Global fintech and funding innovation ecosystem

Category Archives: Marketing, Strategy, Growth

KOHO’s Strategic Push Towards A Banking License

Release | Jan 29, 2024

Koho logo - KOHO's Strategic Push Towards A Banking License

KOHO Financial Inc. has entered the second phase of acquiring a Canadian banking license, as detailed in their recent press release.

KOHO Financial Inc., a prominent Canadian fintech company, is moving forward in its ambitious journey to become a fully licensed bank in Canada. This significant milestone comes after KOHO's successful Series D funding extension, which raised $86 million, elevating the company to an $800 million valuation and amassing over a million users. The team's efforts are bolstered by the addition of Peter Aceto, a seasoned banking professional with prior experience as the CEO of Tangerine Bank, who will lead the licensing initiative.

See:  Canada’s Top FinTechs: Deloitte’s 2023 Fast 50

The pursuit of a banking license by KOHO Financial Inc. presents both opportunities and challenges.

  • Greater regulatory scrutiny and compliance requirements compared to fintech operations. Additional complexities of banking regulations and maintaining stringent standards in areas like capital adequacy, risk management, and consumer protection are significant hurdles.
  • Successfully obtaining a banking liecnse would lead to enhanced trust and credibility among consumers, potentially increasing market share.
  • It would enable KOHO to offer a broader range of financial services under a regulated framework, aligning with their mission to democratize financial access in Canada.

Impact on Canada's Fintech Ecosystem

KOHO Financial Inc.'s advancement in securing a Canadian banking license is likely to have a notable impact on Canada's fintech ecosystem.

See:  Revolut & Softbank Strike Deal to Remove UK License Barrier

  • It sets a precedent for other fintech companies, potentially encouraging them to seek similar regulatory approvals.
    • For example, Wealthsimple, known for its robo-advisory and investment services, might expand into traditional banking.
    • Revolut, already offering diversified financial services globally, could solidify its presence with a formal banking license.
    • Square, now 'Block Inc.' (originally launched in Canada in 2012, now based in San Francisco), with its extensive payment processing and financial services infrastructure, might seek a banking license to expand its financial offerings.
  • Enhanced trust for fintech type services (with a banking license) will attract more users to digital-first financial solutions.
  • It will stimulate innovation and increase competition within the banking sector, leading to improved financial products and services for consumers.

See:  Vass Bednar: Canada’s Glaring Banking Protections Gap and Implications for Consumers and Fintechs

Koho's progression towards acquiring a Canadian banking license is poised to reshape financial services, blending technological innovation with traditional banking virtues.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - KOHO's Strategic Push Towards A Banking LicenseThe 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, artificial intelligence, 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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‘Techtonic States’ BDO’s 2026 Strategic Planning Framework

Report | Jan 26, 2024

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Image: BDO Digital

BDO Digital published a new report called 'Techtonic States - How Technology Will Make Or Break Business Success' to help scenario plan for the future

The report was based on scenario planning and opinion research with 500 business leaders and is a thought leadership framework to help businesses, especially those in the mid-market sector, with strategic planning amidst a world filled with uncertainty.  BDO envisions that by 2026 there will be four distinct outcomes or 'worlds' that CEOs and leaders must grasp and mitigate to remain resilient in the years to come and the role that technology plays in shaping business success in all scenarios.  A major finding is that technology, particularly AI, is seen as a critical enabler for business strategy. 81% of leaders say their organization will only survive with significant technological innovation, and every $1 of additional tech investment could boost revenue by over $18.

See:  Balancing the Board: OBSI’s Restructures Governance to Enhance Consumer Advocacy and Industry Representation

The analysis identifies two critical axes shaping future scenarios: technological progress (ranging from human to AI-dominated tech) and market conditions/business models (varying from collaboration to fragmentation).  These axes lead to four potential business worlds: World Accelerated, World Sustained, World Fragmented, and World Divided, each with unique characteristics and implications for businesses.

What is the Techtonic States Framework?

This framework is primarily designed for business leaders, strategists, and planners, particularly in the mid-market sector. It serves as a guide to understanding how different technological and market conditions could shape the business environment.  The Techtonic States framework presents four distinct scenarios for the future of business, each rooted in the interplay of technology progress and market conditions. These are:

See:  Galloway: Life Expectancy – China Pulls Ahead of the U.S.

  1. World Accelerated: A future where AI and technology drive rapid productivity and industry transformation, underpinned by collaboration and aligned business networks.
  2. World Sustained: Characterized by human-centric technology with gradual evolution and variable productivity gains.
  3. World Fragmented: Envisions deeply fragmented markets and supply chains, with a focus on human-driven technology.
  4. World Divided: Depicts an East-West geopolitical divide, with AI-dominated technology and fragmented markets.

Strategic Planning with the Techtonic States

  • By considering each of the four scenarios (scenario analysis), companies can develop flexible strategies that prepare them for a range of potential futures. This foresight is crucial in a world where technological and market dynamics are increasingly unpredictable.
  • The framework emphasizes the critical role of technology, especially AI, in business strategy. It encourages businesses to invest in technology not just as a tool, but as a core component of their growth strategy.
  • With technology at the forefront, the framework also highlights the importance of ethical considerations and cybersecurity in the digital age. Companies are encouraged to integrate these aspects into their strategic planning.

See:  CEO Views on AI in Deals Amid Economic Shifts

  • The Techtonic States framework stresses the importance of aligning organizational culture with technology. Businesses are urged to foster a culture that embraces change, and invest in upskilling their workforce to leverage technological advancements effectively.
  • Each scenario presents unique risks and opportunities. By understanding these, businesses can develop more robust risk management strategies, enhancing their resilience no matter what the future holds.

Conclusion

By understanding and preparing for these four potential worlds, companies can strive to make more informed decisions, stay agile, and maintain a competitive edge while they try to get some sleep at night.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - 'Techtonic States' BDO's 2026 Strategic Planning FrameworkThe 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, artificial intelligence, 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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Balance Commits to Alberta, Relocates to Calgary

Release | Jan 26, 2024

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Balance, a leading digital asset custodian, announces its relocation to Calgary, Alberta

This strategic move underscores the growing appeal of Alberta's progressive regulatory framework for digital asset companies, contrasting with the more conservative approach in Ontario. The decision by Balance aligns with Alberta's efforts to position itself as a hub for technological innovation and investment. This endorsement for Alberta's business-friendly policies also highlights a broader trend in the tech industry towards regions offering more supportive environments for growth and innovation.

See:  Balance Applies for A Special Purpose Trust

  • Balance, having registered in Alberta since 2021, initially set up its operations in Edmonton.  The company then moved its base of operations to Calgary, further deepening its roots in the province.
  • In a major step towards expansion, Balance filed an application in August 2023 to incorporate as a trust with Alberta's Treasury Board and Finance.
  • Turning the Calgary office into its official headquarters is a testament to Balance's ongoing commitment to Alberta and the relocation is anticipated to foster job creationand bolster the province's status as an investment and innovation hub.

George Bordianu, CEO of Balance:

"Alberta's forward-thinking regulatory approach and supportive environment for technology innovation played a key role in our decision to relocate."

See:  Balance celebrates turning five and surpasses $500M of assets under custody

Rick Christiaanse, the CEO of Invest Alberta:

“We extend a warm welcome to Balance as the company relocates its office and team to Calgary, Alberta.  Our tech and business communities have created a supportive environment for new companies to thrive, which is a unique advantage that Alberta offers to companies worldwide and across Canada.”

Nate Glubish, Alberta’s Minister of Technology and Innovation:

“We have made Alberta the best place to work in Canada to work in tech and have a tech company. This move by Balance just demonstrates our growing reputation as an international hub of investment and innovation.”

Alberta's Financial Innovation Act (Bill 13)

Following the news of Balance's relocation, Alberta's commitment to fostering a fintech-friendly ecosystem is further reinforced by its Financial Innovation Act, also known as Bill 13.

See:  Alberta, The untold history of innovation from Canada’s badlands – Part 1

  • Bill 13 introduces a regulatory sandbox framework for financial services and fintech companies.  The framework provides a controlled environment for testing innovative financial products and services without full regulatory compliance.  By being the first in Canada to introduce such a framework, Alberta may attract more fintech companies and investments.
  • Companies must meet certain criteria, including having a physical presence in Alberta and offering innovative financial products or services.
  • Participants are allowed a two-year period for testing, subject to specific terms and conditions determined on a case-by-case basis.

Outlook

Balance's relocation to Alberta, coupled with the introduction of Bill 13, highlights the province's growing reputation as a favorable destination for fintech companies.  This move by Balance could signal a broader trend among fintech and digital asset companies seeking regions with more favorable business climates.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Balance Commits to Alberta, Relocates to CalgaryThe 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, artificial intelligence, 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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Italian, Objectway Group, Acquires Nest Wealth Holdings Inc.

Acquisition | Jan 23, 2024

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Italian-based financial software provider Objectway Group aquires Nest Wealth Holdings Inc., a pioneering Canadian fintech company.

This acquisition, which includes Nest Wealth Asset Management Inc. and Nest Wealth Solutions Inc., marks a strategic expansion for Objectway.

Objectway is a Global Top 100 Fintech provider of as-a-service software and services to banks, wealth and asset managers with over 30 years of business expertise, providing software services to over 200 banks and wealth and asset managers worldwide. The acquisition is seen as a significant milestone in Objectway's growth and global expansion strategy, aiming to broaden its market presence in North America and enhance its service offerings in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to become a trusted end-to-end global partner in the wealth management industry.

See:  Canada’s Top FinTechs: Deloitte’s 2023 Fast 50

Nest Wealth, established in 2014 as a robo-adviser, quickly became a key player in Canada's online wealth management sector. To stay competitive, Nest Wealth diversified its offerings, including launching Nest Wealth Pro for financial advisers and acquiring Razor Logic Systems for enhanced financial planning capabilities. Today, with more than 10 years of market leadership and innovation, Nest Wealth offers digital wealth solutions for onboarding, account opening, and financial planning. Its client base includes some of the largest financial institutions in Canada, such as banks, custodians, asset managers, wealth management firms, individual advisors, and direct-to-investor investment management services.

The Deal

  • The financial specifics of the deal, including the return on investment for the National Bank of Canada, which held minority shares in Nest Wealth, have not been disclosed.
  • Nest Wealth's founder and CEO, Randy Cass, described the deal as attractive for all shareholders, noting that it was completed at a higher valuation than previous funding rounds.
  • Post-acquisition, Randy Cass and all 80 employees of Nest Wealth will continue with the company.
  • There are no immediate plans to change the Nest Wealth brand, although the global presence of Objectway might influence future branding decisions in North America.

See:  What’s Driving Wealth Management Trends for 2024

Randy Cass, Nest Wealth Founder and CEO:

“We are thrilled to join the Objectway Group, an innovative and highly respected company with a proven track record in the industry. This will accelerate our expansion across the North American region, and open up additional market opportunities in EMEA. In Objectway, we have found the perfect partner, giving our employees and customers continuity, stability and an exciting future of continuous development to solve their problems."

Outlook

This acquisition is expected to elevate the fintech ecosystem in Canada, providing advanced financial solutions tested globally. For Objectway, it represents an opportunity to enhance its wealth and investment management offerings in North America and potentially in the EMEA region.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Italian, Objectway Group, Acquires Nest Wealth Holdings Inc.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, artificial intelligence, 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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Virtual Numbers For SMS: Why You Should Consider It And How It Can Be Advantageous

Jan 22, 2024

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Virtual numbers have been around for a long time. Thanks to the efforts of reputable telecom providers like Telnum,  many more are learning about this tech. Small businesses especially have become aware of its existence and experienced the benefits for themselves.

The biggest sell for them is cheap calls and low phone bills. That's why it's a popular option for call centers, both remote and on-site. With VoIP, they were able to connect to a broader market without setting up a physical shop there. They were able to take advantage of more affordable labor elsewhere.

But there's definitely more that you can attain by using VoIP numbers. Not a lot have considered using it for SMS. Many people question its practicability because no one texts now anyway. But as we'd discussed in this post, there are so many opportunities that you'll be opening by doing so.

If you want to learn more about the opportunities that VoIP SMS numbers can create, keep reading. Who knows? This might just be what will take your enterprise to the next level.

Why do you need to give VoIP numbers for SMS another look?

If you’ve given up on text messaging entirely, let us try to change your mind. There are many reasons why you should extend your use of VoIP to include SMS as well.

  1. SMS is underrated

Most entrepreneurs nowadays are all about following the latest fads in hopes of achieving record growth. And although they can achieve stellar results for a while, all fads come to an end.

Sure, they can still be effective. But it’s going to be a lot harder than it used to be. That’s why you need to explore other options that are severely overlooked. Think of it as getting into an untapped market before everyone else realizes its value!

Most text messages get read within the first five minutes they’re received. That’s why you’re sure that your message will be read by your intended recipient.

  1. A potentially more engaged audience

It’s one thing for them to receive your message, but would they actually care? Chances are they would. Think about how you don’t just give your number to anyone. The fact that you have their contact means they trust you.

Now, you’ll have the opportunity to leverage this trust to get your message across. You’ll have a great chance to nurture a relationship with them, thus increasing your odds of gaining lifelong customers.

  1. Not everyone has a smartphone

Granted, most people do. We’re not suggesting that you do away with your existing communication modes with them. But perhaps there’s some value in reaching out to people who aren’t as immersed in the internet.

Because the internet is the norm nowadays, marketers tend to ignore market segments who don’t like using emails or social media. By engaging these segments that are often ignored, you have the potential to turn them into loyal followers.

How will using VoIP SMS numbers benefit you?

By getting this type of number for your enterprise, you’ll be able to access the following advantages:

  1. New marketing opportunity

Things may be great now, but they could always be better! Using SMS marketing has been seen as a highly effective tool for generating profit quickly. Unlike online sales funnels that take a long time to plan, you only need 160 characters. This can easily be done in an hour or two.

The key here is crafting a message that will resonate with your audience. It should be aligned with the reason you’re texting and in line with your brand voice.

  1. Improved ROAS

Your return to advertising spend is the most objective measure of how effective your marketing strategies are. Considering how undervalued SMS is, it’s easier right now to succeed in this arena.

With everything else remaining the same, you may be able to gain better returns on every dollar spent on advertising. This means the ability to scale even quicker!

  1. Make an impact on a limited budget

If you’re looking for that diamond in the rough, you’ve definitely found it with SMS. Text messages are very cheap to send. You don’t need to spend on paid advertising where you’re constantly trying to outbid companies that may have bigger budgets.

And as we’ve repeatedly discussed, it definitely doesn’t skimp on the results. An SMS list is more engaged and more likely to read your message so your efforts aren’t going to waste.

Should you fail to deliver results, no worries! Because these are cheap to deploy, you can just as easily try again tomorrow.

See:  10 Innovative Product-Led Growth Strategies

So if you haven't gotten one yet, it's time for you to give VoIP SMS numbers a try. They're affordable, powerful, and flexible. Whether in line with your online marketing efforts or just on its own, there will always be used for one.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Virtual Numbers For SMS: Why You Should Consider It And How It Can Be AdvantageousThe 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, artificial intelligence, 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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CTA: Canadian Fintech Opportunities to Enter the UK

UK Opportunity | Jan 17, 2024

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The Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program is now inviting Canadian Fintech companies to explore and expand to the UK market

The UK's financial services sector, contributing over $460 billion to the economy and accounting for about 12% of the GDP, is a world leader. The progressive regulatory environment, including an Open banking regime, positions the UK as Europe's leading Fintech hub, with over 3,200 FinTech companies, and $23 billion of PE and VC investments last year.

The Canadian Technology Accelerator Program

The CTA program is organized by the Canadian government and tailored for Canadian Fintech companies looking to enter the UK market. It offers:

  • Market briefings and sector-specific sessions.
  • Access to investments, pilot projects, and partnerships.
  • Networking with potential buyers, partners, and investors.
  • Mentoring and strategic market entry guidance.

Who Should Apply?

Targeted at high-potential, scale-up stage FinTech companies, applicants should have a revenue-generating business, a validated technology, and a clear UK market entry strategy.

See:  Plaid’s Annual ‘Fintech Effect’ Report Shows 84% of UK Consumers Use Fintechs to Manage Money

The program focuses on various Fintech areas, including:

  • Paytech
  • Wealthtech and Asset Management
  • Regtech
  • Credit and Lendingtech
  • Digital Banking and Open Banking Technologies
  • Digital Identity Technology

Structure

This 8-week hybrid program begins on February 26, 2024 and includes:

  • Virtual onboarding and needs assessment.
  • Participation in the Innovate Finance Global Summit.
  • Market briefings, mentorship, and coaching sessions.
  • Strategic B2B introductions.

See:  Allica Bank’s Rise as UK’s Fastest Growing Fintech Ever

Key Dates

  • Application Deadline: January 24, 2024, at 11:59 pm PT
  • Program Dates: February 26 to April 19, 2024
  • Time Commitment: About 2 hours per week
  • In-market activities in the last week of the program

Outlook

The UK's FinTech sector presents significant opportunities for Canadian companies. The CTA program offers a comprehensive pathway for Canadian innovators to engage with this vibrant market.  Previous participants have lauded the program for its valuable insights and networking opportunities, describing it as an ideal platform for entering the UK market.  Contact Information: For more information, contact Claudio Ramirez, Manager of the Canadian Technology Accelerator – United Kingdom, at claudio.ramirez@international.gc.ca.

Apply Now --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - CTA:  Canadian Fintech Opportunities to Enter the UKThe 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, artificial intelligence, 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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Minerva & Equifax Canada Partner on AML Solutions

Partnership | Release | Jan 17, 2024

Minerva Launches Channel Partner Program with Equifax Canada to Enhance AML Solutions

TORONTO, January 17, 2024 - Minerva, a trailblazer in AML technology, has announced the initiation of its channel partner program. This strategic development includes Equifax Canada, a global leader in data, analytics, and technology, as its inaugural partner. This collaboration is set to expand the accessibility and capabilities of Minerva’s AML compliance technology.

See:  Financial Institutions and Regulators Alike are Showing Growing Interest in Fintech and Regtech Solutions.

Minerva, renowned for its proactive AML platform, is instrumental in identifying client risks from the initial onboarding stage through to exit, aiding top compliance teams in preempting financial crime. The company's clientele spans prominent financial organizations and enterprises across the US and Canada, including names like MOGO, SBI Canada Bank, and Coinbase.

The channel partner program is designed to provide partners and their customers with direct access to Minerva’s state-of-the-art AML risk assessment solutions. These solutions are crucial for ensuring compliance with evolving regulations and for proactive protection against financial crime. The program is tailored for organizations that aim to resell, cosell, integrate, or refer Minerva’s AML solutions, enhancing their customer relations and market presence.

Equifax Canada, the first partner in this program, is a powerhouse in providing unique data and analytics solutions, powered by advanced cloud technology. This partnership will enable Equifax Canada’s customers to leverage Minerva’s advanced AML solutions, furthering their commitment to combat financial crime.

See:  OSC Publishes TestLab 2022 Report: Exploring Innovations in RegTech with Participate Solutions

Jennifer Arnold, co-founder and CEO of Minerva:

“After a year of meticulous planning and collaboration to provide best in class solutions for our customers, we have now formalized our partnership with Equifax Canada.  Together, we are poised to deliver an unrivaled AML compliance and fraud protection offering. By coupling Equifax Canada’s robust customer relationships and fraud expertise with our sophisticated AML compliance solutions, Canadian businesses will now be even more empowered to thrive in a secure financial environment.”

About Minerva

Minerva stands as a RegTech leader, founded by AML industry experts, aimed at transforming AML compliance. The company’s proactive platform employs advanced deep learning models and neural networks to analyze data across multiple languages, aiding compliance teams in staying ahead of financial crime. Minerva’s platform is adept at creating detailed customer profiles and predictive risk analyses in real-time, making it a trusted partner for financial institutions seeking swift and accurate risk assessment results.  For more information, visit gominerva.com.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Minerva & Equifax Canada Partner on AML SolutionsThe 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, artificial intelligence, 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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