United Kingdom-based miiCard, a startup that helps you prove your identity online, announced a second round of seed funding for $2.5 million USD today. Investments came from a mix of groups including New Wave Ventures, IQ Capital and Par Equity.
The startup plans to use the funds to expand its digital passport technology. On its blog, miiCard mentions:
"The substantial investment supports miiCard's expansion into the US and will enable rapid growth of the business, across a range of markets including financial services, ecommerce, social networking and dating, where trust online is now critical."
One of the social networking platforms miiCard is working on is Twitter. It launched a Twitter validation function last week.
We recently caught up with Bill Dwight, founder and CEO of FamZoo. Founded in 2006, FamZoo's Virtual Family Bank helps parents teach their kids good personal finance.
FamZoo won Best of Show at FinovateFall in New York last year (check out the demo video), was deemed one of the coolest startups in America, and has been featured on Biz Kid$ public television series.
Finovate: You have 5 kids, how do you balance your family life with your startup life?
Dwight: Hmmm, I'd have to say that FamZoo start-up life and my family life are more "intertwined" than "balanced". I started FamZoo to fill a need my wife and I saw within our own family: the need for better tools to help parents teach their young kids about personal finance. My family experiences drove the initial design of FamZoo, and FamZoo's first users were my kids. So, I guess you could say my family is in FamZoo, and FamZoo is in my family. At FamZoo, we all work remotely out of our homes. So even though I'm working most of my waking hours, I feel very plugged in with the daily family routine. I'm always home when the (remaining 3) kids get home from school. If I don't have a scheduled meeting, I can pop over to see my two middle sons play a high school lacrosse game and make up the time later. That said, the kids are very mindful and respectful of my work boundaries. They know it takes a ton of effort and focus to build a business. When he was 7, my youngest made a cute little sign that I hang on my office door when I'm doing a demo or conducting a meeting. The great thing about FamZoo is that it's all about family. When I'm spending time with my family, I'm doing FamZoo "research". When I'm building stuff for FamZoo, I get valuable - if not brutally honest - feedback from my family. So, when it comes to FamZoo, I'm always working, and I'm always spending time with (at least someone's) family. Balanced? I'm not sure. Intertwined? Definitely.
Finovate: FamZoo recently landed a spot next to Kickstarter and Foursquare in Doreen Bloch's book, The "Coolest Startups in America". Can you give us some insight into what makes FamZoo so cool?
Dwight: I'd say it's the three "P"s: Personality, Purpose, and Platform. As for personality, our software communicates with a consistent, genuine, warm voice. We call it "the FamZoo voice", and the delightful cartoons by Pulitzer nominated cartoonist Henry Payne are a big part of it. To ensure that every detail - right down to the error message text - is consistent with our personality and mission, our software is lovingly hand-crafted right here at home. It's completely "in-sourced". FamZoo is a friend in your parenting journey, not some cold tool. It's conversational, understanding, and non-judgemental.
The second "cool-factor" is FamZoo's purpose. I can't tell you how awesome it feels to spend my entire working day honing the craft I love while pursuing a purpose I firmly believe in. Helping parents teach their kids practical life skills is an undeniably good mission. It's enormously gratifying when we receive unsolicited notes from parents telling us how FamZoo has positively transformed their relationship with their kids. Those make the last 6 years of patient effort worth every hour.
The third P in our coolness trifecta is "platform". I like to think of FamZoo as a "purpose platform" because that wonderful feeling of purpose we enjoy in building FamZoo transfers to every one of our parents and partners through our platform. Parents using FamZoo feel a strong sense of purpose and fulfillment by following through on their responsibility to mentor their kids effectively. Meanwhile, FamZoo partners get to share, amplify, and customize the FamZoo financial literacy purpose to fit their unique mission and brand. It's a wonderful cascading halo effect.
Finovate: What's the most surprising thing you've encountered since launching FamZoo?
Dwight: Winning Best of Show at FinovateFall 2011! Seriously. We really didn't realize how much our mission, our warm approach to software, my piggy T-Shirt, my orange shoes, and our cartoon stickers would resonate with the audience. It was a very pleasant surprise, and the show was a fabulous launchpad for our Partner Edition product.
Finovate: What sparked the idea for FamZoo?
Dwight: Collaborating with my wife to raise our 5 children sparked the idea behind FamZoo. We realized we had this awesome responsibility to imbue them with the fundamental life skills and values they were going to need to thrive in the real world. We knew it was a good idea to start early on these things, but when we looked around, there just weren't many simple, effective options out there to help parents teach young children basic life skills like personal finance.
There were some great concepts, but most approaches took too much time and effort for the typical "crazy-busy" parent to consistently implement or weren't engaging enough for the kids. That's when I started tinkering with a software-based solution on the weekends, and initial prototypes started taking shape way back in 2002. So FamZoo, which is short for "Our Family is a Zoo", is all about thoughtfully leveraging online and mobile technology to help superbusy parents prepare their kids for the "wild" - aka, the real world. We want to lower the bar for parents to be effective money mentors to their kids.
Finovate: What's the smartest move you've made since launching FamZoo?
Dwight: Our smartest move so far was developing our Partner Edition product so we could have much more efficient distribution to families through our partners. The next smartest move was launching it last year at FinovateFall 2011. That turned out to be the perfect audience, and winning the Best of Show accolade was a real credibility boost. Our subsequent successes proved that FamZoo is not a hobby or a sideline. Building a sustainable, growing business is crucial to fueling the mission and truly making a difference in youth financial education on a broad scale.
Finovate: What is your favorite feature of FamZoo?
Dwight: I have to pick just one? You mean aside from our "angry mom" cartoon who pops up to quiz you if you're really, really sure you want to delete something that might have serious repercussions? I know my 10 year old's favorite feature is simply the ability to check his balance on his own. It's a wonderful feeling of responsibility and independence for a kid.
As a sentimental dad, my personal favorite is the historical chart where I can drill down and see the cute things my daughter bought when she was a little girl, not to mention the mischief she got into as a teen. It's like an interactive walk down memory lane. As a fellow parent, my favorite is the flexible setup capability. That's because I've come to appreciate how every family is different. Heck, every child is different. It's so important to respect those differences and allow our families to match their setup to their specific values and financial situation.
Finovate: You won Best of Show at FinovateFall last year as a first-time presenter. What advice would you give a startup preparing for their first Finovate demo?
Dwight: First, I'd say practice, practice, practice - with a timer! It's cringe-inducing to get "gonged" and have your microphone cut mid-sentence for going over your limit. Don't be that kind of memorable. Second, let your personality show. Tell a story. Have some fun with it. If you're genuinely having fun up there, the audience will too, and they'll be way more receptive to your message. Third, keep it simple. Hammer home just one or two key messages; otherwise, you'll be lost in the din of 60+ back-to-back demos. Fourth, have lots of back-up plans. Stuff happens, and you need to be prepared to roll with it - even if it gets down to doing a clever monologue with hand-shadows for a demo.
Finovate: Can you give us a sneak peek of what's next for FamZoo?
Dwight: It's always a little frustrating to choose what we do next because we (and FamZoo
families) have so many cool ideas for continually enhancing FamZoo. We're also convinced
that it's a lot of the "little things" - the details - that make a big difference. So, we're continually polishing what we already have. That said, here's a peek at just a few of the "big" themes on our roadmap:
Integrate with a spectrum of payment methods: this will allow parents, at their discretion, to gradually transfer purchasing power (with appropriate controls, of course) to their kids as they mature and prove they can handle the responsibility.
Model more financial concepts and instruments. FamZoo is all about taking real world adult financial concepts and turning them into a hands-on learning experiences that make sense for kids. This usually involves simplification, amplification, and acceleration. There are numerous concepts - many in the area of investing - that we plan to model more directly over time.
Extend our embedded targeted marketing platform. Our Partner Edition product allows partners to schedule and deliver targeted messages to segments of their families within the FamZoo experience. We'll be continuing to expand the targeting options we offer - reaching beyond demographic and into more behavioral opportunities.
Finovate: What do FamZoo's user numbers look like?
Dwight: Our numbers look "really good" (winking smiley here) - especially now that we're starting to roll out deployments with some large partners with big audiences. Our growth has truly been a hockey stick over the past three quarters, but I have to admit, it's still a stick for a pretty short player. Think Martin St. Louis of the NHL at 5'8" 177lbs. Don't underestimate us though. Like Martin, we're small, but we do great things, and you'll love having us on your team.
To learn more about FamZoo, watch its FinovateFall 2011 demo. Stay tuned for another CEO interview next month.
With less than two weeks to go, FinovateSpring has officially blown past last year's record attendance of 850 and is rapidly closing in the 1,000-person mark. That said, there are still some tickets available if you want to attend and watch the future of fintech unfold onstage via our signature demo-only format.
In case you're curious who's in this record-setting audience, here is a small sample of the attending organizations:
Alliant Credit Union
Bain Capital Ventures
Bank of America
Bank of the West
Bank Technology News
Charles Schwab & Co.
City National Bank
Fifth Third Bank
First Republic Bank
JP Morgan Chase
McKinsey & Company
Norwest Venture Partners
Silicon Valley Bank
The Bancorp Bank
The Motley Fool
If you would like to join executives from these organizations (and many others!) grab your ticket today before it is too late. And, if you have any questions about the event, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you in May!
Earlier this week, we attended the Future of Money conference in San Francisco. Over 20 Finovate Alumni companies were represented in the audience, and many of them presented or were included on panels.
During the conference, we gathered tidbits from some of the companies. Here are a few highlights:
As promised, this is part 3 of the sneak peek of the companies that will demo at FinovateSpring May 8 and 9 in San Francisco. Each company provided a short summary of the innovation they will debut on stage. In case you missed them, check out Sneak Peek Part 1 and Sneak Peek Part 2.
It's understood that the more customers interact with a rewards program, the more engaged and loyal they become. Redeeming points and receiving value makes them happy. Yet the hard costs and management of those rewards has become prohibitive for financial institutions.
Access Development will debut PowerDeals, a micro-redemption engine that offers customers valuable rewards for a minimal number of points, resulting in more transactions. PowerDeals will help increase customer loyalty while significantly decreasing program costs and accrual liability for the financial institution.
Applause Learning is changing the way children learn about money. Their unique new product, The Coindexter Club, presents financial literacy in an innovative, game-based format that keeps children entertained as they learn the core principles of financial management. The Coindexter Club immerses children in the exciting virtual world of Econopolis (found at Coindexter.com) where they are taught to earn, save, spend, and invest money.
BancBox is an infrastructure platform that helps companies build payment services into their web and mobile applications. Based on a simple API-driven approach that allows customers to maintain control of their user experience, BancBox delivers a secure, compliant and integrated way for clients to collect, store and send money from within their applications.
BancBox also offers a unique service that assists clients in addressing the regulatory complexities of moving money in compliance with state money transmitter laws. As a trusted expert with years of payment operations experience, BancBox has opened over one hundred thousand consumer accounts and processed billions of dollars in payments.
If you've invested in a better airplane; why haven't you invested in the pilot? Introducing CreditLab-- the flight simulator for the retail lending world.
Focused on credit risk management skills, this dynamic training system requires players to manage their lending portfolios through stormy conditions, such as heavy price competition and an economic recession. Pitted against competitive teams, players must make tough choices, learning to anticipate portfolio management adjustments so that they can stay the course.
Blaze Mobile develops innovative mobile commerce, healthcare, banking and advertising solutions that enable secure, convenient, cost-effective transactions and promotions from the mobile device. Utilizing its patented NFC and mobile technology, the Blaze Mobile product suite includes:
NFC-enabling Payment Stickers
Blaze Mobile Advertising Platform that delivers personalized ads and coupons based on customer shopping history, location, interests, gender, and other data
Innovation type: Mobile and tablet, payments, rewards
More than 15 million people in 100 countries trust Concur to manage their travel and expenses, and save them time. In 2011, Concur acquired TripIt, the leading mobile trip organizer that makes it easy for millions of people to organize and share their travel plans. Together, Concur and TripIt make it possible for companies to use trip data to simplify expense reports and save time. Come find out what that means for you.
Innovation type: Back office, mobile and tablet, online, small business
moneto is a prepaid mobile wallet powered by MasterCard PayPass technology and created by DeviceFidelity. Using DeviceFidelity's globally renowned In2Pay microSD solution, moneto's unique portability and consumer centric approach means greater adoption and rapid penetration.
moneto makes money management easy from start to finish. It's the simple, secure and elegant way to give users the most from their cash using just their mobile phone. Compatible with both iPhone and Android and accepted at hundreds of thousands of retailers nationwide, moneto is the ultimate virtual wallet.
According to a recent report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), cash flow was identified as the highest-priority finance issue affecting small-business owners. Experian's Business Information Services will demonstrate a new solution that helps small businesses solve this issue by enabling owners and principals to quickly and easily make better decisions across the entire Customer Life Cycle. It is these important decisions that help businesses meet their obligations and often can mean the difference between success or failure.
inStream Solutions grew out of a desire to help financial advisors provide better service to their clients. This is the first proactive financial planning software for financial advisors that integrates financial advice and coordinates financial services with a lead generation model.
inStream Solutions also leverages the knowledge generated by advisors into a best practices resource, provides real-time insight into how advisors use financial products to solve the issues of their affluent clients, and helps advisors understand what is going on within their practice.
Powering Innovation for Commerce -- The IP Commerce Platform and Commerce Playlists enable developers to create innovative applications and workflows that incorporate all channels of commerce.
IP Commerce offers the fastest, easiest way to enable commerce services for complex multi-channel applications. With IP Commerce, you can create rich interactions between all parties of a commerce ecosystem (Retailers, ISVs, Acquirers, Processors, Social Networks, Value-Added-Service Providers, etc.).
The world of commerce technology is growing as never before and IP Commerce is at the vanguard.
TIO Networks is a cloud based multi-channel bill payment processor serving the largest telecom, wireless, cable and utility bill issuers in North America. TIO enables these companies to provide bill payment services to the population of over 60 million underbanked consumers. With more than 55,000 physical location endpoints to its bill payment processing network, TIO symbolizes fast, convenient and secure access to expedited payment services.
Increase consumer engagement and drive loyalty with our WattzOn Personal Energy Management Platform. WattzOn provides your consumers with easy-to-use tools that help people use less energy, save money and be green. Personalized recommendations can be enhanced with complementary financial products such as credit cards, savings accounts, home and car loans.
Apples-to-apples comparisons of home energy use to similar homes
Personalized energy saving recommendations
Fuel-efficient car savings calculator
Automated monitoring with secure connections to 100+ energy utilities
Note: Funding that companies received before they demonstrated at Finovate was not counted. If you see any funding that is not on this list, please send the name of the company along with a link to the funding information to email@example.com and I will add it.
Powered payments card company, Dynamics, showed off its newest innovation at DEMO yesterday.
The Pennsylvania-based company released a technology called ePlate. Its a new payment card that allows consumers to choose between two different "experiences" using buttons on the front of the card that, when selected, rewrite the payments strip on the back of the card.
Users can customize which experiences correlate to the buttons on the card by using the Dynamics mobile app (pictured below) or an online interface.
There are currently 11 providers
Dark Horse Comics
Evil Genius Games
Avenue Social Games
Social Cubix Games
Jersey Jack Pinball
Toys for Tots
A sweepstakes application that allows users to compete for large prizes
A Dynamics Credits application that allows users to earn credits for the ePlate platform
A social network application that allows users to share their purchases with their social network friends
In order to encourage the addition of more experiences, Dynamics introduced an SDK with an API that includes 4 developer tools:
1.Developers are given purchase data when customers use the brand's experience application
2. Developers are given 25 basis points for every purchase made using their application
3.Developers can add a secondary transaction on top of any purchase. An example of this would be a charity that allows the customer to approve a $1 donation to their organization when they conduct a regular purchase.
4.Developers can give users a statement credit. An example of this would be a retailer that provides the consumer with a $10 statement credit when they spend $100 at the retail location.
In preparation for the launch, Dynamics redesigned its website and changed its domain name from poweredcards.com to Dynamicsinc.com.
As a part of this agreement, FirstData's online banking offering, FundsXpress fx eBanking, will feature MoneyDesktop's PFM:
"The PFM tool includes account aggregation from more than 10,000 financial institutions as well as budgeting and debt management tools to help financial institution customers manage all of their financial accounts in one place."
FirstData online banking customers will have access to the PFM beginning in the third quarter of 2012.
Here's part 2 of the sneak peek of the companies that will demoing at FinovateSpring May 8 and 9 in San Francisco. Each company provided a short summary of the innovation they will debut on stage. We published 23 last week and we will complete the preview next week.
iQuantifi takes you way beyond budgeting! It helps you reach all your financial goals and tells you exactly how you can do it. No estimates. No calculators. Just solid advice and the power to do it all online.
mainly due to the lack of access to competitive products and the absence of user-friendly financial education tools.
This problem is exacerbated in emerging markets, where financial markets tend to be less developed.
Kuspit offers retail investors an online platform to learn about investing, apply what they've learned, and invest in the same platform. All of this is available in an easy and progressive manner, while sharing ideas with the community.
The current infrastructure to deliver capital to Main Street businesses is broken. It's simply too expensive for banks to manually analyze and underwrite a small loan - whether it is $10,000 or $100,000. As a result, banks make fewer loans, and creditworthy small businesses are denied the capital they need to grow.
On Deck has created an efficient, effective and proven solution to this fundamental problem. By leveraging new digital sources of data, any institution can increase its small business lending through the On Deck platform, delivering funding decisions in minutes rather than weeks.
Innovation type: Lending, payments, small business
PaySimple is launching an innovative platform for banks to set up their own private-labeled version of cloud-based receivables automation. With this platform, banks of all sizes can easily bring to market a sticky value-added offering to attract and retain small business members, while adding a new revenue stream.
PaySimple will demonstrate how banks can set up custom-branded software in a few simple steps and how small businesses can immediately benefit from a system that combines payment acceptance across channels integrated with customer management.
Portfolio Football is a first-of-a-kind application that addresses the need for financial planning and literacy through gamification. Portfolio Football plays on the popularity of American Football and the adoption of fantasy sports into the lives millions. It makes financial management competitive, fun and easy to understand, while providing users with a powerful tool for personal finance and portfolio management. It's a true "game changer."
With 80% of Americans between the ages 20-40 now using social media and playing social games, how can financial institutions reach their customers in new ways?
Introducing SaveUp - an innovative program that uses game mechanics to reward good financial behavior. When users save money and reduce debt, they earn credits to play for prizes like cars, travel, and cash up to $2 million.
Financial institutions can use a customized SaveUp experience to help their customers make better financial decisions, increase engagement, and cross-sell products. Current FI partner campaigns have conversion rates of up to 44%.
Build a deeper relationship with your customers while helping them succeed.
SoMoLend makes investing in your online community simple, affordable, and social. SoMo is an online platform that uses patent-pending lending technology executed within a hyper-localized geographic scope to connect small business borrowers with individual and organizational investors.
SoMo's user-friendly technology allows business borrowers to raise capital from friends and family, customers and community supporters as well as from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn connections. Investors lend money directly to borrowers through the SoMo platform, which then packages the loans and sells them as notes, bypassing banks and credit-card issuers.
Innovation type: Investing, lending, small business
Thomson Reuters is pleased to introduce their new App Store solution that enables access to the latest innovative capabilities and tools for use across the digital enterprise. Thomson Reuters' solution makes it easy for financial institutions and third-party developers to create and integrate pioneering market monitoring and investing apps.
By seamlessly enabling the combination of Thomson Reuters content, firm's customer account data and firm's internal and other data sources, Thompson Reuters is helping institutions leverage the providers of financial content. This delivers a differentiated experience for their customers while lowering both development costs and time to market.
Approximately half of the world's population are cash-preferred consumers (unbanked, underbanked, teens or privacy-concerned) and have no bank account or limited access to traditional financial services. eCommerce merchants have not had a way, until now, to monetize this segment of consumers simply missing out on the substantial revenues they represent.
ZipZap will unveil the latest innovations in global cash transaction solutions for eCommerce merchants. CashCade ensures no more lost revenue from card-based transactions being declined, while CashPayment enables consumers worldwide to make payments for online purchases at offline locations using cash.
Des Moines-based Social Money, the creator of GoalSaver technology and owner of SmartyPig, announced a partnership with ICICI Bank in India yesterday.
The 2,700-branch bank will have access to Social Money's GoalSaver product (pictured right). While the bank has not yet disclosed how it will use the product, Bank Innovation shares an inside scoop:
"Broadly, GoalSaver hopes to enliven checking accounts with social networking features and a better user interface. The product boasts a goal feature, for example, which lets a customer share his goal savings progress with his networks on Facebook and Twitter, if he wishes."
ICICI Bank, located in 20 countries, plays a large role in Social Money's international strategy. It will launch the product later this year.
Now, the cash incentives are available for U.S. Bank cardholders to take advantage of the deals (from $2 to $50) provided by the merchant network.
Here's how it works:
"The FreeMonee Gifts are targeted to ensure they are relevant and valuable to customers. Cardholders redeem their gift by simply using their U.S. Bank Check Card when they shop at the specific retail store, website or restaurant named in their gift message. Once the purchase is completed, U.S. Bank automatically credits the cardholder's account with the specified gift amount."
U.S. Bank is the first financial institution to offer FreeMonee. As Clifford Cook, CMO for U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions states, "U.S. Bank is continually looking for ways to reward our loyal cardholders."
The bank has not yet made the technology available to its consumers and has not announced when it will do so.
Alternative payments company, Dwolla has been covered quite a bit in the news lately. Here's why:
First off, Silicon Prairie News reported that Dwolla rolled out a redesign of its user dashboard page on Sunday. There are no major changes, but the design is more user friendly and aesthetically pleasing.
Here are the major changes:
1) Account balances are located at the top of the user's dashboard page
2) Users send and request money using a text box below their photo
3) A text box in the middle of the page enables users to find contacts by entering their name, email address, or phone number
4) There's a new tab called Places (as seen below) that has a Foursquare application. There's no identified use for this yet, but the text on the dashboard states, "We are currently in the process of building an awesome platform to help you find new places to use Dwolla!"
5) During the registration process, users are immediately given 10 cents to send to five of their friends. Silicon Prairie explains how it works:
"Following a registration page, the first action a new user is encouraged to take is to send money, free money. 'Search for someone and we'll shoot them some cash on your behalf,' Dwolla's website says. Users have the ability to send 10 cents to an individual by entering an email address or phone number or connecting their Facebook account to send to a friend."
The Iowa-based startup is also in the news for the confirmation of rumors that Ashton Kutcher invested in Dwolla's recent Series B funding round. Kutcher, an Iowa native, broke the news on an episode of Prairie Cast yesterday.
The Des Moines Register also covered the announcement and included 16 photos of Milne with Kutcher. Here's Milne's reaction of the experience:
To learn more about Dwolla, watch its FinovateSpring 2011 demo and come to FinovateSpring May 8 and 9 to see Dwolla's new technology that Milne refers to as, ..."a 420-second demo of a first-of-its-kind technology." Get your ticket here.
The premier direct marketplace between consumers and creditors for the purpose of debt settlement, Balance Street, provides consumers the opportunity to relieve their debt burden without fees. Consumers use its web-based automated system to negotiate with creditors directly, avoiding debt settlement companies who charge exorbitant fees (up to 20% of total debt owed).
Eliminating this 20% market inefficiency makes for a better financial outcome for consumers and creditors. With over $780 billion in credit card debt in the U.S., the Balance Street technology will revolutionize the way debt is settled.
See how leading brands are harnessing the power of online word-of-mouth to boost customer referrals, sales, retention, advocacy, and company innovation while building the world's most powerful social data asset.
Innovation type: Communications, marketing, sales and customer service
No one wants a complicated process for logging in to online or mobile banking. European banks have been forced to go down this route with hardware tokens and smart cards.
So now when U.S. banks will be rolling out new multi-layered security on the front-end following FFIEC, will we see the same thing here?
With BehavioSec's solution there is a better choice. They add multilayered security through the use of behavioral biometrics. So when the user connects via mobile or online, the technology helps verify that they are who they say they are. Learn more at FinovateSpring 2012.
BillGuard identifies deceptive, erroneous and unauthorized charges on consumer payment cards using advanced crowdsourcing and big-data mining techniques that harness the collective knowledge of millions of consumers reporting billing complaints online and to their banks.
BillGuard's Advanced Card Protection Service for Banks is a seamlessly integrated, cloud-based solution that enables issuers to generate new value-add service revenue, and lower inquiry/dispute processing costs, by providing their customers daily bill monitoring and notification, enriched transition details and direct-to-merchant resolution.
CoverHound is changing the way people shop for insurance online. Launching at FinovateSpring, CoverHound's new rate comparison shopping service allows consumers for the first time to compare multiple, instant, accurate rates from top carriers. CoverHound will also be demonstrating an exciting array of products specifically designed to help banks and credit unions generate significant non-interest income while providing a valuable service to their members.
Never before has it been so easy for companies to provide business and retail customers with a way to validate creditworthiness through the use of online deposits. eDeposit provides patented funds visibility and real time settlement to markets across the U.S. in an innovative, new form of payment.
At FinovateSpring, eDeposit announces a new innovation that makes conducting B2B and B2C e-business faster, cheaper and safer.
Innovation type: Payments, security, small business
Expensify <3's Finovate -- they view it as the premier stage on which to make their biggest announcement of the year. Three years ago, it launched an open beta on the Finovate stage. Two years ago, it unveiled a major realtime analytics feature. One year ago it launched a revolutionary SmartScan service. But this year will trump all that. A whole new approach to business travel. Prepare yourself!
Innovation type: Back office, mobile, small business
Giftly is inventing the future of the gift card. Using its new iPhone app, users can send anyone a Giftly for any place they choose. The recipient redeems it on their smartphone when they go. It's fast, fun, and secure.
Giftly's app and web products have been designed to be social, simple, and powerful. Thanks to Facebook, Foursquare, and smart iOS integration, you'll always know which friends are celebrating birthdays, are checking in to cool new places, or are otherwise in need of a quick gift.
Is it possible to separate the fun of buying from the nuisance of paying? Klarna thinks so. The idea behind Klarna's e-commerce services is the concept of after-delivery payment, letting buyers receive ordered goods before any payment is due. Instead of giving financial information, buyers shop with Klarna just by giving their name and select information (Klarna calculates the risk).
Linkable Networks will be debuting a first-to-market capability that significantly broadens the value proposition of card-linked offers to issuing banks, merchants, manufacturers, and cardholding consumers. In addition, Linkable Networks will demonstrate new features recently added to its product platform and user interface.
Your customers go mobile with smartphones and tablets. When they cannot fulfill their needs in mobile self-service, do you jump in at the right time to help them complete their business? Do you want to maximize the opportunity for smart customer experience and increased business via smart mobile devices (while reducing costs)? NICE Mobile Reach can do that for you. Don't miss its demo at FinovateSpring.
Personal Capital is wealth management for the Internet Age. The company's online platform combines digital technology with highly personalized service to provide a holistic view of your unique financial picture. The free online dashboard presents all of your financial data in one place, including an assessment of your allocation, investment risk and fees.
These days, the financial lives of Americans are becoming more and more complex. At FinovateSpring, Personal Capital will unveil core new features that enable you to access your financial data in real time, on-the-go. You'll be able to view and do, anywhere, anytime.
Pindrop Security provides enterprise solutions that help prevent phone-based fraud. Pindrop's acoustical ﬁngerprinting technology detects fraudulent calls and authenticates legitimate callers, helping customers eliminate ﬁnancial losses and reduce operational costs. Pindrop's breakthrough technology is the ﬁrst of its kind to ﬁngerprint individual phone calls, providing veriﬁcation of caller provenance.
Recently named one of the 10 Most Innovative Companies at the 2012 RSA conference, Pindrop's solutions help companies feel more conﬁdent in the security of phone-based ﬁnancial transactions.
Easily administer and coordinate your annual budget with Budget Manager from ProfitStars. ProfitStars takes the headaches, and the spreadsheets, out of the budgeting process and optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of budgeting and planning.
The company will show you how this newly redesigned browser-based version enables users to construct and manage a more efficient budgeting process, including how to tackle more difficult items like salaries and fixed assets.
Discover a new Facebook app for banks that will not only make you relevant and engage Facebook users, but will also get your customers recommending and endorsing your card products. It drives great loyalty from existing customers and also helps to devise new customer acquisition --all through Facebook.
Serverside does this by letting people design their own credit or debit card using a picture from their Facebook gallery, then post it to their Facebook wall. Their friends then click on the card image to design their own card and help your bank to go viral!
Social Money can provide any bank in the world its own branded version of our revolutionary and award-winning SmartyPig technology. A new bank can be up and running on our system within 90 days in any language and currency, for a fraction of the cost of internal development efforts.
Financial institutions have no idea who these people really are.
This is possible because FIs and so-called identity protection companies can only verify identity. Verification is not enough. Full identification is needed to fight fraud and provide FIs the means to meet compliance requirements. Only Financial ICONN from TASCET can identify financial customers.
Once Molly activates her ICONN, TASCET proactively secures her identity and FIs know exactly who she is.
Taulia takes the waste out of the supply chains of Fortune 500 Enterprises while simultaneously solving the cash-flow needs of their suppliers. The large enterprise buyers get discounts by paying their invoices early. In return, their suppliers get paid when they want. In Taulia's young life, it has already enabled small suppliers from 40+ countries around the world to receive hundreds of millions of dollars of early payments.
Innovation type: Lending, payments, small business
The Under-18 audience has an estimated $50 billion in spending power. Learn how to successfully monetize the kids/teen market in this powerful demo by Virtual Piggy, an exciting new company that provides innovative technological solutions to help bridge the gap between children, parents and online retailers.
Wall Street Survivor is the only place for the beginner to learn about investing. Guided missions, beginner-focused learning content, combined with the web's best stock simulator help users effectively manage their financial future.
Mobile commerce is estimated to be a $31 billion industry by 2015, but how will the underbanked participate? Wipit has unlocked mobile payments for this massive and largely untapped consumer demographic representing 25% of all U.S. households and over 70 million U.S. prepaid wireless subscribers. Underbanked consumers can now make in-app and online payments with a single click. No need for bank accounts or credit cards; Wipit lets underbanked consumers use their payment method of choice-- cash.
Innovation type: Cards, payments
Stay tuned next week for another sneak peek of FinovateSpring 2012 presenting companies.
For cbanc Network, this is a great strategic move. According to a recent survey of the cbanc community:
"88% of respondents are "somewhat" or "highly" likely to buy webinars from cbanc, where those users already spend time collaborating with their peers to solve industry issues."
Through this partnership, cbanc's 9,300+ banking and credit union professionals will have access to purchase Bankerstuff's online inventory of ongoing educational webinars. Bankerstuff's 7,000 customers will benefit from the partnership by receiving an incentive to join cbanc's collaborative community and the company now:
1) Has access to more resources and staff to deliver a broader scope of webinars, topics, and speakers.
2) Has access to behind-the-scenes financial data from the cbanc community
Webinars will still be accessed through the Bankerstuff website for the foreseeable future. On the right is a glimpse of Bankerstuff's updated logo.
To learn more about cbanc Network, come see it demo live at FinovateSpring in San Francisco May 8-9. Get your ticket here. Or watch its demo from FinovateFall 2011.
Yesterday, SimpleTuition, a site designed to help students find an ideal student loan, debuted SmarterBank, a student-friendly online bank account that's powered by The Bancorp Bank.
SmarterBank, which offers a free checking account that features online banking, bill pay, and a Visa debit card, is designed to help account holders pay back their student loans. It does this by enabling users to set up payments (one-time or recurring) that feed directly to their student loans. It also features a friends and family contribution function that directly pays down the loan with micropayments.
Another student-friendly aspect of SmarterBank is SmarterBucks, its free rewards program. Through a partnership with merchant rewards program, RewardsNOW, SmarterBucks enables users to accumulate rewards on everyday purchases that are automatically used to make extra payments on their students loans. This summer, it plans to offer special rewards targeted toward students.
A linked savings account is currently in development and is slated for later this year.
With FinovateSpring coming up in 4 weeks (please get your ticket before it's too late) and a ton of buzz about the dozens of innovations that will debut there, you might have missed that we've begun accepting demo applications for our flagship FinovateFall conference this September 12th & 13th in New York City.
We're very excited to be returning to Manhattan again to showcase the best new innovations in fintech right in the heart of the world's financial capital. Last fall, we hosted our largest Finovate audience ever (over 1,000 executives, investors and entrepreneurs) and this year we expect the audience to grow even more.
If you'd like to apply to demo your latest and great fintech innovation at the event, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
If you want to lock in your ticket now to guarantee your seat, you can register at the affordable pre-sale ticket price through April 13th.
PFM and account aggregation company Yodlee made two announcements today.
First, it announced the availability of MoneyMovement, a platform that handles money transfers and payments.
"The open, API-driven Platform enables financial institutions and other transactions providers to deliver specific functionality - such as account-to-account funds transfers, pay anyone bill payments, person-to-person (P2P) payments, same-day (expedited) payments, and much more - all from a single, secure payments environment."
The platform's capabilities, as stated on the press release, are listed below:
Account-to-account funds transfer
Full, end-to-end pay anyone bill pay capabilities
Intelligent payments routing (for least cost or most profit)
Revenue generating expedited and card based payments
Compatible with all major open and proprietary US remittance networks
Mobile payment and transfer capabilities
Real-time risk-management capabilities
Risk-based and good funds models
Complete regulatory and reporting compliance
Optional payment operations services
Because MoneyMovement features can be used as embedded features in Yodlee's FinApps or as stand-alone applications, the platform can be tailored to the needs of both large and small financial institutions.
Its second announcement features a partnership with Zoho, in which Yodlee will provide account aggregation for Zoho Books, Zoho's online accounting software.
This reduces data entry by providing an automatic bank feed into the software.
Today, cloud security company Ping Identitylaunched its Certified Service Partner program that educates consultants about Ping Identity's services so that they may better serve their clients.
The Denver-based company certified 35 consultants from 11 service partners, including:
Consultants from these service partners were required to undergo education about Ping Identity's product offerings and are now able to provide guidance to their clients seeking advice or technical support.
San Francisco-based SaveUpannounced today that it will launch a pilot of its rewards platform, a program that incents users to save more by enticing them with prizes and a jackpot, at 20 credit unions in 15 states to gauge how effectively the prizes and rewards motivate users to save.
The 20 credit unions, with 1.2 million combined accounts, will provide their members a tailored version of SaveUp for free to increase deposits and enhance customer relationships.
The Filene Research Institute has been contracted to monitor usage and feedback, and compile results.
Payments solutions company, Braintree, recently launched a plugin that allows its payment gateway to be used by the 110,000 users of Magneto eCommerce Solutions.
Since customer credit card information is stored in the Braintree Vault, Magneto users benefit from a reduced PCI compliance burden and helps merchants drive sales. Bill Ready, Braintree CEO states:
"By keeping all credit card data secure in our Vault, we make PCI compliance much simpler and easier for merchants to achieve. The Braintree Vault also allows merchants to implement a card-on-file feature which helps merchants increase their conversion rate at checkout."
Braintree processes over $4 billion in credit card transactions annually.