FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Trusted Key

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 11 through 14 in New York. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

Trusted Key helps financial institutions meet today’s top identity and security challenges: changing customer expectations, increasing regulatory requirements and a growing number of security threats.


  • Enable users to sign up for financial services online while meeting KYC requirements
  • Provision users with secure password-less login
  • Prevent fraud by digitally signing card-not-present transactions

Why it’s great
The Trusted Key Digital Identity Platform leverages modern mobile phones, strong cryptography, and blockchain technology to provide a secure, easy-to-use, and flexibile identity management solution.


Prakash Sundaresan, CEO
Co-founder and CEO of Trusted Key, Sundaresan is an enterprise technology leader with 20+ years’ experience building world-class products. He was formerly GM and CTO at Microsoft in the Server & Cloud Division.


Amit Mital, Chairman
Co-founder and chairman of Trusted Key, Mital is a technology innovator with 25 years’ experience building world-class teams and driving innovation. He was formerly CTO at Symantec and Corporate VP at Microsoft.

Finovate Alumni News


  • German Challenger Bank N26 Deploys Banking Technology from Mambu.
  • Realty Mogul Launches Second REIT, REIT II.

Around the web

  • Baker Hill NextGen Statement Spreading to bolster commercial lending underwriting for People’s Bank and Trust.
  • Fenergo adds Michele Shepard as Chief Revenue Officer and Greg Watson as Managing Director of Sales and Strategy.
  • LendingTree partners with Benzinga for its Fintech Innovation Challenge.
  • eToro Platform Adds Trading Support for Five Cryptocurrencies.
  • BioCatch to power Fraud Prevention Solutions for HoneyTek Systems
  • SmartX (formerly HedgeCoVest) Announces the Addition of BlackRock, Morningstar Investment Management, and Nasdaq Dorsey Wright.

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.

Unison Leverages Institutional Investors to Help Home Buyers Bridge Affordability Gap

Is the most innovative insight in mortgagetech doing away with the idea of the mortgage in the first place? After listening to Unison the answer might surprise you.

“Homeowners have traditionally financed their homes with various forms of debt,” Jim Riccitelli, Co-CEO of the mortgagetech innovator, Unison, explained. “With debt, the homeowner pays interest and makes monthly payments. A Home Ownership Investment is home financing based on partnership, and it completely changes the game. It is not debt.”

Unison has developed a new financial services category – home ownership investing – which, in addition to providing new opportunities for investors, helps potential homebuyers manage and overcome the traditional challenges to financing a home purchase. The company’s Home Ownership Investments provide cash financing to homeowners for up to 30 years. And instead of a monthly payments or interest charges, Unison’s investors earn returns based on the change in value when the homeowner sells the property. Hence the partnership. “If the home value rises, the homeowner and the investor both profit,” Riccitelli said. “If the home value falls, both lose.”

Pictured (left to right): Co-CEO Jim Riccitelli and Director of Engineering Neal Behrend demonstrating Unison HomeBuyer and Unison HomeOwner at FinovateSpring 2017.

He adds that combining traditional financing with home ownership investing can be a powerful resource for homebuyers, especially those struggling to save enough for a downpayment in any one of America’s soaring housing markets. “A home ownership investment can double a buyer’s downpayment cash, which can eliminate the need for costly mortgage insurance, significantly lower the monthly mortgage payment, and enable the buyer to comfortably afford the home they really want,” Riccitelli said.

Home ownership investments can also help existing homeowners retire debt without incurring additional debt via consolidation loans and similar debt-incurring tactics. This product, the Unison HomeOwner Program, can also fund the launch of a new business, cover the costs of home remodeling, or pay for educational expenses for the kids. “All without adding to their monthly payment burden,” he explained.

For investors, Unison provides a long-term investment opportunity in residential real estate, the largest asset class in the U.S. Riccitelli points out that residential real estate is especially attractive to institutional investors who have long-term time horizons and a preference for inflation-hedging or inflation-beating investments. “For the first time ever, Unison’s HomeBuyer and HomeOwner programs have made residential real estate an investable asset class for institutional investors who represent the largest pool of investment capital in the world,” he said.

Company facts

  • Founded in 2004
  • Headquartered in San Francisco, California
  • Won Best of Show at FinovateSpring 2017 for its Unison HomeBuyer, Unison HomeOwner programs

We met with Co-CEO Jim Riccitelli (pictured) and Director of Corporate Communications Michael Micheletti at FinovateSpring and followed up with a few questions by e-mail. Below are the responses.

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Riccitelli: On the consumer side, we help first-time buyers, millennials, trade up and trade down buyers, across all price points, in most of the major metropolitan areas in the country. We help them in the following ways:

  • We make it much easier for the buyer to income-qualify for the mortgage loan needed to purchase the desired home.
  • We enable the buyer to purchase the desired home with a lower monthly payment (typically 15-20% lower).
  • We can increase the buyer’s purchasing power by up to 100%, allowing them to choose the home they really want versus settling.
  • We can enable the buyer to retain cash after closing for important life needs such as college tuition, home remodeling, starting a business, investing for retirement or just as a cash cushion for a rainy day.
  • We allow the buyer to show a stronger offer (with a larger down payment), making them much more competitive in tight housing markets.

We also help existing homeowners unlock a portion of their home equity without borrowing, and without monthly payments or interest. They can use the cash for any purpose, including paying off debt, college tuition, home remodeling, starting a business, investing for retirement, or paying medical bills.

On the investor side, our customers are institutional investors, such as pension funds and university endowments, who have a natural need for long-term price exposure to residential real estate, the largest asset class in the United States. This asset class is particularly attractive to these investors who have a long investment horizon and an investment objective of hedging or outperforming inflation. For the first time ever, Unison’s HomeBuyer and HomeOwner programs have made residential real estate, the world’s largest asset class, an investable asset class for institutional investors, who represent the largest pool of investment capital in the world.

Finovate: How does your solution solve the problem better?

Riccitelli: Due to the game-changing nature of our innovation, we don’t just solve a problem better, we solve it in the first place; it was not previously solvable without our innovation.

On the consumer side, we provide very-long-term lump-sum home financing that enables more families to purchase homes and helps existing homeowners finance life needs, all without added debt and without monthly payments.

On the investor side, we make the largest asset class in the world, residential real estate, an investable asset class for the largest investors in the world, pension funds and university endowments, who have an investment objective of hedging or outperforming inflation and have a natural need for the exposure.

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your technology.

Riccitelli: We have so many happy homeowner success stories that it’s difficult for us to name a favorite. But here’s a recent one as an example.

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Riccitelli: Our team has a deep background in investment management, real estate, home finance, operations, and funding and building startup businesses, and that certainly gives us confidence. But we knew how difficult and lengthy the process would be to build something so revolutionary; that results in dramatic changes in a highly regulated industry where change is so hard to promote. So more than anything, our spirit of entrepreneurism and our sense of commitment and perseverance gives us the confidence we need.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from your company that we can look forward to over the next few months?

Riccitelli: We have several new programs coming, including programs for rental properties and homeowners with lower credit. We also have some very exciting things in the works that we will introduce to the world in 2018, including another revolutionary home purchase finance program and a program designed for retiree homeowners. Stay tuned!

Finovate: Where do you see your company a year or two from now?

Riccitelli: We’ll continue to lead this large and exciting consumer finance category. We’ll have many thousands of happy customers and be well on our way to making Home Ownership Investment a mainstream financing tool. We’ll expand our geographic footprint. We’ll also be introducing a few more innovative alternatives to debt that give consumers additional flexibility and control.

Unison Co-CEO Jim Riccitelli and Director of Engineering Neal Behrend demonstrating Unison HomeBuyer and Unison HomeOwner at FinovateSpring 2017.

Fiserv Wins Trio of New Credit Union Partners

Fiserv’s Portico core processing system has gained three new takers in the US: Montana Health Federal Credit Union, Port Conneaut Federal Credit Union and Southwest Oklahoma Federal Credit Union, reports Tanya Andreasyan of Banking Technology (Finovate’s sister publication).

One of these “is returning [to Fiserv] after a decade away”, the vendor says.

In addition to core processing, the credit unions will also implement a range of auxiliary solutions from Fiserv, including mobile and online banking, loan processing and management, and card management.

“We take a thoughtful approach to our technology needs,” says Dennis Wizeman, president and CEO of Montana Health FCU. The credit union has $25.5 million in assets and 3,000 members.

“We have a unique charter of healthcare professionals. They’re working 24/7, and they need all the efficiency and access a modern credit union can provide,” Wizeman adds.

Port Conneaut FCU, a 4,000 member credit union in Ohio ($26.4 million in assets), “needed to hit above our weight class”, says Todd Wilson, its president and CEO. “Upgrading and unifying our digital services is the first step in a long-term plan” of Port Conneaut FCU, he adds.

The returning customer is Southwest Oklahoma FCU ($93 million in assets and 6,400 members).

“We serve a relatively large geographic area, and a branch isn’t always the best option for our members or prospective members,” explains Emmett Meraz, president and CEO of Southwest Oklahoma FCU.

“Virtual banking, mobile banking and other at-home services are a strategic imperative for us moving forward.”

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin and founded in 1984, Fiserv demonstrated its Mobiliti Enterprise platform at FinovateFall 2016.

OnDeck Celebrates 10th Anniversary

This month marks OnDeck’s 10th anniversary. But when it comes to milestones and metrics, the New York-based small business lender is all about the sevens. As in: $7 billion in capital provided to more than 70,000 customers in 700 different industries in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

“OnDeck started lending online to small businesses ten years ago with a customer-first philosophy and a relentless commitment to providing capital online with speed, efficiency, and top-quality service to America’s small business owners,” OnDeck CEO Noah Breslow said in a statement. Breslow, who was also OnDeck’s first employee, called small business lending “the hallmark of our business.”

In the company’s statement, OnDeck cited a New York City-area retailer who had benefitted from OnDeck’s services after being turned down for financing by a local bank because their business was “too young.” The retailer turned to OnDeck and was able to secure funding to expand its product line of speciality small batch wines and spirits. He praised the company’s “customer service, speed of capital and personal focus” adding ” that is one of the things that keeps me coming back.”

OnDeck provides small businesses with the financing they need to help grow their enterprises. The company offers term loans of up to $500,000 with rates as low as 9.99% and lines of credit of up to $100,000 with rates as low as 13.99%. The company leverages data aggregation and its proprietary credit scoring methodology – OnDeck Score – to provide credit decisions within minutes and, once approved, borrowers can sign their contracts and receive their money as fast as 24 hours.

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in New York City, OnDeck demonstrated its technology  at FinovateSpring 2012. Traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker “ONDK” since going public in 2014 and with a market capitalization of $342 million, OnDeck is also an alum of our developer’s conference, FinDEVr New York 2016.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Unison Leverages Institutional Investors to Help Home Buyers Bridge Affordability Gap.
  • Fiserv Wins Trio of New Credit Union Partners.

Around the web

  • Temenos unveils new online learning platform, Temenos Learning Community.
  • Service Credit Union (SCU) with $3 billion in assets to deploy nCino’s Bank Operating System.
  • DefenseStorm to bolster cybersecurity operations for Genesee Regional Bank ($551 million in assets).

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.

BizEquity Brings Business Valuation Data to Wall Street Journal Pro

Cloud-based, “valuation-as-a-service” specialist BizEquity is teaming up with Wall Street Journal Pro (WSJ Pro) to provide private equity investors, M&A advisors, and entrepreneurs with a new tool, the WSJ Pro Business Valuator. The solution will be available to WSJ Pro and Wall Street Journal members as an additional offering, and combines WSJ Pro’s curated news and analysis with BizEquity’s vast trove valuation data.

“There is no better source of financial news and information than The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones,” BizEquity founder and CEO Michael M. Carter said. He noted that data on business valuation is “one of the last bastions of data yet to be democratized through the Internet,” and referred to BizEquity as a “leader in this new market.” WSJ Pro General Manager Will Wilkinson added that the combined solution would be a significant value-add for subscribers to the premium membership service. The WSJ Pro Business Valuator helps both advisors and investors by providing valuation reports that can be used to help attract and acquire new clients, discover and convert leads, and track and analyze business value.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, BizEquity demonstrated its BizEquity One UK dynamic valuation solution at FinovateEurope 2015. Last month, the company teamed up with the Business Enterprise Institute to launch the Business Valuation Institute, an online certification course that gives financial advisors the opportunity to learn about the methods and tools used associated with business valuations. Also in August, BizEquity and Discovery Data partnered to build an online service for financial advisors that would provide valuation data for more than 40,000 registered firms and more than 700,000 registered reps. BizEquity has raised more than $5 million in funding. The company’s biggest investor is Frost Brooks.

Fern Software Opens Cloud Platform to Third Parties in the U.K. and Ireland

Core banking software provider Fern Software has opened its Abacus HUB Cloud platform to third parties in the U.K. and Ireland, reports Tanya Andreasyan at Banking Technology (Finovate’s sister company).

“End users can now build a customized core banking system from the library of apps available,” the vendor said.

According to Fern, “this is the first time APIs have been made available in this way to third parties to offer new and disruptive apps to credit unions and other financial services providers in the U.K. and Ireland.

“This open approach to collaboration is unique to this market.”

Pictured (left to right): Fern Software CEO Eamon Scullin and Software Architect Adam Stirtan demonstrating BayTree, a scalable, “Pay as you Grow” API Banking CRM software service at FinovateFall 2015.

Eamon Scullin, CEO and founder of Fern, observed that the changing technology and business needs of credit unions require “all key players to collaborate across payments, mobile and online services”.

The vendor is “working with selected fintech partners to deliver a complete integrated solution”. Third party apps will be available via the AbacusStore portal.

John McGucken, GM at Fern, described Abacus HUB as “the future of credit union financial services software”. It will reduce the credit unions’ costs, increase flexibility and facilitate innovation and open collaboration, he explained.

Among Abacus users in the UK is Liverpool-based Enterprise Credit Union (ECU). Its manager, Karen Bennett, supported Fern’s latest venture, saying “we are confident we can offer more services, maintain growth and streamline current processes for all involved”.

According to Scullin, Abacus HUB has already been deployed in three sites.

Fern Software was set up in 1979. Its flagship core processing system, Abacus, is aimed at “inclusive financial institutions”, such as MFIs, credit unions, SME lenders and development banks.

The solution has 300 installations in 35 countries, predominantly across Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern/Central Europe. It is available in English, Arabic, French, Russian and Khmer.

Fern Software demonstrated its “Pay as you Grow” API banking CRM software service, Baytree, at FinovateFall 2015.

Finovate Alumni News


  • BizEquity Brings Business Valuation Data to Wall Street Journal Pro.
  • Fern Software Opens Cloud Platform to Third Parties in the U.K. and Ireland.

Around the web

  • SumUp announces expansion to 15 European countries, doubling the number of markets the company serves.
  • UK Hot Views takes a look at the recent financial performance of Vipera.
  • OnDeck celebrates 10th anniversary, having provided more than $7 billion in capital to more than 70,000 customers.
  • Ellie Mae acquires Velocify in $128 million deal.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.


Finovate Alums Earn Spots in European Fintech 100

Powered by collaborative Belgian innovation platform, B-Hive, and Dutch financial consulting firm, Alex van Groningen BV, the European Fintech Awards & Conference recognize fintech innovators working in a variety of areas ranging from the Blockchain/Bitcoin and Financial Inclusion to InsurTech and Payments.

The awards consist of a European Fintech 100 and a Top Three which will be selected from among the top three startups in each of the conference’s nine categories during a pitch contest at the end of September. Here are the Finovate alum finalists who will compete for top honors in their respective categories this fall.

Dorsum (FinovateEurope 2017)

  • Category: Innovative Banking Software
  • Founded in 1996
  • Headquartered in Budapest, Hungary
  • Róbert Kő is CEO and Founder

Meniga (FinovateEurope 2017)

  • Category: PFM / Robo Advisory
  • Founded in 2009
  • Headquartered in London, U.K.
  • Won Finovate Best of Show three times
  • Georg Ludviksson is CEO

Revolut (FinovateEurope 2015)

  • Category: Challenger Banks
  • Founded in 2013
  • Headquartered in London, U.K.
  • Nikolay Storonsky is CEO and founder

TWINO (FinovateEurope 2016)

  • Category: Alternative Finance
  • Founded in 2015
  • Headquartered in Riga, Latvia
  • Jevgenijs Kazanins is CEO

Below are the Finovate alums that have been named to the European Fintech 100.





See the full European Fintech 100 list.

Interested in fintech in Europe and the U.K.? Finovate brings its new, expanded format to London in February. With live demos on Days One and Two, and a diverse range of keynotes, panel discussions, and round tables with fintech professionals on Days Three and Four, FinovateEurope 2017 is an event you won’t want to miss. Visit our FinovateEurope page today to learn more and to take advantage of huge early-registration savings.