When did banking become boring? Probably when all the gold doubloons and pieces of eight were replaced by paper checks and computer bits.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Most people have at least a passing interest in where their money is going. Sure, there are some negative issues around money, but the place where you track your spending and savings should at least be engaging. And that’s rarely the case today.
But Bank Simple (and others) are making good progress.
Simple Innovation #8: Full transaction annotation
with on-the-fly categories
As the startup continues to push the UI envelope (see note 1), it now lets users annotate transactions with uploaded images or PDF files (for a pic of that tantalizing dinner or the receipt for expense reimbursement), free-form memos, and categories created on the fly (#category like on Twitter).
That allows customers to create a historical record around their purchases. Or as Mechanics Bank’s Bradley Leimer put it:
“I love it. It’s like Pinterest or Instagram in your banking application.”
For a more thorough look at the UI, check out the new video posted on the Simple blog.
Fully annotated transaction at Simple (19 Dec 2012)
1. See previous seven Simple innovations here.
2. Expensify offers similar photo capture and memo annotation capabilities
3. For more info on Simple and other Truly Virtual Banks, see our Oct 2011 Online Banking Report (subscription).
For more on balance forecasting and other advanced PFM features, see our recent Online Banking Report: PFM 4.0 (June 2012; subscription).
4. According to Apple iTunes, Simple app downloaders are also “buying” Schwab, PageOnce, and Mint apps.
With FinovateEurope 2013 less than 2 months away, we’ve finally finished handpicking the cutting-edge companies that will be demoing their latest and greatest financial tech innovations at the conference.
The selection process this year was particularly competitive due to the tremendous amount of innovation going in Europe right now. Fortunately, with our expanded two-day format, we’re excited to be able to showcase significantly more innovations this year.
Before you head off for the holiday break, check out the small sneak peek below of the companies that we’ve selected. And we’ll be announcing a number of additional innovative presenting companies that are currently in “stealth mode” closer to the event.
A Sneak Peek of the FinovateEurope 2013 Presenting Company Roster:
- Acuity Systems
- DEVICE IDENT
- GMC Software Technology
- IND Group
- Kalixa Group
- Pockets United
- The Currency Cloud
- True Office
- Virtual Piggy
- And more to be announced!
If you’d like to attend and watch the cutting-edge of European fintech
debut via our fast-paced, demo-only format, early-bird tickets are still available at
the discounted price of £1,095.00 (£100 off). Tickets are limited so please lock in your seat today to guarantee your ability to attend (and these savings). We’ll see you in London in February!
FinovateEurope 2013 is sponsored by: Bluerock Consulting, Financial Technology Partners & The Bancorp
FinovateEurope 2013 is partners with: BankersHub, Celent, Financial Services Innovation Centre, The Financial Services Club, and Hotwire PR
As if the board of directors of Lending Club was not star-studded enough, the peer-to-peer lender recently announced that former Treasury Secretary Lawrence “Larry” Summers would be joining the team.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Summers noted that “rapid adoption of technology and innovation” that was creating opportunities for companies like Lending Club. Summers will join such notable as former Morgan Stanley CEO, John Mack, and legendary tech stock analyst, Mary Meeker.
Lending Club is a San Francisco-based peer-to-peer consumer lender. The company recently surpassed $1 billion in total loans issued, and has doubled the volume of its monthly loans over the past eight months. As of December 2012, the average loan amount is $12,300.
This comes even as Lending Club maintains fairly high standards. The typical Lending Club borrower has:
- FICO score of more than 700
- 15% debt-to-income ratio (excluding mortgage)
- Personal income of more than $69,000
- 14 years of credit history
Watch Lending Club’s Finovate demonstration here.
Payment acceptance and rewards platform, Swipely, announced its Winter 2013 release this week.
The release brings three main upgrades:
1) Swipely’s CRM tool automatically updates a customer’s information each time they pay using a credit card. The tool creates a profile for credit-paying customers that details total money spent, number of transactions, average spend, and the customer’s lifetime value.
2) Tablet-optimized merchant dashboard that now includes:
- Simpler to use platform
- Analytics on a store-by-store basis or in aggregate for retailers with multiple locations
- Heat Map that indicates sales performance by hour
- Daily Journal that shows merchants how weather, Facebook posts, and other factors impact buying patterns
3) Expanded support of POS middleware solutions, including:
- First Data
- Isis POS
- PC Charge
- Many others
The Rhode Island-based company has already upgraded existing merchants to the new release, and interested merchants will be upgraded with no extra cost.
In addition, Swipely informed me that it recently crossed the threshold of a quarter billion dollars in processing.
To learn more about Swipely, watch its FinovateSpring 2012 demo.
Integrating offline marketing with online fulfillment is a promising way to improve ROI. Pelican State Credit Union grabs member attention with a temporary yellow bar across the top of the page (see screenshot below). It directs members that received an auto loan direct mailer to an online application.
I like this approach. It garners attention for the offer, but the narrow banner disappears permanently once users click the X in the upper-right corner.
However, this extra attention can be a mixed blessing. It’s great for those members that received the offer (and remembered they did). But for everyone else, they are left scratching their heads after clicking "more info."
The landing page doesn’t mention how to check whether you were one of the chosen recipients or how you might otherwise qualify for the deal. It also does nothing to reinforce the offer, which apparently was for an auto refinance. The slim copy simply points everyone to the generic online application.
Bottom line: The yellow bar across the top is a great way to grab attention. But, you need to answer basic questions about the promo or you risk irritating members (see note.
Off topic: The CU is nicely decked out for the holidays with three timely messages among its five rotating promos:
- Visa Gift Cards, which unfortunately, require a trip to the branch to purchase (see first screenshot)
- Double rewards points for using its Visa card in December
- General holiday greeting, which leads to a YouTube picture collage with music
Pelican State Credit Union adds an Auto loan promo reminder at top of page (18 Dec 2012)
Note: The CU also is nicely decked out for the holidays.
Landing page for Auto Loan Refinance mailer
Note: Blank box on left makes the page look like something is broken.
1. The CU has a prominent "chat now" button, so interested members could potentially get a quick answer there, assuming CSRs manning the chat are equipped to determine eligibility.
PC Mag finds a lot to like in Dashlane.
From the password manager’s “elegant interface” and ease of use, to the way it streamlines online shopping, Dashlane earned high praise in a recent review of security “must-haves” at PC Mag.
Dashlane enables shoppers to use their iPad or iPhone to login and checkout on any website in the world. Combining instant checkout with total consumer privacy, Dashlane lets consumers move quickly through the payment process – from entering e-mail and contact information to password generation and payment options.
One feature that caught the eye of the reviewers at PC Mag was the way Dashlane’s password wizard helps build “memorable but unguessable” passwords.
The password wizard is a boon for consumers weary of setting up new passwords and filing out the same old forms each time they shop at a new online retailer. And anything that helps customers move from “found it!” to “own it!” faster and more efficiently is a bonus for businesses, as well.
Watch Dashline in action at Finovate Fall 2012 here.
Looking for a reliable guide to the top 401(k) plans? The New York Times is sending inquisitive investors in the direction of BrightScope.
An independent provider of 401(k) ratings since 2008, BrightScope provides an annual list of the top 30 401(k) plans. The company leverages the largest private database of 401(k) data to empower plan sponsors, advisors, and participants.
BrightScope incorporates 200 different factors into each individual 401(k) plan rating, making it easy to quickly evaluate and compare different plans. Importantly, as The New York Times points out, BrightScope makes it easy to compare plans by peer group, as well. This way a 401(k) plan participant can compare his or her plan to other plans in similar industries and businesses.
For more on BrightScope, take a look at the company’s Finovate demo here.