JPMorgan Chase Acquires WePay

JPMorgan Chase has demonstrated a number of different ways for banks and other FIs to keep up with the competition: investment, in the form of its capital infusion into Bill.com,  partnership, as in the recently extended deal with OnDeck, and outright acquisition, as in today’s case of WePay.

The bank has agreed to acquire the Palo Alto, California-based fintech, which will function as the payments innovation incubator in Silicon Valley for JPMorgan Chase. The terms of the acquisition were not immediately available, but the Wall Street Journal suggests the WePay price tag is just above the company’s most recently established valuation of $220 million.

“With WePay, Chase is taking the work out of payments for both our business clients and the software providers who serve them,” Chase Merchant Services CEO Matt Kane said. “We are powering payments for growth, so businesses can accept payments instantly, get paid faster, and never lose a sale.” Kane added that ISVs will get a “payment facilitator-like experience” with less cost and fraud risk. WePay founder and CEO Bill Clerico said the acquisition would enable the company “to better support (its) growing list of platform partners and the businesses they serve.”

The two companies have set out distinct areas where the merger will provide new opportunities to software providers and merchants. These include instant onboarding for small businesses, instant payments for merchants, and the ability for software platforms to serve as payment facilitators or third party payment processors.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California, WePay demonstrated its Veda Risk Engine/Risk API at FinovateSpring 2014. The company’s API-based technology gives simple payment functionality to software platforms like Constant Contact and GoFundMe. Payment integration can be a significant challenge for many software providers; in a statement JPMorgan noted that software-enabled payments are growing at 4x the industry average.

Earlier this month, WePay announced a partnership with SignUpGenius. Over the summer, the company released new national research that showed 41% of businesses suffered from cash flow challenges and 16% experienced payment fraud in the past year. The research also revealed high adoption of business management software tools or apps among SMBs (84%) and a high preference for faster service from their technology (50%) and improved security (45%). In March, WePay began accepting Apple Pay and Android Pay online.

Sensibill Brings Receipt Management to Royal Bank of Scotland’s Business Banking Customers

Royal Bank of Scotland will add receipt management services to its mobile banking app courtesy of a new partnership with FinovateFall Best of Show winner Sensibill. The service will be made available to RBS’s business banking customers in January 2018, giving iOS and Android users alike the ability to scan physical receipts with their mobile device. Small business owners benefit from a streamlined process that reconciles scanned receipts with card transactions, tracks and categorizes spending, and builds reports for invoicing and accounting.

“Every time a customer uses a competing solution to solve their financial pain, customer loyalty erodes,” Sensibill CEO and co-founder Corey Gross warned. He pointed to new challenges from the rise of open banking and innovative fintechs, adding “there has never been a more critical time for banks to invest in their customers and invest in services that will retain them.”

Left to right: Sensibill’s Jamie Alexander (CTO and Co-Founder) and Corey Gross (CEO and Co-Founder) demonstrating Pulse at FinovateFall 2017.

“No bank can expect to thrive without listening to the evolving needs of customers,” added Marcelino Castrillo, MD of business banking at NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland, “and by partnering with Sensibill, we’re offering proactive help and best-in-class innovation for free.”

Sensibill’s white-label solution makes it easy to capture, track, and manage e-commerce and paper receipts. Users designate whether or not the purchase is personal or business, and use folders and notes to provide context as to what the purchase is for. From there, Sensibill’s technology extracts key purchase data from the receipt. “Not only do we extract (the) merchant name, date, and total, we decipher all of the 150+ unique data points that can be found on receipts, down to the item and SKU-level details,” Gross explained. “Simply put, nobody is better at structuring receipt data than Sensibill.”

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Sensibill demonstrated its Pulse solution at FinovateFall 2017, winning Best of Show. Pulse provides financial institutions with the customer insights they need in order to become and remain top-of-wallet. Built on Sensibill’s item-level data, Pulse helps FIs spot new revenue opportunities, target incentives, and develop targeted prospect lists for in-app campaigns.

Sensibill has raised more than $18 million in funding. The company has 62 employees in the United States and Canada. Earlier this year, Sensibill – in partnership with Scotiabank – won the Best of FinXTech Award for its eReceipts solution.

Feedzai Secures $50 Million in New Funding

In a round led by an undisclosed investor, real-time, AI-enabled risk and fraud management platform Feedzai has raised $50 million in Series C funding. The financing, which takes Feedzai’s total capital to $82 million, also featured participation from existing investor Sapphire Ventures.

“We’ve made major headway on our vision in the last year, and this new round of funding will help us accelerate our growth as we continue to invest in the top people, as well as the most advanced data science and machine learning technology, to make banking and commerce safe across the globe,” Feedzai CEO and co-founder Nuno Sebastiao said. The company plans to grow its workforce to 300 by the end of 2017, and highlighted the hiring of former Box SVP Jim Priestly as its new Chief Revenue Officer as an example of the kind of year Feedzai has enjoyed.

Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Feedzai demonstrated its Feedzai Fraud Prevention platform at FinovateEurope 2014. The company leverages artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning to provide fraud prevention solutions for banks, payment providers, and merchants. Securing online account opening, payments, and e-commerce are among the ways that Feedzai’s omnichannel fraud prevention solutions have been deployed since the company’s founding in 2008. “Feedzai’s proprietary platform puts the power back in the hands of merchants, issuers, and payment networks to manage risk while improving topline revenue,” Sapphire Ventures partner Anders Ranum said.

This summer Israel-based consumer credit card service provider Leumi Card announced that it would use Feedzai’s platform to detect and fight fraud. A member of Planet Compliance’s RegTech 100, Feedzai partnered with Co-op Financial Services in March and teamed up with the Merchant Risk Council (MRC) in February. We featured Feedzai in our January look at AI in fintech, A Fintech Filter for Artificial Intelligence in 2017.

FinovateAsia Sneak Peek: CASHOFF

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateAsia on November 7 and 8 in Hong Kong. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

CASHOFF provides innovative solutions for banks by collecting and analyzing their consumers’ financial flows.

Features

  • Accurate forecasting of consumer buying behavior through itemization of receipts and predictive models
  • Customized loyalty
  • Data collection from different sources (banks, e-wallets, etc.)

Why it’s great
CASHOFF’s white-label analytical engine inside your e-banking system is a source of deep customer understanding. By integrating it, a variety of options to generate profit will be revealed.

Presenters

Dmitry Gorkov, CEO & Founder

Yulia Clarke, Marketing Director

FinovateAsia Sneak Peek: Harborx

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateAsia on November 7 and 8 in Hong Kong. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Harborx is a fintech company created with the mission to simplify currency trading (forex), making it fun and accessible to anyone with a mobile.

Features

  • Simplifies FX trading through an intuitive mobile interface
  • Supports beginners with recommendations from Harborx pro traders
  • Provides gaming features like competitions, achievements, and missions to make trading fun

Why it’s great
Harborx is a simplified forex trading app that combines guidance from professionals with fun gamification features, where users have fun while enjoying multiple revenue channels.

Presenters

Cyrus Wen, Director
Wen has over 9 years of experience in investment, merger and acquisition, asset management, corporate finance, and business management and development.
LinkedIn

 

David Sung, Technical Manager
During his years at Harborx, Sung had the privilege of building the tech team which takes leading-edge technology to its extreme.
LinkedIn

FinovateAsia Sneak Peek: WeInvest

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateAsia on November 7 and 8 in Hong Kong. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

WeInvest is a digital wealth management solutions provider for banks, wealth and asset managers, insurance companies, and independent financial advisors.

Features

  • Drill down to any client’s portfolio with comprehensive analytics across performance, exposures, and risk
  • Generate ideas which could be relevant for the client across products
  • Manage, trade, and advise

Why it’s great
The RM Workbench is a capability built to deliver a holistic picture to the relationship managers about their clients, client communications, product information along with the ability to precision-service clients.

Presenters

Bhaskar Prabhakara, CEO
Prabhakara co-founded WeInvest and TrackWealth with the vision to help everyone take control of their finances, make better investment decisions and gain access to simpler, smarter, and transparent investing.
LinkedIn

 

Aananth Solaiyappan, CTO
Solaiyappan is a passionate technologist and a firm believer in the transformative power of design lead innovation. He is an accomplished executive and a serial entrepreneur.
LinkedIn

Zafin Unveils New Pricing and Governance Solution for Corporate Banking

In the words of Adam Nanjee, SVP for Digital Banking at Zafin, today’s announcement on the launch of Zafin Client Offer Management is the product of “fifteen years of domain expertise and collaboration” with the company’s clients and partners. “We are proud to release another avenue for our corporate banking clients to drive more revenue, create operational efficiencies, and expedite digital deployments,” Nanjee said.

Designed for Relationship Managers at Tier 1 banks, Zafin Client Offer Management enables them to test and analyze “what-if” pricing models in real-time without needing technical expertise or IT involvement. The cloud-based platform automates manual, often spreadsheet-based processes and works seamlessly with legacy banking systems to create efficiencies and reduce costs for banks.

Adam Nanjee, Zafin SVP for Digital Banking, demonstrating miRevenue Enterprise Banking Platform.

“Zafin’s platform is trusted by several Tier 1 corporate banks to enhance revenue and service their clients effectively,” Dinesh Krishnan, MD of Global Product Development at Zafin said, adding that the platform has been designed “from the ground up to suit the needs of our corporate banking clients.” Client Offer Manager, which helps FIs ensure profitability by linking pricing to specific performance metrics, is currently deployed with a Tier 1 bank, according to Zafin’s announcement.

Founded in 2002, Zafin demonstrated its miRevenue Enterprise Banking platform at FinovateFall 2017. Earlier this year, the company was a finalist for PwC’s Vision to Reality Innovator of the Year competition. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and with offices around the world, Zafin’s global banking customers include HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered, TD, and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.  The company has raised $30 million in total funding and includes Vistara Capital Partners, Kayne Partners, and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors among its investors.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • BankBazaar Receives $30 Million in Funding Round Led by Experian.
  • Feedzai Secures $50 Million in New Funding.
  • BlueVine Lands $130 Million in Debt Financing.
  • Sensibill Brings Receipt Management to Royal Bank of Scotland’s Business Banking Customers.

Around the web

  • Entersekt hires Sherif Samy as SVP for North American operations.
  • Visa and Billtrust team up to streamline B2B payment reconciliation and support automation of virtual card payments.
  • PayPal announces Vemno is now payment option at more than two million U.S. retailers.
  • Narrative Science wins Microsoft Office 2017 App Award for Best Business Value.
  • TransCard partners with ExpenseAnywhere to Deliver Automated Payment Process Management Solutions.

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.

KlickEx and IBM Leverage Blockchain Technology to Improve Cross-Border Payments in the South Pacific

FinovateAsia alum KlickEx is partnering with public blockchain network builder, Stellar, and fellow Finovate alum, IBM, to improve cross-border payments for emerging markets, particularly in the South Pacific. Already processing live transactions in 12 currency corridors in the region, the solution will use IBM Blockchain to accelerate clearing and settlement on a single network in near real-time for consumers and merchants in countries like Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji.

“This is the first time anyone has made blockchain work at an institutionally viable scale,” KlickEx Group founder and CEO Robert Bell said. Underscoring KlickEx’s experience in facilitating inexpensive, real time, multi-currency payments in the area, Bell said, “this project was a natural next step following our work to create seamless and borderless payments across the Pacific.”

More than 12 banks from Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, and Thailand are participating in the development and deployment process. Stellar.org’s network enables near real time settlement by issuing digital assets that serve as a foreign exchange bridge. KlickEx is the partnership’s founding financial institution for the area, supporting FIs and retail customers on the network. Planners believe that up to 60% of all cross-border payments in the South Pacific’s retail foreign exchange corridors could be processed by the network by early 2018.

In a post at the KlickEx blog, Bell put this week’s announcement in the context of his company’s long-term focus on bringing better payments processes to regions “outside our major global banking corridors.” He wrote: “In the 90s I saw first-hand the need to help Pacific Island nations including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu improve their financial infrastructure.” He added, “We have pioneered the use of mobile apps and other emerging technologies to provide convenient, low-cost and accessible solutions to help Pacific communities with banking transactions.”

IBM presented its blockchain-based technology at our developer’s conference last year, discussing Implementation of the Hyperledger Project at IBM with Blockchain As A Service at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016. The company is also a Finovate alum, having recently demonstrated its Customer Insight for Banking solution at FinovateFall 2016, while the company’s security division introduced its cognitive approach to fraud detection, IBM Trusteer Rapport, at FinovateSpring 2017.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in New Zealand, KlickEx demonstrated Crypto-Currency 2.0, a new global asset-backed currency for central banks, at FinovateAsia 2013. Remember Finovate returns to Asia next month for FinovateAsia 2017. To learn more about joining us in Hong Kong, November 7 and 8, visit our FinovateAsia page today.

IBM Partners with Dream Payments on mPOS, B2B Payments

IBM has teamed up with Toronto-based firm Dream Payments, bringing its cloud and security capabilities to help the firm offer mobile point of sale solutions and business-to-business (B2B) payments, reports Antony Peyton of Banking Technology (Finovate’s sister publication).

Chad Whittaker, CIO Dream Payments, said: “The combination of IBM’s banking and financial services expertise along with the IBM Cloud has allowed Dream Payments to build and scale its cloud infrastructure, right down to bare metal hardware access, maintain bank grade security, PCI compliance, and data sovereignty.”

Dream Payments will also be protected using IBM Managed Security Services, including IBM QRadar on Cloud, a network security intelligence and analytics offering, to detect and take action against cybersecurity attacks and network breaches.

According to IBM, the technology will establish cloud intelligence with Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) as a Service to defend the organization’s security infrastructure from threats.

Dream is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has operations in Stamford, Connecticut. Founded in 2014, the company demonstrated its mPOS solution at FinovateSpring 2015. Dream Payments has raised $15 million in funding – including a $10 million Series A this spring – and counts Fair Ventures, Connecticut Innovations, and Real Ventures among its investors. Learn more about Dream Payments in our Finovate Debut profile.