News from Finovate: Fintech innovation for banking and wealth

We’re at Finovate Fall 2015, covering over 40 companies live as they present their latest innovations.  Day 2 will begin in just a few minutes. Check out our coverage from Day 1.

 

Bizfi. The company provides a platform for business lending (and they are also a lender on the platform). As the merchant enters information into the online form, it serves as a screener to identify the options best suited for their needs. The merchant can either have the credit pulled, or self-report and have the info verified later. Some lenders are designated as “premium” and have higher prominence on the platform. The merchant may have up to 8 funding options, available online. Actual offline “concierge” can work with the merchant to evaluate the options. Bizfi can provide white-label service for FIs. They are piloting this offering in Japan. ^SR

Bzifi delivers business finance solutions in real time, helping small businesses grow by providing a variety of loan options through our funding platform.

Steve and Walt are getting ready to start their demo; SBA, factoring deals, banking lending and more. Provided more than a $1 billion in SMB financing. Showing browser-based platform.  Folks, this sector is HOT. OnDeck had a great IPO and I know a number of companies like Kabbage and Capital Access Network in this space that are doing fantastic and I’m sure Bizfi is doing great as well. I have a theory on why. After the Great Recession of 2008 bank were consolidating right and left AND constrained by tighter regulations so SMB financing just stopped. I know several SMB’s that went out of business when their bank cut off financing in 2009.

They are show a nice UI for their business to fill out and qualify for money for SMB’s and WHO are their funding options – sort of like eLoan for SMB lending. They are doing a new test in Japan. Very nice. Great work. ^WM

SaleMove. The company provides co-browsing, chat, video chat and other customer support in a seamless experience. Customer can choose the type of interaction that they prefer. Can start at standard chat, then move into a video chat session. Their newest product is OmniCall. The product has a dashboard that enables the agent to see which customers have called in, and can invite them to engage across different channels. ^SR

Showing Chrome-based (app?) which I’m assuming will have a built-in video chat function through the Chrome browser for guidance on purchasing a financial product. ^WM

Sliced Investing. The mission of the company is to democratize alternative investments, an asset class usually only available to very large investors. The platform is available for investment advisors, to help clients diversify portfolios. The website provides a gallery of potential investments. They provide research and background info on every fund, along with portfolio analytics.

From Twitter, Walt Cox (@waltrcox) raises a good point: Hedge funds love when you collect massive amounts of information on them. #truestory #Finovate. Does make you wonder how they’d gather deep information on some of these investments. ^SR

Sliced Investing is an online platform that provides accredited investors access to alternative investments like curated hedge funds, private equity and late stage private company investments. ^WM

Kapitall. Cash and prizes for meeting your saving and investing goals; Kapital is gamifying consumer savings. ^SR

Company description: Kapitall is an online investing platform that combines the world’s friendliest investing experience with powerful yet simple tools to build your skills – and maybe even your net worth. 

Big Data Scoring. As a lender, are you concerned with improving your portfolios’ credit quality?  Big Data can certainly help you assess risk, that’s something that Beyond the Arc has a long history of doing. Quite surprising that banks aren’t doing more to leverage all of the data they have available to them. Many are using models that were created more than a decade ago. Big Data Scoring looks at dozens, maybe hundreds, of new data variables. For example, why not confirm application data by checking LinkedIn or Google search results? We’ve seen that there is a treasure trove of insights in the CFPB database. Nice to see someone focusing on bringing new data into lending decision making. ^SR

I believe I heard they just moved their HQ to London, I’m not sure from where, perhaps Estonia.  From their web site: Big Data Scoring helps lenders harness big data to make better and more profitable credit decisions. Even though the breadth of data that could potentially be used for credit scoring has expanded considerably, most lenders still rely on credit bureau scores and basic information from their loan applications.

If I had to guess they came from the credit world but perhaps not. Showing their demo on a Chrome browser. Boy, Chrome is really taking off as a delivery system. Five years ago I don’t think I saw ONE demo on a Chrome browser and now I’ve seen almost a dozen (so far).  Fun fact: their CEO, Erki Kert hosts a radio show on business but I’m not sure in which country. ^WM

Bleu. This is one of the first companies to discuss payments with a heavy empahsis on customer experience. All too often, it is just about APIs, technology, and industry jargon. Their demo focuses on use of in-store beacons and a point-of-sale payment transaction.

From Twitter, @JPNicols notes: What problem are you solving for whom? Hard to get excited about even cool tech and/or UX if this is missing. #fintech #finovate

I have to agree that the tech is pretty cool. Not sure the demo does this offering justice. ^SR

“Traditional payments are broken.” Showing the bleu transaction platform on an iPad.   “Shifting payment experience. Consumers and merchants should be able to use ANY type of payment type.” I could not agree more. Showing instant or pre-paid payment experience. “Bleu is a secure and easy-to-use contactless payment solution powered by beacon technology.” Founded in 2014 bleu is based in Los Angeles (there are not a lot of LA-based Finovate companies – yet).  Very nice UI.  Their CEO got degrees at University of Alabama and his JD from Pepperdine.  Great job on the demo guys. ^WM

Dyme. Millennials don’t save. Can’t argue with that. They don’t have savings accounts. OK, but in today’s world, why would they need one?  Dyme uses a text-based messaging system to encourage Millennials to save. You know how you can text $10 to the Red Cross? Same idea here. Via automated text messages, you can build a savings habit, and get ongoing encouragement. The tone is very conversational. That is critical in customer communications. ^SR

“A lot of people are not thinking about savings, 3 of 10 Millennials do not have a savings account. We turn people from “texters” to “savers”” Sounds good to me. Link account via ACH. Set goals. Showing on IOS. It LOOKS like they onboard via text; I’m not sure. They have unique voices depending on what the Millennial wants to hear from Dyme. Good use of humor.  If you see any typos here it’s my fault; I’m still struggling with the spelling of “Millennials”, it was way easier when we were just Baby Boomers, Gen X or Gen Y.  At least one of his team members built the OnDeck tech platform (they are based in San Francisco). Very good concept. ^WM

 D3 Banking. D3 provides data analytics for small business. Business owners can see all of the their accounts in one place, view metrics, and use a comprehensive dashboard. There is functionality for managing bill payment. ^SR

D3 Banking simplifies the digital banking landscape providing customers with a full range of financial services anytime, anywhere.

Full disclosure: D3 Banking is a client of William Mills Agency.

Michael Carter and Andy Bolt presenting. “62% of all businesses in the U.S. have 5 employees or less, many fail due to their ability to manage their finances. We are here to introduce the new innovation D3 Banking’s Business Banking Platform.”   I was speaking with a banker about this topic at lunch yesterday.  The banker was expressing their SMB’s frustrations with their bank’s mobile and technology offerings for business, not near as good as consumer mobile solutions. I could not agree more. Michael is speaking to how the new D3 business platform a SMB can see a consolidated view of a wide variety of their accounts. I may be mistaken but I think this is the FIRST presentation this week that addresses this major issue: bringing the business banking experience as good or better than the consumer experience. they are showing a trove of value-added information related to transactions, money movement and more with very cool graphics predicting future activity based on their patent pending features.   “We don’t require the SMB owner to be a banker – they schedule when, who and how much for transactions.”  Great presentation and unique here at FinovateFall 2015. ^WM

Eco-Mail. Offers a “digital post office”. Not enough explanation of what this service is, or why I’d need it. Needed to start with more of a level-set.

From Twitter: Gavin Spitzner (@jspitzner) Eco-Mail…boring subject but solves actual business problem and I see a business model! Kudos #Finovate @EcoMail

So, others are in the audience who “get it”. So, I’ll have to look deeper into this company’s offering. ^SR

Engineer bulletproof, enterprise-class systems that transform your cumbersome paper mail legacy into a warp-speed new workflow – a hyper-enabled web of digital docs. ^WM

Finanteq. They have a “super wallet” that enables the user to use the functionality of multiple apps, without leaving the super wallet experience. The demo showed buying tickets, ordering an Uber ride, and more — all within one app, without having to swap apps, or provide data to multiple sources. ^SR

On Twitter, Bradley Leimer (@leimer) commented: Mobile banking with concierge services to buy groceries, hail Uber, get credit, order a pizza. Brilliant.

Interesting presentation, great use of humor, I’m still not exactly sure what they do, they are based in Poland. Showing an iPhone app, I think they are calling it a “Super Wallet” for mobile that merges products and services purchasing with financial transactions. So it’s the merger of M-Commerce and Mobile Wallets. Interesting. Speaking about the Starbucks app. “We transform Mobile Banking to Services to useful services.” “Think what your customer could do w/o leaving the app.” Good job on the demo. ^WM

Fiserv. Fiserv is a leader in the industry, and has been ahead of the curve in several areas. This demo is a showcase of several technologies, more of an overview. Cardfree cash withdrawals from the ATM, using beacons. They have an Apple Watch application with a new UI for the wearable. ^SR

Fiserv, Inc. is a leading global technology provider serving the financial services industry, driving innovation in payments, processing services, risk and compliance, customer and channel management, and business insights and optimization.

“Bringing cash into the digital era.”

Demo: of a fake bank account to showcase mobile innovations including biometric authentication. Today, showing a subset of wallet function, creating a virtual ATM card where consumer can withdraw money from the ATM.

This looks like it would be really useful. I don’t always have my debit card on me but I always have my phone. I still need cash today; it has not gone away. I go to the ATM occasionally and If I just had my phone, it would make the process faster. ^K.T.

 RMS.

RMS distributes its referral and rewards platform consumer channels online, and via a mobile app.

Encap. How do you ensure that omnichannel transactions are safe and secure? That’s the challenge that Encap is tackling. Much of the tech is behind the scenes, the end user just sees a “dead simple” experience. The bank can determine how much data, and what types, can leave the app– no matter what settings are on the mobile device. For a bank, they can have a proof of concept in a matter of weeks. ^SR

Encap Security provides multi-factor, smarter authentication and digital signing for the enterprise and banking sectors.

“Everybody hates security, it’s almost a 4-letter word” Rather show you a solution that enables communication with customers.

Demo: Mobile banking login via IPad which asks for a Pin. Making it easy for the consumer. All complexity is hidden to the user because the consumer couldn’t care less.

Next demo includes fund transfer which sends approval process to android phone where the user can verify with biometric authentication. Also, includes analysis of geo-location of phone and laptop in the same place when asking for the transfer.  ^K.T.

Lexmark.  This business was Kofax, and was recently acquired. As you know from my previous blogs, I think Kofax has a lot of great technology. I’m interested to see what happens with the additional resources of Lexmark. The application process can be voice activated, and step-by-step voice directions. You take a snapshot of your driver’s license, and the photo recognition software extracts the relevant information. I will note that the computer voice is a little, well, computer sounding. Integrated video support can be part of the application verification process, including guidance through the e-sign process. ^SR

Demo: Browsing CNN, where an advert for home equity credit appears where user clicks through. User can drive application process with voice and allows you to take a picture of driver’s license where it extracts business critical data. Easy voice recognition to fill out the form with simple questions and finished within 60 seconds. From here, can connect to a live agent. Agent appears and walks user through process, which includes e-signature. Call was about 3:00 minutes. Afterwards, email welcome pack send to user immediately. Pretty smooth process.  ^K.T.

LiquidLandscape. A “notebook” helps you visualize big data, to make more effective business decisions. ^SR

LiquidLandscape is an interactive notebook that uses data visualization to prevent financial decision-makers from drowning in data.

“Solving the problem with how you communicate with your data.”

Demoing Notebook: Designed to take the best of multiple open source visualization technologies and allowing user to play with their data. Interesting to note, when you find something of interest in the data, user can share with co-workers where they can see the entire point of view.  ^K.T.

Novabase. With Wizzio, they’ve partnered with IBM Watson to assist wealth managers and financial advisors. Looks like a robo-advisor powered by IBM. There are simple dashboards and opportunities to explore what-if simulations. ^SR

Novabase offers wealth clients and their financial advisors a customizable app ecosystem that enables engagement for self-service clients along with advisor contact.

Product is “Wizzio” which is a smart machine to help financial advisors. Apps and widgets available in Wizzio. This is where you can pull up overviews of clients to prep for a meeting. This includes a client “journal” which provides briefing cards of all important relevant information. Advisor can even ask questions such as  “What are analysts saying about High Rise Funds” and the answer comes immediately.  ^K.T.

Tranwall. A card user can decide when their card is accepted — or declined. The product offers fraud protection, and customer control. Tranwall provides an API so that their technology can be incorporated as a feature into mobile apps. ^SR

As Finovate states on Twitter: Tranwall introducing its real-time credit and debit card transaction control technology

Tranwall offers card issuers, processors, and corporations a card payment control solution.

It is really frustrating when my card is declined by my bank because they deemed it “unusual”. Tranwall tries to fix this by including the customer in the authorization process so the bank doesn’t have to second-guess. User gets an alert of the transaction on their mobile phone, where user can click “enable” and move on with the transaction. Claim implementation with a bank takes weeks not months.  ^K.T.

LiftForward. They partner with Microsoft to offer “technology as a service.” This seems out of sync with Finovate. The demo is discussing financing terms, installment payments, for a tech purchase. If they are powering that instalment payment, I’d like more visibility into what LiftForward actually does. They are just showing web forms. Hmmm…

OK, they have some machine learning behind the scenes, evaluating financing applications. They assess 2000 data points for an underwriter. The dashboard makes it easy for the underwriter to make a financing decision. But, not sure why this would require an underwriter. This is essentially a small business lending alternative. ^SR

ThetaRay. ThetaRay is a big data and analytics company analyzing data for financial services. While there is obvious power in this, I’m not seeing what differentiates this product offering. It is a general purpose tool. ^SR

Thetaray helps financial institutions with fraud detection and credit risk reduction by using its anomaly detection algorithm that leverages big data analytics in real time.

Increasing fraud detection accuracy by over 10X. It is highly usable and actionable. Vectors- patterned based analysis of data in platform. Raw Data Fields integrated so user can create new vector features. ^K.T.

Quisk. Bringing cash into the modern mobile age. They are trying to create an avenue for banks to generate revenue from cash transactions. In international markets, they have a use case for consumers who pay utility bills in cash. ^SR

Quisk’s digital cash payment and integrated marketing and loyalty solution uses its patented, cloud-based software platform that enables a simple, secure and convenient solution.

Claim Quisk is the next gen of mobile money. Demo: Merchant mPOS – Praveen’s deli. Banks have ability to make money off of digital concept. Bill Pay Demo – consumer can get into Quisk app or bank app and go through bill pay process on mobile phone. Actions work via SMS too if user does not have a smart device.  ^K.T.

Hedgeable. Private banking for Millennials. They have made investing simple, with curated investment options. A user can also get an aggregated view of all of their financial accounts. There is no human/phone interaction, just online support. They are growing fast in the online investing arena. ^SR

PaySwag. This is a white-labeled solution for collections with real-time payment arrangements, financial education, and games/rewards. This is a mobile app that a consumer could use to manage past due payments. They earn points when they make payments as arranged. This would be a good use case for predictive analytics.  Before making an arrangement, you could use data science to determine who is most likely to pay as agreed. They note that they’ve been able to reduce serious delinquencies by up to 50%. ^SR

Pay Swag    @PaySwagApp    http://payswag.com/

PaySwag helps lenders, municipalities, utilities, medical and other creditors collect delinquent payments from the underbanked using a gamified mobile application combining payments with cash or cards, financial education, communication, payment plans, and rewards.

Showing IOS Screen, I think an app but sometimes it’s hard to tell with mobile web browsers. If someone can’t make a payment they can use Pay Swag to make several payments instead of one so the customer doesn’t get “dinged” on credit. Users can receive “points” by watching videos in full and other ways to get points – showing a roulette wheel on the app to get points.  “The underbanked don’t have frequent flyer points.” Interesting concept. I know for a fact between 25% to 37% of all folks in the U.S. don’t have a traditional banking relationship (i.e. DDA account with a local bank).  “Pay Swag can be used in all areas of debt – finance, medical bills and more.” ^WM

Ethoca.  The company provides an automated solution to reduce fraud. A portal enables merchants and banks to communicate about fraud cases — and perhaps stop the merchandise from being shipped. They discuss this in terms of a “collaboration network.” ^SR

Ethoca is a secure network for card issuers and merchants to connect and work cooperatively outside the payment network in a unique and powerful way!

Used by Amazon, Apple, plenty of banks and much more.  I guess everything is behind the scene.  Good use of humor. So, it alerts the merchant in real time to keep products from leaving the store BEFORE there is a fraudulent transaction. Very cool. I’ve not heard of these folks before but clearly it’s an important service that they are doing. They are based in Toronto and have raised $45 million in VC so far from one investor.  ^WM

Hypori. The product provides a virtual machine that runs Android apps in the cloud, a “virtual mobile device.” This is like a remote desktop for the tablet or smartphone. They can deliver secure apps, even when the device is not administered by your company’s IT department. Takes data off the phone, and secures it in the cloud. You can run point-of-sale POS apps as a service from the cloud. This could be interesting to avoid investments in payment processing equipment. ^SR

Hypori’s Android Cloud Environment (ACE) platform is a mobile-first thin client. It provides remote access to Android virtual machines (virtual mobile devices) running in a private, public or hybrid cloud that can be accessed from iPads, iPhones and Android end-point devices.

The first speaker is from VISA which is cool. If you can get a “big gun” name like VISA on the Finovate stage that’s something special.  “We deliver any mobile app as a secure service in the cloud.” Showing both an iPad and Android Tablet. Very interesting. It looks like they are based in Austin, Texas and according to CrunchBase: Hypori provides mobility solutions with Virtual Mobile Infrastructure. We remote Android onto any mobile device. They have raised about $14 million so far.  “Started with DOD and are the only secure way to deliver a mobile app on a network for the DOD.” Launching new function: remote bluetooth.

At has a lot of remote management functions that folks are used to using on desktops/laptops but now mobile. They did not get into VISA’s role with the company. I’ll try to stop by their stand to learn more. ^WM

Socure. An integrated security app, that includes many avenues to authenticate a user (including real-time facial recognition.) They ask: given an identity and a device, is this really the person? ^SR

Socure’s solution for consumers and companies facing ever-increasing challenges with usernames, passwords, and verification uses facial biometrics technology.

“EMV is starting to role out in the US next month.” I think he said that CNP fraud has risen since EMV but I’m not sure. “ROI is 5 to 10x investment”. Something you know, your device and your face for authentication?  I THINK they are showing an Android app. They are based in New York and have raised more than $7 million in capital. Socure’s Social Biometrics™ verifies online identities and prevents fraud. “We are looking for partners to integrate SOCURE. We aim to put trust in online identity.” Good job. ^WM

Ldger. Many banks are not taking full advantage of securitization of their loan portfolio. Ldger helps to facilitate that process. ^SR

Ldger offers its distributed ledger technology to modern credit market investors and originators to avoid inefficiencies in traditional capital market processes.

I think they are showing browser-based dashboard related to peer-to-peer investing to securitize peer-to-peer lending.  To overly simplify I think they developed a technology to securitize and sell investments in P2P investments. Very cutting edge. “Structured Finance 2.0: Ldger’s mission is to MODERNIZE capital market transactions by providing a LOW COST “self service” structured finance infrastructure that is highly integrated.” These guys seem really sharp. ^WM

Red Cloud.

RedCloud, the future enterprise leader in the world’s mobile market, offers low risk, fast results and new revenue streams for increased banking profitability.

RedCloud can process payments in real time for banks. They have set up an infrastructure that has real time bank reconciliation. All transaction and identities and internal management is configurable to what the bank wants. And all is recorded in real time. They also built pre-configured insights that both the bank and the banks customers can access. ^K.T.

Voitrax. New regulations require more documentation for swap transactions. Most banks can’t track this very well today. Banks are required to compile phone recordings. The system analyzes the phone conversation to extract deal details and transcribes them. The platform can identify out-of-pattern behavior for compliance reporting. ^SR

Voitrax’s trade reconstruction engine uses transcription, machine learning and natural language processing to help financial institutions comply with regulations by enabling them to provide trade reconstruction reports in real time.

Demo: Call between a client and the bank on a foreign transaction.  Their system understand the client discussion and can pull relevant information. Transcribing is a big part of their system but it is only 80% accurate. To fix this inaccuracy, the system catches errors it finds in the call by using context clues. For example, if it notices the trade being done is significantly off market, you will get a notification.  ^K.T.

Ephesoft. This software analyzes unstructured text and extracts key details. Once the data is identified, it can be added to various visualizations. The demo looked at real estate and mortgage data. The analytics use powerful data mining with Spark and other open source tools. ^SR

Ephesoft Smart Capture® intelligent document software utilizes powerful OCR algorithms to extract critical information from physical and electronic files.

Specializes in taking unstructured content, normalize it and find meaning.

Demo: Ephesoft Universe shows a map with properties all over the map. In this view, you can see how the properties compare. It is all color-coded to see how well the properties are performing.  Same data available in a map so user can look at key details. The user can decide if this is the right investment for them at the right price and forecast it with their portfolio. What makes this interesting is Ephesoft’s source of all of their information comes from thousands of mortgage documents. That they have put into the system. This  same sort of system can be implemented on various types of applications, they are showing mortgage as an example.  ^K.T.

Dynamics. Plastic doesn’t have to be “dumb” anymore. Dynamics adds a rich feature set to the plastic card itself. We don’t think about cards having electronics, powered by microbatteries. Looking inside the card, you actually see the circuit board and all of the chips. Buttons on the card let you enter your PIN, directly into the card. Reduces fraud, and is more convenient for the customer. ^SR

Dynamics Inc. is an innovator in next-generation interactive payment cards and systems.

Showing a case study of their work with Tim Hortons in Canada. They launched a close looped card last year where the user can select credit to earn rewards when they are using it out of the store. Then when they visit Tim Hortons, they can click “Tim Hortons” and use the rewards at the store. This was the fastest growing retail credit card in the history of Canada. Apparently, everybody wants it.

Now, they have a new card with a better battery and chip. They added a secure element where their store the EMV contactless data. ^K.T.

ArcBit. Do you have a digital wallet?  How do you back-up the data?  Here’s a cloud solution to do this securely. It is based on the technology that enables bitcoin transactions. ^SR

Demoing bitcoin wallet where they send bitcoin payment instantly. Security is their next focus. You have to back-up and keep your bitcoins safe and secure yourself. To do this through their app, the back-up is easy done through backup passphrase. Arcbit also gives you the option to backup your wallet to ICloud instead. ^K.T.

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And, so it ends!  Over 70+ fintech companies presenting their latest innovations in just 2 days. Whew!  Check back here on the blog later in the week.  We’ll have summary videos, and a write-up of key trends that surfaced from the show.

 

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