Passport Raises $65 Million for Mobile Payment for Parking

Mobile payments for parking company Passport just landed $65 million in funding, bringing its total raised to over $125 million.

The Series D round saw participation from Rho Capital Partners, H.I.G. Growth Partners, and ThornTree Capital Partners. Habib Kairouz from Rho Capital Partners and Scott Hilleboe from H.I.G. will join Passport’s board of directors.

The funding will be used enhance Passport’s software platform and expand its digital parking ecosystem.

Founded in 2010, Passport offers mobile payment solutions for parking, transit, permits, and tolling. The company’s solutions serve more than 1,000 clients and have been adopted by more than 450 agencies in over 5,000 locations worldwide, including Chicago, London, Toronto, Boston, Vancouver, Portland, Montreal, and Miami. To date, Passport has processed more than $1.5 billion, processing 100+ million transactions each year.

“We envision a world where mobility is seamless,” said Bob Youakim, Passport co-founder and CEO. “To bring this vision to life, we are creating an open ecosystem where any entity – a connected or autonomous vehicle, a mapping app, or a parking app – can leverage our transactional infrastructure to facilitate digital parking payments.”

At FinovateEurope 2016, Passport demoed its Mobile Ticketing for Transit solution. 

This year, Passport launched a pilot for micro-mobility companies, including scooter fleet company Spin. In August, the company moved on to phase two of the project to enable cities to charge scooter companies for parking. The city of Charlotte will move forward with its pilot and the company anticipates that other cities will follow.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Passport Raises $65 Million for Mobile Payment for Parking.

Around the web

  • CustomerXPs honored on the RegTech 100 list for second consecutive year.
  • Ixaris forms agreement with Sabre to tap into new European markets.
  • Ocrolus introduces Ocrolus+, a turnkey solution for ingesting documents and digital data streams through a single API.
  • Bitbond partners with KlickOwn to expand into real estate.

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.

Bill.com Begins Trading on NYSE at $22 per Share

Bill.com marked a win this week as it finalized its debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BILL. The business payments platform priced its shares at $22, which is higher than the previously anticipated $16 to $18 per share amount.

The raise equates to about a $216 million raise, which is more than double the $100 million figure we reported last month, when pricing terms had not yet been shared publicly. Bill.com’s market capitalization now sits at $1.56 billion.

There has been plenty of positivity about Bill.com’s public debut, including the Wall Street Journal’s article about the IPO being “worth the tab” and Forbes’ discussion about Bill.com’s stock “taking off on IPO day.”

Before today’s public debut, the California-based company had raised $347 million in 11 rounds of funding from investors including Franklin Templeton, JPMorgan Chase, Union Square Ventures, CapitalG (Google Capital), Microsoft, Baidu, Qualcomm, Fidelity, Silicon Valley Bank, American Express, and more.

With 500 employees in offices across Palo Alto, California and Houston, Texas, Bill.com helps businesses manage accounts payables and receivables with online billpay, custom invoicing, document storage, collaboration tools, and more. The company’s platform moves $70 billion and 45 million documents on an annual basis and facilitates 8,000+ customer messages per day.

At the time of publication, Bill.com’s stock price is up over 60% at $35.33 per share.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Bill.com Begins Trading on NYSE at $22 per Share.

Around the web

  • CIO Look interviews Rob Leslie, Founder and CEO of Sedicii.
  • Clutch’s top 1000 list names Chetu among best B2B service providers in 2019.
  • CustomerXPs wins the IBS Intelligence Global FinTech Innovation Award for ‘Most Innovative Use of AI and Machine Learning.’

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.

TradeLedger and Mambu Team Up

Cloud banking platform provider Mambu and lending-as-a-service platform TradeLedger joined together recently to create an offering for online commercial lenders.

This client group, which the companies cite as an underserved $1.6 trillion (£1.2 trillion) opportunity, will offer commercial lenders a cloud-based solution to design, configure, and implement new lending products.

“Mambu’s composable banking approach blends perfectly with our vision for a brand-new mid-market transactional banking and trade infrastructure,” said Roger Vincent, Chief Innovation Officer at Trade Ledger. “Through an API-driven architecture, the Trade Ledger and Mambu platforms come together with Mambu Process Orchestrator allowing our customers to significantly reduce the cost of loan origination and servicing, improve customer experiences (internal and external), and rapidly increase the volume of their loan book – all without significant investment in more staff or resources.”

Mambu launched its composable banking concept to help financial services companies “compose the bank they want to be.” This approach enables banks to choose the best third party vendor for each process by facilitating as many integrations as the bank wants. And because technology is continuously evolving, Mambu allows banks to swap out integrations independently when they want to switch providers.

Mambu has raised almost $47 million in funding (€42 million) from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Acton Capital Partners, and CommerzVentures. The Berlin-based companymade its Finovate debut at FinovateAsia 2013 in Singapore. Last month, Mambu signed UK-based SME challenger bank Recognise.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Move Your Business to the United States podcast features Aire CEO Aneesh Varma.
  • SumUp partners with donation software company to help charities to go contactless for Christmas.
  • TransferWise partners with Visa to enable real-time transfers to debit cards.

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.

2020’s Fintech Micro Trends

‘Tis the season for every fintech news outlet to cite industry predictions for 2020. And while it’s helpful to know that AI is still the biggest trend since PFM, and that the bank of the future will get ahead by focusing on the customer, sometimes the best way to gauge new trends is to think on a smaller scale.

Examining these micro trends helps keep a finger on the pulse of what’s about to take off in fintech and cuts the noise of the glaringly obvious ideas that dominate headlines. Here’s a look at a few of those trends.

Workplace training and compliance

These types of solutions have two main drivers, new technology and new regulation. Both of these factors continue to move at a fast pace throughout financial services.

Solutions such as Horizn help employers train their employees to use new consumer-facing technology so that they are ready to answer questions from end clients. By using gamification and leaderboards, Horizn encourages employees to increase their knowledge about new tools and offerings. Similarly, Launchfire’s Lemonade is an interactive, game-based simulation approach to workplace learning and helps employees not only learn skills they need to share with their customers but also familiarize themselves with compliance regulations.

This second piece of Launchfire’s offering– the compliance training– is key because it is increasingly evolving. This is due in part to employees expecting a more interactive training experience and partially because new technology is driving regulation to change at an increasingly fast pace. Christina Luttrell, COO of IDology highlighted this in a discussion about Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect in 2018; and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which will begin enforcement on the first of next year.

“According to IDology’s Annual Fraud Report, 28% believe CCPA compliance will be more burdensome than GDPR,” Luttrell said. “If GDPR is an indicator of how CCPA will unfold, then businesses need to consider how criminals can and will exploit subject access requests.” With regard to CCPA specifically, there is a lot at stake for non-compliance. “With consumers being able to sue, the compliance risk is enormous,” Luttrell added.

Debt management

Debt management, specifically student loan assistance platforms, have already started to take off. Players such as Tuition.io, Student Loan Genius, and CommonBond offer workplace benefits that enable employers to contribute to their employees’ student loan debt repayment efforts.

Direct-to-consumer debt repayment apps such as Qoins, which allows users to contribute their spare change from everyday purchases toward their debt, and Changed, which uses the same “spare change” concept but is focused on student loan repayment, are less common.

The coming year will bring even more of these types of solutions, especially as third party applications become more commonplace in financial services.

While there won’t be a huge wave of new players in the debt management space (again, we’re thinking micro trends!), it’s likely that existing players will launch new solutions to help consumers manage not only their student loan debt, but also mortgages and personal loans.

Philanthropic tech

We first saw an emergence of philanthropic fintech around 2012 when Billhighway launched fundraising technology and CafeGive, which has since shuttered, powered multiple financial institutions’ community-focused giving promotions.

Newer examples of philanthropic technology include Betterment’s donation feature and Meniga’s collaboration with the UN that allows users to donate their cash-back rewards to fight climate change. Additionally, Radius (recently acquired by Kabbage) launched its Data for Good campaign to help the company’s employees and customers give back to their communities, and Revolut launched a charitable giving feature. And there are even fintechs devoted entirely to charitable giving, including Place2Give, Sustainably, and Pinkaloo.

Could charitable donations via “feel good fintech” begin to take the place of tax deductible donations – especially in the U.S. – in 2020? Philanthropic fintech is also partially driven by the convenience economy. For example, instead of sitting down to make a yearly donation to their favorite charity, consumers can support the organization on a regular basis through the deduction of their “spare change” on everyday purchases or investments.

Banks Shift to Automation in 2020

The financial services industry is ripe for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Business Process Management (BPM) technologies. Organizations in this field have many tasks that can be– and even should be– automated.

Many banks already have successful implementations of these technologies in place. But with the dawn of a new decade, what’s next? We posed the question to AI Foundry’s Director of Product Management, Arvind Jagannath, who helped us uncover the future of RPA and BPM.

Finovate: What are some key developments in RPA and BPM we can look forward to in 2020?

Arvind Jagannath: RPA will play a key role in automating processes in legacy systems. It will have a lot of momentum in industries like retail and finance that are trying to achieve digital transformation because it can automate repetitive processes in their legacy applications.

Most companies view this kind of automation as a key to integrating new technologies and improving their business process. RPA will evolve into a gateway for adopting higher-level, modern technologies.

Finovate: Tell us about that evolution.

Jagannath: Finance, retail and online shopping all have processes that can be easily automated, such as data entry, button clicks, task routing, etc. For these processes, RPA can provide substantial savings in time and cost. Now, imagine you can amplify these gains by using cognitive technologies such as voice recognition, OCR, and AI…this can be a game-changer for many companies.

For example, voice recognition is now increasingly used to provide a more “conversational” flow for gathering initial caller information, just as a support person would do. All of this information can be used to drive the back-end processes that are automated by RPA, such as creating a support ticket and routing it to the right department.

In mortgages, document recognition technologies can quickly scan data from uploaded borrower documents and immediately provide feedback on the validity of the document or ask for additional information. This creates a powerful, real-time feedback loop that can cut days and possibly weeks out of the loan origination process.

Finovate: What does this mean for fintech’s strong partnership ecosystem?

Jagannath: Process automation tools are becoming more sophisticated, and traditional system integrators are taking notice. Large firms like IBM and SAP are realizing they need to partner with or acquire smaller, specialized RPA companies. So now there is an opportunity for collaborating and partnering to create a “smart” RPA eco-system.

A “smart” RPA eco-system combines process automation and AI to orchestrate the appropriate handoffs of tasks between humans and systems to automate processes across a value network.

For example, imagine automating the processing of a homeowner’s property insurance claim where the adjuster pulls data from many disparate systems to make a determination. In a smart RPA eco-system, robots can easily interweave with the adjuster to perform many tasks such as manual registering of the claim, scheduling the next available adjuster, tracking completion of the damage assessment, and proposing an equitable determination.

Finovate: What advice can you offer financial services companies looking to get started with RPA and BPA?

Jagannath: You first need to figure out how to automate your processes, and then start using cognitive technologies to get all the benefits out of RPA and higher-level cognitive AI. RPA becomes a gateway to adopting AI. So, RPA is helping build the ramp for AI to get adopted.

AI Foundry most recently appeared on the Finovate stage last year at FinovateFall. The company demonstrated its Agile Mortgages solution, which brings key efficiencies to the loan origination process.

FIS Integrates with IBM to Help Clients Counter Fraud

Financial services vendor FIS has announced that it has integrated IBM’s Safer Payments solution within its peer-to-peer (P2P) services to aid in the prevention of fraud, reports Alex Hamilton of Fintech Futures, Finovate’ sister publication.

With the IBM solution integrated, FIS believes its P2P services will be able to monitor high volumes of transactions and provide “real-time detection and decisioning” using artificial intelligence.

The vendor claims that since it first installed IBM’s solution it has seen a “significant” reduction in attempted and completed fraudulent transactions.

“Criminals are growing ever-more sophisticated in their methods for conducting payments fraud and they are increasingly targeting P2P services due to the growth in this market,” said Jim Johnson, head of Americas payments and wealth at FIS.

“FIS is excited to incorporate IBM Safer Payments to provide the highest level of fraud protection to our U.S. clients and their customers who rely on P2P services for fast, convenient payments.”

According to a 2018 PwC report, 53% of US companies were hit by fraud between 2016 and 2018, while 37% of companies reported losing more than $1 million as a result of it.

“FIS is taking aggressive steps to protect its clients against new and evolving threats in the industry,” said Michael Curry, vice president at IBM RegTech. “IBM Safer Payments uses artificial intelligence designed to deliver insights and to quickly adapt to a changing threat landscape. This technology is yielding successful results for FIS and some of the world’s largest and most complex payment portfolios.”

FIS most recently demoed at FinovateFall 2016. The company debuted its Cardless Cash solution that provides fast, secure options for sending and picking up cash at any ATM. Headquartered in Florida, FIS’ solutions move $9 trillion each year for 20,000 clients in 130 countries.

IBM’s IBM Trusteer demoed its new account fraud solution at FinovateEurope 2018.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • FIS Integrates with IBM to Help Clients Counter Fraud.

Around the web

  • Blackhawk Network unveils new line of gift cards.
  • Tinkoff GDRs will be included in MOEX Russia indices next month.
  • Finantix opens new office in Sydney, Australia.

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 5 Reasons I’m Thankful for Fintech

It’s the season of giving thanks in the U.S., and what better way to celebrate than to reflect on why I’m thankful for fintech. As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons. Not only does fintech impact how I transact every day, the fintech industry is also responsible for some great friendships I’ve made over the past ten years working in the space.

Great friends aside, here are the top 5 reasons I’m thankful for our growing industry:

1) I don’t need to use cash

This is a simple one. As a typical millennial, I rarely carry cash and I only use my checkbook a couple of times a year to pay contractors. Using a debit card protects me from losing cash (which happens to me all the time), makes in-person transactions faster, makes online transactions possible, and helps me track where my money goes each month… which leads me to reason number two.

2) Puts me more in control of my finances

PFM has been around since the dawn of fintech, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. As with most banks these days, my bank leverages my transaction data to show me a breakdown of my actual spending habits. This means that instead of looking at a hand-drawn budget to determine where every paycheck goes, I’m able to see at a glance how I spend my money.

3) Helps plan for the future

Planning for retirement is intimidating, especially when you don’t have a personal financial advisor to consult. This is why I’m so thankful for roboadvisory tools that create inexpensive and easy-to-use investing strategies. These platforms offer boosted confidence as well as increased returns.

4) Keeps my money and identity secure

There are a lot of fintech companies working in the security space these days– and for good reason. It’s difficult to keep clients’ money out of a cyber criminal’s reach, especially when their nefarious strategies are continuously evolving. And while fintechs that don’t hold their clients’ financial assets may not have this issue, they certainly have the responsibility to protect their client’s personal information. It’s good to know there are very smart people creating complex solutions that minimize the chances of getting hacked.

5) Offers alternative investments

You know the widely held belief that millennials don’t trust the stock market? It holds true for me. I graduated from college in 2012 at the height of the recession. Two weeks before receiving my diploma my only job offer was a ranch hand on Ted Turner’s bison ranch just south of Bozeman, Montana (don’t worry, the Boeing company came through a week later with a formal job offer). So though I certainly have a fair amount of money in the stock market, I also rely on alternative investments such as real estate to carry me through when the market tanks again.

Glance Powers Visual Customer Engagement for Axos Bank

Online visual customer engagement platform Glance announced today it partnered with Axos Bank, a digital bank with $11+ billion in assets.

Glance will help Axos Bank offer its commercial and retail clients real-time visual engagement sessions that deliver a more personalized customer experience. Specifically, Axos will use Glance to navigate the online interface, pay bills, transfer funds, and apply for new banking products.

“Financial services organizations are looking to maximize the benefits of digital banking without losing the human-to-human connection of traditional brick-and-mortar customer interactions,” said Glance CEO Tom Martin. “Glance is perfectly positioned to satisfy this critical requirement. We have successfully integrated real human connections in the digital space, giving banks and other providers a viable tool to enhance customer service while optimizing the efficiencies garnered through digital technology.”

Glance’s cloud-based platform integrates with existing CRM and contact center platforms. In addition to creating a more interactive experience with a human touch, Glance helps organizations comply with security and privacy requirements. Among the company’s clients are Intuit, Constant Contact, and StarTribune.

“The solution is already making an impact in our customer service operations,” said Jonathan Crane, senior vice president of Axos Bank’s Centers of Excellence. “We’re seeing a significant uptick in a number of performance metrics, and our bankers and customers consistently rave about the technology and its ability to help our team become more responsive. It is the perfect solution for combining human insight with the efficiency of digital banking.”

Glance demoed at FinovateFall 2019 in New York. Headquartered in Massachusetts, Glance has raised $6.2 million since it was founded in 2000. Rich Baker is CEO.