Indian InsurTechs Redefining Claims Management

We cover more than 60+ sub-segments in FinTech – but we do not stop there; we also cover topics beyond FinTech, such as InsurTech, RegTech, PropTech, WealthTech, BankTech, AgriTech, and the enabling technologies enabling innovation such as AI, Blockchain, etc.

Tackling Identity Fraud in Crypto Businesses

We cover more than 60+ sub-segments in FinTech – but we do not stop there; we also cover topics beyond FinTech, such as InsurTech, RegTech, PropTech, WealthTech, BankTech, AgriTech, and the enabling technologies enabling innovation such as AI, Blockchain, etc.

Cobro Digital (CoDi) – Mexico’s Push to Accelerate Digital Payments

Latin America is a fertile ground for the growth of FinTechs because a large pool of potential FinTech customers still remains outside the financial system. Mexico is no exception—over 50% of Mexicans have no access to financial services. 

Digital payments, especially retail payments, are the key driver of FinTech evolution in any country. In Mexico, 83% of the retail payments are made in cash. Digitization and imparting financial literacy to the underserved or excluded population are the major challenges. Though Mexico is the second-largest FinTech market in Latin America, FinTech has picked up only recently (past 2–3 years). About 100 new Mexican FinTechs were set up in 2018 alone, representing 52% growth. Payments and Remittances make up only 20% of the market share.

Mexico Jump-Starts Digital Payments with Cobro Digital (CoDi)

Mexico’s unbanked population and smartphone penetration stand at nearly 63% and 40%, respectively. The economy is driven by cash; cash accounts for over three-fourths of all transactions. The country passed the FinTech law in 2018 and has been aggressively promoting digitization. In September 2019, the central ban …

FinTech Funding – April 2021: InsurTech, B2B FinTech, and Neobanks/Digital Banks Topped the Charts

We cover more than 60+ sub-segments in FinTech – but we do not stop there; we also cover topics beyond FinTech, such as InsurTech, RegTech, PropTech, WealthTech, BankTech, AgriTech, and the enabling technologies enabling innovation such as AI, Blockchain, etc.

Fighting Fake Accounts: Time to Look Beyond Simple MFA

In March 2021, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its 2020 Internet Crime Report (ICR) data. The report indicated that the bureau had logged over 791,790 incidents of cybercrime in 2020, which resulted in about $4.2 billion in losses. This number rose by almost 69% in comparison to 2019.

Online fraud and identity theft are growing concerns. There is always a chance of a fraudster lurking in the background to grab the right opportunity to take over your digital accounts. But the good news is that agencies, companies, and countries are coming together to close the security gaps and stop fraudsters from preying on online customers.

This article explores the various facets of the rise in fake accounts and access to false information and how companies like Prove, with its Trust Score™, can combat these problems in real time.

Identity Theft Combat

Identity theft has been on the rise as more and more customers have taken to the digital space due to the COVID pandemic. According to the Consumer Sentinel Network, maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “About 4.8 million identity theft and fraud reports were filed by the FTC in 2020, up 45% from 3.3 million in 2019, mostly due to the 113% increase in identity theft complaints.”

Global fraud detection and prevention players are stepping up their game to combat this rise in cybercrime. According to reports, the size of the global fraud detection & prevention market in 2020 stood at $31.5 billion.

While the rising strength of the fraud detection market gives hope, it’s also crucial to understand how fraudsters are presently bypassing the checkpoints by following the typical user behavior journey.

Types of Cyber Fraud

The role of digital in our lives is expected to become even more pivotal in the coming years. From banking and shopping to education, our reliance on digital is likely to grow multifold. Fraudsters are aware of this fact, too.

Here are a few key trends that anticipate new types of fraud to help businesses keep a check on lurking cybercriminals:

  • Synthetic Identity Fraud: A fraudster uses a combination of real and fake information to create an entirely new identity or a fake account. This is presently the fastest-growing type of financial crime. 
  • Automated Attack: This includes the creation of scripts where fraudulently acquired information is used to activate fake accounts. According to a report by Experian, this fraud is expected to grow in 2021, especially as the industry moves away from usernames and passwords.
  • Account Takeover: Fraudsters pose as ‘real’ users to gain access to accounts and then share this stolen information to conduct unauthorized transactions such as third-party transfers and unauthorized purchases.
  • New Account Fraud: In this case, cybercriminals use the information to open new accounts in the name of genuine users. This is often done by accessing a customer’s personal information and using it to circumvent identity verification checks to open a new fake account.

Creating fake accounts and conducting unauthorized transactions through such accounts are possible through leaked or stolen data. New account fraud is largely seen in account transactions and credit card identity theft, where information is used to make online purchases. 

Digital transactions are on the rise. Companies that fail to up their fraud prevention techniques and online security technology are likely to suffer substantial financial losses and even lose their customers’ trust. A robust security system will also enhance the overall customer experience. Fortunately, companies like Prove have a solution. 

Augmenting Identity Verification with Trust Score™

The prevalent practices to prevent identity takeover and fake accounts usually involve leveraging multi-factor authentication (MFA) using SMS-based one-time-passcodes (OTPs). While SMS OTPs serve the purpose of Possession checks, they are susceptible to interception in several ways. One such fraudulent interception, SIM swap, is on the rise globally and poses a serious threat to standard identity verification and authentication practices. Therefore, in addition to running Possession checks, it is crucial to establish the Reputation of the phone number being used for opening an account. The reputation of a phone number—providing insights into the characteristics, activity patterns, and events associated with it—is built over years of usage. This is prohibitively hard and expensive for fraudsters to replicate. Prove combines SMS OTP-based MFA with Trust Score™ to establish both Possession and Reputation, thereby reinforcing legacy authentication practices.

Mobile Auth™, which provides passive authentication, is a worthy alternative to using SMS OTPs to establish phone number possession. Mobile Auth™ uses mobile networks to verify that an activity is coming from an expected device. A highly secure capability, Mobile Auth™ works silently in the background and ensures a frictionless user experience. Several enterprises use Mobile Auth™ to adopt passwordless user experiences and digital journeys. As SMS-based OTPs increasingly come under scrutiny for their vulnerabilities in preventing sophisticated fraud, Mobile Auth™ presents an opportunity to look beyond them with an added benefit of a better and frictionless user experience.

The menace of fake accounts can be countered effectively only with the combined strength of Possession and Reputation checks. And Prove’s Trust Score™ and Mobile Auth™ are purpose-built for this.

This article is a synopsis of a full-length article originally published by Prove.

PIX: Brazil’s Instant Payment System

We cover more than 60+ sub-segments in FinTech – but we do not stop there; we also cover topics beyond FinTech, such as InsurTech, RegTech, PropTech, WealthTech, BankTech, AgriTech, and the enabling technologies enabling innovation such as AI, Blockchain, etc.

The Threat of Rising Computer Crime in Germany

Having the right verification tools is crucial for any establishment, whether small or large businesses, agencies, or the state itself. Identity verification tools can safeguard the establishment and customers from identity fraud that results in heavy losses. Here’s a recent example: millions of dollars were lost due to the lack of a robust verification process in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The state’s failure to implement a secure citizen verification procedure enabled fraudsters to steal an estimated amount of €31.5 million–€100 million.

Overall, growth in digital adoption has created a strong relationship between identity, fraud prevention, and customer experience. With the increase in the number of businesses undergoing digital transformation, consumer expectations have soared. Consumers are now looking for unique, convenient, and secure experiences.

Fundamentally, customers demand convenience through smooth, uninterrupted processes. Every time a company delivers such processes, the overall convenience quotient in the customer journey increases. Businesses, irrespective of their industries, have created working groups and strategies that focus on improving the overall convenience quotient for customers. One way to improve convenience is to reduce the number of clicks required by a customer to complete a transaction successfully. Fewer clicks have proved to be directly proportional to higher conversion, which is a result of a higher convenience quotient.

However, in doing so, businesses tend to lose sight of security and risk tools as they slow up the overall process and work in the background. Security and risk tools allow only verified customers on the platform and ensure information is not leaked into the wrong hands. If not done right, it can have a catastrophic impact on both customers and business.

Verification Fraud 

The general method of identity verification fraud can be divided into two major parts. The first part is where fraudsters install malware on users’ devices to steal identity credentials and access key information such as relatives’ names, addresses, and passcodes. The second part is entering directly through stolen credentials or resetting the password (bypassing identity verification service) to execute fraudulent transactions.

According to a Javelin Strategy and Research study, the combined fraud losses in 2020 amounted to $56 billion, out of which identity fraud scams accounted for $43 billion. This trend can also be seen in Germany, where computer crimes have increased over the past few years, resulting in verification fraud. The German police define computer crime as falsification of legally relevant data, alteration of data and data sabotage, data espionage and data interception, and handling stolen data. The number of computer crimes in Germany has been increasing year on year; in 2020, Germany had 130,611 cases of computer crimes, 7,605 offenses more than 2019, and a 20.6% increase from 2017.

Source: The Bundeskriminalamt, Police Crime Statistics

The above numbers validate that German businesses need to secure their customers against fraudulent transactions by strengthening transaction-level security using robust verification methods. The fraud impacts victims by putting them at risk of having their accounts drained or having vital information taken hostage. Likewise, businesses that fail to install a robust identity verification process are subject to reputational damage due to lost funds or risk losing users to more secure competitors.

Although most businesses have implemented multi-factor authentication (MFA) using SMS- and voice-based one-time passcodes (OTPs), the level of complexities has increased. While businesses need extremely sophisticated technologies such as mobile intelligence to stay ahead of fraudsters and safeguard their businesses and customers from identity fraud, they must not slow down the experience for legit customers.

How Can German Businesses Protect Their Customers?

The German government has created a cybersecurity agency with an initial funding of $415 million to protect the country’s cybersecurity and provide incentives and funds for basic security functions certified by the state for the citizens. However, as no agency, company, or task force can put an end to all the malpractices by hackers in the world, identity theft continues to rise. Hence, the burden of safeguarding every customer’s important assets falls in the hand of the business. A strong verification process that allows only the right customers to enter is required to protect businesses and their customers’ assets.

One way businesses can deploy a robust verification process is by using a mobile phone, a device commonly used by consumers. A mobile phone number is often a reliable person identifier as most consumers have had their phone numbers for many years. When authenticating a consumer using their phone, it is vital to not only associate that phone number to the consumer but also to assess whether a bad actor may have taken over the phone number. Prove’s Phone-Centric Identity™ is a tool that businesses can deploy to ensure that only the right customers enter while the fake ones are denied access.

Phone-Centric Identity™ uses the mobile device as a “what you have” factor that companies can leverage to determine whether they are interacting with their customer or not. Phone-Centric Identity™ also uses behavioral and phone intelligence signals to measure a phone number’s fraud risk and identity confidence in real time. Apart from the obvious advantages of significantly reducing identity theft, advanced solutions in identity proofing and authentication deliver additional revenues and operational upsides such as better consumer experience, enhanced exception management, and lower cost of fraud management.

Want to learn more about Prove’s phone intelligence-powered solutions in Germany? Click here.

This article is a synopsis of a full-length article originally published by Prove.

Top Five Asian Banks in FinTech Investments Over the Past Three Years

Bank-FinTech collaborations have introduced technologies and highly efficient processes to banking operations. Such collaborations, which have increased over the years, have benefited both banks and FinTechs. Traditional financial institutions (banks) work with FinTech startups to integrate technologies for customers, eliminating the need to build solutions from scratch. This is also a key reason why banks choose to invest in FinTechs. 

Continuing with our series on FinTech investments by banks, in this article, we’ll cover Asia—the fastest emerging market. We have analyzed prominent banks actively investing in the FinTech ecosystem. FinTech startups in Asia have received $47.4 billion in investments since 2018. In 2020, FinTech startups received $8.0 billion through 552 deals, while in 2019 and 2018, they received $9.4 billion and $30.0 billion through 497 and 438 deals, respectively. 

This article focuses on the top five banks—SBI Group, HSBC, MUFG, Nomura, and SMBC—that have been investing in FinTech startups for the past three years.

Quantum Computing and Encryption: The New Frontier in Financial Services

We cover more than 60+ sub-segments in FinTech – but we do not stop there; we also cover topics beyond FinTech, such as InsurTech, RegTech, PropTech, WealthTech, BankTech, AgriTech, and the enabling technologies enabling innovation such as AI, Blockchain, etc.

Fortify Mobile Wallets with Trust Score™

Consumers are demanding faster and secure modes of payments against the backdrop of a transcendental digital wave. One such mode that’s particularly catching their fancy is mobile wallets. A wallet that sits comfortably on any mobile or wearable device is increasingly becoming a favorite in the pandemic-hit world, where contactless payments are the need of the hour. It’s quick, simple, and completely in control of consumers.

All one needs to do is install a mobile wallet app, store their card or payment information, and verify their identity via a security code or biometrics.

Mobile wallets do win in simplicity and convenience. But the question consumers often ask is, “How safe are mobile wallets?”

Popularity of Mobile Wallets

Millennials and Gen Z were touted to lead the change for faster and convenient modes of payments. But now, consumers across all age groups are making similar demands. Let’s face it—no one likes slow payments. They can be frustrating and overwhelming for both businesses and consumers.

Mobile wallets seem to perfectly fill this lack. According to a report released by Global Markets Inc., the mobile wallet market will reach $350 billion by 2026.

According to a recent ACI Worldwide (ACIW) report, usage of mobile wallets “rose to a high of 46% in 2020, up from 40.6% in 2019 and just 18.9% in 2018.” 

With the increase in smartphone users and the need for customers to go contactless, the mobile payment process must ensure a frictionless and secure end-to-end payments experience.

Fraudsters Targeting Mobile Wallets

Secure transactions and robust verification will play a key role in the success story of mobile wallets. Fraudsters, however, are seeing an opportunity to make a quick buck by exploiting the possible cracks in the system: cyberattacks, system failures, and human errors. 

While consumers and merchants are rapidly adopting mobile wallets, fraudulent activities are also rising. According to ACI Worldwide research, “Real-time payments fraud in 2020 include confidence tricks – 13.7%, identity theft – 11.6%, and digital wallet account hacks – 6.2%.”

Though mobile wallets encourage faster and convenient payment methods, they have unlocked potential fraud such as access to card information or account details—putting consumers and businesses at risk. 

Fraudsters have figured out ways to work around the systems and steal card information or bank details from users’ accounts. In some cases, fraudsters have easily skipped authentication checks and enrolled cards that don’t even match the user ID details.

The responsibility of ensuring foolproof authentication is pushed to banks. As a result, every institution has its own ways of onboarding a customer. For example, some ask cardholders to send a text with an SMS code, while others request for an e-mail and ask some identity-related questions. But this information can be easily accessed by a scammer through a basic search.

In short, processes like enrollments, sign-ins, and transactions are all susceptible to fraud. But the good news is that these processes can be checked with a strong authentication process that ensures the customer who Possesses and Owns the card is the one who is registering it.

Businesses that haven’t found the ‘right way’ to authenticate their customers will soon find themselves in a vulnerable spot. They will not only risk losing customers but also their reputation. Prove’s Trust Score™ helps businesses reduce fraud, minimize costs, and scale up.

Secure Your Mobile Wallet

Prove’s Possession, Reputation, and Ownership Model™ not only addresses concerns around the right possession but also assesses the real-time reputation of the phone (tenure and behavior) and the ownership of the phone line.

Prove’s Trust Score™, a unique real-time measure of phone number reputation, aims to trump fraudsters by leveraging identity verification and authentication purposes. Trust Score™ analyzes behavioral and Phone-Centric Identity™ signals from authoritative sources at the time of a potential transaction. It basically mitigates fraud, such as SIM swap fraud and other account takeover schemes. In addition to securing mobile payments, Trust Score™ can be used in scenarios such as digital onboarding, digital servicing, and existing customer authentication. With Trust Score™, businesses can ensure latency of <1 second, thus creating a better customer payment experience that is not only fast but also secure.

The future of payments lies in frictionless, quick, and secure solutions. The digitization of payments is now a necessity and not an option. With agility and convenience becoming long-term asks, businesses can only rely on digital means to create a superior CX.

This article is a synopsis of a full-length article originally published by Prove.

FinTech Landscape in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is known as a knowledge economy and is ranked among the top ten on IMD’s list of technology adoption. Thought leadership, pragmatic innovation, and seamless implementation are some key features of the country’s economy. Amsterdam Internet Exchange, the second-largest Internet exchange in the world, houses multiple data centers. The smartphone penetration in the country amounted to 93% as of 2019, making it a perfect testing ground for futuristic FinTech.

The Landscape 

Core banking and giro payments have been the strongest technology innovation areas in the Netherlands. Currently, however, the country’s FinTech strength lies in Digital Payments, Alternative Lending, and Investments. Adyen, Ohpen, and BUX are the local FinTech leaders. The country has a rich ecosystem of over 600 FinTech companies, demonstrating innovation at the intersection of technology and the financial sector. The Hague is becoming a hub for pension fund management and impact finance.

The FinTech Space in the Netherlands Attracted Some Significant Investments Amid the COVID-19 Crisis in 2020

FinTech is Europe’s largest investment category, with over $35 billion of venture capital invested since 2014. Although the Dutch FinTech market has a limited number of large companies, it has numerous smaller companies and is in the growth stage. FinTechs founded af …

How to Secure Mobile Banking Apps Using Phone-Centric Identity™

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital enablement at banks through online and mobile banking. With most countries worldwide now experiencing a second and third wave of the pandemic, leading to limitations on assisted services, banks globally are encouraging customers to register for mobile banking to fulfill their common banking needs. A 2020 mobile banking survey by JD Power shows that 37% of retail banking customers are now using mobile banking more frequently than before. At the same time, security threats to mobile banking apps have increased significantly. Kaspersky’s Q2 2020 statistics on IT threat evolution show that of the 1.2 million+ malicious mobile installers detected, close to 39,000 were related to mobile banking trojans, highlighting the amplification of attacks on mobile banking apps globally.

Broadly speaking, the following three areas of mobile banking require reinforced identity verification and authentication:

  • Mobile banking registration
  • Login
  • Financial transactions

One of the best practices to prevent fraudulent mobile banking usage is to leverage mobile intelligence to bind the device, the app, and the phone number used to access the service. Legacy registration methods use a combination of card details and an SMS-based one-time-passcode to authenticate a customer. This approach, however, results in inadequate binding between the device and the phone number, weakening the security of subsequent transactions such as mobile banking login. A fraudster likely having access to customers’ access codes secured via phishing malware can gain unauthorized access to their mobile banking account. 

Checking for the Possession of the phone at the time of registration and subsequent access to mobile banking services are crucial. Modern identity authentication methods such as Mobile Auth connect to mobile networks and leverage mobile data intelligence to ensure that the device used to access the service is indeed linked to the phone number being used for the service. Using Mobile Auth for authentication and device binding also removes the dependency on SMS-based one-time-passcodes, which are increasingly being compromised through malicious activities such as OSR attacks, SIM swaps, and SMS malware.

Mobile banking apps are also highly susceptible to SIM swap attacks. SIM swapping, also known as ‘SIM splitting’ or ‘SIM jacking,’ is a fraudulent activity through which a fraudster takes complete control of users’ phone accounts by either porting or cloning their SIM without their knowledge. A common menace in the US for many years now, SIM swap has been on the rise in the UK for the past five years, where approximately half of the country uses mobile for banking activities. The Reputation of a phone number must be established in real time to fight SIM swap. Mobile intelligence data provides credible insights into SIM swaps and other usage attributes and events. This data can then be combined with behavioral patterns and historical data from other authoritative sources to score the trustworthiness of a transaction algorithmically. Every instance of login or a financial transaction on the mobile banking app can be assessed for a Trust Score™ before approval.

While the need to secure mobile banking apps is beyond debate, doing so at the cost of ease of use, speed, and convenience hampers adoption and usage. An optimal balance between security and user experience is essential to ensure growth in mobile banking usage. In addition to strengthening security, a combination of Mobile Auth and Trust Score™ helps significantly improve customer experience by reducing the need to subject users to exceptional flows. A higher score implies a higher confidence level and, hence, better pass rates. By reducing dropouts, a frictionless customer experience improves mobile banking signups and the frequency of subsequent usage.

This article is a synopsis of a full-length article originally published by Prove.

Q1 2021 Global FinTech Funding Roundup

We cover more than 60+ sub-segments in FinTech – but we do not stop there; we also cover topics beyond FinTech, such as InsurTech, RegTech, PropTech, WealthTech, BankTech, AgriTech, and the enabling technologies enabling innovation such as AI, Blockchain, etc.

India Is Opening Up Its Digital Payment Landscape: Welcome to the World of NUE

The Reserve Bank of India, India’s central bank, has been looking at strengthening the payment ecosystem in the country. Setting up the Digital Payment Index (DPI) of India as a comparable holistic indicator was a step in this direction.

Digital payments in India grew from 5.93 billion transactions in March 2016 to 34.35 billion transactions in March 2020. The COVID pandemic led to an 82% rise in Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments in Q2 2020. As of December 2020, 207 banks were live on UPI with a monthly volume of 2,334.16 million transactions and a value of $57,802.25 million (INR 4,16,176.21 crore).

Currently, the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) is the sole umbrella body that facilitates retail payments. While the NPCI owns and operates UPI, the RuPay network, and other payment and settlement functions, New Umbrella Entities (NUEs) will set up, manage, and operate new payment systems, especially in the retail space, including but not limited to ATMs, white label, point-of-sale (POS), and Aadhar-based payments and remittance services. These entities will develop new payment methods, standards, and technologies and monitor payment-related issues in the country and internationally. Considering the massive transaction volumes and the sheer number of new entrants, the NPCI would need additional support to make the big shift to digital in order to strengthen the payment ecosystem.

India’s Central Bank Wants to Further Drive Innovation and Adoption of Digital Payments

The RBI had invited applications for setting up pan-India NUEs. Any entity (promoter or group) that has been w …

Why Trust Score™ Trumps Raw Mobile Intelligence Data In Fighting Fraud

Enterprises are increasingly using mobile intelligence (a collective term for device and mobile signals) as a critical source of data to authenticate consumer identity in order to prevent fraud and ensure frictionless customer experiences. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have long been the custodians and the providers of this raw data. Enterprises such as banks have leveraged this data to digitally identify their customers and strengthen the authentication of financial transactions. However, exponential growth in digital transactions globally and increasing sophistication in fraud have exposed the limitations of this approach, highlighting the need for an algorithmic model that taps into multiple data sources and attributes to assess a transaction’s trustworthiness.

Partnering and integrating with MNOs to ensure maximum subscriber coverage is critical to achieving efficacy while fighting fraud. Enterprises must ensure that all the existing customers and prospective clients can be assessed and scored for risk of identity fraud. As per Statista, in the US, AT&T owns roughly 44% of the subscriber base, followed by Verizon at 30% and T-Mobile at 25%. Engaging in direct partnerships with carriers can demonstrate results only when coverage is maximized through multiple partnerships. This, however, is not a scalable approach and hampers time to market and the agility required to fight new fraud vectors.

Another key aspect to consider is whether curating the raw data provided by carriers alone is sufficient to fight emerging threats. Consider the recent cyber-breach at T-Mobile, where close to 400 customers had their data stolen. In another instance of fraud, attackers were able to fraudulently add entries to the Override Services Registry (OSR) to send copies of SMSes to themselves, allowing them to retrieve SMS OTPs. It is therefore critical that identity verification and authentication leverages signals and data from multiple sources beyond those provided by carriers.

Finally, designing optimal identity verification and authentication processes requires combining mobile intelligence data with historical patterns and data from other authoritative sources to algorithmically score the trustworthiness of a transaction. This would drastically reduce false negatives and help improve pass-through rates.

While raw mobile intelligence data provided by carriers is useful in establishing Possession, it falls short of establishing the Reputation of a phone number. Enterprises must have an authentication model that combines behavioral and phone intelligence signals to measure a phone number’s fraud risk and identity confidence in real time.

Strengthen Phone Intelligence With Trust Score™

Prove’s Trust Score™, a real-time measure of a phone number’s reputation, identifies phone numbers that have been associated with a SIM swap or other suspicious activity. It prevents potential scammers from bypassing the Two-Factor Verification process. In the US, Trust Score™ has 100% coverage on all line types. In the UK, it connects with all four major carriers, i.e., EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone.

Signals such as the frequency, tenure, and recency of phone changes (e.g., SIM swaps, ports, phone number changes, and device upgrades) and other carrier and internal phone intelligence are used to arrive at a score. Scaled from 0 to 1,000 (with a score below 300 classified as low-trust, high-risk), the Trust Score™ model can be implemented to secure use cases across account enrollment, login, high-risk events, and customer communications.

 As cybercriminals adopt newer technologies, bolstering the Two-Factor Verification process is critical for both businesses and their consumers. Prove’s Trust Score™ does just that.

 This article is a synopsis of a full-length article originally published by Prove.

Online Shopping Portals Embracing Cryptocurrencies

Back in 2009, when bitcoin came into existence, even the most optimistic predictions would not have anticipated how much this cryptocurrency would scale to reach its current state. Bitcoin has been in the news for quite some time now; it is one among the thousands of cryptocurrencies that have entered the market, over 4,000 at the last count. Most have few followers, and none of the cryptocurrencies have matched up to the popularity of bitcoin. 

What Are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies, also known as cryptos, are defined as digital assets that can be used as a medium of exchange where individual ownership records are stored in a public ledger secured with strong cryptography. Typically, they are decentralized, meaning they are not issued by any central authority like a government …

Open Banking 2021 – Report By MEDICI

Open Banking has been a catalyst for evolution in the financial industry. It has given consumers more control over their financial lives and has created a new wave of competition in the financial ecosystem.

In this article, we bring you a synopsis from our latest report—Open Banking 2021. The report deep dives into the evolution of Open Banking, the global landscape, evolving business models, funding, new initiatives, and more! 

Parameters for the Implementation of Open Banking

Some of the key parameters are technology, consumer centricity, business deals, partnerships, and data management and analysis.

To know more, download the full report.

Players in Open Banking: Segmented By Business Models 

The leading business models include white label platforms, BaaS, and API Stores:

To know more, download the full report.

Open Banking: Global Outlook 

The year 2020 can be considered a milestone year for the Open Banking sector. Funding numbers rose 73% compared to the numbers in 2018. Marqeta’s $150 million Private Equity funding that year played a crucial role.

In Asia, Razorpay, Zeta, and Open, among other firms, raised over $386.9 million in various rounds over the past two years.

All these activities highlight Asia as a growing hotspot for Open Banking. We estimate that the trend of increasing funding will continue in 2021 as well.

Year-Wise Funding (Mn, $) 2018–2021*

Note: The funding analysis is as of April 5, 2021. We have not considered funding received by API Stores from traditional/neobanks/challenger banks as part of this analysis. This does not include corporate rounds, private equity, and unknown venture series.

To know more, download the full report. 

New Partnerships and the Road Ahead

Many traditional/challenger banks have realized that they need to be proactive in their approach toward collaborating with FinTech for Open Banking.

In the report, we have highlighted 32 such partnerships between traditional banks and FinTech. 

Some FinTechs leading the partnership race with banks are Tink, Plaid, Railsbank, Nordic API Gateway, and Solarisbank. On the other hand, partnerships between FinTech companies have also been increasing where segment-specific Fintechs are relying on Open Banking startups for data exchange.

To know more, download the full report. 

About the Report

Open Banking is no longer a concept; it is serious business. It is catching all the attention in the financial world. The Open Banking 2021 report presents an in-depth analysis of the drivers and inhibitors in the space, strategic value, and top parameters that play a vital role in the implementation of Open Banking. 

What to expect from the report? 

Open Banking is definitely a catalyst for the evolution of the financial industry. It has given consumers more command over their financial lives and created new competition among players. Open Banking helps to connect traditional banks with modern-day FinTech companies. 

This report delves into all this and more.

Grab your copy of the full report here.

Weekly Dose of FinTech by Nik Milanović

This article has been published in partnership with Nik Milanović (bio at the end of the article) and taken from This Week in Fintech, his weekly newsletter.

Quote of the Week

“There are now hundreds of millions of smartphones in India. By adding both a digital rupee and crypto support to IndiaStack, we could turn every phone into not just a bank account but a bonafide Bloomberg Terminal, giving every Indian the ability to make both domestic and international transactions of arbitrary complexity, attracting crypto capital from around the world, and leapfrogging the 20th century financial system entirely.”

– Balaji S. Srinivasan (Source)

Read of the Week

In Latin America’s FinTech Boom, a16z investors Angela Strange and Matthieu Hafemeister provide a great breakdown of the five reasons that FinTech is experiencing a funding and user growth renaissance in Latin America:

  1. A large, monolingual market
  2. Lack of banking services for retail/mass-affluent
  3. Poor digital banking experiences
  4. High presence of cash
  5. High banking profit margins

Stat of the Week

  • $7.4 billion—that was Stripe’s revenue last year (source), as e-commerce added $900 billion to global online spending (source).

Financial Services & Banking

Product Launches

  • PWC added a FinTech services marketplace to its product offering.
  • PNC launched a feature to let users avoid overdraft fees with proactive notifications.
  • Singapore’s DBS Bank released an AI-powered investment advisor. UK bank TSB launched a service to help users manage bills and switch utilities providers.
  • Thailand and Vietnam launched a QR code for cross-border payments, and Indonesia is using QR codes to boost bank digital payments.
  • Mastercard partnered with Doconomy to launch a carbon calculator for banks and partnered with Zemen Bank to launch a contactless prepaid travel card in Ethiopia.
  • The New York Stock Exchange debuted ‘first trade NFTs.’

Other News

  • Banks are expecting a boom to profitability after releasing extra reserves held due to the pandemic.
  • Citi and Bank of America are partnering on an execution platform for fixed-income markets. Citi and the Inter-American Development Bank tested a blockchain to send payments from the US to Latin America (elsewhere, Citi just turned a record profit).
  • Societe Generale issued a structured security on its blockchain.
  • Five northern California banks and three credit unions are testing the Federal Reserve’s FedNow real-time payment system.
  • BBVA launched sustainable investment options in Spain.
  • The Bank of Russia plans to develop a digital ruble.
  • Barclays is shutting down its peer-to-peer payments app Pingit. Citi is looking for a buyer for its India retail business.
  • AmEx’s acquisition of online lender Kabbage reportedly stripped the PPP loan arm, leaving small businesses out to dry.
  • Forbes released its annual list of the world’s best banks.


Product Launches

  • It was a busy week for Indian FinTech. Mobisafar partnered with Yes Bank and NPCI to launch a virtual prepaid card. FinBox launched a collections product for digital lenders. U Gro launched an SMB credit card.
  • PayPal launched new fraud management tools for merchants and collateral-free loans for Indian merchants who sell cross-border.
  • Singaporean FinTech Atlantis launched BizBank, its SMB division, with a corporate expense card.
  • Nigerian music streaming service uduX partnered with investment platform PiggyVest to debut PopRev to allow fans to invest in musicians’ music.
  • Moves launched its financial support platform for gig workers in the US.
  • Actor Hill Harper is launching Black Wall Street, a digital wallet app with peer-to-peer payment and cryptocurrency features.
  • Atom Finance enabled adding manual accounts in user portfolios. Spreedly added new payments orchestration tools.
  • N26 is moving into insurance.

Other News

  • Following a protracted discussion with regulators, Ant Financial agreed to restructure as a financial holding company, subjecting it to similar regulations as Chinese banks.
  • PayPal partnered with Uber and Walgreens on a vaccine access fund.
  • Square is piloting an early access program with SMBs in Ireland. OnePlus is planning to launch a mobile payments service in India later this year.
  • The founder of real estate firm Emaar Properties will head up Zand, the UAE’s first digital bank.
  • German software developer SAP is opening its own financial services unit.
  • Paytient and Ambetter partnered on interest-free lines of credit for healthcare costs.
  • Forter and Flutterwave partnered on e-commerce fraud.
  • DeFi is quickly becoming a consumer product like FinTech (as firms like Step Finance and Sheesha Finance raise capital to bring it mainstream).
  • The neobanks support crypto: Freetrade, Revolut, and Nextmarkets are adding Coinbase share trading to their platforms, and Revolut added 11 new cryptocurrencies to trade. African fintechs are joining forces on their own initiative to combine digital wallets and cryptocurrencies.
  • Tinkoff held its investor Strategy Day with the London Stock Exchange, detailing impressive growth including a 38% EPS CAGR.
  • Solosuit helps consumers combat debt lawsuits (h/t Alex Johnson). Complyant helps users save on business taxes.
  • Pay-with-your-pen.



In collaboration with Ben White

  • The National Futures Association, a self-regulatory body for the US derivatives industry, adopted a supervisory framework regarding the use of third-party providers.
  • The OCC, Federal Reserve, and FDIC issued a statement and requested information regarding Model Risk Management Guidance on AML/KYC.
  • The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on FinTech charters, with former OCC Comptroller Brian Brooks testifying, among others.
  • House Financial Services Committee Chair Rep. Maxine Waters penned a letter supporting the increase in appropriations to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
  • The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on student loan forgiveness, in which Senator Elizabeth Warren called on President Biden to fire several student loan servicers. 
  • New Zealand became the first government to institute a climate reporting law for its financial institutions. 
  • FinRegLab, a DC-based research think tank, announced a new initiative focusing on explainability and fairness in Machine Learning credit underwriting. 
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on 60 Minutes that the Fed is indeed looking into Central Bank Digital Currencies. 
  • Washington, D.C. District Attorney Karl Racine filed suit against an online lender, claiming the lender had violated the District’s 24% interest rate cap.

How FinTechs Can Lower Their Customer Acquisition Costs

Building a long-term FinTech business takes time and effort. The most critical parameter that determines any startup’s success is the number of customers it acquires and retains. But let’s face it, bringing new customers is no easy task.

FinTechs tend to spend much time, effort, and energy in drawing customers to their platforms and applications only to realize that their efforts have been futile. Furthermore, with increased competition, it has become even more challenging to attract and then onboard customers. With all the money spent, tracking customer acquisition costs has become one of the key metrics closely inspected by FinTechs.

Lowering Customer Acquisition Costs

FinTechs focus on extensive marketing, which involves efforts and high costs. However, customers look for a product/service that fits their needs while also providing them with convenience, minimum interaction, and quick resolution through digital mediums. And things tend to take a turn for the worse when a customer goes through the final application process/onboarding process; this is where most startups fail to convert. To put things into perspective, the abandonment rate across all digital industries was as high as 79.17% in 2018.

For any business, losing a potential customer is one of the greatest threats to revenue. In the digital-first world, customers’ impatience with application experiences is negatively impacting startups from e-commerce, financial, healthcare, and insurance, among other industries. The more the customers need to interact during the checkout, onboarding, or application process, the lower the conversion ratio. As a result, money pumped into marketing is driving startups’ customer acquisition costs. According to a study by Wolfgang Digital, customers who had to click only once on any platform had a conversion probability of 40%; as the number of clicks increased, the probability of converting potential customers decreased.

In the real world, startups need to gather information on their customers for security reasons, such as fraudulent account openings and onboarding spams, which, if ignored, would lead to a bad reputation, making it even more challenging to attract customers in the long run. 

The good news is that Prove Pre-fill™ removes the customer burden of application data entry by populating applications with verified data and delivering authenticated digital identities to quicken the process, thereby offering a better customer experience.

This article is a synopsis of a full-length article originally published by Prove.

Digital Payroll Processing In a COVID-Hit Economy

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