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Thanks to Personal Capital, when it comes to finance and investing, you can take it with you.

Personal Capital announced yesterday that its finance management app is now available on Android's smart watch, Android Wear.

Personal Capital Chief Product Officer Jim Del Favero called wearable devices "the next evolution of mobile."  When users have Personal Capital on their Android Wear device, they can access a full suite of PFM functionality with them wherever they go.

The free app is available for download in the Google Play Store. Features include:

    • YouIndex: end of the day notification feature that compares your portfolio (your "YouIndex") to the S&P 500 and other stock market indices
    • Advice and Alerts: personalized notifications for goal-tracking
    • Actionable Information: an omni-channel experience that allows users to access the app on more than one device
Personal_Capital_homepage
Part of a growing ecosystem of alternative investment management services, Personal Capital differs from so-called "robo-advisors" by not just relying on algorithms to make investment decisions. Technology plays a role, of course. Personal Capital CEO Bill Harris said in a June interview with CNBC that automated tools helped "discipline" the investment process, and refers to his company as "technology-assisted." But in combining technology with what he calls "sophisticated and customized management" Personal Capital brings a wealth management model that has worked for high net worth individuals to a broader, "mass affluent" market.

Personal Capital is headquartered in Redwood City, California, and was founded in 2009. The company last demoed at the FinovateSpring conference in San Jose earlier this year. See a video of the company on stage here.

Alumni News-- July 11, 2014

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  • Taulia launches Early Payment Quick Start Initiative to facilitate early payment financing for small businesses.
  • SecureKey teams up with Oberthur Technologies to offer new, device-based online authentication solutions.
  • Guest column by Monitise in Forbes says Turkey is fertile ground for technology innovation.
  • Germany-based ayondo opens office in Singapore.
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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Guess who quietly just went public?

Cachet Financial Solutions announced the pricing of its initial public offering this week. The remote deposit capture (RDC) and mobile wallet solution provider will trade on the OTCBB under the ticker, CHTF CAFN (see update below). Four and a half million shares priced initially at $1.50 have been made available to the public.

Update: Cachet Financial Solutions changes their ticker symbol to CAFN.

Late in trading on Thursday, shares were up more than 1%.
Cachet_financial_homepage
The goal of the offering is to raise as much as $7.7 million (if an over-allotment option is fully exercised; closer to $6.7 million). Northland Capital Markets is the book-running manager for the IPO, with The Benchmark Company and MLV & Co. serving as co-managers.

Cachet's SEC filings provide some insights into the company's finances - at least as of this spring. Cachet Financial Solutions' revenues of more than $476,000 for the three months ending March 31, 2014 were up more than 145% from the same period a year ago. A comparison of Cachet's net losses between the two periods reflects similar improvement, with the company trimming its losses by more than 53%. As of March 31, Cachet had more than $91,000 in cash and cash equivalents.

Known for its RDC and mobile money management solutions, Cachet Financial Solutions is a cloud-based, software-as-a-service innovator. With recent deployments at Navy Federal Credit Union, FirstView LLC, and The Bancorp Bank in just the past month, Cachet Financial is taking advantage of the growing interest among banks and FIs to provide better experiences for their customs via technology.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cachet Financial Solutions demoed its technology at FinovateFall 2012 in New York. See a video of the company on stage here.

Alumni News-- July 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.jpgOptimal Payments announces partnership with Oink.
  • Braintree releases v.zero SDK, featuring support for Pay with PayPal.
  • Bank Innovation highlights leaders at Ripple, LoopPay, Finect, and Fiserv in its list of 30 key innovators in fintech.
  • Segmint named a Preferred Vendor of MAGNET Global Network.
  • Holvi preps to launch into Irish marketplace.
  • doxo named one of Washington State's 100 Best Companies to Work For 2014 by Seattle Business magazine.
  • Think Advisor features the different approaches of 3 robo-advisors: Betterment, Personal Capital, and Wealthfront.
  • Cachet Financial Solutions prices Initial Public Offering.
  • DoubleBeam's GoPago POS system is enabling Slyde, a mobile commerce beacon-enabled shopping app.
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.pngWith summer well underway, it means that fall is just around to corner. And that we're hard at work putting together FinovateFall 2014 which will take place on September 23 & 24 in New York City. 

Last year, FinovateFall welcomed a sold-out crowd of more than 1,100 executives. This fall, based on record-setting interest (and a slightly bigger auditorium at our new venue) we are projecting the largest FinovateFall to date (and another sell out crowd) with over 1,200 fintech innovators in attendance.

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!

If you're interested in attending FinovateFall to watch the future of fintech unfold live on stage, tickets are now on sale at the very early-bird price but only through this Friday. Please get yours today to lock in the savings and your seat before we sell out!

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

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

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Late last month, mobile payments platform company LoopPay released its ChargeCase, a battery case for iPhone 5 and 5s.

Now, two weeks later, the Massachusetts-based company has announced it received an undisclosed amount of funding from Synchrony Financial. This adds to the $10 million in Series A funding LoopPay raised last November from Beta Fund.

Under this strategic investment, LoopPay will provide Synchrony Financial with special features and benefits to provide greater convenience and utility to its cardholders and retail partners.

LoopPayIMG

LoopPay uses Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) to enable a contactless payment experience in which customers use LoopPay's ChargeCase and Fob Button Pay devices to pay at a merchant's existing credit card swipe reader.

To see LoopPay demonstrate its MST technology live, check out its FinovateSpring 2014 demo.

Alumni News-- July 9, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgBank Systems & Technology: Consumers CU Expands National Footprint with Andera's Online Account Opening Solution.
  • Lendio launches free version of prospect mgmt software, Pipeline, for the business loan process.
  • Encap Security joins the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance to change the nature of online authentication by reducing reliance on passwords.
  • LendAcademy takes a look at $146 million in new loan originations in June for Prosper.
  • And speaking of Prosper, Altifi.con's This Week in Crowdfunding features Prosper CEO Ron Suber.
  • Rebranded version of Ripple Client, Ripple Trade emerges from two-month soft launch.
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-- July 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.jpgTop Image Systems signs agreement to acquire cloud-based banking solutions provider, EGistics.
  • Prestadero raises more than $670K in series B funding round.
  • ACI Worldwide to bring electronic billpay to Southern Auto Finance Company (SAFCo).
  • P2Binvestor crowdlends $2 million line of credit to fellow Finovate alum.
  • Mike Branton of StrategyCorps discusses the "three big threes of checking" in CB Insight.
  • Lending Club facilitates $1 billion of loans in Q2 2014, which brings it to a total of $5 billion since its inception.
  • ReadyForZero announces two new resource centers: Get Out of Debt and Auto Loan Resources.
  • First American Credit Union hires Insuritas to launch insurance agency to build non-cyclical fee income.
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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A week after we published our quarterly alumni funding roundup for Q2 2014, it looks like Q3 is already off to a nice start on the funding front.

At the beginning of the month we shared news of Moven's $8 million funding. And the strides Yodlee is making toward an IPO sooner than later made headlines soon after.

And now today we can add Prestadero to the list of Finovate alums that find themselves in a money-raising mood. The peer-to-peer lender finished its second round of funding by raising $677,000 (8.8 million Mexican pesos).

The investment more than doubles the company's previous total of $400,000 - raised almost a year ago to the week - taking Prestadero's total capital to more than $1.7 million (more than 13.8 million Mexican pesos).
Prestadero_homepage
Specific investors in this round were not disclosed, but the company referred to the contributors in a statement as "international leaders in the financial services sector in Mexico and abroad."

Prestadero will use the additional capital to add new functionality to its platform, and to accelerate growth.

Stats:
  • Founded in 2011
  • Headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Provides unsecured personal loans ranging from 10,000 to 250,000 Mexican pesos
  • Offers approved borrowers rates ranging from 8.9% to 28.9% annually
  • Offered lenders net annualized returns of 15%
Gerardo Obregón is CEO.

Prestadero demoed its technology at FinovateSpring 2013 in San Francisco. See a video of the company on stage here.

Alumni News-- July 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.jpgAmerican Banker features Tradeshift in a column on startups innovating in the small business bill pay space.
  • Credit Union Broadcast interviews Greg Ewald, VP of Marketing for Loop.
  • Zighra partners with Toyuma to launch a Kickstarter project to launch PassZweipe, a password manager app.
  • Billhighway to provide automated donation processing for The Michigan Humane Society.
  • Open Bank Project organizing Hack/Make The Bank hackathon in Berlin. Check out more builder tools at FinDEVr this Fall.
  • Bill.com, ZenPayroll, and Expensify earn spots Sqrl blog's list of 39 apps you didn't know could grow your business.
  • Narrative Science's Kris Hammond is featured in Business Insider's Technology section.
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-- July 3, 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.jpgMisys launches new, modular core banking solution, FusionBanking Essence.
  • MicroStrategy, TIBCO listed among 16 most significant business intelligence software vendors in new Forrester report.
  • The New York Times Business Day interviews Adam Nash, CEO of Weathfront.
  • Wired Money startup pitch competition features Finvoate alums CurrencyTransfer and eToro.
  • Facebook chooses Braintree as sole payments provider for its FbStart program.
  • Tradeshift makes CPO Rising's 2014 Hot Tech Prospect list.
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 in time for the second half of 2014, Emida's Android POS app is ready for launch.

Traci Jones, VP of Global Product Development said, "We know through our 20 years of experience that we excel in prepaid technology simply because we understand the needs of our partners, worldwide."

The new Android app is optimized for both Android smartphones and tablets, and provides much of the same functionality as Emida's POS terminals. The app is available to all of Emida's U.S. partners.
Emida_homepage_new
Emida maintains an international network that allows carriers, service providers, merchants, retailers and others to offer prepaid products to their customers via standard POS terminals. These prepaid products and services range from wireless and long distance, to bill pay and lottery, to stored value card and international top-up.

Take a look at a handful of Emida metrics:
  • Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California
  • Operates in 37 countries worldwide
  • Supports network with more than 54,000 retail points
  • Network annual dollar payment volume of more than $1.5 billion
  • Network processes more than 240 million annual payment transactions
David Kirtman is CEO.

Emida demoed its technology as part of the FinovateFall 2012 conference in New York. See the company in action here.
Thumbnail image for YodleeLogo2012.jpgEarlier this year, we were thrilled to announce the first company to go public as a Finovate alum, Q2.

This week we learn that another alum, Yodlee, is taking the IPO plunge, as well.

With a goal of raising $75 million, Yodlee has filed its S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, indicating its intention to become a public entity.
Yodlee_homepage_new
According to The Silicon Valley Business Journal, Yodlee plans to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker symbol, YDLE.

Yodlee is one of the engines powering a variety of digital and mobile technologies in the fintech space, from digital wallets to PFM solutions. The company's account aggregation abilities and vast collection of transactional data from consumers and businesses are widely sought after by startups and established companies alike.

A few metrics about Yodlee shared in the S-1:
  • More than 750 organizations in more than 10 countries use Yodlee's platform
  • More than half of the 15 largest banks in the United States are Yodlee customers
  • More than 100 million end users reached by Yodlee technology via the company's network of partners
  • More than 15 million paid users as of the March 31, 2014
  • Revenues in 2013 grew 21% to more than $70 million
  • Revenues during the first three months of 2014 grew 34% to more than $19 million
  • Net loss of $1.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2013
  • EBITDA of $4.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2013
  • EBITDA of $885,000 for the three months ending March 31, 2014
Yodlee is a three time Best of Show winner, having taken home trophies after demos at Finovate 2009, FinovateFall 2013, and FinovateAsia 2013. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Redwood City, California, Yodlee recently announced partnerships with Startupbootcamp, 25fifteen, and Entrepreneurial Spark. Anil Arora is Yodlee's president and CEO.

Alumni News-- July 2, 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.jpgSafetyPay announces partnership with Alpha Payments Cloud.
  • Reuters Insider interviews Igor Gonta, CEO of Market Prophit.
  • Q2 partners with Easy Solutions to bring multi-factor authentication to FIs.
  • Yodlee files for initial public offering; seeks to raise $75 million.
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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Courtesy of a new partnership between Q2 and Easy Solutions, more than 340 financial institutions will now have access to a suite of omni-channel fraud prevention solutions.

Integrating Easy Solutions' Total Fraud Protection Platform will give banks and credit unions are Q2's virtual banking technology additional protection against attacks including phishing, farming, malware, Man-in-the-Middle and Main-in-the-Browser.

Jay McLaughlin, chief security officer and senior VP of Q2 said, "Security and fraud protection are crucial pieces of what customers depend on us to provide." Added VP of Worldwide Sales at Easy Solutions, Alberto Arango, "Q2 is an innovator and has seen impressive growth in acceptance of its platforms, delivering virtual banking to more than 3.5 million retail an commercial users."
Q2_homepage_new
Q2 is an innovator in the field of cloud-based virtual banking. The technology company specializes in providing solutions for community banks, regional banks, and credit unions. the company was most recently in the press announcing a handful of deployments at financial institutions like First Financial Bank and Urban Partnership Bank.

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, the company launched an initial public offering in March, and trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker, QTWO. Matthew Flake is CEO.

A few metrics on Q2:
  • Revenue growth of 51% in 2013
  • Market capitalization of more than $495 million
  • Trailing 12-month revenue (as of March 31, 2014) of more than $60 million
Q2 demoed its Risk & Fraud Analytics solution at FinovateSpring 2011 in San Francisco. See the company's demo here.
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Growing the business and expanding offshore are now possible thanks to the $8 million (£4.7 million) in funding just raised by Moven.

Leading the series A round was SBT Venture Capital. Among those also participating were: 

  • Anthemis Group
  • New York Angels
  • Route 66 Ventures
  • Standard Bank
Additional unnamed angel investors were also involved in the round. This latest investment takes Moven's total capital to more than $12 million.

Moven founder and CEO Brett King broke the news at the Wired Money conference on Tuesday. And as reported in Wired UK, Moven will also be announcing two major partnerships, one in Canada and one in New Zealand, that Brett believes will help take the company closer to its 10 million app download goal.
Moven_homepage_July14
Moven helps consumers better control their spending and manage their finances without traditional budgeting. What is compelling is the way Moven tracks not just whether spending is above or below trend, but also where the extra spending is coming from. This gives users a great deal of insight, as well as a lot of control over spending and saving. Moven's technology includes a mobile app, a debit card, and a contactless sticker.

Moven emerged from beta this spring after receiving more than 100,000 invite requests from eager, would-be early adopters. Shortly afterward, the company announced that it had partnered with fellow Finovate alum, MoneyDesktop, to make it easier for Moven users to aggregate their outside accounts. 

Moven was founded in March 2011, and is headquartered in New York City.

Winner of a Best of Show award for their demo at FinovateEurope 2013, Moven was last on the Finovate stage for FinovateSpring 2013 in San Francisco. See a demo of the company in action here.

Alumni News-- July 1, 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.jpgPuget Sound Business Journal profiles Doxo co-founder and CEO, Steve Shivers.
  • Techcrunch column on the "un-banking of America" highlights a dozen Finovate alums.
  • Mentors International deploying Mambu's cloud banking platform.
  • Finovate alums raise more than $600 million for second quarter in a row.
  • People's Trust Federal Credit Union teams up with Insuritas to provide insurance solutions for its 26,000 members.
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 the first quarter of 2014, 23 Finovate alums raised more than $592 million

And as the second quarter draws to a close, it's clear that a comparable cohort of alums have kept the pace.

Over the course April, May, and June, 28 alums raised significant amounts of capital ranging from Gremln's $100,000 to the $65 million raised by Lending Club. The quarterly total of $594 million is almost exactly the same as the previous quarter.

And given that some amounts are undisclosed (I'm talking about you, Holvi, RevolutionCredit, and Tuition.io), we're confident that Finovate alums have notched their second $600 million fund-raising quarter in a row.

How does this compare with the less recent past? Very well, indeed. 

In the second quarter of 2013, 15 alums raised more than $200 million. This was a major improvement on the second quarter from 2012, which featured 14 companies raising more than $120 million. 

Total raised for Q2 2014 = $594 million

April -- $217 million raised by 11 companies
May --  $226 million raised by 11 companies
June -- $151 million raised by six companies

Note: Funding prior to becoming a Finovate alum not included. Questions? Comments? Email us at David@Finovate.com or Julie@Finovate.com

Alumni News-- June 30, 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.jpgBBVA announces partnership with Visa to bring host card emulation (HCE) functionality for contactless payments for its Wallet app.
  • Teachers Federal Credit Union ($4.9 billion in assets) to deploy Fiserv DNA platform.
  • Monitise on the Move: Helping Banks Enable Commerce.
  • Lending Club moves closer toward an initial public offering.
  • ID.me's partnership with Overstock.com to add first responders.
  • Millionaire Corner features Nutmeg and FutureAdvisor as examples of "productive and easy" online investing.
  • Free Enterprise interviews Betterment CEO Jon Stein.
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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How does a technology company like Monitise help banks and financial institutions provide more value for their customers?

I spoke with Marc Winitz, SVP for marketing at Monitise, during a break at the Digital Banking Summit in Los Angeles earlier this month. And the answers he provided told me a great deal about where banks - and banking technology - are likely headed in the years to come.

Marc_Winitz_MonitiseSVP
Much of the current focus, he said, is on payments. The problem is that the payments business is pretty well-established. What banks and FIs should consider instead is how to add value at the "discovery" part of the transaction rather than at the "settlement" part of the transaction. In other words, being a significant factor at the beginning of the process rather than at the end.

The Peri mobile shopping app that Monitise developed and is being piloted by U.S. Bancorp is an excellent example of bringing banking and e-commerce closer together. Peri works by accessing the digital signatures embedded inside a growing amount of media - from television advertisements to print copy. With the Peri app, consumers can essentially recreate the online shopping experience while watching a TV commercial or reading an ad in a magazine. 

Peri_Monitise_app
When the app reads the digital signature of the item of interest, the item appears in the app. The actual purchase is quick and efficient since the consumer's purchasing information (name, address, credit card number, etc.) is already on file at the bank.

The technology is likely to be white-labeled and made available to companies and brands. Importantly, however, it is an example of the kind of technology that helps put banks at the forefront of an area - ecommerce - that has more or less left traditional banking behind.

What's interesting about this approach is how it serves both the retailer's interest in minimizing the "discovery" period (i.e., less "shopping" and more "buying"), as well as the bank or financial institution's interest in being a bigger part of the e-commerce experience.

And as far as Marc is concerned, banking apps like these are an important way to go. "They feature a front-screen engagement opportunity," he explained. "They yield personal insights (into consumer behavior), and have a funding source/transaction/wallet component."

Monitse Metrics
  • Founded in 2003
  • Provides services to more than 350 financial institutions and brands worldwide
  • Has 28 million users and strategic partnerships
  • Processes 3.4 billion mobile transactions a year valued at $71 billion
  • Operates in the UK, the United States, India, Hong Kong, and Indonesia
  • Trades on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: MONI)
  • Led by co-CEOs Alastair Lukies (Monitise plc) and Elizabeth Buse (Monitise Group)
But there is a big question as to whether banks are situated in the right position to do what needs to be done to reinvigorate the industry. On the one hand, banks continue to earn a great deal of trust from their customers. This gives banks both the credibility and the "room to fail" that is critical when embarking upon new initiatives and ventures.
Monitise_homepage_mobileapp
On the other hand, the challenge is that banks are no longer simply measured by their own performance vis-a-vis other banks. It's not just the rise of non-bank actors, significant as that is. The move toward an omni-channel experience provides a whole new way for consumer experience to be judged (and for those judgements to be shared via social media). So now a consumer's "banking experience" ends up being compared to a consumer's "Amazon shopping experience" or a consumer's "Apple Store shopping experience." And if that doesn't seem like a tall order for the average bank, then you are fortunate to be a customer of a far more, forward-looking bank than the rest of us.

According to Marc, banks need to first re-imagine how they do business, then see what technology is necessary in order to provide that business via a compelling user interface and experience. And the fact of the matter is that for many banks, choosing a technology partner is the most efficient way to make that happen. 

Marc pointed out that mobile banking started with many banks, probably too many, thinking they could do it all by themselves. "Banks should do what they do best," he said. "Don't try and pick a gift card company. Let us do it." 

Monitise Milestones (2014)
  • Acquired Markco Media for up to £55 million ($93.5 million)
  • Launched mobile app design arm, Monitise Create, in North America
  • Added former Visa executive Elizabeth Buse as co-CEO
  • Announced mobile banking platform deployment by Desert Schools FCU
  • Offered mobile alerting software as standalone product
  • Acquired Pozitron in all-share deal worth $100 million
Who gets it? The largest banks, the top 20 Marc said, are making the right moves. "They've got all the money in the world to spend." It's the next tier of banks and FIs that have the greater challenge. This includes institutions like Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in Arizona ($3 billion in assets; 320,000 members), that recently adopted Monitise's Vantage 5.1 platform this spring

The ability to conduct modular upgrades on the platform, Marc said, prevents a strain on budgets and IT resources. And this is a good thing not just for the bottom line of these mid-tier banks, but for the teamwork necessary to make mobile transitions work. "The whole team must be involved when it comes to something like mobile," Marc said.

Alumni News-- June 27, 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.jpgMatchi announces signing sponsorship agreement with Standard Bank Group.
  • Intuit's PayByCoin integrates Quickbooks Online with Coinbase to allow merchants to accept bitcoin.
  • RevolutionCredit is among six startups presenting at the 2014 FinTech Innovation Lab in New York.
  • Trustly partners with PayPal to facilitate direct payments for online bank customers in Sweden and Denmark.
  • Acculynk joins with Navicure to offer payment platform for healthcare providers.
  • 500 Startups teams up with SeedInvest to raise money for $100 million Fund III.
  • A review of digital ID technology by the Economist includes a nod toward miiCard.
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-- June 26, 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.jpgNutmeg raises $32 million from new investors.
  • Bank of Southside Virginia (BSV) to provide Banno mobile app courtesy of Jack Henry & Associates.
  • Chicago Tribune's Blue Sky Innovation takes a look at the Technori Pitch event that featured Rippleshot.
  • DNAinfo Chicago looks at how Bolstr can now hit up investors for larger loans.
  • Monitise acquires Markco Media for up to £55M ($93.5 mil).
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.
vaamoLogo2.jpg

We caught up with vaamo today, which just launched its platform on an invite-only basis. Today, 150 users are given access to invest real money into the funds on vaamo's platform in order to achieve their goals.

Vaamo is rolling out the invitations in batches over the next three months or so to accommodate the 2,000 users who have requested full access to its goal-savings platform.

We profiled vaamo earlier this year in our FinovateEurope Behind the Scenes post series (check it out here); as a refresher, here's how its web app works:

1) Users set up any number of goals on the vaamo platform. These are generally larger life-goals such as higher education, purchasing a house, or saving for a wedding. In the screenshot below, the user has set up and is tracking three separate goals.

VaamoHomeScreen
2) Using an investment approach it developed in collaboration with the Goethe-University in Frankfurt, vaamo invests the user's savings into a set of funds. The startup has partnered with Dimensional Fund Advisors to provide a group of well-diversified funds through which users can invest to reach their goals. Dimensional Fund Advisors has offices all over the world, and is headquartered in Austin.
DimensionalHP
3) If one of the funds changes course, vaamo prompts the user to change their goals using the slider tools on its platform. For example, if a fund lost a significant amount of value, vaamo would prompt the user either to extend the time period of their goal or change the amount desired to reach their goal.
VaamoPlan

Users in Germany can now sign up for a demo account, and will be invited to use vaamo with real money in the near future. In other geographical locations, users can sign up for a demo account, but cannot invest funds in the platform.

To learn more about vaamo, check out its launch at FinovateEurope 2014.

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When it comes to raising capital, there are no friends like new friends.

Online discretionary money manager Nutmeg announced that it had raised $32 million in funding from a group of new shareholders. The capital takes Nutmeg's total funding to $50 million.

Nutmeg_homepage
Participating in the funding round were Charles Dunstone (founder of Carphone Warehouse); international asset-management company Schroders; and Balderton Capital, a venture capital firm. Nutmeg plans to use the additional capital to develop new products and improve services.

Nick Hungerford, co-founder and CEO, pointed to its low-cost, security, transparency, and convenience as complements to what he called Nutmeg's "brilliant portfolio management." Nutmeg's technology helps users reach their goals through more efficient savings and investment. By factoring in risk, contribution levels, time-to-target, and other conditions, Nutmeg provides a realistic, objective source of sound money-management.

Users of the platform pay a management fee between 0.3% and 1% of total invested. According to Nutmeg, this can be a significant savings compared to the average management fee for private clients of 1.36%. The minimum investment size is £1,000, and accounts with less than £5,000 are asked to provide a minimum £50/month contribution.

Nutmeg's investment strategy is based on diversification of risk and opportunity and relies on exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to make targeted, low-cost investments. The company provides personalized portfolio management and periodic review, as well, including regular rebalancing.

Nutmeg has more than 35,000 users. The company picked up an award at the 2014 European Fintech 50 in January, and its CEO was named to FN's 40 fintech leaders list earlier this month.

Winner of a Best of Show Award at FinovateEurope 2012, Nutmeg, founded in 2011, is based in London.

Alumni News-- June 25, 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.jpgKreditech raises $40 million in series B round.
  • Charge! LoopPay launches its iPhone ChargeCases.
  • Fiserv announces new partnerships and renewals with four credit unions.
  • Navy FCU chooses Select Mobile Money prepaid mobile app from Cachet Financial Solutions.
  • P2Binvestor adds three Colorado companies to its portfolio in June.
  • Ian McKenna examines how Yseop's artificial intelligence can help financial advisors.
  • Vaamo launches Goal-Based Savings Platform on Invite-Only Basis.
  • Oink (formerly VirtualPiggy) and SafetyPay partner to enable Oink to accept local payments as they expand into Europe and Latin American markets.
  • ReadyForZero launches API to enable partners to deploy its debt-management platform on their own sites.
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.
Kreditech_hi_res_FS2014

In a round led by Värde Partners and featuring participation from existing investors Blumberg Capital and Point Nine Capital, Kreditech has raised $40 million in new funding.

This latest capital infusion brings Kreditech's total to more than $63 million. This includes $15 million in debt financing from Kreos Capital the company secured in the fall of 2013 and at the beginning of 2014.

As reported in TechCrunch, Kreditech will be looking to put the money to use expanding into new markets and further developing its product line.
Kreditech_homepage
Kreditech specializes in developing and marketing advanced underwriting tools that leverage big data - and 10,000 data points per application - to determine creditworthiness "within minutes." The technology means that potential borrowers can apply for loans online or on mobile without having to visit a bank branch. Consumers whose loans are approved can have funds in their accounts in ten minutes.

Here are a handful of interesting metrics from Kreditech:
  • Revenue run rate of more than $15 million
  • Issued loans run rate of more than $55 million
  • Average loan loss in established, profitable core markets of less than 10%
Kreditech was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. Founder Sebastian Diemer is CEO. The company demoed its technology in San Jose as part of the FinovateSpring 2014 conference. See Kreditech in action here.
Loop Logo

Trying to solve the puzzle of point-of-sale mobile payments? Don't worry, Loop is on the case.

Mobile wallet innovator, Loop announced today that its LoopPay ChargeCase, the company's battery case for the iPhone 5 and 5s, is now available.

As part of a limited time promotion, customers who buy the $99 ChargeCase will get the Loop fob for free. The fob, which retails for $39, is useful for loading cards onto the Loop app. The fob can also be used as a standalone payment device, especially at hospitality locations like restaurants and bars.
Looppay_chargecase_homepage
What's unique about Loop's technology is the way the company uses short-term, short-range magnetic fields to communicate mag stripe data from the app to the POS terminal. And while the fob and ChargeCase represent the two main hardware approaches to storing the small wire that makes this magnetic field technology possible, the company is in talks with OEMs and hopes one day to have the hardware installed in phones during the manufacturing process.

Read more about Loop in our "Behind the Scenes" feature from the company's Finovate debut this spring.

In the meanwhile, the LoopPay ChargeCase will put iPhone users that much closer to the sort of mobile wallet nirvana the industry has been promising for years. Like the fob, the charge case can work on its own, whether or not the Loop app - or the phone for that matter - is turned on. Unlike the fob, the ChargeCase of course serves another purpose, providing the iPhone with an additional 60% charge when needed.

Loop was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts. Will Graylin is CEO. The company demoed its Loop app at FinovateSpring 2014 in San Jose. See a video of the company's technology at work here.

Alumni News-- June 24, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgAmerican Banker looks at Wipit's partnership with prepaid mobile wallet, Boost Mobile.
  • Iceland's Acquiring Bank, Borgun, launches mPOS solution powered by Handpoint.
  • San Francisco Business Times: Taulia taps Fortune 500 to finance small businesses.
  • Seasons FCU (18k members; $140 million assets) to deploy Verde International's Corona, Aurora solutions for loan decisioning.
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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PFM innovator Geezeo announced today that it will partner with Payveris to provide a new suite of financial tools geared toward helping people better manage their finances.

The leaders of both companies were understandably complimentary of what each brings to the equation. Here's Geezeo CEO Shawn Ward:

"The ability to pay bills or make payments from their online or mobile devices is a natural complement to Geezeo's market-leading PFM, and unique web-based, data-driven marketing platform."

And Fran Duggan, President of Payveris, was no less complimentary, saying:

"Geezeo is a thought leading company that understands the importance of giving their users a holistic view of financial assets, liabilities, cash flow, goals and budgets."
Geezeo_homepage_1
Makes you wonder what took so long for these two to get together!

Seriously, the idea of PFM solution developers allying with mobile payments specialists is a welcome one for those looking for further innovation in both spaces. As consumers begin to adopt new technologies, they seem to be as eager to see "what's next" as they are in ensuring that the solution they do have is as capable of solving their problems as possible. And there may be no clearer example of this in fintech than the union of PFM and billpay.

Geezeo was last in the headlines this spring, announcing its HTML5-inspired redesign of its mobile app. The Boston-based company was born in 2006 and demoed its Enterprise Marketing Platform at FinovateFall 2010. See a demo of the company's technology here.
Verde_International_hi_res_FS2014

Seasons Federal Credit Union announced late last week that it would adopt loan decisioning technology from Verde Advisor.

Howard Brady, Chief Lending Officer for Seasons FCU highlighted the way the technology would help the credit union improve its lending strategy by being able to provide credit to a greater percentage of its membership.

"Specifically, Verde's model enables us to responsibly serve the entire credit spectrum while increasing our net credit margin," he said.

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The announcement means that Seasons FCU will run Verde's Aurora and Corona solutions in tandem. Aurora is Verde's automated, decisioning optimization engine. Corona is the company's loan origination technology. Verde Advisor demoed Aurora at the company's Finovate debut earlier this year at FinovateSpring in San Jose.

Patrick Reily, Verde Advisor co-founder and CEO, said, "As one of the first credit unions to deploy Verde Aurora, we look forward to helping them better serve their members through more effective pricing and instant, optimized underwriting."
Seasons_FCU_homepage
Based in Middletown, Connecticut, Seasons FCU has more than 18,000 members and more than $140 million in assets. Seasons FCU offers a number of services (namely, Kasasa) courtesy of another Finovate alum, BancVue

Verde Advisor was founded in 2006, and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Read our Behind the Scenes conversation with the company here.

Alumni News-- June 23, 2014

  • CEOs and founders from eToro, BehavioSec, TransferWise, The Currency Cloud, and Nutmeg earn spots on FN's 40 fintech leaders list.
  • Bill Harris, Personal Capital CEO, featured on CNBC to Personal Capital and how it differs from robo-advisors.
  • Investment News looks at the humans behind FutureAdvisor's robo-advisors.
  • Betterment adds municipal bonds asset class to make client's non-IRA portfolios more efficient.
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-- June 20, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgBillGuard expands internationally, now available in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
  • Simple speeds up money transfers: 1 business day for xfers from Simple and 3 business days for xfers into Simple.
  • Credit Sesame attracts 1 million + users to enroll in its free ID theft protection service.
  • American Banker talks about Check in its feature on the role of mobile bill pay in helping banks retain customers.
  • Fiserv announces that its CUnify account processing platform will be deployed by United Credit Union.
  • The National Bank (TNB) in Palestine signs deal with Temenos to replace current platform with T24.
  • Check announces billpay partnership with Direct Energy.
  • Gremln raises $100,000 as participant in SixThirty Accelerator Program.
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.

And so, because all good things must come to an end, we've reached the final installment of our Behind the Scenes series. It has been a pleasure highlighting the companies that became new Finovate alums after being accepted to demo at FinovateSpring 2014.

We've taken a good look at 23 Finovate newcomers in the week since our spring conference in San Jose. If you're looking to get caught up, here's a list that will connect you with all the previous installments in the series.

So now that you're ready to go, come with us and meet two more newcomers to the Finovate family: mobile shopping innovator, Digital Retail Apps, and alternative credit decisioning specialist, Verde International.




What they do
From the perspective of Digital Retail Apps, it doesn't matter how efficient your payment device is if you are still waiting in line with everybody else.

Instead, Digital Retail Apps has launched Self-Pay. Self-Pay is a technology that allows consumers to pay for items in store with their mobile devices, and have those purchases confirmed by mobile device-equipped sales personnel rather than waiting in line.

The goal, in the words of company founder and CEO Wendy MacKinnon Keith, is to have consumers spending more time shopping and buying, and less time standing and waiting.
Digital_Retail_Apps_Self-Pay_homepage
Digital Retail Apps launched Self-Pay last December at a beauty salon in Edmonton, Canada. During an anniversary event in the store the following spring, Self-Pay represented 8% of in-store transactions, with 78% of the Self-Pay shoppers opening accounts that day. From the company's perspective, this is evidence that consumers will readily download and use a mobile app alternative to waiting in line.

The stats
  • Founded in March 2012
  • Launched SelfPay in May 2014
  • Has $500,000 in self-funded capital
  • Less than 10 employees
The experience
"We've finally integrated shopping and paying in one seamless flow," says Wendy during a conversation at FinovateSpring 2014. And seamless is an apt description for the Self-Pay experience. Shoppers in a store where Self-Pay is available simply scan the QR codes of the items they want to purchase with the camera on their mobile device. The Self-Pay mobile app keeps the product data in a cart, just as shopper would encounter while doing online e-commerce.
Self-Pay_0
When the shopper is ready to check out, rather than head over to the register and hope the line isn't too long, all she needs to do is bring her mobile device to a salesperson who is also carrying a Self-Pay enabled mobile device. The salesperson can then confirm the sale, and the shopper is quickly on her way. 

What's interesting - and what was in evidence at the Lux Beauty Salon Self-Pay launch noted above - is that the time spent not waiting in line is often instead spent doing more shopping. Wendy found that the receipts for Self-Pay transactions were 17% higher than non Self-Pay transactions during Lux's anniversary day event, and doubts that is a coincidence. "Lines change behavior," she says.
Self-Pay_3
Self-Pay leverages Beacon technology in a number of ways, from welcoming shoppers when they enter stores where Self-Pay is available, to reminders to "come back soon" the next time the shopper is in the area. It is easy to imagine this technology being leveraged further, with highly-targeted offers, for example.
Self-Pay_2
Over the balance of the year, Digital Retail Apps hopes to pilot with much larger retailers. Self-Pay is fully-integrated with Beanstream, LightSpeed, Shopify, and Vend POS software, helping pave the way for wide adoption. A pilot with a major retailer by 2015 is among the company's goals.

In the meanwhile, Digital Retail Apps remains focused on solving the needs of end users, reducing friction as much as possible. Technology should help consumers focus on what Wendy calls "the delight of the shopping experience" as opposed to the payment experience, where she sees most of the innovation focusing. "We are not payers, we are shoppers," she says.




What they do
Are borrowers more than just credit risks to be managed? Or are borrowers fully financial and economic entities that are often more than the sum of their credit scores?

It may sound crazy in this post-financial crisis era, but Verde International is making a strong case for the latter.

In the words of Verde International' s Chief Operating Officer Jason Daniels, Verde International's goal is to help financial institutions capture the $140 billion in net income of dollars "left on the table" due to the inability of FI's to properly serve retail and business customers deemed poor credit risks. Unveiling their loan decisioning technology, Aurora, at FinovateSpring, the company is showing how big data and big analytics can help lenders catch many potential borrowers who are otherwise falling through the cracks.
Verde_International_homepage
My conversation with Verde International CEO Pat Reily was a fascinating excursion into the world of lending at the margin. "As we move beyond the very best credit customers," he explained. "Denial rates go up in part because models are poor."

"Looking at out of the mainstream customers with mainstream tools," he said, is a sure path to what he calls "alienated customers." It also offers us a new way of looking at a lending market, the subprime market, in a way that is also very much out of fashion in recent years.

"Subprime isn't bad," Pat said. "There may not be enough information or a life event. These factors go unseen."

The stats
  • Founded in June 2006
  • Product launched in April 2014
  • Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia
The experience
Verde Aurora looks to both improve loan terms and to help FIs meet the unmet demand Jason and Pat spoke of. The technology starts by predicting payment behavior and uses these predictions as a basis to set up pro forms for each set of loan terms.

Each possible loan term option is given optimal terms that satisfy both the customer and investor return expectations. Verde International calls this part of the process "getting to the best guess" and explains how it differs from the "fast" but "crude" traditional approach that focuses almost exclusively on "rates on scorecards."

Instead, Verde International relies on advanced, market-specific modeling, as well as customer experience, to predict not only repayment behavior (including default risk), but repayment timing and magnitude, also. This nuanced attention to behavior helps the company understand the complex relationship between behavior and pricing. "This is a simultaneous problem requiring a simultaneous, convergent solution," said Jason.
Verde-Finovate-1
Aurora lets clients test their financial assumptions around their policy thresholds. Everything from fees and costs, collateral and cost of capital can be seen alongside real world loan application scenarios. These initial loan terms are compared with optimized terms calculated by Verde Aurora to provide clients with a base from which to make further adjustments.

In the examples provided, the adjustment for the given loan included a term adjustment that extended the life of the loan. The idea in this instance was that a loan with a potential charge-off later in its life was more valuable than a loan that had the potential for an earlier charge-off date.
Verde-Finovate-2

The goal is to create a win-win for all stakeholders involved: competitive pricing for borrowers, a fair return for shareholder risk, and terms that meet the letter and spirit of fair lending. Above is a screenshot showing a comparison of cash flows for the optimized solution versus collateral value in the sample loan.

And below is a screenshot of Verde Aurora's loan origination system (although the platform plays well with most common loan origination systems). Aurora provides a final evaluation of the loan terms as requested, an evaluation that even includes a counteroffer in the event that it can improve on the terms initially offered.
Verde-Finovate-3
Looking forward, Pat seems a number of opportunities for Verde International and Aurora, real estate and the mortgage area is one, particularly as it relates to the economics of the secondary market. He said the company is also looking into the possibility of integrating a mobile web app for loan origination with top fraud and ID verification resources. "If you're going to lend well in a non-traditional environment, you need to meet (people) where they are," Pat said, adding that features as straightforward as push alerts and similar reminders could also become a part of the platform by early 2015. The goal, he said, "is to increase the quality of the engagement."

But in many ways it is the underlying insight that not only guides the technology, but the mission of the company as well. "If you take away nothing else," said Jason from the Finovate stage, " it's that underwriting loans is not just a credit risk decision."

In conversation late on Wednesday as the conference attendees were making their way downstairs for the Best of Show announcements, Pat echoes those sentiments: "I'm passionate about giving people a rung on the ladder.  For example, the nature of the job matters. Consider a farm worker. What kind of cash flow can we expect from this borrower? Making the payment easy to digest is critical."
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Did you think Check (FinovateSpring 2010) might miss a step in the days and weeks following its acquisition by Intuit?

Think again.

Check announced this morning that it has signed a new partnership with Direct Energy. This means the customers of Direct Energy, one of the largest retail producers of electricity and natural gas in North America, will have the ability to pay their utility bill via their smartphone and Check's mobile app.
Check_homepage_new
Check COO, Steve Schultz, said in a statement:
 
"(Direct Energy) understands how important the mobile experience is to customers' satisfaction today. Partnering with Check complements Direct Energy's great efforts to successfully attract and retain customers."

Direct Energy serves six million customers in the U.S. and Canada. The  company operates in 46 states and in 10 Canadian provinces.

Check's technology makes it easy for consumers to track and pay bills by consolidating and automating the bill pay process. Consumers can rely on Check to let them know what bills are coming due when, and then pay them automatically via the mobile app.

Partnerships with utility companies like Direct Energy are a major component of Check's overall strategy for growth. Local, state, and regional partnerships with Alltel Wireless, New Jersey Natural Gas, and Arlington Water have helped Check grow the number of consumers who consistently take advantage of the technology. Payments costs are lower, and the amount of time spent tracking and paying bills is greatly reduced.

Founded in 2008 and rebranded as Check early in the summer of 2013, the company was acquired by Intuit in May, a transaction that closed on Monday. More than 10 million consumers use the Check app to pay bill using their mobile device.
GremlnLogo.jpg

Social media management innovator Gremln picked up a $100,000 seed investment this spring as a participant in the SixThirty accelerator program.

Combined with the $523,500 raised last October (according to Crunchbase), Gremln's total funding now stands at $1.4 million.

The investment comes with 16 weeks of mentoring in St. Louis, where the program is headquartered. As one of four startups in the current cohort, Gremln will also be introduced to some of the many major financial services organizations that are based in the area.
Gremln_homepage_new
Also participating in the current class are Form Zapper, PromisePay, and WealthAccess.

Gremln helps financial institutions manage their social media presence While many banks are reluctant to participate in social media because of compliance and regulatory issues. Gremln's platform makes the process both easier and safer. 

The company's latest innovation, demoed at FinovateSpring 2013, provides features such as keyword and key phrase filtering, custom permission settings and approval process, all within an attractive and engaging user interface.

Gremln was founded in May 2011 and is headquartered in St. Louis. Ryan Bell is CEO.

Alumni News-- June 19, 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.jpgIxaris announces payments "app store" for banks to allow product development and customization before making new technologies available to customers.
  • Dwolla Direct will allow users to send money without requiring fully registered Dwolla accounts.
  • Archer Daniels Midland Company to use Tradeshift's global e-invoicing platform.
  • Taulia's new eInvoicing Rescue Service offers free consultation for businesses whose eInvoicing and ePayment platforms are delivering unsatisfactory returns.
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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