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Talino, Chemonics invest in startup Higala, the Philippines’ pioneering inclusive instant payment system

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LOS ANGELES and MANILA, Philippines, April 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Talino Venture Studios, an award-winning global venture studio for sustainable innovation, and Chemonics International, a leading sustainable development firm, have launched and seed-funded Higala, the pioneer startup Inclusive Instant Payment System (IIPS) in the Philippines.

As an IIPS, Higala will serve as a financial superhighway that will connect thrift banks, rural banks, and microfinance institutions that are currently excluded from payment networks because of high switching and on-ramp costs.

Despite the presence of 400 rural banks in the Philippines, only a mere 18 are part of InstaPay. This highlights a significant challenge: the lack of interoperability among these banks. As a consequence, the full potential of financial inclusion remains largely untapped, depriving many Filipinos of the benefits that modern banking technologies can offer.

“Higala will help modernize our country’s digital financial infrastructures and enable the participation of financial institutions through our network. Our goal is to make banking more inclusive, especially to the underserved segments of the population that have limited access to traditional banking services,” Higala President and CEO Vice Catudio said.

Higala promotes inclusion by lowering the cost of real-time payments, which helps financial institutions to reasonably price their instant payments. It also aims to provide inclusive financial solutions to the underbanked as well as rapidly enable merchants to accept digital payments.

“Through Higala’s open payment platform and suite of solutions, we will enable new market players to aggressively develop and market innovative payment services to both consumers and merchants,” said Catudio.”This includes integrating solutions such as regulatory technologies like e-KYC and AML-TF monitoring, AI-based risk detection and management, banking microledgers, payment hub that will enable instant fund transfer across participating banks, and a global transaction gateway for remittance,” he adds.

Higala is also building a core instant payment technology that can accommodate financial institutions of all sizes and turn banks into digital banks through white label app services.

Sustainable development
“At Talino, we are committed to the sustainable execution of development that benefits all stakeholders, especially the unbanked,” said Talino CEO Winston Damarillo. “With Talino and Chemonics providing funding for Higala, we bring together the impact of venture investing and global good to expand the benefits of financial inclusion to segments that need them most.”

“We are excited to embark on a new journey with Higala, a testament to our commitment to innovation and financial inclusion in the Philippines and other dynamic markets across the globe. Drawing from three decades of impactful partnerships and success in the economic growth space in the Philippines, Higala embodies our vision for affordable, real-time transactions accessible to all Filipino communities,” said Chemonics President and CEO Jamey Butcher.

The first deployment of Mojaloop in Asia
Higala leverages the open payment platform of Mojaloop Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to boosting financial inclusion through its open-source software called Mojaloop. With Mojaloop’s open payment framework, Higala facilitates seamless connectivity among various financial entities, including banks, institutions, payment gateways, merchants, and the central bank. This approach enhances affordability and accessibility in financial transactions.

“With the pioneering deployment of Mojaloop open source software in Asia through our collaboration with Talino’s Higala, the Mojaloop Foundation reaffirms its commitment to breaking down barriers and empowering communities through financial inclusion. Together, we’re not just revolutionizing payment systems; we’re unlocking opportunities, fostering resilience, and building a future where financial access knows no bounds,” said Mojaloop Foundation Executive Director Paula Hunter.

“We want to ensure that everyone is fully banked by lowering the bar of obtaining bank accounts, lowering the friction cost for digital payments, encouraging merchants to accept them, and empowering all financial institutions to be able to provide it to their constituents, especially rural banks,” said Damarillo.

Backed by BSP and industry leaders
BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto E. Tangonan said, “The BSP supports continued efforts to enhance the efficiency of the national payment system and help modernize the Philippines’ digital payments infrastructure as part of our ongoing efforts to bring more users into the digital payments system.”

Tangonan adds, “Adopting modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and compliance with global standards like ISO 20022 can help payment service providers offer new services, improve customer experience, and make digital transactions more safe and secure.”

Aside from BSP, Higala’s partners and collaborators include the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Xendit, FinTech Alliance.Ph, and the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines.

“We are committed to inclusivity, affordability, and the innovative approach to transaction management and settlements. Higala provides efficiency and equitability to fully support the nation’s move towards comprehensive financial inclusion,” Catudio said.

About Talino

Talino Venture Studios is an award-winning global venture studio for inclusive fintech. Born in the intersection of Silicon Valley and Southeast Asia, Talino Venture Studios is on a mission to bridge financial inclusion for over 1.7 billion people around the world. It uses the successful venture studio model to build repeatable, scalable, and profitable fintechs that empower underserved, underrepresented groups around the world with financial access and mobility. Talino Ventures Studios (talinolabs.com)

About Chemonics

Founded in 1975, Chemonics is one of the world’s leading global sustainable development consulting firms. With over 6,000 experts in more than 100 countries, 90% of its staff are working in a community they have long-considered home. Chemonics collaborates with communities across the globe to identify and apply innovative, sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. Where Chemonics works, development works. www.chemonics.com

About the Mojaloop Foundation

The Mojaloop Foundation’s mission is to increase financial inclusion by empowering organizations creating interoperable payment systems to enable digital financial services for all. To achieve its mission, Mojaloop Foundation operates as a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization, maintaining its free, open source software, Mojaloop, and community as public goods in the service of financial inclusion. Merchants, banks, providers, government offices and other entities looking to build inclusive payments platforms can use Mojaloop – whole, adapted or as a real-time payments reference model. For more information about the Mojaloop Foundation, visit https://mojaloop.io/.

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PB Fintech slips 2% after over 8 million shares change hands via block deal

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PB Fintech witnessed a 2% decline in its stock price, reaching Rs 1,313.65 per share, as approximately 8.4 million shares, equivalent to 1.86% of outstanding shares, were exchanged via block deals on the exchanges. By 9:44 AM, the volume surged to 9 million shares collectively on both exchanges, while PB Fintech’s stock price dipped by 0.56% to Rs 1,333 apiece, contrasting with a 0.22% decline in the S&P BSE Sensex.

Executive Share Sales

On May 16, PB Fintech announced that its Chairman and CEO, Yashish Dahiya, alongside Vice Chairman and Whole-time Director, Alok Bansal, intended to sell partial stakes in the company. Dahiya plans to sell up to 5.4 million equity shares, while Bansal aims to divest up to 2.97 million equity shares. Proceeds from the sale will be allocated primarily towards taxes on current and future ESOP exercises.

Following the sale, Dahiya will retain a 4.83% stake, while Bansal will hold a 1.63% stake in PB Fintech on a fully diluted basis. The company clarified that no further share sales are planned by the duo for at least one year.

Company Profile and Financial Performance

PB Fintech is actively involved in providing integrated online marketing and IT consulting services, primarily for the financial services industry, including insurance. The company operates Policybazaar, India’s largest digital insurance marketplace, and Paisabazaar, which offers lending-related services.

In Q4FY24, PB Fintech reported a net profit of Rs 60.19 crore, marking a significant improvement from the Rs 9.34 crore loss in the corresponding period of the previous year. The company’s revenue from operations surged by 25.4% year-on-year to Rs 1,090 crore in Q4 FY24, compared to Rs 869 crore in Q4 FY23.

For the entire fiscal year, PB Fintech’s net profit stood at Rs 64 crore, contrasting with the Rs 488 crore loss in FY23. The company’s consolidated operating revenue rose by 34% year-on-year to Rs 3,437 crore.

Analyst Perspectives

Analysts at Nuvama Institutional Equities raised their FY25/26 Ebitda estimates significantly to accommodate higher growth and improved profitability. However, they maintained a ‘Reduce’ rating on the stock due to its rich valuation, revising their target price to Rs 1,160.

Keynote Capital downgraded PB Fintech’s stock to ‘Reduce’ from ‘Buy’, citing that most of the positives appear to be priced in. Despite acknowledging the company’s positive momentum and profitability, the brokerage believes that current market expectations may be overly optimistic.

PB Fintech continues to navigate its growth trajectory amidst strategic initiatives and evolving market dynamics, as reflected by varying analyst viewpoints.

Source: business-standard.com

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US fintech Yendo secures $165m in mix of debt financing and equity

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Yendo, a prominent fintech company based in the United States, has successfully secured $165 million in funding through a combination of debt financing and equity investment.

Funding Structure

The funding round comprised a mix of debt financing and equity infusion, highlighting investors’ confidence in Yendo’s growth prospects and business model. This significant financial injection underscores Yendo’s position as a key player in the fintech sector.

Investment Highlights

Yendo’s ability to attract such substantial investment underscores its appeal to investors. The company’s innovative approach and strategic positioning within the fintech landscape have positioned it for accelerated growth and market expansion.

Utilization of Funds

The newly raised capital will likely be deployed to fuel Yendo’s expansion initiatives, including product development, market expansion, and strategic acquisitions. The infusion of funds will provide Yendo with the financial resources needed to capitalize on emerging opportunities and consolidate its market position.

Market Impact

Yendo’s successful funding round is expected to have a positive impact on the broader fintech market, signaling investor confidence in the sector’s growth potential. The influx of capital into Yendo reflects the ongoing trend of significant investment activity within the fintech industry, driven by increasing demand for innovative financial solutions.

Source: fintechfutures.com

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Commerce Bank goes live with instant payment service FedNow through Temenos Payments Hub

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Commerce Bank, headquartered in Kansas City, USA, has recently activated the FedNow instant payments service as part of its ongoing modernization efforts.

Collaboration with Temenos

Commerce Bank has partnered with Temenos, a leading Swiss vendor, to enhance its real-time payment capabilities. This collaboration builds upon Commerce Bank’s previous deployment of Temenos’ core banking platform in 2022 and its adoption of the Infinity loan origination solution earlier this year.

Utilization of Temenos Payments Hub

Commerce Bank has opted for the Temenos Payments Hub to integrate the FedNow service seamlessly. According to Temenos, this choice aims to amalgamate advanced banking products with cutting-edge delivery methods.

Insight from David Roller

David Roller, CIO of Commerce Bank, views this selection as a strategic step in their modernization journey. He emphasizes the bank’s commitment to meeting the evolving expectations of its customers by leveraging the capabilities offered by the Temenos platform.

Features of the Platform

The Temenos Payments Hub, delivered via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), offers a comprehensive suite of payment tools and frameworks. These include features like straight-through processing, automated exception handling, cloud security measures, intelligent routing, and customizable workflows.

Leveraging the US Model Bank

In addition to the Temenos Payments Hub, Commerce Bank has also leveraged Temenos’ US Model Bank. This collection of pre-configured banking processes is tailored to address the specific requirements of the US market, further enhancing Commerce Bank’s operational efficiency and customer service.

Source: fintechfutures.com

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