Finantix Buys Singapore-based Wealthtech Firm, Smartfolios

Finantixa provider of sales and advisory software to financial institutions, has acquired Singapore-based Smartfolios, a creator of quant-enabled investment tools, reports Antony Peyton of Banking Technology (Finovate’s sister publication).

With this deal, Finantix said it can combine its API-driven architecture, technology and its recently launched artificial intelligence (AI) offering with Smartfolios’ quantitative analysis solutions to deliver a digital wealth management platform.

Ralf Emmerich, co-founder and director of Finantix, said the acquisition will “extend our coverage and support for key actors like CIOs and investment strategists and provide a solid foundation for strategic robo-advisory initiatives that don’t follow a low-end formula”.

Finantix provides wealth and hybrid robo-advisory solutions to wealth managers, private banks and insurers in more than 40 markets.

Together, Finantix and Smartfolios plan to cover investment processes including strategy building, house view distribution, robo-personalised portfolios, and analytics.

Financial details about the acquisition were not disclosed.

Venice-headquartered Finantix has a customer base spanning over 45 countries, and has eight offices across Europe, North America and Asia. The company demonstrated its Banking Assistant solution, part of the company’s multi-channel platform, Finantix Sharp, at FinovateEurope 2013. 

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Pockitapp partners with Dwolla for banking integration.
  • Singapore Business Review names Turnkey Lender and Bambu among Singapore’s hottest startups

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Ondot to Bring its Mobile Card Controls Technology to Asia

Ondot Systems has followed up its Best of Show winning demo from FinovateMiddleEast last month with news that the company is expanding to reach even more customers around the world. The company’s Mobile Card Services solution, a white-label product that gives cardholders control over their payment cards and provides issuers with opportunities to create personalized journeys for their customers, will soon be available to FIs and customers in Asia.

“The payment landscape is evolving rapidly in emerging markets like ASEAN. Banks can provide a holistic experience to consumers and deliver new products and services over legacy systems in a cost-effective and timely manner using new micro-service platforms,” said Ian Guy Gillard, CIO of Bangkok Bank. “Partners like Ondot enable banks to stay as innovation leaders while bringing in the best of fintech into banking, Gillard said. Bangkok Bank is the biggest commercial bank in Thailand, and is one of the largest banks in Southeast Asia.

Millions of users at 3,000 banks and credit unions around the world rely on Ondot’s card controls technology to manage when, where, and how their cards are used. Banks typically have seen increased card usage by 23%, fraud costs reduced by 25%, and false declines lowered by 16% within a year of integrating Ondot’s technology. In addition to Card Control, Ondot’s consumer facing product line includes Card Connect, guided self-service for card management including transaction and fraud alerts and dispute initiation; Card Assist, which provides contextual advice and messaging based on location, preferences, and purchase history, and Fone Pay, which provides instant digital card issuance and provisioning cards into phone wallets.

Administrators get access to data insights from the platform including enhanced merchant and transaction information that leverages both crowdsourced data enrichment and user activity, as well as a consumer services platform to support rapid development and deployment of services on legacy systems.

“We use our own personal experiences and needs as cardholders to drive the product innovation,” EVP for Ondot Systems Rachna Ahlawat said. “I travel a lot – I want a solution that knows where I am so my card works around me, prompts me to customize my preferences, detects when I am back home, and helps me categorize transactions – a personal assistant that anticipates my actions and solves a need.”

Ahlawat also pointed out an example of the kind of circumstance that cardholders experience that Ondot’s technology helps them manage. “(If) if I get a transaction alert for a purchase I did not attempt, I want to initiate a dispute instantly. This action usually shuts off the card in the bank systems, but I don’t want to be left without a payment card to use till I reach home. With Ondot’s safe mode card controls, we can enable this capability – converting an unpleasant event into a positive experience for the cardholder by combining security and convenience.”

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in San Jose, California, Ondot Systems demonstrated its Card Control technology at the inaugural FinovateMiddleEast in February, winning Best of Show. The company followed this with an appearance the following month at FinovateEurope, where CEO and co-founder Vaduvur Bharghavan demonstrated how the technology leverages the smartphone to give cardholders a “remote control” over their credit and debit cards. Videos from both events will be available soon.

Finovate Global: Fintech News from Asia, Africa, MENA, Latin America, and CEE

With our first conference in Dubai last month, FinovateAsia back on the Finovate calendar and our first trip to Africa scheduled for later this year, Finovate VP Greg Palmer’s observation that “the sun never sets on the Finovate Empire”, rings all the more true.

Here’s a look at some of the latest fintech news from places where technological innovation helping create better life opportunities for those who need it help most.


  • Ayondo to list on Singapore Exchange.
  • Kreditech partners with PayU to launch PayU Monedo in India, which offers cardless EMI for online purchases.
  • Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade for Vietnam (Vietcombank) picks trade finance platform from Finastra.


  • Angola’s domestic payments processor EMIS migrates to EMV chip and pin courtesy of solution from Gemalto.
  • Standard Chartered Bank launches digital bank in Cote d-Ivoire
  • Partnership between Mastercard and Uganda’s M-Kopa brings QR payment technology to pay-as-you-go, pilot solar energy program.


  • Turkish digital wallet firm, BKM introduces payment-without-checkout shopping experience.
  • Riyad Bank in Saudi Arabia unveils contactless bracelets and stickers for tap-and-go shopping.
  • Entrepreneur India looks at how a Bahrain-based payments firm, Arab Fianncial Services, is taking its business to India.


  • Banking Technology: Banpro launches’s first Spanish-speaking virtual banking assistant.
  • Startupbootcamp Scale FinTech Mexico City introduces its inaugural cohort of startups: Billin from Spain, Facturedo from Chile, and Expediente Azul, Pagamobile, and Quotanda from Mexico
  • Tech Bullion highlights the new report on international fintech’s expansion to the Latin American market from Finnovista.


  • looks at the number of Polish companies that demoed at FinovateEurope 2018 this month.
  • The Bank of Lithuania reaches out to developers interested in its regulatory sandbox platform for blockchain projects, LBChain.
  • Romanian bank Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) launches accelerator program, Elevator Lab with five startups, Gauss Algorithmics, SONECT, 360kompany, Asteria, and Moxtra.

Top image designed by Freepik

Onfido to Power ID Verification for SnappCar

Digital identity verification company Onfido has teamed up with Snappcar to verify the identities of the Dutch car-sharing company’s users in The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany.

Snappcar currently has 400,000 users across Europe, and is looking to Onfido, which accepts 600 document types across 192 territories, to validate customer identities as it expands into other geographical regions. Onfido will help quickly and efficiently onboard new users, who will be required to upload a picture of their identity document, along with a selfie to join Snappcar.

In a statement, Erica Rasch, SnappCar Product Owner said that Onfido “improves the speed of [SnappCar’s] identity verification process.” She added, “They enable us to be much more flexible in adapting the verification criteria, which means a better verification experience for our international user base.”

Snappcar joins Onfido’s other clients in the P2P car-sharing industry, including Drivy, BlaBlaCar, EasyCar, and Turo.

Founded in 2012, Onfido has received more than $30 million in funding from investors including Salesforce Ventures and Idinvest Partners. The company provides identity checks in 195 countries for 1,500 customers across the globe. At FinovateEurope last week, Onfido demoed how it conducts a facial verification check with video (the demo video will be available next week.) Husayn Kassai is CEO.

Gusto Goes Freemium

Online payroll and HR services provider Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll) launched a freemium model. New this week, HR Basics offers small businesses a set of basic human resource tools for free.

The free service allows small businesses to manage employee vacation time, archive a directory of employees, and decrease the time it takes to onboard new hires. Unlike most freemium models, Gusto does not require small businesses to provide credit card or bank account information to use the service.

Gusto helps businesses move all paperwork online to create a better employee experience and company culture. TechCrunch, which covered the announcement earlier today, spoke with Gusto CEO Joshua Reeves, who commented on the term human resources. Reeves said, “Even the terminology ‘human capital management’ — humans are not capital, humans are not resources, they are people, thank you very much.”

As with all freemium offerings, the goal of Gusto’s HR Basics is to hook small businesses while they’re still small, so that when they need a more robust product, they’ll become paying customers. The company’s flagship product offerings range from $39 per month plus $6 per month per person and $149 per month plus $12 per month per person.

This move will help Gusto differentiate itself from its closest competitor, Zenefits, which also offers online HR, payroll, and benefits management. While Zenefits does not offer a free option, it does have less expensive and more a la carte pricing options.

At FinovateSpring 2014, Reeves showcased the company’s payroll solution. The company rebranded as Gusto in 2015, simultaneously pulling in $50 million in funding. Last month, Gusto was highlighted in Forbes for its diversity efforts. Of the company’s 525 employees, 51% are women. Gusto was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in California.

Ethoca’s New Integrated Solution

Ethoca, a collaboration network that aims to enhance merchant card acceptance and reduce chargebacks, launched an Integrated Solution Suite this week.

Merchants who leverage the new suite of tools not only mitigate chargebacks from genuine fraud, friendly fraud, and false claims, they also facilitate increased card acceptance rates. The suite is comprised of three main solutions, Ethoca Eliminator, Ethoca Alerts and Enhanced Representments.

Ethoca Eliminator allows card issuers to leverage merchant intelligence– such as shopping cart details, IP address, and account details– when the customer clicks on a transaction within their mobile banking app or calls into a bank’s call center to investigate the purchase. With this process, cardholders are able to better recognize their own transactions instead of assuming they are fraudulent. This helps avoid situations when good transactions are unwittingly reported as fraud. When a top five U.S. card issuer and major online merchant piloted Eliminator, they found that 38% of disputes that would have become chargebacks were deflected. More than 15 major card issuers and several digital merchants have signed on to begin using Ethoca Eliminator throughout 2018.

The company most recently demoed its flagship product, Ethoca Alerts, at FinovateEurope 2016 in London. When a cardholder goes through the Eliminator process and still insists a transaction is fraudulent, Ethoca taps into its network of card issuers who confirm or repudiate the transaction in question. When a transaction is confirmed to be fraudulent, Ethoca alerts its network of merchants who stop the delivery of the good or service in question to avoid the chargeback.

The third product in the suite is Enhanced Representments. This tool helps merchants who wish to challenge transaction disputes by leveraging Ethoca’s knowledge of chargeback processing and evidence rules. You can think of it as a court session held to keep things fair for both the merchant and the disputing consumer as they sort through the evidence. In the press release, Ethoca describes this as decreasing pain “for card issuers who are often negatively impacted by indiscriminate representment behaviors.”

“Ethoca’s belief is that a layered approach – powered by the global collaboration network we pioneered – is the only real solution to combat the pervasive friction and poor customer experience typical of today’s ecommerce environment,” said Keith Briscoe, Chief Marketing & Product Officer at Ethoca. “This new solution suite takes us one step closer to our vision: creating a new set of rails for the rapid exchange of rich transaction data and intelligence designed to finally make frictionless ecommerce a reality,” he added.

Founded in 2005, Ethoca is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The company is partnered with more than 5,400 merchants in 40+ countries and 585 card issuers in 20+ countries to help them avoid losses from card not present (CNP) transactions. This network includes eight of the top ten North American ecommerce brands, 14 of the top 20 North American card issuers, and six of the top ten U.K. card issuers. Andre Edelbrock is CEO. Powers BMO’s New Banking Chatbot, BMO Bolt, a Canada-based developer of conversational banking tech, has launched a new personal banking chatbot for the Bank of Montreal (BMO), reports Tanya Andreasyan of Banking Technology (Finovate’s sister publication).

The chatbot – called BMO Bolt – is available via Facebook Messenger, which is Canada’s “top messaging platform” according to

84% of the country’s population uses a smartphone to access Facebook and 38% performs mobile banking tasks via mobile phones, the vendor added.

Brett Pitts, chief digital officer at BMO Financial, observed that “digital is increasingly becoming the preferred way for our customers to engage with us on a daily basis.”

BMO Bolt is capable of answering 250 common inbound questions such as information on BMO products, foreign exchange rates, as well as branch locations and ATMs, 24×7. “It will learn to answer additional questions each time it interacts with a BMO customer, allowing the technology to continually evolve,” explained.

The project follows on from’s similar deals with a smaller Canadian financial institution, ATB Financial, and Banpro in Nicaragua. said it is “the first ever public launch of a chatbot with a national, tier one Canadian bank”. is a two-time Finovate Best of Show winner, taking home top honors at FinovateAsia 2016 and FinovateFall 2017.  Founded in 2014, is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has raised $3 million in funding. Jake Tyler is CEO.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Gusto Goes Freemium.
  • Onfido to Power ID Verification for SnappCar.

Around the web

  • Tradeshift partners with Canon Business Process Services to enable clients to digitize their supply chain.
  • Ayondo to list on Singapore Exchange.
  • TD Finance announces partnership with auto shopping and financing innovator, AutoGravity.
  • Jumio brings KYC, AML, onboarding support to crypto platform, Monaco.
  • looks at the number of Polish companies that demoed at FinovateEurope 2018 this month.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Pindrop Partners with Voice Solutions Provider Aeriandi

Voice authentication specialist Pindrop Security has partnered with voice solutions provider Aeriandi. The agreement will make Pindrop’s phone channel authentication and antifraud technology available over Aeriandi’s cloud-hosted secure voice platform.

In a statement on the homepage of the Oxford, U.K.-based company, Aeriandi highlighted how Pindrop’s Identity Assessment Engine provided call center agents with a quick – under 30 second – assessment of the risks of an incoming call. In addition to a risk score, agents are also provided custom instructions for additional authentication when necessary. “This process allows agents to quickly and easily assess the true identity of callers, using a single interface,” the statement read. “Those deemed to be high risk are subjected to more stringent security checks, while genuine callers have a smoother experience as a result of less security screening each time they call.”

Pindrop’s Identity Assessment Engine relies on the company’s Phoneprinting technology. This technology analyzes more than 1,300 different features of an audio call to determine actual device type, geo-location, carrier and more to create a distinct telephony profile. Phoneprinting provides more than ANI/CLI validation, and offers universal coverage against and anomalous behavior detection of both repeat fraudsters and first time callers.

Recently profiled in, Pindrop began the year with the launch of its deep neural network-powered biometric engine, Deep Voice. The company said that the new technology, which provides voice ID, more than triples its addressable market from $2.5 billion to $7.8 billion. “Our newly patented Deep Voice engine is creating new opportunities for Pindrop as we see voice eating all other interfaces,” Pindrop CEO and co-founder Vijay Balasubramaniyan explained. He said the addition of Deep Voice enabled Pindrop to offer a voice identity platform for enterprises “looking to reimagine the customer experience as voice becomes the dominant interface of choice.”

Pindrop demonstrated its Fraud Detection System at FinovateFall 2012. The company, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, announced last month that its antifraud solution had helped PSCU block $1 million in fraud in the first month of deployment. PSCU is the first credit union service provider to use Pindrop’s technology, having taken up the security specialist’s platform last year. PSCU Chief Risk Officer Jack Lynch called Pindrop’s solution “an essential step” toward its goal of providing “industry-leading fraud prevention and data protection” for members.

Pindrop has raised more than $122 million in funding. The company includes Google Capital, IVP (Institutional Venture Partners), and Andreessen Horowitz among its investors.