Bank Innovation is pleased to announce that Shawn Rose, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Scotiabank, will speak at the Banking Automation Summit, a virtual conference on Nov. 9-10 designed to provide industry professionals with insights and best practices to automate bank functions.
Register for the event here.
Rose has been with the Toronto-based bank for four years and leads a team that coordinates digital functions across the bank to drive innovation, whether that’s revamping the mobile app or pushing the limit on user experiences. He brings more than 20 years of experience in digital transformation and product management, having served as chief product officer at price comparison platform Moneysupermarket Group and chief technology officer at publisher Pearson PLC.
Rose is slated to give a presentation on enhancing the customer journey through smart automation, delving into high–leverage opportunities for CX improvements and aligning front-end delivery to back-end processing.
The BAS agenda highlights crucial industry topics, such as best practices for project implementation, automation successes and failures, and new developments in robotic process automation. BAS speakers come from Truist, PNC Bank, Discover and BNY Mellon, among others.
FinovateFall 2020’s Final Day: Collaboration, Mobile Security, and Fintech’s Bright Future
The morning’s first panel, Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration Between Banks and Fintechs, brought insight into what large banks look for when it comes to partnering with a fintech. The top suggestions for fintechs looking to make themselves more appealing to banks included offering scalability and using industry standards for things like data sharing.
Google’s Mike Burr took the stage next to deliver the keynote: Redefining the Approach to Mobile Security in FinTech (and why it works). Burr considered the root concern that banks struggle with when it comes to protecting Android devices. He examined the top ways data becomes exposed and how to get the tools to ensure data security for compliance needs.
The afternoon breakout stages tackled issues on topics across payments, future technology, wealthtech, and banking. These recorded panels, along with all of the content on the main stage, are available in the On Demand section of the event platform through next week so be sure to catch what you may have missed there.
Our afternoon panel, Latin America – The Future of Fintech, and the Dawn of a New Opportunity, considered the range of opportunities in Latin American markets. The group discussed that the region’s diversity makes it ripe for investors and explained how entrepreneurs are reinventing financial services at a local level.
Closing out FinovateFall 2020 was Neri Tollardo, Head of International Relations and Partnerships at Tinkoff, who spoke on how fintechs can remain profitable in a COVID-19 era. Tollardo’s address offered a ray of hope for banks and fintechs. He expressed that the path to profitability is not mutually exclusive of growth. His points of advice included embedding profitability in the culture and the organizational structure, understanding their business, investing in good talent, and searching out verticals that generate returns.
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the event, from our demo companies, to our speakers, panelists, and–of course– to our audience. We wouldn’t be here without you!
More Fuel for the BNPL Fire: Affirm Raises $500 Million
In a series G round, buy-now, pay-later company (BNPL) Affirm brought in $500 million, bringing the company’s total raised to $1.3 billion.
Leading the round were Durable Capital Partners LP and existing investor GIC. Other returning investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Wellington Management Company, Baillie Gifford, Spark Capital, Founders Fund, and Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC also contributed.
Affirm Founder and CEO Max Levchin referred to the new round as a “vote of confidence” that will help the company advance its mission “to build honest financial products that improve lives.”
Along with the funding announcement, Affirm also unveiled an interest-free and fee-free bi-weekly payment product for transactions over $50. The new product aims to help Affirm’s tools compete with credit cards. “Affirm is now an even more attractive payment option for everyday wants and needs,” Levchin added. “We can also now better support merchants who offer smaller ticket items and bring their customers a more transparent, flexible way to pay.”
Affirm’s BNPL tools reach 6.5 million shoppers across the U.S. and Canada. The company has 6,000+ merchant partners in the U.S., including brands such as Walmart, Peloton, Oscar de la Renta, Audi, and Expedia.
Affirm’s funding comes days after Klarna unveiled its $650 million raise, which brought its total funding to $1.4 billion and boosted its valuation to $10.6 billion.
The Future of Fintech in Latin America; Turkey Crowned a Crypto King
Day Five of FinovateFall Digital featured our Power Panel: Latin America – The Future of Fintech and the Dawn of a New Opportunity. Participating in the conversation were Christopher Carmine, Director of Development, FinTech Connector; Laura González-Estéfani, founder and CEO of TheVentureCity; and Manuel Silva, Partner and Head of Investments for Santander InnoVentures.
The panelists, led by moderator Greg Palmer, discussed the biggest opportunities in Latin America presently, emphasizing that fintechs should focus on local issues rather than on big technology themes. They noted that Latin America has a great deal of variation and that it is problematic to discuss the region without focusing on the differences between nations as well as within nations. They also pointed to the low number of “banked” Latin Americans (approximately 30%) and examined ways to bring this number up.
Among the areas of opportunity, the panelists underscored remittances – noting that the corridor between the U.S. and Mexico is one of the biggest in the world. Helping small businesses get their operations running with sound basic business management services was also talked about, as was the challenge of overcoming outdated financial infrastructure. “If you understand the particularities of the market, and understand that it is a work in progress,” González-Estéfani said, “it is a land of opportunity, indeed.”
Turkey is the King of Cryptocurrencies in the Middle East according to a report from Chainalysis. The 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, published this month, noted that Turkey has the highest total transaction volume in cryptocurrencies in the MENA region. The report cites volatility in the country’s currency, the lira, as helping encourage more savers to adopt cryptocurrencies as an option to maintain their wealth.
The cryptocurrency market in the Middle East is not large. In fact, it is the smallest in the world second only to Africa’s. And while Turkey tops the list in MENA, it ranks 29th out of 154 countries in the Global Crypto Adoption Index. The report notes that Turkey currently has no cryptocurrency regulations, although the country’s Capital Markets Board is developing a framework.
Here is our look at fintech around the world.
Central and Southern Asia
- Pakistan introduces online banking solution for expatriates, the Rohsan Digital Account.
- Indian e-commerce deals website CashKaro raises $10 million in Series B.
- Dialog Axiata, a mobile operator based in Sri Lanka, adopts the country’s national QR code to enable payments at more than 50,000 merchants.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Digital identity leader Jumio brings its identity verification technology to Latin American delivery startup Rappi.
- Oyster founder and CEO Vilash Poovala makes the case for a fintech operating system for Mexican SMEs. The company raised $14 million in seed funding this week.
- dlocal, a cross-border payment solutions provider based in Uruguay, becomes the region’s latest unicorn courtesy of an $200 million investment round led by General Atlantic.
- U.S. and Vietnam-based fintech Fvndit raises $30 million in debt financing to support its P2P lending company, eLoan.
- Malaysia’s Merchanttrade acquires digital remittance service provider Valyou.
- Philippines-based fintech JazzyPay secures $500,000 in seed funding.
- Nigeria’s OPay partners with WorldRemit to offer mobile money transfers.
- TechCabal looks at the relationship between the growing influence of China on sub-Saharan Africa’s fintech industry.
- Disrupt Africa profiles Kenyan fintech startup Zagace, which offers business management solutions via API to micro-businesses.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Polish e-commerce platform Allegro readies for the country’s – and the region’s – biggest IPO.
- German microlender Monedo files for bankruptcy.
- Polish fintech Kontomatik announces new investors: Runa Capital and Amadeus Capital Partners.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Wallet Factory and areeba team up to launch mobile wallet Zaky in Lebanon.
- Israel-based cybersecurity startup Team8 unveils parallel platform, Team8 Fintech, to invest in early stage companies.
- Dubai-based Buy Now Pay Later company Spotii goes live on Microsoft AppSource.
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