FinDEVr Feature — Barclaycard

See Barclaycard and the rest of the FinDEVr New York speaker lineup on March 21 & 22. Register and save 10% with the promo code FinDEVrBlog.

Interview with Premanand Chandrasekaran, Barclaycard‘s Vice President:

Where did you start your career and how did you gain the experience needed to run the tech side of your company?

I started my career in India in 1997, working as a software engineer with CMC – (a Tata Enterprise). From there, I moved to Citibank for a year. In 2002, I started at ThoughtWorks and served in a variety of deep technology-facing roles — developer, technical lead, architect, consultant, and technical principal. The global nature of ThoughtWorks’ business meant interacting with a varied set of clients in multiple geographies in diverse domains. Being in the midst of some of the luminaries of the agile world, like Martin Fowler and Jim Highsmith, promoted a strong culture of software excellence and rapid iteration.

BarclaycardI began work at Barclaycard close to three years ago, first as a consultant and then as a full-time colleague, helping with the conception, architecture and implementation of our next generation platform, aimed to accelerate our ambitious growth plans. My experience working in deep technical roles while adopting iterative delivery methods coupled with working on large distributed programs allowed me to gain valuable insights on how to succeed with challenging software programs.

From a technologist’s perspective, what’s unique and game-changing about your technology?

In today’s fintech environment, the ability to very rapidly iterate over business ideas in production while continuing to serve existing customers reliably is paramount. Enablers such as the cloud and a plethora of high quality online remote collaboration tools have meant that rapid innovation at scale is no longer just for large corporations. At Barclaycard, our singular focus is on automation of every aspect of software delivery — including configuration changes, new features, bug fixes and experiments alike. This enables software teams to move at the speed of light, in a sustainable way.

Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution/technology.

I’m currently creating the backbone for our next generation set of services and applications. Employing techniques such as domain-driven design (DDD) and architectural patterns such as event-driven architecture (EDA) and command query responsibility segregation (CQRS) allows us to build a highly cohesive, yet loosely coupled set of services. We went live with the second phase of the platform late last year. Now we’re working on applying the same solution at a global level. These are indeed very exciting times.


FinDEVr New York 2017 is partnered with American Banker, BayPay Forum, BiometricUpdate.com, Breaking Banks, Byte Academy, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Celent, CIOReview, Cointelegraph, Colloquy, Distributed, Economic Journal, Empire Startups, Femtech Leaders, Finmaps, Fintech Finance, Harrington Starr, Level39, Mercator Advisory Group, The Paypers, SecuritySolutionsWatch.com, Swiss Finance + Technology Association, and Women Who Code.

Why PropTech and MortgageTech Are the Future of Fintech

If this is the first time you’ve heard the term proptech, it won’t be the last. Proptech (also known as real estate tech or REtech) and its subset mortgagetech have been around since 2014. Here’s why 2017 is poised to place proptech among the ranks of wealthtech, insurtech, regtech.

This year has already been favorable to mortgagetech and proptech companies. SoFi, for example, is about to close a massive, $500 million round, its competitor LendingHome topped $1 billion in mortgage loan originations last year, and RealtyShares has seen over $300 million raised on its platform. According to CB Insights, since 2012 the real estate technology sector has closed 817 deals worth $6.4 billion. Of that amount, $2.6 billion closed in 2016 alone, which represents a 40% increase from that sector’s funding in 2015.

In the U.S., there are a handful of reasons 2017 will be favorable to real estate. Interest rates are projected to rise for the second time, millennials are starting to buy their first homes, and investors are looking to diversify out of the volatile stock market. On top of all of this, regulations are slated to loosen under the Trump administration, and changing in regulation brings opportunities for innovation.

Players

The broader category of proptech can be broken down into four basic segments.

1- Mortgagetech
These are mostly B2B companies specifically focused on facilitating part of all of the mortgage application process. They do not lend or service the loan.

2- Digital mortgage lending companies
These online lenders facilitate the mortgage application process and service the loan.

3- Real estate investment tech
Companies in this category are focused on the investment aspect of commercial and residential real estate.

4- Pure property plays
These don’t have a fintech angle but play a role in the broader proptech industry. Since this category is out of scope for this blog, this list only encompasses a fraction of companies in this category. Check out CB Insights’ coverage of commercial real estate technology for more.

What’s ahead in 2017

  • Expect to see more mortgagetech-bank partnerships along the lines of Roostify’s recent deal with JP Morgan Chase. As banks try to gain a competitive edge for market share, more established banks will need to leverage mortgagetech offerings.
  • We’ll see more niche alt-lending solutions such as SoFi that facilitate the application process and save borrowers on closing costs.
  • Expect to see more players offering real estate investment technology, coupled with some consolidation in real estate crowdfunding companies.
  • Outside of fintech, we’ll see more platforms aimed at cutting out the middle person, the realtor; and more business models such as Knock and GoldenKey that make the selling process easier.

You don’t have to take my word for it

We posed the question, How do you see proptech/ mortgagetech growing in 2017? to these Finovate alums working in the space. Here’s how they responded:

BhatRajesh Bhat, CEO and cofounder of Roostify:

“We expect to see further widescale adoption of digital mortgage solutions – to the point where one should expect it to be table stakes in 2018. We should also expect to see more players emerge in the space as investors see larger market adoption and validation.”

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 9.52.53 AMLinda Schicktanz, Chief Advisor of CK Mack*:

“If there is one area ripe for fintech innovation, it’s real estate investing. Why put 30% down just to gain massive management headaches when you can now invest in rental cashflow online with very similar returns? Fintech and Real Estate are like peanut butter and jelly, they just go together!”

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 8.30.31 AMNima Ghamsari, cofounder and CEO at Blend:

“There is going to be an explosion in the use of data driving the mortgage process in 2017. Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have announced their data initiatives toward the end of 2016, and lenders are starting to push consumer financial data aggregation into the core components of their customer experiences. This ties in nicely to the industry-wide push forward to a more digital, end-to-end process that started in 2016.”


*Full disclosure: I’m related to Linda Schicktanz. Yup– she’s my mom.

Switch Announces Early Access to Online Card Account Management Platform

Switch_homepage_February2017

Seattle-area startup Switch announced today that it is providing “early access” to its free payment management service. By enabling cardholders to manage all of their accounts from one dashboard, the company says its technology is making e-commerce “faster, safer, and easier.”

Switch enables shoppers to easily match payment options with specific online merchants, subscriptions, and payments, as well as automating both the checkout and card updating processes. CEO Chris Hopen called the technology “the first ever consumer payment solution that automates both the challenge of secure account access and the ‘card on file’ problems users face every day.” In a statement, the company cited the average 3.7 credit cards carried by the average American (according to a study by CreditCards.com) and the growing number of payment options from ApplePay and Visa Checkout as reasons why technologies like Switch are a valuable for consumers.

Another value comes when cards have to be replaced due to loss, data breach, or other issue. “How many people have ever had to replace a credit card?” Hopen asked from the Finovate stage during his company’s live demo last spring. “Was it fun?” He added, “(Switch) is about reducing the negative impact of card replacement on end users, and getting cards into circulation as quickly as possible to end users.” For card issuers, the platform includes a set of analytic reports that leverages data on card usage from throughout the entire Switch user base.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Switch demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2016. The company has raised more than $1 million in funding and has more than 10 employees. Find out more about the app, including how to be among the first to try Switch.

FinDEVr New York Alum NYMBUS Announces $16 Million in New Funding

Nymbus_homepage_February2017

In a round led by Home Credit Group, core banking technology innovator NYMBUS raised $16 million in new capital. The funds build on the $12 million the FinDEVr/Finovate alum raised in the second half of last year, bringing its total capital to $28 million.

NYMBUS executive chairman Scott Killoh pointed to reliance on outmoded legacy core technology as holding back many institutions in the financial services industry. Because of this, he said “tens of thousands of banks and credit unions are not capitalizing on strategic growth opportunities.” The investment from Home Credit Group will help NYMBUS provide FIs with the modular, third-party friendly core banking technology that will enable them to keep pace with the demands of their customers. NYMBUS President David Mitchell called it “helping … implement digital-first strategies in order to drive customer growth and competitive differentiation.”

NYMBUS_stage_FDNY16

Pictured: NYMBUS President David Mitchell during his presentation “NYMBUS: The Next Evolution in Core Processing” at FinDEVr New York.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Miami Beach, Florida, NYMBUS presented “The Next Evolution of Core Processing” at FinDEVr New York last year, during which Mitchell explained why the company decided to focus on core processing technology. “If I asked who in this audience has a pager or a Walkman,” Mitchell told the attendees at last year’s event, “not too many people are going to raise their hands. “But community banks right now are on 30-year old, 20-year old technology,” he said. “(It’s) the oldest technology in the world. It’s been lipstick on a pig, mainframes, green screens for 20 or 30 years.”

NYMBUS, in contrast provides an advanced, core processing platform, SmartCore, with a wide variety of APIs, customizable UI, a conversion layer, and an ecosystem of banking apps. The platform keeps all critical banking functions in a single system with a single sign-on and data set. Home Credit International Group Head of Special Projects Miroslav Boublik called NYMBUS “best positioned to stand at the core” of the disruption of the traditional banking model today. “NYMBUS’ technology is both many years ahead of traditional banking system vendors and most viable among emerging (fintech) providers,” Boublik said.

Earlier this month we shared news of the company’s partnership with California’s Kaiperm Diablo FCU to deploy its core banking technology, SmartCore. Kaiperm Diablo’s announcement comes just a few months after Pennsylvania-based CHROME Federal Credit Union reported that it would use SmartCore as part of its goal of transitioning to a digital-first credit union. NYMBUS has also been an active acquirer, buying Sharp BancSystems, KMR, and R.C. Olmstead in the summer of 2016. Also a veteran of Finovate, the company demonstrated its technology at FinovateSpring 2016.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Switch Announces Early Access to Online Card Account Management Platform.

On FinDEVr.com

  • Excited to see Softjourn at FinDEVr New York on March 21 & 22. Check out our interview with Project Manager Yuriy Kropelnytsky.
  • NYMBUS Scores with $16 Million Investment Led by Home Credit Group.

Around the web

  • Lleida.net wins 20-year European patent for its registered email technology.
  • Savedroid adds money-saving, AI-based algorithm to its personal finance app.
  • Payworks provides SIX Payment Services with mPOS solution, mCashier.
  • Thomson Reuters enhances data analytics platform with ultra high-speed processing of real-time and historical data functionality.
  • France’s PayPlug to deploy ACI PAY.ON Payments Gateway from ACI Worldwide.
  • Entersekt announces original equipment manufacturing agreement with transaction processing specialist, Global Kinetic.
  • Affinity CU becomes “trusted sign-in” partner in SecureKey Concierge.
  • BBVA to leverage mobile accounting opening technology from Oracle Communications.
  • GMC Software awarded the Xplor Application of the Year Award.
  • Striata named a Visionary in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Customer Communication Software.
  • Signifyd joins Salesforce Partner Program.

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.

Lose the Layers with FinDEVr New York — Final Days to Save

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 6.34.01 PM

Slip off your coat. Unwind your scarf. Drop your gloves. And flip your cap.

Winter is winding down and New York is warming up. With temperatures rising above 60 degrees, what better way to celebrate spring than with FinDEVr New York this March?Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 7.11.37 AM

If you’re working on the tech side of financial services, you’ll find both friends and influential connections in the room next month. While there are too many technologists and media attending FinDEVr New York to list them all, here’s an idea of who has already registered.

This Friday is the final early-bird ticket deadline before the event, so get your ticket here.

  • VP Information Technology — Alliant Credit Union
  • Software Solutions Architect — Alliant Credit Union
  • Ops Manager — AlphaPoint
  • SVP Product & Strategy — AlphaPoint
  • IP App Developer Engineer — Amazon
  • Software Developer Manager — Amazon
  • Global Head of Architecture & Technical Solutions — Arvato Financial Solutions/Bertelsmann
  • VP Software Development — Billtrust
  • Sr. Director, Software Engineering — Capital One
  • VP Product Development — Deluxe
  • Director, UX Design Engineering — Deluxe
  • Executive Director, Engineering — Deluxe
  • VP Development — DHI Computing Service
  • Sr. Programmer — Edward Jones
  • Solutions Engineer — Envestnet Yodlee
  • CTO — Fintech Solutions
  • Head of Architecture — Kanetix
  • Head of Emerging Technology — Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services
  • Developer — Mantigma
  • CTO — Matrix Applications
  • Sr. Technology Manager — Mizuho Bank
  • Managing IT Director — Mizuho Securities
  • Director of Software Engineering — Paragon Technology Solutions
  • Software Developer — Pied Piper
  • VP Product Innovation — PNC Bank
  • CTO — Prodigy Finance
  • Development Lead — Prudential
  • IT Director — Prudential
  • IT Consultant — PwC
  • Head of Product Development — QIWI Bank
  • Product Development — Regalii
  • Director of Application Development — Swift Capital
  • Technology Team Lead — Swift Capital
  • Management Board, IT — TeamBank
  • Sr. Technology Advisor — Tendor Armor
  • CTO — Thinking Capital
  • CTO — Third Party Trade Group
  • Sr. Software Engineer — Thomson Reuters
  • CTO — Trade IT
  • Product Manager — USAA
  • Director of Emerging Tech — Zions Bancorporation

Join us this spring and save 10% with the promo code “FinDEVrBlog” at newyork2017.findevr.com. And save an additional $100 when you register before this Friday, February 24.


FinDEVr New York 2017 is partnered with American Banker, BayPay Forum,BiometricUpdate.com, Breaking Banks, Byte Academy, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Celent, CIOReview, Cointelegraph, Colloquy, CooperPress, Distributed, Economic Journal, Empire Startups,Femtech Leaders, Finmaps, Fintech Finance, Harrington Starr, Level39, Mercator Advisory Group, The Paypers, SecuritySolutionsWatch.com, Swiss Finance + Technology Association, and Women Who Code.

FinDEVr Feature — Softjourn

See Softjourn and the rest of the FinDEVr New York speaker lineup on March 21 & 22. Register and save 10% with the promo code FinDEVrBlog.

Interview with Yuriy Kropelnytsky, Softjourn‘s Project Manager:

Where did you start your career and how did you gain the experience needed to run the tech side of your company?
I started my career in telecoms, setting up and adjusting billing systems: first as a developer, then as a manager. Ten years ago, I switched to IT. Now I’m a project manager at Softjourn, working in financial services, card-processing and blockchain cryptocurrency. I learned how to run the tech side of Softjourn by developing different complex software systems and focusing on the cutting edge of fintech. That’s why we decided to test Blockchain to see how DLT and smart contracts work. As a result, we set up an in-house employee loyalty system based on cryptocurrency using smart contracts.

From a technologist’s perspective, what’s unique and game-changing about your technology?

Softjourn’s combination of hardware, blockchain cryptocurrency and smart contracts as an approach to crowdfunding local social projects.

Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution/technology.

My favorite implementation of this technology was going from a simple in-house loyalty program for employees to funding local community projects. The same SJ coins employees can use to get coffee from a vending machine can be used to support orphanages and animal shelters or to raise funds for families of sick children or those who have lost a breadwinner at the front. Through our blockchain-based voting system, employees can vote on which projects they want the company to support through the Softjourn Foundation, which was set up to support community causes. We have also developed different currencies and different colors to identify different projects.


FinDEVr New York 2017 is partnered with American Banker, BayPay Forum, BiometricUpdate.com, Breaking Banks, Byte Academy, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Celent, CIOReview, Cointelegraph, Colloquy, Distributed, Economic Journal, Empire Startups, Femtech Leaders, Finmaps, Fintech Finance, Harrington Starr, Level39, Mercator Advisory Group, The Paypers, SecuritySolutionsWatch.com, Swiss Finance + Technology Association, and Women Who Code.

Finie Gets Funding: AI Innovator Clinc Closes $6 Million Series A

Clinc_homepage_February2017

Clinc, developers of the voice-based intelligent assistant app, Finie, closed a $6.3 million Series A round this week. The round was led by Drive Capital and featured participation from Cahoots Holdings, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and individual investor Stuart Porter. Clinc’s total capital now stands at $7.75 million.

Calling the opportunities for his company’s technology “truly endless,” and pointing to “overwhelming interest in Finie from financial institutions,” Clinc CEO Jason Mars sees a major role for artificial intelligence in a number of financial use cases. “We’re going to eliminate the complexity and barriers that consumers typically face when understanding their finances,” Mars said. “And we’re going to help more consumers connect with their financial data in personalized, impactful ways with minimal effort.”

Clinc_stage_FF2016

Pictured: Clinc CEO and President Jason Mars demonstrating the intelligent virtual assistant banking app, Finie, at FinovateFall 2016.

The additional capital will fuel further product innovation and help expand the Clinc team, currently at 21 “and growing,” the company said in a statement. Drive Capital co-founder and partner Mark Kvamme will join Clinc’s board of directors.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Clinc demonstrated its voice-based intelligence assistant app, Finie, at FinovateFall 2016, earning a Best of Show award. Finie uses advanced natural language processing and artificial intelligence to understand and respond to unstructured, conversational speech. The technology is nuanced enough to “interpret not only semantics and intent, but the underlying meaning of user queries,” as well. Designed for financial services, Finie provides personalized advice as part of its ability to handle a variety of banking tasks, giving customized answers to user questions about balances, spending patterns, and more. Clinc includes Notion AI and fellow Finovate alum, Bankjoy among its customers.

VATBox Brings in $20 Million

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 11.31.53 AM

Automated VAT recovery solution VATBox landed $20 million in funding today. The round was led by Target Global Fund. Existing investor Viola Private Capital, as well as other private investors, also participated.

Combined with the company’s first round, this brings VATBox’s total funding to $50 million since it was founded in 2012. Today’s round will accelerate the company’s international expansion and facilitate product development. VATBox’s SaaS offering is an automated, global VAT recovery service for businesses. Shmuel Chafets, Target Global partner, highlighted VATBox’s potential when he said, “We believe that within a few years VATBox’s services will become an integral part of the financial infrastructure for every international company.”

At FinovateEurope 2015, the company launched VATBox2, an automated version that leverages qualified and validated data to deliver full visibility and compliance. The company’s clients include Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon, Eli Lilly, Dell, and 3M. In May of last year, VATBox was listed among the top promising startups in Israel and one month earlier was selected as a finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe award.

February seems to be making up for the recent slump in fintech funding. This is the seventh alum funding we’ve seen this month— the 5th this week alone (and it’s only Wednesday!). Including today’s rounds, ten alums have closed on more than $100 million in funding so far this year.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

FDNY17-Logo-RevTickets for upcoming FinDEVr London and FinDEVr New York are at their lowest prices now. Register for FinDEVr New York now and save!

On FinDEVr.com

  • Payoneer Launches Cross-Border, Mass Payment APIs.

Alumni updates

  • FinDEVr veteran Hyperwallet adds former SecureNet Payments EVP, Mark Engels, as Chief Revenue Officer.
  • Best of Show winner AutoGravity forges new partnership with Westlake Financial Services to expand financing options for car shoppers.
  • The Paypers interviews Nicole Mantow, General Manager of EVO Payments, parent company of FinDEVr veteran, EVO Snap.
  • PayPal Acquires TIO Networks in $230 Million Deal.
  • Thomson Reuters Labs’ latest data science lab opens in Singapore.
  • Bluefin Payment Systems powers payment processing solution for ticketing and ecommerce platform, AudienceView.
  • Mitek to provide AML and KYC compliance technology for European blockchain firm, Nocks.
  • AutoGravity Earns Multi-Million Euro Investment from Daimler.
  • Northern California’s Kaiperm Diablo FCU to deploy core banking technology from NYMBUS.
  • Arxan launches Arxan Application Protection for JavaScript to protect JavaScript-based applications.

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