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Finovate Alums Help Power CFPB’s Project Catalyst

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgAs part of its mandate to develop innovation and entrepreneurship in the consumer financial marketplace, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is calling on the help of three Finovate alumni.

BillGuard, Plastyc, and Simple are taking part in the first phase of the CFPB’s Project Catalyst, which has three goals: 

  • Establish firm lines of communication with innovators
  • Understand new and emerging products in the market
  • Engage with innovators
In a statement, the CFPB noted that the “data-driven agency … always wants to learn more about what innovators are discovering about consumer wants, needs, and practices.”

To that end, here’s a quick key to what each company does and how each will contribute to the project.

Bill Guard

Bill Guard provides consumers with email alerts to warn of questionable activity in their debit or credit accounts. As part of Project Catalyst, BillGuard will be providing data on customer complaints and dispute resolution.

Watch BillGuard’s most recent Finovate demo here.


Plastyc provides an online-based, prepaid card that serves as an alternative to traditional checking accounts. Here, the CFPB is hoping to learn more about how consumers are using remote mobile check deposit, as well as the importance of immediate access to deposited funds.

To see Plastyc in action, watch their Finovate demo here.


Simple is a virtual bank that provides checking, savings and debit-card functions via a state-of-the-art user interface. Simple’s Goals savings program, which allows customers to make daily, set-aside contributions toward an eventual purchase, is largely what the CFPB is looking to study.

Simple debuted at FinovateFall 2011. Watch their demo here.

Note that while all three companies are sharing data with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, no personally identifiable information will be included.