Some Do’s and Don’ts of Leveraging Emerging Technologies in Fintech

Having worked in the fintech industry for four years, Kristiane Mandraki has developed a passion for emerging technology and has seen ebbs and flows of success and failure in the industry. Mandraki is currently the Director of Business Development and Marketing at Praxent, a 22-year old fintech experience design and development firm that helps financial companies succeed in their digital transformation efforts.

We recently spoke with Mandraki on some of the best practices in customer experience, digital transformation, and Web 3; as well as top trends she’s anticipating in the next year.

When it comes to customer experience, what are some of the top mistakes you’ve seen banks and fintechs make, and how can they avoid them?

Kristiane Mandraki: Banks and fintechs often make the mistake of trying to be all things for all people, which only leads to exhaustive mediocrity. Instead, it’s critical to pick a focus, your North Star. Narrowing in on a main priority or differentiator allows financial services providers to prioritize and innovate, setting the stage to truly excel at something instead of being average at everything.

Another mistake we often see banks make is implementing off-the-shelf technology without viewing the experience through the holistic lens of the customer’s journey. We see this often in account opening or loan origination experiences where the customer’s journey starts on the website and ends on the fintech product. It’s important to carefully consider the experience as part of the bank’s brand experience and ensure it’s configured in a user-friendly way. There are many opportunities to differentiate the brand by prioritizing the website and product configuration as a critical component of the digital experience which often requires UX/UI expertise.

What advice do you have for banks navigating this era that’s stuck between digital transformation and Web 3?

Mandraki: Some emerging technologies are fairly polarizing, like Bitcoin. You have the optimists and then those who see the headlines and are quick to write it off. What can’t be ignored is that blockchain technology unlocks much more than an asset class. It has created another sphere like the Internet.

The industry is currently in a transitionary period, or Web 2.5; we’re starting to evolve beyond Web 2.0 but Web 3.0 isn’t quite a mainstream reality. We’re facing a major user experience challenge, which is a huge opportunity for innovation.

There is a need to bridge the gap between banks and cryptocurrencies so institutions can offer these products in a way that’s intuitive and user-centric. No matter where bankers stand on the debate, they must educate themselves and remain open to how they might be able to leverage emerging technologies moving forward. Savvy investors are strongly considering digital assets within their wealth portfolios. In order to build trust with those clients, financial advisors in banks and credit unions must develop a strong understanding of the space to advise them responsibly.

I hope women in particular take the opportunity to help shape this new financial system to be more inclusive, especially since they weren’t in a position to do so when traditional financial systems were created.

How can banks offer digital services while maintaining human touch?

Mandraki: A primary issue is that for too long, banks have relied on experiences that are system-centric, ultimately forcing customers to jump through several hurdles to satisfy internal IT systems. This typically results in a process that is cumbersome, requiring customers to rekey information and leaving no room for human empathy.

Community financial institutions excel in customer-intimacy, as they move much of their customer interaction to the digital space, it’s critical they offer experiences that are human-centric.

 This is where exercises and tools like a customer journey map, envisioning the customer journey in the context of use, provide significant value. Once the work is done to identify points of delight and frustration within the customer journey, the proper prioritization and investments can be put in place to overhaul the experience with the customer at the center.

What are the top trends you’ve seen so far this year, and what’s coming next year?

Mandraki: Going back to common mistakes we see in financial services, an exciting trend is that many banks and credit unions are starting to pay much closer attention to their ‘digital front doors’ or website experience. Strategic institutions have started to realize that a marketing department of one or two people, usually without any user experience or design background, is simply not enough of a resource to modernize and maintain their websites. Having a modern website that shares relevant information and options with intuitive navigation is just as important as the money being spent on things like modernizing loan origination systems or account opening tools.

We are also seeing many more financial services providers striving to identify a niche when it comes to investing and wealth management. There is a massive opportunity to reach and serve this group of Millennials and Gen Z that soon stand to inherit significant wealth but who have so far been hesitant to engage traditional financial advisors.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

FinovateFall 2022 Sneak Peek: Linqto

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateFall in New York on September 12 and 13. Register today and save your spot.

Linqto makes investing in private companies accessible, affordable and efficient. Wealth managers can diversify client portfolios with investments in unicorns.


  • Simple to use interface on web and mobile app
  • $5K and $10K minimum investment sizes
  • Get liquidity by selling shares on the platform

Why it’s great

Linqto offers the same benefits of public markets – immediate access and settlement of private equity shares at affordable prices with the ability to get liquidity for shares purchased at any time.


Patty Brewer, Chief Product Officer
Industry veteran with over 25 years experience in strategic product management with fintech companies like Digital Insight, Intuit, and Nav. Passionate about customer driven and iterative innovation.

FinovateFall 2022 Sneak Peek: Ocrolus

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateFall in New York on September 12 and 13. Register today and save your spot.

Ocrolus is a document automation platform that powers the digital lending ecosystem. They are debuting Detect, a powerful and innovative solution offering lenders superior fraud detection.


  • Catch more instances of fraud and reduce your risk
  • Utilize detailed fraud signals and descriptions to power underwriting decisions
  • Reduce manual application review

Why it’s great

Detect will uncover what fraudsters want to stay hidden with the ability to view received and recovered documents side-by-side, highlighting altered content.


David Snitkof, VP of Product, Analytics
David Snitkof is a technology entrepreneur and data/analytics leader with a successful track record of developing analytical systems, teams, and businesses from the ground up.

Mindy Robins, Product Marketing Manager
Mindy Robins is a Product Marketing Manager at Ocrolus with extensive experience managing new product development to drive growth for financial services and fintech companies.

Linqto Breaks into DeFi with Trustline Acquisition
  • Linqto has acquired Trustline, a platform that offers decentralized financial services.
  • “We acquired Trustline for its advanced blockchain technology and IP including $200,000 worth of XRP grants issued from the XRPL Grants Program,” said Linqto Founder and CEO Bill Sarris.
  • Linqto plans to leverage Trustline to continue developing its decentralized exchange for private market securities.

Private investing firm Linqto has solidified its interest in the blockchain this week with the acquisition of Trustline, a platform that offers decentralized financial services. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Trustline leverages the XRP Ledger to offer payments, trading, and lending to accredited investors. Because Trustline run on XRP, it is able to offer its financial services in a more efficient and cost-effective manner than traditional firms.

“We acquired Trustline for its advanced blockchain technology and IP including $200,000 worth of XRP grants issued from the XRPL Grants Program,” said Linqto Founder and CEO Bill Sarris. “Trustline will help us build on our vision to provide access, affordability and liquidity to accredited investors. But the most valuable asset we acquired is the new association with Matt Rosendin, a progressive thinker and leader in the global blockchain community.”

Linqto plans to leverage Trustline to continue developing its decentralized exchange for private market securities. Using Trustline’s proprietary technology, Linqto’s exchange will be auditable, publicly transparent, and 100% on blockchain.

The acquisition comes shortly after Trustline abandoned plans for its stablecoins, Aurei and Phi, due to regulatory conflicts with the SEC, which viewed the coins as securities. “Trustline is thrilled to join the innovative and groundbreaking work that Linqto is doing in making private investing simple for individual investors who have been shut out of traditional private equity asset class,” said Trustline CEO Matt Rosendin. “Our two companies are perfectly aligned to democratize private markets investing for qualified investors.”

Rosendin is now VP of Ledger at Linqto.

Linqto, which now counts more than 100,000 accredited investors in its global network, enables users to invest in a range of pre-IPO startups, including Upgrade, Uphold, RippleSoFi, Blockchain Coinvestors, Kraken, and even in its own company. Linqto’s will demo its newest innovation at FinovateFall next month in New York. Register today to secure your spot.

Photo by Maria Lysenko on Unsplash

FinovateFall 2022 Sneak Peek: ID R&D

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateFall in New York on September 12 and 13. Register today and save your spot.

ID R&D’s IDLive Doc is the first product dedicated to protecting digital onboarding from document spoof attacks, where fraudsters present an image of an ID on a screen instead of one in their possession.


  • Detects a variety of attacks, including screen replay
  • Needs only a single image; frictionless for the user
  • Works across all types of global identity documents

Why it’s great

Document spoofs are likely causing more fraud than companies realize. Businesses can help prevent these types of attacks with the first-ever product specifically designed for this purpose from leaders in liveness.


Alexey Khitrov, CEO
Khitrov has over 20 years of C-level experience at biometrics and financial services. In 2016, he launched ID R&D with a focus on developing innovative, best-in-class biometrics and liveness.

FinovateFall 2022 Sneak Peek: Stratyfy

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateFall in New York on September 12 and 13. Register today and save your spot.

Stratyfy’s UnBias allows financial institutions and fintechs to uncover, understand, and undo bias in complex financial decisions that impact the lives of millions.


  • Proprietary next generation transparent ML
  • Detailed reports with actionable recommendations
  • Results in as little as two weeks

Why it’s great

Addressing bias proactively means less risk, more diverse customers, and increased returns.


Laura Kornhauser, CEO & Co-Founder
Laura Kornhauser is the Co-Founder/CEO of Stratyfy. Previously, Kornhauser spent 12 years at JPMorgan, building and delivering risk and credit products. She has a BSE from Princeton & an MBA from Columbia.

How Banks Can Leverage Trust to Compete with Fintechs

The following is a sponsored post from WS02.

Trust, the banks’ secret weapon, is starting to fail them

Banks, which had a monopoly on deposits and lending for centuries, are increasingly finding themselves in competition from fintech firms that are luring business away, mostly by delivering a better customer experience (CX). It’s a serious challenge for banks. However, banks should ideally enjoy a significant  advantage over disruptive newcomers. Banks offer trust. You can trust them with your money. Banks are well-regulated and licensed by the government. Your deposits are insured. And banks offer simple but compelling trust based CX: If you have an issue, you can walk, call, or email them for assistance.

Fintechs on the other hand, have succeeded in building trust through better financial literacy and providing more control to consumers in better managing their own finances. Fintechs also offer more visibility, transparency, better advice, and useful outputs. These are big problems for banks. The banks’ one-person-at-a-time live engagement, which historically worked so well in building trust, cannot scale anymore.

What’s needed: new, better CX for banking customers

Banks need to enable great CX to compete with fintech. They must provide the flexibility, financial literacy, products and services, and intuitive convenience that their digital competitors have brought into the marketplace. With a strong CX, banks can also reassert the competitive position they have long enjoyed. This is easier said than done, though far from impossible.

Why delivering CX can be so difficult for a bank

Generally, banks do not have a problem recognizing where they are deficient in the CX department. Where they have difficulty is in realizing their CX objectives. There are many reasons for this, including that banks almost always serve customers from multiple generations and demographics. What’s totally natural for a millennial fintech app user may be anything but intuitive for their parents (though this may have changed permanently during the pandemic). In addition, for understandable, practical reasons, a bank will usually have one app for all customers and use cases. This app will inevitably lack the feature depth of competing fintech offerings. A single app or web interface simply cannot cater to all these varying requirements.

The back-end is problematic, too. Banks are almost always hampered by rigid legacy technology. Even if they want to offer new features to customers, the process of connecting older software to user-friendly front-end interfaces is challenging and time-consuming. The Capgemini/Efma report bears this out, with 95% of banking executives saying legacy systems and outdated core banking modules inhibited their efforts to optimize data- and customer-centric growth strategies. These systemic difficulties, coupled with siloed data, also made it hard for banks to analyze data to determine what their customers even wanted.

The same obstacles that make legacy technology a barrier to great banking CX also block easy connectivity with third parties, a core element of fintech success. A bank might want to link their app with a paycheck advance service, but doing so in a fast, economical way has long been a big challenge. This is starting to change, however.

APIs and the opportunity for great banking CX

APIs give banks a path to CX that will enable them to deliver seamless CX that can compete with fintech. They do this in part by connecting the dots between applications and information silos. With API connections, bank systems and third parties can exchange information in standardized formats. For example, an e-signature tool can appear naturally in the bank app. This is invisible to the end-user, who may have no idea that they are accessing an external service provider.

API integrations improve CX by enabling the bank to implement customer-facing workflows. The customer can be guided through processes that take them across multiple applications, some of which may be outside the bank—but all of which appear in the same user interface. The API-driven workflow can automatically pull relevant information from other systems as needed.

Putting APIs to work in workflows can also cut down on handoffs between departments at the bank. These handoffs, long a mainstay of customer interaction with the bank, don’t make for good CX. With fewer handoffs, there are also fewer opportunities for errors and confusion on the part of the customer.

A further benefit of APIs is the potential to align multiple departments at the bank with a single source of customer information. If a customer is listed as John F Smith in one database at the bank and John F. Smith in another, that tiny discrepancy can cause headaches for everyone dealing with John F. Smith, as well as John F Smith himself. APIs can make this problem go away.

With APIs, banks can personalize customer experiences, too. For instance, an API can automatically look up information about a customer as they start to engage with a banking system. Based on the customer’s profile, the banking system can adapt and present the most relevant information to the customer. For example, a customer with good credit may be offered a credit card automatically. Or, a customer who owns a home might be offered a home equity loan, and so forth. This capability lends itself to new applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), which make possible entirely novel and competitive modes of CX.

API integrations help to future-proof business processes. With APIs, the bank can be agile, constantly updating internal application integrations that drive better CX as market conditions and customer expectations evolve. This includes the ability to move quickly in establishing new partnerships and channels that connect with the customer. APIs facilitate the entry of a bank into new markets.

This is not the easiest time for banks. They are facing competition in ways they never had to deal with before. However, with the smart use of APIs, banks can once again leverage their trust-based brands to build compelling new customer experiences. If banks can match fintech for CX and functionality, their superior trust reputations should enable them to compete effectively against fintech disruptors.

To learn more, download this free ebook and delve into insights and practical guidance for banks to build a mature APIM strategy that helps you craft superior customer experiences without compromising on security.

FinovateFall 2022 Sneak Peek: NYDIG

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateFall in New York on September 12 and 13. Register today and save your spot.

NYDIG delivers Bitcoin products across industries, from banking and insurance to fintech and nonprofits. NYDIG fuses stringent regulatory standards with ironclad technology to make Bitcoin universal.


NYDIG’s Bitcoin Savings Plan:

  • Integrates directly with a company’s payroll services
  • Allows an employee to seamlessly convert a portion of their paycheck to bitcoin
  • Offers new cutting-edge benefits

Why it’s great

For the BSP, there is little direct competition in the space. NYDIG’s value proposition is that employees are offered an easy-to-use way to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin without having to pay high fees.


Rahm McDaniel, Head of Banking Solutions
Rahm McDaniel is Head of Banking Solutions with NYDIG, partnering with banks and credit unions to serve their communities with innovative digital asset services, such as Bitcoin trading. Prior to NYDIG, he was VP of Strategic Solutions for Q2, helping to build Q2’s Banking as a Service business. He lives in Austin, Texas with his family.

Backbase launches on Microsoft Azure marketplace

Digital banking platform Backbase is now available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace as part of an expanded partnership with the tech giant. The Amsterdam-based Backbase is a fintech company providing a white label platform for banks and credit unions that digitizes retail and business banking. The partnership will allow companies to quickly and safely deploy […]

TD Bank onboards NetSuite ERP software

TD Bank has integrated NetSuite’s cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform in an effort to create a comprehensive digital banking experience for its commercial clients. “Businesses are looking to have a one-stop shop and a lot of the work we’re doing is embedding ERP tools,” Chris Giamo, head of commercial banking at $1.4 trillion TD […]

Citi’s Matt Carbonara to speak at Bank Automation Summit Fall

Matt Carbonara, managing director at Citi Ventures, will join the roster of speakers at Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 to discuss what is next in banking technology.

Matt Carbonara, managing director, Citi Ventures

The panel, “RPA & Beyond: Investors on what’s next in banking technology,” will focus on the current state of investments and where they will go in 2023, valuation trends in today’s environment, and the differing views on investment between banks and venture capitalists.

Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 will take place at the Hyatt Olive 8 in Seattle on Sept. 19-20. The Summit brings together industry experts to discuss a wide range of topics, from using automation to detect and stop fraudulent transactions in banking to the best strategies for developing the cloud.

View the event agenda here.

In his role at Citi Ventures, Carbonara looks for investment opportunities which provide customer engagement and product feedback for potential startup companies. He previously held investment-related roles at Cisco Investments, Comcast Ventures and TeleSoft Partners, according to the Citi Ventures website.

Citi Ventures most recently participated in funding rounds for telehealth service provider Moving Analytics, wealth management and investment platform Warren Brasil, and credit building app Altro, according to Crunchbase.

Learn more about the Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 and register.

XBRL News from China and Workiva

Here are the three most relevant developments in the world of structured reporting we became aware of in the course of last week – which is of course a summer holiday week, hence less news flow than usual. 

1  Pulian Software: winning bid for China Bond XBRL Xinpi Reporting Platform

2  Workiva announces Q2 22 financial results

“Our second quarter subscription & support and total revenue exceeded market expectations and we once again beat the high end of our guidance in revenue and operating results,” said Marty Vanderploeg, Chief Executive Officer. “We added 123 net new logos for the Workiva platform, saw a 28% YOY increase in the number of customers with contract values over $150k, and achieved our highest revenue retention rate of 97.9%.”

While the market is reacting positively to this XBRL bellwether’s beating of their own guidance, they are still no closer to satisfying the rule of 40 – quite the reverse, in fact. Note that this author has an economic interest in the company. 


Christian Dreyer CFA is well known in Swiss Fintech circles as an expert in XBRL and financial reporting for investors.

 We have a self-imposed constraint of 3 news stories each week because we serve busy senior leaders in Fintech who need just enough information to get on with their job.

 For context on XBRL please read this introduction to our XBRL Week in 2016 and read articles tagged XBRL in our archives. 

 New readers can read 3 free articles.  To  become a member with full access to all that Daily Fintech offers,  the cost is just USD 143 a year (= USD 0.39 per day or USD 2.75 per week). For less than one cup of coffee you get a week full of caffeine for the mind.

Meet The Masters: A Peek at the Top Keynotes for FinovateFall 2022

With a little over a month to go before FinovateFall 2022 in New York City, our agenda for the autumn event is still being finalized. But there are a few highlights we can share with you this week to further whet your appetite for the fintech feast to come on September 12 through September 14. Today we’ll take a look at the mastermind keynote speakers we have scheduled for FinovateFall, each of whom was selected for their unique understanding of what’s driving innovation in financial technology today.

Day One will feature a Mastermind Keynote from Chris Cox, Chief Operating Officer of Apiture. Titled “Closing the Data Intelligence Gap”, Cox’s address will look at ways that financial institutions can better process and analyze available data while simultaneously (1) helping their businesses, (2) supporting their customers, and (3) maintaining regulatory compliance. Cox will examine ways that banks and credit unions can close the “expertise gap” that may be preventing them from innovating in the ways their customers want.

Before becoming COO of Apiture, Cox was General Manager of First Data’s digital banking business. He also led the mobile payment product development efforts at the company. He is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and of Duke University, where he earned an MBA.

Day Two will include a Mastermind Keynote from Claudio Cungi, Chief Product Officer, and Alice Menenti, Product Manager, both of Strands. Cungi and Menenti will present “Providing Actionable Insights to Create the Banking Platform of Tomorrow.” This address will review how enabling technologies have given banks the ability to dramatically increase the degree of personalization they can bring to their products and services. Cungi and Menenti will show how financial institutions can use the insights made available through more personalized engagement with customers to build better, more personalized business banking platforms

The final day of FinovateFall 2022 will feature a number of Mastermind Keynotes as part of our various tracks on Payments, AI, Customer Experience, Lending, Cryptocurrencies, and Digital Transformation. Among the day’s highlights are a discussion on the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) and its priorities for fintech in 2022 and beyond conducted by Thomas Ward, the organization’s current Enforcement Director. The day will also feature a presentation by Tiffany Kaminsky, co-founder and Chief Impact Officer for Symend titled “Upping the Ante: Using the Science of Decision-Making for Effective Customer Engagement.” This presentation will discuss the concepts of behavioral engagement and hyper-personalization and examines initiatives that financial institutions can take to integrate both into their current business strategies.

These are only a handful of the Master Keynotes scheduled for FinovateFall this year. For more information, visit our FinovateFall hub to learn more about our agenda, our speakers, and, of course, how to register today and save your spot at our upcoming fintech event. Pick up your ticket by Friday, August 12 and take advantage of big, early-bird savings!

Photo by Monica Silvestre

Vista Equity to buy tax compliance automation provider Avalara

Global investment firm Vista Equity Partners announced Monday its plans to acquire tax compliance automation provider Avalara for $8.4 billion. Through the deal, which was unanimously approved by Avalara’s board of directors, Vista will acquire all of Avalara’s outstanding shares of common stock for $93.50 per share in an all-cash transaction, according to an Avalara […]

And it’s a ton! The Insurtech top 100

This is my hundredth post since I started publishing on dailyfintech. And what better way to endorse the thriving insurtech space than to take a closer look at the top 100 globally that have raised capital, accelerated growth and impacted the digital transformation of the insurance industry. In sifting through various available top 100 lists that were each prepared after intensive reviews, thoughtful consideration by an ensemble of industry experts, a few stood out for the level of detail and attention to specifics that led to the selection of finalists. The two that form the basis for the rest of this post include Sønr’s top 100 and Fintech Global’s top 100 lists.

Sønr’s Insurtech 100 for the year 2021 succinctly unfolds the scale and scope of technological advances that are making a dent in virtually all of insurance. These selected forerunners are sharpening underwriting, simplifying brokers’ lives, developing new segments, making claims friendlier, and pioneering novel trends such as embedded insurance. The impact is across commercial lines, specialty, motor, home, travel, life, and health. That the list contains more than 50 new entrants this year is evidence of the strong talent driving high potential ventures, capital pools at their command and the general appetite for partnerships. The notable themes these companies are serving, span health care, social inclusion, small and medium sized enterprises.

While 20% of the Insurtech 100 have been founded within the past 5 years, the top 5 in terms of funding have been founded before 2017. Half of the companies in the top 10 are in the health insurance business, while the rest are in small business, specialty and multi-line insurance. Only one is a pure tech player with a strong foothold in AI and automation. The top 5 are all headquartered in the US.

The US dominates overall. Reflecting proximity to the world’s largest pools of private capital, the US makes up half of the Insurtech 100. The UK’s commitment to cultivating a robust fintech sector seems to be bearing fruit, and was second with Germany at third.

There is greater diversity in the top 10, with a Chinese based big data business being awarded the number one spot for 2021 and companies from India, Singapore, and Hong Kong all placing in the top 10. Prevalence of AI, data and API businesses delivered via PaaS, SaaS business models is clear evidence of start-ups continuing to be at the vanguard. Over 90% of the top 100 highlight these technologies as being core to their existence and value delivery. A majority are B2B propositions, providing crucial capabilities to incumbents and ecosystem members. A fifth of the ‘new-to-list’ companies focused purely on health, an indication of the mind-space occupied by healthcare due to the events of the past couple of years.

Some themes portending what to expect going forward, include:

  • More businesses devoted to cyber, important due to the significant increase in attacks during the pandemic. The US Executive Order on cybersecurity makes this a buzzing subsegment.
  • B2C companies devoted to addressing the challenges of social inclusion. Top 100 players have targeted segments, traditionally excluded from coverage either due to affordability or risk.
  • Embedded insurance, a topic often focused in these columns, continues to thrive.
  • Climate risk and ESG: From addressing the challenges of flooding, coverage of COP26, and decarbonization, insurtechs are bringing much-needed technological innovation

Various insurtechs that are part of these prestigious lists have been highlighted in previous dailyfintech posts. They continue to gather momentum as a group with significant scale added through iterations. Many of the successful startups were part of top 100 lists five years ago. As we progress towards more iterations and the next five years, the insurtech arena can very well be expected to see inflection points that will herald newer paradigms of growth and evolution.

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FIs hit up universities for tech talent

Financial institutions including TD Bank and Bank of America are looking to universities to fill technology roles, providing on-the-job training and eventual job placement for college students. The $1.4 trillion TD Bank, for one, launched a new technology hub at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in April to tap into its ongoing relationship […]

Issue #376 – Making The Existing Model Obsolete

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Western Union Expands Partnership with Visa
  • Western Union is bolstering its partnership with Visa by expanding its integration with Visa Direct.
  • Visa Direct is Visa’s real-time money movement network.
  • The expansion will bring Visa Direct to Western Union’s U.S. clients, enabling them to send money in near-real-time to Visa debit cards in Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Romania, and Thailand.

Money transfer firm Western Union is building on its partnership with Visa this week. The Colorado-based company is expanding its integration with Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time money movement network.

Under the agreement, the pair will bring Visa Direct to Western Union’s U.S. clients, enabling them to send money in near-real-time to Visa debit cards in Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Romania, and Thailand. Western Union and Visa first teamed up in 2019 to enable Western Union customers in more than 20 countries across Europe to send and/or receive funds directly to Visa debit card holders.

“Western Union and Visa share a vision for modern money movement, one that ensures cross-border payments are reliable, efficient and transparent, with convenience and the customer’s channel of choice at the center of our customer experience,” said Western Union President of the Americas Gabriella Fitzgerald. “Our partnership with Visa underscores the benefits that collaboration brings to realizing this shared vision for our joint customers around the globe.”

Visa first launched Visa Direct in Europe in 2017 as a real-time payments platform to allow companies to leverage Visa’s global reach and scale for cross-border payments. In addition to Western Union, nearly 550 partners, including Adyen, The Bancorp, Fiserv, and Stripe support Visa Direct solutions.

“Visa is transforming cross-border payments with Visa Direct by helping to bring the ability to securely send and receive funds in near-real-time to more use cases around the world,” said Senior VP North America Head Yanilsa Gonzalez-Ore. “Through this partnership, we are using Western Union’s digital capabilities to help US customers send money to their family and friends and provide a means to help with bills, as a gift, or for an emergency.”

Founded in 1851, Western Union is one of the oldest cross-border money transfer pioneers. The company’s global financial network bridges more than 200 countries and territories and approximately 130 currencies. In a partnership earlier this year, Western Union integrated Marqeta’s payment cards solution into its digital wallet and digital banking platform in Europe.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Citizens National among 7 community banks shifting to Jack Henry platform

The $613 million Citizens National Bank, a community bank in Somerset, Ky., was among seven banks to implement Jack Henry’s Banno digital banking platform in June, according to an FI Navigator report provided to Bank Automation News. The other six financial institutions include: $300 million Town and Country Bank, based in Las Vegas; $225 million […]

Stablecoin News for the week ending Wednesday 10th August.

Here is our pick of the 3 most important stablecoin stories during the week.

Are Stablecoins signalling the next bull run!

Are we at the bottom and going forward there are reasonable prospects of some upside?  Maybe stablecoins are a useful signal?

The circulating supply of Tether [USDT] and USD Coin [USDC] has seen a dramatic decrease since May 2022.  But there has been an uptick in the back half of July.

Tether supply starts to increase after three-month decline (

In the July edition of its Global Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets report, the Bank of America concluded that the recent rise in crypto outflows from exchanges and a rise in stablecoin net inflows hint at a ‘bullish’ market momentum.

The interesting thing about the diagram below is that with the Crypto fall there was a bifurcation.  Large holders liquidated Crypto and stood on the sidelines in stablecoins, while small holders liquidated more of everything.  Now we are seeing both cohorts buying back into stablecoins.  Are they convinced the market has bottomed and now represents a buying opportunity?

 USDT and USDC accumulation surge can point towards a… – AMBCrypto

And for our final story and really the biggest of the week, Coinbase is partnering with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to provide institutional clients of Aladdin®, BlackRock’s end-to-end investment management platform, with direct access to crypto, starting with bitcoin, through connectivity with Coinbase Prime. Coinbase Prime will provide crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting capabilities to Aladdin’s Institutional client base who are also clients of Coinbase.

Aladdin is used internally by Blackrock and externally as a white label solution to many other asset managers as well.

Coinbase selected by BlackRock; provide Aladdin clients access to crypto trading and custody via Coinbase Prime | by Coinbase | Aug, 2022 | The Coinbase Blog

So in summary, this week we saw some signs in the market that the bottom has been reached and that there is some potential for modest upside going forward along with a significant announcement that will enable institutional interest to access this exciting market.


Alan Scott is an expert in the FX market and has been working in the domain of stablecoins for many years.  

Twitter @Alan_SmartMoney

We have a self imposed constraint of 3 news stories per week because we serve busy senior Fintech leaders who just want succinct and important information.

For context on stablecoins please read this introductory interview with Alan “How stablecoins will change our world” and read articles tagged stablecoin in our archives.