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Industry roundup: 14 February

SoFi, a rapidly growing digital financial company, highlighted at SuperBowl LVI

SoFi Technologies, Inc. (SoFi), based in San Francisco and recently approved as a national bank charter, was the highlighted name on a new stadium located in the world’s entertainment capital of Los Angeles, CA. SoFi is an online personal finance company that provides financial products, including student loan refinancing, mortgages, personal loans, credit card, investing and banking through both mobile app and desktop interfaces. In addition, SoFi owns a platform called Galileo, a banking infrastructure/SaaS solution that helps other companies build digital banking products, issue credit cards and process payments, that it acquired for US $1.2 billion in 2020.

According to MSN news, SoFi’s recent national bank charter will allow better access to cheaper rates for raising capital, as well as more competitive interest rates, providing members with higher-yielding interest in checking and savings. SoFi shares increased by 20 percent following the news. Additionally, SoFi representatives commented that the charter also enhances its financial products and services to ensure they efficiently meet the needs of members, business partners and communities across the United States, while continuing to maintain a high level of regulatory standards and compliance.

SoFi’s main revenue streams include lending (student, personal loans and home mortgages), Galileo and SoFi Money, a super app for all kinds of financial advice and transactions for users, including brokerage accounts to purchase stocks.

As more and more customers recognize the brand and use the platform, SoFi will continue on the fast track, as it has been growing rapidly during the last two years, and expand its brand further, especially after the name recognition displayed on the SoFi stadium for Super Bowl Sunday in the U.S.

Fintechs combat fraud through Sardine compliance technology platform

As the financial landscape is increasingly shifting, with increasing demand for faster and easier access to funds and the desire for more digital payment offerings by way of mobile-first, digital only banks, fintechs are tasked with implementing innovative methods to move customers’ funds securely, quickly and effectively. Sardine, a behaviour-based fraud and compliance platform for fintechs, has raised US$ 19.5 million in a Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz, NYCA, and Experian Ventures to enable companies to protect customers from financial fraud. Sardine's core technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide real-time fraud scores based on user IDs, devices and behaviour patterns during account originations and funding. Additionally, the system continuously monitors fraud during account login, deposits and withdrawals. Over fifty companies, including some of the major neobanks (Brex and Chipper Cash) and crypto exchanges (Bakkt and FTX) use Sardine technology to integrate into their web and mobile apps.

Instant bank ACH transfers have also been added to Sardine’s comprehensive fraud prevention platform in one API for crypto “on-ramps” (users receiving cryptocurrency in exchange for something that is not a digital asset). This will eliminate the traditional 3-7 days of waiting for consumers to access their funds.  In addition, all fraud, regulatory, compliance and legal risks are assumed by Sardine.

According to the press release, Sardine’s platform was developed by Coinbase, Revolut, Google Pay, Bolt and PayPal veterans who understand the difficulties and expenditures associated with fintech fraud. Sardine technology has already been proven to stop three times more fraud than legacy e-commerce fraud products.

Small-medium business credit cards through Mastercard and fintech

As small enterprises continue to emerge, digital solutions are critical for their businesses to thrive in the competitive financial landscape. Mastercard has partnered with San Francisco-based fintechs Tillful and Highnote to offer new credit cards designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) improve access to credit and growth capital.

SMBs can report payment history to the credit bureaus to build business credits faster, along with a rewards program tailored for SMB owners with the new Tillful branded card. Additionally, business owners can create unlimited virtual cards for their employees and initiate vendor payments at no cost. The new card offers monthly payments compared to daily or weekly fixed payment options. The card issuance and program management will be managed by Highnote, and Mastercard will operate the card network.

Sheri Haymond, Executive Vice President of Digital Partnerships, MasterCard, commented that Tillful and Highnote will enable small businesses to have access to the credit they need and to digital financial solutions to build and sustain their future businesses.

Automating invoice and payments through a digitally intelligent integrated platform solution: Anduin’s Smart Mail and Virtual Lockbox

Anduin, a U.S.-based technology company headquartered in Charlotte, NC, enables accounting firms to streamline their work-to-cash cycle and enhance their management operations with artificial intelligence (AI). Anduin launched two innovative solutions, "Smart Mail" and "Virtual Locker", built from their award-winning Intelligence Based Billing (IBB) platform (deployed in 2021).

According to the press release, the Anduin Smart Mail is a "one-click mailing" solution that automatically prints, folds, wraps and mails invoices, statements and other communications directly to customers on behalf of a company’s employees. Additionally, Smart Mail can validate addresses, track deliveries and report status and trends automatically. Business administrators and financial managers are able to integrate Smart Mail directly into Anduin's IBB platform. Using Anduin's collections solution, businesses can email invoices or use “Smart Mail” to send paper invoices. Companies ensure invoice deliverability and customer attention with this dual approach method.

The Anduin Virtual Lockbox provides a dedicated network of secure lockboxes for businesses to receive and process check payments from their customers easily and quickly. Virtual Lockbox enables check payments to be sent to secure locations across the country, where checks are automatically scanned, digitized and deposited daily. Combining Virtual Lockbox, built on Anduin's IBB platform, and Anduin’s Payments solutions, finance teams can reconcile offline check payments and online digital payments (credit card, ACH) automatically through an integrated solution directly into their business management system.

Anduin continues to pursue its mission of freeing time and money for accounting and other professional services companies. Please visit www.anduin.ai for more information.

The first Eastern European B2B trade segment to launch Buy Now Pay Later payment solution via Supreva

Supreva, a digital system built by a Romanian platform, Oceano B2B Marketplace, enables SMEs, entrepreneurs and businesses to buy and sell wholesale in one place. The introduction of the (2022) newly launched Buy Now Pay Later payment solution (BNPL) developed by a Romanian fintech, Filbo, allows buyers to benefit from net payment terms of up to 60 days, and suppliers receive payment seven days from delivery of orders. The BNPL payment option is available and cost-free to businesses established for at least 12 months that are in good legal and tax standing.

The pandemic and social distance aspect over the last two years has accelerated the irreversible process of adopting digital commerce and has facilitated the development of fintech and embedded finance while prioritizing the need for local and regional supply versus the Far East. According to Gartner’s “Future of Sales” research, it is estimated that 80% of B2B transactions will be made online by 2025.

Gabriel Mărgărit, Founder and CEO, Oceano, commented that creating an ecosystem where businesses can operate easily, reduce risks and benefit from a complete support system (ranging from sales & purchasing services to free shipping, marketing, e-billing and financial support for platform users’ cash flow) will benefit the SME segment and the sustainable development of the business sector in Romania. Additionally, current projects are underway to expand the market to other Central and Eastern European countries. The platform will soon be launched in Hungary and Bulgaria. Supreva is targeting other large markets in the region by working to raise funds to support and accelerate growth. Supreva is focused on building scalable products, including multi-country, multi-language, and multi-currency that includes hedging based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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