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Mexico Digital Bank Stori Raises $10 Million USD and Launches Inclusive Digital Credit Card

Vlad Poptamas

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Stori announced its $10 million USD Series A2 financing, co-led by Bertelsmann Investments (BI) and Source Code Capital, and joined by existing investor Vision Plus Capital; visit for more information. Stori also launched their credit card, with compelling digital features, in Mexico. This new round of financing will enable Stori to strengthen its big data and AI platform, grow its talent base, and serve 100,000 customers in Mexico. Since its launch in 2018, Stori has raised more than $17 million from investors.

Stori founders chose Mexico to focus on for its digital banking opportunity. Highly concentrated in the super-prime space, the banking industry has underserved the Mexico mass population. Only about 40% of the nearly 130 million population have bank accounts, and less than 15% of consumers have access to bank provided lending. In addition, most banks have not caught up with the digital transformation and are not able to provide a compellingly simple and good customer experience. This is in stark contrast with Mexico’s solid per capita GDP of $9,600, and the fact that 72% of Mexico consumers are already using a smart phone to live a digital life. As a result, a leapfrogging opportunity exists for strong digital bank startups to serve the 70 million unbanked and underbanked consumers, particularly the younger generation, with a superior mobile-first user experience and an inclusive approach.

The Stori card is a transformational product and experience for Mexican consumers who need it most. Within weeks, the first two thousand cards were already activated by eager customers due to its compelling features.

Reflecting on Stori’s promising signs of success, CEO Bin recounts that “Almost two decades ago, one credit card saved me from financial difficulty and helped launch my career. Now we are making it our mission to give the same opportunities to tens of millions of hard-working and responsible Mexicans. In last two years, we have developed a strong big data and AI based platform, and built a fantastic Mexico team supported by global talent and resources. The stage is set to turbocharge our growth in platform, people, brand and customer base, making a big impact on financial inclusion.”

Stori’s Mexico co-founders, Marlene Garayzar and Manuel Medina, said, “Our mission is to build a leading digital bank in Latin America, starting with Mexico, that drives financial inclusion with technology. Our technology and products will enable average Mexicans to access quality banking products and write their own financial story.”

William Zhao, Bertelsmann Investments’ Head of Fintech, said, “We are very excited about Stori because we see the enormous Mexican market opportunity of using fintech technology to expand the financial coverage to millions of Mexican consumers. We are also very honored to partner with the very experienced and visionary Stori team.” 

Di Yuan of Source Code Capital, said, “We are attracted by Stori team’s rich fintech experience, proven operational excellence in Mexico, and commitment to deliver unparalleled digital banking experience to Latin American customers through better technology, products and services.”

Yiran Liu, Partner of Vision Plus Capital, said, “Stori is seizing the opportunity of Mexico’s booming fintech market and has built up a global organization supporting a majority Mexican team in a short period of time. We are optimistic about Stori’s future development in Mexico as well as South America.”

 

SOURCE Stori

Fintech

Chinese fintech attracted investments of USD 962.2 million in 2H 2019

Vlad Poptamas

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Fintech companies in China attracted USD 962.2 million in investments from venture capital, private equity and M&A in 2H 2019, resulting in a total of USD 4,479 million in investments for the whole of 2019, according to KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech H2’19 bi-annual report on global fintech investment trends.

Fintech investment in China took a breather after a massive 2018, but the country’s fintech market continued to see substantial activity and Chinese companies still ranked among the largest fintech deals in Asia Pacific for the whole of 2019. China’s large technology giants continued to focus on growing their reach geographically, making investments or plays well outside of Greater China. Ant Financial, for example, submitted an application for a digital banking license in Singapore in late 2019, while Tencent made a number of significant investments in fintech companies in other regions throughout the year, including Ualá in Argentina.

Investors in China also began to turn their attention to up-and-coming areas of fintech. These include regtech, which has appeal among VC investors because of its ability to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess risk and identify fraud. China-based investors are also interested in fintech companies that use these technologies more broadly to improve the operations of banks and financial institutions, such as improving operational efficiencies, generate and analyse data, as well as support wealth management.

The third quarter of 2019 saw the People’s Bank of China unveiled a three-year plan to support the development of the fintech industry. Since then, there has already been a number of moves focused on implementation. For example, a fintech sandbox is in development, with testing currently being concluded in Beijing. It is expected that this plan will help fuel future investment in fintech, particularly in key areas like risk management, cybersecurity, big data, artificial intelligence, distributed databases and authentication.

Chris Wang, Partner, Head of Fintech, KPMG China, commented, “China’s central bank and other authority bodies are working to move fintech in the country to ‘2nd half’ as part of their three-year fintech development plan. We anticipate an increased regulation and guidance for the industry and an enhanced infrastructure to support fintech development. For example, sandbox mechanism is being designed and may soon roll out to test the concept of different fintech to make sure they comply with regulations and will achieve the desired results before they enter the market.”

The fintech market in Hong Kong saw some resilience in the fourth quarter of 2019, particularly on the back of Alibaba’s decision to do a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which raised USD 11.2 billion, making it the largest listing of the year globally.

Earlier in 2019, Hong Kong issued the first batch of eight digital banking licenses. ZhongAn was the first to launch a digital bank pilot, with others expected to follow suit in 2020. As the licensees continue to formulate their digital bank offerings, Hong Kong could see an upswing in investments in related areas, like KYC, regtech, digital onboarding and communications, and digital banking infrastructure. The issuance of digital banking licences has also spurred traditional banks to improve their own digital offerings and experience.

Avril Rae, Director, Head of Fintech, Hong Kong, KPMG China, said, “We’re starting to see ecosystems evolving with respect to digital banks. Partners are coming together to get digital banking licenses. Once they have their pilot projects underway, and they have proven their technology both internally and to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, we’ll start to see them leveraging those partnerships more deeply – integrating banking services with other offerings like travel bookings or insurance to provide their customers with a seamless experience.”

 

SOURCE KPMG China

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Fintech

Chinese fintech attracted investments of USD 962.2 million in 2H 2019

Vlad Poptamas

Published

on

 

Fintech companies in China attracted USD 962.2 million in investments from venture capital, private equity and M&A in 2H 2019, resulting in a total of USD 4,479 million in investments for the whole of 2019, according to KPMG’s Pulse of Fintech H2’19 bi-annual report on global fintech investment trends.

Fintech investment in China took a breather after a massive 2018, but the country’s fintech market continued to see substantial activity and Chinese companies still ranked among the largest fintech deals in Asia Pacific for the whole of 2019. China’s large technology giants continued to focus on growing their reach geographically, making investments or plays well outside of Greater China. Ant Financial, for example, submitted an application for a digital banking license in Singapore in late 2019, while Tencent made a number of significant investments in fintech companies in other regions throughout the year, including Ualá in Argentina.

Investors in China also began to turn their attention to up-and-coming areas of fintech. These include regtech, which has appeal among VC investors because of its ability to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess risk and identify fraud. China-based investors are also interested in fintech companies that use these technologies more broadly to improve the operations of banks and financial institutions, such as improving operational efficiencies, generate and analyse data, as well as support wealth management.

The third quarter of 2019 saw the People’s Bank of China unveiled a three-year plan to support the development of the fintech industry. Since then, there has already been a number of moves focused on implementation. For example, a fintech sandbox is in development, with testing currently being concluded in Beijing. It is expected that this plan will help fuel future investment in fintech, particularly in key areas like risk management, cybersecurity, big data, artificial intelligence, distributed databases and authentication.

Chris Wang, Partner, Head of Fintech, KPMG China, commented, “China’s central bank and other authority bodies are working to move fintech in the country to ‘2nd half’ as part of their three-year fintech development plan. We anticipate an increased regulation and guidance for the industry and an enhanced infrastructure to support fintech development. For example, sandbox mechanism is being designed and may soon roll out to test the concept of different fintech to make sure they comply with regulations and will achieve the desired results before they enter the market.”

The fintech market in Hong Kong saw some resilience in the fourth quarter of 2019, particularly on the back of Alibaba’s decision to do a secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which raised USD 11.2 billion, making it the largest listing of the year globally.

Earlier in 2019, Hong Kong issued the first batch of eight digital banking licenses. ZhongAn was the first to launch a digital bank pilot, with others expected to follow suit in 2020. As the licensees continue to formulate their digital bank offerings, Hong Kong could see an upswing in investments in related areas, like KYC, regtech, digital onboarding and communications, and digital banking infrastructure. The issuance of digital banking licences has also spurred traditional banks to improve their own digital offerings and experience.

Avril Rae, Director, Head of Fintech, Hong Kong, KPMG China, said, “We’re starting to see ecosystems evolving with respect to digital banks. Partners are coming together to get digital banking licenses. Once they have their pilot projects underway, and they have proven their technology both internally and to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, we’ll start to see them leveraging those partnerships more deeply – integrating banking services with other offerings like travel bookings or insurance to provide their customers with a seamless experience.”

 

SOURCE KPMG China

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CFP Board Center for Financial Planning Announces Best Paper Winners for 2020 Academic Research Colloquium

Vlad Poptamas

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The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Best Paper Awards that were presented last week in Arlington, Va., during the Center’s fourth annual Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines.

  • The TD Ameritrade Best Paper Award in Behavioral Finance – Sung Lee of Stern School of Business, New York University, for “Fintech Nudges: Overspending Messages and Personal Finance Management”
  • The Northwestern Mutual Best Paper Award in Insurance/Risk Management – Hossein Salehi, CFP® of California Lutheran University, and Charlene Kalenkoski, CFP® of Texas Tech University, for “The Relationship Between Ownership of Insurance Products and Retirement Satisfaction”
  • The Emerging Scholar Best Paper Award – Derek Tharp, CFP® of University of Southern Maine, for “Consumer Perceptions of Financial Advisory Titles and Implications for Title Regulation”
  • The Best Paper Award in Investments – Da Ke of University of South Carolina, for “Left Behind: Partisan Identity and Wealth Inequality”
  • The Best Paper Award in Household Finance – Nick PretnarAlan Montgomery, and Christopher Olivola of Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, for “A Structural Model of Mental Accounting”

A full list of 2020 accepted papers is available here.

“We received many compelling paper submissions this year, but the committee selected those that they felt demonstrated the highest research standards,” said Charles R. Chaffin, Ed.D., director of Academic Initiatives, CFP Board Center for Financial Planning. “We congratulate the winners for their contributions to knowledge and innovation in the financial planning industry.”

The Best Paper series of awards recognizes authors from a variety of disciplines and sub-disciplines that relate to financial planning. The award carries a $2,500 cash prize for the author(s) of each winning paper.

The colloquium gathers the global academic community to showcase rigorous and relevant research within financial planning and related disciplines that directly or indirectly relates to the global financial planning practice and the body of knowledge. The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning hosts the colloquium in collaboration with FP Canada and the Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd., owner of the international CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification program outside the United States.

The colloquium is made possible with support from the Center’s Lead Founding Sponsor, TD Ameritrade Institutional, and Founding Sponsors Northwestern Mutual, Envestnet and Charles Schwab Foundation, in partnership with Schwab Advisor Services.

 

SOURCE Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

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