Finovate Debuts: Helping Banks Turn Data into Insights with Liferay DXP

 

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There are few challenges greater for FI than turning massive amounts of customer data into valuable insights on how to serve those customers better. “Everybody today seems to be focused on customer experience, and giving your customers whatever they want. But what is it that you are you getting from your customers?” Liferay Sr. Customer Experience Manager Henry Nakamura asked from the Finovate stage in September. “I bet you’re pretty overwhelmed by the amount of data that you have, and possibly pretty underwhelmed by the results. Where’s the payoff?”

Liferay helps banks create meaningful digital experiences for their customers. The company’s Digital Experience Platform (DXP) enables FIs to leverage the data and their existing systems to bring the right products and services to the right customers, as well as uncover new potential revenue and sales opportunities. Additionally, Liferay DXP ensures that the FI is able to deliver a consistent, digital experience from the PC to mobile “right through the front door of a brick and mortar location,” Nakamura said.

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Pictured: Henry Nakamura, Sr. Customer Experience Manager, demonstrating the Liferay Digital Experience Platform at FinovateFall 2016.

At their Finovate debut this fall, Nakamura and Keval Mehta, Account Manager for Global Services, demonstrated the latest edition of the Liferay DXP platform. Among the features the two men presented was the platform’s audience targeting engine. This customizable feature enables advisors to set up rules to push relevant financial information and actionable planning advice to the client’s dashboard based on the their budgeting, saving, and investing behavior. Nakamura and Mehta also demonstrated a geolocation feature that enables financial service professionals to know the identity – and financial profile – of a customer as soon as they enter the branch.

Company facts

  • Founded in 2004
  • Headquartered in Diamond Bar, California
  • Has 20 offices in 17 countries; 150 partners worldwide; 150,000 open source community members
  • Bryan Cheung is CEO

liferay_henrynakamuraWe caught up with Henry Nakamura (pictured) the morning before FinovateFall and followed up with him later with a few questions by email. His responses and our questions are below.

Finovate: What problem does Liferay solve?

Henry Nakamura: Liferay’s Digital Experience Platform allows financial institutions to unlock valuable customer information and then take advantage of new insights to create more engaging customer experiences across channels and devices. In many cases, banks already possess a wealth of customer data that could be used to assemble more complete profiles of users to accurately engage with them as individuals. But too often that crucial data is scattered to the winds – or, in the case of many banks, siloed in disparate departments and systems within the institution.

This siloing creates an inability to properly understand customer data that would otherwise lead to actionable insights if only the information were collected and harnessed in one accessible location. On that same point, siloing prevents easy access to customer data when a bank – and/or its customers – has a need of it. Liferay’s platform is built to solve these pervasive problems in the financial services industry.

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Pictured: Liferay DXP – Customer view – Financial Dashboard

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Nakamura: Businesses using Liferay (across all industries) are those seeking to drastically improve customer experiences through forward-looking digital transformation strategies. This is, of course, a particularly big deal among financial institutions. Technological change within industry organizations – and perhaps particularly when it comes to customer engagement technology – has historically been slow. But we’re now seeing significant growth in financial services organizations implementing Liferay’s solutions, from credit unions to regional banks to multinational banks. The need to address omnichannel continuity between a bank’s online, mobile, and in-brand experiences is becoming increasingly critical as a cohesive, engaging experience becomes the expectation of customers. Liferay’s customer trends certainly exemplify this industry-wide imperative.

Finovate: How does your technology solve the problem better?

Nakamura: Liferay offers banks the most complete set of organically developed features available on the market within a single, omnichannel, digital experience platform. Every aspect of our toolset is designed from the ground up to work together as a singular solution. Other vendor offerings tend to be Frankenstein-esque pieces of software made out of disjointed solutions that were acquired and then stitched together as best they could. In contrast, all features included in Liferay DXP have been purpose-built to function well alongside each other – and they do.

We provide a platform that, among other things, ties together customer information and experience across interactions. It’s also worth noting that Liferay DXP is highly (and easily) customizable, and works with existing technology investments and a bank’s legacy systems to build exactly what’s needed.

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Pictured: Liferay DXP – Single Customer View – Teller View

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of Liferay’s technology.

Nakamura: U.S. Bank’s use of Liferay is a really interesting example of how Liferay DXP can resolve longstanding issues that have arisen from (all-too-common) disparate and conflicting internal systems. We’re proud that Liferay’s platform enabled this huge financial institution to offer a singular, consistent and effective user experience to its customers.

U.S. Bank’s Securities Services clientele had historically been required to log into multiple accounts across different sites (and complete manual processes) in order to access the data they needed. These multiple logins and non-uniform user experiences within applications made completing day-to-day activities much more difficult than they ought to have been. As a result (and as you might expect), customers avoided logging into these applications and were hesitant to adopt these tools – while demanding better ones that could streamline online interactions. With Liferay, U.S Bank developed Pivot, a single sign-on portal solution allowing all banking customers to interact based on their particular needs. User feedback has been very positive and adoption has increased.

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Nakamura: We draw confidence from our experience and history of product and customer successes. Liferay has a uniquely rich heritage as a portal solution, having now been recognized as a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for seven years in a row. As an integration platform, we genuinely understand how businesses benefit when information and applications are seamlessly pulled together to create a single, unified user experience. We’re up for helping businesses solve that challenge every day.


Henry Nakamura (Sr. Customer Experience Manager) and Keval Mehta (Account Manager, Global Services) demonstrating Liferay DXP at FinovateFall 2016.

Finovate Debuts: Moonraft Innovation Labs

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Not a stranger to banks’ needs, Moonraft Innovation Labs spent six years in partnership with financial institutions across the globe to help them deliver an enhanced customer experience. During this time the company realized how banks struggle to keep up with the pace of customer expectations in innovation.

To begin his demo at FinovateFall 2016 in New York, Aveejeet Palit, Chief Strategy Officer explained that when banks launch a new innovation, it is often “dead on arrival” because customer expectations have already evolved. The result, Palit explains, is that the bank is always trying to catch up, needing to continually invest in the long design and development cycle.

This discovery led to the launch of Catamera, a platform that aims to help banks speed their pace of innovation to keep up with ever-evolving customer expectations. Palit described Catamera as, “a library of web components which can help you quickly put together an experience you would like… and also help you innovate and evolve at the pace your customers want.” Catamera makes it easy for banks to design and create a user experience with drag-and-drop features. Furthermore, it requires no special IT skills. The widgets library offers pre-built tools, such as PFM and a retirement planner, that connect to the banks’ back end APIs.

29615982962_243a5fdfba_kAveejeet Palit (Chief Strategy Officer) and Sreekumar Paramu (CEO & Co-Founder, Americas) demo Moonraft Innovation Labs’ Catamera at FinovateFall 2016

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-46-16-amAfter the conference we caught up with Sreekumar Paramu (who goes by Sree), the company’s CEO & co-founder, Americas to discuss Catamera in more detail.

Finovate: What problem does Moonraft Innovation Labs solve?

Sree: Banks across the globe are struggling to keep pace with the speed of evolution of customer demands. Long design and development cycles mean that by the time banks are ready with a particular offering, the customer has moved on to something else. Catamera aims to address this problem by enabling banks to create amazing user experiences in a very short time, by leveraging our well designed, integration ready web components

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Sree: Our primary customers are small to mid sized banks & credit unions who cannot afford long design and development cycles, yet need to deliver great digital experiences to their customers. However all banks irrespective of big or small would benefit from the use of Catamera

Finovate: How does Moonraft Innovation Labs solve the problem better?

Sree: Most experience platforms are tightly coupled to heavy technology systems that increase the complexity of dealing with it. Catamera is completely decoupled from the bank’s backend technology systems, thereby drastically enhancing the speed of launch and delivery. On top of that, our comprehensive web component library and easy to use builder platform makes designing experiences very simple and intuitive.

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Sree: As an organization, Moonraft Innovation Labs has worked with more than 20 large banks globally in designing their digital banking experiences. This vast experience has exposed us to the challenges faced by banks as mentioned earlier. Our product Catamera has been born out of the insights from all these challenges in working with global banks. Also the current trend of moving towards API/Micro-service driven solutions, will make Catamera a very useful tool for innovation, for the entire banking sector.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from Moonraft Innovation Labs that we can look forward to over the next few months?

Sree: We are in the final stages of partnership with leading core banking, e-banking technology providers to partner and go to market. We are also in advanced stages of talks with multiple credit unions and small banks in the US for live deployments of the product.

Finovate: Where do you see Moonraft Innovation Labs a year or two from now?

Sree: We see Catamera leading the way for customer experience innovations for banks all over the world. Key trends that are supporting us are the API/Micro-services movement, and the urge for banks to decouple experience innovation from their core systems. In the process, we are confident of owning a significant market share, especially in the small banks and credit unions.


Aveejeet Palit (Chief Strategy Officer) and Sreekumar Paramu (CEO & Co-Founder, Americas) demo Moonraft Innovation Labs’ Catamera at FinovateFall 2016

Finovate Debuts: AutoGravity Unveils the Future of Auto Financing

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A Best of Show winner from FinovateFall 2016 – and a veteran of our FinDEVr developers conference, as well – Irvine, California-based AutoGravity specializes in leveraging smartphone technology to make it easier to buy a car.

Why? In part because that’s where the money is. AutoGravity CMO Serge Vartanov explained from the Finovate stage that 85% of new cars are purchased with a loan or lease, “and there’s over 1 trillion dollars in auto loan originations outstanding in the U.S. alone.” Saying that the auto financing industry is where the travel industry was 10 years ago and where the taxi industry was five years ago, Vartanov explained how AutoGravity developed a smartphone-based solution that streamlines every step of the car buying process – from model selection to securing financing. “We empower consumers to take control of the process and know their financing options before they go to the dealership,” AutoGravity CTO Martin Prescher added.

Company facts

  • Founded in 2015
  • Headquartered in Irvine, California
  • Has 50 employees
  • Raised $50 million in seed funding
  • Andy Hinrichs is CEO

At FinovateFall, AutoGravity’s Vartanov and CTO Martin Prescher showed how their technology helps close both the consumer experience and technology gaps. Prospective car buyers can use AutoGravity to search for vehicles by make and model, simultaneously comparing available loan and lease financing options. Consumers can estimate their prospective monthly payments with a calculator that allows them to change downpayment amounts, term lengths, APR, and more. The AutoGravity app shows buyers the location of dealerships – locally and nationwide – that have the preferred vehicle as available.

The AutoGravity technology even allows consumers to fill out the financing application using their smartphone by scanning their drivers license and connecting to LinkedIn (for employment information). AutoGravity includes an optional e-contracting solution that financed buyers can use to scan the VIN, negotiate a final buying price, submit both to the lender, and get a signable e-contract that enables the customer, in the words of Vartanov (and game show hosts everywhere), “drive away in a brand new car!”

“We bring to the table a unique blend of beautiful design, cool and cutting edge technology, and strong business partnerships with our lenders,” Prescher said. “They’ve put us in a unique position to reinvent car financing as it is done today.”

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Pictured: AutoGravity CMO Serge Vartanov demonstrating his company’s technology at FinovateFall 2016.

We talked with AutoGravity CMO Serge Vartanov during rehearsals at FinovateFall and then followed up with a few questions autogravity_sergevartanov_newby email. Below are our questions and his responses.

Finovate: What problem does AutoGravity solve?

Serge Vartanov: AutoGravity empowers car shoppers to browse cars, connect with local dealers, apply for financing, and see up to four auto financing offers – all from the comfort of their smartphones. AutoGravity partners with the world’s leading lenders to make it easy for our users to see up to four personalized car loan or lease offers in minutes, anytime, and anywhere they want. With AutoGravity, approved customers can walk into the dealership with offers in hand and drive off the lot confident they received a fair deal.

autogravity_art2Finovate: Who are your primary customers?
Vartanov: AutoGravity serves a growing and influential segment of digitally savvy car shoppers who want to save time and take control with personalized car financing options in hand before they go to the dealership. Our platform offers convenience, transparency, and choice to empower our users with a seamless digital car shopping and financing experience.
Finovate: How does your AutoGravity solve the problem better?
Vartanov: AutoGravity is the first and only platform that equips customers with access to indirect auto financing offers before they go to the dealership. With AutoGravity, car shoppers can select the rate and lender that’s right for them, so they can drive off the dealership lot with the peace of mind of knowing they got a fair deal. Our first-of-its-kind native platform are powered by cutting-edge design and technology.
Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution.
Vartanov: In addition to our AutoGravity branded iOS, Android and web apps, AutoGravity is proud to have partnered with the Fletcher Jones Auto Group to offer Fletcher Jones Drive (FJ Drive) for Android and iOS. With FJ Drive, luxury car shoppers can browse the nation’s largest selection of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and see their financing offers before visiting their favorite Fletcher Jones store to close the deal and drive off the lot.
autogravity_art3Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?
Vartanov: AutoGravity was founded by an international team of automotive industry veterans and digital natives. Our executive team has over half a century of automotive finance experience and has a unique understanding of the challenges and pain points experienced by car shoppers, dealers and lenders. We are one team with one dream – to reinvent the way people buy and finance their cars.
Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from AutoGravity that we can look forward to over the next few months?
Vartanov: AutoGravity is powered by agile product development methodology and our product, design, and engineering teams are constantly working on new features to enhance our user experience and better serve a broader segment of customers. Download AutoGravity and sign up for our e-mail list to be the first to find out about new features!
Finovate: Where do you see your company a year or two from now?
Vartanov: AutoGravity makes it easy for car shoppers to find the car of their dreams and see their car financing options in minutes, anytime, and anywhere they want. Over the coming years, we will continue to enhance our platforms, launch new platforms, and extend our reach to empower all car shoppers.

AutoGravity CMO Serge Vartanov and CTO Martin Prescher demonstrating AutoGravity at FinovateFall 2016.

Finovate Debuts: Juvo’s Identity Scoring Builds Credit for the Underserved

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4_juvoshop_homeThe name Juvo is Latin for help, aid, or delight. San Francisco’s Juvo lives up to that name by empowering consumers with a single identity with which to access financial services across the globe—a slick trick in relationship building that endears mobile operators to their clients as well.

In his demo at FinovateFall 2016, Juvo CEO and founder Steve Polsky explained the problem Juvo seeks to solve, saying, “Between 500 million and three quarters of a billion people around the globe have a phone, but not enough balance to even use it… the majority of them are unbanked or underbanked, they live in cash-based economies, they have no way to establish a financial identity, and no way to participate in the basic financial services that we all take for granted.”

Juvo’s real-time Identity Scoring technology chips away at this problem by combining data science with gamification to match mobile users with their identity. By extending microloans to users, Juvo incentivizes financially underserved consumers to build credit and access financial services. The company’s Identity Stack offers mobile network operators an API to derive customer analytics and insights to encourage customer engagement.

Company facts

  • $14 million in Series A funding
  • Active in 4 continents and 23 countries
  • Reaches 350+ million mobile users
  • Conducting 100 million purchase transactions per year
29175216083_3ccda4d692_kFrom left: Steve Polsky, CEO, founder, and Jason Robinson, VP product, demo at FinovateFall 2016

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-2-19-37-pmWe interviewed Steve Polsky, CEO and founder of Juvo, to get more information about the company and its plans for the future.

Finovate: What problem does Juvo solve?

Steve Polsky: Juvo was founded with an overarching vision: to establish financial identities for the billions of people worldwide who are creditworthy, yet financially excluded. In partnership with mobile network operators, Juvo’s proprietary Identity Scoring technology uses data science, sophisticated credit algorithms, machine learning and game mechanics to create an identity-based relationship with anonymous prepaid users, opening up access to otherwise unattainable mobile financial services.

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Polsky: Juvo works with large mobile network operators around the world—such as Millicom; and Cable & Wireless Communications Limited—and we partner with financial service providers. We are currently in 10% of countries around the world, active in 23 markets on four continents, and have a reach of more than 100 million users.

1_juvolend_homeJuvo’s gamified balance screen

Finovate: How does Juvo solve the problem better?

Polsky: Juvo merges financial identity, credit scoring and mobile financial services in a single platform—the Juvo Identity Stack—to create an entirely new category: Mobile Financial Intelligence. Other companies may offer elements of what Juvo does, but none are proven to help mobile operators meet challenging KPIs around engagement, churn, ARPU and boosting financial inclusion.

For global carriers the benefits are immediate: more personalized, engaged relationships with customers; easier and more cost-efficient scalability as carriers undergo digital transformation; and immediate ROI—on average, a 10% to 15% increase in ARPU and as much as 50% reduction in churn. For financial service companies, Juvo opens up a user base of 5.7 billion prepaid subscribers worldwide, and for subscribers, Juvo provides an easy and transparent pathway toward financial inclusion.

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution.

Polsky: I’m not sure I have a favorite, as each of our mobile operator-partners is doing exciting things with Juvo and seeing amazing results with their subscriber base. One particularly fun implementation has been with Cable & Wireless Communications Limited in Latin America, because of the very vocal reaction from their subscribers. There are thousands of positive mentions and reviews of the Juvo-powered app by Flow Lend users, and it is wonderful to hear from end users about how valuable the service is to them.

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Polsky: The idea for Juvo came from a variety of personal experiences, particularly working with telcos over the years in developing countries. I saw firsthand untapped populations across the globe who are creditworthy, yet never given an opportunity to obtain even the most basic financial services many of us in the Western world take for granted. As a serial entrepreneur, I wanted to build another company with the right team and culture that could create something of value to have a real and lasting impact both for business and society.

The Juvo team is comprised of leading experts in their field who share a passion for creating and delivering a valuable solution to the world. We have extensive experience with mobile operators and a deep understanding of the power of data, particularly as it helps define and explain consumer internet behavior. The convergence of cloud services with big data, combined with a ubiquitous rise in smartphone adoption, gave us the pathway we needed to bring the Juvo vision to life.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from Juvo that we can look forward to over the next few months?

Polsky: We are excited to announce additional mobile operator launches around the world, share news of expansion into new regions of the world, including Europe and Southeast Asia, and continue to impact the lives of people in developing markets.

Finovate: Where do you see Juvo a year or two from now?

Polsky: We hope to see Juvo continue its expansion with mobile operators into new regions around the world, as well as further engage with financial service companies to offer high-value product and services beyond basic credit. It’s an exciting time for financial services, as technology has paved the way to open many avenues for expanding opportunities to new populations, and we hope to be at the forefront of this emerging fintech revolution.


CEO Steve Polsky, Juvo founder and Jason Robinson, VP, product showcase Juvo at FinovateFall 2016 in New York

Finovate Debuts: Sindeo Revamps the Mortgage Application Process

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Home financing startup Sindeo offers customers access to a marketplace of over 1,000 loan programs to help them find the best mortgage. Its platform streamlines the mortgage application process and offers borrowers guidance from Mortgage Advisors.

Kicking off the company’s demo at FinovateFall 2016, Sindeo’s co-founder Ori Zohar described a home purchase as “the largest financial decision that most people are going to make in their lives” and added that getting a mortgage is a “difficult and confusing process.” Explaining his company’s proposed solution, Zohar said, “Sindeo is creating a streamlined online mortgage experience. We can get you a loan with any of the lenders in our growing marketplace which currently has over 45 lenders and over 1,000 loan products. We have technology integrated all the way from quotes to close.”

On the Finovate stage, the Sindeo team launched QuickStart, a CFPB compliant mortgage pre-qualification tool that helps borrowers find a home loan, complete the application and underwriting process, and generate a pre-qualification letter, all in less than 10 minutes.

Company facts

  • 100+ employees
  • Originating loans in eleven states
  • $20+ million in funding to-date
  • 60+ NPS
  • Saved customers $17 million
29100750683_4d371ff788_kAimeelene Gaspar (SVP, Product) and Ori Zohar (Co-Founder) demo Sindeo at FinovateFall 2016 in New York

We interviewed Ori Zohar (pictured right), Sindeo’s co-founder, to get a deeper look into Sindeo’s background and future plans.screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-10-31-08-am

Finovate: What problem does Sindeo solve?

Ori Zohar: Getting a mortgage today is a stressful, confusing, low-tech process. It’s rife with unnecessary delays and unexpected costs. It’s the biggest financial decision most people make in their lifetimes, yet there isn’t a good partner to guide customers in a high tech, friendly way.

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Zohar: Homeowners and future homeowners.

Finovate: How does Sindeo solve the problem better?

Zohar: We’ve created a mortgage marketplace where customers can shop one thousand loan products, apply in minutes by filling out just one application, and close with speed and transparency. Sindeo not only saves our customers time, but also tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-11-28-20-am(above) A screenshot from Sindeo’s loan marketplace

 

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution.

Zohar: After a couple of years of some really hard work, it’s fantastic to see us delivering on our vision – especially with the technology. From the start, Sindeo has been about rebuilding the home financing experience from the ground up by providing customers with access to a broad marketplace of loan programs, expert and unbiased guidance from Mortgage Advisors that are compensated based on customer satisfaction, and innovative technology that streamlines the entire mortgage process.

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Zohar: I’m a serial entrepreneur, having started my first business when I was 15. After graduating from college, I began working with global ad agencies on solving complex problems for clients in the luxury clothing, automotive, and financial services industries. Eventually, I started looking for my next entrepreneurial opportunity. After I met Nick Stamos, my co-founder, we knew we found a huge opportunity to create a new path to bring home financing into the modern era.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from Sindeo that we can look forward to over the next few months?

Zohar: Sindeo is an end-to-end solution, and SindeoOne is just the beginning! We’re going to continue to add features to SindeoOne like verification of assets, income and employment directly into the application. We’re also streamlining and automating our back-end processes, so that our mortgage advisors can spend more time helping our customers.

Finovate: Where do you see Sindeo a year or two from now?

Zohar: I expect that not only will Sindeo be available to consumers in every state, but we will have introduced a fully digital mortgage that will allow consumers to find the right loan at the right price and close as quickly as possible.


Watch Sindeo’s demo from FinovateFall 2016 in New York with Aimeelene Gaspar (SVP, Product) and Ori Zohar (Co-Founder)

Finovate Debuts: Agreement Express Helps Advisers Offer Nonintrusive Onboarding

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Onboarding software provider Agreement Express helps wealth management firms, payments, and insurance companies create and manage a consistent onboarding experience across channels for all of their product offerings.

At FinovateFall 2016, the company demoed the newest version of its wealth management offering, an onboarding solution that helps advisers interact with clients in a nonintrusive, compliant manner. The new release improves the customer experience by helping firms gather and re-use existing client data instead of requesting the same information multiple times, which causes friction and deteriorates the client experience.

In his demo on the FinovateFall stage, Agreement Express CEO Mike Gardner opened by depicting the difficulty advisers have in getting solutions up-and-running quickly, saying, “At Agreement Express, we unite advisers, clients, back office teams, and compliance … in one platform that allows transformation in just two weeks.” He later noted the software is made to work quickly even for large firms.

Company Facts

  • Founded in 2001
  • Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Working with Global Payments and M&T Bank
29615085762_a907570331_kCEO Mike Gardner and Account Exec Andrew Grocholski demoed Agreement Express at FinovateFall 2016

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-4-10-26-pmAfter his presentation at FinovateFall, we conducted an interview with Mike Gardner, Agreement Express CEO, to gather more information about the company and its future plans.

Finovate: What problem does Agreement Express solve?

Mike Gardner: Agreement Express solves the problem of slow, inefficient, paper-based client onboarding in financial services. Because it’s such a huge problem, FIs usually go one of two routes: reducing the scope and only solving one piece of the project, or trying to solve the whole thing in one go with a massive BPM project that takes a couple of years to go live. Agreement Express is onboarding software that financial institutions can implement in just a few weeks, and gives them the data and flexibility they need to iterate and configure their process on an ongoing basis. It’s essentially building the perfect path as you go, enabling firms to receive immediate value and get in the fast-paced technology race, without the risk of trying to predict the future and get it all right without consulting meaningful data.

agreement-express-product-screenshot-1Agreement Express document management screen

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Gardner: We service key financial institution markets globally, primarily wealth management, payments, banking, and insurance. In those markets, we serve Fortune 1000 companies and top industry leaders such as Global Payments, Elavon, M&T Bank, National Bank Correspondent Network, Questrade, and more.

Finovate: How does Agreement Express solve the problem better?

Gardner: Agreement Express does two things that sets it apart from the competition: it solves the entire client onboarding problem from front to back office, and enables firms to go live in weeks, not months or years.

Our platform solves more of the problem in less time, and allows users to configure and iterate on an ongoing basis. This allows firms to realize tremendous value right away, and lowers the risk of trying to get everything perfect in advance and delaying time-to-value for a year or more.

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution.

Gardner: We are proud of the work we’ve done with all of our clients, but one that comes to mind is Global Payments, one of the largest merchant acquirers in the world. By consolidating all of their merchant onboarding processes into Agreement Express, they were able to increase application return rates from 40% to 100%, and virtually eliminate back-office data entry. It was exciting to watch such a large institution make so much digital progress in a short time.

agreement-express-product-screenshot-3Agreement Express adviser workspace

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Gardner: We work with some of the largest global merchant acquirers, which gave us the confidence that we could successfully help Global Payments make a significant digital transformation.

Finovate: Where do you see Agreement Express a year or two from now?

Gardner: On our current trajectory, we’ll be continuing our global expansion, opening new offices around the world. We’ll be continuing to make Agreement Express accessible to the entire financial services enterprise, from the largest firms to the smallest partners in their network. Typically, software is either made for big or small companies, but Agreement Express will be used by the whole ecosystem for a completely integrated client onboarding experience.


Check out the video of Mike Gardner (CEO) and Andrew Grocholski (Account Executive) demoing Agreement Express at FinovateFall 2016.

Finovate Debuts: Uniken Introduces Relationship-Based Authentication

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Take the “money transfer without money movement” sensibility of the hawala system on one hand. Take improvements on the Diffie-Helman key exchange on the other. Combine the two and the result is the “mutual and simultaneous” authentication system developed by Uniken and demonstrated at FinovateFall this September.

uniken_vertical_image“Uniken is a cybersecurity company that does one thing and only one thing, but we do it incredibly well—we make connecting safe,” says company CEO Bimal Gandhi. “In two years, 28 implementations, four million users, and nine million end-points protected, we have zero penetrations, zero hacks, zero identity loss, and—most importantly—zero financial dollar and zero data loss.”

Uniken recognizes that secure connections are based on secure relationships. Likening current authentication methods to asking for identification after a stranger has entered your home, Uniken instead focuses on preconnection authentication. This ensures that requests for connection come from approved users, approved apps, and approved devices before they reach the network. Gandhi says their REL-ID product is what users ask for; namely, a security solution for mobile applications that “tightly integrates identity and authentication with a secure, omnichannel solution.” It authenticates with perfect forward secrecy and fidelity and “dramatically reduces the attack surface—all while ensuring security doesn’t get in the way of an app’s phenomenal client experience.”

At FinovateFall, Gandhi demonstrated REL-ID Verify, Uniken’s authentication and verification solution designed especially for logins from work and even publicly accessible PCs, such as those at a hotel business center. Gandhi explained:

With REL-IDverify and a trusted device like a mobile phone, what you get is simply the ability to log in, get a message through a trusted channel that you verify, and coming back to you through that secure channel. There was never a third party involved. That communication was between that app and your authentication server directly—all on a tightly integrated secure channel.

Company facts:

  • Founded in August 2013
  • Headquartered in Chatham, New Jersey
  • Serves four million users and protects more than nine million endpoints around the world
  • Raised more than $8 million in equity funding
  • Generated close to $2 million in revenue

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From left: Uniken’s Robert Levine, VP business development, and CEO Bimal Gandhi demonstrated REL-IDverify at FinovateFall 2016.

uniken_bimalgandhiI talked with Uniken CEO Bimal Gandhi during rehearsals at FinovateFall 2016, and followed up a few weeks later with some questions via email. Here’s our exchange:

Finovate: What problem does your technology solve?

Bimal Gandhi: We make connecting safe. Uniken looks at the world differently by revolutionizing the way that people think about identity authentication and why it must be done over a secure channel that addresses the threats we now experience. Our core solution allows companies to safely connect their clients to its digital products. To do this, our solution integrates three separate technologies: a new secure channel with key distribution, multifactor authentication, and software-defined perimeters that reduce the attack surface of your applications, all while enabling an amazing user experience.

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Gandhi: We are targeting our solution to enterprises that have large-scale digital customers. Our solution is geared toward mid-market and large-scale enterprises with a need for exceptionally strong security while concurrently enabling an amazing customer experience. Today we have customers in government, military, financial services, manufacturing, and e-commerce spaces. We are rapidly expanding into health care, secure infrastructure, and IoT.

Finovate: How does Uniken solve the problem better?

Gandhi: By combining three separate technologies, we are able to mitigate risks that other technologies can’t. These risks include credential compromise, MITM attacks and phishing attacks, all while also reducing the overall attack surface for the enterprise. Our next couple of releases will further enhance our DDOS resistance by segmenting connectivity at the protocol layer in a way that no other product can do.

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Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation.

Gandhi: One of our most remarkable implementations was for one of the major depository clearinghouses of a major country. We were able to get this institution up and running with 1,500 financial institutions and fully functional within 60 days. In short, 1,500 member banks were able to get into the depository clearinghouse on the 60th day and clear billions of dollars of transactions safely, simply, and securely. This is a great testament that speaks to the ease that our technology integrates with existing systems.

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Gandhi: Our management team has broad backgrounds encompassing financial services, technology, and cyber security. We have built teams, scaled businesses, and consistently bring value to clients every day. We are proud to have as our Chief Security Officer Dr. Whitfield Diffie. He helped create the preeminent key-exchange technology used on the internet today, i.e., the Diffie-Helman key exchange mentioned above. Our whole team reassures clients that we will be a major factor in the future and gives them the confidence that we can deliver today.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from Uniken that we can look forward to over the next few months?

Gandhi: Our road map includes some great extensions of both platform and capability. We are upgrading our desktop clients to match the robustness of our recent REL-IDmobile and REL-IDverify offerings. The desktop agent will be the final piece in our client-facing product set. We are also extending our connectivity solution to servers and Linux-based environments, enabling the use of our protocol in server-to-server connections and cloud-only application environments. And finally, we are making our back-end and front-end offerings FIDO compliant, giving our customers the ability to quickly integrate any other FIDO credential system. With these features in place, we believe the REL-ID family of offerings will be unique in the security marketplace for safety, simplicity, and scale.

Finovate: Where do you see Uniken a year or two from now?

Gandhi: We expect to see Uniken as the leader in customer identity management and expect broad-based adoption of our REL-ID protocol as a part of a larger ecosystem, whereby multiple vendors cooperate with solutions to keep the internet safe.


Levine and Gandhi demonstrating REL-IDverify at FinovateFall 2016 in New York.

Finovate Debuts: BondIT Helps Relationship Managers Focus on the Relationship

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BondIT launched with the intention to build and improve fixed-income portfolios. The Israel-based startup’s platform helps advisers construct bond portfolios that are tailor-made and optimized for every client.

In his demo at FinovateFall 2016 COO Eran Nachshon began by explaining the problems BondIT seeks to fix. First, there are more clients, second, clients are seeking more personalized treatment, and third, regulators require an audit trail. “That’s where BondIT comes in,” Nachshon said, “with a hybrid approach that appreciates peoples’ strengths in forging relationships but empowers them with machine learning, data-driven capabilities to construct bond portfolios that are optimized and personalized for each and every client with a clear audit trail. And we do that in two minutes.”

By enabling construction, reallocation, and re-balance of optimal bond portfolios, BondIT helps advisers improve portfolio-management efficiency so they can focus on their client relationship.

Company facts:

  • $6.5 million in funding
  • 25 employees
  • In contracts with several tier 1 banks
  • Founded in 2012
29691687526_0302535a5a_kBondIT COO Eran Nachshon demoed at FinovateFall 2016 in New York City.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaaikaaaajdgxowywmtflltyxmdatngviny05ywfjlty3nte1nzdkytlizg-1After FinovateFall, we spoke with Bondit CEO Etai Ravid to learn more about the company and its future plans.

Finovate: What problem does BondIT solve?

Ravid: What we’re ultimately solving is lost bond sales. We want to transform the inefficient processes that relationship managers (RMs) currently utilize into a simple-to-use, data-driven and customizable solution.

Here’s how BondIT is transforming the client-RM relationship in fixed income:

1) We improve portfolio management efficiency by enabling the construction, reallocation and re-balancing of optimal bond portfolios in a few minutes.
2) We drive sales by empowering relationship managers and trading desks with personalized and optimized investment recommendations.
3) We improve client’s satisfaction by providing on-demand, timely and comprehensive reports.

To achieve this, we have developed some of the most advanced, proprietary machine-learning algorithms in fixed income and then present it in an intuitive interface to users.

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-4-35-42-pm(above) Optimized portfolio construction
screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-4-38-06-pm(above) Constraints selection

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Ravid: In general, people who can benefit from our product are financial advisers, relationship managers, and all other professionals whose role is to help people invest their money in a financially prudent way.

Strategically speaking, we’re currently targeting private banks or private wealth arms of large financial institutions and wealth managers, since most AUM is managed by private bankers and wealth managers. BondIT offers material business value-add capabilities to increase AUM and trades.

Finovate: How does BondIT solve the problem better?

Ravid: The problem, to iterate, is lost bond sales. Every time a client calls a bank and has to wait several days to receive an answer, or receives a one-size-fits-all reply, translates into another lost trade, and another dissatisfied client much more likely to migrate to another, nimbler competitor.

BondIT solves this problem better by arming the entire chain of people interacting with clients with a fast (90 seconds); intuitive (15 minutes of training required); tailored (every portfolio is different); powerful (machine-learning) platform. Furthermore, it allows the advisers to proactively engage clients by alerting them to changes in the portfolio that prompt changes (re-balance) which will benefit the client, greatly enhancing the probability for the triple win: bank is happy (more trades); adviser is happy (seems proactive); and client is happy (better portfolios).

bondit3Portfolio analytics and management

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution.

Ravid: The following is an excerpt from a user, and it shows how our solution works hand in hand with relationship managers to improve outcomes for all.

On Monday morning, I got a call from a prospective client, asking to hear about what our bank has to offer, as he has heard mixed reviews. Instead of going into the usual spiel (unparalleled research, best client service etc.), I told him about a new software that instantly imports and improves portfolios. He bites, and tells me his 12 positions over the phone.

I punch them into BondIT, hit the “Improve Me” button and chat him up about his goals for a minute and a half. BondIT found a way to enhance his YTM by 70 basis points while maintaining his risk. He was so surprised by the prompt response and excess yield that he set up a face-to-face meeting. Long story short, I converted a $3 million client in a few minutes.

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Ravid: I came from a finance background with a master’s degree in finance and had professional experience in portfolio management and equity valuation.

I derive my confidence from my family, as I’m a third-generation entrepreneur. This firsthand experience, coupled with my education, instilled a deeply seated belief that it’s always possible to succeed in creating a better way to do things.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from BondIT that we can look forward to over the next few months?

Ravid:

1) BondIT is working closely with several leading fixed income/financial platform providers on synergetic collaboration. This will complete the advisory service circle from ideation to execution.

2) BondIT will continue its global expansion, with a particular focus on growth in the U.S. and Asian markets.

3) BondIT will be introducing an even more advanced analytics solution, to include investors’ behavior-based analytics; advanced predictive and descriptive analytics algorithms; and some surprises we can’t reveal yet—stay tuned!

Finovate: Where do you see BondIT a year or two from now?

Ravid: We envision BondIT assisting thousands of fixed-income advisers and managers in delivering a superior customer experience, and as a result, enjoy a boost in sales.

BondIT will also be integrated into leading execution/information platforms, creating analytical recommendation as a part of completely friction-less flow.

Ultimately, we want BondIT to be seen as the gold standard when it comes to smart recommendations and data-driven portfolio management for fixed-income investment.


Here’s BondIT’s FinovateFall 2016 demo video. COO Eran Nachshon showcased the platform in New York City:

Finovate Debuts: Bluescape Helps Banks Create Products from Napkin Sketches

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Bluescape’s visual collaboration solution is an interactive, visual platform to help banks bring products to market faster. It gives teams tools they need to ideate, design, and create better products while offering the structure necessary to keep the new product within the bank’s boundaries by using a process-approval flow.

In the company’s demo at FinovateFall in New York City, Bluescape’s VP Products and Marketing, Nick Brown, mapped out an idea for a new credit card on the company’s multitouch display board. From there he showed how multiple teams, including marketing, legal, and compliance, can generate end-to-end workflows using tools such as drag-and-drop, sketch, media uploads, and more. Brown went on to demonstrate how the Bluescape platform enables screen sharing and audio visual conferencing to facilitate remote collaboration.

Bluescape has a markedly unique background. The company is a subsidiary of Haworth, a workplace furniture and interior architecture firm. The idea for Bluescape was conceived when Haworth partnered with Obscura Digital. The two companies wanted to find a new way to interact with large data sets. Read more about Bluescape’s launch in our interview with CEO Scott Poulton, below.

Company facts:

  • 70+ employees
  • Privately owned and funded by Haworth Inc.
  • Headquartered in San Carlos, California
  • Founded in 2010
  • Clients include Marriott and Mazda
29644025721_a0ac6212ec_kNick Brown, VP, products and marketing, demoed the Bluescape platform at FinovateFall 2016 in New York.

After the company’s demo at FinovateFall in New York, we caught up with Bluescape CEO Scott Poulton to ask about the company’s current targets and future plans.bluescape-scott-poulton-16x9

Finovate: What problem does Bluescape solve?

Poulton: The financial services industry is facing major disruption on just about every front. This large-scale disruption is requiring companies to significantly accelerate their pace of innovation. Bluescape helps financial services companies create better products, and more engaging and cohesive customer experiences, faster. Its visual collaboration platform lets UX/UI design teams see the whole picture as they ideate, design, refine, and develop in a workspace that’s ultra-scalable, all-capturing and accessible from any device.

bluescape-workspace-finovatefall-2016-demoBluescape’s visual collaboration platform

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Poulton: Bluescape works with design and development teams within some of the most innovative enterprises in the world, from leading financial and professional services firms, to top media and entertainment studios (and even) the federal government.

Finovate: How does Bluescape solve the problem better?

Poulton: Bluescape connects teams across disciplines and time zones so everyone can see and play with concepts, plans and every iteration of those plans in one easy-to-use, easy-to-access place—where no idea is ever lost. Unlike other collaboration offerings, Bluescape is hardware and software tools agnostic: Users access Bluescape from any device, working with the tools they already enjoy using. Using Bluescape, individuals and teams can share ideas in real time, ignite breakthrough ideas, and bring better products to market more quickly.

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution.

Poulton: A bio-tech institution, top design firm, and large pharmaceutical company are working together using Bluescape to share information, collaborate, and discover in real-time the important patterns around genetic research, which is revolutionizing scientific research. That implementation means a lot to us.

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Poulton: Our founding company, Haworth, saw a need to have a better way to design products. The inspiration for Bluescape came from a love of designing new solutions that make the process of work and design better. We had the luxury of being able to test the proof of concept within Haworth—one of the top privately held furniture companies in the world with more than a $1B in revenue—and see firsthand the possibilities for this technology. Since then, Bluescape has been implemented in multiple Fortune 500 companies. This has given us all a high degree of confidence in Bluescape’s future success.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from Bluescape that we can look forward to over the next few months?

Poulton: We have redesigned our thin-client interface and are certifying our solution on some new, large-scale, tiled wall platforms in the last quarter of 2016. These new solutions will greatly change the price performance for the ultimate experience with Bluescape.

Finovate: Where do you see Bluescape a year or two from now?

Poulton: We see Bluescape changing the way design and development teams work. We believe it’s the kind of product that once you employ it, there is no going back. To quote a Bluescape customer, ‘Bluescape is what we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the way we were all meant to work.’

Finovate Debuts: Daon Brings Security and Convenience to Mobile Authentication

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Speaking at FinovateFall 2016 in September, Daon President of the Americas Conor White asked attendees about their own experience with cart abandonment online. “Last year, a Javelin report said that $9 billion was lost due to card fraud. That’s a problem,” White said. “But there was $118 billion in lost revenue because transactions were just abandoned or falsely declined. So do we have a security problem or a convenience problem?”

“As a security professional, I’ve always been told you can be secure or you can be convenient, but you can’t be both,” White said. “Now you can be both. You can be secure and your customers will be happy.”

With clients including USAA and Mastercard, Daon provides both enterprise and public sector customers with biometric authentication technologies including face, voice, and fingerprint recognition. The company offers its variety of authentication options over multiple channels, ensuring that clients have access to the authentication solution or solutions that suits their needs. Daon’s technology can be deployed to provide authentication for digital banking, for payment verification, and employee credentialing, as well as cloud authentication. Importantly, the technology is built to make it easier for individuals to protect themselves, delivering both security and convenience.

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At FinovateFall 2016 in September, Daon introduced IdentityX, a universal mobile biometric authentication platform that enables combinations of the above factors—face, voice, and fingerprint—to be used for authentication. IdentityX also leverages device binding, geolocation, and liveness detection to provide a thoroughly multifactor solution. The platform is designed to allow companies to “innovate as you authenticate your customers,” as well as add the latest authentication technologies available. “That’s what Mastercard seeks, that’s what USAA seeks, that’s what our other customers on five continents seek,” White said.

Company facts:

  • Headquartered in Reston, Virginia
  • Tom Grissen is CEO
  • Daon’s customers include USAA, Mastercard, Atom Bank, Gulf Bank Kuwait, and Banco Neon

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Daon’s Conor White, president of the Americas, demonstrated IdentityX at FinovateFall 2016.

We caught up with Conor White during rehearsals at FinovateFall. We followed up later with a few questions by email. Below are our questions and his responses.

daon_conorwhiteFinovate: What problem does Daon solve?

Conor White: The big challenge being solved across all digital channels is that of security and convenience. Some would suggest you cannot have both. At Daon, we disagree. It’s important that companies think about their customers’ digital security and digital experience, moving away from that one-size-fits-all approach, such as more complex passwords and knowledge-based authentication, to a more nuanced understanding of how different customers think and feel about their security experiences.

Daon’s IdentityX authentication platform provides freedom of choice to use the authentication method that fits their preference—fingerprint, face, voice or alternative biometrics just emerging in the marketplace. Platforms make difficult things easy, such as applying customer segmentation strategies to digital security. More than ever, companies need to be inclusive of all of their customers and provide convenient authentication across all digital channels.

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

White: Daon is working with some of today’s most innovative companies across five continents with a wide spectrum of industries including financial, healthcare, insurance, and automotive. We are proud to be working with companies such as Mastercard and USAA, Atom Bank, Nequi, Banco Neon, SMBC, NTT Data, and Equiniti who are giving their customers the freedom to choose how they authenticate when they bank or make a payment, which is empowering and, frankly, more simple, convenient, and secure.

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Finovate: How does Daon solve the problem better?

White: Millions of consumers are already using Daon biometric authentication, and they love it. As consumers experience the convenience and security benefits that biometrics bring, enormous pressure is being felt by companies that are still using antiquated passwords as part of their digital strategy.

More than 92% of users prefer biometrics over passwords. In addition, passwords are too cumbersome, easily forgotten, and represent a decades-old system of authentication. Research shows that one-third of online shopping carts are abandoned due to consumers forgetting their passwords, which is money lost for any company.

The IdentityX platform future-proofs and protects organizations by allowing for a combination of biometrics—those available today and in the future—in conjunction with other security measures such as cryptography, device-binding, location factors, and more. IdentityX can match on-device or on-server the type of biometric architecture you want to deploy. In order to guarantee a consistent user experience across all operating systems and hardware, the platform approach is the only real solution.

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your technology.

White: More than ever, companies need to be inclusive of all of their customers and provide convenient authentication across all digital channels. There are more than 57 million people with disabilities. IdentityX gives companies the opportunity to be inclusive: Whether the person needs to use their voice, fingerprint, or face, they can do so.

Another exciting implementation of the technology is how it’s being deployed in call centers. For instance, when you call USAA’s call center from their smartphone app, the authentication already has taken place. So unlike a typical call-center authentication process, which can often take up to 60 seconds with multiple questions, they can immediately begin to handle your issue and send you directly to the department you need – without ever having to ask! It’s a huge differentiator and only possible today using biometric authentication.

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Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

White: After 9/11, Daon had the privilege of working closely with global governments who were looking to secure their borders using biometric technology. Daon was involved in the development of many of the larger-scale biometric systems used by democratic nations around the world. We are now using this same technology to help companies around the globe provide simple, convenient and secure ways for their customers to authenticate their online purchases, bank accounts, and much more. This technology is sweeping across all digital channels. Think of our early encounter with the internet. First we “browsed” and used Netscape. Then we “searched” and turned to Google and next we “shared” with Facebook. The next big problem being solved is trust. Daon’s core competency is developing biometric authentication software products that establish trust between two parties.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from your company that we can look forward to over the next few months?

White: With marquee brands relying on Daon’s technology, the big excitement is watching their digital channel adoption rates rise rapidly as their customers experience simple, convenient and secure biometric authentication. We are seeing our technology impact top-line revenues and shifting market share for major global companies. The results of Daon’s continuing mission—to ensure IdentityX solves well-understood business problems—are unparalleled in the market.

Finovate: Where do you see your company a year or two from now?

White: We’d like to see Daon regarded as the leading company that customers around the world turn to on their ongoing journey of addressing the high-value task of improving the digital security experience for their consumers, to drive up digital adoption rates and customer-satisfaction scores.