Category Archives: Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential

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PYMTS | July 10, 2020

Open bankingdigital ID aids access - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential comes in several flavors, yet its rise requires robust Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures, Zac Cohen, chief operating officer at identity verification firm Trulioo told Karen Webster in a recent interview.

As financial institutions (FIs) work with FinTechs, they need to know that these tech-nimble startups are not only enabling access to customers’ account data but also in a manner that embraces KYC and AML. The end goal: to speed innovation toward new products and services while keeping fraudsters out.

Regulation Vs. Market Forces

The need for both innovation and security comes at a time when open banking is gaining a foothold in the United States due in part to the pandemic. It’s also growing across the pond in the European Union, albeit with some important distinctions.

“In recent years, we’ve seen the heavily regulated version of open banking in the E.U.,” Cohen said. “It’s been a coordinated effort — regulatory-driven, highly standardized and thrust upon the banking community. In the U.S., it’s been an organic-but-inevitable exercise, driven primarily by innovation and consumer demand.”

That’s due in part to the fact that America has a more fragmented banking and regulatory landscape, he said. But despite the differences, Cohen said he believes open banking is here to stay in the U.S.

Just consider all the recent acquisitions from major payments players. For instance, Mastercard last month bought Finicity, while Visa earlier this year acquired Plaid. Through those acquisitions, the networks have shown their interest in serving as intermediaries between banks, their customers and FinTechs that want access to important account-related data.

See:  Refusal to embrace open banking puts Canada behind yet another curve

After all, the financial services ecosystem is striving to give consumers access to their financial records and leverage tech-driven innovations to improve their lives.

Cohen said that if banks don’t jump on board with those goals, they risk losing significant numbers of customers. Consumers want to share and access data to make such things as applying for a mortgage or tracking spending across various accounts easier.

Protecting Consumer Data

But with an ever-greater exchange of data must come an increased FI focus on data privacy, data ownership and how information gets used, he said. At a high-level view, banks must have robust ID verification procedures in place, making sure that the right people are showing up at the right time to do the right thing.

Webster noted that KYC and AML procedures aren’t governed by global standards. However, Cohen said that in the U.S., various forms of privacy legislation have been making headway. For instance, he pointed to statewide initiatives in California and Illinois that have focused on biometrics.

“It’s a good move for organizations that are involved in open banking and driving that innovation to have similar high privacy standards in that regard,” said Cohen.

Checks And Balances

He recommended that organizations have checks and balances to make sure consumers are protected and data is secured via coordinated efforts between banks and FinTechs.

Along those lines, financial services players — banks and FinTechs among them — are entering into data exchange agreements that operationalize tenets around what can be done with data, what information is needed and how long it can be stored.

See:  FFCON20 DIGITAL Attendees to Receive Exclusive Digital Icon and Early Access to Liquid Avatar

“You’re confirming pieces of information on demand, but you’re not maintaining an open channel, nor are you retaining information nor sharing it or using it for any other purpose other than strictly what has been stated,” he said.

Generally speaking, firms shouldn’t retain data in searchable format, but should keep it in anonymized formats and quickly expunge it, Cohen said.

“When you feed that information back or you provide that connectivity and access, there’s no reason to retain it,” he said. “As long as you’re following strong data retention principles and as long as you’re securing those networks and channels, that’s the basic foundation that you want when operationalizing open banking.”

The Pandemic Is Speeding Innovation Up

Dialogue and close coordination between financial services players have spurred the equivalent of three years of innovation during the pandemic’s past three months, Cohen said.

“There’s been a huge amount of volume and demand for these types of digital journeys, as opposed to being able to walk into a branch and do things in person,” he said.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy

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NCFA Canada | By Samuel He | July 11, 2020

FFCON20 Fintech Draft Finally vs Numoola - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy

Image Credit: Inspiring / Shutterstock

 


Dealing with finances is time-consuming and difficult, especially when it involves contradictory goals, like paying off debt while investing for the future. Unfortunately, financial literacy is not emphasized in today’s educational curriculum.

Reports show that only 16% of Millennials qualified as “financially literate,” and over 75% of Canadians stated that they were not confident that they will ever achieve their financial goals.

Several companies have taken initiatives to offer assistance in this field. One company is Finally, a free online financial planning stimulator will provide guidance to users about their financial goals. Another is NuMoola, a family-focused consumer banking app that helps children develop good money habits using real money and gamified education.

Finally offers a DIY Financial Planning Simulator that helps users customize a tailor-made plan to best fit their needs. The simulator uses multiple financial algorithms and machine learning to make the process straightforward and efficient, creating a plan for the user in as little as 20 minutes.

A basic financial plan can be created for free, with the user having the option to subscribe for additional value-added services. Some of these services include automated money movement, access to a financial planning advisor, and cashback programs for assistance.

NuMoola approaches the problem from a different direction. The NuMoola app strives to make learning about financial literacy a less daunting endeavour. And their focus is on getting children to develop good lifelong financial habits early. The app features family-focused banking that allows children to learn the value of money and gamified educational tasks focusing on all aspects of banking and money management. Achieving financial awareness at this early stage prepares children to be financially responsible and tackle financial hurdles in the future.

 

You can see Finally and NuMoola pitch at FFCON20 DIGITAL’s Fintech Draft Competition!

Get a ticket, tune in and vote to show your support for Finally and NuMoola (and others, see below)

Check out their profiles and their competition at the FFCON20 RISE page.

 

 

FFCON20 Fintech Draft - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy

NCFA Jan 2018 resize - FFCON20 fintech cage match: Financial planning vs literacy The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Montreal’s Flinks raises $16 million

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Montreal in Technology | Steve La Barbera | Jul 6, 2020

Flinks celebration - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest PotentialPerhaps Montreal’s best known fintech, Flinks has today announced another $16 million flowing into its coffers. That includes just over $5 million in debt, and and $11 million series A round led by National Bank’s corporate venture capital arm, NAventures, which was also the source of the loan. The round also included participation from Intact Ventures, Luge Capital and Panache Ventures.

“The digitization of financial services is more than just a trend. It’s a profound reshaping of the industry, driven by rapidly changing consumer needs in a global context. Flinks is uniquely positioned to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation,” said Flinks co-founder and CEO, Yves-Gabriel Leboeuf.

“This investment from our strategic partners allows us to jumpstart the next phase of our mission: consolidating our position in our home market and building new innovative data products that will allow us to tackle global demand.”

The funding will be used to help Flinks bring its services to new verticals, such as wealth management, and continue its geographic expansion to establish itself as a market leader in those new geos. By developing and leveraging a powerful, secure data exchange network, Flinks plans to continue to improve the experience of all of its stakeholders.

See:  In the Future, Home Will be Wherever Consumers Choose to be

“NAventures firmly believes in democratizing innovation. That is why we are proud to support Flinks as they continue to establish their vital role in fintech ecosystems, both in Canada and abroad,” said Philippe Daoust, Managing Director of Venture Capital at NAventures.

“We see great alignment between Flinks’ mission and our own focus on helping our clients manage their finances by providing them with innovative and reliable digital solutions.”

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Refusal to embrace open banking puts Canada behind yet another curve

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Financial Post | Kevin Carmichael | July 10, 2020

Adam Feleskey Portag3 ventures - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest PotentialAdam Felesky, chief executive of Portag3 Ventures LP, the venture-capital arm of Power Corp. of Canada, was primed to put his home country on the leading edge of finance at the end of last year.

“We’re on a mission to build global champions from a Canadian base,” Felesky told the TechCrunch website in early December when Portag3 announced it had raised $427 million for a new fund aimed at digital finance startups.

The “majority” of that money remains unallocated, Felesky told me this week, but that could soon change. The social distancing demanded by COVID-19 has sped up the shift to a digital economy, a boon for outfits such as Toronto-based Portag3, which specializes in identifying startups that have plans to disrupt finance. The pandemic caused a terrible recession, but anyone focused on digital technology barely noticed.

“We’ve been playing offence,” Felesky said during a Zoom interview organized by the National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association. “We’re excited about the environment right now. There are lots of opportunities.”

Without access to data, digital upstarts have little chance of stealing market share from legacy institutions, even if they offer a better service

Unfortunately for Canada, which, like most countries, will need all the investment it can get to recover from the coronavirus crisis, most of the opportunities that Felesky sees are elsewhere.

See:  Open banking would help the recovery

That’s because we Canadians — and, by extension, our elected representatives — refuse to get excited about open banking, the industry term for a regulatory regime that grants control of financial information to clients rather than the financial institutions that serve them.

Without access to data, digital upstarts have little chance of stealing market share from legacy institutions, even if they offer a better service. The United Kingdom, European Union and Australia are among the jurisdictions that have adopted open banking over the past couple of years and will benefit from a first-mover advantage as a result.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, meanwhile, keeps postponing a decision on whether it intends to follow, which probably suits the established banking oligopoly just fine.

Around the time Portag3 closed its latest round of fundraising, an expert committee appointed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau was finishing up a report that was relatively enthusiastic about open banking. In January, Morneau released the review and announced additional consultations would be held in the spring. Those meetings were postponed until autumn because of the pandemic, meaning regulatory clarity is at least a year away, if not longer.

As a result, Portag3’s money probably will end up in places where governments have decided to embrace the future, rather than serve the interests of legacy interests by dallying. Canada will have exposure to the digital shift in financial services thanks to the ownership stakes Portag3 and others take in various international firms. But the actual champions of global finance will continue to come from elsewhere, and their clients in Europe and Asia will be first to enjoy the benefits of better service.

See:  NCFA Open Letter: Government should collaborate with Fintechs

“Unfortunately, we’re spending more time outside of Canada than inside of Canada because of some of these (regulatory) headwinds,” Felesky said. “It’s difficult to make some of these investments believing something may occur. We just don’t have any capital in businesses that are dependent on open banking.”

A new generation of finance entrepreneurs think decades of coddling have left the big banks too risk averse to be successful in the digital economy

There is a strongly held view among fintech advocates that the big banks are using their influence to delay regulatory changes that would entice new challengers for as long as they can.

Given the banking oligopoly’s outsized role in the federal government’s COVID-19 rescue, it’s fair to wonder if it will have even greater sway over Ottawa once the emergency is over. The argument that the guarantee of financial stability justifies protecting the largest institutions from competition will be strengthened by Bay Street’s ability to keep many mortgage holders and smaller companies afloat during the crisis.

See:  NCFA Announces Updated Virtual Interactive Programme for FFCON20 DIGITAL, the 6th annual Fintech and Financing Conference

There will need to be more urgency in Ottawa, too, and some of that will have to be directed by us, so call your member of Parliament. The opportunity cost of letting the banks and their regulators sort out open banking is too great.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Check out the latest books by a few of our featured FFCON speakers!

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NCFA | Team FFCON20 | July 6, 2020

FFCON speaker author books - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest PotentialWe have great thought leaders and authors that will be speaking at FFCON20 (also some prizes!) Check these out and stay at the forefront of digital change in financial services:

doing digital cover - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential

Banking in today’s day and age has evolved rapidly, especially in the recent decade. With the rise in digital and open banking, new opportunities are sprouting up and disrupting the traditional ways of banking. Prominent banks such as JPMorgan Chase (USA) and ING (Europe) are fully aware of this and have adopted radical new approaches to best adapt and survive the changing environment. Voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand, Chris Skinner provides detailed interviews with 5 banks in Doing Digital and shares his commentary on the secrets to thrive in the new era of finance and technology. Get DOING DIGITAL book now

See Chris Skinner speak at FFCON20 Week 3:  July 23 Sustainable Finance:  Purpose Driven Finance

Tech revolution in financial services cover - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential

The financial services industry has been evolving at unprecedented speeds with increasing competition from both within and outside the industry, notably from entrepreneurial FinTech start-ups and non-financial technology-based companies. Some of these entrants are looking to replace the incumbents with the technological disruption while others look to partner with them. In The Technological Revolution in Financial Services, Michael King and Richard Nesbitt ultimately believe that the increased competition from the technological revolution will benefit customers and lead to a more open and inclusive financial system. Get Technological Revolution in Financial Services book now

See Michael King speak at FFCON20 Week 1:  July 9 Scaling Fintech Funding, Innovation and Competition:  Intangibles Economy and Scaling Fintech in Canada

Friction Roger Dooley resize - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential

According to data, the US economy loses $3 trillion dollars in productivity due to excess bureaucracy, and $4.6 trillion of merchandise is left in abandoned e-commerce shopping carts. Why is the cause of these appalling statistics? Roger Dooley believes it is attributed to the growing presence of ‘friction’, which he defines as the unnecessary expenditure of time, effort, or money in performing a task. In FRICTION - The Untapped Force That Can Be Your Most Powerful Advantage, Dooley combines scientific research with real life examples to illustrate how to spot out areas of friction in an organization and explains the strategies to help eliminate them, creating a more swift and efficient experience for both the business and the customer. Get FRICTION book now

See Roger Dooley speak at FFCON20 Week 2:  July 16 Open Banking and Future of Paytech:  Reducing Friction in Banking and Financial Transactions

financial services revolution cover - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential

Blockchain is a growing field that is transforming the financial and technological industries in profound ways. In Financial Services Revolution: How Blockchain is Transforming Money, Markets, and Banking, Co-founder of The Blockchain Research Institute Alex Tapscott shares insights from some of the world’s top thinkers in blockchain in how to survey the coming digital storm. Discussions in the book revolve around global payment networks, tokenization, and innovative financing methods. Get FINANCIAL SERVICES REVOLUTION book now

See Alex Tapscott speak at FFCON20 Week 2:  July 16 Open Banking and Future of Paytech:  Financial Services Revolution


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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MoneyMates: Slaying predatory lending

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NCFA | Samuel He, Market Research Analyst Intern | July 3, 2020

P2P lending - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential

Source: P2PMarketData

Today, millions live paycheck to paycheck, struggling to get by financially. This lack of resources and a poor credit score makes getting a loan difficult. And the options that are available, make the problem worse with high rates and aggressive rules.

Traditional payday loans use aggressive deadlines and lump sum payments that often results in the customer spiraling into a debt trap.

The challenge for the customer is accessibility to resources and the opportunity to improve their credit capacity for future, cheaper loans.

Founded by Samir Issa, MoneyMates is an alternative lender that prioritizes the welfare of its customers by offering expert guidance not just on getting the loan, but how to improve their credit situation.

See:  Shopify expands capital lending program to help Canadian merchants weather COVID-19

They do this by offering customers an extended repayment period of up to two months rather than the typical two weeks. In the event of a missed payment, MoneyMates will work with the customer on a solution to avoid additional fees and penalties.

MoneyMates has also added a unique savings feature to help borrowers accrue savings. Customers are given the option to choose a savings amount when borrowing, which is set aside and deposited into the account along with any bonuses once the loan has been paid off. The approach helps borrowers understand both what they are borrowing and what savings can be accrued to help them avoid future emergency loans.

The objective is to provide vulnerable borrowers with better financial health, expanding access to financial services and a sense of empowerment.

MoneyMates - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential

Interested in seeing MoneyMates pitch at FFCON20 DIGITAL's  Fintech Draft Competition?

Inspired by sports league drafts, the inaugural FFCON20 annual Fintech Draft is designed to identify and feature emerging and high growth fintech startups and scaleups. Qualifying Fintech Draft participants will be profiled online and reviewed by expert fintech scouts, and will compete in one of two (2) Fintech Draft competitions.  Draft finalists compete at FFCON20 DIGITAL: RISE between Jul 9 – Aug 27, 2020 for exposure and prizes including promotion to investors, media, and partners and a 1 year industry partnership with NCFA.

Be sure to give them a vote and show your support! Check out their profile and competition here: https://fintechandfunding.com/shortlisted-draft-companies/

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Consilium Crypto Saves 10% on Transactions for Institutional Digital Asset Traders

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Consilium Crypto | Austin Hubbell | Jun 29, 2020

order recommendation system by Consilium Crypto - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest PotentialTORONTO, June 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ - Consilium Crypto, provider of Institutional-grade trading & risk management tools for digital asset markets, today launches its Liquidity Routing System for cryptocurrency exchanges, Consilium ORS. This product has multiple one of a kind features built in, designed to meet the needs of high-volume crypto traders (hedge funds, miners, OTC trading desks).

High-volume clients can save 10% and more on transactions of select coins including Ethereum, Litecoin and Zcash. Consilium ORS also significantly improves pricing on Bitcoin and other digital assets, spreading orders across multiple exchanges to avoid disrupting prices, enabling users to get more for their money. Furthermore, there is no fixed cost for this service. Costs are a function of the trader's savings. If customers don't save on a transaction, they pay $0!

See:  Fintech Fridays EP40: Why Bitcoin Exists and Education for the Masses

We offer a streamlined Liquidity Routing System that does not require custody of funds, a new concept in this type of trading. Consilium Crypto users keep complete control over all their assets, from quote to execution. All trading is done directly between the user and the exchange, reducing the risk of cyber attacks.

"We started this company 3 years ago aiming to build a crypto hedge fund" says CEO Austin Hubbell. "First, we built the tools and technology we would need to run a hedge fund ourselves because we didn't like what was out there. Once we started down that path, we quickly realized this sector was ripe for disruption. There is a better way to buy and sell digital assets at scale, and we believe this is it."

This comes on the heels of new equity partners coming on board, with Exponential Ventures, Holt Accelerator and Cary Investments partnering on a $600,000 USD seed round. Previous investors include Portag3 Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Globalive, and Data Collective.

About Consilium Crypto

Consilium Crypto provides quantitative and qualitative insights to market participants in the digital asset space. Analyzing 17,000 trading pairs, over 1000 assets, across 50 exchanges, we track trading activity to the millisecond. Our system monitors raw transaction data, as well as complete price and liquidity information from order books worldwide. These data feed into our core products, designed to help market participants find alpha and place large orders efficiently in times of thin liquidity. For more, visit https://consiliumcrypto.ai/.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Digital IDs Help Open Banking Reach Its Fullest Potential The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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