FutureBank and IDVerse Partner to Fight Cybercrimes

London, UK – 5 September 2023  – The customisable and compliant embedded finance platform, FutureBank, has partnered with world-leading digital ID verification company IDVerse (previously known as OCR Labs Global) to further its digital transformation and accelerate customer onboarding through swift and secure digital identity verification (IDV).

Through this partnership, new FutureBank customers can access the IDVerse software as part of its offering. IDVerse customers looking for a middleware platform can connect their API credentials to benefit from FutureBank’s platform. 

Bank technology is clunky and rigid, and it needs forward-thinking technology partners to stay up to date. Middleware platforms offer technological flexibility that banks and fintechs can’t build themselves, thus preventing downstream fraud and supporting the full customer journey. 

FutureBank is an integration platform for core banking providers that embeds finance services. It acts as the glue between a bank and a third-party provider they want to integrate with. It helps banks and fintechs launch new products better, faster and more securely.

IDVerse is the most certified Identity Service Provider (IDSP), with 20 certifications for the Right to Work, Right to Rent and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) from the United Kingdom’s Digital Identity & Attributes Trust Framework (DIATF). 

Through its Zero Bias AI™ tested technology, IDVerse is pioneering the use of generative AI to train deep neural network systems to protect against discrimination on the basis of race, age and gender.

Sergio Barbosa, CEO at FutureBank, said, “Generative AI is breeding many different fraud types. With ChatGPT, fraudsters can create very authentic documents and profiles for people at a low cost. We were impressed by IDVerse’s capability to stop fake IDs from making their way through the system and its fully automated approach that works better than humans.”

Barbosa continued, “Cybercrime is currently the third biggest economy in the world, and predictions show that in the next 18 months, it will be the biggest economy in the world. We are delighted to partner with IDVerse to protect our customers from unwanted attacks.”

Russ Cohn, General Manager EMEA at IDVerse, added, “It is already very easy to create a realistic fake person in as little as 15 minutes using online tools readily available on the internet. Synthetic media is becoming the new tool of choice for fraudsters looking to make money. We estimate that there is a 400 percent year-on-year increase in the use of deepfakes in creating fake identities.”

Cohn continues, “Our fully automated identity verification system can offer FutureBank customers a reliable solution to spot deepfake accounts that fraudsters are increasingly trying to create. IDVerse’s cutting-edge technology maps the facial genome and can detect below-the-skin activities, such as a heartbeat changing the colour of the skin, which the human eye cannot see. These natural yet invisible patterns from faces help verify that an image is of a real human, not a deepfake.”

For more information, visit www.idverse.com

Data sources and PR mentions

  1. https://www.statista.com/chart/28878/expected-cost-of-cybercrime-until-2027/
  2. IDVerse Article
  3. FFNews
  4. FinancialIT
  5. Finextra Press Release

The Disruptive Force of Fintech: How will these Top 5 Trends evolve in 2023?

The Disruptive Force of Fintech: How will these Top 5 Trends evolve in 2023?

The finance industry has undergone a major transformation over the last decade, driven by the rise of fintech. But are these trends here to stay, or just a passing fad? Let's dive into the top five fintech trends and examine their future potential:

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning - AI and ML have been hailed as the future of finance, but are they really? While these technologies can automate certain tasks, they still have limitations and can make mistakes. It is predicted that AI and ML will play a major role in finance, but it will not fully replace human decision-making. For example, in recent years, several banks have implemented AI-powered chatbots to provide 24/7 customer service, but human oversight is still required to resolve more complex issues. Moreover, according to a recent survey, about 60% of consumers trust human customer service representatives more than AI-powered chatbots.
  1. Digital Payments - The convenience factor is driving the shift towards digital payments, but will this trend continue to grow? It is predicted that digital payments will continue to increase in popularity, with more people valuing the speed and ease of digital transactions over traditional methods. For example, mobile payment platforms such as Venmo and PayPal have seen rapid growth in recent years, and there is rumour of Twitter becoming a payments platform.  More businesses are now accepting digital payments as a result of the pandemic. In addition, the rise of contactless payments, enabled by near field communication (NFC) technology, has further fuelled the growth of digital payments.
  1. Blockchain - Blockchain-powered platforms and ecosystems are often touted as the solution to all financial problems.  We are through the trough of disillusionment, but we are yet to see wide adoption. It is predicted that blockchain will see widespread use in finance in the coming years, as the technology matures and more people become familiar with it. Several countries are exploring the use of blockchain for central bank digital currencies, which could potentially revolutionize the financial system. Moreover, blockchain has the potential to increase transparency and security in financial transactions, as well as reduce the costs associated with intermediaries.  As we have seen with recent events like what happened to FTX for example, the volatility in this space is alarming to many individuals and institutions.
  1. Open Banking - Open Banking has the potential to change the financial landscape, but will it actually be able to deliver on its promises? It is predicted that open banking will continue to grow, as more financial institutions open up their data to third-party providers and consumers become more comfortable sharing their financial information. In recent years, several countries have implemented open banking initiatives, allowing consumers to easily access and compare financial products and services from multiple providers. Additionally, open banking has the potential to increase competition and drive innovation in the financial industry, as well as provide consumers with more control over their financial data.
  1. Neobanks - Neobanks have disrupted the traditional banking industry, but are they here to stay? It is predicted that neobanks will continue to challenge traditional banks and win over consumers, but it remains to be seen whether they will be able to compete in the long run with established players in finance. For example, neobanks such as Monzo and N26 have attracted millions of customers with their mobile-first approach and low fees, and traditional banks are starting to respond with their own digital-only offerings. However, the challenge for neobanks will be to maintain their growth and compete with traditional banks, who have the advantage of established customer bases and established trust in the market.

The fintech industry is full of potential, but also full of uncertainties. These 5 trends are set to create the foundation of our future financial landscape, but in 2023 and beyond we will see them disappear into the background for most individuals and institutions with their convergence into, and the rise of, embedded finance.  There will be consolidation in the banking ecosystem across traditional banks over the next few years as they compete to remain relevant, and brands will begin to claim ownership of the financial data associated with individuals and institutions.  The individuals and institutions in turn will relish in the convenience of a world where they don’t really need to understand the intricacies of the financial ecosystem, they can just focus on doing whatever it is that they’re doing.  

Infographic on the Top 5 Fintech Trends in 2023

Brainstorm Feature: Finding the data to reach Africa’s unbanked

Article Source: Brainstorm October 2022 - ITWeb | Featuring Sergio Barbosa, CEO, FutureBank

Transforming the Know Your Customer verification process will unlock countless opportunities for Africa’s unbanked to participate in the digital economy.

Sergio Barbosa is featured in ITWeb's Brainstorm Publication by Joanne Carew (14/10/22).

Read the PDF version of the blog below:

Subscribe to ITWeb's Brainstorm to read more articles from the Business Technology Magazine here.

Dubai And Abu Dhabi: Fintech Capitals Of The Future Show Us How It’s Done

Sergio Barbosa, CEO, FutureBank

Co-founder and CIO of enterprise software development house, Global Kinetic, Sergio directly heads its open banking platform, FutureBank. A skilled software engineer, innovative product developer, and keen business strategist, he has participated in several notable fintech milestones, including building the southern hemisphere’s first digital-only bank all the way back in 2002.

I’ve wanted to blog about Dubai for a while now, and not only because the Cape winter has me thinking of those +40°C temperatures almost longingly. I was recently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for Seamless Middle East 2022.

We have experience in the region. We’ve been working with a Saudi Arabian bank for a while and are actively exploring opportunities with several other financial institutions, as well as potential fintech partners in the wider GCC. Banks there are highly competitive, deeply engaged with the latest technology, and faced with several of the same challenges that their peers struggle with in other regions. Our conversations with them are always animated, with legacy core systems a frequent topic.

Global Kinetic’s banking platform, FutureBank, has resonated faster there than in some of our other markets, where the promise of open banking was perhaps not grasped so fast. As CEO of FutureBank, I’m bullish about doing business in Dubai and its environs.

Different boom, same town

But, really, who wouldn’t be? The UAE’s economy continues to mature at pace, with tech innovation and business increasingly superseding tourism and real estate, much less oil, as the country's primary focus for future development. Sheik Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai, recently referred to the emirate as “the city of entrepreneurs”, giving some insight into the sources of wealth he and others envisage will be drivers of future success. (The UAE’s nearest fintech rival, Israel, is often called “the start-up nation”.)

The UAE’s fintech takeoff wasn’t an organic phenomenon. The sovereign wealth funds of Dubai and its brother emirate Abu Dhabi have each invested hundreds of millions of dollars in fintech over the last few years, vying – at least, according to some people I’ve spoken to – to expand their already dominant positions in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia and, perhaps, eventually take the Asian crown from Singapore.

Both emirates established hugely successful finance-focused special economic zones back in 2017, the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), which are in part tasked with accelerating growth of the regional fintech sector. A couple of months ago, Dubai launched a +R1729.81-million fund – the Venture Capital Fund for Start-ups – to support new projects and “promote the economic growth of the emirate and consolidate its position as a global center for [fintech] and innovation in investment capital”.

Abu Dhabi recently set up a similar fund in partnership with Jordan and its global investment-focused tech ecosystem, Hub71, has welcomed over a hundred startups from 25 countries, active in 18 industries including fintech, so far. Its sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, announced on 1 June that it had made an investment in the fintech Acrisure, boosting its value to a whopping R397.86 billion.

Catalysts for growth and healthy competition

Most important elements in generating a competitive fintech environment

Twice a year, Long Finance and Financial Centre Futures survey stakeholders on the most important ingredients for fintech hub success. Access to finance, ICT infrastructure, and an ecosystem of innovation came up tops in their most recent report.

Source: The Global Financial Centres Index 31; March 2022

Venture capital is pouring in following the heavy government investment in the ecosystem, but funding is only part of the reason why Dubai and Abu Dhabi are doing so well in fintech. The UAE’s free economic zones provide the benefit of business-friendly regulatory regimes, as well as highly attractive tax and foreign exchange rules. Does zero tax on business income or profits sound good to you? What about full foreign ownership and free repatriation of all capital and profits? You might also enjoy the complete waiver on personal income tax and low capital gains taxes.

There’s also excellent digital infrastructure and a strong focus on emerging technologies (Dubai wants to be the first “blockchain-powered city”); awesome tech community collaboration and innovation programs (the DIFC Innovation Hub has nearly 600 innovation and tech companies, ranging from start-ups to unicorns); valuable support from traditional financial institutions like the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Mashreq; large pools of international talent, owing to the quality of life, which beats many of the emirates’ rivals. The Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy, founded a year ago, proposes policies aimed at nurturing the digital economy and helps to plan and direct efforts to attract businesses, investment, and talent.

Going somewhere very, very fast

The Central Bank of the UAE also has a FinTech Office, established in 2020. Its “strategic ambition journey” gives December 2023 as the point by which it hopes Dubai is a top-five global fintech hub. That doesn’t seem to me like ambition out of touch with reality. Not when you’ve lined things up the way Dubai and Abu Dhabi have. You can feel the excitement in Dubai when it comes to fintech, and there is no doubt a similar vibe in Abu Dhabi.

If you’re considering the next phase of your own strategic ambition journey, choosing between these two cities for regional headquarters could be hard. But perhaps not as hard as you’d think. They’re just 140 km removed, less than an hour-and-a-half’s drive apart – a taxi ride will cost you about 280 dirhams (roughly R1314.66 or 1200 rand). And soon, they could be linked by hyperloop, which would cut travel time to just 12 minutes, sucking you through an overland tube at around 1,000 km/h. It’s the perfect mode of transport for cities with more gold taps than stop signs (totally made that up), sharing a mindset so determinedly focused on the future that you’d be stupid not to go along for the ride.

It is over for Bitcoin

Bitcoin will never make it.  It has no practical application.  I mean, how can you rely on a currency whose value in real terms changes every second?  You cannot expect the lay person to accept that the price of the BigMac on the menu behind the checkout counter is going to change many times before they get to the front of the queue to place their order.  And then they must wait for 10 minutes while their payment is confirmed in China (because that is where 65% of all Bitcoin is mined) and a ton of coal is burned?

I am sure you hear comments like this all the time when you are not in your Crypto echo chamber.  And they are very valid with one caveat.  The reference point for comparison is the current status quo of what money is and how we pay for things.  The problem with this is that Bitcoin lives in a parallel financial dimension.  To compare it to Fiat money like the US dollar, or to compare the payment mechanism to what we have available from the card schemes of VISA and Mastercard, would be like comparing a car to an aeroplane.  They both can get you from A to B, but in very different ways.  Cars and planes live in the parallel transport dimensions of land and air, respectively.  If you had to use the plane to get from A to B, but it had to stay on the ground all the time, it would be impractical and frustrating.  And trying to get a car to fly… well good luck with that.

The parallel financial dimension that Bitcoin lives in is the decentralized financial dimension.  Fiat money like the US dollar and the card schemes of VISA and Mastercard live in the centralized financial dimension.  The decentralized financial dimension is in its infancy though.  Bitcoin is just the very first building block of that dimension and is much more like gold than it is like the US dollar in today’s terms (because the US dollar and Fiat money in general are not backed by their underlying assets anymore and there is no limit to the supply).  In the early days, gold was also cumbersome for frequent transactions, and reserved for less frequent, larger, settlement type transactions.  Over the centuries, services were built on top the underlying asset of gold to make it more convenient and secure to use, like bank notes/cheques, credit, loans, exchanges, insurance, etc.

The recent surge in the value of Bitcoin (relative to the US dollar for example) can largely be attributed to the rise of the next set of building blocks in the Bitcoin timeline. Aptly name DeFi, for Decentralized Finance, these next set of building blocks make use of Smart Contracts (mostly Ethereum based) to build brand new financial services that are decentralized.  Ethereum and Smart Contracts are not new, it is just that the penny has dropped for using them to build financial services for this decentralized financial dimension (rather than all the other silly app ideas Ethereum has been used for in the past).  Ethereum combined with the use of overcollateralized stable coins (specifically DAI) to remove price volatility, makes it possible to build a fully fledged financial system that is decentralized - one that lives in parallel to the centralized financial system we have today.  Additionally, stable coins provide the bridge or connection point between the centralized and decentralized financial dimensions.

Take for example an Exchange like Binance or the NYSE.  These are centralized.  Ultimately, the small group of people or single person in charge of these organizations will make the final decision on how they work and who they will work with.  A Smart Contract can do exactly these same things, with the added benefit that it is immune to censorship.  This means that an entire Exchange can be completely deployed within the boundaries of a Smart Contract in this decentralized financial dimension and provide all the features of an Exchange in a completely autonomous and incorruptible manner.  Once the Smart Contract is deployed, that is how it will work forever (unless the consensus decides to hard fork of course, which is a much more democratic turn of events).

The first of these DeFi Exchanges, or DEXs, have seen immense adoption across the Crypto community and have given rise to the development and adoption of other decentralized services collectively referred to by the ghastly name of “Money Legos” (I mean, Lego is just way too sacred to allow the term to be claimed like that!). These “Money Legos” when combined are designed to provide complex services like lending and liquidity management for the decentralized financial dimension to name a few.  All the core building blocks that you need in a fully-fledged financial system.  It will not be long before you see the first completely decentralized bank using a combination of these “Money Legos” to offer its services to the market, except, it does not have a banking license issued by a central bank.  The bank itself will probably be funded by its own ICO, and it can be used as the foundation to build the user experiences that consumers and businesses in today’s centralized financial dimension have learnt to expect, and then outclass them completely.

Like the analogy with the car and the plane, in some cases it makes sense to use both at the appropriate time to get from A to B.  You might take the car to the airport, fly somewhere, and then take a car to your destination after you land.  I see a future where both the centralized and decentralized financial dimensions work together to provide a more stable financial system for the world.  We cannot deny how successful Bitcoin has been with the “gold use case” of the less frequent, larger, settlement type transactions with the likes of TransferWise for example.  They are a great early example of the centralized and decentralized financial dimensions working together with only the very first building block of the decentralized dimension. 

When I say, “It’s over for Bitcoin”, I mean the fight for proving the use case for Bitcoin is finally over, and we know undoubtedly that it is useful and here to stay.  We are on to the next thing now of building a decentralized financial system on top of it.  In the past 20 years we have seen the erosion of personal privacy, the near collapse of the financial system and an increase in censorship and control, all by centralized authorities.  Over the coming decade, the willingness for the world to fight back against that trend will tell how far down this decentralized rabbit hole we go.

Austin Digital Banking Conference 2019

The Digital Banking Conference is quickly becoming the premier FinTech and Banking event in the US, with this year’s event boasting some great content around Open Banking and high profile speakers.  We also got the opportunity to meet and chat with Pepper the Robot who was stationed across the way from out booth.

Our booth at the Digital Banking Conference in Austin, Texas.

We were lucky enough to meet some fantastic new emerging FinTech companies, a total of 21 companies doing amazing things in Banking and who will be working with over the coming months to integrated into our FutureBank Marketplace and make it easier for banks to plug and play this technology into their core banking environments.  As for Austin, the live music capital of the world, there could be no better place to host an event.  Oh, and of course, we can’t forget the bats

Open Banking vs Community Banks

The ICBA (The Independent Community Bankers of America®) generally attracts a large following from smaller banks around america as there are multiple banks for each state. These banks are called community banks and are generally quite s bit smaller. These community banks have various digital needs. The ICBA is the ultimate gathering for community bankers who are serious about dialing into high-tempo networking and learning. It is also the ideal space for us to exhibit our Futurebank product as community banks can benefit greatly from Open Banking.

Community banks can meet digital banking needs with Open Banking APIs

To compete with large national banks and maintain a competitive advantage, community banks need to collaborate with fintech partners who can help integrate new technologies that result in more efficiency, more profitability, and secure transactions. All this while making the banking institution attractive to younger generations of customers who expect flawless, easy-to-use, convenient access to banking and payment services.

The way that banking customers are choosing to bank is changing faster than any other component of financial services. This is due to digital transformation and growing customer demands. The increasing consumer demands is influenced by the customers’ experiences in other industries too - putting pressure on smaller banks to change for the better. What is clear is what has worked in the past will not work in the future.

The Digital Opportunity. What is Your Strategy?

Digital is the new norm in banking – it’s not just about digital payments, it’s digital everything. Today, banks of all sizes need a proactive, cohesive digital strategy that provides the right products, services, and best possible customer experience. Why is a digital strategy so important? For one, Boomers are aging and as a group their numbers are on the decline although they will continue to be the wealthiest generation in the country until at least 2030, according to Deloitte.

They are also set in their ways with whom they bank and how they bank. Next, the massive growth opportunity for community banks is with Millennials and Gen Z. Accenture projects Millennials to make up as much as 40% of U.S. consumers by 2020 and today are the largest generational demographic group in the history of the United States.

Open Access Banking is Key for community bank

According to the FIS 2018 PACE survey, It has been shown that people who make use of community banks also utilize mobile applications more than any other type of banker. A large 53% of them claim to use mobile apps more now than 2017. The growth of mobile app usage is continuously increasing.

Consumers are doing more “core” business on financial mobile apps, such as making investments, applying for loans and even opening new accounts. This will only continue as open access banking makes its way into the mainstream and Open Banking is embraced.

Open Banking is an opportunity for community banks to engage the right tech partners and create a win-win situation that expands usage of and loyalty to their services. The 2018 PACE findings say,” this might be one of the best and most agile approaches for banks to add the ancillary products and services their customers want.”

Community Banks in Great Shape to Capitalize on New Technology

Community banks continue to grow and prosper every year. The 2018 PACE Study says that 8 in 10 customers are satisfied or very satisfied with their community bank provider. This means that the customer base is loyal and is not eager to opt out of using their bank anytime soon. However, this also assumes that the bank is keeping pace with technology and offering the digital products and services customers have come to expect.

Customers will move to another banking provider if their digital needs are not being satisfactorily met. Mobile is viewed as the main branch by many consumers. All generations except baby boomers (and older) bank on their phones and tablets more than via desktop PCs, ATMs or physical branches. In addition, PACE says that “feature parity is here. Community banks that introduce features like P2P payments see rapid adoption, and it has never been cheaper or easier to add national bank digital capabilities.”

How FutureBank can benefit community banking?

An Open Banking environment can improve the overall customer experience and third-party partnerships can also become a source of competitive advantage. It can also make the banking process easier for those who have multiple accounts in different banks. Aggregating all those banking operations into one simple application is the best solution for community bankers.

FutureBank is a secure and customizable Mobile and Internet Banking solution with an Open Microservices API that integrates with the most popular Core Banking systems in the world. It will allow each community bank greater flexibility and scalability. We also provide an architectural blueprint and code framework which makes FutureBank the perfect solution for any new FinTech product.

Come visit our booth at the ICBA in Nashville from the 18th of March till the 22nd. We will be exhibiting our FutureBank product. For more on FutureBank, visit getfuturebank.com


Getfuturebank.com. (2019). FutureBank Platform – Secure. Compliant. Simple. Flexible.. [online] Available at: https://getfuturebank.com/ [Accessed 8 Mar. 2019].

Icba.org. (2019). 2019 ICBA Convention. [online] Available at: https://www.icba.org/events/2019-icba-live-convention [Accessed 8 Mar. 2019].

Johnson, J. (2018). Community banks can meet digital banking needs with open banking APIs. [online] RISE with FIS. Available at: https://www.risewithfis.com/Community-banks-can-meet-digital-banking [Accessed 8 Mar. 2019].

Oradian and FutureBank Partnership

Oradian and FutureBank Partnership

Oradian integrate their Instafin Core Banking solution with the FutureBank Platform product suite into a seamless banking experience aimed at the unbanked in Nigeria, Ghana, the Philippines and more.

In total; 2.5 billion of the world’s adults don’t use formal banks or semi formal micro-finance institutions to save or borrow money (1) . Of that number nearly 2.2 billion of these unserved adults live in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

This is problematic as it restricts these populations from having significant benefits and increases in financial assets for families and individuals that have the ability to gain account ownership.(2)

Micro Financing Institutions (MFIs) in frontier markets have unusually made lending decisions without access to the sort of customer data and documentation commercial banks take for granted: credit scores, identification documents such as passports or government ID cards, bank statements, lending history and collateral.  These unbanked individuals do not have the necessary documentation needed for traditional lending methods from banks. This is why Oradian made an effort to physically visit these communities and find groups of people who want to lend money. Lending activities are then tracked on Oradian’s cloud-based core banking system Instafin via tablet interfaces and the lender can come back periodically to collect the returns from one of the unbanked individuals in each of these communities.

It is evident from this case that there is a growing need for a digital banking system that may assist and connect these unbanked populations to relevant banks and providing them with access to the financial services they need.  While Oradian’s Instafin core banking solution is able to manage financial products and the record of accounts for this market, the FutureBank Platform can provide regional, demographic specific and targeted digital user journeys for the unbanked user in this market.

What is Oradian?

Oradian is a company founded in 2012 that provides MFIs in countries with underdeveloped banking infrastructure with a finance management platform for personal banking.

The Croatian fintech company was originally focused on Nigeria , where it grew its customer base to 24 MFIs with roughly 490,000 end users. Philippine Central Bank supported the project and since the young company has had a rollout in the Philippines, where it already works with 18 MFIs. Oradian today is also present in Ghana, Liberia, and Malawi.

What is our collective vision with this project

The long term vision of Oradian’s Instafin and the FutureBank Platform is to connect 100 million previously unbanked families to the financial system globally, especially in areas where technology is underdeveloped, through an end-to-end digital banking experience.  Our combined software helps MFI’s grow their businesses and lower the cost of finance to end users. In order for this project to be implemented, our FutureBank Platform will be used in conjunction with Instafin to provide a seamless banking experience. Collectively, we can make an accessible user interface paired with connection to the relevant lending accounts for the unbanked target market.  We can also provide services to the unbanked that will make their lives a whole lot easier, like being able to provide prepaid services directly from their mobile devices so that they can eliminate costly travel to urban areas in order to purchase electricity and other basic services. Instafin is the operational platform on which microfinance institutions, cooperatives and credit unions manage their day-to-day operations, and FutureBank Platform is the digital experience that the unbanked user interacts with.

The number of people who own smartphones is increasing in Nigeria, Ghana and the Philippines as the retail price drops. This means there is a growing opportunity to extend Oradian reach by making use of digital banking with the help of FutureBank.

Instafin and FutureBank     

To create the tools for financial inclusion and make them accessible to all financial institutions The FutureBank Platform is an ideal product to integrate with Instafin in order to reach this goal to give the system a useful and customizable front end banking interface.  Each region and demographic group has its own nuances and requirements, and the FutuerBank Platform is specifically designed to accommodate rapid, agile customization to user journeys that can be quickly deployed and easily scaled.  The technology also supports offline capabilities and zero rated services through integrations with regional Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Nigeria, Ghana and the Philippines.

Instafin can reduce high operational costs through automatic reporting that dramatically speeds up time-consuming month-end reporting processes, thus minimising inefficiencies that exist in across these rural banks servicing the unbanked population.  Instafin has other features such as messaging, automatic updates, maximum data security and pricing engines. It also provides training and implementation services on the ground in the areas they service — including data migration from their previous CBS or from spreadsheets.

The FutureBank Platform provides the unbanked users with access to their basic financial information, such as their current balance, transactional history, loan account status and other repayment information.  It can also provide direct access for the user to purchase pre-paid services available to them based on their area. These kinds of features add immediate value to the quality of life for the unbanked individual and puts them on a path to financial security and wealth for their families into the future.

At its core, the FutureBank Platform is a MicroServices API platform that integrates into the most popular Core Banking systems in the world.  The Banking API exposes a common interface to digital channels and FinTech partners whilst abstracting the complexities of the underlying legacy Core Banking systems.  The Banking API can provide a single end point into multiple disparate Core Banking systems which is useful in the case of the project with Instafin.

FutureBank uses unique asymmetrically encrypted HSM tokens to secure each transaction through the platform – adding an additional layer of security.  The platform exposes an event driven SDK architecture for easy integration into 3rd Parties, Merchants and Individuals.


  1. Source: McKinsey research conducted in partnership with the Financial Access Initiative (a consortium of researchers at New York University, Harvard, Yale, and Innovations for Poverty Action); we relied on financial usage data from Patrick Honohan, “Cross-country variation in household access to financial services,” Journal of Banking & Finance, 2008, Volume 32, Number 11, pp. 2493–500.

  2. FITZPATRICK, K. (2014). Does “Banking the Unbanked” Help Families to Save? Evidence from the United Kingdom. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 49(1), pp.223-249. doi:10.1111/joca.12055

2017 Finovate Trends, Highlights and Lowlights

I’ve watched a lot of Finovate clips and videos on YouTube and I’ve heard Martin tell many a story on what Finovate is all about and how to approach it.  However, this year I attended Finovate for the first time in San Jose, and like most global spectacles, an in person perspective is priceless.

For those that don’t know, Finovate is a demo only format event where presenters get 7 minutes to demo something innovative in the FinTech space.  No slides or videos are allowed.  You need to demo working software and you have 7 minutes to convey the innovation behind your product before a loud bell sounds and you get physically ushered off the stage.  The rules are strict and the host is spectacularly good and coordinating, inspiring and enforcing these rules where appropriate.

For me Finovate is the perfect opportunity to see the actual trends of where people in the FinTech space are focusing their energies.  Last year was mostly about AI, BlockChain and “Banking for the Unbanked”, so I was curious to see where the trends had moved this year.  I decided to get a little scientific and plotted some data about the presentations.

* Even though there is some overlap, as an example a lot of the presentations incorporate AI at some level, the AI category is just for solutions focused on AI specifically.

To my surprise there was an overwhelming large number of Loan Origination Optimization solutions.  Is this an indication of a housing boom in the US?  Or is it that there is an influx of Millennials buying their first homes and there is a new level of customer experience that FIs are expected to attain?  Either way, it was certainly not what I was expecting.  If you add the pure KYC based solutions to the tally, which are typically used to optimize the loan origination process, and combine this with two of the presentations I’ve classified in the "Everything Else" category that were property related, something is brewing.

* About the Everything Else category above, this is where I’ve grouped everyone that I felt stood on their own and cannot really be put into a group.

One thing that stood out is the eerie absence of new Blockchain based solutions.  Perhaps that’s not surprising considering $1bn has been invested so far into Blockchain in the US banking sector and there is exactly $0 in revenue so far reported and nothing actually in production in the banking sector.  It’s as if the successes of Bitcoin and Ether as crypto currencies immediately implies that Blockchain has to be successful in the banking sector for smart contracts or recon processes or whatever people think up next.  It’s like a solution waiting for a problem.  It’s slow, has a limited security time window and not even that innovative anymore – take AI and Quantum computers and put them together into some malware and the Blockchain ledgers will get corrupted across the globe within milliseconds.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s that I’m not a BlockChain fan, and I believe there are opportunities for it outside of banking, possibly government, legal and pharmaceutical sectors.  It’s just that I’m waiting for it to go past the peak of inflated expectations so we can get to the trough of disillusionment.  Maybe that just happened.

In the above I also plotted how many of the presentations spoke about having available APIs that could be exposed to developers and FIs.  With all the pressure with PSD2 in Europe for FIs to open their APIs to the world I was expecting there to be a much higher focus on API availability, but the data seemed to prove otherwise.  Of all the presenters, only ~28% of them offered APIs and more than 70% either hadn’t gotten around to it yet or weren’t ever going to expose an API because of the nature of their product (which is understandable in some cases).

To me this is symptomatic of two possible things.  The first is that the pressure for open APIs from Financial Institutions is not as prevalent yet in the US like it is in Europe and other parts of the world.  What is possibly a more alarming conjecture being that perhaps, because these new innovators are startups, they’ve rushed their development and engineering pieces to get their product to market and haven’t architected them properly with a solid foundation of APIs and/or SDKs followed by the User Experience and engagement channels.  This presents a fantastic opportunity for a product like FutureBank, because, if these innovations get traction they will need to build out their products at scale and facilitate integration with the Financial Institutions, and FutureBank does just that.

We are hoping to get a 7-minute window at Finovate New York in September this year to showcase how quickly we can spin up a brand new FutureBank instance that integrates with most core banking systems and exposes APIs for FinTechs to integrate into.  I believe our product will be invaluable to all the new innovative FinTech’s coming out of the woodwork every year who at some point in their success stories will need to integrate with FIs quickly and seamlessly and have their solutions scale to meet demand, and I hope FutureBank is their secret weapon.

Finally, some highlights and lowlights.

The highlights were:

There was only one lowlight.  Turn Key Lender was so embarrassingly unprepared that it was kind of an insult to the attendees who’ve spent good money getting to the event.  They may have a great product, but I just couldn't get past the lack of preparation in the presentation.  If you are going to be presenting at Finovate in the future, remember to take some of Martin’s advice.

FutureBank choose Entersekt Security

Earlier this year we concluded agreements with Entersekt that enable us to embed the Entersekt technology within our FutureBank Platform.  The FutureBank Platform now supports out-of-band unique device registration and step up authorizations on our mobile channels as well as soft token generation for securing Internet channels.

Our choice of security partner in Entersekt was an obvious one.  Entersekt are far ahead of any of their competitors in the field of authentication and mobile security.  The reason for this is their focus.  Whilst many of their competitors cover a very wide security spectrum in terms of solutions, Entersekt focus specifically on the areas of authentication and mobile security.  As a solution provider we can in turn offer mobile and Internet banking solutions to Entersekt customers with our FutureBank Platform, allowing them to keep this focus on authentication and mobile security.

By embedding best of breed security technology into FutureBank in the form of Entersekt, we ensure that our FutureBank Platform is the most secure mobile and internet banking solution in the market today.  The FutureBank Platform now also includes biometric authentication for securing sensitive transactions as well as tamper detection for compromised mobile devices.

For release in September this year we will be introducing some new advanced features arising out of this partnership that we will be able to showcase in the FutureBank Platform.  More on this to follow.