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FinovateFallWithDateLogo
With the busy product development and release schedule that comes with the autumn season, FinovateFall is the perfect place to see what's new in fintech. 

This year, 71 companies will step up to the Finovate stage at the NYC Hilton Midtown on September 23 and 24. Tickets are going fast; register for yours today.

Here's an inside look at six of these hand-picked companies:


BizEquityLogo.jpg

BizEquity has invented the first and only patented way to value any business in real-time and in the cloud online.

Features:

    • BizEstimate feature that pre-values over 28 million private businesses 
    • Patented, online real-time business value and tailored advice and alerts to each user
    • Business ValueMonitoring Dashboard 

Why it's great:

BizEquity's mission is to democratize business valuation knowledge globally to every small business and financial institution through its patented cloud-based service.

Carter
Presenters:

1) Mike Carter, CEO
Carter is former Managing Director of The Musser Group, former Founder and CEO of Dashboard Systems, and former Chief Marketing Officer for U.S. Interactive.
LinkedIn

2) Semyon Fishman, Vice President of Engineering and Technology
Fishman is former Vice President of Product Engineering at Valex Consulting and former Lead Engineer for the Math Forum.


GremlnLogo.jpg

GREMLN Financial Social Media offers secure social media tools for the financial services industry. It's a full marketing and analysis suite wrapped in a security layer to maintain compliance.

Features:

    • Pre-approved content libraries
    • LinkedIn client prospecting
    • Mobile social media compliance platform

Why it's great:

Social media involvement is essential, but it can be dangerous for financial services companies. Gremln makes it possible to participate and succeed in social media...safely.

RyanGremln
Presenters:

1) Ryan Bell, CEO
LinkedIn  




TJGremln
2) TJ Tavares, Senior Sales Executive
LinkedIn






HoyosLogo
Hoyos Labs' app will finally put an end to the frustration that comes with usernames, passwords and PINs by replacing them with your unique biometrics.

Features:

  • Acquires users' biometrics via smartphone to replace all log-in information
  • Works with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, and with PCs
  • Increased convenience and security for users
Why it's great:

Hoyos Labs' app allows users to increase the convenience and security in their life by removing the need to ever remember their log-in information.

Presenter: 
Hoyos

Hector Hoyos, Founder and CEO
Hoyos is a biometrics veteran and entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to the development of innovative technologies that change existing business paradigms and have a profound impact on society.


KnoxPaymentslogo
Knox Payments is a merchant tool for payments to and from bank accounts online for just $0.18/transaction.

Features:

    • Fastest online and mobile checkout process
    • Accept ACH payments without needing your customers to enter bank routing and account numbers
    • Instantly verify bank account and sufficient funds

Why it's great:

Fastest, cheapest checkout process for you and your customers.

KnoxThomas
Presenter:

Tommy Nicholas, Head of Product
Nicholas earned his BA from the University of Virginia. He founded CitySwig and helped grow Coffitivity to over 2 million users.
LinkedIn



NopSeclogo
NopSec is a cloud-based vulnerability risk management SaaS.

Features:

    • Correlate vulnerabilities with real-time threats and exploits
    • Drill down into the most critical risks across the full software and hardware stack
    • Analyze vulnerabilities using keyword searches

Why it's great:

Remediate what matters most, faster.

StevenNopsec
Presenters:

1) Steven Leonard, Chief Marketing Officer
Leonard is responsible for all areas of marketing strategy and execution. Prior to NopSec, he spent 17 years at Microsoft Corporation.
LinkedIn


2) Lisa Xu, Chief Executive Officer
Xu is responsible for strategic direction, sales, and operations. Prior to NopSec, she advised Fortune500 enterprises on data security, privacy and technology risk management.
LinkedIn


Rippleshotlogo
Rippleshot detects bank card data breaches. Its cloud-based solution helps banks proactively stop fraud before it occurs and protects merchant brand reputation.

Features:

    • Next generation fraud prevention -- stopping fraud before it occurs
    • 24/7 monitoring -- detecting breaches faster
    • Early warning alerts -- proactively protecting merchants, consumers and credit card issuers
Why it's great:

It's not if you are going to be breached, it's when. Rippleshot's 24/7 monitoring proactively detects, mitigates and stops fraud before it occurs.

Presenters: 

RippleshotLucas
1) Lucas Ward, Co-Founder and CTO
Ward is a proven technology leader. At Fundspire, he created an innovative product to change the way hedge funds viewed and analyzed their data.




RippleshotRandal
2) Randal Cox, Co-Founder and CSO
Cox has over a decade of experience in the credit card industry, modeling credit card and ATM fraud, ultimately culminating in the co-founding of Rippleshot.



Stay tuned later this week for a look at six more companies set to debut their new technology at FinovateFall this September 23 & 24 in New York.

Thumbnail image for PayPalLogo.jpg

For mobile shoppers using PayPal, instant gratification just got a little more instantaneous.

PayPal announced today that it is opening up beta access to its One Touch feature. This feature allows people to pay with PayPal with a single swipe from inside other apps. Initially available only to iOS users, the feature will be accessible for Android users in September when the product is officially launched.

paypal_homepage_new
In an interview with VentureBeat, Braintree CEO Bill Ready put "one-touch buying" at the center of what to expect when it comes to payments over the next few years (recall that Braintree was acquired by PayPal in September 2013). Bill believes part of this has to do with the challenge of entering data on mobile devices, especially smartphones. But this initiative also responds effectively to the Prime Directive of E-commerce Innovation: "More Time Shopping, Less Time Transacting."

The feature is optional, and users have both the ability to opt-in/opt-out, as well as specify which source of funding you want to be used for your One Touch transactions (PayPal balance, linked bank account, or credit card). Calling One Touch payments "the magical experience that every mobile user will come to expect," Bill may be engaging in a touch of hyperbole. But in a world in which Amazon is increasingly interested in the payments business, it is interesting to see PayPal leverage Braintree technology in order to strike back at Amazon on its own "one-step shopping" turf. 
PayPal_one_touch
There will be a handful of merchant apps available initially as part of the developer beta, with other merchants coming on board in the weeks to come.  Soon any developer with access to the Braintree v.zero SDK - and anyone who uses PayPal - will be able to take advantage of One Touch. More information on the technology for consumers and merchants is available here. Developers can find out how to get started, including accessing the SDKs at PayPal's developer portal.

And speaking of developers, join PayPal at FinDEVr for the company's presentation on how wearables are changing the payments landscape. The first fintech event for developers, FinDEVr will be held from September 30 to October 1 in San Francisco. For more information, visit our FinDEVr page.
VisaLogo

Visa's Visa Checkout, the rebranded version of V.me, has experienced increased success since its recent change of face.

Similar to PayPal, Visa Checkout stores users' credentials and enables them to pay at a merchant's site with only their username and password. The service launched this July with PNC and other banking partners.

VisaPNCCheckout

According to American Banker, PNC reported that customer enrollments of Visa Checkout doubled after it changed the brand from V.me (PNC declined to disclose actual enrollment 

VisaCheckoutCreditCards
figures). Some speculate that the success is partially due to the name change. Not only is Visa Checkout more descriptive, it also appeals to a wider audience and sounds more secure.

The potential for Visa Checkout to place a bank's card at the top of the digital wallet is enticing. When a user signs up for the Visa Checkout, they are prompted to enter their credit card information into the wallet. While the service works with any payment card, banks are hoping their card will be the most frequently used.

To see Visa's newest offering for developers, check out its upcoming presentation at FinDEVr San Francisco held September 30 through October 1.

simpleLogoNew.jpg

After it was acquired by BBVA in February, Simple is showing the first major sign of access to the mega bank's deep pockets.

The Portland-based startup updated its iOS and Android apps today to bring users an easier way to pay others via their mobile device. Aside from the redesigned interface, other major changes include: 

Simpleapp2.1
1) Simple Instant Transfer on mobile
Previously only available on the web interface, Instant Transfer enables users to instantly send funds to other Simple account holders. 

2) Updated goal interface on mobile
It's easier for users to create and manage their goals with the ability to add notes to their goals and easily transfer money into and out of individual goals. It still lacks, however, the function to add pictures to goals. 

3) Customized profiles
Customers can customize how other users see them by adding a profile picture (see screenshot on right) to their account. They can also select other Simple customers as favorite contacts.

4) Mail checks from mobile

One of the more notable upgrades, is the ability to mail checks for free to anyone. All you need is their name and mailing address. I tested the feature on my iPhone 5S by sending a check to my mother, who does not have a Simple account.

Note the text at the bottom that indicates both when the money will be withdrawn and when the check will be received. Pulling that information out of the fine print and into plain sight aligns with Simple's transparent policy.

SimpleApp2.4.2

After adding my mom's address, I entered the amount, followed by the 4-digit verification code that I received via text.

 
SimpleApp2.5

Once I entered the code, the $1 had been withdrawn from my account and was ready to be mailed to my mother.

In the U.S., where writing checks is still common, the ability to do it from a mobile device is a very useful feature. Simple could improve it with a few small additions:

1) Option for users to pay for expedited shipment of the check.
2) Optional note field to send with the check that allows users to personalize the payment
3) The ability to assign a photo avatar to contacts who are not Simple customers

Simple launched at FinovateFall 2011. You can check out the demo video here.

Alumni News-- August 19, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgLivePlan launches its Black Widow update to enhance performance monitoring.
  • Bank Innovation looks at GoBank's decision to shorten holding periods for mobile check deposits.
  • NICE Systems earns 2014 Star Performer award from Speech Technology magazine.
  • Top Image Systems partners with Allied Payment Networks to implement MobiPAY.
  • Time features ReadyForZero as 1 of 50 Best Websites for 2014.
  • Hiveage compares OnDeck, Kabbage, PayPal Working Capital, & CAN Capital Come see OnDeck at FinDEVr.
  • Quisk awarded US patent for enabling consumer activated security for a mobile payment system.
  • The Rude Baguette interviews Yseop CEO, John Rauscher.
  • New partnership brings Geezeo's PFM solution to MEA's native mobile banking platform. See Geezeo at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.
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-- August 18, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgSilanis Technology releases e-signature solutions for Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. See Silanis at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.
  • Michael Grillo of ACI Worldwide talks about the role of mobile devices in fighting payments fraud.
  • Klarna announces appointment of Jon Kamaluddin to its Board of Directors.
  • SumUp earns double-digit million dollar investment led by Life.SREDA
  • Xero's Customer Experience team wins Bronze Stevie Award in 2014 International Business Award. Check out Xero's presentation at FinDEVr in San Francisco this October.
  • TechCrunch: Coinbase acquires blockchain explorer, Blockr.io.
  • Silicon Angle: Why Cardlytics ditched sample data for its real-time analytics tactics.
  • EE Times reviews the similarities and differences between Ripple and bitcoin.
  • Forbes column on "the other sharing economy" profiles Expensify
  • Investors.com checks in with Betterment on strategies for meeting retirement financial challenges.
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 SumUpHiLogo.jpg

There are many nice ways to qualify an "amount undisclosed" investment. But "double-digit million" is probably near the top of the list.

SumUp, specialists in the field of mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technology, announced today that it had completed a new round of funding. Characterized by the company as a "double-digit million dollar" investment, the round was led by Life.SREDA, and featured participation from Groupon, BBVA Ventures, and other existing investors.

LifeSREDA_logo_jpeg
Like the company's Series B round a year ago, the exact amount of this new investment was not made available. Last year's investment was characterized as "multi-million euro". 

Update: Crunchbase reports that the amount has been rumored at $13 million.

Daniel Klein, SumUP CEO, pointed to Life.SREDA's experience in the fintech space worldwide. "Life.SREDA is building an eco-system of companies disrupting a wide range of financial services and products. We are happy to become a part of this network."

For its part, Life.SREDA praised SumUp's focus on "end-to-end payment capabilities" such as the company's proprietary Chip & Pin terminal. Life.SREDA CFO Alex Ivanov said, "no other mPOS player in the world has focused so much on disrupting the actual technology behind the revolutionary mPOS business model."
SumUp_homepage
SumUp says that the new capital will help fund building out its payments gateway, proprietary hardware, and operations systems. Part of this will be a push to help promote the company's Chip & Pin terminal, called "PIN+" internationally.

Founded in 2011, SumUp is based in Dublin, Ireland. The company demoed its mPOS technology as part of FinovateEurope 2013, where SumUp earned Best of Show honors. See the company's demo video here.

Alumni News-- August 15, 2014

  • Credit.com releases new version of its iPhone mobile app.
  • Pymnts: EBay in talks to accept Bitcoin through its Braintree unit.
  • Pymnts compares DoubleBeam to the Merchant Customer Exchange.
  • GoBank now holds mobile check deposits for less than 10 days.
  • Forbes features multiple Finovate financial management and wealth planning alums: LearnVest, Personal Capital, FutureAdvisor, SigFig, Wealthfront, Betterment, Motif, and Kapitall.
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.

btn3_ov.pngFinovateFall 2014 is just six weeks away and the buzz is building. After announcing the impressive roster of presenters a few weeks ago we've seen a substantial surge in ticket sales. Based on that surge, we're now projecting a Finovate record audience of over 1,300 innovators, entrepreneurs, executives and investors!

If you're interested in attending to see the future of fintech debut live on stage, the last chance to get your ticket at the early-bird price expires this Friday. Last year, we sold out so please don't delay if you want to guarantee your ability to attend the event.

In case you're curious, here is a small sample of the great organizations already committed to attend:

  • Adobe
  • American Express
  • Bain Capital
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of Ireland
  • Bank of Montreal
  • Barclays
  • BBVA Compass
  • C1 Bank
  • Capital One
  • CIBC
  • Citi
  • Citi Ventures
  • Discover
  • Equifax
  • Everbank
  • Experian
  • FIS Global
  • Forbes
  • Gartner
  • IBM
  • Jack Henry
  • Liberty Mutual
  • MassMutual
  • MasterCard
  • MACU
  • New York Life
  • Nordea
  • Oliver Wyman
  • Paypal
  • Primerica
  • PwC
  • QED Investors
  • RBC
  • Rockland Trust
  • Route 66 Ventures
  • S&P Capital IQ
  • SAP
  • Saxo Bank
  • Sberbank VC
  • Scottrade
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • SixThirty
  • Societe Generale
  • Sony
  • Swedbank
  • Tangerine Bank
  • TD Ameritrade
  • The Huffington Post
  • The Principal
  • Umpqua Bank
  • USAA
  • Venrock
  • Wells Fargo
  • Yankee Group
  • Zions Bank
  • And many more!

We'll see you in New York in September (or in San Francisco for FinDEVr)!

FinovateFall 2014 is sponsored by: The Bancorp, CapitalSource, Financial Technology Partners, Greater St. Louis Financial Forum, Hudson Cook LLP, Life.SREDA, UK Trade & Investment, Visa, Xignite & Zions Direct

FinovateFall 2014 is partners with: Aite, ABA, Bank Innovators Council, BankersHub, Bobsguide, California Bankers Association, Canada, Celent, Filene Research Institute, Hotwire PR, Javelin Strategy, Mercator, NYPAY, Payment Week, The Paypers, SME Finance Forum, & Visible Banking

It's mid-August. Who is even working now? Evidently, the folks cranking out new fintech (and their investors) are not letting up. So far this month, 24 startups have received a total of $102 million in new capital. 

Here are the newly funded, in order of deal size (fundings reported from Aug 1 through Aug 15, 2014). 
_______________________________

Pollen (no URL)
Working capital exchange
Latest round: $27 million
Total funding: $27 million
Tags: Working capital, treasury, marketplace, Kansas
Source: Crunchbase

SumUp (Finovate alum)
mPOS (point-of-sale) technology
Latest round: $13 million (per Crunchbase)
Total funding: $33 million
Tags: mobile, point of sale, payments, Ireland
Source: Finovate 

Online platform for private company financings
Latest round: $11 million
Total funding: $19.5 million
Tags: Investing, financing, New York
Source: Crunchbase

8 Securities
Social trading and wealth management platform
Latest round: $9 million
Total funding: $21.5 million
Tags: Investing, wealth management, Hong Kong
Source: Crunchbase

Online and mobile payments
Latest round: $8.5 million
Total funding: $8.5 million
Tags: Payments, mobile, Canada
Source: Crunchbase

NextCapital
Automated 401(k) management tools and portfolio analytics
Latest round: $6.1 million
Total funding: $6.1 million
Tags: Investing, 401(k), analytics, Chicago
Source: Crunchbase

Find the best real estate agent for your house
Latest round: $6 million
Total funding: $6 million
Tags: Real estate, mortgage, California
Source: Crunchbase

Helps underbanked access accrued wages through payroll cards
Latest round: $3.5 million
Total funding: $3.5 million
Tags: Underbanked, payday lending, California
Source: Crunchbase 

Mobile payment system for vending machines
Latest round: $2.8 million
Total funding: $3.2 million
Tags: Mobile payments, Oregon
Source: Crunchbase

Ecommerce technology enabling easy checkout and payment
Latest round: $2.7 million
Total funding: $2.7 million
Tags: Ecommerce, checkout, wallet, payments, Y Combinator, California
Source: Crunchbase

BlueVIne (debuting at FinovateFall 2014)
Working capital to small businesses
Latest round: $1.5 million
Total funding: $5.5 million
Tags: SMB, lending, credit, California
Source: Crunchbase

Portfolia
Equity crowdfunding platform
Latest round: $1.5 million
Total funding: $1.5 million
Tags: crowdfunding, California
Source: Crunchbase

Restaurant ordering and payment technology
Latest round: $1.5 million
Total funding: $1.5 million
Tags: Payments, order ahead, restaurants, Ukraine
Source: FT Partners from TechCrunch

Moneysoft 
Financial management software for small biz and individuals
Latest round: $1.4 million
Total funding: Unknown
Tags: PFM, accounting, payroll, SMB, Australia, UK
Source: Crunchbase 

Gift cards integrated with credit cards
Latest round: $1.4 million
Total funding: $1.4 million
Tags: Gift cards, prepaid cards, credit cards, California
Source: Crunchbase

Capital Float
Online platform providing small business financing in India
Latest round: $1 million
Total funding: $3 milllion
Tags: SMB, lending, financing, India
Source: Crunchbase

Real estate crowdfunding platform
Latest round: $1 million
Total funding: $34 million
Tags: Crowdfunding, real estate, investing, Washington D.C.
Source: Crunchbase

Lending technology for the SMB market
Latest round: $1 million
Total funding: $1 million
Tags: SMB, lending, B2Bank, Oregon
Source: Crunchbase

Geolocation technology for location-based services and payment solutions
Latest round: Undisclosed
Total funding: $920,000
Tags: Mobile payments, geolocation, Australia
Source: Crunchbase

Real estate discovery
Latest round: $550,000
Total funding: $550,000
Tags: Real estate, Philippines
Source: Crunchbase

Bitcoin peer-to-peer lending
Latest round: $270,000
Total funding: $270,000
Tags: P2P lending, Bitcoin, Germany
Source: Crunchbase

Coinmonk (Unocoin)
Bitcoin processor 
Latest round: $250,000
Total funding: Unknown
Tags: Bitcoin, India
Source: FT Partners from TechCrunch

Cash Sentinel
Facilitating payments for person-to-person vehicle sales
Latest round: $170,000
Total funding: $650,000
Tags: Escrow, vehicle lending, Switzerland
Source: Crunchbase

Payfont 
Identity theft protection
Latest round: $170,000
Total funding: Unknown
Tags: Security, identity, Scotland
Source: FT Partners from Finextra



CEO Interview: Paul Doyle of VerifyValid

verifyvalid.jpg

A person could readily go broke betting against the demise of the check. While there are at any given moment plenty of startups and fintech veterans looking for new ways to avoid writing checks, the data suggests that people (and businesses) aren't going to stop writing checks any time soon.

pauldoyle_verifyvalid

This is one of the reasons why we thought it would be a great idea to get in touch with Paul Doyle, CEO of VerifyValid. VerifyValid is a leader in the movement to bring checks into the 21st century. 

With solutions like Mobile Checkbook, which allows consumers to issue, receive and deposit eChecks from their iPhone or iPad, VerifyValid has made key additions to its basic web-based check service - all geared toward providing the benefits of paper checks with the cost savings of using VerifyValid's eChecks.

We were fortunate enough to catch a very busy Paul Doyle earlier this summer, and to ask him a few questions via email about his company, its partnership with Deluxe, and what we can expect from VerifyValid in the months to come.




Finovate: Your relationship with Deluxe is a big deal. Can you tell us more about how that partnership came about?

Paul Doyle: Deluxe's name is synonymous with the check. Having the biggest name in checks decide to resell your solution to their more than 4.5 million small business customers and selling through their more than 5,400 financial institutions is a big deal.

We at VerifyValid wanted a partner that could give us reach and whose brand completely aligned with the type of payment we enable ... the check! Deluxe was an obvious answer.

How and where did it all happen? We have been long-time participants in industry initiatives, such as standards development through X9 and ISO, as well as newer initiatives such as the Remittance Coalition. When one works among industry peers at this level, the industry becomes a fairly small and well-connected universe.

Finovate: What are some of the other companies and institutions that have deployed VerifyValid's technology?

Doyle: VerifyValid has over 10,000 users currently and more are joining every single day. Our customers run the gambit from several large companies such as $10B multi-national corporations down to sole proprietors and not-for-profits. Many of our customers are private sector, but we are getting an increasing number of public sector entities, such as school districts and municipalities, beginning to use the service.
VerifyValid_homepage1

Finovate: How big is the B2B check business right now? Amid the overall declining use of checks, are we still seeing strong numbers on check issuance in the B2B space?

Doyle: There are approximately 5 billion B2B checks written and another 3 billion B2C checks written. This means businesses will write roughly 8 billion checks in 2014. Given the average value of a check is $1,420, this translates to more than $11 trillion dollars disbursed via checks by businesses. Given all forms of cards combined still only add up to about $4.5 trillion, we think this is still a very big and important part of our payments marketplace.

Finovate: What kind of cost savings are your customers realizing by using VerifyValid?

Doyle: Customers can pay for using VerifyValid's service using money they already have in their existing budgets. For the same price as a 1st Class postage stamp, a user can complete the full process of creating, authorizing, and sending an eCheck.

As a result, all the other costs associated with the payments (i.e., purchasing of check stock, special printer cartridges, labor, etc.) go away. Our customers tell us they save $1 per transaction for each use of the service that would have formerly been a hard-copy check sent via the US Mail.
VerifyValid_homepage2
Finovate: Let's talk about the technology, the Trusted Time Stamp that keeps the check delivery system secure. What kind of authentication is happening here that ensures that a check a bank receives is legitimate?

Doyle: This can get VERY geeky very fast, so I will try to keep it simple, and high-level.

We have built and brought to market the industry's first Universal Positive Pay system, which gives a bank-of-first-deposit (BOFD) that ability to verify that a check which was issued through our service or registered with our service is a true, authentic item. 

The beautiful thing about the check is that the real value of the check is in the data of the check, not the paper. There are 5 critical pieces of information: 1) the bank routing and transit number, 2) the account number, 3) the check number, 4) the amount of the check, 5) the "Pay to the order of" or payee. We give the ability to prove the truth of authentic transactions. This is a big deal. It is a game changer when it comes to the problem of check fraud because now, through VerifyValid, banks can trap inauthentic checks before they even enter the banking ecosystem.

VerifyValid takes the 5 critical values and creates a cryptographic times tap or Trusted Time Stamp (per ASC X9.95). The cryptographic timestamp allows for us to prove the authenticity of the transaction while still preserving the privacy of the underlying financial transaction.

Finovate: What percentage of VerifyValid customers are printing out the electronic checks? Do you expect this percentage to change significantly going forward? If so, what would be the catalyst for that change?

Doyle: The vast majority of our customers are printing out the checks they receive and depositing them traditionally. While we do see this changing in the future, the nice thing is that it does not have to change before more people can take advantage of the service. We hear from customers their delight at receiving their payments faster. This, in and of itself, is a big benefit. When we talk to users and the opportunity to deposit the check electronically, this takes things to a whole new level. It surprises and delights. Most people say things like, "Wow ... now that is great ... you've got it all. That is cool!"
VerifyValid_mobilecheckbook
Finovate: Where do VerifyValid's revenues come from?

Doyle: VerifyValid's revenues primarily come from the business check writer. A business pays to issue checks and the cost of using the service is essentially equal to the cost of the 1st class postage that they no longer need to use.

Finovate: So VerifyValid's approach to electronic checks keeps banks in the picture?

Doyle: VerifyValid's approach is built around banks and credit unions. The check is a payment instrument drawn against a DDA and is the essential domain of the banking industry. We believe this is the right way to build a modern, next-generation payments capability: by working with and through the banks and credit unions, and constructed on a rock-solid foundation of an existing, trusted and effective payment system. We allow banks and credit unions to use what they already have, what they already own. No new IT spend or investment required.

Finovate: The option to deposit checks directly into your checking account is a key feature. How many participating banks/FIs do you have? How quickly can you grow that number?

Doyle: My team is working out a plan to open up deposit-ability and Deposit Services for all banks by the end of the year. Stand by for more details on this in the 4th quarter.

Finovate: Let's talk about the new app, Mobile Checkbook. How is it being talked about and received so far?

Doyle: Customers and pundits seem to love our mobile checkbook. As the market's first real general purpose checkbook for the smartphone, it has a wide variety of uses. We are also being asked for a number of additional features. This shows us how much customers already like and use the app, and what more they want to be able to do. This also shows how relevant and useful checks still are.

Finovate: Brett King of Moven famously predicted that the last personal check will be written in the US in 2018. Interestingly, an initiative in the UK that set out to sunset paper checks around the same time as King's prediction was met with a popular backlash. 

As an innovator in the space, what do you see as the future of the check?

Doyle: I believe Brett's prediction is simply wrong and may have been meant to hype his company's marketing message. The data in the US tells a different story, as do the direct experiences of the UK.

In the US, the actual number of checks written in 2012 as compared to nine years earlier in 2003 was 56% of the earlier volume. There were 21 billion checks written in 2012 as compared to 37.6 billion written in 2003. At this rate, if we look at 2018 (which would be a 6-year difference as compared to a 9-year difference in the prior number) one could predict that in 2018 there will still be approximately 12 billion traditional, paper checks written. Ironically, the number of consumer-to-consumer checks written has grown approximately 2% over the prior 6 years (2006-2012).

The experience of the UK is also worth noting. The UK Payments Council tried to mandate the end of checks by October 2018. Then, in July of 2012, this mandate was abandoned. The UK Payments Council was criticized for having attempted to implement a mandate without coming up with an acceptable alternative to the check.

According to mobilepaymentstoday:

"Checks still play an important part in the British payments landscape. Nearly 840 billion pounds ($1.4 trillion) worth of checks were processed in 2013 accounting for 10% of all payments made by individuals. In 2013, 23 million checks were sent as gifts because they are still the most trusted method of sending money through the post."

We believe the check is as good a form of payment or better than anything else out there today. If one removes the paper or shifts where an dhow the item gets printed, we think the check will see a very long future. My prediction is that the VerifyValid eCheck will help checks continue to be used for at least the next decade or two. I believe we will see eCheck volumes reverse the trend in paper checks and will ultimately result in an increase in check usage.

Finovate: What can we expect to see from VerifyValid in the second half of 2014?

Doyle: The second half of 2014 is going to be exciting
  • Significant expansion of our mobile offering
  • Expansion of our offerings on the security and fraud prevention side of the business
  • Enhanced experience, functionality, and services for banks
And a few things we cannot talk about just yet!

Learn more about VerifyValid. Watch the company's FinovateFall 2013 demo with Deluxe Corporation.

Alumni News-- August 14, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgFiserv and DBS win Asian Banker Technology Implementation award.
  • Expensify enables in-app report comments to make annotations directly on expense reports.
  • Merchants using WordPress now have access to two new payment gateways: Dwolla and PayPal Express Checkout.
  • Bank Innovation takes a look at how "Pay with Venmo" will impact mobile e-commerce.
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-- August 13, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgNetbanker features 2012- 2013 fintech graduates from Y Combinator:  TrueLink Financial, Coinbase, and LendUp.
  • Netbanker features 2009- 2012 fintech graduates from Y Combinator: ZenPayroll, SmartAsset, TrustEgg, FutureAdvisor, ReadyForZero, and WePay.
  • American Banker considers how Diebold is leading the way on the branch of the future.
  • peerTransfer surpasses 500 clients, while processing over $1 billion in international payments.
  • Heartland Payment Systems buys out remaining shareholders of tablet software and hardware startup, Leaf.
  • ACI Worldwide announces completion of ReD acquisition.
  • Lending Club mentioned in HBR Blog's look at how new lending technology can help small businesses.
  • Silanis Technology partners with loan management software specialist Calyx Software. See Silanis at FinovateFall 2014 in September.
  • planwise teams up with Informa Research Services to launch plug-and-play search tool of real estate agents and brokerages.
  • NextAdvisor column in HuffPo highlights LendUp as alternative loan option for the underbanked.
  • Pandai announces joint cooperation with China and Hollard to leverage their experience in the loan insurance market.
  • Xero and Square partner to sync Square transactions and give a business a view of their finances. See Xero present at FinDEVr. 
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-- August 12, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgUK peer-to-peer leader Zopa tops $1 billion.
  • TSYS launches its Enterprise Tokenization solutions to help boost e-commerce security.
  • Thomson Reuters introduces Watchlist Pulse, a buy-side app for its Eikon platform.
  • Jingit's Co-CEO and Co-Founder Joe Rogness explains to PYMNTS how they combine advertising and payment transactions.
  • StockTwits adds Former Yahoo! CEO and Robert Peck, SunTrust Tech Analyst, to Board of Directors.
  • Nanalyze features Dynamics ePlate technology.
  • Australia's The Age considers how Society One plans to undercut banks' personal loan rates by 5%.
  • Knox Payments considers how Mint, LendUp, and Simple are empowering our increasingly cashless society.
  • Oink brings its youth payment technology to online game company, Smilegate West.
  • San Francisco 49ers football team adds Wealthfront to list of benefits for employees.
  • Luxoft opens new delivery center in Guadalajara.
  • CEB Blogs interview Wipro's Chief Learning Officer Abhijit Bhaduri.
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.

FinDEVr 2014 Presenters Revealed!

FinDEVr Logo

FinDEVr San Francisco 2014 -- the first event focused on fintech developers -- is less than two months away, and we're excited to announce our presenters!

These leading companies came from a competitive application process designed to find the best ideas and innovations for fintech developers. Not only did we have an unprecedented number of applications for a debut event, but we also saw an incredible range of cutting-edge solutions!

On Sept. 30 & Oct. 1 in San Francisco, they'll showcase their latest tools, APIs, and platforms via fast-paced onstage presentations and in-depth workshops.

On the first day, our sponsoring presenters will reveal their latest & greatest fintech to a packed auditorium, then close out the day with happy hour and dedicated networking time. Here's who you can expect to see on stage on Tuesday, Sept. 30:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Yodlee Interactive, TD Ameritrade, MasterCard & Visa
  • Gold Sponsors: PayPal & Forte Payment Systems
  • Silver Sponsors: Financial Apps, Avoka, Xero, InComm, EVO Snap, Xignite, Eshta & Intuit
  • Bronze Sponsors: CardFlight, BehavioSec, Mifos Initiative, Cloud Lending, ModoPayments, StockTwits, Bluefin Payment Systems, Finicity, OnDeck, Paradigm4, Tradier & PayNearMe

After whetting the audience's appetite on day one, our sponsoring presenters will kick off day two with deep-dive workshops into their developer technology. These 50-minute workshops will run throughout the morning in six tracks and continue into the afternoon.

Alongside these workshops, another round of fast-paced presentations will also take place during the second half of Wednesday, Oct. 1 in a shrunken auditorium. Here is the initial list of the cutting-edge companies that have been selected to present on day two: BCL Technologies, Bionym, BlockChain.info, CopSonic, CrowdCurity, Entersekt, Kiind, Knox Payments, MASSPAY, Morpheus Aiolos, PayStand, Pich Technologies, Plaid, Prudena, Sekur.me, SimplyTapp, TagCash, Thinknum, Trulioo & The TxPUSH Initiative.

Even prior to today's announcement, tickets have been selling strongly and we're pleased to be projecting an audience of 400-500 for the event. The room is going to be packed with developers and technical execs from startups as well as financial institutions like CIBC, Experian, Wells Fargo, BlackRock, USAA, Capital One, Target, and Western Union.

If you and/or your technical colleagues are interested in attending to learn about the latest innovations for fintech builders, tickets are on sale at the very early-bird discount of $200 off through Friday August 22nd.

We'll see you there!

FinDEVr San Francisco 2014's VC sponsor is: Life.SREDA

FinDEVr San Francisco 2014 is partners with: BankersHub, BayPay Forum, California Bankers Association, fin-tech.org, Hotwire, Mercator, PaymentWeek & The Paypers

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London-based peer-to-peer lender, Zopa announced that it has surpassed the billion-dollar mark (£0.59 billion) in total lending since launch.

"The peer-to-peer industry is growing faster than ever," Giles Andrews, Zopa CEO and co-founder said. "And we're looking forward to offering new products like ISAs in the near (future)."

It's a testament to the growth Giles speaks of that a quarter of Zopa's lending has come in 2014 alone. The company has enjoyed 92% year-on-year growth (basis July), and expects to return £10 million in interest to lenders this year.
Zopa_homepage_new
A few metrics on Zopa:
  • Year-to-date number of loans (2014): 104,000
  • Year-to-date funds loaned (2014): £148 million
  • More than 63,000 active borrowers 
  • More than 57,000 active lenders
  • Average Zopa lender: 47 years old
  • Average Zopa amount lent: £5,710
  • Average Zopa borrower: 40 years old
  • Average Zopa amount borrowed: £5,500
  • Total amount returned to lenders since launch: £37 million
  • Top three most popular loan uses cases:
    1. Car: 40%
    2. Home improvement: 20%
    3. Debt consolidation 20%
Founded in 2005, Zopa demoed its technology at FinovateSpring 2008. The company recently made headlines by winning the Most Trusted Loan Provider and Most Trusted Specialist honors at the 2014 MoneyWise Customer Service Awards in June.

Earlier this year, Zopa was named to the 2014 European FinTech 50, and won "Best Peer to Peer Lender" from Moneynet Personal Finance. The company raised £15 million in funding from Arrowgrass Capital in January, taking their total capital to more than $56 million.
StockTwitsLogo

Stock market communications platform, StockTwits is adding to the brains behind its operation. The San Diego-based company announced on Thursday it picked up the former Yahoo! CEO, Ross Levinsohn, to serve on its board of directors.

Immediately prior to this appointment, Levinsohn worked as CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media.

RossLevinsohnIMG

Ross Levinsohn

According to Business Insider, StockTwits CEO John Melloy said that Levinsohn sees great potential in the StockTwits social network. He also mentioned that the web and mobile platforms are slated for a total redesign that will be launched this September, along with multiple new features.

SunTrustIMG

Robert Peck

Along with Levinsohn, StockTwits is also adding Robert Peck, a technology analyst at SunTrust.

Check out StockTwits' presentation at FinDEVr to get a closer look at their platform and be a part of the first event for fintech developers this September 30 through October 1 in San Francisco.

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For all the innovations in the ways alternative lenders connect borrowers with capital, it's nice to see a little innovation on the side of lenders getting their money back.

LendUp announced this morning that it had inked two service arrangements with global money transfer and payments company, MoneyGram. The partnership will let LendUp borrowers use MoneyGram's Express Payment Service to repay their loans. The service is available at 39,000 agent locations across the United States.

The goals, said LendUp CEO and co-founder, Sasha Orloff, was to provide "new payment options exactly where many of our customers prefer to do business." In a statement, LendUp shared research that indicated that among "small dollar credit" consumers, "store location convenience" was a major factor.
LendUp_homepage_new
Echoing this fact was MoneyGram's executive vice president of U.S. and Canada, Pete Ohser, who highlighted both innovation and convenience in celebrating the new relationship with LendUp.

And "new relationship" sounds like the proper way to think of LendUp and Moneygram going forward. Rather than a one-off deal, LendUp sees its relationship with MoneyGram growing to include additional products and services enabling access to credit via LendUp. Payment services are also under consideration going forward.

Founded in 2011, LendUp is based in San Francisco, California. The company demoed its RESTful API platform at FinovateSpring 2014 in San Jose, having won Best of Show honors the previous year at FinovateSpring 2013 in San Francisco. LendUp also made headlines in May with news that the company had raised a $50 million credit facility thanks to Victory Park Capital.

Alumni News-- August 11, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgMisys announces acquisition of Custom Credit Systems.
  • Wipit brings omni-payment functionality to its prepaid cash mobile wallet.
  • LendUp partners with MoneyGram to enable real-time offline loan repay.
  • Barclays Pingit adds eGift options through Blackhawk Network partnership.
  • WSJ reports how Wealthfront, Betterment, Future Advisor, Personal Capital, and Motif are changing the investment landscape.
  • Wired UK Magazine lists BehavioSec as one of Euorpe's hottest startups. See BehavioSec at FinDEVr this September 30 through October 1.
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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Wipit's mobile wallet just got even handier.

The company unveiled this week omni-channel payment technology that will enable Wipit mobile wallet customers to use their prepaid cash mobile wallets to make payments at the retail point-of-sale, as well as online.

Wipit CEO Richard Kang said, "Omni-payments is a natural extension of our mobile wallet and will allow merchants to provide more options and better payment experiences to their customers."
Wipit_homepage
The new features expand the range of payment choices for consumers using Wipit's network, which includes a branded GPR (general purpose reload able) card and in-app services. Brick and mortar retailers benefit from the wallet's POS payment feature. Online merchants can take payments from consumers who may be unable to make digital payments through other means (for example, credit cards). There is also the advantage of merchants of avoiding interchange fees when transacting via Wipit.

The technology is designed to be easy to implement. Merchants have the option to deploy point-of-sale payment features via closed-loop payment cards, in-app barcodes, or NFC.

Wipit was founded in 2010, and is headquartered in Pasadena, California. The company demoed its Boost Mobile Wallet at FinovateSpring 2014. See Wipit's live demo here.

Alumni News-- August 8, 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.jpgTransferWise earns a spot on Wired UK's list of the "100 hottest start-ups" in Europe for 2014.
  • TMC Net takes a look at CU of America's deployment of mobile banking solutions from Malauzai Software. See Malauzai at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.
  • First Access Funding Corporation to deploy loan origination system (LOS) from defi SOLUTIONS.
  • MasterCard Indonesia launches e-commerce initiative.
  • Intuit acquires PaySuite, bringing cloud-based payroll services to Quickbooks.
  • American Banker: Authentify introduces extension of xFA called Smart Choice to determine authentication mechanisms the user's device has access to.
  • Cachet Financial Solutions and Contact Solutions bring Mobile Customer Care to Prepaid Clients.
  • CNBC looks at how LearnVest, Tuition.io, and ReadyForZero are making student loan payback easier.
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-- August 7, 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.jpgTSYS to license payment transaction processing platform to Metrobank Card Corporation in the Philippines.
  • Payoneer partners with Gosocet to bring cross-border e-invoicing capabilities to Latin American businesses.
  • American Banker interviews Green Dot CEO, Steve Streit, on the relationship between fraud and reload cards.
  • PYMNTS column on what to expect in the 2nd half of 2014 features thoughts from Justin Benson, CEO of Spreedly, and Teri Llach, CMO of Blackhawk Network.
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-- August 6, 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.jpgYahoo! Germany looks at financial innovation in Kreditech.
  • Prosper earns a spot on the 2014 AlwaysOn Global 250 Top Private Companies roster.
  • Feedzai launches anti-fraud, transaction scoring apps for Shopify and Big Commerce.
  • Forbes.com features Betterment, FutureAdvisor, Kapitall, LearnVest, Motif Investing, Personal Capital, SigFig, and Wealthfront in a discussion on Millennial generation investment habits.
  • Richard Hagen, CEO of TradeKing Advisors, named to WealthManagement.com's "Ten to Watch in 2015".
  • Insuritas announces partnership with Financial Partners CU to open and manage its turnkey insurance solution.
  • Bank Innovation highlights alums SigFig and Ripple in a discussion on "8 under the radar fintech startups you should know."
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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San Mateo-based anti-fraud specialist Feedzai announced this morning that they were unveiling apps for two major commerce platforms: Shopify and Big Commerce.

Nuno Sebastiao, CEO of Feedzai, said:

"Fraud is crossing channels where data breached from stores is then used to exploit commerce channels and vice versa. We see that 68 percent of cross-channel fraud starts online before migrating in-store. So we want to give all ecommerce retailers access to the tools necessary to help them protect their business."
Feedzai_homepage
The new apps leverage Big Data and machine learning to provide fraud protection and transaction scoring for online retailers in real-time. Suspicious transactions are flagged, and merchants can use the app's analytics to see reasons for the flat or to let the transaction proceed.

Retailers also have the ability to control which transactions are available for scrutiny, and the apps also come with a list of anti-fraud criteria ("human-friendly reasons to block or allow a transaction") geared toward helping merchants decide which level of security is appropriate for their market and customers.

Features of the new apps include:
  • Behavioral analysis
  • IP geo-location
  • Device ID recognition
  • Disposable emails
Feedzai_homepage_API
The new apps will also have a simple user interface that evaluates each order, street-level maps to help locate IP addresses, and transaction summary reports available via email. Developers and those interested in taking a look under the hood can visit Feedzai's Developer portal here.

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in San Mateo, California, Feedzai has raised more than $4 million in funding and includes both SAP Ventures and Data Collective among its investors. Feedzai operates in Europe, North and South America, Europe, and Africa. The company demoed its Fraud Prevention technology as part of FinovateEurope 2014 in London. See the company on stage here.

Alumni News-- August 5, 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.jpgMasterCard's Ajay Banga sees MasterPass in 14 markets by year's end.
  • Fox Business interviews BillGuard founder and CEO Yaron Samid live from Tel Aviv.
  • BBVA Compass and Zenmonics to design and test a tablet-based sales app. See Zenmonics at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.
  • Thailand's Kasikornbank selects core banking technology from FIS.
  • Los Angeles Times Business section features Oink.
  • Financial Samurai reviews FutureAdvisor, comparing the company to Wealthfront and Betterment.
  • MarketInvoice partners with Xero to speed financing for small businesses.
  • Blackhawk Network to bring eGift options to Barclays' Pingit mobile banking platform.
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 the news media focused on the potential impact of an Apple entering the mobile payments space, it's worth remembering that there are already sizable technology companies with mobile payments innovations already in the field.

MasterCard, which announced earnings this week, may be an obvious example. But for anyone who needed reminding, the fact that MasterPass, the company's mobile payment platform, earned such high marks from CEO Ajay Banga, should help.

Here are a few choice notes and quotes from the earnings call that highlight MasterCard's success and strategies for MasterPass.

AjayBanga_headshot
First, MasterPass was launched in three new markets in the second quarter of 2014: Singapore, Poland, and South Africa. That puts the total number of markets at 10, with another four planned by the end of the year.

In the company's earnings call, Ajay highlighted the technology as playing an important role in the overall consumer experience. "MasterPass is more than a wallet," he said. Instead, think of the solution as:

"A platform which provides a safe and secure foundation to support multi-channel shopping ... and create innovative tools ... to enhance the consumer buying experience before, during, and after the actual purchase."
MasterPass_homepage
Making MasterPass a technology that plays well with others is a major goal. MasterCard launched its in-app payment feature in the previous quarter. It can now count Starbucks in Australia and Major League Baseball among the major marketing entities that have committed to deploy MasterPass in their own branded apps.

Going forward, the goal is to have MasterPass up and running in markets that represent 75% of the company's total credit card volume over the next two years. MasterCard already sees itself as significantly ahead of the game compared to its rivals ("We're in 10 countries, already," repeated Ajay during the conference call's Q&A. "That's way more than anybody else is in.")
MasterPass_homepage2
The clue to how MasterCard might succeed where others have failed may be found in a profile of the company's CEO recently published in Fortune.com. Quoted in the feature by Daniel Roberts, former MasterCard emerging payments specialist Ed Olebe pointed to the company's "basic capability in the physical world and some capability in the digital world" as a major advantage as a player in the digital payments world.

"The players who can handle the digital challenges and the security challenges, and keep a presence in the physical world, will win," Ed said. "And that's MasterCard."

MasterCard, via its MasterCard Developer Zone, is a Platinum Sponsor of FinDEVr, the first event for fintech developers. To find out more about the inaugural FinDEVr conference in San Francisco, October 1 and 2, visit our FinDEVr page here.

Alumni News-- August 4, 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.jpgOink adds payment solutions provider Merchant e-Solutions to its Channel Partner program.
  • American Banker takes a look at Credit Karma's plan to provide free, weekly credit reports to its 25+ million members.
  • Allied Payment Network announces 99.2% read success rate when processing payments via PicturePay.
  • Intuit to acquire tax filing software startup, KDK Software.
  • MorningStar's Christine Benz interviews MaxMyInterest founder, Gary Zimmerman. See MaxMyInterest at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.
  • EZBOB reports boost in client volume.
  • Wall Street & Technology talks gamification and compliance training with True Office.
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-- August 1, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgStartup Daily: Startups leverage Xero's API as part of their growth hacking strategy. Check out Xero's API up close at FinDEVr in San Francisco September 30 - October 1.
  • Expensify grows from 24 employees in January to 45 employees in July.
  • Cachet Financial Solutions receives allowance for patent that covers aspects of its RDC platform to deposit bank checks using their Apple desktop, laptop or mobile device.
  • PlayMoolah's WhyMoolah launches Act 2 to enable gamers who completed Act 1 to play out their lives from age 35 to 55.
  • ZipZap raises $1.1 million in new funding.
  • Your Mark on the World interviews AdaPia d'Errico, Chief Marketing Officer for Patch of Land. See Patch of Land demo at FinovateFall 2014 in New York.
  • defi Solutions CEO Stephanie Alsbrooks talks loan origination in Non-Prime Times.
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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In a round led by AngelList Syndicate and 500 Startups, and featuring participation from Blumberg Capital, ZipZap has raised $1.1 million in new capital.

ZipZap now has $2.7 million in total funding. In a statement, the company says the funds will "further its vision to be the primary payment network for digital currencies."

ZipZap_homepage
This helps explain, among other things, ZipZap's recent talent acquisition: Jim Griffin. Formerly of UBS Investment Bank, where he was Executive Director, Jim is newly the Senior Vice President of Currency and Foreign Exchange for ZipZap. 

ZipZap founder and CEO Alan Safahi pointed to Jim's expertise in these areas as key to helping ZipZap "not only manage our risks but also develop solid relationships with banks and currency traders." Before working at UBS, Jim was Senior Vice President of Foreign Exchange at Wells Fargo.

ZipZap is a global network that makes it easy for people to buy digital currencies with cash ACH, or wire transfer. The service is active in the U.S. , the U.K. and 15 other countries throughout Europe and Latin America. Bitcoin is currently offered, with LiteCoin and Dogecoin available "in the near future."

ZipZap had paused its cash-to-Bitcoin service in the U.K. in March, due to concerns over the government's attitude toward the digital currency. That service has been restored as of June. As reported in CoinDesk, ZipZap has "more than 20,000 partner retail locations in the U.K."

Founded in 2010 and based in San Francisco, ZipZap demoed its CashCade and CashPayment solutions at FinovateSpring 2012. See the company in action here.

Alumni News-- July 31, 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.jpgA discussion of "next gen PFM" at The Financial Brand features insights from Melanie Flanigan of Yodlee.
  • Xendpay announces mobile wallet service in Indonesia.
  • Wallaby for Samsung Gear 2 brings personal finance to the smart watch.
  • Grass Roots America deploys InComm's Physical Fulfillment Solution to streamline physical and digital prepaid card delivery.
  • Payments provider MangoPay and Currency Cloud partner to offer better rates for international payments.
  • Herald Media explores how MoneyDesktop is contributing to the Utah business boom.
  • Infocomm Development Authority evaluating Tagit for accreditation to help it build capabilities and allow it to compete with big companies in bidding for government projects.
  • QuantConnect overhauls core backtesting technology to increase speed by 10x.
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 news of its Samsung Gear 2 deployment, has Wallaby become the Fitbit of personal finance?

This connection between physical health and financial health may not be as far-fetched as it seems. In my conversation with Wallaby CEO Matthew Goldman last week, he pointed to the way that wearable technology had dovetailed with, if not helped enabled, a growing interest in personal health. 

gear2-merchant-supermarkets
It is true that, in many ways, financial health has been left behind in this "quantified self" movement. But as more people begin to see their financial health (for example, reducing debt) as integral to their physical health (for example, reducing stress), there is a great opportunity for companies to tailor solutions to these newly (financially) conscious consumers.

In part, this is the wager Wallaby Financial has made when it comes to the still-nascent wearable technology market. With Samsung Gear 2, Wallaby is making its third foray into this industry, having deployed versions of its free PFM app and credit card aggregation cloud wallet in both Pebble (a wristband device) and Google Glass.

What does Wallaby for Samsung Gear 2 do? Samsung Gear 2 is a 4GB, Bluetooth-enabled, 512MB RAM smartwatch with a 1.6-inch screen. The smart watch features a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, music player, and heart rate monitor and, like most wearables, requires an accompanying smart device (a Samsung device in this case) in order to work.

Available in Wild Orange, Gold Brown, and Charcoal Black, Samsung Gear 2 retails for $299.99.
Wallaby_homepage_new
Wallaby for Samsung Gear 2 will enable users to optimize credit card rewards, review their card balances, and check other personal finance information on the fly and in real-time. Matthew highlights the notion of "personal finance information" as opposed to "personal finance management" to underscore the challenges of bringing the Wallaby solution to the smart watch.

gear2-balance
"What is used the most? What is the critical thing you need to know?" were the questions that have guided Matthew and his team's efforts to bring a robust PFM app to wearables with divergent form factors (wristwatch versus glass, for example). This is why he refers to the wearable app as delivering "personal financial information" such as checking balances and credit  availability, as well as optimizing rewards and offers, rather than remaking the entire PFM experience - functionality and all - on a screen that is little more than 1.5 inches.

But interestingly, this choice is nothing new for Wallaby, which decided early on that rather than be a Mint clone, there was room for a personal finance solution that focused on those personal finance issues that are most immediate and most critical for the average consumer. "If you're shopping at a store," Matthew said. "You don't need access to six-months of budget data. You need to know if you've got the available credit to make the purchase."

Making the purchasing experience that much easier has always been a part of Wallaby's project. Asserting both that "people hate to budget" and that "people hate to pay," Matthew explained how Wallaby's solution responded to both pain points. "Budgeting is like dieting" he said. "Maybe you can't stop a person from making a purchase. But you can drive consumers toward better financial choices, such as taking greater advantage of credit card rewards and offers."

Gear-2-angle-merchant-supermarket
And the move toward wearables could help deal with the aversion to the payment process. "U.S. culture doesn't talk about payment details. People want to conduct the commerce, but not the payment," Matthew said. But he then pointed to innovations like the Apple Store. "They are bringing the payment experience out from behind the counter," he said, and merging payment more seamlessly into the shopping/commerce experience. 

To the extent that a wearable device like the Samsung Gear 2 could become a major component of payment authentication, the Wallaby app is in just the right place - even if it has arrived a bit early for the masses. "Wearables are going to be the thing," Matthew said confidently, pointing to Google's recent decision to open up Google Glass to developers and the likelihood of Apple launching a wearable device (an iWatch, potentially) sooner than later. 

Matthew conceded that the technology is "still extremely niche," which makes it challenging to understand the potential market. 

Going forward, Wallaby is looking to leverage the enormous amount of consumer data the company is analyzing. The goal is to help consumers make ever more exacting financial choices when it comes to pay. "The trick," Matthew said, "is to enable that experience in everything: mobile, card, wearable, and online."

Wallaby Metrics
See Wallaby's FinovateSpring 2013 demo video here. Developers and others looking to partner with Wallaby can learn more about the company's APIs and Partner Plus program here.

Alumni News-- July 30, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgThreatMetrix granted patent for its ability to differentiate between trusted customers and cybercriminals 
  • Australia-based Vermilian acquired by banking technology firm Ultradata.
  • Boku brings its direct carrier billing-based mobile payments technology to India.
  • Mangopay teams up with Currency Cloud to provide international money transfer services to its customers.
  • Shivalik Mercantile Cooperative Bank to deploy "bank in a box" from FIS.
  • Blackhawk Network teams with Amazon to enable customers to manage and spend their gift cards in the new Amazon Wallet app.
  • Financial Guard to provide clients with both passive and active investing options.
  • Insuritas wins 2014 NAFCU Services Corporation (NSC) Innovation Award that highlights groundbreaking solutions for credit unions.
  • TechCrunch: Credit Karma offering free, weekly credit reports - no strings attached.
  • Franklin University chooses ACI Worldwide for online payment processing.
  • Wikipedia Foundation partners with Coinbase to allow bitcoin donations.
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.
paypalLogo

Mobile payments-loving Dutch citizens have something to celebrate today. PayPal announced last week that it is now accepted at 1500 brick and mortar stores in the Netherlands.

Patrons of those stores will be able to pay with PayPal at parking meters, cafes, restaurants, and more.

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Thanks to a partnership with Rabobank-owned MyOrder, PayPal users have a more convenient way to pay. Using PayPal's mobile app linked to a payment account, users can:

    • Pay for a parking meter without searching for the pay station
    • Order drinks ahead of time at a coffee shop
    • Pay for a meal without waiting for the server to bring the check

For PayPal, this expansion into mobile payments is no surprise. Last year, the dollar value of transactions made from a smartphone or tablet was $27 billion, which is an increase of 99% from one year prior.

Check out a live demo of MyOrder's technology from FinovateEurope 2014. PayPal last demonstrated at FinovateEurope 2012 where it showcased Instant Account Creation.

Alumni News-- July 29, 2014

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  • Concur partners with Uber to allow Concur users to link their accounts and automatically send Uber receipts to their expense reports.
  • The Financial Brand looks at opportunity for banks and credit unions in the Loop Visa partnership. 
  • Open Bank Project making its API available during hackathon in September.
  • TechCrunch explores Pellucid Analytics' take on PowerPoint pitch books.
  • Seed Me! Thinknum raises $1 million in seed funding round.
  • Feature on robo-advisors highlights seven alums: Betterment, Financial Guard, FutureAdvisor, Jemstep, Personal Capital, SigFig, and Wealthfront.
  • Macwelt reviews banking app Numbrs.
  • Bank Systems & Technology points to Moven as a nontraditional financial service provider "gunning" for banks.
  • Xero partners with MarketInvoice to bring faster funding to UK businesses.
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.
thinknum_logo_FF14

Thinknum, a web-based platform that makes it easy for junior bankers to read and analyze corporate financial data, announced today that it had raised $1 million in seed funding. The investment was led by Pejman Mar Ventures, and included participation from 500 Startups, 645 Angels, Green Visor Capital, HKB Capital, and Signature Capital.

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Quoted in The New York Times Dealbook, Thinknum co-founder Gregory Ugwi talked about his technology as "building a platform using the web to become one living, intelligent platform." Indeed, one of the virtues of Thinknum's solution is the technology's ability to pull data directly from the Internet, saving analysts a significant amount of data collection and entry time. In fact, Dealbook's coverage of the announcement included a report on the "grueling" working conditions of the average junior banker to help make the point.

Thinknum says that the funding will go toward hiring additional software engineering talent. 
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Thinknum was referred to as the GitHub for finance in a TechCrunch profile this spring. The company seeks to crowdsource financial analysis, making it possible for financial professionals to benefit from their combined efforts in much the same way that programmers are able to do with code. The technology is optimized for collaboration, enabling efficient change-tracking and audit trails.

Founded in 2013, and based in New York, Thinknum will make its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2014 in September. To join us and see Thinknum in action, click here. Early-bird savings are still available.

Alumni News-- July 28, 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.jpgPayPal announces partnership with MyOrder to enable PayPal payments at 1,500 locations in the Netherlands.
  • SecureKey launches new single-stack API integrations for card-present, card-not-present, and ACH transactions.
  • Concur adds gamification features to TripLink, the company's spend management solution.
  • Expensify changes report submission and approval process for those using Expensify outside of an expense policy.
  • Concur partners with Airbnb to make it easier for business travelers to file expenses when booking on Airbnb.
  • RazorSocial takes a look at simplifying Google Analytics using Quill Engage from Narrative Science.
  • Financial Guard featured in Investment News' review of "robo-advisors" and online investment managers.
  • Huffington Post: Pellucid Analytics turns data into content to make lives easier for investment bankers.
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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