A Fintech Filter for Artificial Intelligence in 2017

In what The New York Times is calling The Great AI Awakening and Forbes has dubbed The Year of AI, 2017 is shaping up to be obsessively focused on artificial intelligence, a field that has been around for awhile (remember playing checkers against a computer?) but has finally matured to the point of usefulness.

Because the technology has finally reached its tipping point, AI, and its close relative machine learning, have taken a variety of industries by storm, bringing self-driving Ubers to the streets of San Francisco (and then carting them away); robotic vacuum cleaners to dirty household floors; and natural language processing to chat bots and IVR communications. With AI already embedded into these industries, it’s easy to find examples of how the technology is shaping fintech.

Below are eight areas of fintech into which AI has made inroads. Each area is ranked and rated (out of 5 stars) based on how it is currently influenced by AI and based on AI’s potential to add value.

Robo advisory

  • Fintech example: Robo advisors are built on AI technology, which is used to augment portfolio management and rebalancing decisions typically made by a (sometimes biased) human. To see tens of dozens of these examples, check out our post on B2C wealth tech.
  • Current AI application: 4 stars
  • Potential AI application: 5 stars

AI is already a standard tool in robo advisory. Because the very nature of robo advisors is to replace humans, the potential application of AI in this space is huge, especially when enhanced with machine learning and held accountable using blockchain.

Advisory tools

  • Fintech example: Similar to B2C robo advisory platforms that leverage AI to automatically manage and rebalance users’ portfolios, advisors can automate their clients’ portfolios to minimize human error while still offering a personal touch. Kensho (FEU14) introduced Warren to helps advisors perform quantitative analyses on market data. ForwardLane (FS16) uses AI powered by IBM Watson to offer financial advisors access to quantitative modeling and highly personalized investment advice generally only available to ultra high net worth individuals.
  • Current AI application: 4 stars
  • Potential AI application: 5 stars

Just as AI is already standard in direct-to-consumer robo advisory, so is it with advisory tools, since many were built on the premise of AI.

Fraud detection

  • Fintech example: Multiple card issuers use AI to detect unusual spending activity. Feedzai (FEU14) uses AI combined with machine learning to analyze sets of big data created during a user’s online sessions to mitigate fraud associated with online account opening, payments, and ecommerce.
  • Current AI application: 4 stars
  • Potential AI application: 5 stars

AI is already heavily leveraged for use in fraud detection. Combining it with the blockchain, which can provide an un-editable ledger of events, paired with AI’s ability to analyze large data sets in real time makes it even more powerful.

Underwriting

  • Fintech example: AI can help underwriters create a uniform metric that accurately identifies risk across borrowers. Aire.io (FEU15) leverages the power of AI to create and assign credit scores to thin credit file individuals.
  • Current AI application: 4 stars
  • Potential AI application: 5 stars

The lending industry has already transformed its underwriting practices from relying on large databases to now using AI to analyze large amounts of scattered, unstructured data. Because AI can analyze these data sets in real time, there’s great potential for both borrowers and lenders to benefit.

Regulatory compliance

  • Fintech example: Banks can use AI to quickly scan legal and regulatory text for compliance issues, and do so at scale. IpSoft’s Amelia is a customer service bot that helps banks maintain compliance in conversations with customers.
  • Current AI application: 3
  • Potential AI application: 5

Relying on AI to scan for compliance issues instead of a team of employees helps avoid human error and allows financial institutions to quickly analyze multiple documents and practices. Because it removes human biases and error, AI has great potential in regulatory compliance.

Marketing

  • Fintech example: Marketers can better up-sell or cross-sell banking and finance products by using AI to identify and anticipate client needs. SBDA Group (FEU 16) helps banks leverage their data using algorithms and machine learning to create targeted marketing campaigns for individual customers.
  • Current AI application: 3 stars
  • Potential AI application: 4 stars

Fintech companies have been using AI to draw conclusions from bank data for a few years now, but marketing is an area in which human input still adds a lot of value.

Customer service

  • Fintech example: Firms can leverage AI to identify which clients are at most risk of leaving a bank or advisor. FinovateAsia 2016 Best of Show-winner, Finn.ai (FA16), offers a white-labeled chat bot that integrates into existing messaging platforms such as Line, Facebook Messenger, Alexa, and even the bank’s web chat interface.
  • Current AI application: 2 stars
  • Potential AI application: 5 stars

Banks have been hesitant to adopt chat bots and other AI-based customer service products because the technologies are not quite smart enough. Finn.ai overcomes this challenge by offering a Talk to a Human button at the bottom of the chat interface. This technique, combined with the implementation of machine learning and advanced natural language recognition, makes this space prime for growth in 2017.

Reporting tools

  • Fintech example: Advancements in natural language, along with AI’s ability to analyze large data sets, have made it possible for banks to rely on software to automatically create and distribute reports. Narrative Science (FF13), for example, automates the creation of anti-money laundering reports and allows the bank to adjust for the tone of the writing.
  • Current AI application: 2
  • Potential AI application: 4

We’ve seen AI used to generate reports, both in written and video form, in the wealth management and compliance sectors. However, there is still room for natural language reporting to extend to other forms (such as inside of a chat interface) as well as to other sectors of fintech.


In addition to these eight areas of fintech, there is a miscellaneous category that comprises technology such as ColletAI, which automates debt collection. Check out CollectAI, Comarch, and MoneyHub, along with other AI-based fintech at FinovateEurope next month.

While AI is widespread in many areas of fintech, it is still far from others, such as tax and estate planning, which require complex inputs and decision making. However, bolstering AI in these difficult areas using machine learning, the blockchain, and human intervention offers some potential for growth in 2017.

Since AI is pervasive throughout many sectors of fintech, it may not be too early for your company to begin searching for a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer.

H2 Ventures and KPMG Unveil 2016 Fintech 100

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H2 Ventures and KPMG have released their Fintech 100 roster for 2016. Divided equally between 50 “industry leaders” and 50 “emerging stars,” the roster features 17 Finovate/FinDEVr alums in the first category, and 10 in the second. Calling its roster a “celebration” of the most compelling innovators in this “bold new space,” the H2 Ventures/KPMG 2016 Fintech 100 covers a variety of different shades of fintech:

  • Lending (32 companies)
  • Payments (18 companies)
  • Insurance (12 companies)
  • RegTech (9 companies)
  • Data & analytics (7 companies)
  • Wealth management (6 companies)
  • Blockchain (5 companies)
  • Digital currency (5 companies)
  • Capital markets (3 companies)
  • Crowdfunding (2 companies)
  • Accounting (1 company)

And here is a look at how Finovate/FinDEVr alums fared. Earning recognition among the companies in the Leading 50 group are:

Also noteworthy in the Leading 50 are Ant Financial, which acquired Best of Show-winning EyeVerify in September 2016, and Avant, which acquired Finovate alum ReadyForZero in the spring of 2015.

Additionally, Finovate/FinDEVr alums earning spots in the Fintech 100’s 50 Emerging Stars roster were:

The H2 Ventures/KPMG report includes a geographic breakdown of the 2016 Fintech 100, as well as a set of key takeaways such as increased geographic diversification, the return of lending, the continued ascent of Insurtech, and the appearance of RegTech. The report also notes that China now has four out of the top five companies in the report’s top 10, and eight companies in the top 50. The report says funding for fintech “continues to rise,” and its authors cite more than $14 billion in capital was raised by the Fintech 100 in the past year.

Finovate Alums Make Tech Tour’s 50 High Growth European Companies

TechTourGrowth50_2016Tech Tour recognized seven Finovate alums in its 2016 Tech Tour Growth 50 (TTG50), a roster of the fastest-growing technology companies in Europe. Making this year’s cut were:

Managing Director of The Tech Tour William Stevens said that recognizing these companies was important in a world otherwise focused on “the billion-dollar unicorn successes.” He pointed out that the Tech Tour Growth 50 companies had “created more than 8,000 high-tech jobs, attracted $3.5 billion of investment, and have an estimated combined valuation of $14.2 billion.”

“This is a clear demonstration of Europe’s strength, potential and competitiveness in scaling-up tech businesses,” Stevens said.

A few additional metrics on the companies of the 2016 Tech Tour Growth 50:

  • 90%: percent founded in the last 10 years.
  • 22 months: the average time from formation to first funding
  • 66%: percent with at least one U.S. investor

This year’s list was chosen by a selection committee chaired by Jean-Michel Deligny, managing director of Silverpeak Investment Bank. Serving on the committee were representatives of:

  • Accel Partners
  • Amadeus Capital Partners
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • DN Capital
  • Earlybird
  • Highland Capital Partners Europe
  • Idinvest Partners
  • The World Economic Forum.

Companies for the TTTG50 were chosen based on “innovation potential, management team, and pedigree,” as well as factors such as sales growth. Candidates were required to have a minimum of €10 million in revenue, €20 million in total funding, and a valuation of at least €100 million but less than €1 billion.

The Tech Tour was founded in 1998 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Finovate Debuts: InvestGlass Built a Robo-Adviser for Advisers”
  • “Intuit Developer Group Drops Financial Data APIs; Partners with Finicity to Ease Transition”
  • “Qumram Raises $2.5 Million to Bring Website Recording to North America & U.K.”

Around the web

  • Ripple opens new office in London.
  • Markit and IHS announce $13 billion merger agreement.
  • Quantopian to launch in Australia.
  • Vibrant Credit Union converts to DNA account-processing platform from Fiserv.
  • Finextra interviews James Redfern, eWise’s global head of sales.
  • PayPal’s Dan Schulman travels to Cuba to see how it can work with the country’s small businesses.
  • Kony updates Kony Visualizer 7.0, releases free starter edition.
  • StreetShares announces SEC approval for Regulation A+ deal.
  • The Evening Show with Simon Rose interviews Trustly’s Chief Commercial Officer.
  • Blackhawk Network’s CEO Talbott Roche receives PYMNTS Innovator Award for “Women Driving Innovation in Payments.”
  • VICE’s Motherboard features ZeroDB. See them live at FinDEVr 2016 on March 29 and 30.
  • Jumio sells assets to Facebook co-founder and early backer, Eduardo Saverin.
  • The Paypers interviews Nuno Sebastiao of Feedzai.

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 Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “CBANC Launches New Features to Further Engage Network of Professionals”

On FinDEVr.com

Around the web

  • MX inks multi-year data-aggregation deal with USAA.
  • Feedzai opens new offices in the U.K.; hires new head of international operations.
  • Payoneer buys Armor Payments.
  • Micronotes leverages AI and machine learning with new suite of cross-sell solutions for banks.
  • TransferWise teams up with Pay Gate to bring its money-transfer service to South Korea.
  • Insuritas to deploy turnkey insurance agency at Sun Community FCU ($358 million in assets).
  • Genworth Mortgage Insurance to use technology from Roostify to streamline home-buying process.
  • Former Check CEO Guy Goldstein’s Next Insurance announces $13 million seed-round led by Zeev Ventures, TLV Partners, and Ribbit Capital.
  • Patch of Land rolls out mid-term loans of two to five years.
  • In the U.K., PayPal Here SDK reveals first eight business partners.
  • CustomerXPs featured on Nasscom’s Indian Analytics Products Landscape.

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.

Feedzai Unveils its New Anti-fraud Solution, Data Science Studio

Feedzai_homepage_Nov2015

Fraud prevention is one area where big data offers much promise. So it is no surprise to learn that Feedzai, a company that specializes in leveraging big data to help companies prevent fraud, has developed technology that brings the blessings of big data-powered, anti-fraud prevention to the masses.

The new technology is called Data Science Studio, and it promises to give organizations large and small the ability to use “advanced machine learning techniques” to fight fraud on their own.

Feedzai CEO Nuno Sebastiao says that “by putting a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, environment for data-science modeling in the hands of all the teams and people who need it, we’re democratizing big data for our customers.”

Feedzai_stage_FEU2014

From left: Feedzai VP of Sales Nuno Pires and CEO Nuno Sebastiao demonstrated Feedzai fraud prevention at FinovateEurope 2014 in London.

Todd Clark, general manager STAR Network at First Data Corporation added that “software like Feedzai’s is doing natively more and more of what data scientists do. Now we have the capabilities to get our data modeling done within days and weeks, not months, with data science already built in.”

With Data Science Studio, business professionals with nontechnical backgrounds can now build, deploy, and manage predictive analytics models. The platform is available as a cloud-based solution or on-premise, and while users won’t need technical know-how in order to build their own anti-fraud models, they will need—as CMS Wire pointed out in their coverage of the news—”domain expertise in risk or fraud management.”

Feedzai has had a busy 2015. The company last month announced a partnership with fellow Finovate alum, Emailage, combining email risk assessment with its own fraud-risk scoring. And in September, Feedzai teamed up with another Finovate alum, Socure, bringing together its anti-fraud technology and Socure’s real-time online identity-verification solution. The company has more than $26 million in capital, having raised more than $17 million in a Series B round in May.

Feedzai was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in San Mateo, California. The company demonstrated its fraud prevention solution during its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope 2014 in London. For information about our upcoming conference in London on 9/10 February 2016, visit our FinovateEurope 2016 page.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “Xignite Surpasses 50 Billion API Calls in a Single Month”
  • “Feedzai Unveils its New Antifraud Solution, Data Science Studio”

Around the web

  • Comarch supports insurance sales and after-sales service by automating sales force at UNIQA Poland.
  • Let’s Talk Payments talks about Photo Verify with Sarah Clark, Mitek VP of product.
  • AcceptEmail and Kansys team up to provide email billing and payment options to telecoms via OCPay.
  • Fiserv and Early Warning partner to enable real-time bill pay and deposit services for U.S. FIs (financial institutions).
  • Corporate One partners with Gro Solutions to expand credit unions’ digital platforms.
  • Mitek launches mobile multicheck-capture for Commercial Mobile Deposit.
  • USAA and Coinbase partner to bring bitcoin to USAA members.
  • The Daily Telegraph features SocietyOne.
  • Euronext launches sentiment analysis partnership with Heckyl Technologies.
  • GEICO employees get access to HelloWallet, helping them manage their 401(k).
  • Visa Inc. to Acquire Visa Europe.
  • DriveWealth teams up with CQG, Direct FX to launch new, multi-asset trading platform.
  • FX Street calls Ayasdi “the next evolution in science.”
  • Arxan Technologies extends its app-security protection to Apple TV.
  • Mobile World Magazine looks at Fastacash and its new partnership with Xpress Money Services.

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

 

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Finovate debuts: “LiquidLandscape’s Visualization Solves Scattered Data”
  • “FinDEVr Launches in New York, March 2016″
  • “OnDeck adds new small business lending options”

Around the web

  • The Financial Brand: Beyond the Arc’s Steven Ramirez considers three fintech trends from Finovate alums.
  • Nasdaq acquires SecondMarket to help startups sell shares.
  • Motif Investing partners with J.P. Morgan to offer investors fractional IPO shares.
  • ING and Kabbage partner to bring platform lending to Europe’s small businesses.
  • PayItSimple USA changes its name to Splitit.
  • Encap Security announces formation of new advisory board.
  • Algomi wins “Most Innovative Trading Product/Service” category at the Financial News Awards in Trading & Technology for the second consecutive year.
  • OakNorth Bank chooses Mambu as its banking technology partner.
  • Feedzai introduces data science studio for fraud prevention.

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

American Banker’s “20 Fintech Companies to Watch” Features 11 Finovate Alums

FintechForward_AmericanBanker_BAIIn the same way that celebrities examine the memoirs of other celebrities to see if and how frequently their names are mentioned, I admit my first thought upon seeing American Banker’s roster of “20 Fintech Companies to Watch” was: “How many Finovate/FinDEVr alums?!”

American Banker’s “20 Fintech Companies to Watch” feature is a part of Fintech Forward, its collaboration with BAI. The goal of the partnership is to “identify the forces and trends that are motivating banks’ technology investment.”

Companies for the list were selected by a panel of judges from American Banker, BAI, Citi, Santander, and Rockland Trust, who focused on three criteria:

  • Does a company offer innovative technology?
  • Does it solve a real business problem?
  • Is it ready for prime time?

So with the bar set, here are the Finovate alums that made the cut.

Rounding out the top 20 were Untapt, Gigaspaces Technologies, IdentityMind Global, Addepar, Zenbanx, nCino, Moneythink, InAuth, and Iovation.

In addition to its “20 Fintech Companies to Watch,” Fintech Forward has produced its “Top 100 Companies in Fintech” and “Top 25 Enterprise Companies” rankings. Both rosters feature numerous Finovate and FinDEVr alums, as well.

Emailage & Feedzai Partner to Combine Machine Learning with Email Risk Assessment

EmailageHomepageFeedzaiHomepage2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fraud-prevention companies Emailage and Feedzai have teamed up to create an even stronger edifice against would-be hackers.

In the agreement, both companies will leverage the other’s unique security layer to combine email risk-assessment with fraud scoring.

Emailage, which debuted at FinovateSpring 2015, offers a tool that assesses the risk associated with an email address. We covered the product, used for underwriting risk on everything from ecommerce transactions to P2P payments in our Finovate Debuts series in August.

Feedzai’s fraud-prevention solution analyzes data furnished by session clickstream, access frequency, malware signatures, social biometrics, and now email addresses. Its machine-learning software analyzes the data-sets to determine risk level. Feedzai made its European debut at FinovateEurope 2014.