humphrey, Managing Director of Genius Marketing

In FinTech, you’re only as good as your brand’s brilliance in your particular sector. After all, that’s what investors look at isn’t it?

Emma Humphrey

It’s important how innovative and groundbreaking your idea is. It’s essential that you’ve cemented an unassailable your position based on your development plan and killer team of tech wizards. And this is largely true, but one place it doesn’t work is in your marketing. Why not? It may seem counter intuitive, but the breadth and depth of your knowledge can actually hamper your ability to engage with potential customers. 

If you confuse your customers with tech jargon or explain things at a level that you’re comfortable with but they are not, you stand to alienate them entirely before you even get to the point where they might consider buying or investing in your product. 

Instead of displaying your knowledge using of technical detail, you can leverage it by simplify your message into something that all customers can easily understand and relate to. 

Here’s how:

1. Think like they think

The first step is to see things in the way that your customer sees them. Whoever you’re selling to, your marketing messages have to resonate with their reality and their aspirations, not illustrate your mastery of your technology. 

They’ll already assume that you can produce a better product than they can. That’s not in question. However, what will really get them to trust you is to see that you understand their specific situation and priorities and therefore that your offering can help them in particular.

2. Show them the “what”, not the “how”

You might easily be able to discuss the technical ins and outs of how your product can deliver on an objective in a way that is far superior to that of your competitors, but your customers probably aren’t going to have that same degree of knowledge. All they take from this is a sea of confusing detail that bears little relevance to what they are trying to achieve.

“It may seem counter intuitive, but the breadth and depth of your knowledge can actually hamper your ability to engage with potential customers.”

Keep your marketing messages simple, focused on what your offering is going to achieve for them, not how that’s going to be achieved. 

3. Emotion before logic

Finally, you need to be able to dial into the emotions your customers are feeling. Show you understand what’s going on for them on a personal level. They are all human and as such are ruled by a set of internal emotional drivers that stimulate them to act on or ignore marketing messages. It’s only once their hearts have said yes that their heads will then engage to try and logically justify their impulse to act.

Consider having a look at your marketing marketing messages through that lens. Do they speak to the customer’s world? Do they focus on the end benefit rather than the features that’ll enable that to happen? Do they target the emotion at the core of the decision-making process before they try to lay out the logical reason for choosing your brand? If the answer is yes to these questions, then you’re on the right track. If not, it is time to make some changes to help you reengage with your customer base and investors.

Emma Humphrey is Managing Director of creative agency Genius. She leads a high calibre team of creative heavyweights, specialising in ROI-led brand work and conceptual advertising.

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The Financial Sector Needs to Get Employees Back in the Flow

By Mark Williams, Senior VP, People First

Despite the great success of financial services in the UK, productivity remains a problem. The sector suffers from the modern British affliction of consistently low productivity. 

On one calculation, the UK financial sector suffered from six consecutive quarters of decline ten years ago and has remained flat ever since. 

Low productivity in financial services is a topic serious enough to warrant a report by the consultancy and services giant PwC, published last year. This makes clear that pressure on cost-income ratios and the striving for greater productivity has led to offshoring, automation and headcount reduction.

After analysing its survey results, PwC identified areas where financial firms are focusing their efforts to boost productivity, which include Better understanding the workforce and Bringing an agile mindset to the mainstream. Some firms also seek an organisational structure “that breaks down traditional silos and consists of multidisciplinary teams with end-to-end responsibility”.

Employees need clear goals, immediate feedback and the right balance between their abilities and tasks.

A far more savvy approach to employee engagement is emerging

It’s clear from this that many financial firms understand that increased productivity requires them to address the workforce in a much more sophisticated way. They grasp there is a limit to what automation and job-rationalisation can achieve. 

Amid all the concerns about structures, however, there is one factor that financial firms share with all other organisations – they are more productive when employees find themselves working easily, swiftly, collaboratively and without distraction, towards goals they fully understand. This is what is meant by being in the flow. Staff feel fully engaged, more productive, more purposeful, happier and lose track of time. 

The productivity gains of employees in the flow

If this sounds too airy-fairy for the financial sector, think again. More engaged employees make for more productive businesses. Gallup’s 2017 State of Global workforce Report , for example, found that engaged teams were 17 per cent more productive and experienced 41 per cent less absenteeism.

One of the difficulties when dealing with human beings is that they are individuals. People experience flow differently. Psychologists have shown that getting successfully into the flow is only achieved when the degree of challenge matches the skills of the employee and they feel they have access to all the support and tools they need. Employees need clear goals, immediate feedback and the right balance between their abilities and tasks. For any organisation this requires real-time information about employees, which includes how they are feeling.  

engaged teams were 17 per cent more productive and experienced 41 per cent less absenteeism.

HR software is moving employees into the flow

It’s here that advanced HR tools offer new transformative capabilities. Software built around the science of flow helps people get into the zone as often as possible and records, monitors and contextualises their engagement. It goes far beyond more efficient time management and supervision and way beyond annual employee engagement surveys. 

Employees, can for example, use a chatbot via their smartphones, to record their current mood, providing managers with critical up-to-date information about their level of engagement. Managers can then see each member of their team plotted against a graphical flow chart, giving them real-time insights into team morale. 

It may seem like a chore, but these types of tools enhance the individual needs of the employee, helping them understand what makes them tick at work, and encourages regular discussions between them and their manager. Ultimately this knowledge feeds collaboration that allows the employee to spend more time in the flow.

If necessary, the software will trigger temporary blocks for non-urgent emails, giving staff the head-space they need to really lose themselves in their work. If an employee falls out of the flow, their manager will know straight away. This represents a huge departure from a time when managers had little idea about employee disengagement until it was too late. This way problems can be identified and resolved far more quickly. 

Scheduled, informed and regular check-ins boost productivity

The scheduling of frequent informal check-ins to discuss the employee’s mindset as well as their performance and future goals is essential in this. It ensures a manager addresses the difficulties and optimises performance.  

It is a question of aligning the employee and the organisation, so they work towards the same desired outcome. Alignment is important because all of us want a challenge to avoid boredom, but none of us want to experience constant stress. Again, the balance between the two will depend on the individual. 

An important element in this is allowing employees to develop their skills. Advanced HR software will provide a range of attractive options for skills upgrades, training and education that are relevant to the individual in real time. Some employees have to be prompted to upgrade their skills, while others are deeply frustrated if they feel they have no opportunities to develop. 


Global competition makes productivity a burning topic in the financial sector. Yet as much as automation and artificial intelligence will shape the future, businesses must now consider how to nurture and optimise their most vital resource through more sophisticated HR technology. 

The productivity gap can only be overcome by getting more employees into the flow more often. To do that, all financial organisations must use all the tools available to them. 

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Elavon Partners with Featurespace to Build Fraud Prevention Network

Elavon, the payments provider, today announces a partnership with Featurespace, to help tackle fraud attacks in real-time and simplify the online payments experience for consumers.

With the use of Featurespace’s innovative ARIC™ Platform, Elavon is developing a fraud network to detect fraudulent activity using adaptive behavioural analytics.

Elavon’s fraud network comes as Europe prepares for the second Payments Services Directive (PSD2) that requires Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) to have affect from September 2019. PSD2 will compel processors, merchants and banks to adopt more effective security checks for online payments in order to reduce card fraud in Europe.

According to a report published by the European Central Bank, Card-Not-Present fraud made up 73% of all card fraud in Europe. Two-factor authentication will be compulsory for all eCommerce transactions above €30, unless an acquirer exempts the payment from additional authentication with the issuer.

Card-Not-Present fraud made up 73% of all card fraud in Europe

Elavon’s network detects instances of fraud to help mitigate the need for additional security checks, which can make the online shopping experience more complicated. Research from Elavon’s report, “Pocket Shoppers: eCommerce on the Move found that two-thirds of consumers will abandon an online purchase if the process is too difficult, leading to a higher rate of cart abandonment.   

Combining the Featurespace ARIC™ platform and Elavon’s 3DS service enables merchants to use an advanced, layered approach to fraud prevention. The ARIC™ platform uses machine learning transaction monitoring to build individual behavioural profiles for cardholders and merchants in real-time. This system works to detect anomalies and prevent fraud across all payment methods and channels.

Hannah Fitzsimons, EVP and General Manager of Elavon Merchant Services commented: “Elavon is delighted to work with Featurespace to bring top fraud prevention solutions to market to protect merchants and consumers. We are committed to developing the most innovative fraud and security solutions in the payments industry.”

Martina King, CEO of Featurespace said: “1.3 million customers worldwide rely on Elavon to safeguard their businesses. Working together means we will be staying one step ahead of criminals at all times. It is an honour to have been selected to protect Elavon and their clients.”

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Revolut Youth targets new customer segment – Kids and Teenagers

Arunkumar Krishnakumar is a Venture Capital investor at Green Shores Capital focusing on sustainable deep-tech investments.

Catch ‘em young is banker marketing mantra – people rarely change from their first bank. UK with c. 20% of the population under 18 is an example. This is where top neobank Revolut offers “Revolut Youth” for 7-18 years old. Neobanks cannot use the parental inertia route (use the bank that parents always used). This is a parent controlled child account – parents make the decision, but sub accounts are specific to the child – appealing to parents with low fees, controllable, educational. Good for both parent & kids = winner.

Just when I think Fintechs are starting to run out of ideas, I see one that is focusing on kids and teenagers, and my hopes are up again. Almost about a year ago, I did an interview with Arman Rousta, the CEO of Kidcoin.

It was with so much enthusiasm that he described why Financial education at an early stage would help kids with real life challenges as they grow up. Arman explained that kids learn the concept of value at an early stage – as they bargain toffees for good behaviour.

Since then, there have been a series of Fintech firms focused on kids, teens and the next generation of potential users.


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As per the Office of National Statistics in the UK, about 20% of the UK population are under 18 years old. That is approximately 13 Million kids. In the context of the UK, that is a shrinking market due to the ageing population, but still a big market. Many top Fintechs have started looking into this space.

Revolut is looking to launch an experience called “Revolut Youth” for 7-18 years old. The roll out will involve first creating a parent controlled child account. In the UK children of this age range earned about £4.5 Billion in 2018. That is roughly about £350 per child per year.

This may not look like a lot of money for a bank. However, these children get absorbed into mainstream Revolut accounts as soon as they hit 18 years of age. As per behaviour of account holders go, customers tend to stick to their first bank account for life. Therefore, this is definitely a market to tap.

On the other side of the pond, Atlanta based Fintech startup Greenlight raised $54 Million in Series B funding. Greenlight provide a debit card and a financial education platform for kids. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo participated in this funding round. The idea is to train kids with financial concepts, and teach them about the importance of saving money at an early age.

The Greenlight app allows children to perform chores and earn money through that. They can also receive funds from parents, with limits defined on spending. Parents will receive alerts when their children spend. The app also allows kids to have savings goals, and allows parents to decide the retail outlets that kids can shop in. The app has brought over 500,000 customers to Greenlight so far.

Greenlight offers parents an opportunity to build that core competency of financial literacy in their child’s formative years.

– Thomas Richardson, Head of Strategic Partnership Investing. Wells Fargo

Another startup, that focuses on Children is Go-Henry, which is a Children’s pocket money card. They have a similar proposition to Greenlight. They put the parents in control by providing them spending alerts on the childrens’ accounts. Kids can learn about money through completing tasks, spending responsibly and working towards savings goals.

While most of these existing apps onboard children through their parents, US based firm Step and France based Kurd, directly go to Children and involve parents in the onboarding process (KYC). It is a riskier strategy, but Kurd reports a 80% success rate with onboarding.

With so many different players getting into this market, and a few different approaches being tested, this space is getting really interesting. I personally believe that Neobanks  have an edge here. Revolut has got their noses ahead, can they stay there?

United Trust Bank is using selfies for identity verification

United Trust Bank is using facial recognition technology to speed up its mortgage application process. The bank, which launched the service this week through a partnership with technology firm Nivo Solutions, is trying to eliminate the customer pain point of verifying identity, a requirement for mortgages in Britain.  United Trust claims that identity verification is …Read More

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Stripe becomes third most valuable startup in the US

Payments platform Stripe became one of the most highly valued startups in the world on Thursday, after it announced a new funding round at a $35 billion valuation. In the U.S., only vaping giant Juul Labs Inc. and the troubled We Co. are more valuable.

Stripe raised $250 million in funding in the new round, which the company said will be used to continue to expand around the world and launch new products. In September alone, it launched a new lending product as well as a corporate credit card. General Catalyst, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz are among the participating investors in the round. Stripe’s previous valuation was $23 billion.

“Our investors sense that we are still in the early stages of our opportunity,” said John Collison, Stripe’s co-founder and president. “We’re now processing hundreds of billions of dollars a year.”

The San Francisco-based company counts both startups and tech giants among the customers for its core payments processing services, with Uber Technologies Inc. and Inc. using it for some transactions. Stripe has also continued to add more products, including fraud protection, billing and credit card services. It makes money by taking a portion of each transaction.

Stripe was founded in 2010 by John and Patrick Collison, 29 and 31, who immigrated to Silicon Valley to pursue careers in technology after growing up in Ireland. The company’s latest round dramatically increased Stripe’s value to $35 billion, not counting the more than $1 billion investors have poured into the company. Its valuation jump comes as some of the highest profile tech startups have struggled in the public markets. Uber and Lyft Inc., which both listed shares publicly this year, are trading below their IPO price, and the We Co. delayed its public offering. Recently, WeWork’s market value has been called into question by investors.

John Collison said that the company was not planning an IPO in the near future. “We’re very happy as an independent company,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have investors that bring a pretty long-term mindset to this.”

Grasshopper Bank CEO Erwin to speak at Bank Innovation Build

Judith Erwin, CEO of Grasshopper Bank

New York City-based Grasshopper Bank is building a digital banking product ecosystem for the startup community. Grasshopper, which earlier this year acquired a banking license from the Office of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is designing a banking experience with founders in mind, on the heels of the growth of direct-to-consumer challenger banks.

At Bank Innovation Build, which will take place in Atlanta on November 6-7, Judith Erwin, CEO of Grasshopper, will speak about designing the bank of the future and Grasshopper’s model for building a sustainable business. Among the topics to be discussed on the panel include design thinking applications, building innovative approaches internally and brand implications.

In a recent interview, Erwin told Bank Innovation that Grasshopper, through a full-blown banking license, can differentiate from other new entrants to the banking sphere with a self-sufficient revenue model. In the execution of its mission, Grasshopper also promotes access to resources from a diverse group of founders. In launching the bank, Judith and her fellow Grasshoppers achieved a number of firsts: the first U.S. digital commercial bank; the first new bank in New York in 10 years; and a significant fundraise — all under the leadership of a female CEO and a female chief financial officer.

Erwin is an industry veteran and former executive vice president of venture capital services at Square 1 Bank. For more than 20 years, she held a variety of banking roles in both New York and San Francisco, including senior positions at Comerica Bank and Imperial Bank. Throughout, she worked to provide venture firms and entrepreneurs with a banking partner that went above and beyond their needs.

Bank Innovation Build will take place in Atlanta on November 6-7. Other agenda items include implementing next-generation customer experience; speeding up development times at banks; operational considerations; user experience design; and bank-fintech collaborations. Register here and save with early bird rates ending September 27th

Finicity Launches Verification of Income and Employment Solution

Real-time financial data access and insights company Finicity has unveiled its latest solution to accelerate the lending process and further the trend toward digitization in the mortgage industry. This week, the company launched its Verification of Income and Employment (VOIE) solution, which leverages bank data and a scan, photo, or PDF of the borrower’s pay statement to make borrower verifications both faster and more accurate. In its statement Finicity noted that VOIE is expected to successfully provide coverage of more than 70%. This compares favorably to the accuracy rates of existing automated solutions, which top out near 25%.

Calling Finicity’s VOIE “the new gold standard of income and employment verification,” company CEO Steve Smith suggested the technology would be a significant new resource for lenders. “We know it will be met with fast adoption by key industry players who aim to be on the cutting edge of lending technology,” he said, adding “(with) VOIE building upon our current Verification of Assets solution, lenders will now be able to use Finicity as a one-stop-shop for digital verification.”

Appreciation for Finicity’s VOIE solution has already been heard from the likes of major mortgage industry players such as Freddie Mac, Quicken Loans, and Experian – all of which have leveraged Finicity’s technology to automate the manual processes that have historically made the loan origination experience cumbersome for all parties involved.

Freddie Mac, for example, highlighted the contribution Finicity’s VOIE would bring to its own asset and income modeler (AIM). “(Our) partnership with Finicity has helped to create a waterfall-like approach by adding paystub data to our AIM capability using accurate and verifiable data that meet our underwriting standards,” Senior Director of Technology Integration at Freddie Mac Kevin Kaufman said. “This means more opportunities for representation and warranty relief and greater costs savings for lenders all while delivering a better lending experience to borrowers.”

Quicken Loans EVP of Client Experience Heather Lovier echoed Kaufman’s praise for the technology, referring to VOIE as “a critical next step in the evolution of the mortgage process.”

The news of Finicity’s Verification of Income and Employment solution comes one month after the company introduced its Student Loan Account Verification solution. This technology enables employer repayment programs to access Finicity’s ACH endpoint to confirm the accuracy of accounts and routing numbers when making loan payments on behalf of their employees. Fellow Finovate alum Vault is among the companies to have partnered with Finicity in order to put the technology to work on behalf of employer-based student loan contribution programs.

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Finicity demonstrated its credit decisioning solutions – including its Verification of Income (VoI) and Verification of Assets (VoA) technology – at FinovateFall 2017. The company has raised nearly $80 million in funding, and includes Experian Ventures and Bridge Bank among its investors.

Earlier this year, Finicity inked a major partnership with Ellie Mae, integrating its Verification of Assets solution into Ellie Mae’s Encompass Digital Lending Platform. This makes Finicity’s technology available to the more than 230,000 users and thousands of providers who, as part of Ellie Mae’s partner network, process “approximately one-third” of all the residential loans originated in the U.S.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Wallit

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

Wallit is a rewards-based savings app that helps teens save and spend money with an easy way to earn cash rewards from brands and retailers.


  • Transforms how brands, retailers, and consumers engage through mobile technology
  • Provides a consumer engagement platform for banks and credit unions
  • Enables consumers to earn cash rewards for goal-based savings

Why it’s great
Wallit is a rewards-based saving app that empowers teens to manage money better with an easy way to earn cash rewards on everyday saving and spending.


Mike Vien, CEO and Co-Founder
Vien has more than 25 years of experience as an internet executive and entrepreneur in the financial services industry.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Qwil Messenger

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

Qwil Messenger’s single chat app enables participants in any location to engage in branded, professional conversations with their companies, whilst meeting the most stringent security and regulatory requirements.


  • Highly secure conversations and file transfers with full audit record
  • Deployable in minutes in any data center globally
  • APIs for integration and automation and connectors to enterprise systems

Why it’s great
Qwil Messenger’s single chat platform replaces email for external communications on mobile and web, and works the way you want it to: as an integrated solution


Laurent Guyot, CFO
Guyot brings extensive experience in financial strategy, marketing, and capital raising, as well as a significant network of financial services contacts globally.

Peter Reading, CEO
Reading has almost 20 years of experience designing and delivering technology-led change in the financial services sector.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Symbiotic

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

Symbiotic is presenting a disruption that will change the payments industry; a mechanism that enables a simple cellphone to accept contactless card payments with no additional devices required.


  • Now anyone with a cell phone can accept contactless card payments
  • No additional devices required, just a cellphone
  • This solution can be integrated with apps that already exist very easily

Why it’s great
Symbiotic represents a new paradigm where anyone can accept card payments with just a cellphone, no additional devices required. The possibilities are enormous and create a new era of applications in the payments industry


Javier Chacon, Founder and CEO
Chacon has been a banker for 26 years working in the finance industry. He is an expert in digital transformation, payment methods, and innovation, as well as an industry opinion leader in the field.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: MoEngage

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

MoEngage is an Intelligent Customer Engagement Platform trusted by enterprises to personalize every customer interaction and drive better engagement, retention, loyalty and lifetime value.


  • Bring together a unified view of your customers
  • Map out cross channel consumer journeys
  • Deliver personalized communication on the right channel and at the right time

Why it’s great
MoEngage has been rated by clients among the highest in overall experience in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant 2019.


Ehren Maedge, VP North America
Maedge heads MoEngage’s business in North America. He is directly responsible for sales and customer relationships in the region.

Sagar Gore, Sr. Director – Solutions Consulting
Gore is a seasoned MarTech professional with a rich experience of solutions consulting spanning around 15 years.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Salary Fits

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

Get a glimpse of the future of financial wellbeing at the workplace with SalaryFits. The company will demo its easy and inclusive access to credit, as well as preview its newest feature, SalaryPay.


  • Provides a cardless salary advance alternative for the unbanked
  • Enables paying for products and services with a QR code
  • Processes transactions seamlessly via salary deduction

Why it’s great
SalaryFits empowers people financially through their employment relationship. The solution improves their financial wellbeing while increasing margins for financial institutions.


Delber Lage, CEO
Lage has advised finance and tech companies around the world to capture global opportunities. As CEO of SalaryFits, he is leading the company’s international expansion, ensuring sustainable growth.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Wise

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

Wise offers banking and payments services for the small business ecosystem.


  • Unified small business banking + payments experience
  • High Interest Checking (2% APY)
  • Instant funding on receiving payments
  • Push to debit payments
  • Business debit, credit, and virtual cards

Why it’s great
Get paid instantly and put money in the bank. No more waiting for transactions to clear.


Arjun Thyagarajan, Co-Founder and CEO
Thyagarajan is the co-founder and CEO at Wise, bringing product and technology leadership with over 15 years of experience in building and launching successful consumer and SMB products.

Suresh Venkatraman, Co-Founder and CTO
Venkatraman is the co-founder and CTO at Wise. He is a full stack technologist and product architect bringing over 20 years of experience building software products with over 9 years at Microsoft.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: IncomeConductor

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

With IncomeConductor, financial advisors can create, track, and manage comprehensive income plans for clients seeking exceptional retirement experiences.


  • 30+ year written income plans give clients confidence to retire
  • Daily analytics with automated de-risking alerts to protect income
  • Investor behavior management, increasing AUM capture and retention

Why it’s great
IncomeConductor gives advisors a compliant, repeatable process for serving the largest retirement cohort in history, helping them grow and ultimately transition their practice at a high valuation.


Sheryl O’Connor, CEO
Connor has 25+ years of leadership experience in fintech. She co-founded and grew RIA to $900M AUM. She is an expert in strategic planning and executive management. LinkedIn

Tom O’Connor, CMO
O’Connor has 10+ years of experience in financial services, technology, and digital marketing. He is head of technology for a $900M AUM RIA, and an expert in digital marketing, investment data analysis. LinkedIn

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: PayFi

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 23 through 25, 2019 in New York City. Register today and save your spot.

PayFi is a marketplace that allows businesses and community banks to partner through an interoperable, risk-based back-office platform for community bankers.


  • Instant bank bill payment
  • Liquidity
  • Cash controls

Why it’s great
PayFi is a real-time payments platform for community banks and businesses.


Travis Dulaney, CEO
Dulaney has 25+ years of experience in financial services, payments tech, processing, international and domestic banking, and regulatory agencies such as the FDIC, the Federal Reserve, OCFI, and CFPB.

Peter Gordon, CRO
Gordon has 25+ years of experience in financial services and payments, with leadership roles at Mastercard, Santander, FIS, and RBS Citizens.

Stripe raises $250M for global expansion, new products to bring valuation to $35B

Stripe raises $250M for global expansion, new products to bring valuation to $35B

Stripe Connect

Stripe announced a new $250 million funding round from a group of investors including General Catalyst, Sequoia and Andreesen Horowitz, placing the payments firm at a pre-money valuation of $35 billion. 

Stripe said the new funding round will be used to fuel its international expansion, to grow its enterprise payments business and to expand its suite of products. 

“Even now in 2019, less than 8% of commerce happens online,” John Collison, co-founder and president, said in a company release. “We’re investing now to build the infrastructure that’ll power commerce in 2030 and beyond. If we get it right, we can help the internet fulfill its potential as an engine for global economic progress.” 

Stripe said it has built a Global Payments and Treasury Network, as well as several new products that sit atop that system, including Connect, Billing, Terminal and Radar. The company said billions of dollars in business from entrepreneurs to enterprise companies are using its payments system, including GitHub, Wayfair, Twilio and TheRealReal. 

Stripe recently expanded to eight new countries, bringing the total number to 40, covering 70 of the global economy. The firm plans to add additional markets in 2020. 

Cover image courtesy of Stripe.

Topics: Financial News, Mobile Payments, Online Purchasing, Technology Providers, Transaction Processing, Venture Capital

Companies: Stripe

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