Finovate 2020 Berlin: Everything you need to know
With Finovate 2020 Berlin just around the corner, FinTech Magazine gives you the lowdown on one of the most anticipated fintech events of the year.
Taking place at the InterContinental Berlin, this is the first Finovate Europe event to take place in continental Europe, providing a “truly Pan-European experience.” The event, featuring over 50 demos, 150 speakers, and 1200+ senior attendees, will kick off 2020 and the new decade with the latest showcases of practical application fintech.
The event has been showered with praise in the past, hallmarked "the premier financial technology conference" by Bradley Leimer of Explorer Advisory and Capital, and "the best blend of innovation, content and networking" by Cesar Richardson of Strands Finance.
When: 11-13 February, 2020
Where: InterContinental Berlin, Berlin, Germany
[image: Magdalena Bogdanska, data scientist with Comanche Finance, delivers her key-note: Leveraging AI to Combat Financial Crimes More Effectively, credit: Finovate Conference Series]
Big Names in fintech
Of the 150+ speakers, notable names include: Yoni Arbel, Head of Treasury, Transferwise; Diana Biggs, Head of Innovation, Global Private Banking, HSBC; Benoit Legrand, CIO, ING; and Sophia Bantanidis, Head of Regulatory Strategy & Policy TTS, Citi. One prominent key speaker includes Valentin Stalf, co-founder and CEO of N26, who we covered back in 2019. Other representatives from Nasdaq, Pepper, Banque De France, Lloyds, DNB, AXA, Zurich, and Garanti Bank will also be in attendance.
On day one, keynote topics will be divided between the following topics: Digital Future, Open Banking Future, Future Tech, Future Payments, Future Financial Crime, and future insurance. To compliment this forward focussed event, days two and three will be devoted to showcasing the demos. Each demonstrator will be allowed seven minutes to showcase their products and services live.
Tickets are still available on the website for those wishing to attend or demo.
For more information on all topics for FinTech, please take a look at the latest edition of FinTech magazine.
Stripe backs Step - the digital bank for teens
The Series C round raised US$100m in capital from a number of backers, including Coatue, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, actor Jared Leto, and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, for the enterprise.
Step provides a free FDIC-insured bank account and Visa card to teenagers. The accounts are backed by Evolve Bank and there is no subscription charge for its usage. Users don’t pay for their accounts and there are also no overdraft fees.
The mobile banking app enables parents to set controls and limits on spending and encourage responsible finances. According to data released by the company, 88% of the platform’s users say this is their first bank account.
To date, Step has seen great success in the marketplace. The company has raised more than $175m from investors and now has 1.5m users.
Stripe, which was founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, previously led Step’s $22.5m Series A round in 2019.
Step's Series B funding round also brought in $50m, and has a distinctly celeb-tinged reputation with investors including Justin Timberlake and the pop duo The Chainsmokers.
Users get access to a free, FDIC-backed bank account, a spending card and P2P payments platform to send and receive money instantly.
CJ MacDonald, chief executive of Step, said the company is aiming to improve the financial futures of the next generation. “Step is the only banking platform that enables teens to start building a positive credit history before they turn 18 and does not charge fees of any kind.
He has previously spoken about the importance of financial literacy for young people. “Money is just one of those things where I think the more educated and equipped you are early, the better decisions you can make down the road,” he told . “And you can also prevent yourself from making costly mistakes. I mean, the average American doesn't have $400 in emergency savings and pays $350 a year in banking fees. If we can help this next generation just ultimately be smarter and more educated as it pertains to money, I think we'll all be better off.”
Kyle Doherty, managing director at General Catalyst and Step board member, explained, “Gen Z is flocking to modern financial solutions that can be easily embedded within their digital lives and Step has a unique model for how to do this right.”
The news follows on from Stripe’s recent announcement that it plans to acquire TaxJar. The fintech, which builds software for online businesses that automates the reporting and filing of sales taxes, will most likely be integrated with Stripe’s billing services.
Currently, No terms have been disclosed but the Boston start-up had raised more than $60m from investors including Insight Partners.
Stripe chief financial officer Dhivya Suryadevara said of the move, “With TaxJar, we will help millions of internet businesses running on Stripe with their sales tax and make it easier for them to sell internationally.”