Showcasing FinovateEurope’s Center Stage Speakers on International Women’s Day

Last week, to kick off Women’s History Month, we highlighted the women who will be representing their companies on Day One at FinovateEurope on March 14 next week in London.

Today, on International Women’s Day, we would like to introduce you to the women who will be taking center stage with keynote addresses, fireside chats, and more on Day Two of FinovateEurope.

Head of Omnichannel Experience at Curinos, Panelist. Meet at the Cafe.

Senior Research Analyst at Omdia. Panelist. Analyst All-Stars.

Chief of Staff to the CEO at bunq. Guest. Fireside Chat.

Chair of the Board at Innovate Finance. Moderator. Power Panel on the Fintech Ecosystem and Strategic Partnerships.

Chief Client Officer and Managing Director at Raisin. Panelist. Power Panel on the Fintech Ecosystem and Strategic Partnerships.

Senior Research Fellow, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University. Guest. Out of the Box Fireside Chat on Transhumanism.

EMEA Head of Multicultural Strategy and Multicultural Innovation Lab, Morgan Stanley. Guest. Fireside Chat: Why Diversity Matters.

Head of Change Optimization at Lloyds Banking Group. Panelist. Power Panel on Digital Transformation.

Founder at Daylight Robbery. Speaker. Quick Fire Keynote on Bitcoin and Digital Assets.

Founding Partner at Sie Ventures. Moderator. Investor All-Stars.

Partner at Portage Ventures. Panelist. Investor All-Stars.

Tickets for FinovateEurope are still on sale. Visit our FinovateEurope hub and save your spot today.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

2023 Tech Transformation Priorities Banks + FIs Must Review

The banking industry is on the brink of a transformation driven by technological advances that have created the potential for new products, services and delivery channels that promise to reshape the very definition of what banking means.

But for established financial institutions, this seismic shake-up is destabilizing long-standing business models and giving rise to competition from a new crop of providers, unencumbered by legacy tech systems, whose offerings are purpose-built for financial services’ digital future.

To continue to compete and maintain relevance in the industry’s new era, banks must adapt, delivering products and service models that meet customers’ changing expectations, while strategically re-evaluating their business strategy to determine what role they’re best suited to play in the financial services ecosystem of tomorrow.

In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Technisys head of digital core Michael Haney highlighted three of the biggest priorities that should be top-of-mind for banks amid the industry’s tech transformation:

1. Adopt an omnichannel and embedded services model

While previous waves of banking innovation saw the rise of customer self-service and the digital channel, the current phase is in many ways a more fundamental re-imagining of what types of services banks can offer and how customers can access them, Haney said. Those services increasingly are operable across multiple channels and being embedded into non-financial platforms, including social media, messaging apps and the internet of things, he noted.

“Now I can bank on my smart watch or I can bank through my smart speaker,” Haney said. “But more importantly, I can bank in channels that [banks] don’t own directly, even in non-financial brands, bringing banking to the point of need and not just limiting it to [a bank’s] own branded channels.”

For banks, building products suited for this omnichannel, embedded paradigm requires a new, modular approach to development–and the flexible core banking tech stack to support that process.

Buy now, pay later, early wage access, roundup savings; all these things require a bank to have building blocks from the payments world, the lending world and the deposits world and reassemble them in completely different ways. You can’t do that with a Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL) and mainframe system,” Haney said.

2. Decide what kind of bank you want to be

The shift toward omnichannel and embedded financial services will force banks to make a key decision, Haney said: whether to continue to “own” their customer relationships across the expanding multitude of channels–and make the necessary investment to do so–or whether to take a more background role by providing the banking services that undergird other brands’ offerings.

“There are going to be a set of banks that are going to want to maintain all of those channels and be front and center and have their brand front and center,” Haney observed. “Other banks are… going to be more interested in the Banking as a Service or embedded finance [model].”

Through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs), the latter group of banks essentially will function as a utility, providing the back-end services and licensing that consumer-facing platforms rely upon to offer financial services functionalities within the context of their platforms and consumer journeys.

“Then of course there’ll be banks that will do both. But you really have to say, ‘What kind of bank do I want to be in the future?’” Haney advised.

3. Embrace change and collaboration

Whatever the role a financial institution decides to play in the emerging banking ecosystem, success will require an openness to new ideas and experimentation. As those are characteristics most banks traditionally aren’t known for embodying, a shift in mindset will be critical to evolution and continued relevance, Haney advised.

“It’s not even about having the perfect model or having things succeed or fail. It’s about that willingness to embrace change and to be willing to experiment just as the parameters around you change,” said Haney.

He cited the tech sector’s prevailing support of experimentation as a good model for banks to follow.

Collaboration also will be key, Haney noted–both with trusted partner providers as well as customers themselves.

“Don’t be afraid to work with consultancies and system integrators and software vendors,” Haney said. “Put the customer at the center. Embrace… co-creating and co-innovating with customers; get them involved in beta testing, pilot testing; all of that.”

Watch:  How Financial Institutions Can Accelerate Their Digital Presence in 2023.

Learn how Banks can compete with Fintechs.

Who’s Demoing at FinovateSpring this May?

Hot on the heels of FinovateEurope next week is our West Coast flagship event, FinovateSpring, this May. Dozens of companies will demo, and we’re excited to unveil 50% of the lineup today.

With Finovate’s lucky number seven in mind, here are more details about these early selections:

  • 60% taking the Finovate stage for the first time
  • 50% featuring female founders, CEOs, or C-level executives
  • 60% introducing new technology to the market
  • 96% founded in the last 10 years
  • 60% founded in the last 5 years
  • 70% headquartered in diverse locations
  • 100% innovating to advance the audience’s business goals

New companies are announced weekly — stay tuned to the website for the latest additions. And if you’re interested in demoing, joining the Startup Booster program, or sponsoring, get in touch at

Exponential Global Growth of Real-Time Payment Systems shapes FSI Innovation, Providing New Market Opportunities

Due to increasing demand for faster and more convenient payment options, real-time payments (RTP) are gaining traction globally. In the US, the Clearing House’s RTP network processed over 1 billion transactions. Countries like Australia, Singapore and Canada have also implemented  RTP systems. FedNow, a new real-time payment system (developed by the Federal Reserve), is expected to launch in 2023, providing a secure, efficient, and cost-effective payment system. The New Payments Architecture (NPA) is a program developed by the Bank of England and the UK payments industry to modernize the UK’s payments infrastructure. The European Central Bank (ECB) launched its own instant payment service called Target Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS), allowing instant transfers between banks within the European Union.

In emerging markets, RTP adoption was driven by the need for financial inclusion and the growth of mobile payments. PIX, a real-time payment system launched by the Central Bank of Brazil in 2020, allows individuals and businesses to make instant payments, 24/7. UPI, launched by the National Payments Corporation of India in 2016, was a game-changer, with over 3 billion transactions processed in January 2022 alone. M-Pesa, a mobile money service in Kenya, was also successful in providing real-time payments services to a large population of unbanked and underbanked individuals. RTP is becoming the norm for payment processing, quickly replacing traditional payment methods.

Challenges for Payments Systems 

Payments systems face several obstacles around resiliency, performance, and time to market. One of the biggest challenges organizations face is ensuring resiliency and availability. Both require design and implementation of systems that handle high volumes of transactions without downtime, system failures, or cybersecurity threats. Systems must process transactions quickly and efficiently, minimizing errors or delays.

Time to market is a key factor in the development and deployment of payments systems, requiring a significant investment in development, testing, and deployment processes. Challenges include, data privacy, security, and interoperability. Payments systems must comply with various regulatory requirements, protect sensitive customer information, and interoperate with other systems and networks thereby requiring investments in infrastructure, software, personnel, and compliance measures to ensure successful development, deployment, and operation.

Benefits of Container Platforms and Cloud Technologies for Payments Systems

Container platforms offer several potential benefits for payments systems, such as greater resiliency, performance, and time to market. Containers are lightweight and portable, and can easily be replicated and scaled horizontally across multiple nodes. They can also be quickly spun up or down as needed, offering better resource utilization, reducing the risk of downtime or system failure. Additionally, containers can easily be deployed to edge locations, reducing latency and improving system performance.

Container platforms can improve the time to market for payments systems by enabling the packaging of applications and dependencies into single units that can be easily deployed to any environment. They enable better collaboration between development and operations teams, faster release cycles, improved security, and greater flexibility and portability across different environments. Container platforms offer greater benefits for payments systems resiliency, performance, and time to market. They can help payments systems meet customer needs, remain competitive, and drive innovation

Simplifying Processing with Real-Time Data and Containerization

Real-time data enables payments organizations to process transactions faster and more efficiently, detect fraud or errors in real-time, and optimize payment routing and processing. Container systems can help payments organizations simplify their processing complexities by providing a more efficient and flexible platform for deploying and managing applications. Containers allow organizations the ability to deploy applications and dependencies as a single unit, simplifying the management and scaling of applications across different environments.

Real-time data and container systems enable better payment analytics by monitoring transactions in real-time, providing valuable insights into customer behavior and payment trends. Container systems also provide a more efficient platform for processing and analyzing large volumes of data. Real-time data and container systems both help payments organizations simplify their processing and system complexities by enabling efficient, faster, and more flexible management of payment transactions. This improves resilience, performance, and time to market, while also providing valuable insights into customer behavior and payment trends.

– Ramon Villarreal, Global Head of Payments, Red Hat

For more information please view RedHat

Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking develops core application, APIs

Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking has developed internal APIs that link into the firm’s existing core infrastructure to streamline global payment capabilities for its clients at scale. The financial institution’s Transaction Banking business helps treasurers and chief financial officers store and move liquidity globally in a way that can be tracked in real time through API […]

Arvest Bank building new core

Arvest Bank is switching from its existing core to a new one built from scratch by a development team working closely with the bank.  The $26 billion financial institution has been in the building phase for the past 10 months, adopting a side-by-side approach with its existing Fiserv Signature core as Arvest looks to get […]

Fintech is a People Business: Making Connections and Networking Done Right at FinovateEurope

FinovateEurope 2023 begins next week, March 14 through March 15, at the Intercontinental O2 in London, U.K. Tickets are on sale now. Visit our FinovateEurope hub today and secure your spot!

This year’s annual European fintech conference is on track to be even bigger than last year’s event. What’s more, we have all of the top 20 EU banks confirmed to attend. This is a big step for FinovateEurope. But it’s an even bigger opportunity for attendees seeking meaningful, quality connections with representatives of some of the most important financial institutions on the continent and in the world.

Making meaningful connections

At FinovateEurope, you will be a part of a global audience of more than 1,000 senior attendees from across the fintech industry. More than 50% of FinovateEurope’s attendees are from financial institutions. These include both senior innovators from fintechs, as well as senior decision-makers from trailblazing financial institutions. Here’s a word cloud of who they are and what matters to them.

If these sound like the kinds of people and trends that can help make a difference in how you do business, then join us next week at the Intercontinental O2, March 14 and March 15.

Making it happen with networking done right

Knowing that all the right people are in the room is one thing. Getting a quality conversation with them is another. At FinovateEurope, we’re here to help.

To start, we’ll open up our networking app days before you travel to the event. This will give you the opportunity to not just create your profile, but also to start learning more about your fellow attendees, and pre-arranging your highest priority meetings. Leverage our ConnectMe app to build your contact list and send messages via the app’s live chat feature. And when the conference ends, you will be able to download your contact list to keep in touch with new friends and continue those valuable conversations.

Here’s a look at how to make the best use out of the ConnectMe app for FinovateEurope.

With four hours of dedicated networking time on Tuesday and another two and a half hours on Wednesday, FinovateEurope treats fintech like the people business it is. We’ll help you get connected and stay connected to the people who matter most to you and your organization.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Digital Banking Solutions Provider Bankjoy Secures New Funding
  • Bankjoy, a Michigan-based digital banking solutions provider, has secured new funding. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
  • The round was led by credit union service organization (CUSO) Curql Collective and featured participation by current and prospective credit union clients of Bankjoy.
  • Bankjoy made its most recent Finovate appearance at FinovateFall last September.

Digital banking solutions provider Bankjoy announced a new investment round led by credit union service organization, Curql Collective. The amount of the funding was not immediately disclosed. In addition to Curql, a number of Bankjoy’s current and prospective credit union clients also participated in the round. Among these investors were AEA Credit Union, Community Wide Federal Credit Union, and Statewide Federal Credit Union.

“We are thrilled to bring Curql on as an investor as Bankjoy continues to grow, as this latest round of funding will allow us to pursue new opportunities to redefine the digital banking experience and help more community financial institutions thrive in an increasingly competitive environment,” BankJoy CEO Michael Duncan said.

A Finovate alum since 2016, Bankjoy most recently demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall last September. At the conference, the Detroit, Michigan-based company showcased its business banking platform that makes it easier and more cost-effective for FIs to deliver digital banking technology to their banking customers. The platform provides a single portal for multiple business accounts, as well as the ability to manage multiple users, control permissions, send transfers to multiple recipients, and more. The Bankjoy Business Banking Platform features more than 60 integrations with core banking platforms and other third-party vendors.

“We build all of our products in-house,” Duncan said at the beginning of his FinovateFall demo in 2022, “because we believe that’s the best way for us to deliver the most seamless, and the most beautiful, and the most visually consistent digital experience across all these channels.”

Bankjoy’s funding news comes a little over a month after the company launched its Online Account Opening 2.0 solution. The new offering enables financial institutions to quickly and seamlessly onboard new customers. The process takes 90 seconds, including ID upload and a selfie match, to ensure a secure and efficient experience for members and clients. The company ended last year having inked deals with a trio of credit unions – Mobility CU of Irving, Texas ($350 million in assets); Lafayette FCU of Rockville, Maryland ($1.6 billion in assets); and SIU CU of Carbondale, Illinois ($465 million in assets).

“Over the last 12 months, 43 percent of small businesses have increased their use of online banking services via computers or tablets, and 40 percent used more mobile banking services, according to Ernst & Young data,” Duncan said. “Clearly, a majority of businesses now expect to be able to engage with their financial institutions through digital channels and this is what Bankjoy’s business banking platform was designed to solve.”

We featured Michael Duncan in our look at black and African American Finovate alums as part of our Black Heritage Month commemoration in February.

Photo by Andre Furtado

Data Fabric or Data Mesh: Can Financial Services Firms Benefit from Both?

This is a sponsored blog post by Saurav Gupta, Sales Engineer, InterSystems

Financial services organizations are awash with data, and there’s a clear appetite in the sector to make use of it for a wide variety of initiatives, including analytics on real-time transactional data and reducing customer churn. But doing so requires putting the right data management architecture in place. That is rarely easy. Over the years, organizations have tried different ways to deliver consistent views of enterprise data to support their business needs but rapid changes in the demands of what their IT infrastructure and data environments need to deliver, like the implementation of data lakes and data warehouses, mean that challenges still remain.

While data within financial services organizations is often siloed and difficult to access and consume, we are now seeing the emergence of new approaches to data management that can overcome these challenges. Two of the most promising: data fabric and data mesh, are designed to help organisations leverage maximum business value from their data and existing data infrastructure.

There are many similarities between the two approaches. Both allow the data to remain stored in place at the source – a key differentiator over legacy systems that require data to be copied and moved using batch processes.

In addition, both a data fabric and a data mesh connect disparate data and applications, including on-premises, from partners, and in the public cloud, to discover, connect, integrate, transform, analyze, manage, and utilize them. By leveraging these capabilities, both approaches enable the business to meet business goals quickly and efficiently.

Despite the parallels between the two, there are also some important differences to consider here, which highlight why they are complementary rather than interchangeable. With a data fabric, the metadata, governance, and semantics are managed centrally. This structure is more frequently encountered in financial services companies that employ a Chief Data Officer that takes a top-down approach to data management.

The latest iteration, smart data fabrics, build on the data fabric foundation and incorporate a wide range of analytics capabilities, including data exploration, business intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning directly within the fabric itself. For financial services, this means there is an ability to perform analytics on real-time event and transactional data, without impacting the performance of the transactional system. Organizations can move away from querying on offline or intraday numbers, to making decisions in the moment with real-time insights.

A data mesh, on the other hand, enables local domain teams to own the delivery of data products based on the premise that they are closer to their data and understand it better. It’s supported by an architecture that leverages a domain-oriented, self-serve design, enabling local teams to discover, understand, trust, and use data to inform decisions and initiatives and develop and deploy data products and applications.

One key difference between the two is that a data mesh allows data governance to be defined and managed at the source systems (endpoints), while a data fabric provides an overarching fabric that includes governance, lineage, security, etc., applied and managed centrally, for example, by the CDO. Looking at this in practical terms, a data mesh may be appropriate for situations where there are data sovereignty concerns, whereas a data fabric may be the right approach where the office of the CDO is defining an organizational taxonomy with access privileges.

These points of differentiation highlight the fact that the two approaches are not mutually exclusive – far from it. In fact, when it comes to determining which type of architecture to use, the selection is dependent upon the business use case. If the senior team wants to have an enterprise view of their data assets with enterprise level governance, for example, they will likely choose to implement an enterprise data fabric. If the organization wants to empower certain trusted parts of the enterprise with the flexibility to create and manage their own applications to speed innovation and digital transformation initiatives, or if data sovereignty issues are of concern, a data mesh may be an appropriate component of their overall architecture.

However, it’s equally true that, in the right circumstances, the two approaches can, and often do, work together positively to achieve positive outcomes. As one of our major financial services customers puts it: “Fabric and mesh share the same goal of easy access to data, and under the right circumstances can in fact be complementary approaches.”

The reality is that data fabric architectures can co-exist with data mesh initiatives where it makes sense, such as in large organizations that must manage campaign data locally within regions.

One example where a data fabric and a data mesh work simultaneously can be seen in the demands of a large multinational wealth management firm with customer 360 initiatives.

In this use case, the company’s overall data strategy is managed centrally (data fabric), but sovereignty issues over data retention and processing are present in certain countries where local marketing campaigns are being executed. Allied to this, there is specific local knowledge of the customers in the regions, which informs variations in local campaign management. These variations are dealt with by the regional, country, or local IT teams (data mesh).

These kinds of practical examples of how data mesh and data fabric can work together to deliver tangible business benefits are ultimately far more illuminating than the debate about the respective merits of each approach.

It’s all about how the approaches can help in streamlining and simplifying business architectures so that organizations can focus on leveraging their data in meaningful ways that deliver tangible business value. Over time, we would expect to see further evolution of the two approaches with data mesh innovations in areas like domain-oriented data ownership coming together with the increasingly mature data fabric architecture. All the time though, the pragmatic focus must remain on what this combination of capabilities delivers to the bottom line. For too many organizations, data infrastructure is still seen as a cost center, but these new paradigms are paving the way for a new understanding of its value, allowing it to be appreciated in a new light as a profit center that contributes its own substantial value to the business.

Modern Treasury Unveils Global ACH Payment Tool
  • Modern Payments and Silicon Valley Bank partnered to launch a cross-border money movement tool called Global ACH.
  • Global ACH leverages local payment rails to enable mutual clients to send cross-border payments.
  • Global ACH differs from SWIFT in that it is less expensive and works better for fast, one-off transactions.

Payment operations platform Modern Treasury has teamed up with Silicon Valley Bank to create a new cross-border payments solution. Global ACH, the new tool, will allow mutual clients to send cross-border payments via local payment rails.

The goal of Global ACH is to provide users an option other than the SWIFT network to send payments internationally. Global ACH enables customers to automate international payments using the local payment rails– equivalent to ACH and RTP– in each country. Leveraging local rails promotes efficiency and helps to lower the costs associated with cross-border payments.

“Payments are in the midst of a massive transformation, and it’s critical that we support our customers with an international footprint in the same way we support them domestically,” said Modern Treasury CEO and Co-founder Dimitri Dadiomov. “Global ACH means providing customers with more choice, greater efficiency, and lower costs. We’re happy to work with Silicon Valley Bank to bring this capability to our mutual clients to help them scale.”

Potential use cases for Global ACH include:

  • Marketplaces that pay out users and suppliers in international markets
  • Shipping and logistics firms that disburse funds to vendors and suppliers abroad
  • Financial services such as payroll and lenders sending funds to international recipients
  • Companies that need to pay large numbers of international suppliers and contractors
  • Software providers offering accounts payable services for clients paying out globally or facilitating remittances

Today’s partnership builds on an existing relationship between Modern Treasury and Silicon Valley Bank. The two currently offer international payment capabilities using the SWIFT network. SWIFT differs from Global ACH in that it works well for fast, one-off international payments. SWIFT is also more expensive than Global ACH. This is why the two anticipate Global ACH to be more popular for companies with recurring international payments and smaller value payouts.

“We are always looking to enhance the payments experience for our fast-growing and innovative clients, many of whom have, or plan to have, an international presence,” said Silicon Valley Bank Head of Payments Kathleen Pierce-Gilmore. “By bringing together the power of SVB’s Global ACH capabilities and the strength of Modern Treasury’s platform, we will enable more of our mutual clients to move money faster, with real-time data visibility and more efficient workflows.”

Founded in 2018, Modern Payments offers APIs to automate money movement while providing control over fund flows with approval workflows, notifications, reporting, and more. The company has raised $183 million and is headquartered in California.

Photo by Pixabay

How to accelerate digital maturity with an intelligent decisioning layer

To succeed in today’s digital-first world, banks are under pressure to orchestrate differentiated customer journeys to attract, win, and maintain long-term loyalty. Troves of real-time customer data and advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are paving the way for delivering hyper-personalized experiences that are both relevant and timely.

However, many banks are struggling to realize ROI from their data and AI investments. Shackled by legacy systems, siloed data, and bogged-down IT teams, digital transformation projects are still failing at an alarming rate.

Some are attempting to address the value leak by narrowly focusing on AI-point solutions tailored to specific fixed use cases. While this may result in limited short-term lift, it only adds to the technical debt across an already strained and sprawling infrastructure. Plus, these bespoke solutions often lack the integrations needed to curate a holistic customer experience across functional silos.

Balance short-term wins with long-term gains

An equally challenging approach to transformation assumes wide-scale modernization across the entire technology stack is necessary. IT teams faced with replacing core banking systems, upgrading outdated data infrastructures, or building full-scale platform solutions from scratch are feeling the pressure.

These daunting multi-year, hundred-million-dollar projects are incredibly risky and the payoff cycle is often too long. They drain already deprived IT resources, and the business is often left limping along in the meantime.

A more flexible approach is needed to unlock quick time to value while simultaneously accelerating transformation roadmaps. The key lies in an intermediate intelligence layer where data-driven decision making is operationalized across the entire enterprise. This layer harnesses a dynamic mix of AI, advanced analytics, and human expertise to transform data into insights and take action at scale – a concept we like to call applied intelligence.

Add a flexible layer for intelligence

Think of it this way. Similar to the tendons and ligaments connecting bones and muscles in our body, an applied intelligence platform binds and strengthens components within your existing technology infrastructure.

This modular, API-first layer augments and transmits intelligence between your digital front-end applications and your back-end servicing systems and data stores. It’s the place where decisions are made and strategies come to life. Where data and AI insights are operationalized. Where actions are taken that drive business outcome.

And it does this all at scale and in real-time through expertly choreographed dataflows and orchestrations. It adds flexibility where it was previously lacking, plying your rigid legacy infrastructure into a nimble participant in a digital-first strategy.

Embrace a platform operating model

Leading companies are already embracing a new way of thinking about their data, their systems, their human capital, and their overall enterprise intelligence.

BCG describes a technology operating model where AI unlocks the ability to make better, faster decisions. In this model, “the bionic company puts a modular technology stack fueled by data at the heart of the new organization.”

McKinsey describes an AI-bank of the future where a decisioning layer sits between the bank’s engagement and core technology layers. Working in unison, these layers “provide customers with distinctive omnichannel experiences, support at-scale personalization, and drive the rapid innovation cycles critical to remain competitive in today’s world.”

In both approaches, AI-powered decision-making capabilities are integrated holistically within a platform operating model to deliver value across the technology stack.

Banks that lack a unified AI decisioning layer have a massive opportunity to realize near-term wins while aligning to longer-term modernization efforts and enterprise architecture roadmaps. This platform-based approach is well positioned to scale AI-powered decision intelligence across diverse functional areas and accelerate time to value with each incremental use case.

Create a space for collaboration and innovation

An enterprise platform approach provides a strategic, unified space for applied intelligence. IT teams can leverage the extensible platform to expose functionality across silos while maintaining overall governance. Business leaders, analysts, and data science teams can leverage a low-code/no-code environment to author, edit, access, share, and deploy valuable decision assets, such as data features, predictive models, or business rules.

Within this space, teams are empowered to collaborate at new levels, experiment and compose new digital experiences, personalize decisions, and drive unique customer moments that differentiate the bank.

Most importantly, this approach can meet you wherever you are in your digital transformation journey. By changing the conversation from rip and replace to augment and mature, a layered approach to transformation tackles and solves problems that cut across lines of business, helping you extract immediate value out of your existing systems, all while driving better customer experiences and bottom-line results.

Learn more about how FICO Platform is helping leading banks connect, develop, and deploy data-driven intelligence.

-Jaron Murphy, Decisioning Technologies Partner, FICO

Natural Language Analytics Innovator SESAMm Locks in $37 Million in New Funding
  • Paris-based natural language analytics data provider SESAMm raised $37 million (€35 million) in Series B2 funding this week.
  • The company will use the investment to grow its workforce and fuel global expansion.
  • A Best of Show winner at FinovateEurope 2022, SESAMm culls billions of web articles and other content to provide organizations and businesses with sentiment and ESG data on public and private companies.

Natural language analytics data provider SESAMm has raised $37 million (€35 million) in Series B2 funding. The investment will help accelerate the Paris, France-based company’s growth and plans for global expansion. SESAMm also will use the capital to add to its workforce in sustainability, technology, sales, and marketing.

“We are happy and grateful to close this €35 million Series B2 round to continue our growth journey and expand to new international markets such as Singapore,” SESAMm CEO and co-founder Sylvain Forté said. “Raising a significant amount during challenging market conditions highlights the relevancy of SESAMm’s focus on two key trends: AI and sustainability. In turn, these tools enable organizations to make better decisions and fill the data gaps, particularly in ESG, on both public and private companies.”

SESAMm’s funding comes almost a year after it won Best of Show at FinovateEurope in London for the live demo its TextReveal solution. Powered by SESAMm’s natural language processing engine, the platform analyzes over 20 billion web articles and messages to deliver daily sentiment and ESG data. The company serves top private equity firms, hedge funds, and other asset management companies, as well as both small and large corporations, with services ranging from controversy detection and private equity due diligence to ESG and SDG sentiment scores and suppliers monitoring.

This week’s round was co-led by deep tech VC firm Elaia and BNP Paribas’ venture capital arm, Opera Tech Ventures. The funding takes SESAMm’s total equity funding to $53 million (€50 million). Also participating were asset manager Unigestion, Raiffeisen Bank International’s venture capital arm Elevator Ventures, AFG Partners, and CEGEE Capital. Investors in SESAMm’s previous Series B1 round, including Carlyle and New Alpha Asset Management, also participated.

Founded in 2014, SESAMm finished last year as the recipient of the Real Deals ESG Tech Award, which recognizes both demonstrated customer and revenue growth, as well as the impact of the recipient’s work on businesses and clients. In November, SESAMm announced a partnership with EthiFinance to help the European risk analysis and ESG rating specialist launch its EthiMonitor solution. The technology provides ESG controversy analysis “for any SME universe.” Also late last year, SESAMm teamed up with South Korea-based Kyobo AXA Investment Managers to develop machine learning models based on SESAMm’s NLP alternative data.

Photo by Pixabay

46% of Wells Fargo engineers cloud-certified in 2022

CHARLOTTE — Wells Fargo set out to reach 50% cloud certification among its 30,000 engineers at the start of 2022; and by the end of the year, the $1.8 trillion bank saw 46% of its engineers reach that status — up from 0.03% at the top of the year. “We didn’t get all the way […]

FinovateEurope 2023 Sneak Peek: NayaOne

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateEurope in London on March 14. Register today and save your spot.

NayaOne accelerates a company’s digital transformation with single-key access to 200+ fintechs to discover, evaluate, and scale new solutions to production.


  • Execute POCs 10x faster with results in 4-6 weeks instead of 12-24 months
  • Includes secure sandbox environment with 2.5 billion data points to support evaluation
  • Reduces cost by 80%

Why it’s great

NayaOne provides the fastest way to execute on digital transformation projects using fintech solutions to innovate, remain competitive, increase revenue, and stay ahead of customer expectations.


Karan Jain, CEO & Founder
Jain is the former CIO of a multinational bank and a highly regarded technologist and practitioner, now solving a problem in the market he experienced firsthand.

Oli Platt, Product & Marketplace Manager
Platt is a data-led product manager with a data science background leading NayaOne’s tech marketplace, working with the best vendors in financial services.

FinovateEurope 2023 Sneak Peek: JJCFinTech

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateEurope in London on March 14. Register today and save your spot.

JJCFinTech’s regulator-grade solution, Cerebro, accelerates compliance with AML obligations using a ready-to-go rules repository to define a company’s regulatory obligations and how to meet them.


  • Reduces overall cost of compliance
  • Offers ready-to-go regulatory guard rails in a single digital solution
  • Delivers traceability from regulations and firm policies into workflow and rules systems

Why it’s great

Cost-accessible compliance for clients at all stages of their growth cycle.


Yas Jaffer, Co-Founder
Jaffer has a wealth of experience developing world-class regtech solutions for the financial services industry. Jaffer was previously an MD at IHS Markit (S&P Global), running a $50M business line.

FinovateEurope 2023 Sneak Peek: Numeral

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateEurope in London on March 14. Register today and save your spot.

Numeral’s banking aggregation platform enables fintechs and financial institutions to connect to EU/U.K. payment schemes by integrating with their preferred sponsor bank.


  • Includes easy, fast, and comprehensive access to EU/U.K. payment schemes
  • Delivers reduced time-to-market
  • Provides future-proof infrastructure with no ongoing maintenance

Why it’s great

Building robust, multi-scheme, pan-European payment workflows with Tier 1 banks is easy, fast and cost-effective with the Numeral banking-aggregation platform.


Edouard Mandon, Co-Founder & CEO
Prior to working at Numeral, Mandon worked at iBanFirst and Qonto.

Victor Mithouard, VP Growth

How to leverage composable thinking to fast-track digital innovation

I was recently talking with a client, who said “for us, speed of thought is just as important as speed of technology.” This interesting perspective, while not surprising, poses a challenging predicament for technology leaders. Now more than ever, already stretched IT teams must deliver on heightened expectations for performance and functionality while figuring out how to leverage technology to help change the way the business works – and thinks.

This is no small task. Especially considering many technology teams are already overburdened with an ever increasing list of priorities, from scaling infrastructure across hybrid, multi-cloud environments to integrating real-time data and AI capabilities to staying ahead of constantly evolving security threats. As the backlog of requests continues to grow, IT can increasingly become a bottleneck to digital transformation.

To get ahead, technology leaders should embrace a new way of thinking about creating value and accelerating business innovation. The key lies in using a flexible technology architecture that empowers stakeholders across functional teams to re-engineer business applications and solutions without IT involvement.

Why designing for agility is so important

In today’s uncertain and often volatile business environment, the ability to rapidly iterate, test, and deploy new strategies is separating the leaders from the laggards. Those who can quickly respond to new competitive threats, shifting market conditions, new regulations, and changing consumer behaviors will come out on top.

Business users – those closest to customers and their digital experiences – are the best positioned to solve these challenges and identify new opportunities for value creation. For instance, maybe the bank’s unsecured lending team is noticing an uptick in credit utilization, and they want to identify customers who have been affected by the recent tech layoffs in order to adjust pre-delinquent strategies accordingly.

In the old way of working, this team would have to go back and forth with analysts to translate requirements and then wait for IT operations and applications teams to configure and deploy the changes. Then, when the solution finally came back, it may have missed the mark or been too late to help those customers.

With the right capabilities at their disposal, business teams are empowered to experiment and deploy new strategies on their own. By putting more control in the hands of non-technical users, banks become more nimble and can proactively mitigate risks, seize opportunities, and win long-term customer loyalty.

What agile technology looks like

Unlocking this type of speed and agility requires a set of modular technology capabilities that can be reused and reassembled in different ways to solve new and emerging business problems.

Gartner refers to this as the Intelligent Composable Business, or “one that drives superior business outcomes that are timely, relevant and contextual. It does so by having the plasticity to fundamentally reengineer business decisions and orchestrate capabilities that adapt at the pace of business change.”

These modular building blocks must interoperate without manual intervention from IT teams. By building a composable enterprise on the foundation of an extensible, unified platform, shared data and other assets flow seamlessly across departmental silos and varied business applications. An API-first, microservices architecture ensures all components work together with the flexibility to orchestrate unique configurations for different use cases.

How to get the most out of composable capabilities

While a composable architecture makes data and AI technologies more accessible across the digital enterprise, the real value is hidden in the ‘digital artifacts’ of these systems.

At FICO, we refer to these as decision assets – things like data features, analytic models, decision rules, communication strategies, etc. Think of these as the intelligent pieces and parts that go into composing end-to-end, hyper-personalized digital experiences.

Digital artifacts also include the outcomes of those experiences – Did the customer accept the offer? How did the loan perform? Why was the application rejected? This critical piece of the puzzle feeds a continuous learning loop to help improve strategies over time.

When these assets are stored and exposed inside a common platform, teams across functional silos can leverage them to solve new problems. This sharing and reuse shortcuts development time while creating synergies within the customer experience. A robust platform repository of decision assets can be used to manage the operational dependencies that come with reuse so that teams can confidently make changes with visibility into any downstream impacts.

Low-code/no-code authoring tools give business users the freedom to experiment, adjust strategies, and deploy new use cases quickly. However, it’s the visibility into outcomes and traceability and lineage of assets – paired with the overall governance, security, and access controls provided by a unified platform – that empowers business users to become active contributors to the digital ecosystem.

Learn more about how FICO Platform is helping leading banks become more productive and agile in the face of relentless digital disruption.

Jaron Murphy, Decisioning Technologies Partner, FICO

Wise Launches Two New Products, Undergoes Rebrand
  • Wise is unveiling a new look and feel, as well as two new products.
  • The company anticipates its “visual makeover” will create a more consistent user experience.
  • The two new products include the Wise Business Card and a money transfer link.

It can be tough for a legacy fintech to make noise among the onslaught of new competing digital tools released on a weekly basis. Despite the challenge, cross-border money transfer product Wise is finding a way.

The U.K.-based company has swapped its color scheme from blue to green. But that’s not all that has changed. As Wise described in a press announcement, “The complete visual makeover features a fresh green palette and a bold new font, and draws from global currencies, languages, alphabets and places around the world.”

Interestingly, Wise changed its name from Transferwise two years ago in an effort to broaden its image from a money transfer company to a more holistic global banking services provider. Today’s change could be seen as a next step in that process. Wise explained that the new look and feel will make its customer experience consistent regardless of the customer’s geographical location or language. This new experience reinforces Wise’s mission to “build money without borders.”

Describing the visual change, Wise Co-founder and CEO Kristo Käärmann said, “Our new look is inspired by the millions of people and businesses worldwide that use Wise today. It draws from where they come from, but also represents the excitement of the world open for them to conquer.”

Today’s announcement also highlighted two new products for the global money firm. The first is the Wise Business Card, which is an extension of the company’s Wise Account. The card is currently available to U.S. customers. The second new product– also for U.S. users– enables users to transfer money to recipients via a link. Instead of requiring the sender to know the recipient’s bank details, the recipient can securely enters their bank credentials after clicking on the link.

Despite today’s progress, Käärmann says the company still has a long road ahead. “People and businesses are still being duped by hidden fees, and losing over £180 billion each year to their banks,” he explained. “This is money they could have otherwise used to pay bills, expand their businesses or even save for a rainy day. We don’t accept it and we’re committed to solving this for everyone, everywhere.”

Wise also celebrated a new milestone in today’s announcement. The company has reached 16 million customers since launching in 2011. Wise’s technology enables people and businesses to hold funds in more than 50 currencies, as well as move money between countries and spend money across international borders. The company went public in mid-2021 and now trades on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker WISE with a current market capitalization of $5.94 billion.

BankProv Partners with Intelligent Cash Management Platform MaxMyInterest
  • Massachusetts-based BankProv has inked a partnership with cash management platform MaxMyInterest to offer BankProv Max Savings, a new high-interest savings account.
  • No minimum balance is required to open the account, which is available exclusively on the MaxMyInterest platform.
  • MaxMyInterest users can earn up to 4.55% APY on their cash deposits compared to the national savings average of 0.35%.

Future-ready commercial bank BankProv has teamed up with intelligent cash management platform MaxMyInterest. The partnership will give customers and clients of both companies access to a new, high-interest savings account, BankProv Max Savings. The new account will be offered exclusively on the MaxMyInterest platform. No minimum balance will be required to open the account.

“From quickly opening an account to maximizing returns on deposit balances, the BankProv Max Savings account on the MaxMyInterest platform will further enhance the banking experience for our clients,” BankProv co-CEO Joe Reilly said. “We believe our partnership with Max will provide benefits as more consumers continue to seek digital banking options and keep a closer eye on interest rates.”

Additionally, courtesy of the BankProv partnership, the deposits to the new account will be 100% insured. The FDIC covers the first $250,000, and remaining funds will be covered under a special private, industry-sponsored insurance fund called DIF.

Headquartered in New York and founded in 2013, the company has nearly 1,500 wealth management firms registered to use the MaxMyInterest platform with their clients. Max’s platform enables clients to allocate their cash holdings to the highest yielding accounts without having to change their existing bank relationship. The technology determines the optimal allocation of the client’s cash balances on a monthly basis, enabling customers to earn up to 4.55% APY on FDIC-insured deposits versus the national savings average of 0.35%. Max also offers embedded finance solutions that empower financial services companies to offer Max’s intelligent cash management technology from their own websites.

“We are proud to partner with BankProv, an innovative bank that has a long history of serving clients in Massachusetts and across the country,” MaxMyInterest founder and CEO Gary Zimmerman said. “Together with BankProv, we can help clients ensure that all of their funds remain fully-insured, while earning market-leading rates.”

Massachusetts-based BankProv is a commercial bank that provides Banking-as-a-Service and technology-based solutions for corporate clients. The 10th oldest bank in the U.S., BankProv is a subsidiary of Provident Bancorp, which trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker PVBC. In December, BankProv announced that Carol Houle, who had been serving as CFO, and Reilly, who had been serving as Board Chair, had been named co-CEOs and co-Presidents.

MaxMyInterest made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2014. More recently, the company has announced integrations with modern CRM platforms Wealthbox and Redtail Technology, as well as with Morningstar and fellow Finovate alum Envestnet. Last fall, the company appointed Ateet Adhikari as Chief Operating Officer. Adhikari was previously the COO of ShopRunner, which was acquired by FedEx in 2020. In a statement Adhikari praised MaxMyInterest as having created “the most innovative solution in the market in a way that helps depositors, wealth managers, and banks.”

Photo by RODNAE Productions

Tech expenses up 22% YoY at RBC

Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) discretionary and tech-related expenses jumped 22% year over year to $190 million during the first quarter as the bank focused on improving its technology and infrastructure “in support of business growth and product innovation,” according to its earnings presentation Wednesday.  WHY IT MATTERS: The $1.4 trillion bank is upgrading its […]