‘Fintech’ expansion lures foreign banks to Israel

By Tova Cohen TEL AVIV (Reuters) – A five-minute chat with an executive from Israeli start-up MyCheck was enough to spark the interest of Mariano Belinky, managing partner at Banco Santander's venture capital division. After more formal follow-up meetings, the Spanish bank made its first foray into Israel, investing an undisclosed sum in MyCheck, which develops customized mobile payment apps for restaurant chains such as The Cheesecake Factory. With many clients in the hospitality sector, Santander was intrigued by the possibility of providing “a new and better solution for our clients,” Belinky told Reuters at a financial technology (fintech) event hosted by Santander in Tel Aviv last month.

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