Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Aire Pulls in $5 Million, Lands Partnerships with Zopa and Toyota Financial Services.
  • New Investment Boosts Betterment Valuation to $800 Million.
  • Klarna Announces Strategic Investment from Permira.

Around the web

  • PayPal extends partnership with JP Morgan Chase, providing greater payment options for consumers.
  • Taulia joins European E-invoicing Service Providers Association.
  • Persistent Systems agrees to acquires Swiss firm Parx Werk in deal valued at $16 million.
  • ID Analytics partners with Acxiom to strengthen risk assessment and combat fraud.
  • Dwolla adds Multi-User Feature to the Access API Dashboard.
  • Neener Analytics joins Plug&Play fintech accelerator.
  • Tavant selected by Fairway Independent Mortgage To Transform Its Digital Lending Experience.

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

  • Top Five Trends in Customer Engagement Technology.
  • Coder, Broker, Music Producer: Hellenic Bank’s Natasha Kyprianides is Inspired by Constraints.
  • HackerOne Powering Bug Bounty Program for Tor Browser.
  • Truphone Added to List of Carriers for Apple SIM.
  • LendKey Raises $13 Million in Equity and Debt Financing.

Around the web

  • PaySimple and Ping Identity named on list of top ten startups developing in Denver, Colorado
  • Citigroup expands partnership with PayPal to allow card members to use rewards points for purchases at PayPal checkout in the U.S.
  • Darwinex wins spot in South Summit Startup Competition 2017.
  • TD Ameritrade TickerTape blog spotlights social sentiments app, LikeFolio.
  • Dwolla adds multi-user feature to its Access API Dashboard.

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

  • Expensify Announces Five New Receiptburner Partners.
  • Flybits Raises $6.5 Million to Help Banks Put Data to Work

Around the web

  • Jumio introduces eyeball tracking to the “liveness” check of its biometric authentication solution, Netverify.
  • NYMBUS adds executive talent, opens center of strategic excellence in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
  • Co-founder Kristo Käärmann takes the helm at TransferWise.
  • PayPal announces strategic partnership with Samsung Pay.
  • ThreatMetrix named the Leader in The Forrester Wave: Risk-Based Authentication, Q3 2017.

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.

New Partnership Turns PayPal into Apple App Store Payment Option

One small step for consumer choice in e-commerce. One giant leap in PayPal’s quest to be the payment option of choice for shoppers online.

This week the company announced a partnership with Apple to allow shoppers to pay for their purchases at the App Store using PayPal. The feature will be available for users of a variety of Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch, and iPod. In addition to the App Store, PayPal will be a payment option for a variety of Apple services including Apple Music, iTunes, and iBooks. The new partnership is a major coup for PayPal insofar as the App Store previously limited payment options to debit and credit cards. Accepting PayPal also lowers the potential threat the company faced from Apple’s own payment technology, Apple Pay. This week’s deal follows a similar arrangement PayPal forged with Google that launched in April.

“PayPal’s availability across Apple’s services further expands our vision of providing customers a variety of ways to easily make mobile purchases,” PayPal EVP and COO Bill Ready wrote at the company blog. He noted that consumers will be able to ask Apple’s Siri to make a payment via the PayPal app. The agreement between Apple and PayPal is also seen a a big win for consumer choice. MarketWatch quoted industry analyst James Cakmak who noted that the trend toward giving consumers more payment options was strong among the major payment networks and card issuers.

Founded in 1998 and acquired by eBay in 2002, San Jose-based PayPal demonstrated its Instant Account Creation functionality at FinovateEurope 2012. The company is also an alum of our developers conference, teaming up with Braintree to present “The Future of Payment Identity” and host a workshop “Making Payments Fun” at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2014. PayPal made headlines last month when it made an undisclosed investment in online lender and fellow Finovate alum, LendUp. Also in June, PayPal partnered with Flywire – also a Finovate alum – to facilitate international money transfers. The company began the year with a major acquisition, picking up TIO Networks for $230 million in February.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Turnkey Lender Raises $2 Million in Series A.
  • Enhancing the Customer Experience in Financial Services.
  • New Partnership Turns PayPal into Apple App Store Payment Option

Around the web

  • Signifyd brings its Guaranteed Fraud Protection solution to Authorize.Net’s U.S.-based e-commerce merchants.
  • Passport launches parking payment app, Passport Canada, for students at Simon Fraser University.
  • Strategic partnership will integrate Key Lifestyle Indicator technology from Segmint with financial services solutions from IBM.

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.

First Look: Zelle Takes on Venmo, Square and Itself

Seventeen years ago PayPal took on Wells Fargo’s Billpoint (joint venture with eBay) and Citibank’s (C2IT) fledgling P2P payment services. It wasn’t a fair fight. With a $400 million VC war chest and an all-star exec team (Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, David Sacks, Reid Hoffman and so on), the fight didn’t make it past the first round. Within a year PayPal had a stranglehold on eBay payments due to its superior UX and aggressive business model.

Now the banks are back with Zellea rebranded version of the clearXchange that has been up and running for six years. The service already has great traction. In 2016, Early Warning, the bank-owned operator (see note 1), processed 170 million transfers totaling $55 billion for the 85 million customers of their big-bank owners. That works out to exactly 2 transactions per customer annually with an average of $320 per transfer.

The value transferred is three times the size of Venmo’s $17.6 billion in volume, though the number of Venmo transactions is probably higher, perhaps considerably higher if its average transaction size is in the $15 to $20 range implying 1 billion venmos last year.

Using Zelle
Yesterday and today I used the mobile and desktop Zelle from Capital One for the first time. Other than the glitch with my mobile phone number (see note 3), which would stop many consumers from going further, setup was quick and easy. The desktop version is pretty straightforward, with a Send Money with Zelle link in the middle of the Payments menu (see screenshot below). This assumes you know what Zelle is, or you just ignore it since it comes after the key words, “Send Money.”

But the mobile UI is less intuitive. It wasn’t initially obvious how to use it because there is no Zelle or payments navigation item in the Capital One app…yet (it’s only been out since June 12). However, once you go to your checking account section, it’s one of the main navigation items at the top (see inset below).

 

I was initially surprised at what happened with my test payment. I sent a buck to my son (sorry, Paul I only had $1.12 in my account) and I was pleasantly surprised to find that my payment had been “qualified for expedited deposit” and he’d have the cash right away without the usual ACH delay.

But when my son forwarded the email he received, I was surprised to find that my Capital One payment has morphed into a branded Chase QuickPay with Zelle. There was no mention of Capital One anywhere in the message (see screenshot #1).

That makes sense now. My son has a Chase account and was already registered with Chase QuickPay. If he’d not already been registered, he would have received a Capital One branded email (see screenshot #2 below).

Why the new brand?
Zelle/clearXchange will continue to grow at a good clip if its big-bank owners stick with it. It’s already 3x the size of media darling Venmo (owned by PayPal). But I’m not sure the massive investment in creating a new payments brand is worthwhile (cut to the boardroom discussion of a 2018 Super Bowl ad).

I get that they are trying to create another Visa/Mastercard network that consumers recognize and trust. But unlike credit transactions at the POS in the 1950s and 60s, p2p payments are relatively understood by consumers and have much less need of a third-party organization to achieve the network effects. The big banks are already wired to each other and what’s needed, what clearXchange was already offering, is just a simpler UX inside each bank’s online and mobile application. Adding the Zelle name to the mix seems like a step backwards on that front.

Maybe I’m wrong and we’ll all be Zelling money to Mars in a few decades. But I’m not convinced the new brand will stand the test of time.

Bottom line: Love the service, which I expect to flourish, but confused by the branding.


#1: Email to a pre-registered Zelle recipient banking at Chase

 

#2 Email to a Zelle recipient not registered with a participating bank


Author: Jim Bruene is Founder & Senior Advisor to Finovate as well as Principal of BUX Advisors, a financial services user-experience consultancy. 


Notes:

  1. Owners of Early Warning (aka Zelle) are: Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
  2. If I were any bank other than BofA and Capital One, I’d be crying foul over how the banks are listed in alphabetic order. On the desktop, it doesn’t matter (yet) since they are all above the fold. But on mobile, you can only see BofA and Capital One, and there is no indicator that you should scroll for more.
  3. I received a fatal error message when I tried to use my mobile number as contact to send Zelle payments (see inset) from Capital One’s mobile app. This could be something particular to my account, but from the cryptic popup message, it sounds like my phone is registered at another bank. And that would be a big concern for most customers who would fear that identity thieves are hard at work draining their accounts.
  4. Image credit

PayPal Makes Strategic Investment in Online Lender LendUp

Is PayPal’s investment in online lender LendUp a hint that the underbanked may not remain the underserved for long? LendUp specializes in providing loans to borrowers who have been unable to secure credit from banks and credit unions. And with more than $111 million in equity funding – including this week’s undisclosed amount from PayPal, the San Francisco lending and financial education platform has even more capital to grow its business.

“We’re building our own technology to create new financial products and experiences for the 56% of Americans shut out of mainstream banking due to poor credit or income volatility,” LendUp CEO Sasha Orloff said. “Right on a mobile phone.”

Operating in 24 states, LendUp provides a suite of solutions geared toward providing credit to the underbanked and helping those with thin credit files or a poor credit history to build or rebuild their credit rating. The company’s LendUp loans provide short-term credit, typically as much as $500 for up to 30 days. LendUp’s L Card Visa, launched in 2015, is a no-security-deposit-required credit card for the underbanked with an annual fee between $0 and $60, and an APR between the low 20s and the low 30s. The company’s LendUp Ladder enables customer to earns points toward better borrowing rates by making timely loan repayments, completing financial education courses, and referring others to the service.

In addition to the strategic investment from PayPal, LendUp announced that former Lending Club CFO Carrie Dolan would join the company as a board advisor. Other major changes at LendUp including hiring Mandeep Walia – a former PayPal executive – as chief compliance officer, and adding former Lending Club executive Jordan Olivier as VP of Finance, and Karry Bryan, formerly of PwC, as VP and controller.

LendUp demonstrated its lending platform at FinovateSpring 2014, following the company’s Best of Show winning debut the previous year. Earlier this month, the company was named a Financial Health Leader by the Center for Financial Services Innovation. In May, LendUp expanded its L Card credit card, launched in 2015. And in March, the company received a credit facility worth $100 million from Victory Park Capital. LendUp was founded in 2011.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • PayPal Makes Strategic Investment in Online Lender, LendUp.
  • Summit View: Trends and Challenges for Digital Lenders.

Around the web

  • OakNorth Bank is first European FI to deploy nCino’s Bank Operating System.
  • Avoka opens new office in Germany to support German-speaking banks in the DACH region.
  • IDology unveils ExpectID Call Verification to help fight call center fraud.
  • Klarna teams up with Knomo to give new purchase options to Knomo shoppers.
  • Bill.com announces deeper integration with Intuit’s QuickBooks.
  • DefenseStorm readies for July webinar on cybersecurity for financial services.

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

  • Yoyo Wallet Raises $15 Million in Series B.
  • Flywire Teams with PayPal for Cross-Border Payments Method.
  • Fintonic to Use $28 Million Round to Move Beyond Loans and Insurance.

Around the web

  • IdentityMind Global to offer Confirm.io’s document authentication technology to its financial services customers.
  • transcosmos to integrate with Tradeshift Japan to help businesses digitalize their indirect operations and accelerate transactional speed
  • Coinbase is reimbursing losses caused by the Ethereum flash crash.
  • Backbase scores fintech deal in Norway with SSF Bank.
  • Fiserv partners with GoldBean to provide a digital adviser offering extra assistance.
  • Meniga & Islandsbanki partner to deploy new card-linked offer platform reaching more than 30% of households in Iceland.
  • Jumio partners with Monzo for strong identity verification.
  • mBank moves into fintech vendor space with new digital banking system.
  • JCB International partners with iSignthis to enable SEPA transactions.

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.

PayPal’s Venmo Goes Head-to-Head with Zelle, Square Cash, and… Amazon

PayPal EVP and COO Bill Ready recently reminisced how, in 1998, the company launched its first product, one that allowed users to beam money from one Palm Pilot to another. While the hardware has changed, the “beaming money” idea remains the same. In this race to real-time payments, the San Jose-based company announced this week that it has leveraged the partnerships it formed last year with Visa and Mastercard to offer users faster payments.

The new service will allow PayPal and Venmo users to send funds in minutes instead of the two-to-three day timeframe that is typical with most ACH transfers. Expediting funds will come at a cost, however. Users can expect to pay $0.25 per transaction if they want to send funds in real-time (or up to 30 minutes in some cases). The functionality is already available for select PayPal users and will be available for all U.S. PayPal users with eligible Visa and Mastercard debit cards “over the coming weeks and months” and available to Venmo users later this summer.

Zelle

When compared to Zelle, which runs on its former namesake, the clearXchange network, PayPal’s instant payment option is certainly more expensive than Zelle’s free option. PayPal’s advantage over Zelle is that it offers a standalone mobile and web app, while Zelle– as a bank-owned payments app– is more confined. While there are rumors Zelle plans to launch a standalone app, for now it must be hosted within a bank’s website or mobile app. It is worth noting, however, that PayPal’s model isn’t the same as Zelle’s, which is strictly a payment rails network among a group of banks.

Square Cash

Because of this, it is more fitting to compare PayPal’s offering to Square cash, which offers P2P money transfers and holds a user’s balance until they “cash out” or transfer it back into their checking account. Square also offers an instant money transfer feature, for which it charges a one percent fee.

Amazon

It is also worth watching Amazon in this space. The online retail giant made a move earlier this month to encourage its Prime members to hold a balance in their prepaid Amazon account by offering 2 percent cash back on purchases using their Amazon account balance. Similar to PayPal and Square Cash, Amazon does not pay interest on users’ balances, and thus stands to profit from the cash (which, by the way, cannot be transferred back to a user’s account– it must be used on an Amazon purchase). Of course, Amazon’s balance option is just a glorified gift card (for now). However, if enough users are compelled by the 2% cash back offer, we can expect to see the online retailer debut more banking features, stepping on banks’ toes and into territory PayPal has held for almost 20 years.

PayPal’s Braintree recently presented at FinDEVr New York 2016. The company also showcased its Instant Account Creation feature at FinovateFall 2012. Mastercard and Visa both presented at the first FinDEVr, held in San Francisco in 2014, where Mastercard showed off its Developer Zone and Visa demonstrated its API-less web integration and SDK web integration.