Best Moments of 2015 in FinTech

As the year comes to an end, LTP brings to you the best moments of 2015 in FinTech. In 2015, the adoption of new technologies and innovations redefined the FinTech space. The journey for the players in the FinTech industry was a true roller coaster ride.

Next year is all set to be eventful as well, and we will keep doing what we do at Let’s Talk Payments.

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Major M&As and IPOs of 2015

- Visa acquired Visa Europe, a division Visa split off from ahead of the company’s 2008 IPO, for $23.4 billion. The company also acquired TrialPay, a leading payment technology company. Read more

- BBVA acquired Spring Studio for digital banking initiatives. Read more

- Early Warning acquired Authentify. Read more

- Prosper Marketplace acquired BillGuard. Read more

- ATM leader Diebold agreed to a $1.8 billion takeover of Wincor Nixdorf. Read more

- Mobile - Enabling Technologies payments company Square got itself listed in NASDAQ in November 2015. Read more

Launch of Various Brands XX Pay in 2015

- Android Pay: Android users will now be able to make contactless payments in the US. Google, in collaboration with the payment networks, has finally rolled out Android Pay. The service was launched in September 2015 and works on all NFC-enabled Android devices. (All Android devices running KitKat 4.4 and above are NFC-enabled.) Read more

- Samsung Pay was launched initially in South Korea on August 20, 2015. In September 2015, the company launched the service in the US. Since its launch in South Korea, Samsung says an average of 25,000 new users are signing up every day. The company is seeing more than $620,000 in transactions on an everyday basis. Read more

- At the Money20/20 conference held recently in Las Vegas, America’s largest bank by assets, JPMorgan Chase & Co., announced the launch of its own digital wallet called Chase Pay." Beginning 2016, Chase Pay will allow Chase’s 94 million credit, debit and prepaid card customers to make in-store, in-app and online purchases. Read more

Technology Players’ Foray Into FinTech

- On March 17, 2015, Facebook entered payments in a very big way by launching person-to-person payments through its messenger.

- Alibaba launched its own smartwatch named Pay Watch priced at $110 as an initiative to enter the payment device space. The smartwatch is produced in partnership with Chinese wearable fitness operator FiiSmart.

- The China-based company gave the country its first online bank called WeBank. Tencent’s bank is now looking forward to serving owners of SMBs with innovative financial products based on WeChat.

Major Acquisitions Made by PayPal in 2015

PayPal’s M&A team did some brilliant work in 2015 by acquiring two major players: Paydiant and Xoom. The payment company acquired Paydiant, a Boston-bred mobile, cloud-based payments platform in March 2015. It also acquired Xoom, an international money transfer service that is listed on NASDAQ stock exchange. Xoom was also featured on the LTP9 Leaderboard in July 2015. Apart from these two major players, the company also acquired Modest, a Chicago startup that helps merchants create mobile e-commerce applications for their stores.

Establishment of R3 CEV Focused on Blockchain

R3 is an innovation firm focused on building and empowering the next generation of global financial services technology. Nine banks collaborated (mid-September) to develop common standards of blockchain technology by backing a blockchain startup called R3 CEV. Thirteen more banks joined by the end of September. In October, three more banks joined the R3CEV collaboration, taking the total count to 25; in November, five more banks joined hands to make the total number of banks in the R3CEV collaboration to 30. Read more

Other Major Moments in Blockchain, 2015

- American multinational technology company Microsoft entered the domain of bitcoin by partnering with ConsenSys, a blockchain venture. Both the companies will be working to develop new Ethereum blockchain-as-a-service products and new tools for Microsoft’s cloud-based service platform Azure. Read more

- At the Money 20/20 conference held in Las Vegas, NASDAQ announced the initial roster of private company clients for NASDAQ Linq, a platform that allows private companies to trade their company’s shares using bitcoin-powering technology, even before the IPO. Read more

- In 2015, there were some major investments and activities by FIs and banks such as Bank of America, NASDAQ, Citi, Visa and the Royal Bank of Canada. For further information, read more.

More Than $5 Billion Worth of FinTech Investments in 2015

- The largest funding of $1 billion was raised by SoFi in its series E round; the investments were led by SoftBank Group and other investors, including Baseline Ventures, DCM Ventures, IVP, Renren Inc., Third Point Ventures and Wellington Management.

- About $92 million was raised by Kreditech in its series C round. the investments were made by J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC, Amadeus Capital Partners, Blumberg Capital, HPE Growth Capital, Peter Thiel and Ward Partners.

- Stripe raised $90M in its series C round. Visa was one of the major investors in the round along with investors like Sequoia Capital and American Express Co.

- About $67M was raised by mPOS company iZettle in its series D round. The major investors were Intel Capital, Zouk Capital and Santander InnoVentures.

- POS systems manufacturer Lightspeed POS raised $61 million in its series C round.

Major Moments in P2P Payments in 2015

- MasterCard announced MasterCard Send in May 2015, a first-of-its-kind personal payments service that enables funds to be sent quickly and securely to consumers domestically and internationally. Through a single connection to the MasterCard Send platform, businesses, merchants, governments, nonprofits, issuers and other senders can send money to consumers whether they are banked or unbanked, and located domestically or abroad. Read more

- Apple Inc. got into discussions with US banks to develop a mobile-to-mobile payment service that would let users transfer money to one another from their phones, which seems to be something very similar to Venmo and PayPal. Along with other mobile payment systems, Apple Pay has been focusing on moving customers away from their wallets, cash, checks and cards in mobile-to-merchant relationships. The new service will be entering the highly competitive space of mobile-to-mobile transactions where PayPal and Venmo have significant shares. Read more

Major Moments in Lending in 2015

- Goldman Sachs is about to launch an online banking division that will focus on direct lending to small businesses and consumers. Loans can be offered through a website or an app. Read more

- Lending Club estimated the total operating revenue for the entire FY 2015 to be between $420 million and $422 million while the adjusted EBITDA margin is estimated to be 15.5%, which is same as this quarter. For FY 2016, Lending Club is estimating a YoY growth of 70% in operating revenue and the adjusted EBITDA margin of 18%. Read more

-UK’s Metro Bank joined hands with peer-to-peer lending platform Zopa to lend money through Zopa’s platform. The deal marks the first of its kind in the UK—a bank lending money through a peer-to-peer lending platform. Read more

- Lending Club announced a new pilot program in partnership with Google, Inc. to facilitate low-interest financing to eligible Google partners. Read more

- announced a marketing partnership with Biz2Credit, a leading online resource for small-business finance. Read more

Major Moments in Mobile Payments in 2015

- Global restaurant chain McDonald’s collaborated with Alipay, the leading Chinese third-party payment provider and a subsidiary of Alibaba Group. The deal enabled mobile payments in 2,100 McDonald’s stores in China. Read more

- Global Payments Inc., a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services, announced the launch of the new Ingenico Companion Mobile Payments (iCMP) mPOS, a turnkey mobile point-of-sale solution offering full debit and credit EMV and contactless payment acceptance to Canadian merchants. Read more

- OmnyPay, the retail-friendly mobile payment platform, announced the first integrated mobile loyalty, rewards and payment system designed specifically for retailers. This marks OmnyPay’s entry into the mobile payments market with major competitive advantages: a clear focus on a long-standing retailer problem, a proven management team, and a first-of-its-kind solution to solve the last inch of the mobile payments process. Read more

- Vector ITC Group signed a partnership agreement with Sequent Software, the platform bringing cards to mobile, to add key tokenization, on-device security, NFC and HCE capabilities to the Vector ITC Group Air Wallet financial product. Read more

Major Moments in Biometric Authentication in 2015

- Bank of America launched fingerprint security in their mobile banking app to provide secure banking to customers. Read more

- In April 2015, FIS started providing biometric access to its mobile banking application via Apple’s TouchID. With this, FIS became the first provider to offer fingerprint access to its cardless cash ATM application. Read more

- The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) became the first bank in the country to provide voice biometric authentication to its customers. The new RBC Secure Voice verifies the customer’s identity through a natural conversation within seconds. This eliminates the need for passwords/PINs or responding to a standard set of authentication questions. Read more

- USA rolled out biometric authentication for account log-in via mobile. Read more

- Alibaba’s subsidiary firm and financial arm Ant Financial is developing a face recognition technology for use with Alipay's online payment service and as well as the Alipay Wallet. Read more