MapD Launches Latest Version of its Analytics Platform

MapD, a next generation database and visualization layer capable of providing immersive, instantaneous analytics on large and complex datasets, has released the latest version of its technology.

“(We) never thought about the MapD platform as ‘just’ a super fast SQL engine that can leverage GPUs or ‘just’ an immersive, interactive visualization solution,” wrote Venkat Krishnamurthy, VP of Product Management, at the MapD blog. “MapD has always been both, and we care about creating technology for a unified MapD experience around interactivity at scale.”

MapD CEO Todd Mostak demonstrating MapD Core and MapD Immerse at FinovateSpring 2017.

MapD 4.0 adds geospatial data types, an improved rendering engine, and enhancements with the technology’s query engine. These updates make it even easier for analysts to manage and interact with exceptionally large datasets that feature both spatial and temporal data. The ability to examine geospatial data on a map or time series chart, noted Krishnamurthy, provides analysts with “context and visual signals that we can understand clearly and intuitively.”

The new version brings several new features to both MapD Core, the foundation of the MapD Extreme Analytics Platform, and MapD Render, which instantly creates the interactive charts and geospatial visualizations from server-side GPUs. “With MapD 4.0, we’re taking the first big step toward making geospatial analytics available to any user,” Krishnamurthy noted, “from an experienced GIS analyst or data scientist who can write complex SQL queries over location enriched data to a business user of MapD Immerse who wants to go a step beyond mainstream BI tools to derive insight quickly and visually from the same data.”

MapD CEO Todd Mostak demonstrated the MapD platform – including Core and Immerse – at FinovateSpring 2017. With partners including NVIDIA, Google Cloud, IBM, and the Microsoft Accelerator Program, MapD has raised more than $37 million in funding from investors including New Enterprise Associates and Vanedge Capital. Earlier this year, MapD launched a cloud-based version of its offering MapD Cloud. The company was named to the insideBIGDATA IMPACT 50 list in April.

Evry, Handelsbanken Launch Wristband-based Contactless Payments

Handelsbanken, Norway’s national payment system BankAxept, and Evry have launched contactless payments from micro bank cards in wristbands, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures (sister publication of Finovate).

According to Evry, Handelsbanken’s customers become the first in Norway to be able to pay contactlessly.

Evry said the micro format bank card is so small it can be put into a wristband, bracelet, watchstrap, key ring or other location that the customer wishes.

It works at all terminals that are ready to accept contactless payments. Handelsbanken, BankAxept and Evry are currently testing the new solution out in Norwegian shops.

“You can, for example, have this small waterproof card in a wristband on the beach so you can buy an ice cream as soon as you get out of the water without having to first fetch your wallet or mobile. We therefore think many people will like this solution and will use it on a day-to-day basis”, said Anthony Brady, manager for cards at Handelsbanken.

No PIN code is required for purchases of up to NOK 200 ($25). The payment is made in under a second and is as “secure as using a normal bank card”.

The micro bank cards will be offered to Handelsbanken’s customers later this year.

Handelsbanken has 49 branches and approximately 750 employees. The bank in Norway is part of Svenska Handelsbanken.

The group has 12,000 employees in over 800 branches across more than 20 countries, and was set up in 1871. Its head office is in Stockholm.

According to BankAxept, eight out of every ten card payments made in shops are made using a BankAxept card.

Since it was started in the early 1990s, BankAxept has been owned and managed by Finance Norway.

Evry demonstrated its PFM solution, Spendific, at FinovateEurope 2015. The Norwegian fintech is a leading supplier of IT services for the financial industry in the Nordics, serving more than 100 banks across the Nordics, the Baltics, and the U.K.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • New partnership makes Venmo a payment option for Uber and Uber Eats.
  • Hedgeable announces plan to end management of accounts by mid-August.
  • IdentityMind Global to provide KYC for Ontology Trust Ecosystem.
  • Socure named to Red Herring Top 100 in North America for 2018.
  • Mortgage Cadence integrates compliance auditing and monitoring into its loan origination platform.
  • Bluefin and Verifone team up to boost payment security with PCI-validated Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE).
  • Twisto payment platform goes live in Poland this week.

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.

Solving the Digital Dilemma: How To Have a Relationship With a Customer You Never Met

Brands spend a lot of time, effort, and money ensuring that first impressions are strong- strong enough to encourage customers to buy. Acquiring new customers is important to any business, but how do you make a good impression on someone you’ve never met?

During this webinar, we addressed the importance of building a relationship with current and potential customers and the importance of creating a self-service offering, all while helping your organization deliver an exceptional customer experience (CX).

Dan Latimore, Senior Vice President with Celent, discussed key elements to build a customer relationship both in the branch and digitally and why the use of digital is essential to delivering an exceptional CX today. He discussed three key areas:

  1. How customers are actually interacting with their banks today
  2. How banks are approaching their digital initiatives
  3. What banks can do better – across channels – to attract new customers and deepen new and existing relationships

Andrew Stevens, Banking & Financial Services Specialist with Quadient concluded the webinar with practical lessons on how to ensure your customer feels they are a part of the banking relationship in the face of using digital channels.

Finicity and Cre8tech Labs’ Lender Price Partner to Streamline Digital Lending

With the goal of streamlining and improving the customer experience in mortgage lending, real-time financial data aggregation innovator Finicity has announced a new collaboration with financial services technology provider Cre8tech Labs. The first step in the partnership will integrate Finicity’s Verification of Assets (VoA) solution into Cre8tech’s Lender Price Digital Lending platform.

“Consumers understandably want the most accurate information when making a life-altering purchase like a new house,” CEO and co-founder of Finicity Steve Smith said. “Lenders want to meet those expectations while improving efficiency and profitability.” Smith praised Lender Price as a “disruptor” that was “enhancing the mortgage lending experience for borrowers and lenders with a smart, digital solution.”

The new digital lending experience will combine the improvements in accuracy and fraud reduction from Finicity’s credit decisioning technology with Lender Price’s pricing and eligibility engine. Borrowers benefit from a seamless, paper-free process that draws financial information directly from financial institutions, and a digital application experience that supports collaboration between the loan officer and borrower.

Cindy Douglas, Mountain West Financial implementation and onboarding specialist, praised the technology for improving efficiency for loan officers and reducing time to close. “We’re excited to provide our borrowers with the exceptional customer experience of automated VoA reports,” Douglas said. She added, “improvements to our digital mortgage process are crucial to making homeownership a reality for our communities.”

Founded in 1999, Finicity demonstrated its Credit Decisioning technology at FinovateFall 2017. In addition to unveiling a new status page for administrators and developers (status.finicity.com) to enable visibility into real-time API and FI connection uptime, the company demonstrated its Finicity Reports product. Finicity Reports is an online portal that enables lenders to order consumer financial reports that leverage consumer-permissioned data.

Finicity is also a veteran of our developers conference, having most recently presented The Frictionless Aggregation Experience at FinDEVr New York 2017.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Finicity has raised more than $50 million in funding, and includes Bridge Bank and fellow Finovate alum Experian among its investors. The company acquired Aurora Financial Systems – also a Finovate alum – in 2015.

In recent months, Finicity forged a data sharing agreement with USAA, and announced a new partnership with Mortgage Cadence to integrate its Verification of Assets solution into Mortgage Cadence’s loan origination platform. This spring, the company integrated its VoA technology with digital mortgage marketplace provider BeSmartee, and teamed up with borrower-centric digital lending platform MortgageHippo.

Baker Hill Inks Loan Origination Deal with West Texas State Bank

One month after bringing its loan origination platform to $5.6-billion North Carolina-based First Bank, Baker Hill is back in the news. The fintech is teaming up with West Texas State Bank (WTSB) to support efficient loan growth with its NextGen Loan Origination for Commercial and Consumer Lending platform. The technology, in the words of West Texas State Bank Chief Lending Officer and COO Les Robbins, will help the bank “streamline the origination process with … roles-based, intuitive lending solutions.”

WTSB will leverage Baker Hill’s technology to standardize both its commercial and consumer lending processes, and automate many otherwise manual tasks. In addition to making the underwriting process more efficient, the platform enables bank professionals to access customer data across loan types to create the kind of comprehensive financial portrait that makes risk management easier and more accurate.

“By providing tools to improve lending efficiencies and capturing the data needed to make quality credit decisions, Baker Hill NextGen empowers financial institutions, like West Texas State Bank, to maximize their growth and profitability potential,” Baker Hill President and CEO John M. Deignan said. “Additionally, our team’s industry expertise and consultative approach ensures that our clients get the most value possible out of their technology investment. We look forward to working with West Texas State Bank and helping this institution drive speed, efficiency, and accuracy within its lending operations.”

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Carmel, Indiana, and Beaverton, Oregon, Baker Hill demonstrated its NextGen Small Business Online Loan Application & Auto Decisioning Solutions earlier this year at FinovateSpring 2018. Baker Hill serves 500 financial institutions, including more than 20% of the top 150 U.S. banks and 20% of the top 25 U.S. credit unions. The company was acquired by Riverside Company in 2015 for $100 million.

Meniga Builds Digital Banking Solution for BPER

Italian banking group BPER has contracted Meniga to build its new digital banking solution, reports Antony Peyton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

BPER said it has been working on modernising and increasing efficiency across operations and the “enrichment” of the digital banking with personal financial management (PFM0 solution for customers is “central to this”.

Diego Rossi, head of BPER’s IT department, said “Customers are increasingly looking for solutions that allow them to financially plan for the future. We are pleased to have identified a partner that can provide them with best in class software.”

Recently, BPER launched Smart Mobile My Money, a standalone mobile app, and a new version of its online banking Smart Web, allowing customers to manage their finances as part of their online digital solution.

Meniga’s products will be used to create engagement between the bank and its customers. This includes budget control and tracking of monthly spending.

BPER is the parent company of Gruppo BPER, with a network of over 1,200 branches throughout the country.

Meniga has offices in London, Reykjavik, Stockholm and Warsaw.

Recently, Meniga received a double dollop of delightful funding – €3 million equity investment from its customer, Swedbank, in April; and €3.1 million from UniCredit in June.

The company demonstrated its Richest Transactions solution at FinovateEurope 2018, winning Best of Show for its technology that enables banks to leverage open APIs to enrich transactions, helping consumers improve their financial lives and providing them with long-term value.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Baker Hill Inks Loan Origination Deal with West Texas State Bank.
  • Finicity and Cre8tech Labs’ Lender Price Partner to Streamline Digital Lending.

Around the web

  • LendInvest partners with Onfido to bring identity verification to LendInvest’s Buy-to-Let digital applications.
  • Malauzai and Somerset Trust Company declare August 20th as National Fintech Day.
  • Thomson Reuters launches Compliance Management solution, an addition to its Connected Risk platform.
  • Ripple announces the transition of David Schwartz from Chief Cryptographer to Chief Technical Officer.
  • Identity verification startup Sedicii earns a finalist spot in BBVA’s Open Talent competition.
  • Barclays to deploy Finastra’s Fusion Loan IQ system.
  • AlphaPoint wins Best Distributed Ledger Technology Provider by the 2018 Water Technology customer survey.

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.

Best of Show Winner Bambu Raises $3 Million in Series A

In a round led by Franklin Templeton Investments, B2B robo advisor Bambu has raised $3 million in Series A funding. The capital will be used to fuel the Singapore-based fintech’s global expansion.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of all our existing and new investors and customers in helping us to build a leading global Robo-advisory technology company,” Bambu CEO and founder Ned Phillips said. He noted that the company already had topped growth targets for the year, and pointed to seven new clients in Asia and the U.S. that were slated to go live soon.

“This proves our B2B business model is working, as there is real global scalability without large capital requirements,” Phillips said. “Our next ambitious goal is to get a million end users on the platform by 2019.”

Also participating in the round were Singapore family office Octava and Japanese fintech investor Mamoru Taniya. Speaking on behalf of Franklin Templeton Investments, which made its first investment in the company last year, Managing Director and Head of Retail Harshendu Bindal praised Bambu’s ability to “drive constant innovation in the digital wealth management space” and called the company “a great long-term partner for us.”

The funding takes Bambu’s total capital to more than $4 million.

Bambu won Best of Show at FinovateAsia 2017 for its demonstration of People Like Me, a machine learning model that goes beyond traditional roboadvisory to make it easier for users to identify and reach their financial goals. The previous year, the company made its Finovate debut with a demo of its Robo and Intelligent Digital Advisory platform. The platform reimagines robo advisory by providing specific solutions for different market segments: a mobile private banker for the rich, a traditional robo advisory portfolio tool for the mass affluent, and a “robo saver” for retail customers.

This spring, Bambu opened offices in London and announced a number of new additions to its team – including a new Managing Director in Europe, Nick Wakefield. The company also made a trio of new hires who will fulfill roles in AI, design, and front-end development.

Bill.com Launches International Business Payments

Business payments innovator Bill.com has introduced a new service to make it easy to pay international vendors digitally – putting cross border payments on par with domestic payments. The solution, International Business Payments, will save users more than 50% on the cost of international wire transfer fees and is available in more than 25 countries – with more countries to be added in the months to come.

“Bank wires typically cost $25 to $40 each,” Bill.com CEO and founder René Lacerte said. “International payments through a bank requires a separate bill payment process with many extra steps. There is no automated approvals or accounting software integration, which means less controls and more errors.”

In the company’s press release, Bill.com noted a Deloitte Consulting study that indicated cross-border payments make up 26% of all U.S. B2B payment value. The study also pointed out that bank wire transfers are still the most common method for international payments. “Bill.com is changing that,” Lacerte said. “We are very happy to be delivering a simple and cost-effective way to pay vendors around the world inside the same Bill.com service with all the same features customers love.”

These features include an automated approval process, vendor management, online document storage, and seamless integration with leading accounting software solutions such as Intuit Quickbooks, Xero, Sage Intacct, and Oracle NetSuite.

With an introductory price of $9.99 per transaction, International Business Payments is currently available to select Bill.com clients. The service will open to all Bill.com customers by the end of August.

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Bill.com recently surpassed a milestone of $50 billion in business payments processed annually. In May, the company announced new Chief Marketing Officer Yael Zheng. Bill.com began the year introducing its Accountant Partner Program, which provides accounting firms with tools to manage billpay services for clients.

Bill.com demonstrated its CashView Command and Control System at FinovateSpring 2012. The technology enables businesses to manage AP and AR and provides online billpay, custom invoicing services, unlimited document storage, collaboration tools, and mobile access.

With partnerships with four of the top 10 largest U.S. banks and more than 60 of the top 100 accounting firms and major accounting service providers, Bill.com has raised more than $259 million in funding. The company includes Temasek Holdings, JP Morgan, Silicon Valley Bank, Scale Venture Partners, Bank of America, Financial Partners Fund, Icon Ventures, DCM Ventures, and Emergence Capital Partners among its investors.