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Interview with Nikola Tchakarov, Head of Market Expansion at Noda




In the latest episode of Hipther Talks titled ‘Navigating Fintech’s Future: Compliance & Expansion with Nikola Tchakarov‘, Head of Market Expansion Nikola Tchakarov shares his insights on the topic. Read a written excerpt of the interview below.

Nikola, can you share a bit about your journey to becoming the Head of Market Expansion at Noda? What has been your most memorable experience in the Fintech industry so far?

I started as a sales representative at a printing company in Bulgaria. This is where I started gaining some experience in the sales field. I joined Language Bear – a content writing and translation company, a few years later. Together with the team there, we managed to take the company from only three people to about 20 and into the millions of turnover. This was where I got my first experience in business shows and expos, which have proven invaluable experiences, opening up countless professional and personal opportunities. It was actually at an exhibition where I met with my current CRO. After around three years at Language Bear, it was time to move on to something more challenging. This was when I contacted my current CRO to see if there was an opportunity at their company. As it turns out, there was, and here I am, a year later at Noda.

How has your past experience in sales and digital marketing informed your approach to market expansion at Noda? What significant changes have you observed in the Fintech landscape since you first started in this field?

Experience in sales and digital marketing can inform a results-oriented approach to market expansion. This approach involves setting specific goals and metrics for success and developing strategies to achieve them. It can also educate the importance of research and analysis in market expansion. This involves conducting thorough research to understand the new market, customer needs, and competition and using data analysis to develop effective strategies.

How does Noda distinguish itself in the highly competitive Fintech space? What are some innovative strategies Noda has implemented to stay ahead?

We have been at the forefront of the open banking movement, allowing customers to securely share their financial data with third-party providers. Noda’s open banking platform enables merchants to receive direct bank payments from customers via a secure and instant one-stop open banking payment solution as a card alternative, providing direct integration with banks in most European countries. This has opened up a new world of possibilities for companies, enabling them to offer more personalized and innovative services.


We have also adopted the white-label model to speed up market expansion. This model allows us to offer products under another company’s brand, creating a “triple-win” solution for all parties involved. This has helped Noda to expand its market presence and reach new customers.

And last but not least, we have a great team of experts developing successful strategies for entering new markets. This expertise has helped us to identify potential business opportunities and build relationships with key stakeholders.

As someone who has worked with diverse industries, how do you adapt your approach when expanding into a new market sector, such as iGaming, finance or retail?

When expanding into a new market sector, such as iGaming, finance, or retail, it is essential to adapt your approach to navigate that sector’s specific challenges and opportunities effectively.

A thorough research must be conducted to understand the new market sector’s dynamics, trends, and customer preferences. This will help in identifying potential gaps, competition, and opportunities.

Gaining a deep understanding of the target customers in the new market sector is crucial. This can be achieved through qualitative and quantitative research and direct conversations with potential customers. We can tailor our offerings and marketing strategies to resonate with them by understanding their needs, pain points, and preferences.


After analyzing our existing products, we determine how they can be adapted or customized to meet the specific requirements of the new market sector. This may involve developing new products.

Forming partnerships with local businesses or industry experts in the new market sector has proven to be an invaluable asset as well. These partnerships can provide valuable insights, distribution channels, and credibility. Collaborating with established players can help navigate the market more effectively.

Last, we continuously monitor the market, customer feedback, and competition in the new sector to be prepared to adapt our strategies and offerings based on the evolving landscape. Flexibility and agility are vital in staying ahead in a new market.

Can you talk about some of the biggest challenges in market expansion for a Fintech company like Noda? How does the company plan to overcome these hurdles?

Expanding into new markets can be challenging for fintech companies like Noda. Fintech companies must comply with various regulations and standards in each market they enter. This can be a complex and time-consuming process that requires expertise and resources. This can be overcome by partnering with local experts or regulatory bodies to ensure compliance and investing in compliance automation tools.

Also, financial institutions must implement robust security measures to protect customer data and prevent fraud. To overcome this challenge, advanced security technologies such as biometric authentication and AI-powered fraud detection must be adopted.


Raising funds for market expansion can be lengthy and challenging for fintech companies. Noda can overcome this challenge by developing a clear business plan, building relationships with potential investors, and exploring alternative funding sources, such as crowdfunding or government grants.

Customer needs and preferences vary significantly across different markets. Noda can overcome this challenge by conducting market research to understand customers’ specific needs in each market and by developing customized solutions that meet those needs.

Lastly, the fintech industry is highly competitive, and new players are entering the market daily. Noda can overcome this challenge by continuously innovating and improving its products and services, building strategic partnerships, and investing in marketing and customer acquisition.

How has Noda leveraged Open Banking solutions for online merchants and what impact has this had on e-commerce businesses’ growth and evolution?

Noda has leveraged Open Banking solutions to provide online merchants in Europe with a secure and instant one-stop payment solution that allows them to receive direct bank payments from customers. This has had a significant impact on the growth and evolution of businesses in the following ways by making transactions more secure. Open Banking solutions provide a more secure payment option for businesses. By leveraging Open Banking, Noda has created a secure payment solution that eliminates customers needing to share their card details with merchants. This has helped to reduce the risk of fraud and increase customer trust.

It also enables shorter payment processing times than traditional payment methods. This has helped to improve the customer experience and reduce the risk of payment delays.


Open Banking solutions can be more cost-effective for merchants than traditional payment methods. This is because Open Banking solutions typically have lower transaction fees, which can help merchants to increase their profit margins.

The technology also provides merchants with access to customer data that can be used to create more personalized and targeted marketing campaigns. This can help businesses to improve customer engagement and increase sales.

And finally, Open Banking solutions help businesses comply with regulations and standards related to payment processing and data protection. This can reduce the risk of legal and financial penalties.

How is Noda positioned in the Fintech industry in terms of responsible and ethical financial practices?

Noda is positioned in the fintech industry as a company that values responsible and ethical financial practices. This is evident in the company’s commitment to integrity and ethical behavior, collaboration with AI-powered transaction monitoring technology, Open Banking innovation, and payment strategies expertise.

Public speaking is a powerful tool for thought leadership. Can you share some key takeaways from your speaking engagements about payments and digital marketing strategy?

Regarding public speaking engagements about payments, several vital takeaways exist. Make sure to focus on the Big Idea. Focusing on the big idea that will resonate with the audience is essential. Expos want speakers who can provide valuable insights and actionable takeaways that can help their employees or customers.


It is also crucial to craft a compelling description highlighting the audience’s key benefits and takeaways. This description clearly communicates how your presentation will address their pain points and provide value.

And, of course, record your performance. Recording your performance can be a valuable tool for marketing yourself as a speaker.

Can you shed some light on how Noda plans to grow and evolve in the coming years? What are some of the key goals and milestones the company is targeting?

We plan entry into various markets, including Brazil, Australia, and Eastern Europe (starting with Romania and Bulgaria). Regarding Brazil and Australia, we are leveraging our Open Banking solutions to enter these markets. Open Banking provides a more secure, faster, and cost-effective payment option for merchants, which can differentiate Noda from competitors. We aim to revolutionize payments in these markets, enhancing the payment experience for merchants and customers. The plan is similar to our expansion on the Eastern European Market. We recognize the tremendous potential in the Eastern European market. The region is experiencing growth in digital channels and customers, creating opportunities for fintech companies like Noda.

Lastly, what advice would you give to those who aspire to make a career in the Fintech industry, especially in roles related to market expansion and development?

To make a career in the fintech industry, especially in market expansion and development roles, it is essential to start networking early, develop relevant skills, stay up-to-date with industry trends, gain industry-specific expertise, and be open to learning and adaptation.

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How to identify authenticity in crypto influencer channels




Modern brands stake on influencer marketing, with 76% of users making a purchase after seeing a product on social media.The cryptocurrency industry is no exception to this trend. However, promoting crypto products through influencer marketing can be particularly challenging. Crypto influencers pose a significant risk to a brand’s reputation and ROI due to rampant scams. Approximately 80% of channels provide fake statistics, including followers counts and engagement metrics. Additionally, this niche is characterized by high CPMs, which can increase the risk of financial loss for brands.

In this article Nadia Bubennnikova, Head of agency Famesters, will explore the most important things to look for in crypto channels to find the perfect match for influencer marketing collaborations.



There are several levels related to this point.




Analyze approximately 10 of the channel’s latest videos, looking through the comments to ensure they are not purchased from dubious sources. For example, such comments as “Yes sir, great video!”; “Thanks!”; “Love you man!”; “Quality content”, and others most certainly are bot-generated and should be avoided.

Just to compare: 


Don’t rush to conclude that you’ve discovered the perfect crypto channel just because you’ve come across some logical comments that align with the video’s topic. This may seem controversial, but it’s important to dive deeper. When you encounter a channel with logical comments, ensure that they are unique and not duplicated under the description box. Some creators are smarter than just buying comments from the first link that Google shows you when you search “buy YouTube comments”. They generate topics, provide multiple examples, or upload lists of examples, all produced by AI. You can either manually review the comments or use a script to parse all the YouTube comments into an Excel file. Then, add a formula to highlight any duplicates.


It is also a must to check the names of the profiles that leave the comments: most of the bot-generated comments are easy to track: they will all have the usernames made of random symbols and numbers, random first and last name combinations, “Habibi”, etc. No profile pictures on all comments is also a red flag.




Another important factor to consider when assessing comment authenticity is the posting date. If all the comments were posted on the same day, it’s likely that the traffic was purchased.


2. Average views number per video

This is indeed one of the key metrics to consider when selecting an influencer for collaboration, regardless of the product type. What specific factors should we focus on?

First & foremost: the views dynamics on the channel. The most desirable type of YouTube channel in terms of views is one that maintains stable viewership across all of its videos. This stability serves as proof of an active and loyal audience genuinely interested in the creator’s content, unlike channels where views vary significantly from one video to another.

Many unauthentic crypto channels not only buy YouTube comments but also invest in increasing video views to create the impression of stability. So, what exactly should we look at in terms of views? Firstly, calculate the average number of views based on the ten latest videos. Then, compare this figure to the views of the most recent videos posted within the past week. If you notice that these new videos have nearly the same number of views as those posted a month or two ago, it’s a clear red flag. Typically, a YouTube channel experiences lower views on new videos, with the number increasing organically each day as the audience engages with the content. If you see a video posted just three days ago already garnering 30k views, matching the total views of older videos, it’s a sign of fraudulent traffic purchased to create the illusion of view stability.



3. Influencer’s channel statistics

The primary statistics of interest are region and demographic split, and sometimes the device types of the viewers.


When reviewing the shared statistics, the first step is to request a video screencast instead of a simple screenshot. This is because it takes more time to organically edit a video than a screenshot, making it harder to manipulate the statistics. If the creator refuses, step two (if only screenshots are provided) is to download them and check the file’s properties on your computer. Look for details such as whether it was created with Adobe Photoshop or the color profile, typically Adobe RGB, to determine if the screenshot has been edited.


After confirming the authenticity of the stats screenshot, it’s crucial to analyze the data. For instance, if you’re examining a channel conducted in Spanish with all videos filmed in the same language, it would raise concerns to find a significant audience from countries like India or Turkey. This discrepancy, where the audience doesn’t align with regions known for speaking the language, is a red flag.

If we’re considering an English-language crypto channel, it typically suggests an international audience, as English’s global use for quality educational content on niche topics like crypto. However, certain considerations apply. For instance, if an English-speaking channel shows a significant percentage of Polish viewers (15% to 30%) without any mention of the Polish language, it could indicate fake followers and views. However, if the channel’s creator is Polish, occasionally posts videos in Polish alongside English, and receives Polish comments, it’s important not to rush to conclusions.


Example of statistics


Wrapping up

These are the main factors to consider when selecting an influencer to promote your crypto product. Once you’ve launched the campaign, there are also some markers to show which creators did bring the authentic traffic and which used some tools to create the illusion of an active and engaged audience. While this may seem obvious, it’s still worth mentioning. After the video is posted, allow 5-7 days for it to accumulate a basic number of views, then check performance metrics such as views, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), signups, and conversion rate (CR) from clicks to signups.

If you overlooked some red flags when selecting crypto channels for your launch, you might find the following outcomes: channels with high views numbers and high CTRs, demonstrating the real interest of the audience, yet with remarkably low conversion rates. In the worst-case scenario, you might witness thousands of clicks resulting in zero to just a few signups. While this might suggest technical issues in other industries, in crypto campaigns it indicates that the creator engaged in the campaign not only bought fake views and comments but also link clicks. And this happens more often than you may realize.

Summing up, choosing the right crypto creator to promote your product is indeed a tricky job that requires a lot of resources to be put into the search process. 

Author Nadia Bubennikova, Head of agency  at Famesters



Nadia Bubennikova, Head of agency at Famesters

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Central banks and the FinTech sector unite to change global payments space





The BIS, along with seven leading central banks and a cohort of private financial firms, has embarked on an ambitious venture known as Project Agorá.

Named after the Greek word for “marketplace,” this initiative stands at the forefront of exploring the potential of tokenisation to significantly enhance the operational efficiency of the monetary system worldwide.

Central to this pioneering project are the Bank of France (on behalf of the Eurosystem), the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Korea, the Bank of Mexico, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of England, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These institutions have joined forces under the banner of Project Agorá, in partnership with an extensive assembly of private financial entities convened by the Institute of International Finance (IIF).


At the heart of Project Agorá is the pursuit of integrating tokenised commercial bank deposits with tokenised wholesale central bank money within a unified, public-private programmable financial platform. By harnessing the advanced capabilities of smart contracts and programmability, the project aspires to unlock new transactional possibilities that were previously infeasible or impractical, thereby fostering novel opportunities that could benefit businesses and consumers alike.

The collaborative effort seeks to address and surmount a variety of structural inefficiencies that currently plague cross-border payments. These challenges include disparate legal, regulatory, and technical standards; varying operating hours and time zones; and the heightened complexity associated with conducting financial integrity checks (such as anti-money laundering and customer verification procedures), which are often redundantly executed across multiple stages of a single transaction due to the involvement of several intermediaries.

As a beacon of experimental and exploratory projects, the BIS Innovation Hub is committed to delivering public goods to the global central banking community through initiatives like Project Agorá. In line with this mission, the BIS will soon issue a call for expressions of interest from private financial institutions eager to contribute to this ground-breaking project. The IIF will facilitate the involvement of private sector participants, extending an invitation to regulated financial institutions representing each of the seven aforementioned currencies to partake in this transformative endeavour.

Source: fintech.globa

The post Central banks and the FinTech sector unite to change global payments space appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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TD Bank inks multi-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud





TD Bank has inked a multi-year deal with Google Cloud as it looks to streamline the development and deployment of new products and services.

The deal will see the Canadian banking group integrate the vendor’s cloud services into a wider portion of its technology solutions portfolio, a move which TD expects will enable it “to respond quickly to changing customer expectations by rolling out new features, updates, or entirely new financial products at an accelerated pace”.

This marks an expansion of the already established relationship between TD Bank and Google Cloud after the group previously adopted the vendor’s Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) for TD Securities Automated Trading (TDSAT), the Chicago-based subsidiary of its investment banking unit, TD Securities.


TDSAT uses GKE for process automation and quantitative modelling across fixed income markets, resulting in the development of a “data-driven research platform” capable of processing large research workloads in trading.

Dan Bosman, SVP and CIO of TD Securities, claims the infrastructure has so far supported TDSAT with “compute-intensive quantitative analysis” while expanding the subsidiary’s “trading volumes and portfolio size”.

TD’s new partnership with Google Cloud will see the group attempt to replicate the same level of success across its entire portfolio.


The post TD Bank inks multi-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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