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Alumni News-- October 22, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgProfitStars introduces new image capture technology with Alogent Interactive Capture.
  • iQuantifi opens its cloud-based virtual advisor platform to financial institutions.
  • Swiss-based PostFinance launches new digital banking platform powered by Backbase.
  • CIO Review names Authentify 1 of the 20 more promising educational tech solution providers.
  • Temenos further expands its US operations.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
MaxMyInterestLogo_FF2014

The Finovate Debuts series introduces new Finovate alums. This past September, Six Trees Capital made its Finovate Debut with MaxMyInterest, an innovative cash management solution for high net worth individuals and their families.

MaxMyInterest

From Six Trees Capital, MaxMyInterest is an automated cash management technology that dynamically allocates cash balances between online savings accounts to ensure FDIC insurance coverage while earning superior yields. Financial institutions gain wallet share and increase customer stickiness from high-net-worth clients.
MaxMyInterest1
The Stats
  • Founded in July 2013
  • Headquartered in New York City, NY
  • Gary Zimmerman is CEO and Founder
  • Technology launched in April 2014
The Story
Some technology, as the saying goes, is almost indistinguishable from magic. Other technology, is almost indistinguishable from "why in the world didn't I think of that!?"

MaxMyInterest was initially developed as a way to preserve capital rather than a way of helping grow it. Founder and CEO Gary Zimmerman was working as an investment banker recently relocated to Japan when the financial crisis hit in 2008. And to put it mildly, his experience trying to manage and reallocate his cash from the other side of the world in the midst of global financial turmoil was instructive. 

Sure, the FDIC would insure cash deposits up to $100,000 (the limit before October 2008). But as far as the rest of Zimmerman's cash was concerned, it was every dollar for itself.
MaxMyInterest_Art2
Zimmerman found himself manually moving hundreds of thousands of dollar around from one newly-opened online bank account to the next for three years. And in the process, he realized he had earned tens of thousands of dollars in interest shuffling his money around. In the beginning, Zimmerman explains, it had "nothing to do with interest rates - just protecting the cash." But his revelation after three years of manual cash management had him thinking: hmmm, if only we could automate this ...

The Solution
So what does MaxMyInterest do and how does it do it? Put simply, MaxMyInterest lets high-net-worth savers, those for whom the FDIC's $250,000 insurance limit is not enough, move their cash holdings dynamically to whichever account provides the highest rate of interest. The money movement is automatic and keeps cash savings accounts under $250,000 so that depositors can make the most of FDIC insurance guarantees. 

Signing up is straightforward. Members link a checking account and at least one savings account in a process that takes less than 15 minutes. Users set up a Target Balance, which tells Max how much money to keep in the checking account. The rest of the cash is allocated into the highest yielding FDIC-insured savings accounts available in a process MaxMyInterest calls "optimizing". Optimization takes place monthly, but the company says that rebalancing with greater frequency is possible.
MaxMyInterest_Art1
Members track their balances, the status of the optimization or transfer, and have access to their cash at any time (except during the 2-3 day ACH transfer). MaxMyInterest also has an "Intelligent Funds Transfer" feature that allows members to transfer funds back and forth between checking and savings with a single click. Note that Max ever takes actual custody of the funds of its members. 

The service costs 0.02% of the cash being optimized each quarter, or 0.08% per year. This is competitive with money market management fees which can range as high as 0.16%. Zimmerman said his platform can deliver cash returns of 0.80% net of fees.

Where can you use MaxMyInterest? The technology is compatible with checking accounts at:
    • Bank of America
    • Citibank
    • First Republic Bank
    • JPMorgan/Chase
    • Wells Fargo
MaxMyInterest is also compatible with FDIC-insured online savings accounts at:
    • Ally Bank
    • American Express
    • Barclays
    • Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct)
    • GE Capital
The Technology
Zimmerman admits that initially he wasn't sure that "MaxMyInterest the Concept" could actually be turned into "MaxMyInterest the Product." "There's a lot of difference between having an idea and executing an idea," he said. Then after four months of work proved that the cash management solution could be built, the sprint to see just how fast it could be built was on. And while there were plenty of moving parts, working with banks and navigating their various security protocols proved to be the biggest challenge.

Zimmerman and Director of Engineering Richard Wu turned to a major security firm to help them build out the architecture and do the requisite testing. The goal was to make MaxMyInterest as secure as the banks they worked with. The lack of common standards for interfacing with the banks was one challenge, especially when much of it was automated. "There were a lot of solutions available," said Wu, "but none really worked for us."
MAXMy1
Starting from the ground up, they were able to construct a platform with a simple user interface, smooth and prompt execution, and security strong enough to convince major banks like Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo to make the service available. 

The Future
Why do banks like MaxMyInterest? Zimmerman admits that some banks he thought wouldn't like his cash management service actually did. "A lot of banks have a problem with clients holding too much cash," he said. MaxMyInterest also gives banks the opportunity for competitive advantage. Brick-and-mortar banks can be at a disadvantage of as much as 150 basis points compared to online banks, Zimmerman explained. And online banks pass this savings on to their customers in the former of better returns on cash.

MAXMy2
With MaxMyInterest, banks can offer higher yielding opportunities to their clients. "The irony," he said, "was that by reducing the stickiness of bank deposits, you increase the stickiness of bank relationships." Zimmerman thinks that early adopters of his technology will have a major advantage over those that hesitate.

For many in fintech, "cash" is simply shorthand for paper bills and coins. But in reality, "cash" is a $12 trillion dollar field of assets sitting idly in banks and money market funds. "The average American is 40% in cash," said Zimmerman, cash that is paying on average between zero and 0.15% annual percentage yield. 

MaxMyInterest helps high net worth savers make the best of a low-interest rate world by automatically moving cash to online banks where yields are greater (averaging between 0.75% and 0.95% APY).  And if Zimmerman and his team are able to grow MaxMyInterest in the current environment, it is easy to imagine a bright future for the company - and its members - as online savings options grow and interest rates (eventually) normalize and begin to move higher.

Finovate Debuts: BioCatch

The Finovate Debuts series introduces new Finovate. alums. Today's feature is BioCatch, which demonstrated its invisible authentication methods at FinovateFall 2014.

By tracking the way users interact with web and mobile banking platforms, BioCatch uses invisible tests to authenticate users and prevent fraud.

The cloud-based solution gets ahead of malicious behavior by intervening before fraudsters enter the system.

Stats

    • Recently moved headquarters to Tel Aviv from Lod, Israel
    • Founded April 2011, launched BioCatch in 2013
    • $10 million raised
    • 25 employees
BioCatchuserDiagram
The experience

BioCatch helps banks and ecommerce enterprises catch fraudsters while authenticating the actual users. It uses 400 different parameters, such as how fast the user types and their usage preferences.

BioCatch starts by building a profile of each user to capture their typical behavior during an online banking session. Once complete, BioCatch is able to flag uncharacteristic usage patterns as fraud.

>> Catching the fraudsters

To determine fraudulent activity, BioCatch considers factors such as:

    • Does the user move between fields using a mouse or using the Tab key?
    • Do they click the submit button or use the Enter key?
    • When entering an amount, do they use the keypad or the number pad?
For each online banking session, the bank views a dashboard that shows geographical location, an analysis of each user's session, the session flow, the behavioral patterns of the account, an analysis of the threat, as well as device and network risk scores. 
BioCatchAnalystStation1
The authentication analysis scores how the user performs compared to their regular behavior. The information is presented in a dashboard, similar to the one below, which indicates unusual login rythmics and mouse dynamics.
BioCatchAnalystStation
>> Proving the good user

Aside from just detecting and stopping fraud, BioCatch can reduce false positives, as well.

For example, if a New York-based customer is accessing their account while on a trip to Des Moines, the different geographical location may raise some red flags. The out-of-character activity may cause the bank to identify the actual user as a criminal.

The consequence (getting locked out of their account or having to call the bank to authenticate themselves) creates friction in the user experience and can harm the relationship.

What's new?
BioCatch recently launched The Art of Fraud Catalogue showcasing patterns generated by malware. After analyzing user behavior, BioCatch realized that usage patterns created great art. 

The piece below was captured from fraud discovered in North America. It is titled, The Matrix Fraud.

BioCatchMatrixFraud

The idea is that fraud patterns are all unique, just like art itself.

Bottom line
BioCatch provides a low-friction way to catch fraud. When users don't have to jump through hoops and are not wrongfully pegged as fraudsters, they have a faster and more pleasant experience.

Check out BioCatch's demo its authentication methodology at FinovateFall 2014.

Alumni News-- October 21, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgTechCrunch: Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong talks about the future of Bitcoin at Disrupt London.
  • Jumio launches BAM Checkout: a credit card and ID scanning app for mobile merchants.
  • Encap Security integrates Apple Touch ID into its Smarter Authentication platform.
  • Fiserv adds document-to-document comparison functionality to the Comparalytics module of its LoanComplete solution.
  • Firebase joins Google Cloud platform to make it easier to build mobile apps.
  • Tradier appoints former E*TRADE President & COO Jarrett Lilien to its Board.
  • Dubai Financial Market signs memorandum of understanding with Kony to develop a series of "Smart Borse" applications.
  • The Financial Brand: How PayPal's Venmo is winning the battle for social payments.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
Thumbnail image for nousHiResLogo.jpg

With an investment of $600,000 (£375,000) financial data startup Nous is now that much closer to its goal of leveraging the insights of the crowd for the benefit of real-world professional investors at banks, hedge funds, and other financial institutions.

Nous CEO Justin Short noted that the investment would provide more than just new capital for a company that was "self-funded, pre-revenue, and pre-launch" when we met them at FinovateEurope 2014 in London. "All of our investors will contribute not just capital, but also their considerable industry experience," Short said. "We now have even stronger connections to the forward thinking hedge-funds that can make the most of our unique data feeds."

The investors for this angel round of funding were not disclosed.
Noushomepage1
Nous has developed a trading simulator, SparkProfit, that allows thousands of users to predict the price direction of a wide variety of instruments, such as bitcoin, international currencies, stock market indices, and commodities. Top performing predictors on the platform can then compete for weekly cash prizes.

But this is only the beginning. By monitoring the predictions on the platform, Nous is able to offer a sentiment indicator called SparkFeed. SparkFeed works in real-time and according to the Nous provides a better sense of the emotions driving market behavior than that offered by either traditional sentiment algorithms as well as newer "social media" based sentiment measures. Nous calls this "crowd-sourced alpha."
SparkProfithomepage
A few metrics on Nous:
  • 84,000 users in 200 countries
  • 250,000 predictions a week
  • More than $61,000 paid in weekly prizes since May 2013
Nous was founded in September 2012 and, after operating in Japan initially, is now headquartered in London. The company hopes to grow its user base to 250,000 over the next six months, and plans to use the funding to add both new markets and social features to its platform.

Alumni News-- October 20, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgNous raises $600k to help drive its SparkProfit stock market prediction platform.
  • Lending Club selects the NYSE for its IPO.
  • Currency Cloud releases Connect API 2.0.
  • InComm partners with CardCash to integrate its online gift card exchange at InComm's retail partners nationwide.
  • Compass Plus completes its TranzAxis integration with Klarna.
  • ID Analytics names Scott Carter Chief Operating Officer.
  • CAN Capital closes its first capital markets asset-backed notes offering.
  • Coinbase now available in 6 additional languages.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
FinDEVrLogo

Maybe you missed out on the first ever FinDEVr, which was held in San Francisco on September 30 and October 1, or maybe you wish you could go back to watch the presentations again.

Check out all of the presentation videos, fresh off the camera reel.

We have 47 fintech-focused presentations of APIs and back-end tools ready to watch, embed, and download for free. Don't know where to start? Check out one of the award winning presentations from day one:

Avoka


BehavioSec


PayPal & Braintree


Yodlee


Over the next few weeks, we'll be making some final edits to the videos. You can find the videos using the link above or in the video archives section on Finovate.com.

Thanks again to all who attended and presented!

You can tell the market is frenzied when fintech companies raise only $101 million this week. That still works out to a $5+ billion annual run rate, which isn't too shabby. Much of the money went into a Series-D to India's Financial Software Systems, a 23-year old fintech veteran. 

In terms of startups, the big winner this week was Finovate alum, Quantopian, a high-tech investing play that debuted at FinovateSpring 2013 (see post for more info). But Technisys ($13 million) and Germany's Orderbird ($10 million) were not far behind. 

In addition, fintech accelerator SixThirty announced its latest investments: $100,000 each to Davo Technologies, MyMoneyButler, PFTIR and New Constructs (see below for details).  

Here are the 17 deals in order of magnitude (10 Oct through 17 Oct): 

Payments technology
Latest round: $57 million
Total raised: Unknown (though the latest round is referred to as "Series D")
Tags: Chennai, India
Source: Crunchbase

Algorithmic trading platform
Latest round: $15 million
Total raised: $23.8 million
Tags: Investing, analytics, hedge fund, trading, Boston, Massachusetts, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Latin American digital banking technology
Latest round: $13 million
Total raised: $14 million
Tags: Mobile, Miami, Florida

Mobile POS
Latest round: $10 million
Total raised: $14 million
Tags: Mobile, point of sale, iPad, Berlin, Germany
Source: Crunchbase

Mexican P2P microfinance
Latest round: $1.7 million
Total raised: $1.8 million
Tags: Credit, lending, microfinance, P2P, Mexico
Source: Crunchbase

Digital currency exchange
Latest round: $1.4 million
Total raised: $1.4 million
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, NYC, New York
Source: Crunchbase

Mobile payments
Latest round: $760,000
Total raised: $760,000
Tags: Payments, Netherlands
Source: Crunchbase

Asian financial planning and advice
Latest round: $640,000
Total raised: $640,000
Tags: Wealth management, PFM, personal finance, investment management, Singapore
Source: Crunchbase

Italian collaborative payments company
Latest round: $500,000
Total raised: $500,000
Tags: Payments, mobile, P2P, group payments, Milan, Italy
Source: FT Partners

Automated debt recovery technology
Latest round: $250,000
Totals raised: $5.3 million 
Tags: Credit, collections, debt, lending, San Francisco
Source: Crunchbase

Japanese bitcoin exchange
Latest round: $236,000
Total raised: $236,000
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, Japan
Source: Crunchbase

Sales tax remittances and other business payments
Latest round: $100,000
Total raised: $100,000
Tags: SMB, accounts payable, payments, SixThirty, Montclair, New Jersey
Source: Crunchbase

Reduce investment management fees
Latest round: $100,000
Total raised: $100,000
Tags: Investing, fees, SixThirty, Palo Alto, California
Source: Crunchbase

PFTIR (Public Funds Investment Tracking and Reporting)
Investment reporting technology
Latest round: $100,000
Total raised: $100,000
Tags: Analytics, investing, enterprise, SIxThirty, Chesterfield, Missouri
Source: FT Partners

New Constructs
Investment research
Latest round: $100,000
Total raised: $100,000
Tags: Investing, research, equities, SIxThirty, Brentwood, Tennessee
Source: FT Partners

Lending and membership technology
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Aliso Viejo, California
Source: Crunchbase

i-Invested
Crowdfunding platform
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: P2P, lending, credit, investing, UK
Source: Crunchbase

Finovate Debuts: NopSec

Finovate Debuts is a blog series to introduce companies who demonstrated for the first time on the Finovate stage. Today's feature is NopSec, which demonstrated its Unified VRM system at FinovateFall 2014.

NopSecLogo
NopSec 

NopSec is focused on making the digital world a safer place. For banks, this means getting a handle on cyber security. If you're a bank with 60,000 hosts under management, with thousands of security vulnerabilities, you have two major issues. First, you need to identify the vulnerabilities, and second, you need to know how to fix them.

With so much much information to sort through to determine and prioritize what needs to be fixed, this can be time consuming. This is where NopSec comes in. Its SaaS-based Unified VRM provides a solution for IT professionals to manage security threats. Using Big Data, it generates a prioritized list of what security issues need to be addressed, and how to address them.

The stats
    • Founded in 2009
    • Headquartered in New York
    • Works with infrastructure both on premises and in the cloud
The experience

The NopSec Unified VRM system helps bank security experts sort through the massive amount of data about security threats, and suggests actions to protect against the threats. Its holistic approach on security can be broken down into four steps:

    1. Identify threats
    2. Explore details
    3. Discover solutions
    4. Create reports 

Step 1: Identify threats

The first step is to identify specific vulnerabilities. The dashboard below provides an overall picture of security risk and vulnerability that is easily digestible for everyone from the technical security professional to the CIO. It is divided into modules that correspond to different threats-- external and internal.
NopSecDashboard
Step 2: Explore details

Security analysts can drill down further into vulnerabilities by searching and filtering. The case below shows results filtered by "Top Exploited."  Other filters, listed on the left-hand side in the graphic below, include criteria for geographic location, available patches, top trends, etc.

Once experts find the individual threats that interest them, they can view a summary description of each case. The graphs along the top provide an overall view of the risk factor, operating system, and location of each threat that matches the search criteria.
NopSecAnalytics_TopExploited
Step 3: Discover solutions

Identifying and understanding the security threats is only part of the equation. The crucial piece is solving the vulnerabilities. To do this, Unified VRM prioritizes the most dangerous and relevant threats by ranking them by importance.

Remediation recommendations are listed next to each vulnerability, along with the number of assets it affects. In the example below, the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol Remote Code Execution Vulnerabilities affect 134 assets, so it is ranked as the number one issue to fix. Dividing the bank's security into manageable pieces helps security professionals know what to focus on.

NopSecInternalNetwork_RiskRankings
In addition to simply advising remediation, the platform has a social aspect that allows for team collaboration. Users just select others they would like to involve in the conversation, and everyone has the ability to comment on the solution.

Step 4: Communicate via reports

To communicate issues and progress with everyone from executives to other technical experts, NopSec provides a reporting tool. It offers four options that tailor the information in the report to the appropriate level for different intended audiences:

    • Executive, for a high level status view
    • Technical, for a more detailed view with technical specifications
    • Full, for a complete view
    • Customized, for an overview mixed with details 
NopSecReport
Benefit to banks
The largest benefit NopSec brings to banks is the ability to proactively secure their systems. By identifying and prioritizing major security threats that affect hundreds of assets, banks' technical teams can spend more time solving those issues, and less time searching for the issues.

Additionally, the Unified VRM system takes the institution's security a step above what government regulations require, since they are often times too generic and not applicable to every environment.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for QuantopianLogo.jpg

Two big announcements from algorithmic trading and investing platform Quantopian are reminding us that there is more than one way to "robo-invest."

First up is the $15 million the company raised in a Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Existing investors Khosla Ventures, Spark Capital, and Wicklow Capital also participated. CEO and Founder John Fawcett said that the capital will support further product development and potential expansion.

The investment takes Quantopian's total capital to $23.8 million.
QuantopianHomepage
It's hard to upstage a $15 million investment. But Quantopian's second announcement of the week - its decision to launch a hedge fund driven by the investing algorithms of the platform's best and brightest - may prove to be a more important development for the longer-term future of the company.

The Quantopian Managers Program will provide top-performing quant investors with trading capital. Users of the platform have been able to live trade their algorithms since the beginning of the year, and this latest initiative will give Quantopian's most talented developer-investors the opportunity to benefit even further from their work.
QuantopianHome_Fund
Those applying for the program will need a six-month minimum track record on the platform. Quantopian hopes to invest up to $1 million in each of the selected algorithms, with the developers earning a share of the investment returns.

Quantopian was named one of America's Most Promising Companies for 2014 by Forbes, one of five Finovate alums to make this year's list. Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Quantopian demonstrated its Live Trading platform at FinovateSpring 2013 in San Francisco.

Alumni News-- October 17, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgPatch of Land turns to SeedInvest in public fundraising effort for its seed round.
  • Quantopian raises $15 million in Series B round; launches crowdsourced hedge fund.
  • MasterCard teams up with Zwipe to launch credit card with fingerprint-based authentication.
  • Arroweye Solutions increases payment card security against hacking threats.
  • Emida partners with Defense Mobile to distribute its mobile solutions through Emida's network of distributors.
  • BlogTO looks inside the offices of Nymi during an open house.
  • Google Cloud Platform launches simpler billing.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Debuts: eSignLive by Silanis

eSignLive2014

Finovate Debuts is a blog series to introduce new Finovate alums. Today's feature is Silanis, which demoed eSignLive Use Your Own Device at FinovateFall 2014.

eSignLive Use Your Own Device by Silanis

Silanis is one of the biggest service providers in the banking and lending e-signature market. Banks, credit providers, insurers, and government agencies use the company's electronic signature platform to the tune of more than 600 million documents processed annually. 

eSignLiveHomepage
The latest innovation from Silanis, eSignLive Use Your Own Device, turns smartphones into signature capture devices without requiring an app download or expensive in-branch hardware. The technology "solves the final barrier" of transactions that demand a full, handwritten signature, according to Silanis, and enables financial institutions to deliver the same kind of customer experience that retailers offer.

The Stats
  • Founded in March 1992
  • Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Tommy Petrogiannis is CEO and Co-Founder
  • 100 employees
  • Processes more than 600 million documents a year
  • Customers include four of the top 10 banks in North America, eight of the top 15 insurers, and the U.S. Army
  • Named Leader in Customer Satisfaction by enterprise review site, G2 Crowd in 2013 and 2014
  • Won IBM Beacon Award for Best Industry Solution for Banking in 2013
  • Launched eSignLive Use Your Own Device in September 2014
The Story
Silanis specializes in providing electronic signature services - and their client list is impressive. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have been using the platform since 1997. GMAC went paperless with its global operations in 2001 courtesy of the e-signature platform from Silanis. And just one of the company's clients, a "top 5 US bank" with more than $300 billion in assets reports processing more than 35,000 e-sign transactions every day since deploying the technology at all 3,000 retail branches in 2011.
eSignLiveForm2
This has meant:
  • An 80% reduction in document handling costs (savings in the millions of dollars)
  • A 90% reduction in loan exceptions
  • More than 90,000 hours of bankers' time reallocated toward increasing loan sales
The bank also reported that the Enterprise edition of eSignLive helped them exceed compliance regulations, make back office operations manuals obsolete, and improve the overall banking experience for their customers.

Still, there has been a region of the e-signature world that has eluded Silanis up until recently. For those transactions that require a full, handwritten signature, the options for many institutions have been bleak. Typically, there is little alternative other than to require customers to go to a brick and mortar location, even though the application started online. Proprietary e-signature hardware is expensive, often prohibitively so for smaller community FIs.

The Innovation
Silanis solves both the multi-channel and cost issues by turning the customer's own smartphone into a signature-capture solution. The e-signatures created by this "operating system agnostic" Use Your Own Device approach are legally-enforceable transactions with an audit trail and "signing ceremony" captured, as well. Authentication and delivery to the back end for processing are fully integrated. There is no need to buy expensive e-signature hardware and no apps for consumers to download.
Finger-Mobile
With eSignLive, the Holy Grail of 100% remote account opening is now possible, according to Silanis. It is ironic that the most fundamental of banking services - customer onboarding - has been the most resistant to technology innovation. By focusing on the issue of the handwritten signature requirement, Silanis directly targets one of the main reasons for this particular pain point.

From the user's perspective, opening an account with the technology is straightforward. Signees access the platform from a browser, rather than downloading an app. After completing an electronic disclosures and signatures consent document, the customer fills out the form as she would ordinarily. 

The technology recognizes if the applicant is using a touchscreen device. If not, when it's time to sign, a gold "Sign with your mobile phone" button appears below the signature capture field. Click here and an email or SMS message is sent to the applicant with instructions on how to complete the transaction. The applicant opens the email or SMS on the touchscreen device, clicks on the link provided, and then traces her signature with a finger or stylus in the signature field. Click "Continue" and the applicant's hand-drawn signature is added virtually to the document.

Once the user confirms that everything is accurate, the document is sent to the FI's processing. Applicants can download and print the document for their own records.
LaptopMobile-Photo
For the FI, eSignLive provides cost-savings from fewer errors and reduced document handling, costs of scanning, faxing, couriers, and postage. 

Additionally, the technology also gives FIs a number of valuable customer insights, ranging from where customers complete transactions, where they are dropping out, and how to selectively market different programs to their customer base.

eSignLive's Use Your Own Device is available on the Integrated and Enterprise editions. Both are on-premises deployments rather than solely SaaS, and include additional features such as advanced forms, reports, and dashboards; branding customization; and, in the case of Enterprise, a completely customizable GUI, workflow and advanced authentication.

The Future
What should we look forward to when it comes to Silanis? With the launch of eSignLive in September, new deployments are at the top of the list. And 2014 already has been a good year in this regard: the company launched a new partnership with AgencyPort Software in October, teamed up with loan management software specialist Calyx Software in August, and has been providing e-Signature services for Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) since the beginning of the year.

Even more worth watching may be the company's theory that technologies like this will enable FIs to become truly "virtual banks", 100% divorced from the brick-and-mortar branch. But to the extent that eSignLive Use Your Own Device, makes on boarding new customers an easy and seamless process, the technology may be just as liberating for "non-virtual" FIs as it promises to be for those banks trying to go branchless.

Alumni News-- October 16, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgFidelity to offer Betterment to 3,000 financial advisers who use its institutional wealth services division.
  • Lending Club named winner of The Economist's annual Innovation Awards in the consumer products category.
  • TechCrunch reports: Sequoia-Backed Behalf Buys Stuff For Small Businesses Looking To Grow.
  • ReadyForZero PLUS Credit now shows credit scoring factors.
  • FT column on technology and banking features PhotoPay.
  • Jumio teams up with Ribbit.me to build ID verification process for RibbitRewards marketplace.
  • Motif Investing iOS app adds account access with Apple TouchID.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Alumni News-- October 15, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgPYMNTS: Karen Webster interviews Spreedly CEO Justin Benson.
  • Finovate alums dominate alternative lending section of Bplans' "35 Great Ways to Fund a Small Business."
  • Check out our latest CEO Interview: Mike Iacobucci of Interactions.
  • Betterment launches Betterment Institutional to bring its technology to registered investment advisors.
  • G2 Crowd Gridscape at Dreamforce '14 shows eSignLive by Silanis earning highest customer satisfaction rating.
  • Kony receives Global Information Security Certifications for Enterprise Mobility Solutions.
  • Iceland's Snorrason acquires Handpoint merchant portfolio.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
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For many in attendance at FinovateSpring 2014 in San Jose watching the Interactions demo, the "Aha!" moment came when the virtual agent began speaking flawless Spanish. 

The demo was already impressive, with murmurs of appreciation from the audience as the seamless call and response back and forth between the presenter and the Interactions virtual agent made believers of everyone in the room. 

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But the Spanish might have been the breaking point, that moment when technology seemed to do that thing that the great Arthur Clarke insisted it could always do: become indistinguishable from magic.

Magical as the technology may seem, Interactions' virtual agent technology is far from magic. Rather, it is the result of a patent-pending technology that succeeds where other virtual technologies, including Apple's Siri, have struggled. 

Interactions technology has been deployed in industries ranging from retail to hospitality to healthcare, and include Fortune 500 financial services corporations. The company, founded ten years ago, is headquartered in Franklin, Massachusetts, and includes Softbank Capital, North Hill Ventures, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, Prime Ventures, and Updata Partners among its investors. 

We talked with Interactions President and CEO Mike Iacobucci about his company's technology, how it came to be, and the ways it can be put to use to save money, improve efficiencies, and help improve the customer/client experience.



Finovate: Interactions is a two-time Best of Show award winner. What is it about Interactions that draws such a positive response?

Mike Iacobucci: There are two reasons our demo was impactful: first, because it was a live demo and second, because our technology works flawlessly. 

We've all used an automated system in the past, be it an IVR when calling for customer care or Siri on an iPhone. And we know from these experiences that they're far from perfect technologies. Many of us have seen the replays of Microsoft's live speech-recognition failures during keynotes in 2006 and 2012.
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The other reason is because our technology appeals so much to the audience as consumers. Not only do we have a cool technology. It also addresses a serious problem that people know all too well - that a five-minute customer-service call can raise our blood pressure more than our teenage children. 

Our technology makes contacting customer service a value-added experience, and that innovation makes our presentation even more exciting.

Finovate: What has Interactions been working on since FinovateSpring in April?

Iacobucci: Interactions is working to expand our product portfolio by bringing enhanced human-like text and speech-based conversations to every channel and device. Our services are rooted in customer care, but we're moving into more revenue-generating areas like marketing and sales. 

We're rapidly expanding into Asia and delivering customer implementations in newer channels like mobile chat and proactive messaging.

Finovate: What makes Interactions' "Adaptive-Understanding (TM) technology" different from other voice-automation technologies?

Iacobucci: Speech recognition averages 75% accuracy with simple, open-ended prompts in the best conditions, which means that it's going to fail for consumers in at least one out of every four attempts. Comparatively, our patented Adaptve-Understanding technology performs with 95+% accuracy on simple to complex open-ended prompts, which really changes the game.

Our technology focuses on how computer and human intelligence can work together to achieve a desired outcome. We always use automated speech recognition to apply business rules. When needed in small doses, we supplement with our Human Assisted Understanding capability to leverage a trained analyst's natural proficiency at noise discrimination and interpretation.

In short, it's automation with a human touch. And we've accomplished this and made it scale for very large multinational enterprises.
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Finovate: Are there things that a virtual assistant does better than a live human customer service representative? Do you see this changing as VA technology becomes more sophisticated?

Iacobucci: Absolutely. Customer service representatives are great at handling unique situations, troubleshooting complex issues, sales inquiries, and retention calls. However, there's nothing value-added by having customer service representatives handle data-collection processes. For example, we can fully automate a loan application. It's a lengthy process, but for us, it's just capturing a few dozen fields of data. Nothing we can't handle. And by automating these transactions, the savings are incredible.

When your virtual assistant is handling all of these data-collection transactions successfully, your agents can then spend more time with the call-types best handled by people. And that improves agents' job satisfaction and retention rates. And, it keeps them more engaged.

Additionally, a virtual assistant is much more secure than a live agent, and collecting private information is an area where we excel. Moreover, we're consistent, and this is extremely relevant to the financial services sector. The virtual assistant engages in a consistent manner from conversation to conversation, and if anything needs to be read back word for word, our solutions are a much safer bet than a live agent.
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Finovate: Two years ago in an interview with the Boston Business Journal, you hinted at an initial public offering. Is that still under consideration?

Iacobucci: We have no specific plans for a public offering. The company has the characteristics of a company that can be an innovative institution to a large market.

Finovate: What is the climate like in Boston for fintech innovation? How does it compare to that of Silicon Valley?

Iacobucci: In many ways, Boston and Silicon Valley are extremely similar. With an incredible amount of talent pouring in from the top institutions in the country and an entrepreneurial spirit rivaled by few other cities, Boston is an extremely inviting climate for fintech innovation. 

This is only magnified by a strong presence in venture capital as well as progressive banking and financial institutions like Fidelity, State Street, and Putnam Investments. Additionally, there is a highly concentrated and rapidly growing focus on speech recognition, as seen by recent investments in Boston from Amazon. Google, Nuance, and Interactions.

Finovate: What can we expect from Interactions in the coming months?

Iacobucci: We're looking to be a broad provider of services to the market beyond the customer care market. We want to leverage our platform to reach other market segments and other regions in the world where speech technology is otherwise inefficient or incapable.

We've created interactive systems in both speech and text that can foster the types of conversations that were never thought possible with automation, and with our technology, our potential applications are limitless.

Learn more about Interactions. Watch their Best of Show winning live demo from FinovateSpring 2014 here.

Alumni News-- October 14, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgFinovate Debuts: Malauzai Software.
  • Cross County Savings Bank to deploy DNA account processing platform from Fiserv.
  • Apps from MasterCard and Deluxe earn spots in PaymentsSource's "8 Wallet Apps That Go Beyond Payments."
  • Arxan and Xamarin extend Mobile Application Protection to developers.
  • Coinbase hires former Sr. adviser to Homeland Security & Gov'tl Affairs Committee, John Collins, to head gov't affairs.
  • Equities.com interviews Prosper.com's Ron Suber regarding CFGE, Peer-to-Peer Lending and Working with Big Banks.
  • RBS partners with Taulia to offer dynamic discounting with e-Invoicing to corporate customers.
  • Backbase named a visionary in the Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals 2014.
  • Holvi accounts now use International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs).
  • Forte Payment Systems announces new partnership with The Master's Touch, LLC to power eNoticesOnline bill presentment service.
  • Visa Europe partners with edo to make its performance marketing platform available to 500 million European bankcards.
  • Xignite teams up with FactSet to provide fundamental market data from the cloud.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Debuts: Malauzai Software

Finovate Debuts is a blog series to introduce new Finovate alums. 

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Malauzai Software

Develops easy to manage and measure mobile banking SmartApps for community financial institutions. SmartApps are full-service, native mobile banking apps designed for iOS, Android, and the browser. Features include debit card management, billpay (including picturepay options), and P2P payments.

The Stats
    • Founded in January 2009
    • Headquartered in Austin, Texas
    • Tom Shen is Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board
    • More than 60 employees
    • More than 305 bank and credit unions clients with more than 260,000 end users
    • More than 500,000 downloads
    • Launched SmartwebApps in September 2014
The Story
There is a sense of "You do what?!" that comes from learning about what Malauzai Software has been building and deploying at community banks and credit unions across the country. Pick a mobile banking innovation, any innovation: Want to take a picture of your bill and pay with your smartphone? Want to turn your debit card off or on from time to time? 

What's impressive about Malauzai Software isn't just that their apps do these things. It's that their apps have been doing these things and more for community bank customers in places like the Air Academy Federal Credit Union in Colorado Springs and the First Financial Bank in Abilene, Texas for longer than you might think.
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Malauzai Software is helps smaller financial institutions innovate faster than the big banks. Many things are helping this happen: from more nimble decision-making to the rise of mobile, which Malauzai calls an "equalizer" in the competition over bank customers.  And here, Malauzai is simply looking to play its role, or as they put it "we're on that wave" helping community FIs embrace truly omni-channel banking.

The Solutions: Meet MOX
The company has developed solutions that help not just consumers, but also business and enterprise-level use cases, as well. Malauzai offers Business Mobile solutions that target high value customers and support business customers requirements with multiple business entities. Their Enterprise solution gives professionals working in FIs tablet-optimized front and back office apps that boost customer on boarding, mobile teller capability, and other options to enhance the in-branch experience.
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There are three concepts that underpin Malauzai's approach to development. The primary one is MOX which stands for "Mobile Only Experience." This combines a recognition that mobile is increasingly the channel of preference and simply porting a mobile experience to the desktop (or even to the tablet) is often a poor option.

The second concept is "convergence," a banking customer accessing a SmartApp by smartphone will expect and should receive the same functionality when she switches to her desktop or tablet.
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And the third concept is "superior economics." On the platform management side, Malauzai believes it is important that banks and financial institutions be able to manage all their different SmartApps using a single application management system. Malauzai's omnichannel approach via SmartApps liberates community banks from having to manage separate "Internet" or "online" banking services and mobile banking. The result is cost savings for banks and their customers.

"Internet banking is marginalizing," said Malauzai Chief Product Officer, Robb Gaynor. "So why pay for it? With SmartwebApps, banks and credit unions are paying one low price per user for mobile and online banking. It's like getting online banking for free."

Among the features available on Malauzai Software's SmartApps are:
    • Debit card management
    • Billpay including the Picture Pay option
    • Person-to-person (P2P) payments
    • Remote Deposit Capture deposits
    • Branch/ATM finder
    • Account balances
The apps can be personalized and feature a time-saving SmarTex login that gives customer quick access to basic information like account balances and transaction histories without requiring full login. And speaking of security, SmartwebApps give users the option to add a PIN for additional safeguarding of accounts, as well as customizable mobile banking security alerts. The apps are currently available in English, Spanish and Korean languages. 

The Analytics
What's in it for banks, other than providing all these great services for their customers? We've touched on the "easy to manage" aspect of the technology. Now let's take a look at the "easy to measure" part.
 
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"Easy to measure" refers specifically to the way that FIs can glean valuable information on user preferences. These preferences can range from which features are most popular on a given SmartwebApp to the kind of user metrics that can power intelligent and relevant In-SmartApp marketing and messaging.

Malauzai Software relies on a pair of tools to help pull this off. Its Real-Time Metrics and Reporting functionality (REBA) ensures that the bank or credit union maintains "constant, real-time contact" with their mobile channel. Administrators can access this data either by way of an online-based portal or with an iPad SmartApp.

The other resource is Malauzai's Application Management System (AMS). Centrally managed by way of an administration portal (SAMI), the system enables central management of the SmartApps, and includes the ability to make changes to the SmartApp in real-time and across platforms, without having to update the App in app stores.

The Future
Malauzai has made headlines several times this year. The company announced a partnership with Finovate alum and IBM acquisition, Trusteer, this summer that will bring even greater security to consumers using SmartwebApps at Customers Bancorp in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. And in May, Malauzai reported a successful $6.5 million Series C funding round led by Wellington Management Company, LLP. 

2014 has also seen deployments of SmartApps at Vons Credit Union in El Monte, California;  Poca Valley Bank in Charleston, West Virginia; and Atlantic Capital Bank in Atlanta, Georgia, among others.

What can we expect to see from Malauzai in the months to come? The fact that the company is innovating against the grain with its current emphasis on bringing a mobile-quality experience to the desktop is worth watching. And for more on the debate, check out Malauzai's Chief Technology Officer, Danny Piangerelli, post-FinovateFall blog post at Malauzai's Monkey Chatter blog.

Malauzai also expects to take advantage of innovation in other areas, such as the new iOS8 operating system, with biometric authentication via TouchID, and the birth of ApplePay.

At the same time, focusing on how the web and mobile products work together, ensuring the sort of omni-channel experience their community bank and credit union clients want to deliver, remains key. And the best part, according to Malauzai, is that innovation at this end of the market is not zero sum.  "We allow community banks and credit unions to out-innovate money center banks," Gaynor said. "But anything we can do to enable the success of a CU is a positive for the whole industry."

Check out a video of Malauzai Software's live demo here.

Alumni News-- October 13, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgCompass Plus announced that its TranzWare e-Commerce authentication solution supports American Express SafeKey.
  • NewsRepublic features Toshl Finance in its roundup of five apps to help you organize personal finances.
  • P2Binvestor signs $1 million revolving line of credit from New College Capital Ltd of London.
  • InComm announces partnership with Virginia Department of Transportation to launch E-ZPass Reload Cards.
  • Xero earns number one spot in annual BRW Most Innovative Companies list.
  • eToro adds native Android sharing to its update of OpenBook for Android.
  • Silanis launches new partnership with AgencyPort Software.
  • eSeller features Boku in its review of top payment apps.
  • Misys inks deal to bring Russia's Cinimex into its InFusion Partner Programme.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
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Just a few weeks after launching its BizEquity One Valuation Cloud technology at FinovateFall 2014, BizEquity has earned an investment of $5.1 million from London-based private equity firm, Frost Brooks.

The investment is the second major deal for Frost Brooks, and the first significant infusion of capital for BizEquity. 

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Founded in 2010 and based in Wayne, Pennsylvania, BizEquity specializes in business valuation. The company has valued more than 13 million businesses around the world using its cloud-based, Big Data engine. The company's "Valuation-as-a-Service" approach provides real-time valuation monitoring, a pre-value estimate for more than 27 million companies, as well as online advice and alerts.

In talking about the investment, BizEquity CEO Michael Carter praised Frost Brooks relationships with "some of the most powerful names in British business". Carter also mentioned a "full launch" in the UK "early next year." Frost Brooks Managing Partner Miles Frost pointed to Carter's experience as a successful fintech entrepreneur, and BizEquity's understanding of the "complexities of valuation" as reasons for enthusiasm about his firm's new minority stake in the company.
It was another $200 million week, primarily due to Square's $150 million round. Of the remaining $54 million raised, $38 million went to Finovate alums: Blockchain ($30.5 mil), BizEquity ($5.1 mil), Xpenditure ($1.25 mil), Spreedly ($750,000) and Powerlytics (undisclosed).  

Here are last weeks 19 deals by size (Oct 4 to Oct 10):

Mobile payments
Latest round: $150 million
Total raised: $591 million
Tags: Payments, POS, mobile, P2P, San Francisco, California
Source: Crunchbase

Bitcoin wallet
Latest round: $30.5 million
Total raised: $30.5 million
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, payments, mobile wallet, London, UK, Finovate/FinDEVr alum
Source: Finovate

Business valuation engine
Latest round: $5.1 million
Total raised: $5.1 million
Tags: SMB, underwriting, analytics, Wayne, Pennsylvania, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Equity crowdfunding platform
Latest round: $3.5 million
Total raised: $4.9 million
Tags: P2P lending, crowdfunding, investing, credit, SMB, Los Angeles, California
Source: Crunchbase

Payments & ecommerce platform for wholesale food industry
Latest round: $2.5 million
Total raised: $5 million
Tags: B2B, payments, ecommerce, San Francisco, California
Source: Crunchbase

Bitcoin payment & exchange
Latest round: $2.5 million
Total raised: $3.3 million
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, Seoul, South Korea
Source: Crunchbase

Latin American residential real estate marketplace
Latest round: $2 million
Total raised: $2.6 million
Tags: Homes, mortgage, Buenos Aries, Argentina
Source: Crunchbase

Credit platform for marketplace lending
Latest round: $2 million
Total raised: $2 million
Tags: P2P, loans, credit, crowdfunding
Source: Crunchbase

Digital currency acceptance for merchants
Latest round: $1.5 million
Total raised: $1.6 million
Tags: Payments, POS, mobile, cryptocurrency, zSan Francisco, California
Source: Crunchbase

Expense management software
Latest round: $1.3 million
Total raised: $3.0 million
Tags: Accounting, SMB, PFM, Cardwise (parent), Belgium, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Digital asset exchange
Latest round: $1.1 million
Total raised: $1.1 million
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, Hong Kong, China
Source: Crunchbase

Real estate app for Google Glass
Latest round: $1 million
Total raised: $1 million
Tags: Home buying, mortgage, wearables, Peoria, Illinois
Source: Crunchbase

Cloud-based credit card vault
Latest round: $750,000
Total raised: $2.1 million
Tags: Payments, credit/debit cards, cloud, Finovate alum
Source: Finovate

Libratax software for bitcoin tax compliance
Latest round: $500,000
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Cryptocurrency, tax, compliance
Source: Coinbase

South Korean bitcoin exchange
Latest round: $200,000
Total raised: $200,000
Tags: Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, exchange, marketplace, South Korea
Source: Crunchbase

Chinese P2P lending marketplace
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: $12 million
Tags: P2P, credit, lending, crowdfunding, investing, Shanghai, China
Source: Crunchbase

Big data provider for financial services
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: $5 million
Tags: Big data, analytics, underwriting, lending, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Finovate alum
Source: FT Partners

Curated insurance, investment and personal financial management
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total funding: Unknown
Tags: Mobile, PFM, investing, insurance, mobile ,wealth management, Zurich, Switzerland
Source: Crunchbase

Lending technology for community banks and credit unions
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total raised: Unknown
Tags: Lending, credit
Source: Crunchbase

Alumni News-- October 10, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgCNBC's Squawk Box Europe interviews Luxoft CEO Dmitry Loschinin.
  • Nostrum Group adds another 3,000 square feet at its Windsor Court headquarters.
  • Xero Touch wins Best Mobile Finance App and Best Overall App at SVBA Awards.
  • Banco del Bajio to deploy PRIME 4 card management solution from TSYS.
  • Retirement Income Journal features blooom.
  • BizEquity announces $5 million investment from Frost Brooks.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Debuts: mCASH

Finovate Debuts is a blog series to introduce companies who demonstrated for the first time on the Finovate stage.

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mCASH

mCASH seeks to make payments easier by enabling consumers to pay and get paid directly from their mobile device. By scanning a QR code on a screen or printed on paper, consumers can pay for goods or services at a physical point-of-sale (POS), in-app, or online. Additionally, they can make peer-to-peer payments by sending the funds to the recipient's mobile phone number.

Stats
    • Founded in 2010
    • 25 employees
    • $9.5 million in funding
    • 360,000 merchants have POS terminals that support mCASH
    • Uses two-factor authentication
The experience
Consumers first need to set up their funding source(s), which can include credit and debit cards, direct bank transfer, or prepaid cards. For multiple funding sources, they can set a default option.
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Consumers can use mCASH at a physical point of sale or online, by scanning a QR code.

>> At physical POS
mCASH recently partnered with payment terminal provider Point, which is owned by Verifone, to enable merchants to accept payment through mCASH at the physical POS. To pay, users simply open the mCASH app, scan the QR code that appears on the payment terminal, and accept the payment.

mCASHVerifone

When a merchant does not have a POS terminal that supports QR codes, they use a printed QR code affixed near their register.

>> Peer-to-peer payments
To make peer-to-peer payments, users simply:

    1. Select the amount they want to send
    2. Pick the account to fund the transaction
    3. Choose a recipient from their address book
    4. Swipe to confirm the payment
The money is both debited and credited in real time.
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>> Mobile merchants
mCASH recently debuted a web app specifically for mobile merchants. Unlike Square and iSettle, this solution does not require additional hardware. Instead, the customer uses their smartphone to scan the QR code on the screen of the merchant's smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

After scanning the QR code, the consumer receives a payment request on their smartphone and swipes to pay and complete the transaction.

>> Printed ads
mCASH can also be used directly on printed advertisements, billboards, or TV ads to entice consumers to buy. When merchants include a QR code next to a product for sale, customers can scan it using the mCASH app to begin the checkout process. The app requests payment from the customer, who selects their preferred payment method, confirms the amount, and provides their pre-loaded shipping details.

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Merchant benefits
Aside from being a platform that merchants can use to accept payments, mCASH also makes it easy for businesses to build loyalty, offers and rewards into the payment experience.

mCASH provides consumers a low friction way to pay while offering merchants an easy and inexpensive method of collecting payment. The two-factor authentication creates a secure payment environment that reduces the risk of fraud for both parties.

Businesses who wish to on-board with mCASH face few hurdles since there is no need to purchase additional hardware and the web-based payment platform works on every device with a browser. Additionally, mCASH chargers a lower transaction fee than solutions such as Square and iZettle.

Check out a video of mCASH's live demo here.

Alumni News-- October 9, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgArxan Technologies partners with Xamarin to provide developers with enhanced application security solution.
  • InComm partners with PayPoint to launch Digital Gaming Vouchers.
  • Former Commonwealth Bank CMO Andy Lark appointed as Xero's new CMO.
  • Technologie.ie interviews Brian Monaghan, head of online at CurrencyFair on the growth of hacking.
  • Avaus lists Holvi among the 30 smartest companies in Finland.
  • Fairer Finance gives top marks to Zopa in its latest personal loan roundup.
  • Fast Company profiles how BioCatch makes online art out of visualizations of hacking attacks.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
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With a new investment of $9.7 million, Dwolla's total capital now stands at $32.5 million.

This latest investment in the real-time digital payment network was led by CME Group. The round included participation from a handful of existing investors, as well, specifically, Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Village Ventures.

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Writing for the Dwolla blog, CEO and Founder Ben Milne talked about how the investment will have an "immediate impact," pointing to CME Group's experience as "the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace. This has led to some interesting speculation on next steps and potential future deployments of Dwolla's technology.

Recently in the news announcing the official launch of MassPay, Dwolla also was featured in an American Banker column on payment technology and wearables like Google Glass. In June, Dwolla released its Direct service to allow users to send money without requiring fully registered Dwolla accounts. The month before, the company launched Next Day Transfers, its new small business service offering that provides faster deposits (three times faster than ACH), and next-day bank withdrawals.

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, Dwolla demoed its FiSync solution at FinovateSpring 2012 in San Francisco.

Alumni News-- October 8, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgXpenditure brings in $1.25 million in funding.
  • Pymnts interviews Mike Laven, CEO of Currency Cloud.
  • WePay launches WePay Clear to powers payments invisibly from the backend.
  • TSYS upgrades CentreSuite, its online self-service solution for commercial cardholders.
  • LSC deploys Cachet Financial Solutions' Select Mobile Money Platform for LSC's CU Money prepaid card users.
  • Investment News features Personal Capital.
  • Actiance integrates with PeopleLinx to facilitate social media adoption.
  • Hospitality Marketing Concepts selects Arroweye Solutions to deliver personalized rewards cards and welcome kits.
  • Top Image Systems announces relocation of TIS America's headquarters to Plano, Texas.
  • In a funding round led by CME Group, Dwolla raised $9.7 million in new capital.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
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With all the excitement of FinDEVr's successful inaugural event last week, it's all the more gratifying to remember that FinDEVr followed what was the biggest Finovate conference to date.

FinovateFall 2014 attendance was nearly 1,500, up 30% over last year. It also featured a number of other interesting milestones and famous firsts such as:

  • Most Devices Used in a Single Demo - 12 (MX/Money Desktop)
  • First Deployment of Drone Technology (Toopher)
  • Most "Time's Up" Bells Rung (since 2011)
There are many ways to enjoy Finovate conferences. And for those who weren't able to be in New York for the show in person (and for many who were), the Finovate Twitter feed at #Finovate is often the next best thing to being there.

See for yourself! And don't forget to check out the full slate of demo videos from FinovateFall 2014 now up in our "Watch Demos" video section.
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BradleyLeimer_BoSThanks again to all those who presented, sponsored, and/or attended FinovateFall 2014. We'll see you next year!
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Xpenditure, a mobile and web-based expense management platform announced today that it raised $1.25 million in funding from existing investors.

This funding, added to Xpenditure's initial round of $1.75 million, brings the Belgium-based company's funding to $3 million.

It plans to use the funding to expand its operations. In fact, it recently opened an office in New York City and plans to grow its team from 15 to 25 people by the end of 2014.

XpenditureHomepage

When users scan their receipts into Xpenditure, the system pulls all relevant data and organizes the information in its web-based portal. Once all of the users' expenses have been uploaded and organized, they can export expense and reimbursement reports into their ERP software or a CSV file.

Xpenditure was developed in 2011 by CardWise, a company that specializes in prepaid card products.

Check out the demo video of Cardwise's Xpenditure at FinovateEurope 2014.

Print

In a massive Series A funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Wicklow Capital, bitcoin wallet innovator Blockchain announced today that it has raised $30 million in growth capital.

The successful round comes as the company celebrates reaching 2.3 million consumers with its private, secure, and portable bitcoin wallets. Writing at the Blockchain blog, the company credits Lightspeed Venture Partners for being one of the first Silicon Valley firms to begin paying serious attention to the bitcoin phenomenon. Wicklow Capital also comes in for commendation, with Blockchain hoping to leverage Wicklow's experience and leadership in developing "technology enabled trading and financial services".

BlockchainHome
Blockchain also announced new additions to its board of directors, onboarding Richard Branson, Mosaic Ventures, and Prudence Holdings, among others.

Founded in 2011 by Ben Reeves as a way to study and analyze the bitcoin market, Blockchain is the maker of the first, Java-based, client side bitcoin wallet that makes it easy for individuals to store and use their bitcoins. Calling itself the "de facto search engine for the bitcoin economy," Blockchain manages more than two million bitcoin wallets, representing more than $21 billion in total payment volume.

Reeves currently serves as Blockchain CTO, Nicholas Cary is CEO, and Peter Smith is President.

Blockchain participated in the first FinDEVr conference last week in San Francisco, where they demonstrated their core API for bitcoin development. Read more about the company's FinDEVr presentation here.
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If you thought SAP's purchase of Concur was the only thing going on in the business travel / expense management innovation space lately - guess again.

Expensify has raised $3.5 million in new capital. The funding was led by Barracuda Networks, and boosts the company's total equity funding to more than $10 million.

ExpensifyHomepage1
Developers of "expense reports that don't suck," Expensify made a splash in the days before the funding news became public with an offer to honor the Concur contracts for customers who switched from the recently-acquired rival. Expensify's SmartScan technology lets users upload receipts and import expenses to their smartphones. Users can then submit their expense reports online or from their smartphones and get reimbursed directly to their checking accounts.

Expensify has more than 300,000 companies taking advantage of their solution, and more than 1.4 million users. The company processes more than $2 million in expense reports daily.

Expensify announced its integration with the Uber API to launch SmartRides back in August, grew from 24 employees to 45 from January to July, and was profiled recently by Forbes.com in a column on the "new sharing economy."

Based in San Francisco, California, Expensify was founded in 2008 by CEO David Barrett. See a video of the company's FinovateSpring 2013 appearance.

If you were stuck in the office, scanning the Twitter feed while your colleagues attended FinovateFall a couple of weeks ago, we have good news! You can watch all of the action, as recorded live from the stage, in the FinovateFall demo videos we've released today.

FF14CrowdIMG
The 70 presenting companies showed off their newest technology, much of which is the result of years of hard work, in front of the record-breaking crowd of 1500 people.

To get started, feel free to watch the Best of Show winners:


AnchorID


blooom


CrowdFlower


LOYAL3


MX (formerly MoneyDesktop)


Nice


Toopher


Also, don't forget to check out our Flickr feed that showcases photos from the demos, networking, and everything in between

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Few things say "growth round" like a capital infusion of $75 million.

The latest investment in Credit Karma (FinovateStartup 2009) comes courtesy of a trio of current investors: Google Capital, Susquehanna Growth Equity, and Tiger Global Management. 2014 has been a good year for raising capital for Credit Karma, having raised $85 million in the spring.

The company's total capital raised now stands at more than $193 million.
CreditKarmaHome
Founder and CEO Ken Linn pointed two two factors that investors continue to find appealing about the company. One is the conviction that Credit Karma is category leader in consumer credit and finance. Two is continued strong demand for Credit Karma's solutions.

To this last point, Credit Karma says it has experienced a 50% increase in users since February, with more than 30 million consumers now taking advantage of the technology.

"Today's complex marketplace requires a pro-consumer resource that makes financial comprehension easy, transparent, and empowering," Lin said. "Credit Karma delivers that."

The company plans to use the new capital to fuel growth initiatives and continue product innovation.

In other good news for Credit Karma, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company is now worth more than $1 billion. The Journal quoted Lin referring to Credit Karma as the "Expedia for financial services products."

Credit Karma was founded in 2008, and is based in San Francisco. The company made headlines this summer when it announced that it would provide free, weekly credit reports.

Alumni News-- October 7, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgMatchi opens global fintech challenge 
  • New Frontier Group to integrate BehavioSec's behavioral authentication solution in online banking.
  • Boku acquires competitor Mopay, now covers 5 billion users.
  • BBC: Wonga to write off £220m of debts for 330,000 customers.
  • Financial Planning features FutureAdvisor.
  • Tradeshift announces new operations in Japan and Europe, new executive appointments.
  • Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) partners with InComm to leverage its POS integrations.
  • WallStreetSurvivor.com launches Financial Education Courses.
  • Vista Equity Partners to take Tibco Software private for about $4.3 billion.
  • Expensify announces $3.5 million round led by Barracuda Networks.
  • Blockchain raises $30 million in growth capital.
  • Credit Karma announces equity investment of $75 million; $1 billion valuation.
  • Spreedly announces new investment; raises $750,000 in equity financing.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinovateFall 2014 in the Press

ff2014PressRoom

After FinovateFall late last month, we've been monitoring the press and have seen some great coverage.

While the record-breaking crowd travelled back to their offices, the journalists and industry analysts were heads down at their computers, covering the recently unveiled product launches and new technology. Thanks to everyone who covered this event!

We'll be updating this post as additional press coverage rolls in over the next few weeks.

Here is the press coverage:

ABA Banking Journal 
Developers set strong presence at FinovateFall
by John Ginovsky

Finovate, the place to get noticed
by John Ginovsky

FinovateFall's "Best in Show" selections
by John Ginovsky

Fintech future featured at NY event
by John Ginovsky
 
Investing, PFM innovations predominate FinovateFall
by John Ginovsky

New payment solutions debut at Finovate
by John Ginovsky

Security solutions locked in at FinovateFall
by John Ginovsky
Link

Aite Group
FinovateFall Recap: New Digital Advisors Make Their Debut 
by Sophie Louvel Schmitt

American Banker
Four Standout Startups at Finovate Day 2
by Penny Crosman

The Seven Strongest Tech Ideas from Finovate, Day One
by Penny Crosman

Bank Innovation
12 High-Flying Demos from Day 2 of Finovate Fall 2014
by Philip Ryan

Recap of FinTech Week in New York
by JP Nicols

Ten Winning Demos from Day 1 of Finovate Fall 2014
by Philip Ryan

Bank Systems & Technology
Behavior Biometrics a Popular Defense Against Cyberthreats
by Becca Lipman

Finovate Presenters Deliver on Omnichannel Banking
by Jonathan Camhi

How Will Consumers Pay in the Future? Any Way They Want
by Jonathan Camhi

Must. Kill. Passwords.
by Jonathan Camhi

Barlow Reserach Associates 
Innovation Is Booming
by Donna Arce

Barron's 
Robo-Advisors Multiply
by Mike Hogan

Beyond the Arc
Financial services innovation: live from Finovate Fall 2014
by Steven Ramirez

Financial technology innovation - Finovate Fall 2014
by Steven Ramirez

Finovate 2014 - the final chapter
by Steven Ramirez

Finovate Day 2 continues from New York
by Steven Ramirez

Fintech Innovation - Live Blog from Finovate
by Steven Ramirez

Innovation in financial services - Finovate Day 2
by Steven Ramirez

Our video blog with an overview of Finovate Fall 2014
by Steven Ramirez

Technology and innovation for banks - Finovate Day 1 continues
by Steven Ramirez

Video interview with Finovate founder Jim Bruene on financial innovation 
by Steven Ramirez

Video recap: financial services technology and innovation from Finovate
by Steven Ramirez

Celent
Fintech and the Democratization of Investments
by Will Trout

CNBC
Five ways to get help with your 401(k)
by Beth Pinsker

ConsumerReports.org
How to invest like a billionaire
by Nikhil Hutheesing

New free tool may help you deal with debt collectors
by Tobie Stanger

One way to make money with a stash of cash
by Nikhil Hutheesing

CU Times
Credit Union Finovate NYC Favorites: Onsite Coverage
by Robert McGarvey

Finovate's Day of More: Onsite Reporting
by Robert McGarvey

Finovate NYC Draws Record Crowd: Onsite Reporting
by Robert McGarvey

Financial Services Club Blog
There is no next big thing ... get over it #finovatefall
by Chris Skinner

Finextra
Geezeo unveils white label biz financial management tool

Malauzai bids to bring mobile app experiences to the desktop

Matchi opens global fintech challenge

Top Image Systems launches Google Glass app

Yodlee launches custom API for FIs

Fox Business
One way to make money with a stash of cash
by Nikhil Hutheesing

Forbes
Too Nice To Fail: Can Moral Finance Save Your Bank?
by Dan Simon

6 New Apps And Sites To Manage Your Money
by Richard Eisenberg

FPPad
Finovate Fall 2014 highlights, Advicent Solutions acquires Figlo, and tour the Office of the Future
by Bill Winterberg

FT Adviser
Regional Box
by Simoney Kyriakou

Gigaom
More money, more startups: Once-closed financial industry makes a place for independent entrepreneurs
by Jeff John Roberts

HedgeCo.net
HedgeCoVest Demonstrates New Platform At Finovate New York
Alex Akesson

Kansas City Business Journal
'Hometown Kansas boys' Blooom wins best in show at Finovate
by Bobby Burch

OP startup Blooom pitches green thumb for 401(k) management
by Bobby Burch

VC opportunities already begin to bloom for startup
by Bobby Burch

PaymentsViews 
FinovateFall 2014 Day 1
by George Peabody

FinovateFall 2014 Day 2
by George Peabody

Retirement Income Journal
A New Robo-Advisor Eyes the 401(k) Space
by Kerry Pechter 

TechCrunch
With Karrot, Kabbage Digs Into Lending Club's And Prosper's Consumer Loans Business
by Ingrid Lunden

The Huffington Post UK
The Path of Financial Innovation
by John Davis

Thinking Bigger
OP's Blooom Wins 'Best in Show' at Finovate Conference
by James Hart

Time
5 Ways to Get Help With Your 401(k)
by Beth Pinsker

Jewish Business News
Biocatch Opens Art Of Fraud Exhibit Online
by Gil Tanenbaum

JPNicols.com
Recap of FinTech Week in New York
by JP Nicols

Kansas City Star Technology
Overland Park financial tech firm Blooom wins big in New York
by Steve Rosen

MoneyMarketing
Holly Mackay: Seven wonders of the fin tech world
by Holly Mackay

Ian McKenna in the US: Digital advice goes mainstream
by Ian Mckenna

Ian McKenna in the US (Pt. 2): What we can learn from the States
by Ian Mckenna

MoneySummit
How All 7 of This Year's FinovateFall Best of Show Winners Hit the Mark with Innovation and Utility
by Jon Ogden

Next Avenue 
6 New Apps and Sites to Manage Your Money
by Richard Eisenberg

Silicon Prairie News
Kansas City's blooom takes home Best of Show at Finovate in NYC
by Megan Bannister

St. Louis Business Journal 
PayPal moving toward Bitcoin: TechFlash 7 things
by Brian Feldt

University of Tennessee Daily Beacon
Opinion: Control your capital, conveniently
by Jonathan Martin

Upstart Business Journal
Canadian startup Financeit expands into U.S. market to help merchants give consumer loans
by J Jennings Moss

It's high school all over again: Bitcoin punks won't play with the cool kids
by Michael del Castillo

Startup Blooom pitches green thumb for 401(k) management at Finovate
by Bobby Burch

Wall Street & Technology
Behavior Biometrics a Popular Defense Against Cyberthreats
by Becca Lipman

The Emergence of Virtual Financial Planners
by Adam Honoré

Modernizing Voice Bond Trading
by Adam Honoré

William Mills Agency Blog
Live Blog at FinovateFall 2014: Day 1
by William Mills III and Steven Ramirez

Live Blog at FinovateFall 2014: Day 2
by William Mills III and Steven Ramirez

FinovateFall Video Interview: Jim Bruene, Owner of The Finovate Group
by Steven Ramirez

FinovateFall Video Interview: Jonathan Rowe, CMO of nCino
by Steven Ramirez

Video Recap: FinovateFall 2014 Day 1 Morning
by William Mills III and Steven Ramirez

Video Recap: FinovateFall 2014 Day 1 Afternoon
by William Mills III and Steven Ramirez

Video Recap: FinovateFall 2014 Day 2 Morning
by William Mills III and Steven Ramirez

Did we miss anything? Please send a link to the FinovateFall coverage to julie@finovate.com and we'll include it.

Spreedly_hi_res_FS2014

According to a report from the Triangle Business Journal, credit card vault in the cloud, Spreedly has raised another $750,000 in equity funding.

The Journal's report is based on a review of a recent SEC filing by Spreedly. The report adds that a single investor is listed in the filing.

Spreedly's most recent funding was from a $500,000 venture round in January. With previous equity investment of $1.3 million according to Crunchbase, this latest infusion brings Spreedly's total capital to just north of $2 million.
SpreedlyHome
Spreedly serves 71 gateways and 82 countries as of October 1. The company processes more than 160,000 successful credit card transactions a month, producing between $15 and $20 million in top line revenue. Its solutions make PCI compliance easier, help companies develop their own recurring billing programs, and eliminates revenue lost by out-of-date cards by automatically updating all cards on file.

Based in Durham, North Carolina, Spreedly was founded in 2008. Justin Benson is CEO. See the company launch its Payment Method Distribution & Card-on-File Updater solution at FinovateSpring 2014 here.
Thumbnail image for YodleeLogo2012.jpg

You'll have to forgive us for thinking last Tuesday that winning one of the first FinDEVr awards would be the highlight of Yodlee's week.

Yodlee's much-anticiptaed initial public offering launched on Friday. With 6.25 million shares priced at $12, YDLE opened at $16.20 on the Nasdaq and rallied to a mid-day high of $17.97, before finishing the session at $13.44.

YodleeHomepage_YDLE
Yodlee raised $75 million through the IPO. As part of the offering, underwriters have 30 days to purchase as much as 937,500 additional shares. The company has a market capitalization near $400 million.

Courtesy of TheStreet.com, here's a video interview with Yodlee CEO Anil Arora discussing the company's market debut.
AnilAroraCEOYodlee
Yodlee leverages thousands of data points and its unique cloud platform to power a digital financial ecosystem of API, PFM, money movement, data and wealth management solutions that includes some of fintech's most innovative companies, from BillGuard and LearnVest to Personal Capital and Xero. More than 750 organizations use Yodlee's technology, reaching millions of consumers.

Yodlee was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Redwood City, California. A multiple Finovate Best of Show winner (FinovateFall 2013, FinovateAsia 2014), Yodlee also won honors at FinDEVr San Francisco 2014. The company joins Q2 and Cachet Financial Solutions in going public this year, with Lending Club having filed for its IPO back in August.

Alumni News-- October 6, 2014

  • Klarna partners with Digital River; brings Klarna Invoice's online payment solutions to 7 European countries.
  • ACI Worldwide enters strategic partnership with Shaw Systems.
  • PayStand launches API to empower one-click payment acceptance of Bitcoin, eCheck and credit cards.
  • MasterCard teams up with Newgen to digitize Procure-to-Pay and Order-to-Cash services.
  • Infomilo lists 12 Finovate alums among its top 25 hottest fintech startups.
  • SmartyPig's Social Money collaborates with TMG to provide prepaid payment options for millennials and underbanked.
  • Union Square FCU hires Insuritas to launch insurance agency.
This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.
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