Welcome to Finovate Fall 2022, the largest Finovate event ever. It has been a few years since I’ve blogged the event live. Won’t be able to cover each and every demo, but I can’t resist taking and sharing a few notes.
Finovate in NY is always a great fintech gathering. Great combo of fintech startups, investors, bankers, and the fintech gliteratti. Over the next 3 days expecting 65 startup demos.
Lending bias is a serious problem for borrowers and prevents lenders from growing their business. Credit risk and fair lending can also have reputation risk and regulatory costs. As credit risk is driven by machine learning models, what can lenders do to ensure the models don’t have hidden bias? This is an automated system that analyzes models for fair lending risk. On the upside, the tool can help lenders identify prime borrowers that might have been otherwise ignored. Very solid lead off demo, nice job! https://stratyfy.com
The funding of loans and underwriting via retail bank syndication network. Credit underwriting is changing, given the current market conditions. As lenders become more conservative, the size of loans from a single borrower may be capped. But, a customer can apply for a $40k loan, the primary bank can fund $10k, and a network of other lenders can participate in the remaining $30k balance. The platform is core-independent, with an open API. Risk management, adverse action, and other elements are also incorporated into the platform. https://quilo.com
One solution for global compliance of privacy laws, without storing or processing PII. The company is now in the FIS accelerator program. The foundation is data mapping, and an understanding of what data your business collects. The platform allows you to manage consumer data requests and opt-in/opt-out. There’s a master vendor list that enables you to see where all the data lives, across systems. The demo focuses on drag-and-drop functionality of data mapping. Their value prop: save time and money on privacy compliance. https://privacylock.com
750 million excel users working on data analysis. Can we move people past their Excel models? 3 imperatives: Keep it simple, powerful functions, scalability into any platform. Coherent let’s you use Excel models to create live API’s and complex decision logic. Data validation takes place for every model and there is version control. This is a very interesting idea, makes Excel more of a design tool, but with implementation that is scalable. Now, it would be better to migrate people off of Excel, but that’s a long journey for many organizations. Excel logic becomes code behind the scenes. https://coherent.global
This is an aspiring broker dealer for projects in solar and wind-turbine power. Energy Shares is a startup still in beta. Renewable energy is a hot topic, and Energy Shares wants to be an onramp for firms and their clients. The issue is important, but not clear about the functionality of the platform. Hope to hear more about this in the future, just not a lot of details today. On Twitter @energyshares.
Voice tech and AI startup. Deploying contact center applications. Have worked with industry leaders like USAA. Contact centers can definitely benefit from AI, but there are many barriers (like managing complex questions). Virtual agents and human agents can work together in the same workflow, passing the customer back and forth. The voice on the bot is pretty good. Demo is highly scripted, so hard to assess the ability for the bot to address questions on the fly. There is a demo at https://gridspace.com
Voice assist technology for customer support. A technical hiccup kept the demo from having the full impact. However, you can see this offering is fairly robust. Worth a closer look. There is real-time agent support powered by AI. Reduces average handle time. Implementation is via no-code hooks. https://kore.ai and on Twitter @coredotai
Collaboration tech platform for governance and risk. Make your compliance workflows more holistic and visible. External partners can also work with a bank on the platform. The founder has deep regulatory expertise at banks and regulators. Organized by a series of modules. Workflows can be adapted based on the stage of the company. You can add questionnaires for onboarding and quarterly monitoring. https://askthemis.com @askthemis
Crypto for banks and FIs with a turnkey solution. The “crypto curious” is a target audience, people not comfortable with established and more complex exchanges. What’s the value of Bakkt? Simple and secure access to a regulated platform. This is white label, with everything happening behind the scenes. The FI can decide which assets to provide access to. Customer-level limits can be set. Banks can choose to offer a processing fee. Bakkt offers both API and options that embed into digital banking platforms.
Smoother digital account opening with robust KYC. Instnt takes on some of the risk of fraud. Uses a unique QR code for each customer. An identity wallet is created, and the verified credentials are sharable by different providers. For the customer, this is 1-click. This is definitely worth a closer look. https://instnt.org
Help bank and fintech employees learn product information about digital offerings. Their motto, “Turn staff into digital experts.” US Bank, TD Bank and smaller banks and fintechs using the platform for branch staff and contact centers. The knowledge base can be integrated with a chatbot. Nice combo of deep content and gamified learning. https://lemonadelxp.com
Secure lending on digital assets. https://pennyworks.com
Faster, instant, real time payments platform. Most customers don’t realize the amount of delay
between a payment sent and a payment received. After many years, real time solutions are coming to market. But there are unique requirements governing each network. Pidgin has a rules engine to help customers navigate this complex ecosystem, and manage the associated metadata. https://Vsoftcorp.com
Embedded fintech solution offering the “collaborative future of banking.” Add fintechs to your banking stack, without sharing data with fintech providers. Account holders manage the data elements that are shared, using ASA. ASA provides a trusted closed network between the FI and the fintechs. The solution is already in-market with initial FI clients. https://asa.financial
Business identity platform to ID and verify business customers. The goal is to make business onboarding frictionless. They see the real need as verifying newly formed companies. They are working with A-list clients like Shopify. https://middesk.com
Ever tried to change direct deposit? Why is it so cumbersome? Truv provides a solution for managing and optimizing consumer-permissioned data. They provide APIs to payroll accounts. Makes it very simple for customers to establish direct deposit, or switch your direct deposit to a new FI. The use cases extend to any situation where consumers need to provide payroll information. For example, if they want to apply for a credit card or loan. https://truv.com
The company has a staff made up of retirees of the IRS; they have street cred when it comes to tax data. It can take weeks to get data from the IRS. With taxpayer consent, they can access and supply data within minutes. Tax status report gives an overall snapshot of the customers income, payroll taxes, and audit/compliance. The bank gets consent from the taxpayer, with the click of a checkbox. Makes it easy for customers, they don’t have to dig up old tax records. If tax status changes, the FI can get automated updates. https://taxstatus.com
Financing solution for major consumer purchases, like a pool. Teslar Software empowers the bank to support customers like the local pool company. The underwriting is done by the FI, in this case a local bank. Teslar Software helps banks support end user consumers (the customers of the bank’s customer). https://teslarsoftware.com
Uncover fraud before it is too late. Brex, PayPal, and Ondeck are customers. They are demoing their Detect product. The software can identify when documents submitted by customers have been tampered with. For example, Detect showed that an account statement was falsified. The dashboard has different visualizations to identify the ways a document may have been altered. https://ocrolus.com
How to switch aggregators, for example if you want to move from Plaid. This happens behind the scenes, so customers are not impacted. Why did FinGoal build this? No one aggregator is perfect. And some FIs feel stuck. The value prop: “Switch in minutes, not months.” https://fingoal.com
One thing is clear, voice-assisted AI has greatly improved in voice quality. Very human-like. Interface allows customers to initiate transactions by speaking (somewhat) naturally. There is also a backend platform that helps the contact center staff. You can check out the demo on their website. https://interface.ai
Product pages focus on the product, not meeting the customer needs. Autologic helps FIs to create decision tools usable by customers. And the logic for the tool can be created with simple Excel-like logic. I like the emphasis on no-code in building very complex customer-facing applications. This greatly reduces cost and the need for IT support. You could even use this for backend tools. https://autologic.io
Nuance is now a part of Microsoft. Customer authentication can be easier, faster, and more secure. The demo is about Gatekeeper, authentication based on voice. “70% of the time, fraudsters know the answers to security questions.” Wow. Would definitely love to see the source on that. Scary, for sure. Real-time fraud detection is a very powerful value prop. Also, a key benefit is that the process is fast. They say it takes 6 seconds. https://nuance.com
Their Finovate profile, “Incremental card and loan revenue from current customers via personalized location based engagements and risk management.” https://malliq.com
They aim to create an open-source investment platform. It is a robo platform with a tool for investors to create strategies and back test them. Very intuitive interface to create custom investment strategies. The technology is interesting, not clear to me how they partner wither with FIs or with other fintechs in the ecosystem. https://toroalerts.com