Climate Engagement Innovator ecolytiq and Visa Bring Carbon Emission Tracking to Qatar Islamic Bank

Climate Engagement Innovator ecolytiq and Visa Bring Carbon Emission Tracking to Qatar Islamic Bank

Qatar’s leading digital bank, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has teamed up with Visa and sustainability-as-a-service innovator ecolytiq to help customers better understand the environmental impact of their financial activity.

“This partnership marks a monumental shift in the market,” ecolytiq co-founder and Managing Director Davis Lais said. “Climate engagement in banking is coming to Qatar.”

Courtesy of the partnership, QIB will integrate a new Carbon Emission Tracker feature into its mobile app. The tracker will help foster environmental awareness among banking customers and encourage climate-friendly spending behavior and consumption habits. The technology will also enable QIB to determine the carbon footprint created from its retail banking customers spending activity and use that data to refine both specific transactions as well as customer profiles.

Lais added, “Our innovative work with QIB and Visa is giving banking customers in Qatar more transparency and choice to live sustainably. We are proud to have been chosen to help QIB guide their customers through the complexity of the environmental crisis by making this a fundamental part of QIB’s banking experience. QIB has decided to embrace the future of banking by being a part of it.”

The new partnership follows the release of QIB’s third sustainability report. The report articulated the bank’s sustainability initiatives, noting progress in steps taken to manage climate-related risks. This includes QIB’s adoption of the Equator Principles, making ESG concerns a part of the bank’s risk management process.

This month, QIB was named “2023 Bank of the Year in Qatar” by The Banker magazine, a Financial Times publication. In accepting the award, QIB Group CEO Bassel Gamal referenced the banks efforts toward greater sustainability. “We have assumed a substantial role in championing the shift towards a more sustainable economy, incorporating ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors in our credit assessment and risk management processes, thus promoting sustainable practices among our corporate borrowers.”

Established in 1982, Doha, Qatar-based, QIB reported total assets of more than $4.6 billion (QAR 187 billion) this year. The bank has 23 branches, more than 170 ATMs, and approximately 36% of the total assets of domestic Sharia-compliant banks.

ecolytiq’s partnership with QIB is the fintech’s second big win in MENA in as many months. In November, ecolytiq – along with Visa – worked with Dubai-based Mashreq to facilitate the launch of the bank’s climate banking platform. The platform overlays carbon emissions calculations onto transaction data, and leverages advanced carbon footprint analytics to personalize climate insights.

Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Berlin, Germany, ecolytiq introduced itself to Finovate audiences at our developers conference, FinDEVR 2021. In addition to its bank partnerships, ecolytiq also has teamed up with a number of fintechs. These include partnerships with fellow Finovate alums Mambu in July and Tink in June. Mambu will make ecolytiq’s sustainability-as-a-service solution available via its marketplace that serves more than 100 million end users. The Tink partnership will embed ecolytiq’s carbon tracking services and other sustainability features into its open banking platform.

“Pairing open banking with sustainable banking is good news for financial institutions looking to make a difference,” ecolytiq co-founder and Managing Director Ulrich Pietsch said.

Photo by Abdullah Ghatasheh

Finovate Global Germany: Ecolytiq Partners with Tatra Banka; Airbank Inks Deal with Klarna Kosma

Finovate Global Germany: Ecolytiq Partners with Tatra Banka; Airbank Inks Deal with Klarna Kosma

This week’s edition of Finovate Global takes a look at recent fintech developments in Germany where green banking, embedded finance, and open banking are the themes at the top of this week’s fintech headlines.

First up, Berlin-based Sustainability-as-a-Service innovator ecolytiq announced that it was teaming up with Slovakian financial institution Tatra Banka. The climate engagement fintech will provide Tatra Banka with the technology the firm needs in order to launch new green banking functionality on its online banking brand, Blue Planet. The new feature, which will be made available to Tatra Banka’s more than 600,000 customers, will enable users to monitor the impact their transactions may have on the environment (for example, with CO2 emissions), provide users with ideas on how to reduce their environmental impact, and offer rewards for spending that is environmentally friendly.

Founded in 2020, ecolytiq demonstrated its technology at Finovate’s developer event, FinDEVr 2021, which was held as a part of FinovateSpring that year. Putting accurate data at the center of the ability to move toward greater environmental sustainability, ecolytiq demonstrated how its open knowledge graph and streaming technology keep its data relevant and current. More recently, the company announced a strategic partnership with exceet Card Group, makers of sustainable payment cards made from wood and, the following month, teamed up with French sustainable neobank Green-Got.

Peter Golha, a director at Tatra Banka said that the institution believed it had a a role to play in the transition toward a more environmentally sustainable economy. “Not only have we a chance to change our own trajectory, but also a chance to live the topic of sustainability alongside our clients,” Golha said.

Founded in 1990, Tatra Banka was the first private bank to be established in Slovakia. Winner of the TREND Bank of the Year award for two years in a row, Tatra Banka announced this spring that it had achieved its greatest profit to date, reporting $164 million (EUR 162.1) in consolidated profits for the financial year 2021.

Second, German financial management platform for businesses Airbank inked a deal with Klarna Kosma this week. Klarna Kosma is an open banking platform launched by Swedish e-commerce innovator Klarna this spring. Seen as a rival to fellow Finovate alum Tink and its open banking platform, Klarna Kosma offers financial institutions, fintechs, and merchants connectivity to more than 15,000 banks in 24 countries around the world via a single API. Kosma was made possible in many ways by Klarna’s acquisition of direct, bank-to-bank payments company SOFORT in 2014, and Klarna has been developing and expanding the service ever since.

“Over the past year, the demand for Open Banking services from financial institutions and fintech startups has reached a tipping point,” Klarna Kosma VP Wilko Klaassen said. “(This) is why we have built a dedicated business unit which brings together engineering, product management, sales and marketing all together in the same team to focus on this $15 billion, fast-growing market.”

Airbank will leverage its new relationship with Klarna Kosma to “accelerate” its expansion into European markets and beyond. Airbank enables businesses to consolidate their bank accounts in a single location, allowing them to more easily automate bill management, make payments, and manage their finances. Companies also can use Airbank’s platform to track their financial transactions and forecast future liquidity. The partnership with Klarna Kosma will make it possible for Airbank to securely access account information from thousands of banks around the world, expand more aggressively, and better serve its SME customers that have global requirements.

“By the end of this year, we will serve over 50 counties, making Airbank the most comprehensive global banking solution for SMEs in the industry, with the ability to connect bank accounts from almost anywhere in the world,” Airbank founder and CEO Christopher Zemina said. “We are delighted to have Klarna Kosma as an experienced and dynamic partner that shares our ambition to shape the future of B2B financial management.”

Lastly, early in the week we learned that Berlin-based embedded finance startup Monite had teamed up with Codat, a U.K. firm that offers a universal API to enable access to consented business data from banking, accounting, and ecommerce platforms. The partnership will enable both SaaS platforms and financial institutions to integrate invoicing and billing functionality into their apps. This will allow platforms and institutions to offer businesses a unified solution for managing their financial operations.

In a statement, the CEOs of both Monite and Codat praised the great variety of financial apps and platforms dedicated to serving SMEs. The challenge, according to both Monite CEO Ivan Maryasin and Codat CEO Pete Lord, is that the variety can be overwhelming for many small businesses. “What’s still missing are the ‘super apps’ that bring everything together,” Maryasin said. “It can be time-consuming to manage and get the most out of them all,” concurred Lord.

Founded in 2020, Monite has raised $7.8 million in funding for its technology that empowers financial institutions and platforms to offer financial services such as multi-banking, AP automation, invoicing, and more to their customers. London, U.K.-based Codat neared unicorn status last month upon raising $100 million in Series C funding. The investment took the company’s total funding to more than $176 million and gave Codat a valuation of $825 million. The round was led by JPMorgan Partners, and featured participation from Plaid and Shopify.

Founded in 2017, Codat began this year with the announcement of a partnership with Moody’s Analytics to enhance small business lending.

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.


Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Austrian fintech, which specializes in providing financial solutions for SMEs, raised more than $10 million in Series A funding.
  • Rubicon, a fintech headquartered in Albania, announced an expanded partnership with Mastercard.
  • Latvia’s Crassula, a white label cloud banking software company, teamed up with Canadian open banking solutions provider Salt Edge.

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean

Photo by XU CHEN

Tink Inks Climate Sustainability Partnership with ecolytiq

Tink Inks Climate Sustainability Partnership with ecolytiq

Sustainability-as-a-Service company ecolytiq has announced a partnership with Visa-owned, European open banking platform Tink that will bring personalized impact footprint calculations and other pro-sustainability solutions to banks, financial institutions, and fintechs. The technology, which helps encourage customers to shift their behavior toward more sustainable choices in terms of spending, will be available initially in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) and eventually expanded to other, larger markets in Europe.

“ecolytiq’s solution was created with the ability to quickly scale, because we know that global warming needs exponential climate action enablers,” ecolytiq CEO and co-founder Ulrich Pietsch said. “Tink is a strategic partner with a proven track record for enabling banks and fintechs to deliver the data-driven digital solutions their customers want and need. ecolytiq is the next-generation of these products.”

Ecolytiq’s products include ecoAware, which uses country-specific calculations to determine a customer’s personal environmental impact based on their bank transactions; ecoEngage, which helps bank customers determine ways to reduce their environmental impact via feedback loops, footprint analytics, and peer group comparisons; and ecoAction, which enables bank customers to offset their environmental impact via donations to ecolytiq’s certified offsetting partners. ecoAction allows individuals to compensate 100% or more of their carbon footprint, and ecolytiq plans to soon add ESG investment funds as a donation destination as well as the ability to select a green energy provider with its ecoSwitch solution.

An alum of Finovate’s developers conference, ecolytiq demonstrated its technology at FinDEVr 2021 earlier this year. Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Berlin, Germany, ecolytiq has already forged partnerships with Visa, FinTecSystems, challenger bank Tomorrow, and Worldline. Over the summer, the company won recognition in the Impact Shakers Awards in the “Education” category.

Two-time Best of Show winner Tink, based in Stockholm, Sweden, most recently demonstrated its technology on the Finovate stage at our European conference in 2019. The company’s open banking platform handles more than one billion API calls a month; supports more than 3,400 bank and financial institution integration partners; and reaches more than 250 million bank customers across Europe. Tink’s products help institutions confirm account ownership and verify income; provide up-to-date, standardized and categorized transaction data; offer a fully embedded payments experience to boost engagement and conversion, and enable firms to build smart, intuitive personal finance management solutions. In addition to its partnership with ecolytiq, Tink has also recently embarked upon collaborations with French payments service provider Lemonway and German PFM app Placons.

“The combination of Tink’s transactions product and ecolytiq’s sustainability expertise creates a valuable proposition for financial institutions and fintechs across the DACH region to offer services that better measure and help reduce carbon footprint,” Tink Regional Director for the DACH region Cyrosch Kalateh said. “We look forward to extending this partnership in the future, helping ecolytiq to expand at speed across Europe on our open banking platform.”

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FinDEVr Shines a Light on Fintech’s Developers at FinovateSpring

FinDEVr Shines a Light on Fintech’s Developers at FinovateSpring

With apologies to LL Cool J, feel free to call it a comeback.

FinDEVr, our conference series dedicated to developers in fintech and financial services, is back. We’re saving the final day of FinovateSpring this year to shine a light on the role that developers continue to play in building and applying the technologies that keep fintech at the cutting edge.

Some of Finovate’s most illustrious alums have, in fact, been alums of FinDEVr. Among those at the top of the list are innovators like Plaid. The company, nearly acquired by Visa for more than $5 billion last year, was a big part of one of our earliest FinDEVr events in 2014 where it introduced its “API for Financial Infrastructure” to fintech audiences.

FinDEVr has also served as a platform for innovative fintechs not just from outside of Silicon Valley, but from outside the U.S., as well. An excellent example of this kind of FinDEVr alum is Nubank. Making its FinDEVr debut at our first developers conference on the east coast, FinDEVr New York, in 2016, the Brazilian financial services startup has grown into a major regional neobank and the biggest fintech in Latin America with more than 34 million customers.

For this year’s return, FinDEVr will feature a quintet (or more!) of innovative companies that are busying building tomorrow’s fintech today. Each company will provide both a TECHTalk and an informative workshop to dive deeper into the enabling technologies being discussed. Take a look at our current line-up below, as well as the topics we’ll be talking about.

Connecting Siloed Financial Data: Open Banking’s Impact on the Financial Experience

Join Finicity as they explore the implications of an open financial ecosystem, shifting control to consumers, what the impact is for technologists and developers, and how open banking is being leveraged to improve financial literacy and inclusion. Finicity will follow this with a workshop on how to leverage the power of open banking with a hands-on introduction to their platform. Learn more.

The Tango: Operationalizing Predictive Models, an Engineering and Data Science Collaboration

Instnt will examine the different workflows followed by data science and engineering and discuss why they must come together in the deployment and maintenance of application models. The conversation will be followed by a workshop on rapid feature development and analysis in the identity verification space. Learn more.

Simplifying the complex with an innovative tech stack

LoanPro’s TECHTalk will discuss the importance of a modern and secure technology stack that is cloud-based, uses a configuration first approach, and maintains security throughout the process. LoanPro will follow up with a workshop on how to connect with and build loans via LoanPro’s API in less than 90 minutes. Learn more.

Data for sustainability

What is the relationship between data, sustainability, and financial services? In their TECHTalk Ecolytiq will discuss how their Sustainability-as-a-Service model helps ensure that financial institutions have access to relevant, contextual information at the right time. After the presentation, Ecolytiq will lead a conversation on how to ethically manage different data assets, and how to integrate them into the decision-making process. Learn more.

Scalable fintech product development

How can product development teams keep up with the rapid pace of fintech product adoption while remaining efficient and keeping costs down? Praxent’s TECHTalk will examine this challenge in greater detail and highlight ways to resolve productivity challenges. The workshop afterward will feature best practices for identifying bottlenecks in the development process and how to accurately benchmark your team’s progress. Learn more.

To find out more about the return of FinDEVr, visit the FinDEVr section of our FinovateSpring hub for more information.

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