Announcing the launch of Daily Fintech’s Fintech 50 Index

Back in Fintech’s early days, in 2015, Daily Fintech manually compiled a list of publicly traded Fintech stocks and published it as a snapshot. Today we are releasing an automated solution called Fintech 50 Index,  incubated within Daily Fintech, so that we can cover more stocks and update it regularly.

  • Warning 1; we are not making any buy or sell recommendations. This is just data. DYOR (Do Your Own Research).
  • Warning 2: the pricing data we use has a 20 minute delay. If you want to trade, please use a real time service.

There is no paywall or regwall on our Fintech 50 Index. We hope you find  it useful, whoever you are are. If you are interested in licensing our data and brand, please reach out to us.

Fintech is growing & becoming mainstream. According to research by UBS, Fintech industry revenues will more than triple from USD 150bn in 2018 to USD 500bn in 2030, implying an average annual growth rate about three times faster than the broader financial sector’s. Fintech 50 Index is part of growing our content to match that reality.

Patient accumulation of equity is the best form of wealth creation, an obvious fact worth reiterating when we are deep in a risk off bear market.

 Unlike most Altcoins, most equity has proved to be a good long-term wealth-builder. Public equity is permissionless, transparent and liquid, unlike private equity.

That is why Daily Fintech created the Fintech 50 Index. We hope you find it useful.

MiCA – Not Good, Not Bad

Last week the EU reached an agreement on its Markets in Cryptoassets (MiCA) directive, delivering a single rule book across 27 countries and bringing years of debate on how to regulate the digital-asset industry to an informal close.

As the final step, it still needs to be approved by the Council and the European Parliament. If it ends up becoming law, it will allow for the tracking of all transactions, whether on centralized exchanges or DeFi platforms. Regulated crypto businesses would be required to obtain, store, and disclose information on people engaged in transfers when requested by the authorities.

Politicians are praising MiCA as a way of “putting an end to the crypto wild west.”

MiCA is supposed to increase investor confidence in the market with a new EU supervisory structure for stablecoins, as well as protections to guarantee crypto firms are held accountable for the products and services they provide.

To protect consumers from meltdowns like Terra-Luna, stablecoin issuers must have fully backed reserves to prevent insolvency.

Also, there is a € 200 million cap on daily transactions for stablecoins. This cap is very low when you consider the combined daily volume for USDT ($333 billion) and USDC ($260 billion), which is in the billions a day. It is also not clear how this can be enforced with crypto-backed stablecoins, such as Dai (DAI).

The Block

When it comes to regular cryptocurrencies, token issuers will have to provide whitepapers and will be liable for misleading information.

Crypto exchanges, designated as crypto-asset service providers (CASPs), will need a license and their operations will be monitored by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

National authorities will be responsible for supervising crypto companies and the assets they issue or handle. These authorities must, however, share the data they collect on crypto companies that have more than 15 million users with the EU’s securities regulator. Also, MiCA will come with a blacklist. ESMA will name and shame any crypto companies that fail to comply with the new rules and put them on a roster as a warning to investors. The red-flag criteria can go beyond a failure to comply. A company that refuses to register in a country or makes a conscious effort to operate outside legal structures can also land on the blacklist, while shady board members are sufficient grounds to get a company into trouble.

When a crypto asset changes hands, information on both the source and the beneficiary would have to be stored on both sides of the transfer, according to the new rules. All transactions must be traceable to real identities and CASPs would have to hand this information over to authorities investigating criminal activity such as money laundering or terrorist financing.

This tracking of transactions falls under the transfer of funds regulation (TFR), the EU’s anti-money laundering framework.

TFR does apply to transfers from non-custodial wallets to CASPs. For under 1k Euro transfers, and if the wallet doesn’t belong to a CASP client, the TFR tracking is not mandatory. Otherwise, CASP will have to verify the ownership of the wallet, somehow.

Non-fungible tokens, digital tokens that represent unique works like art, have been excluded from the rules unless they fall under existing categories of crypto assets. The EU said that, unlike cryptocurrencies, digital assets, which can represent artwork, sports memorabilia, or anything else that can be digitized, are unique and sold at a fixed price. But it left room to reclassify them later as crypto assets under MiCA or as financial instruments.

Overall, MiCA is a mixed bag.

MiCA left some leeway and TFR doesn’t apply to P2P transfers, from one non-custodial wallet to the other. The rules will help novice crypto investors avoid falling victim to frauds and scams that regulators have warned are widespread in the industry. That’s a huge benefit, especially for someone who has no idea where to go or what to invest in. Another good thing is that once a cryptocurrency firm is licensed in one EU state, under MiCA it gets a European passport. The company could set up operations in another EU nation without the need to obtain additional licenses from the local government.

However, there are a lot of unnecessary restrictions to keep money flowing into DeFi, requiring EU stable coins to institute a daily transaction volume cap, eroding European user privacy, and making the experience of crypto exchanges based in Europe a little bit worse. Once ESMA’s day-to-day enforcement goes live, we’ll have a better picture of how all this will play out.

by Ilias Louis Hatzis is the founder and CEO of Kryptonio wallet.

Image Source

Subscribe by email to join the other Fintech leaders who read our research daily to stay ahead of the curve. Check out our advisory services (how we pay for this free original research.

Revolut’s Storonsky says it has enough funding for two years

The boss of Revolut Ltd. said his fintech startup has enough funding for at least two more years and would not be looking to raise money, as venture capital dries up across the technology industry.

Nikolay Storonsky, the 37-year-old chief executive officer, said the London-based company is now profitable and “aggressively expanding” in Latin America, India and the Philippines while looking to the Middle East.

The CEO’s comments in an onstage interview with Bloomberg News at TheCityUK’s annual conference in London suggest Revolut can avoid the pitfalls of raising money during a downturn. Valuations for startups are expected to fall as they gather fresh funds, reversing several years of soaring growth, with Sweden’s Klarna Bank AB reportedly considering raising money at a lower valuation. Lenders see tech companies looking to take on debt rather than endure a so-called “down round” of capital raising.

Storonsky said Revolut was in a different place as it has a more diversified model than its Swedish competitor — even joking that he “now can probably buy” Klarna at its latest reported price. Though he ruled out taking Revolut public in the next two years, given the turbulent market conditions, he still sees the UK as an option for an eventual initial public offering.

Revolut, which was valued at $33 billion in a funding round last July, continues to view the UK as its most important market, generating about a quarter of its revenue, Storonsky said.

Revolut’s rise has been rapid. It launched in 2015 as a prepaid card offering cheap foreign-exchange fees, with Storonsky — a former derivatives trader at Credit Suisse Group AG and Lehman Brothers — handing out freebies at railway stations. Now it has more than 18 million customers and is venturing into buy now, pay later products.

Grey Zones

While Storonsky would still choose London as the place to build his company, he said he’d prefer regulation there to have fewer “grey zones” where “people don’t know what to do.” During the interview, the Russian-born CEO joked saying that regulators across the world have all been “very friendly so far”, but also said he hopes the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority will give the final green light to Revolut’s full banking license “as soon as possible,” following a process that’s already taken a year and a half.

“I would look into making regulation less principle-driven and more rules-driven,” he said, citing Singapore as a good example of the rules being crystal clear.

Although cryptocurrency trading is a key revenue contributor for Revolut, Storonsky said his own experiments in the space are limited. “Sometimes I play, but purely for testing products,” he said. Demand from retail investors is “great” and traditional banks are missing out, he added.

“Decentralized finance allows every single person to access to a lot of instruments that you don’t have in real life,” said Storonsky. “Another question is whether you need them or not, but there is a lot of innovation going on. I do believe in technology, I do believe in the industry.”

When the outbreak of Covid-19 dampened customers’ general spending, “there was a lot of trading in stocks and in crypto,” he added. This year, “with the crypto winter this revenue line dropped a lot” yet other services such as payments, subscriptions and business accounts “grew a lot,” he said.

Storonsky also confirmed Revolut had “solved simply” any issues after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by closing offices in both countries, with staff relocating to Dubai and London.

Movers and Shakers: Citi nabs Goldman Sachs exec for treasury and trade solutions

Citi has appointed former Goldman Sachs executive Artie Ambrose as head of treasury and trade solutions operations, the bank announced Tuesday. Ambrose was formerly global head of treasury services operations at $1.6 trillion Goldman Sachs, where he helped build the investment bank’s digital banking and treasury business. Ambrose will now focus on scaling operations, reducing […]

Superapp Bano Taps Currencycloud for FX Converter
  • Australian superapp Bano has selected Currencycloud to facilitate low FX rates.
  • Integrating Currencycloud’s API offers Bano users access to Currencycloud’s low FX rates, which makes investing in the U.S. stock market more accessible for Bano users.
  • “Bano is committed to simplifying financial management for Australia’s GenZ and Millennials,” said Bano Head of Financial Markets and Treasury Randall Maccan.

Visa-owned Currencycloud announced this week it has been selected by Australia-based superapp Bano. Bano will leverage Currencycloud’s FX Converter to facilitate remittances for its Millennial and Gen Z users.

Bano is a digital banking app regulated by ASIC and AUSTRAC. The startup, which is is accessible in over 180 countries, offers physical and virtual Visa debit cards with features such as bill-splitting, fund requests, FX conversions, cashback, rewards, and multi-currency accounts.

Integrating Currencycloud’s API offers Bano users access to Currencycloud’s low FX rates and low AUD to USD conversion rates. This low conversion rate will make investing in the U.S. stock market more accessible for Bano users.

“Bano is committed to simplifying financial management for Australia’s GenZ and Millennials,” said Bano Head of Financial Markets and Treasury Randall Maccan. “Enlarging the breadth of our superapp services with products like the FX Converter is a key part of this mission. Our partnership with Currencycloud has meant we can create a product that will provide a much-needed service for our customers, especially international students in Australia.”

Founded in 2012, Currencycloud facilitates cross-border, multi-currency transactions. The London-based company has processed more than $100 billion to over 180 countries for bank and fintech clients including Starling Bank, Revolut, Penta, and Lunar. 

In July of last year, Visa snapped up Currencycloud in a deal that valued the company at $963 million. Last October, the company partnered with Plaid, embedding Plaid’s Payment Initiation Services into its own solution to allow customers to fund their accounts without ever leaving the platform.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich

Delivering on the promise of conversational AI verticalization is adding real value to chatbots. Now we need to scale

As virtual assistants—or chatbots as they are commonly called—burst onto the scene a decade ago, many banks saw a tremendous opportunity to lower service costs, deflect calls during peak hours, and offer 24/7 customer support. Early chatbot success in e-commerce encouraged banks to explore ways to leverage them for customer service. The rapid proliferation of providers only added to the excitement around conversational AI. 

Unfortunately, most early solutions were horizontal ‘one-size-fits-all’ chatbots, designed for any and every industry. While providers understood the coming shift from phone-based to digital-first service, the chatbots were too broad and largely failed to deliver on the promise of conversational AI. As a result, many chatbot firms went out of business as the hype cycle crashed.

Now, a new generation of providers has emerged, developing highly verticalized solutions that focus on specific domains, such as banking. With tailored chatbots optimized to help banking customers not only get balance information quickly, but also learn about loans, credit cards, and mortgages, conversational AI is starting to add real value. This mirrors success in other industries too, including retail, hospitality, and even real estate. 

With a number of vertical chatbots available now, banks can offer helpful automation as part of their Digital Customer Service. But as sophisticated as virtual assistants have become, they are only as effective as the platform they are integrated with and the data they act on. 

The most effective virtual assistant should be an integral part of a comprehensive Digital Customer Service strategy that enables seamless engagements that retain full context from chatbot to human assistance across all channels. A virtual assistant alone cannot bridge the digital disconnect when the chatbot or human service representative lacks the ability to resolve an inquiry and needs to escalate to a specialist—most often by offering a phone number for them to call and start over again.

In fact, a seamless bot-to-human transfer across any digital channel not only accelerates the overall engagement, but can greatly improve the customer experience too. Beyond providing a simple balance or ABA routing number, imagine a chatbot that can direct customers to the most appropriate customer service representative. Quickly matching a prospective home buyer to a mortgage expert, for example, or offering a preferred credit card to upsell a loyal customer. Virtual assistants should be more than a stopgap solution for after hours service. Delivering on their true promise means integrating conversational AI as part of the overall customer experience.

Now that industry-specialized virtual assistants are providing value, reaching scale that enables continued innovation to keep pace with both technological advances and customer expectations is within reach. Because AI continuously learns and improves, broad adoption will create a larger data model for virtual assistants to understand banking trends and customer inquiry patterns as they unfold, adapt, and evolve to meet changing needs. Virtual assistants can actually increase the value they deliver over time.

Industry adoption, however, is not simply about which provider offers the most features in a stand-alone comparison. It will be driven more by which solution enhances the overall customer experience and helps banks create a competitive advantage. Look for virtual assistants that have pre-integration within a Digital Customer Service platform—ideally from a single provider for both the platform and AI solutions to further ensure success. 

By assessing virtual assistants as part of the overall customer experience and elevating the Digital Customer Service offering, banks can start to realize the full potential of Conversational AI, well beyond answering simple queries. Banks can finally lower service costs, deflect calls during peak hours and even offer 24/7 support that is helpful and keeps customers engaged, rather than driving them away. Conversational AI—that is industry-specific and embedded into a Digital Customer Service platform—is finally starting to deliver on its great promise.

# # #

Alt lending Week Ended 1st July 2022

Crazy decision making at UK’s Audit Watchdog

As if to demonstrate the appalling way in which some quangos operate in the UK the Financial Reporting council (FRC) that regulates accountants, auditors and actuaries has concluded a deal with EY to advise on a new classification scheme for insurance contracts. Not surprisingly the decision has raised a few eyebrows. Firstly EY is one of the biggest companies that the FRC regulates raising the issue of just how close are  the regulator and the regulated. Secondly surely a company whose introductory line on its website is “ restoring trust in audit and corporate governance” should have internal staff capable of carrying out this work. If they don’t then what is the point of them? The relevance to lending is quite clear. Regulators are supposed to understand the business the regulate. Lenders are supposed to understand the credit business but they don’t have to. Why because regulators have removed the risk from the personal credit space allowing the interest risk premiums to rise to level which comfortably encompass administrative and bad debt costs. This is not the way to regulate. We don’t seem to learn anything.

EU approves Euro 5.4 Billion State Aid to Italy’s oldest bank

It is a great shame to see such an ancient institution in such dire straits but Monte dei Paschi di Siena is a living example of the hubris surrounding the Eurozone construct. Over the last six years the Italian economy has grown by a miniscule 2.1% as opposed to Germany at 6.2 per cent. The divergence is there for all to see  yet they share the same currency. It is very difficult to be a successful bank in a country with an extremely weak economy especially when the major stability factor ie Germany is paranoid about inflation and will very soon want to rein in the ECB. The recapitalization has all kinds of caveats about bad debts being bought off etc but the key assumption seems to be this will work it things don’t get worse, My prediction is that they will get worse and probably a lot worse. As a sovereign risk Italy looks close to junk status Europhiles in the UK keep putting out messages that the UK is in a mess. But the UK economy grew at 6.8% during the same Covid riven period. When something looks really risky it probably is and will be priced accordingly.

Howa does the Bank of England grant Banking licenses?

On the face of it start up bank Kroo which was only formed six years ago has pulled off something quite special in being granted a full banking licence. The digital newcomer has only 23000 clients presumably pre paid credit card users but will now be allowed to do far more than  some of their larger and more established competitors. Apparently their next move will be into current accounts with Overdraft facilities. I find this quite a bold move. Pre paid credit cards are not the generally the instrument of choice for the most creditworthy clients. So how does the bank of England make these decisions? I took a look at Kroo’s website which publicises the usual we’re going to change the world credentials but I suspect that at this stage of its development it is a very small and largely untested organization almost certainly loss making. If I were a much larger and more tested competitor bank I would like to know what these  guys have that I haven’t. Transparency on these kind of decisions would be most welcome.

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.

Digital Financing Platform Funding Societies Acquires Payments Solution CardUp
  • Digital financing platform Funding Societies agreed to acquire payments solutions company CardUp.
  • The announcement comes four months after Funding Societies closed a $294 million Series C investment.
  • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Digital financing platform Funding Societies has agreed to acquire payments solutions company CardUp for an undisclosed amount. The news comes four months after Funding Societies raised $294 million in Series C funding.

Singapore-based Funding Societies will leverage CardUp’s payments products to complement its own lending capabilities. The new tools will empower its SME clients to manage and pay expenses, receive payments, and borrow funds.

CardUp, which is also headquartered in Singapore, offers payment capabilities, such as card payments to non-card accepting recipients, online payments acceptance, invoice automation tools, and licenses and integrations with third-party software to help businesses make and collect payments. The no-code solutions make it easy for companies to improve cash flow management, unlock rewards on existing credit cards, and automate tasks. Since it launched in 2016, CardUp has served “tens of thousands” of business clients ranging from micro businesses to corporates.

CardUp will continue to operate its consumer and business services. The company’s employees across Asia will transition over to the Funding Societies team and CardUp CEO Nicki Ramsay will join Funding Societies’ management team to lead its payments business.

Funding Societies, which is licensed and registered in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and operates in Vietnam, connects small businesses with financing while offering alternative investment opportunities for individual investors. The company offers a range of financing products, including micro loans, term loans, invoice financing, supply chain financing, revolving credit, and more. In 2021, Funding Societies connected small businesses with $1 billion in working capital. Funding Societies also supports businesses with a credit card that offers 5% cashback.

“Acquiring CardUp enables us to leapfrog and accelerate our market leadership in the regional fintech space, integrating payments capabilities, enhanced user experience, and local licenses to our digital lending experience across key markets,” said Funding Societies Co-founder and CEO Kelvin Teo. “We are excited to work with the CardUp team and are honored to join forces with them.”

Photo by Ilya Chunin on Unsplash

Atomic and Bond Team Up to Offer New Fractional Repayments Solution, Repay
  • Atomic and Bond Financial have partnered to launch Atomic’s Repay solution.
  • The new offering enables users to turn large transactions into a series of smaller, recurring payments.
  • Atomic made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall in September 2021.

Payroll connectivity solution provider Atomic and embedded finance company Bond Financial Technologies have expanded their existing partnership with the launch of Atomic’s Repay solution. Repay enables customers to make recurring payments, turning larger transactions such as monthly rent and loans into a series of smaller installments. Repayments come from the customer’s wages instead of from their bank account. This helps customers avoid the expense of taking out short-term loans or missing repayment dates.

Atomic will use Bond’s embedded finance infrastructure to create and open user bank accounts, as well as manage KYC, transaction monitoring, and compliance. When new users sign up for the service, Repay connects the payroll data while Bond opens a demand deposit account. From here, fractional deposit amounts are calculated, which are managed based on the due date, and Repay automatically makes timely payments.

Users have complete transparency into the process. All deposits and distributions are monitored by the technology and any overpayment is refunded to the user “usually in under a week.”

“Repay gives consumers the tools to take control of their personal finances, both income and liabilities, and for customers to proactively tailor products to their user’s financial profile with payroll data,” Atomic co-founder and CEO Jordan Wright said. He underscored the fact that Repay provides “financial vulnerable consumers” with the functional equivalent of a “fractional repayment plan.” Wright added that businesses that offer Repay “now have a novel option to build goodwill with consumers by offering better interest rates while minimizing default and late repayment risks.”

A leading provider of payroll APIs, and a partner to 12 of the largest fintech firms – including neobanks, alternative lenders, and digital brokers, Atomic made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateFall. At the event, the company demonstrated how its payroll connectivity solution accelerates paydays for consumers, increases direct deposit acquisition opportunities for banks and financial institutions, and helps qualify users for financial services that rely on income and/or employment data.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and founded in 2019, Atomic has raised more than $68 million in funding. This total includes $40 million in Series B funding secured this March in a round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock.

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

TD Bank doubles down on ‘complementary’ digital wealth management

TD Bank is aligning wealth management across physical and digital touchpoints as 2022 steams ahead. TD Bank, a Cherry Hill, N.J.-based subsidiary of $1.73 trillion TD Group, released its first roboadvisor solution in 2021, but views its digital tools as a “complement” to the in-person experience, Ken Thompson, TD Bank head of U.S. wealth shared […]

BMO and Jefferies sign on to platform bringing AI auctions to stocks

A new trading platform operated by OneChronos Markets LLC will let institutional investors bid for equities in an automated auction, an effort to disrupt the ages-old system for buying and selling stocks.

Photo Courtesy of Bloomberg News

OneChronos started this month with Bank of Montreal, Jefferies Financial Group Inc. and more than a dozen other broker-dealers signed on. The New York-based firm’s technology enables potential buyers to dictate what they think the value of a portfolio or large quantity of stocks is at a given time, known as an “expressive” bid.

“Our system gives investors a greater level of control and detail over how their orders are executed,” co-founder Richard Suth said in an interview. The goal, he said, is to slow down the process and let investors have more say over how trades are executed.

The firm’s software uses artificial intelligence to allow participants to input what they determine is the value of large order, or a collection of stocks, which is fed into a matching engine on a randomized basis. OneChronos then pairs orders from the buy and sell sides through periodic auctions. If values match from both parties, then the trade happens.

Among the early adopters of OneChronos is Bank of Montreal’s electronic trading group.

“Because we can express, under the terms and conditions we really want to trade, it can help us save our clients money and lowers implementation costs,” said Eric Stockland, who oversees institutional electronic quantitative strategy at the Canadian bank.

OneChronos runs roughly 10 auctions per second across all US stocks, said Suth, who spent more than a decade trading equities at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. All matches are made within what’s known as the national best bid and offer, the standard quote that reports the highest asking price and lowest offered price in a security, sourced from all available exchanges or trading venues. If a trade is filled through OneChronos, the fill-size and price is then printed to the public tape.

“We are not trying to take market share from existing players,” said Kelly Littlepage, co-founder and chief executive officer of OneChronos. “We are trying to unlock economic value for investors through mutually beneficial trades that otherwise would have gone unrealized.”

The new platform needs sufficient liquidity from institutional investors to source and execute the best possible trades. The more participants OneChronos has, increasing the overall pool of liquidity, the better the outcome, its executives said.

The field of alternative-trading systems is crowded with new entrants fighting for orders. Many like OneChronos are looking for an edge to attract investors and broker-dealer clients. Last year, Blue Ocean Technologies LLC started its own ATS that lets investors buy and sell equities outside of traditional US market hours.

Read more: U.S. Market Hours to Expand Under New Equity-Trading Platform

OneChronos has raised over $20 million from Y CombinatorBoxGroupGreen Visor Capital and other investors, and the firm’s valuation is roughly $250 million valuation after a financing round this month, according to Littlepage. The company’s third co-founder, Stephen Johnson, is a former senior manager Accenture Plc. Bernard Dan, former CEO of Sun Trading and CBOT will lead the ATS, with a focus on the operations and growth of the platform. Jesse Greif, OneChronos’s chief operating officer, also worked at Goldman Sachs, where he was head of electronic principal liquidity solutions and quant-strategies sales.

–By Katherine Doherty (Bloomberg)

Pride or Prejudice? How Transparency Can Help Banks Better Serve LGBTQ+ Communities

As Pride Month draws to a close, we wanted to take a look at the impact that banks and other financial services companies have on LGBTQ+ communities.

The issues that face LGBTQ+ communities when it comes to financial services are as varied as these communities themselves are. They range from simply allowing cardholders to determine how they will be identified on their own bank cards, to healthcare-related savings and investment planning, to learning which financial institutions respect LGBTQ+ individuals and their values – as well as those institutions who work against them.

We caught up with Chris Luton, Director of Customer Care with Oakland, California-based Beneficial State Bank, to talk about the relationship between banks – especially community banks – and LGBTQ+ communities. We also discuss Beneficial State Bank’s efforts in this regard – as a “values-based bank” – as well as the bank’s own development as a community financial institution in the age of digitization.

Chris Luton: Beneficial State Bank is a for-profit, mission-driven bank whose owners are institutions governed in the public interest. Instead of working to maximize shareholder profits, we work to maximize prosperity for our communities and our clients, while maintaining strong business performance and serving as a model for ethical banking.

The bank was founded to serve a triple bottom line of environmental sustainability, social equity, and prosperity. The intention was to prove that this banking model could be sustainable, and influence the banking system to substantially change its practices. 

All of these qualities differentiate us from most banks. For instance, we invest in and work with community organizations that are often turned away by traditional banks. We offer socially-conscious individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits the unique opportunity to put their money toward causes they believe in. 

Luton: This means prioritizing our values just as much as our profits, which is captured in our triple bottom line of environmental sustainability, social equity, and prosperity. 

In practice, this means that our values guide our investment decisions. All of Beneficial State Bank’s investments are mission-aligned, and we aim for at least 75% of that lending to go toward the highest-impact organizations and initiatives. We then work to ensure that the rest never goes toward projects or organizations that cause harm. 

For example, we invest in environmental sustainability, affordable housing, social justice, and health and well-being. Meanwhile, we never invest in fossil fuels, payday lenders, private prisons, or weapons manufacturers.

Luton: Right now, some of the nation’s biggest banks fund anti-LGBTQIA+ policies through political donations. If the millions put toward these discriminatory policies were instead invested in organizations that protect and uplift the LGBTQIA+ community, banks could make huge progress in a more positive direction. For better or worse, money is hugely influential, especially in our political process. Banks could better serve the LGBTQIA+ community by leveraging this power for good. 

Banks should also consider how their policies and practices impact their LGBTQIA+ customers and employees. At Beneficial State Bank, we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive customer experience — for example, we make it as easy as we can for clients to change their name and gender on any official communications.  

Ultimately, it’s important that banks try to see the big picture on this issue by looking beyond performative celebrations during Pride Month. Members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community are looking for more than just a rainbow logo or special blog post, and the community’s needs don’t suddenly end once Pride month is over. Support for the LGBTQIA+ community should last all year long. Companies should also look at their overall impact to see if it’s consistent with their messaging. For instance, they might claim to support the LGBTQIA+ community while funding discriminatory politicians or having discriminatory internal policies.

Luton: It starts with building a welcoming and inclusive environment where employees feel safe and empowered to be themselves. We make an effort to hold space for connection among our LGBTQIA+ employees and their allies, and host Pride celebrations every year. Benefits and policies should also be inclusive. For instance, we make sure employees can add domestic partners and their children to their insurance plans, regardless of marital status. 

Luton: The first step is transparency. Consumers can’t make better banking choices if they don’t know where their money is going. Unfortunately, a lot of banks aren’t transparent about where their money goes. Banks need to be honest about their investments so consumers can learn, engage, and make banking choices that are more aligned with their values. 

Values-based institutions like Beneficial State Bank are upfront about our investments. For example, our goal is always for at least 75% of our commercial loan dollars to go to mission-aligned businesses – i.e., those working on issues like affordable housing or renewable energy. We also never lend in non-mission-aligned sectors, such as fossil fuel extraction, private prisons, or weapons manufacturing.

Mighty Deposits is a great resource for discovering how your bank is using your money, and what better options might be out there. Beyond the banking sector, Data for Progress has also released the latest version of its Pride Corporate Accountability Project, which looks at how many Pride sponsors and Fortune 500 companies are funding anti-LGBTQ+ campaigns. 

Luton: A big milestone in our own digital transformation was the PPP lending process in 2020. We did a substantial amount of lending that required all hands on deck. This actually gave us confidence in bringing up a new platform quickly and effectively. Since then, we’ve improved our digital and online functions, increased efficiency and speed, and lowered our cost of delivery.  

The bank also recently closed on an equity investment of $218 million from the U.S. Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP), which will support expanded lending to small businesses, and low- and moderate-income consumers. Our first priority is investing in the bank’s capacity so we can better serve our customers. This will include technological capacities like automation and infrastructure. 

Luton: With this recent investment from the U.S. Treasury, we see the next few years as a time of growth and an opportunity to demonstrate the power of values-based banking. We see ourselves continuing our work with marginalized customers and communities on a larger scale, expanding our investments in people and organizations making positive change in the world, and influencing other banks to do the same. 

Our ultimate vision is an economy that restores our planet and extends prosperity to all people. We can achieve this vision if more banks decide that doing good and doing well are not mutually exclusive.

Photo by Markus Spiske

XBRL News about Switzerland, BDCs and CSRD

Here are the three most relevant developments in the world of structured reporting we became aware of in the course of last week. 

1  XBRL Switzerland publishes its response to the climate ordinance consultation

2  XBRL reporting rules for BDCs come into effect as SEC adopts new electronic filing requirements

On August 1, 2022, the SEC’s structured data reporting rules governing business development companies will become effective. These rules, which were originally adopted in April 2020, require BDCs to tag certain submissions using Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (Inline XBRL). This process involves embedding XBRL data directly into a filing, ensuring that the document is both machine and human-readable. The rules direct BDCs to tag certain prospectus items using Inline XBRL. 

Reporting requirements with XBRL continue to be expanded, this time to business development companies, which in spite of the generic term are actually a type of closed-end fund investing in private market instruments. Thus limited scope …

3  EU announces agreement on CSRD

The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament have this week reached a provisional political agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), a crucial step towards passage of this law. The CSRD is the EU’s legislative proposal to enhance sustainability disclosures and address shortcomings in the existing rules, providing improved information to investors and other users and facilitating the transition to a sustainable economy. 

CSRD will be a watershed piece of European legislation with far-reaching, extraterritorial impact on everything corporate reporting. 


Christian Dreyer CFA is well known in Swiss Fintech circles as an expert in XBRL and financial reporting for investors.

 We have a self-imposed constraint of 3 news stories each week because we serve busy senior leaders in Fintech who need just enough information to get on with their job.

 For context on XBRL please read this introduction to our XBRL Week in 2016 and read articles tagged XBRL in our archives. 

 New readers can read 3 free articles.  To  become a member with full access to all that Daily Fintech offers,  the cost is just USD 143 a year (= USD 0.39 per day or USD 2.75 per week). For less than one cup of coffee you get a week full of caffeine for the mind.

Plug-N-Play Insurance Success Rides on Sound Partner Strategies

In insurance, superior digital customer experience comes from offering services exactly at the time and place the customer needs them most. To appear at the right moment for their customers, companies partner with the right insurance carriers. The path to achieve this requires packaging insurance “as a service.” Insurance-as-a-service (IaaS) models are evolving into SaaS platforms that use transactional APIs.

In Singapore, AXA’s Affiliate Marketing Program allows partners to use AXA’s application APIs. AXA Affiliates offers an IaaS platform to AXA’s global partners, enabling them to deliver customized insurance protection within their portals. The platform incorporates marketing assets, API documentation and plug-and-play widgets, allowing partners easy integration with the insurance process – from prospecting, quotation to policy issuance.

In Europe, Wakam has APIs that developers employ, so businesses can use them to offer insurance products — be it for Yamaha motorcycles or electronic gadgets. Using its ‘Play & Plug platform’, Wakam provides its P&C products as APIs. This has generated strong growth, with 360 million+ data handled every month, 300,000 daily API calls and 600,000+ policies administered on their blockchain. With a 2020 turnover of €417M, Wakam grew at a commendable average rate of 30% over the previous 6 years, with 61% of business outside France.

Wakam currently supports over 370 partnerships. Tailored to the new economy, Wakam’s solutions act as a white-label insurer for companies leading change in their sectors. Last December, Wakam teamed up with Back Market, leading marketplace for refurbished electronic devices, and i-surance (part of bolttech) to launch its device insurance in UK.

One challenge for insurers as plug-n-play insurance expands into different product lines is around building the right partnerships. The key to approaching these partnerships is thinking long term and considering operational challenges that may arise. Another challenge is compliance and regulation, besides the consumer protection element with use of data. Amid multiple considerations, its crucial to develop a sound partner strategy and a shared vision.

New Shape Of Partnerships

The unique partnership between Wakam, Gearbooker and bsurance offers a frictionless media equipment rental experience. Bsurance is a leading B2B2C embedded insurance platform and Gearbooker is Europe’s first Peer-to-Peer equipment hire platform for the creative industry. Professionals who rent products such as cameras, audio gear and drones, enjoy instant tailored cover from Wakam for damage and theft. The tie-up with bsurance is a sizable new revenue stream for Gearbooker as it looks to take international its high-growth business model . Post-launch, the product sold hundreds of policies, with monthly sales growth expected to surpass 20%.

Companies like Wakam aren’t directly investing in startups, but are helping them grow businesses by creating bespoke insurance products. Their strength lies in being able to quickly adapt product attributes based on continuous feedback. While collaborating with young startups, they improvise to make the right product, with the right warranties, at the right price. Those that become fast growing unicorns turn to be a good investment. Zego, which is a UK Unicorn now, was one of the first to work with Wakam at the beginning of their journey.

Data Sharing

Sharing data is important, when carriers work with a partner that distributes their product. This includes the technical and financial data, such as loss ratio. Partners need to access such data on the tech platform with full transparency. If a product isn’t working well and say, claims frequency is excessive, it can be quickly corrected.

Digital insurance can evolve from embedded to platform businesses, with integrated digital marketplaces. Platforms allow carriers to join data-rich customer ecosystems with non-insurance partners. This creates opportunities to lower distribution costs for more customers. Access to better data improves products and reduces underwriting risks. By joining forces with partners to build a seamless experience, greater customer benefits follow.

Cover Image

You get 3 free articles on Daily Fintech. After that you will need to become a member for just US$143 a year (= $0.39 per day) and get all our fresh content and our archives and participate in our forum.

Issue #370 – Shocks & Solutions: A FinTech Modern Story

FinTech Weekly is ©
and published by the

Jan Kus

An der Bottmühle 5

50678 Cologne



Inhaltlich Verantwortlich gemäß TMG und Paragraph 55 Abs. 2 RStV: Jan Kus (Anschrift wie oben)

Haftungshinweis: Trotz sorgfältiger inhaltlicher Kontrolle übernehmen wir keine Haftung für die Inhalte externer Links. Für den Inhalt der verlinkten Seiten sind ausschließlich deren Betreiber verantwortlich.

Mortgagetech Roostify Integrates Indecomm’s IncomeGenius; Appoints New COO Nadia Aziz
  • Roostify announced a partnership with Indecomm that will integrate Indecomm’s IncomeGenius technology into Roostify’s Roostify Beyond platform.
  • The integration will make it easier for Roostify to calculate income for self-employed borrowers.
  • A Finovate alum since 2014, Roostify also announced this week the appointment of Nadia Aziz as its new Chief Operating Officer.

A new partnership with intelligent automation solutions company Indecomm will bring automated income calculation technology to Roostify’s data intelligence solution Roostify Beyond. A Finovate alum since its debut at FinovateSpring 2014, Roostify will integrate Indecomm’s IncomeGenius solution, which will add to its current income calculation capabilities – especially when it comes to income calculations for self-employed borrowers.

“Improving loan assembly and processing costs, and timeframes is an imperative for all lenders in today’s environment,” Roostify co-founder and CEO Rajesh Bhat said. “Roostify Beyond already incorporates income calculation and analysis for the most common employment scenarios. With the integration of IncomeGenius, we can now simplify and automate calculations for self-employed borrowers, an increasingly important use case as the gig economy expands.”

IncomeGenius leverages standardized rules and algorithms to minimize the risks associated with manual data entry. IncomeGenius doubles productivity at loan set-up, reduces time spent on income calculations by 60%, and guarantees 100% compliance with audit requirements, including a complete audit trail. Courtesy of the integration, Roostify Beyond’s Analysis Assistant will send self-employment documentation and data to IncomeGenius, which generates a thorough, self-employment income analysis and GSE worksheet – in accordance with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines. IncomeGenius then returns the information to the Roostify Beyond platform for presentation in the interactive Analysis Assistant dashboard.

Roostify launched its Beyond platform near the end of 2021. The latest iteration of the company’s Roostify Document Intelligence (RDI) Service, Roostify Beyond integrates RDI at the start of the lending process, providing borrowers with instant alerts if they upload documentation that is incorrect or illegible without having to engage with a human representative. Roostify Beyond also has data extraction capabilities that allow lenders to highlight data discrepancies, automatically create tasks, and publish document classification and validated information to the loan origination system (LOS).

“When we launched RDI a couple of months ago, we were excited to use data to propel the industry forward,” Bhat said in December when Roostify Beyond was introduced. “Data empowers lenders to spend less time in systems and more time with customers, and we are truly happy to provide our customers with this experience.”

Founded in 2012, Roostify most recently demonstrated its technology on the Finovate stage in 2018. In the years since, the company has grown into a mortgagetech leader that helps lenders process more than $50 billion in loans each month. The San Francisco, California-based company counts more than 250 financial institutions as clients and has 150+ employees.

This week Roostify introduced its new Chief Operating Officer, Nadia Aziz. With a focus on home lending, Aziz brings more than 20 years of financial services and fintech experience to Roostify’s C-suite. Before joining Roostify, Aziz was General Manager of Opendoor Home Loans, a digital lending platform for residential real estate.

“Roostify’s goal is to provide lenders with the tools and capabilities they need to deliver an exceptional experience for their customers while ensuring they achieve their business objectives by digitizing the loan origination process,” Aziz said in a statement. “I am excited to help Roostify on this mission and expand our impact on the industry by transforming the home lending journey.”

Photo by Yves Chaput

FIS Launches Guaranteed Payments Solution for Protection Against Chargebacks
  • FIS is launching its Guaranteed Payments solution this week that boosts merchants’ ecommerce transaction approval rates and guarantees protection against chargebacks.
  • FIS is partnering with ecommerce fraud prevention company Signifyd to reduce merchant chargebacks.
  • “With this solution, customer retention works hand in hand with fraud elimination to unlock incredible revenue growth opportunities,” said Signifyd CEO and Co-founder Raj Ramanand. 

Core banking expert FIS is launching a Guaranteed Payments solution this week. The new tool guarantees merchants increased ecommerce transaction approval rates and eliminates the financial liability of chargebacks resulting from fraudulent purchases.

Guaranteed Payments, which is available across the Signifyd Commerce Network and integrated into FIS’ Worldpay platform, facilitates increased merchant approval rates and provides guaranteed chargeback protection. The new technology combines machine learning and transaction intelligence to analyze aspects of a consumer’s purchase, including email address and payment credentials. Leveraging that information, Guaranteed Payments can instantly distinguish legitimate orders from fraudulent orders. The reduced fraud helps merchants optimize revenue and fulfill orders more quickly.

“Guaranteed Payments brings together two powerful sources of transaction intelligence—the Worldpay data stream produced from processing 40 billion orders annually and the Signifyd Commerce Network of thousands of merchants worldwide,” said FIS Chief Product Officer Vicky Bindra. She adds that the new tool can “combine fraud protection with increased approvals to enhance payment optimization and the overall user experience.”

Preventing chargebacks is at the heart of Signifyd’s technology. The California-based company helps identify fraudulent product orders using machine learning algorithms that sift through big data, including user behavior patterns, to reduce merchant chargebacks on fraudulent charges and save money on shipping goods on declined orders. In the event an order turns out to be fraudulent, Signifyd reimburses the merchant for the chargeback.

“Merchants using Signifyd experience a 5 to 9 percent increase in top line conversion on average,” said Signifyd CEO and Co-founder Raj Ramanand. “With this solution, customer retention works hand in hand with fraud elimination to unlock incredible revenue growth opportunities.”

FIS’ Guaranteed Payments is launching at a time when ecommerce activity and the fraud the comes along with it are at an all-time high. While the ecommerce market is predicted to grow 50% in the next two years, so is the fraud that comes along with it. In the past year, nine out of 10 merchants lost revenue due to payment fraud. False positives are hurting merchants, as well. Even though fraud currently accounts for about 1% of online transactions, merchants routinely reject as much as 9% of orders to avoid fraud, missing out on $443 billion in potential revenue.

Photo by RODNAE Productions

Transactions: SAS acquires risk management company Kamakura Corporation

Analytics software company SAS has completed its acquisition of risk management company Kamakura Corporation, the companies announced Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hawaii-based Kamakura creates data and software solutions for banks and banking enterprises, with a focus on risk management. The acquisition will bolster SAS’ existing risk analytics and software services as […]

Lead Bank EVP and CTO Michael Beattie joins Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 speaker faculty

The Bank Automation News team is pleased to announce that Michael Beattie, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Kansas City, Mo.-based Lead Bank, will join the speaker faculty for Bank Automation Summit Fall 2022 to discuss how to develop for the cloud in order to enable technology strategy on Monday, Sept. 19, at […]

Amazon cloud unit on course for $3 trillion value, Redburn says Inc.’s cloud-storage business is on a clear path toward a $3 trillion value, almost triple what the whole company is worth now in the stock market, according to a Redburn Ltd. analyst.

The unit, Amazon Web Services, is so powerful that the company may decide at some point to split it off from the massive, slower-growing online retail operation, analyst Alex Haissl wrote in a 128-page report initiating coverage of the cloud-computing industry. He didn’t say when the $3 trillion value may be achieved.

“Separating AWS may not be on the table for now, but if the performance gap versus the non-AWS parts continues to widen, it could be on the table further down the road,” wrote Haissl, a former head of automotive research at Berenberg and Credit Suisse Group AG who began his career as a police officer in Vienna.

Haissl recommends buying Amazon shares and sees the stock reaching $270 in the next year, the highest target on Wall Street and 150% above Tuesday’s closing price. He also rated Microsoft Corp. a buy, Snowflake Inc. as neutral and has a sell on MongoDB Inc.

Amazon Web Services’ revenue jumped 37% to $18.4 billion in the first quarter even as the company’s core e-commerce business saw a decline in sales. “There is no sugar-coating the weak performance” of online retail, he said, adding that “we do not think the business is structurally broken.”

The Amazon cloud unit is better positioned than rivals run by Microsoft and Alphabet Inc. because it has lower costs and better technology, Haissl wrote. Amazon Web Services accounts for less than 20% of Amazon’s revenue but will contribute all of its earnings this year, he wrote.

However, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Anurag Rana, who estimates the value of AWS at $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion, said “Microsoft could be better positioned than Amazon Web Services and Alphabet’s Google as enterprises accelerate their shift to a hybrid-cloud model, given its strong footprint in on-premise IT infrastructure.”

“Amazon is highly unlikely to spin off its cloud segment, since it’s the source of many funds for the company’s other businesses units,” Rana said.

— By Subrat Patnaik (Bloomberg)