Experian, FICO, and Finicity Launch the UltraFICO Score

Three fintechs joined forces today to create a new credit scoring technology designed for thin-file customers. Experian, FICO, and Finicity are the triumvirate behind the new score, named the UltraFICO score.

The UltraFICO score leverages consumer-permissioned account data aggregated and distributed by Experian and Finicity. Unlike the traditional FICO score, which relies heavily on repayment data from users’ previous credit usage, UltraFICO looks at how responsibly consumers manage their finances. After gaining the user’s permission to access their bank statements, Finicity’s technology pulls consumer-contributed data from their checking, savings, and money market accounts, examining the length of time accounts have been open, frequency of activity, and saving data.

For its part, Experian pulls the consumer’s credit information and will integrate the new model into lenders’ existing operational workflow. Alex Lintner, president of Experian’s Consumer Information Services, said that this project has offered the company “a new way to use consumer-permissioned data that allows lenders to make better decisions and helps consumers gain access to credit.”

Accessing the additional data not only offers lenders a more complete picture of the prospective borrower’s ability to repay, it also improves access to credit for Americans who are typically below lenders’ preferred credit score threshold. This especially applies to thin-file borrowers and those working on rebuilding their score after a financial crisis.

Jim Wehmann, FICO EVP of Scores, said that UltraFICO “empowers consumers to have greater control over the information that is being used in making credit risk decisions.” He added, “It also enables a deeper dialogue between the consumer and lenders to help both parties make better financial decisions.”

UltraFICO will be piloted in 2019 to test the new model and determine consumers’ willingness to share their financial data. The group plans to make the new model generally available to lenders in mid-2019.

Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Experian most recently demoed its decisioning platform at FinovateFall 2018. The cloud-based platform enables organizations to combine data and analytics to improve the accuracy of their customer lending decisions. Earlier this year, Experian acquired U.K.-based ClearScore for $385 million.

Founded in 1956 as Fair Isaac Corporation, FICO presented “Rapidly Deliver Contextually-Powered Stream Processing” at FinDEVr New York 2016. Earlier this month, the company announced it will provide KYC and onboarding solutions for Belarus-based lender, Belgazprombank.

Utah-based Finicity demoed at FinovateFall 2017 where the company’s Co-founder and President of Data Services, Nick Thomas, showed how the company simplified access to its Verification of Income and Verification of Assets reports. Frequently in the headlines, Finicity announced last week it was selected as third-party service provider for Freddie Mac’s automated income and asset assessment solution, Loan Product Advisor. In September, the company aligned with intelligent process automation software provider Capsilon to modernize the mortgage origination process.

Open Bank Project Collaborates with Open Source Software Company Red Hat

Open source API innovator, TESOBE’s Open Bank Project, announced it has teamed up with Red Hat this week. The two are collaborating on a new API specifically designed for banking and financial services companies.

The Open Bank Project will leverage Red Hat’s Fuse along with the North Carolina-based company’s rule engines to connect banking systems and offer interoperability among a variety of sources of bank data. This combination of the Open Bank Project’s and Red Hat’s open source technologies facilitates banking system connections while delivering a wider range of applications to end users.

TESOBE CEO and Founder of the Open Bank Project, Simon Redfern, said, “Red Hat and TESOBE share a strong commitment to open source and I’m excited to see these technologies working together. The collaboration we have today can offer a valuable opportunity for banks to help reap the benefits of Open Banking.”

Founded in 2005, the Open Bank Project is a pioneer in open banking, an initiative wherein banks open up their architecture via APIs. In addition to allowing third party applications and services to leverage consumer data, open banking helps financial services companies comply with the EU’s recently revised payment services directive, which was implemented in January of this year. For this reason, as Rich Feldmann, global director of financial services for RedHat, noted, “As open source continues to be a part of the financial services and banking industry, it is important to have standards and projects in place to help enable it to be used properly and remain compliant. This is why we are happy to collaborate with TESOBE’s Open Bank Project to help provide technology tools and guidance to enable success in open source banking.”

In addition to today’s Red Hat announcement, the Open Bank Project also divulged it will be working with Australian challenger bank, 86 400. The neobank will leverage the Open Bank Project’s APIs to standardize and harmonize its API design for more than 10,000 fintech developers.

Headquartered in Germany, TESOBE’s Open Bank Project demoed at FinovateFall 2018 last month, where Redfern showcased how banks can leverage APIs to drive innovation. Earlier this summer, the Open Bank Project teamed up with Citizens Bank to power the bank’s hackathon.

Lending Club and Wealthfront Score Intuit Consumer Data

What do you get when you combine Intuit, Lending Club, and Wealthfront? We’re about to find out, thanks to Intuit’s announcement today that it is making user data available to third party providers.

California-based Intuit partnered with P2P lending company Lending Club and roboadvisor Wealthfront this week. These partnerships are fueled by Intuit-owned Turbox, leveraging the more than 80,000 data fields on the TurboTax return, including income, employment, housing, etc. With one click, TurboTax users can save time during LendingClub’s loan application process by importing their data. Similarly, shared TurboTax and Wealthfront clients can open an account much faster and receive more personalized financial advice based on their tax return data.

Lending Club noted the capability will do more than just speed up the application process. Cole Gillespie, Vice President and Head of Business Development at LendingClub, said that the TurboTax data will “unlock the access to credit for customers that ordinarily we might not be able to serve… this partnership is a step in leveraging alternative data sources to help us increase the speed and access to credit.”

Andy Rachleff, CEO of Wealthfront said that partnering with a company like Intuit is “a dream come true.” He explained, “They don’t just pay lip service to caring about the client. They constantly challenge themselves to provide more value. Integrating with TurboTax data that customers agree to provide will allow Wealthfront to continue to raise the bar on what it means to deliver accessible, convenient, and deeply personalized financial planning. We can’t wait to do more together.”

Intuit is also leveraging the data to pre-fill applications within PFM platform, Mint; financial recommendations site, Turbo; and existing external Intuit partners. By combining household data to give lenders a view of shared household income, credit score, and debt, Intuit offers a fuller picture of total borrowing and savings power. The company estimates pre-qualification leveraging TurboTax data generates a conversion rate of up to 9x in offer performance.

“With more than 25 million users and rich insights into their financial profile, Mint and Turbo are uniquely positioned to deliver value to both consumers and strategic partners,” said Varun Krishna, VP of product management for Intuit’s Consumer Division. “Using machine learning, we are able to provide consumers a comprehensive view of their finances and highlight relevant opportunities to save time and money and generate unique value to our partners.”

Best known for its Quickbooks accounting software, Intuit most recently demoed at FinovateFall 2009. The company has 20 locations across 9 countries and employs 9,000 people. Founded in 1983, Intuit went public 10 years later and today has a market capitalization of $54.6 billion.

Founded in 2006, Lending Club demoed at FinovateSpring 2009 and at the inaugural Finovate in 2007. Earlier this summer, the company appointed Ronnie Momen as Chief Lending Officer. Lending Club went public in 2015 and today the company’s market capitalization sits at $1.54 billion.

Wealthfront debuted as KaChing at FinovateSpring 2009. The company began 2018 by landing $75 million in funding, bringing its total raised to $205 million. A few weeks later, the company launched a home ownership planning tool.

Fintech Takes Over Hong Kong

Fintech will take over Hong Kong during the city’s Fintech Week, which will begin with FinovateAsia on October 29 and 30, and we’re excited to be a part of it. If you don’t have your ticket yet, register today to join the crowd at the Hong Kong Convention Center.

We’ve finalized the agenda to bring you live demos from the hottest fintechs in Asia, as well as valuable discussions from industry experts and leaders from the region’s top financial services organizations. We’ll also host a variety of action-packed networking sessions where you can chat with our speakers and get to know other attendees.

Here are some of the discussions you won’t want to miss:

Keynote Addresses

  • Chris Skinner, Chairman of the Financial Services Club, will speak about the threat tech giants pose when it comes to customer data.
  • JP Nicols, Managing Director of Fintech Forge, will discuss why banks have to change or risk failure.

Analyst All-Stars

Leading research analysts will share their thoughts and latest research about key global fintech opportunities. Hear from:

  • Frederic Giron – Vice President, Research Director, Forrester
  • Kieran Hines – Head of Industries, Ovum
  • Daniel Latimore – Senior Vice President, Banking Group, Celent
  • Henri Arslanian – FinTech & Crypto Lead, Asia, PwC

Key Discussions

Over the course of two days, we’ll highlight fintech’s most buzzworthy topics by featuring in-depth conversations with industry experts. Here are some of the discussion themes:

  • AI
  • Blockchain
  • Open Banking
  • API economy
  • Insurance
  • Payments
  • Regulation
  • Lending
  • The China opportunity
  • Digital transformation
  • Customer experience

And be sure to check out our full lineup of companies that will demo their newest technologies throughout the conference. On the Finovate blog, our Sneak Peek series will give you an advanced look at the innovations that will be shown on stage.

USAA Taps StreetShares for Small Business Lending

In an industry that too often pits banks against fintechs, it’s good to see the magic of fintech-bank partnerships alive and well. Living that magic is military veteran-focused small business lending platform StreetShares, which is piloting a collaboration with a similarly-focused financial institution, USAA.

Though the pilot is limited to six months, this is a pretty big deal for StreetShares. The four-year-old Virginia-based startup now has access to USAA’s member base of more than 8 million current and former members of the military and their families. Moreover, this is USAA’s first and so far only offering for business loans, a much-requested service.

“Members have been inquiring about business loans and business products from USAA for quite some time,” USAA’s Briana Hartzell explained in the bank’s blog. “So, to better serve member’s needs, USAA is pleased to announce the launch of a limited time pilot offering in collaboration with StreetShares Inc, a veteran-founded, run, and financed company.”

The pilot is open to creditworthy member-owned small businesses that have been in operation for at least one year and have at least $25,000 in annual revenue. Borrowers will have access to StreetShares’ Patriot Express Line of Credit and Term Loan of up to $250,000 with clear, transparent terms.

At FinovateEurope 2015, StreetShares CEO and Co-founder Mark Rockefeller and COO and Co-founder Mickey Konson showcased the StreetShares platform. The company began leveraging Title IV (Regulation A+) of the JOBS act in 2017 to allow unaccredited investors to lend to small businesses. It is now one of only a handful of P2P lending platforms open to unaccredited investors. The company started the year by landing $26 million in funding and earlier this fall relocated to a larger office to accommodate growth. StreetShares now has 47 employees, including 10 veterans.

Zenmonics Lands Funding from FIS

Core banking specialist Zenmonics landed funding from its long-time partner FIS this week. The amount of the minority investment, along with other terms of the agreement remain undisclosed. This marks Zenmonics’ first round of funding; prior to the closing of this week’s investment Zenmonics was 100% company-owned.

The North Carolina-based company will use the funds to further its growth and burgeon capabilities of its channelUNITED platform. Riaz Syed, founder and CEO of Zenmonics said that the investment enables the company “to grow innovation and delivery capacity for our current clients, while also extending our reach in the market.”

Aimed to offer a consistent user experience across multiple channels, Zenmonics’ channelUNITED is an omni-channel solution that adapts and expands to each individual banks’ pace. The system places clients and associates on a common system to unify digital, sales, service, origination, and teller platforms.

Founded in 2007, Zenmonics has more than 200 employees. At FinovateFall 2016, the company debuted channelUnited. Earlier this week, Zenmonics earned a spot on the 2018 IDC FinTech Rankings for the second year in a row.

FIS most recently demoed at FinovateFall 2016. The company debuted its Cardless Cash solution that provides a fast, secure option for sending and picking up cash at any ATM. Headquartered in Florida, FIS serves more than 20,000 clients in more than 130 countries.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Zenmonics Lands Funding from FIS
  • USAA Taps StreetShares for Small Business Lending

Around the web

  • Studio Bank Selects Baker Hill’s Statement Spreading Solution as Building Block for Future Growth.
  • TechCrunch: Coinbase adds ZRX to Coinbase Pro.
  • Payfone Partners with Orange to Fight Identity Fraud in Four New Global Markets.
  • Earnix and DataRobot Announce a Strategic Alliance.
  • Azimo launches new service to serve SMBs.
  • Jack Henry & Associates named a Top Workplace by The Charlotte Observer for fourth consecutive year.
  • WorkFusion launches RPA Express Pro to complement its AI automation platform and scale 40,000 users of its free RPA product.
  • Geezeo CTO featured on Amazon Web Services video series This is My Architecture.

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.

OnDeck Launches Subsidiary to Help Banks with Small Business Lending

Online small business lending platform OnDeck has always served as an alternative to traditional banks. This week, however, the company has made a new move to further its bank-fintech ties. The New York-based company announced the launch of a new subsidiary aimed to help banks serve small businesses.

Dubbed ODX, the new platform-as-a-service entity is an extension of OnDeck’s platform services and will focus entirely on helping banks digitize their small business lending efforts via a combination of software, analytic insights, and professional services.

ODX is as much about helping banks reach small business clients as it is about helping small businesses interact with their bank. The new subsidiary recognizes the hassle that comes with applying for a loan at a traditional bank, many of which still rely on labor-intensive, paper-based processes that take an average of 26 hours over the course of several weeks to complete. In comparison, banks leveraging ODX can offer a fully-digital application and underwriting process that provides the business with funding within 24 hours.

In a statement, OnDeck CEO Noah Breslow said, “ODX is the next generation service provider for the digital lending era, delivering a bank-ready origination platform, analytic support, and implementation services that speed product and process transformation to help banks better meet the evolving needs of their customers.”

Brian Geary, who formerly served as VP of OnDeck’s bank partnership unit, has been appointed to president of ODX. The company hired on Raj Kolluri, former VP of  Product & Engineering at SS&C Primatics, as head of product and technology for ODX.

Founded in 2007, OnDeck has loaned more than $10 billion to small businesses in 700 different industries across the United States, Canada, and Australia since launch. The company, which demoed at FinovateSpring 2012,  leverages its OnDeck Score that uses advanced analytics to make real-time lending decisions and deliver funds to small businesses in as little as 24 hours. Earlier this year, OnDeck closed a pair of revolving credit facilities totaling $93 million.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Reuters: Mitek rejects takeover offer from hedge fund Elliott Management Corp’s software company ASG Technologies.
  • NetGuardians makes the Chartis Risktech Quadrant for enterprise fraud technology 2018.

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 Walmart Partnership Makes a Move for the UnderBanked

While many view Walmart as simply a retailer, millions of Americans rely on the company as their main source for financial products. Walmart offers a variety of debit and credit card options, as well as services such as money transfers, remittances, check cashing, tax preparation, and billpay. So it’s no surprise to see that PayPal has joined forces with the retailer today to fortify services for their joint customers.

As part of the partnership, PayPal users will be able to withdraw and deposit cash into their PayPal account at one of Walmart’s 5,000 brick-and-mortar stores. In addition, PayPal Cash Mastercard customers can access their cash balance using Walmart service desks, ATMs, and cash registers. This is the first time PayPal users have had the flexibility to transact in cash, but it comes at a cost. Each cash transaction is priced at a flat, $3 service fee. The parties have not disclosed how that fee is divided between Walmart and PayPal.

In a press release, Dan Schulman, President and CEO of PayPal said, “We consider this a key collaboration for both PayPal and Walmart. We are committed to working together to make it simple and easy for people to use PayPal cash in and cash out money services at every Walmart location in the U.S. We look forward to working hand-in-hand to help people and families with their financial services needs.”

PayPal’s mobile app offers many of the same features as a traditional banking app, including PFM and money management tools, peer-to-peer money transfer options, and investment opportunities via its partnership with Acorns. Qualifying borrowers also have access to a line of credit. Today’s partnership with Walmart is likely a move to stave off the threat from Amazon, which has been rumored to further its lineup of alternative banking options via partnerships with traditional U.S. banks.

Tying cash into PayPal’s existing robust mobile infrastructure is a key way to target the underbanked population. Now that Walmart is serving as PayPal’s brick-and-mortar “branch,” what’s next for the payments company– mortgages?

Starting today, PayPal users are able to deposit cash at Walmart. The cash out feature will be available at all U.S. Walmart locations next month. Founded in 1998, the alternative banking provider showcased its Instant Account Creation feature at FinovateFall 2012. PayPal’s market cap sits at $90 billion.