Napier Teams up with Customer Lifecycle Management Specialist KYC Portal

Napier Teams up with Customer Lifecycle Management Specialist KYC Portal
  • Intelligent compliance technology company Napier has teamed up with client lifecycle management platform KYC Portal.
  • The partnership wil help companies eliminate the problem of siloes in compliance operations by integrating know your customer (KYC) and compliance processes.
  • KYC Portal made its most recent Finovate appearance at FinovateEurope in 2019.

Intelligent compliance technology company Napier and client lifecycle management platform KYC Portal have announced a new partnership. The two companies will work together to help companies integrate know your customer (KYC) and compliance processes, removing the problem of siloes from compliance operations.

KYC Portal’s KYC Portal CLM is a Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and anti-money laundering (AML) orchestration platform. The solution works in real-time to automate, centralize, and simplify the due diligence process. KYC Portal CLM boosts efficiency with a dynamic workflow that reduces both risk exposure and the cost to maintain that risk. Integrating KYCP’s technology with Napier’s transaction monitoring module will provide faster, more accurate alerts to compliance professionals.

“KYC is the ability to know your customer, their activity, and whether it poses risk to your organization,” KYC Portal founder and CEO Kristoff Zammit Ciantar said. “With knowledge on the entire customer lifecycle, from onboarding and beyond, compliance teams are empowered to have a greater view on customer risk.”

Founded in 2008, KYC Portal most recently demoed its technology at FinovateEurope in London in 2019. At the conference, the company demoed its compliance solution that enables organizations to collate all data on subjects under review. This data resides in a single, centralized, secure repository with customizable parameters, rules, user rights, and collaborative functionality.

KYC Portal began the month with news that its platform had earned a spot on the RegTech 100 for 2024. Earlier this year, the Malta-based company announced an integration with global identity verification platform Shufti Pro. KYC Portal also announced this year a number of platform enhancements to make integration with third-party data sources easier.

Looking to demo your latest fintech innovation? Applications are now being accepted for demoing companies at FinovateEurope in London, February 27 and 28, 2024. Visit our FinovateEurope hub for more!

Photo by Polina Kovaleva

AML Specialist Refine Intelligence Raises $13 Million in Seed Funding to Fuel Global Growth

AML Specialist Refine Intelligence Raises $13 Million in Seed Funding to Fuel Global Growth
  • Financial crime and AML specialist Refine Intelligence has raised $13 million in funding.
  • The round was led by Glilot Capital Partners and Fin Capital. The capital will be used to fuel international expansion.
  • Refine Intelligence made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope earlier this year in London.

Financial crime solution provider Refine Intelligence has secured an investment of $13 million. The funding round was led by Glilot Capital Partners of Tel Aviv, Israel, and FinCapital of San Francisco, California. Also participating in the round were SYN Ventures and Ground Up Ventures, among others. The company, which made its Finovate debut earlier this year at FinovateEurope in London, will use the capital to help fuel international expansion.

“Banks used to have a superpower: knowing their customers’ life stories so they could provide personalized financial service,” Refine Intelligence CEO Uri Rivner said. “With banking increasingly done online and a significant drop in face-to-face interactions, banks’ understanding of customer behavior is limited.”

To this end, Rivner explained, Refine Intelligence helps banks better identify the false alarms that can be inadvertently triggered by otherwise legitimate customer activity. This strategy of helping banks “catch the good guys,” as Refine Intelligence puts it, enables financial fraud teams to focus on truly suspicious behavior.

The list of transactions that most often trigger false alarms is fairly alarming in its own right. According to Refine Intelligence, 64% of all AML alerts come from just five scenarios: payments for cash-intensive workers, gift giving or receiving, automobile purchases or sales, and payment for construction projects. Devoting resources to the false alarms that plague these transactions is a time-consuming and inefficient process that Refine Intelligence helps eliminate for banks.

Founded in 2033, Refine Intelligence made its Finovate debut earlier this year at FinovateEurope in London. At the conference, the company demoed its Life Story Analytics solution. An anti-money laundering solution “designed for real life,” Life Story Analytics leverages AI to identify the “life story” behind any alert issued by the transaction monitoring system. The technology automatically explains the issue with the transaction in question to the fraud monitoring team. This enables teams to clear alerts faster, provide full explainability to regulators, lower caseload, and improve overall risk management. Refine Intelligence says the technology has produced a 90% reduction in time and resources devoted to managing alerts.

In addition to the company’s recent funding, Refine Intelligence was recognized this summer in the AI FinTech100. The roster highlights companies in financial services that are innovating in the field of AI.

Read our Finovate Global interview with Refine Intelligence CEO Uri Rivner. Long time fintech fans may recall that Uri Rivner previously founded behavioral biometrics company and Finovate alum, BioCatch.

Looking to demo your latest fintech innovation? Applications are now being accepted for demoing companies at FinovateEurope in London, February 27 and 28, 2024. Visit our FinovateEurope hub for more!

Photo by Manel and Sean

Adyen Partners with Klarna as Acquiring Bank

Adyen Partners with Klarna as Acquiring Bank
  • Adyen and Klarna are extending their partnership, with Adyen agreeing to serve as the acquiring bank for Klarna.
  • The two fintechs first partnered ten years ago, when Adyen started offering Klarna’s buy now, pay later technology to its customers.
  • Klarna has evolved from BNPL into a shopping marketplace and currently hosts 500,000 merchants on its platform marketing to 150 million shoppers who transact two million times each day.

Netherlands-based fintech platform Adyen and Sweden-based ecommerce solutions provider and shopping platform Klarna are doubling down on their partnership. The two announced this week that Klarna will leverage Adyen’s acquiring capabilities to power card payments for its 150 million consumers and 500,000 retail partners across the globe.

The fintechs’ initial partnership dates back ten years, when Adyen began offering Klarna’s buy now, pay later (BNPL) technology to its customers. The new acquiring bank agreement will begin in Europe, North America, and Asia in 2024.

“Klarna has, in many ways, revolutionized the digital shopping experience,” said Adyen Co-founder and Co-CEO Pieter van der Does. “I am proud to say we are now joining forces in a partnership set out to simplify payments and shopping in our respective areas of expertise. Adyen’s financial technology platform combined with Klarna’s various consumer offerings will raise the standard of payments and consumer experiences worldwide.”

Adyen was founded in 2006 and offers payment acceptance, embedded payments, virtual card capabilities, authentication, risk management, insights, and more. Among the company’s corporate clients are Meta, Uber, H&M, eBay, and Microsoft.

“Adyen, a world-class financial technology platform for businesses with global ambitions, aligns seamlessly with Klarna’s role as the preferred payments network and shopping assistant for consumers and retailers worldwide,” said Klarna Co-founder and CEO Sebastian Siematkowski. “In our journey towards strengthening our global commerce offerings, Adyen will play an integral role as our trusted partner.”

Originally launched as a BNPL technology provider, Klarna has evolved into a shopping marketplace similar to Amazon or Walmart. The company works with more than half a million retail partners who list goods across a range of categories. Klarna counts 150 million shoppers– 40 million of which are U.S. based– who make two million transactions on its platform each day.

Earlier this year, Klarna teamed up with Open AI to leverage ChatGPT to help enhance the shopping experience to power a product recommendation engine. Klarna was founded in 2005 and is now live in 45 countries.

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

What ChatGPT Got Wrong about Top 5 Fintech Trends of 2024

What ChatGPT Got Wrong about Top 5 Fintech Trends of 2024

I’ve received dozens of 2024 fintech trends prediction pitches in my email inbox over the past month. And while many of them are insightful, I wanted to see what our AI overlord ChatGPT had to say about the matter.

My prompt read, “What are your predictions for the top five newest and hottest trends in fintech for 2024?” Here is how the AI responded:

Predicting the exact trends for 2024 is speculative, but here are potential emerging trends in fintech:

  1. Embedded Finance: Further integration of financial services into non-financial platforms like e-commerce, SaaS, and marketplaces. This trend will offer users seamless access to financial products within their daily activities.
  2. Metaverse Finance: With the growing popularity of the metaverse, fintech might explore virtual currencies, digital assets, and decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions tailored for this space.
  3. AI-Powered Personalization: Enhanced AI-driven tools for hyper-personalized financial recommendations, wealth management, and banking services. AI will further analyze vast datasets to offer tailored financial advice.
  4. Climate and Sustainable Finance: Continued growth in green finance, impact investing, and ESG-driven financial products as consumers and investors prioritize sustainability.
  5. Regulatory Evolution: Fintechs navigating evolving regulations, especially around data privacy, digital currencies, and open banking. Compliance and adapting to regulatory changes will remain crucial.

As usual, ChatGPT not only did a pretty good job, but it also sounds pretty convincing. And while there are truly no blatant errors in the prediction, it could be better. Here’s what’s wrong or what’s missing in each of the five predictions.

Embedded finance

ChatGPT was spot on. It is quite obvious that this will be a big trend in 2024. Why? Because it’s a big trend right now. However, this is more of a continuation of a current trend rather than a new trend in 2024. Also, ChatGPT failed to mention the role that regulation will likely play in embedded finance next year, especially in the U.S. That’s because partner banks have become more wary to partner with fintechs after the FDIC issued a consent order to Cross River Bank, saying that it was involved in unsound banking practices. Where there is opportunity, there is liability.

Metaverse finance

ChatGPT was wrong. This is one trend that can be thrown away with all of those 2023 desk planners out there. The metaverse offered a fun distraction during the pandemic, when the industry was obsessed with moving all of a bank’s operations to digital channels. However, most consumers lack interest in moving their lives to the metaverse, and banks have realized that their investments in more traditional channels are more likely to pay off.

AI-powered personalization

This is another win for ChatGPT. However, personalization is not the only AI-powered aspect of banking and fintech that will surge in 2024. Many organizations are now turning toward generative AI, which has the potential to produce creative outputs for generating investment strategies, designing financial products, building marketing campaigns, simulating data to predict market movements, simulating economic scenarios, or stress-testing financial systems.

Climate and Sustainable Finance

While I want to believe ChatGPT on this prediction, I wouldn’t list it among the top five trends for 2024. There are two major reasons why sustainable finance will take a backseat (though not disappear) next year. First, the high cost of capital has both banks and fintechs searching for new revenue opportunities. Given this high interest rate environment, firms are more focused on direct cost-saving and revenue growth initiatives such as AI. Second, in many geographies, regulation has not caught up with sustainability initiatives. This lack of regulation and industry standards makes it difficult for organizations to pose definitive claims about what they are doing for the environment.

Regulatory evolution

This is absolutely among the top trends I have my eye on for 2024. Again, this is a continuation of a current trend and not a new development, but it will remain at the forefront in fintech next year. ChatGPT cited regulatory changes across data privacy, digital currencies, and open banking. In regards to open banking, the CFPB released its notice of proposed rulemaking to implement Section 1033 of Dodd-Frank earlier this year and made clear that it will issue the final regulation in the fall of 2024.

One piece that ChatGPT left off its list of anticipated regulatory changes is the formalization of rules around buy now, pay later (BNPL) companies. As consumers rely on BNPL payment technologies as an alternative to traditional credit models, regulators in both the U.S. and the U.K. have announced their intent to formalize regulation in the space.

Photo by Matheus Bertelli

Enfuce Lands $9.2 Million Investment

Enfuce Lands $9.2 Million Investment
  • Enfuce closed a $9.2 million follow-on investment, adding to the $49 million it received in 2021.
  • Vitruvian Partners led the round, which saw contributions from existing investor and new contributor Visa.
  • Enfuce will use the funds to prepare for growth in the enterprise segment, as well as expand into more European markets.

Card issuing and payments processing innovator Enfuce recently announced it received a $9.2 million (€8.5 million) follow-on investment. The new funds are added to the Finnish company’s $49 million (€45 million) Series C round in 2021 and bring Enfuce’s total funding to $67 million (€62 million).

Leading today’s follow-on round is Vitruvian Partners. Existing investor, along with new contributor Visa, also participated.

Commenting on the new investor, Enfuce Co-founder and Co-CEO Monika Liikamaa said, “Visa’s trust isn’t just a validation of  our business, it’s a testament to our significant growth during challenging economic times. With Visa’s investment, we will continue to bring our bold vision of shaping the future of embedded finance to life.” Enfuce Co-founder and Co-CEO Denise Johansson added, “This investment represents more than mere financial backing for us. It’s the continuation of an extensive and productive partnership between Visa and Enfuce.”

Enfuce was founded in 2016 with the intent to offer a cloud-based processing system that could allow any business to start issuing payment cards. In addition to payment card issuing, the company also offers digital wallets, fraud and dispute managements, card program analytics, and more. Enfuce processes $2.2 billion (nearly €2 billion) in transactions annually for clients including Pleo, OKQ8 and Memo Bank.

Enfuce will use today’s follow-on investment to prepare for its next area of growth, the enterprise segment. Additionally, the company plans to expand across European markets including Benelux, Germany, and France.

The rise in banking-as-a-service (BaaS) tools, such as the ones provided by Enfuce, offers businesses across a range of industries access to financial infrastructure. Integrating financial services into non-financial platforms not only enhances the customer experience but it also offers businesses new revenue streams. As we enter into 2024, BaaS and embedded finance solutions are set to rise. However, as regulators begin to take notice and find new risk factors, adoption of this trend will likely be cautious.

Photo by Anna Shvets

Treasury Prime and Risk Management Platform Effectiv Bring Transaction Monitoring to Banks

Treasury Prime and Risk Management Platform Effectiv Bring Transaction Monitoring to Banks
  • Treasury Prime, an embedded banking software platform, has signed a strategic partnership with fraud and risk management platform Effectiv.
  • Companies and FIs on Treasury Prime’s network will leverage Effectiv’s platform for transaction monitoring.
  • Effectiv made its Finovate debut in September at FinovateFall. The company is headquartered in San Francisco.

Embedded banking software platform Treasury Prime has forged a strategic partnership with fraud and risk management platform Effectiv. The new relationship will enable companies and FIs on Treasury Prime’s network to access transaction monitoring technology from Effectiv to reduce fraud and improve risk management.

Effectiv offers a no-code, fraud, risk, and compliance platform that helps FIs fight fraud at every point in the customer journey, from onboarding to real-time transaction monitoring. The platform identifies and monitors high-risk and high-value transactions for potentially anomalous or fraudulent behavior. This lowers the risk of financial loss for customers and the potential for reputational damage to institutions. Effectiv’s technology automates compliance and risk management, providing more than 80% reduction in manual review, and 58% reduction in fraud and risk management costs. Since inception, Effectiv has processed more than $41 billion in automated risk and fraud decisions.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen a rise in fraud with real-time payments,” Effectiv co-founder and CEO Ravi Sandepudi said. “As banks get ready to adopt FedNow and AI fraudsters increasingly get more sophisticated, it’s critical that fintechs and banks invest in technology that can improve their security posture.”

Effectiv made its Finovate debut earlier this year at FinovateFall. At the conference, the company demoed how its unified fraud, risk, and automated compliance platform helps institutions safely facilitate high-risk and high-value transactions.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Effectiv has raised more than $9 million in funding. This sum includes a $4.5 million seed round in July led by Better Tomorrow Ventures. Effectiv also used the funding announcement to preview its new biometric solution, DeviceIntel. The telemetrics and intelligence solution analyzes and identifies suspicious activity on user devices. Effectiv COO and co-founder Ritesh Arora referred to DeviceIntel as part of the company’s “holistic evaluation approach” to fighting fraud.

Interestingly, the team that founded Effectiv in 2021 previously launched fraud detection company Simility. Acquired by PayPal in 2018. Simility introduced itself to Finovate audiences as part of our developers conference series FinDEVr in 2017.

Founded in 2017, Treasury Prime offers a range of core banking solutions including accounts, payments infrastructure, and enhanced FDIC insurance. The San Francisco, California-based company also leverages its embedded banking software to facilitate connections between banks and enterprise partners, as well as offer a partnership marketplace. Chris Dean is co-founder and CEO.

Photo by Mitchell Luo

YieldStreet Pads Alternative Investment Offerings with Cadre Acquisition

YieldStreet Pads Alternative Investment Offerings with Cadre Acquisition
  • YieldStreet has agreed to acquire Cadre. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Cadre CEO Ryan Williams will lead YieldStreet’s new division focused on building an institutional audience.
  • When the acquisition is finalized, YieldStreet will hold an investment value of more than $9.7 billion and will serve more than 500,000 investors.

Alternative investments platform YieldStreet made its third acquisition today. The New York-based company announced it has picked up real estate investment platform Cadre for an undisclosed amount.

When combined with Cadre, YieldStreet will hold an investment value of more than $9.7 billion and will serve more than 500,000 investors across eight institutional and retail distribution channels. Across the two companies’ platforms, investors have allocated $5.3 billion and have received $3.1 billion in returns to date.

Founded in 2015, YieldStreet offers an alternative investment platform that provides access to a wide range of asset classes– including art, real estate, legal, corporates, consumer, and commercial– via single investments or funds. The company also offers short-term notes on offerings with terms between 3 and 6 months.

Cadre is headquartered in New York and offers its investors fractional commercial real estate investment opportunities, as well as access to funds comprised of multiple commercial real estate holdings. The company was founded in 2014 and had raised $133 million.

“After nearly a decade of building a top-tier real estate investment platform that has generated compelling returns for institutional investors, we are incredibly proud to take the next step in our journey to broaden access to institutional real estate and other alternative asset classes alongside Yieldstreet,” said Cadre Founder and CEO Ryan Williams. “Together with Yieldstreet, we look forward to helping expand institutional distribution and broadening its offering of institutional-caliber products and innovative solutions that reduce friction for investors in private markets.”

Logistically, Ryan Williams will remain CEO of Cadre and will take on a new role as Yieldstreet’s Global Head of Institutional Partnerships & Clients, where he will lead YieldStreet’s new division focused on building an institutional audience. Cadre investor and advisor Mike Fascitelli will serve as the Global Chairman of Real Estate and Head of Cadre’s Investment Committee. The rest of the Cadre team, including Chief Investment Officer Dan Rosenbloom, will also join YieldStreet.

“We will continue to pursue strategic opportunities to increase revenue, enhance profitability, drive operating synergies, and unlock new channels for distribution or exceptional technology,” said YieldStreet CEO Michael Weisz. “Expanding complementary distribution channels and markets beyond the U.S., investment portfolios and capabilities with Cadre is just the beginning. We are thrilled to welcome Cadre to the Yieldstreet family.”

Photo by Pixabay

Finovate Global Australia: Payments Partnerships, Verification Pilots, and Debating the Fate of BNPL

Finovate Global Australia: Payments Partnerships, Verification Pilots, and Debating the Fate of BNPL

A newly announced partnership between institutional payment orchestration platform Paydock and Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA) will give merchants in Australia the ability to offer their customers a range of new payment options. This new flexibility comes courtesy of PowerBoard, which provides a dynamic payments experience to customers via API, without requiring businesses to make major changes to their existing payments infrastructure.

“Our partnership with CommBank sets a global precedent for financial institutions,” Paydock CEO and founder Rob Lincolne said. “It shows not only how banks can bring flexible payment strategies to customers in record time with payments orchestration, but also it establishes a new paradigm whereby banks can become more competitive and deliver more value by working with fintech players.”

PowerBoard will make it easier for CBA to deploy the latest payment methods, types, providers, and processors to merchants. CBA General Manager of Merchant Solutions Karen Last noted growing customer interest in new payment options. In a statement, she highlighted alternatives such as account-to-account payments, digital wallets, and Buy Now Pay Later as reasons to pursue the partnership with Paydock.

“PowerBoard makes it significantly easier for Australian merchants to offer choice to customers and manage their payments ecosystems, without all the costly integrations,” Last said.

Headquartered in London, Paydock also maintains an office in Sydney, Australia. The company has raised $31.8 million (£25 million) in funding according to Crunchbase. This capital came in the form of a Series A investment in May that was led by IAG Silverstripe.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is one of the top 50 banks in the world. Founded in 1911, CBA became a fully private bank in 1996. The institution is part of the “big four” of Australian banks, along with the National Australia Bank (NAB), ANZ, and Westpac. CBA had total assets of 1.2 trillion AUD as of 2022.

Speaking of Commonwealth Bank, the institution also announced this week that Bendigo Bank and fraud monitoring firm Satori will pilot CBA’s NameCheck technology. Launched this spring, NameCheck is built to prevent scams and mistaken payments. According to the bank, the solution has prevented more than 10,000 scam payments and reduced mistaken payments by more than $100 million, to date.

“With scams and fraud costing Australians and businesses billions of dollars annually, it’s clear a whole of ecosystem response is needed to combat this problem,” CBA Group Executive Business Banking Mike Vacy-Lyle said. “We are proud to be able to extend our industry-leading technology to others and contribute to protecting more Australians against cyber criminals.”

NameCheck leverages advanced technology and CBA’s access to payment data to help establish the accuracy of account credentials. Bendigo Bank will integrate NameCheck into its Up app. Financial fraud monitoring company Satori will also take advantage of the technology.

“We are excited to work with CBA and extend the NameCheck service to our corporate customer base to complement the existing AI driven financial controls monitoring service driving operational efficiency and preventing fraud,” Satori Executive Director of Growth Mark Bookatz said.

Founded in 2002, Satori is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. The company has more than 200+ customers in the APAC region who rely on its automated transaction monitoring services. These firms include Afterpay, Qantas, and Volkswagen Group.

The Australian government’s plans to regulate Buy Now Pay Later services are having a hard time keeping up with public enthusiasm for the payment option.

This week, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) shared results of a survey that indicated a significant increase in use of Buy Now, Pay Later services. The specific demographic was individuals between the ages of 18 and 39. The survey showed that more than 40% of those in this cohort had used BNPL services in the past year. The survey, which had almost 1,000 participants, also noted an overall increase in the number of people using BNPL. Incorporating data from a Reserve Bank of Australia research paper from 2022, the RBA determined that there has been an increase of 8% in adult BNPL use since 2019.

Designing a regulatory framework for Buy Now Pay Later services in Australia has been on the government’s to-do list since the spring. The goal is to bring BNPL under the umbrella of existing credit regulations, including credit license requirements, and minimum standards on conduct, services, and products. This also includes mandating that BNPL companies conduct credit history checks. Overall the regulations, which will treat BNPL services as conventional lending products, are seen as among the toughest proposed.

But the rollout has hit a snag. The RBA has announced that the new regulatory framework for BNPL will arrive next year rather than at the end of 2023 as originally planned. The reason for the delay was “resourcing pressures” on the government’s legislation writing team. And while this will likely give New Zealand regional bragging rights over its larger neighbor when it comes to adoption of BNPL regulations, the impact of the delay on the Australian BNPL market should be slight.

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Latin America-based fintech Clara launched its new payment account in Brazil this week.
  • ACI Worldwide partnered with Mexican fintech Mexipay.
  • Payroll automation specialist Somapay teamed up with software accounting firm Fortes Tecnologia to launch FortesPay in Brazil.


  • Taiwanese software company TPIsoftware teamed up with digital lending platform provider HESFinTech.
  • Airo, a branch of CP Global Fintech Solutions went live as Malaysia’s first actively managed digital investment platform.
  • JuanHand, an online lending platform based in the Philippines, inked a loan channelling partnership with SeaBank.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Microlender Ezra teamed up with Kacha Digital Financial Services S.C. and Global Bank of Ethiopia to launch a digital lending service in the country.
  • South African fintech Stitch launched its Pay with Crypto feature.
  • Electronic Payments International looked at the role of bank/fintech partnerships in Africa’s financial services industry.

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

Photo by David Jia

Experts Share Thoughts on Hyper-Personalization, Being Good Partners, Industry Trends, & Challenges

Experts Share Thoughts on Hyper-Personalization, Being Good Partners, Industry Trends, & Challenges

Tomorrow marks the final month of 2023. And while it is a good time for organizations to reflect on their progress from the past year, it is also an opportunity to plan for success in 2024.

To jump start some new ideas for 2024, check out our conversations with industry experts. Earlier this year, we gathered a range of insights from thought leaders in attendance at FinovateFall in New York. Among the topics we discussed were:

  • Using AI to create better customer experiences
  • AI in authentication
  • How can banks and fintechs work together better?
  • Top industry trends
  • How can fintechs face new challenges in today’s economic environment?

Photo by Juliano Ferreira

Robinhood Launches in the U.K.

Robinhood Launches in the U.K.
  • Robinhood is launching in the U.K., marking the company’s first international launch.
  • General availability for U.K. users will roll out in early 2024.
  • Company CEO and Co-founder Vlad Tenev called the U.K. an ideal place to launch its first international brokerage product because the region is a hub for innovation, global finance, and top tech talent.

Stock brokerage app Robinhood is making its first geographical move– 10 years after first entering the market in 2013. The California-based company announced today it has launched its brokerage services in the U.K.

The move means that Robinhood’s U.K. customers will be able to use the platform to trade more than 6,000 U.S.-listed stocks and American Depositary Receipts, including TSLA, AMZN, and AAPL. Launching today, Robinhood’s U.K. platform will offer trading with no account minimums, no foreign exchange fees, and will allow customers to trade outside market hours via Robinhood 24 Hour Market. Additionally, investors who pay $5 per month for Robinhood Gold will earn 5% AER on uninvested cash that they hold on the platform.

Minister for Investment Lord Johnson said that he is “delighted” that Robinhood selected the U.K. as its first international brokerage market.

Robinhood’s expansion overseas is an important step forward for the company, which states that its mission is to democratize finance for all– including those in other geographies. “Since we launched Robinhood a decade ago, it’s always been our vision to expand internationally,” explained Robinhood CEO and Co-founder Vlad Tenev. “As a hub for innovation, global finance and top tech talent, the United Kingdom is an ideal place for us to launch our first international brokerage product.”

Starting today, U.K. residents can sign up on the waitlist for early access to Robinhood. The company plans to roll out general availability in early 2024.

With 23 million U.S. users, Robinhood offers stocks, ETFs, options trading, crypto trading, and a debit card that helps users invest as they spend. Earlier this year, the company acquired credit card company X1, stating that the purchase will one day help the company offer its customers access to credit. Offering credit will also help Robinhood compete with its closest U.S. competitor, Acorns, which currently does not offer any credit products.

Photo by Andrew Neel

Cable Unveils New Automated Testing Solution Transaction Assurance

Cable Unveils New Automated Testing Solution Transaction Assurance
  • Financial crime prevention effectiveness testing platform Cable unveiled Transaction Assurance this week.
  • Transaction Assurance automates effectiveness testing. This ensures that all transactions are both monitored and tested.
  • Cable made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateFall 2023. Co-founder Natasha Vernier is CEO.

Effectiveness testing platform Cable has launched its financial crime compliance and transacting testing solution, Transaction Assurance. The new offering automates effectiveness testing to ensure that all transactions are both monitored and tested for potential regulatory breaches or control failures. This helps banks, fintechs, and payment platforms avoid the limitations of manual dip sampling.

Cable founder and CEO Natasha Vernier explained that the recent spate of compliance lapses – and the billions in fines paid by major institutions for these lapses – have revealed specific problems in financial crime prevention methods, including the way these processes are tested.

“These cases have brought to light gaps in existing protocols, including systemic failures in manual testing,” Vernier said. “These industry shortcomings are why we developed Transaction Assurance. It helps illuminate the vast, often untested expanse of transactional data, bringing that previously unseen 99% into sharp focus.”

Transaction Assurance acts as a sophisticated translation layer. The solution amplifies the effectiveness of first-line control systems by synthesizing and testing data in real-time. This ensures continuous adherence to an institution’s policies and controls. Transaction Assurance delivers actionable insights and alerts, as well as detailed reporting and analytics. This gives managers maximum transparency with regards to the institution’s compliance status.

“It is either Cable or four more people,” Steven Eisenhauer, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer for Ramp Network, a Cable client, explained. “No one questions the expense for that reason. For our size and volume, you would expect a larger team, but we have literally tested more transactions than all of our competitors.” Ramp Network and Cable announced their partnership in February.

Cable made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateFall. At the conference, the company demoed its Automated Assurance solution that enables banks and fintechs to automate their compliance assurance and effectiveness testing. The company’s technology also streamlines a number of manual compliance processes including stakeholder reporting and record management.

This year, Cable has forged partnerships with credit card company Yonder, digital bank Grasshopper and, in October, with unsecured business and personal loan specialist BHG Financial.

Founded in 2020, Cable introduced new Chief Revenue Officer Candace Sjogren in August. Sjogren most recently served as SVP, Global Head of Sales at crypto-as-a-service company Zero Hash. Cable has raised more than $16 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. This includes $11 million in a Series A investment from CRV, Jump Capital, and Stage 2 Capital announced in May.

Photo by Pok Rie