Venture firm QED raises $925M for fintech investing

QED Investors, the financial technology-focused venture firm that was an early backer of Credit Karma, has raised $925 million for two new funds. The firm, based in Alexandria, Virginia, said it has closed on $650 million for its early stage fund and $275 million for what it calls an early growth-stage fund. QED, which has […]

TD Bank invests in credit card solutions, digital experiences

TD Bank is investing in its digital experience as the bank upped tech spend in the first quarter and launched two new credit cards in May. The Cherry Hill, N.J.-based bank introduced monthly subscription-based, no interest credit card TD Clear and flexible payment credit card TD FlexPay, according to a release from TD Bank. The […]

Why Your KYB is Only as Good as Your KYC

In 2022, global fines for failing to prevent money laundering (AML) and other financial crime surged more than 50 percent, totaling more than $2 billion in the banking sector alone. With the ever-increasing complexity of AML regulations and the global nature of financial services, financial institutions are investing more resources into compliance and due diligence to protect their businesses. 

Join us for an engaging conversation about the complexity of Know Your Business (KYB) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations and discover how a single, integrated identity platform can help streamline the process of truly knowing the entity and the people you are doing business with.

In this webinar, you will learn: 

  • The latest trends in KYB and KYC and how to protect your business
  • How artificial intelligence can help streamline tedious, manual verification processes
  • New strategies for verifying people and businesses with an integrated identity platform

In collaboration with

Can’t join us live? Register now, and we’ll send you the recording. 


  • Kiran Kumar, VP Product Management, Trulioo
  • Coleen Carey, VP, Product Marketing, Trulioo

Why OCR Is Incompatible with True Digital Transformation

Optical character recognition (OCR) has been around for decades, and it’s still a technology that banks regularly use to scan and process paper or PDF forms, such as loan applications or account servicing requests. Although OCR is a well-established tool for data capture, it has a number of inherent problems that make it less than ideal when you’re thinking about true digital transformation.

We believe that OCR keeps your business trapped by thinking about forms inside the old “PDF paradigm” – viewing a form as a static and fillable document. Asking a customer to fill out a blank form by hand, or even complete a fillable PDF online, which then needs to get scanned via OCR, isn’t exactly a digital or mobile-friendly experience. Not to mention, OCR systems are notorious for data errors that result in high NIGO (not in good order) scores, which create more work to fix downstream.

Here’s how you might think differently about data collection and forms in the context of triggering and automating banking processes.

How Optical Character Recognition Works
Here’s how organizations typically use OCR solutions to manage forms data:

  1. A customer, employee or business partner downloads a PDF form or prints a paper one.
  2. They go through the form, gathering information and filling in each field by hand.
  3. They send the form back into the business, along with required documentation, where it enters a queue.
  4. Someone on staff has to scan that form and OCR technology parses the information to turn it into usable data.
  5. That data is sent to back office systems for customer management purposes – with a human needing to QA that data either before or after.

How OCR Scanning Stops Digital Transformation
While that process sounds simple and straightforward, it can go wrong in plenty of ways.

The Customer Has to Find the Right Form
The modern customer journey means making things as fast, easy and convenient as possible. Putting the burden onto your customer or financial advisor to find and download or print the right form, in the right language, feels like friction. Even if that form is a fillable PDF on your website, it’s not really a personalized experience.

Filling in Forms is Cumbersome and Awkward
No one likes having to fill in forms, especially when they’re lengthy and require lots of data. Bank form questions sometimes can appear complex, especially for processes like business lending. Unfortunately, for OCR scanning, it’s a necessary evil. The scanner and OCR software expects to see specific data in each field, and completing it wrong or missing data can cause errors.

Receiving and Scanning Forms Takes Too Long
In the digital era, consumers want to interact quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, posting a form back and then waiting for it to be scanned before processing can add several days to processing lead times. Meanwhile, your prospective customer gets tired of waiting and may choose a competitor.

OCR Scanning Can Introduce Data Errors
No matter how well a form is filled out, or how good the OCR scanning hardware and software, perfect scanning isn’t possible. This creates inefficiencies and duplication of effort in your business. Not to mention compliance errors. Going back to the customer to make corrections or gather more information just takes more time.

Data Capture and Digital Transformation: Rethinking Forms
Instead of relying on traditional forms to collect customer data in a process, many banks are moving toward creating intelligent, guided digital interviews, prefilled and personalized to the customer, state or jurisdiction, and business process – essentially enabling a two-way conversation designed for the digital world. What does this look like?

  • Ask customers “what do you want to do today” and guide them, instead of asking them to find and complete the right form
  • Personalize the interview experience with information you already know in your system, and allow customers to confirm known data rather than rekeying it
  • Enable customers to use more of the capabilities of their mobile phones, such as geo location and cameras to add photos
  • Eliminate the need for customers to figure out confusing if/then statements and simplify the journey with business rules that govern which questions are relevant
  • Enable customers can start the process on one device and switch to another without starting over – and securely add supporting documents as needed
  • Synch data automatically back to core banking and CRM systems, without the need for intermediate steps like OCR
  • Generate personalized documents correspondence, agreements or loan packages automatically – tied to e-signing for fast close and auto archived as needed
  • Incorporate workflows to update the right people and systems at the right time

This is a truly digital way to go about collecting information from customers. Everything is seamlessly provided online, you only ask the questions you really need to, and due to the verification process, error rates fall to almost zero.

OCR is a one-trick pony – all it can do is bring data into your core system. But most banking processes require information to flow back and forth from a customer and back out to them again in the form of agreements and correspondence. Accelerating this process can deliver both revenue and cost savings.

Don’t get caught in the scanning cycle – make the true leap into digital transformation, starting at the point of customer need. If you’ve got dozens or hundreds of existing forms, and you need to move them to digital, Smart Communications can help. Read our white paper explaining why forms shouldn’t be a four-letter word, and then learn more about how our SmartIQ solution can help you transform your PDF forms into a truly interactive customer experience.

Sam Everington, CEO of Engine by Starling Bank on Meeting the Needs of Customers

If you missed the keynote address from Sam Everington, CEO of Engine by Starling Bank at FinovateEurope earlier this year, here are some highlights that will make you feel as if you were in the room.

During his address titled, “From payments to core platforms: How can banks leverage data and technology to meet changing customer,” Everington relayed his experience at Starling Bank, detailing how the newcomer has remained competitive by using customer data in context to not only create a better user experience, but also cut costs.

Everington discussed the shifting expectations of consumers, who now anticipate a digital-first experience similar to those offered by big tech companies. Additionally, because customers seek fair, reasonably priced, and affordable services, in today’s current cost of living crisis, it is key that banks keep their costs low in order to retain consumers’ appetites.

Cost, in fact, was a big part of Everington’s keynote. He emphasized the potential cost savings for banks by increasing the use of technology and enhancing user experiences. He acknowledged that in the banking sector, technology is often viewed as a cost center and technology investments are primarily driven by cost reduction.

“In banks especially, technology and technology investment decisions are all about the business case,” Everington said. “Technology is a cost center to be controlled, and technology investment is by and large a cost reduction exercise.”

In his keynote, Everington identified real-time and flexible systems as essential elements needed to meet customers’ ever-changing financial situations, which can fluctuate multiple times a day. Banks need to proactively understand their customers, be aware of the products and services they hold, and respond promptly to any changes.

To address these needs, Starling Bank developed Engine, a technology platform that supports their operations. Engine offers flexibility, comprehensiveness, scalability, and reliability. These features not only enhance the customer experience but also ensure compliance with U.K. regulations.

Ultimately, Everington emphasized the importance of banks having an innovative platform that allows them to adapt and meet the evolving needs of their customers.

Photo by Yan Krukau

By The Numbers: Just 12% of consumers would convert to digital banking

While banks continue to invest in their digital capabilities, most consumers are not ready to fully commit to a digital bank with no physical presence. A survey by research company UserTesting found that just 12% of consumers say they would use a fully digital bank. The survey included 3,800 bank consumers from the United States, […]

Obie Brings Home $25.5 Million to Bring Embedded Insurance to Real Estate Investors
  • Real estate-focused insurtech Obie announced it received $25.5 million in funding.
  • The Series B investment brings Obie’s total raised to $39 million since it was founded in 2017.
  • Obie’s embedded insurance tool helps change the way insurance for landlords and real estate investors is bought and sold.

Insurtech company Obie announced a Series B round today. The company will use the $25.5 million investment to help change the way insurance for landlords and real estate investors is bought and sold.

Today’s round brings Obie’s total equity raised to $39 million, following the $10.7 million the company raised in its 2021 Series A round. Battery Ventures led the investment, which also saw participation from Brick and Mortar VC, DivcoWest, and real estate funds and investor groups. 

“We’re excited to have the ongoing support of our investors as we continue to build insurance products that drive efficiency and change the way insurance is bought and sold,” said Obie Co-founder and CEO Ryan Letzeiser. “This funding supports the future of embedded insurance, as we expand our partnerships across industries and offer additional insurance products to clients.”

Obie was founded in 2017 to improve the way insurance was bought and sold in the real estate investing industry by launching an embedded insurance option. The company’s embedded insurance solutions underwrite investors by pulling more than 1,000 data points from multiple databases. Additionally, it creates a better user experience by offering instant, bindable quotes via its partner platforms, such as Baselane, Awning, and Marketplaces Homes.

Obie has grown 300% over the past two years. And with 18 million real estate investors across the U.S., the company expects to continue that trajectory. Earlier this month, Inc. Magazine named Obie to its 2023 Best Workplaces List.

Photo by Curtis Adams

Tyro Payments Launches Tap to Pay on iPhone
  • Tyro Payments enables in-person, contactless payments for its users.
  • The new functionality is made possible courtesy of an integration between Apple’s Tap to Pay on iPhone and Tyro BYO App.
  • Tyro Payments made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring 2017.

Australia-based Tyro Payments announced today that its customers in-country can now accept in-person, contactless payments. Courtesy of the new Tyro BYO App, the company’s customers will be able to seamlessly and securely take advantage of Apple’s Tap to Pay on iPhone contactless payment acceptance technology.

“Tap to Pay on iPhone is a fantastic simple and secure way for new or existing Tyro customers to accept payments using only their iPhone, anytime, anywhere – without the need for additional hardware,” Tyro CEO Jon Davey said. “We are excited to provide this new offering to our customers, providing greater flexibility when staff are working on-site or on the move.”

Tap to Pay on iPhone only requires an iPhone and the Tyro BYO app in order to accept contactless payments. These payment options include Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, as well as other digital wallets. To use Tap to Pay on iPhone, users simply need to hold their Apple mobile device (iPhone or Apple Watch) near the merchant’s iPhone. Payments are completed securely using NFC technology. PIN entry, with multiple accessibility options, is also available. Tap to Pay on iPhone users also benefit from Apple’s commitment to privacy and security insofar as Apple does not store card numbers on the mobile device nor on its servers.

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Tyro Payments made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring in 2017. At the event, the firm demoed its first lending product, Smart Growth Funding. This offering became the first lending solution released by an Australian challenger bank. In the years since then, Tyro has grown into a leading paytech with more than 600 employees; more than 66,000 customers; and more than $150 billion in transactions since inception. Going public in 2019, the company celebrated its 20th year in operation in February.

“From Australia’s largest EFTPOS provider outside the big four to streamlined business lending and banking products, I’m proud of how Tyro is powering the future of payments and business, both now and into the future,” Davey said.

Photo by Catarina Sousa

Transactions: First Community Bank selects Jack Henry as core provider

First Community Bank selected Jack Henry as its core provider as the bank continues to grow its client base. The Michigan-based bank expects to grow 10% annually for the next three years, Chief Executive Daniel Clarke said in a release. “The reason we went with Jack Henry is because they had the horsepower behind them,” […]

Ready, set, pay: Prepping for FedNow

The launch of FedNow is finally around the corner and it’s been a long time coming, industry experts told Bank Automation News. “The launch reflects an important milestone in the journey to help financial institutions serve customer needs for instant payments to better support nearly every aspect of our economy,” Tom Barkin, president of the […]

Where Are They Now? Catching Up with FinovateSpring 2022’s Best of Show Winners

FinovateSpring 2023 is only days away! If you have already registered for our annual spring fintech conference – May 23 through May 25 – great! We’re looking forward to showing you the latest innovations from many of fintech’s most exciting companies. We’re also happy to be returning to San Francisco, California – where there’s plenty of opportunity for both networking and leisure when the conference day is done.

And if you have not already registered, then there’s no better time than the present to visit our FinovateSpring 2023 hub and save your spot. To whet your appetite, here’s a look back at what the Best of Show winners from last year’s event have been up to in the time since taking home Finovate’s top prize.


  • HQ: New York City, New York
  • Founded: 2020
  • CEO: Martin Toha
Pictured: Leigh Gross, SVP, Sales and Business Development

Demoed Array’s financial enablement platform, specializing in embeddable tools and white label solutions, used by leading financial institutions. Demo video.

Updates since Spring 2022

  • Partnered with Jack Henry to offer consumers personalized credit and financial insights.
  • Teamed up with Alkami to helps banks boost digital engagement.
  • Integrated with Q2’s digital banking platform to offer products including My Credit Manager.
  • Launched Credit-Builder Loans-as-a-Service solution, BuildCredit Loan, a private-label installment loan product.


  • HQ: Boulder, Colorado
  • Founded: 2019
  • CEO: David Nohe
Pictured: Ariam Sium, VP of Product | Jenn Underwood, Product Analyst

Demoed FinGoal’s insights platform that cleans, enriches, and analyzes personal financial data to better understand users and provide actionable insights. Demo video.

Updates since Spring 2022


  • HQ: Toronto, Canada
  • Founded: 2011
  • CEO: Janice Diner
Pictured: Colm Bermingham, Director Sales | Steve Frook, SVP Global Sales

Demoed Horizn’s platform that helps banks globally accelerate digital banking knowledge, fluency, and adoption with both customers and employees. Demo video.

Updates since Spring 2022

  • Partnered with ebankIT to support digital transformation.
  • Won Best of Show at FinovateFall 2022 in New York.
  • Teamed up with Coventry Building Society to provide skill development for branch workers.

Keep Financial Technology

  • HQ: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Founded: 2022
  • CEO: Rob Frohwein
Pictured: Rob Frohwein, CEO | Troy Deus, Co-founder & Head of Experience

Demoed Keep Financial Technology’s innovation that solves the hiring and retention challenges of companies by introducing a new form of employee compensation called Cash Vesting Plans. Demo video.

Updates since Spring 2022

  • Raised $9 million in seed funding in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
  • Launched its Keep compensation platform and initial Keep Vesting Cash Plans.
  • Introduced KEEP Performing, adding defined goals to its platform.


  • HQ: Fairport, New York
  • Founded: 2018
  • CEO: Bill Verhelle
Pictured: Nate Gibbons, Chief Operating Officer | Jillian Munson, Technology Project Manager

Demoed QuickFi’s 100% digital, self-service mobile equipment financing platform that enables business equipment financing in minutes. Demo video.

Updates since Spring 2022

  • Won “Best SMB/SME Banking Solution” at the 2022 Finovate Awards.
  • Announced a partnership with 3D printing ecosystem manufacturer Ackuretta.
  • Named “Best Overall LendTech Company” in the 2023 FinTech Breakthrough Awards for a second year in a row.


  • HQ: East Lansing, Michigan
  • Founded: 2021
  • CEO: Susan Langer
Pictured: Susan Langer, CEO | Sarah York, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer | Christen Wright, Head of Product

Demoed Spave’s all-in-one financial wholeness app that allows users to effortlessly save and give as they spend. Demo video.

Updates since Spring 2022

  • Announced that its founder CEO Susan Langer has been named a “2022 Dealmaker of the Year” by Smart Business Dealmakers of Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Featured its partnership with non-profit chaplaincy, Salt & Light Partners.
  • Commemorated Financial Literacy Month with new nonprofit partner Lemonade Day Houston.

Farm Bureau Bank selects nCino for loan originations

Farm Bureau Bank is implementing tech from cloud-based fintech nCino for commercial and retail loans, treasury management services and deposit accounts to operate across one platform.   Farm Bureau Bank signed with nCino on Oct. 31, 2022, to move parts of the bank’s operations to a cloud environment to better align functionalities, Mark Cromer, chief operations and technology officer at […]

NTT Data Payment Services Taps Facctum to Stop Financial Crime

NTT Data’s payments arm, NTT Data Payment Services, announced it has teamed up with risk analytics platform Facctum. The India-based payment company will leverage FacctView, Facctum’s anti-financial crime technology.

FacctView will help NTT Data Payments Services detect and assess sanctions, terrorism financing, and money laundering on its e-commerce platforms. In addition to protecting customers, FacctView’s technology also helps firms stay compliant. Because payment service providers are subject to increased regulation as fraudulent incidents increase, many have invested in risk screening capabilities.

“The payments ecosystem is facing a growing threat from financial criminals,” said Facctum Founder and CEO K.K. Gupta. “This is increasing the need for regulatory and compliance countermeasures. Leaders of PSPs have therefore recognized the vital importance of robust and resilient anti-financial crime technology to meet the challenges of regulatory change and ever-changing risks. I am humbled that NTT Data Payment Services has trusted Facctum technology to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of risk controls.”

Facctum’s FacctView leverages parallel processing technology and relies on a library of risk detection algorithms to detect financial crime risks on a comprehensive scale. FacctView also offers scalable, low-latency batch processing that supports bulk uploads and scheduled batch runs.

“Facctum technology is a great match for the needs of our high-growth and customer-focused PSP business in India,” said NTT Data Payment Services CEO Takeo Ueno. “Its addition to our anti-financial crime defenses shows our commitment to protecting customers and providing the highest standards of compliance effectiveness. This approach extends the capabilities of the business to provide continuous robust compliance whilst also improving the speed of services for customers.”

Facctum was founded in 2021 by former users and architects of financial crime compliance (FCC) technology. The London-based company has operations in Dublin, Johannesburg, Pune, and Bengaluru.

An alum of FinovateFall 2019, NTT Data offers a range of consulting, industry solutions, business process services, IT modernization, and managed services. The Japan-based company has made 26 acquisitions, including NTT Data Payment Services– then known as Atom Technologies. The company is publicly listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under the ticker TYO:9613.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Solve Finance Unveils Latest Debt Management Partnerships
  • Solve Finance has partnered with credit analysis tool ScoreNavigator and home financing ecosystem
  • The company’s Debt Optimizer is helping its customers understand their debt-to-income ratio (DTI), and ultimately qualify for financing.
  • The company is teaming up with to launch a feature to optimize consumers’ home-buying power.

Solve Finance recently unveiled two new fintech partners. The New York-based company has tied up with credit analysis tool ScoreNavigator and home financing ecosystem

Solve Finance’s technology will help ScoreNavigator’s clients navigate their credit journey by looking at more than just their credit score. The company’s Debt Optimizer tool also shows them their debt-to-income ratio (DTI), a key metric in receiving a mortgage or refinancing an existing property.

“By partnering with Solve Finance, our members will get a complete analysis of their DTI, along with a plan to help them qualify for financing,” said ScoreNavigator CEO Rusty Bresse. “Solve Finance is making it easier for our members to navigate home finance by aligning incentives and automating the best possible borrowing outcomes with data and AI. We couldn’t be more pleased with this recent partnership.”

“Home affordability is especially tough in today’s environment, and we can’t wait to add a path to make the best-possible borrowing outcomes available to everyone,” added Solve Finance CEO Sean Hundtofte.

Solve Finance has also partnered with home financing platform by launching a feature to optimize consumers’ home-buying power. The new tool helps shift debt burdens and optimize up-front and monthly liquidity. Solve Finance reports it has been able to increase the mortgage users are able to afford by over 20%.

“This strategic alliance combines Solve Finance’s innovative financial technology and expertise with Better Mortgage’s innovative lending solutions,” the company said in a statement. “This partnership has significantly reduced the financial barriers to homeownership. This collaboration exemplifies Solve Finance’s commitment to driving financial inclusion and ensuring homeownership is attainable and affordable for individuals and families.”

This feature is currently in a pilot stage with mortgage lenders and homebuying platforms across the country. Ultimately, Solve Finance hopes to address consumers’ confusion about how much home they can afford in today’s interest rate environment and tackle financial exclusion in homeownership.

Solve Finance, which demoed at FinovateSpring 2022, was founded in 2021 and is headquartered in New York. The company’s Debt Optimizer tool, which is available as an API or as a direct-to-consumer platform, leverages real-time market and credit data to serve as a financial debt advisor and save users money.

Photo by Monstera

Consumer Engagement Platform SKUx Launches New Card Program with Highnote
  • Embedded finance company Highnote is powering the new card program from SKUx.
  • SKUx is a payments technology and consumer engagement platform headquartered in Florida.
  • San Francisco, California-based Highnote made its Finovate debut last May at FinovateSpring 2022.

SKUx, a payments technology and consumer engagement platform, has launched a new card program. The company has teamed up with embedded finance company Highnote to power the new offering. SKUx noted in a statement that the partnership will help the Florida-based company continue to innovate in the disbursements space.

Highnote’s card platform technology enables a range of solutions from SKUx. Among these products are SKUx Customer Care and Recovery, which streamlines the product recall process, and SKUx Crisis Disbursements, which streamlines emergency payments to individuals. These new solutions join SKUx’s flagship solution, SKUPay, for product-based payments redeemed at the point of purchase.

In a statement, SKUx co-founder and President Bobby Tinsley highlighted the “magnitude of money” that moves between merchants and customers. Tinsley also bemoaned the fact that so much of these flows take place over “outdated and clunky” systems. He added, “We are obsessed with powering the best experiences by providing payments at the speed of today’s consumer – designing products optimized for digital wallets, mobile payments, and QR codes. Our partnership with Highnote enables us to continue this vision at both the quality and service our clients demand.”

Founded in 2021, Highnote is based in San Francisco, California. The company made its Finovate debut at FinovateSpring last year. At the conference, Highnote demoed its GraphQL API-based card issuance platform, showing how the technology enables organizations to make card issuance an embedded feature in their solution. The platform uses notifications and SDKs to empower developer teams to bring card products to market quickly. A no-code dashboard enables management and support, as well as providing product-wide visibility.

“The average consumer has become more digitally savvy, and their expectations around ease of use and instant access to funds have risen,” Highnote CEO John MacIlwaine said. “SKUx has tapped into this trend by providing more elegant and modern solutions to consumer needs, and we couldn’t be more proud to be their enabler in driving this digital transformation.”

Highnote has raised more than $104 million in funding. The company’s investors include Costanoa Ventures and Oak HC/FT.

Photo by SHVETS production

FinovateSpring 2023 Sneak Peek: Ionate

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco on May 23 and 24. Register today and save your spot.

Ionate deploys a cloud-modernization journey from any legacy to cloud-native microservices in under 18 months with SOTERIA (Discovery & Assessment) and APPDATE (Complete App Modernization).


  • Discovery assessment tool showing business rules and logic
  • AI/ML to modernize and migrate legacy systems to high-performing cloud-native infrastructures
  • Ability to work with any legacy application

Why it’s great

Using both SOTERIA and APPDATE, Ionate ensures and employs the most efficient and productive end-to-end journey from discovery & assessment to complete app modernization execution.


Ajanta Adhikari, CEO & Founder
As a leader and visionary at Akamai for over ten years and IBM, Adhikari took his technical innovation to start Ionate, Inc. in 2016. He saw a market need that he could solve successfully.

Amol Dharmadhikari, CTO
With over 15 years experience at Oracle, Dharmadhikari has been with Ionate, Inc. since the beginning. As the CTO, he paved the way to disrupting digital transformation for enterprises with AI/ML.

FinovateSpring 2023 Sneak Peek: Kani Payments

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring in San Francisco on May 23 and 24. Register today and save your spot.

Kani Payments’ automated reconciliation and reporting services for payments companies and fintechs globally allows them to report accurately and fulfill compliance obligations fast.


  • Reconciliation: End-to-end automated reconciliations
  • Compliance: Legal, regulatory, and scheme reporting requirements
  • Intelligence: Explore data and understand consumer and product behavior

Why it’s great

Electronic money institutions, BIN sponsors, challenger banks and fintechs use Kani to do weeks of complex transaction reporting and reconciliation work in under 30 seconds.


Marc McCarthy, Chief Commercial Officer
McCarthy was appointed Chief Commercial Officer for Kani Payments in 2022 and has a wealth of experience in the financial services sector, with a background in banking, technology and business development.

Priya Jadeja, Head of Pre-Sales
Jadeja was appointed Head of Pre-sales for Kani Payments in 2023 with over seven years in financial services. She will be heading and shaping the pre-sales demo function for new opportunities.

Movers and Shakers: Wells Fargo appoints co-head of M&A

Wells Fargo on May 8 named Jeff Hogan as its co-head of global mergers and acquisitions within its banking division. Hogan joined the $1.9 trillion bank after leaving Morgan Stanley, where he held the same position, according to a Wells Fargo release. Hogan and fellow co-head David DeNunzio will report to Wells Fargo Head of […]

Mastercard touts security of new account-opening solution

Mastercard has launched an enhancement to its Open Banking Account Opening solution to make it more secure as clients increasingly go digital. Digital account opening and transaction volumes are expected to reach $15 trillion by 2027, according to data from Statista, and Mastercard’s solution allows banks and fintechs to monitor digital fraud using account and […]

Small Move, Big Impact: Plaid’s API Migration Paves the Way for U.S. Open Banking Revolution

Financial infrastructure company Plaid made a relatively quiet announcement last week that will have a big impact on open banking in the U.S. The California-based company unveiled that it has migrated 100% of its traffic to APIs for major financial institutions, including Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, USAA, Wells Fargo, and others.

Taken at face value, this announcement appears to be nothing more than a fintech adding new bank clients. Looking deeper, however, there are three significant aspects of Plaid migrating its traffic to the banks’ APIs.

First, today’s move shows banks’ shifts in attitude toward open banking. Because the U.S. does not have regulation surrounding open banking, many U.S. banks don’t have the motivation to make consumers’ financial data open to third parties or don’t want to deal with the security implications that opening up consumers’ data to third parties may have. Additionally, in some cases, the banks do not want to make consumers’ data available to third party applications because the banks believe that they own the consumers’ data– or at least believe that they own the customer relationship.

The second significant impact of Plaid’s recent move is that it means that third party apps won’t need to rely on screen scraping to retrieve consumers’ data. The practice of screen scraping in financial services is less than ideal for multiple reasons, including:

  1. It requires consumers to share their bank login credentials with a third party, which may not have the same level of security as a bank.
  2. Since screen scraping extracts data based on the visual elements of a website, if the bank redesigns its website or changes the layout, it can result in inaccurate data retrieval.
  3. Screen scraping simulates user actions and requires a response from the bank’s website, which may slow the performance of the bank’s website, especially if multiple apps are screen scraping at once.
  4. Because screen scraping is essentially unauthorized access to a bank’s systems, the act of doing so may violate a bank’s terms of service.

As for the third impact– now that Plaid is working with the four aforementioned major U.S. banks to migrate traffic to APIs, it sends a signal to smaller banks, credit unions, and community financial institutions, which are more likely to follow suit. Potentially expediting the need for other financial institutions to jump on board, Plaid has also signed agreements with RBC, Citibank, and M&T, which will be migrating Plaid’s traffic to their APIs in the coming months.

“Our goal is to remove the need to rely on screen scraping in order for consumers to use the apps and services they want, and the momentum across our API integrations will help the industry get there faster,” Plaid Head of U.S. Financial Institution Partnerships Christy Sunquist said in a company blog post.

Despite the significance of this month’s announcement, there is still much work to be done. Some U.S. banks, such as PNC, are notorious for their unwillingness to work with Plaid, in essence taking a “closed banking” approach. Such attitudes may not prove beneficial in the long run, however, as many of the bank’s customers feel they are being shut out from essential third-party financial tools.

Photo by Jamar Penny on Unsplash