Slice Launches Smart Shopping Assistant Extension for Chrome

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You’ve got a PFM app to help you manage your finances and a robo-advisor to help you with your investments. So why not let technology help you save money when it comes to shopping?

Online shopping solution provider Slice debuted its Slice Watch Chrome Extension this week. The new smart shopping assistant allows users to track the prices of products as they browse online, alerting them that a given website supports Slice Watch. Shoppers click on the teal-colored Slice Watch button to get a pop-up that allows them to add the item to their watch list. If the price of the item drops, the shopper gets an e-mail notification. Slice Watch is currently supported by retailers such as Amazon, Macy’s, Anthropologie, Target, and Nordstrom, among others.

“Right in time for this year’s Labor Day sale season,” wrote Julia Handel at the Slice blog, “meet your smart shopping assistant that’ll save you time, money, and your sanity.”

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Pictured: Slice COO and co-founder Harpinder Singh demonstrating the Slice Platform API at FinovateSpring 2015 in San Jose.

Boasting the largest and most comprehensive collection of item-level purchase data from more than two million online consumers, Slice enables financial institutions, e-commerce merchants, and others to build features and applications to improve customer engagement, personalization, and marketing efforts. Slice also provides consumers with a free app that makes it easy to track all online purchases, price drops, product recalls, as well as store receipts. The Slice app is available on both Android and iOS.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Slice demonstrated its Platform API at FinovateSpring 2015. The company was acquired by Rakuten for an undisclosed sum in the summer of 2014. Read our Finovate Debut profile of Slice from last summer.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Slice Launches Smart Shopping Assistant Extension for Chrome.

Around the web

  • Temenos to provide core banking solutions for international microfinance specialist, Microcred.
  • US Bank Wealth Management to launch automated investing courtesy of new partnership with FutureAdvisor.
  • Entersekt brings its Transakt technology to the Middle East in collaboration with IST Networks.

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.

 

How it Works: Real Estate Crowdfunding at Patch of Land

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While everyone else was playing Pokemon Go last month, I was doing something more appropriate for someone my age, crowdfunding a house flip in La Jolla. Amazingly, I was able to view the property and public records (Google Streetview, Bing, Zillow, Redfin, Trulia); check out the construction-cost estimates; review the revised floor plan; and check out the actual appraisal for the as-built value against four comps in detail, all from the comfort of my home.

Ever since a brief stint in the early 1990s at a mortgage bank, I’ve known there was great demand, and tidy profits, in financing major home rehabs. I never thought I’d have the guts to flip a house myself, and I still don’t, but I can do the next best thing: loan money to real estate rehabbers through crowdfunding sites such as Realty Mogul, Patch of Land, RealtyShares and the like.

For my first try, I chose Patch of Land because they are a Finovate alum (see note 1), but mostly because their email showcasing a new rehab investment opportunity in La Jolla, California (where I honeymooned) caught my attention (see investment page above). The developer bought a 3-bedroom, 3-bath house in May for $1.3 million and is putting $500,000 into major remodel, changing it to a 4-bedroom, 2-bath (which the appraiser objected to by the way). The work has already begun, but Patch of Land was still looking to fund the final 10% of the loan. The startup pre-funds the projects with its own money, then resells them to investors. This particular house will pay 10.5% interest for the 11 months remaining on the original 1-year term; however, it is likely to be paid off early if all goes well and the house is sold before the end of the 12-month period.

The real estate crowdfunding industry is already bigger than I expected. I haven’t found reliable stats for 2015, but the market was estimated at $1 billion in funding in 2014. Patch of Land has done $150 million since inception, and Realty Mogul, more than $200 million. According to (an undated post in) the Real-Estate Crowdfunding Review, more than 100 such sites exist. They rated eight as all-stars, including two Finovate alums: Realty Mogul ($200 million in cumulative originations) and Patch of Land ($100 million in originations as of March 2016), along with Acquire Real Estate, LendingHome, Peer Street ($75 million in originations), Real Crowd, Realty Shares ($130 million through Feb 2016) and Roofstock.

Bottom line: If you are looking for alternative investments to recommend to clients, consider working with a major crowdfunder to white-label or co-brand the service.

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Note: If anyone wants to talk real estate crowdfunding, or anything else, at Finovate NYC in two weeks, drop me a line (jim@finovate.com).

Nous Launches New Trading App TIQL for a Safer Way to Trade

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Nous Global Markets continued in its mission to make financial markets globally accessible with today’s launch of TIQL (pronounced tickle), a consumer-friendly way to trade.

Nous is touting its new app as the “safest way to trade.” Some of its distinguishing features include:

  • $5 minimum to open an account
  • $0.01 minimum investment per trade
  • Free downside protection makes it impossible to lose more than was invested
  • Receive returns of up to 20x

TIQL launched in beta in April of this year, and has since received an OGRA license to operate by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. The app’s early users from “many countries around the world” have invested $280,000 on the platform. The London-based company plans to raise funding to expand the already-growing platform, which is available on PC, iOS, and Android devices.

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At FinovateEurope 2014 the company debuted its flagship product, SparkProfit. The free-to-play, virtual trading game now has 400,000 users from more than 200 countries. In late 2015, Nous closed a $750,000 funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $1.36 million.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

FinDEVrSV16-withdateOur FinDEVr New York developer showcase was a success! FinDEVr Silicon Valley will be held 18/19 October in Santa Clara. Early bird tickets expire soon so register today to save your spot!

The latest from FinDEVr New York 2016 presenters

  • PayPal Partners with Xero to Support B2B Invoice Payment

Alumni updates

  • London-based BACB to replace its legacy IT systems with CorporateSuite from Temenos.
  • Kontomatik announces expansion to Portugal, the ninth country where its API is available.
  • PrivatBank’s Partnership with InComm Initiates Launch of Prepaid Products in Ukraine
  • Ghana-based startup, Sovereign Bank, deploys T24 core-banking system from Temenos.
  • CenturyLink to host SatuitCRM and SatuitCRA software as part of new agreement.

Stay current on daily news from the fintech developer community! Follow FinDEVr on Twitter.

Meet The ID Co: miiCard Rebrands as DirectID Spurs Growth

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In rebranding as The ID Co., James Varga’s identity verification startup will be better poised to provide businesses and consumers with better fraud protection, faster onboarding, and easier, safer login and checkout capabilities. DirectID and miiCard will serve as  The ID Co.’s two core business units, with miiCard Digital Passport “helping consumers own and manage their identities,” Varga explained, and DirectID B2B “more deeply embedding identity in business processes.”

“Our mission is to create a layer of trust online, a digital world where you can trust that people really are who they say they are,” he added. ” Our new company name represents who we are, and better reflects our mission to help solve one of the greatest challenges of our time.”

Growth of The ID Co.’s DirectID B2B service in particular helped drive the rebranding decision. Currently deployed at leading banks, wealth management firms, and online lenders, the technology helps improve onboarding conversion rates, reduce fraud and improve underwriting accuracy by factoring in data sources such as Bank Verified Identities and financial transaction histories.

Launched in the fall of 2014, DirectID provides an “all-in-one solution” that is especially effective for the affordability testing in high-value, online transactions. The company’s consumer platform, miiCard (My Internet Identity Card) provides a “consumer-centric identity” for online and mobile users, including a digital passport being piloted with the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace and the state of North Carolina.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, The ID Co. demonstrated miiCard Identity as a Service at FinovateFall 2013. The company has raised more than $9 million in funding and was an inaugural member of  fintech accelerator, SixThirty. Vargas sat down with American Banker last summer to discuss the challenges of online identity verification and the role of banks as a “source of trust.”

Fintech with The Jetsons at FinovateFall 2016

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It’s 2016, and the red-hot fintech sector has evolved immensely since Finovate first launched 10 years ago. Looking back at the demos from 2007, the major trends were PFM, text alerts, and bill payment.

Next month at FinovateFall in New York, we’re going to see some things that, compared to 2007, seem like the way the Jetsons would manage their finances. Here’s a breakdown of the biggest trends you’ll experience at FinovateFall:

  • Authentication
    We’ve seen authentication strategies evolve from a simple username and password to biometric technologies that leverage voice, behavior, facial recognition, as well as device tokenization and Touch ID to help banks increase security while decrease friction for end consumers.
  • CX/UX
    With tech companies such as Uber and Venmo setting a higher bar for user experience, consumer expectations have also evolved. Financial services companies have to compete by offering more personalized services, real-time data and communication, and a suite of user-friendly mobile features. Status quo is no longer an option.
  • Lending
    Underwriting has advanced, thanks to the availability of big data. This, combined with increased demand for alternative lending, makes lending a prime space for disruption.
  • Collaboration
    The number of communication channels between financial services companies and their employees and end-consumers is increasing. From email to SMS to video conferencing and virtual meeting rooms, the challenge lies in reaching users through their preferred channels while remaining compliant.

Still don’t have your ticket to FinovateFall? Seating is limited so register today and we’ll see you in New York!


FinovateFall 2016 is sponsored by The Bancorp, AARPFinancial Technology Partners, Grant ThorntonHudson CookKPMG, and Leverage PR.

FinovateFall 2016 is partnered with Acuity Market IntelligenceAite Group, American Bankers AssociationBankersHubBankless TimesBayPay Forum, Bitcoin MagazineBreaking Banks, Byte AcademyCalifornia Bankers AssociationCanadian Trade Commissioner Service, CB InsightsCelent, Coin Telegraph, Crowdfund BeatDigital Currency Council, Digital.NYCEbankingNews, FemTechLeaders, Fintech FinanceThe Fintech Times, Harrington Starr, Holland FintechIDC Financial Insights, Innovate FinanceJavelin, Juniper ResearchKorea FinTech Forum, Mapa ResearchMercator Advisory Group, Next MoneyNYPAY, OvumPayments & Cards NetworkThe PaypersPitchBookPlug and Play,  SME Finance Forum, Swiss Finance + Technology Association, and Western Independent Bankers.

Financeit Launches Direct-to-Consumer Financing Platform, Financeit Direct

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Financeit Direct is a new, direct-to-consumer financing platform from Financeit that transforms traditional point-of-sale financing into a mobile-enabled, paperless process that works for small and medium sized business.

“Throughout beta testing, merchants described Financeit Direct as a revolutionary tool that can be customized for their work schedules and routines,” Financeit founder and CEO Michael Garrity said. “Consumers love the quick and easy application process and the added privacy and security, along with Financeit’s competitive interest rates.”

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Pictured (left to right): COO Casper Wong, CTO Paul Sehr, and CEO and founder Michael Garrity demonstrating Financeit at FinovateFall 2014.

Financeit Direct allows customers to use their mobile devices to complete financing applications, uploading documentation such as a voided check or a pay stub. Customers can review rates and get instant credit decisions via their mobile device as well. Calling Financeit Direct “the first point-of-sale financing platform to take full advantage of the mobile revolution,” Financeit CTO Paul Sehr said the technology was already seeing “huge traction” among beta testers, most of whom have begun to use the platform for financing “big-ticket purchases.”

Founded in 2011, Financeit announced the launch of its U.S.-compliant platform at FinovateFall 2014, demonstrating the technology in partnership with fellow Finovate alum, FIS. The company has processed more than $1.5 billion in loans from more than 5,000 merchant partners since inception. Financeit is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has raised more than $21 million in funding. In June, it announced an agreement with ClearFlow for a $30 million credit facility. The company’s COO, Casper Wong, was featured in Notable this spring.

New Liquidity Compliance Tool from CustomerXPs

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Real-time banking support company CustomerXPs recently made a move to help banks in the UAE maintain compliance with new liquidity regulations.

While the new launch is a mouthful, Clari5 Real-Time Intraday Liquidity Monitoring Solution, it is self-explanatory. The product will help banks in the UAE mitigate intraday liquidity risk and comply with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) 240 regulation. The new regulation mandates that by January 2017 banks must provide information for regulators and supervisors to ensure they can meet payment and settlement obligations throughout the day.

The new tool from CustomerXPs offers liquidity trend analysis and automated alerts to help banks manage liquidity risk. The company’s CEO Rivi Varghese describes the tool as a “bolt-on system that leverages existing investments and processes…. with a low infrastructure footprint.”

Founded in 2006, CustomerXPs debuted Paperless Branch Banking at FinovateAsia 2013. Last month the Bangalore-based company partnered with Kris Finsoftware to launch fraud management for banks in Asia Pacific. For more Asia-focused fintech, check out FinovateAsia this fall in Hong Kong.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Financeit Launches Direct-to-Consumer Financing Platform, Financeit Direct
  • Meet The ID Co.: miiCard Rebrands as DirectID Spurs Growth
  • Nous Launches New Trading App TIQL for a Safer Way to Trade.
  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence

Around the web

  • Uber partners with Betterment to offer drivers flexible retirement accounts that will be fee-free for a year.
  • CU Broadcast features NopSec CTO Michelangelo Sidagni.
  • True Potential teams up with UBS Asset Management to launch five, new multi-asset funds.

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.