Hawk AI Scores $17 Million to Help Banks Fight Money Laundering and Fraud

  • Germany-based fraud prevention and AML solution provider Hawk AI has raised $17 million in Series B funding this week.
  • The round was led by Sands Capital and featured participation from DN Capital, Coalition, BlackFin Capital Partners, and Picus Capital, and adds to the $10 million Hawk AI raised in 2021.
  • Hawk AI made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2022.

In a round led by Sands Capital and featuring participation from DN Capital, Coalition, BlackFin Capital Partners, and Picus Capital, Germany-based fraud prevention and anti-money laundering solution provider Hawk AI has raised $17 million in Series B financing. The capital adds to the $10 million in Series A funding the company raised in June of 2021, and will be used to help fuel both product development and global expansion.

“My co-founder Wolfgang Berner and I started this business based on the strong belief that only leading edge, real-time surveillance technology can deliver the change needed to fight financial crime,” Hawk AI CEO and co-founder Tobias Schweiger said. “This contrasts (with) the obvious, drastic deficiencies in legacy technology. Hawk AI’s growth will continue to be fueled by industry-wide demand for AI, cloud outsourcing, and a convergence of fraud and AML technology.” Schweiger added that this week’s investment would help Hawk AI “become the leading global surveillance platform faster.”

Founded in 2018, Hawk AI made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateSpring in San Francisco. At the conference, the company demoed its AML Surveillance Suite, which combines explainable AI with traditional rule-based strategies to monitor transactions for fraud and evidence of potential money laundering in real time. The technology alerts financial crime specialists when suspicious behavior is detected while at the same time significantly limiting the number of false positives – by more than 70% – compared to legacy systems.

In its funding announcement, Hawk AI noted that more than $2 trillion is laundered every year, with U.S. fraud losses in 2022 topping $41 billion. Additionally, for what the company referred to as “high-growth markets,” fraud increased by more than 37% over the past 12 months. This has put additional pressure on institutions as both the volume and sophistication of financial crime continue to grow. Complicating matters further are an ever-changing array of regulations which Sands Capital’s Chris Eng said has made fighting financial crime “historically” challenging. To this end, Eng noted that, “Hawk AI’s sophisticated technology and use of explainable artificial intelligence present critically needed straightforward solutions for institutions across the payments landscape.”

Hawk AI’s funding news comes in the wake of a year in which the company realized year-over-year revenue growth of nearly 3x. Hawk AI also expanded its operations to Singapore last year, and now operates in more than 60 countries across Europe, North America, Asia, and Latin America. Hawk AI includes fellow Finovate alums VISA, Diebold Nixdorf, and Mambu among its partners.

Photo by Frans van Heerden


Finovate Alums Raised More Than $380 Million in Q4; $2.7 Billion in 2022


Finovate alums raised more than $2.7 billion in equity funding in 2022. The sum makes the $8.4 billion raised in 2021 seem all the more an outlier as our alumni funding levels return to those common in 2020 and before.

Previous Annual Comparisons

The fourth quarter of 2022 saw Finovate alums secure more than $380 million in funding. This amount recalls the relatively modest fundraising haul from Q4 2020, with a comparable number of alums raising capital.

Previous Quarterly Comparisons

  • Q4 2021: More than $1.2 billion raised by seven alums
  • Q4 2020: More than $472 million raised by 17 alums
  • Q4 2019: More than $876 million raised by 21 alums
  • Q4 2018: More than $800 million raised by 19 alums
  • Q4 2017: More than $730 million raised by 23 alums

Outsystems’ $228.4 million fundraising was easily the quarter’s standout investment. Also raising sizable amounts in the final three months of 2022 were Moneyhub, which raised more than $61 million over the course of the quarter, and Banyan, which secured $28 million in funding.

Top Quarterly Equity Investments

  • Outsystems: $228.4 million
  • Moneyhub: $61.6 million
  • Banyan: $28 million
  • Cinchy: $14.5 million
  • Buckzy: $14.5 million

Here is our detailed alum funding report for Q4 2022.

October 2022: More than $316 million raised by eight alums

November 2022: $13 million raised by two alums

December 2022: More than $52 million raised by five alums

If you are a Finovate alum that raised money in the fourth quarter of 2022, and do not see your company listed, please drop us a note at research@finovate.com. We would love to share the good news! Funding received prior to becoming an alum not included.

Photo by Pixabay


Microsoft Cloud drives tech giant’s revenue


Microsoft posted increased revenue year over year in its fiscal second quarter driven by its commercial business, specifically Microsoft Cloud. WHY IT MATTERS: In the first half of fiscal 2023, more than 70% of revenue came from commercial business, and over 70% of the commercial business derived from Microsoft Cloud, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood […]


Bold Commerce and PayPal Partner to Create a More Flexible Checkout Experience

  • Bold Commerce and PayPal struck up a partnership that will better integrate payments into more checkout experiences.
  • Using Bold Commerce’s headless checkout tool, retailers can place a point-of-sale wherever shoppers interact, including on blogs, within social media, and even on the packaging of a physical good.
  • The new solution is available in Bold Commerce’s Checkout Experience Suite.

Customizable commerce company Bold Commerce announced today it is collaborating with PayPal to better integrate payments into the checkout experience. Because, as Bold Commerce Co-Founder Yvan Boisjoli puts it, “The checkout experience needs to extend to everywhere shoppers are today, which also means that a full range of payment options need to be available to shoppers wherever they are.”

Using Bold Commerce’s PayPal-enabled tool, retailers can put the checkout wherever shoppers interact. A point of sale can be placed on blogs, within social media, and even on the packaging of a physical good with a QR code printed on the label. Upon checkout, consumers can use a range of payment options, including PayPal, Venmo, PayPal Pay Later, credit and debit cards, and multiple local payment methods.

“Payment choice and flexibility have always been a critical part of a successful commerce experience – but it’s only one part of the equation. Retailers today need to also offer a tailored checkout experience to help drive increased conversion,” said PayPal VP, Global Head of Channel Partnerships David Bruce. “It’s a powerful combination for a composable checkout to plug into any tech stack, and we’re excited to deepen our commerce capabilities with Bold Commerce.”

The new, flexible checkout method is expected to increase checkout conversion on merchant websites and what Bold Commerce is calling “shoppable touchpoints,” which will drive more revenue by decreasing friction. The headless, all-in-one payments and checkout solution is available in Bold Commerce’s Checkout Experience Suite.

“Through this new integration we’re making it easy and accessible to power checkout anywhere, with any payment method. We’re looking forward to working with PayPal as they make this move into headless commerce,” added Boisjoli.

Bold Commerce was founded in 2012. The Canada-based company’s Checkout Experience Suite offers a customizable headless checkout tool with built-in subscription and pricing capabilities. Bold Commerce counts more that 9,000 brands and retailers as clients, including Pepsi, Mars, and Williams Sonoma.

Bold Commerce has raised $44 million and has been named to Deloitte’s Tech Fast 50, E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year, and CBInsights’ Retail Tech 100.

Photo by Adrien Delforge on Unsplash


Capital One invests in tech amid January layoffs


Capital One reported higher technology-related expenses for the fourth quarter despite reducing its tech workforce as the company “continues to invest in its retail banking business,” Chief Executive Richard Fairbank said during Tuesday’s Q4 earnings call.  WHY IT MATTERS: The $455 billion bank reported a 9% year-over-year increase in total non-interest expenses to $5 billion […]


Quantum Metric Launches Atlas to Help Enterprises Turn Digital Opportunities into Solutions

  • Continuous product design platform company Quantum Metric launched its Atlas solution this week.
  • Atlas provides enterprises with a library of pre-built industry guides to help them turn digital opportunities into new products and solutions for customers.
  • Quantum Metric won Best of Show in its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope n 2021.

Quantum Metric, the continuous product design platform company that won Best of Show in its Finovate debut in 2021, unveiled its latest solution this week. The Colorado Springs, Colorado-based firm announced the launch of Atlas, a structured and accelerated solution to help organizations respond to “critical business questions” with “outcome-driven insights.” Atlas provides companies with a comprehensive library of pre-built industry guides that give businesses a tailored set of dashboards, metrics, anomaly detection, and alerts, providing them with a stepwise approach to improving digital use cases.

“Organizations consistently struggle to know if their teams are asking the right business questions and working hard to drive their experience forward to the benefit of both their business and their customer,” Quantum Metric CEO Mario Ciabarra said. “With Atlas, we are empowering every member of digital teams to focus on what matters most, winning the hearts of their customers.” Ciabarra called the launch “a defining day” for the company.

Quantum Metric helps enterprises negotiate the distance between recognizing new digital opportunities and turning those opportunities into revenue-generating, customer-engaging products and services. The company estimates that the average enterprise “leaves up to $220 million on the table per year in inefficiencies” and suggests that, by using Atlas, these companies can boost efficiency by up to 90%. “Atlas completely reimagines what we know about building and optimizing digital experiences today,” Ciabarra said.

At present, the Atlas library consists of 90 guides, and includes customized use cases for verticals such as consumer banking, insurance, telecommunications, travel, and retail. Quantum Metric indicated that it will offer cross-industry guides to common digital use cases in the future.

Founded in 2015, Quantum Metric offers businesses a way to recognize customer needs, quantify the financial impact, and assess priorities based on both customer impact and meeting business objectives. The launch of Atlas comes just days after Quantum Metric announced a year of “record-breaking” growth, including a 98% customer retention rate and customer base growth of 41%. The company today captures experiences from 40% of the world’s Internet users and offers insights from more than four billion user sessions each month. Quantum Metric includes 20% of the Fortune 500 among its customers.

Photo by Pixabay


Finovate Webinar: 7 Trends for Community Financial Services in 2023


Recession. Widespread staffing shortages. Increasing fraud. Customer demands — and advancements in technology like we’ve never seen. We’ve learned a lot about the current industry landscape so far in this first quarter alone, but there are still questions that loom large. Such as:

  • Will the threat of fraud ever go away?
  • Can my call center really become a revenue generator?
  • How will pending legislation around real-time payments and open finance affect our customers?
  • Should we really consider using TikTok?

Join this Finovate webinar, in collaboration with Eltropy, on Wednesday March 1 at 1pm EDT/ 6pm GMT, and find out the top seven trends that CFIs like you should be focusing on in the coming year. You’ll discover:

  • Which trends are the most crucial to ensure success for your CFI this year
  • How the right digital strategies and tools can make or break your institution
  • Examples of what’s working and what’s not in financial services

You’ll hear from Jonny Manousaridis, social media & customer marketing manager, Eltropy, and banking strategy expert David Hall. Register now >


Sandstone Technology Appoints New CTO


Banking technology company Sandstone Technology appointed a new CTO this month. The company unveiled today it has selected Anthony McKew to fill the role.

With more than 35 years of experience in banking and technology, McKew has worked for companies including Linkly, Premier Technologies, and SecurePay. He has expertise in designing and managing enterprise-grade platforms for major retailers, government agencies, and digital operations for vendors and service providers.

“I am extremely pleased with the addition of Anthony to our Leadership team as our Chief Technology Officer,” said Sandstone CEO Abhish Saha. “This is an essential role, supporting our customers across the globe and being a key driver of our ongoing business strategy and growth. Anthony’s intimate understanding of Financial Institutions and their security and technology needs will be of great value to both our customers and our staff.”

McKew, who began his appointment on January 9th of this year, fills the shoes of Sandstone’s former CTO Chaitanya Pinnamaneni.

Sandstone was founded in 1996 and currently offers a suite of tools for loan origination, its BankFast mobile app that offers end users a seamless experience between web and mobile channels, and intelligent document processing tools that enable banks to capture, classify, and extract data stored in borrower-submitted documents.

The Australia-based company formed its most recent partnership with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to offer a single platform that covers all its third party origination channels and limits exposure to legacy systems. In March of last year, Sandstone launched an innovation hub to capture emerging opportunities from new enabling technologies.

“At Sandstone we pride ourselves on our longstanding strategic partnerships with our customers, where we look to solve business problems together, not just provide a service,” said Sandstone CEO Michael Phillipou. “As the banking landscape continues to evolve apace, we’re excited to start working alongside our customers to develop solutions that grasp tomorrow’s opportunities, as well as today’s.”

Photo by Scott Webb


Bank of America, Citi, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan launch loan platform


Bank of America, Citi, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan have launched a syndicated loan platform solution that captures bank data in real time. The new platform, Versana, aggregates and normalizes data from member banks to create straight-through processing in the $5 trillion syndicated loan market, Versana Chief Executive Cynthia Sachs told Bank Automation News. Nearly five […]


Listen: How banks can use ChatGPT to improve financial literacy


Banks are looking to use AI to improve their financial literacy following Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in OpenAI and their ChatGPT technology.  ChatGPT technology is “a forerunner and a new class of artificial intelligence that’s basically composing written dialogues and could lead to endless possibilities for banks,” Joe Robinson, chief executive, and co-founder at customer […]


PayEm Raises $220 Million for Spend and Procurement Management

  • Business spend and procurement management company PayEm raised $220 million this week.
  • The round consists of $20 million in Series A equity funding and a $200 million warehouse debt facility.
  • The equity portion brings PayEm’s total equity funds to $47 million.

Business spend automation and procurement management platform PayEm brought in $220 million in combined debt and equity this week.

PayEm will use the funds to fuel its card operations, serve larger customers, and improve the employee experience within the digital product.

The funding, which is comprised of $20 million in Series A equity and $200 million in warehouse debt, saw contributions from Viola Credit, Mitsubishi Financial Group, Collaborative Fund, Pitango First, NFX, LocalGlobe, and Glilot+.

“This is a significant milestone in the company’s growth. Our new warehouse credit facility allows us to scale our credit cards operation and support larger customers with our fast-growing payments platform. In addition, the new equity funding will enable us to continue building our  platform,” said PayEm CEO Itamar Jobani. “With the current macroeconomic conditions, it’s never been more important for companies to have an efficient and clear lens into their financial health. We’re pleased to be that single source of truth for them as they may navigate turbulent times and supply chain issues, and simply need to do more with less.”

Headquartered in Israel, PayEm helps its business clients bring transparency to business finances, automate tasks, and enhance control of processes. The company offers businesses tools for spend management, employee reimbursement, automating accounts payable, purchase order approvals, corporate cards, and more.

Today’s round brings PayEm’s total equity funding to $47 million and adds more competition to the fast-growing business spend management space. Companies such as Brex and Ramp have been rewarded in recent years with massive funding rounds and high valuations. PayPal even jumped on the trend, launching its first commercial credit card last June.

Photo by John Guccione


Trustly Forges Strategic Partnership with Nordnet to Bring Instant Deposits to Nordic Investors

  • Payments platform Trustly announced a strategic partnership with Sweden’s Nordnet.
  • The partnership will enable Nordnet customers to easily and securely deposit funds using Trustly pay-ins.
  • Trustly, which made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope 2013, was acquired by Nordic Capital in 2018.

A new strategic partnership between open banking, account-to-account (A2A) payments platform Trustly and Nordnet will enable customers of the Swedish savings and investment solution to easily and securely deposit funds in their accounts. The pact brings instant deposits to the whole Nordic region, including markets where instant payments are not yet available.

The new service is going live in Sweden initially, and will be available to all new customers who sign up for a Nordnet account. The service will launch in Norway in the first quarter of this year, and in Denmark and Finland later in 2023.

“Trustly’s technology and customer focus made them a natural choice and good fit for Nordnet in our ongoing work to build the best platform for savings and investments,” Nordnet Chief Product Officer and Deputy CEO Rasmus Järborg said. “With Trustly, our customers are able to fund their accounts instantly and start discovering what stocks or funds they want to buy.”

Founded in 1996 as Sweden’s first Internet broker, Nordnet currently provides savings, investment, lending, and pension services to customers in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. Nordnet operates the region’s largest social investment network, Shareville, which boasts more than 300,000 members.

The company also offers margin lending, residential mortgages, and unsecured personal loans both under its own brand and under the subsidiary Konsumentkredit. As a pension solutions provider, Nordnet offers endowment insurance in Sweden and Norway and, for Swedish customers, provides a digital pension management service. Headquartered in Stockholm, the firm reported total assets of more than $22.8 billion in 2021.

Trustly made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in London in 2013 and returned to the Finovate stage four years later for FinovateEurope 2017. The company was acquired by Nordic Capital for an undisclosed sum in 2018, and has since forged partnerships with companies ranging from Alibaba.com to NACHA to IKEA. Last year, Trustly acquired U.K. open banking vendor Ecospend (terms not disclosed). In November, the company welcomed back Alex Gontheir as CEO of its Americas division. Gontheir founded and led PayWithMyBank as CEO. PayWithMyBank merged with Trustly in 2019 and Gontheir became Executive Chairman in 2021.

Photo by Jan Židlický


Grasshopper Bank, Ramp team up on SMB corporate card


Grasshopper Bank is partnering with finance automation platform Ramp to provide virtual and physical corporate cards with a host of features to its business clients.  The $606 million digital bank and fintech worked together over the last six months to provide the bank’s small- and medium-sized business clients with digital tools using Ramp’s automated platform, […]


Microsoft Invests $10 Billion in ChatGPT Maker OpenAI


Microsoft Corp. is investing $10 billion in OpenAI, whose artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT has lit up the internet since its introduction in November, amassing more than a million users within days and touching off a fresh debate over the role of AI in the workplace. The new support, building on $1 billion Microsoft poured into […]


5 questions with … HSBC USA Head of Global Payments Tom Halpin


HSBC USA’s Tom Halpin, head of global payments solutions in North America, is focused on listening to customer needs as the bank prioritizes digital-first engagement.

Tom Halpin, HSBC USA

The $167 billion bank, owned by $2.9 trillion, London-based HSBC Holdings, is looking to fintechs, innovations from its global counterparts, and emerging digital technologies for inspiration, Halpin told Bank Automation News.

For example, in December the bank partnered with digital card fintech Extend to offer virtual card solutions and embedded payments to commercial customers, according to a previous Extend release.

Bank Automation News caught up with Halpin to discuss HSBC’s digital priorities for 2023, fintech partnerships and the advantages of being part of a global bank. What follows is an edited version of that conversation.

Bank Automation News: How does HSBC USA prioritize its digitization strategy?

Tom Halpin: One of our strategic pillars is HSBC Instant ꟷ developing real-time payment capabilities needed to intermediate in digital flows. Our Extend partners, with mobile, instant issuance of virtual cards, directly support this pillar.

As such, we focus on digital-first customer engagement, making our customers’ lives easier and more efficient. This allows us not only to look at the payment transaction itself, but also the entire payment journey that our customers go through. We identify key pain points for our customers and prioritize our efforts accordingly.

BAN: What is HSBC USA’s fintech partnership strategy?

TH: As part of our focus on a digital-first customer experience, we look to future-proofing the technology we roll out to our clients. For example, increasing the use of data to enrich the customer proposition. Virtual Cards, with rich custom data fields, meet both of these requirements. Our Extend partners will allow HSBC to deliver virtual cards to a broader segment of our clients with a simple, digital, intuitive experience. This allows our cards business to minimize friction in our clients’ payment experience across a multitude of payment categories. We want to be present in the payment ecosystems of our clients to minimize or remove any disruption to their day-to-day operations.

BAN: How does being part of HSBC Holdings help you stay up to date on new tech and automations?

TH: There are many benefits that we at HSBC USA derive from being part of a global bank. We leverage capabilities and innovations from across the world, not just Europe. This allows us to identify new opportunities as well as share best practices across regions, and therefore bring new innovations to U.S. clients. For example, in 2022 we entered into a global agreement with Coupa Pay, which allows us to work together in each market through a simple participation agreement, greatly streamlining the time to market.

Likewise, our U.S. cards business has been able to provide new innovations and ideas to our global partners. Examples include the use of straight through processing (STP) to improve the merchant experience with B2B commercial cards.

BAN: Which technologies are you excited for in 2023?

TH: Embedded finance: The way that customers engage with banks is changing, which is why we are evolving and innovating at pace. We want to be present in the payment ecosystems of our clients. A key example of this is the embedded banking services we launched last year with Oracle NetSuite.

Continued acceleration and adoption of real-time APIs: Creating a more secure and insightful business model. This allows HSBC to support new segments, propositions and distribution models with APIs enabling automation of implementation and servicing. This is especially true of HSBCnet, which gives clients a clear picture of all their global banking in one place, wherever and whenever they want it. We offer a comprehensive suite of flexible online financial solutions, all designed to help clients increase productivity and manage cash flow.

Advancement of Virtual Card payment experiences, which includes a more robust acceptance ecosystem. To that point, HSBC has been an early adopter of MasterCard Track, a payment ecosystem that connects all four parties — cardholder, issuer, merchant and merchant services provider — in the card transaction in a common ecosystem, automating both the card payment and reconciliation processes for all parties.

BAN: What is your favorite piece of leadership advice?

TH: For me, the best advice is listen to your customers. Our customers’ needs are constantly evolving, requiring a strong level of engagement and consultation to understand their business. Also, understand that, as a trusted advisor to our clients, we don’t have to do it all ourselves. The best way to fulfill our customer needs might be better suited through an industry partnership, such as our Extend partnership.

Bank Automation Summit US 2023, taking place March 2-3 in Charlotte, is a crucial event on automation and automation technology in banking. Learn more and register for Bank Automation Summit US 2023.


Ping Identity Partners with Device Identification Platform Fingerprint

  • Ping Identity has forged a partnership with device identification platform Fingerprint.
  • The partnership will integrate Fingerprint’s device identification technology into Ping Identity’s identity orchestration service, DaVinci.
  • Ping Identity made its Finovate debut in 2016 at FinovateEurope in London.

Ping Identity, which made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in 2016, announced a partnership with U.S.-based identity tech innovator Fingerprint. The collaboration will integrate Fingerprint’s device identification technology with Ping Identity’s DaVinci no-code identity orchestration service to enable users of DaVinci to accurately identify devices and stop fraud.

Fingerprint’s device identification platform provides 99.5% accuracy and, upon integration with PingOne DaVinci, will enable companies to enhance the customer experience by reducing the need for friction-producing multi-factor authentication for known users. The integration will enhance onboarding for new customers, as well. “Our mission is to empower developers to build safe and seamless Internet services,” Fingerprint CEO Dan Pinto said. He said that the partnership with Ping Identity would help show the effectiveness of the company’s device identity technology in a broad range of digital user journeys.

Fingerprint teamed up with Ping Identity as part of the latter’s Global Technology Partner Program. Growing the program and adding companies like Fingerprint is part of Ping Identity’s goal of delivering “better, more frictionless customer experiences” according to company SVP of Product Management Loren Russon. “Our partnership with Fingerprint leverages PingOne DaVinci’s seamless orchestration to ensure dynamic user journeys are delivered quickly and efficiently at every stage of the user journey,” Russon said.

PingOne DaVinci enables users to design secure and seamless customer experiences across an entire technology ecosystem. The platform’s no-code orchestration and drag-and-drop interface mean that anyone who can whiteboard an experience can orchestrate it using DaVinci. Users build, design, and refine workflows, and then easily optimize these workflows with A/B testing and, where necessary, quickly deploy fixes and changes.

Named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Access Management for the sixth consecutive year, Ping One was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The company was acquired by Thoma Bravo last year in an all-cash $2.8 billion transaction. When the deal was closed in October, Ping Identity founder and CEO Andre Durand credited the way that “identity security and frictionless user experiences have become essential in the digital-first economy.” Durand added that, “with the support of Thoma Bravo, Ping Identity can further accelerate innovation to deliver the easy and secure digital experiences customers demand from every industry.”

Photo by Mediamodifier


The Conversation Continues: Greg Palmer and the Finovate Podcast with Quilo, Themis, Northern Trust, and More!


Finovate Podcast host Greg Palmer wrapped up a year’s worth of fintech conversations with this handful of episodes featuring Finovate Best of Show winners, innovative bankers, and insightful venture capitalists.

Find the Finovate podcast at Soundcloud and follow Greg Palmer on Twitter for the latest in programming news and updates.

Rob Antoniades, Co-founder and General Partner, Information Venture Partners

Finovate VP Greg Palmer talks with Information Venture Partners’ co-founder Rob Antoniades on whether or not now is a good time to launch a fintech company. Episode 156.

“What you should understand about our fund is that it’s all B2B. There are four themes that we specifically focus on – the key one is modernizing financial institutions. And whether that’s banks or insurers or asset managers or wealth managers, I think it’s all about bringing the technology, the digitalization, and more to these institutions to increase their competitiveness.”

Michael Ruttledge, Chief Information Officer and Head of Technology Services, Citizens Bank

Finovate podcast host Greg Palmer talks with Citizens Bank’s Michael Ruttledge for the CIO perspective on digital transformation in banking. Episode 155.

“We set out a bold vision to modernize the technology platforms and infrastructure through something we called Next Generation Technology Strategy. What I’m most excited about are some of the key critical businesses we have been able to enable. We’ve done a tremendous job moving to the cloud; we partner with both AWS and Azure and, with AWS, we’ve actually built a platform that’s really been able to unleash developers.”

Melanie Pickett, Head of Asset Owners, Americas, Northern Trust

Finovate’s Greg Palmer talks with Northern Trust Head of Asset Owners, Americas, Melanie Pickett on the institution’s digital journey. Episode 154.

“I joined Northern Trust specifically to launch a fintech within the bank called Front Office Solutions, where we serve the world’s largest and most complex endowments, foundations, family offices, and pensions, and help them with the very complex portfolios that they’re managing and some of the very complex data management challenges that they have.”

Neepa Patel, Founder and CEO, Themis

Finovate podcast host Greg Palmer talks with Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel on expecting more from your compliance department. Episode 153.

“Themis is a collaboration tech platform. Think of something like Airtable or Jira or Monday, but specifically created for governance, risk, and compliance workflows. Our modules represent different workflows that your company is already doing, but are probably doing it in the most inefficient way possible. We’ve brought all those tools that you’re using (and) put that information into one holistic view so that you get a better sense of what’s going on with compliance in your company.”

Don Shafer, Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist, Quilo

Finovate’s Greg Palmer talks with Quilo co-founder and Chief Evangelist Don Shafer about the company’s transformative approach to funding loans. Episode 152.

“We need(ed) to build a platform that would enable a banker or credit union to provide all of their customers (with) a way to get a loan quickly. And so with Quilo, we’ve timed it over and over. If you’re already a customer of a bank or a member of a credit union, you can get your phone and apply, go through approvals and get funded, and have the money show up in your debit card in less than 70 seconds.”

Photo by Jean Balzan


Stripe and Amazon Expand Payments Partnership

  • Stripe and Amazon have agreed to “significantly expand” their partnership.
  • Under the agreement, Stripe will process a notable portion of Amazon’s total payments volume.
  • The two have been partners since 2017.

Payments infrastructure company Stripe announced today that Amazon has agreed to “significantly expand” its use of its core platform, recruiting the California-based company as a strategic payments partner in the U.S., Europe, and Canada.

While there is no specific breakdown, Stripe said that it will be processing a “significant” portion of Amazon’s total payments volume across its business units, including Prime, Audible, Kindle, Amazon Pay, Buy With Prime, and more.

The two companies first partnered in 2017 to fuel Amazon’s expansion in Asia and Europe, as well as to support purchases made on high-traffic shopping days such as Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

“In particular, we value Stripe’s reliability,” said Amazon VP of Payments Max Bardon. “Even during peak days like Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, Stripe delivers industry-leading uptime. We appreciate Stripe’s relentless commitment to putting users first.”

The partnership also marks a continuation and expansion of Stripe’s reliance on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides the payment company’s core computing infrastructure. Leveraging AWS, Stripe has been able to increase developer productivity and accelerate product development.

“We couldn’t run without AWS—and we wouldn’t want to,” said Stripe CTO David Singleton. “AWS is our customers’ first choice. The platform gives Stripe enormous developer leverage, which we then deploy in service of our users.”

Stripe was founded in 2010 and today processes hundreds of billions of dollars every year for businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 500 firms. The company acts as a one-stop shop for almost every payment need, including embedded payments, payment acceptance, billing, invoicing, and more. Stripe, which released its own App Marketplace last May, has raised a total of $2.2 billion across 20 rounds of funding.

Today’s positive news comes at a good time for both companies. Last November, Stripe laid off 14% of its workforce and, earlier this month, the company’s internal valuation was cut to $63 billion, down from the company’s $95 billion valuation in March of 2021. Amazon has also been in the headlines for recent layoffs, with plans to cut 18,000 jobs.

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash


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


Sub-Saharan Africa

Central and Eastern Europe

Middle East and Northern Africa

Photo by Haley Black


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