Seattle Bank explores BaaS, embedded finance

Seattle Bank is preparing to enter the banking as a service and embedded finance markets as part of its digital banking and post-core conversion strategy. The $752 million bank is exploring microservices, moving to the cloud and establishing vendor relationships with API-first, open-banking capabilities. The bank completed its core conversion to Finastra’s Fusion Phoenix in […]

Finovate Global Egypt: Our Conversation with Cartona CEO and Co-Founder Mahmoud Talaat

This week, Finovate Global takes a look at fintech developments in Egypt, specifically the story of Cartona.

The company, just over two years old, is a B2B e-commerce marketplace that helps connect retailers with a curated network of suppliers and wholesalers. Cartona secured $12 million in Series A funding this summer, taking its total capital raised to $16.5 million according to Crunchbase.

Our conversation with co-founder and CEO Mahmoud Talaat includes discussion of the company’s role in the Egyptian financial services landscape, the current state of fintech in the country, and his plans for Cartona in the months to come.

Tell us about the founding of Cartona.

Mahmoud Talaat: Founded in August 2020 by Mahmoud Abdel-Fattah, Rafik Zaher and myself, Cartona is a B2B e-commerce marketplace. Cartona offers an asset-light marketplace that enables retailers to order their store needs digitally from a curated network of sellers.

Cartona began with a focus on solving the supply-chain and operational challenges for the fast-moving consumer goods industry (FMCG) by digitizing the traditional, predominantly offline, trade market.

Prior to Cartona, I was a former top executive at leading dairy company Lamar and experienced first-hand the need to make Egypt’s largely offline trade market more efficient. Cartona can greatly improve productivity and reduce waste in time and resources through the impact of its wide-ranging simplified processes.

What in your background gave you the confidence to launch Cartona?

Talaat: Cartona is my third entrepreneurial endeavor. My first job was at Lamar in 2012, back when it was still a startup and the products had not yet been launched. As CCO, I ensured that the new products were fully distributed in the market; handled the operations for many warehouses and created an indirect distribution network.

I then founded Speakol, a native advertising platform that connects publishers with advertisers, back in 2017 whilst still working at Lamar.  Speakol currently operates in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, and is a leading native advertising platform, generating around two billion paid views each month.

What role does the company play in Egypt’s financial services industry?

Talaat: Cartona embraces the vision of a cashless society, investing in embedded finance and payments. We offer pay after four days or pay in four equal installments every 7-10 days. We have made sure our product is easy to use and seamlessly integrated into the ‘check-out’ section for ordering, with collection being all digital or through our supplier network. Providing retailers with this technology-integrated financial solution not only boosts financial inclusion but also enables them to grow their business and provide customers with essential products at affordable prices. To supplement our core ordering business, embedded finance is what we believe is a key challenge and we see a clear need for it by retailers in the industry.

Your mission is to digitize Egypt’s traditional trade market. What does this market consist of? How does it operate now? Cash? Cards?

Talaat: Egypt’s trade market is mostly offline, regardless of whether retailers pay distributors through cash or cards. Our aim is to change this by propelling the largely offline trade market into the mainstream digital sphere, thereby streamlining operations for thousands of retailers.

What are the biggest challenges when it comes to digitizing Egypt’s traditional trade market?

Talaat: The execution of any business strategy – especially when it involves modernizing a traditional structure – inevitably comes with day-to-day hurdles as new infrastructure is put in place. But these hurdles are very surmountable and are as much an opportunity as a challenge.

One of the biggest challenges is our own impatience! But we are reassured to see the culture changing and recognizing how digitalization and supply chain innovation can have a tremendous impact in increasing efficiency. This is proven by our rapid scaling in a short period of time. We now work with 200 FMCG companies and have 60,000 users.

Your company recently secured $12 million in Series A funding. What does this accomplishment mean and what will the investment empower?

Talaat: The $12 million we recently raised in Series A funding will enable us to continue to build a strong, digitally connected network of retailers which is currently in the tens of thousands. The proceeds will further aid our nationwide expansion beyond the nine governorates in Egypt where we currently operate and help us grow our team and explore new verticals – expanding beyond our current FMCG-heavy product base.

Cartona prides itself in being “asset-light” and “capital-efficient.” What does this mean and why is it important?

Talaat: As an asset-light business built on enhancing agility, we do not own a single asset or vehicle we distribute. We are also capital efficient in the sense we balance spending on growth with having a clear path to profitability. We optimize capital to achieve this, and the consequent demonstrable, solid unit economics sets us apart. We are thus focusing on the basics – cost price + profit margin = selling point.

What is something about fintech in Egypt that outsiders may be surprised to learn?

Talaat: The fintech sector in Egypt specifically, is highly promising and has witnessed unprecedented growth in the last few years, being one of the MENA’s fastest growing sectors. The exciting aspect is that we’re still scratching the surface with fintech in the region. It still has great potential and can revolutionize some well-established industries that are still untouched.

What can we expect from Cartona in the months to come?

Talaat: The coming period will be a time to focus on internal and external growth. As already mentioned, we are focused on bringing our revolutionary role of digitizing the trade market to millions more people.

To date, we have grown our team to over 500 people, we are also prioritizing hiring more talent to help us reach our ultimate vision – empowering all stakeholders of Egypt’s traditional trade market.

Photo by Tamer Soliman

Klarna plans to cut staff, growth plans after losses mount

Klarna Bank AB, months after announcing major job cuts and taking a $39-billion hit to its valuation, is planning to restructure parts of its business further to suit a slower-growing, smaller operation, people familiar with the matter said. In a meeting this week, a manager in the internal engineering unit of the Swedish buy-now-pay-later company […]

KeyBank deploys RPA to halt fraud in real time

Financial institutions are looking to snuff out fraudulent banking transactions in real time as consumers increasingly fall prey to online scammers. To combat this, KeyBank’s robotic process automation (RPA) technology can automatically block bots using bots of its own that may attempt to carry out fake transactions. Consumers reported losing more than $5.8 billion to […]

Open Lending extends AI-powered underwriting

Automation fintech Open Lending has expanded its maximum auto loan terms as more consumers are priced out of the market.  Lenders using Open Lending’s artificial intelligence-powered underwriting can now offer 84-month loan terms for near and nonprime borrowers on new and used vehicles that are up to four years old with less than 60,000 miles, representing a […]

How to Move from a Product Focus to a Customer Focus: a Conversation with Vivek Bedi

At FinovateFall earlier this month, I sat down with author Vivek Bedi who delivered a keynote presentation later that week, to gain some insights on the customer experience. Specifically, Bedi discussed how organizations can shift from a product focus to a customer focus.

See his answer below and watch the video in its entirety for more on how business leaders can make smart decisions and how the financial services industry can keep up with a continuously changing world.

We always talk about it, right? How do we actually do it? Being in product for 20 years, I’ve realized, “geez, the customer is so important.” And there are a few things I’m going to talk about tomorrow.

The first is how do we become customer obsessed? I know we say that term a lot, but how do we actually make that happen in practicality…. Nine out of ten times, we’re not even using our own product day in and day out. Somebody else is. So how do we become in their shoes? So it’s really important– when I say customer obsession– is how do we really become the customer; feel their challenges, feel their pains, and feel their struggle.

The second area [I’m going to focus on] is that all customers’ feedback matters. It is so easy for us to gravitate towards “the good.” The customers that are our cheerleaders saying that we’re doing a great job. What about the naysayers? I actually found myself obsessing over time on folks that don’t like my product. Why don’t they like it? Are they just grumpy, or is there something there that I’m missing? The point is really obsessing about all different parts of the product lifecycle.

To watch more video interviews from FinovateFall, check out FinovateTV on YouTube. And whether you were at the event in person or not, check out the highlights below:

Citizen developers pose opportunities, risks

Citizen developers could prove essential for financial institutions (FIs) looking to ramp up automation efforts while avoiding compliance pitfalls. Banks that test applications using low-code platforms before pursuing full implementation can help free up valuable IT resources. However, fully entrusting citizen developers to integrate software such as Salesforce into core systems is risky, Tracie Cleveland […]

5 key themes for FIs looking to build next-gen payment experiences
Bhavin Turakhia is co-founder and CEO of Zeta

The pandemic precipitated a surge in contactless payments as most commerce shifted online and significantly accelerated the move to digital in the retail payments industry. More than 75% of Americans use some form of digital payment, with more than 50% of U.S. consumers shifting purchases online from brick-and-mortar stores since the onset of COVID-19, according to a recent McKinsey report.

The gap between what customers want and what financial institutions can offer with their legacy platforms is continuously widening. Customers — influenced by experiences they have at tech companies like Uber, Amazon and Google, as well as newer fintechs — are expecting their banks to replicate the same level of digital-first, personalized and “in-the-moment” experiences.

With regard to those omnipresent pieces of plastic — credit cards — what cardholders carry in their wallets today differs very little from the credit cards that were first created in the 1950s.

Image credit:
Image Credit:

A card today looks and works fundamentally the same as it did 50 years ago at a time when almost everything else about our world has changed. What should be the next step in the evolution of these card experiences?  

How can FIs address this gap? 

We have identified five key themes which banks need to cater to deliver future-proof experiences across retail payments and cards: 

  1. Now, not later; 
  2. User-managed controls over customer servicing; 
  3. Dynamic vs static security;
  4. Hyper-personalize for customer segments of ONE; and 
  5. Present when and where needed. 

Let’s dig into each of these in detail. 

1. Now, not later 

Today’s customers are used to experiences and offerings delivered in real time, which is no different in the case of retail payments and credit cards. Forty-four percent of people surveyed in the Deloitte Consumer Payments Survey 2021 strongly indicated that instant issuance would improve their payment experience. Similar to issuance, issuers need to make the payment process frictionless. This includes offering customers the option to push their cards to their preferred digital card wallets and merchants.  

Financial institutions are not and were never limited by their imagination or their strong desire for offering immediate solutions to their customers. They have, however, been undermined for years by legacy technology platforms which hark back to the dawn of the internet era and were never designed for the immediacy of today’s customer expectations.  

2. User-managed controls over customer servicing 

As fraud rates continue to increase, customers want to be in control. More than 60% of Gen Y and Gen Z customers say that they are likely to use card controls. Over the last several years, issuers have addressed this expectation by offering controls such as ability to block transaction types and freeze cards — but these have become table stakes. Customers now expect even greater control and transparency over their cards and payment methods, including geolocation limits, individualized spending limits, time-of-day based controls, merchant category blocks as well as specific merchant-related limits.  

Customers want the ability to control their cards as well as the ability to do it from their mobile devices. They no longer want to wait in call center queues to get their cards blocked/unblocked or set transaction limits. The value proposition speaks for itself. McKinsey found that the cost to serve customers (with 100 being a market average) is less than 40 for fintechs (which rely solely on digital support channels), around 55 for top-performing banks (which have well-defined digital support channels), and 100 for the average performing bank (with average or underdeveloped digital support channels).

3. Dynamic vs. static security 

The current security features of a card are static and prone to fraud. All security features for a credit card today are static in nature, including the PIN (four to six digits long), a fixed card number, and a CVV code (three digits long) — all these features have a lower level of security than a typical customer’s Netflix account.  

A sophisticated fraudster can easily overcome these security features and cardholders are understandably concerned: 77% of them highlight security as one of the most important things they look for when choosing how they’d want to pay in the future. 

Issuers have an opportunity to get ahead of this trend and offer dynamic CVV, PIN and expiration dates that change every 30 seconds, making it difficult for anyone to access the data if their information is breached. Another innovation is to instantly issue unique and secure virtual cards that can be issued instantly for single uses to prevent the card number from getting exposed. And these are just the starting point — in aggregate, these features can help to fundamentally negate fraud.

4. Personalize for a segment of ONE  

Customers are demanding greater personalization. According to EY, 81% of Gen Z customers think that more personalized service can help deepen their relationship with their issuer4. As a result, issuers need to consider how they can expand their ability to offer personalization across many variables, including form factor, merchant category, transaction amounts, demographics, location and more — offering unique experiences for each customer.  

One such example is digital art. Issuers could offer customers the ability to customize their digital cards through digital art and micro-animations — adding additional layers of digital experience.  Similarly, reward programs and fees can be curated to the needs and persona of a specific customer and create value propositions that are truly bespoke and delightful.  

5. Present where and when needed 

In times past, people went in search of water to lakes and rivers. That very water now flows into our homes when and where we need it. Banking, too, is undergoing similar transformation — while customers previously went to branches and physical locations to pay and to transact, they now want to be able to make payments, convert purchases to loans, receive offers — in contextually and temporally relevant ways. 

The most sophisticated FIs recognize this and have invested in building not just their own digital channels but also work with distribution partners, i.e. fintechs, co-brands and providers that can distribute their card products as banking becomes more embedded. This allows them both to drive greater customer acquisition and also creates delight as customers experience a credit card or other financial product (e.g. a BNPL loan) in the context of a purchase, or a visit to a store, or at a time when they are actively engaged with a partner’s brand.  

Where to next? 

If banks can offer and build on these experiences, they can not only address the evolving customer expectations but also future proof their business against emerging digital competitors.  

However, with the legacy platforms that financial institutions rely on today, achieving that is near impossible and makes it cumbersome to rapidly grapple with shifting market realities. 

Addressing the next-gen needs of customers requires a next-gen platform. Card-processing platforms like Zeta are built ground-up with cloud-native, API-first and digital-first capabilities, and come pre-configured with rich customer experiences and the ability to hyper-personalize offerings, thus empowering issuers to truly shape a better future for their customers. 

Bhavin Turakhia is co-founder and CEO of Zeta, a banking tech unicorn and prover of next-gen credit card processing.

Taulia and Standard Chartered Team Up to Collaborate on Working Capital Finance
  • Taulia and Standard Chartered signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on working capital finance solutions.
  • The partnership will initially focus on supply chain finance and dynamic discounting.
  • The agreement will offer Taulia access to Standard Chartered’s global client base.

Supply chain finance company Taulia has inked an agreement with Standard Chartered this week. The agreement comes in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate across a range of working capital finance solutions.

The two will begin by focusing on supply chain finance and dynamic discounting, two solutions that Taulia offers to buyers. Taulia will use its expertise in this area, combined with Standard Chartered’s global client base, to help clients build a more resilient and sustainable supply chain.

Ultimately, the partnership aims to enable suppliers to access working capital in a more efficient and cost effective manner.

“We are excited to work with Taulia to explore new and innovative ways to support our clients’ working capital needs, as well as extending the Bank’s leading sustainable trade expertise into their business network,” said Standard Chartered Global Head of Trade & Working Capital Kai Fehr. “Taulia’s footprint also complements that of the Bank, offering greater opportunities for us to support companies in the West with their supply chain flows into Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”

Taulia was founded in 2009 to help businesses improve their supply chains by providing financing options with flexible payment terms. Used by a network of two million organizations, the company’s tools help businesses accelerate payments and free up working capital. Taulia processes over $500 billion every year. Among Taulia’s clients are Airbus, AstraZeneca, Nissan and Vodafone.

Taulia was acquired by SAP earlier this year and today’s agreement marks the first MoU that Taulia has signed with a banking institution post-acquisition. Taulia anticipates that having the backing of SAP will help it access further opportunities across SAP’s ecosystem and deliver a differentiated experience for both buyers and suppliers.

“We believe that all CFOs should focus on their cash strategy to ensure growth during these turbulent times and our partnership with Standard Chartered will deliver cash when and where it is needed, especially in emerging markets,” said SAP Head of Working Capital Management CoE and member of the Taulia Leadership Team Thomas Mehlkopf.

Photo by Tiger Lily

Open banking will reach 304M users by 2026

Open banking is predicted to grow nearly 680% by 2026 to 304 million users as regulations, technology and consumer awareness of their data improves. Along with growth in usership, open banking payments are expected to reach $116 billion by 2026, up from $4 billion in 2021, Ryan Christiansen, senior vice president of data at Mastercard’s […]

Corporate One Federal Credit Union Provides More Than 750 of America’s Credit Unions New Digital Solutions at Scale

PPP App By Numbers

  • PPP application deployed to 28 Credit Unions
  • 8,000 applications processed
  • 3,000 loans approved
  • $130 million PPP loans to small businesses
  • Massively reduced back-office work for credit unions

Performance in the Spotlight

From the perspective of Corporate One’s central IT team, the performance has been equally impressive. The automatic dependency checks and one-click deployment capabilities built into OutSystems made it easy for the operations team to push new versions from development to QA to production without a minute’s downtime.

The OutSystems Sentry Cloud environment scaled seamlessly to cope with suddenly increasing workload. Jim Horlacher says, “With PPP applications coming in from multiple credit unions we saw application hits climb steeply from around 1,100 per day to over 81,000 per day. The OutSystems performance monitoring dashboard made it easy to monitor performance. The APDEX score barely moved from 99% to 98%, which was remarkable considering the 700% plus increase in application hits.”

The crisis has been a defining moment for Corporate One’s IT approach and the OutSystems partnership. Horlacher says, “The management team now sees that this is more than just another way to build software. Speed and agility are crucial in such a challenging economy, and thanks to OutSystems and the ingenuity of our teams at Corporate One, Sherpa Technologies, and Lucro, we’re proud to make this kind of agility and innovation available to our members.”

Cinchy Launches Credit Union Edition of its Dataware Platform
  • Data firm Cinchy unveiled the Credit Union Edition of its Cinchy Dataware Platform today.
  • The solution is made specifically to help credit unions easily access and leverage their data without having to replace their core banking system.
  • Cinchy won Best of Show for its demo at FinovateFall 2019.

Data access and control firm Cinchy unveiled a credit union-specific solution today. The company is launching The Credit Union Edition of its Cinchy Dataware Platform to help credit unions extend the life of their core systems, avoiding the need to replace their existing core with a new one.

The new solution enables credit unions that are currently constrained by their core banking systems. Many of the outdated systems result in siloed data, which makes it difficult for the credit union to leverage their data to create better systems, an improved user experience, and cost savings.

Cinchy’s calls the capability “liberating data.” Today’s new launch enables credit unions to access their data in three ways. First, with real-time data from core banking system and applications without the need for copy-based integration. Second, with tools including auto-versioning, auto-backup, auto-protection, auto-correction, and auto-tracking. And third, with user accessibility that allows for instant collaboration.

“At Cinchy our goal is to enable organizations to save money by liberating and controlling their data in ways that were not previously possible,” said Cinchy CEO Dan DeMers. “Today we’re making this a reality for credit unions with the introduction of the Cinchy Dataware Platform Credit Union Edition.”

Founded in 2017, Cinchy leverages data fabric to help banks access data from apps and other silos and assemble it within an easy-to-access data network. Among the company’s clients are TD bank, Colliers International, AIS, and Natixis. Cinchy has been named a Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Company to Watch and a Top Growing Canadian Company by The Globe and Mail. The company most recently demoed at FinovateFall 2021 and won best of show for its demo at FinovateFall 2019.

Photo by Markus Spiske

Intangibles Insurance: Immense Potential, Emerging Options

In this 4th Industrial Revolution, platforms have supplanted traditional companies as wealth creators while intangible assets have replaced heavy machinery. Comprising 90% of S&P 500’s $28.94 trillion market value, intangible assets present an immense, largely untapped opportunity for insurance industry to develop new and complementary products and services. Currently, the industry offers intellectual property insurance and key person life insurance. Research and development is underway to develop newer products to protect the full range of intangible assets, including a company’s intellectual capital, processes, patents, trademarks, goodwill and brand.

The intangible value of a business, covering its people (human capital), relationships (relational capital), and everything else (structural capital) constitute intangible assets. All three categories are critical for most organizations, regardless of sector. Some of these assets are accounted for in organizations’ balance sheets while others are hidden and only considered when valuing the future potential of the business.

With the corporate sector becoming richer in terms of intangible assets, demand for insurance solutions is evolving from asset covers to protection for business risks that were previously uninsurable like earnings and cash flow losses. The source of the losses range from disruption to business, cyber, product recall and reputation to energy price risks. The evolution of triggers, indemnity structures, and modelling advances are making available coverages to handle hitherto uninsurable earnings or cash flow losses.

Insurers will need a significant amount of capital to support these growth opportunities. Carriers will have to decide how much capital they want tied up to service the tail against potentially more lucrative opportunities. The opportunities that lie ahead will require thinking about risks in terms of the known and measurable. Intangible risk exposure is not geographically contained like a natural catastrophe or not as explicitly calculable as a burning building.

IP Insurance

Aon Plc has arranged a bespoke intellectual property collateral insurance policy in excess of $100 million. The coverage, arranged for the lender, allows IP-rich agritech Indigo Ag to borrow this amount with intellectual property as collateral. The value of the collateral is insured by a group led by Markel Specialty, with Hudson Structured Capital Management as the biggest capacity provider. The IP-backed lending transaction with Aon’s rollout of its IP capital market solution is a pioneering development, featuring their proprietary valuation tools.

Parametric Insurance for Intangibles

Parametric insurance is yet another solution to the intangible challenge and can bring insurance products for a range of intangible assets, including cyber into the mainstream. Parametric triggers are well suited for this kind of insurance since they there is no requirement of precise calculation of asset values. Pay-outs are based on clearly defined parametric triggers that are agreed between the insurer and the insured at the onset of the contract. RYSKEX is currently developing just such a product.  Investors tend to be comfortable with parametric triggers, given they have often had some experience of them through their investments in instruments like equity options. So the increasing use of parametric triggers could help reinsurers unlock more alternative capital.

As with traditional insurance products, insurance consumers will need to be clear on what is and isn’t covered under their policy. While intangible assets can represent high values, assigning an accurate financial value isn’t straightforward. By comparison, tangible assets are relatively easy to insure. Undoubtedly, the insurance industry has evolved to create solutions for intangible risks such as cyber, intellectual property and employee negligence covers. However, with the current macro winds unlikely to subside, the industry will increasingly need to develop covers to protect the economic value derived from intangibles. Clever use of data and analytics will be key to develop such solutions, especially as the industry starts to move away from generalized products towards those which can be tailored according to a customer’s specific needs. The attendant benefit would be such data facilitating the development of security incentives across different product lines, similar to telematics data used in motor policies.

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Lending Daily Fintech Week Ending 22nd. September 2022

The Daily Fintech Week Ended 23rd. September 2022

The Pound is supposed to have sunk?

What surprises me here is the way this event is reported by the British press. The pound is weak against the dollar and a number of other currencies but it is the strength of the dollar that is the real story. Can the UK do anything about this. Well not really. The Euro is also weak against the almighty greenback and the real story is that sterling has fallen albeit marginally against the single currency where the fundamentals including the once mighty German powerhouse are all going in the wrong directions very quickly. Germany however has a manageable gdp/total debt ratio for now. The ECB is awash with debt and the markets are glibly assuming that when push comes to shove the Germans sensitive as they are to inflation will simply sign the cheques. I am not quite so sure. But the strength of the Dollar is certainly not about economic strength or US government stability. It is more a reflection of the fear stalking western markets across the board.

How overexposed are the German Banks

There have been a few apocalyptic pieces in the British newspapers over the last few days about the major policy failure to wean itself of Putin’s gas. German manufacturing industry is rightly recognized as being the most technically advanced and competitive in the world. My concern is however that the banks supporting this economy are having to do this on the back of several existential threats. A huge increase in energy costs and shortages throughout the winter, a huge downturn in orders and confidence, problems with supply chains and soaring inflation. All this on the back of a rather shaky looking political alliance which looks like it is trying to go both ways at the same time. The German banks wee not that strong to start with. God knows what a stress test analysis would look like now.

Digital Startup Revolut Hacked

Revolut has been hacked in a phishing attach which affected approximately 50k clients. So the story goes there is nothing really to worry about and prima facie that seems to be the case. Revolut’s banking license come from Lithuania but the bank is selling it’s services worldwide. I wonder how much though has gone into what would happen if a truly massive fraud struck one of these minnow banks based in a quite small economy. There was a lot of talk in 2008 about banks being too big to fail. In Lithuania I am pretty sure that Revolut would be too big to fail. No disrespect to lithuania’s banking authorities but it is just a small country.  I can’s see anyone riding to the rescue.

Howard Tolman is a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London,  We have a self imposed constraint of 3 news stories per week because we serve busy senior  Fintech leaders who just want succinct and important information. For context on Alt Lending please read the Interview with Howard Tolman about the future of Alt Lending and read articles tagged Alt Lending in our archives. Daily Fintech’s original insight is made available to you for US$143 a year (which equates to $2.75 per week). $2.75 buys you a coffee (maybe), or the cost of a week’s subscription to the global Fintech blog – caffeine for the mind that could be worth $ millions.

Issue #382 – Is Regulation Vital For Inclusion?

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Nordigen to Provide Open Banking Data for Teenit
  • Nordigen has been selected by Teenit, an Amsterdam-based PFM tool, to provide open banking services.
  • Nordigen will enable Teenit to securely connect to customers’ bank accounts to source transaction and account balance information.
  • “Open banking goes hand-in-hand with personal financial management tools as access to customer information enables PFMs to stay up-to-date with their suggestions and analytics,” said Nordigen CEO and Co-Founder Rolands Mesters.

Personal financial management (PFM) tool Teenit has selected Nordigen for open banking. The Amsterdam-based PFM company will offer its users an aggregate view of their finances, complete with insights and analysis on their spending and saving habits.

By integrating with Nordigen’s freemium offering, Teenit can securely connect to customers’ bank accounts to source real-time data on their transactions and savings account balances. With open connectivity to its users’ financial data, Teenit can better fulfill its mission of educating teenagers on money management.

“We wanted to serve education to young customers, no matter what bank they choose,” said Teenit CEO Tatiana Pastukhova. “The integration with Nordigen enables us to fulfill our purpose easily. With parents’ authorization, we are able to connect directly to young customer bank accounts anywhere in Europe, visualize for them their money flows in a teenager-friendly manner and analyze them to further personalize the offered educational content.”

Latvia-based Nordigen was founded in 2016. The company’s freemium model offers access to account information, such as the account holder’s name, bank account numbers, transactions, and account balances for free via bank APIs. Nordigen’s paid products include enriched, transaction-level information that helps make sense of raw transaction and account data.

“Financial literacy and education is incredibly important for all demographics, and starting to build a foundation of knowledge from a young age will be very beneficial for Teenit’s user base,” said Nordigen CEO and Co-Founder Rolands Mesters. “Open banking goes hand-in-hand with personal financial management tools as access to customer information enables PFMs to stay up-to-date with their suggestions and analytics.”

Nordigen was acquired by GoCardless earlier this year to deepen the bank payment company’s expertise in the open banking arena and enable it to become a banking-as-a-service provider.

Photo by Ivan Samkov

Mastercard’s Finicity speeds data sharing for lenders

Finicity, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mastercard, is partnering with banks to allow customers to instantly verify their identities, employment status and assets for quicker loan underwriting. “On the lending side, it’s just a very high-friction space and has been traditionally if you think about it,” Ryan Christiansen, senior vice president of data access at […]

Truist improves CX with smartphone biometrics

Truist is enhancing its mobile banking capabilities to allow customers to validate their identities online, at the branch or an ATM. The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank sees an opportunity to leverage smartphones as “an extension” of the branch, in turn creating “a better client experience across all of our channels,” Ken Meyer, chief information officer of […]

Transactions: Farmers & Merchants Bank selects Fiserv’s Mobiliti

The $336 million Farmers & Merchants Bank of Colby, located in Colby, Kan., is one of seven financial institutions that chose Fiserv’s Mobiliti mobile banking and payments platform in August, according to an FI Navigator report provided to Bank Automation News. The other FIs include: $324 million CIBC National Trust Company, based in Atlanta; $309 […]

Banks scout for talent outside ‘footprint’ cities

SEATTLE — Financial institutions are looking beyond so-called tech cities in the hunt for cloud engineers amid a surging demand for top talent. The market for cloud engineers is so hot, in fact, that $532 billion Truist Bank is scouting for talent in lesser-known areas of the U.S., Bryce Elliott, chief information officer for wholesale […]