Financing a startup: Breaking through current cost barriers

It’s a tough time to finance a startup.   Startups looking to secure capital to underwrite consumer auto loans this year face roadblocks as investors tighten their purse strings, driving up the cost of funds and stymieing the plentiful flow of capital fintechs tapped into two years ago.  Fintechs looking to secure warehouse lines of credit […]

Truist tech exec joins Bank Automation Summit US 2023

Lekha Banerjee, technology executive at Truist, will join the panel “Innovations in Business Intelligence for Banking” at Bank Automation Summit U.S. 2023 on Thursday, March 2, at 1:30 p.m. ET at the Westin Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C. 

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

Lekha Banerjee, Technology Executive, Truist

Banerjee will discuss business intelligence use cases and methods for using data in product implementations. 

The $548 billion Truist is focused on new products via its Innovation and Technology Center, which opened in 2022, and improving customer experiences via its virtual assistant, Truist Assist, which also launched last year. 

Banerjee joins Jessica Gonzalez, director of lending strategies and automotive market at fintech Informed.IQ; Steve Smith, president and chief executive at Louisville, Ala.-based 22nd State Bank; and Brian White, enterprise account executive at customer experience platform Glia, on the panel. 

Banerjee joins fellow Truist speakers Bryce Elliott, the bank’s executive vice president and chief information officer for wholesale and enterprise payments technology, and Lindsay Holden, head of Truist Foundry, at the event. 

The Summit takes place Thursday and Friday and brings together U.S.-based industry experts to discuss banking automation and technology topics, including RPA strategy and automation of real-time payments. 

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

CoreLogic Acquires Digital Mortgage Platform Roostify

Almost a decade after the company made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring, digital mortgage platform Roostify has agreed to be acquired by property information, analytics, and data-enabled solutions provider CoreLogic. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We believe that this is an important transaction for the industry,” Roostify co-founder and CEO Rajesh Bhat said. “From inception, Roostify’s mission has been to accelerate and streamline the home lending journey. Bringing together the power of CoreLogic’s data and analytics suite with the Roostify digital lending platform allows us to accelerate the journey towards a truly data driven digital origination experience in one single platform.”

The integration of the two technologies will help clients secure key data about both borrowers and properties at the beginning of the lending process. This not only saves time and money, but the transparency also helps ensure that lenders receive the information they need as early as possible – before processing and underwriting – in order to minimize errors and make loan conditions clear to all parties. The result is an improved customer experience with less processing and lower underwriting expenses.

Founded in 2012, Roostify currently helps home lenders process more than $50 billion in loans every month. With clients ranging from TD Bank and Santander to CIS Home Loans and First American Mortgage Solutions, Roostify helps lenders close more loans, improve margins, increase the ability to scale their operations, and maximize customer satisfaction. The San Francisco, California-based company offers a 45% decrease in time to close for a customer within 90 days of go-live, an application submission rate of 85%, and only 14 days on average between submission and delivery to underwriting.

“We sit on an incredible amount of data, analytics, and essential workflow solutions that when properly integrated to the loan lifecycle, can deliver a better mortgage experience for borrowers as well as lenders,” CoreLogic President of Mortgage Solutions Jay Kingsley said. “The Roostify acquisition will unlock our ability to quickly execute on this mission.”

Roostify has raised $65 million in total equity funding, securing investments from Mouro Capital, Cota Capital, and USAA among others. Ten Coves Capital led Roostify’s most recent fundraising, a $32 million Series C round in January 2021. Dan Kittredge, Managing Partner at Ten Coves Capital praised Roostify as “well-positioned to accelerate the digitalization of home lending infrastructure,” especially given the fact that “the mortgage lending industry has been relatively slow to embrace digital technologies.” Kittredge added, “the opportunity to re-design the future of home lending through technology cannot be overstated.”

Photo by Pixabay

FinovateEurope 2023 Sneak Peek: Fyndoo (by Topicus)

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateEurope in London on March 14. Register today and save your spot.

Fyndoo by Topicus will demo its impact-based pricing model, which determines a loan price based on sustainable impact. The company also will demo the ESG Policy Mix Panel: a tool for policy makers to model their ESG policy.


  • Price a loan based on ESG impact
  • Differentiate from competitors with a focused ESG policy
  • Model a company’s ESG policy effortlessly and allow for instant implementation

Why it’s great

Impact-based pricing is a key instrument for creating sustainable change. The Mix Panel is a unique way to model and implement an ESG Policy.


Mariam Malwand, Manager New Business
Within Fyndoo, Malwand is responsible for managing new business. She ensures a match between the strategic objectives of her clients and the opportunities that Fyndoo has to offer!

FinovateEurope 2023 Sneak Peek: Openfinance

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateEurope in London on March 14. Register today and save your spot.

Openfinance Ecosystem is a marketplace where the best wealthtech solutions are co-created together with the most innovative companies currently taking the lead.


  • Reduces provider and operational risk
  • Reduces integration costs and time to market
  • Selects the best innovative solutions that fit a company’s needs

Why it’s great

Openfinance Ecosystem does not just integrate multiple providers; it also creates synergies with third party solutions to cover the entire value-added chain through a single platform.


Gonzalo de la Peña, Founder & Chief Business Development Officer
de la Peña has accumulated more than 20 years of experience revolutionizing the fintech industry.

Paula Moreno, Product Lead
Moreno holds a degree in Business Administration and joined Openfinance in 2008, accumulating 25 years of professional experience.

Understanding the Impact of Regulatory Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with audit standards and requirements is detrimental to a bank or lender. For standards such as PCI, non-compliance can result in financial penalties or in a bank being unable to process credit card payments. The CCPA assesses civil penalties of up to $7,500 for each intentional violation. Additionally, some standards require public disclosure of violations and incidents. Such disclosures result in reputational harm and public impact.

While it is difficult to quantify the impact of non-compliance accurately, it is clear that it has far-reaching effects. Reputational risk is a significant concern for banks, as a negative reputation leads to lost customers, decreased revenue, and overall harm to the banks standing in the community.

In addition to penalties and fines, a company found to be non-compliant may face civil or criminal litigation. If a bank knowingly fails to comply with regulations they may be subject to punitive damages and significant fines. To avoid these negative outcomes, banks must take proactive steps to ensure compliance and effectively manage risk.

Internal audit scorecards, communications, and assessments are legally discoverable in court matters. They can be used to demonstrate a bank’s negligence or prior awareness of potential issues. Some banks engage consulting firms for their economic, financial, and strategic expertise to provide attorney-client privileged assessments to mitigate risks and become more compliant.

Be Proactive in Protecting Yourself

There are various strategies to protect yourself from audit, regulatory, and reputational risk. A combination of controls and monitoring, software-driven analysis, and awareness of penalties and their impact help organizations manage and reduce risk. By taking proactive steps to ensure compliance and address potential risks, banks can protect themselves and their employees from negative consequences.

  • Strict controls and monitoring: Enhanced visibility through operational security practices, spot checks and enhanced authentication controls can reduce or eliminate risk.
  • Software-driven analysis of multiple standards: Software applications take the hard work out of compliance, providing an intuitive, cost-effective interface capable of managing multiple requirements.
  • Crosswalks: Identification of standards and commonality enable banks to improve audit outcomes.
  • Awareness of penalties and impact: Non-compliance and disregard of requirements can severely impact organizations and their officers and employees. Public awareness of breaches and other incidents usually results in increased oversight and accountability.

Governance Trends to Watch

Throughout 2022, we saw mounting pressure on risk, legal, and compliance teams to improve coordination with line-of-business and other teams in the operations function. The three lines of defense – front-line business activities, risk and compliance, and internal audit remain a strong governance model. However, the recent siloing of functions limits the ability of controls to be fully integrated throughout the organization.

Reducing Risk

Risk reduction happens when IT and the business take appropriate actions. Compliance capabilities must shift from reporting to achieving outcomes. This is critical as organizational risk will likely be re-scoped in 2023 to include the broader partner channels and third-party vendors, increasing demand for this capability. Banks and lenders should increase integration and collaborate to reduce risks. To improve overall risk management, teams must emphasize  outcomes over reporting, for example, by prioritizing the time to remediate risk over assessment frequency.

Compliance Management

Compliance requirements continue to evolve. Privacy regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and industry-specific regulations such as the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and Cybersecurity Regulation (2018), are raising the bar. We see indications this pace will continue and accelerate. And, the systemic risks identified in 2022 will likely result in increased oversight and obligations.

So this year, legal and compliance teams should:

  • Prepare to scale up to meet compliance requirements and obligations.
  • Increase the use of automation and orchestration to enforce the policy.

Roadmap Recommendations

Start shifting from Reporting to Demonstrable Risk Reduction. Legal and compliance teams often excel at auditing, identifying, and reporting on risk. But continue working towards the shift from analysis to action by collaboratively reducing risk with other teams. To do this:

  • Bring legal and compliance objectives and key results (OKRs) into alignment with the business.
  • Integrate legal and compliance services, such as classification and service management.
  • Develop a business case process for risk reduction – by addressing concerns over increasing costs or reduced performance, for example.
  • Improve program metrics and executive reporting.

As an industry, we have the opportunity to transform the lives of millions of people. Informed has the power to drive industry collaboration and financial wellness for all. Come find me at the Bank Automation Summit to continue the conversation!

By Jessica Gonzalez

With more than 15 years’ experience in the financial services industry, including tenures at Santander Consumer USA and Visa, Jessica Gonzalez is now the Director of Lending Strategies at Informed.IQ.

Finovate Global Canada: Paytech M&A, Mobile Top-Ups, and New Rules for Crypto Exchanges

Canada Inks New Guidelines for Crypto Exchanges

In the wake of the FTX scandal and the so-called “crypto winter,” the Canadian Securities Administration (CSA) has issued a set of new regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges. The new guidelines involve both commitments to investor protection as well as a registration mandate. The mandate requires “crypto asset trading platforms” (CTPs) operating in Canada to provide a pre-registration commitment to Canada’s security regulators within 30 days – and begin a full registration process. Announced this week, CTPs in Canada will have until late March to comply. Those institutions that do not comply will not be allowed to legally serve Canadian clients. The regulations also institute a significant crackdown on the trading of stablecoins. Defined as “securities and/or derivatives” by the CSA in 2022, these digital assets can no longer be purchased or stored on cryptocurrency exchanges without written permission from the CSA.

“Recent insolvencies involving several crypto asset trading platforms highlight the tremendous risks associated with trading crypto assets, particularly when conducted on unregistered platforms based outside of Canada,” CSA Chair and Chair and CEO of the Alberta Securities Commission Stan Magidson said.

The new rules will undoubtedly make life tougher for cryptocurrency exchanges in the near-term. Nevertheless, the new regulations may provide more room for these businesses to operate than it may seem at first glance. From the multi-part registration process to the ability to secure permission to offer stablecoins, it seems clear that Canadian regulators are taking a relatively cautious approach to correcting the course of cryptocurrencies in the Great White North.

Ding and Western Union Bring Mobile Top-Up to Canadian Customers

The international mobile top-up platform Ding has teamed up with one of the leaders in the money transfer business. Ding has reached an agreement with Western Union that will enable customers in Canada to send international top-up payments to the mobile phones of more than five billion prepaid customers worldwide.

“We are thrilled to be teaming with one of the largest money transfer operations in the world,” Ding Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Rockett said. “The launch of Ding Checkout with Western Union will give consumers access to a complimentary service which they can use to support their friends and families around the globe. We are excited to unveil our capabilities as a digital value transfer platform and drive growth in both new and existing customers for Western Union.”

The partnership between Ding and Western Union will launch in Canada first. The partnership will give Western Union customers access to Ding’s network of more than 600 mobile operators across 140+ countries, covering 95% of the world’s population. The collaboration also gives Western Union customers a new way to add minutes and data quickly to their mobile plans.

Nuvei Completes $1.3 Billion Acquisition of Paya

At the beginning of the year, Canadian paytech Nuvei announced that it had agreed to acquire U.S. integrated payments and commerce solutions provider Paya for $1.3 billion. This week, Nuvei reported that the transaction has been completed.

“This is an important milestone for Nuvei as we continue to build a preeminent payment technology provider with strong positions in global eCommerce, Integrated Payments, and B2B,” Nuvei Chair and CEO Philip Fayer said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to officially welcome our new colleagues form Paya to the Nuvei family. We have been working diligently on our integration planning, and we are ready to begin the next step on this exciting journey as a single, unified team.”

Paya processed $50 billion in annual payment volume in 2022, with much of that amount coming from companies in verticals such as healthcare, non-profit, government, utilities, and other B2B end markets. Nuvei paid $9.75 per share for the NASDAQ-listed company, which went public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) FinTech Acquisition Corp III in 2020.

Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Nuvei was founded in 2003. The company also made headlines this year in forging new partnerships with enterprise digital commerce platform VTEX, Colombian payment processor Redeban, and online business marketplace platform Le Panier Bleu.

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Swiss software firm Netcetera acquired Slovenian mobile app and digital identity development company Kamino.
  • Saldo Bank launched in Lithuania.
  • Germany-based business financial management (BFM) company finway secured $10 million (€9.2 million) in Series A funding.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Remittance processor Remitly went live with its outbound remittance solution in the UAE.
  • Morocco-based fintech Gwala raised pre-seed funding to support its on-demand payment solution for employees and employers. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
  • Saudi Arabia-based fintech Hala acquired UAE payments company – previously known as PointCheckout.

Central and Southern Asia

  • India-based banking-as-a-service platform Decentro launched in Singapore this week.
  • Pakistani digital lending platform AdalFi announced a $7.5 million investment led by UAE-based COTU Ventures, Chimera Ventures, Pakistan-based Fatima Gobi Ventures, and Zayn Capital.
  • Indian payments solution provider PayU launched its 3D Secure 2.0 SDK.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mexican mobile banking app Tudi selected ThetaRay as its AML/transaction monitoring partner.
  • Brazil-based fintech Celcoin announced its $16.3 million acquisition of open finance company Finansystech.
  • Refresh Miami interviewed Juan Pablo Jiménez, Chief Sales Officer of Ecuador’s first unicorn, Kushki.


Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South African mobility fintech company, Planet42, raised $100 million in combined equity, debt, and a credit facility.
  • WorldStage profiled Nigeria-based Islamic fintech startup HalalVest.
  • Kenya-based micro-lender Power Financial Wellness secured $3 million in seed funding.

Photo by Andre Furtado

Envestnet manages expenses, modernizes platform in Q4

Envestnet focused on expense management and leaning on core investments in the fourth quarter to keep up with economic uncertainty and decreased revenue. THE BIG PICTURE: In Q4, the wealth-tech giant invested in its platform to enhance efficiency, Chief Executive Bill Crager said during the company’s Q4 earnings call Thursday. “We streamlined the business to […]

How to fight growing ACH fraud

The automated clearing house payment system reaches all U.S. bank accounts and is an extremely cost-effective way to move money. This helps explain the ACH Network’s steady growth.

Shamir Karkal, co-founder and chief strategy officer, Sila

Nacha says the ACH Network processed 7.6 billion in payments worth $19.2 trillion in the third quarter of 2022. Meanwhile, ACH same-day payments reached 176.6 million, up 23.5% from the third quarter of 2021. And Forrester Research says that “2023 will be the year when at least one major global retailer begins accepting ACH-based payments on their site, as some challenger brands already have.”

As the volume and value of ACH transactions continues growing, ACH fraud has been surging.

Our real-time world, financial system complexity, the lack of an ACH dispute mediator and the fact that pandemic relief funds inadvertently provided fraudsters with the resources to launch more (and more sophisticated) attacks also contribute to the ACH fraud problem.

ACH has been around for more than 50 years. It was built in a 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday banking world. But we now live in an on-demand world in which financial services occur at all hours and every day.

The rise of two-sided marketplaces, a plethora of new banks and bank-like organizations that connect to them, peer-to-peer transfers and other complicated payment flows created more entry points and opportunities for attack.

Also, unlike card networks, for which MasterCard and Visa mediate between card issuers, consumers and merchants, no one mediates and resolves disputes in the ACH arena. That’s why ACH is less expensive than card networks. It’s also why ACH has seen higher levels of fraud.

The U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act programs also “have placed lenders and borrowers at significant risk for criminal and civil liability,” as law firm Arnold & Porter explains. The PPP inadvertently gave some mom-and-pop cyberattackers access to funding, which they invested in more people and technology. That, in turn, has made some of these smaller bad actors bolder and more ambitious.

So, what should fintech startups that are developing and promoting applications be aware of when they are suddenly hit with fraud? And how can they limit ACH returns so that they don’t face penalties from Nacha, regulators and their suppliers? Let’s take a look.

Architecture and data matter

Fraudsters can be extremely inventive. A two-sided marketplace company once saw a fraudster create a business, apply for money on one side of the marketplace and go to the other side of the marketplace to fund the loan. The fraudster then transferred it over, moved the money to a separate bank account and then did an unauthorized return — and the money vanished.

Be aware that ACH fraud is almost unavoidable. ACH is batch-based. It’s a technology that was created in the 1970s. And there is no authentication or authorization baked into ACH.

How best to address ACH fraud varies by organization. But if you have any kind of fraud controls, you’re going to decline some people because you’re concerned their requests are not legitimate. However, you really won’t know whether those requests actually are fraudulent. So, collect data both from the people that you approve and from those that you decline over concerns of fraud. Learn from that data and be willing to rethink your fraud controls over time.

Understand fraud prevention is not a one-and-done endeavor

A customer might have a good first or second transaction. But 18 months later, that same customer might want to do a $10,000 transaction, which would be a signal in itself.

Small transactions can also signal a fraudster has overtaken an account. If account transfers are typically $5,000 and you see a $5 transaction, it may indicate a fraudster is testing the waters.

Stay vigilant. Implement fraud controls up front. And continue to fine tune those controls.

Review Nacha’s Risk Management Framework, which helps those who use the ACH Network and other payment systems using credit-push payments with guidance on how to address new and persistent fraud. Nacha says, “The most significant fraud threats to bank account holders involve fraud and scams that result in money being sent out of their accounts using credit payments, including ACH credits, wires, cards and other instant and digital payments.”

Get to know the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) guidelines and ACH fraud mitigation guidelines under National Institute of Standards and Technology cybersecurity maturity levels. And wait 48 hours to process ACH return codes.

Implement good, old-fashioned velocity controls

When a new customer comes in, sometimes that customer is clearly a fraudster.

But there’s also a lot of gray area, where you see some signals of fraud, but you’re not entirely sure that they’re fraudulent. For example, folks who usually do transactions from home might just be on vacation. You don’t necessarily want to decline all people due to their locations.

Implement velocity controls that look at how the user’s 10th transaction is different from their sixth, second or first transactions. Consider what other parameters are different among those transactions. And, above all, take steps to ensure customers are who they say they are.

Leverage biometric verification. You might not need it on Day One, but you may find it extremely useful as you scale. Employ technologies that allow you to add security easily, because if it takes six months to get biometric verification in place, you’re going to lose a lot of money. Without velocity controls and biometric verification, you will have to rely exclusively on know-your-customer data, and your business will suffer mightily from fraud.

Most organizations experience fraud somewhere between their 50th friend-and-family user and their 5 millionth customer. So, if you think about it, you can look at fraud as a badge of success. It means that your business has achieved enough scale to draw fraudsters’ attention.

But leaving fraud unchecked will have serious implications for your organization. So, take the steps above to control ACH fraud. And adopt a payments-as-a-service solution and trusted partner that arm you with the technology and know-how that you need to combat fraud.

Shamir Karkal is a co-founder and chief strategy officer of Sila, a fintech software platform that provides payment infrastructure as a service.

Western Union Taps Beforepay for Send Now, Pay Later
Western Union tapped Beforepay to enable clients in Australia to pay for money transfers in installments after the transfer has been sent.
  • Western Union and Beforepay announced a partnership that will enable Australians to pay for money transfers in installments after the money has been sent.
  • Called Send Now, Pay Later, the tool enables users to borrow around $1,400 (AUD $2,000) and repay in installments over a short period of time.
  • 44% of Australia’s consumers said they would like an option to Send Now, Pay Later.

Global money transfer company Western Union is teaming up with payment innovator Beforepay to offer its Australia-based customers a short-term loan option. Dubbed Send Now, Pay Later, the tool leverages Beforepay’s wage-advance product to enable users to borrow up to around $1,400 (AUD $2,000) via Western Union’s digital channels.

Registration for the new service takes “minutes” and users can repay the amount in multiple installments. Western Union is hoping the new capability will enable Australia users to increase the amount of their money transfers. The company reports that 44% of Australia’s consumers said they would like an option to Send Now, Pay Later.

“We are committed to supporting our customers and their communities by offering financial services that are accessible, ethical, and reliable,” said Western Union Regional Vice President of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands Gregory Laurent. “Western Union’s mission is to make financial services accessible to people everywhere. Our collaboration with Beforepay is another step towards achieving this mission – giving customers the opportunity to access additional funds as they send money to families and communities. We are excited about the positive impact it can have for consumers, as they proactively look for convenient options to meet their financial needs.”

Western Union was founded in 1851 and is one of the oldest cross-border money transfer pioneers.  The company enables users to send international money transfers in more than 130 currencies to over 200 countries and territories. Last August, Western Union expanded its partnership with Visa to bring Visa Direct to its U.S. clients.

With 750,000 registered users, Beforepay offers a wage advance product that extends small dollar loans over a short period of time. The company charges a 5% fee for its flagship product, but does not charge interest, late fees, or penalty fees. The average Beforepay advance totals $275 (AUD $400), and is repaid in an average of three to four weeks.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Western Union to support their customers with access to safe, affordable short-term lending,” said Beforepay CEO Jamie Twiss. “Beforepay and Western Union share a vision of providing inclusive financial services to aspiring consumers around the world.”

Photo credit: Western Union

February tech layoffs: 68,500 impacted in 2nd round of cuts

A February wave of layoffs in the tech industry has left many without work amid a looming recession.  Within the past year, more than 150,000 employees were affected by 2022 tech layoffs, which continued in January with 68,500 job cuts, according to “Who Was Affected by the 2022-2023 Tech Layoffs?,” a report from research firm […]

FinovateEurope 2023 Sneak Peek: 10x Banking

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateEurope in London on March 14. Register today and save your spot.

10x Banking empowers banks to move from monolithic to next-generation core banking solutions delivered through their comprehensive and powerful cloud native SaaS core banking platform SuperCore®.


  • Create innovative banking experiences across cards, savings and lending on one platform
  • Enable users to make smarter decisions based on real-time data to hyper-personalize
  • Launch new propositions in minutes

Why it’s great

10x SuperCore Cards help banks slash time to market from months to minutes with significantly reduced overheads in managing the ecosystem.


George Broom, Product Owner
Broom is the Product Owner for financial products and subscriptions at 10x. His job is to remove all the barriers to building innovative products that customers love.

Nicole Sanders, Product Marketing Manager
With 15 years of product and marketing experience in FS and leading GTM’s in nine countries, Sanders champions actioned customer insight to transform business’ bottom line.

FinovateEurope 2023 Sneak Peek: Trulioo

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateEurope in London on March 14. Register today and save your spot.

Trulioo is the identity platform global businesses turn to for growth, innovation and compliance. Trulioo is the end-to-end identity verification platform.


Quickly build, launch and optimize onboarding workflows through Workflow Studio or connect to specific verification services through API Direct.

Why it’s great

No matter a company’s needs and requirements, Trulioo enables a company to smoothly connect their system with Trulioo’s solutions.


Michael Ramsbacker, Chief Product Officer
Ramsbacker has more than 20 years of experience in the strategic execution of product strategies, particularly for the business-to-business technology industry.

Ben Penning, Director, Product Management
Penning is the Director of Product Managment at Trulioo. Prior to working at Trulioo, Penning was a Senior Product Manager at ServiceNow.

FinovateEurope 2023 Sneak Peek: TAZI AI

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateEurope in London on March 14. Register today and save your spot.

TAZI AI is a machine learning (ML) platform, enabling business experts and data scientists to build and deploy ML models with patented continuous learning and explainable AI.


  • Easy to use: can be used by business users who don’t have data science training
  • Time to value: deploy models in less than two weeks
  • Adaptive: adapts to changes in data

Why it’s great

A no-code ML platform for business experts (and data scientists) to create, update and deploy ML models, allowing them to make smart decisions in dynamic business environments.


Zehra Cataltepe, CEO & Co-Founder
Cataltepe is a computer science expert with a Ph.D from CALTECH, democratizing AI across industries. She has 100+ publications in the field of AI and 14 patents.

Six “Can’t Miss” Features of FinovateEurope Next Month

There are plenty of reasons why FinovateEurope 2023 next month will be one of the year’s biggest fintech events. With just over a week left to take advantage of early-bird savings on your FinovateEurope ticket, we thought we’d share a handful of our favorite reasons why we hope to see you in London, March 14 and 15.

New Keynote Speakers!

FinovateEurope 2023 will feature the return of many of our favorite keynote speakers. But this year’s event will also showcase a number of newcomers. At the top of the list is Leda Glyptis, veteran banking professional and author of the book Bankers Like Us. With a mainstage keynote on Day One of FinovateEurope titled “The Problem with Digital Transformation Is You,” Glyptis will examine the key role that financial services professionals play in helping – or hindering – the process of digital transformation in their own businesses and institutions.

Also making their Finovate debuts as keynote speakers at FinovateEurope are John C. Hulsman, President and Managing Partner, John C. Hulsman Enterprises, who will speak on the global economy; and Adam Lowe, Chief Product & Innovation Officer, Arculus by CompoSecure, who will discuss securing digital platforms and optimizing the customer experience.

FinovateEurope will also present a series of Quick Fire Keynotes. Leading these 10-minute presentations are Matt Bullivant, Director of ESG Strategy, OakNorth, who will speak about climate change, ESG, and financial services; Martin Hyde, EMEA Payment Partnerships Lead, J.P. Morgan Payments, who will talk about the power of embedded payments in financial services; and Dhaksha Vivekanandan, founder of Daylight Robbery, who will discuss bitcoin and the relationship between traditional and decentralized finance.

New Demoing Companies!

Of the 30 fintech innovators demoing their latest solutions live on stage next month, nearly half will be making their Finovate debuts. Representing countries as diverse as Scotland, Austria, Estonia, India, Switzerland, Israel, Sweden, and Bulgaria – as well as the U.S. and U.K. – these newcomers include:

Pre-Funk for FIs

The official name of the session is “Pre-Event Briefing for Financial Institutions.” But we know a pre-funk when we see one! On March 13 – “FinovateEurope Eve” if you will – we are hosting a special, invite-only occasion featuring expert insights into top fintech trends, a special address, and a fireside chat with keynote speaker, Steven Van Belleghem. We’ll top off the evening with drinks and networking to allow attendees to spend quality time with fellow professionals from banks and other financial institutions.

Alumni Alley: How the Best Have Won

Alumni Alley is our opportunity to showcase some of the biggest brands in fintech that have demoed their innovations live on the Finovate stage. For our upcoming conference next month, the focus will be on FinovateEurope alums. Check out our coverage of some of FinovateEurope’s most storied alums.

If you’re working with a bank, an established fintech innovator, or a bold, new startup, Alumni Alley is a unique chance to gain insights and ideas that can help you grow your organization, improve partner relationships, and take your business to the next level.

“If You Start Me Up”: Finovate’s Startup Booster Program

Our Startup Booster program is designed to enable early-stage startups to take advantage of the full Finovate experience – at a price point appropriate for their early-stage status. Held on March 15, participants in our Startup Booster Program will hear from successful founders about partnership strategies, insights into the investment process, tips on how to land your first bank customer, and more.

Following the presentations, startups will have two hours of networking time with investors from across the U.K. and Europe.

What’s Hot? What’s Not? The GameShow!

Think you know what’s hot and what’s not among fintech’s competing trends and passions? Join us for our special event – What’s Hot? What’s Not? The Gameshow! – where we’ll pit veteran fintech analysts and insiders against the wisdom of the crowd to find out who really knows where fintech is headed!

Our unique gameshow format – in which you the audience get to play judge and jury – will bring a little lighthearted fun to the discussion of fintech trends, and add a little healthy competition to the endless debate: HOT? Or NOT!

Early-bird savings for FinovateEurope end on March 3rd. Visit our FinovateEurope hub today and save your spot!

Photo by John-Mark Smith

Transactions: Visa, Wedge partner on card payments

Digital wallet company Wedge is teaming with Visa to launch a debit card within Visa’s network in the U.S. using Wedge’s card technology.  Austin, Texas-based Wedge’s card allows users to liquidate their assets — including stocks, ETFs and crypto — to pay for goods and services, according to the company. “We are always looking for […]

Globalization Partners Taps Wise to Lower the Cost of Global Contractor Payments
  • International hiring and employment platform Global Partners (G-P) has tapped cross-border money transfer company Wise for its payment tools.
  • Under the agreement, G-P will embed Wise’s international payment tool in its Contractor platform with an aim to simplify worker disbursements.
  • With Wise, businesses will be able to use their payment method of choice to pay contract workers, while the contractors will be able to select their preferred payout method.

International hiring and employment platform Global Partners (G-P) has turned to cross-border money transfer company Wise to help its business clients to pay some of their workforce.

G-P was founded in 2012 to help businesses quickly hire contract and freelance workers across borders in a compliant manner while solving for legal, tax, and HR issues. Under the partnership, Wise will enable G-P’s business customers to access Wise’s payment solution directly from the G-P Contractor platform. As a result of the integration, G-P will offer their customers more flexible payment options, as well as more transparency into the payments process.

“Together with Wise we are creating a world that is unhindered by traditional financial systems, providing customers and contractors an ethical and transparent employment and payment process for all talent through our Global Employment Platform,” said G-P Chief Product and Strategy Officer Nat Rajesh Natarajan. “At G-P, our mission is to create a borderless and equitable world of work. Delivering flexible payment options is critical to delivering on that mission and meeting the needs of today’s professionals.”

Wise was founded in 2011 under the name TransferWise and has since helped 13 million people and businesses send money across international borders. The company offers a multi-currency account that enables users to hold up to 50 currencies and get account details to receive money in 10 currencies. TransferWise prides itself on its transparency by showing fees up front and charging the mid-market rate for money transfers.

With Wise, G-P Contractor clients will be able to use their payment method of choice. They’ll also benefit from batch payments for invoices in the same or different currencies, and will be able to see payment summaries that show a breakdown of costs. Additionally, contract and freelance workers receiving payment via G-P’s platform will have their choice of payout method, including bank transfer, virtual card, digital wallet, ACH, wire and international wire.

Photo by Markus Spiske

DirectID Secures $9.5 Million in New Funding
  • DirectID, a credit risk assessment and decisioning platform based in Scotland, has raised $9.5 million (€9 million) in funding.
  • The funding was led by Ingka Investment, the investment arm of Ingka Group – which is the world’s largest IKEA retailer.
  • DirectID will use the new capital to accelerate the launch of its predictive credit and risk models built using open banking data.

Credit risk assessment and decisioning platform DirectID has raised $9.5 million (€9 million) in funding from Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group. The company will use the additional funding to help fuel the launch of its predictive credit and risk models built using open banking data. DirectID also plans to bring its credit risk solutions to new markets, as well as accelerate its development of models for each stage of the credit lifecycle – from originations to portfolio management to collections.

“We are excited to be shaping a new global standard in credit scoring that enhances people’s lives by enabling access to products they need in an affordable way,” DirectID founder and CEO James Varga said. “Our coverage, advanced insights, and predictive models provide a unique opportunity to achieve this by creating the world’s first real-time, inclusive, credit score based on open finance data.”

The funding takes DirectID’s total equity capital to more than $23 million. No valuation information was provided in the company’s funding announcement.

Headquartered in Scotland, DirectID is the current incarnation of a project that began in 2016, when Varga rebranded his company miiCard to The ID Co. The move was intended to reflect the growth of the company’s B2B embedded, integrated verification solution, DirectID. Four years later, the company took the Direct ID name in a move Varga said was necessitated by the fact that “data has become such an important part of our offering.”

Ingka Group is the world’s largest IKEA retailer, representing approximately 90% of IKEA’s retail sales. Ingka Investments, the company’s investment arm, has $21.2 billion (€20 billion) in assets under management. The firm’s investment activity is oriented around three “key strategic movements”: financial resilience, business development, and sustainability. Peter van der Poel, who is the managing director for Ingka Investments, credited DirectID for its ability to “complement and disrupt the traditional credit and risk market”. He noted that the company’s efforts promote greater financial inclusion for consumers and will “add value to Ingka’s financial services proposition” going forward.

DirectID closed out 2022 by forging a partnership with U.K.-based SME capital provider Got Capital. The alliance will facilitate the digitalization of the application process for small businesses seeking financing. Since inception, Got Capital has provided more than $362 million (£300 million) to more than 12,000 small businesses in the U.K. Also late last year, DirectID’s Varga was one of 13 business leaders named as the first “Scottish Export Champions” by the Department for International Trade (DIT). The organization also named DirectID as the new “FinTech Champion for Scotland.”

“Whether it’s working with other industry figures to promote the U.K. as a place to do business, or sharing knowledge of our experience exporting to multi-national organizations, I’m proud to be supporting the growth of the £11 billion U.K. fintech economy,” Varga said.

Photo by Isaque Pereira

Transparency for Transformation Initiatives

Transformation initiatives often seek to provide greater efficiency through process optimization and cost reduction or to elevate the customer experience and drive growth. Sometimes they accomplish both. In either case it’s important to consider the need for transparency in newly deployed systems and processes. Optimization efforts that lack transparency can fall short of delivering on their promise.

Transparency can support several important goals and objectives. It can provide visibility into the status of work, answering common questions for multiple participants in a process. To start, the team that is performing the work benefits greatly from transparency. Providing clear and timely information about tasks and their status keeps them informed of critical blockers and dependencies they can work to resolve. Visibility into pending and incoming work items can help ensure that tasks are being actioned, and that SLA’s are being met.

For management this transparency provides important insights into how well a team performs and allows them to act with impact when they see key performance indicators begin to dip. Line managers need insight into the work their team is doing in order to keep driving better results. Providing visibility into operational processes and how they are performing allows a manager to step in and assist where needed and can give them the confidence that the work within their remit is being conducted quickly and efficiently.

Finally, customers who are kept informed can experience greater satisfaction and confidence that their needs are being met, and this transparency can prevent the noisy follow-up questions that simply ask for a status update. It is not uncommon for a customer (whether internal or external to your organization) to wonder if their needs are being actively pursued. Providing real-time visibility into the status of their requests can provide them with a measure of satisfaction that enhances their relationship.

Building transparency into your transformation projects can support both efficiency and customer experience goals. Teams will work more efficiently, and customers will be more satisfied. Delivering transparency can be made easy by choosing a platform like Appian that makes it easy to present timely data to the right audiences in a format that is simple to understand. The Appian platform combines powerful data fabric capabilities with the power of low-code and is a great way to transform your operations while realizing the value of transparency.

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