Fintech has become so popular it is now a household word. Well, maybe only if you live within 50 miles of Silicon Valley, New York, London, Hong Kong… But fintech has become a global phenomenon as we witness the technology-driven transformation of financial services including banking, payments, insurance, capital markets, and wealth management. At the dawn of an earlier era, the Finovate conference was there to kick the tires on the latest in financial technology and innovation.
Now some many years later, Finovate is still the place where nearly 1,500 people gather to experience the cutting edge of fintech innovation. We’ll be blogging live, with near real-time commentary on over 50 companies over a two day period. Buckle in, refresh this page from time to time, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @beyondthearc.
I’m blogging live with my pal William Mills of the William Mills Agency. His commentary is included when you see ^WM.
And here we go:
Fintech Innovation Company Commentaries
This is the launch of a new company, it helps businesses with financing of inventory. Businesses are definitely challenged to collect on those invoices! Winning the business for an SMB is just the start, the key is how to get paid, and get paid without having to wait up to 90 days to receive the money.
The platform also helps financial institutions with a white label solution to participate in this kind of marketplace. From the bank’s perspective, the Zuma product provides end-to-end functionality for lending. Cloud-based solution for SMB lending.
Zuma Liquidity Solutions, https://zuma.global/zlsapp/#/register/investor
- Ben Sullivan
- Vika Arkhipova
- Cisco Liquido
Zuma’s white-label invoice financing platform offers automated underwriting processes and lowers transaction costs for banks.
I have to admit, I love what Kasasa does. They enable banks of all sizes to apply technology for real financial services innovation, in a turnkey way. Banks can deploy sophisticated marketing and product solutions, without a massive investment of R&D
The team is announcing the launch of Kasasa Loan, helping people getting out of debt more quickly. The consumer-facing dashboard is extremely intuitive, and helps people to make better decisions about how they manage their money. In this demo, they show a consumer making a change to loan (getting more money), after it has already been underwritten. I’ve never seen this kind of after-the-fact flexibility. It is compliant in all 50 states, which is great.
There is a coming mobile app, co-branded with the FI where the consumer is a customer. Great way to compete for loan volume, without driving rates down.
Works with 800 banks, credit unions and other non-bank banks for retail banking products in all 50 states. Consumers biggest need is to get out of debt faster. Testing showed 87% preference for this product. Showing MYDASHBOARD show the consumer can see how their Kasasa Loan is doing at “Freedom Institution”. They are showing the ability to “Take Back” balance for consumers to get no fees for unexpected expenses. This is REALLY cool because so many folks need money they don’t have quickly and wind up paying a TON in fees and high rates. A Kasasa loan is a better way to lend. I like it and have not seen this approach from any other provider.
They are also launching their IOS version. (Full disclosure: William Mills Agency represents Kasasa.)^WM
Kasasa is the innovative leader in branded, community-powered banking products proven to drive profit and growth for community financial institutions such as banks and credit unions.
Not all good borrowers have long credit histories. After 40 years, isnt it time for a new way to assess real creditworthiness? Stratyfy believes so, and they have a new way to evaluate credit risk using predictive analytics. A rules engine meets predictive analytics, like AI, but without the black box.
From an analytics perspective, what Stratyfy is saying makes sense. The human-readable, editable, set of rules is critical. It is critical for banks to understand the decisions it is making, without the hidden bias that is possible in some AI solutions.
- Stratyfy, stratyfy.com
- Michael Cherkassky
- Laura Kornhauser
Stratyfy’s software uses a differentiated approach, powered by proprietary technology, to target unfairness and biases common in credit risk decisioning for consumer lenders.
The topic of digital identity is one of the most pressing in banking. Know Your Customer is a mantra, and a buzz word. But this process of authentication is cumbersome and creates a poor CX. These are some of the things they are hoping to address.
They are GDPR compliant, which is critical across Europe, but in the USA as well. This is becoming a global standard for managing data privacy.
A visual platform enables you to see trends and delve into potential hot spots.
- IdentityMind Global Twitter @IdentityMind
IdentityMind Global’s KYC plug-in uses digital identities to solve KYC compliance for business and compliance buyers at fintech companies.
As Americans, we aren’t very good at planning for the future. Plynty wants to make it easier for the mass of consumers to better plan for retirement. It is great if you can afford a personal financial advisor, but not everyone can. This solution hopes to democratize retirement planning. The first step is better planning how you use your cash.
The mobile app has an emphasis on cashflow planning. You can itemize expenses, determine your income, and figure out what you have available for savings. The demo of the app magically eliminated a 1% advisor fee, but not sure how that happened. Doesn’t look like they provide financial advice.
I’m generally pessimistic about savings/planning solutions. I just don’t think we’re all good at it, and don’t really want to change our ways.
- Plynty, plynty.com
- Dennis Hooks
- John Getchell
plynty’s mobile-first platform and application provide effective and engaging retirement and financial planning tools that deliver high-quality advice and a positive experience.
Flybits has a platform for managing an array of microservices, building blocks that enable you to create new data-driven offerings. The Experience Studio has templates of applets that you can configure to engage with customers.
Flybits’ turnkey solution uses data intelligence and contextual computing to implement a digital personalization strategy for retail banking, wealth management and insurance.
Ondot has a strong value proposition for gift cards. For the gift sender, you get to keep the “breakage.” This means you only pay for the gift cards that get redeemed. For the recipient of the gift card, you receive a virtual card you can use online for ecommerce, as well as a means to use it for tap and pay in the real world. And for the retailer, this is a very novel solution that helps bring attention to their business.
- Ondot Systems
Ondot uses crowd sourced payments data with real time analytics and machine learning algorithms to improve automation, trust, control and management of invisible payments.
Is your bank mining your own social customer graph? Alpharank was founded a year ago and received an initial investment from Wells Fargo. What can you do with your historical transaction data? They work with anonymous transaction and card processing data. They are working with anonymized data. Alpharank helps you with a variant of “look alike” modeling, by identifying consumer behavioral patterns.
- Alpharank Twitter @Alpharank
Alpharank uses debit and credit card transaction data to map offline social networks that financial institutions can use to amplify marketing and detect synthetic fraud.
Fintech is truly global, so it is great to see some global players. This is an SMS solution for social networking and investment. Interesting idea to make use of text messaging, in addition to the investment functionality in their app. The functionality allows for sharing of portfolios.
The idea of relying on a community for investment advice has pros and cons. You can learn from the community, but I am concerned about what prevents genuinely bad ideas from being widely shared… Also wondering about the potential for bad actors and things like stock manipulation and pump and dump schemes.
NTT DATA has created a social community to share investment experience, knowledge and lessons.
Ephesoft’s Mortgage Intelligence solution uses machine learning to automate and detect fraud during the lending process.
I’m sure I’ve seen these folks before and if I’m not mistaken I was pretty impressed last time. Now showing their web-based platform project screen with use cases like KYC, mortgage processing, Invoice Processing. Now showing a mortgage loan origination and processing case use. Showing the Schedule C, 1040 etc. PDF turning unstructured data i.e. from the PDF’s. Now showing dashboard comparisons.
There is a TON of unstructured data in financial institutions. I imagine if most banks are looking at this company or their competitors now, they will be in the next few years.
- Scott Lee
Eltropy offers text messaging as a customer engagement channel using AI-driven business intelligence, governance and compliance.
“How many people text family and friends?” About everyone.
“How many people text their financial institution?” Almost no one.We connect FI’s to their customers. This is sounding very cool. SALES, MARKETING, SERVICE use cases. “Texting changes the game.” Man, I like these folks. My call center experiences with my FI’s are NOT good and I get so many spyware emails I’m hesitant to trust any bank emails. These folks are really on to something. They are based here in the SF Bay area. They have seven customers and I’ve found no major investors so I suspect they are seed funded as well as their clients. Great job.From the web:
Eltropy, SaaS platform improves share of wallet, client acquisition and productivity of client-facing teams in banking and financial service
We need to help people stretch their dollar further, particularly those that are in a fragile financial state. The Moneyamigo app has support for multiple languages. The offering includes an array of low-cost financial services: low-cost credit, money back spending offer, insurance. The enrollment process is simple and done in the app. You can setup a new bank account in under a minute. There is also a network of medical providers, product discounts, and other ways for people to save money. There is also a peer-to-peer money transfer functionality.The whole market segment of helping low income folks or people with low credit score is a big topic this year. Showing mobile app with nice mobile video intro. It looks like KYC through scanning drivers license and SSN and security question. Kim just opened an FDIC insured account in about 30 seconds. Consumers receive debit card in the mail. This is also a great mobile UI that is super slick. What I’m interested in how they will make money. Will they compete or sell to FI’s? I don’t know. I think I saw them in 2015 at Finovate.Showing merchant discounts related to medical/dental. Now showing an Alexa-like voice AI with balance amount and money transfer. Very good presentation.
- Twitter @MyMoneyAmigo
- Presenters:Kim Norland
moneyamigo’s platform challenges the lack of simple & clustered “money & life” services and provides a fast and friendly solution that truly makes a difference.
Should I be saving more for my future? Or donating more to the charity that I love? Well many Americans don’t have enough money for their retirement, and feel they can’t contribute as they’d like. So this is a solution for saving and giving. You can search for the charity you want to support, and 1.5 million are in their system.Showing mobile app for their controlled beta. Will be app store in late June. Fee-based revenue model.
Good for consumers, banks, communities, non profits and more. Again, this market segment is hot.
This segment used to be PFM now it’s about helping the millions of Americans improve their fiscal lives.These folks are mobile first – God Bless You.
So many folks don’t “get” if the end user can’t use the app or platform on an iPhone or Android phone then folks won’t use it. They have a very nice UI. It seems pretty well developed for being at such an early stage. I think this is an up and coming company. They are seeking Series A funding and partners. Good job. ^WM
Live.Give.Save encourages balanced spending, saving and giving habits, particularly for millennials.
For more on fintech innovation, follow us on Twitter @beyondthearc
“70 million Americans with bad credit. Our mission is to help consumers with their credit health and it’s also good for lenders. Credit health is hard.”
Showing nice mobile app, IOS, with a great mobile UI. It is hard to know what people need to do to improve their credit health. This emphasis on credit health is so important and a win-win for consumers as well as financial institutions.These folks are very early stage but look very strong. They are based in Boston and have only seed funding of less than 0,000 according to Crunchbase.Their solution seems “fully baked” and working well. Great job. ^WM
Buckit’s mobile app gives credit card borrowers the tools for active, cohesive and intelligent debt management.
Point of Sale financing makes it easy for consumers to buy what they want, when they want it. But, if they don’t have money in their pocket, new sources of loan funding become important. Supermoney aggregates offers from online lenders, to find the best deal. There’s no fee to the consumer. This offering lets small businesses access the kind of financing available to large merchants. For the lender, they can underwrite more loans with this source of new opportunities.
- Supermoney, supermoney.com
- Miron Lulic
- Jesse Stockwell
- Max Yen
SuperMoney’s Dealer Financing Platform offers affordable and efficient point of sale financing options for customers of small and medium businesses.
Explainable AI for financial services. They use a mix of machine learning, natural language processing, and related technology to extract information, identify trends, and act on it. The system has a critical attribute, which is the ability to build automated workflows. Your data is brought into a cognitive platform, and visualized in new and interesting ways. This can make artificial intelligence for many organizations.
Kyndi’s Explainable AI uses a unique ensemble of AI technologies and quantum emulation that reads and comprehends unstructured data (text) for risk mitigation and compliance for financial services executives.
The company name sounds like “Switch.” Blockchain-based global gifting platform. A network of retailers, and over 5 billion products can be redeemed by recipients. They had 2mil transactions last year on the platform. The blockchain can be used to enable gifts across national borders. It isn’t easy to send $100 to a friend in London, tomorrow. The live demo showed making a purchase/sending a gift from US-India in real time.
- Swych Twitter @GoSwych
- Deepak Jain
- Harpreet Chawla
Swych’s global blockchain framework creates an alternative way for cryptocurrencies to be used through its global shopping and gifting network featuring thousands of retailers.
Do you have to visit 4-5 websites to pay your bills? Bill pay is good, but it lacks immediacy. The Biller Direct product combines bill pay, with the convenience and real-time nature of a credit card. And people get up to date info on their payments. I know that as a consumer, this is a very real pain point for me. Did they get my payment? Was it credited properly?
Q2 Software Biller Direct offers card payments for bill pay, wrapped in a modern user experience to target costly economic model of bill pay.
They want to disrupt banking and fintech, with a new take on the paper check. Whoa, tall order, I think! They take the account number off the check, and replace it with a QR code. This addresses a problem with check fraud. They want to be the world’s most secure paper check. Interesting idea, and definitely seems to be an improvement. Jury may still be out if we need improved checks at all…
- QCheque, @QCheque371
One of the greatest vulnerabilities of the traditional paper check is that the account number is clearly visible. QCheque masks the account number with an encrypted QR code, and then facilitates every aspect of the paper check processing rail in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.
- Omega Point, @omegapointhq
Omega Point’s portfolio performance enhancement platform uses a unique, easy-to-use visual interface to provide quantitative knowledge and resources for traditional portfolio managers.
We’ve written about SaleMove in the past. This time, they are showing a demo of their customer engagement solution with co-browsing. You can add a video window directly embedded into your site. The tech integration takes a matter of weeks, they say. The product now includes a chatbot AI, providing recommendations to employees in their interactions with customers.
- SaleMove, Twitter @SaleMove
SaleMove’s omnichannel customer engagement platform targets the disjointed online customer experience for large entreprises (typical financial services) providing complex products online.
Online loan origination for small business lending. The product provides support to FIs with standard workflows, managing everything from acquisition to servicing. The underwriting is based on your bank’s underwriting policies. You can also go with a manual decision, to fully automated process. The flexibility of Baker Hill is a real strength of this lending platform. This is offered as a SaaS subscription.
- Baker Hill, Twitter @bakerhill
- Mike Horrocks
- Eric LaPlante
Baker Hill’s small business loan application and auto decisioning solution uses a responsive turnkey, web-based application that facilitates information sharing and automated credit decisioning to generate profitable growth in the small business loan portfolio while reducing risk and meeting customer demands for speed and convenience.
There is no doubt that wearable payment is an emerging tech trend. This solution uses a heart rate monitor to authenticate the wearer of a payment device. Demo featured some excellent live jump rope! A finovate first? The pilot in Eastern Europe was with 70,000 people. Uses your heart as a means of biometrics.
- Mawi Solutions, @mawiband
- Ron Fridman
- Egor Avetisov, from Privet Bank
- Maria Gurina
- Mawi Solutions’ wristband uses an ECG-based method of authentication to make payments via wearables more secure.
A single app to send “money without borders.” Multi-currency capabilites and the demo shows GBP, USD, and BTC. You also see any fees on the transaction. With a virtual card, they can match a card to the currency of choice. Seems like a good way to avoid exchange fees. They are a fully licensed FI in Europe.
Next generation global money transfer platform launching a Global Account integrating fiat and crypto money with a physical hard. Money without borders.
Customers often start an online transaction, but then drop out of the process. This “funnel abandonment” is one of the toughest problems to solve in ecommerce. Blue Rush has a platform to leverage content and customer info to move people through the buying funnel. In the context of a mortgage refi, that content includes video, articles, and financial calculators. There is personalized video, based on the client’s profile.
- BlueRush, Twitter @BlueRushdm
BlueRush’s DigitalReach software creates and distributes interactive and personalized digital experiences to improve engagement and conversion rates for advisors (wealth, insurance, and mortgage).
Tools for independent financial advisors, so they can trade bonds more efficiently. Advisors can set their criteria to find the bonds that are a good fit for a client. 280 also owns a portfolio of bonds, that they make available on the platform. “Imagine capital markets in the cloud.”
- 280 CapMarkets, Twitter @280capmarkets
- Gurinder Ahluwalia
- Dave Rudd
- Prescott Nasser
280 CapMarket’s fixed income technology uses a combination of uniquely curated market information and proprietary platform capabilities to improve market openness and price transparency for independent financial advisors.
“Perpetual loan approval” with a personalized borrowing experience.
Check out our previous commentary
on this company. They have been here at Finovate since back in 2014.
- CUneXus, https://cunexusonline.com/
- Dave Buerger
- John Reich
- CUneXus’ lending and marketing automation platform uses advanced data-analysis, user-friendly workflows and existing digital banking delivery channels to eliminate unnecessary friction from the consumer lending process for banks, credit unions and their customers.
And almost unbelievably, we are at the end of Day 1 at Finovate! Visit us again tomorrow for our live blog, with re-caps of another 20+ companies.
Steven J. Ramirez is CEO of Beyond the Arc, Inc. Harnessing data science and deep marketing expertise, he and his team deliver analytics-driven Customer Experience solutions. Their work includes strategic initiatives at a Top 5 US bank where they directly improved Customer Experience through communications. Helping financial service clients create rapid wins through intensive data strategy and improved customer engagement is their specialty.
William Mills III, Chief Executive Officer of William Mills Agency is live blogging today at Finovate Spring 2018. He has more than 34 years of experience in financial technology and is a recognized leader in financial and technology marketing. He has personally advised more than 300 chief executives on marketing strategy, business development, mergers and acquisitions, company branding and public relations.