Apiture Unveils New Data Engage Solution to Help Banks Better Leverage Data

https://finovate.com/apiture-unveils-new-data-engage-solution-to-help-banks-better-leverage-data/
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  • Apiture, a digital banking solutions provider, launched its Data Engage solution this week.
  • The new offering helps financial institutions access data-driven insights into how their customers are using Apiture’s digital banking platform.
  • Data Engage was made possible courtesy of a partnership between Apiture and Pendo. Both companies are based in North Carolina and made their Finovate debuts this year.

Digital banking solutions provider and new Finovate alum Apiture introduced its Data Engage solution this week. The technology, made possible courtesy of a partnership with fellow Finovate newcomer Pendo, will give banks and other financial institutions access to data-driven insights into how their customers are using Apiture’s digital banking platform. Data Engage further gives these firms tools to provide in-channel guidance and personalized messages to boost customer engagement. Pop-up messages, marketing notices, tutorials, and more are examples of the kinds of communications that can be leveraged to educate users and encourage adoption of new features.

The new offering is the first of four modules available from Apiture’s Data Intelligence solution. This technology gives users a variety of data analytics and benchmarking tools to help attract, retain, and cross-sell digital banking customers.

“With Data Engage, our clients can easily evaluate their users’ activities and enhance the online experience using no-code, highly intuitive tools that promote the expanded use of digital banking capabilities,” Apiture CEO Chris Babcock said.

Taking the Finovate stage for the first time at FinovateSpring in May, Pendo offers analytics, in-app guidance, and feedback capabilities to enable developers to create software that delivers better, more productive experiences for users. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Pendo claims that its “software that makes your software better” produces 15% decrease in support tickets, 30% more qualified leads, and a 5% reduction in customer churn.

“This partnership enables Apiture’s clients to harness data-driven intelligence,” Pendo co-founder and CEO Todd Olson said. “It maximizes user engagement with their digital banking solution. And the best part? It delivers a better user experience.”

Headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, Apiture made its Finovate debut in September at FinovateFall. At the conference, the company demoed its technology that can embed banking capabilities into the software of non-financial, third-party businesses. Apiture used the example of a travel agency that had embedded its technology to support basic banking tasks such as opening an account, viewing account balances, and transferring funds between accounts.

Apiture’s new product news comes in the wake of the company’s latest partnership announcement. In September, Apiture announced that Newtek Business Services Corporation had selected its digital banking platform to support the digital capabilities of Newtek Bank. Over the summer, Apiture reported that it had secured $29 million in funding in a round led by Live Oak Bank. The investment boosted the North Carolina-based fintech’s total funding to $69 million.

Founded in 2017 as a joint venture between First Data Corporation and Live Oak Bank, Apiture has more than 300 bank and credit union clients in the U.S. – and more than 300 employees of its own. With more than 40 core interfaces and over 200 fintech partners, Apiture’s digital banking platform has been praised by entities ranging from Javelin and IBS Intelligence to American Banker and Forbes.


Photo by Pixabay

https://finovate.com/apiture-unveils-new-data-engage-solution-to-help-banks-better-leverage-data/

JP Morgan and Mastercard Leverage Open Banking to Launch Pay-by-Bank Tool

https://finovate.com/jp-morgan-and-mastercard-leverage-open-banking-to-launch-pay-by-bank-tool/
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  • J.P. Morgan Payments and Mastercard partnered to launch Pay-by-Bank, an ACH payment tool that leverages open banking.
  • Billers who offer consumers an option to a pay via ACH can integrate Pay-by-Bank into their existing payments page.
  • Pay-by-Bank is currently in a pilot phase with a small number of U.S. billers, but will be rolled out to more billers in 2023.

Today’s news proves you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks. ACH, a technology that is 50+ years old, is getting a makeover with open banking.

J.P. Morgan Payments and Mastercard have joined forces this week to launch Pay-by-Bank, an ACH payment tool that leverages open banking and consumer-permissioned data to make it easy for users to pay bills directly from their bank accounts.

“We realized years ago that the way people think about money and commerce is changing,” said Mastercard North America Executive Vice President Chiro Aikat. “They want to pay and get paid how they choose, where they choose and when they choose. We’re excited by this new partnership with J.P. Morgan Chase, and our opportunity to empower people with enhanced payment experiences.”

Billers who offer customers an option to pay using ACH can integrate Pay-by-Bank into their existing payments page. Customers who opt to use the new technology will be prompted to find their bank, complete the bank’s account login process, and share their bank account information with JP Morgan Chase.

Pay-by-Bank makes for a better user experience. Consumers will no longer need to type in their routing and account number each time they go to pay a bill. As for the billers, they will not be faced with the liability of storing consumers’ account information.

“Billers and consumers both get greater payment choice,” said Aikat, “but the partnership also propels payments innovation on two fronts — in the ease of the user experience and in the security of data sharing.”

J.P. Morgan Payments Head of Payments and Commerce Solutions Max Neukirchen echoed this sentiment. “The technology behind Pay-by-Bank reduces the likelihood of unauthorized transactions and frees our clients from the need to retain — and the responsibility to securely maintain — consumer banking information,” Neukirchen said.

As an additional benefit to consumers, Pay-by-Bank leverages machine learning to estimate the optimal time to initiate the payment based on the consumer’s historical transaction behavior and risk patterns. This helps reduce the risk of non-sufficient funds for the consumer and helps ensure the merchant receives the payment on time.

Pay-by-Bank is still in a pilot phase with a small number of U.S. billers and merchants, but J.P. Morgan Payments and Mastercard anticipate they will expand the program next year. 

https://finovate.com/jp-morgan-and-mastercard-leverage-open-banking-to-launch-pay-by-bank-tool/

Petrus urges Temenos top duo to exit, wants strategic review

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/petrus-urges-temenos-top-duo-to-exit-wants-strategic-review/
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Activist investor Petrus Advisers is amping up the pressure on banking software maker Temenos AG, calling on the chairman and chief executive officer to resign and the rest of the supervisory board to start a strategic review including a potential sale. Max Chuard “is far out of his depth in a CEO role and should […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/petrus-urges-temenos-top-duo-to-exit-wants-strategic-review/

Envestnet partnerships enhance digital and automation efforts

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/envestnet-partnerships-enhance-digital-and-automation-efforts/
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Wealth tech giant Envestnet continued its tech modernization efforts in the third quarter, boosted by new partnerships, product launches and footprint expansion plans. As the Berwyn, Pa.-based company grew, its revenue, users and ultimately expenses in Q3 all inched up year over year: Envestnet’s total revenue inched up 1% to $306.7 million; The tech company’s […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/envestnet-partnerships-enhance-digital-and-automation-efforts/

Transactions: Provenir taps Sekura for mobile fraud detection

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/provenir-taps-sekura-for-mobile-fraud-detection/
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Risk decisioning platform Provenir is collaborating with mobile data intelligence provider Sekura to enhance fraud protection in the financial services industry.  The partnership gives Provenir’s clients — including buy-now-pay-later startup Zilch, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, and SoFi — access to a suite of identity verification, anti-fraud and online authentication services through global mobile operators via […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/core-cloud/provenir-taps-sekura-for-mobile-fraud-detection/

Binance, FTX, and Crypto’s Enron Moment: What This Means for Fintech

https://finovate.com/binance-ftx-and-cryptos-enron-moment-what-this-means-for-fintech/
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Update: Binance has called off the agreement to buy FTX.


If you’ve spent any time reading fintech news in the last 24 hours, you know that Binance has agreed to buy the non-U.S. unit of FTX. For those in the crypto world, this is a big deal. Why? It’s a riches-to-rags story– almost like crypto’s moment of an Enron-like collapse.

The downfall of FTX is part of a long story, which multiple outlets have already covered in great detail. Here are the highlights. FTX is considering a sale because it is reportedly facing liquidity problems. The crypto exchange’s cash flow issue is the result of the devaluation of its digital currency, FTT. The coin is currently trading at just under $3.50.

What happened?

Why has the value of FTT been destroyed? FTX minted FTT to lend to Alameda Research, a quantitative cryptocurrency trading platform founded by FTX owner Sam Bankman-Fried. Alameda Research borrowed stablecoins against FTT, and sent the stablecoins to FTX. This cycle made it appear that FTT was valuable even though it was essentially nothing more than printed money. Alameda Research has reached insolvency and FTX is now worth nearly nothing, despite the fact that investors valued FTX at $32 billion earlier this year.

FTX rival Binance stepped in earlier this week announcing a non-binding agreement to purchase the non-U.S. unit of FTX. If the deal goes through, Binance will be the largest player in the crypto space. “This elevates Zhao as the most powerful player in crypto,” Ilan Solot, co-head of digital assets at Marex Solutions told the Financial Times. “Zhao’s view of the world will matter a lot more, in terms of how he wants to interact with regulators and policymakers . . . the weight of his views will be much more powerful.”

What this means for fintech

  • Crypto is down all around
    Cryptocurrencies were having a tough year already. Many outlets were referring to this year as a “crypto winter,” a time during which cryptocurrency values have been depressed when compared to prior periods. This scandal only intensifies this. According to Forbes, “the total market capitalization for crypto has slid to $860 billion in the last 24 hours.”
  • Expect more regulatory scrutiny
    Cayman Islands-based Binance and Bahamas-based FTX may be beyond any meaningful regulatory scrutiny. However, this event has caught the eyes of regulators across the globe. Yesterday, in fact, Republican member of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee Patrick McHenry issued a statement imploring Congress to take action. “For years, I have advocated for Congress to develop a clear regulatory framework for the digital asset ecosystem, including trading platforms,” said McHenry. “The recent events show the necessity of Congressional action. It’s imperative that Congress establish a framework that ensures Americans have adequate protections while also allowing innovation to thrive here in the U.S. I look forward to learning more from FTX and Binance in the coming days about these events and the steps they will take to protect customers during the transition.”
  • Consolidated industry
    Experts have suggested that crypto wallets will eventually be whittled down to a handful of meaningful players, just as Apple and Android serve as the two main operating systems. If Binance’s acquisition of FTX goes through, the two players will be Binance for non-U.S. wallets and Coinbase for U.S. wallets.

Overall, there are lots of lessons to be learned from this, and more will come as the story develops. Perhaps the top takeaways are the simplest ones. Be ethical. Be honest. Be humble.


Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán

https://finovate.com/binance-ftx-and-cryptos-enron-moment-what-this-means-for-fintech/

Digital Engagement Solution Provider Agent IQ Secures $10 Million in Series A

https://finovate.com/digital-engagement-solution-provider-agent-iq-secures-10-million-in-series-a/
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  • Digital engagement solution provider Agent IQ has raised $10 million in Series A funding.
  • Agent IQ’s technology helps bankers develop more meaningful customer relationships by blending enabling technologies like AI with human talent, expertise, and empathy.
  • Agent IQ made its Finovate debut earlier this year at FinovateSpring and returned to the Finovate stage in September for FinovateFall.

In a round led by Mendon Venture Partners and featuring participation from Acronym VC, Sierra Ventures, and FNBO, digital engagement solution provider Agent IQ has raised $10 million in Series A funding. The investment, according to Crunchbase, takes the company’s total capital raised to $18.5 million.

Agent IQ CEO and co-founder Slaven Bilac said that the critical task of developing meaningful customer relationships can be lost in the drive toward the convenience and speed of digitalization. “Agent IQ exists to change this narrative,” Bilac said. He added that the company will “leverage this capital to lead community banking toward an environment where customers derive the same level of personal benefit through the digital channel as they traditionally did through the branch, while enabling banks and CUs to differentiate themselves with personal, seamless, and efficient service.”

Headquartered in San Francisco, California and founded in 2015, Agent IQ offers digital platforms that help their clients enhance customer relationships and customer satisfaction. Agent IQ’s solutions also help companies become more efficient, which leads to greater profitability and lower costs. With an approach that supports augmenting the human banker with technology rather than trying to replace human bankers with technology, Agent IQ effectively blends innovations like AI and machine learning with the critical customer engagement features of human empathy and creativity.

“The company is at the forefront of relationship banking,” Mendon Venture Partners Founding Partner John Clausen said, “helping banks engage customers in ways that they have come to demand.”

Agent IQ’s funding news comes just a few months after the company demoed its Lynq platform at FinovateFall in September. Lynq enables financial services consumer to choose and engage with a personal banker across all digital channels. The technology features configurable, built-in Augmented Intelligence that helps bankers better connect, engage, and support their customers. At the same time, the platform helps them become more efficient by automating typically mundane, manual tasks. Lynq offers video chat, AI-powered real-time insights, and messaging capabilities with the ability to translate real-time to more than 100 languages.

Agent IQ began the year with news that Texas-based Extracto Banks would deploy its Lynq digital assistant and chat service. This made Extracto Banks the first financial institution in Texas to partner with Agent IQ. The institution’s EVP and Chief of Strategic Design Chris Kincaid said that Agent IQ’s technology gave the bank “a transformational approach to meeting our customers where they are.”


Photo by Miguel Acosta

https://finovate.com/digital-engagement-solution-provider-agent-iq-secures-10-million-in-series-a/

Philippines-Based Neobank Tonik Adds New Lending Products

https://finovate.com/philippines-based-neobank-tonik-adds-new-lending-products/
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  • Tonik is adding two new loan products to its suite of banking tools.
  • The new offerings include Flex Loan, an unsecured personal loan, and Big Loan, a home equity line of credit.
  • Tonik received the first digital bank license issued by the Philippines’ central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Tonik is one of the first neobanks in the Philippines. Today, the Singapore-based fintech announced it is adding two new lending products to its existing suite of digital banking tools.

The new offerings are called Flex Loan and Big Loan. Flex Loan is an unsecured personal loan that doesn’t require collateral and offers borrowers up to $4,300 (Php 250,000) at a rate of 2.49% monthly interest for a term of up to 24 months. Big Loan is a home equity line of credit of up to $43,000 (Php 2,500,000) that enables users to borrow against the equity on their home when they offer their property to the bank as collateral.

“Powered by our purely digital platform and the most competitive market rates, Flex Loan and Big Loan offer accessible, safe, and badly needed credit for the huge underserved market in the Philippines,” said Tonik Founder and CEO Greg Krasnov. “With these new loans, we are excited to speed up efforts in accelerating credit inclusion in the country.”

Big Loan may be Tonik’s most notable new product. That’s because home equity lines of credit are relatively new to the Philippines. Tonik’s Big Loan offering marks one of the first fully digitalized collateral product available in the Philippines. Once the borrower applies for the loan and submits the necessary paperwork, Tonik makes the funds available within seven business days.

Tonik’s other banking tools include Stash, a savings account; Group Stash, a group savings account; Time Deposit, a high-interest savings account; Quick Loan, its flagship personal loan; and physical and virtual debit cards.

Tonik received the first digital bank license issued by the Philippines’ central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Founded in 2018, and with offices in Singapore, Manila, and Chennai, Tonik has raised $175 million from top international investors, including Sequoia India, Point72 Ventures, and Mizuho Bank.


Photo by Gino on Unsplash

https://finovate.com/philippines-based-neobank-tonik-adds-new-lending-products/

Open Lending’s cert volume declines QoQ

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/open-lendings-cert-volume-declines-qoq/
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Automation fintech Open Lending’s certified loan volume decreased for the second consecutive quarter in Q3 following six quarters of growth.  Total certified loans, or “certs,” decreased 5.3% sequentially and 14.5% year over year to 42,186, according to the fintech’s earnings presentation. Credit unions and banks accounted for 86% of certs while OEM certifications made up 14%.  “In the third quarter, […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/retail/open-lendings-cert-volume-declines-qoq/

Stablecoin News for the week ending Wednesday 9th November.

https://dailyfintech.com/2022/11/09/stablecoin-news-for-the-week-ending-wednesday-9th-november/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stablecoin-news-for-the-week-ending-wednesday-9th-november
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Here is our pick of the 3 most important stablecoin stories during the week.

The What, How and When of CBDC’s in the west. 

This week we decided to do a deep dive in CBDC’s and in particular the many projects facilitated by the BIS.  Yes China has an extensive trail and a number of other various projects are underway in various parts of the world, but our interest lies where issues of privacy and freedom run the strongest.  There has been a lot of reporting but has anything substantive been achieved?

First, the Central banks from France, Switzerland and Singapore are attempting to automate foreign exchange markets, using decentralized protocols to cut the cost of cross-border payments.

Project Mariana, coordinated by the Innovation Hub of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), is looking at whether protocols used in intermediary-free decentralized finance (DeFi) can replace traditional, more laborious processes for matching buyers and sellers of different fiat currencies.

“DeFi and its applications have the potential to become systemically important parts of the financial ecosystem,” the BIS said in a statement on its website. It added that automated market makers can become “the basis for a new generation of financial infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, officials are also struggling with how to regulate DeFi, given that there’s no obvious entity to heap obligations on. One study from the BIS last December even called DeFi an “illusion,” saying that centralized governance is inescapable.

France, Switzerland, Singapore to Test DeFi in Forex Markets (coindesk.com)

Recently, a six-week pilot project to evaluate whether central bank digital currencies (CBDC) would be useful for foreign exchange transfers successfully had 20 different commercial banks conduct over 160 payments worth around a total of $22 million, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) revealed in a report.

Central banks – based in Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates and Thailand – issued over $12 million on the platform, allowing the commercial banks to conduct payment and foreign exchange payment versus payment transactions (PvP), the report said. The pilot was part of BIS’s ongoing Project mBridge, a collaboration between the international financial institution and the central banks of those four nations that is studying CBDCs and their possible role in cross-border payments and multi-CBDC transactions.

“One important observation is the limited number of FX PvP transactions which were conducted during the pilot compared with one-way payments,” the report said. “This reflected in part the relatively short window of time banks had to off-load their foreign CBDCs due to the requirement set by some central banks to clear balances of their CBDCs at the end of the day, along with the limited overlapping RTGS [real-time gross settlement] hours between the four jurisdictions.”

According to the document published recently, one issue the banks found was that the on-bridge transactions lacked “an efficient FX price-discovery mechanism.” The FX rates were instead determined off-bridge, before the transactions occurred, which led to the banks needing to tap pre existing balances in nostro accounts rather than using mBridge itself.

Foreign Exchange Transactions Take Center Stage in New BIS CBDC Report (coindesk.com)

A project involving multiple Asian central bank digital currencies (CBDC) has been badged a success, facilitating over $22 million in foreign-exchange transactions, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said.  The trial, described as the first of its kind ever, using a custom-built distributed-ledger technology platform, is supported by central banks from China, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

Landmark International CBDC Test Deemed Success, BIS Says (coindesk.com)

So in summary, lots of technical work, of which some appears to be useful, has or is being carried out, but the large political debate in the west about how our privacy and freedom will be protected or how much we would give up to access the benefits of this new technology has not even begun.

In short, we are in practical terms still a very long way away from having a CBDC in the west.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Alan Scott is an expert in the FX market and has been working in the domain of stablecoins for many years.  

Twitter @Alan_SmartMoney

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 stablecoins please read this introductory interview with Alan “How stablecoins will change our world” and read articles tagged stablecoin in our archives.

https://dailyfintech.com/2022/11/09/stablecoin-news-for-the-week-ending-wednesday-9th-november/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stablecoin-news-for-the-week-ending-wednesday-9th-november

Finastra Partners with PoS Financing and Buy Now, Pay Later Platform Jifiti

https://finovate.com/finastra-partners-with-pos-financing-and-buy-now-pay-later-platform-jifiti/
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  • Finastra has announced a strategic alliance with Ohio point-of-sale (PoS) financing and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) company Jifiti.
  • The alliance will bring new PoS financing capabilities to financial institutions in Finastra’s Banking-as-a-Service ecosystem.
  • Finastra was formed via a merger between Finovate alum Misys and D+H in 2017.

Just last week we highlighted the state of Ohio as a place where innovation in fintech and insurtech was thriving. Today, we learn that financial software company and Finovate alum Finastra has inked a strategic alliance with one of Ohio’s fintech innovators: Columbus-based point of sale financing company and Buy Now, Pay Later platform Jifiti.

The collaboration will bring embedded financing capabilities to financial institutions in Finastra’s Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) ecosystem. These capabilities will enable banks to empower merchants with point-of-sale financing options such as Buy Now, Pay Later and split payments. Whether transacting online, in-store, or by call center, consumers will be able to access this expanded range of financing options. Jifiti’s platform will be pre-integrated with Finastra’s systems, making deployment easy for financial institutions currently using Finastra to power their core banking operations.

Finastra Senior Director for Solution Management, BaaS & Orchestration Jeanette Kescenovitz put the partnership in the context of the recent launch of Finastra’s BaaS embedded consumer lending offering. “We look forward to leveraging Jifiti’s best-in-class retail point-of-sale solution to give financial institutions a simple way to provide a seamless, embedded finance offering with a fully digital-first experience,” Kescenovitz said.

Jifiti offers a modular, white-label platform that supports a wide range of point-of-sale financing options. These options include installment loans, lines of credit, split payments, BNPL, and B2B financing. Founded in 2011, the company introduced its B2B Buy Now, Pay Later solution for banks, lenders, and merchants last month. The addition of the offering for business customers significantly enhanced the capabilities of Jifiti’s platform, enabling the technology to cover virtually all types of Buy Now, Pay Later options.

“The B2B market was the next logical step in our journey at Jifiti,” company CEO and co-founder Yaacov Martin said when the launch was announced. “We aim to give every customer the financing that best suits their needs. Now we can help our bank and merchant partners extend that same level of customization to their business customers through specialized B2B-embedded finance.”


Photo by Pixabay

https://finovate.com/finastra-partners-with-pos-financing-and-buy-now-pay-later-platform-jifiti/

Crossing the $10B threshold: Compliance considerations for banks

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/center-of-excellence/crossing-the-10b-threshold-compliance-considerations-for-banks/
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Financial institutions approaching the $10 billion asset threshold are leveraging automation and APIs to ensure they have proper governance in place ahead of increasing regulator scrutiny. “Banks must have the ability to pull all of the data and information that regulators expect when they come in and start asking their questions,” Anna Kooi, national financial […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/center-of-excellence/crossing-the-10b-threshold-compliance-considerations-for-banks/

Jack Henry launches real-time payments solution

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/payments/jack-henry-launches-real-time-payments-solution/
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Core provider Jack Henry has launched a person-to-person (P2P), open-loop payment solution that allows the transfer of money regardless of whether a transaction takes place on the same network.  The real-time payment solution gives customers a way to use their local bank to send and receive funds, allowing smaller financial institutions (FIs) to compete with […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/payments/jack-henry-launches-real-time-payments-solution/

ShieldPay and Checkout.com Unite to Further Secure B2B Transactions

https://finovate.com/shieldpay-and-checkout-com-unite-to-further-secure-b2b-transactions/
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  • Checkout.com and Shieldpay announced a partnership this week.
  • The collaboration will bring Checkout.com’s merchant clients more transaction processing options, including digital escrow.
  • This official partnership announcement comes a year after Checkout.com and Shieldpay first started collaborating.

Global payments platform Checkout.com and digital payments solutions provider Shieldpay have aligned this week. The two have joined forces to offer B2B merchants more transaction processing options.

In addition to straight-through processing, or processing transactions without manual intervention, merchants using Checkout.com will have access to Shieldpay’s payment engine and digital escrow capabilities. Shieldpay’s technology helps businesses add trust, transparency, and extra security when conducting transactions online. In an era when digital payments fraud is at an all-time high, it is essential for both the buyer and the seller to instill trust in the payments process, especially when dealing with high-value transactions.

“Together with Shieldpay, we’re bringing our merchants even more value and flexibility for their B2B transactions,” said Miyesa Hussain, Strategic Partnerships at Checkout.com. “Shieldpay’s digital escrow technology is truly innovative and further enhances the payout process for our customers. We’re excited to see where this partnership takes us.”

Shieldpay’s digital escrow tool was created to protect buyers and sellers across multiple deal types– including M&A, supply chain payments, capital raising, domain name transfers, real estate transactions, and more. The company offers KYC and KYB checks on all parties, full transparency, and flexible and efficient contracts. Leveraging this tool, Checkout.com customers can hold funds in safeguarded accounts until both the buyer and the seller are satisfied that the conditions of the transaction have been met. Once they approve the transaction, the money is then transferred to the verified merchant or the marketplace customer. Shieldpay can also help marketplaces disburse funds to submerchants.

This official partnership announcement comes a year after Checkout.com and Shieldpay first started collaborating. Shieldpay has already helped a handful of Checkout.com’s merchant clients manage complex payments. As an example, the two provide the payment flow for in-person digital payment acceptance company KodyPay*. In the arrangement, Checkout.com acts as the acquirer and provides a payment gateway facility to accept payments, while Shieldpay provides seller verification and disbursement.

“We are both on a similar mission as payments innovators and the services that our platforms offer to the market work in perfect harmony, said Shieldpay Head of Partnerships Daniel Dunne. “With these key drivers aligned, we are looking forward to the future of this partnership and growing together, and we are now envisioning new opportunities to further collaborate.”

*In other news, KodyPay announced a $5 million Pre-Series A financing round.


Photo by Bogdan Kupriets on Unsplash

https://finovate.com/shieldpay-and-checkout-com-unite-to-further-secure-b2b-transactions/

ACI Worldwide Appoints Thomas Warsop Interim CEO

https://finovate.com/aci-worldwide-appoints-thomas-warsop-interim-ceo/
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Real-time payments software company ACI Worldwide has appointed Thomas Warsop as its Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Warsop was formerly the non-executive Chair of the ACI Worldwide Board of Directors. He replaces Odilon Almeida, who was the company’s CEO from March 2020 until now. Almeda was named CEO after Philip Heasley – who had served as CEO and President for 15 years – retired. Independent board director Adalio Sanchez will assume the role of non-executive Board chair.

“As ACI advances its vision to lead the real-time payments revolution, the Board is determined that now is the right time to transition to a new leader focused on accelerating our technology transformation and delivering operational excellence across our business,” ACI Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Chair Mary Harman said.

A member of the company’s board of directors since the summer of 2015, Warsop became non-executive chairman seven years later in June of 2022. In addition to his tenure on the ACI board, Warsop brings his experience as Group President at Fiserv to his new position. Warsop has led a number of private equity firms previous to joining the ACI board including One Call Care Management, York Risk Services Group, and The Warranty Group. He also held executive roles at Electronic Data Systems, ranging from President of the firm’s Business Process Outsourcing unit in the Asia Pacific to Vice President of Global Financial Services.

“ACI is uniquely positioned to support banks, merchants, and billers around the world,” Warsop said in a statement. “We have market-leading software platforms in use at many of the world’s leading financial institutions and are poised not just to benefit from, but to drive, the rapidly approaching real-time payments revolution.”

ACI Worldwide’s C-suite news comes less than a week after the company announced third quarter results. The report included a 35% year over year increase in new ARR bookings, as well as “notable booking success across all segments, providing visibility into future revenue growth,” then-CEO and president Almeida said. At the same time, the company the impact of inflationary pressures on both interchange revenue and foreign exchanges rates. Adjusted EBITDA for Q3 was down year over year, but the company did iterate its full-year guidance.

Challenges notwithstanding, ACI Worldwide has continued to forge partnerships with institutions around the world, helping them enhance their payment operations. The company teamed up with Sweden’s Westpay in September, who will deploy ACI Secure eCommerce to bring new capabilities to its in-store payment solutions. Also that month, ACI Worldwide announced a partnership with loan management software provider GOLDPoint Systems. ACI will help the Provo, Utah-based company to digitize its billpay operations via its ACI Speedpay solution, which is used by thousands of billers in the U.S.

Founded in 1975 in Omaha, Nebraska, ACI Worldwide is currently headquartered in Miami, Florida. The company is a leading force driving innovation in real-time electronic payments for banks, processors, billers, networks, and more. ACI Worldwide serves 19 of the top 20 banks worldwide, enables more than 80,000 merchants, and provides electronic billpay technology for thousands of organizations. Processing more than 225 billion consumer transactions a year, the company serves more than 6,000 customers in 95 countries around the world.

A publicly traded fintech on the NASDAQ under the ticker “ACIW,” ACI Worldwide has a market capitalization of $2.4 billion. The company has been a Finovate alum since 2011, demoing its business banking solution in partnership with mShift at FinovateFall. ACI Worldwide returned to the Finovate stage five years later to lead a presentation on its latest innovations in ecommerce payment technology at our developers conference, FinDEVr Silicon Valley in 2016.


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https://finovate.com/aci-worldwide-appoints-thomas-warsop-interim-ceo/

Q3 M&A Highlights: Deal Volume Down, Number Trending Up

https://finovate.com/q3-ma-highlights-deal-volume-down-number-trending-up/
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2022 is marking the beginning of an economic downturn. Consumers are feeling the pain associated with high inflation, corporations are seeing decreased stock performance, and startups are experiencing lower funding amounts, lower valuations, and lower M&A numbers.

We recently reviewed FT Partners’ Q3 Quarterly Fintech Insights Report to take a look at how M&A activity in the third quarter of 2022 is tracking when compared to years past.

The volume of fintech merger and acquisition activity in the first three quarters of 2022 has so far totaled $116 billion. This is down significantly when compared to the volume the sector saw last year, which totaled $349 billion. In fact, the 2022 year-to-date amount is the lowest M&A volume since 2017, when M&A volumes totaled $90.5 billion.

When it comes to the number of deals, FT Partners found that there have been 998 fintech M&A deals so far this year. This is down when compared to last year’s total of 1,486. However, the deal number is already higher than those in any of the past 10 years. In fact, 2020’s total deal number is only 969.

Below is a list of Q3’s fintech M&A activity:

July

August

September


Photo by Sora Shimazaki

https://finovate.com/q3-ma-highlights-deal-volume-down-number-trending-up/

Zenus Bank chooses Finxact for digital transformation

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/business-banking/zenus-bank-chooses-finxact-for-digital-transformation/
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Zenus Bank has tapped cloud-native core banking solution Finxact to scale its digital transformation.  The San Juan, Puerto Rico-based bank’s new platform is expected to launch in April 2023 with Finxact capabilities operating on the Microsoft Azure cloud, Pedro Martinez, Zenus Bank’s chief information officer, told Bank Automation News. “We needed to rely on modern […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/business-banking/zenus-bank-chooses-finxact-for-digital-transformation/

SEON Launches Free Fraud Prevention Tool

https://finovate.com/seon-launches-free-fraud-prevention-tool/
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  • SEON is giving away its fraud prevention tools for free.
  • The free tier will include up to 2,000 API calls each month at a rate of two queries per second.
  • “We’re determined to tackle fraud head on,” said SEON CEO and Co-founder Tamas Kadar. “This version will help us to serve a greater number of online businesses than ever before, and it is a major step towards building a truly fraud free world.”

Online fraud prevention platform SEON‘s mission is to democratize the fight against online fraud for businesses of all sizes. Today, the Hungary-based company is furthering its efforts toward this goal by giving away fraud prevention tools for free.

The Forever Free version of its online fraud prevention software will support up to 2,000 API calls each month at a rate of two queries per second and includes email support from SEON’s customer service agents.

“We’re determined to tackle fraud head on,” said SEON CEO and Co-founder Tamas Kadar. “This version will help us to serve a greater number of online businesses than ever before, and it is a major step towards building a truly fraud free world.”

SEON has always offered businesses free access to its technology via a 14-day free trial. Starting today, after a user’s trial period expires, they will automatically be converted to SEON’s Forever Free plan. Businesses that want more capabilities can convert to SEON’s Pro plan, which offers more API calls and responses around 10 queries per second, for businesses with higher transaction volumes and a need for a faster speed.

“As a company, we make it tough for fraudsters by intelligently combining real-time social signals, phone, email, and IP lookup details with device intelligence and machine learning to uncover fraud patterns and discover revenue opportunities. We enable fraud prevention teams to go further with access to insightful, real-time data from one source.” 

SEON doesn’t think of itself as a typical fraud prevention company. The company’s business model is based on a product-led growth (PLG) strategy via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, which makes the technology more accessible to a wider range of businesses.

“Sadly, for too long, this level of protection has only been available at a very high price point. That’s why for years, we’ve strived to make our service as accessible as possible. Through our ‘forever free’ option we’re able to go even further in that effort,” Kadar added.

The second half of the year has been a busy one for SEON. In the past couple of months, SEON has formed partnerships with SaaS anti-money laundering company, Lucinity and AI-powered decisioning platform, Provenir. And in the last few weeks, the company has made several updates to its system, including improving the accuracy of its IP, BIN, email, phone, and platform checks.  


Photo by Neenu Vimalkumar on Unsplash

https://finovate.com/seon-launches-free-fraud-prevention-tool/

Bitcoin is Inevitable

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Throughout history, many events have taken place on October 31st, but I think time will show that the most significant event was the release of Bitcoin’s whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Last Monday, Bitcoin turned 14.

Bitcoin was not the first attempt to create digital money. Like many other innovative technologies, Bitcoin stands on the shoulders of all those who came before it and attempted to create a digital currency using a ledger that was secured by encryption.

In 1983, David Chaum conceived an anonymous cryptographic electronic money, Ecash, believed to be the first real-world attempt to create digital private money. Several other attempts followed including hashcash, DigiCash, Bit-Gold, and B-Money, but Bitcoin succeeded where all the previous efforts failed.

Until Satoshi published Bitcoin’s whitepaper, no one could figure out a way to create money without relying on a centralized institution that was vulnerable to failure or government oversight.

Bitcoin has grown to become a global phenomenon without a marketing budget. The growth of Bitcoin has been viral and the reason for this is Bitcoin’s sound money principles. It is an awakening of sorts, which changes our concept of finance, upends our confidence in fiat currencies, and makes us question government and banks.

Everyone’s journey to Bitcoin is different and personal.

For me, this is my second bear market. I knew about Bitcoin for many years but I never really paid any attention to it —sometimes I wonder how I missed it. I got into Bitcoin in the summer/fall of 2016 when I was working at a fintech company and started to think about what to do in crypto. It took me a while before I jumped in. I spent several months researching and trying to understand the technology, the market dynamics, and why bitcoin has value.

Understanding Bitcoin is something difficult. Like most people, in the beginning, I was fixated on the price and its volatility. But I have come to understand that regardless of the cycles, whether it’s going from $20,000 to $3,000, and then from $3,000 to $70,000 and back down to $20,000 the value proposition of bitcoin is constant, and it doesn’t change.

To understand Bitcoin you need to ask some fundamental questions about what money is and question some of the assumptions we have about money.

In my view, the existing monetary system has broken our trust beyond repair. Inflation is rising, and central banks are using counter-productive measures to keep the economy afloat.

The collapse of the fiat currencies we use today is inevitable.

We are living in a world where inflation runs rampant. Central banks have been printing money forever and now they are trying to solve the problem of inflation. Food and gasoline prices are far more expensive than a year ago and will continue to rise, and it is not just because of the war in Ukraine. The real problem is that central banks printed trillions of dollars over the last three years.

To quantify the situation, today there is $90 trillion in dollar-denominated debt and about 9 trillion dollars in the banking system. This is a 9x increase in the number of dollars in the banking system since 2008 when we had the last financial meltdown.

Central banks can’t solve the problem of inflation because they are the source of inflation. To maintain the system, they need to keep on printing money, otherwise, it will collapse —when new debt is created, there is a future demand for dollars and to meet that future demand central banks have to print money. Money printing continues, in part to deal with the second-order effects of the previous round of money printing. It’s a vicious endless loop.

The existing fiat system is broken to the point that it cannot be repaired. Central banks have printed money to such an extent that they have opened pandora’s box and put themselves in a situation that has allowed this unsustainable debt to become a bubble.

Bitcoin is inevitable and it will be replacing a system that is irreparably broken. It’s only a matter of time.

I like to think of Bitcoin’s price as purchasing power. While it might not be used on a day-to-day basis like other currencies, Bitcoin is designed to be a better form of money that can’t be printed or controlled by a centralized authority. Bitcoin’s fundamental value is that there will only be 21 million bitcoins and no one can change that.

There are multiple currencies in the world, but only Bitcoin has removed the need for trust and has given people an option to voluntarily opt-in to a censorship-resistant form of money —anyone can send bitcoin to anyone else on the network.

Bitcoin is inevitable because of the intellectual capital flowing into it.

Bitcoin, crypto, and web3 are drawing graduates from all over the world who have the technical know-how and whose skills are readily applicable to blockchain development. These young crypto believers are often fully committed to working in the sector, attracted by the idea of decentralization and generational wealth opportunities of bitcoin. They are unfazed by the battered job market and volatile cryptocurrency prices.

How can you bet against a market that has the smartest and brightest minds out of universities going into crypto? You can’t.

The most impressive feature of Bitcoin is that it is still there. It has survived crash after crash and government hostility. It has truly been battle-tested in the harshest of conditions. Everyone uses Bitcoin for their own reasons, but Bitcoin has ushered in a truly new paradigm of money, one that is challenging existing definitions. The creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, wanted it to be a currency. I think we still have ways to go before we reach that point, but with each passing day, it becomes more plausible, and eventually, we will see a Bitcoin-based monetary system.

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

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https://dailyfintech.com/2022/11/07/bitcoin-is-inevitable/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bitcoin-is-inevitable

ConnexPay raises $110M for tech enhancements

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/payments/connexpay-raises-110m-for-tech-enhancements/
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Payments technology platform ConnexPay secured a $110 million investment last week from growth equity firm FTV Capital to help support technology enhancements and grow its international team, according to a release.  Minneapolis-based ConnexPay integrates payment acceptance and issuance inside a single platform using API documentation, according to the company’s website.  “With FTV’s proven track record […]

https://bankautomationnews.com/allposts/payments/connexpay-raises-110m-for-tech-enhancements/