Finovate Alumni News


  • Tinkoff Brings Stories to Mobile Banking
  • Meed Leverages ID Verification Solutions from Jumio to Serve the Underbanked

Around the web

  • The 61-member Japan Bank Consortium launches Ripple pilot with South Korean banks Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank.
  • Thomson Reuters adds compliance training courses to help ensure MiFID II compliance.
  • PayPal makes undisclosed investment in Berlin-based deposit marketplace Raisin.
  • ACI Worldwide partners with HyperPay to bring real-time fraud prevention solutions to ecommerce merchants in the MENA region.
  • SME Finance Forum honors Strands with Best Partnership award at its First Membership Engagement Awards event.
  • nCino EVP of Product Development Trisha Price joins Jim Marous’ fintech roundtable to discuss the future of digital banking disruption.
  • Stash Invest presents its Auto-Stash feature to help investors make automatic, recurring investment contributions.
  • SuiteBox introduces its VideoSign Proof of Signature technology.
  • defi SOLUTIONS earns recognition as one of the top 100 fastest-growing privately-held businesses in Dallas, Texas area.

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.

Top Five Trends in Customer Engagement Technology

Guest post by Ian Dunbar, CEO of SuiteBox

Financial services businesses face many pressures – cost reduction, scalability, risk mitigation, compliance, and regulation. Technology is the solution, at least in part, to these pressures. However, technology adds to the friction or customer effort of engaging with the financial service. More effort = customer disengagement.

Cutting across fintech, there are rapid advances being made in technology that drives customer engagement. Here are some of the top themes in CETech – customer engagement technology – that are worth watching.

Social media delivering personalization (and profiling)

Social media, search history, and analytic tools leveraging our digital social footprint will become mainstream in building real time client profiles. This will enable financial services providers to engage with clients through highly-relevant personalized content and to leverage profiles to determine product suitability.

For example, being aware of changes in a client’s family situation (perhaps the death of a loved one or a divorce) may enable the proactive deployment of more effective financial strategies. Product designers can even leverage existing social media data to determine the risks associated with the delivery of a product or service. A life insurer can build an individual’s risk profile more accurately from social media data than from a questionnaire.

Artificial intelligence and cognitive learning

Conversational speech and facial expressions can be analyzed to determine customer emotions. Microsoft’s Emotion API, for example, can detect anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise from a voice stream and images.

Financial service providers can use cognitive tools to deliver their products in a more engaging manner. Meeting with a client in person, via video or on the telephone, can be analyzed in real time. Risk assessment for miss-selling, real timing adapting of what and how a product is presented, or even determining if client is misrepresenting information will all be possible.

The power of video

Most surveys continue to tell us that customers prefer meeting personally with their financial providers. However this can be costly and inconvenient. Do you or your clients want to spend time in traffic, battling for a parking spot, and suffering the stress of congested roads, for a personal meeting?

Of course not. So we use the phone as our primary non-physical meeting tool. But the problem with the phone is it doesn’t employ the power of sight. Eye contact is fundamental to human communication. We can tell a lot from a person’s eyes, what mood they are in, and their level of comfort. Avoiding eye contact with strangers is a common strategy to remain private, especially in situations of close proximity. Yet this is what we do in important telephone calls with our clients.

Biometrics gather momentum

Usernames and passwords are an enormous source of consumer frustration and customer effort. Fingerprint recognition of smartphones has led consumers to treat biometrics as mainstream. This will rapidly expand as biometrics allow a convergence between previously incompatible goals of enhanced security without customer effort.

Smarter virtual assistants

Natural language voice recognition combined with smart virtual assistants mean we will increasingly talk to our financial services websites or apps, rather than our fingers doing the work. Love or hate Siri, voice commands will be increasingly accepted as the norm.

Get ready

Embed customer effort reducing measures and customer-centric design into your digital strategies. Embed the customer experience into user journeys using the latest engagement technologies. Create your own “Customer Experience Lab” to test the experience. There is no better time to put your customer back into the centre of your IT strategy.

Ian Dunbar is the CEO of SuiteBox. SuiteBox enables a permanently open digital workspace to be established between a host and participants of a meeting, allowing participants to meet via video or physically, share and collaborate on documents between the parties, digitally sign documents, establish evidence of identify & record the meeting for future reference. Headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand and founded in 2013, the company demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2016.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Lights! Camera! Action! Demo Videos from FinovateEurope Now Available.
  • BlueVine Lands $75 Million Line of Credit.

Around the web

  • Yoyo marks 10 millionth transaction milestone.
  • Jack Henry & Associates‘ Symitar division unveils its account opening self-service hub, SymApp.
  • New APIs from Citi to help clients access network with existing treasury applications. See Citi at FinDEVr New York in March.
  • Credit Union of Southern California ($1.2 billion) chooses Fiserv’s Architect digital banking platform.
  • SuiteBox introduces multi-signing of document functionality to its digital workspace technology platform.
  • Ledger releases the Nano S firmware 1.3.
  • Stoneham Bank to leverage Insuritas to launch insurance agency platform to drive fee income.
  • Report highlights Urban FT, Misys, Kony, Backbase, Infosys, Cachet Financial Solutions, and Nymbus, as key digital banking players.

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


  • Microsoft Marketing Vet Jeremy Korst Joins Avalara as New CMO.

Around the web

  • New York-based BizFi reaches $2 billion in originations.
  • LTP: Trulioo CEO Stephen Ufford writes about the problem of gift card fraud.
  • Boku extends partnership with Microsoft to support carrier billing to France.
  • Exostar teams up with Taulia to bring supply chain finance to the aerospace and defense industry.
  • Avoka, SocietyOne, and SuiteBox named finalists for Fintech Business Awards.
  • HBR: Narrative Science CEO Stuart Frankel writes about talking chatbots.
  • Quantopian recognized by Boston Globe as a “Company to Watch in 2017.”
  • Let’s Talk Payments features Kontomatik’s successful 2016.
  • Dashlane to support Intel Software Guard Extensions to help protect your passwords with hardware-enhanced security.
  • OurCrowd marks 4 years, $320m raised, 100 startups, 9 exits.

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


  • “Finovate Debuts: Bluescape Helps Banks Create Products from Napkin Sketches”
  • “Tradeshift Earns Undisclosed Investment from Santander”

Around the web

  • Fenergo rises 25 places in global Chartis Research’s RiskTech100 rankings.
  • Blackhawk Network partners with Apple to offer ApplePay rewards.
  • The Australian reports: OurCrowd goes on start-up funds-drive.
  • SafetyPay and VTEX sign a global agreement for electronic commerce.
  • Expensify selected as preferred expense-management solution by the AICPA and
  • Professional Planner quotes SuiteBox CEO Ian Dunbar in discussion on technology and millennials.
  • Top Egyptian retail FI, housing and development bank goes live with Temenos core banking solution.
  • Avanzia Bank and TSYS renew card-processing partnership.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. Follow our alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Fintech Trending: Australia and the Road to Fintech in Asia

australia_newzealand_flagsFinovateAsia 2016 is right around the corner. Be sure to visit our registration page and pick up your tickets today. We look forward to seeing you next week, 8 November, as Finovate returns to Asia.

When we talk about financial technology in Asia, we typically turn to places like Singapore, widely regarded to be the fintech “hub” of the region, or to Japan, with its advanced consumer economy (and increased participation in fintech events in the West, like Finovate and FinDEVr, or to China which was recognized by H2 Ventures and KPMG in their 2016 Fintech 100 report as follows:

China now tops the global ranks—swithin three years, China’s fintech ventures have gone from only one company included in the top Established 50 rankings in 2014, to this year China featuring four of the top five companies and eight of the top 50.

This includes Ant Financial, formerly known as Alipay, which as the world’s largest third-party payment platform, is the #1 company in the report, as well as Qudian, a Beijing-based student micro lender, ranked #2.

But there’s a reason why analysts refer to the area as the Asia-Pacific region, and part of that reason is the presence of countries like Australia and New Zealand which, while very much a part of the Asian financial ecosystem, are often overlooked in discussions about the growth of fintech in the area.

Turning back to the H2 Ventures/KPMG report, we see that of the top 100 companies highlighted, while 14 are from Asia, 1o are from Australia and New Zealand. This compares well with the U.K., a long-standing global fintech center, that landed 12 companies in the top 100. These companies include:

  • #14 Xero (F11; FD14) – New Zealand
  • #31 Prospa – Australia
  • #43 Tyro – Australia
  • #50 SocietyOne (F12) – Australia

As well as emerging stars:

  • AfterPay – Australia
  • Bright – Australia
  • Data Republic – Australia
  • HashChing – Australia
  • Identitii (F16) – Australia
  • springy – Australia

Australian and New Zealand fintech companies are clearly punching above their weight. As one illustration noted by Let’s Talk Payments, in December 2015, 5% of Australian fintech startups raised capital. Yet that 5% represented 14% of all capital raised by fintechs in December. Compare this to the United Kingdom where 15% of fintechs received investment dollars in December 2015, yet the amount raised was 11% of the total for that month. It is no surprise that China stands out as the true overachiever, with only 2% of Chinese companies raising capital in last December, but those companies represented 17% of all financing raised.

The takeaway here is more than a call for FinovateDownUnder—although that’s an intriguing idea. It suggests that more attention paid to Australia—as both a developing fintech nation in its own right, as well as a way for Western companies, technical talent, and capital to begin making its way eastward—could be well-rewarded.

See also:

  • 9 Australian companies have made it to the latest global Fintech 100 – Business Insider Australia
  • Australian FinTech Firms Recognized as World Leaders in FinTech – Cryptocoins News
  • Australian fintech founders recognized as world leaders next to tech giants Stripe, Xero and Square – Startup Smart
  • CBA takes pop-up innovation lab on a tour of Australia – Finextra

Our friends from Down Under

This discussion of Australia and New Zealand merits a reminder of how many innovators from Down Under are alums of our Finovate and FinDEVr conferences. In addition to those mentioned above, here’s a quick look at some of our more recent Australian and New Zealander alums:

Finovate Alumni News


  • Calls New Patent a Turning Point.

Around the web

  • EVRY launches cloud services with global capacity and secure data storage in Norway.
  • IBM to provide new real-time payments systems for The Clearing House.
  • Prosper Marketplace reports its 2016 portfolio is on pace for its highest estimated return since 2013.
  • Fiserv rings opening bell on Nasdaq to celebrate 30 years on the exchange.
  • Chubb and Nationwide launch several core products on the Insuritas SmartCART platform.
  • Lendio partners with Supplier Success to offer working capital to its clients.
  • Oracle names SuiteBox among platform innovation winners.
  • TIO Networks makes Canada’s 2016 PROFIT 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 125%.
  • Guardian Analytics partners with The Pathfinder Group to streamline real-time wire-fraud prevention for wire-transfer system customers.
  • BBC article names Featurespace one of the notable tech companies headquartered in the city.

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.

SuiteBox Appoints Isaac Young as CTO


With more than 10 years experience in financial services technology, Isaac Young will be the new CTO for SuiteBox. Young comes to the New Zealand-based fintech startup after working with global banks like Commerzbank, Rabobank, and UBS. At SuiteBox, he will be responsible for directing the company’s integration initiatives with large channel partners.

“It is a key strategy of ours to bring on channel partners through which the SuiteBox offering can be deployed to large groups of financial advisers,” SuiteBox CEO Ian Dunbar said. “Isaac’s global technology management experience makes him ideally suited to leading these critical projects.” As a software architect for major financial services firms, Young helped design, develop, maintain core banking platforms, automated trading systems, and other critical systems. He was educated at Victoria University of Wellington, where he earned a bachelor of science in chemistry.


SuiteBox CEO Ian Dunbar demonstrated his company’s platform at FinovateEurope 2016 in London.

The SuiteBox platform gives financial professionals a secure, virtual workspace in which to engage their clients. The technology supports video conferences, document collaboration and screen sharing, meeting recording, e-signatures, and embedded web forms. Available as a standalone solution as well as an API, SuiteBox reduces reliance on emails and databases while increasing the quality of client engagement especially for financial professionals with a growing, and/or geographically diverse, client base.

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, SuiteBox demonstrated its platform at FinovateEurope 2016. In May, the company announced a partnership with Midwinter to give investment advisers new tools to make compliance easier, and in April, SuiteBox took home the Best Technology award at the Melbourne Showcase. That was the company’s second award-winning performance of the year, having won the Mobile category of the KPMG Fintech Innovation Challenge in January.

Finovate Alumni News


  • MoneyHub Teams Up with Unbiased to Help People Manage their Finances
  • Expensify Unveils ReceiptBurner and Price-to-Beat
  • Finovate Debuts: Walletron Helps Brands Build a Presence in Digital Wallets

Around the web

  • Concur to deploy SilverRail API to enable European travelers to search, plan, and schedule travel by rail.
  • CSI globalVCard moves global partnership-operations team to Dallas; Nan Dawson promoted to SVP of partnership operations.
  • Lending Club announces new Chief Capital Officer, Patrick Dunne.
  • CoinTelegraph names Braintree, Chain, and Ripple as three companies that will shape the future of money.
  • Sberbank Capitalizes On Pokémon Go Marketing Opportunity
  • Over the last year, 50 new customers added Guardian Analytics Wire to protect their customers from the Business Email Compromise scam.
  • Simple celebrates its 7th anniversary, now with 300,000 customers and a little over 300 staff.

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.

SuiteBox Teams Up with Midwinter To Ease Compliance Burdens for Investment Advisors


For financial planners in Australia, meeting the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) opt-in rules just got a lot easier.

SuiteBox and Midwinter have created an integrated solution that enables financial professionals to meet with clients in online virtual offices, share screens, and secure electronic signatures—with every interaction recorded to ensure compliance and meet regulatory standards like FoFA opt-in.

“The combination of Midwinter’s advice software (AdviceOS) with SuiteBox sets a new benchmark for efficiency, compliance, and client engagement for advisers in Australia,” said Ian Dunbar, SuiteBox CEO. Midwinter Managing Director Julian Plummer spoke directly to the FoFA opt-in issue saying that it was “exciting to be able to tick this one off our list.” But like Dunbar, Plummer spoke of the integrated solution—enabling more than just better and easier compliance—and praised how the combined technologies pave the way for “new methods of advice delivery” as well.


Pictured (left to right): SuiteBox’s Trevor Stacey and Ian Dunbar demonstrated SuiteBox at FinovateEurope 2016 in London.

Watch the solution in action. The ability to sign documents electronically within the virtual meeting is one of the key elements of the SuiteBox platform, enabling the opt-in process to take place remotely and be recorded. “We understand the frustrations planners have about having to undergo the opt-in process and how time consuming it can be,” added Plummer.

This feature was what helped SuiteBox win “Best Technology” at the Melbourne Showcase last month, with the judges praising the platform as a “clean and simple solution” to improve customer engagement. The company was recognized in April as having tools key for those running super-annuation funds. And in January, ahead of its Finovate debut, SuiteBox won the mobile category in the KPMG Innovation Challenge.

Founded in 2013 and based in Auckland, New Zealand, SuiteBox demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2016. Check out our feature on SuiteBox from earlier this year.