Gone are the days of being tethered to banks and traditional financial systems. These days, creative minds and innovative companies are bringing technology to the financial sector to facilitate cross-border payments, enable peer-to-peer lending, and make financial transactions faster, cheaper, and more flexible.

 

With expertise in Big Data, risk analysis and management, and a global outlook, Israeli entrepreneurs and the Israeli startup ecosystem are emerging as innovative leaders in Fintech. According to a recent study we conducted, in 2014, three Israeli companies were sold for $718 million total, and in 2015, five sold for $2.39 billion. Israeli startups continue to create groundbreaking solutions and disrupt the financial and banking space.

The following five Israeli companies have been causing a stir through SNC’s Finder, leveraging sophisticated technologies to transform the financial landscape:

1- PayKey

PayKey works with banks to make it possible for their customers to send money through any social network and messaging platform. The company’s Payment Keyboard is integrated into the bank’s mobile app so that users can carry out secure peer-to-peer payments through any messaging app, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, and more. The actual processing is conducted entirely by the bank—PayKey just makes it possible for the transaction to be done easily and intuitively via mobile. PayKey was named “Most Visionary Social Media Solution” at the Citi Mobile Challenge EMEA and participated in the Citi Accelerator program.

 

2- Supersmart

Founded in 2014 and funded by one of Israel’s leading retailers, Supersmart is transforming the experience of grocery shopping and retail, making it smoother, smarter, and more efficient. Using statistics and deep-learning algorithms, Supersmart developed a patented technology and a mobile application that allows users to scan products as they load their carts, authenticate the contents of their carts, and pay, without ever having to stand in line for a cashier.

 

3- Neema

Recognizing that overseas workers have unique financial needs that often aren’t readily addressed by the traditional banking system, Neema provides a digital banking platform specially tailored to this population. Neema allows workers to deposit cash in hundreds of locations around Israel (and has plans to expand to other countries), at any time of day and without standing in line, and to send money to over 100,000 pick-up points worldwide. Neema also enables foreign workers to use a debit card for online and offline shopping, to pay bills, and to withdraw money from the ATM. An easy-to-use mobile application integrates all of these functionalities.

 

4- Vala

Despite technological advances in banking and finance, 60% of the world’s population still relies heavily on cash. Founded by former PayPal employees and a participant in the Barclays Accelerator powered by TechStars, Vala has created a network of affiliates and “human ATMs” who make it possible to send and receive cash all over the world. The sender uses Vala’s app to send money. Using machine-learning algorithms and sophisticated risk analysis, the Vala app mediates the transaction and ensures safety. The receiver then picks up the cash from an approved local affiliate.

 

5- CallVU

CallVU works to raise customer satisfaction and lower costs relating to inbound customer-care calls. Instead of relying on a single channel (phone), through CallVU, businesses, such as financial institutions, telecommunications companies, managed-services providers, and more, can offer an easy-to-use, engaging omni-channel customer experience. CallVU’s patented technology enables customers to migrate to digital self-service. Combining a digital interface and voice, CallVU reduces costs and allows for better, more efficient call resolution and interaction between customers and agents. The company was named “Cool Vendor in CRM Customer Service and Support in 2016” by Gartner Research Group.

 

To learn more about top Israeli FinTech startups, check out this infographic.

Paz Itzhar joined Start-Up Nation Central two years ago and today leads the organization's activity in Fintech. served for five years in the Israeli Air Force in multiple roles -- as an operations officer; a commander of an officers' course; and later as deputy to the head of operations. Prior to joining Start-Up Nation Central, Paz worked at the Ministry of Finance in the Wages Department. She holds a BA in Psychology and Economics from the Hebrew University. During her studies Paz was a psychology instructor for populations at risk, and a Research Assistant at The Center for the Study of Rationality.

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