In September 2022, Qorus and Capgemini launched the Open Finance community with the first area of focus being payments. In December, we held an awards ceremony to highlight the most innovative players in this space and the winners of the latest Qorus-Capgemini NewTech Challenge.
In order to find the winners, we assessed hundreds of companies before narrowing the field down to our seven finalists: Libeo, Onestep, Modulr, Token, Unbanked, Wallet Factory and M2P. We then asked Qorus members, website visitors and a jury of specially selected experts to vote for the three companies they thought best met our criteria, which were:
● Originality – Why is the solution different? How inventive, innovative, unique and distinguished is the solution in the market?
● Internationality – Performance at the cross-country level, the degree of internalization
● Business potential – Pain solver: How big and important is the business problem and the level of pain being solved? Is this solution going to solve it at scale?
● Impact – Traction: Is the solution capable of generating significant revenue and having strong traction?
● Wow factor: How excited are you about the projects?
We gave extra weight to our expert jury’s votes, and the winners were announced at an event on 14 December which you can watch below.
The present and future of payments
The event was not just to announce the winners, it was also filled with insight and best practices in the area of open finance. Our keynote speaker was Nikoloz Kurdiani from TBC Bank, who gave a fascinating overview of the bank’s digital only brand, Space, which is an unparalleled success story in Uzbekistan. Since March 2021 it has acquired over two million users and more than 100 million USD in deposits, a feat made easier by the country’s unique payment system and its open nature.
After his presentation, Nikoloz kindly stayed to announce our Bronze award winner which was Token. Jess Gerrow, VP of Marketing at the company, collected the award and made the following remarks: "At Token, we believe open banking is the greatest disruption to hit financial services in a generation – and payments are the most exciting opportunity in open banking. Token provides the connectivity and payments infrastructure for the most successful open banking payment deployments in both the UK and Europe. Since processing the first open banking payment transaction in Europe over five years ago, we have worked with over 80 customers and partners to bring open banking payments to the mainstream. We are honored to be recognized for our impact on the payments industry and to accept the Bronze award in the Qorus-Capgemini NewTech Challenge in Payments."
It was then onto another illuminating presentation, this time from Gary Lam, CTO at Livi Bank in Hong Kong which won Bronze in our recent Banking Innovation awards in the category of Digital Marketing and Sales. Gary gave us a fascinating insight into Livi Bank’s unique buy-now-pay-later solution, which is in part enabled by open finance, as well as the bank’s foray into the world of NFTs.
Gary also did us the honor of announcing our Silver winner, which was Unbanked. Sadly the company couldn’t be with us on the day, but CEO and Co-Founder Ian Kane told us: “I am thrilled that Unbanked took second place in this year’s NewTech Challenge. Support from the Qorus community has been fantastic as we continue to work on our mission of connecting digital assets with bank accounts, debit cards, and other legacy financial tools.”
Following the announcement, Pierre-Olivier Bouée from our partner Capgemini, shared thoughts on the fintech and banking ecosystem, and the importance of finding the right partners in today’s financial services market. Capgemini is focused on helping companies find those perfect partners, and the presentation highlighted just how they do that so well.
Pierre-Olivier then announced our Gold winner, which was Wallet Factory. The company’s CEO and co-founder Mikhail Miro told us: “It’s a huge honour to accept this award on behalf of everyone at Wallet Factory —as our team works from all around the world, including Ukraine. Our top priority has always been to improve financial inclusion for the underserved, especially in emerging markets of MENA and LatAm regions. Our team brings a personal touch to our digital wallets and customer loyalty programs to make people happy and satisfied with new payments solutions. We are deeply grateful to Qorus and Capgemini for the recognition and for putting a heightened focus on the importance of global digital transformation and financial technology innovations that impact all of us.”
We closed the event with a presentation from another of our Banking Innovation award winners, which was Banco do Brasil. Aglailton Soares took us through the state of open finance in Brazil, and gave us an overview of the bank’s open banking consent journey which is delivered via WhatsApp – a world first. The user journey is truly unusual, and involves the customer interacting with a chatbot.
Congratulations again to all our winners, and thank you to our speakers and jury – the presentations mentioned in the article can be found here. Thank you also to our members, we do hope you join us in the new year when we will kick off our next area of focus which is open finance in the world of insurance.