Building A Better Onboarding Experience: Avoka Introduces CX Design for Banking

The new CX Design for Banking solution from Avoka is geared to help financial institutions remove friction from their digital customer acquisition and onboarding processes. Through a combination of human design experts and analytic tools, CX Design for Banking helps decrease applicant abandonments, increase conversion rates, and make it easier and more engaging for customers to work with your bank or credit union.

“More often than not, banks oriented their application experience around their own internal processes, instead of on what matters most to their customers, often with unintended consequences,” CX Design Practice Director, Adam Miller explained. The solution was for banks to embrace “customer-centric thinking” and to begin with the customer’s initial interactions with the institutions “or risk watching customer loyalty move to the competition,” Miller said.

CX Design for Banking includes Avoka’s Transaction Effort Score methodology which measures how easy a bank’s application process is to complete compared to others in the industry. An Experience Design Workshop provides a “deep dive” into the bank’s specific issues with regard to customer acquisition and onboarding, and is led by an Avoka CX Design Consultant. And with Avoka’s Transact Insights, CX Design for Banking provides experience optimization through additional application analysis and A/B testing, delivering actionable insights for improvement.

Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Avoka demonstrated its Transact Insights technology at FinovateEurope 2017. A multiple, Finovate Best of Show award winner, Avoka won the ATB Financial Customer Onboarding Global Innovation Challenge earlier this month, and began the year hiring former KPMG executive, Matt Lewis, as its new CFO. The company has raised $12 million in funding, and includes Moelis Australia Asset Management  and Regal Funds Management among its investors. Philip Copeland is CEO.

IBM to Build Blockchain-Based Trade Finance Solution for Seven European Banks

Big Blue’s blockchain party just got a lot bigger.

Seven of Europe’s biggest banks have hired IBM to build a blockchain-based, trade finance solution for SMEs. Powered by Hyperledger Fabric and based on the IBM blockchain, the platform – the Digital Trade Chain Network – will make domestic and cross-border transactions easier and more transparent. The banks involved – HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, Natixis, Rabobank, KBC, and Unicredit – represent the Digital Trade Chain Consortium, which was founded in January 2017.

Speaking on behalf the Consortium, CIO of KBC Rudi Peeters said the Digital Trade Chain Network could “serve potentially thousands of the consortium’s banking clients.” Peeters credited IBM with being a fintech company in every sense of the word, highlighting the company’s combined experience in technology and finance. “(IBM’s) blockchain and banking industry expertise,” he said, “will help us create a new platform for small and medium businesses in Europe that can enable … faster, easier, and cheaper trade transactions.” Peeters added that the new platform will “help open new revenue streams and initiate new trading relationships and foster trade growth.”

Trade finance has emerged as “one of the strongest use cases for the technology,” according to IBM Blockchain general manager Marie Wieck (pictured). Focusing on small and medium businesses also brings this innovative technology to a market traditionally underserved by both technology and credit. Wieck said, “by addressing the SME market, which faces challenges in data sharing and access to capital, the Digital Trade Chain Consortium is pioneering a unique blockchain solution with the potential for widespread impact.” Production on the platform is scheduled to begin by the end of 2017.

It has been a busy June for IBM’s blockchain business. IBM Japan recently announced a partnership with AEON Financial Service to build a blockchain-based financial services platform for both consumers and enterprises. Also this month, IBM launched a collaboration with Colombia’s AOS to build a supply chain transaction solution leveraging the IBM Blockchain and Watson IoT. And working with AIG and Standard Bank, IBM piloted what they called the “first multinational, “smart contract-based” insurance policy based on blockchain technology. “Our pilot proves blockchain has a powerful role to play in the future of insurance,” Rob Schimek, CEO of Commercial, AIG, said, planting an insurtech flag on the landscape of distributed ledger innovation. “Any technology, including blockchain, that can increase trust and transparency for an industry whose pillars are built on that, should be fully explored,” he said.

Founded in 1911 and headquartered in Armonk, New York, IBM provided a look at its innovations with blockchain technology at our developer’s conference in 2016. At FinovateFall 2016, the company demonstrated its predictive analytics-based Customer Insight for Banking solution. With a market capitalization of $145 billion, IBM trades on the NYSE under the ticker “IBM.” Ginni Rometty is Chairwoman, President, and CEO.


Categories: IBM

Finovate Alumni News


  • Building A Better Onboarding Experience: Avoka Introduces CX Design for Banking.
  • IBM to Build Blockchain-Based Trade Finance Solution for Seven European Banks.

Around the web

  • CaxtonFX introduces multi-currency account for SMEs.
  • ACI Worldwide teams up with regional payment service provider Peach Payments to launch Alipay in South Africa.
  • TransferTo partners with MallforAfrica to provide African shoppers with access to retailers in Europe and the U.S.
  • Let’s Talk Payments interviews FixNix founder and CEO Shanmugavel Sankaran.
  • Equifax and OpenGI combine forces to bring better fraud prevention technology to brokers.

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.

Klarna Earns Strategic Investment from Visa

“My, what a fine, new banking license you have there, Klarna!”

We don’t know if Klarna’s decision to obtain a banking license played a role in Visa’s decision to invest an undisclosed amount in the Swedish payments innovator. But the announcement today that Visa has bought a small stake in Klarna is a big vote of confidence in the company’s apparent determination to diversify its business into other areas, such as card services.

For Visa, the Klarna investment is part of its strategy to open up its ecosystem and support companies that are innovating to make the payment experience more rewarding for consumers around the world. Visa EVP for Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Jim McCarthy praised Klarna’s proven “expertise in consumer credit and online purchasing” and said the two companies “share a vision for how today’s online and mobile commerce experiences can be as simple as they are in the real world.” Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski called the partnership a “natural fit” and added that it would enable Klarna to bolster its “global presence and product portfolio.”

The funding for Klarna is the third investment in the company this year. Earlier this month, Klarna announced that Brightfolk, a firm held by Anders Holch Povlsen, owner of European fashion giant, BESTSELLER, had acquired a strategic stake in the company. The 10% equity investment was valued at $225 million given Klarna’s valuation of $2.25 billion. And in March, the company raised $5 million (KR46 million) from Nordic early-stage, venture capital firm Creandum. Klarna has raised more than $375 million in total funding.

Founded in 2005 in Stockholm, Sweden and now headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Klarna demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2012. The company serves more than 60 million customers and 70,000 retailers in Europe and North America. TechCrunch’s coverage of today’s Visa investment notes that as of 2016 Klarna was processing 400,000 transactions daily, and generated revenues of $318 million in 2015. TechCrunch also reports that Klarna’s transaction growth is up 50% year-over-year in 2016, and that 17,000 new merchants were added in the last quarter.

Visa demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2010. In 2014, the company’s Visa Developers Program presented The Future of Commerce, a look at how to connect with Visa’s networking using open APIs and SDKs, and led workshops on API-less web, Android SDK, and Apple Pay integration.

Advisor Software Launches Myers-Briggs-Like Investment Risk Assessment Tool

Wealth management technology company Advisor Software launched a behavioral finance profiling solution, Behavioral IQ. The new tool helps advisors uncover their clients’ behavioral characteristics that influence their risk and financial decision-making.

Dr. Andrew Rudd, Chairman and CEO of Advisor Software, described current risk assessment tools for wealth management as “broken,” pointing out that their “flawed results” may lead to “disastrous outcomes.” Rudd added, “Behavioral IQ’s measure of deep behavioral factors influencing risk and decision making enables financial advisors to truly understand clients’ personalities and risk tolerance to make smarter, more informed financial decisions.”

The Behavioral IQ assessment takes a Myers-Briggs approach to determine a client’s decision-making process and risk preference. The six modules of risk analysis assess financial decision-making preferences, risk tolerance, financial knowledge, comfort levels in gain and loss scenarios, confidence, and financial loss tolerance. Combined, they produce a multi-dimensional evaluation that offers advisors the information they need to make better-aligned investment selections for their clients.

Advisor Software was recently named to our list of Top Business-to-Business Wealth Players. The company showcased its Wealth Management apps for Salesforce Financial Services Cloud at FinovateSpring 2016. In 2015, Advisor Software presented the suite of more than 100 APIs that comprise its developer solution at FinDEVr. The company was founded in 1995.

Daon Adds Eyeprint ID to IdentityX Platform Courtesy of New Partnership with EyeVerify

Call them two great biometric authentication innovators that innovate great together.

In a newly-announced partnership, Finovate alums EyeVerify and Daon will work together to integrate EyeVerify’s Eyeprint ID into Daon’s IdentityX authentication platform. The integration marks the first time eye recognition-based biometric technology has been available on Daon’s flagship solution. “Daon has a long history of meeting the multi-model authentication needs for companies and their customers across the world,” EyeVerify VP of Financial Solutions, Paige Bailey said. She added that EyeVerify, a multiple Finovate Best of Show winner was “thrilled” to have its technology available to a wider number of FIs via Daon’s IdentityX platform.

EyeVerify published a study last month that showed people who use biometrics (i.e., Touch ID users) want to see more biometric technology available for banking and payments. The study further noted that those who use fingerprint authentication at least once a day or more were twice as likely to want more biometric options and to see biometrics as a more secure alternative to other authentication regimes.

“Most people use some form of biometrics every day, but they want more opportunities to use it to make their lives easier and more secure,” EyeVerify CEO Toby Keith explained when the company’s Retail Banking Biometrics Confidence Report was published in May. “Banks and payment providers have a huge opportunity right now to build brand trust by giving customers the user experience they want,” he said.

Calling the partnership with EyeVerify an opportunity to offer “real advantage to our customers,” Daon CEO Tom Grissen counted EyeVerify’s EyeprintID among the “best-of-breed authentication technologies.” He said that teaming up with companies like EyeVerify was a “win-win,” adding, “our partners win through fast access to our large global customer base, our customers win by having rapid access to innovative technologies, and we win as the IdentityX platform grows as a thriving and innovative ecosystem.”

The partnership announcement was made at the Money 20/20 Europe event in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Founded in 2012, EyeVerify specializes in biometric authentication based on a technology called an “eyeprint,” and uses the front-facing camera of the average smartphone to capture the unique pattern of veins and other “micro-features” in the human eye. Believed to be every bit as unique as an individual’s fingerprints, eyeprint technology offers a “99.99% accurate and extremely scalable” alternative or addition to passwords when it comes to providing authentication. The technology has been deployed by three of the largest Android OEMs in the world, and dozens of financial institutions. EyeVerify was acquired by Ant Financial, the online and mobile financial services provider behind Alipay, in the fall of 2016. The company, which made its most recent Finovate appearance at FinovateEurope 2017,  is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.

Daon made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall 2016, demonstrating its IdentityX platform. The company’s mobile biometric authentication platform provides a variety of biometric options including fingerprint, facial, and voice recognition. IdentityX can also combine biometrics with other measures like device binding and geolocation to provide an even more rigorous authentication solution. The company announced in May that it was integrating its technology with fellow Finovate alum Experian’s fraud and identity platform, CrossCore. In March, Philippines-based UnionBank announced that it would leverage IdentityX to bring fingerprint and facial recognition authentication to its new digital banking platform, EON. Read more about the company in our Finovate Debut profile from December.

Summit Series: The 3 Pillars of Digital Banking

Our expanded FinovateFall conference is coming up on September 11 through 14, and we’re taking a look at each of the seven summit discussions that will take place after the demos. Today, we’re examining Digital Banking and Payments.

Summit #1: Digital Banking & Payments

One of the major tracks of FinovateFall’s Summit discussions, Digital Banking and Payments, is such a huge concept that it’s important to focus on key elements. As a preview to the upcoming panel discourse on the topic, here are three pillars of digital banking that every FI must build around.

Customer experience

The clients of a bank define its success, so their happiness should be a priority. Crafting a digital banking strategy around a superior user experience is no longer optional, given increasingly viable product offerings from non-bank players such as PayPal. By offering a simple, clean user interface with intuitive navigation on web and mobile platforms, banks can be in a better position to compete. Leveraging features such as hamburger menus can hide seldom-used but necessary functions, while buttons keep frequently-used tasks accessible.

While there are plenty of wrong ways to build a user experience, there’s no single “right answer.” Fortunately, it is possible to guess, check, and re-work interfaces when and where necessary.


With hacks in the news on almost a monthly basis, securing clients assets is no longer a simple regulatory checkbox. Unlike building a superior user experience, there is no room for error with security. What is similar, however, is that banks need to ensure that security doesn’t interfere with the customer experience.

One of the best tools to reduce friction while enhancing security is biometrics. Using fingerprint biometrics to secure a mobile app and voice biometrics to authenticate a customer’s call offers enough security for basic banking functions and won’t stymie the user experience the bank has worked so hard to create.


Becoming top-of-mind and top-of-wallet can boost a bank’s bottom line, but the increasing competition from non-bank players is making the race to the top more difficult. Fortunately, there are a variety of fintechs working in this space, and partnership opportunities abound.

Offering advanced card features such as remote card lock and unlock functionality, credit score reporting, and mobile push notifications for spending and balance alerts gives a bank leverage over competing payment methods. For P2P payments, check out the network from Zelle (formerly clearXchange). Created by Bank of America, Capital One, JP Morgan Chase, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo in 2011; multiple banks, credit unions, and community FI’s have joined, each adding to the number of users in the network.

The upcoming Digital Banking and Payments Summit at FinovateFall will span two days of discussions from industry thought leaders, top fintechs and banks. Be a part of these live panel discussions at FinovateFall; register before July 7 and save on your ticket. A few highlights include:

  • P2P Payments: Maturing Millennials and the Future of P2P Transfers
  • UX/UI Design: Empowering End Users with 21st Century Design
  • Biometrics & Authentication: Authentication, Biometrics and the State of Cybersecurity
  • Community banking: Bankruption: How Community Banking Survives Fintech
  • Impulse Savings: Leveraging Technology for “Set It and Forget It” Savings

This is the first of our seven FinovateFall Summit series. Stay tuned later this week, when we’ll cover digital lending.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Daon Adds EyePrint ID to IdentityX Platform Courtesy of New Partnership with EyeVerify.
  • Advisor Software Launches Myers-Briggs-Like Investment Risk Assessment Tool.

Around the web

  • American Banker covers Lending Club’s first securitization
  • InComm honored with two Best in Category awards at the 2017 Pay Awards.
  • Bankless Times features Arroweye’s targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Actiance announces Compliance Integration for Cisco Spark.
  • Currencycloud and Hyundai Card partner to launch Korea’s first mobile remittance service provided by a credit company.
  • Bazaarvoice adds 170 new jobs.
  • nCino expands Credit Analysis Capabilities to Give Financial Institutions’ Underwriting a Boost.

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.

Fintonic to Use $28 Million Round to Move Beyond Loans and Insurance

Personal finance app Fintonic landed $28 million (€25 million) in Series B funding today. The venture round comes from ING Group, PSN, and others.

When combined with a Series A round the company received in 2012 and a round of an undisclosed amount in 2014, today’s funding brings the company’s total raised to $29.5 million. Fintonic will use the new cash to grow its presence in Spain and Latin America, as well as to further build out the product.

The company has 400,000 users and is available to users in Spain and Chile. The mobile app aims to offer users more visibility into their financial health. Fintonic leverages big data and uses its proprietary credit score (FinScore) and machine learning algorithms to match users with targeted loans and insurance products from more than 50 companies.

Fintonic CEO Sergio Chalbaud demos Fintonic’s alert system at FinovateSpring 2016

Founded in 2012, the Madrid-based company counts Ideon Financial Solutions, Inception Capital, Onza Capital, and Atresmedia as previous investors. At FinovateSpring 2016, the company debuted its alerts and inbox system to help users act in a timely manner on their financial needs and recommendations.

Yoyo Wallet Raises $15 Million in Series B



In a round led by Horeca, London-based Yoyo Wallet has raised more than $15 million (£12 million) in new funding. Alain Falys, company co-founder and CEO, said the new investment “will allow us to provide the benefits of customer identification and mobile engagement to a wider array of retailers, large and small, in the U.K. and across Europe.” Horeca is the venture capital arm of German retail conglomerate, Metro Group.

Also participating in the round, which takes Yoyo Wallet’s total capital to more than $30 million, were Woodford Investment Management and Touchstone Innovations. Hansjorg Sage, Metro Group digital unit GM, highlighted Yoyo’s partnership with Caffe Nero, the #3 coffee retail chain in the U.K., as evidence of the company’s “strong track record of deploying digital technology at the customer interface.” Sage said the the trend toward greater digitization in the food and beverage segment of the hospitality industry gave companies like Yoyo Wallet the chance to make a “meaningful positive impact on a wide spectrum of retail businesses.” As part of the investment, still subject to FCA approval, Metro Group partner James Hook will join the Yoyo Wallet board of directors.

Pictured: Yoyo co-founder and COO Michael Rolph demonstrating the Yoyo mobile app at FinovateEurope 2015.

With more than 400,000 registered users and an acceptance network of more than 1,700 outlets, Yoyo Wallet combines payments and loyalty into a seamless mobile experience. The company leverages QR code technology to enable PoS payments, providing SKU-level digital receipts for each transaction while also recording and applying any rewards or loyalty points the purchaser is due into the Yoyo app. Available on iOS and Android platforms, Yoyo wallet features the ability for users to send rewards (“yo-yo’ing”) to others via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or other social media. Merchants can then tie other rewards to their customers who “yo-yo” the most. “Yoyo is now delivering proven benefits to a rapidly growing number of merchants and their customers in universities, corporate campuses, and the High Street,” Falys said.

Yoyo allows retailers build their own branded app, establish a branded presence within the Yoyo app, or use Yoyo’s acceptance rails and SDK to power their own solution. This gives retailers great flexibility in designing the specific mobile experience that is relevant to their customers. In their funding announcement, for instance, the company used the example of a restaurant chain providing customer experience-enhancing options such as being able to order and pay from the table with a Yoyo-powered app. Yoyo Wallet also provides an analytics and campaign generation platform for retailers to enable them to operationalize their insights into customer behavior and better personalize rewards and marketing campaigns.

Founded in 2013, Yoyo demonstrated its mobile app at FinovateEurope 2015. This spring, the company hired former PayPal GM Simon Moran as its first VP of Commercial. In February, Yoyo marked its 10 millionth transaction,  having “helped retailers across the U.K. and Ireland award over 1.2 billion loyalty points and 1.8 million coffee stamps.” Yoyo began the year with the introduction of its AI-powered, marketing automation platform, Yoyo Engage at Davos in January.