Beta-i is one of the Best Financial Innovation Labs in the world, in The Innovators 2019

We’re happy to share that Beta-i has been named one of the 25 Best Financial Innovation Labs, as part of The Innovators 2019, an annual initiative by Global Finance magazine.

As an ecosystem builder in Lisbon, we’re are proud of the achievement. In the words of Pedro Rocha Vieira, our CEO and founder:

It’s naturally rewarding to see Beta-i again on such a narrow and prestigious list, which validates the work we’ve done. We are helping to reconfigure the financial universe, via fintechs, setting up programs like Pay Forward, with SIBS, or Protechting, which involves partners like Fidelidade, Fosun and Hauck & Aufhäuser, a German investment bank. This is an area where we identify new market opportunities, and Portugal can serve as a ‘sandbox’ for new business models and concepts in the financial area – for example, Brexit allows us to glimpse new opportunities. Startups like Feedzai, James, or Keep Warranty, are also making their way into this arena, which creates a more relevant cultural environment.

He also reminded that Portugal has a lot of opportunities to act as an innovation lab on testing new solutions: “There is an opportunity for countries like Portugal to position themselves to allow controlled testing of these technologies, especially in the context of the digital transformation of banks and the financial system, and I believe that’s where the role of Beta-i is, as a result of its commitment to innovation. We are also well positioned to replicate this experience in other geographies, and integrating the newly created Cybersecurity Working Group also allows us not only access but also the ability to influence and support the development of good practices.

In its seventh edition, The Innovators recognizes entities that regularly identify new paths and design new tools in finance – the full report will be published in June.

Financial institutions and governments worldwide are creating new spaces and modes of collaboration to better execute on financial technology,” said Joseph D. Giarraputo, publisher and editorial director of Global Finance. “Hubs, labs, centers, whatever you call them, they support innovations that deliver benefits to banks, their clients and society at large, nurturing both upstarts and stalwarts that excel in breakthrough thinking.

The 2019 Innovators honorees will be recognized at the Global Finance Digital Banks and Innovators Awards Dinner on October 30 in Hong Kong. Here is the full list of honorees:

Alior Bank RBL Warsaw
Barclays Accelerator Multiple Locations
BNY Mellon Global Innovation Centers
Multiple Locations
boostLAB Powered by BTG PactualSao Paulo
Capital One LabsMultiple Locations
Citi Innovation Labs Multiple Locations
Hong Kong
DBS Asia X (DAX)Singapore
Deutsche Bank Innovation LabsMultiple Locations
Fidelity Center for Applied Technology/Fidelity LabsNew York
FinLab AGFrankfurt
Fintech Hive
Fintech Innovation Lab Multiple Locations
FIS Global – FIS Financial Inclusion Lab Bengaluru
Frankfurt AcceleratorFrankfurt
LUISS EnlabsMilan
OTP Bank Innovation Lab
PayPal Innovation Lab Singapore
Startupbootcamp — FinTechMultiple Locations
Synechron – FinLabs Multiple Locations
Wells Fargo Startup AcceleratorNew York
YES Fintech Mumbai

Fintech: How PSD2 Will Change the EU Market

The Payment Services Directive 2 – PSD2 – is set to be fully implemented until the end of 2019, as banks must comply with all the regulations of the directive by September.

Although the impact cannot be measured as off now, we can see some of the changes happening already as bigger players are already taking notice of the impact the directive might have on the financial market: global fintech investment has doubled to €43 billion in 2018.

The goals of the directive

The professed goals of the directive include boosting a single market of payments for the UE, the reinforcement of safety, through the use of consumer authentication methods which comply with European standards and the accountability of payment service providers in the event of unauthorized payment transactions, more competition and innovation, by opening up the market to non-banks and innovative fintechs, and a more convenient experience for the customers, as a more consumer-centric view of the market, will be emerging.

The Shift in the Market

There will be several factors reinforcing the directive in creating a unified European Market:

  • Bigger market: as the market shifts from several autonomous markets into a single bigger one, it will become more attractive to new players and new services.
  • Scaling up: It will be cheaper for banks and other services to scale and operate in several countries when their legal frameworks are homogeneous which reduces development and compliance costs.
  • Savvy consumers: As the competition in the European market increases, so will the transparency in financial services and prices offered by European banks, which will lead to better-informed consumers, that will lead to considering foreign banks.
  • Consumers are increasingly more open to online and international shopping. This behavior can influence consumers’ banking behaviors as well.

In a nutshell, the European financial markets will change from domestic banks (the current status quo) into an open and European market, where European and international banks and non-banks will be able to offer their services.

Read more about the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) here.

The Impact of PSD2 in the European Fintech Market

The Impact of PSD2 in the European Fintech Market

On our Fintech Trends of 2019 report, we highlighted that one of the big trends would be change brought on by new regulations, namely the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2). It’s a European Union Directive with the aim to contribute to the creation of a single market of payment services in Europe.

The directive

The Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), enables bank customers, both consumers, and businesses, to use third-party providers to manage their finances, aiming to be safe for all entities involved, efficient in time and in costs and communications infrastructure, innovative by opening opportunities for new services and competitive, pushing for an ecosystem where several providers work on.

The new players

PSD2 creates the conditions for any client (private or business) to authorize their bank to give access to their account and payment information to any other providers properly authorized by national regulations – what is called Third Party Providers (TPP).

These third party providers can be Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISP), that provide payment alternatives to credit and debit cards, Account Information Service Providers (AISP), that aggregate information, online, information from multiple accounts and offer their customers an overview of their financial position, or Account Servicing Payment Service Providers (ASPSP), that make available and hold the payment accounts of consumers.

In a nutshell, the open banking API allows these third-party providers to access consumers’ financial information (with their permission) so they can provide them with new and innovative services.

A consumer-centric market

With the implementation of PSD2, banks will no longer be competing with just other banks, but every other financial services provider. Changing the payments value chain and which business models are profitable, will result in a more consumer-centric approach to the business.

As consumers expect an increased digitalization, banks will have a harder time differentiating themselves, so they will be partnering up with startups in fintech to provide new services and better experiences, fitting customers’ convenience and expectations.

The benefits

In the end, PSD2 is a directive working towards a more open and innovative fintech market that will achieve:

  • More security in electronic payments: Through the use of consumer authentication methods which comply with European standards and the accountability of payment service providers in the event of unauthorized payment transactions
  • Better protection against fraud and payment incidents for both consumers and merchants: By certifying all payment service providers who may have access to consumers’ bank details
  • The emergence of payment methods tailored to consumers and merchants: thanks to reduced costs in infrastructure and transactions.

The impact of it all is still to be seen – banks must comply with all the regulations of the directive by September 2019 – but bigger players are already taking notice of the impact the directive might have on the financial market: global fintech investment has doubled to €43 billion in 2018, according to

To keep getting updates about Fintech, subscribe to our newsletter for more tips, news and event details.