The Fintech Power 50 Annual Guide 2024

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THE POWER BEHIND PAYMENTS Empowering financial inclusion for global regulated financial institutions. Clear Junction is a global payments solutions provider. We power financial institutions by connecting them to payment rails and treasury services quickly, safely, and securely, with compliance and risk at the core of everything we do. With access to: Payment Accounts



e-money Accounts





WELCOME TO THE FIFTH EDITION OF THE FINTECH POWER 50 This year’s Fintech Power 50 cohort of companies are as diverse as ever in terms of which sectors they’re disrupting and where in the world they are disrupting them.

Our talented tech stars are pushing the boundaries in Canada, Europe, the Middle East, the UK and the USA. They are having an impact in regtech, paytech, wealthtech, banking-as-a-service, lendtech, and open banking. But there are other areas of interest that are notable by their absence, which is a reflection of what’s been happening in the market of late. The rebalancing after COVID and the world economic downturn – which forced digital transformation on consumers and forced fintech companies to pivot, consolidate and retarget – has resulted in stronger focus on certain sectors that can fundamentally change our financial lives for the better. That’s especially true of those who haven’t had access to a full range of financial services until now, limiting their own and even their country’s economic potential.

What we’ve seen reflected most notably among our 2024 cohort is an expansion in banking-as-a-service and a contraction in crypto, a sector that has disappeared completely from our membership this year. While some weaknesses have been exposed in certain geographies, there are clearly some fundamental walls in policy and regulation, as well as attitudes and cultures within legacy institutions, that are holding back progress. We need a fresh perspective there as much as we do on products and their delivery.


What we’ve seen reflected most notably among our 2024 cohort is an expansion in banking-as-a-service and a contraction in crypto In this edition of the Fintech Power 50, you will also notice a large cohort of members in the paytech sector, with buy now, pay later and further simplification of cross-border

payments providing some of the most exciting models of disruption. While our lively members are busy solving pain points for customers and the industry right now, there are 10 finfluencers writing in this issue about what comes next. These are people with years of experience and broad strategic awareness, who are looking forward to future trends within the financial services sector. And what many of them see is artificial intelligence (AI), and particularly generative AI (GenAI), gaining ground across the whole of financial services. As Dr Ruth Wandhöfer writes on page 71, it’s the ‘one technology variable that has the power to change everything’. And we already know that nearly three-quarters of financial firms are actively involved in it. The power that Ruth Wandhöfer refers to could extend to addressing the biggest problem of all: Susanne Chishti, CEO of FINTECH Circle, writing on page 70, believes the finance sector must lead the way on decarbonisation. AI’s role in helping the industry gather, interpret and forecast data around environment, social and governance issues (ESG) is sure to be a continuing theme. We hope that the Fintech Power 50 accelerator programme will inspire and help our 2024 cohort to take the opportunity to deliver on that and more – for everyone. Jason Williams & Mark Walker, Co-Founders of The Fintech Power 50 THEFINTECHPOWER50


UNLOCKING YOUR FINTECH BUSINESS’ POTENTIAL Our team of dedicated fintech accountants and business advisers understand the complex demands of the sector. The team provide a full service to clients of all sizes, from start-ups to substantial international groups, to ensure businesses meet their compliance obligations whilst helping to maximise their potential. Our core services to the fintech sector include:

• Strategic advice • Data proctection • Cybersecurity • Staff engagement • Regulatory reporting and advice • Audit and accounts • Tax • HR and payroll • Fundraising and M&A • Legal services

Tom Moore Head of Financial Services


FUTUREOFFINTECH AI-powered growth, financial inclusion and trust challenges

The UK’s fintech landscape stands at a pivotal crossroads, poised for remarkable transformation and growth. Characterised by innovation and adaptability, the sector continues to redefine financial services, and 2024 promises to be no different.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE The application of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics will be one of the cornerstones of fintech growth in 2024. Fintech companies are harnessing the power of AI to offer data intelligence solutions that not only enhance decision-making but also mitigate risks. AI-driven predictive analytics will play a pivotal role in asset management, portfolio optimisation and risk assessment. Financial institutions are increasingly relying on AI to analyse vast datasets and gain valuable insights into customer behaviour, market trends and investment opportunities. This data-driven approach empowers financial professionals to make informed decisions and drive efficiency.

FINANCIAL INCLUSION As fintech evolves, its impact extends beyond traditional banking services. Fintech firms are dedicated to addressing financial inclusion and literacy by providing innovative solutions to underserved populations, both domestically and in emerging markets.

In 2024, there is anticipated growth in initiatives aimed at bridging the financial literacy gap and expanding access to essential financial services. We expect fintech companies to continue to develop user-friendly apps and digital platforms that empower individuals to manage their finances more effectively. Furthermore, blockchain technology and decentralised finance (DeFi) may open up entirely new avenues for financial inclusion.

TRUST AND UNCERTAINTY Trust remains a core foundation of the fintech industry, especially in a post-Brexit and post-pandemic world. However, 2024 brings a complex landscape marked by regulatory changes, fraud concerns, and pressure on banks. The global economy’s resilience and the stability of sectors like cryptocurrencies are under great scrutiny. Fintech firms must navigate this evolving regulatory landscape while addressing challenges, such as increased fraud and cyber risks. Regulatory bodies are grappling with the need to strike a balance between innovation and consumer protection. Stricter regulations are expected in various areas, including digital assets and online payments. Fintech firms will need to adapt to these dynamic compliance requirements while maintaining consumer trust. Cybersecurity and fraud prevention will be paramount. Fintech companies must invest heavily in cutting-edge security measures – advanced fraud detection algorithms, biometric authentication and real-time transaction monitoring – to safeguard against cyber threats.

The ability to inspire consumer and investor trust will be a differentiating factor for fintech success over the year.

THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION In 2024, there is expected to be further innovation in how consumers transact, how financial services firms market their offerings and how payments are processed. Real-time payments are becoming the norm, providing convenience for consumers and businesses alike. Cross-border transactions are being streamlined through blockchain and cryptocurrencies, reducing friction and costs. Moreover, fintech firms are tapping into the power of data analytics to personalise marketing efforts, making them more effective and customer centric. Those who seize the opportunities and invest in the future will position themselves for competitive advantage in the years to come. The winds of change are blowing, and the UK fintech sector is ready to set sail into uncharted waters, embracing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

ABOUT MKS Moore Kingston Smith is a leading UK professional services firm providing innovative, bespoke solutions to help clients achieve lasting success at local, national and international level. Moore Kingston Smith is the London firm of Top 10 accounting and advisory network, Moore UK. WEBSITE:




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Pierre Berger, Partner and Head of Financial Services and the Insurance Sector for DLA Piper Belgium, considers the challenges involved

REGULATINGINNOVATION The financial services sector, in constant search of speed, efficiency and optimisation, is fertile ground for the emergence and development of automative and innovative solutions.

suptech has been driven by the substantial increase in the availability and granularity of data, and by the development of technologies, as well as infrastructures such as Cloud computing and application programming interfaces (APIs), which make it possible to collect, store, and analyse large data sets more quickly and efficiently. The application of these new Often based on AI – in particular, technologies, however, affects the risks machine learning – these solutions inherent in the financial system and itself already have many applications in the introduces new risks; for example, in markets and are experiencing a rapid and terms of data protection, growing evolution. Financial market integrity, or in Financial institutions institutions terms of cyber risks. are encouraged to use From a legal perspective, are encouraged to AI and machine learning to deliver a number of use AI and machine it poses a challenge to regulatory benefits: cost reduction, learning to deliver a traditional methods. The fintech process automation, risk ecosystem, which brings management optimisation, number of benefit new players alongside regulated financial productivity improvement and an institutions, is changing the dynamics uplift in profitability. Meanwhile, new of the financial system and challenging and innovative firms – fintechs – are the application of existing regulations developing technologies to not only to new fintech activities. optimise but also to entirely rethink the Most European financial regulation is provision of financial services. technology-neutral – it applies equally Many applications of AI are already a to regulated financial services, regardless reality in financial markets, notably in relation to investment services (algorithmic of the type of underlying technology used. This approach should ensure that and high-frequency trading, robo-advisors), banking services (neo-banks, credit scoring) the emergence of new technologies that are developed to provide a regulated and in financial crime management service won’t affect the need to comply (anti-money laundering/combating the with the regulatory framework applicable financing of terrorism, fraud detection). to the provision of that service. However, But, beyond the emergence of new this approach may itself be a source of business models, financial technology legal uncertainty because of the difficulty innovation also offers opportunities of applying traditional regulatory for regulated institutions in terms requirements to disruptive businesses. of compliance with regulatory and Meanwhile, a particular challenge for prudential requirements (regtech) and regulators is to identify and monitor to financial authorities for regulatory, emerging new dynamics within markets, supervisory and control purposes which also requires them to have a deep (suptech). The rise of regtech and


understanding of the technologies used to deliver innovative services or products. Against this backdrop, regulators are trying to develop strategies to respond to developments and to improve their understanding of new fintech activities. Various European member states have set up innovation facilitators, including regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs. This approach allows regulators to develop their knowledge of technology at an early stage in order to confront it with regulation and their supervision methods. For innovative firms, it allows them to gain quicker access to market and to better understand the prudential rules and requirements applicable to their activities.

AT A GLANCE DLA Piper is a global law firm with a presence in more than 40 countries. It is a leader in the financial services and fintech sector, advising clients on the full lifecycle of financial regulatory matters. This includes authorisation and compliance, transactional and products advice, investigations and enforcement and litigation. It regularly assists clients with the development of AI-driven products and tools from a legal perspective. Clients range from multinational, Global 1000 and Fortune 500 enterprises, to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies. DLA Piper also advises governments and public sector bodies. CONTACT: WEBSITE: THEFINTECHPOWER50


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SHIFT-ING UP A GEAR A community that brings fintech founders and leaders together with key decision-makers from top financial institutions is helping to promote the UK’s open finance agenda

In the fast-evolving landscape of fintech, with open finance beginning to take hold across the UK, one community stands out as a beacon of collaboration and progress: SHIFT. Launched in 2021 by Woodhurst Consulting in response to a growing need for industry collaboration to progress the UK’s open finance agenda, SHIFT operates three complimentary services: the SHIFT Open Finance Community, the Fintech Champions Community, and SHIFT+. The SHIFT Open Finance Community now boasts more than 240 founders and leaders from more than 150 carefully chosen fintech companies, and it’s growing. From curated events with industry titans such as Mastercard to regular informal meetups, leaders from the likes of Aptap, Sprive and Boogi are able to engage in the conversation to push the UK open finance market forward.


SHIFT is one of the most engaged and highly relevant groups I have been a part of Olivia Minnock,

Senior Partnerships Manager, mmob

The core community is also a platform dedicated to fuelling the growth and development of member firms. Think webinars led by experts in diverse fields, from contract law to content marketing, or the opportunity to get open, honest and hugely valuable feedback on a pitch.


I gained useful feedback on my pitch, structure and communication style... The supportive and constructive session left me feeling more confident and better prepared to present my ideas to others Amélie Arras, Marketing Director, Zumo

The Fintech Champions Community, by comparison, is a space for key decision-makers from top financial institutions who have a passion for establishing fintech partnerships and supporting the growth of open finance. The first of its kind in the UK the initial cohort of members includes Lloyds Banking Group and TSB, to name a few, who are seeking to collaborate with SHIFT fintech members. Champions can also access SHIFT’s unique Partnership Programme, which can halve the time it takes to integrate fintech partners within their organisations.


SHIFT orchestrated an excellent roundtable to showcase fintech talent across the industry matched to our internal values and purpose, which helped us to understand the potential of our ongoing digital transformation programme

Finally, SHIFT+ acts as the pivotal bridge between fintech members and financial institutions. The service provides all members with access to an industry expert who has the knowledge to help members from the likes of Moneyhub, Yapily and Bankifi navigate the nuanced landscape of financial institutions with confidence. This includes hands-on engagement to sharpen market positioning, tailor propositions, and fine-tune pitches, while also facilitating meaningful introductions to relevant partners or potential customers. Recently, SHIFT+ supported Doshi, a financial education platform, with an exclusive opportunity to pitch directly to TSB’s Innovation Lab. As a result, Doshi was accepted and is continuing to collaborate with TSB to push the boundaries of what’s possible in our industry.


Thank you to SHIFT for opening up such a great opportunity and for the continued support

Daniel Rose, Co-founder & CEO, Doshi

Through an unwavering commitment to active collaboration, knowledge sharing, and fostering genuine connections, SHIFT is paving the way for a financial future that is both innovative and inclusive. Website:

Skipton Building Society THEFINTECHPOWER50


Cryptoasset services are not regulated by the FCA. The value of cryptoassets can go down as well as up and returns are subject to Capital Gains Tax. Users are not eligible for Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection or recourse from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).



TechPassport worked with major financial institutions to come up with a set of ‘must-have’ standards that need to be in place before a fintech can work with them – slashing onboarding time and accelerating innovation

TechPassport’s innovative SaaS platform has revolutionised the onboarding process for financial institutions and fintechs. By utilising its industry-standard Enterprise Ready Questions (ERQs), financial institutions have streamlined compliance evaluations, making it faster and more efficient to find and engage with fintech partners. The ERQs were created in collaboration with 16 of the world’s largest banks, and form the backbone of the TechPassport platform. They embody the ‘must-have’ standards that need to be in place for a fintech to work with a large bank or financial institution: uptime, resilience, meeting service requirements, security, ESG, data privacy, encryption, auditing, SOC 2 certification, breach notifications and diversity. This is the first time a group of banks have worked together to create an industry standard set of questions that they all adhere to, and which provides transparency and clarity for both parties. Zopa Bank was part of the think tank to create the ERQs. It points out that while each bank has a different risk lens, many of the criteria needed to work with a fintech are the same. There hasn’t been any previous attempt to standardise the onboarding questions and this collaboration, in Zopa’s words, ‘joined up the dots’, making it easier for banks to access enterprise-ready startups and for fintechs to understand what they need to do to be enterprise-ready.

Fundamentally, the ERQs tackle the long-standing industry problem of slow fintech onboarding. It can take up to 18 months for a fintech to be fully integrated into a bank or financial institution, creating a major barrier to innovation in the industry. With the creation of the ERQs, TechPassport has enabled fintechs to be integrated into banks and financial institutions quickly, efficiently and accurately.


This platform unlocks fintechs’ innovation potential by empowering them to focus on impactful contributions and deliver value faster Sean Manahan, Global Head of Business Development and Partnerships at Morgan Stanley

One of our key success stories is a Tier 1 banking client that saw a remarkable 94 per cent reduction in non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and proof of concept (POC) request time by using the TechPassport platform. From five weeks, it now takes just one to three days. This client’s investment in technology has also translated into financial benefits, significantly improving the bottom line. Layla White, founder and CEO of TechPassport, says: “In my experience working in banks, I was the person negotiating against the supplier. I could see that there were a lot of challenges

and frustrations and it was obvious to me that if all of the banks were trying to engage with the same kinds of startups, there needed to be a trusted party that sat in the middle that would bring the two parties together. “The idea for TechPassport was to gather information about fintech startups so that a bank found the right one first time. As soon as I got onto the startup side and realised how difficult it was to work with banks, it became a question of how do we make it easier for the startups too? How do we make sure the startups are in a good position; that they understand what’s required of them, so they’re not wasting time and effort and money, maybe in the wrong sector, and killing potentially really good products, just because of the long sales cycles.” TechPassport doesn’t just streamline an overly complex onboarding process, it also allows banks to give endorsements to startups, demonstrating that the fintech is enterprise-ready to work with. That’s previously been hard for a fintech to demonstrate due to confidentiality agreements with the financial institution. There are now more than 3,000 suppliers on the TechPassport marketplace. It has established itself as a bridge between the startup world and that of highly regulated enterprises with a commitment to transparency and clarity for both sides. WEBSITE:




DON’T RISK. KNOW AcuityTec is making online transactions safer, faster and fully compliant through perpetual KYC, advanced analysis and adaptive fraud defence We’re in a new era of fast-paced online financial engagements, with global digital payments expected to reach US $14.79trillion by 2027. But that’s also opened a world for fraudsters to capitalise on businesses’ and customers’ vulnerabilities. Account takeovers, identity theft and other fraud have steadily climbed. As a result, customers expect best-in-class security to protect their online accounts and engagements, in addition to their increasing demands for 24/7 services and real-time transactions. AcuityTec is emerging as a beacon of innovation, with its technology suite answering the digital-age demands for automated know your customer (KYC) and adaptive fraud defence. Since its conception in 2011, AcuityTec has been passionate about providing future-proofed protection that wraps around every online engagement and transaction, end-to-end with market-leading KYC and risk mitigation. “It’s not just about knowing who your customers are or verifying their transactions; it’s about going that extra level to harness data with leading technology advances to stop fraud before it occurs,” says Alfredo Solis, Senior Director at AcuityTec. “Our platform harmonises data with advanced and adaptive fraud defence so businesses obtain efficiency, flexibility and enhanced customer 12


trust for success and sustainability in our global fintech evolution.” The cornerstone of AcuityTec’s platform is its multi-level data aggregation capabilities, aggregating information from multiple sources but without multiple integrations and increased operational costs. In an era where data is of prime importance, AcuityTec’s platform provides businesses with a 360-degree view of their customers. Solis adds: “Compiling and analysing data efficiently isn’t just an advantage, it’s a necessity. Our technology counters the fragmented nature of traditional


Our technology counters the fragmented nature of traditional risk analysis and provides a holistic data and customer behaviour view Alfredo Solis, Senior Director risk analysis and provides a holistic data and customer behaviour view. Ensuring faster and more accurate insights, powered by data synergy is critical in a financial industry rapidly moving towards global digitalisation.” In this transition, KYC can no longer be a one-time endeavour or with limited

use. The ever-changing regulatory infrastructures worldwide and the changing tactics of financial fraud necessitate a shift to perpetual KYC (PKYC) for continuous protection and risk mitigation. “Our data orchestration hub provides a suite of KYC verification services, readily available to be assigned to various workflows of customer journeys, from onboarding to transactions, even to the region or the payment method utilised, ensuring businesses have precise, accurate, ongoing identity proofing to safeguard revenues,” explains Solis. “All while, it allows our customers to remain agile amid shifting regulations for a seamless transition from periodic reviews to dynamic, ongoing customer assessments for perpetual compliance.” The speed at which financial transactions occur has also seen a revolutionary shift, echoing the market’s cry for real-time payments.

AcuityTec’s platform meets this demand with real-time data processing capabilities, positioning it at the forefront of an industry that can no longer afford to be static. Solis adds: “We live in a world that values immediacy. Real-time payments require real-time risk assessment and our platform offers businesses the toolsets to meet compliance and fraud prevention requirements while upholding customer expectations for instant services.” AcuityTec employs state-of-the-art risk analysis algorithms that adapt to emerging threats. Through a robust risk rules engine with endless configurations and machine learning, rich customer profiles are established with baselines for safe and secure transactional behaviour. Data is automatically processed, analysed and orchestrated

for legitimate users’ expected patterns – such as their usual transaction sizes, payment method, and even the times of day that they are most active. “Our risk algorithms learn from the data, making our fraud defence proactive rather than reactive,” says Solis. “Customer behaviours, trends, patterns, and account associations are continuously monitored in real time for enriched fraud insights to confidently and efficiently mitigate fraud. It can spot potential risks and dynamically request additional verifications, pause a transaction prior to sending it to the processor, or issue alerts for manual intervention before something escalates into a real problem, ensuring a secure, yet fluid, customer experience.” Moreover, AcuityTec’s technology has no geographical limitations. The company offers an extensive KYC data hub for businesses worldwide, ensuring optimal data coverage and performance on a global scale. “We are not just another technology provider; we are a partner in your business, ensuring that you get the best data coverage and performance, no matter where you operate,” Solis points out. AcuityTec is an agile, end-to-end solution for modern online

financial challenges. The marriage of innovative features, such as multi-level data aggregation, perpetual KYC, and real-time data processing with advanced risk analysis, machine learning, and logic associations, makes it a comprehensive ecosystem that’s designed to meet the online financial future head-on. Solis concludes: “We are not here to adapt to the market; we are here to set the benchmark, as AcuityTec continues to position itself at the forefront of the fintech revolution.”

WHO WE ARE While many tread lightly in the expansive digital realm, AcuityTec dares to lead, setting the gold standard for KYC, KYB, compliance and fraud defence. It is pioneering a future where defence is advanced, automated, and consistently adaptive. Every stride we take in innovation safeguards countless journeys in the online world, and empowers businesses to forge ahead with unmatched trust and assurance.

AT A GLANCE COMPANY: AcuityTec FOUNDED: 2011 CATEGORY: Data and fraud defence KEY PERSONNEL:

Alfredo Solis, Senior Director & Business Strategist (above) HEAD OFFICE: Montreal, Canada LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Costa Rica CONTACT: TEL: (+1) 8665042170 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/cuitytec X: @acuitytec

WHAT WE DO Clarity, confidence and trust in one






Clear Junction does what it says on the tin: it’s where banks and businesses meet to speed up transaction flows through ingenious global payment solutions Financial exclusion is not just a problem for underbanked individuals. With cross-border payments powering global trade, too many licensed financial institutions and businesses find themselves locked out of accessing the payment accounts they need to grow. Typical challenges are high FX fees and transaction costs, two to three days average settlement times, difficulty in accessing multi-country payment options, and lower risk appetite by banking partners. Founded in 2016 by a veteran team of financial professionals, Clear Junction is way to clear payments and a junction between banking partners and industries to speed up safe transaction flows. Our vision is for financial institutions to get the services they deserve. We do this by ripping out cross-border payment complexities and empowering financial institutions with cutting-edge, compliant and real-time payment services. As an FCA-regulated e-money institution in the UK, and regulated payment institution in the EU, our compliance strengths give licensed financial institutions, and their end customers, banking and payment solutions that they may otherwise struggle to access in one place. Compliance is the cornerstone that Clear Junction was built on, and we’ve developed proprietary technology to



facilitate quick and safe access to correspondent banking, payment accounts, e-money accounts, virtual IBANs and treasury services for regulated institutions. “Nothing is more crucial to us than the trust of regulators,” says Sales and Marketing Director, Claire Huddleston. “It means we can give banks, financial institutions and companies access to the solutions they have struggled to obtain for various reasons, while also giving them peace of mind that we are taking every possible step to protect their data and customer funds.”

A NEW APPROACH By viewing long-entrenched market difficulties with fresh eyes; we’ve created ingenious cross-border payment solutions that have opened up countless opportunities for our partners. Take our anti-fraud escrow solution, which is building trust into digital asset trading businesses. At Clear Junction, we believe crypto is here to stay, and as regulators roll out safeguards worldwide, more people are choosing to engage with it. But the FTX collapse at the end of 2022 and ongoing controversies about other crypto exchanges have left people and businesses understandably concerned. That’s why our escrow solution is revolutionary, as we have transformed a financial product that has existed for

centuries and applied it to a sector that has been around for a little over a decade. Escrow accounts are commonly used to mitigate risk by using a third party to hold a payment from the buyer until agreed conditions are met. But Clear Junction is (as far as we know) the first business to utilise the concept for crypto and fiat trading transactions. Every step of the transaction is verified through our internal API system, allowing for seamless access to blockchain data, address validation, and real-time monitoring, so when the funds are released, both parties will receive 100 per cent of what they expect, every single time. By ensuring settlement risk is eliminated, fiat and crypto businesses can give their customers the confidence to safely transact with crypto and convert it into fiat money at competitive FX rates.

BUILDING TRUST The launch of CJClique in June 2023 – our new platform enabling digital asset clients to connect and collaborate – will help businesses identify crypto exchanges that are already part of our client base to facilitate prompt settlement of payments. Crypto exchanges will similarly benefit, as they will have the ability to settle with liquidity providers within Clear Junction’s payment network. Trust is built in many ways, and with so much valuable data flowing through the

We have transformed a financial product that has existed for centuries and applied it to a sector that has been around for a little over a decade global fintech ecosystem, and with cybersecurity breaches continuing to dominate the headlines, our commitment to data security is fundamental to the trust we earn from our partners and regulators. This year, we were incredibly proud to receive ISO 27001 certification, the highest global standard that a business can achieve for information security. With millions of transactions flowing through Clear Junction’s platform, our clients and their customers get peace of mind that our information security management systems and risk management processes are protected by the highest data security protocols. This is especially important for the regulated institutions that we serve, including banks, payment service providers, and digital assets traders. All of them value the service stability and resilience that we provide for them. By working with Clear Junction, they have shortened the time to market they typically face when establishing banking relationships, have accessed new markets, and tapped into our next-generation technologies and expertise. We’re determined to open up even more dynamic growth opportunities for the entities that have placed their trust in us.

WHO WE ARE Clear Junction is a global payments solution provider that powers financial institutions by connecting them to payment rails and treasury services. We enable financial companies, to capture and connect to new opportunities by accessing the tools, networks and knowledge they need. Our proprietary technology enables our clients to receive, hold, transfer and pay-out in multiple currencies through a single touchpoint. Our team has years of experience in the payments space and extensive knowledge of risk and compliance. That, coupled with our unique platform and banking relationships, helps empower businesses to realise the potential in the areas traditional service providers can’t or aren’t willing to unlock. The company was founded in 2016 by a veteran team of financial professionals with many years of experience in cross-border payments and banking. Our wide range of compliant payment services encompasses regulatory infrastructures for the management of funds in the

European Union (EU), correspondent accounts for banks and financial institutions, the holding of funds and directing of payments, and full EMI licensing to allow non-European e-wallets, banks and financial institutions to hold funds in the EU. In addition, we are a participating member of SEPA, thereby enabling clients unrestricted access to the EU interbank clearing system.


Clear Junction


Dima Kats, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: London, UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Latvia, Poland CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/clear-junction X: @ClearJunction

WHAT WE DO The power behind payments THEFINTECHPOWER50



SUPERCHARGING CROSS-BORDER PAYMENTS Pedro Batista, VP of Payments at Payhawk, explains how it’s supporting business expansion, reach, and opportunity As increasing numbers of fintech disruptors burst onto the market and competition heats up, both existing and new players are reaching further afield to set themselves apart. From working with innovative and cost-effective suppliers in different countries to attracting top talent and new consumers in emerging markets, leveraging efficient cross-border payment technology is becoming an increasingly crucial tool for these players. Rapidly growing from $150trillion in 2017 to a forecast $250trillion by 2027 and fuelled by global trade and economic interdependence, cross-border payments will only become more important as technology blurs borders for all businesses, not just fintechs, such as ourselves, who are servicing them Enter the payment disruptors in the traditional finance space. Driven by revenue expansion, competition has opened the field for many new providers, meaning cross-border payments can be made faster and more cost-effective by challenging the existing payments infrastructure. In a nutshell, cross-border transactions require intermediaries to facilitate transfers between different jurisdictions. Instructions are exchanged between accounts to debit and credit funds accordingly. However, not all banks have direct connections with creditors, so multiple intermediaries, often called 16


correspondent banks, may be involved, especially in complex transactions. These intermediaries play a vital role in facilitating cross-border payments but can also introduce complexity and inefficiency. More intermediaries in a cross-border transaction can slow it down and make it more costly than domestic ones, sometimes up to 10 times more. Improving cross-border payments is a major challenge. In 2020, the G20 acknowledged the importance of cross-border payments, the difficulties and costs involved, and committed to enhancing the system by addressing the issues it had identified to create a more cohesive and efficient alternative. The G20 identified challenges in cross-border payments, such as: ■ Inconsistent data formats causing difficulties and higher costs ■ Complex compliance checks ■ Uneven regulations and compliance processes ■ Varied data sources, leading to delays and added expenses ■ Delays due to limited settlement system operating hours (creating ‘trapped liquidity’) ■ Outdated technology with batch processing ■ No real-time monitoring ■ Limited data capacity slowing down transactions

■ High funding costs as traditional banks must provide advance funding in multiple currencies, which is risky and expensive ■ Lengthy transaction chains ■ Lack of competition ■ Balance of payments ■ Capital controls, documentation ■ Complexity of international collaboration

So far, so complicated. And, unfortunately, all of the above contribute to bottlenecks and delays in traditional cross-border payment systems.

ADDRESSING THE ISSUES Innovative payment-focussed fintechs are already addressing many of the challenges identified by the G20. Specifically, these fintechs provide more efficient and cost-effective ways of making cross-border payments by

WHO WE ARE Payhawk is a leading spend management solution for domestic and international businesses throughout Europe, the US, and the UK.


Leveraging efficient cross-border payment technology is becoming an increasingly crucial tool for fintechs

integrating transfer services directly within their product, streamlining the overall process. This is excellent news for businesses, as faster, more cost-effective international payments will let them expand globally, increase supplier networks, and seize international opportunities in an increasingly interconnected world. Using modern API technology, fintechs (specifically spend management providers like Payhawk) can leverage the services of innovative payment providers to offer fast, low-cost and simplified cross-border payments. As a global spend management solution, Payhawk offers automated expense management software, direct ERP integrations, corporate cards, international payments, and more. Our features let clients control supplier payments effortlessly across borders, make fast payments in more than 50 currencies and more than 16 countries, and save time with automatic reconciliation to their ERP.

Combining company cards, reimbursable expenses, accounts payable, and seamless accounting software integrations into a single product, Payhawk makes business payments easy for everyone. Payhawk helps customers in more than 32 countries to maximise efficiency, control spending at scale, and stay agile. Payhawk’s diverse customer base includes top names like LuxAir, Babbel, Vinted, Wallbox and Wagestream. Our aspiration is to become the world’s biggest bank without holding a single dollar. Rather, we see the future as a marketplace where businesses can discover, manage and use multiple payment instruments (debit cards, credit cards, bank account, etc), which are powered by a single experience, regardless of where money is kept. An experience where money follows the way you do business.


Spend management KEY PERSONNEL:

Hristo Borisov, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Bulgaria, France, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, Netherlands and United States CONTACT: TEL: (+44) 204 586 5402 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/payhawk-com X: @payhawk

WHAT WE DO Business spend reinvented




For merchants, choosing the right payments service provider is key to minimising complexity and creating a seamless online business experience, writes Scott Dawson, DECTA’s Head of Sales and Strategic Partnerships Global retail e-commerce sales are projected by some analysts to have reached $6.3trillion by the end of 2023, and Statista reports that they’ll grow another 11.16 per cent by 2027. But e-commerce merchants often face a growing complexity in their payment systems, leading to various financial challenges. That means it’s critical to select the right payment service provider (PSP) – one that simplifies payment processes, empowering e-commerce businesses to thrive and adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of online commerce – because there can be devastating consequences for e-commerce merchants if they do not manage this complexity well. Take these four examples: ■ Advanced payments Some types of payment are taken days, weeks or months in advance of the customer getting their 18


product or service. E-commerce orders are the most common example, but flight and hotel bookings are particularly vulnerable, as customers often have months in which to change their mind ■ High shopping cart abandonment 70 per cent of customers abandon their shopping carts, adversely affecting conversion rates, which can lead to lost sales and reduced profitability. Although it isn’t the only reason, a complex payments system could drive many away

■ Product returns The complexity deepens with the management of product returns and the processing of refunds, as these aspects of e-commerce transactions require meticulous attention to detail and consumer satisfaction ■ Chargeback woes The chargeback process, with its long timeframes and potential for fraud, adds another layer of complexity, leading to financial losses for merchants who are unprepared or ill-equipped to address these issues adequately

To combat the detrimental effects of these and other challenges, e-commerce merchants should consider implementing the following strategies, which not only simplify the payment process but also enhance overall efficiency and customer satisfaction: ■ Choose PSPs that prioritise simplicity When selecting a PSP, give preference to those that offer streamlined integration, transparent pricing, and robust verification. Simplified integration not only saves valuable time but also conserves resources, while transparent pricing ensures full awareness of costs, leading to a more predictable financial outlook. Robust verification processes enhance security, instilling confidence in consumers and helping deter fraudulent activities that could jeopardise the integrity of transactions. ■ Open banking for streamlined payments Embracing open banking protocols is a strategic move towards simplifying payment procedures and reducing overhead costs. Open banking not only reduces costs but also eliminates the chargeback mechanism, alleviating one of the major concerns for e-commerce businesses. While consumer adoption of open banking may be gradual, its potential for cost savings and enhanced security can encourage its adoption over traditional debit and credit cards. ■ Customised payment systems Tailoring payment systems to address the specific challenges an e-commerce business faces is a highly effective approach. Customisation can significantly reduce chargebacks and their associated costs, ultimately simplifying your payment processes and ensuring that a merchant’s business can adapt to the unique demands of their industry.

■ Payment processing The PSP should have its own payment processing centre. Having a single entity responsible for the end-to-end process is beneficial to both a business and its customers. It ensures: ■ A single point of contact ■ More reliable operation ■ Uninterrupted cash flow ■ Greater security ■ Better support and quicker responses (when fixes or upgrades are necessary)

PAYMENTS GATEWAYS The PSP should also provide a payment gateway. Payment gateways combine the essential functions necessary to manage transaction flow, including accepting and routing payments, reporting and analytics, account and subscription management, and more. This entails greater convenience for merchants, since they only have to liaise with one service provider which is overseeing all the major operations. It also ensures: ■ Safer transactions ■ Quicker processing ■ Single point of contact for the entire payment cycle ■ 24/7 availability when it comes to online purchases ■ Access to fraud management tools Another important thing to pay attention to is whether or not the PSP offers additional payment methods, such as mobile wallets, open banking options, etc. Providing payment methods that are familiar to your customers helps to build trust, increasing brand loyalty and improving conversion rates. As global retail e-commerce sales continue to surge, businesses must focus on delivering a seamless and secure payment experience to their customers. By choosing a PSP, such as DECTA, that emphasises simplification

As global retail e-commerce sales continue to surge, businesses must focus on delivering a seamless and secure payment experience to their customers

through integration ease, transparent pricing, and robust verification, merchants can streamline their payment processes, enhance security, protect against fraud, and, ultimately, elevate overall customer satisfaction. That way, businesses can ensure a seamless experience for their customers and thrive in the fiercely competitive e-commerce landscape while adapting to the evolving demands of the online commerce arena.

WHO WE ARE DECTA provides end-to-end payment infrastructure, from acquiring to issuing and processing. However, unlike many other players in the crowded payments marketplace we offer bespoke solutions aimed at making payments accessible to everyone. We are headquartered in the UK, with offices around the world, and our seven core products have seen merchants worldwide harness our technology, resulting in more than £1billion in transactions globally.


E-commerce payments KEY PERSONNEL:

Scott Dawson, Head of Sales and Strategic Partnerships (right) HEAD OFFICE: London, UK EMAIL: TEL: (+44) 20 3750 2195 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/decta

WHAT WE DO Master your payments THEFINTECHPOWER50



OPEN BANKING A FAIR EXCHANGE With the largest open banking infrastructure in the UK, The ClearScore Group is driving financial wellbeing by putting users in control of their financial data and giving lenders valuable insights

ClearScore launched in 2015 to offer greater transparency in credit reports. The idea behind the company was to empower people to take greater control of their data and to leverage that data to improve their financial wellbeing. Since then, ClearScore has become a group of companies, including the original credit marketplace, plus DriveScore, a car insurance and car finance app, powered by telematics, and D•One, a B2B open banking services business. In 2021, ClearScore launched its unique Affordability Score. Based on analysis of transaction history, the Affordability Score gives users a clearer sense of the credit that they can afford in the context of their overall financial wellbeing. It sits alongside a credit score, giving an indication of how a lender will see an application from an affordability perspective.

SAVING PEOPLE MONEY In addition to helping users understand how their affordability might impact their ability to borrow money, ClearScore’s open banking proposition evolved to give people better access to credit products and help them save money through lower rates of interest.



In 2022, ClearScore first explored ways of instantly saving people money by sharing information from current accounts and giving lenders greater insight to their affordability. This proved to be a significant way of unlocking the value of open banking. Building on that success, ClearScore now works with individual lenders, such as Lendable, to deliver exclusive products with individual pricing, powered by open banking.

WHAT IS THE POTENTIAL? With 14 million UK users yet only 1.5 million having ever used open banking so far, the potential is huge. With such a large volume of users, ClearScore knows what it takes to build a platform that empowers people to own and leverage their personal data. ClearScore also understands that users are open to sharing their banking data, but only if there is a meaningful value exchange. This is crucial to drive a willingness to share into a reality. ClearScore has set about creating a compelling value proposition that offers a strong reason for consumers to trade their valuable data via open banking and, in keeping with the

mission, improve financial wellbeing. And there is plenty of scope for expansion. This not only benefits the user but, of course, opens new addressable market segments for lenders. The current economic environment is fast-moving and will create a catalyst for lenders to need greater access to more timely data. Bureau data can be out of date by up to two months and lenders will increasingly struggle to make the right decisions, based on this alone.

SUPPORTING LENDERS With its own open banking connection and transaction categorisation technology via D•One, ClearScore has helped drastically reduce barriers to entry for lenders in adopting open banking across their acquisition channels. Thus, it’s enabled them to expand their credit footprint, increase application conversion, and provide more competitive pricing. D•One offers UK lenders a comprehensive and specialised open banking connectivity and transaction categorisation intelligence, tailored

WHO WE ARE ClearScore’s aim is to help everyone, no matter their circumstances, achieve greater financial wellbeing. The Group combines beautifully designed apps, with powerful, consumer-controlled data, and a cutting-edge technology stack to deliver high-growth marketplaces that retail financial products. ClearScore has grown rapidly to serve 20 million users across the UK, South Africa, Australia, Canada and

to lending use cases. The business consists of two fundamental components: Connection•One and Category•One.


ClearScore has helped reduce barriers to entry for lenders in adopting open banking across their acquisition channels Connection•One offers scalable technology to facilitate open banking connections with leading banks and fintechs. D•One offers the largest open banking infrastructure in the UK enabling clients to either implement a white-labelled solution or have users’ open banking consent managed by D•One. Category•One is an industry-leading transaction categorisation service with advanced income, spend and transfer tagging capabilities, allowing clients to understand consumer spending patterns on a deep level. One of the key benefits

New Zealand. The Group now partners with more than 150 financial institutions around the world to ensure that the right product gets to the right user at the right time, and reports for people in the UK. The ClearScore Group also includes DriveScore, one of the UK’s fastest growing insurtechs. Plus, it is has a major enabler of open banking through its B2B unit D•One. This business now delivers industry-leading open banking connectivity and transaction categorisation intelligence, intentionally optimised for use in credit marketplaces and decisioning.

WHAT WE DO International online marketplaces for financial services

of lenders using this technology is to be able to understand the risk of lending to specific individuals in a more sophisticated way than relying on credit bureau data alone. D•One powers ClearScore’s open banking capability, fully refreshing bank data on its users to the tune of 3.5 million bank API calls every day. More than 35 per cent of ClearScore’s credit marketplace viewers already have open banking enabled, with thousands of new users signing up every week. Using open banking data provided by half a million UK consumers, D•One has empirically identified financial behaviours that reduce risk of delinquency by up to 30 per cent versus credit score data alone. This enables lenders to offer consumers greater access to credit at better prices. D•One from ClearScore is in a leading position to help accelerate consumers’ bank data into mainstream lending: it offers a unique combination of an engaged UK user-base, a high level of consumer trust, a compelling reason for consumers to connect their current accounts, a tech stack to provide connection/categorisation, and the analytics capability to identify affordability and risk.


ClearScore Group

FOUNDED: 2015 CATEGORY: Financial

services marketplaces

KEY PERSONNEL: Justin Basini, CEO (above) HEAD OFFICE: London, UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Australia, Canada,

New Zeland, South Africa

WEBSITE: CONTACT: TEL: (+44) 207 582 8212 LINKEDIN: company/clearscore X: @ClearScore



From P2P remittances to real-time B2C, C2B, and B2B cross-border payments, UniTeller is helping to transform global transactions

UNITING THE WORLD WITH PAYMENTS There are a staggering number of communities that are being supported by global remittances. By 2027, they are expected to reach a whopping $1.2trillion. Given their growing role as a pillar of our international economy, it is important to understand what the future holds for them – and, while there are many factors at play in the trajectory of global remittances, the most influential by far is the proliferation of innovative technology. The cross-border payments sector as a whole has undergone a remarkable digital transformation, marked by groundbreaking innovations. Yet, challenges persist for both businesses and individuals, from cost and transparency issues to the need for real-time options and robust transaction repair mechanisms. In this dynamic landscape, financial institutions and corporations grapple with compliance, security, and operational efficiency concerns, navigating varying regulatory prerequisites across jurisdictions and countries. 22


UniTeller has emerged as an industry leader in enabling seamless movement of funds across international borders – and not just remittances. With a global network spanning more than 200,000 payment points and 4,200 banks and mobile wallets worldwide, it provides a comprehensive product suite that prioritises efficiency and security in every transaction. UniTeller Digital Link: redefining remittances-as-a-service UniTeller’s remittance-as-a-service platform, UniTeller Digital Link, equips businesses with flexible, end-to-end cross-border payment processing services. This platform offers full turnkey white-label solutions and API integrations within a best-in-class compliance and licensing framework, enabling enterprises to conduct uninterrupted real-time cross-border payments. UniTeller Digital Link has become a powerful revenue stream for countless businesses. The digital

experience allows users to send money internationally, pay bills, reload phones, and purchase gift cards on the go while providing a comprehensive payment experience contained on one platform, powered entirely by UniTeller. UniTeller Cross-Border Send: simplified real-time payments When it comes to businesses, UniTeller Cross-Border Send provides users with unprecedented access to real-time payments through a single API for P2P, B2C, C2B, and even B2B payments, along with one of the most competitive payment networks spanning more than 100 countries. By leveraging UniTeller’s simplified API, integration times are drastically reduced, and hidden costs are eliminated, simplifying the process and giving users remarkable transparency. Businesses benefit from a seamless payment experience that is complete with AML checks, transaction screening, distribution networks, and FX conversions.


UniTeller Cross-Border Pay: elevating cross-border payment dynamics Through a single API integration, UniTeller Cross-Border Pay empowers payer institutions with access to multiple transaction providers and networks, including money transfer operators, corporations, banks, and retailers, thereby driving cross-border transaction growth.



UniTeller’s mission at its core is to provide quality cross-border payment solutions that act as a bridge between people and businesses around the globe WHO WE ARE UniTeller Financial Services is a subsidiary of Grupo Financiero Banorte. One of the largest financial groups in Latin America and the second largest in Mexico, it is a market leader in offering international remittance and cross-border payment processing. Based in the United States and with a network of more than 200,000 paying locations in more than 105 countries, UniTeller offers coverage in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. At UniTeller, we embrace changes in technological advancements. We act as a processing partner with a customised business and revenue-sharing model that adapts to our partners’ needs.

UniTeller Business payments: redefining commercial transactions With the global B2B payments landscape projected to reach $54trillion in 2023, the need for efficiency, reliability, and security in commercial transactions has never been more paramount. UniTeller’s International Business Payments solutions for B2C, B2B and C2B offer a seamless avenue for transaction management, enabling enterprises to effortlessly process real-time, low-value payments to more than 50 countries with a robust payment gateway API and digital solutions.

UniTeller has partnered with more than 100 remittance companies, banks, telco providers, fintechs, international payment institutions. Through our turnkey, white-label and API solutions and integrations, our partners are able to provide digital cross-border payments across the globe. Our core values of innovation, integrity, teamwork, and excellence are the foundations on which UniTeller is built. These values trickle down to every aspect of our operations. Our core values define our organisation-wide corporate culture, represent standards of conduct that guide our actions, and reflect our commitment not only to our employees, agents, and partners but also to the communities in which we operate.

At its core, UniTeller’s mission is to meet the challenge of providing quality cross-border payment solutions that act as a bridge between people and businesses around the globe. Moreover, its commitment to supporting the economic growth of unbanked and underbanked populations around the world is noteworthy. Join us in embracing the future of cross-border payments – an era that will be defined by efficiency, reliability, and security.

AT A GLANCE COMPANY: UniTeller Financial Services CATEGORY:

Cross-border payments FOUNDED: 1994 KEY PERSONNEL:

Alberto Guerra, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: Austin TX, USA LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, New Jersey (USA) and Philippines EMAIL: TEL: +1 (201) 345-2000 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/uniteller-banorte

WHAT WE DO Uniting people. Uniting businesses. Uniting the world with payments




INTELLIGENT INSIGHT, FAST Data management product company, Intix, details why the ability to diligently monitor and comprehend financial transactions is imperative, as Europe moves towards open finance Forthcoming changes to Europe’s Payment Services Directive (PSD3) look set to make strong customer authentication (SCA) even more important than it is today. This shift will place new demands on financial institutions across Europe, who will be required to go further than ever before to help stop damaging forms of fraud, such as spoofing. Thankfully, with the right approach, companies can achieve this level of performance. Under the new provisions, businesses must now offer open banking SCA experiences that match or even exceed the seamlessness provided by online banking interfaces. This directive aims to encourage



companies to enhance the user experience of open banking solutions across Europe, ultimately to drive higher adoption rates of the innovative technology in the coming years. Responding to this shift necessitates various strategies for different

companies, but at its core, businesses are advised to explore technologies that enable effective tracking and understanding of transactions. From improving fraud detection and prevention to ensuring regulatory compliance, solutions that promote greater accountability in financial transactions have become increasingly essential for modern business operations.

ADDRESSING TRANSPARENCY Transparency is widely acknowledged as a key element for the success of open banking. Even before the European Commission put forward PSD3 and the introduction of the PSR, the UK’s fintech industry body, Innovate Finance, had

called for increased transparency in the sector, including the removal of obstacles and improved governance of businesses operating in this field. PSD3 is expected to facilitate these improvements and ensure more inclusive and transparent processes. It is hoped that PSD3 will also improve fraud prevention measures because, unfortunately, open banking fraud poses a growing threat to businesses. Fraudsters have managed to exploit open banking systems to obtain loans and mortgages, deceiving stakeholders at various stages of the process.

ACHIEVING EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE Many financial institutions already feel they will struggle to meet the requirements of PSD3 due to the complexity of end-to-end transaction chains, which entail large volumes of data that require expert teams and dedicated technology for analysis. Without taking the necessary steps to ensure optimal performance, achieving effective results can be nearly impossible. Financial institutions increasingly require solutions that can break down organisational and technical silos that typically exist within this sector, providing a comprehensive view across diverse datasets. Real-time access to messaging data can facilitate highperformance search, access, reporting, and dashboarding, making it significantly easier to locate specific transactions within the data haystack. Financial institutions also need data management solutions that can track transactions at any point in the processing flow, providing instant status updates. This ability to reconcile and deliver notifications at any stage of the transaction lifecycle enhances visibility and control over end-to-end operations, helping to identify and prevent operational bottlenecks more efficiently. Similarly, such solutions can identify fraud incidents at an early stage, raising alerts about suspicious activities immediately, allowing for preventive measures to mitigate financial and reputational damage. When evaluating

these systems, companies should seek solutions that can be configured to follow specific rules and automate processes, reducing the need for time-consuming human oversight.

KNOW YOUR TRANSACTIONS, INSIDE OUT Most importantly, businesses looking to respond to the updates contained in PSD3 and associated legislation must ensure they onboard data management solutions that offer comprehensive


Real-time access to messaging data can facilitate high-performance search, access, reporting, and dashboarding, making it significantly easier to locate specific transactions within the data haystack

insights into transactions to support compliance professionals in case of an investigation. Prioritising systems that collect, correlate, analyse, model, and report on data sets to produce the necessary insights and forensics is crucial. Investigating client payments can be challenging, as correlating data across

numerous systems is complex and impractical to perform manually. Companies must now use solutions that provide a 360-degree view of a transaction by combining all relevant events. Every piece of data is critical, so it is imperative that companies collect and analyse all available information.

FINDING THE RIGHT APPROACH By following this guidance and implementing solutions that can effectively trace, track, and understand transactions, businesses can transform vast amounts of data into actionable insights for operational excellence, compliance, and auditing. This positions them well to meet the new requirements of PSD3 and, potentially, increase open banking adoption rates across Europe. In the past, achieving this level of data management performance would have been challenging, but providers like Intix can now handle the task. Intix’s data management solutions can fulfil all the necessary objectives, fixing transaction flow friction and delivering real-time, efficient, and contextual data insights to customers who need them most.



Intix provides a transaction data management platform that serves global transaction banks around the world.


It gives visibility of everything that a financial institution needs to make decisions quickly, identify problems and overcome bottlenecks. With Intix, clients get a complete view of their transaction data at every step. Built with and for the financial industry, it provides a reliable way to deliver fast, smooth and compliant transaction processing.

WHAT WE DO Better insights. Better outcomes


Transaction data management KEY PERSONNEL:

Sandrine Garin, CEO (above) HEAD OFFICE: Belgium LOCAL PRESENCE IN:

Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific, Spain EMAIL: TEL: (+32) 15140130 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/intix X: @IntixNv





THE YEAR OF OPPORTUNITY AND REFRESHMENT An optimistic Chris Skinner looks to the sunny uplands after a tricky patch for fintech

artificial intelligence, or GenAI for short. GenAI hit all of us in 2023 when OpenAI and ChatGPT merged with Microsoft’s Bing and suddenly articles, like this one, could be written by a machine with some intelligence. Imagine what happens when you integrate that with fintech. Every single financial transaction can not Every year, people predict that we only inform you where and when you will make more money, be healthier, bought something, but what it was, how have more fun, spend more time much it’s worth and why you needed it. with family and so on. Business will For me, GenAI sounds creepy and fun. be better, profits will be higher, On the one hand, am I happy that my opportunities will be greater and financial provider knows so much about investors will be glowing. me; on the other, it’s great that my Unfortunately, the reality in the 2020s financial firm can give me has been very different. Investments all that information. There’s I call it the Fintech will move into a balance to be struck, but Bloodbath. Many jobs it will get sorted out by the lost, many company firms that are the visionaries working values plummeting hottest at making many on tech and finance. and many visionary finance as easy as Another exciting area entrepreneurs beaten. possible, using AI today is around digital In October 2023, identity. Having recently TechCrunch noted that and embedded upgraded my smartphone, the tech industry had services to create I was really annoyed by seen more than 240,000 having to re-identify with jobs lost in 2023, a total ‘better finance’ every financial app. They should know that was already 50 per cent higher who I am, based on my SIM, shouldn’t than last year. The fintech industry has they? The developments around identity probably been hit the hardest. using technology will progress rapidly in The thing is that yes, there has been 2024, thanks to developments around a bump in the road but I predict 2024 blockchain and embedded finance. will be the year where we look back Personally, I don’t like the phrase and wonder ‘what happened?’. The ‘embedded finance’. as it is an inside-out bloodbath of the start of the decade was view. It is not customer friendly. I prefer caused by a pandemic and wars that ‘better finance’, making finance as easy dried up optimism. 2024 will see the end as 123. We have more open banking, of that (I hope). We just have to ride the open finance, embedded stuff in 2024 valley and look for the hill: and there than ever before. The objective is to are so many exciting things out there. make the financial markets as easy as Take one example – generative




possible using technology – after all, isn’t that what fintech is all about? The end of 2023 has already seen markets reviving. 2024 will see the markets refreshing. Investments will move into the firms that are the hottest at making finance as easy as possible using AI and embedded services to create ‘better finance’. Add on to these themes a sprinkle of the Internet of Things – think eyeglasses – and the looming quantum revolution, and we are going to be really busy next year. The only outstanding question is what Elon Musk is thinking when he says that X (formerly Twitter), will replace banks in 2024!

AT A GLANCE Chris Skinner is an author and commentator on technology and finance. He shares his thoughts daily on fintech and the financial markets through his daily blog, His first book Digital Bank, which looked at the changing nature of banks was released in 2014. The Digital Human, Doing Digital and, most recently, Digital For Good, which explores how technology and finance can be used to make the world a better place, followed in the same series. His next book, due for release in early 2024, looks at the evolution of intuitive finance and a future where we do not think about money, but money thinks for us. WEBSITE: TWITTER: @Chris_Skinner


FROMCRMTOBRM How do banks relationship manage a ‘custobot’? David Birch looks at the rise of the economic avatar Gartner’s top ten strategic technology trends for 2024 include the arrival of machine customers – what it calls ‘custobots’ but what Victoria Richardson and I prefer to describe as ‘economic avatars’ in our new book, Metamoney. Gartner reckons that in five years there will be some 15 billion connected products with the potential to behave as customers, with billions more to follow in the coming years. Gartner might well be right. The transition from bots as advisors to bots as customers is imminent and the arrival of robot customers could be the source of trillions in revenues, ultimately turning bot-to-bot commerce into something more important than e-commerce itself. Gartner suggests that organisations pay strategic attention to the switch from human to machine customers, and this must be a priority for financial services organisations in particular. I have long been curious about how banks will adjust to acquiring robot customers who do not care about the bank’s logo or TV ads or which sports team it sponsors. In the not-too-distant future, most peoples’ financial decisions, transactions and analysis will probably be performed by bots operating under relevant ‘duty of care’ legislation

with the co-ordinated goal of delivering financial health. How will those bots go about choosing which accounts to open, which services to use and which oracles to listen to? Perhaps they will use a combination of reputation and relevant other data (e.g. economic forecasts) to work out which account is right for us. The reputational calculus will, of course, involve fees and rates, but economic avatars will also look at API functionality, open finance interface availability, service uptime and so on. What this means is financial organisations and, of course, fintechs will be selling their products to machines, not to people. Well, their machines will be selling things to customers’ machines. People have tried having AI make financial decisions in the past and it hasn’t worked out too well. ETF Managers Group’s AIEQ, launched in 2017, uses IBM’s Watson AI platform to analyse millions of data points from news, social media, industry, and analyst reports, so it’s a useful case study. Over the last five years, it returned 4.9 per cent – trailing the 11.78 per cent five-year return of Vanguard’s benchmark S&P 500 index fund and two other large actively managed funds, the American Funds Growth Fund of America, at 9.81 per cent, and Fidelity’s Contrafund, at 11.04 per cent. That doesn’t sound particularly successful to me. But, until now, robo-advising in investing has essentially been jazzed-up machine learning. The economic avatars of the future will use deep-learning algorithms to deliver something very different. I would argue that economic avatars are actually not so far away.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is already examining how it can use generative artificial intelligence to create faux consumers who can test new products. They use AI to process and interpret patterns to create data that the bank can then use to create bots that will perform experiments on products to see how popular the products might be. They are using simulated experiences in daily life to emulate behaviours in order to improve qualitative and quantitative understanding of how customers might respond to changing contexts, everyday financial challenges and new products. That’s a pretty fun way of making a simbank, but it is not such a big step to turn those customer bots into customers’ bots. And if CBA can use data to make economic avatars, then so can Google, Apple, Meta and Amazon. And theirs might not be so sympathetic to the products of the financial sector’s incumbents.

AT A GLANCE A fintech author, advisor and commentator on digital financial services, David Birch argued that Identity Is The New Money as far back as 2014 in a book of the same name. Based in the UK, Birch is also a venture partner at 1414 Ventures, a US-based fund that invests in early-stage startups in the digital identity market. WEBSITE: TWITTER:





WHERE OPEN BANKING GOES NEXT Stephen Winyard, Director at Salt Edge, on how travel and online gaming are ripe for financial innovation Open banking has had an incredible impact since its adoption in 2018, inspiring a wave of change and transformation as it disrupts the financial sector and spreads its influence beyond traditional banking worldwide. While some countries have already established regulations, others are in the process of expanding the technology’s scope, and more than 40 jurisdictions are just at the stage of implementing open banking. But one thing is certain – open banking has profoundly impacted the way millions of people manage their money and is transforming how businesses operate. Through open banking solutions, endless possibilities and exceptional experiences are being pioneered across various fields. In particular, 28


it has led to the emergence of innovative services around account aggregation, onboarding, and payments. According to the UK’s implementation authority, Open Banking Limited, in July 2023, open banking reached 11.4 million payments in that country only, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 102.4 per cent. This impressive boost in open banking transactions indicates a growing preference among consumers for open banking solutions, a trend that is bolstered by more and more companies offering account-to-account payments. And yet, the vast potential of open banking remains largely untapped, with numerous use cases yet to be explored. Here, we want to highlight just two of them – online gaming and travel – where our collaborations with trusted partners and clients have led to valuable insights and innovative solutions.

projected to reach $114.4billion by 2028, with more than three billion players worldwide. Operators must embrace new technologies to streamline workflows and ensure compliance with strict gambling regulations. Open banking is one such driver for tech innovation. Open banking payments enable operators to accept payments directly from players’ bank accounts, reducing friction and creating a more transparent environment. This optimises operations, cuts costs, and gives customers a fast, easy, and secure payment method. Users who gamble can enjoy a hassle-free experience with seamless

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS IN ONLINE GAMING The online gaming industry, a rapidly growing sector encompassing online betting, has witnessed remarkable growth over the past decades, and is

S A LT E D G E account-to-account payments and lightning-fast deposits. The same applies to payouts, as operators can instantly transfer winnings to any account in the same way. Plus, operators can save costs as external processors are not required. Open banking also shields them against fraud in payments. Payments in online gaming are one of the main risk factors mentioned in the recent EU Guidelines on fighting money laundering and terrorist financing. That’s because certain payment methods allow customers to conceal their identity and source of funding, such as pre-paid vouchers for player deposits where it isn’t easy to conduct the same level of checks as with bank accounts. By making use of open banking, where users must go through strong customer identification (SCA), fraudsters are disarmed, as any payment stops once the account owner is informed about its initiation. Other valuable uses focus on account validation. Even if a payment is not taken, using open banking, the ability to prove a player’s identity from secure bank-grade know your customer is a perfect fit for existing processes. And, as regulations and reforms to the Gambling Act 2005 will focus on player affordability, open banking enables a true and accurate assessment of a player’s income, spending habits and other qualifying data to satisfy these demands.


refunds. Open banking can benefit both parties greatly. The payment settlements and refunds are processed in a matter of seconds, enhancing the customer experience and ensuring a competitive edge for the company. Taking measures to safeguard against fraudulent activities is imperative to maintain the trust of customers and ensure safe and smooth transactions. When making payments through open banking, users are requested to authenticate themselves via SCA. This ensures that payment authorisation and authentication are user-friendly and secure, providing a reliable payment experience. Another important objective, especially in the aviation sector, is sustainability. The industry intends to achieve net-zero by the year 2050. When it comes to reducing carbon footprint, studies estimate that open banking produces four times less CO2 emissions, compared to traditional payment methods by eliminating large

The vast potential of open banking remains largely untapped, with numerous use cases yet to be explored

POSSIBILITIES FOR TRAVEL AND HOSPITALITY Travel, one of the world’s biggest and essential service industries today, is predicted to reach US$1.02trillion by 2027, with 74 per cent of revenue generated online. Open banking transactions’ streamlined, secure, and cost-effective nature can enhance the user experience, lower costs, improve security, and provide valuable data insights to travel platforms. While companies aim for prompt settlements, customers crave instant

amounts of paperwork, since documents can be submitted electronically and account-to-account payments rely solely on electronic invoices and receipts. Cost-effective transaction fees and zero chargebacks are also key advantages of open banking. According to estimates, travel merchants can save up to 90 per cent on payment processing fees by using open banking over other payment methods. And, while traditional payments come with the risk of chargebacks, costing airlines and travel merchants 1.6 per cent of total revenue, open banking payments help reduce fraud and chargebacks since the customer has passed the SCA.

A FINAL THOUGHT Open banking is no longer confined to the banking sector. From gaming to travel, the adoption of open banking – or, even better, open finance – is transforming business operations, enhancing customer experiences, and driving innovation. As the benefits continue to unfold, it will reshape industries and revolutionise the way we conduct business in the digital age.



We are a financial API platform with PSD2 and open banking solutions for every business.

COMPANY: Salt Edge

Salt Edge has two main vectors of activity: enabling third parties to get access to bank channels via a unified gateway, and developing the technology necessary for banks to become compliant with the directive’s requirements. ISO 27001-certified and AISP-licensed under PSD2, we employ the highest international security measures to ensure stable and reliable connections between financial institutions and their customers. Salt Edge is integrated with more than 5,000 financial institutions in more than 50 countries. We have been named a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: Open Banking Intermediaries, 2023 report.


Open banking platform-as-a-service KEY PERSONNEL:

Stephen Winyard, Director (right) HEAD OFFICE: Ontario, Canada LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Italy, Moldova, Romania, UK TEL: (+1) 437 886 3969 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/salt-edge X: @saltedge

WHAT WE DO Open banking for every business




THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO Compass Plus Technologies reveals seven things FIs need to know about a future payments partner

Selecting a new payments processor is a complex task, made more so by the fact that, on the surface, most processors appear to cover all the bases, with very little between them other than branding and price. We can all acknowledge that the processor a financial institution (FI) decides to partner with will be instrumental to the success or failure of its payments business, and making the wrong choice can be both very expensive and time-consuming if you have to extricate yourself from it. So, what should be on a FI’s shopping list when looking to determine if a processor is the right fit?

1 Scope Whilst it is important to partner with a processor that meets an FI’s imminent requirements, the strategic fit needs to reach beyond the immediate to ensure that one set of bottlenecks isn’t being replaced by another. For example, short-term, a card issuer may seek a processor that can help it expand its product portfolio by introducing new card schemes into the mix. Mid-term, it may 30


want to introduce new payment methods such as xPays. But in the long-term, it may plan to expand into new geographies. An e-commerce acquiring business may need to extend the number of payment methods on offer, but, in the future, plan to expand to POS acquiring in order to add physical merchants to its repertoire. By selecting a universal processor with the experience, capability and flexibility to enable growth, an FI is paving the way to facilitate and future-proof its success. to market 2 Time Every processor can issue a new

card product, or set up a new merchant. However, the effort and time this takes can vary massively from processor to processor, depending on a wide variety of factors, from the agility of the underlying technology and the service delivery models on offer, down to the resources available and where an FI will sit in terms of priority in the development queue. When selecting a processor, a FI should choose one that reduces time-to-market for new products and services. It must not compromise its vision by making a choice that only offers efficient time-to-market for pre-packaged, off-the-shelf services. There is no differentiating or market-leading ‘off-the-shelf’ innovation.

3 APIs APIs are hugely important in order to integrate with systems, both internally

and externally. That said,not all APIs are created equal. The importance of understanding this fact when selecting a processor is key, as this goes beyond the connections or third-party relationships a processor already has in place. A FI making the choice to align itself with a processor that is API-first with fully functional, extensive and well-documented APIs, will sit much happier than one with pre-2000 APIs that are not really fit for purpose. This will not only ensure smooth integration with its own systems and those of existing third parties, it will also be in a position to easily integrate with new suppliers in order to seamlessly interact with any payment ecosystem participant.


FIs should seek to understand how prices are put together, what is and isn’t included and how they scale in order to make a decision that doesn’t end up costing a lot more than they bargained for

4 Experience An experienced processor can quickly anticipate and resolve issues. And the more insight it will have in terms of understanding a FI’s requirements, from initial migration, to ensuring zero disruption to day-to-day business.

SELECTING A PROCESSOR tech 5 Underlying The processor’s underlying

transparency 7 Pricing Pricing models for processing

payments platform will underpin a FI’s capability in how it runs its business now and overcome any boundaries it may bump into in the future. For a FI, system age and capability of their processor will translate into how innovative its products and services can be, how quickly a product can be launched, how vendor independent it can be, and how quickly new tech can be supported.

services vary significantly from processor to processor. Often, initial quotes don’t offer transparency in terms of associated cost dependencies and a FI can find itself veering towards selecting a processor with a lot more hidden costs than it budgeted for. At the same time, a processor that offers

models 6 Deployment The ideal processor should

offer various deployment models, including software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and hybrid, and allow a FI to switch between them to meet its changing business needs. FIs who start out on SaaS will have a natural inclination to move toward PaaS, others will be more geared toward bringing parts of their system in-house, especially those generating competitive advantages. A few FIs may opt to reverse the flow and go from licence to outsourcing, from PaaS to SaaS, depending on real-world challenges, resource availability and expertise, or as a strategic play. When it comes to service delivery models, a processor that offers a static choice between A and B or no choice at all, may not be the partner an FI wants to align its business with.

complete visibility over pricing may be struck off the list of prospects early for being too expensive, when it has taken a significantly larger number of variables into consideration. FIs should seek to understand how prices are put together, what is and isn’t included and how they scale in order to make a decision that doesn’t end up costing a lot more than they bargained for.



Compass Plus Technologies is passionate about payments technology and architecting it properly for the needs of today and tomorrow.

COMPANY: Compass Plus Technologies FOUNDED: 2005 CATEGORY: Payments KEY PERSONNEL: Maria Nottingham, MD (right) HEAD OFFICE: UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Jordan, UAE, Morocco, South Africa, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, USA, Panama, Brazil EMAIL: enquiries@compassplus TEL: +44 (0) 115 7530 120 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/compassplus-technologies X: @Compass_Plus

From startups and industry disrupters to recognised innovators and market leaders, our exceptional technology puts our customers in the driving seat and, ultimately, in control of their payment ecosystems. Together, we deliver ground-breaking and industry-leading products and services with uncontested ease and proven time-to-market.

WHAT WE DO We don’t evolve with the payments industry… we evolve the payments industry




LENDING RE-IMAGINED Welcome to the unfolding realm of Dive into the world of embedded finance, a concept that’s embedded finance and morphing the traditional veneer of financial transactions, especially discover how financial in the fintech lending sphere. analysis tools like Pulse by Embedded finance is the integration of financial services directly into a business’ Nucleus are changing products and services, via APIs. This the game in financial enables both financial and non-financial businesses to offer services like services for enterprises payments, banking, lending and 32


insurance, without building any financial infrastructure themselves. It enables fintech lenders to provide a streamlined, accessible platform for loans, right where their customers already are. This fusion is not just a boon for customers, but also a harbinger of increased revenue and fortified brand loyalty for fintech firms. At Nucleus, we’re fascinated by the progression of embedded finance, observing its impact across various levels

and its role in greater inclusiveness. Embedded finance is reshaping interactions between businesses, consumers, and financial services by integrating these services into software platforms, forming a conduit between financial institutions and users. Notably, The Fintech Times highlights that by 2026, consumer payments within embedded finance are projected to hit £2.6trillion, a substantial rise from current figures. In particular, business lending, fuelled by embedded finance, is poised to increase by a factor of five over the next half-decade, escalating from £146million in 2021 to £950million by 2026, propelled by the emergence of numerous specialist providers. These stats offer a glimpse into the future, showing that embedded finance has the potential to create a practical plan that’s already making a big difference in online lending.


Nucleus launched its data-insights dashboard Pulse to democratise the world of financial data, especially for SMEs, giving them cost-free access to transformative insights, following the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent financial challenges. Now, the Pulse platform has more than 29,495 insight reports created and a user base exceeding 7,456 contacts from more than 4,544 companies. We’ve not only facilitated funding for a myriad of businesses, but have also equipped accountants and business advisors with a tool that grants a deep dive into the financial fabric of enterprises. This ensures more refined, timely, and impactful guidance with loan applications. Pulse will be launching its pre-approved lending feature on our

It’s not just about offering loans; it’s about delivering a seamless, integrated experience that amplifies customer satisfaction, retention, and, ultimately, loyalty

EMBEDDED LENDING By embedding lending solutions within non-financial platforms, Nucleus creates a seamless avenue for businesses and consumers to access loans without jumping through the traditional hoops. Imagine purchasing a high-ticket item online and being offered a tailored financing solution right there on the spot, enhancing not only your buying experience but also your affinity with the brand. This blend of fintech lending and embedded finance is not just customer-centric but also a catalyst for lenders to widen their customer base. So, how does this fusion benefit both parties? For lending firms, embedded finance is like discovering an untapped reservoir of opportunities. It’s not just about offering loans; it’s about delivering a seamless, integrated experience that amplifies customer satisfaction, retention, and ultimately, loyalty.

dashboard in early 2024. This streamlined process means fewer hoops for both consumers and lending firms, which in turn translates into higher higher efficiency and, possibly, a better bottom line.

FUTURE POSSIBILITIES This blend of finance and embedded technology not only enhances the user experience, but also drives operational efficiencies for fintech lenders like us. As embedded finance continues to grow, lending firms who ride the wave may find themselves at the forefront of a fintech revolution, reaping the benefits of increased customer engagement and revenue streams. There have been statements made before about ‘the next big thing’ to change the financial world. But there is a genuine cause for excitement around embedded finance. The fintech firms who get this right will transform lending for the better and never look back.



Nucleus Commercial Finance stands as a hallmark of innovative fintech lending in the UK, having channelled more than £3billion to a myriad of businesses, big and small, across diverse sectors.

COMPANY: Nucleus

With a funding spectrum ranging from £3,000 to £2million, Nucleus offers an assortment of alternative financial solutions, encompassing revenue-based loans, unsecured business loans, and loans secured against property. Nucleus combines the robustness of traditional bank financing with the agility and convenience of modern alternative lending platforms. With cutting-edge technology and a friendly approach, it builds tailored financial solutions, perfectly suited to meet the unique aspirations of every business it supports. Nucleus seeks to help many more businesses access the financial support they need, making it easier for them to succeed, flourish and contribute to an economy presenting countless opportunities.

Commercial Finance


Chirag Shah, Founder & CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: London, UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Mumbai, India CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/nucleuscommercial-finance-ltdX: @Nucleus_CF

WHAT WE DO Help UK businesses thrive



How FinXP is helping emerging industries with its innovative payment solutions and business-friendly approach

Easily navigating global transactions The cross-border payments sector is undergoing unprecedented evolution, propelled by technological advances and market demand for immediacy and fluidity. Traditional models, once standard, now clash with the urgency of modern business needs, giving rise to significant friction points. Companies grapple with obstacles such as steep processing fees, regulatory bottlenecks, and vexing delays that disrupt cash flow and planning. This milieu necessitates a paradigm shift, a departure from cumbersome payment services, towards agile, transparent solutions that are in harmony with the brisk tempo of today’s enterprise environment.

CHANGING THE GAME In fintech, a revolution is underway, 34


dramatically changing how businesses handle money across borders. The old-school way of prolonged bank transfers just doesn’t fit our fast-paced world anymore. Now, it’s all about instant, or at least next-day transactions, reaching not just banks but also electronic wallets, cards, and even physical cash-out spots worldwide. Imagine the freedom this brings to enterprises and small businesses alike. But it’s not just about speed; it’s about simplicity, too. Businesses used to juggle multiple platforms for different payment types – potentially, a logistical nightmare. Now, the game-changers in fintech are offering all-in-one solutions. Through a single platform, a business can manage diverse payment options, cutting through the confusion, saving precious time,

and opening doors to wider, more inclusive commerce. This isn’t a distant dream; it’s the here and now. Businesses are rapidly adopting these versatile tools, realising that accessibility isn’t just nice to have; it’s essential. In this race, those leveraging these unified solutions are not just staying in the game, they’re leading it. In the bustling arena of financial technology, some players stand out, reshaping how things are done. One such disrupter is FinXP. Its cross-border payments platform is more than a mere tool; it’s an ally for businesses, streamlining the once-tangled process of global transactions. Its market potential speaks volumes, simplifying payouts to more than 100 countries in multiple currencies, across multiple payment channels.

F I N X P Furthermore, FinXP slashes the expenses tied to international transfers – a breath of fresh air for budget-conscious businesses. Speed is another ace up its sleeve. In a world where time is currency, its rapid transfer capability can be a life-saver.


Trailblazers in industries like blockchain and online gambling… must ensure they don’t trade integrity for innovation

WHO WE ARE FinXP is an established European payments and banking fintech that’s committed to empowering businesses to easily make and receive payments as best suits them. The company is led by a leadership team with deep experience, successfully serving highly regulated markets such as igaming, blockchain, and others. FinXP offers a portfolio of solutions, but its flagship product is IBAN4U. This is a best-in-class, dedicated Euro business account used to make and receive SEPA CT and SEPA Inst payments, as well as to collect SEPA Direct Debits. Through our proprietary online platform, users can make fast and cost-efficient cross-border payments to 100 countries in various currencies, such

In the intricate dance of global commerce, balancing innovation with regulation is critical. Especially for trailblazers in industries like blockchain, online gambling and nutraceuticals, having a deep understanding of industry developments is necessary. Companies must ensure they don’t trade integrity for profits, and this is why working with experienced minds is so important. This balancing act demands a business-friendly risk appetite, paired with an unwavering commitment to keeping abreast of regulatory frameworks. The reward can be substantial, offering payment companies the golden ticket to serve pioneers and innovators in emerging markets. The frontier of cross-border payments is brimming with potential, driven by continuous developments. As we look ahead, it’s clear that this arena will continue to evolve, marked by expanding networks that promise to unlock as USD, GBP, CHF and many others. IBAN4U, which is not dependent on intermediary banks, also comes with a physical Mastercard debit card, which can be managed via a mobile app. Beyond IBAN4U, the company offers a payment gateway for credit card processing and several alternative payment methods. Alongside these solutions, the team provides a consultative approach, allowing clients to benefit from its deep expertise in payments and banking. FinXP is an electronic money institution, licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority. Its license has been passported within the EU and EEA, and it is registered with the European Payments Council and Swift. It is also a principal member of Mastercard.

unprecedented payment corridors. Companies are not just riding the wave of change; they’re at the helm, steering towards a future where transactions are not only faster and more affordable, but also accessible in previously inconceivable ways. This trajectory points towards a world where economic borders are less restrictive, fostering a truly global marketplace where businesses, big and small, can thrive on an international scale.

THE GLOBAL IMPACT It’s evident that there’s a revolution in cross-border transactions, providing a new backbone of global commerce. Enhanced efficiency, broader accessibility, and a reduction in financial barriers are redefining how businesses operate internationally. These streamlined solutions pave the way for companies to reach new heights, accessing untapped markets and opportunities. Leaders willing to embrace these innovations are positioning themselves at the forefront of the contemporary era. As the landscape continues to evolve, the message is clear: leveraging these digital advances isn’t merely an option – it’s a strategic imperative to gaining a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.


Jens Podewski, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: Malta LOCAL PRESENCE IN:

Cyprus, Germany, Lithuania

CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/finxp X: @FinXP_official

WHAT WE DO The payments partner you can rely on THEFINTECHPOWER50


INNOVATION IN OPEN BANKING? WE’RE JUST SCRATCHING THE SURFACE! Moneyhub believes open data holds the key to improved financial wellness for individuals and businesS – and it’s on a mission to prove it In the realm of modern finance, few trends have garnered as much attention and enthusiasm as open banking. At the heart of this revolution is data – data that is pushing the boundaries of open finance, unlocking the potential of AI, and delivering tangible benefits to customers in the form of improved financial wellbeing and a seamless payment experience. Data is often referred to as the new oil, and in open banking, it plays a pivotal role in lubricating innovation and enabling financial institutions to offer more personalised and efficient services. The core offering of open banking is its ability to share a consumer’s bank and transaction data securely and efficiently between different financial institutions, such as banks, fintech companies, and payment service providers. This transparency of data 36


is opening up a treasure trove of opportunities for fintechs. One of the most significant ways that data is transforming open banking is by enabling a holistic view of a customer’s financial life. Traditionally, banks had limited access to a customer’s financial data, restricted to the accounts held within that financial institution. Open banking supports the consolidation of data from many sources, offering a complete overview of a customer’s income, outgoings, savings, and investment portfolio. This wealth of information can empower providers to offer tailored guidance, personalised product recommendations, and more accurate risk assessments. What’s more, data-driven insights enable providers to develop predictive models that can help customers better manage their finances. For example, by analysing a customer’s spending

patterns and income fluctuations, AI algorithms can anticipate when they might face financial challenges, such as overspending or struggling to cover bills. This foresight enables banks to proactively offer solutions, such as budgeting tips or short-term loans, to help customers navigate these challenges and improve their financial wellbeing.

UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF AI IN OPEN BANKING While data is the fuel that powers open banking, artificial intelligence (AI) is the engine that drives innovation and efficiency. AI algorithms can process vast amounts of banking data, such as spending habits, quickly and accurately, making it possible to extract valuable insights and deliver hyper-personalised services at scale. One area where AI is making a significant impact is fraud detection

MONEYHUB and prevention. With access to real-time transaction data from various sources, AI algorithms can detect suspicious activities and anomalies more effectively than traditional rule-based systems. This means that customers can enjoy enhanced security and protection against fraudulent transactions, ultimately increasing their confidence in open banking services. Another exciting application of AI in open banking is the development of virtual financial assistants. These AI-powered bots can help customers manage their finances, answer inquiries, and execute transactions seamlessly. By analysing a customer’s financial data, these assistants can provide personalised guidance and nudges on budgeting, saving, and investing, making it easier for the customer to feel more in control of their finances. Furthermore, AI-driven credit scoring is changing the way financial institutions evaluate creditworthiness. Instead of relying solely on credit history, AI algorithms consider a broader range of factors, such as transaction data and social behaviour, to assess an individual’s credit risk. This more holistic approach allows for fairer lending decisions and expands access to credit for individuals who may have been overlooked by traditional credit scoring methods.

THE CUSTOMER BENEFITS The true measure of open banking’s success lies in the tangible benefits it offers to consumers. By providing customers with a complete view of their finances and leveraging AI to offer personalised advice, open banking empowers individuals to make informed financial decisions. Variable recurring payments (VRPs) are a prime example of how open banking can improve financial wellbeing. VRPs enable customers to set up flexible, recurring payments for variable expenses like utility bills, subscriptions, or loan repayments. Customers are able to optimise these payments, based on their income and spending patterns. For example, someone paid weekly

might want to also budget for utility bills weekly. This reduces the risk of missed payments and late fees, contributing to overall financial stability. Smart money management tools are another valuable asset that is enabled by open banking. These tools leverage transaction data and AI to categorise spending, track expenses, and create personalised budgets. Customers can gain a clear understanding of their financial habits, identify areas where they

Open banking represents a seismic shift in the financial industry with the potential to continue delivering profound benefits to customers can save, and set achievable financial goals. This proactive approach to financial management fosters a sense of control and empowerment, ultimately leading to improved financial wellbeing.

WHO WE ARE Moneyhub is a data, intelligence, and payments company that develops ISO 27001 certified software for open banking, open finance, and open data applications. Its open data platform, which is regulated by UK Financial Conduct Authority, it enables companies to quickly and easily transform data into personalised digital experiences and initiate payments. The Moneyhub APIs and fully customisable platform provide data aggregation, insights, notification nudges, and payment systems, giving clients the consent-driven data and analytics they need to create super-personalised offers, products, and services. Hundreds of organisations, from finance to media and retail, rely on the award-winning technology. Moneyhub has been shaping open finance since 2014 when a group of developers, financial experts, and optimists who share a vision for improving the financial wellness of

Open banking payments offer unparalleled convenience and security. Customers can initiate payments directly from their bank accounts, eliminating the need for card numbers to be disclosed or stored online. Open banking payments are also simplifying the payment process for businesses, ensuring faster settlement at lower cost while also reducing the risk of fraud. With the advent of biometric phone authentication methods, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, the security of open banking payments is reaching new heights. Open banking has so much more to offer. It represents a seismic shift in the financial industry with the potential to continue delivering profound benefits to customers. As open banking evolves, we are only scratching the surface of its potential. The future promises even greater innovation, improved financial wellbeing, and a seamless payment experience for consumers worldwide. The journey has begun, and the best is yet to come. people, their businesses, and their communities, came together to change how the industry used and viewed data. Its proprietary personal financial solutions, including for pensions, savings and investments, and banking, now reach more than 40 million people through distribution partners.

AT A GLANCE COMPANY: Moneyhub FOUNDED: 2014 CATEGORY: Open finance KEY PERSONNEL: Samantha Seaton, CEO (right) HEADOFFICE: Bristol, UK CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/ moneyhub-enterprise X: @MoneyhubEnterpr

WHAT WE DO Open data. Open possibilities THEFINTECHPOWER50



Preventing payments headaches with up-front identification of sanctioned banks reduces repairs and costly failures, saves time and improves straight-through processing rates The global risk landscape has never been more complex. With the war in Ukraine triggering a wave of sanctions against Russia, sanctions activity reached record heights in the first half of 2022. Lists maintained by the four key regulators – the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the US, and the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) in the UK, changed constantly, with entities added, deleted and modified at an unprecedented pace. Although the number of updates for the first half of 2023 was down by 31 per cent, sanctions activity remains at historic highs, and that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. All this activity puts pressure on firms to find new and better ways to safeguard the payment process. Banks and other organisations conduct sanctions screening to comply with anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations. While sanctions change constantly, the regulatory requirement to screen for sanctions remains steadfast. Doing business with a sanctioned bank or other

sanctioned entity puts every participant in the payments chain at risk. Keeping pace with ongoing changes to sanctions lists is a considerable challenge for all organisations, but the cost of non-compliance is steep. Globally, sanctions violations and anti-money laundering and know-your-customer (KYC) compliance issues cost financial institutions nearly $5billion in 2022, according to the Financial Times. That’s a 50 per cent increase over the previous year. Although the initial sting of a fine or financial penalty for non-compliance may be painful – and trigger increased regulatory scrutiny and onerous ongoing audits – the reputational damage caused by such a lapse can be even more detrimental and long-lasting. Automation that identifies sanctions early saves time and improves customer experience. Screening for sanctions early in the payments process provides an important layer of defence that strengthens compliance, saves time, and reduces friction for the customer.


delays, organisations should consider technology that provides greater control over sanctions screening earlier in the payment process. Several technology solutions are available to instantly validate customer-entered account details to ensure payments are routed to the correct account holder. They typically alert the payer in the event of an error, so changes can be made before the payment is sent to the bank. However, these systems do not check for sanctioned banks. Screening for sanctioned banks before initiating payment to the payee offers numerous benefits to all participants in the payments chain. In addition to reducing repairs and costly failed payments, saving time, and improving straight-through processing rates, early sanctions screening provides a smoother customer experience with fewer processing delays. Most importantly, early screening delivers an additional layer of security that strengthens compliance. When combined with accurate, up-to-date data, early screening also enables organisations to automate payments with confidence.

To keep pace with changing sanctions, ensure compliance, and prevent payment




At most organisations, the payments process from sender (‘payer’) to recipient (‘payee’) leaves the sanctions ‘door’ constantly open, exposing banks, payment service providers (PSPs) and businesses to risk when sending or receiving payments. Typically, the payer organisation checks customer-entered information against payments data requirements (e.g. bank name, IBAN number) and corrects errors before the payment is initiated. Screening for sanctions occurs later in the payments process – after the validated payment is sent to the bank. If the bank then identifies a sanctioned entity, the payment cannot be executed and is returned to the payer for further action, slowing the payments process.


Globally, sanctions violations and anti-money laundering and know your customer compliance issues cost financial institutions nearly $5billion in 2022 By contrast, the new technology identifies the sanctioned entity before the payment leaves the payer, saving time and expense. This improved process benefits all participants in the payments chain: ■ Banks can offer an improved customer/remitter experience by incorporating sanctioned bank warnings into payments channels, such as mobile banking. Earlier detection reduces the burden on operations professionals who would otherwise need to remediate alerts and manage customer frustration when funds sent to sanctioned banks are quarantined. ■ PSPs can avoid returned payments by warning customers in real time that the bank they plan to send money to is sanctioned. ■ Corporates can perform real-time screening before sending payment instructions, which reduces the likelihood of blocked payments and subsequent costly operational corrections.

In 2020, an estimated $118.5billion was lost to failed payments globally. But it is not just lost revenue that is concerning. Failed payments negatively impact the customer experience and can threaten the entire relationship. With more than 70 per cent of organisations indicating that they are not satisfied with their payment failure rate, it’s not surprising that reducing failed payments and boosting straight-through processing are a high priority.

LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY LexisNexis® Bankers Almanac® Validate™ has recently added sanctions screening to its arsenal. In addition to instantly verifying domestic and international payment information and driving automation wherever it is needed in the payments flow, organisations can now also see if the bank to be paid is sanctioned – empowering organisations and their customers to cease payment at the point of initiation. With data updated daily from OFAC, EU and UN sanctions lists, organisations

can reliably increase compliance posture in a way that complements existing financial crime compliance controls and improves customer experience.

LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE The brisk sanctions activity that we have seen over these past 18 months may very well be the new normal. Taking steps now to ensure payment systems and processes can meet the demands of this challenging, evolving landscape with its changing political pressures and increasingly complex regulation makes smart business sense. Screening solutions that enable organisations to instantly check for sanctioned banks before they initiate payment to the payee, offer an early line of defence by preemptively identifying sanctions risk in the payments flow, all while improving customer experience.



LexisNexis® Risk Solutions includes seven brands that span multiple industries and sectors. We harness the power of data, sophisticated analytics platforms and technology solutions to provide insights that help businesses and government entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe.


Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. Our suite of payments solutions drives efficiencies in domestic and international payments processes and enable safer, faster and cost-effective payments journeys.

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions


Data analytics


Ed Metzger, VP, Market Planning Payments Efficiency (right) HEAD OFFICE: US LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Global CONTACT: global/en/contact-us WEBSITE: global/en/financial-services/ payments-efficiency LINKEDIN: company/lexisnexisrisk-solutions

WHAT WE DO We believe in the power of data and advanced analytics THEFINTECHPOWER50




pace with the instant economy,

Lena Hackelöer, they need fast, affordable, effortless, Founder & CEO of instant and secure payment processes. The is, what payment system payments provider Brite question is built for the digital age? I believe Payments, believes that open banking is the answer. open banking is on OPEN BANKING PAYMENTS 2.0? the cusp of a new era The industry is now looking closely While the world of payments has changed considerably over the past decade, there are areas that still require significant improvement. In fact, some of the underlying rails and infrastructure supporting different payment systems are beginning to look decidedly outdated. To be fair, they weren’t built with our digital age in mind, but the result is operational inefficiencies, unnecessary operational costs, the proliferation of fraud, and delayed transaction settlements. While it is merchants and businesses that are acutely aware of these issues, consumers also suffer from the knock-on effects. Their expectations have changed. For payments to keep



at the most recent iteration of the Payment Services Directive (PSD3), which underpins open banking in Europe – the first revision since PSD2 brought open banking into existence in 2018. And a report by the Financial Conduct Authority’s Joint Regulatory Oversight Committee has now also indicated the direction of travel for open banking in the UK. While PSD3 and the accompanying Payment Services Regulation (PSR) have been called evolution rather than revolution, I believe that we stand on the cusp of a new era of open banking. We’ve seen open banking payments emerge as one of the most compelling and practical use cases for this framework, and forthcoming regulatory changes should ensure a dynamic competitive landscape that sets the

scene for genuine innovation. Now, we will see open banking payments come to the fore and go further in addressing the long-standing infrastructure challenges that affect modern transactions. Regulatory evolution is also accompanied by broader macro trends that put open banking payments in the spotlight. Businesses are dealing with inflation, rising expenses, and tight margins – any inefficiencies in payment processes, or unnecessarily high transaction fees, can significantly impact the bottom line. As a result,


We’ve seen open banking payments emerge as one of the most compelling and practical use cases for the open banking framework modern account-to-account (A2A) payments that are processed through open banking are attracting interest from a wide range of businesses. These allow end consumers to pay

straight from their bank account, eliminating the need for physical cards and manual data input, while offering a more seamless customer experience. In the case of Brite, open banking is also used to deliver instant A2A payments, which offers further benefits to both merchants and consumers. However, for all the benefits that open banking-based A2A payments offer, businesses need solutions that reduce payments complexity and are easy to integrate. While traditional open banking payments (i.e. payment initiation services or PIS) were focussed

on cost reduction, we’re seeing growing interest in more complete offerings that give merchants end-to-end payments visibility as well as value-added services like merchant FX. It is these solutions that will come to the fore as open banking payments 2.0 emerges. Take for example the Brite Instant Payments Network (IPN), our own proprietary network, which has been built to give merchants and businesses a complete, out-of-the-box instant payments and payouts solution. We are convinced that this approach gives us greater independence to

their bank’s usual identification method. The company currently operates across Brite Payments is a 25 markets in Europe and is connected second-generation fintech, based in to more than 3,800 banks within the EU. Stockholm. As an instant payments


provider, it leverages open banking technology to process account-to-account (A2A) payments in real time between consumers and online merchants. With Brite, no signup or credit card details are required as consumers authenticate themselves with top-of-mind details, using

WHAT WE DO Faster, smarter, more secure payments

develop innovative offerings and ensure the level of services that is needed for open banking payments to become mainstream.

CHANGE IS COMING Payments have been the cornerstone of the fintech sector for some time. Open banking has given it the foundation to build payment solutions for the digital age. It’s now up to providers like us to deliver. We couldn’t be more excited to lead the change and ensure that open banking payments can truly shine.


Brite Payments FOUNDED: 2019 CATEGORY: Open banking payments KEY PERSONNEL: Lena Hackelöer, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: Stockholm, Sweden LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Germany, Spain CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/brite-payments





Theodora Lau on why we need urgent conversations around a technology that will help define us There is no doubt in my mind that artificial intelligence (AI) is, and will be, a gamechanger in many ways. It is already embedded in many aspects of our daily lives, and we are merely scratching the surface in terms of what this powerful technology can do. From financial services, healthcare and customer care, to sustainability, manufacturing, media, and beyond, AI has changed how we live and work. Think about the crucial role it’s played in vaccine development in recent years, or in financial services, from analysis and underwriting to conversational finance. And, of course, we cannot talk about AI without mentioning text-to-image generators, such as ChatGPT, which have captured everyone’s attention and triggered debates around copyright and content ownership. Skyrocketing interest in generative AI startups have fuelled funding frenzies and an arms race in the tech sector. Unicorns have ensued. But at what cost?

ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY It can be said that AI is a privilege in the age of abundance. Think about the scale it needs to operate, the sheer amount of data – along with resources in the form of GPUs, clean water, and energy – that it takes to run. According to an estimate by Alex De Vries, PhD candidate at the VU Amsterdam School of Business and Economics, AI servers could use between 85 to 134 terawatt hours annually by 2027. That’s similar to what the Netherlands consumes 42


in one year, and it’s 0.5 per cent of the world’s current electricity use, potentially boosting carbon emissions. Such energy-intensive servers also require an enormous amount of clean water to cool them. While there are no estimates on total water use, Microsoft, the tech giant that has invested heavily in AI, gives us an idea of what those stats might look like. According to Microsoft’s latest sustainability report, its water consumption increased by 34 per cent between 2021 and 2022 to 6.4 million cubic meters, the equivalent of 2,500 Olympic swimming pools. In addition to AI’s negative impact on the environment, there are also mounting concerns around deep fakes and misinformation. As generative models become more advanced, differentiating between what is real and what is fake becomes harder. And what about access? Many of these advanced AI tools are not useful to the billions of people in the Global South who don’t work in western languages. Are we driving a bigger digital divide and increasing, yet again, economic inequality between the haves and have-nots? So, at the intersection of people, planet, and profit, can we create a new future together where we can all thrive? To harness AI’s full potential and to increase adoption, we must instill trust in the technology with proper guardrails in place. Left unchecked, black box algorithms and biased data can pose significant harms, especially to underrepresented demographics. It’s one thing to give a wrong recommendation for a book; it is another to give a false

credit decision. And imagine the sheer power resting in the hands of a few tech billionaires who believe that technology, and technology alone, is the answer to all the challenges that we face in a very human world; one in which tech ethics and trust and safety are deemed bad ideas. The immediate and present dangers are not existential risks or whether AI will become aware. Rather, it’s about how humans are designing and deploying the technology, the outcomes and the harms that can be done to people. As we navigate towards an uncertain future, we must learn from the roads travelled, and keep humans at the center of everything we do. We cannot leave our future to machines – and we cannot leave the power of AI concentrated in the hands of a few. I hope our ability to listen, empathise and care, will guide us towards responsible and inclusive innovation. Ethical AI is simply non-negotiable.

AT A GLANCE Theodora Lau is the founder of Unconventional Ventures, a public speaker, and an advisor. She co-authored The Metaverse Economy (2023) and Beyond Good (2021), and hosts the One Vision podcast. Her FinTech Futures column explores the intersection of FS, tech, and humanity. American Banker named her one of 2023’s Most Influential Women in FinTech. WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: in/theodoralau/ X: @psb_dc


Jim Marous on the AI-driven equation that will ensure successful engagement Emerging generative AI capabilities like ChatGPT are poised to transform personalised marketing, service and engagement opportunities for financial institutions of all sizes. But to capitalise on its potential, financial institutions must leverage internal and external data, build new communications platforms and processes and democratise insights across entire organisations. The current application of AI in the financial realm includes chatbots for enhanced customer service, robo-advisors for investment management, and nuanced algorithms for fraud detection. These models are adept at understanding nuanced context, mastering user preferences, and producing content that illustrates empathy with consumers. Generative AI (GenAI) represents the next revolutionary step. It brings with it the capacity to not merely analyse, but also to generate predictive models, simulate economic outcomes, and craft personalised financial content that can improve financial wellness for customers. In the foreseeable future, we can expect GenAI to craft hyper-personalised financial products and service models designed around individual risk appetites and financial aspirations, to simulate complex economic situations for better decision-making, and to offer recommendations that reflect real-time scenarios.

Personalisation at scale Historically, personalisation in financial services has been a sought-after goal that is infrequently deployed. The introduction of generative AI promises to push this

concept into a new realm of individualised customer experiences and engagement, but at scale and across all interactions. This unprecedented level of customisation will not only cement customer loyalty but also significantly enhance the efficacy of financial advice and products on offer, shifting the nature of customer engagement from being merely transactional to deeply relational. It has the potential to revolutionise behavioural finance by analysing a blend of transactional and behavioural data, offering tailored financial education, and providing real-time insights into one’s financial health with recommendations that can adjust to changes in a user’s financial journey. Unlike rigid chatbots, generative AI can sustain free-flowing, adaptive conversations. Its deep-learning models allow conversational responses versus following scripts. By processing individual data, such as past conversations and account history, generative AI can understand context and craft customised replies to each customer. This represents a paradigm shift in engagement. In addition, the ability to deliver personalisation at scale will significantly improve back-office efficiencies and improve both loyalty and revenue.

Challenges and considerations The potential of generative AI is vast, yet it comes with a constellation of ethical, regulatory and security challenges. The ethical use of personal data to train AI models must be conscientiously balanced against privacy concerns. In addition, the data that powers AI must be free of biases to avoid perpetuating inequalities. Regulatory compliance remains a top priority as the decision-making capabilities of AI expand. The AI systems must operate within the bounds of

financial regulations, necessitating continuous oversight. Moreover, the security of these AI systems is paramount, with stringent measures needed to protect against data breaches and ensure the integrity of AI-driven processes. But the reward for managing the privacy of data will be increased loyalty and customer willingness to share more insight with the financial institution.

The sweetspot of engagement Generative AI enables revolutionary capabilities for personalised marketing, service and product development, but human engagement remains crucial. Complex financial decisions often require deep rapport, trust and nuanced counselling. Human advisors can read between the lines of what customers say to discern unspoken needs. A reassuring human touch builds confidence, especially during turbulent times, while GenAI can process vast data to identify unique needs and deliver hyper-relevant recommendations programmatically. By combining the compassion and counsel of people with the scale and speed of generative AI, financial institutions can form more profound personalised connections. This hybrid model, balancing digital capabilities with human values, represents the pinnacle of financial engagement.

AT A GLANCE A leading fintech influencer, Jim Marous is co-publisher of The Financial Brand and owner and publisher of the Digital Banking Report. He is also host of the Banking Transformed podcast. WEBSITE: X: @JimMarous THEFINTECHPOWER50


CLICK &CONNECT: THE NEW ECONOMY According to Minna’s research, three in four consumers want to manage all their subscriptions in one app, and one in three would consider switching bank accounts for this functionality. A typical day for a consumer might look like this: streaming music on Spotify while commuting, using cloud-based software like Microsoft or Adobe for work, listening to an audiobook on Audible at lunchtime, attending a ClassPass yoga class and then getting an Uber to meet a friend for drinks before going home, ordering food on Deliveroo and binging on a box set on Netflix, while purchasing an item for next-day delivery via Amazon Prime. Growing exponentially during and after the pandemic, subscriptions are ubiquitous. Their attraction is both psychological and lifestyle-based – the lack of long-term commitment, 44


As consumption patterns change, Minna Technologies helps banks, fintechs and subscription businesses empower subscribers the perceived affordability of paying in smaller monthly instalments and flexible access to products and services. In fact, research from Minna Technologies found that 50 per cent of consumers say that subscriptions enable them to access products, services and a lifestyle that they otherwise would not have, and 63 per cent would rather pay more per month cumulatively than a lower annual fee for subscriptions. Visa, meanwhile, estimates the global subscription economy to be worth $650billion.

The appeal to businesses is equally strong. Businesses have adopted recurring revenue models and diversified their revenue streams. Publishers have repositioned themselves as content and engagement-driven media companies. Wine appears on doorsteps via monthly subscription boxes, and luxury and lifestyle brands have become affordable and accessible through Rent-the-Runway and beauty boxes, demonstrating a clear transition from ownership to access.

CHANGING PREFERENCES AND REGULATIONS However, consumer expectations and behaviour are changing. The rising cost of living is prompting consumers to reevaluate their subscription spend. Consumers expect control, one-click convenience and a seamless customer experience. Gen Z and millennials are driving a seismic shift in how consumers engage

M I N N A T E C H N O LO G I E S with brands. They expect control, flexibility and self-serve, enhanced user experience, personalisation, value and transparency. Twenty-five to 35-year-olds have the most subscriptions, with 22 per cent having seven or more. They regularly churn and return, compelled by new content and offers. So, how are financial providers impacted by this? Banks today face the challenge of deepening and sustaining engagement and value. Customers often have multiple bank accounts and consolidate their recurring payments in the account offering the best in-app features and functionality. Neobanks enable seamless account set-up and onboarding within minutes, removing traditional barriers to switching accounts. Global businesses predict changing consumer preferences and regulations will impact profitability. Regulatory developments focus on enhanced subscription transparency and protection for consumers, including the US Federal Trade Commission’s proposed ‘click-to-cancel’ provision.

EMPOWERING CONSUMERS; SOLVING BUSINESS PROBLEMS The Swedish founders of global fintech scale-up Minna Technologies identified an opportunity to embed subscription management in banking and fintech apps, a high-trust and high-volume channel where consumers already track their daily spend and recurring payments. Minna’s single API connects banks, fintechs and subscription businesses with subscribers, empowering consumers with control, choice and convenience. Customers can view and manage all their subscriptions and recurring payments in-app. Backed by Visa and venture capital firms Element Ventures, Middlegame Ventures, Zenith Capital and Nineyards Equity, Minna partners with top-tier banks, fintechs and subscription businesses across the US, UK and Europe, reaching more than 50 million users. It helps banks and fintechs increase revenue, reduce operational and dispute costs, and drive customer engagement and lifetime value. Minna enables subscription businesses to acquire, retain

and win back customers by allowing users to pause subscriptions, change their plans, receive offers, cancel and resubscribe. Minna’s global subscription business data and insights power its automated solution behind the scenes. Minna also commissions proprietary research to stay ahead of business and consumer sentiment, trends and developments, including reports in partnership with FT Strategies and Savanta. Their joint report, Subscription Economy: Business Barometer, features analysis of a survey of more than 100 senior


macroeconomic challenges and evolving subscriber behaviour and expectations, it is critical for decision-makers to be equipped with relevant data, actionable insights and incisive analysis to inform effective strategies and tactics for retention, acquisition and growth.” According to Minna’s research in Subscription Economy: A Transformed World, three in four consumers want to manage all their subscriptions in one app. Younger generations, especially Gen Z and millennials, prefer to manage them in their banking app. One in two consumers aged 18-44 – and one in three across all age groups – would consider switching bank accounts for this functionality.

25 to 35-year-olds have the most subscriptions, with 22 per FUTURE OF THE cent having seven or more. SUBSCRIPTION ECONOMY global challenges, the future They regularly churn and Despite outlook is promising. Banks and fintechs return, compelled by are supporting consumers with financial intelligence, guidance and digital new content and offers US and UK subscription business executives on trends, performance metrics and strategies. Amanda Mesler, Chair and CEO of Minna, says: “As businesses face global

tools. Businesses can leverage deep customer data, insights and technology, including predictive analytics and AI, for enhanced personalisation. Together, they can provide flexibility, control and long-term value and engagement.



Minna Technologies is the global market leader for subscription management embedded in banking and fintech apps, partnering with top-tier banks, fintechs and subscription businesses.


Minna is the only B2B2C platform with an automated, full-lifecycle subscription management engine, bank-grade compliance and the widest global subscriptions and payments coverage. We fuel the global subscription economy, helping businesses grow revenue, reduce operational costs, and drive engagement, retention and lifetime value for more than 50 million users worldwide.

Minna Technologies


Subscription management KEY PERSONNEL:

Amanda Mesler, Chair and CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: Sweden LOCAL PRESENCE IN:

UK, US, Romania and India CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/ minna-technologies X: minnatech

WHAT WE DO One API to fuel the subscription economy THEFINTECHPOWER50



TAILORING WEALTHTECH FOR SUCCESS Velexa, the investing platform-as-a-service, looks at what financial institutions should consider when choosing a wealthtech partner Out-of-the-box solutions in embedded finance are being promoted as fast to integrate and cost-effective. And perhaps they are. But the long-term benefits of working with a more customisable solution will outweigh speed and improve the satisfaction of end users, particularly in the high-trust environment inhabited by funds and wealth management firms. A one-size-fits-all solution here may not be optimal for every bank or financial services provider. Customisation, on the other hand, can enable them to integrate an embedded finance solution seamlessly into their existing systems, as well as to tailor the user experience to their particular customer base. Customisation always offers a more seamless experience than clunky out-of-the-box solutions, allowing for high adoption and conversion for



new products. For example, a neobank that serves a predominantly young, tech-savvy demographic may want to offer a mobile-first user experience, while an incumbent bank that serves an older, more traditional customer base might wish to emphasise investing education and goal-oriented investing. Customisation can allow for adjustments like these to be made.

BETTER CONTROL OVER CUSTOMER DATA Out-of-the-box providers may require access to a large amount of customer data in order to provide their services, which can raise privacy concerns. Customisable providers, on the other hand, can work with the bank to ensure that customer data is handled securely and that only the necessary data is shared. This can help build trust with customers, who are increasingly concerned about data privacy and security. In fact, Velexa offers an undisclosed model that allows the client to own all the customer data.

ABILITY TO INNOVATE AND DIFFERENTIATE To set yourself apart from competitors, you need to build something different. With a customisable tech platform, a financial services provider can build

unique propositions that set it apart from other players that may be using an out-of-the-box solution. For example, a bank may want to offer a rewards programme that is tied to certain purchases made through an embedded finance solution, or there might be a focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing for a certain demographic. Customisable solutions tend to pay attention to innovative features, and clients will be able to access new functionalities sooner.

FLEXIBILITY TO GROW Out-of-the-box providers may have strict requirements for how their services can be integrated, which can limit the bank’s options. Customisable providers, on the other hand, can work with the bank to find the best solution for their needs. With Velexa, you may start with an easy API integration, but we can collaboratively grow the investing platform functionalities as you better understand your customers’ needs. This can allow a bank to offer a wider range of services, or to integrate the embedded finance solution in a way that is more seamless and convenient for customers.

WHO WE ARE Velexa focusses on democratising the wealth management industry.

THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF RETAIL INVESTING Despite the work needed to build the necessary digital services and channels to serve the retail market, established funds and wealth management firms have at least one significant advantage over startups: decades’ worth of powerful relationships with incumbents and large institutional investors, built on mutual trust. Funds and wealth management firms can leverage these relationships to market their product broadly. Meanwhile, Velexa provides a ‘plug and play’ solution for firms at every level to immediately start offering retail investors a white-labelled, comprehensive, and differentiated range of products. The Velexa solution


Listed among the world’s 100 most innovative wealthtechs by Fintech Global in 2022 and 2023, Velexa delivers a full front-to-back investing platform, ranging from brandable front-end solutions to market connectivity and trade execution. Velexa’s B2B2X platform empowers banks, neo-banks, private banks, brokers, and disruptive players to launch investing services, digitise end-user experience, broaden access to different financial assets, and overcome constraints of in-house legacy systems – all in a matter of weeks. can be implemented incrementally through Velexa’s Investing API or as a full-scale customer-centric service. The Velexa platform offers simple access to more than 600,000 financial instruments across more than 50 markets. It supports a variety of assets and offers flexibility with a 24/7 operational model. Velexa also has built-in customer privacy and tested security protocols. While there may be some additional costs and complexity associated with working with a customisable provider, these are likely outweighed by the benefits for banks of being able to offer customers a seamless and convenient user experience, while also maintaining control over their own data.




Tamara Kostova, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: London, UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN:

Bulgaria, Latvia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, UAE WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/velexa

WHAT WE DO On a mission to make investing accessible for everyone

With a customisable tech platform, a financial service provider can build unique propositions that set it apart from other players that may be using an out-of-the-box solution




BANKING ON A GREENER Banks are not just well-placed to help us all reduce our carbon footprint – customers are demanding it, says Cogo After another year of record-breaking climate and extreme weather, people are increasingly worried about the environmental crisis facing our planet. Research shows that 80 per cent are willing to change their lifestyles to combat the effects of global warming. However, the number taking climate action is much lower. There is an intention/action gap, which is fuelled by a lack of carbon literacy. Perhaps that’s not surprising. The climate change landscape is complex, and without clear information about the environmental impact of their actions, people don’t know where to start. Banks play an important role here in helping educate customers about the environmental impact of their spending.

WHERE BANKS CAN HELP Banks possess customers’ personal financial data, so they are well-positioned to provide their real-time carbon footprints, based on individual spending patterns. They can also provide personalised incentives and rewards that help motivate and mobilise customers to change their behaviour. Although these might seem like small changes, when multiplied across an entire 48


customer base, they can accumulate to substantial carbon and cost savings. We’ve seen with our banking clients that active users of our carbon tracker have saved an average of 65kg of CO2e per month by committing to sustainable behaviour changes, like composting, reducing meat consumption or switching utility providers. Added together, the potential carbon saving is huge. There’s a significant business case for banks, too. Sending personalised climate actions and nudges to users increases engagement, and we have seen dwell times per customer visit exceed four minutes. This translates into higher levels of customer loyalty, which is evident in the 14+ NPS lift for clients using Cogo’s carbon tracker. Once banks engage active customers and qualify their customer base, they can then seamlessly launch embedded, low-carbon financing products at the point of need. This could include EV loans, green mortgages or home energy retrofit propositions.

In a recent study by McKinsey, 64 per cent of consumers said they were more likely to respond to an offer from a bank on installing solar panels, compared to working directly with the supplier. Consumers trust banks to provide them with advice and financial analysis, and banks can leverage this to promote more sustainable purchasing behaviour.


Sending personalised climate actions and nudges to users increases engagement. We have seen dwell times per customer visit exceed four minutes

The rise of conscious consumers is driving a surge in demand for banks to actively address climate change in ways like this. Our research shows that seven in 10 customers want their banks to take climate action, and a recent report by Mambu found that 70 per cent of global customers would choose a bank that puts purpose over profit. Banks that fail to act on climate risk losing customers during the ongoing shift toward sustainability. However, it’s important to select the right partner for such initiatives. Many carbon footprinting solutions offer only basic calculator functionality. Cogo, on the other hand, employs cutting-edge behavioural science techniques to steer customers toward more sustainable decisions, actively engage users, and, ultimately, produce carbon and cost savings. We are on a mission to develop strategic partnerships with value-aligned banks that want to drive action, impact, and sustainable returns. So, this is a call to action to step up and lead the way for people and the planet. Will you join us?



Cogo provides spend-based carbon management products, helping individuals and businesses to measure, understand and reduce their impact on the climate.


It does this through partnerships with some of the world’s largest banks to integrate leading carbon-tracking functionality into their mobile banking apps. Cogo uses best-in-class models to accurately measure carbon emissions specific to local markets and behavioural science techniques to nudge customers to make more sustainable choices. It currently works with 20 leading banks, with plans to double this in the next 12 months. Founded in 2016, Cogo operates in 12 countries across Europe, Australasia and North America (including the UK, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Canada).


FOUNDED: 2016 CATEGORY: Carbon management KEY PERSONNEL:

Ben Gleisner, Founder & Global CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: UK/New Zealand LOCAL PRESENCE IN: New Zealand CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/ cogo-connecting-good X: @cogohq

WHAT WE DO The carbon management expert



ACCESS In today’s increasingly digital world, the concept of financial inclusion has taken centre stage as a fundamental pillar of a thriving economy. Financial inclusion is about ensuring that all individuals and businesses, regardless of their economic background or location, have access to essential financial services. But it goes further than that: a financially inclusive ecosystem offers a multitude of benefits, including enhanced economic growth, poverty alleviation, and a more equitable distribution of prosperity. And it’s in this context that open banking emerges as a powerful catalyst for a more inclusive financial system, reaching individuals and businesses that traditional banking systems have left underserved or even excluded, due to their stringent credit assessment criteria and limited outreach. 50



Lord Chris Holmes, Adviser to Ecospend, looks at how open banking can unlock financial inclusion HOW DOES OPEN BANKING PROMOTE INCLUSION? Traditional banking systems heavily rely on credit history as a primary factor in assessing creditworthiness. However, this approach often leaves those without a well-established credit history in a financial limbo, making access to credit a Herculean task. Open banking disrupts this traditional narrative by enabling lenders to assess creditworthiness that is based on a broader spectrum of data points.

Income, spending patterns, and timely repayments are all taken into account. As a result, the pool of eligible borrowers expands considerably, encompassing those who were previously considered too risky by traditional banks. The benefits of this inclusive approach extend beyond individuals to small businesses and entrepreneurs. This newfound access to funding opportunities acts as a catalyst for their growth and an enabler of their contributions to the broader economy. Moreover, the efficiency of open banking is a game-changer. Through open banking’s APIs, financial data can be securely shared between different financial institutions and third-party service providers, which not only speeds up the lending process but also renders it more efficient and convenient. What might have taken a 40-minute telephone

ECOSPEND conversation can now be accomplished with the click of a button. Moreover, open banking’s reach extends beyond lenders to organisations such as housing associations, utility companies, and telecommunication providers. These entities can now assess customer affordability swiftly and securely. This translates to more customers gaining access to their services with greater confidence in their creditworthiness.

ENHANCED USER EXPERIENCE AND TRUST It’s no secret that a seamless and secure payment journey greatly enhances customer satisfaction. The beauty of open banking lies in its simplicity and efficiency. With open banking, the entire process of transferring funds, making payments, and receiving refunds has been streamlined. Customers no longer need to laboriously input card details, significantly reducing the chances of drop-offs at the checkout stage. After making a purchase, the refund process is equally hassle-free, with the money flowing directly back into the user’s account.


Open banking is a global phenomenon with far-reaching implications. A force for change, it plays a pivotal role in advancing financial inclusion on a worldwide scale Meanwhile, open banking’s security measures alleviate concerns about personal data protection. In the realm of financial transactions, trust is paramount, as it encourages more people to actively participate in the digital economy, free from apprehensions about the safety of their financial information.

REDUCING COSTS: A BOON FOR ALL The financial landscape is dynamic, and every element of cost efficiency counts. Open banking offers an elegant solution by removing the middle-man from the payment process. The result?

Complexity is significantly reduced for every transaction. This is a particularly significant development for individuals and small businesses, especially considering the financial pressures of recent years. In a world where every penny counts, open banking’s cost-reduction potential is nothing short of transformative. And that has ripple effects in fostering a more competitive environment within the financial sector. It opens the door for new players, notably fintech startups, to enter the arena. This increased competition stimulates innovation, driving the development of innovative products and services that are tailor-made for the needs of underserved populations. Importantly, it forces down the cost of financial services, a development that stands to benefit businesses and consumers alike. Reduced costs can be passed on to

WHO WE ARE Ecospend (a Trustly company) is the UK’s market-leading provider of open banking payments – a payment initiation services provider (PISP) – enabling direct account-to-account transactions without incurring unnecessary transaction costs, while bypassing legacy systems for an instant settlement of funds. Since 2023, it has also expanded its account information services (AIS), focussing on the development of open banking solutions for credit worthiness, fraud prevention and other relevant use cases. As the sole open banking provider to HMRC and other UK government departments, Ecospend’s acclaimed Pay By Bank solution has facilitated payments nearing £20billion across its client portfolio – a clear market record – and it has become the UK’s cross-sector favourite in delivering direct and instant payments, underpinned by bank-grade security. Ecospend serves a multitude of blue chip brands and sectors, including credit

consumers in the form of lower fees, better interest rates, and improved financial products, thereby also promoting inclusion.

A NEW ERA OF INCLUSIVITY Open banking is a global phenomenon with far-reaching implications. A force for change, it plays a pivotal role in advancing financial inclusion on a worldwide scale. As countries and regions continue to explore and expand open banking initiatives, the benefits for users and merchants are set to multiply. This is not just about technological evolution; it’s a societal transformation with the potential to create a financial ecosystem that is both transparent and accessible, one where access to financial services is extended to all, where user experience is enhanced, where costs are reduced, and where trust and transparency reign supreme. and collections, utilities, and wealthtech, as well as the public sector, among many others, delivering a roster of innovative open banking solutions that can be tailored to any client’s business needs. In January 2023, Ecospend became a wholly owned subsidiary of Trustly Group AB. With this joining of forces, Ecospend now offers one of the most comprehensive and competitive sets of open banking solutions worldwide.


a Trustly Company FOUNDED: 2017 CATEGORY: Open banking, PISP, AISP KEY PERSONNEL: James Hickman, Director (right) HEAD OFFICE: UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Turkey CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/ecospend

WHAT WE DO Setting the gold standard in open banking THEFINTECHPOWER50



GOGLOBAL, PAYLOCAL TrustPay looks at the hidden power of local payments in a globalised world In an era defined by international commerce and digital connectivity, businesses often play on the global stage. That means they often rely on global payment tools, too. However, the potential of local payment methods should not be underestimated. In fact, we see them as a cornerstone of successful cross-border business. The demand for localisation at the checkout arises from the diverse preferences and habits of consumers in different regions. Providing choices is essential for businesses transacting across borders because consumers feel most comfortable when they can use payment methods that they are familiar with, aligning the checkout process with local cultural and financial practices.



THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF PAYMENT PROVIDERS Building a strong relationship with a payments provider is crucial for businesses, especially when dealing with cross-border transactions. It transcends payment processing; it’s about having a partner who comprehends the intricacies of each market. A dependable payments provider can help navigate ever-changing regulations, streamline payment

80 per cent of consumers prefer using their local payment methods, with more than 60 per cent stating they would abandon a purchase if their preferred method isn’t available

processes, and provide expert advice to optimise payment strategies. TrustPay recognises the growing need for convenient payment solutions in the global marketplace. We offer a diverse range of payment methods and solutions, including localised payment options, multi-currency processing, and advanced fraud prevention tools. These services empower businesses to cater to the specific payment preferences of their customers across the globe, ensuring a seamless and secure payment experience.

INFLUENCE OF LOCAL PREFERENCES In today’s interconnected world of global e-commerce, acknowledging the profound influence of local preferences on consumer behaviour is paramount. Recent surveys reveal that 80 per cent of consumers prefer

using their local payment methods, with more than 60 per cent stating they would abandon a purchase if their preferred method isn’t available. TrustPay acts as a bridge between merchants and the local preferences of their target markets. By emphasising local payments, TrustPay enables businesses to fully leverage the potential of cross-border e-commerce. But local payment methods go beyond convenience; they directly impact conversion rates. Familiar and trusted payment options encourage consumers to complete their purchases, translating into increased sales and revenue. Trust is a fundamental element in cross-border commerce. By offering local payment methods, businesses demonstrate their understanding and respect for the preferences of international customers. This fosters trust and builds loyalty, a valuable asset in the fiercely competitive global marketplace.

NAVIGATING THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE In the broader context of global commerce, local payment methods are

indispensable. They are not merely a choice; they are a necessity. TrustPay’s commitment to delivering customised, localised payment solutions is the key to unlocking the full potential of international markets. Our mission is to empower businesses to thrive in this interconnected world by bridging the gap between merchants and

the local preferences of their target markets. We ensure that businesses adapt and prosper by embracing the diverse tapestry of local preferences, regulations, and trust-building. In this globalised world, TrustPay is your navigator, guiding you toward success, one local payment at a time.



TrustPay provides innovative payment services for online businesses with cross-border reach, offering a variety of payment solutions under one roof. These include:


■ Worldwide online card payment processing ■ Local payment methods ■ Modern accounts for online businesses (through our product, IBANIZE) ■ Innovative reconciliation tools The list doesn’t end here. We create a customised strategy for every client, based on the specifics of the business to ensure secure e-commerce payments and a seamless experience.


Cross-border payments KEY PERSONNEL:

David Rintel, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: Slovakia EMAIL: TEL: (+42) 123 2168 450 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/trustpay

WHAT WE DO Accept payments worldwide




Dr Efi Pylarinou explains why AI-enabled financial services are far from becoming AI-native businesses I`ve written extensively about the spotty and siloed adoption of AI in financial services. Now, generative AI has driven AI (the most over-used umbrella term of 2023) to the top of the Gartner Hypecycle. Financial services can boast that they have been early and heavy adopters of the technology, compared to other industries. Deloitte Insights’ survey-based report indeed claims that 70 per cent of all financial services firms are already using machine learning to predict cash flow events, fine-tune credit scores and detect fraud. We are all familiar with concrete examples of AI adoption in financial services. From customer service chatbots, AI-enabled notifications on mobile banking apps about budgeting, AI-enabled credit scoring for lending, AI-powered fraud detection for onboarding or payments, AI-powered investor risk profiling, AI for algorithmic trading, investment management, risk management and more. Despite these machine learning deployments in consumer, corporate, and investment banking, the return on investment remains limited. No banking or fintech stock has skyrocketed because of their heavy use of machine learning – not even Square, which is an early AI adopter, or Ant group with the infamous AI-powered 3-1-0 digital lending model. To date, most machine learning

deployments in financial services are task-specific and of narrow scope. The most common broad-based use has been for fraud detection. Even with digitally native lending businesses, their machine learning feedback loops typically stop at credit scoring (with or without alternative data) and at loan origination. Machine learning is yet to be used for credit-risk monitoring post-origination and for delinquency risk assessment. To push the envelope further, no digitally native lending business to date is using machine learning or has trained a large language model (LLM) as a copilot for its strategic decision-making. Once we start seeing digitally native lending businesses launching and deploying their own GPTs trained on their strategic decisions history, their strategic pivots, their multiple product/service pilots, launches, etc, then we can start talking about moving away from AI-enabled financial services. But, currently, AI-enabled financial services still have a lot more to do – from upgrading to AI-powered customer service conversational chatbots, powered by the LLM advances, or integrating machine learning beyond the origination phase of lending or using LLMs on earnings calls.And, even when all this is done, we will still be using AI-enabled financial services (direct from the provider or embedded in a non-financial business).

For financial services to become AI-native, a new paradigm shift is required



We will still be far from being served by an AI-native financial services business. For financial services to become AI-native, a new paradigm shift is required. AI is an umbrella term. Machine learning is a subset of AI. GenAI is a subset of machine learning. AI-native businesses are not to be confused with businesses that offer AI products, even if their products are based on the latest AI (e.g. OpenAI, Claude, etc). And AI-native businesses are not to be confused with businesses whose products and services are AI-enabled. This is an emerging distinction that is still not well understood. But I believe that the true AI-native businesses that emerge will rule the future and create new business models.

AT A GLANCE Dr Efi Pylarinou is a top global fintech and tech influencer, ex-Wall Street with a Ph.D. in finance and circa 200,000 followers on Linkedin. Her domain focus is digital wealth management and capital markets. Her portfolio includes 500 articles, more than 260 videos, three books, and three chapter contributions. Efi is also the co-author of the upcoming book, Fast Future Blur, which is due to be published by Wiley in 2024. CONTACT:


Amit Goel explores some specific use cases and companies deploying GenAI, but warns adoption is not without risks Generative AI (GenAI) is no longer a distant reality; it has caused an imminent paradigm shift. According to a recent study by Mckinsey, 42 per cent of people working in financial services are using GenAI at or outside of work. Visa recently announced $100million investment in GenAI startups. At Money2020 USA this year, one panellist noted that GenAI is a UX shift, which broadens access to financial services. And they’re right. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can guide users through complex financial processes, making them less intimidating and more user-friendly (by using vernacular language, for example). But financial institutions and fintechs are harnessing GenAI in a number of other ways:

Financial insights Bloomberg has a powerful generative AI model, BloombergGPT, with 50 billion parameters, developed with a combination of off-the-shelf AI methods and Bloomberg’s exclusive data. Imagine if it integrates this into its widely used terminal software, helping to navigate the overwhelming volume of news stories, transcripts, and reports.

Enriched FS experiences Morgan Stanley is using GenAI to enhance its wealth management services.

The firm has partnered with OpenAI to leverage GPT-4, a powerful generative language model, to organise its vast repository of financial knowledge. This allows Morgan Stanley’s wealth management personnel to access relevant information with less time and effort.

Custom solutions & LLMs FinanceGPT is using GenAI to streamline investment strategies through portfolio optimisation, tax harvesting, and insightful reporting, to generate AI-driven insights for effective goal management and adaptable financial plans. Cognaize is focussing on unstructured financial data. Its platform is adept at handling diverse financial documents, including loan applications, SEC filings, and ESG reports, with a specialised large language model (LLM) tailored for the finance sector, based on a dataset of 1.3 million finance-related documents. is developing InsurGPT, a specialised large language model, tailored for the insurance industry.

Robotic process automation Automation Anywhere has announced three major innovations that put GenAI to work across the Automation Success Platform. One of these innovations is Automation Co-Pilot, which is now powered by GPT and accelerates team productivity by enabling them to action any GenAI use case across any system.

What are the risks? The deployment of GenAI in the financial sector demands careful consideration. Privacy concerns emerge, especially with public GenAI systems that continuously use user inputs, potentially compromising

sensitive financial data. Embedded bias also remains a challenge, as GenAI models, trained on diverse datasets, can inadvertently perpetuate societal biases. Robustness issues arise, with GenAI’s possibility for ‘hallucination’ posing risks in financial risk assessments and customer interactions. Systemic risks akin to AI/ML are magnified by GenAI’s ease of report generation, potentially fostering herd mentality and misinformation. Because of all these potential issues, it’s not going to be a cake walk. Goldman Sachs is exploring generative AI, but none of the projects is directly client-facing due to the regulated nature of financial services. George Lee, co-head of Goldman’s Office of Applied Innovation, is grappling with the potential advantages and challenges. He emphasises the need for a ‘human in the loop’. With human supervision, regulatory policy, monitoring and surveillance, and communication and collaboration, there are actions that can be taken by the industry and prudential oversight authorities to address the risks. We can then realise the full benefits of GenAI.

AT A GLANCE Amit is an early-stage investor in fintech and B2B software startups. He built a company in the fintech space (MEDICI platform) that was acquired by US tech unicorn Prove. He then built the India business of Prove as their country head. Amit is rated as a Top 100 expert in fintech, both globally and in Asia. He is an investor in category-leading fintechs and insurtechs in India. LINKEDIN: in/amitpayments/ THEFINTECHPOWER50



Putting finance to work Damon Chapple, Co-Founder and CEO of Sonovate, explains how and why fintech will play a pivotal role in the future of business funding It’s been a tough few years for Britain’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Those who survived the fallout from Brexit and a global pandemic are now faced with a spiralling cost-of-living crisis that is also ramping up the cost of doing business. There are now 5.5 million small businesses in the UK, which is a significant fall of 6.6 per cent from the 5.9 million in 2020. Commentators have put the startup failure rate at approximately 60 per cent, and, according to a study by Quickbooks, 65 per cent of SMEs that fail cite cashflow chaos as the main factor. Against this volatile backdrop, banks and other traditional financial institutions



continue to underserve SMEs, often adopting standardised approaches to financing that lack the flexibility small businesses require. In June 2023, we commissioned Opinium to survey 500 SMEs to gather their perspectives on what further support is needed from both the financial services industry and the government. Worryingly, the research has highlighted that, despite increased demand as the cost of doing business rises, the proportion of SMEs experiencing difficulties accessing finance has increased from 26 per cent last year to 43 per cent this year. One of the major impacts from the cashflow crunch that small businesses are experiencing is that it’s becoming harder for them to attract and retain skilled contract workers. Contingent workers can help SMEs to access skills and talent on demand, rather than through expensive permanent hires, which is particularly important during a downturn. But nearly two-thirds of SMEs say that late payments from their own clients and customers are restricting their ability to pay their contractors on time. It’s a vicious and damaging circle.

FINTECH OFFERS A LIFELINE The good news is that fintech providers are stepping up to the plate to help address the glaring gaps. Our study found that 40 per cent of small businesses believe it’s now easier to access finance from a fintech lender than it is from mainstream banks. Of those who have accessed alternative finance, 70 per cent say that their business simply wouldn’t have survived if they hadn’t. At the same time, there is still a pressing need to increase awareness of the wider range of options that are now available. Two in three small businesses (64 per cent) told us there needs to be more guidance from the government about the alternative solutions on offer for small businesses. At the start of this year, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that the government would put innovation at the heart of everything it does. This now needs to extend to better supporting the continued rise of fintech and alternative finance solutions. Encouragingly, Britain’s small businesses are also starting to look beyond alternative sources of funding to the

additional benefits that the latest fintech tools can provide. For example, half (49 per cent) believe it’s important to have a funding platform where they can view multiple ledgers at once, and 51 per cent agreed that using fintech tools, such as payroll or accounting tools, will allow them to better serve their customers. The adoption of digital tools was also perceived to offer advantages such as greater data security (56 per cent), time savings (54 per cent), increased efficiency (51 per cent), and greater customer insights (47 per cent). And more than three-quarters (77 per cent) say that invoice financing tools have sped up business processes and transactions. Enthusiasm has certainly increased since last year, with more SMEs recognising the benefits that the latest technology can bring to their business. This is music to our ears. At Sonovate, our platform has been specifically designed to draw on the latest developments in finance, such as open


Our study found that 40 per cent of small businesses believe it’s now easier to access finance from a fintech lender than it is from mainstream banks



Sonovate is a leading provider of funding and workflow automation solutions. Its finance and technology services cater to recruitment businesses, consultancies and labour marketplaces who place employees, contractors and freelancers around the world.

COMPANY: Sonovate

Sonovate’s platform and expert service deliver swift credit decisions, same-day funding, credit insurance and collection services as well as timesheet and workflow automation, empowering companies to concentrate on expanding their business, confident that processes and funds are in place to help meet payment deadlines. Since it started funding in 2014, Sonovate has lent more than £4.2billion to 3,300 businesses and 40,000 workers in 44 countries. banking, to get a much deeper view of a company’s trading position. This enables recruiters, consultancies, and labour marketplaces to embed invoice finance funding solutions, which ensure that contingent workers get paid on time, every time, and that employers benefit from longer


Damon Chapple, Co-founder & Co-CEO, Richard Prime, Co-founder and Co-CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: UK LOCAL PRESSENCE IN:

the Netherlands EMAIL: TELEPHONE: +44 (0) 208 0592 672 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/sonovate X: @Sonovate

WHAT WE DO The funding platform for the future of work

payment terms. We are enabling businesses of any size and sector to benefit from access to skilled workers, regardless of their cashflow situation or payroll constraints. It is such solutions that will now be crucial to stemming the tide of failing SMEs and help Britain’s economy to bounce back.



TIMEFORACTION T+0 securities settlement is close to reality. SmartStream can help firms achieve it

The adoption of amendments by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the Exchange Act Rule 15c6-1 in the United States has shortened the trade settlement cycle for most US securities transactions to T+1. The impact is felt not only by US investors and service providers, but also by investors and custodians in Europe and Asia Pacific – for whom time differences and increased complexity will add to the administrative headache. T+1 compliance varies across the industry. Some firms are well-placed to cope, with sophisticated systems in use, while other, typically smaller, 58


organisations continue to rely on manual processes and legacy systems. To meet the demands of T+1, and to lay the groundwork for T+0 readiness, firms have and are continuing to invest in reliable, proven IT systems. Advanced technologies, such as AI and machine learning, allow them to adapt quickly to future change, promoting a proactive approach that augments manual operational capability. Turning to a third-party technology specialist has been critical during this time of transformation. A partner that provides established technology and high levels of support is essential, as is deep operational insight, as this will enable it to help an institution review its current infrastructure and identify where efficiencies can best be achieved. With an extensive history of delivering post-trade solutions and services to the financial sector, SmartStream is uniquely well-positioned and has been helping

organisations meet the demands of accelerated trade settlement. A trusted partner to many of the world’s top financial institutions, SmartStream’s solutions and services deliver operational controls across the middle and back office. SmartStream solutions assist firms to meet the demands of T+1 compliance in a wide range of post-trade activities. They can be accessed flexibly, too, whether using APIs and micro-services, through managed services and cloud environments, or via traditional on-premises installations. There are four key areas where SmartStream technology has had proven impact.

RECONCILIATIONS Companies are being forced to carry out reconciliations processing in a compressed timeframe, leaving a small window for discrepancies to be identified

SMARTSTREAM and fixed. Financial institutions require systems that allow real-time, intraday processing. Applications should be asset-class agnostic, volume-insensitive, and capable of dealing with new and existing data formats. SmartStream provides a fully controlled reconciliations architecture that delivers comprehensive exceptions management. Its rich exception handling capabilities offer in-depth insight into the state of transactions as they transition through the settlement lifecycle. Additionally, they permit exception categorisation, prioritisation, and allocation – enabling problems to be assessed and routed speedily to the appropriate team for resolution.


Companies are being forced to carry out reconciliations processing in a compressed timeframe, leaving a small window for discrepancies to be identified and fixed



SmartStream’s reconciliations platform offers advanced reporting: real-time information means users spot breaks quickly, refine decision-making and control risk more effectively. In addition, managers carry out detailed trend analysis to pinpoint issues undermining processing efficiency. These features are built into the technology, so organisations do not need to create their own complex reporting systems. Our technology deploys AI and machine-learning techniques, enabling it to onboard reconciliations more quickly and handle highly complex data sets. It also facilitates self-service among business users, reducing reliance on IT departments. Importantly, SmartStream’s reconciliations technology is proven to process tens of millions of transactions per day, from sources across all the disparate areas that touch T+1 settlement, creating a truly holistic view of processing activities.

Firms need to deliver securities faster, driving the demand for intraday liquidity. There is greater competition for funding sources, and increased need for short-term funding. SmartStream technology delivers real-time cash and liquidity management, consolidating existing siloed infrastructures, and capturing transactions from internal and external sources to create a single, global view of balances across all currencies and accounts. Firms understand funding, borrowing, and lending requirements in real time, identify problems promptly and take corrective action quickly.

Financial institutions need to make alterations to their collateral management practices – automating all aspects of the collateral management process, including agreement, booking, substitutions and settlement notifications. Also key are the connections to internal and external systems and an efficient fails management process.

SmartStream provides an established, end-to-end, automated collateral management solution, which is used by financial institutions across the globe. It connects to firms’ internal systems via APIs that allow programs to interact. When users want to send and receive information, they can do so on a real-time notification basis.

CORPORATE ACTIONS Another area where the impact of accelerated settlement is felt is in corporate actions processing. Any corporate action affecting instrument static data (and so impacting trade matching), needs to be processed within 24 hours of trade execution. Firms dependent on custodian data and spreadsheets are finding T+1 compliance especially testing. SmartStream’s corporate actions solution delivers real-time processing for the complete lifecycle, handling complex events and providing visibility of all the corporate actions affecting the business. The solution lowers the risk of errors or missed elections, improves efficiency, as well as reducing administrative burden and costs.



SmartStream is a recognised leader in financial transaction management solutions that enable firms to improve operational control, reduce costs, build new revenue streams, mitigate risk, and comply accurately with the regulators.

COMPANY: SmartStream

By helping its customers through their transformative digital strategies, SmartStream provides a range of solutions for the transaction lifecycle with AI and machine-learning technologies embedded – which can be deployed in the cloud or as managed services. As a result, the world’s top 100 banks rely on SmartStream Transaction Lifecycle Management (TLM®) solutions to deliver greater efficiency to their operations.

Australia, Austria, Canada, China, UAE, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, USA, South Africa, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland EMAIL: TEL: +44 (0) 207 8980 600 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/ smartstream-technologies



WHAT WE DO Realise data insights with post-trade automation and operational controls THEFINTECHPOWER50


V O LT . I O

Paving the way for the future of payments Volt is building ‘the network-of-networks’ for A2A transactions, globally. Here’s why it believes open banking is the answer to many of the world’s payment problems



Change is not something we deal with once, but rather, it’s a constant state of being. And the world of finance is no different. From embedded finance, to instant payments and biometric technologies, change has become a defining characteristic of the finance ecosystem.

But, arguably, open banking is one of the most transformative developments that’s dominating this space. At the forefront of the fintech charge, open banking technology is paving the way for the future of payments. So, why is open banking poised to usher in a new era of financial transactions? And, crucially, what are the advantages of the technology?

THE JOURNEY TO PAYMENTS MODERNISATION For the past 50 years or so, cards – alongside cash – have been a dominant payment method. Bank transfers, or account-to-account payments, have never had the means to challenge them. Because they’re dependent on manual data entry, they’ve largely been limited to peer-to-peer transactions. Their suitability for e-commerce just hasn’t been there. Further, bank transfers are inherently domestic and disparate. Transfers from one UK bank account to another run on different rails to a transfer between, say, two Dutch bank accounts. This has been a point of frustration for businesses beholden to cards, whose payments are expensive and relatively slow to settle. Bank transfers are the means by which they can, in theory, lower the cost of payment acceptance while dramatically speeding up settlements. Open banking-powered real-time payments – brought together to a single standard – make this possible. More businesses than ever before are investing in open banking technology to not only help their consumers move money much faster, but, critically, more securely Imagine a world where bill payments,

Open banking offers greater efficiency, financial inclusion, data-driven personalisation, innovation, security and trust peer-to-peer transactions, and online purchases happen seamlessly and instantly, 24/7. Open banking is making this vision a reality by providing the infrastructure for person-to-business real-time payments, eliminating the need for intermediaries and reducing the risk of fraud. Open banking payments also benefit from bank-grade

security, embedded two-factor authentication, no chargebacks, no manual data entry, and no storing of sensitive customer data. The consequence? Fraudsters are left with nothing to work with. Contrary to industry myths, the technology doesn’t come at the expense of security and trust. In fact, it places a stronger emphasis on these aspects. Open banking is inherently more secure than card payments. Data sharing is strictly regulated, and user consent is a cornerstone of the open banking framework. This means that customers have control over who accesses their financial data, and they can revoke access at any time. Banks and financial institutions are investing heavily in robust security measures. Yet, in many cases, open banking APIs are simply more secure than traditional methods of data sharing.

SUPPORTING FINANCIAL INCLUSION Another key aspect of the open banking framework is its potential to enhance financial inclusion. By granting third-party providers access to financial data, open banking can create tailored financial solutions for underserved and unbanked populations. A good example of this is in countries such as Brazil where open banking has been a hugely popular solution for consumers who need to make payments but are unable to obtain a credit card or other payment tool. Open banking enables fintech companies to develop innovative and accessible payment solutions, including mobile wallets, peer-to-peer lending platforms, and affordable remittance services. These services can bridge the financial divide and provide individuals and businesses with the tools they need to participate in the modern economy.

is undoubtedly intertwined with it because open banking offers greater efficiency, financial inclusion, data-driven personalisation, innovation, security, and trust. The financial industry is evolving, and open banking is at the forefront of this transformation. Consumers, businesses, and financial institutions must embrace the change to fully leverage the benefits it offers. As open banking becomes more deeply ingrained in our financial ecosystem, it will shape the way we interact with our finances, ultimately creating a more accessible, efficient financial future for all.

WHO WE ARE Volt is building the global infrastructure for real-time payments. Our network-of-networks unites and harmonises the world’s next-generation account-to-account payment systems, enabling merchants across the globe to accept real-time, account-based payments from their customers seamlessly and at lightning speed.


Tom Greenwood, Founder & CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Austria, Brazil, Germany, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/voltio X: @voltopenbanking

WHAT WE DO Real-time payments, everywhere

THE NEW REALITY OF PAYMENTS Open banking is no longer a distant vision; it is becoming a reality. As it gains traction, the future of payments




KNOW THE METHODS... Explainable AI in financial crime compliance is elementary to trust and adoption, says Napier The financial services industry is evolving, but the ecosystem for preventing financial crime is underperforming – as evidenced by the United Nations’ statistic that as little as one per cent of all illicit transactions in Europe is recovered.


understand the decision-making processes behind AI-generated alerts. This understanding should extend to why alerts are categorised, escalated, or even auto-closed. By enhancing algorithmic transparency, organisations can create a seamless synergy between technology and human comprehension. Explainability is crucial for several key reasons. It empowers analysts to quickly and easily grasp system outputs, enhancing their ability to make informed decisions efficiently. It aids in mitigating false positives by offering recommendations and highlighting anomalies for analysts to investigate, replacing what would otherwise be a

The financial crime compliance landscape is intricate, with different jurisdictions and organisational requirements. AI’s ability to analyse vast amounts of data rapidly is clearly a significant advantage. However, to ensure AI systems are effective, they must be customised to the specific nuances of each organisation’s regulatory environment. This demands a delicate balance between automation and human oversight.

By enhancing algorithmic transparency, organisations can create a seamless synergy between technology and human comprehension

Technology and innovation can make a critical contribution to the fight against financial crime. With evolving financial crime typologies, the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is an indispensable weapon, promising to streamline processes and automate routine tasks. But it is not a silver bullet and it presents some complex challenges.

TRANSPARENCY AND EXPLAINABILITY: THE IMPERATIVE To bridge the gap between the potential of AI and human trust, transparency and explainability are paramount. Financial crime compliance professionals need to 62



manual process. And it instils confidence in AI diagnosis by providing clarity regarding why a specific output was generated – even when it’s correct for the wrong reasons – and allows for system training to prevent future mistakes.

This transparency also reduces the need to hire highly specialised data scientists, making AI adoption more accessible, and cost-effective, and encouraging its acceptance by fostering trust through understanding. AI hasn’t always been as explainable as you might expect. The Royal Statistical Society in the UK highlights that some of today’s AI tools can be highly complex, if not outright opaque. Workings can become too difficult to interpret and so-called ‘black box’ models can be

WHO WE ARE Napier is a new breed of regtech that’s delivering anti-money laundering and financial crime compliance software to banks, payments firms and buy-side firms. Napier designs and engineers technological innovation to make a measurable difference in driving down financial crime. Founded on broad experience and deep expertise, and trusted by more than 200 institutions worldwide, the company’s financial crime risk management platform, Napier Continuum, is transforming compliance from a legal obligation to a competitive edge. Built for speed and scale, Napier Continuum can be delivered via public Cloud, private Cloud, or on-premise, increasing operational efficiency, lowering TCO and minimising risk by successfully combining automation and big data technologies with AI.


While AI regulation is still evolving, several regulatory bodies emphasise the importance of explainability. The European Commission’s draft Artificial Intelligence Regulation highlights the necessity for transparency in AI systems: it’s crucial for users and regulatory compliance alike. too complicated for even expert users to fully understand. For example, when flagging a transaction or customer, some AI models provide a numerical score, while others give a prediction, which in turn converts into a confidence score. Scores can be very hard to interpret, because you need to first understand how it is calculated. Many data analysts do not understand AI calculations, which makes it difficult for them to explain the system’s workings to stakeholders.

THE FUTURE OF AI AND AML AI is here to stay, and its role in financial crime compliance is only set to expand. But the standard for transparency and the championing of explainability is evident. In the ongoing battle against financial crime, Napier is committed to empowering businesses with AI that not only detects financial crime effectively but also explains its decisions clearly in order to ensure a safer, more secure future for the financial industry and its stakeholders.


Greg Watson, CEO (right)


Germany, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United States CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/napier X: @napier_ai

WHAT WE DO Intelligent compliance




DRIVING SUCCESS IN B2B COMMERCE Philipp Povel, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Mondu, says it’s time business-to-business payment solutions caught up with the retail world B2B trade is moving online at increased velocity, driven by a new generation of business buyers that increasingly behave like consumers. As B2B companies strive to meet the rising expectations of their customers and stay ahead in a competitive and ever-evolving market, the digitisation of payments has become crucial in order to secure supply chain financing, deliver a simpler shopping experience for buyers, stable cash flow and overall business growth. 64


Traditionally, B2B payments have largely relied on conventional payment methods, mainly invoices, as well as credit and debit cards. These methods have been the backbone of business transactions for many years, yet they come with their own set of challenges and limitations. Offering invoice payment in e-commerce presents a significant risk, as buyers and sellers do not necessarily know each other and, while buyers want to get the goods first and then pay, sellers are reluctant to ship without prepayment because of the risk of default. This leads to a huge loss of business. On the other hand, credit and debit cards carry higher fees for the seller and transaction limitations for the buyer. As the global business landscape evolves and consumers become more accustomed to seamless online transactions in their personal lives, B2B buyers increasingly expect the same level of efficiency, convenience, and flexibility in their business interactions.

REAL-TIME DECISIONING: THE CORNERSTONE OF DIGITISATION B2B payments have seen very little progress in recent years, due to the high complexity of workflows. Most of the solutions used today were developed decades ago; they are heavily paper-based, and incompatible with the speed and demands of B2B modern trade. There is a growing pressure on businesses of all types and sizes to digitise, as leaders need access to better financing as well as real-time visibility. New e-commerce platforms and financial software across accounting, expense management and procurement have paved the way for payments digitisation. One key element in the process of digitising B2B payments is the implementation of real-time decisioning. The ability to provide a comprehensive assessment of a buyer’s creditworthiness helps businesses make informed

WHO WE ARE Mondu is a B2B payments company, rapidly expanding across Europe and offering BNPL solutions in the UK, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands as well as buyers in Belgium and France.

decisions regarding credit extension. By using real-time credit checks, businesses can approve credit for buyers who might previously have been denied it by traditional methods, or shorten sales cycles that otherwise may have taken weeks to approve or even lost completely.

SHORT-TERM FINANCING SOLUTIONS To accommodate the various purchasing needs in B2B commerce, businesses should consider offering a range of short-term financing options. These can cater to different types


We offer deferred payments solutions for both online and offline B2B commerce, relying on robust real-time credit checks. Merchants and marketplaces can integrate Mondu and offer their business buyers a variety of payment options while getting paid upfront, and being fully protected from defaults. The result is a win-win: business customers are empowered to purchase and pay when they want. This translates to a higher conversion rate and average order value, ultimately driving growth for merchants and marketplaces. Mondu was founded by entrepreneurs Malte Huffmann, Philipp Povel and Gil Danziger to simplify B2B payment transactions. Mondu


Buy now, pay later KEY PERSONNEL:

Philipp Povel, Co-CEO & Co-founder (right) HEAD OFFICE: Germany LOCAL PRESENCE IN:

the Netherlands and UK CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/mondu-ai

WHAT WE DO Turn payments into your growth engine of buyers and their unique shopping patterns, such as: Buy now, pay later (BNPL) These solutions are ideal for businesses that make occasional purchases. By deferring payments, they enhance cash flow and make purchases more cost-effective. Instalments for large carts

Providing business and long-term commitments buyers with access For substantial investments, such as machinery or equipment, installment to short-term financing plans can be an excellent choice. secures supply chains and These plans spread the cost of over time, reducing financial contributes to the growth purchase strain on buyers and encouraging of B2B commerce long-term commitments.

now has offices in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK and a diverse team of talented professionals with experience from the best companies in tech and elsewhere. Mondu has raised $90million in equity and debt financing from leading investors Valar Ventures, Cherry Ventures, the FinTech Collective, and VVRB Bank.

Trade accounts for frequent purchases Trade accounts facilitate frequent and recurring transactions by offering a simple way to consolidate multiple purchases into one invoice, which can be paid later with net terms. This approach improves efficiency, reduces friction in the buying process, and helps build stronger relationships between businesses. As B2B commerce evolves, the digitisation of B2B payments is a strategic move that can lead to greater efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and customer satisfaction. Ultimately, that means business success. Providing business buyers with access to short-term financing secures supply chains and contributes to the growth of B2B commerce. THEFINTECHPOWER50



Earned wage access: Paving a path for financial inclusion DailyPay is using technology to rewrite the rules about how and when workers are paid – and, for some, that’s been transformational The two-week pay cycle, a relic of a bygone, analogue era, dates back to World War II. For millions of hardworking people in America and worldwide, this archaic system has served as an obstacle to financial wellness, driving far too many to predatory financial products when short on cash to make ends meet or to pay for an emergency expense. Recent research shows that more than six in 10 Americans are living paycheque-to-paycheque with more than one in five having no savings at all. The problem is not just in the United States – more than a third of workers in the UK are in a



similar position, with one in four not having enough money to spare after buying necessities. The author James Baldwin once said ‘it’s expensive to be poor’. That is unfortunately true. About 12 million Americans resort to payday loans each year to make ends meet. In fact, the average payday loan borrower is in debt for five months of the year, while one in five borrowers will end up defaulting on their payday loan. This creates a never-ending cycle of debt. The multi-billion payday loan industry thrives on targeting underserved communities, many of which are unbanked or

underbanked – those who don’t have access to a traditional bank account. Earned wage access is proving to be the antidote to these predatory lending practices, helping to erase these invisible rules of money that have been holding workers back for far too long – rules that only give them biweekly access to their pay, even when they’ve earned it; rules that decide who has access to the best banking services; rules that say you pay your rent in advance but get paid by your employer in arrears.

Earned wage access is tearing up these rules, creating a more equitable and inclusive financial system, centred around the employee. Leading employers can now offer earned wage access as a financial wellness benefit to improve the financial equity of their workforce. Across the US and around the world, these forward-thinking employers are now providing a much-needed lifeline to

their employees, who, in some cases, are unbanked or underbanked. With this power of choice and control over their earned pay, employees can pay bills, spend, save, or invest on their own schedule, not on an arbitrary payday. Employees who once relied on payday loans, overdrafts, or credit to make it to the next cheque, begin to save their hard-earned pay before payroll is even run. By putting money in the hands of the people when they earn it, the vicious cycle of debt can be broken. And the data is there to prove it.


Earned wage access is helping to erase the invisible rules of money that have held workers back for far too long… creating a more equitable financial system around the employee

A study undertaken by Aite Novarica, commissioned by DailyPay, revealed that more than nine in 10 people who were previously reliant on payday loans in some way either stopped using them or reduced using them after accessing DailyPay. Nearly all (97 per cent) of those who said they were overdrawn at their bank before using DailyPay now rarely or never incur overdraft fees or report experiencing fewer instances of overdraft fees. Bad credit works against being able to build a more equitable and financially inclusive system. It leads to higher

interest rates, and fewer loan options, creating more challenges in, for instance, buying a house or car. However, earned wage access can be leveraged to improve one’s credit score. A recent study shows 80 per cent of DailyPay users say it has a positive influence on their financial habits, with 62 per cent who previously incurred credit card interest charges doing this less often or they have stopped completely since they started using DailyPay. Earned wage access is not a loan nor a lending or credit product. There’s never any recourse to the user and there is no interest charge, late fees, or finance charges.

At DailyPay, we believe that the financial system should leave no one behind. Our mission is to create a system that gives everyone an equal opportunity to forge a path toward financial wellness and a brighter future… one payment at a time.



DailyPay, Inc., powered by its industry-leading technology platform, is on a mission to build a new financial system for everyone.


DailyPay delivers the industry’s leading on-demand pay solution that helps America’s employers build stronger relationships with their employees, so they feel more engaged, work harder, and stay longer. DailyPay works to ensure that money is always in the right place at the right time for employees and employers. It is headquartered in New York City, with operations based in Minneapolis and Belfast. For our latest news, visit



Earned wage access

Kevin Coop, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: US LOCAL PRESENCE IN: New York, Minneapolis, Belfast EMAIL: TEL: +1 8664320472 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/dailypay-inc X: @dailypay

WHAT WE DO The recognised leader in earned wage access






PAY M E N T O L O G Y True ecosystems are about collective efforts creating synergy. They are where different entities unite to support each other for mutual benefit, spurring innovation and growth. When the development of cutting-edge technologies is shared throughout an ecosystem, the ripple effects and benefits derived can multiply exponentially over the long term. The buzz around partnerships in our industry so far has focussed on partnerships between fintechs and institutions. These play an important role, increasing by 13 per cent between 2020 and 2021 in the US. However, partnerships between fintechs and fintechs are what create feature-rich financial platforms. By integrating technology developed by other fintechs, solution providers can offer a more extensive product without incurring high development costs. Partnerships also reduce time to market, enabling scaling fintech startups to begin collecting revenue with a lower rate of dilution. The partners of a successful fintech ecosystem include traditional financial institutions, which bring the weight of their legacy and expertise. Agile fintechs encourage innovation, pushing boundaries and redefining norms. Decentralised finance introduces a fresh perspective, advocating for open, permissionless financial systems. Meanwhile, investors provide the vital lifeblood of capital and regulators ensure there is the policy scaffolding required to help encourage sustainable growth for the long term. Educational institutions train and nurture the next generation of fintech pioneers and a range of other financial service providers bring additional layers of depth and functionality.

ECOSYSTEM IMPACT The critical element to a successful system is collaboration. This means partners support the collective vision – and are boosted by proactive government support, access to investment, progressive regulatory frameworks and access to highly skilled and diverse talent. So, what do thriving fintech ecosystems look like in practice? Lithuania and

London are both strong examples and fintech innovators worldwide can take lessons from their success. They have demonstrated that, by working together to build a better suite of fintech platforms with more integrations and features, all participants benefit. Lithuania has exploded onto the fintech scene, recording €375million in revenue in 2022 H1 – an 80 per cent increase, compared to the same period in the previous year. The Lithuanian fintech boom has been encouraged and sustained by government-backed

As fintech transitions from an emerging industry to become an established one, it’s crucial that fintechs do not lose sight of the benefit of partnerships body Fintech Hub LT association, which has supported concerted efforts to share knowledge. In London, all the key ingredients to create a supportive fintech ecosystem already existed – a highly educated and diverse workforce, collaborative government, access to capital, and a

mutually supportive startup community. Post-2008, founders here emerged from the ashes of the financial crisis to create a better and more inclusive world of finance. They congregated at Level 39 fintech accelerator in Shoreditch (drawn by low rents and a sense of community), enabling talent to move and fostering close collaboration on joint projects. We are familiar with some of the stars that emerged, including Monzo, Currency Cloud and Starling. One-third of all UK unicorns are fintech firms – a higher share than any other financial centre. In 2022, more than 3,200 fintechs were headquartered in the UK, and that year, fintech private equity and venture capital investment in the UK grew faster than in the US, Germany or France, exceeding £14billion. As fintech transitions from an emerging industry to become an established one, it’s crucial that fintechs do not to lose sight of the benefit of partnerships. They are vital catalysts for growth and inspiration – and can keep costs down during harsh economic conditions. For the industry to retain its strength and status, it must nurture this spirit of collective growth and innovation.



Paymentology gives banks, fintechs and telcos the technology, the team, and the experience to easily issue and process any type of physical or virtual card – prepaid, debit, credit, multi-currency, BNPL, and more – anywhere in the world, rapidly and at scale.


Its superior multi-Cloud platform, offering both shared and dedicated processing, vast global presence and rich real-time data, set it apart, while its payments experts bring deep, local market knowledge in 60 countries, across 14 time zones, guaranteeing 24/7 support. Paymentology is deeply committed to increasing financial inclusion worldwide, and to making a positive impact in the communities in which it operates.

Paymentology FOUNDED: 2014 CATEGORY:



Abe Smith, Co-CEO (right)


APAC, MENA, LATAM, UK & Europe, Africa CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/paymentology X: @Paymentology

WHAT WE DO The next-gen global issuer/processor THEFINTECHPOWER50


SUSANNE CHISHTI The global call to address climate change has reached a critical juncture, and the finance sector stands at the forefront of this transformative journey. As nations strive to achieve Net Zero by mid-century, the finance industry must not merely follow, but lead the way. At FINTECH Circle, we support the finance and fintech sector in planning its Net Zero transition, and we believe it has an important leadership role in encouraging other industries in their decarbonisation efforts.

Planning the Net Zero transition Integrating sustainability into core strategies To effectively transition to Net Zero, financial institutions must integrate sustainability into their core strategies. This involves incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into decision-making processes, from investment choices to risk assessments. Transparent reporting and accountability Transparent reporting is fundamental to the success of any Net Zero plan. Financial institutions must adopt standardised, comprehensive reporting frameworks to track and disclose their carbon emissions and sustainability initiatives, building trust among investors. Collaboration and knowledge sharing Collaboration is key in the Net Zero journey. Financial institutions should actively engage with industry peers, regulators, and stakeholders to share knowledge and best practices. Joint initiatives and partnerships can amplify the impact of individual efforts.

Fintech innovation Harnessing fintech advances is imperative for a successful Net Zero transition. The finance sector can leverage technologies such as blockchain for transparent supply chain finance and AI for data-driven decision-making. Embracing innovation not only enhances operational efficiency but also opens up new avenues for sustainable finance solutions.

Why finance should lead Catalysing systemic change As the lifeblood of economic activities, the finance sector has the power to catalyse systemic change. By leading in decarbonisation efforts, it sets an example for other industries to follow. Risk mitigation and long-term value Taking a leadership role in the Net Zero transition is not just about compliance; it’s a strategic move for risk mitigation and long-term value creation. Climate change poses significant risks to financial stability. Proactively addressing these risks positions financial institutions to thrive in a low-carbon economy and deliver sustainable returns to their stakeholders. Meeting stakeholder expectations Investors, customers, and employees are increasingly prioritising sustainability.



Susanne Chishti, CEO of FINTECH Circle, believes it’s imperative for the finance sector to lead the way on decarbonisation. Here’s how…



Financial institutions that align with these expectations not only attract and retain talent but also secure investments from a growing pool of socially conscious investors. Demonstrating a commitment to Net Zero goals enhances brand reputation and fosters a positive relationship with stakeholders.

Supporting other industries Financing green initiatives Finance can play a pivotal role in directing capital toward projects that promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable infrastructure. Advisory services and expertise Financial institutions possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise in risk management, investment strategies, and financial planning. By advising and sharing their experience, finance professionals can guide other industries in their decarbonisation journeys. Innovative financial products Developing innovative financial products that prioritise sustainability supports decarbonisation. Green bonds, sustainability-linked loans, and other financial instruments tailored to environmentally conscious businesses advance Net Zero goals. I have met many green fintech startups and believe that the finance sector stands at a pivotal juncture, where its decisions and actions will significantly shape the global response to climate change. We can jointly help steer the world towards a more sustainable and equitable future.

AT A GLANCE Susanne Chishti is CEO of FINTECH Circle and co-editor of The FINTECH Book Series, which has been translated into 10 languages and is sold across 107 countries. As a global fintech influencer, investor and board member, she is in demand as a keynote speaker at leading finance and technology conferences globally. Susanne lives with her family in London and is a non-executive director of FTSE-listed financial institutions. WEBSITE:



Ruth Wandhöfer identifies three evolving technologies that will have a critical impact on financial services over the next 12 months Let’s start with my long-term fascination: payments. Whilst open banking is still slow and rather imperfect across European markets – something that the forthcoming Payment Services Regulation and revised Payments Services Directive (PSD3) is trying to address – open banking in the UK has clearly benefited from having standardised Open APIs, enforced via conformance testing and certification. We are finally seeing the green shoots of a more organised regulatory approach in the US, too, where the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a policy proposal in late 2023 to require banks, card issuers and other payment service providers, including digital wallet providers, to enable consumers to share their data with third parties to promote competition and choice. All of this should happen via open, standardised and secure interfaces. APIs come into play here, finally sunsetting the practice of ‘screen scraping’. This creates a lot of opportunity for fintechs as well as opening the door to embedded finance, which is a much broader sales pipeline than banks’ bricks-and-mortar or limited proprietary channels and interfaces. Another area of fascination for me is the future of our money. I’m not only talking about cryptocurrencies and digital assets or stablecoins (more of

the latter increasingly being regulated in key markets like the US, EU and UK), but rather central banks’ attempt to keep their role and that of fiat money alive. With more than $250trillion of money printed by central banks after the financial crisis, we all witnessed the speedy loss of value in our pockets. As more decentralised – or, at least, less centralised alternatives – continue to emerge, central banks want to preserve a world where their money rules. This is why most central banks are working on developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The European Central Bank has decided to take it to the next level in 2024 and I expect to see more detail around pilots coming to the fore. Fintech will play a key role here in areas like digital wallets and data flow. In light of all of these moving parts, we have one technology variable that has the power to change everything: artificial intelligence. But context for AI is a big problem. Ultimately, all the recent advances in AI rely on applying statistical techniques. This gives the impression of intelligence but it leads to AI missing relevant information or ‘hallucinating’ answers because a statistically valid inference does not make sense in the context of the real world, or it is based on wrong or historically toxic data. This reinforces the need for humans who understand the

We have one technology variable that has the power to change everything: artificial intelligence

picture, who can become SMEs in given areas of finance and provide context. AI also does not have a moral compass, which means, left to themselves, AI-based systems can do things that are basically illegal, e.g. market manipulation. Whilst computer-driven trading firms fear for their profits in the face of AI, executives are already realising that complex (and, frankly, even simple) algorithms can not necessarily distinguish between fake and genuine data. The EU is in the last strides of agreeing tough AI regulation whilst US regulators realised that AI models are being relied upon by those they regulate, which calls for regulating the AI providers in addition to Wall Street. It is time to put serious guardrails in place, but with a market moving so fast, this will be a complex undertaking. And it will, of course, impact AI fintechs across the board. So, beware!

AT A GLANCE Dr Ruth Wandhöfer is an author, speaker, adviser and educator on financial services and technology, who operates at the nexus of data, technology, identity, finance and regulation. She is passionate about creating the decentralised digital economy of the future. Her most recent book, Redecentralisation: Building The Digital Financial Ecosystem, was published earlier this year. WEBSITE: THEFINTECHPOWER50


Reimagining the mortgage industry The story of Habito’s emergence as a fintech leader is an impressive one. Founded by Daniel Hegarty after his own mortgage application went horribly wrong, he wanted the business to help borrowers avoid the headaches of comparing mortgages and transform homebuying into a fast, transparent and jargon-free experience. Habito does that by using a combination of cutting-edge technology



Pioneering platform Habito has had a remarkable year as it continues to redefine the homebuying process and industry-leading mortgage experts to get the best consumer outcomes. It’s had its challenges over the years, with strong competition, difficult market

conditions and the usual funding issues of an ambitious fintech. But Habito has consistently been at the forefront of redefining the mortgage industry, embarking on a visionary journey to empower homeowners and streamline the path to obtaining a mortgage. Habito redefined the process of homeownership with the launch of a market-leading, intuitive Digital Mortgage Platform in 2016. This monumental move was aimed at making mortgage advice

H A B I T O more accessible to consumers in the way they needed it most: unbiased, available, and, most importantly, free. The platform revolutionised the way consumers discussed their mortgage needs and Habito continues to be one of only a handful of brokers that offer an end-to-end digital service. Through pioneering technology, the company deployed a powerful algorithm that has transformed the process of getting the right mortgage, alongside mortgage experts who support the consumer throughout the journey. This innovative approach ensured that consumers had access to the advice they needed without the constraints of long fact-finding questionnaires, lengthy queues or hold times.


The platform revolutionised the way consumers discussed their mortgage needs and Habito continues to be one of only a handful of brokers that offer an end-to-end digital service Habito’s digital mortgage platform was a direct response to the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Advice Market Review, which called for greater accessibility to financial services advice for British consumers. The platform was designed to meet these needs and was a giant leap forward in creating less friction in the mortgage market. But Habito was not just about getting mortgage advice quicker; it was about transforming the way people approach their mortgage.

TIME FOR CHANGE Habito’s mission is to help everyone in the UK find the right mortgage forever. It has already assisted nearly 550,000 individuals in understanding their mortgage needs with an excellent 4.8 Trustpilot score from almost 8,500 reviews. Its forward-thinking approach extends to understanding the evolving landscape of the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad.’ In a recent

study, it discovered that nine out of 10 parents with adult children expect to financially assist them in purchasing their first homes, with an average gift size of £23,000. The research highlighted the stark contrast between expectations and reality, with more than half of adult children expecting no financial support from their parents. For those who do expect support, the figures often fell short, indicating the need for clarity in homeowners’ financial journeys. Habito’s findings uncovered that four out of five homeowners in the UK felt they had compromised on their first homes, driven by mortgage borrowing limits and deposit constraints. Daniel left Habito in May 2023 and passed the baton to industry pioneer and seasoned entrepreneur, Ying Tan who became CEO and a significant shareholder in the business. Having started, scaled and exited one of the largest buy-to-let mortgage brokers in the UK, Ying brought the perfect balance of experience, cultural fit and background to fast-track Habito to sustainable growth. And, over the past year, Habito has indeed witnessed an incredible evolution. In September 2023, Habito achieved its first monthly EBITDA profit, a remarkable turnaround from the average monthly EBITDA loss of £897,000 in the previous year. This is a testament to the commitment to not just groundbreaking innovation and great consumer outcomes, but also to a sustainable business model, built for longevity. The company aims to achieve full-year profitability by 2024, all the while prioritising the financial well-being of its consumers. As we stand at the threshold of a new era in mortgages, Habito’s commitment to innovation and empowerment remains unwavering. It is not just pioneering digital transformation. By simplifying complex jargon, introducing groundbreaking tech, and revealing disparities, Habito is reimagining the very essence of what it means to get a mortgage in a landscape marked by constant change.

WHO WE ARE Using a unique combination of cutting-edge technology and industry-leading mortgage experts, homebuyers and homeowners can, for the first time, be sure they are getting the best deal for them. Whether they’re a first-time buyer, moving, remortgaging, or simply taking back control of their finances, a mortgage is a big decision – it’s no surprise that four out of five people seek advice from a broker. Unlike a traditional broker, Habito’s technology analyses every mortgage on the market from more than 90 lenders to find the best one in seconds. We’re with borrowers every step of the way. They have a dedicated mortgage expert who will keep them updated with the progress of their application, from start to finish, and will always be on the end of the phone or live chat to answer questions. Habito gets them the best mortgage possible for free. We’re fast, transparent and impartial. *Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage


Mortgage platform KEY PERSONNEL:

Ying Tan, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: UK EMAIL: TEL: +44 (0) 330 2230 996 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/habitoX: @habito

WHAT WE DO Making mortgages easier




CHANGING THE WORLD OF BANKING The relationship people share with banks is evolving, thanks to embedded finance. Alex Mifsud, CEO and Co-founder of Weavr, explains how it’s helping banks themselves design, distribute and oversee integrated next-gen financial services

At its most basic, embedded finance refers to the integration of financial services into non-financial settings. With this innovation, banks can incorporate new services in unconventional places where traditional banking functionalities wouldn’t typically be expected. Banks have already progressed from physical branches to providing services



over the phone; then, they moved on to the internet and, eventually, they introduced mobile apps. The next evolution is to embed banking services within non-banking digital applications, a step beyond delivery of financial services via banking apps. For example, if you’re using an app to purchase a car, why shouldn’t it also provide you with car financing? There’s no need for a separate lender when everything can be seamlessly

integrated for your convenience. Not only do financial services, placed in context, help to generate better customer experiences, but they can also reduce the likelihood of customer churn. The concept is applicable to a broad range of financial services, which not only unlocks innovation for businesses, it also enables financial institutions to add significant new revenue streams, which, in turn, drives greater returns from their assets. However, to get the most from this shift, it’s important for banks to carefully plan out their strategy,

and equip themselves for execution through the adoption of technology that allows them to fully meet their customers’ needs while ensuring they safely follow the rules of the game. Because, as banks will know, mistakes can be expensive and can generate the wrong sort of headlines. In the main, established banks have invested extensively in enhancing their digital capabilities, with the aim of providing improved services to their customers. In certain regions, such as the UK and Europe, regulators have encouraged this development through legislation such as open banking. Many banks have found it challenging to see significant returns on their investment in improving open access and are beginning to question if they’ve gone far enough. Opening up access to a limited number of services hasn’t translated into greater revenue generation for banks, perhaps because a critical mass of accessible services needs to be reached before digital businesses can unlock the revenue-generating synergies that banks may have envisioned. In response, many banks have explored or are exploring the concept of banking-as-a-service (BaaS), which provides the means not just to access existing financial products, but to enable digital businesses to create new ones, using the bank’s licence. While many BaaS solutions are powerful, it’s safe to say it hasn’t been quite the silver bullet that some banks had hoped it would be. BaaS represents an exciting frontier in the banking world. However, the increased responsibility that comes with greater power should give banks pause for thought. When banks grant third-party developers access to their digital capabilities to build new


products and experiences, it raises the potential for the bank to lose effective oversight and control. How can banks embrace BaaS, yet ensure they retain full control over how their assets are offered and consumed? It’s their licence, after all, and, as far as the regulator is concerned, the buck stops with them. Thankfully, a possible solution lies in banks taking a more proactive role in how financial services are embedded and managed within the embedded form. Instead of merely offering direct APIs to BaaS platforms, banks should put more emphasis on actively developing financial products that have been specifically designed for integration into third-party platforms, complete with the necessary controls, compliance and data security built-in to ensure safety from financial crime, of regulations, and unfair treatment of customers.

Instead of merely offering direct APIs to BaaS platforms, banks should put more emphasis on actively developing financial products designed for integration into third-party platforms

Looking ahead, I envision the development of operating systems and platforms akin to Weavr’s Embedded Finance Cloud. Our platform equips banks with a comprehensive solution to design, distribute, and oversee the next generation of financial services that are intended for integration into software applications. This approach marries innovation with safety, enabling banks to lead the way in embracing the opportunity offered by embedded finance while safeguarding their licence and without compromising the customer experience. As we enter 2024, banking continues to evolve, ushering in a future where finance is more deeply integrated, more accessible, more convenient, and more user-friendly. However, as banks navigate these uncharted waters, they must proceed with caution, striking a balance between innovation and safety. Thankfully, technology is rapidly becoming available to enable banks and other financial institutions to do that, unlocking the full benefit of embedded finance across their products and services.



Weavr supercharges revenue and customer experience with embeddable financial products for digital businesses and banks.


It offers complete solutions with built-in control and compliance so you can launch easily and scale safely. Our proven embedded finance technology for banks offers product and innovation teams controlled access to new markets. With a safe and transparent platform, your financial institution can create embeddable financial products for any digital business to deploy.



Embedded finance

Alex Mifsud, CEO & Co-founder (right) HEAD OFFICE: UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Malta EMAIL: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/weavrpayments X: @WeavrPayments

WHAT WE DO Fast, seamless embedded finance




THE HANDS-ON APPROACH TO FRAUD PREVENTION SEON CALLS FOR MORE PROACTIVE, COLLABORATIVE CRIME-FIGHTING According to research from UK Finance, online fraud is now the most common form of crime affecting the UK, costing the nation more than £1.2billion in 2022. While the threat to both businesses and individuals has never been greater, decisive government action – ideally, in the form of consumer education and support for vulnerable businesses – has been lacking. It seems that UK companies are left with two options: to sit idly by and accept the inevitable, or fight back while continuing to push for better government support. There is a lot more that companies can do to protect themselves and their customers. And those that take a holistic approach by educating their customers on fraud protection not only lower their own risk but also build consumer confidence in the safety of their operations.



In short, companies who proactively tackle fraud will unlock hidden growth opportunities and a competitive edge.

BECOMING PROACTIVE NOT REACTIVE The solution to blocking fraud, both at the company and consumer level, is getting deep into the minds of fraudsters, understanding their methods and their changing approaches, so that you can stop attacks before they happen, rather than incur the cost of damage control.

Of course, this is hard to achieve because fraud sits behind the impenetrable walls of hidden identities, fake accounts and the dark web. Yet, even these activities send signals that reveal fraud patterns, and, by reading those signals, businesses can better protect themselves and consumers. Companies like SEON now use machine learning – both black-box and white-box algorithms – and behavioural analysis to unpick the fraudsters’ methods as they evolve. For example, by mapping a customer’s digital footprint – that is their social and online accounts, and analysing their email, phone number, and IP – businesses can delve deep into buyer habits, income, and, most crucially, whether the account holder is who they say they are. The lack of any digital footprint

signals a high risk that the account holder could be a fraudster, but not all fraud is so easy to detect. That’s why companies like SEON look at a number of indicators, finding breadcrumbs across a customer’s digital trail to create a comprehensive risk profile. Flagging fraudsters before onboarding means companies reduce the chance of exposing themselves to fraud attacks and also lowers their KYC costs by not having to run expensive IDV checks on every single sign-up. And with machine learning algorithms that constantly adapt to changing fraud behaviours, businesses can always stay one step ahead.


Most business leaders understand the need to move from the reactive state of fraud detection to a proactive state of fraud prevention, yet most consumers lack knowledge of either. The customer consensus is that businesses should take ownership of protecting them. The truth is that it’s a shared responsibility, and business leaders are best placed to lead the way for both customers and government to follow. By better understanding the methods fraudsters take, leaders can not only take

By working together, we can unpick fraud patterns by industry, region, and by the changing approaches our attackers take

preventative steps, but they can also educate their customers and inform the government. The ideal is to have an open and collaborative approach to pre-fraud, because sharing fraud insights is the best way to knock down the walls that fraudsters hide behind. While this takes investment, the return is considerable, including lower risk of fraud or regulatory fines but also improved access to customers and stronger consumer confidence.

THE COST OF FRAUD Leaders who fail to see the value of investing in this collaborative approach to fraud are often those who have not assessed the collective cost of fraud to their business. By taking a proactive and collaborative approach to fraud prevention, we believe that controlling risk can become a growth opportunity. Companies such as SEON are here to lead that effort. We’re calling on global businesses to join forces in the battle against fraud, and we’re sharing our own insights into the patterns of fraud so that, together, we can stop fraud before it happens. By working together, we can unpick fraud patterns by industry, region, and by the changing approaches that our attackers take. It’s our goal to give businesses, customers and governments control over fraud prevention, putting an end to the fear that fraudsters lay in wait behind every corner.

WHO WE ARE SEON's end-to-end prefraud solution offers a simplified, modern way to fight fraud. The company's fraud and anti-money laundering (AML) platform empowers businesses to detect and prevent potential threats before they happen. With its API-first approach, SEON lets you seamlessly onboard customers while proactively monitoring activities and journeys. SEON's digital profiling uses unique digital and social footprints within a transparent machine-learning model. With lightning-fast real-time analysis and a comprehensive decision-making engine, your fraud teams can efficiently scale operations without relying solely on blackbox machine-learning models that are known for producing false positives and contextless correlations. The result is precise pre-fraud prevention and AML solutions that give your business the edge on a global scale.


Fraud management KEY PERSONNEL:

Tamas Kadar, CEO (right)


Indonesia, North America CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/seon-tech

WHAT WE DO Simplifying fraud management




How Paymob is transforming SME commerce in MENA-P with APMs The turn of the century heralded a new dawn for commerce. Historically, payment methods had been somewhat rigid, revolving largely around cash or cards. But as our world grew smaller with the advent of the internet, the demand for more inclusive, user-friendly and secure payment methods rose. Thus began the evolution of alternative payment methods (APMs). Standing on the brink of a new era of commerce, it is essential for SMEs to embrace this sea change.



Studies show that offering more payment methods directly correlates to higher conversion rates, as well as increased sales and revenue for businesses of all sizes, but especially SMEs. That’s where Paymob comes in. Its mission is to fuel SME growth by offering a payments infrastructure that delivers cutting-edge financial technologies to businesses of all sizes. Paymob’s omnichannel payments infrastructure enables merchants to accept online and offline payments and offers the most comprehensive payment acceptance solutions in the region. Walking through the bustling alleyways of Cairo or browsing the e-commerce stores of Dubai and Riyadh, you’ll see that APM providers like PayPal, Tamara and Tabby are no longer ‘alternative’. They are mainstream. In the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENA-P), this change is monumental. For SMEs, understanding and integrating these methods can be the difference between fleeting success and sustainable growth.

Here are some of the most prevalent APMs that Paymob enables for merchants in the MENA-P region: ■ Digital wallets: Digital cash or card information is stored on mobile devices. They can be used in-store at NFC point-of-sale devices, for peer-to-peer transfers and for online payments. Digital wallets can also hold cash balances within apps. ■ Buy now, pay later: A credit-like option that allows customers to pay for purchases with interest-free installment plans. ■ Bank transfers: Customers transfer funds directly from their bank accounts to pay for transactions – much like debit cards, but without the use of a physical card. ■ Mobile payments: A wide variety of payment methods using a mobile phone or tablet, these include QR code payments, app-based payments, payment links and soft point-of-sale transactions.

What does this all mean for SMEs in MENA-P? It means opportunity. By integrating APMs, SMEs can unlock doors that previously seemed impenetrable. APMs offer:

successful sale and a lost customer. By diversifying payment options, businesses cater to an expansive customer base with varied preferences, ensuring smooth, frictionless transactions.

A universal language of trade

Security and financial prudence

The omnipresence of platforms like Ali Baba’s Alipay underscores a significant point: APMs are rewriting global commerce’s rulebook. A SME in Saudi Arabia can seamlessly transact with a customer in South Africa. These payment methods are becoming the universal language of trade in a world where geographical boundaries are blurring.

Every transaction is underscored by trust. With rising cyber threats, the secure frameworks of many APMs, such as tokenised digital wallets, offer businesses and customers alike a shield against potential breaches. Beyond security, the financial prudence of APMs is undeniable. With often lower transaction fees than traditional credit systems, they allow SMEs to maximise their earnings.


Paymob aims to make growing a business in the digital economy simple, seamless and agile Elevating the customer experience It’s not enough for businesses to offer a product or service; the transactional experience is equally pivotal. In a digital landscape where attention spans are fleeting, the absence of a preferred APM can be the difference between a

WHO WE ARE Paymob is the leading financial services enabler in the Middle East North Africa and Pakistan (MENA-P). Our mission is to fuel SME growth by offering a payments infrastructure that delivers cutting-edge financial technologies to businesses of all sizes. Our omnichannel payments infrastructure enables merchants to accept online and offline payments, make payments, manage their finances and grow their businesses, all in one place. Since its founding in 2015, Paymob has offered the largest and most comprehensive number of payment acceptance solutions in MENA-P. Today, we enable more than 40 online and in-store payment methods via our gateway, point of sale (POS), and soft

Democratising the marketplace APMs are inclusive by nature. They reach unbanked and underserved consumers that conventional banking often overlooks. Whether it’s offering credit-like solutions to those without credit cards or enabling transactions in regions with limited banking infrastructure, APMs are driving financial inclusion to make commerce accessible to unbanked and underserved consumers and business owners everywhere. POS mobile app. We aim to make the process of growing a business in the digital economy simple, seamless and agile, while delivering a great customer experience to our merchants and innovative products to our partners. Paymob powers millions of transactions worth billions of dollars for more than 250,000 businesses, including some of the biggest names in our region – such as Vodafone, LG, Virgin, IKEA, Foodics, Shahid, Chalhoub Group, Uber – as well as MSMEs. We enable more than 18 million users on our payment rails and have 87 per cent market share of total processed value of mobile wallets in Egypt.

Ahead of the curve The financial landscape is in a constant state of innovation, with new payment solutions emerging at breakneck pace. APMs will evolve and the inherent agility of SMEs means they can ride this wave to offer customers the latest in payment convenience.

PAYMOB’S ROLE Paymob aims to make growing a business in the digital economy simple, seamless and agile, while delivering great customer experiences. SMEs that diversify their payment options cater to a broader audience while building a robust foundation for growth. Paymob is at the forefront of this transformation, empowering SMEs in MENA-P to seamlessly adopt and benefit from evolving APMs. It ensures that merchants can navigate the digital transformation of payments with ease, providing not just payment processing, but also acting as a strategic ally in their journey towards sustainable growth. APMs, with their adaptability and inclusiveness, are no longer the future, they are the present. For SMEs in the MENA-P region, Paymob enables them to seize this golden opportunity.


Co-founders Islam Shawky, Mostafa Menessy and Alain El Hajj HEAD OFFICE: Egypt LOCAL PRESENCE IN: KSA, UAE,

Oman, Pakistan CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/paymobcompany X: @paymobcompany

WHAT WE DO Enable payments anywhere THEFINTECHPOWER50



A WAVE OF INTEROPERABILITY It’s the technology trend that, according to PXP Financial, will shape the next five years of financial services In the world of payments, individuals are increasingly recognising the transformative power of interoperability, which is enhancing payment experiences for the better. Interoperability is not another buzzword; it’s become a fundamental concept. Put simply, payments interoperability is a means to enable payment systems to work together smoothly. It is the ability of different payment systems, financial institutions and platforms to seamlessly exchange and process transactions. It means that a user can initiate a payment from one service or platform and have it processed and received by another, regardless of the specific providers involved. We should view interoperability as a sweeping wave of



business transformation across sectors that will likely influence people’s lives in the coming five years. We are currently in the midst of transition from developing isolated digital capabilities to establishing the underpinnings of a novel reality. This reality seamlessly merges our physical lives with our digital lives, creating a shared experience. When we shop, we either go into a store or pull up a webpage. We work remotely or in person. We collaborate with people and computers, but usually not at the same time. Transitioning between them can be challenging, confusing or impossible. That’s all changing.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? Interoperability offers substantial advantages to financial institutions, businesses, their customers, and the broader financial ecosystem. It brings enhanced convenience, and simplifies financial management, allowing both businesses and individuals to require fewer accounts for seamless fund transfers across multiple systems and platforms. Cost reduction is an inevitable outcome of interoperability as it eliminates obstacles to smooth payments, potentially resulting in operational cost savings. Customers also stand to benefit from improved choice as the technologies

underpinning services and products become more compatible. In the crucial domains of regulation, compliance, security and fraud detection, interoperability plays a pivotal role, too. When payments systems seamlessly collaborate, transaction data sharing becomes effortless, facilitating more effective monitoring and prevention of fraud. Cross-border payments are poised to become exceptionally seamless and tconvenient, fostering a sense of greater global connectivity. This enhanced efficiency will benefit global commerce and international trade, while individuals will gain improved access. Interoperability not only streamlines cross-border payments, but also fosters innovation and healthy competition among industry players. It can be seen as a driving force for global commerce growth by lowering trade barriers and prompting financial inclusion. With potential to fuel much-needed economic growth, interoperability may become a fundamental driver in the financial landscape. On a global scale, payments interoperability has the potential to alleviate financial exclusion, opening doors for the underbanked and underserved populations to participate in the global economy. This prospect carriers the promise of poverty reduction and a significant boost to economic development. For instance, many people in underserved regions heavily rely on mobile banking, however face barriers such as security issues and lack of technical infrastructure. Globally, 1.7billion people are

unbanked, yet two-thirds of them own a mobile phone, which they could use to access mobile banking services. Interoperability will be fundamental to opening up access to financial services, as well as building the trust and security required to fuel global adoption of payments innovations. Additionally, governments can harness payments interoperability to streamline state payments systems, and we might witness the integration of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) through interoperable mechanisms. In the fintech and payments sector, industry leaders are actively exploring the multifaceted applications of interoperability. This ranges from expanding the availability of digital currency options, integration with blockchain and decentralised finance, to driving personalisation in financial services. For fintech startups that are aiming to harness the power of interoperability, the foremost strategy should involve a commitment to innovation, cultivating

the complexities of a culture of creativity, disruption and international payments curiosity within your team. Additionally and transfers is vital for prioritising, top-tier customer service reaping the emerging benefits is paramount. Building trust and of interoperability over the next five maintaining effective communication years. PXP Financial is the partner should be the bedrock of any of choice for seamless cross-border transformation effort. Assisting payments, with an acquirer-agnostic customers through intricacies of approach and focus on frictionless integration, promptly addressing issues, payments, which increases and actively seeking We are authorisation rates. customer feedback to currently We enable e-commerce tailor and enrich the in the midst of a around the world by offering experience, all contribute to collaborating transition from more than 120 alternative payment methods and with customers in developing supporting 11 settlement seizing a competitive isolated digital currencies. Our cross-border advantage together. capabilities to product benefits from PXP Financial has the technical expertise and establishing the integrations to Mastercard’s experience to guide underpinnings cross-border platform and offers multiple payout options businesses through the shift to interoperability. As of a novel reality that meet the needs of both banked and unbanked recipients. a leading payments provider, we have Meanwhile, our acquiring license a long heritage of staying ahead of allows us to connect our customers the game when it comes to innovating directly to card schemes with no and adopting new solutions. need for an intermediary. Selecting a partner that can navigate

WHO WE ARE As a leading payments provider with significant experience in shaping and leading innovations in the payments space, PXP Financial exemplifies operational excellence, best-in-class service and client satisfaction. Our comprehensive end-to-end payment platform is designed to empower business growth. We offer a single, unified payments solution that caters to online, mobile and point-of-sale transactions. Backed by in-house acquiring capabilities, a diverse array of more than 120 alternative payment methods and a suite of financial services, PXP Financial processes in excess of €22.7billion annually through our unified gateway. Our diverse team of 200 employees, representing 25 nationalities, collaborates across offices in the UK, Austria, Bulgaria, India, and the US. Our core principles are rooted in a commitment to success, fearlessness in driving change, the cultivation of

The PXP Finanicial Management Team

trust and a commitment to continuous learning. PXP Financial fosters a positive and nurturing work environment where employee achievements and progress are celebrated, and we have a 25 per cent higher-than-market rate for promotions. We recently achieved UK’s Most Loved Workplace® certification, underscoring our commitment to supporting our employees to thrive. In the dynamic realm of payments, PXP Financial remains at the forefront by harnessing innovative technologies and new solutions, creating a top-tier payment experience for our valued customers.

WHAT WE DO Enabling the e-commerce shift


PXP Financial



Austria, Bulgaria, India, US EMAIL: TEL: +44 (0) 203 8850 598 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/pxpfinancial X: @pxpfinancial



Code no bias

IDVerse is pioneering the use of generative AI technology to achieve maximum inclusion and fairness. But it is also urging engineers to take a digital oath, as CTO Matt Adams explains In an economy where online transactions are beginning to supersede in-person interactions, identity verification (IDV) technology has become the critical connective tissue between businesses and consumers everywhere. It’s now considered table stakes in almost every industry, from banking to employment to gaming. The most advanced IDV solutions use generative AI and neural networks along with biometric data, such as a person’s face, to authenticate users seeking to perform a high-risk activity like withdrawing funds from a bank account or placing a sports bet. One requirement, therefore, is to create solutions that stay ahead of bad actors by using this technology better than they do.



Synthetic media, more commonly known as deepfakes, enable the creation of highly realistic manipulated video, image and audio hoaxes that can convincingly impersonate individuals. They can be incredibly hard to detect with the unaided human eye. In the commission of deepfake-facilitated identity fraud, perpetrators can gain access to resources, commit crimes, and damage reputations. But institutions face a larger threat than fraud and deepfakes – the pervasive issue of AI bias. Ensuring that biometric and document verification technologies function effectively for users, regardless of ethnicity, age, sex, or gender identity, is vital.

Bias can manifest in a myriad of ways. For instance, a seemingly innocuous prompt such as ‘show me faces of successful business owners’ on a typical image-generative AI platform like Midjourney can disproportionately favour Western, white, male faces, neglecting the fact that the vast majority – more than 75 per cent – of the world’s population lives in Asia and Africa. AI programs often reinforce stereotypes because human engineering teams have inherent biases that get encoded into the algorithms. As leaders of technology, we therefore have found ourselves at the crossroads of innovation and responsibility. Our creations – the software solutions that we engineer – can either exacerbate societal biases or serve as a force for positive change. The choice is ours to make.

I D V E R S E To face this challenge head on, IDVerse is introducing the Code Zero Bias Oath, inspired by the enduring principles of the Hippocratic Oath, but tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities of our field. The following oath embodies our collective commitment to reducing algorithmic bias, promoting fairness, and upholding the highest ethical standards in AI software development. I, as a software engineer, solemnly swear to uphold the principles and practices outlined in this Code Zero Bias Oath. In my pursuit of designing, developing, and deploying software, I commit to the following: Do no harm I shall prioritise the well-being of individuals and communities who may be affected by the software I create. I will strive to ensure that my work does not cause harm or perpetuate bias, discrimination, or inequality.



As leaders of technology, we have found ourselves at the crossroads of innovation and responsibility

Equity and fairness I will actively seek to identify and rectify biases in algorithms and data sets. I pledge to promote fairness and impartiality, striving to create software that treats all individuals equally, regardless of their background, race, gender, or any other personal characteristic. Transparency and accountability I will be transparent about the decision-making processes and data sources used in my software. I accept responsibility for the consequences of my work and will be accountable for any biases or ethical lapses that may arise. Inclusivity I will advocate for diverse and inclusive teams, recognising that different perspectives lead to more robust and ethical solutions. I will actively work to create an environment where underrepresented voices are heard and valued.




learning 5 Continuous I understand that technology

compliance 9 Regulatory I will adhere to all relevant laws,

evolves rapidly, and I commit to staying informed about emerging best practices, guidelines, and regulations related to algorithmic bias and ethical software development. User privacy and consent I will respect user privacy and seek informed consent for data collection and usage. I will implement strong data protection measures to safeguard user information. Mitigation and remediation If I discover bias or ethical concerns in software I have developed, I will take immediate steps to mitigate harm and rectify the issues. I will report such concerns to relevant stakeholders and take corrective action. Community engagement I will actively engage with the communities impacted by my software, seeking their feedback and addressing their concerns. I will be open to criticism and commit to improving my work based on community input.

regulations, and industry standards related to algorithmic fairness and data ethics in software development. Advocacy for ethical technology I will advocate for the responsible and ethical use of technology within my organisation and the broader industry. I will use my influence to promote ethical practices and raise awareness about the importance of reducing algorithmic bias. I acknowledge that my work as a software engineer has a profound impact on society, and I accept this oath as a solemn commitment to ethical software development. I will strive to uphold these principles throughout my career, recognising that my actions can shape the future of technology and its impact on humanity.





By taking this Code Zero Bias Oath, software engineers demonstrate their dedication to ethical software development, with a focus on reducing algorithmic bias and promoting fairness, transparency, and accountability.



IDVerse lets you scale your business to the world by automatically verifying new users in seconds with just their face and smartphone in more than 220 countries and territories.


Through our quest for Zero Bias AI™-tested technology, we pioneered the use of generative AI to train deep neural network systems to protect against discrimination by race, age and gender. Through our advancements in the field of natural vision processing (NVP), we’re teaching machines to autonomously see and perceive like humans, and excel in ways that people cannot. Startups, governments and global enterprises including HSBC, Vodafone, BMW, Virgin Money and ANZ, trust IDVerse to offer borderless and inclusive ID verification to their customers. IDVerse is Series B venture-funded with headquarters in London and offices in North America, Asia and Europe.


An OCR Labs Company


John Myers, CEO (right)


Australia, Turkey, US

CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/idverse X: @enteridverse

WHAT WE DO Fully automated identity authentication – no intervention required




Ghela Boskovich channels Hollywood for a digital lesson in supply side economics Some of you aren’t old enough to have seen Field Of Dreams in the movie theatre. I am. It’s a love story about baseball, fathers and sons, and about following a crazy idea to the very limit. It has cinematographic moments of stunning minimalist beauty: corn fields in Iowa are surprisingly soothingly picturesque. It’s also an unconventional treatise on supply side economics. The most famous quote from the movie, a whisper in the wind, is ‘build it, and they will come’. ‘It’ is a baseball field; ‘they’ are the ghosts of baseball legends. Beautiful story, beautiful film. Interesting lesson in supply creating demand. It’s akin to the creation of scalable data-sharing economies today. Build the means and method of value exchange, and consumers will share their data. Create a compelling value proposition that requires personal data and insights to deliver; articulate the value of that proposition in a clear, transparent way; follow a security- and privacy-first approach, based on authentication, authorisation, and consent, for the data to be shared; and the data flows. Build it and they will share. Why? What’s the impetus? Why does it matter? And why is this about supply side when demand is usually the driving force behind consumption? Because data is the driving force behind the art of the possible in a

service-oriented economy. Until the public sees proof of the art of the possible, they aren’t interested in theory. They want tangible proof of an outcome that benefits them, especially when it comes to sharing sensitive personal data, like bank data or health data. They also want that data to be treated like the crown jewels, with security and safety first. This is where the supply side has to build the propositions before the demand side even knows it wants something. Generally, they don’t know what they don’t know they want – until, that is, they see that it exists. Fintech is proof of this. Fintech revealed the value in the gap between information asymmetry, speed of process, and accuracy of assessing risk. With a little bit of data, that gap could be arbitraged: the value of time optimised, the cost and price of risk minimised. But until fintech


Data exchange marketplaces are the literal field of dreams firms entered the market, consumers weren’t aware of what was possible if they were to just share a little bit of data with a small tech company. Given that Boston Consulting Group predicts that fintech will become a $1.5trillion industry by 2030, there’s plenty of evidence of its value, all of which is data/service-oriented. Data exchange marketplaces are the literal field of dreams these days. They are no longer segregated into sector-specific exchanges, either. Instead, they seem to mimic highways and toll roads that intersect (the intersection of data insights from one industry to another), ensuring that data is mobile and portable at speed and scale. When blended, so that insights

from one sector are overlaid or mixed with another, new service resorts – destinations – are built. It takes a lot to build that field of dreams: policy and regulatory frameworks for security and interoperable technical standards; consumer protections and dispute resolution processes; liability frameworks applicable to all participants in the value chain; even a consumer data right and clear data ownership structure. We see governments around the globe coalescing around these building blocks to set up formal data-sharing economies and markets; we see industries self-organising to hasten the construction (with additional incentive to create premium use cases to ensure return on investment). Some are further ahead than others, but it is becoming universally acknowledged that the field cannot remain a dream. Build it and they will share their data. But, and this is most important, they will share if the marketplace reflects ethical treatment, empathetic service design, and effective outcomes for all parties in the data exchange. So, build a transparent, ethical, security-first, field of value – value that isn’t just a dream.

AT A GLANCE Ghela Boskovich is one of the most compelling and thoughtful voices in fintech. A respected contributor to the fintech debate, she holds strong views, particularly on data – how it’s used, how it’s accessed and who owns it. WEBSITE: X: @GhelaBoskovich




The productivity paradigm ChatGPT is to 2023 what Lotus 1-2-3 was to 1983, says Ron Shevlin Remember the spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3? Although it wasn’t the first PC-based spreadsheet on the market when it was introduced in early 1983, it sparked a boom in the adoption of personal computers and was considered the ‘killer app’ for PCs. Lotus 1-2-3 also sparked a boom in employee productivity. It enabled people to track, calculate and manage numerical data like nothing before. Despite the huge gain in productivity, there were some issues, though: users hardcoded errors in calculations, which caused big problems for some companies; documentation of the assumptions going into spreadsheets was weak (more like non-existent), creating a lack of transparency; and there was a lack of consistency and standardisation in the design and use of the spreadsheets. The same issues are present today with the use of ChatGPT and other genAI. There’s a reliance on ChatGPT’s often incorrect output; users frequently don’t document their queries and prompts; and there’s little consistency in the use of the tool across employees in the same department, let alone the same organisation. Lotus 1-2-3 also spawned a number of plugins that enhanced the spreadsheet’s functionality. Similarly, hundreds of plugins exist for ChatGPT. So, what should today’s smart bankers do? the right goals for 1 Set the use of generative AI

Cost reduction is not the goal of generative AI. The early focus of GenAI tool and technology deployment should be on productivity improvement, specifically process acceleration. The impact of generative AI on business isn’t staff replacement – it’s the acceleration of human productivity and creativity. According to Charles Morris,

Microsoft’s Chief Data Scientist for Financial Services: “Don’t think about GenAI as an automation tool, but as a co-pilot – humans do it, and the co-pilot helps them do it faster.” From executing marketing campaigns to developing web sites to developing code to create new data models, it’s about reducing time to market. Evaluate LLM risks Although ChatGPT might currently be the most well-known large language model (LLM) out there, nearly every


was tailor-made for generative AI. GenAI tools help to abstract away some of the issues around data access and reporting software applications. What’s left, though, is the quality of the data. For open-source LLMs that use public internet data, executives should be wary of data quality. While the internet is a data gold mine, it’s a gold mine sitting in the middle of a data landfill. Stick your hand, and you won’t be sure if you’ve got a gold nugget or a handful of garbage. You need to evaluate the quality, availability, and accessibility of specific types of data, for example, customer data and operational performance data.


major technology vendor has a LLM in the works or has recently launched one (Microsoft’s Gorilla and Facebook’s Llama are coming on strong). By the end of the decade, you should expect to be relying on anywhere from 10 to 100 LLMs , depending on your industry and the size of your business. There are two things you can bet on: 1) tech vendors will claim to be incorporating GenAI in their offerings when they really don’t; and 2) tech vendors won’t tell you what the weaknesses and limitations of their LLMs are. As a result, companies will need to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and risks of each model themselves – accuracy, potential for bias, security, transparency, data privacy, etc. Focus on data quality The adage ‘garbage in, garbage out’


Businesses have spent the past 10 years on a ‘digital transformation’ journey, where the focus has been on digitising high-volume transaction processes. That focus is now expanding to enhancing the productivity of knowledge workers in the organisation – IT, legal, marketing, etc. In the short term, you’d be crazy to trust generative AI tools to run the company without human intervention and oversight. There’s too much bad data, leading to too many ‘hallucinations’. But, in the long run, generative AI will be ‘disruptive’ and ‘a game changer’.

AT A GLANCE Ron Shevlin is Chief Research Officer at Cornerstone Advisors where his work focusses on banking and fintech trends. He is an advisor to both established and startup fintechs. Ron is ranked among the top fintech influencers globally and is a frequent keynote speaker at events. He authors the weekly Fintech Snark Tank for Forbes. LINKEDIN: X: @rshevlin THEFINTECHPOWER50


The FaaS pace of change Why Pannovate believes the as-a-service model will be the biggest driver of growth in banking for years to come Most of us no longer buy or even rent our music and films, but simply subscribe to a streaming service. The software that runs our PC is not a one-off purchase, but paid as a monthly licence fee. We don’t even buy our coffee as we once did, but 86


with the convenience of a monthly subscription it’s delivered to our door. Whether we realise it or not, we’ve been living in an as-a-service world for some time, thanks to the business model offering affordability and flexibility to customers, and reliable revenue streams to businesses. So, it’s no surprise that the financial services industry is now getting in on the action. And why not? The as-a-service model provides many benefits –lower upfront costs, easier scalability, reduced IT complexity, increased flexibility, to name but a few –

and all of this provided and fully managed by a third party.

FINTECH-AS-A-SERVICE BOOM As customers now demand enriched, personalised and more human purchasing experiences – especially since the rise in online and mobile payments brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic – businesses are under pressure to deliver even more innovative, advanced and sophisticated financial services products, whilst also complying with regulatory standards and increasing security and reliability.

PA N N O VAT E To do this, they need to be able to access the huge advances in fintech solutions, but also remain focussed on their core competencies. How can they do it all? Over recent years the widespread adoption of cloud services and API delivery has paved the way for the as-a-service model to take hold in fintech – known as fintech-as-a-service (FaaS). Through FaaS, businesses can access a plethora of ready-made banking and payment solutions from a variety of third-party providers, removing the need to invest in and maintain in-house infrastructure and fintech expertise.

Through FaaS, businesses can access a plethora of ready-made banking and payment solutions from a variety of third-party providers The FaaS provider hosts their services via the cloud and offers them as a tech platform via APIs, which the business consumes in a relatively straightforward manner. This means they now have new fintech capabilities at a fraction of the cost and time. The evolution in technology now means that multiple offerings can be achieved with just one integration, with the ability to easily change or add on other services. So, if a new requirement appears, the business can very quickly add it, providing them with market reactivity unlike ever before. The key benefits of FaaS are: ■ Access to expertise – businesses can tap into an FaaS provider’s knowledge of markets, locations, best practices and compliance, reducing the burden of risk and cost ■ Improved financial service offering – ability to offer customers a seamless and reliable service, with an enhanced customer experience ■ Future-proofing and flexibility – the FaaS provider is responsible for all product improvements and enhancements, as well as complying with updates in regulatory

requirements. Through a modular approach, FaaS provides solutions that can be scaled, with the option to add additional fintech services in future ■ Efforts can be focussed on strategic priorities – businesses can better allocate their resources to focus on their core services, outsourcing their financial services capabilities as required

FINTECH, BANKING AND PAYMENTS AS-A-SERVICE FaaS has many applications, including lending, banking, payments, compliance and many more, all of which are now adopting the as-a-service moniker with the emergence of banking-as-a-service (BaaS), payment-as-a-service (PaaS), and almost ‘anything-you-need-as-a-service’ providers answering a business’s every fintech need. BaaS refers to the leveraging of FaaS to deliver banking services for anyone that needs them, whether they are regulated or not. PaaS is the integration of FaaS to handle all aspects of a business’s payments processing. And the same principle applies to lending, compliance and other financial services products that can be provided under the FaaS umbrella. The services have a common thread in that they all rely on the same FaaS concept of API delivery and cloud hosting to achieve the speed of service and flexibility for a business to achieve its goals.

THE NEXT BIG THING IN AS-A-SERVICE The fintech industry is constantly evolving and disrupting and, as consumers are increasingly comfortable with financial services from non-financial companies, the banking-as-a-service market in particular is widely predicted to increase at a rapid rate. Pannovate predicts that the fintechs who have dominated the BaaS space for the last 10 years or so now face some tough competition. The big incumbents are looking to SaaS for their own services, and, in doing so, are waking up to the fact that they have all the building blocks to offer BaaS themselves. Banks are – or should be – looking at BaaS alongside their digital transformation strategies, or they risk missing out on lucrative new revenue streams offered by the BaaS boom.

WHO WE ARE Pannovate is an orchestration layer and banking-as-a-service that empowers banks, fintechs and non-financial organisations to deliver seamless digital experiences and embedded finance. With 150 APIs and a network of 47 truly agnostic vendors from processors to KYC providers and BIN sponsors, clients can seamlessly gain access to Pannovate’s modular solutions to create their value proposition quickly and cost-effectively and launch to market in record time. Our platform and orchestration layer are used for wallet management, payment processing, and card issuing. We provide the most relevant features needed to launch a banking or payments proposition, with the flexibility to develop future capabilities. We work with organisations that aspire to deliver best-in-class solutions and our BaaS and orchestration layer enable you to add any functionality quickly and cost-effectively to create a value proposition and intuitive UX that works for your customers while scaling seamlessly into multiple regions.


Fintech-as-a-service KEY PERSONNEL:

Pavle Ljujic, CEO (right)

HEAD OFFICE: UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Serbia EMAIL: TEL: +44 (0) 203 7731 922 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/pannovate X: @pannovate

WHAT WE DO Fintech-as-a-service solutions for banking and payment providers





There’s a world of opportunity for digital-only banks in Africa. The wise ones will seek out a partner that understands this exciting but infinitely complex continent Over the last decade, a number of digital banks have emerged in Africa that have been tailored to fulfil the needs of a digital world. As significant as these neobanks are for growing the continent’s fintech ecosystem, still 90 per cent of transactions are carried out in cash, because 54 per 88


cent of the population still doesn’t have access to any sort of financial service, including mobile money. Currently, Sub Saharan Africa is home to 45 neobanks and most of them are to be found in two countries: South Africa and Nigeria. Here and elsewhere, cash remains king for several reasons: ■ Limited access to the internet, which in turn means less acceptance of card schemes like Visa and Mastercard ■ Low income – according to the World Bank, 17 of the 20 countries globally with the highest poverty rates can be found in Sub-Saharan Africa ■ With limited financial awareness, many people are prey to digital financial crime Banks and other financial institutions who are looking to bridge this gap

between real life and the digital world in Africa, need to follow the trends that are being set by the people of this continent. And while cash is still the dominant method of payment, the trend is definitely digital. That’s because the population is mostly made up of young people, with a median age of 19 years in West Africa and East Africa, 17 years in Central Africa, and 17 years in the South. And while cultures and languages differ, they all have one thing in common. They are all mobile phone fanatics. They are also highly active on social media. So, when it comes to money, they expect great interactivity and connection with banks and other non-financial institutions. That makes digital-only banks their first preference. Not only are those 45 existing challenger banks making person-to-person transfers, free deposits

SMEs also have a role to play in increasing financial inclusion by adopting digital practices that build data points that fintechs and other players within the payment ecosystem can leverage on.



For anyone looking to build a digital bank from the ground up in Africa, it’s important to understand that it is not one country, but several

and withdrawals easy to conduct, but they are also proving to be a great cost-effective alternative to physical bank branches. One of the most promising digital banks in Africa is TymeBank. Its digitally smart, value-added services are proving a credible alternative to legacy banks in South Africa and, since its launch in 2019, it’s bagged eight million customers. With the right technology and a vision of financial inclusion, TymeBank offers banking services with no monthly fees. Many everyday banking transactions are free while others are subject to minimal charges. Customers can also earn discounts and rewards when they use their debit card at partner retailers. They are able to open a bank account in less than five minutes and get a card issued to them instantaneously from a TymeBank kiosk. Improving access to financial services isn’t just about providing retail accounts;

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is raising hopes for improved digital economic development. The World Bank estimates that the agreement will lift more than 30 million Africans out of poverty, while positively impacting the incomes of another 68 million. Postponed due to the pandemic, the full effects of the trade agreement have yet to be realised in smoother trade between countries, but the pace is quickening. The AfCFTA will also allow entrepreneurs to do business across multiple states and, crucially, be financed across states, too. Alongside the AfCFTA, the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) will facilitate cross-border payments of local African currencies, which is expected to save $5billion a year in currency conversions for businesses. This more centralised payment system, it is hoped, will also reduce risk and fraud.

KEY FACTORS TO WIN For anyone looking to build a digital bank from the ground up in Africa, it’s important to understand that it is not one country, but several with hugely varied demographics. It is therefore vital to identify the right markets and the segments within them. In order to serve a region that has low urbanisation and whose population has limited access to digital services, it is worthwhile working with a technology provider on the ground that understands the environment and can help players in the ecosystem build a proposition at lower cost that‘s also attractive to users. By striking the right balance between outsourcing responsibilities and working in-house to build revenue, we believe that fintechs can successfully bridge the gap between real life and the digital world across the entire African economy. BPC has produced a comprehensive guide to the state of digital banking in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is available to download via our website at



BPC delivers innovative and best-in-class, proven solutions that fit with today’s consumer lifestyle in both urban and rural areas, bridging real life and the digital world.


With more than 350 customers across 100-plus countries, BPC collaborates with all ecosystem players, ranging from Tier 1 banks to neobanks, payment service providers (PSPs) to large processors, e-commerce giants to startup merchants, and government bodies to transport companies. BPC’s SmartVista suite comprises cutting-edge banking, commerce and mobility solutions, including digital banking, ATM and switching, payments processing, fraud management, financial inclusion, merchant portals, transport and smart cities solutions.


Payments solutions


Angelo Bertini, Senior Vice President, MD and Board Member (right) HEAD OFFICE: Switzerland OFFICES: Worldwide WEBSITE: EMAIL: TEL: +41 41 7606470 LINKEDIN: company/bpc-bankingpayments-commerce X: @BPC_SmartVista

WHAT WE DO Enabling real-life transactions THEFINTECHPOWER50



Accelerating trust for financial services 90


Is it possible to establish trust with a customer you’ve never met? Jumio believes it is Challenger banks and fintechs have figured out that today’s customers are unwilling to take the scenic route when it comes to their money. They want to open an account and provide all necessary information online without ever having to step inside a branch. Traditional banks have been slow to adopt this new approach, citing concerns about security and know your customer (KYC) compliance. But advanced identity proofing solutions spot more fraudulent IDs than bankers can, thanks to the use of highly sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI). This technology can also ensure the person holding the ID is actually the person on the ID, through a simple selfie. And with liveness detection, you don’t need the person to be sitting across from you to determine that they’re physically present.

AVOIDING SPEED BUMPS Not all identity proofing solutions are created equal, however. They are often too lax and inaccurate, letting fraudsters through. Or they create too much friction for legitimate customers, driving them away. Take AI, for example. This powerful technology is only as accurate as the data sets on which it was trained. Unfortunately, many solutions were trained on limited data sets intended just for testing, not real-world data with actual fraud attempts. Poor data sets lead to fraudsters slipping through the cracks. They also introduce bias against legitimate customers who don’t look like the people in the data set. Many solutions claim to be 100 per cent automated, but what happens to the scans they can’t process because it’s from an unrecognised ID type? If your provider doesn’t have identity

verification experts to manually process those inconclusive transactions and give you a yes/no decision in real time, you’re going to have to review them yourself — which puts you right back at the starting line. You also need to make sure legitimate customers don’t abandon the account onboarding process because it’s too burdensome. The best solutions solve this problem through orchestration.

Orchestration lets you create dynamic workflows that run the right checks for the right people at the right time Orchestration lets you create dynamic workflows that run the right checks for the right people at the right time. For example, you might background-check the user’s device before they even enter their name and then require more

stringent KYC checks if this device is suspicious. You might even stop the process completely if this device has been used to open fraudulent accounts in the past. It’s also critical that your provider has bank-grade security practices under the hood. Make sure they have industry-standard certifications such as ISO/IEC 27001, PCI DSS and SOC2. If they don’t, it’s time to hit the brakes and look for an alternate route.

PAVING THE ROAD TO SUCCESS Jumio’s AI-driven identity verification platform makes it simple to trust that your customers are who they say they are and evaluate their risk while allowing them to onboard easily and quickly, wherever they are. Jumio’s identity proofing solutions have bank-grade security certifications and are easy to integrate from a single API.



From account opening to ongoing monitoring, the Jumio KYX Platform provides advanced identity proofing, risk assessment and compliance solutions to accurately establish, maintain and reassert trust.


Leveraging advanced technology, including automation, biometrics, AI/machine learning, liveness detection and no-code orchestration with hundreds of data sources, Jumio helps organisations fight fraud and financial crime, onboard good customers faster and meet regulatory compliance, including KYC and AML. It has processed more than one billion transactions, in more than 200 countries and territories from real-time web and mobile transactions. Jumio is backed by Centana Growth Partners, Great Hill Partners and Millennium Technology Value Partners. It operates globally and has been the recipient of numerous awards for innovation.


Identity verification KEY PERSONNEL:

Robert Prigge, CEO (right)


Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/jumio-corporation X: @jumio

WHAT WE DO Helping you to know and trust your customers online




Fulfilling the vision

Colenti has made remarkable progress towards realising its ambition of democratising financial services by embracing digital finance technologies and building its own fintech ecosystem, together with its platform partners Colendi stands out as a pioneering fintech platform, equipped with a digital banking licence in Central and Eastern Europe and in the EMEA region to deliver a full spectrum of financial services, including deposits, lending, asset management and capital markets, as well as insurance in Turkey. Since 2021, the company’s proprietary AI-driven credit scoring engine has been used for 36 million unique customers. Through its joint venture partnerships, it’s seen 17 million registered users on its platform. Colendi’s B2B2C embedded finance approach has resulted in it achieving net income profitability earlier than any of its competitors. Co-founded by serial entrepreneur and angel investor Bülent Tekmen, Colendi set out to revolutionise the financial landscape. Bülent’s previous licensed e-money company, – which has reached more than three million accounts, with one million active monthly digital wallet users – was the subject of one of the biggest deals in the Turkish startup



ecosystem when Cheque-Dejeuner Group acquired a majority stake in May 2016. But Bülent hadn’t finished his mission. He had been working for years to digitally transform the banking industry and the micro credits and credit world and he went on to found Colendi to deliver just that. At its core, Colendi is a protocol for creditworthiness, identity verification, and embedded wallet services, but it


In a world where three billion people do not have access to banks and five billion people do not have access to financial instruments, Colendi continues to touch countless lives continually pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved. With millions of users benefiting from its scoring algorithm and wallet, it has evolved

into an ecosystem that provides modern fintech solutions to consumers, merchants and financial institutions. Today, Colendi offers blockchain-based credit scoring algorithms, micro-credit and e-wallet functionalities embedded in its platforms, and has become a pioneer in many areas of fintech through the sub-brands it has established. The Colendi ecosystem now comprises Colendi, Colendi Securities, Colendi Insurance, SETL, Hadi+, and more entities are planned. Such a diverse range of competencies allows it to seamlessly integrate payment, credit, investment, and insurance solutions into various platforms, ensuring accessibility and ease of use for everyone. In 2021, Colendi established MoneyPay in partnership with Migros, Turkey’s largest food retailer. MoneyPay reached millions of users in a short period of time by offering various financial instruments such as Ready Limit, and buy-now-pay-later. Later the same year, Colendi completed a Series A investment round, raising $39million and reaching a valuation of

$120million. It moved its headquarters to London in line with its globalisation goal and acquired the entire sharesof the blockchain settlement platform SETL. SETL is a London-based provider of blockchain-based payment and settlement systems for the world’s leading corporate and regulated platforms. It’s known for its high-profile work with central banks, custodians and payment institutions. Together with the largest banks in the US, under the leadership of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it acted as the main technology provider in a study that tested the viability of the Regulated Liability Network© (RLN) concept – the first step on the road to the ‘digital dollar’. SETL enabled it to be carried efficiently and quickly on a shared ledger reconciliation system. We believe the strategic acquisition of SETL, combined with the services offered under the Colendi umbrella, positions us as a major player in the corporate blockchain solutions market. It’s a testament to the strength of our platform and our commitment to providing cutting-edge financial solutions. Meanwhile, Colendi’s wealth management brand, neo-brokerage Colendi Securities, was granted an operating licence in Turkey. With the goal of making investing accessible for everyone, Colendi Securities signed a major partnership with Drivewealth, a pioneer in below-lot trading, thereby giving users the opportunity to make easy and accessible investments on their preferred platforms.

Also as part of our evolution, we established Colendi Insurance, an insurtech subsidiary, to deliver innovative insurance solutions. In 2022, we introduced Colendi Insurance, offering a new-generation insurance approach that meets the financial needs of our customers digitally, end to end. This initiative reflects our dedication to providing comprehensive financial services, including insurance, to our ever-growing community. Most recently, Colendi was licensed to establish Turkey’s first digital-native deposit bank. In a world where three billion people do not have access to banks and five

billion people do not have access to financial instruments, Colendi continues to touch countless lives with various embedded, online and offline business models. Always at the heart of our mission is the drive to create a more inclusive financial system, one that empowers individuals to unlock their full potential. We will continue to break new ground globally as we leverage technology in pursuit of our vision to make financial services accessible, affordable, and transparent for all. Thank you for being a part of our journey.



Colendi was established to provide a gateway to financial freedom for all.

COMPANY: Colendi

A multifunctional banking-as-a-service platform, it serves as a bridge between consumers, merchants, and financial institutions by leveraging AI and other technologies to provide credit, banking, investment and insurance products directly and through its partners in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. By continually pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved, we make the complicated simple and empower the unempowered.



Banking-as-a-service KEY PERSONNEL:

Bülent Tekmen, CEO & Co-founder (right) HEAD OFFICE: London, UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Turkey EMAIL: TEL: +90 5339697193 WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/colendi X: @ColendiApp

WHAT WE DO Shaping the future of finance




Financial control at your fingertips




Saudi startup Tweeq is taking customer experience to a new level in MENA-P with smart spending features and advanced security

Tweeq allows users to send, spend and save money through one free mobile account and card that deliver a distinctly different financial experience and rewards them with cashback, discounts and more.

In the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENA-P), a financial revolution is underway, and Tweeq is in the vanguard of it, reshaping how individuals and SMEs manage their finances.

Advanced analytics put the account holder in total control, allowing them to monitor their spending by merchant, category, country and time period. Using a mobile phone or smart watch, they can send and request money freely, quickly and easily, using in-app messaging tools to personalise their transactions. Tweeq is a one-stop-shop for simplifying every financial transaction, bit it a transfer, order or scheduled payment. Licensed by the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia and a strategic partner of MasterCard, and with PCI certification, Tweeq guarantees the highest standards of security in digital payments. With the latest protection technologies, our advanced features enable users to freeze and unfreeze their card in just one click, change their PIN and activate or deactivate cash withdrawals and one-touch payment options. Together, the Tweeq card and account deliver exceptional benefits with a secure, fast and simple user experience that puts financial management at everybody’s fingertips.

Tweeq is a trailblazer in a market eagerly transitioning to digital. Following a significant investment round, it’s gearing up to transcend Saudi borders, with plans to innovate in the financial management sphere across the region. Saeed Albuhairi, Tweeq’s Co-founder and CEO, says the platform represents a paradigm shift, offering a stellar customer experience that is a cut above traditional banking. The company’s commitment dovetails with Saudi Arabia’s vision for a diverse and robust financial sector, setting a precedent that could reverberate across the MENA-P. This commitment has a particular relevance in a nation where the drive for fintech solutions is fuelled by a young, digital-native population and an innovative regulatory landscape.


The demographic makeup of Saudi Arabia, where a significant portion of the population is under the age of nine, underscores the massive potential for future fintech growth

Tweeq stands apart with its comprehensive suite of services, including spending accounts, debit cards, payment mechanisms, financial management tools, and bill payment options. These offerings

exceed mere digital replacements for conventional banking; they redefine convenience, accessibility, and financial autonomy for users. The shift towards such fintech solutions is evidenced by a discerning consumer base that increasingly prefers sophisticated digital financial interactions. The demographic makeup of Saudi Arabia, where a significant portion of the population is under the age of nine, underscores the massive potential for future fintech growth. Tweeq leverages this opportunity with its instant-access spending account via a mobile app, enabling swift transactions, budget setting, and meticulous management of personal spending. The platform’s intuitive design taps into the consumer desire for financial services that match their digital-first lifestyle. The company’s aspirations are not confined to national borders; it has a broader vision for financial inclusivity and empowerment on a regional scale. As fintech continues to disrupt the regional financial landscape, Tweeq’s trajectory is a testament to what can be achieved when innovation meets a deep understanding of consumer demands. By focussing on user experience, Tweeq isn’t just participating in the fintech movement; it is actively shaping it, promising a future where comprehensive financial control is just a smartphone tap away. Tweeq isn’t a single rising fintech enterprise; it is a harbinger of the financial future across the MENA-P. By putting user experience at the heart of whatever we do, Tweeq is defining the course of fintech disruption, ensuring a future where financial tools are universally accessible, enhancing lives, one transaction at a time.


Mobile banking KEY PERSONNEL: Saeed Albuhairi, CEO (right) HEADQUARTERS: Saudi Arabia CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/tweeq

WHAT WE DO A different financial experience




Unleashing the power of GenAI Bud’s latest product can ‘Drive’ success through actionable customer insights AI-powered APIs have evolved and catalysed the creation of groundbreaking banking products that redefine the financial services sector. This transformation elevates customer experience and bolsters not only a financial institution’s ROI and revenue but also its product offerings. Enter Bud. We’ve been at the epicentre of this revolution with innovative solutions like Engage, Assess, and, most recently, Drive. To accelerate success and growth, Drive combines the transformative power of GenAI with Bud’s already 96


market-leading suite of financial service solutions, supercharging our platform’s ability to empower financial organisations to achieve operational excellence and deliver unparalleled financial experiences with ease. GenAI powers our suite of Drive features – Insights Engine, Insights Analytics, Drive Copilot and Action Hub – empowering financial institutions to identify high-impact segments, transmit insights to action teams and enable a hyper-personalised experience.

So, what is GenAI and how is it transforming financial services? We believe GenAI stands as a beacon of progress in finance, enabling institutions to transition from hindsight to foresight. By fostering rapid innovation and adoption, GenAI streamlines decision-making and augments growth

trajectories, pushing the boundaries of traditional finance. There are several different types of GenAI: Transformers Transformers have gained prominence in natural language processing (NLP) and beyond for sequence-to-sequence tasks and language modelling. Models like GPT (generative pretrained transformer) and BERT (bidirectional encoder representations from transformers) are examples of how transformers are used for text generation, summarisation, translation, as well as other tasks. Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) A training paradigm, consisting of a generator and a discriminator, that are trained in opposition. The generator aims to produce data that is indistinguishable from real data, while the discriminator tries to distinguish real

from generated data. GANs have been used for, among many other things, image generation and style transfer. Variational Autoencoders (VAEs) VAEs are probabilistic generative models that aim to learn a continuous latent representation of data. They are often used for data generation and manipulation, as well as for image and text generation. Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) Built to model sequential data, RNNs can be used to predict subsequent characters or words in sequences, bolstering generative tasks.

How Drive leverages GenAI Drive harnesses AI learning to convert transactional data into valuable actionable customer insights by integrating with your existing infrastructure to power next best-action initiatives. Powering a large aspect of this transformation, Bud’s GenAI-driven capabilities offer an interactive medium for consumers and banks to derive insights from financial data. Drive Insights Engine The Insights Engine allows you to instantly generate valuable insights across customer bases using any available data. With pre-set segments and adjustable characteristics, banks can fully leverage enriched data to identify and achieve both short-term and long-term business goals and maximise productivity. Drive Insights Analytics With troves of data at your fingertips, you can unleash the

WHO WE ARE Bud Financial (Bud) is a transaction and data intelligence platform for the banking and financial services industry, which enables global companies to make financial decisions simpler by turning transactional data into rich customer insights. For more than half a decade, Bud has been a trailblazer in its development and application of AI, machine learning,

WHAT WE DO Simplify every financial decision

power of Insights Analytics to uncover maximum value and provide unparalleled financial experiences. Autonomously analysing data unshackles teams from manual work and surfaces unique insights that are capable of amplifying human expertise with machine intelligence.

GenAI stands as a beacon of progress in finance, enabling institutions to transition from hindsight to foresight Drive Action Hub For financial institutions, insights without action have no value. That’s why Bud integrates insights across systems, enabling institutions to combine insights with existing data to create feedback loops and continuously optimise recommendations. By prompting action from triggers and tracking a customer’s transactional behaviour to see the results of specific actions taken, institutions can better learn from and action customer insights more effectively. Drive Copilot Using natural language and generative AI, our staff chatbot interface Drive Copilot rapidly translates questions into analysed data, customer segments and measurable outcomes.

Benefits of GenAI for financial organisations Bud’s Drive also enables swift and intelligent customer segmentation, and natural language processing in banking and financial services. With more than 50 billion transactions processed, Bud’s categorisation, aggregation, analytics and deep AI and ML capabilities unlock an endless array of insights for its clients, who can supercharge marketing efforts, refine customer segmentation, assess and manage risk and decisioning, and optimise various aspects of their business operations.

facilitating targeted marketing and real-time data accessibility. With Drive, you can: ■ Grow your share of wallet by defining new segments and sending actionable, hyper-personalised messages and offers that convert to sales. ■ Give your staff the power to take control of their product’s success, getting the data they need without reliance on technical colleagues and finding new, high-impact insights and segments to grow revenue. ■ Discover new ways to achieve your organisational goals – tell our generative AI chatbot about your aims and receive data-driven, strategic and actionable recommendations.

Benefits of GenAI for consumers By using GenAI, financial institutions can empower consumers to embrace an immersive, tailor-made experience that’s meticulously crafted around an individual’s unique financial needs and aspirations. Guided by financial support and strengthened by targeted product recommendations, consumers are no longer left to navigate the financial landscape alone. Instead, institutions that use Bud’s solutions empower their customers with truly hyper-personalised product offerings that they are actually eligible for, ensuring they have the right products at the right time, every time.


Data intelligence KEY PERSONNEL:

Edward Maslaveckas, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Europe, US CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/bud-financial X: @this_is_bud



With security breaches escalating, it’s time for organisations to adopt a Zero Trust approach As of 2023, 12.7 per cent of full-time employees work from home in the US, while 28.2 per cent work a hybrid week. It’s a pattern that has been reflected across the world, following the pandemic. That’s a significant shift in global working practices, creating a significant headache for IT security, which has traditionally relied on a perimeter-based approach to defence. In such a perimeter-based model, an organisation’s resources are the ‘castle’ and its network (the perimeter) acts as a moat, preventing bad actors from accessing the keep. In this model, once users get past the moat, they have free rein inside the castle, which opens up the possibility for all kinds of attacks, along with the reputational and cost harms that accompany them. The shift to distributed work patterns created a dangerous and growing arsenal of remote devices that act as vectors – Trojan horses, if you like – that can allow bad actors to infiltrate the castle. Perhaps not surprisingly, there’s been a steep rise in security breaches. The walls are no longer secure. Consider these findings from Verizon’s 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report: n Social Engineering attacks have more than quadrupled since 2018 98


n 95 per cent of breaches are driven by financial motivations n 74 per cent of all breaches include the human element Ransomware, insider threats, and business email compromise – all incidents currently causing the most

concern– are precisely the kinds of attack that the castle-and-moat approach can do little to prevent because it’s based on the assumption that everything inside the network is inherently trustworthy. It’s not. As a result, the concept of Zero Trust – first mooted more than a decade ago – has evolved from being a prudent security paradigm to an urgent necessity. Vendor-neutral bodies, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)in the US, confirm Zero Trust’s relevance today.

PING IDENTITY so are too dire. Identities need to be verified, and access requests need to be authenticated and authorised appropriately. Authentication and authorisation need to additionally utilise all available context, especially risk signals like user identity, location, device health, data sensitivity, and anomalies to make access decisions. a breach 2 Assume Setting up architecture in a way that minimises damage in the event of a breach is critical. Otherwise, security professionals can do little to thwart lateral and internal attacks. Architecture must be set up in such a way that protection for resources sits as closely to the resource itself as possible. Particular focus needs to be placed on protecting assets over prioritising micro perimeters or network segments. the ‘priniciple 3 Uphold of least privilege’

You can’t trust who you don’t know. Identity is the single pillar of Zero Trust that follows the user throughout their user journey So, how can you fortify your organisation using a Zero Trust approach? There are three simple principles: trust. Always verify 1 Never ‘Trust, but verify‘ is no longer a viable principle in today’s threat landscape: the consequences of doing

Over-privileged users lead to system issues with human error and architecture prone to compromise. The principle of least privilege demands that users and devices are only granted the minimum level of access necessary to perform their business tasks. Risk-based policies and real-time access decisioning help security teams adapt to a user’s behaviour for further securing of data and productivity.

IDENTITY IS KEY Here’s the thing: you can’t trust who you don’t know. Identity is the single pillar of Zero Trust that follows the user throughout their user journey. So, investing in Identity is progressing towards Zero Trust. Modern identity systems bridge trusted devices and enforcement at the edge, guiding users appropriately and in compliance with policy, from the start of their user journey to the end. Achieving Zero Trust is a team sport between your teams and multiple vendors that requires multiple

technologies and cross-functional collaboration to achieve its ideals. The journey to Zero Trust isn’t linear, but that doesn’t mean it has to be painful. Strategic planning about picking the right next steps for your organisation, while paying careful attention to what capabilities are absolutely required to reach your team’s next project, will make sure you’re on the road to success.

WHAT WE DO Ping offers a no-code, drag-and-drop identity orchestration platform with a rich partner network and integrations that works across many different Zero Trust scenarios. We help you protect your users and every digital interaction they have while making experiences frictionless. Our solutions were built to support the scale, flexibility and resilience required by enterprise-level IT teams. With 99.99 per cent uptime and more than three billion identities under management, we’re the only identity vendor that’s proven to champion the scale, performance and security of large enterprises.


Access management KEY PERSONNEL:

Andre Durand, Founder & CEO (right) HEADQUARTERS: Denver, US LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Europe, US, UK CONTACT: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN: company/ping-identity X: @pingidentity

WHAT WE DO Access without friction



CROSS-BORDER CONTENTMENT IS WITHIN OUR GRASP – A WORLD OF PAINLESS, REAL-TIME PAYMENTS FOR ANY BUSINESS, ANYWHERE Nirvana – understood in Buddhism as the final goal, a transcendent state of existence without pain or suffering. So, what’s ‘payments Nirvana’ – which is something we talk about a lot at OpenPayd? It’s a state where every payment is frictionless and instant, no matter the sender, no matter the recipient, no matter the currency. In this state, money would be transferred from one person to another in real time. No huge fees, no three-to five-day wait, just a seamless, painless experience. We’re already feeling Zen!



At OpenPayd, payments Nirvana is something we very much believe is worth attaining and we’ll pursue it with everything we’ve got. Make no mistake, this will be a long journey, but the destination is ultimately assured because more than 70 countries are already offering real-time payments. Why can’t all of them be so easy? Well, to begin with, each country has its own specific infrastructure and capabilities, along with its own regulatory requirements. Creating real-time payment rails takes time – when it comes

to handling people’s money, there are no shortcuts. Even so, accessing those rails in different currencies can still be clunky, especially if there is an foreign currency conversion involved. What’s the solution, then? We see it as being two-pronged. Firstly, you need a global network of banking partnerships. This is what allows you to connect to different real-time payment rails in different currencies. Then there are the technical requirements. Enabling high-speed currency transfers, 24/7, requires


WHO WE ARE OpenPayd builds embedded finance and banking-as-a-service infrastructure that powers business growth. With OpenPayd’s financial services infrastructure, innovative companies are building new products, streamlining their operations and managing their payments on a global scale. The OpenPayd platform delivers a suite of banking and payments infrastructure – accounts, FX, international and domestic payments, card acquiring and open banking services – all via a single API. With a growing network of licences across the UK, Europe and North America, OpenPayd is providing the banking infrastructure that digital businesses need to thrive.


highly robust financial infrastructure. Luckily, this is our area of expertise. We’re not talking about one giant, global payment rail. Payments Nirvana, to us, means people should be able to send and receive money in multiple ways – cards, bank transfers, blockchain. Payments Nirvana will be ‘rails-agnostic’, not ‘one rail to rule them all’. All of this can help promote businesses and individuals across the globe, because


People should be able to send and receive money in multiple ways… Payments Nirvana will be ‘rails-agnostic’, not ‘one rail to rule them all’

a reliable, fast payments network gives everyone access to their funds faster. There are plenty of examples of it today. When OpenPayd partnered with Bitfinex, for example, we were able to give its customers access to our network of rails and licences, meaning that its European customers could purchase cryptocurrency via bank transfer and convert their crypto back into fiat, and withdraw it in real time. This radically cut the cost and time involved for Bitfinex customers to top up their accounts. The regulators will also play a key role in this journey. Global payments have undoubtedly improved in the last decade and the G20 made their further improvement a key priority in 2020. So, we can hope for even greater speed in cross-border transfers.

WE’VE SEEN THE FUTURE We’ll continue to strive towards Nirvana because we believe so strongly in its value and we invite any business to join us on this path to enlightenment.


Iana Dimitrova, CEO (right) HEAD OFFICE: UK LOCAL PRESENCE IN: Turkey,

Bulgaria, Malta, France, Belgium, and the US TEL: +44 (0)20 8194 5050 EMAIL: WEBSITE: LINKEDIN:


X: @openpayd

WHAT WE DO Financial services infrastructure. Any business. Any web






Moore Kingston Smith DLA Piper SHIFT by Wooodhurst TechPassport

5 7 9 11

THE FINFLUENCERS David Birch Ghela Boskovich Susanne Chisti Amit Goel Theodora Lau Jim Marous Efi Pylarinou Ron Shevlin Chris Skinner Ruth Wandhöfer

27 84 70 55 42 43 54 85 26 71

AcuityTech 12 BPC 88 Brite Payments 40 Bud Financial 96 Colendi 92 Clear Junction 14 The ClearScore Group 20 Cogo 48 Compass Plus Technologies 30 DailyPay 66 DECTA 18 Ecospend 50 FinXP 34 Habito 72 IDVerse 82 Intix 24 Jumio 90 LexisNexis Risk Solutions 38 Minna Technologies 44 Mondu 64

Moneyhub 36 Napier 62 Nucleus Commercial Finance 32 OpenPayd 100 Pannovate 86 Payhawk 16 Paymentology 68 Paymob 78 Ping Identity 98 PXP Financial 80 Salt Edge 28 SEON 76 SmartStream 58 Sonovate 56 TrustPay 52 Tweeq 94 UniTeller Financial Services 22 60 Velexa 46 Weavr 74

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EDITOR Sue Scott


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