Finovate Global Israel: Earnix Introduces New CEO, 40Seas Raises $111 Million, and a Look at Early Stage Startups

https://finovate.com/finovate-global-israel-earnix-introduces-new-ceo-40seas-raises-111-million-and-a-look-at-early-stage-startups/

Earnix, an Israel-based company that provides insurers and banks with real-time, dynamic pricing and rating solutions, introduced a new Chief Executive Officer this week. Robin Gilthorpe will take over the top spot at the firm effective February 1st, replacing outgoing CEO Udi Ziv, who served as Earnix’s CEO for six years.

“Today’s end-customer demands unparalleled experience, alongside highly personalized and customizable solutions,” Gilthorpe said in a statement. “Earnix solutions serve as the go-to platform for financial services companies to address the growing demands of the world’s leading financial and insurance companies.”

Gilthorpe is a finance and insurance industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience at firms such as TIBCO, Vertexone, and Watersmart Software. He was most recently Chief Operating Officer at insurtech company Salty where he helped generate a “nine-figure outcome” in the firm’s sale to CDK Global.

Founded in 2001, Earnix made its Finovate debut in 2016 at FinovateSpring in San Francisco. In the years since then, the company has forged partnerships with companies like AI cloud platform DataRobot, cloud insurance software company Majesco and, last fall, J.D. Power. Also last fall, Earnix unveiled its Underwrite-It solution which helps businesses build and manage rules and decision logic to enhance decision-making during the underwriting process.

Earnix has raised more than $100 million in funding. The company includes Insight Partners, Israel Growth Partners, and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) among its investors.


Israel-based cross-border trade financing company 40Seas secured $111 million in financing this week. The total includes $11 million in seed funding and a $100 million credit facility.

The seed funding round was led by Team8 and featured participation from ZIM Integrated Shipping Services. ZIM also was the entity behind the $100 million credit facility 40Seas received this week. The agreement comes with an option to extend the credit facility to $200 million.

40Seas leverages AI and data analytics to determine creditworthiness, and offers flexible payment arrangements to provide small importers and exporters, freight forwarders, and sourcing agencies with critical working capital. The company made its soft launch in October of last year and says that it already has financed transactions for “dozens of SMEs.”

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that small businesses represent more than 40% of all cross-border trade volume. Nevertheless, compared to large, multinational corporations, SMEs are “seven times more likely to be denied trade financing,” according to the World Trade Organization. Among the obstacles to these firms are siloed banking jurisdictions, working capital constraints, legacy processes, and more. To this end, 40Seas helps exporters get paid as quickly as possible and gives importers payment options that enable them to grow their businesses without incurring sizable additional debt.

“Given today’s harsh macroeconomic conditions, now more than ever, SMEs need easy access to financing to have the best chance of survival,” 40Seas co-founder and CEO Eyal Moldovan said.

40Seas is headquartered in Tel Aviv and has offices in New York City, Toronto, and Shenzhen.


Last month CTech published a short list of what it called the “five most promising early-stage fintech startups” in Israel. The list was based on the opinions of “prominent investors in the Israeli market” and looked at both “business potential” and “managerial depth.”

The businesses represented included travel insurance (Faye), an automated accounting platform (Trullion), a compliance platform (Sedric), a loan exchange for SMEs (Lama AI), and a payments workflow automation company (Nilus). Combined, the five companies have raised more than $47 million in funding from investors including Viola Ventures, F2, Third Point Ventures, Greycroft, Homeward Ventures, StageOne, Foundational Capital, and Bessemer Venture Partners.

We’ll keep an eye on these and other innovative fintechs that are helping build Israel’s unique fintech ecosystem.


Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

Latin America and the Caribbean

Asia-Pacific

Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa


Photo by Haley Black

https://finovate.com/finovate-global-israel-earnix-introduces-new-ceo-40seas-raises-111-million-and-a-look-at-early-stage-startups/

Innovate Thyself: Leda Glyptis on “Bankers Like Us” and the Real Problem with Digital Transformation

https://finovate.com/innovate-thyself-leda-glyptis-on-bankers-like-us-and-the-real-problem-with-digital-transformation/

What are the biggest obstacles to digital transformation in banking and financial services? For Leda Glyptis, self-described “recovering banker” and author of the new book, Bankers Like Us: Dispatches from an Industry in Transition, the fault lies not in the stars, but in bankers themselves.

Fortunately, Glyptis sees bankers as the solution, as well.

“For years I have been blogging and speaking about how the biggest obstacle to progress inside banks is people. And that the only hope for change are also people,” Glyptis told Fintech Futures as the date of the world premier of her book was announced earlier this month. “What is so often approached as a technology journey often falls down or triumphs around the humans that keep on keeping on, the dreamers, the builders, the plumbers, and the storytellers of banking transformation.”

Leda Glyptis will discuss her experiences and insights as a veteran of the banking business in an afternoon keynote address on Day One of FinovateEurope, March 14 through 15 in London. Titled “The Problem With Digital Transformation is You,” Glyptis will discuss the human and structural obstacles to digital transformation with a focus on the kind of mentality and leadership bankers need to embrace in order to bring about the changes in banking and financial services that consumers increasingly demand.

For Glyptis, there is no reason – and no time – to wait for the rise of a younger, more digitally-native generation to do the work of transforming financial services. The time to act is now, and the ones to act are bankers — with “grit, determination and energy to drive change,” Glyptis insists. “Like us.”

Bankers Like Us will be available for pre-order on Friday, January 20th, and is expected to ship after February 10th. This provides plenty of time to get your copy of the book ahead of Glyptis’ keynote at FinovateEurope in March. At the event, after Glyptis’ afternoon keynote address, we will also host a special Networking Break & Book Signing with the author.

In addition to her work as an author, Glyptis is the Chief Client Officer at 10x Banking, a cloud-native core banking platform provider based in London. She is also a Non-Executive Director at leading U.K. cash deposit platform, Flagstone. Glyptis has a PhD in Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and shares her thoughts on banking and financial services as a columnist – and “resident thought provocateur” – with Fintech Futures. Her latest columns have tackled topics such as the importance of preparation, the role of pain in learning, and the challenge of maintaining the courage of convictions.

Be sure to visit our FinovateEurope 2023 hub to save your spot at our upcoming fintech conference, March 14 through 15 – featuring author Leda Glyptis’ keynote address on the afternoon of Day One.


Photo by Expect Best

https://finovate.com/innovate-thyself-leda-glyptis-on-bankers-like-us-and-the-real-problem-with-digital-transformation/

Ally looks to tech industry layoffs for potential hires

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/ally-looks-to-tech-industry-layoffs-for-potential-hires/

Ally Financial is looking to capitalize on recent layoffs of tech talent to grow its own digital platforms despite potential economic turbulence to come this year.  WHY IT MATTERS: The $191 billion bank plans to survey the workers being laid off at tech-driven companies and see who available, as major tech companies such as Amazon, […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/ally-looks-to-tech-industry-layoffs-for-potential-hires/

Truist acquires BankDirect Capital Finance in Q4

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/truist-acquires-bankdirect-capital-finance-in-q4/

Truist Financial closed its acquisition of finance company BankDirect Capital Finance in the fourth quarter of 2022. The deal for the finance company to operate under the bank’s Truist Insurance Holdings arm was announced Sept. 6, according to a Truist release. BankDirect brings life insurance, new team members and enhanced risk management solutions to Truist, […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/truist-acquires-bankdirect-capital-finance-in-q4/

Huntington prioritizes tech initiatives in Q4

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/huntington-prioritizes-tech-initiatives-in-q4/

Huntington Bancshares is planning to accelerate its automation efforts using savings gained from shuttering 63 branches in 2022. WHY IT MATTERS: Huntington outlined during its August 2022 Investor Day some core tech initiatives, including automating and enhancing the customer experience. “To further accelerate the execution of these strategies and support increased efficiency, we will be […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/huntington-prioritizes-tech-initiatives-in-q4/

Truist invests in innovation, talent in Q4

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/truist-invests-in-innovation-talent-in-q4/

Truist Financial increased its non-interest expenses in the fourth quarter of 2022 as minimum wage increased and the bank invested in technology, acquisitions, revenue-generating business and call center staff. The $548 billion bank’s adjusted non-interest expenses grew 8% year over year to $3.4 billion, according to its Q4 earnings presentation. WHY IT MATTERS: Although expenses […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/truist-invests-in-innovation-talent-in-q4/

Fifth Third prioritizes digitization in Q4

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/fifth-third-prioritizes-digitization-in-q4/

Fifth Third Bank saw higher technology-related expenses during the fourth quarter as it continued to invest in “platform modernization,” including the launch of its new cloud-based mobile app, Chief Financial Officer Jamie Leonard said during today’s earnings call.  WHY IT MATTERS: Fifth Third increased technology and communications spend 8% year over year to $111 million […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/fifth-third-prioritizes-digitization-in-q4/

Capital One cuts more than 1,100 tech jobs

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/capital-one-cuts-more-than-1100-tech-jobs/

Capital One Financial Corp. eliminated hundreds of technology positions this week, the result of the credit-card giant spending years investing in systems meant to improve its efficiency. More than 1,100 workers were affected, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter. Those employees have been […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/capital-one-cuts-more-than-1100-tech-jobs/

JPMorgan, IFC lead $27M investment for Colombian fintech

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/business-banking/jpmorgan-ifc-lead-27-million-investment-for-colombian-fintech/

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and International Finance Corp. are leading a $27 million round of investment in KLYM, a data-driven fintech that focuses on providing working capital to small and midsize companies in Latin America. KLYM will use the capital to expand, with Brazil as the main priority in 2023, Diego Caicedo, co-founder and chief […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/business-banking/jpmorgan-ifc-lead-27-million-investment-for-colombian-fintech/

Union Credit Emerges from Stealth to Deliver Perpetual Credit Approval

https://finovate.com/union-credit-emerges-from-stealth-to-deliver-perpetual-credit-approval/
  • Union Credit is launching out of stealth mode with $5 million in Seed funding led by CMFG Ventures.
  • The startup is launching in an exclusive partnership with CuneXus, leveraging the company’s continuous credit approval that facilitates loans in one click.
  • The partnership with CuneXus will offer Union Credit access to CuneXus’ 250 credit existing clients in the credit union space.

Embedded lending startup Union Credit emerged from stealth today and is launching with an extra $5 million, thanks to a fresh round of seed funding led by CMFG Ventures.

Facilitating today’s launch is a partnership with CuneXus, a company that helps credit unions and community financial institutions offer potential borrowers perpetual loan approval, making it possible for customers to take out pre-approved loans in one click. CuneXus was acquired by CUNA Mutual Group in 2020 for an undisclosed amount. The entity now produces more than $27 billion in loans each year.

“Ending the guesswork of lending and financing is an important step towards financial health,” said CMFG Ventures President and Managing Director Brian Kaas. “Union Credit can create real transparency via perpetual credit access. It’s a model that has the potential to completely change the way credit unions grow, allowing them to compete with fintechs and large financial institutions in their communities during the purchase experience.”

Union Credit’s aim is to help credit unions enter into new markets with a tool that offers borrowers front-end financing via merchant relationships. The company leverages CuneXus’ continuous credit approval that facilitates loans in one click. The company will use today’s investment to “focus on building out its digital lending marketplace, SDK, and a direct-to-consumer app where consumers can manage perpetual offers of credit from local lenders that want to serve them.”

Launched by CuneXus Co-founder Dave Burger and CEO Barry Kirby, the California-based company will benefit from an exclusive partnership with CuneXus. What’s more, Union Credit will have access to CuneXus’ 250 credit existing clients, which represent 37 million end users.

“Credit unions thrive on their long-lasting member relationships, but acquiring new relationships has always been a challenge,” said Burger. “Today that ends. Union Credit advocates for credit unions on a national scale, putting them in front of consumers at their point of need. It combines the local, competitive, and advantageous offers that credit unions are known for and gives them the sophisticated platform they need to amplify existing digital services and reach new audiences.”

Union Credit’s continuous credit approval will compete on the same level as buy now, pay later (BNPL) transactions that allow consumers to make purchases and pay for them over time rather than all at once. Union Credit’s approach using CuneXus’ continuous credit approval technology is similar to BNPL purchases in that it makes pre-approved loans available to customers in one click, making it easy for them to access credit when they need it.


Photo by Moe Magners

https://finovate.com/union-credit-emerges-from-stealth-to-deliver-perpetual-credit-approval/

Marqeta Unveils its Web Push Provisioning Solution as Mobile Wallet Adoption Rises

https://finovate.com/marqeta-unveils-its-web-push-provisioning-solution-as-mobile-wallet-adoption-rises/
  • Card issuing platform Marqeta launched its new web push provisioning solution.
  • The new offering will enable consumers to pay for products directly from their mobile wallets without having to first download a mobile app – that may be rarely used again.
  • The web push provisioning solution was inspired in part during Marqeta’s Hack Week event back in October 2021.

Modern card issuing platform Marqeta launched its new web push provisioning product this week. The new offering will reduce friction at the point-of-sale by enabling users to pay for purchases directly from their mobile wallets without having to download a mobile app first.

The new web push provisioning product is designed to address a major pain point for consumers: having to download an app – that may be rarely, if ever, used again – in order to complete a given transaction. Marqeta’s solution can help boost conversion rates by eliminating this requirement and thus streamlining the customer experience. Combined with Marqeta’s instant issuance capabilities, this week’s announcement reinforces and adds to the company’s leadership in the payment card tokenization space.

“Growing familiarity with digital wallets created demand for a solution that enables Marqeta customers to quickly and easily provision virtual cards and digital wallet tokens from the web for use with both Apple Pay and Google Pay,” Marqeta Chief Product Officer Simon Khalaf explained. “Our web push provisioning product meets that need and helps enable our customers to deliver a streamlined checkout experience to their end users.”

Marqeta’s offering comes as consumer adoption of digital wallets continues to show strength. According to Juniper Research, global digital wallet transactions are expected to grow 60% by 2026. Additionally, 71% of U.S. consumers in 2022 say that they have used a mobile wallet in the previous 12 months compared to 64% in 2020. Nevertheless, 75% of consumers admit to having abandoned a transaction after being prompted to download a mobile app in order to complete the purchase.

Marqeta’s web push provisioning solution, currently in beta and expected to be generally available later this year, was specifically designed to address this problem. The technology has its origins in a Hack Week event from last year, as members of Marqeta’s team realized the value of enabling brands to provision tokens from a mobile web browser. Built in partnership with both Apple and Google, the web push provisioning technology has been deployed by Bread Financial, which praised the way the product enabled the company to “offer flexible payment options that will keep the merchant’s brand at the forefront a deliver a better experience for the customer,” according to Bread Financial EVP and Chief Commercial Officer Val Greer.

An alumni of Finovate’s developer conference, FinDEVr SiliconValley 2016, Marqeta today is certified to operate in 40 countries around the world. Last fall, the company announced the launch of its Marqeta for Banking offering, which brought new banking capabilities to the company’s card issuing platform. Marqeta has forged partnerships in recent months with Raiffeisen Centrobank to power the institution’s new digital banking brand for customers in Poland and Romania – and with Blockchain.com, to power the cryptocurrency platform’s crypto-based Visa Card.

Headquartered in Oakland, California, Marqeta was founded in 2010. The firm is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ under the ticker MQ, and has a market capitalization of $3.4 billion. Jason Gardner is CEO.


Photo by Porapak Apichodilok

https://finovate.com/marqeta-unveils-its-web-push-provisioning-solution-as-mobile-wallet-adoption-rises/

Listen: Direct deposits and the CFPB’s new open banking rule

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/risk-security/direct-deposits-and-the-cfpbs-new-open-banking-rule/

The combination of today’s uncertain macroeconomic conditions and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new open banking rule coming this year has consumers wanting quick access to cash from their banks under the watchful eye of regulators. Consumers want the ability to move their data and accounts from bank to bank without risk, especially amid rising […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/risk-security/direct-deposits-and-the-cfpbs-new-open-banking-rule/

Discover execs join Bank Automation Summit US 2023

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/discover-execs-join-bank-automation-summit-us-2023/

Discover Financial Services’ Joe Mills, director of transformation strategy and automation, and Dan Ireland, senior manager of automation and businesses strategy, have joined Bank Automation Summit U.S. 2023 to speak on robotic process automation and automation operations.

View the full agenda for Bank Automation Summit U.S. 2023 here.

Transactions: Discover, HSBC select IBM for cloud and quantum computing
Photo by Bloomberg Mercury

Mills will join the panel “Automation operations: Use cases for transformation” on Thursday, March 2, at 1:30 p.m. ET, to discuss how to tackle automation projects.

Ireland will discuss how to build better RPA bots using process mining and process discovery on the panel “New approaches and techniques in RPA” on Friday, March 3 at 9:05 a.m. ET.

In 2022, Discover Financial Services partnered with vendor management platform TYDEi to streamline and digitize payments in the health care industry, and launched its Advanced Analytics Resource Center to enhance technology and analytics investments, according to a Discover release.

The Summit takes place March 2-3 at the Westin Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C., and brings together U.S.-based industry experts to discuss banking automation and technology topics, including cloud modernization and automating real-time payment processes.

Learn more about the Bank Automation Summit U.S. 2023 here and register here.

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/discover-execs-join-bank-automation-summit-us-2023/

PNC to boost tech spend after staff cuts

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/pnc-to-boost-tech-spend-after-staff-cuts/

PNC is planning to increase spending for its technology development program this year after reducing noninterest expenses through workforce cuts in the fourth quarter of 2022 in preparation for an economic downturn.   WHY IT MATTERS: Personnel-related expenses were down 5% year over year to $1.9 billion in Q4 but were up 8% sequentially, driven […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/pnc-to-boost-tech-spend-after-staff-cuts/

Microsoft joins wave of tech layoffs as slowdown spreads

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/microsoft-joins-wave-of-tech-layoffs-as-slowdown-spreads/

Layoffs that began in 2022 are accelerating across much of the technology world. The tech industry is slashing jobs at a pace nearing the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. In November, the most recent month for which data is available, the sector announced 52,771 cuts, for a total of 80,978 over the course of the year, according to […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/microsoft-joins-wave-of-tech-layoffs-as-slowdown-spreads/

Five GPT-3 Use Cases for Banks and Fintechs

https://finovate.com/five-gpt-3-use-cases-for-banks-and-fintechs/

If you’re not familiar with OpenAI’s newest technology, ChatGPT, now is the time to spend a few minutes to sign up and play with the chatbot that has captured the world’s attention. ChatGPT leverages Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3), OpenAI’s language generation model, and it is poised to disrupt a lot more than the customer service.

While ChatGPT has a multitude of use cases in the fintech industry– from automating copywriting to crafting a job description– GPT-3 is even more powerful. Accessed through OpenAI’s API, it can be tailored to suit a range of natural language processing tasks and runs on 175 billion parameters. ChatGPT has only 20 billion parameters. More importantly, firms can use GPT-3 via an API in a compliant environment.

The applications for GPT-3 across fintech and banking are seemingly endless, but I’ve outlined a handful of ways banks and fintechs can use the technology without requiring additional resources to save costs and create a better user experience.

Automate customer service interactions

Banks and fintechs can integrate GPT-3 into a chatbot or virtual assistant to lessen the volume of phone inquiries into their customer service department. GPT-3 can handle common customer inquiries, such as account balance inquiries or loan application status updates.

Enhance fraud detection

Organizations can use historical transaction data to train GPT-3 to identify patterns and flag anomalies that may indicate fraudulent activity.

Streamline document processing

GPT-3 can prove useful to firms that process a large number of documents and need to extract specific information from the paperwork. The technology can automatically extract information from financial documents, such as invoices or loan applications, which ultimately saves time by reducing manual data entry.

Create more personalized financial advice

Advisors can use GPT-3 to generate financial advice, such as investment recommendations, for their clients. In order to tailor the advice to the individual, GPT-3 will take into account customer demographics, risk tolerance, and investment goals.

Create sentiment analysis

From a marketing perspective, GPT-3 can be used to determine brand awareness and overall sentiment toward a company or brand. By analyzing customer feedback and social media interactions, companies can gain insight on new product deployments and measure customer satisfaction over time.

While many of these tools and capabilities have been available in the fintech and banking industry for over a decade, they are now even more powerful. What’s more, using GPT-3 may be more cost effective in the long run because of the range of use cases the technology presents.


Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán

https://finovate.com/five-gpt-3-use-cases-for-banks-and-fintechs/

Ingenico Taps Fujitsu Frontech for Palm Vein Biometrics Solution

https://finovate.com/ingenico-taps-fujitsu-frontech-for-palm-vein-biometrics-solution/
  • Ingenico partnered with Fujitsu Frontech to authenticate customer identities and facilitate transactions using the palm of the customer’s hand for in-person transactions.
  • To make a payment, customers hover their hand over a near-infrared sensor, which reads their palm veins to authenticate their identity and complete the payment using stored card credentials.
  • The unique pattern of veins in the palm is difficult for fraudsters to hack because the patterns under the skin are challenging to replicate.

Ingenico has partnered with Fujitsu Frontech to authenticate customer identities and facilitate payment using the palm of their hand for in-person transactions.

Leveraging its subsidiary Fulcrum Biometrics, Fujitsu Frontech’s solution uses palm vein identification to enable consumers to identify themselves and authenticate their payments by moving their hand over a near-infrared sensor on Ingenico’s AXIUM range, the company’s Android payment terminal. The technology creates a more convenient experience for customers as it eliminates the need to take out a credit card or enter a PIN. All they need to do is hover the palm of their hand over the sensor.

The palm payment service requires pre-authentication. To enroll a new customer, the merchant takes a near-infrared scan of the customer’s palm using an Ingenico device that incorporates the Fujitsu PalmSecure-F Pro Sensor and software. The image of the palm is encrypted, tokenized, and linked to the customer’s payment card in Ingenico’s secure cloud environment.

“Palm vein biometrics is the most secure method for identifying customers and authenticating payments, said Ingenico Senior Executive Vice President of Global Solutions Michel Léger. “Palm vein identification is a much faster way of making payments than traditional chip and pin and offers several tangible advantages, with none of the security risks of other biometric methods.”

The authentication method leverages Fujitsu’s PalmSecure technology and combines it with Fulcrum Biometrics’ biometric identification solutions to use the unique pattern of veins in the palm of a user’s hand. Palm vein identification is fast, accurate, contactless, and less intrusive than fingerprint or facial recognition. Additionally, when compared to facial recognition and fingerprint biometric methods, palm veins are more difficult for fraudsters to hack because the unique patterns under the skin are challenging to replicate.

“Our palm vein technology provides the most advanced consumer protection available in any biometric modality,” said Fujitsu Frontech North America President and CEO Shuhei Oyake. “Your palm vein pattern is totally internal to your body and therefore cannot be captured without your knowledge. Our patented technology for matching palm vein templates without needing to decrypt them means that there is never a time when your unencrypted biometric could be compromised. Fujitsu Frontech North America and Ingenico together will deliver merchants and consumers a long-awaited solution for frictionless and secure payments.”

Ingenico, a branch of Worldline, was founded in 1980 and is based in France. The company offers payment services including point of sale, online payments, issuing and acquiring solutions, and digital banking tools. Earlier this week, Ingenico partnered with Klarna to make the BNPL company’s flexible payment options available at the physical point of sale. Ingenico works with more than 1,000 banks and acquirers, is active in 37 countries, and facilitates payments on more than 2,500 mobile apps.


Photo by Karolina Grabowska

https://finovate.com/ingenico-taps-fujitsu-frontech-for-palm-vein-biometrics-solution/

upSWOT Forges Open Banking Partnership with Mastercard

https://finovate.com/upswot-forges-open-banking-partnership-with-mastercard/
  • Mastercard and upSWOT announced an open banking partnership this week.
  • The collaboration will enable upSWOT’s small business customers to access actionable insights and more readily secure financing.
  • upSWOT made its Finovate debut in 2020 and returned to the Finovate stage in 2022 for FinovateFall.

A collaboration between Mastercard and North Carolina-based fintech upSWOT will help banks better serve their small business clients by providing them with actionable insights and easier access to capital. Courtesy of Mastercard’s open banking platform and services delivered via its subsidiary Finicity, the partnership will bring open banking capabilities to upSWOT’s platform. This will enable SMEs on upSWOT’s platform to connect owner-permissioned financial data to 200 API-enabled apps, providing services such as accounting, payroll, e-commerce, CRM, and more.

“SMBs have long been accepted as the engines of economic growth and development but at times are underserved,” upSWOT CEO Dmitry Norenko said. “We believe that fintech innovation can dramatically reshape the success of SMBs.”

In a statement, upSWOT and Mastercard said that they will promote the new joint offering to their customers and to U.S. banks. The new features of the combined solution include:

  • Credit Boost: Enables businesses to share data with credit bureaus to potentially increase credit scores
  • Insights: Analyzes multiple data streams to suggest actions businesses can take to improve operations and profitability
  • Cash Flow Forecasts: Provides visibility into expected cash flows using sensitivity analysis and modeling

Bank reconciliation, cash management, business valuation, funding access, and ecommerce performance are also part of the new solution’s feature set.

“We are excited to partner with upSWOT to make it easier for financial institutions to offer their small business customers the ability to benefit from their financial data to make decisions, demonstrate their ability to manage a loan, and run their businesses more efficiently,” Mastercard EVP of U.S. Open Banking Andy Sheehan said.

Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Charlotte, upSWOT made its Finovate debut at our all-digital conference in 2020. The company returned to the Finovate stage last September for FinovateFall. Since then, the company has announced partnerships with Standard Chartered (SC) to launch a pilot project in Singapore and with fellow Finovate alum Cion Digital to bring embedded finance tools to more SMEs.

upSWOT has raised more than $5 million in funding from investors including Common Ocean Ventures.


Photo by Joe Caltiere

https://finovate.com/upswot-forges-open-banking-partnership-with-mastercard/

Savings Platform Plinqit Teams Up with SUMA FCU to Help Members Enhance Financial Wellness

https://finovate.com/savings-platform-plinqit-teams-up-with-suma-fcu-to-help-members-enhance-financial-wellness/

The jury is still out on whether or not January is officially Financial Wellness Month. But savings platform Plinqit isn’t waiting around for any verdict. The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based fintech announced this week that it has partnered with SUMA Federal Credit Union to help give the institution’s 7,000+ members the resources they need to become better savers.

The partnership will enable SUMA FCU’s members to access tools such as Plinqit’s Build Skills solution. Build Skills provides users with content that helps them build their personal finance awareness and savings skills, and then pays them for learning new skills. In turn, the funds earned from learning more about financial wellness can help propel users toward their Plinqit savings goals. SUMA FCU members will be able to access the functionality via SUMA FCU’s digital banking platform, thanks to Plinqit’s integration with Jack Henry’s Banno Digital Toolkit.

SUMA FCU expects the new technology will help attract new members to the credit union as well as enhance the banking experience for existing members. The institution serves communities in Yonkers and Spring Valley, New York, as well as New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut. Both regions feature sizable populations of Ukrainian immigrants and parishioners of St. Michael’s Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church. Established more than 55 years ago, SUMA FCU has more than $400 million in assets today.

“Credit unions are known for having strong relationships with their member base and SUMA Federal Credit Union has exemplified this for decades,” Plinqit CEO and founder Kathleen Craig said. She highlighted SUMA FCU’s support of local institutions, including churches, Ukrainian youth groups, and other cultural organizations. “Plinqit is proud to partner with an institution that consistently strives to make a meaningful impact in its community,” Craig said.

Plinqit made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2019 in New York. At the conference, Plinqit demoed its Build Skills offering – “created by Millennials for Millennials” – which aligns data, behavior, and incentives to make savings goals easier to set and attain. Last year, the company secured $5 million in Series A funding. The round, co-led by Fintop Capital of Nashville, Tennessee, and JAM FINTOP of New York, took Plinqit’s total funding to nearly $10 million.

Plinqit’s partnership announcement comes just a week after the company released its latest State of Savings Report. This survey, which measures top savings priorities for consumers, showed that 43% of consumers are actively contributing to an emergency fund for both short-term and long-term potential expenses. “While the price increases for everyday necessities leave many U.S. households with financial stress, consumers remain focused on building up their emergency savings even in these trying times,” Craig said. “Providing tools to help them be successful in their savings goal is critical for financial institutions.”


Photo by Dany Kurniawan

https://finovate.com/savings-platform-plinqit-teams-up-with-suma-fcu-to-help-members-enhance-financial-wellness/

Citizens Financial follows through on cloud migration

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/citizens-financial-follows-through-on-cloud-migration/

Citizens Financial Group will continue to modernize its cloud-based digital platforms and move away from internal applications in 2023 following last year’s cloud migration efforts. WHY IT MATTERS: In 2022, the $225 billion Citizens moved its direct-to-consumer digital platform Citizens Access to a cloud-based platform and will continue take to the cloud through its newly […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/citizens-financial-follows-through-on-cloud-migration/