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TD doubles down on AI amid pandemic [VIDEO] 

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Share Banking giant TD has expanded its AI-backed chatbot platform into the U.S. to better assist its customers during the pandemic. The AI tech is being integrated with TD’s existing virtual assistant, “Clari,” to provide better insights and hold more conversations with customers.  “We saw the traffic on Clari double since the pandemic,” said Imran …Read More

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Source: https://bankinnovation.net/allposts/biz-lines/retail/td-doubles-down-on-ai-amid-pandemic-video/

Fintech

Accept.inc secures $90M in debt and equity to scale its digital mortgage lending platform

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A lot of startups were built to help people make all-cash offers on homes with the purpose of gaining an edge against other buyers, especially in ultra-competitive markets. 

Accepti.inc is a Denver-based company that is attempting to create a new category in real estate technology. To help scale its digital mortgage lending platform, the company announced today that it has secured $90 million in debt and equity – with $78 million in debt and $12 million in equity. Signal Fire led the equity portion of its financing, which also included participation from existing seed investors Y Combinator and DN Capital.

Accept.inc describes itself as an iLender, or a “technology-enabled lender” that gives people a way to submit all-cash offers on a home upon qualifying for a mortgage.

Using its platform, a buyer gets qualified first and then can start looking for homes that fall at or under the amount he or she is approved for. They can purchase a more expensive home, but any amount above what they are approved for would have to come out of pocket. Historically, most buyers don’t know that they will have to pay out of pocket until they’ve made an offer on a specific home and an appraisal comes under the amount of the price they are paying for a home. In those cases, the buyer has to cough up the difference out of pocket. With Accept.inc., its execs tout, buyers know upfront how much they are approved for and can spend on a new home “so there are no surprises later.”

SignalFire Founding Partner and CTO Ilya Kirnos describes Accept.inc as “the first and only iLender.”

He points out that since it is a lender, Accept.inc doesn’t make its money by charging buyers fees like some others in the all-cash offer space.

“Unlike ‘iBuyers’ or ‘alternative iBuyers,’ Accept.inc fronts the cash to buy a house and then makes money off mortgage origination and title, meaning sellers, homebuyers and their agents pay no additional cost for the service,” he told TechCrunch.

IBuyers instead buy homes from sellers who signed up online, make a profit by often fixing up and selling those homes and then helping people purchase a different home with all cash. They also make money by charging transaction fees. A slew of companies operate in the space including established players such as Opendoor and Zillow and newer players such as Homelight.

Image credit: Accept.inc. Left to right: Co-founders Adam Pollack, Nick Friedman and Ian Perrex.

Since its 2016 inception, Accept.inc says it has helped thousands of buyers, agents and sellers close on “hundreds of millions of dollars” in homes. The company saw ”14x” growth in 2020 and from June 2020 to June 2021, it achieved “10x” growth in terms of the size of its team and number of transactions and revenue, according to CEO and co-founder Adam Pollack. Accept.inc wants to use its new capital to build on that momentum and meet demand.

Pollack and Nick Friedman met while in college and started building Accept.inc with the goal of “turning every offer into a cash offer.” The pair essentially “failed for two years,” half-jokes Pollack.

“We basically became an encyclopedia of 1,000 ways the idea of helping people make all-cash offers wouldn’t work,” he said.

The team went through Y Combinator in the winter of 2019 and that’s when they created the iLender concept. In the iLender model, the company uses its cash to buy a house for buyers. Once the loan with Accept.inc is ready to close, the company sells back the house to the buyer “at no additional cost or fees.”

“Basically what we learned through those two years is that you have to vertically integrate all of your core competencies, and you can’t rely on third parties to own or manage your special sauce for you,” Pollack told TechCrunch. “We also realized that if you’re going to build a cash offer for anyone who could afford a mortgage, you’ve got to make it a full bona fide cash offer that closes in three days as opposed to a better version of what existed. And you have to own that, and take the risk that comes with it and be comfortable with that.”

The benefits of their model, the pair say, is that buyers get to be cash buyers, sellers can close in as little as 32 hours, and agents “get a guaranteed commission check.” 

“Our mission is that everyone should have an equal chance at homeownership,” Friedman said. “We not only want to level the playing field, we want to create a new standard.”

Buyers using Accept.inc win 6-7 times more frequently, the company claims. With its new capital, It also plans to double its team of 90 and enter new markets outside of its home base of Denver.

SignalFire Partner Chris Scoggins believes that Accept.inc is different from other lenders in that its focus is on “winning the home, not just servicing the loan, with a business model that’s 10x more capital-efficient than other players in the market.

The team is driven…to level the playing field for homebuyers who today lose out against all-cash offers from home-flippers and wealthy individuals,” he added. “We see an enormous opportunity for Accept.inc to become the backbone of the future of mortgage lending.”

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/24/accept-inc-secures-90m-in-debt-equity/

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Paysend launches Paysend 4.0: a new digital money app designed to manage all your payments needs from just one place.

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Paysend launches Paysend 4.0: a new digital money app designed to manage all your payments needs from just one place.

Global FinTech Paysend today announces the global rollout of its new Paysend 4.0 app, combining the firm’s international transfers, multicurrency accounts and cross-border payments in a simple, top performing, all-in-one digital APP. The launch started in UK and is being rolled-out all over Europe.

Paysend just completed a B-Round investment for 125M $ and is boosting its innovation pipeline through innovative products that are able to save time, save money and service millions of people all over the world with the most advanced technology and for a seamless experience. The Paysend product team has been growing with several top-class engineers and developers all committed to create and deliver the next generation of digital money products.

The new Paysend 4.0 is a fully upgraded version on existing Global Transfers app. It embeds several important features like Money Transfer, a multi-currency Global Account and a physical and virtual card. Its multi-currency account allows users to open different currency wallets, hold up to several currencies at any one time (GBP, USD, EUR, CHF, CNY, PLN, CZK), and switch between them instantly so you can send money to over 128 countries in the world. These currencies can then be linked to the Paysend Mastercard or in-app Virtual Card and be used for online purchases, everyday purchases or at ATMs worldwide with low fees. Customers can add all their existing banks on this one app, and they can view all their balances and bank statements of the last 90 days on Paysend.

The multi-currency account and Paysend cards are designed for people who live, travel and work abroad. The easy-to-use mobile app also embeds a simpler on-boarding process and is truly the perfect bank alternative. The new improved onboarding experience lets the Paysend customers start their first transaction in less than 5 mins, removing the hassle of setting up an international account through a traditional banking provider.

Meanwhile, the new Paysend 4.0 app retains the powerful international payment processing of Paysend Global Transfers, letting users make card-to-card transfers to any Visa, Masterсard or Union Pay cards, Alipay accounts, and to regular bank accounts in over 120 countries through its faster outbound and inbound system. Customers can now move funds from their existing bank accounts seamlessly without the hassle of adding accounts as beneficiary. It has also added the cash pick up feature which is of great value in several countries.

“We want to change the way deal with money, connecting millions of people around the globe in a seamless way.The new Paysend 4.0 is an app that will make the life of customers so much easier: with low, fixed fees, an intuitive and simple interface, amazing rates, and of course our powerful digital technology” Abhishek Tripathi, Head of Product at Paysend said. “In this day and age, consumers want to manage their money on their terms, wherever in the world they are. The new Paysend app is a revolutionary tool to do this, in a way that is instant, borderless and affordable. Security, convenience and flexibility are the foundations on which we’ve built the new app, and we’re delighted to help millions of people every day with it. The Product Team at Paysend has been working with drive and passion to provide a new level of experience for all customers, and this is just the start of our innovation journey to create the money for the future.”

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Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/paysend-launches-paysend-4-0-a-new-digital-money-app-designed-to-manage-all-your-payments-needs-from-just-one-place/

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Visa to acquire open banking platform Tink for more than $2 billion

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Visa has announced plans to acquire Tink for €1.8 billion, or $2.15 billion at today’s exchange rate. Tink has been a leading fintech startup in Europe focused on open banking application programming interface (API).

Today’s move comes a few months after Visa abandoned its acquisition of Plaid, another popular open banking startup. Originally, Visa planned to spend $5.3 billion to acquire the American startup. But the company had to call off the acquisition after running into a regulatory wall.

Tink offers a single API so that customers can connect to bank accounts from their own apps and services. For instance, you can leverage Tink’s API to access account statements, initiate payments, fetch banking information and refresh this data regularly.

While banks and financial institutions now all have to offer open banking interfaces due to EU’s Payment Services Directive PSD2, there’s no single standard. Tink integrates with 3,400 banks and financial institutions.

App developers can use the same API call to interact with bank accounts across various financial institutions. As you may have guessed, it greatly simplifies the adoption of open banking features.

300 banks and fintech startups use Tink’s API to access third-party bank information — clients include PayPal, BNP Paribas, American Express and Lydia. Overall, Tink covers 250 million bank customers across Europe.

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Tink operations should continue as usual after the acquisition. Visa plans to retain the brand and management team.

According to Crunchbase data, Tink has raised over $300 million from Dawn Capital, Eurazeo, HMI Capital, Insight Partners, PayPal Ventures, Creades, Heartcore Capital and others.

“For the past ten years we have worked relentlessly to build Tink into a leading open banking platform in Europe, and we are incredibly proud of what the whole team at Tink has created together,” Tink co-founder and CEO Daniel Kjellén said in a statement. “We have built something incredible and at the same time we have only scratched the surface.”

“Joining Visa, we will be able to move faster and reach further than ever before. Visa is the perfect partner for the next stage of Tink’s journey, and we are incredibly excited about what this will bring to our employees, customers and for the future of financial services.”

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/24/visa-to-acquire-open-banking-platform-tink-for-more-than-2-billion/

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Visa to Acquire European Open Banking Fintech Tink for €1.8B, Transaction Subject to Regulatory Clearance

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Visa (NYSE: V) will be acquiring European Open Banking Fintech Tink for €1.8 billion. The acquisition should help with filling a Plaid-shaped hole in Visa’s existing portfolio after a $5.4 billion deal to acquire the financial data-sharing firm was unsuccessful (following pushback from regulatory authorities).

Tink currently connects to over 3,400 banking institutions that reach more than 250 million bank clients in Europe. Established in 2012 in Stockholm, the firm’s 400 workers serve over 300 banking institutions and Fintech firms in 18 different European markets, out of business offices based in 13 countries. Tink is one of the over 440 third-party providers across Europe that provides open banking services.

Under this new agreement with Visa, Tink will be retaining its company brand and existing management team, and its head offices will still be in Stockholm, Sweden.

Al Kelly, CEO and Chairperson at Visa, stated:

“Visa is committed to doing all we can to foster innovation and empower consumers in support of Europe’s open banking goals. By bringing together Visa’s network of networks and Tink’s open banking capabilities we will deliver increased value to European consumers and businesses with tools to make their financial lives more simple, reliable and secure.”

Daniel Kjellén, CEO and co-founder of Tink, said that for the past ten years they have worked relentlessly to build his company into a leading open banking platform in Europe:

“We have built something incredible and at the same time we have only scratched the surface. Joining Visa, we will be able to move faster and reach further than ever before. Visa is the perfect partner for the next stage of Tink’s journey, and we are incredibly excited about what this will bring to our employees, customers and for the future of financial services.”

The deal is presently subject to regulatory approvals and various other customary closing conditions for this type of transaction.

This new potential transaction marks the second major acquisition of a Swedish Fintech firm by a US-based tech firm, after PayPal’s $2.2 billion purchase of Square competitor iZettle a few years ago.

Dawn Capital, a European venture fund, is listed as one of the investors in Tink and was also an iZettle investor.

John Bell, General Partners at Dawn Capital, remarked:

“With Tink and iZettle, Sweden has now produced two of Europe’s largest ever fintech M&A exits, reflecting the world-class innovation, commercial excellence and entrepreneurial talent we have found across the Nordic market. As the only investor in both companies, we are delighted to have supported their successful journeys to new homes within corporations with global reach, validating the relevance of the B2B tech coming out of Europe. We wish Tink continuing success in the next chapter of its journey.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/06/177055-visa-to-acquire-european-open-banking-fintech-tink-for-e1-8b-transaction-subject-to-regulatory-clearance/

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